Samurott

Samurott, The Formidable Pokémon. In the time it takes a foe to blink, it can draw and sheathe the seamitars attached to its front legs. One swing of the sword incorporated in its armor can fell an opponent. A simple glare from one of them quiets everybody.

Overview

The Water starter of Unova, Samurott is the rounded starter of the three. While this doesn't translate very well competitively, Samurott is a terrifying threat in NU with its offensive stats and strong coverage. Samurott is held back with a low base Speed and subpar abilities, but it is a notable threat in tier capable of ripping apart unprepared teams.
Positives
+ Attacking Stats - Samurott has above average stats in both Attack and Special Attack, making it a powerful attacker on both sides. Keep in mind Samurott is in NU, an environment that allows it to shine as a powerful threat and gives it some unpredictability in tier.
+ Movepool - Thankfully for Samurott, it has a wide movepool to back up its offensive stats. With special moves like Grass Knot to catch bulky Waters off guard and Megahorn on the physical side for Grass types, Samurott can scare off a lot of threats with its strong coverage.

Negatives
- Speed - Samurott has really bad base Speed. This will come up again later, but Samurott's low Speed makes it easy to pressure out by almost anything faster than it. This is a major drawback for Samurott, as its only options are to take the hit with its average bulk, fire off a weak Aqua Jet in desperation, or switch and give up offensive pressure.
- Abilities - Samurott has mediocre abilities, no real way around it. Shell Armor is really bad overall, but Torrent isn't a lot better as hitting the threshold to really be efficient is very hard, and maintaining it is even more challenging given its middling speed.

Abilities

Torrent - Raises Water moves by 1.5 when health is below 33% - Not really good as this is situational, but the significant power boost is much better than Shell Armor most of the time.
Shell Armor - Prevents Critical Hits - Overall a bad ability. While negating critical hits and minimizing hax is really nice, using an ability solely to prevent luck is bad if there are better options.

Movesets

Swords Dance

-Swords Dance
-Liquidation
-Megahorn
-Aqua Jet
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Torrent
EVs and Nature:
252 Atk/4SpDef/252 Spd
Jolly Nature

With access to Swords Dance, Samurott can look to sweep against slower teams or just wallbreak. Liquidation is the primary STAB, having a chance for it to drop Defense on the opponent. Aqua Jet is a priority STAB that gives Samurott a way around faster threats, as well as pick off weakened threats. Megahorn is a coverage move which will rip holes in a lot of Samurott answers, notably Slowbro who gets 2HKOed at +2.

Special Attacker

-Hydro Pump
-Ice Beam
-Grass Knot
-Aqua Jet/Taunt
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Torrent
EVs and Nature:
4 Def/252 SpAtk/252 Spd
Rash/Modest Nature

Leaning on the higher Special Attack, this set looks to punch holes as a wallbreaker. This makes Rash overall better, but puts Samurott in a lower Speed tier so be aware of this. Hydro Pump is the primary STAB move hitting really hard with a Life Orb, while Ice Beam crushes Grass threats. While it may appear to be a weird fit, Grass Knot is really nice for hitting heavy Water-type threats, though it won't be of much use against lighter foes. Aqua Jet is nice for picking off low HP threats and faster threats, but Taunt can be used to help break defensive threats or prevent healing moves.

Other Options and Partners

Buginium Z - Buginium Z allows Samurott to guarantee a OHKO on Slowbro with +2 Megahorn, but gives up overall damage with Life Orb
Rindo Berry - Reducing Grass damage, this allows Samurott to beat Grass threats, hitting them hard with super effective damage at the cost of extra damage from Life Orb
Knock Off - Without Knock Off Samurott can't touch Jellicent, but this can be played around as Jellicent is just one Pokémon. You'll often be giving up Megahorn which Slowbro can easily stop Samurott with it, and this also makes Grass-type threats less afraid of Samurott.

