One and Only
Samurott is a somewhat underrated Water-type in RU, but it has quite a few things going for it. The most notable would be its mixed offensive stats, which are the best of any Water-type legal in RU. Access to Hydro Pump and Waterfall as STAB moves back up these offensive stats to allow Samurott to go physical or special. Its access to Swords Dance and Megahorn is also unique for a Water-type, allowing it to plow through most defensive Grass- and Water-types in the tier. Samurott also has pretty decent bulk for an offensive Pokemon along with the typing to back it up. With access to strong coverage options in Ice Beam, Grass Knot, and Knock Off, Samurott will almost always have a move for a defensive response. Special sets are capable of using Taunt to break past most defensive cores while physical sets can utilize Aqua Jet to shield against revenge killers. Samurott isn't without its flaws though, and these can be difficult to deal with at times. The most controversial flaw would be Samurott's Speed. While Samurott sits at a really good speed tier for a wallbreaker in RU, it is certainly not high for a sweeper, which holds back Swords Dance sets at times. Special sets face stiff competition from Clawitzer, another Water-type wallbreaker with higher Special Attack and stronger coverage thanks to Mega Launcher. Samurott also falls one point short of outspeeding Tyrantrum, a very significant threat in RU that can easily tank Aqua Jets and KO Samurott back. Samurott is a solid Pokemon, but you'll want to use its access to Swords Dance, or Taunt and high speed tier as a wallbreaker to get the most out of it.
name: Swords Dance
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Waterfall
move 3: Megahorn / Knock Off
move 4: Aqua Jet
item: Lum Berry / Life Orb
evs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Samurott's access to Swords Dance, decent bulk, and unique coverage allow it to pull off the physical sweeper role rather effectively. Swords Dance is necessary to boost Samurott's solid base 100 Attack to very high levels. Waterfall is the most reliable physical STAB move Samurott gets and it comes with a neat 20% flinch chance that can sometimes get Samurott out of a jam. The next slot is for coverage. Megahorn is generally preferred for pushing past Alomomola, Gastrodon, and Seismitoad reliably, while also getting the OHKO on offensive Tangrowth. If Samurott's team needs a more reliable way around Jellicent and Qwilfish, Knock Off is a viable option. Its ability to remove items in general can help Samurott or a teammate later on. Aqua Jet is required in the last slot as Samurott doesn't have a high Speed stat for a sweeper. With Aqua Jet, Samurott is able to pick off weakened Pokemon that are trying to revenge kill it. Razor Shell deserves a mention for its 50% chance to lower Defense, which can allow Samurott to push past Quagsire, a rare feat for any physical sweeper lacking Grass-type moves. Waterfall is better in virtually every other situation, however.
The EVs simply maximize Samurott's offensive presence so it can hit as hard and as fast as possible. Adamant is the preferred nature for the power boost and Samurott still gets the jump on important wallbreakers, such as Exploud, Scrafty, Adamant Emboar, and Clawitzer. However, Jolly nature is an option if you need Samurott to outspeed and deal serious damage to Tyrantrum. Lum Berry is the preferred item on Samurott thanks to the flexibility it grants Samurott when it comes to setting up a Swords Dance. Life Orb is a viable option for the increase in damage output, and the recoil can just slowly ease Samurott into Torrent range for even stronger Waterfalls and Aqua Jets. A bulkier spread of 132 HP / 252 Atk / 124 Spe with an Adamant nature can be used if you want to give Samurott some extra bulk while still outspeeding defensive variants of Qwilfish. With this spread, Mystic Water is advised over Life Orb if you want the power boost as Samurott will dislike any passive damage it takes with this spread. Finally, Samurott can make use of a Rindo or Wacan Berry. These berries reduce damage taken from Grass- and Electric-type moves respectively, which can allow Samurott to potentially get past the likes of Virizion or Jolteon in a pinch. These are especially useful with the bulkier spread as Samurott has more HP to work with.
