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Nidoking

Discussion in 'Locked / Outdated Analyses' started by Swamp Link, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Swamp Link

    Swamp Link Yum
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    [​IMG]
    Overview
    ########

    Possessing a movepool fit for the king that he is, Nidoking has access to a wide variety of attacks that give him exceptional coverage, inspiring jealousy like many of his peers. This was not enough to satisfy Nidoking's greed, though, so the last generation gifted him with the ability Sheer Force, ramping up his average attacking stats to formidable levels. The combination of those factors makes countering Nidoking before knowing his moves extremely difficult. Wearing Nidoking down is also often futile, as he is immune to Life Orb recoil from Sheer Force-boosted moves, sandstorm damage, Toxic, and resists Stealth Rock. The last three are a result of Nidoking's good typing, which lets him absorb Toxic Spikes and check common threats like Terrakion. Poison / Ground is also a great offensive typing, giving Nidoking excellent neutral coverage with just his STAB moves.

    However, there are a number of factors that make it very hard for Nidoking to be effective in OU. The same typing that gives him several offensive merits also results in common weaknesses to Ground-, Water-, and Ice-type attacks. A mediocre at best Speed stat and unimpressive defenses make these weaknesses easy for offensive Pokemon to take advantage of. Finally, Nidoking faces stiff competition from Landorus-I, who is a faster, stronger, and bulkier Sheer Force Ground-type. Although these flaws may seem small in number in comparison to Nidoking's positive traits, overall, they make Nidoking a tough sell in the OU metagame. Despite these flaws, however, Nidoking can still be a fearsome wallbreaker if used effectively.

    All-Out Attacker
    ########
    name: All-Out Attacker
    move 1: Sludge Wave
    move 2: Earth Power
    move 3: Ice Beam
    move 4: Flamethrower
    item: Life Orb
    ability: Sheer Force
    nature: Modest / Timid
    evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe

    Moves
    ========

    The best way to use Nidoking's excellent coverage is with an all-out attacking set. Nidoking's base 85 Special Attack stat is deceptively low—with Sheer Force, it essentially becomes base 126. Sludge Wave is the strongest attack available to Nidoking, hitting most neutral targets extremely hard. Earth Power is a great complementary STAB move for him to use, hitting the Poison-, Rock-, and Steel-types that are resistant or immune to Sludge Wave. Between these two moves, Nidoking hits most Pokemon at least neutrally. Because of this, the last two spots can be customized for the super effective coverage that you desire. Ice Beam hits the many Ground-types in OU for good damage, especially Ground- / Flying- types that resist his STAB moves. The preferred choice in the final slot is Flamethrower for hitting the multitude of Steel-types that are neutral or immune to Earth Power, like Skarmory, Scizor, Forretress, and Ferrothorn. Thunderbolt is also a good choice to hit bulky Water-types like Politoed and (Mega) Gyarados, giving Nidoking the famed BoltBeam coverage.

    Although he can hit almost everything that he would want to with the above moves, Nidoking's expansive movepool lets him run many situational moves. Nidoking has access to Superpower which allows him to 2HKO Blissey. He also has access to Sucker Punch, which can surprise Psychic- and Ghost-types like Latios, Latias, and Gengar trying to revenge kill him. If your team has no other options for it, Nidoking can set up Stealth Rock, but if he has a free turn, Nidoking should have better things to do. Substitute is also helpful against offensive teams, easing prediction and letting Nidoking select the correct move for the threat in front of him without worrying about switches.

    Set Details
    ========

    The preferred nature for Nidoking is Modest, since he will either outspeed most walls or be outsped by most attackers regardless, but a Timid nature is useful for moving before positive-natured base 80 speed Pokemon such as Dragonite. Life Orb is by far the best item choice, giving a necessary boost to all of Nidoking's attacks. If using a physical move on the set—notably Superpower or Sucker Punch—a Rash nature is best to preserve Nidoking's physical bulk for Rock- and Fighting-type moves.

    Usage Tips
    ========

    Nidoking is best used as a wallbreaker with strong attacks and good coverage, making it extremely hard to switch into. He's also normally an early-game Pokemon that can weaken defensive cores. However, he lacks the bulk to be a pivot or the Speed to clean up late game. Whether or not Nidoking contributes defensively to the team depends on the opponent's team. Against Pokemon that he can check—for example, Terrakion or Clefable—Nidoking will be more important to keep healthy.

