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Ludicolo (Analysis)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by elDino, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. elDino

    elDino Deal With It.
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    Finished!

    QC Approvals: 1/2 Locopoke, 2/2 Iconic

    GP Approvals: 1/2 Fatecrashers 2/2 jc104




    [Overview]

    <p>Whilst Ludicolo is by no means a new Pokemon to the franchise, it is one that has never really shone in past generations. It had always been a very adept Swift Swim sweeper, and has gained a reputation as of one of the best special Swift Swimmers around. With its great dual STAB and decent (albeit small) movepool, Ludicolo has enough offensive prowess to plough through physical walls that hinder common rain sweepers. It can also surprise many of its usual counters with a Swords Dance set and even stall them out with Leech Seed. Although Ludicolo has personally gained rather little this generation, the environment around it has changed greatly, and primarily to its benefit. With the introduction of a lot of great new rain abusers, Ludicolo finds its way onto many rain teams as a great Ferrothorn check which you should be prepared for at all costs.</p>

    <p>However, Ludicolo is not without its flaws. With its mediocre Speed allowing it to be outsped by faster Choice Scarfers even in the rain, and its average physical defense preventing it from taking too many hits, it's not hard to see where Ludicolo could use some improvement. This Mexican pineapple does have some tricks up its sleeve that help make up for its flaws, however, such as a respectable Special Attack, Water-type STAB, great coverage, and a boosting move in Swords Dance. With the right support, you can be sure that Ludicolo will not let the team down. Underestimate this carefree dancing fellow at your peril.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Special Rain
    move 1: Hydro Pump / Surf
    move 2: Giga Drain
    move 3: Ice Beam
    move 4: Focus Blast / Substitute
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Swift Swim
    nature: Modest / Timid
    evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Under the rain, Ludicolo is an amazing special sweeper, boasting excellent coverage and utility. It has a good Special Attack stat and, when backed by a Speed boost under the rain, it can outpace neutral-natured +1 base 108 Pokemon, such as Terrakion and Infernape, and wreck opposing teams. Although it faces some competition for a team slot from other special rain sweepers, Ludicolo's superior type coverage, giving it the ability to beat bulky Waters as well as Ferrothorn, makes it more than eligible for a team slot.</p>

    <p>Hydro Pump provides powerful STAB that, under the rain, easily OHKOes 248 HP Scizor and severely dents anything that doesn't resist it. Giga Drain provides Ludicolo with secondary STAB and also gives Ludicolo the ability to recover its health and take on bulky Waters one-on-one. Ice Beam gives great coverage in conjunction with Ludicolo's STABs, hitting everything in the game for at least neutral damage, and takes care of the Dragon- and Grass-types that would otherwise freely switch into Ludicolo. Focus Blast can OHKO some variants of Ferrothorn, and it will at least 2HKO all others, albeit only 49% of the time due to Focus Blast's ridiculous accuracy. Ludicolo also boasts an above average Special Defense, letting it take many Scarfed special attacks and KO back with ease. For example, it can take a Scarf Latios Draco Meteor and KO back with Ice Beam. Ludicolo will often find itself surviving and retaliating to opposing offensive threats, as not many Pokemon that carry super effective Bug-, Poison-, or Flying-type moves can take it on.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Surf is an option over Hydro Pump and is part of the accuracy versus power argument. It still severely dents anything that doesn't resist it, but misses out on KOs against Scizor and other common Steel-types. Grass Knot can also be used for a 2HKO on Gyarados, but otherwise it is outclassed by Giga Drain, as this gives Ludicolo some much-needed recovery when residual damage and Life Orb recoil begin to add up. Finally, Substitute is a very respectable option for the last spot as it will allow you to take a hit from fast physical Scarfers such as Terrakion and Landorus. It can also be used to scout Choiced moves; you can then switch out to a suitable sweeper and proceed to set up. Finally, Leftovers can be a viable option in the item slot, but as described in the following paragraph, the loss in power is very significant.</p>

