Muk is without a doubt one of the best tanks in the metagame. Muk's good special bulk, useful resistances to Grass- and Fighting-type moves, and an immunity to toxic makes it a great check to several Pokemon such as Vileplume, Electabuzz, and Tentacruel if it's running Hidden Power Ground. Muk also backs up it's strong defensive capabilities with good offensive merits, as it has a solid Attack stat and an extremely powerful attacking move in Explosion, which absolutely decimates anything that doesn't resist it. Unfortunately, Muk is very slow, meaning it must often take a hit before it can attack. Additionally, while Muk may have great special bulk, it's physical bulk is rather mediocre, meaning Muk can be overwhelmed by strong physical attackers such as Granbull and Kangaskhan. Muk's common weaknesses to Psychic- and Ground-type moves don't help Muk either, leaving it vulnerable to Pokemon such as Lunatone, Nidoking, and Golem, although the latter two have to watch out for Hidden Power Ground and Hidden Power Grass respectively. Lastly, Muk has to compete with Nidoking as an offensive Poison-type, since it has a much higher Speed tier, superior coverage, and a STAB Earthquake; Fortunately, Muk's higher bulk, resistance to Grass and Neutrality to Water, and access to Explosion gives it a good way to separate itself from Nidoking.
move 1: Sludge Bomb
move 2: Explosion
move 3: Hidden Power Ground / Hidden Power Grass
move 4: Ice Punch
ability: Sticky Hold
evs: 184 HP / 252 Atk / 72 Spe
Sludge Bomb is Muk's strongest STAB move that hits Grass-types such as Meganium super effectively and also has a chance to inflict the target with poison. Explosion is an incredibly powerful attacking move that can often OHKO or at least take a huge chunk out of any Pokemon that doesn't resist it, but this comes at the cost of killing Muk when used, so it must be used wisely. Hidden Power Ground takes down Poison- and Rock-types such as Qwilfish, Aggron, and Opposing Muk and allows Muk to be a good check to Tentacruel. Hidden Power Grass is an alternative that prevents Omastar from using Muk as Spikes fodder and deters would-be counters such as Golem, Kabutops, and Quagsire. Ice Punch deters a possible counter in Gligar by threatening to 2HKO it.
184 HP EVs makes Muk the bulkiest it can be without sacrificing too much Attack or Speed. Maximum Attack EVs with a Bold nature makes Sludge Bomb as strong as possible, lets Hidden Power Ground 2HKO Pokemon like Qwilfish and Aggron, and guarantees that Explosion OHKOes virtually every Pokemon that doesn't resist it. 72 Speed EVs are run to outspeed Golem and Aggron so it can hit them with either Hidden Power Grass or Hidden Power Ground repectively. Sticky Hold prevents Knock Off users such as Banette and Kabutops from removing Muk's leftovers and also blocks Thief from Pokemon like Electabuzz.
Due to Muk's weakness to Ground-type moves, Ground-types such as Nidoking, Golem, and Quagsire are very dangerous, so Pokemon that can check them such as Blastoise, Walrein, and Vileplume make for good teammates. Blastoise is notable since it has Rapid Spin, which prevents Muk and it's team from being worn down from Spikes. Similarly, Bulky Psychic Types such as Hypno, Lunatone, and Solrock are also problematic for Muk, so checks such as Scyther, Aggron, and Hypno are valuable partners. Misreavus is very annoying for Muk to face since it resits Sludge Bomb and is Immune to Explosion and Hidden Power Ground, so checks for it such as Kangaskhan with Shadow Ball and another Misdreavus are helpful. If Muk is not running Hidden Power Ground, Aggron is a massive problem for it, so Pokemon such as Tentacruel and Nidoking will be critical in this case. Due to Muk's mediocre physical bulk, physical walls such as Cradily, Gligar, and Granbull are important allies. Granbull is also notable in that it has intimidate to weaken physical attackers and heal bell to cure it's team of status.
