Golduck

Golduck, The Duck Pokémon. It appears by waterways at dusk. It may use telekinetic powers if its forehead glows mysteriously. The forelegs are webbed, helping to make it an adept swimmer. It can be seen swimming elegantly in lakes, etc. When its forehead shines mysteriously, Golduck can use the full extent of its power.It is seen swimming dynamically and elegantly using its well-developed limbs and flippers. A Pokémon that lives in lakes. It swims faster than any human swimming champion. The flippers of its well-developed limbs give it shocking speed. It is the best swimmer among Pokémon.

Overview

Golduck is one of those Pokemon that has been around since the grey dawn of time but unfortunately hasn't improved much since then. Having mediocre stats all around has hindered it from going anywhere far, but it does have some saving graces. Golduck has a rather diverse movepool, decent typing, as well as two usable abilities. The main problem it faces though is making a name for itself, as in most cases there is something better than Golduck in the role it is filling, even in lower tiers. Golduck does have certain niches to work with, but it struggles to stand out as usable.
Positives
+ It has a very wide movepool, both mixed and support
+ Its Water typing gives it few weaknesses and good STAB coverage
+ Cloud Nine and Swift Swim both are usable and help Golduck to stand out, with Swift Swim remedying its subpar Speed and Cloud Nine giving it a unique niche to work with
+ Decent base 95 Special Attack can hit pretty hard in lower tiers, and its base 82 Attack is at least feasible for mixed sets

Negatives
- 80/78/80 defenses aren't awful, but they aren't too much better than that
- It's outclassed as a Swift Swimmer, even in lower tiers
- Without any boosts, Golduck has a hard time KOing many Pokemon, even with super effective moves
- I still have bad memories from 3rd gen and back when this thing didn't learn a Water move until level 58

Abilities

Damp: Prevents Golduck's opponent from using Selfdestruct or Explosion while it is on the field. Don't use this. Please. Competitively, this is going to be as useless as using a Caterpie.
Cloud Nine: Golduck negates all weather effects while on the field. Golduck is the best offensive user of Cloud Nine, and it can use it to take down other Swift Swimmers, Chlorophyll users, etc.
Hidden Ability (Available):
Swift Swim: When rainy, Golduck's Speed doubles. Speed does not double the turn that it begins raining. Another good ability, as having Rain also powers up Golduck's Water moves.

Movesets

Fool's Golduck

-Hydro Pump / Surf
-Ice Beam
-Focus Blast
-Hidden Power [Grass] / Psyshock
Item Attached: Choice Specs / Life Orb
Ability: Cloud Nine / Swift Swim
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)

This is Golduck's standard set, using its wide coverage to be able to hit every Pokemon for neutral damage or better, making it difficult to switch in on. Hydro Pump is Golduck's primary STAB, with Surf being feasible if you want something that's a bit more accurate for only a bit less power. Ice Beam is mainly useful for hitting Grass and Dragon types, while Focus Blast takes care of Normal, Dark and Steel types. The last slot is open to either HP Grass, which gives Golduck super effective coverage on other Water types, while Psyshock does higher damage to bulky Fighting and Poison types. Choice Specs is the preferred option for an item so that Golduck has enough power to be able to KO many Pokemon that it would otherwise not in lower tiers, while Life Orb isn't as limiting, but still powerful enough to be worthwhile. Either ability can be run, depending on whether or not you want Golduck to take advantage of your own / someone else's Rain, or if you want the chance of stopping other weather users.

All That Glitters Isn't Golduck

-Hydro Pump
-Signal Beam
-Hidden Power [Grass]
-Ice Beam / Focus Blast
Item Attached: Assault Vest / Life Orb / Choice Specs
Ability: Cloud Nine
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)

This set takes advantage of one job that Golduck can do that many other Pokemon can't: use Cloud Nine to stop weather sweepers. Although weather may not be as prevalent as it used to be, Golduck can definitely be used in lower tiers to stop the majority of Pokemon that use weather, such as Ludicolo, Shiftry, Typhlosion, and others. Hydro Pump is the main STAB move, with Signal Beam and HP Grass being mandatory coverage if you want to stop most weather users. Ice Beam can stop the Grass types that Signal Beam can't get as well (Victreebel mainly) and gives coverage on other types, while Focus Blast handles bulky Normal types that are pretty common in NeverUsed and RarelyUsed. Assault Vest is the item of choice for this set as it allows Golduck to beat many of the weather sweepers that would otherwise KO it (most of the ones mentioned above), while the other two items are if you want more power for the set and have the same advantages and disadvantages as they did for the first set.

