- Boosts power of Water-type moves 50% when at 1/3 HP or less.
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
For years, Feraligatr has been unable to distinguish itself in a metagame where Gyarados dominated. In the 4th generation, Feraligatr still struggles to make it onto a competitive team due to its lack of any outstanding stats. Feraligatr does manage to differentiate itself from Gyarados, however, with its neutrality to Stealth Rock and access to Swords Dance. While it lacks the raw power that Gyarados wields, it makes up for it with the capacity to boost its Attack twice as fast.
Feraligatr has always been in Gyarados's shadow in the OU environment. Feraligatr has Swords Dance to boost its Attack twice as fast as Gyarados, though, and priority Aqua Jet to hit faster foes. Feraligatr easily OHKOes defensive Rotom-A, who has next to no chance of OHKOing back with Thunderbolt, even after Stealth Rock damage. Even if Rotom-A tries to burn Feraligatr with Will-O-Wisp, Lum Berry is there to remedy the status. Return complements Feraligatr's Water-type STAB, hitting every Pokemon in the OU metagame for neutral damage, with the exception of Empoleon. Furthermore, Vaporeon and Suicune cannot do enough damage to Feraligatr before being forced to recover; Vaporeon is likely to be 2HKOed by Return, while defensive Suicune is 3HKOed. An unboosted Hidden Power Electric from either of them is only a 3HKO, allowing Feraligatr to get another Swords Dance under its belt. Aqua Jet is Feraligatr's weapon against faster Pokemon such as Heatran, Gengar, Jolteon, and Choice Scarf Tyranitar; however, you will need residual damage to guarantee the OHKOs on said Pokemon.
Because of Feraligatr's pure Water typing, Electric-type attacks do not completely mutilate it like they do Gyarados. For instance, common revenge killers such as Choice Scarf Jirachi and even Life Orb Starmie cannot reliably OHKO Feraligatr. Another big selling point for Feraligatr is its ability, Torrent. Because of its natural bulk, many attacks can't do enough damage to Feraligatr to OHKO it, usually leaving Feraligatr with just enough HP to activate Torrent.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Feraligatr has a few additional moves that haven't been mentioned yet. Earthquake can be useful for hitting Metagross and Jirachi super effectively but otherwise has inferior coverage compared to Waterfall and Return. Feraligatr learns Dragon Dance, but that is better left to Gyarados, which, despite having a weakness to Stealth Rock, is faster, hits harder, and has Intimidate.
Checks and Counters
Most of the Pokemon that counter Dragon Dance Gyarados check Feraligatr as well. If Rotom-A is faster than Feraligatr, it can survive an Aqua Jet and KO with Thunderbolt. Slower Rotom-A variants need to be wary, however, as a +2 Aqua Tail may OHKO after Stealth Rock. Choice Scarf Rotom-A is a great revenge killer to take down Feraligatr after it has set up. Zapdos is in a similar boat as Rotom-A; if it outspeeds Feraligatr then it will surely win, but if not, it risks being OHKOed. Vaporeon can counter Feraligatr if it has Toxic or Roar, but takes a lot of damage from Return. RestTalk Gyarados is a great counter thanks to Intimidate and Roar to phaze Feraligatr. Shaymin and Celebi also counter Feraligatr well, but shouldn't risk using Leech Seed or Thunder Wave as Feraligatr can 2HKO with Return.