Wigglytuff is entirely outclassed by Clefable in NU. However, Clefable is one of the best Pokemon available, and Wigglytuff can do many of the same things, so Wigglytuff can be used alongside it as a second, more limited Clefable. Compared to Clefable, Wigglytuff has equally strong STAB moves and similar utility in Thunder Wave but slightly less bulk and very weak coverage moves due to its poor Special stat. In particular, Wigglytuff can be used as a response to the opposing Clefable, or in some cases as a response to Mr. Mime, allowing your own Clefable to be used for other things rather than being locked into a Clefable mirror. However, devoting a slot to Wigglytuff comes at a significant cost, since NU is an extremely centralized metagame. Using Wigglytuff leaves you with an overall slower team and generally means forgoing either Charizard or a different late-game sweeper, such as Seadra, Raticate, Electrode, or Kingler. Wigglytuff performs quite consistently when it is used, but the limitations it imposes on teambuilding are not always worth it.
name: Bulky Support
move 1: Thunder Wave
move 2: Hyper Beam
move 3: Seismic Toss
move 4: Body Slam / Blizzard
Thunder Wave should always be used to help compensate for Wigglytuff's poor Speed and to ensure Charizard cannot set up in front of it, as Wigglytuff cannot 2HKO it. It is also generally useful due to the fast pace of matches, and it gives a bulky Pokemon, such as Wigglytuff itself, extra chances to get an advantage from full paralysis. STAB Hyper Beam is by far Wigglytuff’s most powerful move; it has a decent chance to KO Mr. Mime after a Body Slam or Seismic Toss, it is generally a good option against weakened foes, and it is a good final attack right before Wigglytuff is KOed. Seismic Toss is Wigglytuff’s most spammable move, 3HKOing Mr. Mime and 4HKOing everything other than opposing Wigglytuff. Due to Wigglytuff’s middling Attack, poor Special, and low critical hit rate, alternative moves aside from Hyper Beam rarely deal significantly more damage anyway. Seismic Toss also helps to ensure Wigglytuff does not become useless if burned.
Body Slam is often the preferred fourth move, enabling Wigglytuff to threaten Nidoking with paralysis and providing a second spammable move alongside Seismic Toss, making Wigglytuff less predictable. In particular, being able to use Body Slam to threaten paralysis rather than depending on Thunder Wave makes it more difficult for Nidoking to switch in for free. On the other hand, using a Body Slam + Seismic Toss set makes the Golem matchup difficult, since Golem is immune to Thunder Wave, Speed ties Wigglytuff, and avoids a 3HKO from Seismic Toss even after a Body Slam. Blizzard is Wigglytuff’s best coverage option for Golem without compromising the Nidoking matchup; it 2HKOes Golem about half the time, and it also deals 38% minimum to Nidoking, leaving it in range of Blastoise’s Surf or Mr. Mime’s Psychic. However, note that Blizzard does minimal damage against neutral targets due to Wigglytuff’s poor Special, so it leaves Wigglytuff very reliant on Seismic Toss.
Wigglytuff can be used as a lead, since it has a very favorable matchup against Mr. Mime and an acceptable matchup against Charizard while preventing Venomoth from switching in safely due to Thunder Wave and STAB Body Slam. Alternatively, Clefable can be used in the lead slot for its ability to 2HKO Charizard with Blizzard and similarly favorable Mr. Mime matchup, and it can also use Psychic to threaten Venomoth; in this case, Wigglytuff should be used to provide the team with a bulky Thunder Wave user and Clefable check. Outside of the lead, Wigglytuff is typically best used as a Clefable switch-in, after which it can paralyze it with Thunder Wave and trade hits with Seismic Toss or Body Slam. Wigglytuff can also switch into a predicted Seismic Toss or Thunder Wave from Mr. Mime, but Wigglytuff does not want to switch into Mr. Mime's Psychic, as it can be 2HKOed with one critical hit.
Bubble Beam provides a guaranteed 2HKO on Golem and a 33% Speed drop chance, but dropping Body Slam for Bubble Beam leaves Wigglytuff without a good move to threaten Nidoking; dropping Seismic Toss for Bubble Beam leaves Wigglytuff walled by Kabutops. Counter can potentially deal massive damage; however, Wigglytuff's opportunities to use Counter are typically limited to specific Pokemon such as Raticate, Wigglytuff, and rare targets like Primeape and Pinsir. Clefable does more damage to it with Blizzard than Body Slam anyway, and Wigglytuff does not force many switches. Thunderbolt can be used to avoid Blastoise’s Counter, 3HKO Kabutops, and rarely 2HKO Kingler; however, if Kabutops switches into either Body Slam or Hyper Beam, then Seismic Toss will 3HKO it, making it comparable to Thunderbolt. Wigglytuff is also not too threatened by Blastoise’s Counter due to its high HP stat, taking less than 50% from a Counter on Seismic Toss. Sing is a potential option, but it is not a very good one due to its 55% accuracy and Wigglytuff’s abysmal Speed. However, since Wigglytuff can be effective enough with just Thunder Wave, Seismic Toss, and Hyper Beam, Sing can be used in the fourth moveslot for niche matchups, such as against opposing Wigglytuff, and as a desperation play in an otherwise losing game.
Checks and Counters
**Ground-types**: Nidoking can switch into Wigglytuff's Thunder Wave and usually defeat it, outspeeding and 3HKOing it with Earthquake while avoiding a 2HKO from any combination of moves. However, Nidoking does not want to switch into Body Slam or Blizzard. Conversely, Golem has little to fear from a Body Slam + Seismic Toss Wigglytuff and can similarly switch into its Thunder Wave, but it risks losing the Speed tie and being 2HKOed by Blizzard.
**Fire-types**: Wigglytuff is 3HKOed by any STAB Fire Blast, aside from Moltres's which usually 2HKOes. A burn also makes Wigglytuff unable to use its STAB Hyper Beam effectively. However, Fire-types generally hate being paralyzed by Thunder Wave.
**Rock-types**: Kabutops can switch into Hyper Beam and take advantage of the recharge turn to either boost with Swords Dance or simply KO a weakened Wigglytuff, depending on the situation. Golem can also switch into Hyper Beam and either set up a Substitute or attack with Earthquake.
**Sleep**: Because of its poor Speed, Wigglytuff can be vulnerable to Pokemon with sleep-inducing moves, such as Venomoth or even Sing Clefable. However, sleep inducers do not want to switch into Thunder Wave, and Venomoth does not want to switch into Body Slam.
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