The Turtles of NU

By Lasagne21. Art by Bummer.
« Previous Article Home Next Article »


NU has a lot of Pokémon for you to choose from, and when you've got so many choices, what's the first thing you do? Naturally, use all your favorite animals. Who cares if they have no synergy? Who cares if they're bad Pokémon? They look awesome, and that's all that matters. I'll be talking about undoubtedly the coolest animal in the animal kingdom: turtles. I will go over not only their competitive viability, but also their qualities as a turtle, giving each Pokémon a score out of 10 for how good they are both as a turtle and as a Pokémon in NU. I will also be giving a good set for each of the Pokémon, so you can try them out yourself. Settle down and enjoy this turtly ride!

The Turtles


Carracosta is a strange turtle. He always stands on his back 2 legs, which is unique among turtles. Honestly though, if he tried to walk on all fours, he would have a substantial amount of trouble, considering the strange shape of his front flippers. They are rather elongated and seem to be quite heavy, so might not be great for day-to-day life. The shell on his back also seems to be quite an encumbrance, limiting his movement. In the sea, however, the weight of the shell wouldn't make too much of a difference, considering the feeling of low gravity. Therefore, I imagine he would certainly thrive in the sea. He does look pretty badass, and I'm sure he could use one of those flippers to smack you down, probably cracking your skull in the progress. Because of this, Carracosta is not as low in score as he might have been otherwise, but he still only deserves a mediocre score.

Turtle rating: 6/10

Easily the best Pokémon on this list in terms of value competitively, Carracosta is a force to be reckoned with. He's the only turtle to have the honor of being placed in S-Rank on the viability rankings. While he is only Low S, this is still a big achievement, and shows how good he is in the current metagame. With the almighty Shell Smash, Carracosta can shatter an unprepared team with ease. There are only three Pokémon who resist his STAB Water/Rock combo, and they are all only resistant because of their abilities. Croagunk, Wooper, and Seismitoad are the only ones in NU who resist Carracosta's STABs, and Seismitoad is the only one who is even remotely viable (he's actually very good). Aqua Jet can help beat those Pokémon that outspeed Carracosta even at +2, OHKOing fast Pokémon like Swellow and Choice Scarfers like Primeape (Primeape is only KOed 100% of the time if Carracosta is Adamant). One of the main problems is his Speed, which, as I mentioned, is slower than a lot of Pokémon even when at +2. He also has a crippling 4x weakness to Grass, which can be taken advantage of very easily by threats like Serperior and Ludicolo running around. His weaknesses (Grass, Fighting, Electric, and Ground) are lessened somewhat by one of his three awesome abilities, Solid Rock. Unfortunately, with -1 defenses and the recoil taken from Life Orb (which is the best item choice for Carracosta, gaining crucial KOs he wouldn't get otherwise), he is going to be dying very quickly, especially considering the fact that he will most likely take a hit while he sets up. Once Carracosta starts rolling though, almost nothing can stop he, and he can quite easily demolish a team.

Rating: 9/10

Carracosta @ Life Orb
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
- Shell Smash
- Waterfall
- Stone Edge
- Aqua Jet


Put simply, Torterra owns. He is bad-ass and he knows it. Those narrowed eyes stare at you like you're fresh meat, because that's just what everything is to Torterra: a new prey ready to be ripped open by the ground itself. He rules over all of nature, and if you do one thing he doesn't like, you're dead kiddo. His total rule over nature is signified by the TREE GROWING OUT HIS BACK. Seriously though, Torterra is probably the coolest turtle in NU-no scratch that, in all of Pokémon. He may have slight weight issues, but most of that is muscle and is used to hold up that gigantic tree I mentioned earlier. Being Grass / Ground-type means that all nature bends to his will, so he can mess up anyone who steps out of line. While he may be slow, he is very sturdy, so you'll have a hard time pushing him over. Oh and did I mention the tree on his back? If not, HE HAS A GOD DAMN TREE COMING OUT HIS BACK. Basically Torterra is an amazing turtle, possibly the perfect turtle, earning a flawless score.

