Crawdaunt, The Rogue Pokémon. Crawdaunt has an extremely violent nature that compels it to challenge other living things to battle. Other life-forms refuse to live in ponds inhabited by this Pokémon, making them desolate places. Crawdaunt molts (sheds) its shell regularly. Immediately after molting, its shell is soft and tender. Until the shell hardens, this Pokémon hides in its streambed burrow to avoid attack from its foes. A brutish Pokémon that loves to battle. A veteran Crawdaunt that has prevailed in hundreds of battles has giant pincers marked with countless scars. A rough customer that wildly flails its giant claws. It is said to be extremely hard to raise.
The third generation introduction of Crawdaunt was almost a carbon copy of an RBY original, Kingler. Like its fellow crab, it's a slow but powerful physical sweeper. It loses out on offensive and defensive stats in comparison, but benefits from its additional Dark type, granting some extra resistances (and an immunity) and an extra STAB move.
Like Kingler, the fourth generation also did Crawdaunt a big favour. Whilst the special-physical split was cruel to some, it was very kind to Crawdaunt, and it now finds itself with two strong physical STABs. Raw stats keep it from breaking the glass ceiling into the Standard environment, but the improvement has given Crawdaunt a respectable position in the Underused environment.
Hyper Cutter: is one of two decent choices for Crawdaunt. For the most part, it keeps Intimidate stat drops at bay, but the occasional use of Charm is also prevented.
Shell Armour: prevents critical-hits, and is also a decent choice. Whenever this ability (or its likeness, Battle Armour) is mentioned, I'm quick to point out that you can never be sure if it's working, since crits are rather unpredictable. Nevertheless, Crawdaunt should be seeing Shadow Claw and Night Slash as core switch-in opportunities, both sharing high critical-hit ratios. The occasional Stone Edge will be less threatening too, and you can rest easy knowing that the 'once in a while' critical-hit from the usual array of moves won't happen.
- Swords Dance
A slow but powerful Swords Dance set gives it yet another similarity to its fellow crab. Base 120 Attack and a Swords Dance boost is a strong combination, and gives extra might to Waterfall and Crunch.
The move-set is rounded out with one more move to assist its STAB moves. X-Scissor gets a super-effective hit on Water and Dark resistant opponents, Shiftry, Cacturne and Sharpedo. It's also much stronger than its STAB moves against 'pure Grass types' (like Meganium and Leafeon), who present a potential walling threat. Aerial Ace is also super effective against Shiftry and Cacturne (albeit, significantly less effective, possessing weaker base power and gaining only a 2x hit in comparison to X-Scissor's 4x). More importantly, it's super-effective against the Water immune and Dark resistant Fighting duo, Poliwrath and Toxicroak.
I'm sure you all know the drill by now. Every physical sweeper can work with a Choice Band and Crawdaunt is no exception. The major benefit is saving a turn of set-up, but freeing up the Swords Dance move-slot means it can pack both X-Scissor and Aerial Ace to back up its STAB moves, Waterfall and Crunch.
Crawdaunt's Choice sets, like those of most Pokémon, are also about smart switching. The Dark type can really be seen in effect here when compared with Kingler. The Psychic immunity is a big benefit, giving it potential switch-ins on Hypno, Grumpig, Jynx and others. Poor Special Defence doesn't help it switch in on generic Water types, but it can also use them to some extent, and poses a bigger threat in return with STAB Crunch. The aforementioned Shadow Claw and Night Slash are helpful switching targets too, and so a bigger case can be made for Shell Armour here as well.
EVs and Nature:
Max Attack and Adamant is the obvious start. From there, you'll want to run some Speed. As with all slow sweepers, it's more about outrunning other slow Pokémon than outrunning everything. 204 Speed EVs gives Crawdaunt 197 Speed, enough to outrun no Speed variants of Meganium and Venusaur (the Base Speed 80 group, which also includes the likes of Grumpig and Gardevoir, but they're unlikely to run no Speed EVs). The excess EVs can be dumped into its HP.
