Nidoking, The Drill Pokémon. 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. Its tail is thick and powerful. If it binds an enemy, it can render the victim helpless quite easily. If its foe flinches, it will charge with its sturdy body.


Nidoking is one of the original Pokémon and has turned into an absolute classic and is still rather competitively viable, even after so many years. While X & Y gave it a needed 10 point boost in its Attack stat, thanks to its Hidden Ability it is still predominantly used as a Special Attacker, contrary to what many would expect, and even still expect from it. While it's not as bulky as its Nidoqueen sister, it is much faster and can be absolutely dominating in battle. If you see one, you never quite know what to expect from it. Though most of the time, the physical Attacks such as Earthquake would still do more damage, Nidoking being able to have this option of being a Special sweeper with Life Orb & Sheer Force means it's not susceptible to the massive amount of Intimidates and Burns you see in this day and age.
+It has fantastic Attack stat and a movepool to match
+The Sheer Force ability really makes Nidoking more viable
+Its Speed is passable
+It's good against the Fairy Pokémon that have started filling up the metagame

-Its defences and Hit Points leave something to be desired at 81/77/75. It's not bad, but it's not the best
-Its typing leaves it open to being destroyed by Earthquake and Water & Ice-type moves.
-Breeding to get a decent Sheer Force one can be a hassle thanks to how the breeding works with this evolution line


Poison Point: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with poison when hitting this Pokemon with a contact move. Not a bad ability at all. Poison damage can be important in wearing opponents down, but it's outclassed by its hidden ability.
Rivalry: Attack & Special Attack is increased by 25% if the foe is of the same gender; Attack & Special Attack is decreased by 25% if the foe is of the opposite gender. - In theory, this ability could be useful, but it can just as easily be detrimental. Don't use it.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Sheer Force: Moves with a secondary effect are increased in power by 33% but lose their secondary effect . - Fantastic ability. You get a boost in power, but do lose the chance of paralysing, but there's a twist. Using the Life Orb with this gives you the Life Orb boost too, but with none of the recoil. This is what makes Special focused Nidoking a thread


Long Live the Nidoking

-Sludge Wave
-Earth Power
-Ice Beam / Thunderbolt
-Flamethrower / Megahorn / Thunderbolt
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 Atk / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk), Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) or Naive Nature (+Spe, -SDef)

This is your standard Gen V & Gen VI Nidoking set. Thanks to the Life Orb boost with Sheer Force, each of these moves hit ridiculously hard. Sludge Wave gets the STAB and can deal with those pesky Fairy-type Pokémon, even doing decent damage on Special Defense focused ones like Florges. Earth Power gets the STAB as well and has great coverage. Flamethrower, Ice Beam & Thunderbolt give Nidoking some further type coverage, to take out the Grass & Water-type Pokémon that can cause Nidoking a bit of grief and Megahorn is there too. While not a Special move, it is useful in getting rid of various Psychic-type Pokémon such as Mew, and even Slowbro.


-Poison Jab
-Fire Punch / Ice Punch / Sucker Punch / Megahorn
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature (+Spe, -SAtk)

So, we have dealt with the Special focus that Nidoking carved itself last gen, but we would be remiss if we ignored the fact that it is a physical beast. With the extra 10 points it got in X & Y in Attack, the sets now hit even harder. Poison Jab gets STAB and gets both Life Orb & Sheer Force boosts. Superpower, while not affected by the Sheer Force boost, is a great move that should be used as a last resort, since it does lower your stats, but isn't currently available. Earthquake is Earthquake, there really needs to be no explanation. Now, the elemental punches here are not available in the Kalos Native metagame as we speak, but it's likely they will be soon. They will get the Sheer Force boost and provide decent coverage. Sucker Punch has priority and Megahorn, as stated before, is necessary to stop a large variety of Pokémon that can cause Nidoking some grief.

