Claydol [QC 2/2][GP 2/2]

Status
Not open for further replies.
[OVERVIEW]

Claydol plays a fundamental role in ADV OU as one of the best spinners in the metagame. Spinning away Spikes is a great source of support for its teammates, and having a spinner that is immune to Spikes like Claydol is a godsend for many teams. Furthermore, Claydol's immunity to sand and good defensive typing raise its profile as a spinner, despite Starmie's higher Speed and ability to pressure Skarmory. Claydol also packs a Rock resistance and a Ground immunity that allow it to pivot into common attacks like Rock Slide and Earthquake from the likes of Tyranitar and Aerodactyl, and its Electric immunity is handy for pivoting into Thunderbolt from Zapdos and Jolteon.

However, Claydol's lack of a recovery move means it cannot take repeated hits from attacks like Tyranitar's Hidden Power Bug, Zapdos's Hidden Power Grass, and Aerodactyl's Double-Edge. Additionally, despite Claydol's good defensive typing, it cannot threaten back a lot of the Pokemon that it's supposed to check without committing to Explosion. Furthermore, it tends to lose momentum when it goes for a Rapid Spin, as six glaring weaknesses to common attacking types like Water, Ice, Grass, and Bug mean it can be taken advantage by threats such as Heracross and offensive Water types, and it's often forced to blow up to prevent setup from threats like Calm Mind Celebi and Calm Mind Suicune. Additionally, Claydol can't make progress by switching directly into the opposing Spiker if it's Cloyster, Hidden Power Bug Forretress, or Drill Peck Skarmory, as it will be forced out, leaving at least one layer of Spikes on the field; however, against Toxic + Protect Skarmory it can stay in safely as long as it has Refresh.

[SET]
name: Utility
move 1: Rapid Spin
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Psychic
move 4: Explosion / Refresh
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 216 Atk / 32 SpA / 8 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
============

Rapid Spin separates Claydol from the other Ground-types in OU, as spinning away Spikes is Claydol's main source of support for the team. STAB Earthquake can 2HKO Tyranitar, Jirachi, and most Metagross; additionally, Claydol can threaten Gengar if it dares to spinblock with its STAB Psychic, which can also be used to chip a Heracross or a Breloom attempting to switch in.

Explosion gives Claydol some much-needed utility as a wallbreaker and also helps it to check offensive threats by preventing them from freely setting up in its face. In fact, every Pokemon that doesn't resist Explosion has to be fearful of its threat, including setup sweepers like Suicune and Snorlax, as well as walls like Blissey, Celebi, and Milotic and offensive threats like Zapdos, Moltres, and Salamence; however, make sure to use Explosion wisely against Spikes teams, because by losing your only spinner you will leave yourself open to common Spikes attackers such as Jolteon and Aerodactyl. Refresh is an alternative when Claydol is used on stall teams that can't make good use of Explosion, allowing it to spin safely against Toxic + Protect Skarmory without fear of getting poisoned and being very useful for pivoting into status spreaders like Toxic Blissey and Zapdos, as well as Body Slam Jirachi. Shadow Ball is an alternative to Psychic, as it hits opposing Claydol for super effective damage, but it fails to beat Will-O-Wisp Gengar; note that Refresh is not a reliable solution to the burn, as Gengar can pressure Claydol with Taunt.

Claydol isn't normally very threatening, but this set is more offensively minded than others, with enough offensive investment to hurt key threats in OU such as Tyranitar, Metagross, Jirachi, and Gengar with its STAB attacks. 216 Attack EVs and an Adamant nature allow Claydol to always 2HKO maximum HP Tyranitar with Earthquake and hit hard with Explosion, while 32 Special Attack EVs guarantee the 2HKO of specially defensive Gengar in sand with Psychic. If using Shadow Ball instead of Psychic, one should put the Special Attack EVs in Attack for even greater damage output. Alternatively, Claydol can run a faster spread of 28 HP / 216 Atk / 32 SpA / 232 Spe; this is more suited for offensive teams that want to outspeed and cripple offensive Swampert and maximum Speed Tyranitar. Another common spread for Claydol is 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpD with a Relaxed nature, which maximizes Claydol's resilience as a pivot into physical threats like Tyranitar and Aerodactyl; note that you should always pair this Claydol with Dugtrio, as otherwise Pursuit Tyranitar can be a problem.

It's important to preserve Claydol's health as much as possible, taking advantage of its resistances and immunities in order to spin multiple times throughout the game. Note that because Taunt + Toxic or Drill Peck Skarmory will eventually force Claydol out, one should not attempt to switch Claydol in on Skarmory to spin a single layer of Spikes, unless Skarmory runs Toxic + Protect and Claydol runs Refresh or Skarmory is seeded or burned. In circumstances where Skarmory will eventually force out Claydol, one should instead send it in only to spin away two or three layers of Spikes.

Team Options
===========

Claydol is featured as a spinner on stall teams that are frequently running the tried-and-true SkarmBliss defensive core; Claydol's Rock resistance is very helpful because it lets the team forgo Swampert as the default bulky Water-type, freeing up the slot for Milotic or Suicune. This setup of Claydol + Water-type is very sturdy against all sorts of mixed attackers and is still solid against all Dragon Dance Tyranitar variants. Most often these teams feature Tyranitar to set sand, although this compromises Suicune's and Milotic's bulk. On these stall teams Claydol really enjoys being paired with Dugtrio, as the combined effort of the two manages to take on even Hidden Power Bug versions of Dragon Dance Tyranitar more easily; Dugtrio is also important to trap and revenge kill Heracross, as Claydol stall teams tend to be very weak to it. Wish support from Blissey, Jirachi, or Vaporeon is greatly appreciated, as it allows Claydol to absorb more damage and survive longer throughout the game. Heal Bell support is also sometimes seen, allowing Claydol to ditch Refresh.

Claydol is also featured on teams that are trying to set up a bulky sweeper that will cleave through the opposition with the right support. The most common bulky sweepers paired with Claydol are Curse Snorlax, Calm Mind + Rest Suicune, and Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi. All these threats like having Claydol as a partner because of their shared weakness to Spikes, which will slowly compromise their bulk and consequently their ability to sweep. On teams with Curse Snorlax, Claydol is always paired with Magneton, as the removal of Skarmory is necessary for Snorlax to sweep. The removal of Skarmory as a Spiker is also nice to make sure that Claydol can spin freely without fearing that Skarmory will set up Spikes again. Magneton also helps Claydol by trapping Forretress, which otherwise can be a real nuisance, especially if it's packing Hidden Power Bug. When Claydol is paired with Dugtrio, which can trap Tyranitar and Metagross, Curse Snorlax tends to run Shadow Ball as its coverage move; alternatively, when Claydol is paired with a Pursuit trapper to trap Gengar, Snorlax can ditch Shadow Ball in favor of Earthquake or Hidden Power Bug, and Claydol can spin more freely without the threat of Gengar spinblocking it. Besides spinning, Claydol provides a much-needed Rock-type resistance, as Magneton doesn't really count for this, and a Ground immunity, as most of its partners are grounded and vulnerable to Earthquake spam.

Claydol teams supporting Calm Mind + Rest Suicune work very similarly; Claydol still enjoys being paired with Magneton, as Skarmory's phazing can be very annoying, but it also likes being paired with Dugtrio, as it allows Suicune to stay healthy for the end-game without having to take on Tyranitar and Metagross and helps deal with Celebi and Blissey so that Suicune is no longer walled. Claydol can also support Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi; this time it doesn't get paired with Magneton, as the team has enough special offense to take it on. Dugtrio, on the other hand, is a good partner, as Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi struggles against Tyranitar and Metagross. Alternatively, Skarmory can lay Spikes to help wear down Tyranitar and Metagross over the course of the game. When Claydol is supporting Curse Snorlax or Calm Mind + Rest Suicune, it doesn't generally pair with Tyranitar, as sand cancelling Leftovers of the bulky sweepers drastically reduces their longevity; for this reason, a weather-changing move is sometimes slotted on one of the team members—Rain Dance on Magneton, for example. Finally, it's worth noting that these archetypes tend to struggle against Cloyster, since it cannot be trapped by Magneton and threatens Claydol when it tries to spin.

As far as offensive teams go, Claydol can sometimes fit on mixed offense, where it provides Rapid Spin support for its teammates and is chosen as a spinner over Starmie because of its strong Explosion and helpful Rock resistance. This archetype is often referred to as "Skarm beatdown" because it is trying to lure in Skarmory, bring it down with repeated chip damage, then spin away its remaining Spikes. Given the higher pace of play, Claydol tends to run a more offensive spread with more Speed EVs over bulk, with the intention of spinning only once throughout the game. Common partners in this archetype are mixed Metagross, mixed Salamence, Focus Punch Snorlax, offensive Celebi, Zapdos, offensive Suicune, and Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Here Claydol serves as a good defensive pivot with its Rock, Ground, and Electric resistances, as well as a wallbreaker with its powerful Explosion; this is very important because it allows Claydol to threaten common walls like Celebi, Blissey, and Milotic, which are all very difficult to deal otherwise. Since the roles of wallbreaker, defensive pivot, and spinner are all compressed into one, Claydol benefits greatly from Pursuit support, as it allows Claydol to perform its roles better in the face of a Gengar. Pursuit Metagross is a good option that puts Gengar in range of Claydol's Psychic while still having a good offensive presence compared to Pursuit Tyranitar.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
==========

Ice Beam can be run in order to better deal with the Dragon-types Salamence and Flygon, but it generally is not worth giving up another move for it. The same goes for Hidden Power Fire and Toxic; one could say that Claydol is a good example of four-moveslot syndrome for this very reason.

