Gen 3 Wailord (QC 1/1) (GP 0/2) (NU Analysis)

Wailord's primary purpose is to act as a fat specially defensive Water-type, making for an excellent blanket check to special attackers. Wailord is an excellent switch-in to Huntail, Specially-based Flareon, and other status users that it can soak up. Wailord has very decent 90 attacking stats, allowing it to run a variety of sets and compliment its defensive utility. It struggles somewhat with its slow speed and dependency on good Sleep Talk rolls, as well as its natural passiveness despite its above-average offensive presence for a naturally defensive Pokemon. It faces some competition from other bulky Water-types like Dewgong, but Wailord's mono Water-typing doesn't have the drawback of being weak to common Rock- and Fighting-types, as well as better checking Steel-types. Overall, Wailord is a great choice for a team needing a solid defensive backbone.

name: Specially Defensive RestTalk
move 1: Surf
move 2: Roar / Ice Beam / Toxic
move 3: Rest
move 4: Sleep Talk
item: Leftovers
ability: Oblivious
nature: Calm
evs: 212 Def / 252 SpD / 44 Spe

This set makes as a phenomenal blanket check to many special attackers in the tier, being able to consistently switch in to common Pokemon like Flareon, Huntail, and many others. It it also is a solid status absorber when making use of RestTalk, and is not terribly bothered by being afflicted with a Toxic. Surf is a primary damaging option that has plenty of PP and a consistent damage output. Roar allows Wailord to phaze out opposing Pokemon, as well as not being a liability to setup users that many users of RestTalk can be. Ice Beam hits threatening Grass-types like Bellossom, Tangela, and Roselia, and Toxic allows Wailord to cripple bulky Pokemon and outstall them with RestTalk. Rest keeps Wailord healthy and Sleep Talk allows for less drawback in using recovery.

Wailord has an immense HP stat, so its always more efficient to be investing EV's in its pitiful defensive stats. 44 Speed EVs lets Wailord outspeed uninvested Pokemon with base 65 speed, in particular Roselia and Flareon. 252 EVs are put into Special Defense to allow Wailord to be as effective a special wall as possible, and the rest are thrown into Defense as it is more efficient on the physical side than investing in HP. Oblivious prevents Wailord from being Taunted and is useful for more consistent recovery. A Calm nature maximizes Wailord's reliability of walling special attackers, but a Modest nature can be used for a more offensive approach, and is more recommended for use with Water Spout + Ice Beam. Note that Wailord will always be able to survive 6 Seismic Tosses with Leftovers from full HP, but if its Leftovers gets removed then it will only be able to survive 4 uses. An alternative spread with 72 EVs taken from Defense and placed into HP along with a Calm nature will ensure that Wailord will always avoid the 3HKO from Huntail's Hidden Power Grass, even if a Spike is up. A Bold Defensive set could be used to survive 2 Choice Band Sky Uppercuts from Hitmonchan, but generally isn't as optimal as Wailord is so good at checking Special threats like Huntail.

Wailord is best used to beat common offensive Pokemon that it resists naturally because of its great typing and bulk, while also being able to beat defensive Pokemon like Flareon, Mawile, Chimecho, and Sableye that it can KO with Surf or outstall with RestTalk. Roar is the primary thing that sets Wailord apart from the other bulky Water-types like Dewgong. However, Wailord does need to be wary of certain things like Encore or being forced out by faster phazers after using Sleep Talk, and therefore not burning turns of sleep and reducing Wailord's overall reliability. Wailord appreciates Spikes support from Pokemon like Glalie and Roselia, because use of Roar becomes increasingly effective and makes Wailord even more difficult to break through. Most teams appreciate Wailord's ability to be a less passive but just as reliable check to many of the offensive powerhouses in the tier that it resists with its mono-Water-typing.

name: Exploding Whale
move 1: Self-Destruct / Water Spout
move 2: Hidden Power Ghost
move 3: Surf / Water Spout
move 4: Ice Beam / Earthquake
item: Leftovers
ability: Water Veil
nature: Brave / Quiet
evs: 4 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD

This set allows Wailord to maintain its bulk as well as having a good offensive presence. Its main perk is being able to throw off a powerful Self-Destruct after it has done all it needs to do in a match. Hidden Power Ghost hits Self-Destruct immune Ghost-types like Haunter, and Surf is a STAB option that also has decent power. Ice Beam can be run in the final moveslot to better hit Grass-types, but Earthquake can be used if Wailord wants to be more consistent versus many Steel-types.

The choice between a Brave and a Quiet nature is up to the user, as they can weigh if they want a more powerful Self-Destruct or more powerful Surfs and Ice Beams. If Wailord opts to run Earthquake over Ice beam, a Brave nature should almost always be used. The EV spread listed throws EVs in both of Wailord's measly defenses, as Wailord will almost always be taking less damage this way than if has investment in its massive HP stat. Water Veil is actually quite useful for Wailord, as it cannot be burned and doesn't have to worry about it reducing the effectiveness of Self-Destruct when you decide to pull the trigger. However, Wailord should be cautious when considering the timing of using Self-Destruct, as if it is used prematurely Wailord's full potential for a game can often be wasted. Wailord is quite good at role compression, as it is able to act as a defensive pivot while simultaneously making use of its good mixed offensive stats.

