Type Tier
Water / Fighting UU
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
  • Overused


People pick Slowbro (or Golduck) over Poliwrath because they think that being a Fighting-type means that Poliwrath is unusable. Honestly, its secondary type only serves to get STAB on its Submission, with double the damage against Normal-types and a decent Attack stat of 268. Fighting-types are weak to Psychic and Flying, but an Amnesia on the switch helps with its weakness to Psychic, and not many Pokémon have Flying-type moves. Its amazing physical defenses almost rival Slowbro's, and Slowbro can't score a sleep or outspeed many Pokémon that attempt to Explode on it (without paralyzing them first). One overlooked option on Poliwrath is to use Rest, which can work out really well when your opponent expects you to use another move in its stead. If you get up a couple of Amnesias first, your opponent will be hard-pressed to KO you in UU if you have Rest.

Name Moveset


~ Hypnosis / Blizzard
~ Amnesia
~ Surf
~ Submission

Ideally you should take care of Starmie or Alakazam before you try to play this, since it's very unlikely that Poliwrath will beat those, unless it can sleep them. To set this up, try to Amnesia on the switch from the Pokémon you just slept with Hypnosis; Poliwrath is faster than Exeggutor, Chansey, Golem, and Rhydon, and has a move that will do major damage to each of those, so it's not too difficult to pull that off. Use Blizzard if you fear Dodrio, Zapdos, or Razor Leaf users; after Amnesia, it can OHKO Dodrio and 2HKO Zapdos, Venusaur, and Victreebel. Submission will 3HKO Snorlax and 2HKO all the other Normal-type standards (just watch out for Counter!).

Other Options

Body Slam is, as always, a nice move that can inflict paralysis on any Pokemon that switches in. Psychic should be on any UU set as it's excellent for Tentacruel and other Poliwrath (and may find use against Gengar in OU). Hydro Pump may provide Poliwrath with a needed boost in damage, but runs out of PP very quickly, and it's not really needed if you're using Amnesia. Counter is also an excellent option, as you can switch Poliwrath in on a Tauros Hyper Beam (which takes off just under half Poliwrath's health) and Counter on the recharge to OHKO Tauros. Seismic Toss can help with Starmie, Alakazam, and other Psychic-types. Fissure, if OHKO moves are acceptable, could come in handy.

Checks and Counters

Starmie is probably the best counter, as it resists Poliwrath's attacks and so can easily stall it out until it scores a critical hit with Thunderbolt. Alakazam takes off almost half of its HP with Psychic, even after one Amnesia, and it can also use Thunder Wave or Seismic Toss. Jolteon and Zapdos have the powerful STAB Thunderbolt and will critical hit Poliwrath quite frequently; Jolteon especially may critical hit immediately, and Zapdos has Drill Peck to take off a little under half Poliwrath's health (but doesn't like Blizzard). Dodrio also employs Drill Peck to easily 2HKO Poliwrath, and may score a critical hit on the first use. Venusaur and Victreebel will do major damage with Razor Leaf, though Poliwrath ties with the latter in Speed and does major damage to each with Blizzard. Gengar is immune to Submission, has excellent Special (for defense and offense), and can hit Poliwrath with Thunderbolt, Psychic, or Explosion, but Poliwrath can do quite a bit to Gengar as well; in any case, watch out for it. Counter Chansey can be very difficult to out-predict, as well. (Overall, Poliwrath is safe against very few opponents, but not many opponents are safe against him either!) Electabuzz can destroy it with a critical hit, do alright damage even without one, or paralyze it. Swords Dance Kingler is an underrated Poliwrath counter, as it can switch in and set up Swords Dance while resisting Surf and Blizzard, take minimal damage from Submission, as well as paralyze Poliwrath with Body Slam.