Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Competitive Battling Spotlight #36: Old Pokemon Ten

The most huggable of all Water/Ground types, Quagsire!

Tier: RU (as of July 2012)

H.P.: 95
Attk: 85
Def.: 85
Sp.A: 65
Sp.D: 65
Spe:  35


Damp: Prevents the opponent from using the move Selfdestruct or Explosion. Also prevents damage from Aftermath. Not a good ability in 5th gen. Not too many Pokemon use Explosion anymore because of its drop in power from last generation, and even if it was used often, the most prominent Exploders reside in the upper tiers anyway. Furthermore, the only Pokemon with Aftermath (Skuntank, Electrode, Garbodor) are also RU at best, meaning there’s not too much of a need for this ability. Plus, Quagsire’s other two are far superior.

Water Absorb: Restores 1/4 of HP when hit by a Water type move. This was Quagsire’s prime ability in 4th gen, and for good reason. Becoming immune to the ever-common Water type attack is quite the blessing, though this ability is probably optimized on much bulkier things. Still, Water Absorb is a great defensive ability on a decent defensive Pokemon. Also, because there are strong Water Pokemon in just about every tier, you will never find yourself at a huge loss for using it.

Unaware: Ignores opponent’s stat boosts. Quagsire’s best ability, in my opinion. With its great defensive typing, stats, and movepool, Quagsire really makes for an excellent Unaware abuser, becoming able to shrug off boosts from any tier’s top threats. With Scald’s chance for Burn and reasonably good bulk, Quagsire becomes an easy counter to just about any non-Grass type Physical attacker. You should definitely try Unaware Quagsire if your team struggles with powerful setup sweepers.


            Due to its bulk, good typing and decent movepool for a wall, Quagsire has always been a good defensive Pokemon in the lower tiers. Unfortunately, however, with Swampert being better in generally every single aspect, however, it always ended up falling to the likes of NeverUsed.
            When Black and White came about, however, a lot changed for the mud fish. These changes came in the form of two seemingly minor additions to its build that proved to be much greater at second glance. With Unaware, Quagsire now had the ability stop boosting sweepers cold, a problem it could never effectively deal with before. Additionally, with the new move Scald carrying a nice 30% chance to inflict a Burn on the target, as well as that hefty base 95 HP and 85 Defense, Quagsire’s usability really soared in the generation shift.

            Of course, Quagsire retains some major problems, as can be expected. While its typing only has one weakness, it is a quadruple weakness to a type that encompasses some of the best utility Pokemon in the games. With thorns like Celebi, Virizion, Roserade and Shaymin being used very often in the upper tiers, Quagsire’s biggest problem remains being able to beat these Pokemon that can force switches, catch a team member with Leech Seed, and/or set up entry hazards. Amoongus is also a deadly threat to Quagsire and teammates as with Spore and STAB Giga Drain it can force Quagsire out while putting another team member to sleep. It’s definitely recommended that you carry a Grass-killer on your teams if you’re running Quag.

            Quagsire’s bulk is also a bit subpar when compared to tanks like Swampert, Gastrodon and Milotic. As a Water/Ground type, it ignores the Electric type weakness that most other Waters suffer from, yet it doesn’t provide as much utility and power as Swampert, nor does it serve to wall dominant Weather threats in OU like Gastrodon. Still, the ability to effectively stall out weaker setup sweepers should not be ignored.

Now sitting comfortably in the RU tier, Quagsire has become one of those few lowly-used Pokemon that can be quite efficient in just about every single tier (yes, even OU!). From experience I’ve found that, with its newfound ability to ignore the power of certain threats and still use moves like Toxic, Yawn and Encore to beat stall, Quagsire remains a true quagmire of the competitive Pokemon metagame, and should not be overlooked in the category of bulky Water types.


Potential Sets:

1. Curse That Blue Blob! (Standard Curse)
    252 HP/4 Atk/252 SpDef
    Careful @ Leftovers/
    -Waterfall/Stone Edge

            This is the most standard Curse set for Quagsire, as with Unaware and a good amount of Physical bulk it becomes able to win against many opposing bulky setup-ers. After a few Curses, Quagsire will be able to take hits from just about any Physical Attacker to cross its pond. Waterfall and Earthquake together have decent coverage, though if you’d like better coverage at the cost of one less STAB move, Stone Edge may be used to hit certain other threats that don’t mind Water/Ground type moves.