Max Speed is worth half a look, sending Crawdaunt to 209 Speed. This is enough to outrun Jolly Marowak and no Speed Suicune and Cresselia variants (the Base 85 Speed group). Those threats are mostly seen in the Standard environment (and usually banned from Underused play), so taking account of them isn't hugely worthwhile unless you plan to use Crawdaunt outside of its usual tier.
Crabhammer, Night Slash, Brick Break, Superpower, Avalanche, Body Slam, Ice Beam, Surf, Knock Off, Taunt.
Crawdaunt has alternatives to Waterfall and Crunch. Crabhammer is stronger than Waterfall and has a high critical-hit ratio. It has poorer accuracy however, which can be a risk, but the added power can be worth the trade-off. Night Slash is a bit weaker than Crunch, but it also comes with a high critical-hit ratio and matches Crunch for accuracy.
There are a couple of Fighting moves at its disposal. The fact that Fighting moves don't cover too many 'potential counters' doesn't help its case though, but good type coverage makes them worth a look. Brick Break is the more consistent of its two options. Superpower is more powerful on the initial hit, but lowers Crawdaunt's Attack and Defence stat by one stage afterwards (making it more viable for the Choice Band set than the Swords Dance set).
Avalanche is a decent choice for hitting Altaria, and other 4x weak Dragons on the off-chance you venture into the Standard environment. Aside from that, X-Scissor is better for Grass types and STAB Crunch/Waterfall match an un-boosted super-effective Avalanche for power in most cases, rendering its good type coverage fairly redundant. If Crawdaunt takes a hit however, that super-effective coverage can be worthwhile, since it'll go from an unimpressive 60 base power to a formidable 120 base power.
Body Slam is another fringe option it has, in there mostly for the 30% chance of paralysis to help support Crawdaunt's attacks.
Crawdaunt carries a pretty decent base Special Attack stat, making its special moves usable. You probably won't see a reason to use them in the Underused environment, but there's some worth in the Standard environment. A Life Orb-boosted Surf does 50-58% damage to the standard Skarmory with a neutral nature, getting a 2KO without any need for EVs. You've also got Ice Beam for the 4x weak Dragons, which'll have no problem getting OHKOs with a Life Orb (barring the interference of a Yache Berry). Not that you should be considering Crawdaunt for Standard play often, but on the off chance you do, a mixed sweeper is usable.
Knock Off is a decent utility move that causes opponents problems, but on the Choice Band move-set it's too weak and there isn't space for it on the Swords Dance move-set. The same goes for Taunt, which provides some security against status attacks, but can't squeeze onto the Swords Dance set, being crowded out by the need for a diverse offensive move-set.
Poliwrath and Toxicroak are two of the main ones. They're both immune to Water attacks (and get free HP from it) and resistant to Dark Attacks. The only serious worry is Aerial Ace. With a Choice Band, it'll leave a big dent on Poliwrath and is a potential KO against Toxicroak and an OHKO on both with a Swords Dance boost.
Meganium and Leafeon have the raw defensive stats to handle Crawdaunt's offence, and pack useful Water resistances. X-Scissor causes problems for the pair however, scoring potential OHKOs when backed by Swords Dance and Life Orb. Venusaur does a similar job, without the X-Scissor weakness, but it's somewhat in between the Underused and Borderline classification (meaning some tier classifications allow it into the Underused tier and others don't).
Cacturne and Shiftry resist both of Crawdaunt's STAB moves, but their weak defences mean they can't keep switching in for repeated beatings, and X-Scissor will slaughter the pair.
Crawdaunt has lots of Speed problems. Being slower than most of its opposition tends to keep it from sweeping cleanly through teams, especially with low Special Defence and HP, as well as Electric, Grass, Fighting and Bug weaknesses.
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