Swampert, The Mud Fish Pokémon. Swampert is very strong. It has enough power to easily drag a boulder weighing more than a ton. This Pokémon also has powerful vision that lets it see even in murky water. Swampert predicts storms by sensing subtle differences in the sounds of waves and tidal winds with its fins. If a storm is approaching, it piles up boulders to protect itself.It can swim while towing a large ship. It bashes down foes with a swing of its thick arms. Its arms are rock-hard. With one swing, they can batter down its foe. It makes its nest on beautiful beaches.
Finally, he’s here for you. It’s the last member of the Hoenn Starter crew! Swampert is the member of the Hoenn Starter Trio who has had the most modest origins. While it lacked the mixed attacking power of Blaziken and the speed of Sceptile, Swampert has always been the bulkiest of the Hoenn starters, sporting decent base 100/90/90 defenses, while its typing only gives it a single weakness. It’s no slouch offensively either, as it possesses a decent base 110 attack stat, and a potent Water/Ground typing gives it two very useful STAB attacks. However, there were always a few things holding Swampert back. A lack of reliable recovery hurts it longevity, and its base 60 speed has always left a lot to be desired. In addition, although it only has one weakness, it’s a nasty 4x weakness to Grass, meaning that it’s not gonna be able to survive a super-effective hit. A general power creep over the years had made things harder for Swampert as well, as it has to endure stronger attacks than it did back in Gen 3. However, Swampert did get one useful boon in the sixth Generation… it got a Mega Evolution! While its Mega Evolution may outclass it offensively, its base form is still very useful for defensive sets, given it can utilize Leftovers while the Mega Evolution cannot. As a result, Swampert has been able to remain relevant, unlike the myriad of Pokemon whose Mega Evolutions outclass it completely. Don’t count this Mud Fish out, because it’s a tough opponent who won’t go down easily. Give Swampert consideration if you want a reliable bulky Water type.
Torrent: When HP is below 1/3rd its maximum, power of Water-type moves is increased by 50%. - Torrent is your standard Water-type starter ability. When HP gets low, your Water STAB gets powered up. However, in general this ability is underwhelming. Getting to 33% HP and staying alive isn’t always easy, especially since Swampert prefers that its HP stays high. In addition, it only powers up your Water STAB, so your Ground STAB and any coverage moves are unaffected. This ability isn’t very reliable, but given its other ability isn’t great either, Swampert finds itself using this regardless.
With Swampert’s stellar bulk, a defensive set should be a no-brainer. Thanks to the aforementioned bulk, it has very little trouble setting up Stealth Rock, especially since its typing allows it to force switches as well. Earthquake is an obvious STAB attack, and with its high base power and no drawbacks, it’s great for damage, even without investment. Scald might seem odd given Swampert’s comparatively lower special attack stat, but with its nasty 30% burn rate, it can neuter physical attackers, making Swampert’s job even easier. For the final moveslot it has a bit of a choice. It can opt for Roar to phase out the opponent, racking up Stealth Rock damage and stop things from trying to set up on Swampert. Toxic, on the other hand, can allow Swampert to break down opposing walls and annoy switch-ins in general.
The nature and EVs ensure that Swampert maximizes its physical bulk, since the majority of the things Swampert’s typing allows it to wall are physical attackers. Leftovers is the only item Swampert should use, as without it, it has no means of recovering HP. Torrent is the preferred ability, albeit just barely, given it tends to be a little more reliable than Damp.
-Ice Beam and Ice Punch both serve a pretty similar function, in that they can deal with the Grass and Dragon types who think they might not have much to worry about.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Swampert is one of the few Pokemon that is effective both as a mega and non-mega in doubles formats. Regular Swampert can play a supporting role with moves like Wide Guard, and still be a threat to KO specific targets with its strong coverage, while Mega Swampert is a deadly sweeper in the rain thanks to Swift Swim. Politoed was one of Mega Swampert's most common teammates due to automatically setting up the rain with Drizzle, but since Swift Swim won't active until the turn active Swampert megas, manual rain was also common thing on Swampert teams. Tornadus became of the strongest Swampert partners, especially since it avoids Swampert's Earthquake and has Hurricane for Amoongus, a common counter to Mega Swampert. Although Swampert's effectiveness has dropped off slightly in VGC 2016, it is still be a useful member on any team in the proper role.
