Project Research Week: SM PU Edition - Week 16 (Poliwrath and Ludicolo)

What would you like to see for next research week?

  • Challenge Week (read rules if you don't know what I mean by this)

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • Regular Week

    Votes: 2 40.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
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approved by all the mods
op heavily stolen from Ark
sic art by Dibs The Dreamer

Hello and welcome to Research Week: SM PU Edition! During this project, participants will research a suggested Pokemon every week and share their experience whoever has the highest ladder score at the end of the week will be declared the winner. For details, see below.
Keep the following things in mind during every Research Week:

  • Be open-minded. Don't just say something is terrible and walk away; look at it's stats, typing and movepool and think of something up!
  • Feel free to theorymon early in the research period, but make it clear you're doing so. Later in the period, however, you will be expected to back up your posts with hard evidence like logs, actual sets, perhaps even teams.
  • Just because an analysis has been done for a Pokemon doesn't mean there isn't more to explore; it's very likely that something has gone unnoticed.
  • Do not post in this thread complaining about the Pokemon or movesets I choose and / or suggesting ones we should do for future weeks. Feel free to VM / PM me these suggestions, but don't expect me to always listen to you.
  • In general, try to ladder frequently, as it not only grants you more experience with the Pokemon being researched, it improves your chances of having the highest ladder rating at the end of the week.
  • Sometimes, I will label a week as a challenge week. This can mean one of three things: 1. The week's Pokemon will have a unique set/moveset stipulation. 2. The Pokemon for the week are relatively untested or do not have a concrete main set established. 3. The week will have a special condition, such as having to use another Pokemon in conjunction with the Pokemon being researched, or having to use Volt-Turn in conjunction with the Pokemon.
A few things to clarify:

  • Sign-ups can be as late as you want, but the week will always end one week after the announcement of the previous week's mons.
  • Early period means the first three days of the Research Week, so let's keep the theorymoning to a minimum after this period. The late period refers to the last four days of the research week, where raw evidence and discussion should become the basis of the thread.
  • Discussion is mandatory in order to be considered as a winner of Research Week. If you do not post one somewhat-coherent post that describes the Pokemon that you're using, their roles, and their niche in the metagame, you will be disqualified from winning this week. Please post about your experiences regardless of whether you think you've got a chance to win or not.
    • Finally, I'd like to implore you to all please remember to post and save your replays. Often, these replays are the most informative sources of information about RW Pokemon - you can write a full two paragraphs about the role of a Pokemon, but often that can all be summed up with a video and an explanation of it. How useful are these Pokemon in SMPU? What gives them trouble? What advantages do they have over other Pokemon? How well do they work in the metagame? If you have anything to say about any of these Pokemon, please post about them! Remember, discussion is not limited to this topic, you are encouraged to talk about these Pokemon in the PU chat on Pokemon Showdown, in the official PU Discord, and in the Viability Ranking Thread.
This Week's Selection


Alolan Dugtrio

In order to participate you must do the following:
  • Post here with a fresh RW alt (such as RW Twix or RW Dibs) and the name(s) of the Pokemon you will be using.
  • Use at least one of the Pokemon being researched.
  • Post your experiences with the Pokemon you're using, participate in the discussion!
  • Post logs of this Pokemon in action against other teams - don't just tell us, show us
  • The winner of the challenge will be the person who has the highest ladder ranking on the Pokemon Showdown PU ladder with their RW alt at the time the challenge ends
Week 1 deadline: Sunday / Monday August 29th 11:59 P.M GMT-5
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Just to bump this thread, but as a reminder you guys can make preliminary posts on your thoughts about these pokemon as this can usually spark up more discussion. Make sure you guys make posts on your final thoughts as well!
I laddered up using Haunter. My overall impression was that I was kind of unimpressed. In my opinion haunter functions best as a late game sweeper or a revenge killer, but with skuntank so prevalent on the ladder it makes it really difficult for haunter to function. I peaked around 1350 on the ladder but lost some points as I tweaked my team. I experimented with 3 sets that were slightly different than the standard sets listed on the damage calc (LO/scarf).

Z Hypnosis:
Haunter @ Psychium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Hypnosis
- Dream Eater
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Wave

I felt like this set had some potential. You can either z hypnosis to get the +1 speed and you're able to use dream eater to recover and then sweep, or you can fire off a 180 BP shattered psyche. This set is walled by skunk, so a reliable way of removing skunk is required. If you happen to miss the z hypnosis, which happened literally every time I used it, then haunter is dead and accomplishes nothing.

Sub twinkle tackle:
Haunter @ Fairium Z
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Substitute
- Dazzling Gleam
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Wave

I was trying to get around skunk with this set. You can predict a switch and substitute or win a sucker punch game, substitute, and then fire off a twinkle tackle which does 88% max to the standard skuntank set. This set worked pretty effectively, but if you got the substitute prediction wrong you're in some trouble. I felt like this set also lacked offensive power, I wasn't getting 2HKO's that I needed and was forced to switch out. The team I was using with this set is:

I learned 2 things from this team. 1.) I am bad at team building and 2.) Dugtrio-alola is really fun. I chose camerupt as the rocker because again skunk is everywhere and skunk can't defog on it. I ended up with 2 grass types on the team because I found that I was having trouble checking lanturn. Dugtrio and camel are not reliable electric immunities when facing a lanturn and silvally fairy was getting worn down quickly. I ended up scrapping this team and trying again.

