Araquanid's signature ability Water Bubble offers tremendous offensive and defensive utility to Bug, halving the damage taken from Fire-type attacks, doubling the power of Water-type attacks, and making Araquanid immune to burns. Araquanid's high Special Defense and resistance to Fire and Water moves allow it to function as a specially defensive tank on Bug, allowing it to check special threats like Mega Charizard Y and Volcarona. It can also serve as a Sticky Web setter to allow other Pokemon to be used over Galvantula, such as Yanmega. However, Araquanid is one-dimensional offensively, as outside of its Water-type STAB moves, it is very weak and cannot threaten Pokemon with coverage. Araquanid's weakness to Electric-type attacks is problematic for Bug, as the type lacks sturdy resistances to Electric-type moves and struggles with threats like Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu. Araquanid can also struggle with longevity, as it is weak to Stealth Rock and lacks reliable recovery. Araquanid is slow and cannot outspeed even uninvested defensive threats such as Mega Venusaur; combined with its one-dimensional offenses, this can make it a momentum drain on Bug teams.
name: Assault Vest (Bug)
move 1: Liquidation
move 2: Scald
move 3: Leech Life
move 4: Mirror Coat
item: Assault Vest
ability: Water Bubble
evs: 184 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 68 Spe
With its power doubled by Water Bubble, Liquidation is Araquanid's strongest and most spammable attack. Scald is a weaker Water-type STAB move with a 30% burn chance, which is helpful for pestering defensive threats that Araquanid can't break with Liquidation or Water-resistant targets such as those on Dragon- and Water-types. Leech Life is a Bug-type STAB move, useful against Psychic-types and bulky Water-resistant or -immune Pokemon such as Slowbro and Seismitoad, that can keep Araquanid healthy for checking threats. Mirror Coat is a useful tool for checking special attackers that are not threatened by Araquanid's other three attacks like Volcanion which also manages threats that can 2HKO Araquanid like Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu.
Maximum Attack EVs with an Adamant nature give Liquidation and Leech Life the most damage output possible. 68 Speed EVs allow Araquanid to outspeed key special walls such as Chansey and Alolan Muk, as well as Hippowdon and Azumarill after Sticky Web. The remaining EVs go into HP to improve Araquanid's bulk. Water Bubble doubles the damage dealt by Water-type attacks, halves the damage taken by Fire-type attacks, and grants an immunity to burns. Assault Vest bolsters Araquanid's Special Defense to make it as formidable of a special switch-in as possible.
Use Araquanid as a switch-in and offensive check to special threats in the metagame such as Kingdra and Mega Charizard Y. Preserve Araquanid when faced with powerful Pokemon that can otherwise sweep the team, like Volcarona, Choice Scarf Victini, and Porygon-Z so that it can revenge kill them with Liquidation or Mirror Coat. Use Liquidation liberally, as it is Araquanid's strongest move; even when resisted, it is more powerful than Leech Life. Scald should be used to burn defensive threats that aren't threatened by Liquidation such as Skarmory and Toxapex. It can also be used to pester physical attackers such as Dragonite that are switching in to take advantage of Araquanid's poor Defense. Use Araquanid's immunity to burns to switch into Scald and absorb Will-O-Wisp from threats such as Mega Sableye. It is essential that entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, are kept off Araquanid's side of the field, as they compromise its ability to switch in on threats. Araquanid has mediocre Defense and should not risk taking unresisted physical attacks, even from defensive threats like Skarmory and Mandibuzz.
Forretress and Armaldo are reliable Rapid Spin users that help keep Stealth Rock, Spikes, and Toxic Spikes off the field so that Araquanid can operate effectively. Forretress's Steel typing offers a neutrality to the Rock- and Flying-type attacks that Araquanid struggles with, while Armaldo's Rock typing helps offensively deal with Flying-type threats that Araquanid can't manage like Zapdos. Scizor and Mega Scizor are both excellent partners for Araquanid, as their Steel typing covers Araquanid's Rock- and Flying-type weaknesses while Araquanid covers their 4x weakness to Fire-type moves. Scizor and Mega Scizor are able to force out threats like Nihilego and Mega Diancie with Technician-boosted Bullet Punch and can pivot with U-turn to create opportunities to bring Araquanid in safely. Galvantula acts as a strong offensive check for the Flying- and Water-types that Araquanid struggles with, such as Toxapex and Mantine, while offering valuable Sticky Web support to the team. Volcarona is a potent wincon that benefits from the holes Araquanid punches with its powerful STAB moves and its Fire- and Water-type resistances. Mega Pinsir benefits greatly as a sweeper from the damage dealt to defensive cores by Araquanid's powerful Water-type STAB moves, and it is especially effective against the bulky Water and Grass teams that Araquanid can't touch. Choice Scarf Heracross and Buzzwole are strong revenge killers and cleaners whose powerful STAB and coverage moves help dispatch of the Steel-, Grass-, and Rock-types that Araquanid can't easily manage. Buzzwole's Ice-type coverage is tremendously helpful in the Dragon- and Ground-type matchups, and Heracross can utilize Pursuit to take pressure off Araquanid to manage threats such as Heatran and Victini.
