Featured RU Pokémon: Nidoqueen

By SilentVerse. Art by Volmise
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Nidoqueen has always played second fiddle to Nidoking since the days of RBY. Because the Nidos' had offensively-tailored movepools that sorely lacked support options, Nidoking's ability to hit harder and faster generally made him the better option for most RBY teams. Granted, neither Nidoqueen nor Nidoking were particularly spectacular in RBY. This stayed consistent throughout GSC and RSE; both Nidos continued to have similar movepools, but Nidoking was simply better, as Nidoqueen's extra defenses weren't particularly useful without support options to make use of them. Basically, Nidoqueen's only benefit over Nidoking was that she could switch into his resistances a little easier, but without the offenses or supportive capabilities to make use of that, there really was just no reason to use Nidoqueen over her superior cousin, bar niche, but not particularly amazing, moves like Counter.

DPP was a major turning point for Nidoqueen, however; with the introduction of Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes into her movepool, Nidoqueen was finally able to put her superior defenses and wonderful defensive typing to good use. Her useful resistances to Fighting-, Rock-, and Bug-type attacks, coupled with an immunity to Electric-type attacks, made Nidoqueen a unique physically defensive option for DPP UU teams. In particular, Nidoqueen excelled on Hail teams, as they greatly appreciated Nidoqueen's resistances to the Fighting- and Rock-type attacks that gave Hail teams so many issues. Nidoqueen was also fairly unique as a defensive Stealth Rock user due to her ability to hit most physically offensive threats such as Aggron and Rhyperior on their weaker Special Defense stat, courtesy of her access to Earth Power and respectable Special Attack. Ultimately though, this still wasn't enough to make Nidoqueen on par with or better than Nidoking; while Nidoking flourished in UU due to his wide offensive movepool and offenses that were decent for the tier, Nidoqueen eventually dropped to the lonely recesses of NU, unable to dish out the same amount of damage that Nidoking could while lacking the supportive abilities of UU's top defensive Pokémon. However, at least now, thanks to Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes, Nidoqueen had a decent niche that she could call her own.

Now, with BW, Nidoqueen has only gotten better. While she's still unfortunately outclassed by Nidoking in UU, she has dropped down to RU and become what is arguably the most dangerous offensive threat in the tier. Thanks to Sheer Force, Nidoqueen's sub-par offensive stats suddenly become significantly deadlier, which, when coupled with her wide special movepool, has sculpted her into a true threat within RU. With all of her previous defensive capabilities alongside her newfound offensive force, Nidoqueen has risen from her status as a mediocre defensive Pokémon to a fearsome offensive juggernaut that is capable of breaking down stall teams with her sheer offensive might.


Nidoqueen, despite her higher defensive stats, is actually used as an offensive tank in RU more often than not. Nidoqueen's access to Sheer Force, modest Special Attack stat, and perfectly tailored special movepool to abuse Sheer Force to its fullest makes Nidoqueen an incredibly threatening force in RU. Nidoqueen also conveniently has just enough Speed to outspeed almost every single wall in RU comfortably, which makes her particularly threatening to stall teams. Her lovely 90 / 87 / 85 defenses, a resistance to Stealth Rock and immunity to Toxic Spikes, plethora of useful resistances to Fighting-, Bug-, Rock-, and Poison-type attacks, and welcomed immunity to Electric-type attacks allow Nidoqueen to easily switch into most RU Pokémon. From there, she can proceed to dish out her Sheer Force-boosted attacks, though her weaknesses to Water-, Ground-, Psychic-, and Ice-type attacks can make it harder for Nidoqueen to switch in. Sheer Force's added benefit of removing Life Orb recoil also complements Nidoqueen's bulk nicely, as it, in tandem with Nidoqueen's various other defensive advantages, simply makes it an incredibly difficult Pokémon to wear down. Nidoqueen is even capable of setting up Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes; while the former is a decent choice if you desperately need a user of the move on your team, the latter is generally a mediocre option however, as Poison-types are extremely common in RU.