[Other Options]
A Choice Band can be equipped to give Wailord more initial power and a very powerful Self-Destruct, but the inability to switch moves reduces Wailord's defensive value significantly. Amnesia is an option if Wailord wants to boost its Special Defense as well, but is generally inferior for its tendency to be overkill as well as it needing to take up a moveslot that Wailord already has many better options competing for. A Curse set is interesting for a mixed offensive presence with boosting, but is often ineffective and outclassed by something like Whiscash. SubTect with Toxic can be a useful option to stall out foes with its immense bulk, but is often crippled by status and held back by its low speed.

[Checks and Counters]
Wailord is best beaten by powerful super-effective attacks, and the best options are SunnyBeamers like Bellossom and Tangela, though all of which need to watch out for Ice Beam. Electric-types like Plusle and Pikachu can dispose of Wailord with ease with their powerful Thunderbolts. Encore can disable most Wailord sets, locking it into recovery or Curse and rendering it useless for several turns. If Wailord is lacking Rest, Toxic will greatly hinder its longevity and it can easily be defeated. If lacking Roar, Wailord can be extremely vulnerable as setup bait for nearly any moderately bulky Pokemon willing to come in. Other bulky Water-types like Dewgong and Sealeo can stall out the combination of Surf + Ice Beam or just flat out beat it one-on-one.
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red hot like pizza supper
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Gonna tag Hogg Pearl and Heysup and Bughouse for extra opinions Disjunction

Imo water spout shouldn't have a slash on the defensive set, but you could put it on the exploding whale. I'm also not sure on the ev spread, I don't know that there's any true merit to running speed on the defensive set, but hogg and heysup have more experience than I do playing around with it iirc

I do have a lot of experience with the curse set way back at the beginning of nu and I think the set should look like this:

HP flying
Self destruct / rest
Leftovers / chesto berry

The main draw to using Curse is the surprise factor and the fact it makes a good lure. Iiirc hp flying is a ohko on rose after a boost and gets close on bell if you max out attack which makes whale a good partner to something like huntail. A +1 boom also has a lot of applications, iirc only things that resist it will avoid the ohko.

Will add more later when I have time


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I made a cool wall breaker set this nupl with spout but I wouldn’t use it on rest talk

Not a fan of using this as a physical attacker in any way. No stab is awful. If you’re using that, you should probably just be using whiscash and a way to handle grasses.
I stole the speed from the set M Dragon was using this NUPL after I got temp banned.

I agree that physical Wailord really sucks and I would never use it but Megazard made me feel bad in pms (I'd also like to get his thoughts on the exploding whale since I know he used it this NUPL). I'll wait for more input before changing anything.


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I would only use spout on fast offensive not rest talk
Exploding wail is a good set but also shouldn’t be running defensive EVs, I did that specifically as a bluff. I think Raseri might be the person to go to for a set here


grubbing in the ashes
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Here are my thoughts. I'm on mobile, so I don't have access to the specific EV spreads I use, but I've included some benchmarks.

I really don't like Water Spout on the sdef set. The sdef set eats damage pretty regularly, making Spout really inconsistent damage-wise. (I do think Spout is a cool option on some offensive sets, though.) Also, even with Sleep Talk, that PP is rough.

I think it's worth mentioning in the set somewhere that Roar is probably the single biggest thing that sets sdef whale apart from Dewgong.

For EV spreads, 72 HP/252+ sdef may sound like overkill, but it means you are never 3HKO'd by Huntail HP Elec/Grass even with a Spike down. It's the spread I tend to use if I don't have really strong Spin support. (Not super relevant if it's run alongside Rapid Spin, but worth a mention IMO.)

Like Bughouse, I don't really like physical Wailord much. The exploding whale set, IMO, should be Quiet with Hydro/Surf/Water spout, Ice Beam, HP Elec/Body Slam/Toxic and Selfdestruct, and decent SpA investment. Brave HP Ghost should never really be a consideration, as it doesn’t even OHKO Haunter, and even 0 SpA Surf 2HKOs (while 96+ SpA Hydro always OHKOs). EQ also consistently deals less damage than your Water STAB vs just about every relevant target (bar Swalot, but it still doesn't do enough to Swalot to be worth it). Body Slam and Toxic are nice catch-all moves to screw with things like opposing Waters and fat normals without exploding.

I am extremely skeptical about a Curse set, but I've never actually tried it, so if you've tried it and it works, I'll defer to you. I'll try to test one later. That being said... even if it’s not totally awful, is it actually worth being a main set, rather than an OO?

I've had really good success with a bulky Surf/Sub/Tox/Protect set, although it needs good anti-Roselia team support. Probably worth at least a mention in OO even if you don't give it a full set.

Re: the CB set referenced there, CB Selfdestruct sounds cool, but has anyone actually played with this? I personally haven't, and while it seems cool in theory (I'd probably use that before I used Curse), I'm wondering if anyone has actually tried it out.

