Empoleon

Torrent
Boosts power of Water-type moves 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Type Tier
Water / Steel OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
84
- 309 372 -
Atk
86
187 208 271 298
Def
88
190 212 275 302
SpA
111
232 258 321 353
SpD
101
214 238 301 331
Spe
60
140 156 219 240
  • Overused

Overview

It is frankly quite a pity that Empoleon doesn't look nearly as powerful or as usable as it actually is. Empoleon's movepool isn't overflowing with coverage, nor does it have any particularly outstanding stats. However, what Empoleon does have is a unique typing that grants it an immunity and 11 resistances to some of the most common attacking types, notably Ice, Dragon, Ghost, Rock, Water, and Dark. Furthermore, Empoleon is only weak to Ground-, Fighting-, and Electric-type attacks, all of which its teammates can deal with easily. In addition to its typing, Empoleon's high Special Defense also lends it to the job of a defensive Pokemon.

However, it is capable of much more. With both Agility and an already high Special Attack stat, Empoleon can become an extremely deadly late-game sweeper with just enough coverage to destroy entire teams. Factor in Empoleon's 4x resistance to Bullet Punch and 2x resistance to ExtremeSpeed, and you'll see why it's so favored late-game when most faster threats are gone.

While Empoleon might not be used as often as other more popular OU Pokemon, don't let that trick you into thinking that this penguin isn't capable of running through your team like a hot knife through butter.

Name Item Nature

SubPetaya

Petaya Berry Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Agility
~ Substitute
~ Surf
~ Ice Beam / Grass Knot
12 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 240 Spe

Empoleon's signature set aims to sweep the opponent late-game with a strategy very rarely deemed effective in high-level play: Substitute, Agility, and a pinch Berry. The premise of the set is simple; wait till the late-game, switch Empoleon in on any one of its many resistances or after a revenge kill, and use Agility as your opponent switches out to a check. After an Agility boost, the only Pokemon that can outspeed Empoleon are speedy Choice Scarf users. Therefore, Empoleon can confidently use Substitute against most Pokemon to not only block incoming status, but also get it into Petaya Berry's activation range.

Surf is Empoleon's primary STAB attack, and specifically OHKOes Heatran and 2HKOes Metagross. Due to the Petaya Berry boost, Hydro Pump's extra power is not necessary. Ice Beam, which OHKOes Dragonite and 2HKOes Togekiss, is the prime choice for providing good coverage, and also takes down Shaymin, Celebi, and Zapdos. Grass Knot can be used to take down Swampert and Suicune, but this allows many Pokemon, most notably Dragonite, to check Empoleon.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Agility

Life Orb Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Agility
~ Surf / Hydro Pump
~ Ice Beam
~ Grass Knot
12 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 240 Spe

This set forgoes the use of Substitute and Petaya Berry to use three attacks, which gives it more rounded coverage against a variety of threats. Despite Life Orb's lower boost when compared to Petaya Berry, this set has the advantage of being able to set up multiple times during a match. The moveset is fairly self-explanatory; Agility allows Empoleon to boost its Speed and sweep with its three coverage moves: Surf, Ice Beam, and Grass Knot. Hydro Pump is an option over Surf as the added power helps KO Pokemon that Surf would otherwise be unable to, such as Tyranitar.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Lead

Focus Sash / Chople Berry Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Aqua Jet
~ Grass Knot / Ice Beam
156 HP / 252 SpA / 100 Spe

Empoleon's typing and respectable movepool allow it to be a great lead. With access to Stealth Rock and a priority move to top it off, it can effectively deal with many common leads. It can take out faster, frail leads with a combination of Hydro Pump and Aqua Jet, and set up Stealth Rock on slower leads before taking them out. Hydro Pump deals huge damage to the likes of Hippowdon and Metagross, whereas Surf can be used for more reliability, as it will still deal with Infernape and Tyranitar. Grass Knot takes care of Swampert and other Water-types that switch in to wall Empoleon, but Ice Beam can be used to take down Dragonite and Gliscor, although the latter can still be worn down with Hydro Pump.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Specially Defensive

Leftovers Calm
Moveset EVs
~ Surf
~ Grass Knot
~ Hidden Power Electric / Stealth Rock
~ Roar / Ice Beam
252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe

With a superb defensive typing, a decent support movepool, and solid defensive stats, Empoleon can do a fine job at supporting its team. Empoleon might lack the bulk of Suicune and Swampert, but its typing grants it resistances to some of the most common attacking types and gives it several opportunities to switch in and KO the opponent or force it out.