    <p>The EVs allow Ludicolo to outspeed neutral-natured +1 base 108s in the rain, and give Ludicolo as much power as it can get. A Modest nature has been chosen here as Ludicolo definitely needs to boost its middling Special Attack or it misses out on some important OHKOs. However, if you plan on outspeeding positive-natured +1 base 108s, you can switch to a Timid nature, although the loss in power is very recognizable and many of Ludicolo's counters will have an easier time.</p>

    <p>Since this Ludicolo is only really effective on a rain team, it is vital to pair it with a few Rain Dance users, two or more is a good amount. Don't forget that Ludicolo can set up rain itself, to aid it's sweep. Often the only thing that will be stopping Ludicolo's sweep is another weather changer such as Tyranitar or something that can stall out the rain. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep your Rain Dance user alive until the opponent's weather changer has been KOed, thus maximizing Ludiocolo's chances of sweeping uninterrupted. Scizor is a good teammate to take out other weather users as it can KO Tyranitar and Abomasnow with Bullet Punch whilst Ludicolo itself can take care of Hippowdon and Ninetales.</p>

    <p>Some other effective counters to this set are the typical special sponges Chansey and Blissey, plus some bulky Grass-types. For this reason, physical rain sweepers who can set up on these Pokemon make good teammates for this set. Qwilfish is one such example, as it takes the Toxics aimed at Ludicolo and it can set up a Swords Dance to sweep. Kabutops can also set up but is somewhat walled by Grass-types as well. Toxicroak is another viable teammate, setting up on Blissey, Chansey, and Grass-types whilst they flee in fear of its Fighting and Poison STABs. Ironically, Toxicroak also completely counters this set as its Dry Skin ability gives it immunity to Hydro Pump, and it resists the rest of Ludicolo's moves bar Ice Beam. Toxicroak can then set up with Swords Dance and proceed to wreak havoc. Another effective counter to this set is Tentacruel, with its Liquid Ooze ability reversing Giga Drain's effect whilst its high Special Defense lets it take other resisted hits with ease. Chesto Rest Kingdra also sets up on Tentacruel with ease, with Rest cancelling out the effects of Toxic Spikes. </p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Waterfall
    move 3: Seed Bomb
    move 4: Ice Punch / Drain Punch
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Swift Swim
    nature: Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Although the Special Rain set is the standard (and for good reason too), the Swords Dance set is also a very respectable set in itself, being able to set up on and take out many of the Special Rain set's counters. Blissey for example is easily KOed by a +2 Waterfall and Chansey likewise. Ice Punch 2HKOes Celebi with the boost and Seed Bomb does huge damage to bulky Waters, OHKOing most. Although this set may at first seem rather pointless due to Ludicolo's below-average Attack stat, Swords Dance boosts it to an impressive 681 when coupled with Life Orb and an Adamant nature. Waterfall does obscene damage to anything that doesn't resist it and rivals a +1 Gyarados in terms of power, the difference here being Ludicolo's higher Speed in the rain and overall better coverage. </p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>After a Swords Dance, Ludicolo's STABs do incredible damage and its Waterfall will destroy anything that doesn't resist it, unless it has incredible physical defense. Seed Bomb provides an excellent secondary STAB that destroys any Waters trying to sponge Ludicolo's Waterfalls. Finally, Ice Punch rounds off the set by giving Ludicolo perfect coverage and the ability to KO any Grass- or Dragon-types that can shrug off Ludicolo's two STABs. Drain Punch can be used to hit Ferrothorn, and it comes with the added benefit of being a source of health recovery for Ludicolo. Life Orb gives Ludicolo a power boost that is well received, as it needs all the power that it can get due to its mediocre Attack stat. Leftovers is also a viable item to help improve Ludicolo's longevity but the power boost will be sorely missed.</p>

    <p>The EVs and nature give the maximum power that Ludicolo needs. However, a Jolly nature can be used if necessary to allow Ludicolo to outspeed positive natured +1 base 108s like Virizion and Terrakion, but it is usually a worse option. Without an Adamant nature, Celebi will wall this to no end and Ferrothorn will also be able to beat Ludicolo without breaking a sweat.</p>

