Qwilfish (M) @ Black Sludge
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
Impish Nature (+Def, -SAtk)
- Taunt / Haze
- Pain Split
Hazard User / Physical Wall
What it Does:
Although the rise of strong special attackers such as Moltres, Nidoqueen, and Sceptile have hurt the viability of Qwilfish, the spike fish is still one of the top defensive Spikers in RU as it can reliably check key physical attackers such as Entei, Kabutops, and Gallade. Spikes is the main move on Qwilfish and should generally be the go-to move when Qwilfish comes in to wall an opponent. Taunt is preferred in the 2nd slot to shut down slower defensive Pokemon. Haze is also an option to stop threats such as Gallade and Absol from setting up. Pain Split is a new addition to Qwilfish's movepool from BW2 tutors and it's a welcome addition to Qwilfish's moveset as it at least has semi-reliable recovery now. Finally, Waterfall is used to keep Qwilfish from becoming total Taunt bait. This also allows Qwilfish to come out on top against the top 2 spinners in RU, Kabutops and Cryogonal. The former typically runs Weak Armor while the latter already has very bad Defense.
Pokemon that take special attacks are welcome teammates. Clefable is chief among these as it provides Qwilfish with Wish support while Qwilfish takes Fighting moves for Clefable. Other defensive Pokemon such as Ferroseed and Uxie can also be used to take on special attackers. Despite sharing a Ground weakness, Lanturn is a useful teammate if only for the ability to fully counter Moltres.
What Counters It:
Almost any special attacker that can take a Waterfall or two can be considered a good Qwilfish counter. Sceptile, Rotom-C, Tangrowth, Slowking are such examples, but pretty much any Grass or Water type that hits on the special side will work. Moltres and Nidoqueen can take a Waterfall despite their Water weakness and proceed to outspeed and KO Qwilfish with powerful special attacks. However, the former can't switch in if SR is on the field. Manectric, Galvantula, Rotom, and Accelgor can't take much punishment, but they are able to hit Qwilfish hard with special attacks and the former 3 have STAB Electric moves. Omastar can outspeed Qwilfish to Shell Smash before a possible Taunt and proceed to threaten a sweep even surviving Waterfall easily thanks to its great Defense stat.
96 Speed EVs are needed to outrun positive base 55 Speed Pokemon such as Omastar and Crawdaunt. This allows Qwilfish to Taunt both before they have a chance to setup. Toxic Spikes can be used, but the fact that Nidoqueen is so common (along with other grounded Poison types) makes this an inferior option.