Checks and Counters
==============

Claydol's offensive presence outside of Explosion is so minimal that there's no shortage of defensive checks for it.

**Bulky Water-types**: Bulky Water-types stand out as the best defensive checks, as they don't fear any of Claydol's attacks; meanwhile, they threaten it with super effective damage but need to watch out for Explosion ending the turn and putting them in KO range of a follow-up sweeper.

**Gengar**: Gengar is the only spinblocker in OU and can threaten Claydol with status or super effective attacks, but since it doesn't want to switch into Psychic or Shadow Ball, good prediction is required for it to successfully spinblock Claydol. If Gengar happens to switch freely on a Rapid Spin, remember that Ice Punch and Giga Drain hurt Claydol considerably, on top of the threat of Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis, Destiny Bond and Explosion; this means that Claydol shouldn't try to stay in and push its luck against Gengar but instead just plan to keep wearing it down as it switches in.

**Pursuit**: Pursuit trappers are also quite annoying for Claydol to face because they can inflict chip damage every time it switches out; Umbreon is the most annoying of the bunch because it doesn't fear any of Claydol's attacks. The combination of a Pursuit trapper, a Spiker, and a spinblocker is the toughest one for Claydol to beat, with a single mistake possibly deciding the outcome of the Spikes war.

**Spikers**: Finally, it's worth pointing out that, despite Claydol's main asset being to spin away Spikes, it cannot meaningfully hurt the Spikers themselves; Drill Peck Skarmory can take any of Claydol's attacks and force it out with repeated chip damage, while Taunt + Toxic Skarmory can keep even Refresh Claydol poisoned. Claydol also faces similar issues dealing with Cloyster.

[CREDITS]
- Written by: [[mikmer, 511989]]
- Quality checked by: [[vapicuno, 5454], [Triangles, 118250]]
- Grammar checked by: [[The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216], [Rabia, 336073]]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

wyc2333

A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
is a Pre-Contributor
first of all, i'm not a qc
(it can generally live any one hit from full hp)
252+ Atk Heracross Megahorn vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Claydol: 402-474 (124 - 146.2%)
As far as moves go, every Claydol should have Rapid Spin in the first slot as it is the move that separates it from the other Ground types: spinning away spikes is Claydol's main source of support provided for the team.
niche picking but ground-types such as donphan and sandslash also have spin. i will rephrase it as "other Ground-types in OU"
while Shadow Ball can also hurt the rare Dusclops, it is less common because it makes Claydol weaker to Will-O-Wisp(must pair with Refresh).
sball is more important for dol mirror
Refresh is a less common move in this slot but allows Claydol to spin safely vs Toxic Skarmory without fear of getting poisoned; it is also useful for pivoting in to Toxic users such as Zapdos and Jirachi.
it spins safely vs tox+tect skarm bc tox+dpeck/taunt threatens it. pivoting into defensive zap can be emphasized more bc offensive zap with tox is often paired with hp ice. maybe mention refresh can also use against rachi's bslam.
24 speed evs is just to outspeed Pursuit Tyranitar variants trying to outspeed 0 speed Claydol.
imo speed creep isn't recommended for an analysis.
aromatherapy/heal bell support is also sometimes seen allowing claydol to ditch refresh.
minor but aromatherapy isn't recommended on bliss bc compared to heal bell, it isn't legal with wish
The strategy of these teams is to remove skarmory with magneton first, then spin away the spikes left on the field, and eventually win with a bulky set up sweeper like curse snorlax, bulky cm jirachi or bulky cm rest suicune.
ik there are mag + rachi teams, but imo they are not typical for an analysis
 
first of all, i'm not a qc

252+ Atk Heracross Megahorn vs. 252 HP / 0 Def Claydol: 402-474 (124 - 146.2%)

niche picking but ground-types such as donphan and sandslash also have spin. i will rephrase it as "other Ground-types in OU"

sball is more important for dol mirror

it spins safely vs tox+tect skarm bc tox+dpeck/taunt threatens it. pivoting into defensive zap can be emphasized more bc offensive zap with tox is often paired with hp ice. maybe mention refresh can also use against rachi's bslam.

imo speed creep isn't recommended for an analysis.

minor but aromatherapy isn't recommended on bliss bc compared to heal bell, it isn't legal with wish

ik there are mag + rachi teams, but imo they are not typical for an analysis
I implemented some of the changes you suggested
 

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
What wyc says is mostly right, but as for the last point, when cm wish rachi is used with claydol, the team usually has enough special chip on skarm to forgo mag. You can still include Jirachi; in Jirachi's case, you can just make a clause dropping Magneton.
 
What wyc says is mostly right, but as for the last point, when cm wish rachi is used with claydol, the team usually has enough special chip on skarm to forgo mag. You can still include Jirachi; in Jirachi's case, you can just make a clause dropping Magneton.
Implemented"Calm Mind Wish Jirachi is an unusual choice for a sweeper on Mag-Doll teams as it doesn't overly need Skarmory trapped to function, so it is more common to see it on Magneton less builds."
 
Last edited:

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
You don't need to mention that it's unusual because that makes it sound like you're writing a Magneton analysis. This is a Claydol analysis, so I think you can just say something like sometimes, Magneton is not needed when Claydol's teammates have enough specially offensive pressure, such as when the bulky sweeper is Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi.
 
You don't need to mention that it's unusual because that makes it sound like you're writing a Magneton analysis. This is a Claydol analysis, so I think you can just say something like sometimes, Magneton is not needed when Claydol's teammates have enough specially offensive pressure, such as when the bulky sweeper is Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi.
hhmmm... should i put this in the mag-doll paragraph? cause it feels like is a totally diff archetype.
 

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
Okay you just reminded me of something -- there are actually a spectrum of bulky setup teams going from mag/dug to mag/dol to dol/dug. I think it's a rather similar archetype in the sense that they all rely on winning by a bulky wincon, but their wincons are different depending on support. magdug and magdol are mostly for curselax, magdol and dugdol can both be used for cune, and dugdol is usually for rachi. So to round up the archetype, do you mind listing Dugtrio as a team option?

The general idea behind this archetype is that you want to completely remove the walls of the bulky wincon, and for the physical wincon ie lax, it wants skarm (and meta) removed by mag, wheres for the special wincon ie rachi it wants ttar/metagross removed, so dug is the trapper instead. Both are helpful to cune; magdol helps to ensure complete spikes removal so cune can deal with the physical threats better (and mag can partially trap metagross), while dugdol just eliminates those physical threats at the expense of more spikes on the field.
 
Okay you just reminded me of something -- there are actually a spectrum of bulky setup teams going from mag/dug to mag/dol to dol/dug. I think it's a rather similar archetype in the sense that they all rely on winning by a bulky wincon, but their wincons are different depending on support. magdug and magdol are mostly for curselax, magdol and dugdol can both be used for cune, and dugdol is usually for rachi. So to round up the archetype, do you mind listing Dugtrio as a team option?

The general idea behind this archetype is that you want to completely remove the walls of the bulky wincon, and for the physical wincon ie lax, it wants skarm (and meta) removed by mag, wheres for the special wincon ie rachi it wants ttar/metagross removed, so dug is the trapper instead. Both are helpful to cune; magdol helps to ensure complete spikes removal so cune can deal with the physical threats better (and mag can partially trap metagross), while dugdol just eliminates those physical threats at the expense of more spikes on the field.
i made some changes, tell me what you think about them.
 