How to use Nidoqueen

Nidoqueen is not a particularly versatile Pokémon, but there are a number of ways that she can be used. The most common, and arguably most effective, way to use her is with a simple moveset of Earth Power, Sludge Wave, Thunderbolt, and Fire Blast with maximum Special Attack and maximum Speed investment, with either a Modest or a Timid nature. With this moveset, Nidoqueen decimates all but RU's sturdiest walls with good prediction, and Nidoqueen has just enough Speed to outpace almost every relevant defensive threat in the metagame. However, Nidoqueen is not just limited to those four special moves either; Nidoqueen also has a slew of other perfectly viable Special Attacks that let her rip through many of her common counters; Shadow Ball, for example, mutilates the likes of Uxie, Mesprit, and Gardevoir, while Focus Blast destroys Clefable. Alternatively, you may opt to simply maximize HP on Nidoqueen to make her significantly bulkier while still retaining her crushing offensive power. Nidoqueen is also capable of being an effective offensive Stealth Rock setter as well, replacing one of her coverage moves for the valuable entry hazard. However, if you choose to use Stealth Rock, remember that the loss of coverage will make Nidoqueen significantly easier to deal with. Though Nidoqueen can theoretically use a defensive set, it is generally not advised; while the ability to set up Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes, or phaze opponents may sound appealing, Toxic Spikes are generally mediocre in RU, and an offensive Nidoqueen with Stealth Rock will be able to set up Stealth Rock and force switches anyway, with the added benefit of being able to deal significant damage to the opponent on her own as well.

Remember, though Nidoqueen, as a wallbreaker that relies on her incredible coverage, is a Pokémon that requires prediction to become truly threatening, Nidoqueen is actually not as difficult to use as that may imply. Despite being incredibly prediction-reliant, Nidoqueen is a fairly safe Pokémon to use, as her natural bulk and lack of Life Orb recoil ensures that wrong predictions aren't as punishing for Nidoqueen in comparison to other wallbreakers, such as Magmortar, and Nidoqueen is also much easier to get into the match than her fellow wallbreakers thanks to her excellent set of resistances. Depending on the teamstyle you are facing, however, Nidoqueen can be played differently. Against stallish / defensive teams, you should typically play it safe with Nidoqueen, since even if you only have Stealth Rock up against the opposing team, Nidoqueen will usually be able to wear them down significantly by just picking the safest moves as the opposing team tries to play around Nidoqueen, all while Stealth Rock chips away at their walls. That isn't to say that prediction isn't needed against those types of teams, though; prediction is still very important at times, as the likes of Cryogonal and Slowking in particular will be tricky to beat if you do not hit them with Fire Blast or Thunderbolt on the switch, respectively. Against offensive teams though, Nidoqueen generally has to predict significantly more so that you do not end up giving a free switch in to something that has the ability to OHKO Nidoqueen; however, against offensive teams, one right prediction might result in an OHKO.

How to beat Nidoqueen

Nidoqueen is a very tricky Pokémon to outright wall, as thanks to her fantastic type coverage, she is able to 2HKO almost every wall in RU with the appropriate coverage move. This problem is compounded by the fact that Nidoqueen is immune to Toxic and Thunder Wave, resistant to Stealth Rock, and does not take Life Orb recoil; this means that Nidoqueen cannot simply be played around, unlike threats such as Life Orb Magmortar. However, there are still a few Pokémon that will almost ensure that Nidoqueen will not be an issue. If Nidoqueen does not have Shadow Ball, Uxie, Mesprit, and Gardevoir can all take some of Nidoqueen's attacks and retaliate with a super effective STAB Psychic. Uxie and Mesprit are perhaps the most viable of these choices; they can set up Stealth Rock for their teams and can keep offensive momentum with U-turn. If Nidoqueen does not have Focus Blast, Clefable, Munchlax, and Lickilicky can also survive her onslaught; unfortunately, they cannot really do much to Nidoqueen in return, and essentially must spam healing moves to survive, occasionally whittling away at Nidoqueen with their weak attacks, all while hoping that Nidoqueen will not get a critical hit against them.

In general, if you do not want to dedicate a team slot for the sole purpose of beating Nidoqueen, prediction is your best tool against her. While Nidoqueen has exemplary type coverage, there are a huge amount of Pokémon who resist half or more of Nidoqueen's arsenal; by combining two or more Pokémon who can take on each other's weaknesses to Nidoqueen's coverage moves, Nidoqueen can be much less of an issue so long as you can play well enough against her. For example, a combination of Aerodactyl and Lanturn can significantly mitigate the amount of damage Nidoqueen can do. Aerodactyl is immune to Earth Power, has resistances to Sludge Wave and Fire Blast, but is weak to Thunderbolt. Lanturn, on the other hand, is immune to Thunderbolt and resists Fire Blast, but is weak to Earth Power. With proper prediction, these two Pokémon can switch into every move in the standard Nidoqueen's arsenal, which forces Nidoqueen to have to predict incredibly well in order to deal with this combination. And, if the Nidoqueen user predicts incorrectly, Nidoqueen will eat a powerful super effective attack in return. There are actually quite a few other combinations that work in a similar manner; Rotom-C and Rhydon, Sigilyph and Lanturn, and even Slowking and Cryogonal work similarly well. However, note that this strategy is incredibly risky, as if the Nidoqueen user predicts correctly, you may lose one part of your core, and Nidoqueen will proceed to be a menace to your team. Therefore, this strategy works best on more offensively oriented teams, who can generally afford to lose a Pokémon more than stall or balance teams can.