Samurott typically wants to force out Pokemon weak to Water-types, such as Rhyperior and Mega Camerupt, and use the opportunity to set up a Swords Dance on the forced switch. Thanks to the heavy Attack investment and Aqua Jet, Samurott can also pick off weakened Pokemon if the opportunity presents itself. When equipped with a Lum Berry, Samurott doesn't fear status ailments as much. Using defensive Pokemon, such as Alomomola and Uxie, that depend on status to slow down Samurott is highly advised. With Life Orb, Samurott wants to preserve as much of its HP as possible to handle Life Orb recoil and assorted priority attacks that may be used in an attempt to pick it off. Samurott can take some neutral physical attacks during setup with the bulkier spread if it has to, so use this to your advantage when you see fit. When using a Rindo or Wacan Berry, make sure Samurott is kept in relatively good health so it can make use of them against Virizion and Jolteon at the right moment. As is the case with most other setup sweepers, you will generally want to avoid using Swords Dance until Samurott's checks and counters are removed or sufficiently weakened. Make especially sure that faster Pokemon that can handle Aqua Jet are in range of Aqua Jet or removed entirely before trying to sweep.
Samurott loves having support from wallbreakers and Pokemon capable of providing Speed control. Tyrantrum, Emboar, Meloetta, and Flygon are all capable of providing powerful wallbreaking support and most can provide some defensive synergy for Samurott as well. Uxie, defensive Druddigon, and some Togetic variants are able to provide paralysis support reliably. Druddigon is the most notable thanks not only to its Grass and Electric resistances, but also its tendency to lure in bulky Water-types, especially Alomomola, for Samurott to set up on. If paralysis support isn't your thing, you can turn to the likes of Leavanny and Kricketune for Sticky Web support. Without Knock Off, Samurott appreciates teammates that can handle Jellicent, and Qwilfish to a lesser extent. Pursuit support from Pokemon such as Drapion, Spiritomb, and Houndoom can remove Jellicent in fairly short order. Most special attackers have little to fear from Qwilfish and can 2HKO it reliably due to its low special bulk. If Samurott doesn't have Megahorn, answers to Tangrowth and Alomomola are appreciated. Fire- and Flying-types, such as Emboar, Delphox, and Braviary generally force out Tangrowth. Grass- and Electric-types, such as Jolteon, Virizion, and Tangrowth generally handle Alomomola nicely. Rotom-C and Vrizion are two notable faster Pokemon thanks to their resistance to Aqua Jet. If Samurott is using a Rindo Berry, it can potentially get past these two threats. However, a check is still appreciated. Rotom-C is usually handled by Grass-types of your own, such as Tangrowth and Virizion. Opposing Virizion can generally be handled by Sigilyph, Choice Scarf Delphox, and Durant due to its weaknesses and decidedly average Defense stat. Finally, Samurott appreciates a check to Tyrantrum as it's a powerful threat that can outspeed Samurott and tank a +2 Aqua Jet comfortably. Mega Steelix and Rhyperior are the most notable Tyrantrum checks due to their ability to switch into most Electric-types and set Stealth Rock, which can help Samurott get a near-guaranteed OHKO on Jolteon with +2 Life Orb Aqua Jet.