Last edited:

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
Change the name of the set to "Utility" ie. remove the word "standard". Please make the changes below. Once these changes are made, QC 1/2

Claydol appears on teams that are trying to set up a bulky sweeper that will cleave through teams with the right support. The most common bulky sweepers paired with Claydol are: Curse Snorlax, bulky Calm Mind+Rest Suicune and bulky Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi. All these pokemon share the common hate for spikes as the chip entry hazard damage will compromise their bulk and consequently their ability to set up and sweep.
In teams that support Curse Snorlax, Claydol is always paired with Magneton as the removal of Skarmory is necessary for Snorlax to sweep: this spinner+trapper core named Mag-Doll is very popular in the current adv OU. Sometimes, Claydol on these teams is either paired with Dugtrio, which helps removing Tyranitar and Metagross allowing Curse Snorlax to run Shadow Ball as its coverage move, or with a Pursuit trapper, allowing Snorlax to ditch Shadow Ball in favor of Earthquake or Hidden Power Bug. Besides spinning here Claydol serves as a much needed rock resist(Magneton doesn't really count for this) and a ground immunity as most of its partners are grounded and vulnerable to Earthquake spam. This archetype often struggles with Cloyster since it cannot be trapped by Magneton and it treatens Claydol when it tries to spin.
Claydol teams supporting Calm Mind+Rest Suicune work very similarly. Claydol here still enjoys being paired with Magneton as Skarmory can be very annoying, but also likes being paired with Dugtrio as it allows Suicune to stay healty for the end-game without having to take on Tyranitar and Metagross.
Claydol can also support Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi. This time it doesn't get paired with Magneton as the team has enough special offence to take on Skarmory. Dugtrio on the other hand is a good partner here, as Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi struggles against Tyranitar and Metagross. Alternatively, Skarmory as a partner can lay Spikes to help to wear Tyranitar and Metagross over the course of the game.
When Claydol is supporting Curse Snorlax or Calm Mind+Rest Suicune it doesn't generally pair with Tyranitar, as sand cancelling Leftovers of the bulky sweepers reduces drastically their longevity. For this reason sometimes a weather changing move is slotted on one of the team members(i.e. Rain Dance on Magneton).
 
Last edited:

Triangles

Done Ripping Myself Up
is a Contributor to Smogonis a Past SPL Champion
[OVERVIEW]

Claydol is a fundamental part of the ADV OU metagame because it is the most common spinner together with Starmie. Explain why spinning is such a crucial thing in the tier (and the only incentive to use Dol) because of just how centralizing spikes are. While Starmie has a nice healing option in Recover, Claydol is usually preferred on stall teams due to its Spikes and Sandstorm immunities that, paired with Leftovers, grant Claydol good longevity throughout the game. It also packs a nice Rock resistance and a Ground immunity that allows it to check common physical attackers such as non Hidden Power Bug Dragon Dance Tyranitar and Choice Band locked Aerodactyl. Finally it has access to Explosion, which gives Claydol some much needed utility outside of the Spikes matchup.

Talk about Clay's biggest weakness - that it loses a lot of momentum because it's not independently offensive at all. More often than not you will be playing on the back foot trying to absorb your opponent's pressure. It also can't stop setup without having to boom.

Claydol is an extremely one-dimensional mon - it's literally a spinbot. Make sure that fact comes across in the intro, and also tell us why teams still desperately want this very limited pokemon for what it can do.


[SET]
name: Utility
move 1: Rapid spin
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Psychic/Shadow ball Shadow Ball isn't good enough to be a slash. It should just be mentioned in the set description.
move 4: Explosion/Refresh
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Adamant
evs:252hp / 216atk / 16sp atk / 24spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set description
============
The idea behind this set is to switch Claydol safely into what? give examples abusing its key resistances and immunities in order to get a free spin. Be careful with staying on the field more than one turn as Claydol packs six weaknesses to common types such as Water and Ice meaning most pokemons can hit it for super effective damage. I feel like this sentence is a bit useless.
Despite Claydol's good natural bulk and defensive utility, you should try to conserve its health as much as possible in order to spin multiple times throughout the game. Claydol isn't the most offensively threatening pokemon in the tier, but this set is more offensively minded than others, with the ability to hurt key threats like Tyranitar, Gengar and Jirachi with its stabs.

As far as moves go, every Claydol should have Rapid Spin in the first slot, as it is the move that separates it from the other Ground types in OU: spinning away Spikes is Claydol's main source of support provided for the team.
Earthquake is also obligatory in the second slot because it is Claydol's strongest attack, and it is necessary in order to defeat most Tyranitar variants.
Psychic in the third slot is the main coverage option for the most common spin blocker Gengar:
move the shadow ball talk to the very end of the set description
while Shadow Ball can hurt the rare Dusclops as well as beating opposing Claydols Reword this to just talking about other Claydols - Dusclops is so rare it's not worth a mention , it is less common because it makes you more vulnerable to the burn status(Shadow Ball must be paired with Refresh). Even then Refresh isn't reliable because WoW Gar very often also has Taunt.
Explosion in the fourth slot can inflict massive damage, often resulting in taking down a pokemon, tell us what you might be likely to/want to boom on - lax and cune come to mind as potential setup threats to shut down but make sure to use it wisely against Spikes teams because you will end up losing your only spinner in the process and leave yourself open to common Spikes abusers(i.e. Jolteon, Aerodactyl).
Refresh is a less common move I certainly wouldn't say it's a lot less common than boom in this slot but allows Claydol to spin safely vs Toxic+Protect Skarmory without fear of getting poisoned; it is also useful for pivoting in to status spreading pokemons like defensive Zapdos with Toxic and defensive Jirachi with Body Slam.
216 Attack evs and an Adamant nature will allow Claydol to always 2hko max hp Tyranitar with Earthquake, while 16 Special Attack evs is to guarantee to 2hko specially defensive Gengar in sand. If using Shadow Ball instead of Psychic one should put the Special Attack evs in Speed or Attack. Alternatively Claydol can run a faster spread of evs: 44hp / 216 atk / 16 sp atk / 232 speed ; this is more suited for teams that struggle against mixed Tyranitar. I'd mention Relaxed as another alternative spread - a lot of Defense on Dol can be important for teams that are scared of Aero, and it's better at pivoting into physicals in general. Relaxed is something you can particularly get away with doing when you have a Dug to trap Pursuit Tar.

Team options
===========
Claydol is featured on stall teams that aim to play the long game without Spikes on the field. Claydol packing a rock resistance is very helpful because it lets the team forgo Swampert as the default bulky Water, opting instead for the non Rock resisting Milotic and Suicune.
This setup of Claydol+Water is very sturdy against all sorts of mixed attackers and it is still solid against all Dragon Dance Tyranitar versions. Claydol stall teams are frequently running the tried and true Skarm-Bliss defensive core, most often featuring Tyranitar to set sand, although this means Suicune and Milotic are going to be less bulky.
On these stall teams Claydol really enjoys being paired with Dugtrio as the combined effort of the two manages to take on more easily even Hidden Power Bug versions of Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Dugtrio is also important to trap and revenge-kill Heracross, as Claydol stall teams are very weak to it.
Wish support from Blissey, Jirachi and Vaporeon is greatly appreciated as it allows Claydol to absorb more damage and survive longer throughout the game; Heal Bell support is also sometimes seen allowing Claydol to ditch Refresh.

Claydol also appears on teams that are trying to set up a bulky sweeper that will cleave through teams with the right support. The most common bulky sweepers paired with Claydol are: Curse Snorlax, bulky Calm Mind+Rest Suicune and bulky Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi.
All these pokemon like having Claydol as a partner because they share a common weakness to Spikes: the entry hazard damage will slowly compromise their bulk and consequently their ability to set up safely.

In teams that support Curse Snorlax, Claydol is always paired with Magneton as the removal of Skarmory is necessary for Snorlax to sweep: this spinner+trapper core named Mag-Doll is very popular in the current adv OU.
Sometimes, Claydol on these teams is paired with Dugtrio, which helps removing Tyranitar and Metagross allowing Curse Snorlax to run Shadow Ball as its coverage move; alternatively Claydol is paired with a Pursuit trapper, allowing Snorlax to ditch Shadow Ball in favor of Earthquake or Hidden Power Bug. Besides spinning here Claydol serves as a much needed Rock resist(Magneton doesn't really count for this) and a Ground immunity as most of its partners are grounded and vulnerable to Earthquake spam.
This archetype often struggles with Cloyster since it cannot be trapped by Magneton and it treatens Claydol when it tries to spin.
As a general point about Magneton, it's pretty nice to pick off Forry too - HP Bug forry can be an awkward MU on occasion without Mag.
Claydol teams supporting Calm Mind+Rest Suicune work very similarly. Claydol here still enjoys being paired with Magneton, as Skarmory can be very annoying, but also likes being paired with Dugtrio as it allows Suicune to stay healty for the end game without having to take on Tyranitar and Metagross. Dugtrio's there to remove Celebi too.
Claydol can also support Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi. This time it doesn't get paired with Magneton as the team has enough special offence to take on Skarmory. Dugtrio on the other hand is a good partner here, as Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi struggles against Tyranitar and Metagross. Alternatively, Skarmory as a partner can lay Spikes to help wear down Tyranitar and Metagross over the course of the game.
When Claydol is supporting Curse Snorlax or Calm Mind+Rest Suicune it doesn't generally pair with Tyranitar, as sand cancelling Leftovers of the bulky sweepers reduces drastically their longevity. For this reason sometimes a weather changing move is slotted on one of the team members(i.e. Rain Dance on Magneton).

