I normally don't write analysis for the intent of influencing a Pokemon's usage rather than just pointing out cool things low tier Pokémon can do; but after a long period of researching and using Poliwrath, I really like using it on my teams and I honestly believe it should be much higher in usage. It's a shame because Poliwrath is just such a great Pokemon for this metagame. It's only flaw is it's lack of power behind it's attacks, which hardly matters outside of one situation but is made entirely a non-issue with Encore, but I'll get into that later. Why an OU analysis?: Poliwrath is a lot like Gastrodon. It’s not an amazing Pokémon on paper (although I'll try my damnedest for this,) and was very "meh" in the tier it was originally in, but the OU metagame has shaped in a way that is very tailored for Poliwrath’s attributes. Right off the bat Poliwrath’s Water/Fighting-typing sticks out; giving it a resistance to Rock & Dark, Bug & Steel, Water & Ice, and Fire. Poliwrath not only boasts resistances to the STABs of Tyranitar, Politoed, Ninetales, and a few of their coverage moves, but it also resists Scizor’s STABs. Typing isn’t everything though. You would think Poliwrath’s stats would be like Politoed’s; but unlike Politoed, Poliwrath has base 95 Defense to compliment its impressive resistances. Water Absorb is the icing on the cake for Poliwrath’s Defensive attributes; allowing for Poliwrath to not only switch-in for free even against Specs Politoed’s powerful Hydro Pump, but it allows Poliwrath to switch-in on Scald without fear of Burn. Its immune to Scald, can easily remove status, and resists Ice Beam. Tyranitar can do maybe 20% with Stone Edge on a good day if it’s Adamant. Scizor is free should a partner be fearful of Bullet Punch as even Choice Band U-Turn does 21% max against max Def Wrath with a CB Superpower only doing 49% max. Offensively, however, Poliwrath leave a lot to be desired with a meager base 85 Attack Stat. To pile onto that, Poliwrath’s strongest reliable STAB physical attacks are Waterfall and Brick Break. So what keeps Poliwrath from being setup fodder? A move that only 6 Pokémon have access to; Circle Throw, a Fighting-type move that forces the opponent to switch-out. It’s not a powerful move, but it makes Ghost-types the only safe switch-ins to Poliwrath as anything else will take Hazard damage then be instantly thrown out by Circle Throw. For a Pokémon like Poliwrath that is very bulky and can switch-in extremely easily due to its typing and Water Absorb and forces out most Pokémon it switches into, negating the ability to safely switch a Pokémon in on it is a huge advantage. A STAB move with 60 base power isn’t too scary, but that damage with or without hazards will add-up, considerably softening a team for a sweeper to take advantage of later on. Ice Beam prevents Dragonite and Gliscor from getting Subs up as well let Poliwrath beat Scarf Landorus and DD Dragonite 1v1. That’s on top of already beating non-Choice Band/LO Terrakion; Heatran; and, of course, Tyranitar 1v1 with Circle Throw; making Poliwrath quite the pain for Sand Teams and Rain Teams alike and the top 10 of OU in general. Poliwrath has some cute tricks like SubPunch, Hypnosis, and Bulk Up; but I’ll only be focusing on the Utility Counter set. I have a thread that lists off a few of the large threats that Poliwrath beats. Just note that this Poliwrath should be one tier higher than the one on the current list is as Ice Beam was not listed in any on-site set, which is what allows this set to 2HKO Dragonite. http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3464926 QC Approvals: [Overview] <p>Will probably just be a shortened and reworded version of what I said above.</p> [SET] name: Utility move 1: Circle Throw move 2: Scald / Ice Beam move 3: Toxic / Encore move 4: Substitute / Protect item: Leftovers ability: Water Absorb nature: Relaxed evs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def [Set Comments] Poliwrath’s best set for the OU metagame Built to handle top threats of OU with relative ease Resistance to Rock, Dark, Bug, Steel, Ice, and Fire with immunity to Water Great typing and bulk allows it to switch-in very easily Capable of beating Dragon Dance Dragonite, Heatran, Scarf Landorus, Unbooted Terrakion, and Tyranitar one-on-one Circle Throw makes Ghost-types the only safe switch-ins to Poliwrath as anything else will take Hazard damage then be instantly thrown out by Circle Throw Circle Throw and Hazard damage add-up due to the lack of safe switch-ins Scald provides a STAB attack that can potentially burn as well as do decent damage to troublesome Ground-types such as Donphan who care little for Circle Throw. Ice Beam prevents Dragonite and Gliscor from getting Subs up as well let Poliwrath beat Landorus and DD Dragonite 1v1 Toxic wears down walls such as Jellicent & Gastrodon. Encore locks Pokémon into Substitute should they not fear Circle Throw and lets Poliwrath annoy Ghosts as well Using Substitute on something Poliwrath forces out will allow Poliwrath to Circle Throw Pokemon that counter him such as Thundurus-Therian, Celebi, & Rotom-Wash, building up entry hazard damage as well Protect lets Poliwrath recover a little health while scouting his opponent's next move Specific mention of phazing CM Keldeo (Up to QC) [Additional Comments] Ice Beam does more damage than Ice Punch to Dragonite, Landorus, and Gliscor at the cost of losing a mere 18 Speed due to the nature; even having a chance to OHKO Landorus, so it is the better option It’s best to use Poliwrath alongside hazards as they will help Circle Throw break-down teams Poliwrath can’t break the Subs of Bulky Pokémon like Gyarados and Jirachi. And is reliant on either teammates or Encore to deal with them. Poliwrath can fit on most teams rather nicely due to its resistances and immunity being universally sought after and isn’t effected by Drought in the slightest. As long as Poliwrath has partners that can take Flying, Grass, Electric, and Psychic attacks, Poliwrath should be just fine. Poliwrath is ideal for Jirachi as it's Wish can heal Poliwrath and Paralysis brings foe's Speed down below Poliwrath's making him even more effective while Poliwrath resists Fire and doesn't mind taking a few Earthquakes for Jirachi. [Other Options] Refresh allows Poliwrath to clear it's own status to out-last nearly any common Toxic stallers. SubPunch with Encore abuse Bulk Up set Access to Hypnosis Belly Drum + Swift Swim set [Checks and Counters] Jellicent laughs at Poliwrath Most Ghost-types have no trouble with Poliwrath There’s a lot of Special Attackers that can hurt Poliwrath badly, but Circle Throw prevents them from coming in unless it drags them in itself and it’s so easy for Poliwrath to switch-in that switching it out is next to no trouble Poliwrath can’t break the Subs of Bulky Pokémon like Gyarados and Jirachi. Just be weary of Encore. Note to self: Check BW2 data for new counters Partywrath. Everyday he’s shufflin’.