            Of course, this set loses easily to any Grass type ever, and super powerful Special Attackers are a pain too, so team support is vital. Braviary makes a good teammate here, as with its sheer power on a Choice Scarf set, it can plow through just about every Grass Pokemon in RU and below, while still being able to down most Special Attackers.

            You can opt to use this set (the same exact spread) in UU and OU as well, though, of course the team support will be different. Try considering which threats in those tiers will cause problems for Quag and continue by patching up holes accordingly.

2. A Twist in the Curse  
    252 HP/4 Atk/252 SpDef
    Careful @ Chesto Berry / Leftovers

            This set deviates a bit from the standard Curse set, and puts more of an emphasis on pumping up Quagsire’s subpar Special Defense in addition to its already good Defense. This means that once Grass types are eliminated, Quagsire will be able to wall and setup up against almost anything.
            Another problem that the standard set has that this one attempts to fix is status ailments. Burn and Poison are real downers to any sweeper (and any tank, for that matter), so by employing the Resto strategy, Quagsire’s longevity will be essentially guaranteed after its put enough defensive boosts under its belt. Of course Water Absorb Pokemon and Bulky Waters in general will be annoying, so maybe  running a heavy-hitting Electric or Grass type will help you in the long run.

            I have used this set in OU/UU before, and I can assure you that I’ve achieved more sweeps with it than you or I would either believe. Kind of a gimmicky set, but once you have an Amnesia or two up, you can start picking things off after a Curse or more.

3. Physical Wall  
    252 HP/252 Def/4 SpDef
    Relaxed @ Leftovers
            This is probably Quagsire’s most common set, and for good reason. By now all of the above mentioned assets should be pretty clear and I’ll spare you the redundancy by not explaining how this set works in depth.
            Just send it in on any physical attacker or wall of sorts and utilize the appropriate move. Works well in any tier.
            Additionally, you may run Ice Beam to replace either Scald or Earthquake in order to catch Grass types as they switch in for some decent damage.

4. Yawning is Contagious (Pseudo Phazer)   
    252 HP/252 Def/6 SpDef
    Relaxed @ Leftovers

            This set takes advantage of the usual list of assets by utilizing a different type of set that Quagsire can shine with. With Yawn, entry hazards, and a good amount of prediction, Quagsire can really bring down entire teams by crippling their main threats. Essentially this set is amazing; using Quagsire’s good bulk, typing and ability, send it in against something that won’t really like going up against it (like Claydol or Magneton, etc). Then, by predicting who the opponent will send in, you are free to go for a Yawn on the switch, essentially forcing out the next threat, lest they be put to sleep.

With entry hazards up, this set can really do work by getting a significant amount of residual damage on their incoming threats. The EVs and the rest of the moveset are yours to decide, though Max HP and Defense are probably best since Quag’s Special Defense is so low you’ll probably want to either max it or ignore it. Stockpile

5. Choice BandSire!
    252 Hp/252 Atk/4 SpDef
    Adamant @ Choice Band
    -Stone Edge    
    -Return/Body Slam    

             This set, in comparison to the others, is probably best used in RU and NU for a bit of a surprise factor. With a decent base 85 Attack and pretty good STAB + coverage moves, Quagsire is a surprisingly good user of the Choice Band, where it can hit many things hard while still being able to handle sweepers with its bulk.



           Quagsire is not the best Pokemon out there. As both a bulky tank and a physical wall it is outclassed by a good many things. However, with its good typing and unique ability, it really fills a niche in the competitive metagame that not too many things can. It can prevent your team from being swept by an attacker that relies heavily on Swords Dance or Dragon Dance, while still retaining an ability to support its teammates. It is definitely a universal Pokemon that is quite underrated at the moment.

Competitive Usability: 

  • Good physical bulk + Scald
  • Good typing with only one weakness
  • Unaware
  • Subpar stats overall
  • 4x Weakness to the common Grass type
  • No offensive presence without Choice Band or Curse
Verdict:  7 out of 10 

            Ok, Quagsire’s appeal is much worse than its competitive viability. In terms of design, Quagsire easily comes off as dim-witted and simple-minded. Plus, it’s painfully basic, with only about 3 different color schemes and a blobby, under-detailed body design. It’s never really been one of my favorites in terms of looks.
            But I shouldn’t be too harsh on the little mud fish. Perhaps that Quagsire is simple is instead a good thing. He’s always smiling, which not too many Pokemon (especially those OU-ers) are capable of, and his most recent sprite art depicts him opening his arms out in anticipation of a hug. Maybe he is a little cute.  
Aesthetic Design:  6 out of 10

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