Kingler's amazing Attack stat, powerful STAB Crabhammer that can 2HKO even Mew, decent physical bulk, good pure Water typing, and access to Agility make it both a good cleaner and a respectable physical tank. Its Speed is enough to outspeed the entire metagame after a single boost without requiring a boosting nature, allowing it to further bolster its power and become surprisingly deadly. Sweeping isn't its only selling point though&emdash; Kingler's resistance to Double Iron Bash and ability to hit Melmetal quite hard with Crabhammer and Superpower are especially noteworthy, making it an effective means of checking and wallbreaking Melmetal for a powerful teammate like Mega Aerodactyl, Mega Alakazam, or Mega Beedrill. Kingler does have several flaws, however; most notably, its special bulk is atrocious. This means that it struggles to set up against, or check, any special attackers. Its poor HP means that its physical bulk isn't all that impressive either, making it easily worn down by neutral hits like Alolan Dugtrio's Earthquake and therefore making it quite poor as an initial response to many physical attackers. Lastly, its coverage options can often fall short on power, meaning that Kingler can require a lot of prior damage on certain bulky or Water-resistant opponents in order to have any hope of sweeping.
name: Agility Cleaner
move 1: Agility
move 2: Crabhammer
move 3: Superpower / Substitute
move 4: X-Scissor
item: No Item
Agility allows Kingler to outspeed the entire unboosted metagame and attempt to sweep. Crabhammer an extremely powerful STAB move, capable of 2HKOing or OHKOing almost anything that doesn't resist it. Superpower hits Melmetal, Cloyster, and Mega Gyarados extremely hard and OHKOs Alolan Sandslash, letting it break through and check them better. Alternatively, Substitute allows Kingler to avoid being statused by slower Pokemon like Poliwrath, helps protect it from revenge killing attempts by the likes of healthy Zapdos, and is notably not broken by a single hit of Double Iron Bash, meaning Melmetal cannot hit Kingler through it for damage. Facade is another option for this slot that exploits common users of Toxic and Scald and provides strong coverage against most Water resists when boosted. X-Scissor guarantees an OHKO on Mega Alakazam after Stealth Rock, 2HKOes Mega Gyarados after Stealth Rock, and prevents Kingler from being walled by Starmie or Exeggutor, making it a useful coverage option. It also provides a more reliable hit against Mew, avoiding the risk of missing Crabhammer and letting Mew stall with Roost.
Kingler is typically used one of two ways- as an early- to mid-game wallbreaker, or as a lategame sweeper. Which way it is used often should not be determined at Team Preview, but rather chosen depending on what opportunities are presented and whether Kingler's defensive qualities are needed. If Kingler can get a relatively safe switchin against something like Melmetal, Nidoqueen, or Sandslash, it typically should. Kingler is likely to sustain damage or get KOed in the process of wallbreaking&emdash; as such, try to preserve Kingler's offensive teammates so that they can clean up in the late-game instead. If a safe turn is found, such as when facing down a Ground-type, Agility or Substitute can be used to prevent Kingler from being revenge killed by offensive Pokemon such as Starmie, Mega Alakazam, or weakened Zapdos, letting it instead force damage on the opponent's defensive anchors like Melmetal and Mew. Otherwise, it is often optimal to simply spam Kingler's extremely powerful Crabhammer. If you are trying to sweep with Kingler, weakening answers such as Poliwrath, Will-O Wisp Mew, and Zapdos into range of its attacks is vital. Try to find a safe setup opportunity, such as versus Nidoqueen or a weakened Poliwrath or Melmetal. While you may get afflicted with Toxic when setting up, Kingler should still have enough turns to live in order to either win the game or leave the opponent severely weakened.
Nidoqueen easily handles Zapdos, provides Stealth Rock to wear down switchins, and can break down bulky Kingler responses like Mew and Mega Venusaur with Toxic and Super Fang respectively. Alolan Dugtrio is an alternative option for this role that trades bulk for a more threatening offensive presence. Mega Aerodactyl applies even more pressure to physical tanks like Melmetal, Mega Venusaur, and Poliwrath, either wearing them down for Kingler's lategame sweep or making use of Kingler breaking these targets open for a clean-up of its own. Alternatively, Mega Beedrill can provide Kingler with good wallbreaking opportunities by providing it safe entry against switch-ins such as Rhydon and Melmetal via U-turn. Melmetal further aids in wallbreaking and takes pressure off Kingler to act as a physical tank, letting it preserve its HP. Mew and Zapdos do the same, handling threats such as Alolan Dugtrio and Melmetal and bringing Kingler in safely on these Pokemon with U-turn. Alternatively, Mew can help with breaking down the opponent by running a setup variant- physical variants work best in order to force damage on the physically bulky Pokemon Kingler can't beat on its own.
Rock Slide can be used to hit Dragonite hard, but this is its only worthwhile use as flinches are unreliable and it typically deals the same damage as a neutral Crabhammer when hitting for supereffective damage. Brick Break's massive power decrease in comparison to Superpower is notable, only matching Crabhammer's power on Melmetal, but it can still deal solid damage to Cloyster and clear a troublesome Reflect. Toxic can put Will-O Wisp Mew that attempt to switch in and handle Kingler on a timer, but it isn't hugely useful outside of this.
Checks and Counters
**Mega Venusaur**: Mega Venusaur easily takes any moves Kingler can throw at it and OHKOes in return with Mega Drain.
**Dragonite**: Dragonite can entirely wall any common variant of Kingler and use it as setup fodder, especially if carrying Roost.
**Bulky Water-types**: Poliwrath doesn't threaten Kingler all that much, but it resists both Crabhammer and X-Scissor, which allows it to Low Kick Kingler until it faints or attempt to get a Scald burn. Mega Blastoise can tank Crabhammer easily and 2HKOs in return with Dark Pulse.
**Fast Special Attackers**: If Kingler hasn't set up with Agility, Pokemon such as Zapdos, Starmie, Mega Alakazam, Gengar, Nasty Plot Mew, and Jolteon can revenge kill it quite easily; however, none of these Pokemon other than Mew can comfortably switch in versus Kingler as they take massive damage from Crabhammer.
- Written by: [[Eve, 375272]]
- Quality checked by: [[Collette, 520031], [juoean, 486979]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]