Turtle Rating: 10/10

Luckily Torterra isn't just an awesome turtle, he is also really solid competitively. He can run an effective lead, support, or offensive set, depending on what your team requires. Choice Band is my personal favorite set, as it is able to kill basically everything with the combination of the powerful STABs Wood Hammer and Earthquake, and the extra coverage given by Stone Edge creates the almighty EdgeQuake combo. Bullet Seed is generally used as the last move to break Substitutes and kill things like Sturdy Golem. Basically, Choice Band Torterra owns all leads and should be watched out for as a major threat. Rock Polish is another massively threatening offensive set, as with +2, Torterra can outspeed most of the metagame and KO a large portion of it with his high Attack and strong moves. He can also run his own lead set using a more defensive spread with Stealth Rock, his dual STABs, and a filler move. SubSeed is yet another option for Torterra, as it lets him stall out many Pokémon, and he has the bulk to take hits very easily (on the physical side at least). Now onto Torterra's downfalls. The first down point is the obvious 4x weakness to Ice-type attacks. This gives him a glaring weakness to the biggest threat in the game right now-Jynx-which can easily outspeed and OHKO with Ice Beam. Torterra's offensive sets are also walled by a few things, such as Mandibuzz, which can take any attack that isn't Stone Edge, Weezing, which can just take any attack, and pretty much any bulky Grass-type (Serperior, Tangela, Meganium, other Torterra). He does have good versatility and is good at whatever he wants to do, so he deserves a fairly high score.

Rating: 8/10

Torterra @ Choice Band
Ability: Overgrow
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
- Earthquake
- Wood Hammer
- Stone Edge
- Bullet Seed


There's no denying that despite being a Fire-type, Torkoal is one chilled out turtle. He just walks around all day (well, probably stays still most of the time) with his eyes shut, dreaming about whatever he wants. He doesn't really care about the outside world, since none of it really matters at all to him. Oh and he also smokes, which isn't cool, but he does awesome tricks with the smoke he inhales so that actually makes it pretty badass. He seems to enjoy the simple things in life, such as food, sleep, sleep, food, going to the toilet, sleep, and food. It's not like you're ever going to accidentally trip over Torkoal either, since if he's near your feet, you'll be able to tell by the smoke choking you to death. Oh, and he also stores burning hot coals in his shell, ready to unload them behind him when he's...uhh...turtle racing I guess? Turtle Kart confirmed 2014. Anyway, Torkoal is a pretty chillaxed dude and is probably my second favorite turtle (after Torterra ofc).

Turtle Rating: 9/10

Torkoal is no slouch competitively either. He is one of the only NU Pokémon who can claim to be a good (or at least decent) Rapid Spinner, a title it shares with another Pokémon in this list, who we will come across later. He is also able to set up Stealth Rock, which is a pretty cool combination, controlling hazards on both sides of the playing field. His spinning abilities are somewhat subdued, considering the fact that Torkoal loses to almost every spinblocker in the tier as well as nearly all the Stealth Rock users. Key examples include Seismitoad, who completely destroys the poor fire turtle, and Golurk, who spinblocks, sets Stealth Rock, and has a powerful STAB super effective move to use against him. However, Torkoal's incredible base 140 Defense stat is equal to that of defensive monsters such as Skarmory and Forretress. Because of his higher HP, Torkoal is actually more physically bulky than Skamory, so he is incredibly hard to wear down with physical attacks. Unfortunately, there are a lot of strong special attackers in NU who can easily whittle away at his health, often straight up KOing him. Examples of Pokémon with strong super effective attacks against Torkoal include some of the most prevalent special attackers, such as Ludicolo and Samurott. Torkoal is, surprisingly, able to go offensive, utilizing Shell Smash to create the infamous SMASHkoal, which, while admittedly is still not very fast, can damage a large chunk of the metagame and is quite a nice surprise for people coming in and expecting to beat him with a frail special attacker. Torkoal is, honestly, not brilliant in the current metagame, but he is definitely good enough to warrant his place on a team if you need a solid physical wall.

Rating: 7/10

Torkoal @ Leftovers
Ability: Shell Armor
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD
Bold Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Lava Plume
- Stealth Rock
- Yawn


Damn Wartortle, your dad's so cool, why are you just so...ehh? Wartortle doesn't really do it for me to be quite honest. I love Blastoise, he's awesome, but Wartortle...yeah, not so much. I'm not entirely sure why I don't like him. He's got a fairly cool mischievous aura about him, and I guess his little fangs are pretty cool. It sort of seems like he's trying a bit too hard to be cool. His tail is overly fancy and is at the point where I don't really think it looks like a wave (which is what it's meant to be, I'm pretty sure). His ears seems like they'd just get in the way, and they probably really itch to be honest. Wartortle's shell is pretty cool, just the standard deal. One thing I find strange is picturing how he would walk. Looking at the way he's posed in the front picture above, it seems like he would just waddle everywhere, which doesn't really sounds that practical. Wartortle only deserves a very mediocre score, but he gets a little boost for being related to the awesome turtles: Squirtle and Blastoise.