A Choice Band set gives Muk an Explosion so powerful that it can KO even bulky resists such as Golem and defensive Omastar after some chip damage, such as Spikes; apart from this however, Nidoking is a better Choice Band user due to it's speed, coverage, and Ground-type STAB and the loss of leftovers recovery means that Muk is easier to wear down. A SubPunch set with Substitute / Focus Punch / Sludge Bomb / Hidden Power Ground or Ice Punch can be incredibly difficult to switch into: Focus Punch does a huge amount of damage to the majority of the tier, and will even outdamage Hidden Power against Electric- or Fire-type Pokemon, such as Ampharos or Camerupt. Unfortunately, the choice of Hidden Power Ground and Ice Punch leaves Muk in a bind; Ice Punch will enable Muk to efficiently muscle through Gligar, but Hidden Power Ground is essential for bypassing Tentacruel. In either case, Misdreavus is problematic for Muk and will require team support from Pokemon like Shadow Ball Kangaskhan. Memento can be run over Explosion to assist setup sweepers such as Linoone and Scyther in setting up safely by weakening other threatening attackers, but Explosion's ability to at least cripple anything that doesn't resist it usually leaves it as a better option. Hidden Power Ghost can be run to give Muk a stronger matchup against Psychic- and Ghost-types such as Lunatone, Solrock, and Misdreavus without having to hope for a poison from Sludge Bomb. However, using Hidden Power Ghost over Hidden Power Grass or Hidden Power Ground leaves it vulnerable to pokemon such as Golem, Quagsire, and Aggron, so it's often not worth it. Giga Drain can be used to provide extra insurance for Muk's team against Golem, Quagsire, and Omastar since it gives Muk additional recovery, and it allows Muk to still run Hidden Power Ground. Unfortunately, Giga Drain's lower PP and power means it is often less effective than Hidden Power Grass.
Checks and Counters
**Ground-types**: Ground-types such as Nidoking, Gligar, Golem, and Quagsire all resist Sludge Bomb and threaten to at least 2HKO Muk with Earthquake. However, these Pokemon can only truly check Muk if it isn't running the correct coverage move, as Nidoking is 2HKOed by Hidden Power Ground, Gligar fears a 2HKO from Ice Punch, and Golem and Quagsire do not appreciate Hidden Power Grass or Giga Drain.
**Bulky Psychic-types**: Psychic-types such as Hypno, Lunatone, and Solrock are all bulky enough to take many of Muk's attacks and they can take it down with a super effective coverage move or STAB Psychic. Hypno is easily Muk's strongest counter due to it's good Special Defense, recovery in Wish, and access to Reflect to make even Hidden Power Ghost do negligible damage, forcing Muk to hope for a poison from Sludge Bomb. Solrock can also run Reflect like Hypno, although it's lack of recovery makes it less effective.
**Rock-types**: Rock-type Pokemon such as Aggron, Omastar, and Cradily are all either immune, resistant, or neutral to Sludge bomb, and resist Explosion. Aggron is immune to Sludge bomb and can take down Muk with Rock Slide, Omastar resists Sludge Bomb and can use Muk as setup fodder for Spikes or Rain Dance, and Cradily is neutral to Sludge Bomb and is bulky enough to care little about Ice Punch. However, Aggron and Omastar should be very weary of a potential Hidden Power Ground and Hidden Power Grass respectively.
**Misdreavus**: Misdreavus resists Sludge Bomb, is Immune to Hidden Power Ground and Explosion, and doesn't mind Muk's other moves apart from the rare Hidden Power Ghost, Misdreavus can either take Muk down with Psychic or beat it with Mean Look and Perish Trap.
**Strong Physical Attackers**: Due to Muk's subpar physical bulk, strong physical attackers such as Granbull and Kangaskhan threaten to at least 2HKO Muk with either Earthquake or their STAB moves. Granbull is notable due to intimidate, which weakens Sludge Bomb.
- Written by: [[Oldamar999, 453750]]
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