Non-mega Swampert is actually typically run best as a special or mixed attacker, especially with the presence of Intimidate. Since it isn't really outspeeding much anyway, this set simply goes for bulk with maximum HP and maximum power output with maximum Special Attack and a boosting nature. A Modest nature is likely preferred, but consider a Quiet nature to potentially catch Aegislash in Blade Form and OHKO it with Earth Power. An Expert Belt further increases Swampert' damage output with a moveset that hits a good portion of the meta for super effective damage. Assault Vest may also have its uses to make Swampert bulkier, especially since it only has one weakness. Torrent is more useful than Damp due to the fact that you will rarely see Explosion, and Torrent can come in clutch should you be low on HP
Scald is Swampert's most consistent water STAB move, and of course the 30% chance to burn can cripple physical attackers. Additionally, it can OHKO Primal Groudon if the effects of Desolate Land are not active. Earth Power is Swampert's best special Ground move, hitting Pokemon like Heatran super effectively. Earth Power is also a good option should you not be able to keep the sun away against Groudon, as it can OHKO non-bulky Primal Groudon over 50% of the time. Ice Beam is for coverage, and hits many Pokemon that may resist or be neutral to its STAB moves super effectively. Protect of course is arguably the best move in doubles, but Wide Guard also fits great on this set to protect both Swampert and its teammate from spread moves, whether it's Hyper Voice and Earthquake on Battle Spot Doubles, or Precipice Blades, Origin Pulse, and Dazzling Gleam in VGC 2016. Rock Slide can fit well on the Assault Vest set for another coverage move.
Swampert may be durable but it’s far from unbreakable. The most obvious answer is hitting that 4x weakness to Grass that it has. Grass types are the obviously best answers. Celebi and Shaymin in particular stand out, as both pack solid 100/100/100 bulk to take any hit Swampert can throw at it; without investment, even Ice Punch only manages to 3HKO, while theyresists both of Swampert’s STAB attacks, and Natural Cure lets them shrug off Toxic and Scald burns. Meanwhile, both outspeeds Swampert and Giga Drain or Seed Flare will 1HKO Swampert without a second thought. Roserade functions largely the same, although it takes heavy damage from Earthquake, which deals no less than 64% of Roserade’s HP. However, it’s immune to Toxic, also has Natural Cure to overcome Scald burns, and manages to outspeed and 1HKO Swampert with any Grass STAB. Chesnaught has no trouble taking hits from Swampert, as its immense physical bulk means it’s only 6HKO’ed by Ice Punch, while even Ice Beam still only 3HKOs. However, it has to be wary as both Toxic and a burn from Scald can cripple it, but it can 1HKO Swampert with Wood Hammer or Seed Bomb. Mega Sceptile do not want to eat an Ice Punch or Ice Beam, and Scald and Toxic can be a nuisance, but it still resists both of Swampert’s STAB attacks, massively outspeeds it, and can 1HKO with a Grass STAB. Incidentally, opposing bulky Water types also work well against Swampert. Swampert struggles to break Suicune, whose classic “CroCune” set can fish for a Scald burn, set up Calm Minds, and Rest off any damage or Toxic, while Swampert can only 6HKO with Earthquake. Milotic is in largely the same boat, although it takes Earthquakes a little worse, being 5HKO’ed, and if it lacks Rest than Toxic can wear it down. However, Milotic can burn Swampert with Scald, and can Phase Swampert out with Dragon Tail. Gyarados is Immune to Earthquake and resists Scald, and can utilize Substitute to prevent status from being an issue. Meanwhile, said Substitute can let Gyarados set up against Swampert… but only if it’s lacking Roar. A few things have a tendency to carry Grass type coverage moves, which can greatly hurt Swampert. Things like Infernape, Chandelure, and Galvantula carry moves such as Grass Knot or Energy Ball, and although none of these Pokemon really like switching into Swampert, they outspeed it and can 1HKO it with said Grass type coverage moves in a pinch. Although Swampert is bulky, certain Pokemon still possess the power needed to 2HKO it reliably. Hydreigon gets special mention as not only does it outspeed and 2HKO Swampert, but it also resists Scald and has an immunity to Earthquake. Choice Band Heracross can 2HKO with Megahorn, while Scald can only 4HKO, and any burns can activate Guts to hasten Swampert’s demise. In addition, unless Swampert runs Rest, Toxic will ruin its life, as it will wear Swampert down, especially with its lack of reliable recovery.