Turtle Rating: 5/10

The second and arguably best Rapid Spinner on this list, Wartortle is a very controversial Pokémon in the competitive environment. For a long time, he was considered horrible and unusable—the worst spinner in the tier. Recently, however, Wartortle has come to receive the attention he deserves. Because of Foresight, the little water turtle gets a guaranteed spin off every time (unless, of course, he's Encored or Taunted). Unfortunately, because of Wartortle's terrible offensive presence, he is only effective on full stall teams, but he is definitely THE most effective spinner on these teams. He often has to rely on Toxic or burns from Scald to wear down an opposing Pokémon due to his lack of power. Wartortle is also limited for moveslots, since he has to run Foresight and Rapid Spin. In the third slot, either Scald or Seismic Toss (usually Scald) is mandatory, and then you have to choose from Toxic, Haze, and Yawn for the last moveslot. Other more obscure options include moves like Aqua Jet and Gyro Ball (Gyro Ball's only use is to kill Jynx, aka don't use it). Most of the regular NU players agree that Wartortle is the most effective spinner in NU, mainly due to the guaranteed spin he gets. This and this alone gives him a decent score, as otherwise, he is a very lackluster Pokémon.

Rating: 7/10

Wartortle @ Eviolite
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 172 Def / 84 SpD
Bold Nature
- Rapid Spin
- Foresight
- Scald
- Toxic

Honorable Mentions

This is the place for those Pokémon who are almost turtles, but not quite there. They range from Pokémon who are nearly there, but have significant features of other animals, or simply Pokémon for which I don't know what animal they are. So here they are, the undecided turtles of NU.


Ah Shuckle, the infamous...uhh, I'm honestly not sure. If I had to say he was any animal, I'd say he was a turtle, which is why he gets a spot on this list, but that's definitely a stretch. I guess he has a shell...and four legs. To be honest, I quite like Shuckle. I think he's a cute little Pokémon who doesn't get much attention. He has really simple facial features, which is one of the most effective things you can do make something cute in my opinion (see Ditto). Shuckle is just a pretty cool Pokémon, but at the same time, kinda confusing. If I had any idea what animal he was meant to be (if any), I'd either put him on the actual list or take him off completely, but because of how much he befuddles me, he gets a mention here.


Lapras is a rather strange case. He definitely has a lot of the requirements to be a turtle, such as the shell, long neck, and stubby tail. However, there are also a lot of things that stop him from being a true turtle. His shell doesn't cover his entire body, so the flippers come out separately from the shell, unlike other turtles, for which the shell encloses the base of the leg. Notice how I used flipper when referring to Lapras, and leg when referring to the other turtles. This is another key difference between them, though not necessarily a bad one, since plenty of turtles have flippers too. In the end, it would be truer to call Lapras a pleiosaur, or possibly a sea monster, based off of legends such as the Loch Ness Monster. He still gets a mention here for being nearly there, however.


Shelgon is the Pokémon I was most hesitant about placing on this list. When first making the list, I considered him, and then dismissed him, mostly due to his lack of (visible) head and tail. Other users convinced me otherwise, and so here he is. Shelgon's shell is brilliant, pure and simple. It's very simplistic, and I love it. He also has cute little legs just peeking out of his shell, and his narrowed eyes show that he's ready to throw down wherever and whenever. Shelgon is just a little bad-ass who doesn't care how important you are; he'll smash your head in anyway (somehow, idk maybe he'll fall on you idk). Overall, despite having some features needed to be a turtle, he's not quite there, so he doesn't get a spot on the main list, despite being really awesome.


Undoubtedly the best animals available for use in NU, turtles are basically awesome. Every single one of them has an awesome design (except maybe Wartortle), and they all own in battle (except maybe Wartortle again). Every shell, every tail, and every turtle is unique, and they all deserve spots among NUs most awesome Pokémon, if only for the fact that they are turtles.

« Previous Article Home Next Article »