As far as offensive teams go, Claydol can seldom fit on mixed offence where it provides Rapid Spin support for its teamates that often let Skarmory get a layer or two before killing it. Common role players in this archetype are mixed Tyranitar, mixed Metagross, mixed Salamence, Focus Punch Snorlax and super Celebi. Here Claydol acts as a secondary rock resistance and Tyranitar check, also providing the team with much needed Ground and Eletric immunities. In this archetype Claydol often runs more speed evs over bulk and is always packing Explosion over Refresh. Meh, really not a fan of Dol anywhere on offense, it tends to do very badly. I might axe this whole paragraph. Clay is too much of a momentum loser to feature on offense. If offense wants a spinner, starmie is the go to because it is fast and independently threatening vs blissless teams.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
==========
As mentioned Claydol can run a lot of speed investment in order to outspeed max speed mixed Tyranitar and Endeavor Swampert. The speed can be very beneficial in a fast paced game where Claydol isn't trying to live long enough to spin multiple times but just do it once and then explode.
However the bulk is generally preferred as Claydol's longevity is one of its main assets, and max hp invesment allows it to survive attacks like Choice Band Tyranitar Hidden Power Bug, 2 Hidden Powers from Timid Zapdos and 2 Ice Beams from Modest Blissey.
Ice Beam itself is a move that Claydol can learn in order to better deal with the Dragon types like Salamence and Flygon: but generally is not worth giving up another move for it. Similarly Rock Slide, despite looking appealing for the coverage it provides, it is rarely seen over the other "more necessary" options. Wouldn't even mention Slide at all here.
Same thing goes for Hidden Power Fire and Toxic: "You just can't fit them". One could say that Claydol is a good example of the 4 move slots syndrome for this very reason.
Finally Claydol can run some Defence investment, or even Special Defence sometimes, but that means giving up Attack and not 2hkoing Tyranitar anymore.

Checks and counters
==============
Claydol's offensive presence is so lackluster that is checked defensively by a great number of pokemons in the tier. Bulky Water types stand out as the best check as they don't fear any of Claydol's attacks(remember Explosion doesn't okho from full), meanwhile they threaten it with super effective Water attacks.
This may seem discouraging but keep in mind that Claydol's main role is to spin, not to provide offence.
The only pokemons that can counter Claydol's spin are Ghost types, but they don't want to switch in to Psychic or Shadow Ball, so good prediction is required for the spin block to work. If Gengar happens to switch in freely on a Rapid Spin, remember that Ice Punch as well as Giga Drain hurt Claydol considerably, on top of the threat of Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis, Destiny Bond and Explosion: this means that Claydol shouldn't try to stay in and press his luck against Gengar, but instead just plan to keep chipping it with Psychic as it switches in.

Pursuit trappers are also quite annoying for the doll to face because they can trap Claydol inflicting chip damage everytime it switches out: Umbreon is the most annoying of the bunch because it doesn't fear any of Claydol's attacks. The combination of a Pursuit trapper and a spin blocker is the toughest one for Claydol to beat, with a single mistake possibly deciding the outcome of the Spikes war.
Finally worth pointing out that, despite Claydol's main asset is to spin away the spikes, it cannot meaningfully hurt the spikers themselves: Drill Peck Skarmory can take any of Claydol's attacks and force it out with repeated chip damage, while Taunt+Toxic can keep Claydol poisoned through Refresh; Claydol has similar issues with Hidden Power Bug Forretres and Cloyster.

[CREDITS]
-Written by: [[mikmer, 511989]]
-Quality checked by: [[vapicuno, 5454], [, ]]
-Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
I had a discussion with Triangles earlier and this is what we came to the conclusion to on some additional points to be added:

1. In set description, talk about the interaction between skarm and claydol. Claydol pretty much cant switch into skarm and spin without coming out the losing end unless a) its refresh dol vs protox skarm b) skarm is seeded or burnt. Otherwise, claydol will leave the field with one layer of spikes, so it's only worth to send dol in when there's 2 or more layers on the field, or when it gets an opportunity.

2. In set description, speed on offensive dol is more for offensive pert, endeavor pert, since those guys rip apart mixed offense pretty hard. Mention that before mixtar.

Meh, really not a fan of Dol anywhere on offense, it tends to do very badly. I might axe this whole paragraph. Clay is too much of a momentum loser to feature on offense. If offense wants a spinner, starmie is the go to because it is fast and independently threatening vs blissless teams.
3. In team options, we've decided to keep the offensive dol section, but because it's a delicate use of dol, do mention the specifics. a) some form of anti Gengar support is greatly appreciated, like Pursuit Metagross. b) one of the advantages of dol over mie on offense is its strong boom. c) it really only has the bulk to spin once.

We'll review again after these changes are implemented. Note in particular you should beef up the intro a bit.
 
I implemented the changes that Triangles and Vapi suggested as well as "beefing" the intro. Ready for the second QC.
 

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
Good job with finishing this. Please only transfer this to the GP queue when the following edits are implemented.

Bold = make the exact change
Green = comment

Strikethrough = remove

Take note of the following also:
1. We'll try to stick to the standard checks and counters format which uses the **counter** label
2. Group your sentences into paragraphs to make things easy for the GPers. I have separated the paragraphs for you, so please join the sentences up without moving to a new line.
3. Add a space between number and stat in EVs in future. This is needed to fit the uploading format. I have done it for you.
4. If it is possible, please run a spell check on your articles. It also makes things easier for GPers. They are quite overloaded people.
5. Take note that moves are always capitalized.

Thanks! Once done, add [QC 2/2] [GP 0/2] into thread header, and post in this thread to get two GP checks.
https://www.smogon.com/forums/threa...a-whole-new-world-we-live-in.3588435/page-183

[OVERVIEW]

Claydol plays a fundamental role in ADV OU because it is one of the best spinners in the metagame. Spikes are popular in ADV OU because they provide a reliable source of chip damage to all of the grounded threats, therefore having a spinner that is immune to Spikes like Claydol is a godsend for many teams. Furthermore, Claydol's immunity to Sand and good defensive typing raises its profile as a spinner, despite Starmie's higher Speed and ability to pressure Skarmory.
While Starmie has more offensive presence, Claydol is usually the go-to spinner on stall teams due to its Spikes and Sandstorm immunities and its good defensive typing. It packs a nice Rock resistance and a Ground immunity that allow it to pivot on Rock Slide and Earthquake from common physical attackers such as Tyranitar and Aerodactyl. It also has an Electric immunity that is handy for pivoting into Thunderbolt from Zapdos and Jolteon.

However Claydol suffers from the lack of a recovery move meaning it cannot take repeated damage from attacks like Hidden Power Grass from Zapdos or Hidden Power Bug from Tyranitar making it more of a pivot into threats rather than a sturdy check.
Additionally Claydol is not very threatening offensively and tends to lose momentum when it tries to spin, it also has six weaknesses including common attacking types like Water, Ice, Grass and Bug meaning it's taken advantage by threats like Heracross and offensive Swampert, or it's forced to blow up on threats like Calm Mind Celebi and Calm Mind Suicune.
Claydol also can't switch directly into the spiker if it's a Cloyster, a Hidden Power Bug Forretres or a Drill Peck Skarmory as it will be forced out leaving at least a layer on the field; however against Toxic+Protect Skarmory it can stay in safely to spin with Refresh.



[SET]
name: Utility
move 1: Rapid spin
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Psychic
move 4: Explosion/Refresh
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 216 Atk / 16 SpA / 24 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set description
============
Rapid Spin is the move that separates Claydol from the other Ground types in OU as spinning away Spikes is Claydol's main source of support for the team. Earthquake is Claydol's strongest STAB and can 2HKO Tyranitar, Jirachi and most Metagross.
Additionally Claydol can threaten Gengar if it dares to spin-block with its STAB Psychic which can also be used to chip a Heracross or a Breloom attempting to switch in.

Claydol has also access to Explosion, which gives it some much needed utility outside of the Spikes matchup. Explosion can inflict massive damage to setup threats like Suicune and Snorlax, as well as offering some wallbreaking potential against Blissey, Celebi and Milotic, or trade with offensive threats like Zapdos and Moltres, but make sure to use it wisely against Spikes teams because you will end up losing your only spinner in the process and leave yourself open to common Spikes abusers like Jolteon and Aerodactyl.
Refresh is a common alternative on stall teams that can't make use of the wallbreaking power of Explosion. Refresh allows Claydol to spin safely against Toxic+Protect Skarmory without fear of getting poisoned and it is also very useful for pivoting in to status spreaders like Toxic Blissey and Zapdos, as well as Body Slam Jirachi and Snorlax. Claydol is not really meant to pivot into Snorlax just to "abuse" Refresh. If anything, you'd want to boom.

Shadow Ball is an alternative to Psychic as it hits Specially Defensive Gengar much harder opposing Claydol but it falters to Will-O-Wisp. Refresh is not a reliable solution to the burn as Gengar can pressure Claydol with Taunt. Worth mentioning that Shadow Ball allows Claydol to chip Psychic types like Celebi and opposing Claydols. Claydol is the main interaction here. Celebi can Recover or Giga Drain away for what its worth. Sp.def Gengar gets 2HKOed by Psychic or Shadow Ball regardless.