    Team Options
    ========

    A Fighting-type such as Terrakion or Conkeldurr is a good partner for Nidoking as they can beat Blissey and Chansey, who switch into Nidoking with ease. The real trouble with Nidoking is getting him in safely, so a slow U-turn or Volt Switch from Scizor or Rotom-W can work wonders. Like all offensive Pokemon, Nidoking appreciates having entry hazards down to punish the opponent's switches. Ferrothorn is a Stealth Rock or Spikes user that has good synergy with Nidoking, resisting Water- and Psychic-type moves while being neutral to Ground- and Ice-type attacks. In turn, Nidoking can check Fighting-types that threaten Ferrothorn. Sticky Web works very well in conjunction with Nidoking's great power and average Speed to let him break Pokemon that would normally outspeed him, such as Garchomp.

    Other Options
    ########

    Nidoking doesn't have many viable choices other than a straight special attacking set. Although his Attack stat may seem more appealing, the higher base power of all of Nidoking's special moves makes a physically based set inferior, along with the lack of a strong Sheer Force-boosted Ground-type STAB. A Choice Scarf set makes use of Nidoking's super effective coverage to be a good revenge killer. If used on a rain team, Surf and Thunder can find their way onto the set. Megahorn will destroy a Latios or Latias switching in. Taunt and Super Fang can be used to help Nidoking get past walls, but he's usually better off attacking and greatly appreciates the coverage of 4 attacks.

    Checks & Counters
    ########

    **Special Walls**: Chansey counters Nidoking completely, avoiding the 2HKO from Superpower with the Attack drop factored in. Blissey also counters him completely except for Superpower. Mega Venusaur is not weak to any of Nidoking's common moves and has the bulk to take neutral STAB attacks while doing heavy damage back. Goodra is weak to Ice Beam but bulky enough to shrug it off.

    **Faster Attackers**: Although they may struggle with getting in, most offensive Pokemon can check Nidoking. Latios and Latias will not be OHKO'd by Ice Beam and will do so in return with Psyshock. Alakazam can also revenge kill Nidoking. Garchomp must avoid Ice Beam, but it can revenge kill with Earthquake. Kyurem-B can take any move other than Superpower with ease while switching in and threaten to KO with Ice Beam.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2014
  2. Swamp Link

    Swamp Link Yum
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    I'm thinking that Substitute might be main set material as it's really effective against teams lacking a counter and just check or revenge kill it. Thoughts?
  3. CyclicCompound

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    Keep in mind I'm not QC, but I'm not really sure sub is the best option for Nidoking. Unlike a lot of other sub users, Nidoking isn't really guaranteed to scare anything away, nor is it bulky enough to set up a sub on most pokes should they stay in. Even if it manages to get up a sub, it still has zero recovery, and is forced to give up a coverage move to run Substitute. And lastly, Substitute won't stop a lot of the things that tank Nidoking's hits from doing just that—stuff like Blissey, Chansey, Specially Defensive Jellicent, Mew and others really don't care about Nidoking and its subs (not to mention that Nidoking's list of counters will be even greater since it won't have one of its coverage moves).

    All of that aside, Substitute Nidoking is outclassed by Substitute Kyurem-B anyway, who can actually take full advantage of Substitute with its much higher defensive stats, access to passive recovery, and much lower chances of being walled.
  4. 6feetunder

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    Fixed.
  5. Tainic

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    I would add that King loves TR or Sticky Web support, which enable it to deal with Threats that would KO/Revenge Kill it it otherwise. (Especially Alakazam, Garchomp, Terrakion and Jolteon.)
  6. CyclicCompound

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    I'm not sure TR should be mentioned here. Base 85 speed is rather fast for a TR poke, and even with a negative nature and 0 IVs, Nidoking is still "outsped" by anything slower than uninvested base 60 speed (that is to say, most Azumarill, Aegislash, Ferrothorn, Trevenant, Jellicent, Hippowdon, and a slew of other random things that can put a dent in Nidoking's rather mediocre bulk), not to mention that it is susceptible to most forms of priority. Besides, as a special TR sweeper, Nidoking is rather outclassed by Reuniclus and Slowbro, both of which are much bulkier and can actually set up Trick Room for themselves.

    So while TR would let Nidoking get past those threats, it wouldn't really be the best choice for a TR team.
  7. Swamp Link

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    Sticky Web is a good point, I'll add that. I get what you mean about Substitute, that's why I was having reservations about it too. But yeah, I don't think TR is great for Nidoking as he's not the slowest guy around, he's just not very fast.
  8. silfan

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    Probably can add specially defensive Rotom-W to check.

