name: Special Tank
move 1: Scald
move 2: Giga Drain
move 3: Ice Beam
move 4: Knock Off
item: Assault Vest
ability: Own Tempo
evs: 160 HP / 252 SpA / 96 Spe
Ludicolo is a decent special tank thanks its wide coverage, offensive movepool, and unique set of resistances. Scald and Giga Drain both synergize with Assault Vest: Scald dishes out burns, helping Ludicolo take physical attacks better, while Giga Drain provides extra longevity. Ice Beam targets Grass- and Dragon-types that resist Ludicolo's STAB moves like Altaria, Exeggutor, and Ivysaur. Knock Off cripples entry hazard removers like Articuno and Cryogonal, as well as walls like Clefairy and Alcremie. Crippling walls, alongside checking offensive Stealth Rock users like Rhydon, Piloswine, and Alolan Dugtrio with its typing and bulk, lets Ludicolo provide some early-game utility. Assault Vest allows Ludicolo to check special attackers like Rotom, Jynx, and Poliwrath.
Ludicolo appreciates walls like Cofagrigus and Tangela switching into physical attackers like Sawk, Lycanroc-N, and Gourgeist-S; in return, they appreciate it blanket checking special attackers. Once Ludicolo has crippled Defog and Rapid Spin users with Knock Off, partners like Rhydon and Alolan Dugtrio can more easily keep Stealth Rock up. This helps all sorts of offensive partners wallbreak and sweep. Notably, physical attackers like Sawk and Klinklang can take advantage of special walls that wall Ludicolo, using the momentum to have an easier time cleaning late-game.
Both sets can use Leaf Storm or Energy Ball to replace Giga Drain; however, Ludicolo does not appreciate Leaf Storm’s Special Attack drops and Energy Ball's lack of passive recovery, the latter either exacerbating Life Orb recoil or limiting Ludicolo's longevity as a tank.
Checks and Counters
**Specially Defensive Pokemon**: Some Pokemon such as Articuno and Type: Null can stomach a rain-boosted Hydro Pump and fire back with a super effective move like Freeze-Dry or U-turn, although neither appreciates losing its held item to Assault Vest Ludicolo.
**Super Effective Attacks and Coverage**: Sweeper Ludicolo's subpar defenses and base Speed leave it exposed to super effective attacks from foes such as Qwilfish and Silvally-Flying when rain is not active. Setting up Rain Dance is difficult against walls with super effective coverage like Altaria and Tangela, with Life Orb recoil being a huge factor as well. Pokemon like Thwackey and Silvally-Dark sporting super effective coverage like U-turn can also hamper setup opportunities.
**Priority Moves**: Priority move users such as Thwackey, Flapple, and Gurdurr can revenge kill a weakened Ludicolo, with the former two forcing Ludicolo to use Ice Beam—and take Life Orb recoil without Giga Drain healing, if applicable—should they not cleanly take it out. Kangaskhan not only has the fearsome Fake Out + Sucker Punch combination, but it can strategically use Fake Out to waste Ludicolo's remaining turns of rain.
**Shedinja**: Shedinja is immune to all of rain sweeper Ludicolo's attacks. Using Protect, it can even scout for Knock Off from Assault Vest variants of Ludicolo on non-rain teams.
- Written by: [[Aaronboyer, 239454], [5Dots, 543866]]
- Quality checked by: [[Tuthur, 369076], [S1nn0hC0nfirm3d, 231074], [Jett, 226429]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Adeleine, 517429]]