name: Special Attacker
move 1: Hydro Pump
move 2: Ice Beam
move 3: Grass Knot
move 4: Taunt / Aqua Jet
item: Life Orb
nature: Modest / Rash
evs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
This set utilizes Samurott's access to Taunt, great coverage, and great base 108 Special Attack stat to become a powerful wallbreaker. While one may question the use of this Samurott over Clawitzer, the otter has a higher Speed tier, stronger Water-type STAB for neutral targets, and key access to Taunt and Aqua Jet for utility over Clawitzer. Hydro Pump is Samurott's best STAB move for this set. The move is so powerful that it will do 50.7% minimum to 252 HP / 4 SDef Uxie. Generally, it's very safe to throw out as most resistances and immunities risk coverage from this set. Ice Beam allows Samurott to crush the likes of Tangrowth, Druddigon, and Flygon without a second thought. Faster Grass- and Dragon-types, such as Virizion, Tyrantrum, and Rotom-C will need to be caught on the switch though. Grass Knot handles every common Water-type immunity without a sweat, OHKOing Seismitoad 100% of the time, OHKOing Gastrodon 87.5% of the time after Stealth Rock, and 2HKOing Jellicent regardless of the spread it uses. It's also nice to have a 100% accurate move on Rhyperior as a miss can cause heavy or fatal damage. Samurott's final moveslot gives it some extra utility. Taunt is generally preferred as Samurott sits at an amazing Speed tier for a wallbreaker and it can shut down the likes of Bronzong and Registeel, neither of which Samurott can get past immediately. Aqua Jet is a little weak without investment, but it can allow Samurott to pick off a weakened threat that is trying to revenge kill it, thus possibly forcing the opponent to take a heavy hit to remove Samurott. While Knock Off, Megahorn, and Superpower seem like intriguing options to use, they are simply not worth it. The primary targets of Knock Off and Megahorn are already 2HKOed by one of Samurott's moves while Registeel is better handled by Taunt anyway.
As Samurott is a special attacking wallbreaker, Special Attack is maximized. Speed is also maximized as that is one of Samurott's biggest advantages over Clawitzer. With maximum Speed and a Modest nature, Samurott is still able to outspeed Exploud, Scrafty, Clawitzer, and Adamant Emboar. These are threats Clawitzer can't outspeed without the use of a Timid nature. Samurott should use a Rash nature if Aqua Jet is used and the 4 Defense EVs should be shifted to Attack. While it may be tempting to use Timid or Naive to get the jump on Tyrantrum, this is generally not worth it. Not only does it cause a major drop in power, but Samurott also works well with most of Tyrantrum's checks anyway. Life Orb is used for the boost in power to Samurott's move and should be the only item even considered for this set due to Samurott's reliance on coverage moves and Hydro Pump's raw power to get around its checks.
Samurott wants to be able to wail on walls whenever it has a chance, so actively seek out chances to bring it in against passive Pokemon it forces out. Rhyperior, Alomomola, and Jellicent are some key bulky Pokemon that Samurott easily takes out and doesn't fear much from. If you're in doubt, Hydro Pump is Samurott's safest move. Every common Pokemon immune to Water in RU is promptly beaten by Grass Knot, so Hydro Pump is generally a very safe move to throw out. Ice Beam gets the most mileage when Samurott can catch the likes of Amoonguss and Virizion on the switch, as both can stomach a hit and retaliate. Catching Rotom-C and Tangrowth isn't as necessary due to their lower special bulk, but it is still nice to spare Samurott from Life Orb recoil. Grass Knot should only really be used against Pokemon immune to Water, such as Jellicent and Seismitoad. It also has use against Rhyperior by being a 100% accurate move that still OHKOes it. When Samurott has Taunt, make sure you use it to shut down defensive Pokemon Samurott can't immediately break through, such as Bronzong and Registeel. Without the ability to use Toxic and Thunder Wave respectively, Samurott can either choose to push past them on its own or bring in a teammate with relatively no risk to possibly sweep. Aqua Jet shouldn't be used until Samurott enters Torrent range unless it's absolutely necessary to use to remove a threat. It's somewhat weak without investment and so the Torrent boost can alleviate this issue. Speaking of Torrent, this ability makes Hydro Pump obscenely powerful. After dropping into Torrent range, Samurott does over 40% damage to the standard Amoonguss, which is one of, if not the bulkiest, Water resistances in the tier. So more than ever, just use Hydro Pump whenever Samurott drops into Torrent range and outspeeds the opponent.
