Do You Even Lift Bro?: Swampert in UU

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Puzzle Page by GoodMorningEspeon. Art by Bummer.
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Swampert in UU

Swampert's History

With the introduction of the Hoenn region in 2002 came one of the best defensive pivots to ever grace the scene of competitive Pokémon. Swampert, with fantastic defensive typing and base stats, has been used throughout the generations to check a plethora of powerful physical attackers in its respective tier, such as Tyranitar and Dragonite while it was OU and Aerodactyl and Salamence when it stayed in UU. In ADV and DPP, Swampert was considered a staple on a large portion of OU teams due to these qualities, and gaining access to Stealth Rock in DPP further increased its relevancy as a defensive pivot. However, when BW rolled up, Swampert's stay in OU came to halt, as its bulk was not enough to contain some key OU additions such as Excadrill and Landorus-T, but UU welcomed it with open arms.

With the drop to UU in BW, Swampert felt right at home, performing pretty much the same role it had been performing in OU for the past two generations: being one of the best defensive pivots in the tier. With the release of ORAS, Swampert became an even better Pokémon, obtaining its own Mega Evolution. With its Mega Stone equipped, Swampert increases its overall bulk to 100 / 110 / 110, from the 100 / 90 / 90 of its base forme. That's not all, though: it also gains the ability Swift Swim, which coupled with an impressive base 150 Attack stat makes it one of the best rain sweepers and cleaners. As of now, Swampert is one of UU's most defining threats, and it must always be accounted for when building teams.


Swampert's Qualities

Due to its great typing and well-distributed stats across its regular and Mega formes, Swampert finds a place on a large portion of teams. On its usual defensive non-Mega set, Swampert finds itself checking a large portion of the tier, which includes top-tier Pokémon such as Entei, Mega Aerodactyl, and Cobalion. With its fantastic Water / Ground typing, which gives it one weakness, a variety of resistances, and also an immunity, Swampert is always one tough Pokémon to take down. Swampert also has access to a variety of support moves that allow it to fill many roles such as a status spreader with access to Scald, an entry hazard setter with Stealth Rock, and a phazer with Roar. All these qualities, coupled with the passive recovery of Leftovers, allow Swampert to be one of the more prevalent Stealth Rockers of the tier.

Swampert's Mega Evolution is a different story. In ORAS, with the release of Swampertite and 100 extra base stat points distributed to all the right places, Mega Swampert became a force to be reckoned with. With a gargantuan base 150 Attack, 100 / 110 / 110 bulk, the same fantastic typing, and the ability Swift Swim, Mega Swampert became one of UU's most defining threats. However, its lackluster base 70 Speed can be taken advantage of, as it is too low to reliably set up its own Rain Dance for the sweep, though it is sufficient to outspeed most walls and to punch holes in several teams' defensive backbones.

Playing with Swampert


Swampert

Swampert's main claim to fame for the better part of four generations has been its defensive set. With access to Stealth Rock, a great defensive typing (being immune to Electric is huge), and stat distribution to all the right categories, Swampert is one of the best physical walls and utility Pokémon in the tier. As for the set itself, it obviously has to run Stealth Rock as its hazard-setting move; as for its two STAB moves, it utilizes its impressive base 110 Attack with Earthquake while using Scald for its burn rate. The fourth and final slot usually goes to Roar, which can be used to phaze bulky setup sweepers trying to take advantage of Swampert's passiveness or just to rack up more passive damage with Stealth Rock up. Other options include Toxic, to wear down Pokémon that Swampert can't usually break with its STAB moves, and Protect, which can also be used to scout for what Choiced Pokémon lock themselves into or for a certain coverage move that could OHKO Swampert.


Mega Swampert

One of Mega Swampert's main roles in UU is being one of the best sweepers and cleaners in the tier. Thanks to its ability after Mega Evolution, Swift Swim, and the boosts to its Attack and defenses, Mega Swampert is definitely a force to be reckoned with. The defense boosts in particular help Mega Swampert set up Rain Dance with ease, letting it survive almost every form of priority easily. Under the rain, Mega Swampert's Speed is doubled because of its ability, and one of its STAB moves, Waterfall, gains a nice 50% boost to its power. Earthquake is Mega Swampert's other obvious STAB move, doing a nice chunk of damage to anything that's grounded coming off a gargantuan base 150 Attack. As for its last slot, Swampert can opt to hit Dragon-types such as Salamence or Hydreigon for super effective damage with Ice Punch, or Power-Up Punch can be used to allow Swampert to become even more powerful than it already is, notably allowing it to 2HKO some common checks with Earthquake at +1.


