Wailord, The Float Whale Pokémon. It can sometimes knock out opponents with the shock created by breaching and crashing its big body onto the water. The biggest of all Pokémon. It can dive to a depth of almost 10,000 feet on only one breath. Wailord is the largest of all identified Pokémon up to now. This giant Pokémon swims languorously in the vast open sea, eating massive amounts of food at once with its enormous mouth. When chasing prey, Wailord herds them by leaping out of the water and making a humongous splash. It is breathtaking to see this Pokémon leaping out of the sea with others in its pod.
If there’s one thing to know about Wailord, it’s that this Pokemon is FREAKING HUGE! As the largest Pokemon in existence, Wailord makes the next biggest Pokemon, the mighty Mega Rayquaza, seem small in comparison, as Wailord has a solid 12 feet of size on it. Sadly though, just because it’s big doesn’t necessarily make it threatening. Wailord may have absurdly high HP, and passable attack and special attack, but its defenses are both horrid, and its speed is poor as well. It does have some decent attacks on both the physical and special side though, including the incredibly powerful Water Spout, so it’s not all bad... but sadly the bad outweighs the good. Wailord needs some pretty considerable team support to reach its full potential, so much so that it’s usually best to just consider another Pokemon altogether that can be a little more self sufficient, especially considering how many water types there are to give it competition. It may be a pretty cool whale, but let’s just say Captain Ahab’s story might’ve ended very differently if Wailord was his rival.
Water Veil: This Pokémon cannot be Burned while having this ability. - Water Veil’s a solid ability for those who get it, and for Wailord this is no exception. Throwing out a burn, be it through Will-o-Wisp or Scald’s dastardly 30% chance, is usually a good way to neuter a physical attacker, and Water Veil makes this a non-factor. Even though Wailord typically uses special sets, it still appreciates this ability so that it doesn’t have to deal with the residual damage… not to mention its other abilities don’t really help a special set that much either. So basically, expect to pretty much always use Water Veil.
Whale of a Tale
Let’s be honest, when a Pokemon has Water Spout, you make sure to do everything you can to ensure you can use it. After all, it’s hard to deny the raw destructive power of a base 150 power STAB attack. Water Spout is ridiculously powerful as long as Wailord’s HP remains high, so it’s usually your STAB of choice. However, if Wailord starts to lose HP, Water Spout loses effectiveness as its power decreases, so a secondary STAB attack becomes necessary. Hydro Pump may not be as powerful as Water Spout (or as accurate for that matter), but its power remains consistent, so it’s the next best thing. However, Scald, despite being almost half as powerful as Water Spout, is often preferable to Hydro Pump as the secondary STAB, due to its notorious 30% burn rate. This can make even resists get punished if they switch in, as there aren’t many Pokemon that enjoy being burned. Surf can be used as a happy medium between the two, as it’s more powerful than Scald, and more accurate than Hydro Pump. Ice Beam is an obvious addition to pretty much every water type that learns it, as it punishes the Grass and Dragon types who think they can switch into a resisted Water STAB. Finally, Hidden Power rounds off the set, as Wailord really doesn’t have any better options for its final slot. Which Hidden Power type you opt for depends on which counter you want to be able to surprise; Hidden Power Fire can deal with the ever annoying Ferrothorn and Ferroseed who would otherwise can wall you, while Hidden Power Grass deals with the water types who otherwise resist everything else you’ve got.
The nature and EVs are intended to maximize Wailord’s speed, while also investing as much as possible in special attack. Wailord should always opt for Water Veil, as it prevents the residual damage which would be a nuisance to Water Spout, and allows it the ability to switch into Will-o-Wisp with impunity. Wailord typically thrives on Choice items; which Choice item it utilizes depends on how you prefer to use it. Choice Scarf is the easier of the two to use, as it remedies Wailord’s middling speed, allowing it to to fire off Water Spouts before it gets hit and starts losing power. With a Choice Scarf attached, Wailord reaches a fantastic 360 speed, which is enough to outspeed up to base 114 speed Pokemon, which outspeeds a considerable number of unboosted Pokemon. However, if you’re willing to take the risk of being attacked first, you can opt for Choice Specs to pack considerably more power, and thus causes Water Spout to be even more frighteningly powerful. However, Choice Specs sets tend to require a bit more team support, such as Paralysis, Sticky Web, etc. Choice Specs let Wailord be a solid wall-breaker, while Choice Scarf favors revenge killing and late game cleaning with its higher speed.