    <p>Dedicated physical walls really give this set a hard time as it is focused more on surprise, and does not have the raw power of other physical attackers such as Swords Dance Haxorus and Choice Band Tyranitar. Skarmory only takes neutral damage from Ludicolo's Waterfall and can KO it with Brave Bird. Ludicolo can OHKO specially defensive Skarmory in the rain though so it must tread carefully and beware of flinch hax. Defensive Gyarados is an amazing counter to this set as it can remove Ludicolo's stat boosts with Intimidate and phaze it away without taking much damage in return. Ferrothorn can easily wall any Ludicolo lacking Drain Punch.</p>

    <p>As this set suffers against physical walls, it is fairly obvious then to include special attacker teammates that can hit physical walls on their weaker side. Such Pokemon include Kingdra and Omastar. Their high-powered special attacks enable them to easily bust through walls that trouble Ludicolo, and they can pull off a sweep of their own if Ludicolo takes out an opposing special wall. Other viable teammates include other physical attackers that can cover Ludicolo's shortcomings. Kabutops is a great example of an effective teammate as it takes care of Gyarados with Stone Edge and Ferrothorn with Low Kick, allowing Ludicolo to clean up afterwards. Also, two Swords Dancers working in tandem can tear huge holes in the opposing team, allowing other Pokemon on your side to easily sweep. Finally, at least two or more Rain Dance users is a must as it allows Ludicolo to become the speedy powerhouse that it is. </p>

    [SET]
    name: SubSeed
    move 1: Substitute
    move 2: Leech Seed
    move 3: Protect / Toxic
    move 4: Scald / Giga Drain / Ice Beam
    item: Leftovers
    ability: Rain Dish
    nature: Bold
    evs: 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpD

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>A SubSeed set is almost a standard for all Grass-types, and with Ludicolo this is no different. Ludicolo does however, bring a unique advantage to the table: Rain Dish. With Rain Dish + Leftovers + Leech Seed, Ludicolo can restore over 25% of its health each turn, allowing it the use of endless Substitutes. Protect can help Ludicolo gain even more health, meaning the opponent will be struggling to dent Ludicolo. With only 3 weaknesses and above-average defenses, Ludicolo can find numerous opportunities to set up, making it an excellent Pokemon to have on a rain stall team.</p>

    <p>When using this set, Ludicolo should fire Leech Seed immediately after it switches in, and then proceed to alternate between Substitute and Protect, eventually stalling the opponent to death. Substitute and Leech Seed form the fabled combination that can PP stall other Pokemon and bring unlimited frustration to the opponent. Protect is the main option for the third slot but Toxic can be used to speed up the slow process of death for the opposing Pokemon. It also gives Ludicolo a way to deal with opposing Grass-types that don't share a Steel or Poison typing. Finally, Boiling Water in the last slot gives Ludicolo a solid STAB move that has a chance to burn and cripple physical attackers, whilst Giga Drain gives another STAB move that can heal Ludicolo even more. Ice Beam can be used to do damage to Grass-types that want to switch into Leech Seed; however, it usually does not do much damage due to this Ludicolo's lack of Special Attack investment, so switching out is in this case probably the better option. </p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>Leftovers is the obvious item on this set as Ludicolo needs all the recovery it can get. In that same respect, Rain Dish is in most cases the best ability; Swift Swim can be used under rain to make Ludicolo the fastest SubSeeder there is, but the lack of Rain Dish recovery is quite a big deal, and Ludicolo cannot be used with Politoed if using Swift Swim.</p>

    <p>The EVs and nature listed give Ludicolo good all-round bulk that is a little biased towards the physical side due to the primarily physical nature of the metagame. Ludicolo can counter Starmie with ease, taking only a maximum of ~35% from a Life Orb Thunderbolt, not to mention many other special attackers due to its high base 100 Special Defense. The Defense EVs and nature allow Ludicolo to take weak physical moves from defensive Pokemon, such as Ferrothorn's Power Whip, more easily. A more defensive EV spread of 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD can be used to maximize physical bulk but Ludicolo does appreciate having that little extra special bulk as well.</p>

