Overview

With Volt Absorb and Intimidate plus a great Defense stat, Cawmodore might seem to fill the role of a defensive Pokemon. Instead, it shines as an offensive powerhouse and is a deadly user of the move Belly Drum. Though Cawmodore's attacking movepool is shallow, it contains gems such as Acrobatics for pure power and Drain Punch for recovery. Thanks to its great Speed stat, Cawmodore is able to sweep a large portion of the metagame after setting up.

However, Cawmodore's Attack stat is rather unimpressive on its own, which means in order to be an effective sweeper it has to set up Belly Drum first. There are a number of Pokemon that can threaten Cawmodore while it is setting up, so reliably boosting can be difficult at times. Even after Cawmodore has set up, certain special sweepers can still outspeed it and target its poor Special Defense. Overall, Cawmodore is fairly one-dimensional, and it lacks any truly viable set variation. However, if it can pull off a well-timed Belly Drum, Cawmodore can wreck holes in almost any opposing team.

Moves

Belly Drum lets Cawmodore hit extremely hard after only a single turn of setup. Afterwards, Sitrus Berry activates and turns Acrobatics into an insanely powerful STAB move that can even dent Pokemon that resist Flying. Drain Punch provides coverage against Steel-types and can be used to recover some of the HP that was lost during setup. Bullet Punch functions as a priority move and a secondary STAB move; it can hit some faster would-be threats such as Stratagem.

Set Details

4 HP EVs give Cawmodore an even HP stat, which is vital for allowing Sitrus Berry to activate and heal Cawmodore after a Belly Drum. With Sitrus Berry consumed, Acrobatics receives a damage boost and becomes quite powerful. Cawmodore needs a Jolly nature and 252 Speed EVs in order to outspeed as many Pokemon as it possibly can. 252 Attack EVs allow for its best sweeping potential.

An alternative EV spread of 244 HP / 12 Atk / 252 Spe is usable, as it allows Cawmodore to be bulkier and can help it set up a Belly Drum more easily in some situations. 244 HP EVs allow it to maintain an even 302 HP, which still allows for Belly Drum to activate Sitrus Berry on the same turn. The addition to Attack may seem small and not particularly noteworthy, but 12 Attack EVs is the minimum to guarantee that +6 Drain Punch OHKOes specially defensive Heatran.

Usage Tips

Try to balance risk and reward when setting up, as a failed or premature Belly Drum can prove disastrous. Cawmodore is usually not an early-game sweeper because its obvious counters need to be eliminated or weakened significantly before a Belly Drum is usually worth it. However, this does not mean Cawmodore can't come in at all earlier in the game, as its immunities do let it switch in and force out certain Pokemon.

Even though Cawmodore has Volt Absorb, it is important to remember that Kyurem-B can still bust through with Fusion Bolt thanks to Teravolt. Also keep in mind that using Bullet Punch can cause an opposing Sucker Punch to fail as long as the opponent is slower. In particular, this means that Cawmodore can gamble with opposing Colossoil and choose to use Bullet Punch to prevent a predicted Sucker Punch.

Team Options

Chansey is a fantastic teammate, as it can provide Wish support and can absorb Flamethrowers with ease. Wish support in general can be helpful to restore Cawmodore's HP in the event that its first Belly Drum attempt didn't end very well. Memento users such as Volkraken can give Cawmodore an opportunity to set up, though the cost of a teammate can be pricey. Mega Gardevoir can take out some of Cawmodore's most notable counters, such as Cyclohm, and it can be a good special attacker to pair with Cawmodore.

Other Options

Knock Off provides stronger coverage against bulky Electric-types such as Cyclohm, Zapdos, and Rotom-W. Iron Head hits harder than Bullet Punch and can take out bulky Fairies, but generally Cawmodore appreciates priority more. Intimidate can be useful to weaken physical attackers, but without Volt Absorb, Cawmodore is vulnerable to Electric-type attacks. Lastly, Substitute + Salac Berry can be used to outspeed and defeat opposing Choice Scarf users such as Mollux and Volkraken, but this forces Cawmodore to forego a valuable coverage move.

Checks and Counters

Cyclohm: With a resistance to Acrobatics and access to Fire Blast and Flamethrower, physically defensive Cyclohm is one of the best hard counters to Cawmodore.

Faster Special Attackers that Resist Steel: Pokemon such as Mega Manectric or even Choice Scarf Mollux and Volkraken are usually hard counters to Cawmodore. Essentially, if Cawmodore is hit by a neutral STAB move or almost any super effective special attack, it'll be down and out.

Hazing and Phazing: Bulky or speedy Haze users or phazers can stop a Cawmodore sweep and check it on the spot. The most notable of these is Haze + Reflect Tomohawk, which has priority on these moves thanks to Prankster. Skarmory is always slower than Cawmodore, which allows Skarmory to Roost without fear of a super effective Drain Punch hitting it and phaze out Cawmodore with Whirlwind.

Physically Defensive Unaware Users: Quagsire is the most notable of the bulky Unaware trio, but Clefable can do well against sets without Iron Head. Arghonaut still fears Acrobatics, however.

Jolly Talonflame: If Stealth Rock is not up, Talonflame can check Cawmodore with Flare Blitz. Losing about half its health from Bullet Punch plus recoil damage is less than favorable, however.

Will-O-Wisp: Burning Cawmodore severely hurts it, but at +6 it can still do decent amounts of damage. Prankster Sableye has some potential to check Cawmodore with priority Will-O-Wisp. However, accuracy can be problematic at times and Sableye does not appreciate a Bullet Punch after Cawmodore has set up. Rotom-W is a bulkier alternative, but it would usually just want to KO Cawmodore with Hydro Pump.