-A Choice Band set might seem tempting, due to the fact that Wailord has a couple decent physical moves, and is immune to the burns that trouble physical attackers due to Water Veil. However, Wailord has such an absurd amount of competition from other physical water types, and forfeiting Water Spout really sacrifices the only thing that makes Wailord even remotely worth using.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Wailord is the largest Pokemon. That seems to be the only thing Wailord has to its name (aside from being the ideal mate for Skitty), with that there's not much Wailord brings to the table besides having the highest Speed and Special Attack distribution for getting the most out of Choice Scarf Water Spouts. Having a gargantuan base 170 HP falls flat when backed up by pitiful base 45 Defenses. Base 60 Speed is fairly slow, despite the Choice Scarf, Wailord will be outsped by Base 120s of a similar nature, which sounds decent enough, but when dedicating your item slot to being faster than the opposition... only to be outsped by a few faster Pokemon (Mega Salamence, Mega Manectric) who can switch between attacks.. not a good spot to be in.
Whale then, what do we have here?
For being such a large Pokemon, Wailord's movepool is rather limited, considering Water Spout is its main attraction. Scald is for when Wailord has taken damage, but still needs an offensive Water move. Ice Beam is nice coverage, but Icy Wind will slow the opposition down for Wailord's partner to pick up some slack. The last move will rarely be used, but Clear Smog can't miss and will remove the target's stat changes, like Evasion and deal some damage on the side.
Wailord's base 90 Special Attack means even with Water Spout, it'll miss out on the OHKOs, a Helping Hand Pokemon wouldn't be a bad idea. Drizzle Politoed is the obvious choice as Rain Boosted, Helping Hand STAB Water Spouts from full health will hurt just about everything for great damage. But Hitmontop comes to mind too with Fake Out, Helping Hand, and Intimidate, to support Wailord.
Wailord is one of just a handful of Pokemon who can use Water Spout. Because of that the opponent will know exactly what's coming if they see a Wailord in team preview. Poor Offenses, more poor Defenses and an even more poor movepool, leave Wailord wishing it were away from the battefield, and home with Skitty. When and if Wailord gets a boost in its defensive stats, it would be able to run less speed oriented sets and perhaps last the whole battle, but despite the base 170 HP it always seems to just be a 2KO away for the opponent. Really a shame for the largest Pokemon around.
Where Wailord is most common (and even then, it’s not very common), you can leave your harpoons at home, because you won’t need anything of the like to take down this whale. Ludicolo 4x resists Water Spout, and is only 3HKO’ed by Specs Ice Beam, while Giga Drain can soundly 1HKO Wailord and heal back any damage its taken. Mantine can easily switch in due to Water Absorb, and specially defensive sets can wear Wailord down due Specs Ice Beam only 6HKO’ing while it stalls out Wailord with Toxic. Gogoat’s Bulk Up sets are only 3HKO’ed 92% of the time by Specs Ice Beam and 4HKO’ed by Specs Water Spout, while Horn Leech 2HKO’s Wailord and heals back the damage it may try to deal. Lapras deals with Wailord quite nicely, as Leftovers sets are only 4HKO’ed by HP Grass, while Freeze Dry 2HKO’s, and Assault Vest sets are only 4HKO’ed. Lanturn is only 3HKO’ed about 37% of the time by HP Grass on defensive sets, while it soundly 2HKO’s with its Electric STAB. Offensive Lanturn only has about an 11% chance to be 2HKO’ed, but it can 1HKO with Specs Volt Switch, which is more of a check but still a decent one. Poliwrath dismantles sets without HIdden Power Grass thanks to Water Absorb, being able to stall it out. If Wailord lacks Hidden Power Fire, Jynx can destroy it with impunity, being immune to Wailord’s STAB thanks to Dry Skin and resisting Ice Beam, while being able to 2HKO with Psyshock. If Wailord opts for Scarf instead of Specs, things like Meganium and Roselia can reliably 2HKO with Giga Drain while only being 4HKO’ed by Ice Beam. Specs can bump it up to a reliable 3HKO, though. However, Wailord’s not very fast on Specs sets, so a lot of things can outspeed and destroy it due to its low defenses. This includes things such as Electivire, Cryogonal, Rotom, Leafeon, Leavanny, Luxray, Sawsbuck, Simisage, Victreebel, Zebstrika… the list goes on! Strong neutral STAB attacks can easily 2HKO or even 1HKO Wailord as well, such as Swellow’s Status’ed Guts Facade, Stoutland’s Choice Band Return, Choice Band Primeape’s Close Combat, any many more. As long as you hit Wailord hard and fast, it becomes progressively easier to KO, since Water Spout loses power as it takes damage. Hazards such as Stealth Rock help matters too, because even a single instance of damage from Stealth Rock can strip Water Spout of its 150 base power. Since Wailord is so heavy, users of Grass Knot and Low Kick can manage to reach max power against it, meaning Grass Knot will almost always 1HKO due to being super-effective as well. In the end, the damage really adds up, and when Water Spout is weakened, Wailord is a lot less threatening, and pretty easy to deal with.