In more inclusive formats, Swampert meets new foes that make its life miserable. Powerful grass types such as Ferrothorn, Serperior, Amoonguss, Tangrowth, and Mega Venusaur all avoid being 2HKO’ed by Swampert, allowing them to retaliate with their Grass STAB attacks which can soundly 1HKO. Latios and Latias both do not care about Swampert’s STAB attacks, and although status or ice type coverage moves can be a nuisance, they can 2HKO Swampert with powerful Draco Meteors. Mega Heracross doesn’t like Scald burns or Toxic, but it can switch into Earthquake, which only 6HKOs, and proceed to 2HKO with Pin Missile (or, 1HKO if it carries the uncommon Bullet Seed). Mega Charizard Y is an interesting case, as although it can take heavy damage from Scald in its base form, when it’s Mega Evolved, Scald will typically only 5HKO in the Sun, while Mega Charizard Y will 1HKO with Solar Beam (and is immune to Earthquake, to boot). Stronger Water types like Keldeo, Manaphy, Slowbro, and Mega Slowbro all have very little trouble handling Swampert, as most can 2HKO or 1HKO while fearing little in return. Ultimately, the power creep of standard play has been harsh on Swampert, so be wary as it may have difficulty standing up to repeated assaults, especially if it can’t get a Scald burn.
Swampert is one of those Pokemon who may not have been in desperate need of a Mega Evolution, but it certainly appreciates having one. Much like its counterpart Sceptile, Swampert was blessed with a Mega Evolution in OR/AS after Blaziken had gotten one in X/Y. With it, Swampert finally got the one thing it had been begging for… a useful ability! With Swift Swim now in its arsenal, Swampert can find itself being not only bulky, but also blazing fast as well. The stat boost that came with its Mega Evolution gave it a bit of everything as well; a little more bulk, a little more speed, and a bit more power as well. However, Mega Swampert, like most Mega Evolutions, still has its fair share of things holding it back and preventing it from being completely broken. Although it does gain a little bulk, the inability to hold Leftovers compounds Swampert’s issues of lacking reliable recovery, meaning it can be worn down in defensive roles. In addition, although Swift Swim is nice, it is of course weather dependent, meaning you’re either forced to carry Rain Dance yourself (thus limiting your coverage), or deal with wasted turns in having another teammate set it up. It’s also still pretty slow if it can’t get its weather up, as base 70 speed isn’t much by offensive standards. Still, although it wasn’t enough to completely outclass standard Swampert entirely, Mega Swampert is still a solid Mega Evolution with the right mix of power, bulk, and under the right circumstances, speed. This Mud Fish can show you that its Mega Evolution’s muscular arms aren’t just for show!
Swift Swim: When rainy, The Pokémon’s Speed doubles. However, Speed will not double on the turn weather becomes Heavy Rain. - Swift Swim is a great ability. When Rain is up, the speed stat doubles, making Mega Swampert ridiculously fast. To put this in perspective, Mega Swampert can reach up to 524 speed with a Jolly Nature, and 478 with Adamant. However, it goes without saying that without Rain, this ability does nothing. As a result, if you want to take advantage of this ability, you’ll either need to pack Rain Dance, or an ally who can set up weather for you.
