Kingler

Kingler, The Pincer Pokémon. The larger pincer has 10,000- horsepower strength. However, it is so heavy, it is difficult to aim. It waves its huge, oversized claw in the air to communicate with others. But since the claw is so heavy, it quickly tires.

Overview

Kingler is a three generation underachiever, who may manage to nab some limelight in Diamond and Pearl. It has always had a monstrous Attack stat, and finally, with the physical-special split, it can put its signature Crabhammer to good use. Brick Break, X-Scissor and Rock Slide have also been added to its move-pool and they all benefit from Swords Dance. It's not enough to break it out of the Underused environment, but it's enough to make it a viable choice on a UU team.

Trait

Hyper Cutter: is probably the preferable choice. Kingler will want to retain a high attack stat, and Hyper Cutter can block nuisances such as Charm and Intimidate.

Shell Armour: prevents Critical Hits. Kingler has a good Defence stat, but it doesn't have enough HP to make defensive-minded move-sets a viable choice. With that in mind, Shell Armour isn't a particularly attractive ability.

Move Sets

Swords Dance

- Crabhammer
- Swords Dance
- X-Scissor / Rock Slide / Brick Break
- X-Scissor / Rock Slide / Brick Break
Item Attached: Leftovers / Life Orb / Expert Belt
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Swords Dance is the most practical application of its physical sweeping capabilities. Although its Speed isn't perfect for sweeping, it's fast enough to outrun the slow heavy hitters and Kingler is bulky enough to take a hit or two during its sweep.

Its signature Crabhammer will provide it with its core attack. Its final two moves are generally picked from its three best options. X-Scissor deals with Grass types. Rock Slide would primarily be used for Flying types (such as Altaria and Mantine, who both resist Crabhammer). Brick Break gets some decent type coverage, but it doesn't strike many notable Pokémon who would resist Crabhammer.

Leftovers gives it some steady healing, which may help since it'll probably take a hit or two during any sweeping attempts. Life Orb will make its attacks even stronger but will really leave it exposed defensively, especially against faster sweepers. Expert Belt gives its attacks a minor boost when they're super-effective, but Kingler doesn't have particularly great type-coverage with its move-pool.

Choice

- Crabhammer
- X-Scissor
- Rock Slide
- Brick Break
Item Attached: Choice Band / Choice Scarf
Ability: Hyper Cutter
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Aside from Swords Dance, the other application for its large Attack stat is Choice Band. A potential 394 Attack stat, boosted by a Choice Band, is quite frightening by UU standards. It doesn't have the perfect move-pool to abuse it with, but STAB Crabhammer will hurt anything that doesn't resist it.

Choice Scarf has a fair bit of potential on Kingler. With a Choice Scarf equipped, it outruns the majority of its UU opponents, and 394 Attack certainly makes sweeping a possibility.

EVs and Nature:

Kingler will mostly favour the 252/252 spread. It'll always want as much Attack as it can get, and its Speed is in an area where it benefits from a Speed boost, since it shares its Speed group with other slow but hard-hitting sweepers (such as Ursaring, Ampharos and Relicanth, with the likes of Aggron and Hariyama trailing a little behind it). Understandably, any variants intending to be supported by Trick Room would benefit from a Brave Nature, a low Speed IV and no Speed EVs. More defensive minded variants will favour HP EVs, since its HP is quite pitiful at its Base. Excess EVs can be dedicated to its quite respectable Defence stat.

Other Options

Knock Off, Haze, Return, Amnesia, Substitute, Flail, Endure, Toxic, Salac Berry.

Knock Off is the best move it's got that isn't already mentioned. The loss of an item usually hurts an opponent to some extent, in most cases this would be a defensive Pokémon losing Leftovers. The best case scenario would have the opponents strategy crippled (e.g. the loss of a Choice item).

Haze can remove stat boosts, but Kingler really isn't well built for a supporting role.