Claydol isn't the most offensively threatening pokemon in the tier, but this set is more offensively minded than others, with enough investment to hurt key threats like Tyranitar, Metagross, Gengar and Jirachi with its STABs. 216 Attack evs and an Adamant nature allow Claydol to always 2HKO max HP Tyranitar with Earthquake, while 16 Special Attack evs is to guarantee the 2HKO of specially defensive Gengar in sand with Psychic. If using Shadow Ball instead of Psychic one should put the Special Attack evs in Speed or Attack. Alternatively Claydol can run a faster spread of evs: 44 HP / 216 Atk / 16 SpA / 232 Spe; this is more suited for teams that struggle against offensive Swampert and mixed Tyranitar. Another common spread for Claydol is 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpD with a Relaxed nature; this spread allows Claydol to be a better pivot into physical threats like Tyranitar and Aerodactyl at the cost of being even more passive offensively. One should pair this Claydol with Dugtrio as otherwise Pursuit Tyranitar is a problem.

Moved the following up here
Claydol is featured on stall teams that aim to play the long game without Spikes on the field. With Claydol's good natural bulk and defensive utility, the gameplan is to conserve its health as much as possible in order to be able to spin multiple times throughout the game. Note that because Taunt + Toxic and Drill Peck Skarmory will eventually force Claydol out, one should not attempt to switch in on Skarmory to spin a single layer of Spikes, unless Skarmory runs Toxic + Protect and Claydol runs Refresh, or unless Skarmory is seeded or burnt. In circumstances where Skarmory will eventually force out Claydol, one should instead send Claydol in to spin away two or three layers of Spikes.

Team options
===========
Claydol is featured on stall teams that aim to play the long game without Spikes on the field. With Claydol's good natural bulk and defensive utility, the gameplan is to conserve its health as much as possible in order to be able to spin multiple times throughout the game.
Claydol packing a rock resistance is very helpful because it lets the team forgo Swampert as the default bulky Water, opting instead for the non Rock resisting Milotic and Suicune. This setup of Claydol+Water is very sturdy against all sorts of mixed attackers and it is still solid against all Dragon Dance Tyranitar versions. Claydol stall teams are frequently running the tried and true Skarm-Bliss defensive core, most often featuring Tyranitar to set sand, although this means Suicune and Milotic are going to be less bulky.
On these stall teams Claydol really enjoys being paired with Dugtrio as the combined effort of the two manages to take on more easily even Hidden Power Bug versions of Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Dugtrio is also important to trap and revenge-kill Heracross, as Claydol stall teams are very weak to it.
Wish support from Blissey, Jirachi and Vaporeon is greatly appreciated as it allows Claydol to absorb more damage and survive longer throughout the game. Heal Bell support is also sometimes seen allowing Claydol to ditch Refresh.

Claydol also appears on teams that are trying to set up a bulky sweeper that will cleave through teams with the right support. The most common bulky sweepers paired with Claydol are: Curse Snorlax, bulky Calm Mind+Rest Suicune and bulky Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi. All these sweepers like having Claydol as a partner because they share a common weakness to Spikes as the entry hazard damage will slowly compromise their bulk and consequently their ability to set up safely.
In teams that support Curse Snorlax, Claydol is always paired with Magneton as the removal of Skarmory the wall is necessary for Snorlax to sweep. The removal of Skarmory the spiker is also nice to make sure Claydol can spin without fearing that Spikes will ever come back. Similarly Magneton helps Claydol by trapping Forretres which otherwise can be a real nuisance if it's packing Hidden Power Bug.
Sometimes Claydol is paired with Dugtrio, which helps removing Tyranitar and Metagross allowing Curse Snorlax to run Shadow Ball as its coverage move. Alternatively Claydol is paired with a Pursuit trapper, allowing Snorlax to ditch Shadow Ball in favor of Earthquake or Hidden Power Bug, and allowing Claydol to spin more freely without the threat of Gengar. Besides spinning in these teams Claydol serves as a much needed Rock resist as Magneton doesn't really count for this, and a Ground immunity as most of its partners are grounded and vulnerable to Earthquake spam.
This archetype often struggles with Cloyster since it cannot be trapped by Magneton and it treatens Claydol when it tries to spin.

Claydol teams supporting Calm Mind+Rest Suicune work very similarly. Claydol here still enjoys being paired with Magneton, as Skarmory the phazer can be very annoying, but also likes being paired with Dugtrio as it allows Suicune to stay healty for the end game without having to take on Tyranitar and Metagross. Dugtrio also helps dealing with Celebi, one of Suicune's hardest counters.
Claydol can also support Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi. This time it doesn't get paired with Magneton as the team has enough special offence to take on Skarmory. Dugtrio on the other hand is a good partner here, as Calm Mind+Wish Jirachi struggles against Tyranitar and Metagross. Alternatively, Skarmory as a partner can lay Spikes to help wear down Tyranitar and Metagross over the course of the game.
When Claydol is supporting Curse Snorlax or Calm Mind+Rest Suicune it doesn't generally pair with Tyranitar, as sand cancelling Leftovers of the bulky sweepers reduces drastically their longevity. For this reason sometimes a weather changing move is slotted on one of the team members(i.e. Rain Dance on Magneton).

As far as offensive teams go, Claydol can seldom sometimes fit on mixed offence where it provides Rapid Spin support for its teammates. One advantage that Claydol has over offensive Starmie is its strong Explosion and helpful Rock-resistance. This archetype is referred to as "Skarm beatdown" because it is trying to lure Skarmory and bring it down with repeated chip damage, and then spin away the leftovers Spikes. Given the faster pace of play, Claydol tends to be more offensive and run more speed evs over bulk with the intention of spinning only one time throughout the game.
Common partners in this archetype are mixed Metagross, mixed Salamence, Focus Punch Snorlax, Hidden Power Fire Celebi, offensive Suicune and Dragon Dance Tyranitar.
Here Claydol serves as a good defensive pivot with its Rock, Ground and Electric resistances, as well as a wallbreaker with its powerful Explosion. Explosion is very important in this archetype because it allows to break common walls like Celebi, Blissey and Milotic which are all very troubling for its teammates.
Since the roles of wallbreaker, defensive pivot and spinner are all compressed into one, Claydol benefits greatly from Pursuit support, as it allows to perform its roles better in the face of a Gengar. Pursuit Metagross is a good option that puts Gengar into the range of Claydol's Psychic while still having a strong offensive presence, compared to Pursuit Tyranitar.


[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
==========
As mentioned previously Claydol can run a lot of speed investment in order to outspeed mixed Tyranitar and Endeavor Swampert. The speed can be very beneficial in a fast paced game where Claydol isn't trying to live long enough to spin multiple times but just do it once and then explode.
However the bulk is generally preferred as Claydol's longevity is one of its main assets, and max HP invesment allows it to survive attacks like Choice Band Tyranitar Hidden Power Bug, two Hidden Powers from Timid Zapdos and two Ice Beams from Modest Blissey.
This was already mentioned earlier. Don't repeat.

Ice Beam itself is a move that Claydol can learn in order to better deal with the Dragon types like Salamence and Flygon: but generally is not worth giving up another move for it. Same thing goes for Hidden Power Fire and Toxic: it's hard to fit them over the other more necessary moves. One could say that Claydol is a good example of the four move slots syndrome for this very reason.

Finally Claydol can run some Defence investment, or even Special Defence sometimes, but that means giving up Attack and not 2HKOing Tyranitar anymore. This was already mentioned earlier. Don't repeat.

Checks and counters
==============
Claydol's offensive presence is so lackluster that is checked defensively by a great number of pokemons in the tier.

**Bulky Water-types**: Bulky Water types stand out as the best check as they don't fear any of Claydol's attacks(remember Explosion doesn't OHKO from full), meanwhile they threaten it with super effective Water and Ice type attacks. Just because Explosion doesn't OHKO from full doesn't mean it doesn't threaten bulky waters. It can be threatening enough to enable a sweep. In fact, I would even say they need to watch out for boom. But that's up to you. Also, don't mention Ice attacks from Waters. That's unnecessary.
This may seem discouraging but keep in mind that Claydol's main role is to spin, not to provide offense.

**Gengar**: Gengar is the only OU spinblocker, The only counters to Claydol's spin are Ghost types, but they don't want to switch in to Psychic or Shadow Ball, so good prediction is required for the spin block to work. If Gengar happens to switch in freely on a Rapid Spin, remember that Ice Punch as well as Giga Drain hurt Claydol considerably, on top of the threat of Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis, Destiny Bond and Explosion: this means that Claydol shouldn't try to stay in and press his luck against Gengar, but instead just plan to keep chipping it with Psychic as it switches in.

**Pursuit**: Pursuit trappers are also quite annoying for Claydol to face because they can trap it inflicting chip damage everytime it switches out: Umbreon is the most annoying of the bunch because it doesn't fear any of Claydol's attacks. The combination of a Pursuit trapper, a spiker and a spin blocker is the toughest one for Claydol to beat, with a single mistake possibly deciding the outcome of the Spikes war.