Sweeping in the Rain
-Rain Dance / Superpower / Power-Up Punch
With Swift Swim at its disposal, it should go without saying that Mega Swampert wants to take advantage of it. There’s two ways to do this; set it up itself, or have an ally (preferably Politoed) do so for it. If it has to set it up itself, then it’s obvious that it needs Rain Dance. However, if you’ve got rain set up for you, then you can opt for either Superpower or Power-Up Punch for some additional coverage. Power-Up Punch allows for some set-up, which can punish Stall and certain switch-ins, while Superpower can just obliterate sturdier target such as Ferrothorn (if it’s available). Regardless of where the rain comes from, the rest of the moveset is pretty much the same. Waterfall is Swampert’s most reliable physical STAB, and with Swift Swim’s speed, it can take advantage of the Flinch chance as well. Earthquake is Mega Swampert’s obvious Ground STAB, and just a great attack in general with high power, perfect accuracy, and no downsides. Ice Punch is Mega Swampert’s preferred coverage move, given it hits Grass types and Dragon types hard.
252 Attack and Speed EVs are obvious for maximizing Mega Swampert’s offensive prowess, but the nature is subject to personal opinion. Adamant lets Mega Swampert hit as hard as possible, and allows it to have a chance to 2HKO Milotic with Stealth Rock Up. In addition, Adamant can outspeed every unboosted Pokemon, and any Choice Scarf user with base 95 Speed or lower. However, Jolly outspeeds Choice Scarf users with base 109 speed or lower, and given there are almost no Base 110 speed Choice Scarf users, this is effectively every relevant Choice Scarf user. You always want to Mega Evolve Swampert as soon as possible, so Damp is chosen as the Pre-Mega ability because it actually has some potential to do something on the Mega Evolution turn. Not that it’ll happen often.
Look Ma, No Rain!
Much like its standard form, Mega Swampert can put its bulk to good use for a defensive set. Unlike the previous set, this set doesn’t really need rain to function. Scald remains the Water STAB of choice for its 30% burn chance, aiding Mega Swampert’s ability to wall physical attackers. Earthquake, at this point, should go without saying, as it’s just a great Ground STAB in general. However, with an inability to hold Leftovers, Rest is absolutely essential to prevent Mega Swampert from being worn down. And by that same logic, Sleep Talk is essential to prevent Mega Swampert from being completely helpless during those turns when Rest puts it to sleep.
Relaxed Nature and 252 HP and Defense EVs ensures that Mega Swampert maximizes its physical bulk without weakening either of its offensive stats. Once again, Damp is the preferred pre-Mega ability, given Torrent will never do anything, while Damp might prevent an Explosion, although this is unlikely to occur in practice.
-Ice Beam can be used as a means to get past physically bulky Grass types, but otherwise tends to be inferior to Ice Punch due to Mega Swampert’s higher attack stat.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
What's Leg Day?
Mega Swampert, on the other hand, wants to hit very hard with its great physical attack stat as fast as it can in the rain. Max attack with an Adamant Nature hits very hard, especially if using Waterfall in the rain. 140 Speed EVs is likely the minimum you want to invest, as this allows Mega Swampert to outspeed Adamant Choice Scarf Landorus-T in the rain, Naturally, if you wish to speed creep more Pokemon, there's plenty of EVs available to do so by taking it out of HP. Swampert's pre-mega ability doesn't really matter at all since you generally want to mega evolve right away, but Damp might be useful one or twice if you switch in on an Explosion Landorus-T or Mega Glalie.
Waterfall is Swampert's best physical water move, and can do great damage with the rain boost. Earthquake is the best Ground STAB move, and does good spread damage. Ice Punch is great for dragons like Mega Salamence, while Rock Slide is another move to hit flying types, and works great with Swampert's high speed in the rain for getting flinches. Protect is absolutely necessary on this set since it allows Swampert to safely get the speed boost in the rain after mega evolving.
-Low Kick or Superpower can be used to hit Pokemon like Mega Kangaskhan super-effectively. Superpower is a little more consistent in terms of damage, but the attack and defense drops are a nasty side effect.