Generally, you will have significantly less issues with Nidoqueen if you use more offensively-oriented teams, as despite how difficult it may be to wear Nidoqueen down, she doesn't quite have the raw bulk to sponge some of RU's most hard-hitting attacks. Defensive teams unfortunately lack this raw power; defensive Slowking's Scald, for example, only 2HKOes Nidoqueen, so even if you can play around Nidoqueen temporarily and hit her with a super effective STAB attack, she will unfortunately not be hindered too much. By offensive team standards, Nidoqueen is also fairly slow, and she is also vulnerable to common Water-, Ice-, Psychic-, and Ground-type attacks, which means that offensive teams shouldn't have issues with Nidoqueen if you carry powerful moves of those types and are able to play around her.

Fitting Nidoqueen onto your Team

Nidoqueen is a fairly self-sufficient Pokémon overall, but there are certainly a few Pokémon who Nidoqueen works incredibly well with. In particular, Pursuit support is probably the best way to support Nidoqueen, as many of Nidoqueen's best checks, including Uxie, Slowking, Cryogonal, Mesprit, and Gardevoir, are all decimated by a well-timed Pursuit. Nidoqueen's fellow drop down in Escavalier, as well as old RU favorites such as Absol, Drapion, and Spiritomb are all excellent choices, as they can all switch into Nidoqueen's checks with relative ease and proceed to quickly dispatch them with Pursuit. Entry hazards are also incredibly useful for Nidoqueen to punish opponents who attempt to play around her with smart switching. Smeargle is a fantastic choice for an entry hazard layer, as it can easily set up both Stealth Rock and a layer of Spikes from the get-go, which makes Nidoqueen significantly harder to play around. Defensively, it is also important to cover Nidoqueen's weaknesses to Water-, Ice-, Psychic-, and Ground-type attacks so that your team will not be prone to the Pokémon who switch in and attempt to revenge kill Nidoqueen.

Because of how self-sufficient it is, Nidoqueen is a relatively easy Pokémon to fit onto your team. Nidoqueen fits well onto any team that is in need of a Pokémon to bust up walls, act as an offensive Stealth Rock user, or something to check troublesome Pokémon such as Manectric, Galvantula, Accelgor, Escavalier, Rotom, or other such Electric- or Bug-type Pokémon, while also possessing a decent offensive presence. As such, offensive Fire / Water / Grass cores appreciate Nidoqueen's ability to take on those troublesome Pokémon and break the walls that can occasionally pose a threat to such cores. For example, Nidoqueen is a perfect fit into the standard Sceptile / Moltres / Kabutops core, as it can set up Stealth Rock to aid each Pokémon, while also being able to dish out some very respectable damage of her own, acting as a secondary answer to Pokémon such as Slowking, Poliwrath, Lanturn, Escavalier, and similar Pokémon who are extremely resilient. Such a core also covers Nidoqueen's weaknesses to Ice-, Ground-, Psychic-, and Water-type attacks and is capable of sweeping once Nidoqueen has muscled past those resilient walls.


Nidoqueen is easily the most metagame-defining Pokémon in RU at the moment, as her ability to single-handedly rip through defensively-oriented teams has resulted in RU becoming significantly more offensive. And, though the rise of offensive teams has made Nidoqueen slightly less powerful, she is still a true force within the tier. However, with Cresselia and Durant currently down in RU for a retest, Nidoqueen may finally have a true hard counter in Cresselia, if the senate and rotating council deem it to be not broken. Still, with proper support, Nidoqueen will surely continue to be one of RU's greatest threats, even if the moon duck drops down to thwart her. So, what're you waiting for? Get out there and use this queen of RU; I guarantee that she will not disappoint!

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