- Samurott is an ideal wallbreaker of Ground-, Water-, and Grass-type Pokemon, so teammates that like these types removed are ideal
- Rock Polish and Choice Scarf variants of Tyrantrum can be especially scary if Samurott removes Mega Steelix, Rhyperior, and Alomomola from play
- Choice Scarf variants of Delphox enjoy having Rhyperior and Jellicent dealt with and Samurott can even Taunt slower hazard users while Delphox checks Virizion rather easily with a Choice Scarf
- Jolteon and Rotom-C are notable Electric-types that enjoy the removal of bulky Ground- and Grass-types and both can switch into Electric-type moves aimed at Samurott
- Taunted defensive walls are prime setup bait for powerful sweepers. For example, a Taunted Hex Jellicent can do nothing to prevent Calm Mind variants of Meloetta from setting up
- Other setup sweepers to consider for taking advantage of such circumstances include SD Cobalion, NP Houndoom, Fletchinder, and Virizion
- Tyrantrum is a major wallbreaker that outspeeds Samurott, so a check to it would be nice
- Cobalion works for more offensive teams while Mega Steelix and Rhyperior are reliable for bulkier teams
- While not mandatory, Speed control can allow Samurott to perform better vs. offensive teams
- Uxie, defensive Druddigon, and some Togetic variants can provide paralysis support while Samurott can Taunt any cleric that isn't Aromatisse to prevent them from healing their team
- Sticky Web support from Kricketune and Leavanny is also viable and Samurott can Taunt slower Defog users, such as Golbat, Togetic, and Pelipper.
Samurott has a pretty neat movepool, but generally not the stats to effectively use it. Substitute is usable on the special set in conjunction with a Salac Berry to surprise offensive teams. However, Samurott would need to give up coverage and would absolutely need Toxic Spikes support to make it work reliably. Samurott can utilize Substitute + Dragon Tail in conjunction with Scald and Taunt for a more defensive set, but there are better defensive bulky Water-types in RU and Samurott lacks reliable recovery options. Surf can be used on the special attacker set, but the power reduction from Hydro Pump is severe and generally never worth it. Aqua Tail is stronger, but less accurate than Waterfall. Shell Armor can prevent Samurott from being ruined by an untimely critical hit, but Torrent generally has better niche use by powering up Samurott's STAB moves. Choice Band and Choice Specs are options that Samurott can use. However, the Choice Band set suffers from a somewhat low BP STAB while a Choice Specs set is outclassed by Clawitzer as Samurott can't effectively use Taunt or its coverage. Encore or Taunt can be used on the Swords Dance set, but Samurott doesn't really have the room to fit either move on the set. Finally, Hidden Power Fire can be used on the special set if getting past Assault Vest Escavalier is an absolute must for Samurott's team. However, it offers nothing useful outside of this.
Checks and Counters
Outside of a few Pokemon, outright countering Samurott is very difficult until you figure out the set its running. Checks and counters to the Swords Dance set tend to lose to the special set and vica versa. However, both sets are perfectly manageable once they're revealed.
**Amoonguss**: The best universal counter to Samurott. It stops the Swords Dance set cold, can tank an Ice Beam from the special set, and retaliate with Spore or STAB Giga Drain
**Virizion**: Virizion only fears Ice Beam from the special set and a possible boosted Megahorn from physical sets. It outspeeds and threatens heavy damage or a KO with its Grass-type STAB moves
**Quagsire**: As with any physical setup sweeper lacking Grass-type moves, Quagsire stops Swords Dance Samurott cold thanks to Unaware. It's completely useless against the special set though, being OHKOed by both Hydro Pump and Grass Knot.
**Specially bulky Pokemon**: These are generally the safest initial switch-ins as the Swords Dance set needs a turn to get going. Mega Audino, Aromatisse, Bronzong, and Registeel are among the specially bulkiest Pokemon in RU. However, all of them bar Aromatisse can be shut down by Taunt and all of them are forced back out if Samurott reveals Swords Dance on the switch
**Faster Pokemon**: Base 70 Speed is nothing to write home about, so anything faster capable of tanking an Aqua Jet can easily revenge kill Samurott. Rotom-C, Tyrantrum, Meloetta, and Durant are notable examples. However, only the strongest of neutral physical attacks will OHKO Samurott with no prior damage as it has respectable physical bulk