Malamar

Malamar, The Overturning Pokémon. When it comes to strong hypnosis, there’s an endless number of people who utilize Malamar for their nefarious deeds. It flashes the pattern on its torso to control its prey and draw them in. The edges of its fins are supremely sharp.

Overview

With and interesting typing and bizarre evolution method, Malamar is a strange Pokemon in the lower tiers as it acts as the spiritual successor to Curse Snorlax. Contrary in conjunction with Superpower can quickly buff Malamar into a powerhouse, and its short list of weaknesses make it easy for it to get out of control. The downside to Malamar is that it's a bit of a one-trick pony and it's very unspectacular all around so it depends on those boosts to accomplish anything. The idea of a powerful Contrary Pokmeon with a good movepool is a scary enough thought as is though, so it's probably for the better that Malamar doesn't make a big enough impact in standard play.
Positives
Bulky - Once Malamar gets up and going, it's very hard to KO due to its natural bulk and the boost it gains, allowing it to stay in on some threats that it normally couldn't once it's all set up. Malamar also swings quite hard as well due to Superpower dropping, and thus boosting Attack. The fact that it's only weak to Bug- and Fairy-type moves also helps a bit since that limits the amount of types it's vulnerable to as well.

Negatives
Set up required - Much like a shelf from Walmart, Malamar requires set up to really work. This can be an issue if you're struggling to maintain pressure on the opponent or the opponent lacks a Pokemon that Malamar can look to set up on, especially since it also lacks any resistances except for a lone Psychic immunity. This combined with its 4x weakness to Bug and the general prevalence of U-turn can be an issue when trying to use Malamar.

Abilities

Suction Cups - Prevents forced switches - This isn't very useful in general, but immunity to Roar and similar moves is nice I guess.
Infiltrator - Ignores Mist, Safeguard, Light Screen, Reflect, Aurora Veil, and Substitute - This is a very good ability with a useful niche, but Malamar isn't strong enough to abuse this and it's inferior to Contrary.
Contrary- Reverses the effect of stat changes - An incredible ability as shown by Serperior in more standard formats, Malamar can become a bulky behemoth fairly quick between this and Superpower.

Movesets

Contray Sweeper

-Superpower
-Knock Off
-Rest
-Sleep Talk
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Contrary
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 4 Def /252 SpDef
Careful Nature

With Superpower, Malamar becomes a great win condition late game as once it gets rolling it's hard to stop. Superpower is also just a strong move option overall. Knock Off is a nice secondary option which is complemented by Superpower as it gets STAB boost and lets Malamar threaten Pokemon such as Slowking that it can pivot into early game. Rest and Sleep Talk round out the set as a way to get around status moves such as Toxic and heal off damage to be a long lasting threat.

Leftovers gives Malamar some passive recovery to increase its longevity and make it easier to set up, while the special bulk investments are meant to complement the Defense boosts it will get from Superpower. Careful nature ensures this Special Defense boost is as large as possible.

Other Options

-Choice Band is a viable option for trading durability for power. Malamar can become a terrifying attacker with instant power, though it loses out on snowballing potential this way.
-Life Orb is also an option as well as a Z Crystal due to it not locking Malamar into a specific move to activate Contrary.

Partners

Malamar is a Pokemon that needs a team build around it so it's more about what you need to support Malamar. Pokemon that can beat Bug types due to its 4x weakness are a must have so Pokemon such as Xatu are great, as it can not only bounce status and hazards but also packs U-Turn. Steelix is also great for its hazards as well as the ability to check physically offensive Pokemon that Malamar can struggle with such as Aerodactyl and Sneasel. Finally with Malamar's ability to pressure Defoggers with Contrary, hazards area a great option, namely Spikes. Ferroseed is great for this with its bulk and ability to check Bugs.

Countering Malamar

U-Turn - A 4x weakness to Bug makes Malamar very susceptible to nearly all Choice Scarf users as well as scouts. Passimian and Scyther in particular really hurt Malamar as they will always outspeed and secure the KO. Pinsir is another one that can pose a similar threat due to Malamar's less than ideal Speed.
Wallbreakers - Malamar needs time to truly be difficult to KO, making it very weak to wall breakers such as Mega Glalie and Medicham. There are quite a few options for this as Malamar's typing is fairly weak defensively, being immune to Psychic and resisting nothing, making any wall breaker capable of breaking Malamar before it boosts.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Not in game

Black 2/White 2:
Not in game

X/Y:
Evolve Inkay

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Sun/Moon:
Trade from Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Evolve Inkay

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Not in game

Animé Appearences

Malamar has made multiple appearances in the anime. Most notably a group of them had plans for world domination in the Kalos region

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
804 Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin! We've Come to Kalos Region! Dreams and Adventures Begin! Pics
822 A Conspiracy to Conquer! Madame X's Evil Plot! The Terrifying Malamar!! Pics
857 Facing the Grand Design! Malamar VS Inkay! A Bond That Saves the World!! Pics
937 The Right Hero for the Right Job! Attack on Lumiose Gym! The Clembot Forever!! Pics
942 Facing the Needs of the Many Farewell, Ash-Greninja! Xerosic Strikes Back!! Pics