name: Sticky Web Utility (Bug)
move 1: Sticky Web
move 2: Scald
move 3: Toxic
move 4: Mirror Coat
item: Wacan Berry
ability: Water Bubble
evs: 248 HP / 8 Def / 252 SpD
Sticky Web supports Araquanid and its team by reducing the Speed of grounded Pokemon by one stage. Scald is a special Water-type STAB move with a relatively high burn chance that is helpful for pestering defensive threats that Araquanid can't break, such as Mega Venusaur and Toxapex, as well as physical attackers that threaten it. Toxic lets Araquanid put defensive walls that aren't threatened by Scald such as Mantine and Porygon2 on a timer. Mirror Coat helps Araquanid check dangerous special attackers it cannot threaten with Scald such as Tapu Koko and Porygon-Z.
Maximum Special Defense EVs and a Calm nature give Araquanid the most special bulk possible to manage threats such as Mega Charizard Y, and the remaining EVs go into HP to further improve Araquanid's bulk. A Wacan Berry is used to let Araquanid stomach hits from powerful Electric-types such as Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu and either KO them in return with Mirror Coat or set Sticky Web in a matchup where that would otherwise be impossible. Water Bubble doubles the damage dealt by Water-type attacks, halves the damage taken from Fire-type attacks, and grants an immunity to burns. Focus Sash is an option over Wacan Berry so that Araquanid can check more threats such as Mega Diancie and act as a suicide lead.
Araquanid's first priority should be to set Sticky Web in any given matchup so that teammates like Mega Pinsir and Volcarona can sweep more easily; however, take care to keep Araquanid healthy when it is needed to check threats such as Volcarona or Alolan Raichu. Araquanid should also be used as a switch-in and offensive check to special threats in the metagame such as Mega Charizard Y. Use Scald liberally, as it is Araquanid's strongest move; even when resisted, it can burn defensive threats such as Ferrothorn and Toxapex. Use Araquanid's immunity to burns to absorb Scald or Will-O-Wisp from defensive threats such as Mantine and Mega Sableye. It is essential that entry hazards, especially Stealth Rock, are kept off Araquanid's side of the field, as they compromise its ability to switch in on threats. Araquanid has mediocre Defense and should not risk taking unresisted physical attacks, even from defensive threats like Skarmory and Mandibuzz. Take care not to reveal Mirror Coat until the moment it is needed to check a threat such as Porygon-Z.
As an offensive type, every Pokemon on Bug appreciates the Speed reduction dealt by Araquanid's Sticky Web. Forretress and Armaldo are Rapid Spin users that help keep Araquanid healthy and able to check threats consistently by keeping entry hazards off the field. Scizor and Mega Scizor both pair well with Araquanid, covering Araquanid's Rock- and Flying-type weaknesses, while Araquanid, in turn, covers their 4x weakness to Fire-type moves. Both are also able to check threats such as Nihilego with Bullet Punch and pivot into Araquanid with U-turn. Volcarona and Mega Pinsir are potent sweepers that benefit from Araquanid's Sticky Web support to outspeed key targets such as Choice Scarf Victini. Choice Scarf users like Heracross and Buzzwole are effective cleaners whose powerful STAB and coverage moves help check the Steel-, Grass-, and Rock-types that Araquanid can't manage.
Choice Band Araquanid can be run as a wallbreaker on more offensive teams that still checks special attackers with its natural bulk; however, this set is a much less sturdy check to threats in the metagame like Volcarona. Magic Coat can be used over Toxic or Mirror Coat on Sticky Web Araquanid to try to prevent entry hazards from going up or being afflicted by Taunt. However, Magic Coat is very inconsistent and can cost Araquanid severe momentum. Leftovers is an option over Wacan Berry or Focus Sash on the Sticky Web utility set to give Araquanid more longevity with passive recovery, but this can limit the threats it can check.
Checks and Counters
**Physical Attackers**: Araquanid has only decent Defense and cannot take unresisted hits from physical attackers like Mega Sharpedo and Tapu Bulu. Araquanid will even struggle with physical attacks from some defensive threats like Skarmory.
**Rock-types**: Araquanid fails to sponge strong special Rock-type attacks over the course of a match and cannot consistently check threats like Nihilego.
**Flying-types**: Araquanid cannot sponge strong Flying-type attacks consistently and struggles to manage threats such as Tornadus-T and Skarmory.
**Electric-types**: Araquanid struggles to sponge strong special Electric-type attacks and can only really take one STAB Thunderbolt from threats like Tapu Koko and Alolan Raichu, limiting how often it can check them.
**Bulky Water-resistant Pokemon**: Araquanid depends on its Water-type STAB moves and struggles to break bulky Water-type Pokemon like Toxapex and Lanturn and Grass-type Pokemon like Mega Venusaur and Ferrothorn. Water-immune Pokemon like Gastrodon and Mantine are especially troublesome, as they keep Araquanid from spamming its STAB moves.
**Residual Damage**: With no source of recovery, consistent chip damage from weather, entry hazards, Rocky Helmet, Leech Seed, or status will undermine Araquanid's ability to operate as a specially defensive tank.