The Man With the Golduck Gun

-Rain Dance
-Hydro Pump / Surf
-Ice Beam
-Hidden Power [Grass] / Focus Blast
Item Attached: Damp Rock / Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk) or Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)

While the other sets are either taking advantage of Rain or stopping others from using it, this one just throws that out and dances some Rain for itself. And fortunately, it can use the Rain itself if it wants to anyhow. Rain Dance is, obviously, there to set up Rain for its team. Hydro Pump or Surf are for STAB, doing even more under Rain. Ice Beam and HP Grass round out the set with perfect coverage, though Focus Blast can be used to hit other Pokemon for higher neutral damage. Damp Rock is the better item if you want Golduck to be a main Rain setter, or Life Orb if you just want it to set up and then sweep on its own. The choice in nature is up to whether you want more Speed (although not too much will be outspeeding you after the Swift Swim boost), while Modest gives you more power.

Other Options

Aqua Jet, Aqua Tail, Blizzard, Calm Mind, Cross Chop, Encore, Hone Claws, Ice Punch, Mega Kick, Psychic, Scald, Yawn
Aqua Jet is a STAB priority move that Golduck could use in either a mixed or pure physical set, allowing for revenge KOs on weaker opponents.
Aqua Tail, Cross Chop, Ice Punch, and Mega Kick are all options for mixed or pure physical sets, Aqua Tail being STAB, and the rest being coverage (neutral or otherwise).
Blizzard and Psychic are both options over moves already in the sets (Ice Beam and Psyshock respectively), both filling different roles than the move they replace, Blizzard being more powerful and Psychic hitting on the special side.
Encore allows Golduck to either force the opponent to switch by locking it into a move that it doesn't like, or allow it to take weaker damage from a non-effective move.
Hone Claws is the go-to boosting move in a physical set, boosting both Attack and accuracy, which is very useful seeing as most of the good physical moves that Golduck gets have shakier accuracy.
Scald is an option for sets if you don't mind sacrificing a little power in order to have that burn chance, which is especially handy against physical attackers or bulky Pokemon.
Yawn is a good status move for forcing switches, requiring the opponent to switch out if they don't want to be put to sleep. Alternatively, they'll just fall asleep and let you do whatever you want.

Double & Triple Battle Options

t is all to easy to glance over all pure Water Type pokemon and only see Blastoise, Vaporeon, Politoed, Suicune and Kyogre. Then we have Golduck, who's name I suspect might have been flip flopped with it's preevolution, Psyduck. Pleasantries aside, there was a point in time in the 5th Generation where players were desperate to find a way to work around the rampant weather teams so they decided to use Cloud Nine Golduck. Needless to say, their endeavors were in vain. Golduck is comparable to Phione when it comes to base stats and general offensive presence. But there is one area Golduck will exceed with the right support, and that is making the opponent struggle.

Inkappacitate

-Encore
-Disable
-Scald
-Protect
Item Attached: Sitrus Berry
Ability: Cloud Nine/Swift Swim
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP, 4 SAtk, 252 Speed
Jollye Nature

his set is disruptive in every sense of the word. Did your opponent Protect on the first turn? Do you outspeed them turn 2? Encore will lock them into Protect giving you set up opportunities, or allow you to put on more offensive pressure. Lets take it a step further, let's now Disable their Encored move on Turn 3. Now they've no choice but to struggle until their Encore is up, which more often than not, will hurt them more than they hurt you. Of course, this strategy can only reasonably go into effect if your opponent can't switch, so that just means....

The best partners for this Golduck would be Shadow Tag users or Mean Look users if that's your style, but Mega Gengar or Gothitelle fit the role perfectly. Mega Gengar more so because of its "Perish Trapping" abilities. If running Swift Swim, it isn't unheard of for Rain to be present on Perish Trap teams, so theoretically Golduck should be able to fit right in.

Aside from Encore/Disable, Golduck seems to have some other Pokemon out there that can do its job more efficiently. Golduck is more niche than not, so despite being the Water type, it isn't splashable on every team. Though when it does show up on Team Preview, keep your eye on it and remember it has Base 85 speed and you ~should~ be fine, be wary of its partners too though as they will only become bigger threats when/if you're locked into using Protect or worse, already struggling.

Countering Golduck

Golduck is kind of difficult to switch in on due to its variable coverage, but it really can't take too many hits before going down. Lanturn can take quite a few hits and KO Golduck in return. Freeze Dry Cryogonal can cause problems as well. Bulkier special walls like the aforementioned Cryogonal, Dusknoir, and others can tank whatever Golduck throws at it and do some hefty damage in return. Basically, hit it with enough super effective moves (even if they're not STAB) and Golduck will be KO'd pretty quickly. Poison damage, hazard damage, neutral hits can all do the job as well.