In more inclusive formats, Wailord’s problems further increase. Ferrothorn is an immovable object to any set lacking Hidden Power Fire, as Water Spout is only going to 4HKO at best, and that’s only if it keeps max health! Meanwhile Ferrothorn can outright 1HKO it with even an uninvested Power Whip, or stall it out with Leech Seed (which heals back huge chunks of HP due to Wailord’s high HP!). The special sponges, Chansey and Blissey, can stomach Water Spouts all day long, being 5HKO’ed at best, and proceed to stall Wailord out without duress. Mega Venusaur is most often 4HKO’ed by Ice Beam, and destroys Wailord with Giga Drain to heal back HP at the same time. Specially defensive Rotom-W can be 3HKO’ed by Specs Hidden Power Grass, but 2HKOs with its Electric STAB. Kyurem-B can be 3HKO’ed by a full health Specs Water Spout (which turns into a 2HKO with Rocks up), but can outspeed and soundly 1HKO Wailord with Fusion Bolt. Manaphy can be 3HKO’ed by Specs Hidden Power Grass, but it outspeeds Wailord and 2HKO’s with Energy Ball… or can just boost with Tail Glow to turn it into a resounding 1HKO. Kingdra possesses the rare 4x resistance to water, meaning it can switch into Water Spout with impunity, and proceed to fire off some powerful Draco Meteors to 2HKO… or 1HKO with the crit hax abusing that Kingdra is famous for. Meanwhile, Specs Ice Beam can only 3HKO at best. Milotic is only 4HKO’ed by Specs Hidden Power Grass, and can stall Wailord out with Toxic and Recover. When it comes to checking Wailord, well, that’s even easier! Pokemon like Abomasnow, Breloom, Celebi, Raikou, Zapdos, (Mega) Manectric, Serperior, Galvantula, Roserade,Rotom-H, (Mega) Sceptile, Shaymin, and Thundurus all outspeed Wailord and can soundly 1HKO with their STAB attacks, and many of the bulkier options, such as Celebi and Shaymin, can eat any attack that they may try to switch in. Assault Vest Conkeldurr is 2HKO’ed by Choice Specs Water Spout, but it can never be a 1HKO due to topping out at around 59%, meaning that if it doesn’t have to switch in, Conkeldurr can heal back the damage with Drain Punch’s 2HKO. Powerful STAB attacks such as Mega Lopunny’s High Jump Kick, Landorus-I’s Sheer Force Life Orb Earth Power, Mega Pinsir’s Aerilate Return, etc., can manage to 1HKO Wailord, although having Rocks up helps secure the deal. Regardless of what you use, most things with a moderately strong STAB can manage to 2HKO Wailord, such as Mega Pidgeot, Tornadus-T, Mega Blastoise, Crawdaunt, Starmie, Keldeo, etc. can manage to 2HKO Wailord at worst, and once it eats that first hit, the power of its Water Spout becomes severely neutered. It’s take far too much time to list every single thing that can 2HKO Wailord, because that’s a very long list. Just hit it hard before it can Water Spout you, and the Pequod and other ships won’t have anything to worry about.
Look familiar? Much like Wailord, the slightly smaller (but still rather large) pre-evolution Wailmer typically runs the same set that it does. And much like its Evolution… Wailmer faces a lot of competition from other Water types. Most notably, it struggles with Chinchou, Staryu, and Remoraid giving it competition as a special attacking water type, while Omanyte and Tirtuga can abuse Shell Smash. Even other non-water type Scarf users such as Mienfoo and Pawniard can give Wailmer competition due to their greater utility and ease of being fit onto a team. Despite the competition which makes Wailmer an often overlooked choice, it does have one saving grace; Water Spout. With 150 power at full health, it manages to make at least a small niche for Wailmer. That said, given its power goes down as Wailmer takes damage, naturally you need a secondary STAB to fall back on. Hydro Pump is the next most powerful thing, but has crappy accuracy, Scald has the least power, but a nasty 30% burn chance to hinder switch-ins, and finally Surf has more power than Scald but with more accuracy than Hydro Pump. Ice Beam helps deal with grass types who resist its STAB, while Hidden Power Grass is its only line of defense against opposing Water types, who otherwise wall Wailmer entirely.
Wailmer MUST have a Choice Scarf; it needs the speed to ensure that it can fire off Water Spouts before they get weakened. 196 Speed EVs with a timid nature ensures that Wailmer maxes its speed at a decent 16, while 200 SpA EVs allow it to reach a solid 17 special attack. The rest is distributed between HP and Defense to give Wailmer a little more bulk. As always, Water Veil remains the ability of choice, as the ability to not be hindered by burns is the best bet Wailmer has.
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