LC Spotlight: Corphish

By Cheek Pouch. Art by HeaLnDeaL.
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Corphish art by HeaLnDeaL

Corphish's history

During Generation IV, Corphish didn't receive much attention and rarely saw the field of battle. With average stats and the presence of Croagunk, which outprioritized and walled Corphish, as well as competition with Krabby as a physical Water-type setup sweeper, the Ruffian Pokémon only managed to carve out a tiny niche with access to Dragon Dance and Crunch and went under the radar for most of Little Cup's first generation. When Generation V came, the Dream World gave Corphish Adaptability, an ability that made its already impressive Crabhammer even stronger. Eviolite gave Corphish the much-needed bulk to run a Swords Dance set, which was able to pick apart the bulkiest teams that existed at the time. Generation VI, however, was where Corphish truly began to shine. Aqua Jet gives Corphish a strong priority move backed by Adaptability, and Switcheroo makes a Choice Band set viable. The Knock Off buff also provides Corphish with a great coverage move that only aids further in its sweeping or wallbreaking efforts. Combining this with solid bulk and two amazing setup moves, Corphish quickly became one of the strongest Pokémon in the ORAS metagame.

Corphish's qualities

Corphish has competition from Tirtouga and Omanyte as a Water-type sweeper, but what sets it apart is Adaptability. Naturally good physical bulk coupled with an Eviolite gives Corphish ample opportunities to set up, and backed by a Dragon Dance or Swords Dance, Corphish's Aqua Jet can take out frail Pokémon, while anything that it outspeeds is destroyed by Crabhammer. Knock Off is a huge asset to Corphish, as the removal of an Eviolite or Berry Juice allows Corphish to sweep or wallbreak more effectively. In the same vein, Corphish's ability to either sweep by itself or wallbreak makes it a crucial part of most Water-type cores. Switcheroo also allows a Choice Band set to neuter a wall by forcing it into one move as well as removing its Eviolite.

Playing with Corphish

Swords Dance Wallbreaker


The most common set on Corphish is its wallbreaking set. Utilizing it in the early- to mid-game, Corphish can weaken walls in order to give its teammates an easier path to a sweep. Crabhammer is Corphish's strongest attack and can take out frailer Pokémon without a boost and deal decent amounts of damage even to walls that resist the attack. Knock Off allows Corphish to remove an Eviolite or Berry Juice from bulkier Pokémon, making it harder for them to switch into it. Aqua Jet is a strong priority STAB move, letting Corphish take out weakened Pokémon or get one extra attack off before going down. Swords Dance boosts Corphish's Attack stat to 36, allowing it to break down walls with ease. This set does have the possibility to sweep weakened teams, but it typically is used in conjunction with another sweeper such as Fletchling or Scraggy. An Adamant nature allows Corphish to hit walls as hard as possible, while the EV spread maximizes Attack and Speed in order to whittle down opposing teams.

Dragon Dance Sweeper


This set gives up Corphish's ability to wallbreak in order to sweep in the late-game. After a Dragon Dance, Corphish can outspeed the whole unboosted Little Cup metagame. The moveset functions similarly to the wallbreaker set, with Crabhammer obliterating most Pokémon after a boost, Knock Off as solid coverage to remove opposing items, and Aqua Jet serving as strong priority. The choice between Eviolite and Life Orb is entirely up to the user, with the former granting Corphish more setup opportunities and the latter giving it more of a punch at the cost of longevity. A Jolly nature is needed to outspeed all unboosted Pokémon after a boost, with the EV spread accomplishing the necessity to hit hard and hit fast. This set thrives with Knock Off support aside from its own, as the earlier that opposing Eviolites are removed, the easier it is for Corphish to sweep.

Choice Band


Gaining Switcheroo in Generation VI allows Corphish to wallbreak with a Choice Band as opposed to setting up. Unlike the previous sets, Aqua Jet is the main move on this set, as the Adaptability and Choice Band boosts make it easy for Corphish to take out weakened Pokémon. Crabhammer is used for slower Pokémon and packs quite a punch with both boosts. Knock Off allows Corphish to remove opposing items and does decent damage to Pokémon such as Foongus and Chinchou. Switcheroo is what makes this set viable, as it allows Corphish to cripple the aforementioned walls that typically switch into it, as well as Cottonee and Croagunk. The given EV spread and an Adamant nature maximize power and Speed.

Playing against Corphish

Corphish's Crabhammer is very hard to switch into regardless of boosts and nearly impossible when it's boosted. Its ability to shred defensive Pokémon once boosted or when they have their Eviolite removed makes most checks for Corphish offensive in nature. Perhaps the only switch-in is Croagunk, which resists Knock Off and is immune to Corphish's STAB moves. Cottonee and Foongus don't enjoy getting their items removed and take decent damage from Crabhammer if lacking Eviolite, but they can also switch in if needed; likewise, Ferroseed only fears the occasional Superpower or Switcheroo but can reliably tank Corphish's STAB attacks. Offensively, fast special attackers can prey on Corphish's average bulk and quickly KO it. These include Chinchou, Cottonee, Magnemite, and Elekid, though the latter two must be wary of Aqua Jet.

Fitting Corphish onto a team

Corphish's wallbreaker and Choice Band sets work well on Water spam cores, as its powerful Crabhammer and its Knock Off support can give Pokémon such as Shellder and Omanyte an easier chance to sweep. Another great partner to Corphish is Gothita, which can remove many of Corphish's checks like Foongus, Croagunk, and weakened Chinchou, as well as being able to heavily cripple or weaken Ferroseed with Trick or Hidden Power Fire, respectively. These sets also thrive versus defensive and stall teams, as they typically only have one switch-in to Crabhammer. The potential to cripple a wall with a Choice Band also deters switch-ins. The Dragon Dance set plays as a wincon, and it appreciates Volt Switch support from Chinchou and Magnemite to get in without injury. As far as hazard support goes, Ferroseed makes for a great partner, as it resists Corphish's weaknesses and can reliably set up Stealth Rock and Spikes, but it does forfeit some offensive momentum.

Get out there!

With the strongest Aqua Jet in the tier and the versatility to wallbreak and sweep, it's no surprise that Corphish has earned the reputation as one of the hardest Pokémon to switch into. As Pokémon Sun and Moon come closer and crazy shifts occur in Little Cup, it won't surprise anyone that Corphish will remain a dominant force in the metagame.

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