**Spikers**: Finally worth pointing out that, despite Claydol's main asset is to spin away the Spikes, it cannot meaningfully hurt the spikers themselves: Drill Peck Skarmory can take any of Claydol's attacks and force it out with repeated chip damage, while Taunt+Toxic Skarmory can keep Claydol poisoned through Refresh. Claydol also faces similar issues dealing with Hidden Power Bug Forretres and Cloyster with Surf or Ice Beam. HP Bug Forre is too rare to be mentioned on a similar scale as Cloyster.

[CREDITS]
-Written by: [[mikmer, 511989]]
-Quality checked by: [[vapicuno, 5454], [, ]]
-Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 
Last edited:

The Dutch Plumberjack

ace of wands
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Top Smogon Media Contributoris an Administrator
C&C & TFP Leader
remove add / fix (comments); (AC=add comma; RC=remove comma; SC=semicolon)
GP 1/2
[OVERVIEW]

Claydol plays a fundamental role in ADV OU because it is as one of the best spinners in the metagame. Spinning away Spikes is a great source of support for its teammates, therefore and having a spinner that is immune to Spikes like Claydol is a godsend for many teams. Furthermore, Claydol's immunity to Sandstorm sand and good defensive typing raises raise its profile as a spinner, despite Starmie's higher Speed and ability to pressure Skarmory. Claydol also packs a Rock resistance and a Ground immunity that allow it to pivot on into common attacks like Rock Slide and Earthquake from the likes of Tyranitar and Aerodactyl, it has also an and its Electric immunity that is handy for pivoting into Thunderbolt from Zapdos and Jolteon.

However, (AC) Claydol's suffers from the lack of a recovery move meaning means it cannot take repeated hits from attacks like Hidden Power Bug from Tyranitar, Hidden Power Grass from Zapdos, (AC) and Double-Edge from Aerodactyl. Additionally, despite Claydol's good defensive typing, it cannot threaten back a lot of the Pokemons Pokemon that it's supposed to check without committing to Explosion. Furthermore, (AC) it tends to lose momentum when it goes for a Rapid Spin, as it has six glaring weaknesses to common attacking types like Water, Ice, Grass, (AC) and Bug meaning mean it can be taken advantage by threats such as Heracross and offensive Water types, and it's often forced to blow up to prevent setup from threats like Calm Mind Celebi and Calm Mind Suicune. Additionally, Claydol can't make progress by switching directly into the opposing Spiker if it's a Cloyster, a Hidden Power Bug Forretress, (AC) or a Drill Peck Skarmory, (AC) as it will be forced out, (AC) leaving at least one layer of Spikes on the field; however, (AC) against Toxic + Protect (spacing) Skarmory it can stay in safely as long as it has Refresh.

[SET]
name: Utility
move 1: Rapid Spin
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Psychic
move 4: Explosion / Refresh
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 216 Atk / 32 SpA / 8 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
============
Rapid Spin is the move that separates Claydol from the other Ground-types (AH) in OU, (AC) as spinning away Spikes is Claydol's main source of support for the team. Earthquake is Claydol's strongest STAB attack and can 2HKO Tyranitar, Jirachi, (AC) and most Metagross; additionally, Claydol can threaten Gengar if it dares to spin-block spinblock with its STAB Psychic, (AC) which can also be used to chip a Heracross or a Breloom attempting to switch in.

Claydol gains access to Explosion, which gives it Claydol some much-needed utility as a wall-breaker wallbreaker and also helps it to check offensive threats by preventing them from freely setting up in its face. In fact, (AC) every Pokemon that doesn't resist Explosion has to be fearful of its threat, including set up setup sweepers like Suicune and Snorlax, as well as defensive walls like Blissey, Celebi, (AC) and Milotic, or and offensive threats like Zapdos, Moltres, (AC) and Salamence; but however, make sure to use Explosion wisely against Spikes teams, (AC) because by losing your only spinner you will leave yourself open to common Spikes abusers attackers such as Jolteon and Aerodactyl. Refresh is an alternative when Claydol is used on stall teams that can't make good use of Explosion, (comma) Refresh allows Claydol allowing it to spin safely against Toxic + Protect (spacing) Skarmory without fear of getting poisoned and it is also being very useful for pivoting into status spreaders like Toxic Blissey and Zapdos, as well as Body Slam Jirachi. Shadow Ball is an alternative to Psychic, (AC) as it hits opposing Claydol for super effective (RH) damage, (AC) but it falters to Will-O-Wisp Gengar; note that Refresh is not a reliable solution to the burn, (AC) as Gengar can pressure Claydol with Taunt.

Claydol isn't normally very threatening, but this set is more offensively minded than others, with enough offensive investment to hurt key threats in OU such as Tyranitar, Metagross, Jirachi, (AC) and Gengar with its STAB attacks. 216 Attack evs and an Adamant nature allow Claydol to always 2HKO maximum HP Tyranitar with Earthquake as well as packing a strong punch with Explosion, (comma) while 32 Special Attack evs is to EVs guarantee the 2HKO of specially defensive Gengar in sand with Psychic. If using Shadow Ball instead of Psychic, (AC) one should put the Special Attack EVs in Attack for an even greater damage output. Alternatively, (AC) Claydol can run a faster spread of evs: 28 HP / 216 Atk / 32 SpA / 232 Spe; this is more suited for offensive teams that want to outspeed and cripple offensive Swampert and maximum Speed Tyranitar. Another common spread for Claydol is 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpD with a Relaxed nature, this spread is to maximaze the resiliance of which maximizes Claydol's resilience as a pivot into physical threats like Tyranitar and Aerodactyl; note that you should always pair this Claydol with Dugtrio, (AC) as otherwise Pursuit Tyranitar can be a problem.

When playing with Claydol is important to preserve its health as much as possible, (AC) abusing it's taking advantage of its resistances and immunities in order to spin multiple times throughout the game. Note that because Taunt + Toxic or Drill Peck Skarmory will eventually force Claydol out, one should not attempt to switch Claydol on Skarmory to spin a single layer of Spikes, unless Skarmory runs Toxic + Protect and Claydol runs Refresh, or unless Skarmory is seeded or burnt burned. In circumstances where Skarmory will eventually force out Claydol, one should instead send it in only to spin away two or three layers of Spikes.

Team Options
===========
Claydol is featured as a spinner on stall teams that are frequently running the tried-and-true (AH) Skarm-Bliss SkarmBliss defensive core; Claydol's packing a Rock resistance is very helpful because it lets the team forgo Swampert as the default bulky Water-type, opting instead freeing up the slot for the non Rock resisting Milotic and or Suicune. This setup of Claydol + Water-type is very sturdy against all sorts of mixed attackers and it is still solid against all Dragon Dance Tyranitar variants. Most often these teams feature Tyranitar to set sand, although this means compromises Suicune and Milotic's are going to be less bulky bulk. On these stall teams Claydol really enjoys being paired with Dugtrio, (AC) as the combined effort of the two manages to take on more easily even Hidden Power Bug versions of Dragon Dance Tyranitar; Dugtrio is also important to trap and revenge kill (RH) Heracross, as Claydol stall teams tend to be very weak to it. Wish support from Blissey, Jirachi, (AC) or Vaporeon is greatly appreciated, (AC) as it allows Claydol to absorb more damage and survive longer throughout the game. Heal Bell support is also sometimes seen, (AC) allowing Claydol to ditch Refresh.

Claydol is also featured on teams that are trying to set up a bulky sweeper that will cleave through the opposition with the right support. The most common bulky sweepers paired with Claydol are (remove colon) Curse Snorlax, Calm Mind + Rest (spacing) Suicune, (AC) and Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi. All these threats like having Claydol as a partner because they share a common of their shared weakness to Spikes, (AC) as the entry hazard damage which will slowly compromise their bulk and consequently their ability to sweep. In On teams that support Curse Snorlax, Claydol is always paired with Magneton, (AC) as the removal of Skarmory the wall is necessary for Snorlax to sweep. The removal of Skarmory the as a Spiker is also nice to make sure that Claydol can spin freely without fearing that Skarmory will set up Spikes again. Magneton also helps Claydol by trapping Forretres Forretress, which otherwise can be a real nuisance especially if it's packing Hidden Power Bug. When Claydol is paired with Dugtrio, which can trap Tyranitar and Metagross, Curse Snorlax tends to run Shadow Ball as its coverage move; alternatively, when Claydol is paired with a Pursuit trapper to trap Gengar, Snorlax can ditch Shadow Ball in favor of Earthquake or Hidden Power Bug, and Claydol can spin more freely without the threat of spin-block Gengar spinblocking it. Besides spinning Claydol serves as provides a much-needed Rock resist Rock-type resistance, (AC) as Magneton doesn't really count for this, and a Ground immunity, (AC) as most of its partners are grounded and vulnerable to Earthquake spam.