Normal moves are usually overlooked on physical sweepers who won't gain a STAB boost on them, but Kingler's move-pool lacks power. Even though Normal won't get a super-effective hit, Return is its second strongest physical move (behind STAB Crabhammer). Amnesia isn't particularly advised for the same reasons as Haze. Kingler isn't built in a way that accommodates that kind of set.

Substitute is an all-round good move. It blocks status attacks, gives it a defensive buffer against opposing attacks and can be used to forcibly activate a stat boosting berry.

Flail is another Normal typed move. There are better candidates for a Flail strategy in the UU environment, but Kingler is capable of doing it. With a Swords Dance backing Flail, there's some potential. Understandably, Flail would be combined with a Salac Berry and either Endure or Substitute to force its HP down.

Toxic usually hurts defensive water types, many of which would normally be effective Kingler counters.

Salac Berry is an all-round helpful item for Kingler, since it has enough Speed to benefit well from a boost.

Countering Kingler

Kingler has monstrous attack, but STAB Crabhammer is really the only thing its got to take advantage of it. Brick Break, Rock Slide and X-Scissor all hurt when they're super-effective, but without a super-effective boost they aren't particularly special. As a result, Pokémon with a water resistance tend to be the top choice.

Defensive water types tend to be the most readily available counters. Quagsire (with Water Absorb), Blastoise and Poliwrath are all decent choices. Without Rock Slide, Pelipper, Mantine, Qwilfish and Tentacruel can also take it on. If it lacks Rock Slide and Brick Break, Dewgong, Walrein and Lapras can beat it fairly comfortably. If it lacks X-Scissor, Slowking will work well against it. Lanturn doesn't like taking physical hits, but it can handle them and Kingler is always going to run from it.

A few Grass types work nicely against it as well. Because of their dual types, Vilepume and Venusaur work really well against it. If X-Scissor is absent, Meganium is a great counter whilst Bellossom performs adequately. If it lacks Rock Slide, Jumpluff and Tropius can also perform adequately.

The only UU Dragon is Altaria, but if Rock Slide is absent, Altaria will be fairly effective.

The biggest problem it poses to potential counters is the possibility of Crabhammer scoring a critical-hit (this of course makes Water Absorbers even more preferable). Aside from that, it doesn't have too many tricks up its sleeve. Knock Off and possibly Toxic are the only other moves that it has that are likely to cause its potential counters problems.

Since it's a physical sweeper, Will-o-Wisp will cripple it heavily and Thunder Wave will cause some problems. Because of its low HP and low Special Defence, Kingler is especially exposed to Special attacks. Grass and Electric attacks are obviously preferable, but generally any neutrally-effective Special attack is going to hurt. It's surprisingly durable against physical attacks, but even then, Choice Band boosted (or STAB) attacks are going to leave a large dent.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Trade from FRLG

Colosseum/XD

Trade from FRLG

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Evolve Krabby (FR) Routes 19, 20, 21 & 25, One Island, Pallet Town, Bond Bridge, Five Isle Meadow, Green Path, Icefall Cave Floor 1, Kindle Road, Memorial Pillar, Outcast Island, Resort Gorgeous, Tanoby Ruins, Trainer Tower, Treasure Beach, Water Labyrinth, Water Path (Fish) (LG)

Diamond/Pearl

Evolve Krabby

Animé Appearences

Kingler has had a few Anime Appearences. First Giovanni used one in his Gym Battle against Gary. After that, Ash's Krabby evolved into one in the Indigo League. All subsequent appearences are from Ash's Kingler at Oak's Lab or in the Whirl Cup and Silver Conference:

Episode 063: The Battle for the Badge
Episode 077: Round One, Begin!
Episode 078: Fire and Ice!
Episode 117: A Tents Situation
Episode 218: Dueling Heroes
Episode 219: A Perfect Match
Episode 269: Love, Pokémon Style
Chronicles 08: Showdown At The Oak Corral
Chronicles 14: Journey To The Starting Line
Episode 410: The Right Place At The Right Mime

 
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