With the Chien-Pao suspect test, there is a Pokemon that keeps being mentioned, that I like and have used a lot, yet that I feel very low about.
Belly Drum Azumarill
Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Huge Power
Tera Type: Water
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
- Belly Drum
- Aqua Jet
- Play Rough
Azumarill rose to OU last month with the Belly Drum set being the most used one. This set is mostly seen on offensively oriented teams such as this one
. Azu was able to check Pokemon such as Quaquaval, Baxcalibur, base Roaring Moon, and most notably 2 of the scariest Pokemon in the tier in Chi-Yu and Chien-Pao. A +6 Liquidation boosted by Tera Water is able to OHKO common switch-ins like Amoonguss and SpDef Toxapex. Likewise +6 Play Rough OHKOs Tera Water Garganacl and Water Absorb Clodsire. Priority Aqua Jet lets it get pass fast Pokemon and OHKOing most of them after Tera Water, Belly Drum and a bit of chip such as Dragapult, Gholdengo, Garchomp, and Iron Valiant. Despite all this solid qualities, Azumarill is nowhere to be seen on SPL and its usage on higher parts of the ladder has decreased a lot
. So what happened? I will be talking about Belly Drum Azumarill which mostly runs the set above; it can however run some more speed to get the advantage on speed wars against Kingambit, Skeledirge, Corviknight, and opposing Azumarill.
Tier has changed a lot in the last month. Here are some ways in which said changes have affected Azu:
What are some common scenarios that Azu finds itself in?
- Cinderace was released: Azu can check a low health Cinderace thanks to Aqua Jet. Even a full health one won't want to take an Aqua Jet and lose to Volcarona later. However, it has to be careful of trying to set up in front of Cinderace since a Libero Gunk Shot would OHKO it.
- Greninja was released: Very recent change. Azu can switch-in once against Specs Greninja's Hydro Pump, Dark Pulse, Ice Beam and threaten it out. It a 1 on 1 and just like against Cinderace, it has to be cautious of a potential Protean Gunk Shot.
- Chi-Yu's ban and Chien-Pao's rise: Chi-Yu ban sucks a lot for Azu, as non Tera Blast Grass gave it a space to set up. While Chien-Pao's rise definetely compensates it a bit, it is definitely much harder to do it. Azu actually does not enjoy switching into Chien-Pao at all. It can do it at most once, with Tera Dark Choice Band Crunch having a chance at 2HKOing Azu even through Sitrus Berry. Even if they don't tera, Azu getting weakened means that it will no longer be able to set up and that Chien-Pao becomes way more threatening.
- Rotom-Wash's rise: Greatly limits Azu. If it hard switches on Belly Drum then it can Volt Switch and limit Azumarill to at most 1 OHKO and maybe an Aqua Jet. If it hard switches on Play Rough then Azu probably lost a chance to set up. If it comes in after Azu Belly Drumed and OHKO something, then Azu is weakened enough for Volt Switch to KO.
- PhysDef and Baneful Bunker Toxapex: Last month saw a lot of SpDef and non Baneful Bunker Toxapex. Since then Pex has starting to run both to help teams deal with Chien-Pao. This along with Haze makes Pex a good answer to even +6 Tera Water Azu.
- Tera Water Great Tusk: Out of all the Tera types rising in usage, this one is probably the most problematic for Azu as it can revenge it rather easily after Azu has taken a bit of damage.
So whats up with Azumarill?
- Setting up against Chien-Pao: A full health Azumarill can try to do this. It however has to be worry of Chien-Paos partners like Toxapex and Dondozo. Chien-Pao can choose to stay and Crunch/Icicle Crash. If Azu Belly Drums as this happens, then they can sack something and then revenge Azu with a different partner like Tera Water Tusk, Extreme Speed Dragonite, or Rotom-Wash. If Azu Play Roughs then Chien-Pao will faint but Azu won't get to Belly Drum later on. Worth mentioning that Azu can still get flinched and no neither of the above.
- Skeledirge being faster: Unaware and Will-O-Wisp mess up with Azu. Running Speed EVs means that you heaviliy cut on bulk and are not even guaranteed to outspeed Skeledirge if they decide to go faster than ~16 Speed EVs and can just straight up not do anything if Skele decides to Tera.
- Tera Steel Taunt Quaquaval, Tera Grass Volcarona: The former can stop you from setting up in front of it while getting a chance to set up itself, while the latter stops you from sweeping their team and OHKOs you instead. While making the opponent waste their Tera can be considered a win, these Pokemon are far from useless and are likely to tera themselves in plenty of games.
- Setting up at all: Finding room to set up with Azu is hard since not many Pokemon besides Chien-Pao give it that opportunity. Screens and Shed Tail support can help but right now there are plenty other Pokemon that abuse them better such as Espathra, Roaring Moon and Dragonite. While this support would allow Azu to greatly improve its mu against teams that rely on chipping them + RotomW/Water Tusk/Priority to handle it, it would do nothing for its midly mus against Dondozo, PhysDef Toxapex and Skeledirge.
Overall Azu has a lot of flaws. It can be rather mediocre against Balance and even BO since they tend to carry Dondozo, Toxapex, Skeledirge and Rotom-W a lot. It can however be pretty lethal against more offensive teams such as this one
. Its good mu against Chien-Pao, base Great Tusk, Greninja, Ting-Lu, Clodsire, Garganacl and Tauros-Paldea is still a valuable trade. I myself used this team
with fast Azumarill paired with Breloom on my reqs run. Breloom is able to threaten Toxapex, Dondozo and Rotom-W, and work along Azu to weaken Skeledirge. Though I for sure do not think Belly Drum Azu is very good as is and that it is pretty mediocre to decent as a Chien-Pao answer.
Ty for reading c:
I really like this Pokemon and wish Choice Band could see more use, or maybe seeing it on some SPL game against an opponent that happens to like teams like the one above. I do hope I was able to communicate why I don't like the current state of this set.