I’ve toyed around with a fast offensive ChestoRest Spout set that can be a lot of fun, though I’d want to test it a bit more before it goes anywhere official.
List of changes:
  • First off I'm gonna remove the curse set and move it to OO. It's pretty bad but I recalled seeing it / using it and I thought it would be a set. I'll put it here for insurance sake:
name: Curse
move 1: Rest / Self-Destruct
move 2: Curse
move 3: Earthquake
move 4: Ice Beam / Surf
item: Leftovers
ability: Water Veil
nature: Brave
evs: 4 Atk / 252 Def / 252 SpD

This set's primary goal is to set up Curses by taking advantage of Wailord's natural bulk, and then throw off relatively powerful Earthquakes off Wailord's base 90 Attack stat. Curse is obviously the important part of this set, boosting both Wailord's Attack and Defense with the mere drawback of lowering Wailord's already useless speed. Earthquake is Wailord's best option for a physical move, with excellent coverage and good Base Power. Ice Beam is the preferred final move for its use in hitting Grass-types which resist Earthquake and threaten Wailord offensively, but Surf is a viable option for a STAB boosted attack off good Special Attack. Rest is to increase Wailord's longevity, but it can often become setup bait so Self-Destruct is a fine option if Wailord wants to go out with a boom.

Water Veil is the preferred ability, as Wailord doesn't have to worry about being burned, but Oblivious can be used in tandem with Rest if Wailord wants more reliable Curses and recovery. Leftovers give Wailord passive recovery, becoming more and more useful as Wailord accumulates defensive boosts from Curse. EVs are put into Wailord's defenses to minimize damage taken from attacks so it can more reliably set up. A Brave nature boosts Wailord's attack even further without reducing damage from Ice Beam or Surf. Uses of Rest need to be planned out as much as possible, so Wailord isn't hit by something stronger than anticipated or doesn't just become setup bait while asleep. This set is even more effective at beating defensive Pokemon, as it is able to setup on them and eventually break through. As usual, Wailord needs to watch out for Grass-types and Electric-types, but most teams appreciate the support it can bring as an offensive check to many special attackers in the tier.

  • Removed Water Spout from first set
  • Mentioned roar setting Wailord apart from stuff like Dewgong
  • Mentioned Hogg's 72 HP spread as an additional spread
  • Added the SubTect Hogg mentioned into OO

I've seen a lot of different opinions on the Exploding Whale set so I'll wait for somebody to give me a definitive answer to what I should change before I implement to avoid going back and forth and such.


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Definitive answer on Exploding Whale is to match it to what Hogg described. Curse is good in OO, I have a feeling it still could work but I haven't tried it recently to say for sure, but it sounds super appealing as a lure for a Bellossom-centered team
Great analysis, congratulations.

In my opinion the SubToxic easily deserves its own set, in my experience it always has been very efficient when Roselia wasn't on the opponent's side and even if that's the case it doesn't make Wailord useless since you can use the same spread as the defensive variant and thus keep a strong defensive presence. The ability to sit on Sableye and slowly kill it is really huge.

In the first set, I think Bold is the best choice since you'll always two Sky Uppercut and Rock Slide from banded Hitmonchan and Sudowoodo, respectively, as long as you're full and they're not Adamant. I think it's relevant enough since Wailord might be your best answer to Sudowoodo in some teams and you still keep Huntail in check without the Calm nature.

I would say Water Spout is a must-have on Exploding Whale since in my opinion it's one of Wailord's mains tools to distinguish itself from other offensive Water-types. It hits extremely hard without any set-up and I think you can give it a moveslot alongside Self-Destruct, a secondary Water STAB and something to hit Grass-Types, any other move seems pretty filler anyway since it aims to cripple opposing defensive Water-types, which usually are Self-Destruct targets. However, Water-Spout requires Wailord to be healthy, which isn't always easy to achieve, especially if you keep Wailord as an offensive check to things like Huntail.

In the C&C section, you mention Victreebel but it's UU. Instead, talk about Roselia and Cacturne that can break through Wailord with their STAB and use it as a Spikes bait. Roselia's immunity to Toxic makes her the best answer to the SubToxic.

Once again, good job.
Hogg Oglemi what would you recommend I do with this info above, I think most of its good but Wailord is such a "subjective" Pokemon I'd rather get the greenlight from you two of what I should do.

also yeah I'm a few months late but its not like anybody cared


grubbing in the ashes
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I like SubTox and have used it to good effect, but it requires way more support than other sets due to how thoroughly it gets chumped by the omnipresent Rose. I think OO is fine for it personally, but if you want to give it a full set I’m not opposed.

Not a huge fan of Bold Whale just because I think its typing and bulk means that defensive versions do better by investing in SDef to help check stuff like Huntail and do better vs Haunter, but it has its place. Probably at least worth a mention but I wouldn’t make it the main spread. It’s a terrible Chan check regardless though IMO. (Pupitar on the other hand... the times I’ve run Bold have been when I’ve used it on otherwise Pup-weak teams.)

OK with putting Water Spout as a main option on exploding whale, though I do usually prefer Pump/Surf unless I’m running Spin.

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