Gen 3 Ludicolo (OU revamp) [QC 0/2]


Ludicolo carries exclusive access to one of the strangest and most powerful type combinations in the game, which gives it a multitude of resistances and no special weaknesses. This typing lets Ludicolo check and set up on Swampert, Starmie, Claydol, and even some Salamence, Metagross, and Celebi. Ludicolo also has access to swift swim and water STAB, making it a threat to weakened or frail teams in the lategame, just like Kingdra. However, Ludicolo's secondary grass typing allows it to blast through opposing waters in a way that Kingdra can only dream of. In spite of its strengths, Ludicolo's typing also leaves it with no way to mitigate status and other forms of residual damage. Furthermore, Ludicolo's stats are middling at best, and so it can struggle to OHKO threats that it doesn't have a super effective move for. Finally, Ludicolo is helpless in the face of dedicated special walls, although it can at least annoy them with leech seed. However, against frailer offensive teams, Ludicolo still shines as a lategame sweeper.

name: Rain Sweeper
move 1: Rain Dance
move 2: Surf/Hydro Pump
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Hidden Power Grass/Leech Seed
item: Leftovers
ability: Swift Swim
nature: Modest
evs: 168 HP / 252 SpA / 88 Spe

Set Description

Ludicolo can take advantage of its typing and bulk to set up rain on most Pokemon who don't carry status or calm mind, and proceed to mow down an unprepared offensive or weakened team. Common defensive members of mixed offensive teams, such as leech seed Celebi, Metagross, and statusless baton pass Zapdos lose to Ludicolo one on one. Meanwhile Ludicolo has the tools to massacre Pokemon that rely on their speed stats and defensive typings to stop offensive threats, such as Salamence, Aerodactyl, Gengar, or Starmie.

Hydro pump allows Ludicolo to pick up 2HKOs on rest Zapdos in rain, meaning that a newly-resting Zapdos can no longer come in safely. Furthermore, offensive Jirachi can no longer calm mind to avoid the 2HKO if Ludicolo is running Hydro Pump instead of surf. Hydro Pump also almost always 1HKOs uninvested Tyranitar in sand, which surf cannot boast. In spite of these applications, the accuracy and PP mean that Hydro Pump is inferior to Surf overall.

Leech seed can be used to aid Ludicolo against Blissey or Snorlax, who come in to check it. Leech seed also deters Suicune from setting up on Ludicolo as freely, which can be useful because, in spite of STAB, HP Grass bounces off of Suicune's mighty flank like so many scattered rays of light.

Leftovers helps Ludicolo function as a pivot by greatly increasing its longevity both inside and outside of sandstorm. Lum berry is an alternative that provides a temporary band-aid to Ludicolo's crippling weakness to status, but on all but the most offensive teams, Ludicolo is better served by leftovers.

88 Speed EVs ensure that Ludicolo can outspeed the entire unboosted metagame in rain. Maximum special attack gives Ludicolo a salvageable offensive presence, especially for something with the same base special attack stat as a bowl of almond milk. The rest of the EVs should be placed in HP to improve its overall bulk.

Team Options

Ludicolo nullifies both defensive and offensive Swampert like it's nothing, meaning that strong physicals who force Swampert in, such as Tyranitar and Metagross, love to have Ludicolo standing by to break Swampert's momentum. In return, these Pokemon can come in on and threaten many of Ludicolo's common switchins such as Blissey and Snorlax. Metagross in particular loves to switch in on Toxic aimed at Ludicolo.

Ludicolo can support teammates who want to get rid of sandstorm, such as Snorlax, Heracross, or Suicune. These Pokemon can also take advantage of the slower, defensively-oriented teams that give Ludicolo the most trouble. Dugtrio can be used alongside Ludicolo on these builds to ensure that Tyranitar can't come in later to set up sandstorm again. Dugtrio also clears out Blissey and Jirachi to enable later-game Ludicolo sweeps, but beware of Dragon Dance Salamence, which can set up on Dugtrio and which Ludicolo (unlike Starmie and especially Kingdra) is helpless against.

Since many of its counters are grounded, Ludicolo enjoys spikes support, especially when it carries leech seed to force switches. Notably, Ludicolo pressures every common spinner.

Other Options

Ludicolo can invest 104 EVs in speed in order to flummox +1 adamant Heracross in rain. At 112 EVs invested, it sets up on, outspeeds, and forces out bulky DDtar who try to pick up a second boost against it. At 184 EVs and a Timid nature, Ludicolo boasts the ability to outrun even max-speed Tyranitars who switch into it and nullify its rain, although this level of investment cuts into Ludicolo's already-unreliable offensive power. 92 Speed EVs let Ludicolo outspeed Agility Metagross (instead of tying) (is this worth mentioning?) but this is of dubious usefulness because Ludicolo will be setting up rain on Metagross regardless of its speed whereas Metagross will rarely set up Agility on Ludicolo.

Ludicolo has a crazy movepool, with coverage like fire punch and thunder punch, as well as surprise utility options such as thief and counter, but since it's a Pokemon who can struggle to make progress even with its staples, that movepool is better left unexplored.

Checks and Counters

Special walls: Blissey, Regice, defensive Jirachi, and Snorlax can switch into anything Ludicolo can do and force it out. Three of them actively benefit from the lack-of-sandstorm that Ludicolo sets up, and can dispense a variety of status moves and offensive options that Ludicolo cannot handle.

All Forms of Status: Unlike one of its main competitors, Starmie, Ludicolo has no way to handle opposing status. Toxic and paralysis are commonly carried by Ludicolo's specially-bulky checks, but even Pokemon that Ludicolo is supposed to be able to fight one on one, such as Swampert, Metagross, and Gengar, can deal Ludicolo an abrupt and unrecoverable defeat using a status move. Worst of all is the fact that the tier's premier status absorbers, such as Starmie, Celebi, and Blissey, have poor synergy with Ludicolo in spite of their ability to absorb status.

Protect: Rain Dance only lasts five turns, so clever opponents can stop a Ludicolo sweep through careful switching and especially use of the move protect. With rain cleared, Salamence or Aerodactyl can come in on revenge and check Ludicolo. However, cunning Ludicolo players can use their weaker moves on the turn before rain runs out, leaving alive a foe that Ludicolo can set up another rain dance on.

- Written by: [[Redless 170393, whoever wrote the old one?]]
- Quality checked by: [[could be you?, ], [your name here?, ]]
- Grammar checked by: [[the person reading this?, ], [dearest reader?, ]]

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