Countering Mega Swampert
Fortunately, many of the things that counter standard Swampert also counter Mega Swampert, although if rain is up, you may have to be more careful. Celebi and Shaymin have no trouble shutting down Mega Swampert’s defensive sets, but they can be 2HKO’ed by Ice Punch on an offensive set. However, they can’t be 1HKO’ed, so they can check Swampert in the rain in a pinch. Chesnaught can wall offensive sets, given Ice Punch can only 3HKO (and even then it’s a low chance), and without the threat of Scald or Toxic, Chesnaught is much more comfortable taking those hits. Roserade unfortunately finds itself 1HKO’ed by Earthquake and Ice Punch on offensive sets, so it can’t even touch Swampert in the rain. However, it can check Mega Swampert outside of the rain, and it still can take on defensive sets, albeit just barely as Earthquake will still deal heavy damage. Bulky Water types remain a reliable answer as well. Suicune is only 4HKO’ed by Earthquake, while it can burn it with Scald or stall it out with RestTalk. Even against defensive Mega Swampert who can RestTalk itself, Suicune can set up Calm Mind against it. Gyarados is a reliable answer, as thanks to Intimidate, it can only be 4HKO’ed by Waterfall in the Rain. Meanwhile, it benefits from Rain as well, allowing it to 2HKO with Waterfall. Even outside of the rain, Gyarados can set up a Substitute or just set up Dragon Dance to plow through Mega Swampert. Milotic has to be a bit more careful as Earthquake can 3HKO it, but it can still fish for a Scald burn in a pinch. Hydreigon can be 2HKO’ed by the combination of Ice Punch and Waterfall, but it is immune to Earthquake and can 2HKO Swampert with Draco Meteor, albeit needing to do so outside the rain. Alomomola is 3HKO’ed by Earthquake as well, but it can either burn with Scald, or stall with Toxic and Wish. If rain isn’t up, Pokemon such as Mega Sceptile, Infernape, Chandelure, and Galvantula can check Mega Swampert by outspeeding it and hitting it with a Grass type move, but none of them want to face Mega Swampert in the rain as they can all be outsped and 1HKO’ed. Burns in general are a good answer to Mega Swampert’s offensive sets, as they go fully physical, so in a pinch, you can have Sableye utilize Prankster Will-o-Wisp, although it may get picked off in the process.
In more inclusive formats, Mega Swampert still has issues. If it lacks Superpower, Ferrothorn will wall it by only being 3HKO’ed by Earthquake, and 1HKOing it with Power Whip. Likewise, Amoonguss is usually 3HKO’ed by Ice Punch, but can 2HKO with Giga Drain and heal back the damage, or just put Mega Swampert to sleep with Spore. Tangrowth is only 4HKO’ed by Ice Punch, while being able to 1HKO back with Giga Drain. Serperior can be 2HKO’ed by Ice Punch, so it doesn’t want to switch in if Rain is up, but it avoids the 1HKO so it can at least check Mega Swampert even if rain is up. Mega Venusaur remains a defensive titan, only being 3HKO’ed by Earthquake, while being able to 1HKO with Giga Drain. Both Slowbro and Mega Slowbro are only 3HKO’ed at best by Earthquake (and even then this is not a guarantee), while being able to burn with Scald and utilize Slack Off to heal back any damage taken. Rotom-W’s typing and ability allow it to only be 4HKO’ed about half the time by Waterfall in the Rain, while it can 2HKO with Hydro Pump in the rain or just burn Mega Swampert with Will-o-Wisp. Mega Heracross is bulky enough to avoid being 1HKO’ed in the rain, and is only 3HKO’ed by Waterfall outside of Rain, so it can survive a hit and 1HKO with Bullet Seed. Keldeo is 2HKO’ed by Earthquake, but it can check Swampert in the rain as a rain-boosted Choice Specs Hydro Pump will 1HKO Mega Swampert without a thought. Kyurem-B can be 2HKO’ed by Earthquake, but Choice Band Outrage 1HKOs Mega Swampert. Mega Charizard Y can’t switch in, but it can overwrite rain that’s already up with Drought, and in the sun, Waterfall will only 2HKO. Meanwhile, it can 1HKO with Solarbeam as well. Most of Swampert’s success relies on the rain, but if its preferred weather can be kept off the field, then Mega Swampert’s usefulness plummets big time.
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