    <p>This Ludicolo is really messed up by any Pokemon with Taunt and especially those with the ability Mischievous Heart. Ludicolo will also be stopped cold by Grass-types as they are immune to Leech Seed and most of them are immune to Toxic as well. Ferrothorn works especially well as a counter as Ludicolo can't touch it in any way whatsoever, allowing it to set up Spikes with ease. Strong physical attackers that can KO Ludicolo before it sets up make good counters but they can be PP stalled if they fail to OHKO. </p>

    <p>A good physical wall pairs well with this Ludicolo. Ferrothorn is a prime example as it can set up Spikes to cause more residual damage, making Ludicolo's job easier. A Toxic Spikes user such as Tentacruel is also very useful in order to keep piling on the residual damage. Tentacruel can also absorb Toxic Spikes upon entry and Rapid Spin away other entry hazards as well, making it a very versatile partner that can help Ludicolo immensely. Once the opponent is bombarded by residual damage from all sides, they are really going to have a hard time dealing with Ludicolo's endless cycle of stall.</p>


    [Other Options]

    <p>Outside of what is listed, Ludicolo doesn't have many options. Focus Punch can be used on the Special Rain set for Blissey and Chansey but Focus Blast is usually better as it hurts Ferrothorn more. Energy Ball can also be used for its higher Base Power but Giga Drain outclasses it thanks to the recovery that it provides. Hidden Power Psychic can be used to OHKO Toxicroak and do some serious damage to Tentacruel but there isn't much space for it on the set.</p>

    <p>Zen Headbutt is useful on the Swords Dance set but Ice Punch is usually the better option as it provides perfect coverage with Ludicolo's two STABs.</p>

    <p>A Choice Specs set can also be used but it is outclassed by Kingdra as Kingdra has much more power and very good coverage.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Special Ludicolo is stopped cold by Blissey and Chansey who can slowly wear it down with Toxic. They must watch out for the SubSeed set though as it is able to set up on both of these Pokemon and stall them out. Any Grass-type that can take an Ice Beam is a decent counter. Celebi is a good example as it can switch into Ludicolo and Thunder Wave it, stopping Ludicolo's sweep in its tracks. Tentacruel resists three of the four moves on the special set and can turn Giga Drain into a liability with its ability Liquid Ooze. Any faster Choice Scarf Pokemon that can OHKO Ludicolo is a good check, although you must not underestimate its respectable defenses. </p>

    <p>Any strong physical wall can take on Ludicolo's Swords Dance set. Skarmory can switch in and OHKO with Brave Bird. Gyarados can Intimidate Ludicolo and then phaze it away with Dragon Tail or Roar. Ferrothorn can wall any set without a Fighting-type move and set up Spikes on it. Abomasnow can also switch in without fear if Ludicolo is without a Fighting-type move and also changes the weather.</p>

    <p>For the SubSeed set, any Grass-type can switch in and negate the Leech Seed but they must beware of a super effective Ice Beam. Any Pokemon with Taunt can also stop the set cold, making Ludicolo dead weight until it switches out.</p>

    <p>On any of the offensive sets, if the rain is stalled out, then Ludicolo becomes practically useless and can easily be killed.</p>

    [Dream World]

    <p>Ludicolo's Dream World ability is Own Tempo, which prevents confusion. It's effectively useless when compared to Ludicolo's two other excellent abilities and should therefore not be used in competitive battles.</p>

  2. elDino

    elDino Deal With It.
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    This is now done. Please feel free to comment and suggest any typos etc.
    Ready for QC checks.
    Thanks guys
  3. Omicron

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    Just a small thing, but for the special set, Scizor does not resist all of Ludicolo's weaknesses (neutral to flying) and Tentacruel does not resist Ludicolo's STABed Grass moves.

    Edit: This looks to be a great analysis though :)
  4. elDino

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    ok thanks, I'll edit that in ;)
  5. Limewire

    Limewire PRESS R TO WIN
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    Ludicolo can use Brick Break or Drain Punch on the Swords Dance set to hit Nattorei. After a Swords Dance, it deals 52.8% - 62.5% to 252 HP / 252 Def Nattorei with a defense-boosting nature.

    Drain Punch is preferred over Brick Break because it can heal Ludicolo.
  6. Forte.EXE

    Forte.EXE

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    Needs more mentions of Toxicroak. Toxicroak everywhere.

