Nidoking

Nidoking, The Drill Pokémon. Nidoking's thick tail packs enormously destructive power. With one swing, it can topple a metal transmission tower. Once this Pokémon goes on a rampage, there is no stopping it. It is recognized by its rock-hard hide and its extended horn. Be careful with the horn, as it contains venom. One swing of its mighty tail can snap a telephone pole as if it were a matchstick.

Overview

Nidoking has been an interesting Pokémon, being good or bad. Nidoking has a massive move pool and decent stats to abuse it, but is held back by its typing and fact its stats are just average.
Positives
+ Massive Move pool, a large part of which is supported by Sheer Force making Nidoking a superb user of the ability + For UU, Nidoking is decently fast, outpacing a lot of common Pokémon like Chandelure + Nidoking's typing is good enough, giving it immunity to Toxic, absorbs Toxic Spikes, and resist Stealth Rocks while giving resistance to Bug, Fighting, Poison, and Fairy

Negatives
- Nidoking trades power for defensive stats, making it easy to revenge kill or just wear down. - Poison typing makes Nidoking weak to Psychic and Ground and its Ground makes it weak to Water, both are big threats in UU - Nidoking has to compete with other Pokémon for roles such as Nidoqueen for tanky attacker or Heracross for Scarfed attacker

Abilities

Poison Point - 30% chance to poison on contact - Really a pointless ability, can be funny to use to troll people
Rivalry - Gain 25% increased power against same gender opponents but lose 25% power against opposite gender Pokémon - There can be arguments to use Rivalry, but its overall such a high risk gamble
Hidden Ability (Available):
Sheer Force - moves with secondary effects, burns, paralysis, freeze, lose the effect but gain 30% power. Life Orb recoil is negated with moves effected by Sheer Force - Sheer Force is one of the best offensive abilities in the game and is really the only ability to run on Nidoking competitively

Movesets

Special Wall Breaker

-Ice Beam
-Sludge Wave
-Earth Power
-Taunt/Superpower
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
4 Def/252 SpAtk/252 Spd
Timid/Naive Nature

Nidoking excels as a powerful wallbreaker with Sheer Force and impressive coverage. A nice bonus is that it gets two stab moves, Earth Power and Sludge Wave, that benefit from Sheer Force, making them both excellent choices in top of being two good offensive types. This allows Nidoking to beat walls and bulky threats like Togekiss and Cobalion with ease. Ice Beam is nice coverage to handle another common wall in UU, Hippowdon, as well as Haxorus and Hydreigon switch ins. Last option is open for Taunt to stall break and really hurt Pokémon like Blissey and Porygon 2, while Superpower is nice to punch through the prior mentioned threats.

Other Options

Substitute - An option to put pressure on the faster threats that check Nidoking as it stops them from OHKOing it and Nidoking can do it in return to them.
Choice Scarf - Similar to Substitute, Choice Scarf trades power for Speed, allowing Nidoking to KO threats that normally outpace it such as Krookodile and Aerodactyl.
Physical - With Nidoking's 17 base higher Physical Attack, a physically based set can be used. However it lacks coverage that makes use of Sheer Force, having only the elemental punches, Poison Jab, and Rock Slide for notable moves.

Possible Partners

Hydreigon - Hydreigon enjoys Nidoking's reliable ability to consistently check Fairies that are its bane as well as pressure special walls such as Blissey. Hydreigon also can create a switch in for Nidoking with U-Turn so it can safely apply pressure.
Mega Aerodactyl - Being a top sweeper, Mega Aerodactyl likes Nidoking's ability to destroy walls as well as its immunity to electric move, a main way to deal with Mega Aerodactyl. However Nidoking users need to be careful of Hidden Power Ice which on most electrics is a clean 2HKO.
Scizor - Scizor does well with Nidoking as it can boost or harass checks to it. With Bullet Punch it can beat some of the faster threats such as Scizor and Aerodactyl, while Pursuit trapping Psychic threats like Cresselia, who counters Nidoking. Lastly Scizor can U-Turn into Nidoking for a safe switch in.

VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options

Nidoking is not VGC 2017-legal since it is not found in the Alolan Pokedex, but most players probably have not even noticed. Even with the introduction of many fairy-types in X and Y making poison types stronger than ever, Nidoking has not managed to find a reliable role in doubles. Despite having fantastic coverage moves and good power thanks to Sheer Force, the drill Pokemon does not have elite speed to make use of its power, and its defensive stats leave a lot to be desired. Its bulkier sister, Nidoqueen, actually saw a higher usage in VGC 2015 since it could absorb hits a bit better, while still hitting hard enough. The ‘King still can put in some situational work in double battles, but it greatly appreciates some speed control.

King of the Nidos and the First ‘Mons

-Earth Power
-Sludge Bomb
-Ice Beam
-Protect / Thunderbolt / Flamethrower
Item Attached: Life Orb / Choice Scarf
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest / Timid Nature

Sheer Force is the ability of choice here, as many of Nidoking’s special attacks receive the boost. Maximum special attack and speed helps Nidoking outspeed as much as possible while still hitting hard. The only two items that Nidoking uses competitively are Life Orb and Choice Scarf. Life Orb goes great with Sheer Force, as any move that gets a boost from the ability will also make it so that Nidoking does not take any Life Orb recoil. Choice Scarf misses some badly needed power, but helps Nidoking make up for its lackluster speed. With the variety of coverage moves, Nidoking is still strong due to the super-effective damage it can do to so many faster Pokemon. A Modest nature is a bit stronger, and Modest Choice Scarf will outspeed Tapu Koko, but a Timid nature may be preferred on Life Orb sets so you ensure you outspeed more opponents.