Specs haunter:
Haunter @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Wave
- Dazzling Gleam
- Psychic

This is the set I found that I liked the most. If you get it in it will reliably 2HKO most switch ins. I originally intended for this team to be more of a volt-turn team to maximize the opportunities that specs haunter has to come in, and I honestly feel like that's the most effective way to use this set. I ended up making adjustments to patch up weaknesses and ended up with not a lot of volt turn but a cool team.

I felt like golurk was a weak link on this team and I was struggling vs scyther; I could bring null in repeatedly but if the scyther was paired with a ghost type I was doing a lot more defensive pivoting than I would have liked. Eggy-A with AV because I have a severe dislike of lanturn and lilligant. While haunter performed significantly better on this team I found myself liking null more and more, setting up game plans where I could set up with null and sweep.

Overall impression:
I felt like specs haunter was the most effective set I tried. I think that this set will work best on a dedicated volt-turn team. If haunter is not getting a kill it is going to die, and the high usage of skunk on the ladder really makes me think twice about building with haunter for a high ladder team.

I'm going to build another squad and try again before the deadline.
If only realistic waters joined, then he'd be rw rw, aha...

I'd probs contribute to this but ladder makes me borderline suicidal so Gluck all! Might give my thoughts, even though I won't be laddering, later.
After my last post I said to myself 'If I'm saying dedicated volt turn is the best way to use specs haunter then why don't I put my money where my mouth is' and so I did. As of writing (30 min before end of competition) my account is in the lead around 150 on the ladder. Here's the team I built and the haunter set I built around.

Haunter @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Shadow Ball
- Sludge Wave
- Dazzling Gleam
- Psychic

Gleam lets haunter have some hope of catching dark types on the switch in, also does a lot of damage to gurdurr. Psychic for coverage, for whatever reason people leave their weezings in to get up tspike.


I used aggron because its a hard check to the stupid skunk and I like having an offensive stealth rock user. It also provides a safe switch in to physical attacks after haunter kills something. Silvally fairy because it checks gurdurr, which is everywhere on the ladder right now. Speed EVs allow it to outrun neutral natured skunk and multi attack is a 2HKO. I went with facade so it still had utility after getting status'd, which happened fairly often. It has a lot of bulk investment so it can also sponge some hits throughout the game and parting shot out. I lacked speed so scarf primeape with u-turn. Lumineon because it's a defogger with u-turn and I didn't have a water type. I chose pachirisu because of the utility it provided. It's fairly speedy, base 90 spdef and base 60 hp is not great but with an AV this thing tanks a few hits. Super fang and nuzzle are really important, I can either paralyze something faster than haunter so haunter can KO it or I can superfang it. Specs haunter 2HKOs most of the meta, so the super fang utility is really nice. Volt switch to keep the volt turn momentum. I think discharge could be changed to HP ice or grass so it isn't completely walled by golurk, but it worked fine as is.

The idea with this team is to volt turn around to get something in range of haunter and then KO it. holding the specs haunter has limited switch ins. With support from paralysis haunter becomes much more effective.

Here are some replays of this team. I used it to go from 1250-1390 on the ladder and got to the semifinals in a room tour with ~20 people.

Haunter gets 4 kills:

Haunter does some breaking. Pachirisu is bae:

Haunter gets 5 kills:

Edit: You'll notice i'm using passimian > primeape in 2 of those replays. Shout outs to mrcoolguy for pointing out that primeape was better than passimian for this team.
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The Team:

The Breakdown:

The Carracosta Meme Dream:
Carracosta @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Aqua Jet
- Shell Smash
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake

Only really tested this set this week until I found a team that worked. Sturdy guaranteed living a hit and people usually expect white herb so they hit it with SE hit and BOOM +2 w/o having to smash. When there is an opportunity to smash you can get +4 in one turn and aqua jet spam. Wanted a solid rocker that didn't let skuntank defog so i went with piloswine. Lilligant and Magmortar fill a FWG core with costa and AV mag deals with grass types that would give Costa trouble. Lilligant to deal with bulky waters. Started off with EQ on Mag but then changed it to HP grass to lure in gastros and take care of them for costa. wanted AV chan for priority and rapid spin and then cm z-sensu to deal with opposing gurdurrs and chans.

Some replays

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Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get onto my computer for a week and a half so I couldn't check who won RW before the ladder restarted. I'm very sorry guys! From what I gathered was that Haunter was a bit difficult to use because of the prevalence of skuntank in the tier. To get around skuntank players had to use some rather creative sets such as Sub+Twinkle Tackle and Z-Hypnosis which were both very cool ideas. Has Tattoos did try an use Specs Haunter (my favorite and the set I think is best) with volt-turn support and it seemed like he had more success with this set more than the others. From what I've seen and used of carracosta the specially-biased SS set seemed like the best in the current meta. It can lure in mons such as weezing who think they can stomache a hit, but just get +2 Hydro Pump. HP Grass is a neat option as it can kill Gastrodon since it's one of the main Carracosta answers. Overall I wish we had a bit more posts, but I did like the innovating I was seeing from some of the players and the light being shed on the two Pokemon.

Mesprit and dugtrio-alola have been chosen as RW's second nominees. Mesprit is one of PU's newest drops while dugtrio-alola has seen a bit of hype in the community with it's Sub-Toxic set. Remember to use RW in front of your alt and have fun!
(lets get more posts please ;;)
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