Claydol teams supporting Calm Mind + Rest Suicune work very similarly; Claydol here still enjoys being paired with Magneton, as Skarmory's phazing the phazer can be very annoying, but it also likes being paired with Dugtrio, (AC) as it allows Suicune to stay healty for the end game endgame without having to take on Tyranitar and Metagross; Dugtrio also and helps dealing with Celebi and Blissey (RC) so that Suicune is no longer walled. Claydol can also support Calm Mind + Wish (spacing etc) Jirachi; this time it doesn't get paired with Magneton, (AC) as the team has enough special offence offense to take on Skarmory. (period) Dugtrio on the other hand is a good partner, (AC) as Calm Mind + Wish (spacing) Jirachi struggles against Tyranitar and Metagross. Alternatively, Skarmory as a partner can lay Spikes to help wear down Tyranitar and Metagross over the course of the game. When Claydol is supporting Curse Snorlax or Calm Mind + Rest (still spacing) Suicune, (AC) it doesn't generally pair with Tyranitar, as sand cancelling Leftovers of the bulky sweepers reduces drastically their longevity; for this reason, (AC) instead a weather changing move is sometimes slotted on one of the team members(spacing)(i.e., (AC) (change to e.g. if there are more examples) Rain Dance on Magneton). Finally, it's worth noting that these archetypes tend to struggle against Cloyster, (AC) since it cannot be trapped by Magneton and it treatens Claydol when it tries to spin.

As far as offensive teams go, Claydol can sometimes fit on mixed offence offense, (AC) where it provides Rapid Spin support for its teammates, it and is chosen as a spinner over Starmie because of its strong Explosion and helpful Rock resistance. (RH) This archetype is often referred to as "Skarm beat-down beatdown" because it is trying to lure Skarmory, (AC) and bring it down with repeated chip damage, and then spin away the leftovers its remaining Spikes. Given the faster higher pace of play, Claydol tends to run a more offensive spread with more Speed EVs over bulk, (AC) with the intention of spinning only once throughout the game. Common partners in this archetype are mixed Metagross, mixed Salamence, Focus Punch Snorlax, offensive Celebi, Zapdos, offensive Suicune, (AC) and Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Here Claydol serves as a good defensive pivot with its Rock, Ground and Electric resistances, as well as a wall breaker wallbreaker with its powerful Explosion; (SC) this is very important because it allows Claydol to threaten common walls like Celebi, Blissey and Milotic which are all very difficult to deal otherwise. Since the roles of wall breaker wallbreaker, defensive pivot, (AC) and spinner are all compressed into one, Claydol benefits greatly from Pursuit support, as it allows to perform its roles better in the face of a Gengar. Pursuit Metagross is a good option that puts Gengar into the range of Claydol's Psychic while still having a strong good offensive presence, compared to Pursuit Tyranitar.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
==========
Ice Beam is a move that Claydol can be run in order to better deal with the Dragon-types (AH) Salamence and Flygon, (comma) but it generally is not worth giving up another move for it. The same goes for Hidden Power Fire and Toxic; (SC) it's hard to fit them over the other more necessary options; one could say that Claydol is a good example of the four move slots four-moveslot syndrome for this very reason.

Checks and counters
==============
Claydol's offensive presence outside of Explosion is so minimal that there's no shortage of defensive checks for it.

**Bulky Water-types**: Bulky Water-types (AH) stand out as the best defensive checks, (AC) as they don't fear any of Claydol's attacks; (SC) meanwhile, (AC) they threaten it with super effective damage; however, they need to watch out for Explosion ending the turn and putting them in KO range of a follow-up sweeper.

**Gengar**: Gengar is the only spin blocker spinblocker in OU and can threaten Claydol with status or super effective (RH) attacks, but since it doesn't want to switch in to into Psychic or Shadow Ball, (AC) so good prediction is required for the spin-block to work it to successfully spinblock Claydol. If Gengar happens to switch freely on a Rapid Spin, remember that Ice Punch as well as Giga Drain hurt hurts Claydol considerably, on top of the threat of Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis, Destiny Bond and Explosion: this means that Claydol shouldn't try to stay in and press his push its luck against Gengar but instead just plan to keep chipping wearing it down as it switches in.

**Pursuit**: Pursuit trappers are also quite annoying for Claydol to face because they can trap it inflicting inflict chip damage every time it switches out, Umbreon is the most annoying of the bunch because it doesn't fear any of Claydol's attacks. The combination of a Pursuit trapper, a Spiker and a spin blocker spinblocker is the toughest one for Claydol to beat, with a single mistake possibly deciding the outcome of the Spikes war.

**Spikers**: Finally it's worth pointing out that, despite Claydol's main asset is to spin away the Spikes, it cannot meaningfully hurt the spikers themselves: Drill Peck Skarmory can take any of Claydol's attacks and force it out with repeated chip damage, while Taunt + Toxic (spacing) Skarmory can keep even Refresh Claydol poisoned through Refresh;. (AP) Claydol also faces similar issues dealing with Cloyster.

[CREDITS]
-Written by: [[mikmer, 511989]]
-Quality checked by: [[vapicuno, 5454], [Triangles, 118250]]
-Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
 

Rabia

POGGAROO
is a member of the Site Staffis a Top Smogon Social Media Contributoris a Community Leaderis a Community Contributoris a Tiering Contributoris a Top Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
GP Co-Leader
add remove comments
[OVERVIEW]

Claydol plays a fundamental role in ADV OU as one of the best spinners in the metagame. Spinning away Spikes is a great source of support for its teammates, and having a spinner that is immune to Spikes like Claydol is a godsend for many teams. Furthermore, Claydol's immunity to sand and good defensive typing raise its profile as a spinner, despite Starmie's higher Speed and ability to pressure Skarmory. Claydol also packs a Rock resistance and a Ground immunity that allow it to pivot into common attacks like Rock Slide and Earthquake from the likes of Tyranitar and Aerodactyl, and its Electric immunity is handy for pivoting into Thunderbolt from Zapdos and Jolteon.

However, Claydol's lack of a recovery move means it cannot take repeated hits from attacks like Hidden Power Bug from Tyranitar, Hidden Power Grass from Zapdos, and Double-Edge from Aerodactyl Tyranitar's Hidden Power Bug, Zapdos's Hidden Power Grass, and Aerodactyl's Double-Edge. Additionally, despite Claydol's good defensive typing, it cannot threaten back a lot of the Pokemon that it's supposed to check without committing to Explosion. Furthermore, it tends to lose momentum when it goes for a Rapid Spin, as six glaring weaknesses to common attacking types like Water, Ice, Grass, and Bug mean it can be taken advantage by threats such as Heracross and offensive Water types, and it's often forced to blow up to prevent setup from threats like Calm Mind Celebi and Calm Mind Suicune. Additionally, Claydol can't make progress by switching directly into the opposing Spiker if it's Cloyster, Hidden Power Bug Forretress, or Drill Peck Skarmory, as it will be forced out, leaving at least one layer of Spikes on the field; however, against Toxic + Protect Skarmory it can stay in safely as long as it has Refresh.

[SET]
name: Utility
move 1: Rapid Spin
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Psychic
move 4: Explosion / Refresh
item: Leftovers
ability: Levitate
nature: Adamant
evs: 252 HP / 216 Atk / 32 SpA / 8 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Set Description
============

Rapid Spin is the move that separates Claydol from the other Ground-types in OU, as spinning away Spikes is Claydol's main source of support for the team. STAB Earthquake is Claydol's strongest STAB attack and can 2HKO Tyranitar, Jirachi, and most Metagross; additionally, Claydol can threaten Gengar if it dares to spinblock with its STAB Psychic, which can also be used to chip a Heracross or a Breloom attempting to switch in.

Explosion gives Claydol some much-needed utility as a wallbreaker and also helps it to check offensive threats by preventing them from freely setting up in its face. In fact, every Pokemon that doesn't resist Explosion has to be fearful of its threat, including setup sweepers like Suicune and Snorlax, as well as defensive (all walls are defensive) walls like Blissey, Celebi, and Milotic and offensive threats like Zapdos, Moltres, and Salamence; however, make sure to use Explosion wisely against Spikes teams, because by losing your only spinner you will leave yourself open to common Spikes attackers such as Jolteon and Aerodactyl. Refresh is an alternative when Claydol is used on stall teams that can't make good use of Explosion, allowing it to spin safely against Toxic + Protect Skarmory without fear of getting poisoned and being very useful for pivoting into status spreaders like Toxic Blissey and Zapdos, as well as Body Slam Jirachi. Shadow Ball is an alternative to Psychic, as it hits opposing Claydol for super effective damage, but it falters fails to beat Will-O-Wisp Gengar; note that Refresh is not a reliable solution to the burn, as Gengar can pressure Claydol with Taunt.