Each of Nidoking’s attacks on this set receive a Sheer Force boost, which helps make up for its mediocre special attack. Earth Power and Sludge Bomb are its STAB attacks that are useful against a variety of common Pokemon in doubles, such as the Heatran and the Tapus. Ice Beam provides very good coverage in general, but can OHKO common powerhouses like Landorus-T and Mega Salamence. Protect is necessary on the Life Orb set to allow a teammate to set up speed control or eliminate an opponent threatening Nidoking. Thunderbolt completes the classic bolt-beam combo on the Choice Scarf set, but Flamethrower is useful for Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Scizor.

Other Options & Team Ideas

-Sludge Wave is a very strong attack for spread damage, but you will want a steel type, Wide Guard user, or a Pokemon with Telepathy next to Nidoking so you do not hurt your teammate as well.
-A physical set based around Earthquake and Poison Jab (which receives a Sheer Force boost) is another direction to take Nidoking, but it is generally inferior to the special set for a number of reasons. Earthquake does not receive a Sheer Force boost, Grassy Terrain in matchups with Tapu Bulu teams neutralize Earthquake’s power, Rock Slide cannot flinch opponents due to Sheer Force, and, perhaps most importantly, Intimidate is extremely common. A physical set does allow for Sucker Punch, Nidoking’s only priority move, to be used.
-Shadow Ball and Focus Blast are additional coverage moves that receive a Sheer Force boost.
-Stronger coverage moves like Blizzard and Thunder have seen some use since they become very powerful with Sheer Force, but they are typically only seen with weather support. Fire Blast is another stronger coverage move, but with worse accuracy than Flamethrower.
-Roar and Taunt can help prevent Trick Room strategies.

-As previously mentioned, Nidoking really needs speed control support in order to thrive. Tailwind users, Pokemon with Icy Wind, or even a situational Trick Room setup help Nidoking attack before the opponent.
-Assuming you choose to run the special set, Grassy Terrain is beneficial for Nidoking to reduce damage from an opponent’s Earthquake. Wide Guard can also help with this.
-Pokemon like Mega Charizard Y like that Nidoking can threaten Heatran, and Choice Scarf variants can eliminate Tapu Koko, Landorus-T, or Mega Salamence quickly. Drought will also protect Nidoking from water-type attacks a bit.

Countering Nidoking

Blissey/Porygon 2 - With both having high Special Defense, Blissey and Porygon 2 can wall Nidoking quite well, though Focus Blast is a big threat to them. For the most part they can switch in without a lot of concern and wall Nidoking to no end.
Cresselia - Running in the same vein as Blissey and Porygon 2, Cresselia can switch in on all of Nidoking's moves. Unlike Blissey and Porygon 2, Cresselia can just KO Nidoking with Psychic.
Krookodile - Krookodile can switch in on Nidoking's Poison stab or Taunt and pressure it out with its high speed and Ground Stab. However something usually needs to be sacked for Krookodile to get in as Nidoking can KO it with Ice Beam.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Evolve Nidorino

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Evolve Nidorino

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Evolve Nidorino

Colosseum/XD:
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Nidorino

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Nidorino

Black/White:
Evolve Nidorino (White)
Trade from White/Black 2/White 2 (Black)

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Nidorino

X/Y:
Evolve Nidorino

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Sun/Moon:
Transfer from Generation VI

Animé Appearences

Nidoking has made a fair few appearances in the anime. Most notably, one was used by Gary Oak in his gym battle against Giovanni's Mewtwo. Paul also had one and used it against Brandon of the Battle Pyramid

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
47 A Chansey Operation Chansey's Clinical Records Pics
63 The Battle of the Badge Viridian Gym! The Last Badge! Pics
M1 Mewtwo Strikes Back Mewtwo's Counterattack Pics
79 Fourth Round Rumble Formidable Rival in Grass Field! Pics
90 In the Pink The Island of Pink Pokémon! Pics
98 Meowth Rules! Lord Meowth's Island!? Pics
M2 The Power of One Revelation Lugia Pics
142 Wired For Battle Battle! Heracross vs. Scizor!! Pics
196 The Ring Masters Feraligatr Vs. Blastoise! Sumo Match! Pics
M4 Celebi: Voice of the Forest Celebi: A Timeless Encounter Pics
225 Throwing in the Noctowl! Fly Proud Hoothoot! Aim for Olivine!! Pics
239 Cold as Pryce! Piloswine and Pryce Of Winter! Pics
268 A Claim to Flame! The Silver Tournament! The Return of Gary! Pics
C8 Showdown at the Oak Corral! Epic Battle at Oak's Lab! Pics
348 The Bicker The Better Tag Battle! Ash VS May!! Pics
403 Saved by the Beldum Start The Preliminaries! Morrison Appears!! Pics
M8 Lucario & The Mystery of Mew Mew & The Wave-Guiding Hero - Lucario Pics
438 Odd Pokémon Out Grovyle VS Tropius! Grass Field Battle! Pics
495 Setting a Not-So-Old Score! Deciding Match! Piplup VS Prinplup!! Pics
596 A Pyramiding Rage! Pyramid Battle! Brandon VS Paul! Pics
M12 Arceus & The Jewel of Life Arceus - Towards Conquering Space-Time Pics
608 Historical Mystery Tour Natu, Xatu...Mysterious Forest! Pics
796 Mystery on a Deserted Island! The Mystery of the Treasure! Adventure on an Uninhabited Island!! Pics
XYZS1 To be confirmed The Legend of XYZ Pics
M20   Pokémon I Choose You!  

 
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