    On both offensive sets, should you make it to the write-up, you might want to mention that Ludicolo's defenses are by no means completely mediocre. A Choice Scarf Latios (the only type of Latios that can out-speed Ludicolo) can't even manage to OHKO 4 HP | 0 SpD Ludicolo, maxing out at 75.8% - 89.4%. ScarfChomp will only manage a 2HKO with Dragon Claw, and a OHKO is not always assured with Outrage (86.8% - 102.6%).

    Personally, I don't think Substitute should be a slash in for Focus Blast. You practically need Focus Blast in this Gen for dealing with Nattorei alone. Substitute + Life Orb + Entry Hazards is going to add up really quickly, and with no recovery outside of Giga Drain, you're going to find yourself low on HP quickly.

    One last mention, if the Tentacruel has Liquid Ooze, you'll be taking damage from Giga Drain. Just thought that should be mentioned.
  7. Ahhhhhh......Clefable.

    Ahhhhhh......Clefable.

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    First, I wouldn't exactly call Bug an "obscure offensive type." I happen upon X-Scizzor, Bug Buzz, Signal Beam, U-Turn, and Megahorn pretty frequently.

    Second, I think you should explain WHY Zen Headbutt is less useful than Ice Punch. Not everyone understands the obvious advantages of Ice Punch, and it should be your job as the analysis writer to explain this.
  8. elDino

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    Ok thanks guys, I've edited all of the above in. Good luck with your own analyses!
  9. Omicron

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    I might also suggest a mention of Hidden Power Psychic in the OC for the special set over Focus Blast if your team can deal with Nattorei since Toxicroak is also a huge annoyance to rain teams, and a counter to Ludicolo with Surf/Giga Drain/Ice Beam/Focus Blast. HP Psychic OHKO's any Toxicroak that dare switch into Ludicolo.
  10. elDino

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    Thanks again, its been updated.
  11. smashlloyd20

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    You may want to mention Energy Ball for a little bit of extra power.
  12. elDino

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    Yep it was already in Optional Changes as it isn't really that viable when compared to Giga Drain. Thanks though.
  13. smashlloyd20

    smashlloyd20

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    Oops, sorry. Also, a Rain Dish set might work. I haven't tested one yet though so that's pure theorymon.
  14. elDino

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    /\
    ||
    See Leech Seed
  15. A Man In Black

    A Man In Black

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    Energy Ball doesn't merit much other than an OC mention, but you should mention that it keeps Liquid Ooze Tentacruel from ruining your sweep.
  16. elDino

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    Yep, it was already in OC. Thanks for the input.
  17. locopoke

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    lookin good, approved 1/2
  18. Iconic

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    QC Approved 2/2
  19. djtoxic

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    What can I say... you REALLY should include specs Ludicolo in the analysis, it's often overlooked, but in a rain team, it's devastating.

    Ludicolo@Choice Specs
    Ability: Swift Swim
    Nature: Modest/Timid
    EV's: 4 HP/252 SpA/252 Spd
    - Surf
    - Ice Beam
    - Giga Drain
    - Focus Blast

    gL!
  20. Forte.EXE

    Forte.EXE

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    One of your bullet points states that Water/Ice/Grass is unresisted. You should change that to Water/Grass/Ice/Fighting, because Water/Grass/Ice is resisted by Magnezone/Magneton. You might want to mention in your summary of the Special Rain set that Celebi can only come in on a KO. STAB LO Rain Hydro Pump does about 45%, with Ice Beam doing more than 55% iirc, so it would be a 2HKO unless Celebi invests in SpD.
  21. A Man In Black

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    Magne* doesn't resist water.
  22. GameMaster0000

    GameMaster0000

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    It's same as special rain, only change item.
  23. elDino

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    alright guys thanks for all the comments, I will start writing it up now. Thanks Iconic and Locopoke for the checks.
  24. elDino

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    This is now written and is awaiting GP checks. I would still appreciate all input though. Thanks for the help guys!
  25. elDino

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    Bump!
    This is still awaiting GP checks, thanks guys

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