Mega Swampert

This is Mega Swampert's offensive Stealth Rock set. The best part about this particular set is that it combines Mega Swampert's exceptional natural defenses, ability to easily get up Stealth Rock, and good typing with a monstrous Attack stat. The moves are pretty self explanatory; Stealth Rock allows Mega Swampert to become one of the best offensive setters in the tier, supporting itself and its team. Waterfall and Earthquake are Swampert's staples as STAB moves, as they allow it to hit the majority of the tier neutrally. Lastly, Ice Punch is used to cover Grass-types that Mega Swampert's STAB attacks don't hit, such as Shaymin and Chesnaught that want to come in on it.


Mega Swampert

Most defensive walls come in the form of non-Mega Evolutions such as opposing regular Swampert, Suicune, and Porygon2. But if the team is lacking a Mega Evolution and a solid defensive wall, this set is definitely one to consider. As mentioned before, with an exceptional boost to its overall defenses and still the same fantastic Water / Ground typing, defensive Mega Swampert is one tough wall to bring down. Though this set does lack the passive recovery of Leftovers, it makes up for it by running Rest and Sleep Talk, which provide relatively reliable recovery while also giving Mega Swampert the chance to fire off one of its preferred STAB attacks in Scald and Earthquake in its sleep.


Mega Swampert

Most people would never expect Mega Swampert to become a slow setup sweeper just because of its newfound Mega ability, Swift Swim. But this is quite the interesting set: with access to Curse, Mega Swampert becomes much like Snorlax, but with better overall coverage. The set relies on Mega Swampert's fantastic defensive typing and maximum Special Defense investment to become extremely hard to KO after just one Curse. With no reliable recovery, though, it has to rely on Rest, which can be relatively unreliable at times, especially with no Sleep Talk either. Mega Swampert's coverage moves of choice are Earthquake and Ice Punch, as running two STAB moves lets it become set up fodder for the likes of Salamence and Gyarados.


Playing against Swampert

There are a variety of ways to deal with both of Swampert's formes. For one, most physical walls or bulky Grass-types such as Alomomola, Suicune, Chesnaught, Mega Abomasnow, and Tangrowth are just a few Pokémon that can deal with Swampert, as they can switch in and proceed to attempt to burn it with Scald it or outright attack it.

As for attempting to revenge kill Swampert, it can be a very tall task to actually OHKO it without a Grass-type move, as Swampert and Mega Swampert's bulk can be too much. Even though one doesn't see Swampert OHKOed that often, there are several ways to wear it down. For one, as a defensive pivot Swampert switches into a fair number of physical attackers such as Mega Beedrill, Crobat, and Mamoswine, which can easily wear it down so that it is KOed by their teammates later on.

Physically defensive variants of Swampert are also annoyed by a large portion of special attackers such as Hydreigon, Salamence, and other offensive Pokémon with Grass-type moves like Chandelure, Mega Sceptile, and Roserade. All of these can easily wear down or revenge kill both formes, but none can switch into its Mega Evolution.

Fitting Swampert on a team

Swampert has been one of the easiest Pokémon in the tier to fit on teams due to its versatility and ability to fit a large amount of team roles. Its regular forme can fit very easily on balance and semistall teams due to its fantastic ability to reliably check physical attackers while also repeatedly getting up Stealth Rock. Its Mega Evolution fits well on balance as well as offense archetypes, as it has the great ability to break down opposing walls and also potentially clean late-game thanks to its access to Swift Swim.

Due to its only weakness being to Grass, special walls or Grass-type checks such as Florges or Roserade are strongly recommended to be partnered with Swampert. Roserade, for one, can also break down some of the physical walls that Swampert has trouble with such as Suicune or Chesnaught.

Get out there!

Swampert has always been an integral part of UU since Generation 5, with both its regular and Mega forme now being extremely viable. Go out and experience both formes of this meta-defining Pokémon for yourself, I guarantee you won't regret it!