Other Options

Choice Scarf, Fire Blast, Focus Blast, Focus Energy, Stealth Rock, Toxic Spikes
Choice Scarf is always a decent option. While you lose the Life Orb boost to moves, you're more likely to outspeed most opponents when you're using it.
Fire Blast is a powerful move that can be used, but there is an issue with it, its accuracy.
Focus Energy is a risk, but it can pay off when you properly predict your opponent, especially if it's an Aegislash.
Focus Blast is a special Fighting-type move that gets the Sheer Force boost, but again, accuracy is horrific
Stealth Rock is a decent move, currently transfer only, that can decimate your opponent
Toxic Spikes works similarly to Stealth Rock. With Nidoking's Speed, it could be worth doing.

Double & Triple Battle Options

Sheer Force is a phenomenal ability, it can make the strongest of physical attackers prefer to use their special attacks instead. Why is this? Sheer Force has two nifty abilities, the first being that it negates the secondary effects of the users attacks in exchange for a 33% boost in that move's base power. The second effect (despite being intentional or not) is that when using said secondary effect move while holding the Life Orb, the Life Orb won't drain away the user's health but still give the user the 30% boost in base power.

That being considered, let's do some math. Nidoking's Earth Power would look something like this..
((90BP x STAB) Sheer Force ) Life Orb
Which makes Earth Power's new base power just around 230, a few points below Explosion but with the ability to hit things for Super Effective. That is INCREDIBLE power.


Earth Power
Ice Beam
Thunderbolt / Sludge Bomb
Protect / Sludge Bomb / Flamethrower
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 SAtk / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Modest/Timid Nature

Nidoking has impressive coverage, there's not much more to using him than understanding the type chart, and using the move that will do the most damage. At base 85 Speed, he'll outspeed a lot, but will still be outsped. Tailwind AND Trick Room are something to consider when using Nidoking. Protect is a move t be considered on every Doubles/Triples set, but it can be dropped in favor of another coverage move.

Nidoking's odd speed is a blessing and a curse. With base 85 it can function in Tailwind AND Trick Room usually no problem. So it's best partners would be able to set those up for it. Aromatisse can do Trick Room but it fears Aegislash, luckily Nidoking has Aegislash covered. Talonflame and Aerodactyl can set up Tailwind, but are often targeted with Rock or Electric moves, both types that Nidoking resists.

With the introduction of Mega Evolutions, there exist Pokemon that can hit just as hard as Nidoking AND take hits AND offer more utility without so many common weaknesses. Garchomp and Rotom-W are generally seen on about half of one team or another, and both put Nidoking in a bad spot because as much as Nidoking loves to dish out Super Effective hits, he can't take Super Effective hits well or at all. To get the most out of him you'll need to have been running Tailwind or Trick Room in the first place. So in short... Incredible Power, incredible coverage, BUT, terrible switch in opportunities, terrible defenses, and a speed stat that by itself, just won't cut it.

Countering Nidoking

Now, countering Nidoking is tricky. Your best bet is to assume it's a Special Pokémon and so special walls like Blissey will just absorb all of Nidoking's hits, despite the boosts. Conversely, physical walls like Slowbro and Alomomola can do the same for the physical sets that Nidoking runs. Your best bet here is to be faster and hit at its relatively weak defences. Just a simple Surf will likely knock it out if from a powerful enough Pokémon. Nidoking is strong, but it is relatively frail and enough hits can just take it out. If it's a physical Nidoking, then a simple burn will ruin it as well, as chances are it won't be mixed. That'll make your life a fair bit easier.

Locations in Games

Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen

Evolve Nidorino

Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen

Evolve Nidorino

Evolve Nidorino

Evolve Nidorino (White)
Trade from White, Black 2 or White 2 (Black)

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Nidorino

Evolve Nidorino

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- -Jp. 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! Pokémon I Choose You! Pics
1090 Enter Pikachu! Pikachu is Born!! Pics
1094 Mind-Boggling Dynamax! Snorlax Grows Gigantic?! The Mystery of Dynamax!! Pics
1096 Serving Up the Flute Cup! The Hoenn Region, Site of Fierce Fights! The Battle Frontier Challenge!! Pics