    252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 252+ SpD Rotom-W: 136-161 (44.7 - 52.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
    4 SpA Rotom-W Hydro Pump vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Nidoking: 314-372 (103.2 - 122.3%) -- guaranteed OHKO

    I also kind of get the impression that Poison coverage seems to be not very good.
    Why not Fire Blast/Earth Power/Ice Beam/Thunderbolt?
    Thunderbolt hits all of the relevant Fairy-types for super effective aside from Clefable and Sylveon.
    Earth Power has good neutral coverage except against Grass, Flying and Bug.
    The first 2 are handled by Ice Beam and/or Thunderbolt, and the latter is dealt by Fire Blast.
    Fire Blast looks to be more important than Sludge Wave at least.
    Skarmory, Ferrothorn, Genesect, Scizor are all very important threat in current meta.
  9. Namso

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    The scariest part about Nidoking, coverage aside, is that STAB Sludge Wave hitting like a damn nuke. I wouldn't replace it.
    CyclicCompound likes this.
  10. CyclicCompound

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    I think it should be mentioned in team options that Nidoking is an extremely scary Baton Pass receiver, particularly Shell Smash from the likes of Gorebyss and Smeargle and Quiver Dance from the likes of Venomoth. Although it's a different tier, I've had great success in OU Monotype through this method, using Venomoth and Nidoking together, so the strategy itself is solid. Of course, Gorebyss, Smeargle, and Venomoth aren't exactly the most reliable teammates, but Nidoking's power when boosted is absolutely insane.

    Just to illustrate:

    +2 252+ SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Sludge Wave vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Blissey: 333-394 (46.6 - 55.1%) -- 99.6% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
  11. Swamp Link

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    I don't know how helpful it is to mention that since pretty much every offensive pokemon is a good SmashPass receiver.
  12. CyclicCompound

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    Yes, it is true that almost any offensive Pokemon is a good smashpass receiver. However, Nidoking is a great smashpass receiver, or, even better, Quiver Dance receiver.
    • Its coverage is simply amazing. The only remotely common Pokemon that can't be hit extremely hard by one of Nidoking's moves is Heatran with an intact air balloon, and even then, Focus Blast rips it apart.
    • It muscles its way through walls with ease. Blissey or Chansey with both Wish and Protect are the only Pokemon that can possibly hope to stall out Nidoking; otherwise, Nidoking will eventually wipe them out. Other specially defensive walls such as Mega Venusaur or Goodra will stand no such chance.
    • At +2, it can outspeed Choice Scarf Latios (the fastest commonly seen Pokemon) even when using a Modest nature.
    • It has some of the most reliable coverage moves in the game. Nidoking doesn't always have to rely on shaky moves like Focus Miss and Stone Miss to do its work.
    • Priority status users such as Klefki and Sableye cannot reliably stop Nidoking's sweep, as it is immune to Thunder Wave and does not care about the attack drop from burn.
    The only serious downside to using Nidoking as a smashpass receiver is its susceptibility to priority attacks. Most banded priority attacks with the exception of Mach Punch/Vacuum Wave will OHKO Nidoking after a defense drop. However, this is unfortunately true of almost specially based smashpass receivers, still solidifying Nidoking as one of the best of them.
  13. Swamp Link

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    Alright, you've convinced me, I'll add that Nidoking is a great receiver of Baton Pass chains because of his power, speed tier, and coverage.
    I think this is QC ready, I'll put the tag on.
  14. Epikhairz

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    I recommend Poison Jab as a slash by Sludge Wave to take down special walls like Florges or Chansey. Also, Nidoking got a +10 base atk boost so that comes in handy.

    Speaking of that base attack boost, a mixed set should also be in OO, with moves like Poison Jab, Sucker Punch, and Rock Slide.

    And in the overview, Nidoking loses to Azumarill 99.9% of the time so I would remove that mention and switch it to something more relevant like Clefable
  15. 6feetunder

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    Poison Jab with no attack investment doesn't even 3HKO Chansey, and Florges is not relevant. Max special attack Sludge Wave outdamages an uninvested Poison Jab vs. physically defensive Sylveon. I don't see any reason to slash Poison Jab.
  16. Swamp Link

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    Yeah, I talk about his physical options in the overview and the moves for the set, but it's really not too viable because max Special Attack Sludge Wave will outdamage even max Attack Poison Jab. And even though Poison Jab hits Sylveon or Florges harder, Sludge Wave will 2HKO the most specially defensive of spreads for either of them, so there's little need. I will switch Azumarill to Clefable.
  17. Jukain

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    florges may not be relevant in an ideal world but it's used enough. it IS an inferior sylveon, but enough people use it for it to be relevant, despite being outclassed. it and sylveon are similar in terms of special bulk, they're close to being the same pokemon except sylveon's better special attack + pixilate
  18. alexwolf

    alexwolf Fear the D
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    Overview
    You can merge those to:
    • Strong with good coverage
    • Is very resilient to passive and residual damage (no LO recoil, immune to sand, resists SR, immune to Toxic)
    Similarly, just say that it can check some dangerous Pokemon with its sweet typing.