Surf is a great move to have, and pretty much mandatory on Empoleon. As this Empoleon is not a sweeper, bulky Water-types such as Swampert are more of a threat due to their ability to stall it out, Roar it away, or otherwise set up on it. As such, Grass Knot is a must-have for this set. Hidden Power Electric is recommended in the third slot to deal with Water-types such as Gyarados, who take less damage from Grass Knot, while Ice Beam can take out troublesome Dragon- and Grass-types, such as Dragonite and Shaymin, respectively. In addition to checking common threats, Empoleon can also make use of several support options: Roar gives it a tool to phaze setup sweepers while scouting the opponent's team, while Stealth Rock is a great alternative to weaken the opponent's team gradually; it also combines well with Roar to rack up even more damage over time.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Choice Specs

Choice Specs Modest
Moveset EVs
~ Hydro Pump / Surf
~ Ice Beam
~ Grass Knot
~ Sleep Talk / Hidden Power Electric
252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Spe

Empoleon can choose to bypass the turns of setup and start hitting hard right away with Choice Specs equipped. Its high Special Attack in tandem with Choice Specs allows it to deal huge damage to a majority of your opponent's team. However, due to Choice Specs's locking effect, Empoleon will be switching a lot, and while it resists Stealth Rock, it still takes damage from Spikes. Considering the fact that Empoleon isn't a lightning bruiser, it will more often than not have to take a hit before it can attack. Fortunately, Empoleon's natural bulk allows it to take these hits and return fire for a KO more often than not.

Hydro Pump is the primary option to dish out as much pain as possible on the opponent; while Surf is a fine alternative for reliability, Hydro Pump's power is impressive. Ice Beam covers Grass- and Dragon-types that resist Hydro Pump and Surf, while Grass Knot destroys Water-types that resist the rest of the set. This set's most notable niche is Sleep Talk. Thanks to Empoleon's great resistances and decent bulk, it can work as an effective sleep absorber for the team. Sleep Talk allows it to attack while not being locked into one single attacking move. Hidden Power Electric is an alternative over Sleep Talk to land the OHKO on Gyarados and 2HKO on Vaporeon with Stealth Rock damage, but achieves little on the set besides that.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Empoleon has a good movepool for what it needs, but lacks many notable other options. With access to Swords Dance to boost its mediocre Attack and a usable physical movepool consisting of Earthquake, Aqua Jet, Waterfall, Drill Peck, Return, and Avalanche, Empoleon can become a neat physical sweeper, but it lacks the power and Speed to sweep properly. Yawn can enable it to phaze, but Roar is better and Empoleon often can't risk guessing if the opponent will stay in to attack or switch out to dodge the sleep. Flash Cannon is available for a secondary STAB move, but it offers redundant coverage with Empoleon's main moves and is easily resisted. Lastly, Knock Off can let defensive sets remove opponents' items, but is essentially useless once the job is done.

Checks and Counters

For hopefully obvious reasons, Blissey is the best counter to Empoleon; it can cripple Empoleon with Thunder Wave or wear it down with Seismic Toss. Setup sweeping Empoleon relies on Agility to outspeed and damage opponents before they can hit back, so faster Pokemon such as Choice Scarf Flygon and Choice Scarf Starmie can do serious damage to it. If they switch in on a revenge kill, or on Empoleon that hasn't used Agility or Substitute, Jolteon, Rotom-A, and Magnezone can destroy Empoleon with their STAB Electric-type attacks; in addition, the latter has Magnet Pull to prevent Empoleon from escaping. Finally, one can take advantage of the holes in Empoleon's coverage: variants without Ice Beam lose to Dragonite, Shaymin, and Celebi, while those without Grass Knot fall flat against Suicune and Vaporeon.