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Alakazam art by Bummer

Looking for a fun challenge that will make your head spin? Look no further! The brand-new Puzzle Page is here with all sorts of fantastic puzzles to partake in. From here on out, we'll be releasing a unique set of puzzles every couple of weeks, all of which are made by our awesome team of creators. Users who consistently win over several issues will reach high up on our leaderboard, which will be listed at the bottom of each new installment; in the future, those on top of the leaderboard could earn prizes on Smogon or Pokémon Showdown!

Lastly, thanks to all of the other members of the puzzle team who contributed to this edition, especially Irraquated, Level 51, Rhythms, and ILRB!


Anagrams

Anagrams consist of several Pokémon-related terms whose letters have been scrambled around. In order to solve them, you have to figure out which terms have been scrambled. For example, "Science Spy Hop" unscrambles to Espeon / Psychic.

  1. Breathtakingly Surgeons Scald (3 Terms: Pokémon, Item, Ability)
  2. Aim Proud Toy Prowl A Cavalier Child (3 Terms: Move, Key Item, Main Series Location)
  3. Counterattack Clergymen Hire Ye Idol (3 Terms: Pokémon, Item, Main Series Location)

Portmanteaus

Portmanteaus comprise several Pokémon-related terms, each of which is in a set of [brackets]. Each term and its preceding and succeeding terms must "overlap" with each other with two or more of their letters. All of the overlapping terms, when combined, will form one large amalgam of terms, which is your answer! For example, [Gen V Dark-type][Gen III Water-type][Gen II Ground-type] would form the term bisharpedonphan (a combination of Bisharp, Sharpedo, and Donphan).

  1. [Gen II Grass-type][Gen VI Fire-type][Gen V Psychic-type][Gen V Normal-type Move][Gen I Water-type][Berry Species (excluding the word "Berry")][Gen III Bug-type][Gen III Signature Move][Gen V Fire-type]
  2. [Gen II Fire-type][Gen VI Electric-type Move][Gen VI Item][Gen V Fire-type][Gen V Fighting-type][Gen I Water-type][Gen III Electric-type][Gen V Fighting-type][Gen III Psychic-type]
  3. [Gen I Water-type][Gen V Flying-type][Gen III Ghost-type][Berry Species (excluding the word "Berry")][Gen V Ability][Gen III Fire-type][Gen I Psychic-type][Gen VI Rock-type][Special Fighting-type Move][Gen IV Normal-type][Gen I Poison-type]

Parameters

By using the /dexsearch command on Pokémon Showdown, find out which parameters match only the Pokémon listed. For example, say you are given these Pokémon: Bibarel, Bidoof, Pachirisu, Patrat, Raticate, Rattata, Smeargle, and Watchog. Even though all of them learn both Protect and Subsitute, there are many other Pokémon that can as well, so the trick is to try to narrow down your options as much as possible. Parameters may include moves, abilities, tiers, generations, colors, and so on, but these specific ones only include moves.

  1. Mienfoo, Mienshao, Smeargle, Stantler (2 Parameters)
  2. Blissey, Chansey, Mawile, Shuckle, Smeargle (2 Parameters)

Cryptogram

In a cryptogram, every letter used in a message is replaced with a different letter. In order to solve it, you must determine what the original message is. The following phrase is a quote from a character in the main series Pokémon games. For example, a cryptogram of "VDWXQFR REBU AFRSUBKYTCA!" would unscramble to "Pikachu used Thunderbolt!", as each U in the original sentence is swapped for R, each E is swapped for B, and so on.

Q WOTHHVE SGTA EGVKA'C QOIQMK OQAE PVQEK GJ CQTOK. KGYVCTYVK TC YQM AVFVJ OQAE QC QOO...


Crossword Puzzle

This last puzzle is a crossword and has several clues listed below that will fit within the boxes of the crossword grid. Once you have filled in the grid completely, take a screenshot of it as proof of your triumph. The answers will consist of several Pokémon-related terms, whether it be Pokémon, moves, abilities, etc.

Note: Click the hint to go to the corresponding line.


Conclusion

Once you've completed one, some, or even all of the puzzles that this page has to offer, send your answers via a private message to Smogon's Flying Press on the forums (a Smogon account is required). Good luck to all who dare to participate, and we'll see you again in a few weeks!

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