    Add his common weaknesses to Ground, Water, and Ice as a con.


    All-Out Attacker
    Remove this, it doesn't belong there.

    In the set comments, only mention physical moves that are worth mentioning. Nidoking has excellent 3 attack coverage so it can afford to use a move to beat some of its checks and counters, such as Superpower, which should definitely be mentioned, as it always OHKOes 252 HP Tyranitar and 2HKOes Blissey with SR. So, basically remove any mention of physical moves other than Superpower and explain why to use Superpower and that you should use an Atk neutral nature with it. Also, add SR in set comments.

    This is your only relevant usage tip, so keep only this. Furthermore, add those:
    • Use it early game to weaken the opponent's defensive core
    • When the game starts, identify if Nidoking has any defensive value for your team, meaning if it can check dangerous offensive threats to your team. For example, if you see Pokemon such as Terrakion and Clefable on the opposing team, it might be wise to keep Nidoking healthy.
    Remove this, it's unnecessary.

    Mention some SR setters that have good synergy with Nidoking.

    Remove any mention of it being a good Baton Pass receiver. It's frail and struggles to receive the pass, not to mention that it's very easy to kill with priority, as common Pokemon such as Talonflame, Mamoswine, Mega Mawile, and Azumarill annihilate it.

    Do those and


    [​IMG]

    QC APPROVED 1/3
  19. Swamp Link

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    Implemented, thanks!
  20. Jukain

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    fire blast e.e

    as far as i can see flamethrower doesn't miss out on any important kos, while fire blast's miss chance is a bitch to work with, losing games/nidoking. so, replace fire blast with flamethrower.

    on focus blast...

    252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Tyranitar: 374-439 (92.5 - 108.6%) -- 50% chance to OHKO

    252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Earth Power vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Assault Vest Tyranitar: 250-296 (61.8 - 73.2%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

    252 SpA Life Orb Sheer Force Nidoking Earth Power vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Tyranitar: 320-377 (93.5 - 110.2%) -- 62.5% chance to OHKO

    I calc'd Timid. Modest OHKOes, obviously. So, uh, yeah...what's the major point of Focus Blast being slashed.

    If anything, maybe Set Details it because Modest LO Focus Blast has a 89.8% chance to 2HKO Blissey after SR + 1 layer of Spikes, disregarding the miss chance. Tyranitar is not the thing to mention, however, and beating Blissey with enough hazards doesn't do it for a slash next to Flamethrower, an awesome move for you.

    flamethrower / thunderbolt in the last slot
  21. Swamp Link

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    The main place where the damage matters is Mega-Heracross. Fire Blast will guarantee the OHKO after rocks, while Flamethrower always 2HKO's. Aside from that I figured that overall Fire Blast is better, since the damage output usually makes up for the accuracy (110*.85>90). But I'd like to hear other opinions on this.
    As for Focus Blast, I should probably just drop that to set details for Blissey, Mamoswine, and Balloontran, you're right.
  22. Namso

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    To be honest, I would probably just use Flamethrower. I ran some calcs on a lot of different Fire-weak Pokemon and Flamethrower / Fire Blast are basically netting the same 2HKOs and OHKOs, aside from that Mega Heracross, which isn't an entirely relevant Pokemon. Also, Mega Heracross can't switch into you and if it comes in cleanly, Nidoking resist its whole common moveset (not sure if Nidoking is still OHKOed by it or something, though, but I doubt it with no boosts).
  23. Swamp Link

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    I believe Heracross usually carries Earthquake to hit Aegislash, but I get your reasoning, it's not that relevant. I'll change it, and make Fire Blast a set comment. Can you give me a QC check while you're here if there's anything else that needs changing?
  24. alexwolf

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    Is there any reason to mention Focus Blast when Superpower exists?
  25. Swamp Link

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    Focus Blast doesn't have LO recoil.

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