Kabuto

Battle Armor
Prevents critical hits.
Swift Swim
Speed doubles in rain.
Type Tier
Rock / Water LC
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
30
- 19 22 -
Atk
80
12 14 17 18
Def
90
13 15 18 19
SpA
55
10 12 15 16
SpD
45
9 11 14 15
Spe
55
10 12 15 16
  • Little Cup

Overview

In a metagame flooded with Water-types of infinite diversity, Kabuto stands out as one of the most notable. It is, simply put, a great sweeper with a solid Attack stat, reliable STAB moves, and an ability that remedies its otherwise horrible Speed stat; as such, Kabuto is one of the premier forces to watch out for in Little Cup. Many of the strongest physical walls in the metagame do not dare to approach it under the rain, and it can bypass its embarrassing weakness to priority with its own Aqua Jet. Although it has a lot of common weaknesses, its typing gives it a good offensive combination and a nice set of resistances. All in all, Kabuto is a Pokemon to watch out for, whatever the weather might be.

Name Item Ability Nature

Lead

Focus Sash Swift Swim Naughty / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Aqua Jet
~ Rock Slide / Waterfall
~ Rapid Spin / Protect / Earth Power
196 Atk / 76 SpA / 236 Spe

Kabuto's ability to reliably set up Stealth Rock in combination with its offensive prowess means that it is one of the most popular support leads available. One of Kabuto's selling points as a lead is its resistance to Fake Out and its good Defense stat, making it a reliable answer to the common Meowth leads. Another advantage to Kabuto is its ability to beat a good number of the other popular leads one-on-one, leads such as Onix, Phanpy, and Houndour, thanks to its STAB moves.

Stealth Rock is Kabuto's most useful support move, as already mentioned. Aqua Jet rectifies Kabuto's low Speed stat, and is incredibly useful to finish off other Focus Sash leads, as well as for getting the jump on weakened, faster Pokemon later in the game. Rock Slide is Kabuto's primary STAB option and takes care of Paras and Mantyke. For the last slot, Rapid Spin makes several strategies plausible; for example, against opposing Stealth Rock leads, using Rapid Spin while they are on low health means KOing them and removing Stealth Rock in one stroke. Protect can be useful for scouting purposes as well as blocking Fake Out from leads such as Meowth, allowing Kabuto to conserve its Focus Sash. Lastly, Earth Power is useful for coverage, not only for Croagunk but also for Chinchou and other Electric-types.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Rain Dance Mixed Attacker

Life Orb / Oran Berry Swift Swim Naughty / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Waterfall
~ Rock Slide
~ Earth Power / Aerial Ace
~ Aqua Jet / Rain Dance
196 Atk / 156 SpA / 156 Spe

Kabuto stands out as one of the best Swift Swim abusers in Little Cup, thanks to its decent Attack, defensive stats, and the ability to power through many of Little Cup's common walls with its rain-boosted Waterfalls. Since Buizel's extra Speed is no longer so great an advantage, Kabuto is perhaps the most powerful physical Swift Swim sweeper available.

Waterfall is Kabuto's main STAB move, and as its power is boosted by the rain, there are not many Pokemon that can survive it. Rock Slide is a reliable secondary STAB move, hitting Paras, Snover, and especially Mantyke super effectively. Both Rock Slide and Waterfall also have useful flinch potential. Earth Power is used mainly for its ability to OHKO Croagunk with the given EV spread, who walls both of Kabuto's STAB moves, but also to 2HKO dangerous Pokemon such as Chinchou and Tentacool. Aerial Ace also deals with Croagunk, but in addition deals good damage to Grass-types such as Shroomish and Oddish. The last slot really depends on how you intend to use Kabuto. Aqua Jet works as an insurance against priority-wielders, though sadly it is ineffective against Croagunk. If you intend to use this Kabuto as a solo sweeper, however, Kabuto can set up Rain Dance for itself, though be aware that the absence of Damp Rock means that your own Rain Dance will not last as long as one conjured up by a specialized Bronzor.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Kabuto shares a bunch of otherwise useful special moves with its special counterpart, Omanyte, such as Surf, Ice Beam, and AncientPower, but the two special STAB moves have less power against nearly all opponents than their physical counterparts Waterfall and Rock Slide, and Ice Beam has fairly redundant coverage. Other than this, Rock Polish provides the same Speed boost as Swift Swim, although it will only last for as long as Kabuto remains in play. Kabuto gets Flail and has a high enough Attack stat to use it with, though a neutral STAB Waterfall in the rain hits nearly as hard. Return gets more neutral coverage, but does not hit any Pokemon harder in particular. Kabuto reaches the magic 15 Speed stat, which means that when equipped with a Choice Scarf it can outrun all unboosted Pokemon in Little Cup as well as the plethora of 14 Speed Scarf Pokemon in the same role. Knock Off allows Kabuto to remove its opponent's precious Oran Berries and Choice Scarfs, and can be of use on the lead set. Lastly, Screech and Metal Sound are two moves that can be useful in the absence of Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, though the effects leave the field with the opponent.

Checks and Counters

Finding a true counter to the Swift Swim set, or something that can take even one Waterfall or Rock Slide in its stride, is a difficult feat indeed. The sheer power harnessed by Kabuto is boosted by the fact that many of the Pokemon with the highest Defense in Little Cup, namely Gligar, Aron, Shieldon, Rhyhorn, Geodude, Onix, and Hippopotas, are all weak to its STAB attacks. Psyduck is pretty much far and away the best check, since its Cloud Nine ability negates Kabuto's Swift Swim and also removes the boost to its Water-type attacks, allowing Psyduck to dispatch it with a STAB Surf or Hidden Power Electric. Croagunk, too, can switch in on Rock Slide or any of its Water moves and OHKO with Vacuum Wave, though it must watch out for Aerial Ace or Earth Power from Chople Berry Kabuto. Wooper has the same resistance to Rock and immunity to Water as Croagunk, but it is not weak to Aerial Ace or Earth Power and can attack back with its STAB Water-type moves. Oran Berry Chinchou cannot be 2HKOed by any set without Earth Power, while bulkier Grass-types can potentially survive a Rock Slide to OHKO using their STAB moves with ease. Snover can remove Kabuto's rain with Snow Warning and destroy it with its STAB Grass moves, but if it switches into Rock Slide it is doomed. Lastly, a faster Mantyke can use its own Swift Swim to outrun Kabuto, but this means forfeiting its valuable Water Absorb ability, and it can be taken out by Kabuto's Rock Slide.