Claydol isn't normally very threatening, but this set is more offensively minded than others, with enough offensive investment to hurt key threats in OU such as Tyranitar, Metagross, Jirachi, and Gengar with its STAB attacks. 216 Attack evs EVs and an Adamant nature allow Claydol to always 2HKO maximum HP Tyranitar with Earthquake as well as packing a strong punch and hit hard with Explosion, while 32 Special Attack EVs guarantee the 2HKO of specially defensive Gengar in sand with Psychic. If using Shadow Ball instead of Psychic, one should put the Special Attack EVs in Attack for an even greater damage output. Alternatively, Claydol can run a faster spread of 28 HP / 216 Atk / 32 SpA / 232 Spe; this is more suited for offensive teams that want to outspeed and cripple offensive Swampert and maximum Speed Tyranitar. Another common spread for Claydol is 252 HP / 216 Def / 40 SpD with a Relaxed nature, which maximizes Claydol's resilience as a pivot into physical threats like Tyranitar and Aerodactyl; note that you should always pair this Claydol with Dugtrio, as otherwise Pursuit Tyranitar can be a problem.

When playing with Claydol is It's important to preserve its Claydol's health as much as possible, taking advantage of its resistances and immunities in order to spin multiple times throughout the game. Note that because Taunt + Toxic or Drill Peck Skarmory will eventually force Claydol out, one should not attempt to switch Claydol in on Skarmory to spin a single layer of Spikes, unless Skarmory runs Toxic + Protect and Claydol runs Refresh (RC) or unless Skarmory is seeded or burned. In circumstances where Skarmory will eventually force out Claydol, one should instead send it in only to spin away two or three layers of Spikes.

Team Options
===========

Claydol is featured as a spinner on stall teams that are frequently running the tried-and-true SkarmBliss defensive core; Claydol's Rock resistance is very helpful because it lets the team forgo Swampert as the default bulky Water-type, freeing up the slot for Milotic or Suicune. This setup of Claydol + Water-type is very sturdy against all sorts of mixed attackers and is still solid against all Dragon Dance Tyranitar variants. Most often these teams feature Tyranitar to set sand, although this compromises Suicune Suicune's and Milotic's bulk. On these stall teams Claydol really enjoys being paired with Dugtrio, as the combined effort of the two manages to take on more easily even Hidden Power Bug versions of Dragon Dance Tyranitar more easily; Dugtrio is also important to trap and revenge kill Heracross, as Claydol stall teams tend to be very weak to it. Wish support from Blissey, Jirachi, or Vaporeon is greatly appreciated, as it allows Claydol to absorb more damage and survive longer throughout the game. Heal Bell support is also sometimes seen, allowing Claydol to ditch Refresh.

Claydol is also featured on teams that are trying to set up a bulky sweeper that will cleave through the opposition with the right support. The most common bulky sweepers paired with Claydol are Curse Snorlax, Calm Mind + Rest Suicune (if you mean CroCune, you can just say that), and Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi. All these threats like having Claydol as a partner because of their shared weakness to Spikes, which will slowly compromise their bulk and consequently their ability to sweep. On teams that support with Curse Snorlax, Claydol is always paired with Magneton, as the removal of Skarmory is necessary for Snorlax to sweep. The removal of Skarmory as a Spiker is also nice to make sure that Claydol can spin freely without fearing that Skarmory will set up Spikes again. Magneton also helps Claydol by trapping Forretress, which otherwise can be a real nuisance,(AC) especially if it's packing Hidden Power Bug. When Claydol is paired with Dugtrio, which can trap Tyranitar and Metagross, Curse Snorlax tends to run Shadow Ball as its coverage move; alternatively, when Claydol is paired with a Pursuit trapper to trap Gengar, Snorlax can ditch Shadow Ball in favor of Earthquake or Hidden Power Bug, and Claydol can spin more freely without the threat of Gengar spinblocking it. Besides spinning,(AC) Claydol provides a much-needed Rock-type resistance, as Magneton doesn't really count for this, and a Ground immunity, as most of its partners are grounded and vulnerable to Earthquake spam.

Claydol teams supporting Calm Mind + Rest Suicune (again, can just say CroCune) work very similarly; Claydol still enjoys being paired with Magneton, as Skarmory's phazing can be very annoying, but it also likes being paired with Dugtrio, as it allows Suicune to stay healty healthy for the end-game(AH) without having to take on Tyranitar and Metagross and helps dealing deal with Celebi and Blissey so that Suicune is no longer walled. Claydol can also support Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi; this time it doesn't get paired with Magneton, as the team has enough special offense to take it on Skarmory. Dugtrio,(AC) on the other hand,(AC) is a good partner, as Calm Mind + Wish Jirachi struggles against Tyranitar and Metagross. Alternatively, Skarmory can lay Spikes to help wear down Tyranitar and Metagross over the course of the game. When Claydol is supporting Curse Snorlax or Calm Mind + Rest Suicune, it doesn't generally pair with Tyranitar, as sand cancelling Leftovers of the bulky sweepers reduces drastically reduces their longevity; for this reason, a weather-changing(AC) move is sometimes slotted on one of the team members (i.e., Rain Dance on Magneton) members—Rain Dance on Magneton, for example. Finally, it's worth noting that these archetypes tend to struggle against Cloyster, since it cannot be trapped by Magneton and treatens threatens Claydol when it tries to spin.

As far as offensive teams go, Claydol can sometimes fit on mixed offense, where it provides Rapid Spin support for its teammates and is chosen as a spinner over Starmie because of its strong Explosion and helpful Rock resistance. This archetype is often referred to as "Skarm beatdown" because it is trying to lure in Skarmory, bring it down with repeated chip damage, then spin away its remaining Spikes. Given the higher pace of play, Claydol tends to run a more offensive spread with more Speed EVs over bulk, with the intention of spinning only once throughout the game. Common partners in this archetype are mixed Metagross, mixed Salamence, Focus Punch Snorlax, offensive Celebi, Zapdos, offensive Suicune, and Dragon Dance Tyranitar. Here Claydol serves as a good defensive pivot with its Rock, Ground,(AC) and Electric resistances, as well as a wallbreaker with its powerful Explosion; this is very important because it allows Claydol to threaten common walls like Celebi, Blissey,(AC) and Milotic,(AC) which are all very difficult to deal otherwise. Since the roles of wallbreaker, defensive pivot, and spinner are all compressed into one, Claydol benefits greatly from Pursuit support, as it allows Claydol to perform its roles better in the face of a Gengar. Pursuit Metagross is a good option that puts Gengar into the in range of Claydol's Psychic while still having a good offensive presence (RC) compared to Pursuit Tyranitar.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
==========

Ice Beam can be run in order to better deal with the Dragon-types Salamence and Flygon, but it generally is not worth giving up another move for it. The same goes for Hidden Power Fire and Toxic; one could say that Claydol is a good example of four-moveslot syndrome for this very reason.

Checks and counters Counters
==============

Claydol's offensive presence outside of Explosion is so minimal that there's no shortage of defensive checks for it.

**Bulky Water-types**: Bulky Water-types stand out as the best defensive checks, (AC) as they don't fear any of Claydol's attacks; meanwhile, they threaten it with super effective damage (remove semi) however, they but need to watch out for Explosion ending the turn and putting them in KO range of a follow-up sweeper.

**Gengar**: Gengar is the only spinblocker in OU and can threaten Claydol with status or super effective attacks, but since it doesn't want to switch into Psychic or Shadow Ball, good prediction is required for it to successfully spinblock Claydol. If Gengar happens to switch freely on a Rapid Spin, remember that Ice Punch as well as and Giga Drain hurts hurt Claydol considerably, on top of the threat of Will-O-Wisp, Hypnosis, Destiny Bond and Explosion;(colon -> semicolon) this means that Claydol shouldn't try to stay in and push its luck against Gengar but instead just plan to keep wearing it down as it switches in.

**Pursuit**: Pursuit trappers are also quite annoying for Claydol to face because they can inflict chip damage every time it switches out;(comma -> semicolon) Umbreon is the most annoying of the bunch because it doesn't fear any of Claydol's attacks. The combination of a Pursuit trapper, a Spiker,(AC) and a spinblocker is the toughest one for Claydol to beat, with a single mistake possibly deciding the outcome of the Spikes war.

**Spikers**: Finally,(AC) it's worth pointing out that, despite Claydol's main asset is being to spin away the Spikes, it cannot meaningfully hurt the spikers Spikers themselves;(colon -> semicolon) Drill Peck Skarmory can take any of Claydol's attacks and force it out with repeated chip damage, while Taunt + Toxic Skarmory can keep even Refresh Claydol poisoned. Claydol also faces similar issues dealing with Cloyster.

[CREDITS]
-Written by: [[mikmer, 511989]]
-Quality checked by: [[vapicuno, 5454], [triangles, 118250]]
-Grammar checked by: [[the-dutch-plumberjack, 232216], [, ]]

fix credits, you've typo'd several names. i was also a bit more liberal with subjective changes here with the aim of reducing wordcount because this is very long for a single set analysis. gp 2/2 when done
 

vapicuno

你的价值比自己想象中的所有还要低。我却早已解脱,享受幸福
is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogonis a Past WCoP Champion
Moderator
fixed credits, will upload. good job!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)

Top