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 or Mega Alakazam. 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
move 4: X-Scissor / Substitute
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. X-Scissor does slightly more damage to Mew, guarantees an OHKO on Mega Alakazam after Stealth Rock, 2HKOes Mega Gyarados after Stealth Rock, and prevents Kingler from being walled by the rare Exeggutor. 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.
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 safe switchin against something like Melmetal, Nidoqueen, or Rhydon, 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 Rhydon, 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.
Kingler's appreciates teammates that can help with handling its limited list of reliable answers. Nidoqueen is an especially great example as it 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. Rhydon and Golem can fulfil similar roles, trading a Toxic immunity and Super Fang for a greater overall 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 Rhydon and Melmetal and bringing Kingler in safely on these Pokemon with U-turn. Mew can alternatively 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 flinch through Pokemon that aren't in range of one of Kingler's other attacks, but this is its only worthwhile use as it deals the same damage as a neutral Crabhammer when hitting for supereffective damage. Facade can be used to exploit burns from Pokemon like Mew, dealing a respectable amount of damage- however, getting burned prevents Kingler from dealing meaningful damage with its coverage moves and should therefore be avoided anyway. 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, more notably, clear a potential Reflect. Scald can be used as a surprise option to attempt to burn checks like Poliwrath and Mega Venusaur, but Kingler's awful Special Attack stat means it doesn't deal any worthwhile damage. 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.
**Poliwrath**: Poliwrath resists both Crabhammer and X-Scissor, letting it easily Toxic and handle Kingler lacking Substitute one-on-one. If Kingler has Substitute, Poliwrath can reliably break it with Low Kick, but it may sustain significant damage in the process.
**Zapdos**: A healthy Zapdos can switch in on Kingler, surviving a Crabhammer after Stealth Rock damage and threatening an OHKO with Thunderbolt.
**Fast Special Attackers**: If Kingler hasn't set up with Agility, Pokemon such as Starmie, Mega Alakazam, Gengar, Nasty Plot Mew, and Jolteon can revenge kill it quite easily; however, none of these Pokemon other than Starmie and Mew can ever afford to switch in versus Kingler due to their frailty and lack of a Water resistance.
- Written by: [[Eve, 375272]]
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