Pre-Evolution Corner - Psyduck

A Psy-t for Sore Eyes

-Hydro Pump
-Ice Beam
-Hidden Power Fire
-Signal Beam / Encore / Hypnosis
Item Attached: Choice Scarf
Ability: Cloud Nine
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 36 HP / 236 SAtk / 236 Spe
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)

So Psyduck; it’s a mono-Water type with decent Special Attack and Speed. That definitely has not been done before in the history of Pokemon. It has a decent movepool and could be a lot worse. At worst, it’s just another mediocre Water type with some interesting moves to be nice. Psyduck holding a Choice Scarf is actually pretty decent. It’s speed goes to 22, which is important as other Choice Scarfers with 14 speed only go up to 21 that outspeeds all unscarfed Pokemon in Little Cup. Hydro Pump is a good STAB move. Ice Beam is good for coverage, hitting Grass-Types and Dragons. Hidden Power Fire is good for dealing with bulky Steel-Types like Ferroseed. The last slot can really be anything. Experiment! Some more notable choices being Signal Beam for Dark-Types and such, Encore which makes Psyduck a notably worse version of Cottonee, but still doesn't take away from the fact that a fast Encore is a good thing, even for just the one time, and Hypnosis is fun for sleep-and-run tactics. Cloud Nine is generally better than Damp and Swift Swim on Psyduck. EVs maximize Speed and Special Attack and with a Modest Nature, its may actually do some damage. Psyduck also has some good physical moves like Cross Chop, Aqua Tail, and Ice Punch which may be used in the consideration of a physical scarf or Eviolite set, but Psyduck's Attack is probably too low to make any more notable use than the Special set. If you want to use Psyduck for its design or just for fun, do it! Just realize that there are much better things that await you in that pond.


Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Safari Zone

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Cerulean Cave Floor 1 & Basement 1, Berry Forest (Surf), Seafoam Island Basements 1, 2, 3 & 4, Cape Brink (FireRed)
Trade from Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald or FireRed (LeafGreen)

Colosseum/XD:
Snagged from Navigator Abson in Citadark Isle (XD)
Trade from Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald or FireRed (Colosseum)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Twinleaf Town, Route 203, Route 204, Route 205 North, Eterna City, Route 208, Route 209, Route 210 North, Celestic Town, Route 212 North, Route 214, Deserted Escape Path, Oreburgh Gate, Lake Verity, Lake Acuity, Lake Valor, Spring Path, Route 225, Route 226, Route 230, Resort Area, Safari Game (Diamond/Pearl)
Route 203, Route 204, Route 205 North, Route 208, Route 209, Route 210 North, Route 212, Route 214, Route 225, Twinleaf Town, Eterna City, Celestic Town, Ravaged Path, Oreburgh Gate, Lake Verity, Lake Acuity, Lake Valor, Sendoff Spring, Resort Area (Platinum)

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Route 6, Route 35, Ilex Forest, Mt. Silver, Cerulean Cave, Seafoam Islands, Safari Zone

Black/White:
Route 11, 14, Village Bridge

Black 2/White 2:
Route 11, 14, 22, 23, Abundant Shrine, Seaside Cave, Village Bridge, Nature Preserve, Hidden Grotto - Route 23

X/Y:
Evolve Psyduck

Animé Appearences

Golduck has made several appearances in the anime. Most notably, a wild one appeared and made Misty think it had evolved from her Psyduck. Various challengers have had it, though most appearances are cameos

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
M1 Mewtwo Strikes Back Mewtwo's Counterattack Pics
P1 Pikachu's Vacation Pikachu's Summer Vacation Pics
93 Bye Bye Psyduck Adios Psyduck, Hello Golduck Pics
149 The Fire-ring Squad Burn Squirtle Squad! Like a Fire!! Pics
155 Love, The Totodile Style Dancing Totodile! Steps of Love!! Pics
170 Hook, Line and Stinker Seaking! Fishing Battle! Pics
S2 Mewtwo Returns Mewtwo! I am Here Pics
196 The Ring Masters Feraligatr Vs. Blastoise! Sumo Match! Pics
212 Around the Whirlpool Whirl Islands! Reaching a New Challenge! Pics
217 Octillery The Outcast! Octillery Vs. Remoraid! Whirlpool Cup Qualifying Round! Pics
218 Dueling Heroes Whirlpool Cup! Great Battle in the Water Colosseum! Pics
219 The Perfect Match Ash Vs. Misty! Whirlpool Cup Final Battle! Pics
221 Hi Ho Silver...Away! Legend of the Silver Feather! Silver Rock Island!! Pics
270 Tie One On! Meganium vs. Bulbasaur! Spirit of the Grass Types! Pics
308 Abandon Ship! The Abandoned Ship! The Creeping Shadow! Pics
344 A Double Dilemma Papa is Idol?!? False Gym Leader! Pics
403 Saved by the Beldum Start The Preliminaries! Morrison Appears!! Pics
405 Shocks and Bonds To The Tournament Finals! Every Day A Heated Battle! Pics
406 A Judgment Brawl! And... Continue The Battle That Cannot Be Lost!! Pics
412 Numero Uno Articuno First Battle! Battle Factory (Part 1) Pics
475 Like It or Lup It Piplup Hangs On!! Pics
506 One Big Happiny Family Explosive Birth! Cycle Road! Pics

 
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