Virizon - With its Grass/Fighting typing, Virizon does well with Samurott due to its ability to switch into Samurott's main checks and apply pressure itself. Virizon is also unpredictable; being able to be physical or special and soften threatens for other teammates or sweeps itself.
Braviary - With Samurott's ability to break or force out Rock-type threats, Braviary really enjoys it as a partner. It also offers U-turn to maintain momentum which helps give Samurott free switches so that it can break through or soften up threats, which in turn help Braviary go for a cleanup sweep.
Garbodor - With its Poison typing, Garbodor can pivot into Grass threats with ease, sponging up hits and spread status with either Toxic or Toxic Spikes. Garbodor also baits in Ground-type threats that Samurott can appreciates to give it opportunities to start applying pressure easily.

VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options

Samurott is not at all a common Pokemon in VGC. While it has decent offensive stats, its mediocre speed and bulk leave it outclassed by many other water types. Its physical movepool is much deeper than its special one, but with the common presence of Intimidate, and the difficulty Samurott has in setting up a Swords Dance in doubles, a special moveset is really the best way to go.

Samurai Jack

-Hydro Pump
-Ice Beam
-Grass Knot / Scald
-Protect
Item Attached: Waterium Z / Life Orb
Ability: Torrent
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest / Timid Nature

Samurott needs all the special attack it can get, so maximum investment helps it do as much damage as it can, while the speed helps it outspeed as much as possible. A Modest nature further boosts damage, but Timid can help Samurott’s speed if you do not have speed control. Both Waterium Z and Life Orb greatly helps its damage output, with the decision coming down to whether you want one big “nuke” or consistent boosts to every attack. Torrent is actually the best ability here, and can come in the clutch with a boost to your water moves if Samurott is at low health.

Hydro Pump is Samurott’s most powerful water-type attack that does not need a turn to recharge. Most importantly, it gives Hydro Vortex higher base power than Scald. Ice Beam gives good coverage alongside Hydro Pump to hit grass types super-effectively or many other targets neutrally. Grass Knot further gives coverage against Mega Swampert or Gastrodon, but Scald can be useful where you do not want to risk a miss with Hydro Pump or can catch an important burn. Protect is necessary with Samurott’s mediocre speed to allow a teammate to set up speed control or take out a threatening opponent.

Other Options & Team Ideas

-A physical set (or mixed, if you want to keep Ice Beam) can be considered, but Samurott’s attack is even lower that its special attack, and with Intimidate so common, its effectiveness can be very limited. Aqua Tail, Liquidation, Sacred Sword, Superpower, Knock Off, Night Slash, Megahorn, X-Scissor, Aqua Jet, Smart Strike, and Swords Dance can all be considered.
-Shell Armor is fine as an ability to protect Samurott from critical hits, but Torrent is better for an offensive set.
-Air Slash, unlike Ice Beam, can hit Ludicolo for super-effective damage.
-Icy Wind provides a bit of speed control for some support to the team.
-Dragon Tail stops Trick Room and can deny sweepers from keeping their boosts if they are not a fairy type.
-Detect helps with the rare Imprison Pokemon you may encounter so that you may still keep Samurott safe, but its rarity and lower PP make Protect still worthwhile.

-Samurott really appreciates speed control like Tailwind to make up for its mediocre speed.
-Rain support can power up Samurott’s water-type attacks to make its power better, but unfortunately it does not get any speed boosts in the rain.
-Lightningrod protects this Pokemon from single-target electric attacks.

Countering Samurott

Faster Grass and Electrics - Electric and Grass threats are a real problem for Samurott as most pack enough Speed to outpace it and apply pressure. Sceptile and Rotom are the foremost options but have to be careful of Megahorn and Water STABs respectively. Heliolisk also does well to with Dry Skin negating Samurott's Water moves and brings strong coverage to the table. Offensive Pressure - One of the best ways to handle Samurott is to maintain pressure. With 70 base Speed, Samurott struggles with anything faster than it, meaning offensive teams have a leg up. Other options for this include double switching (for example, switching in a Ground-type and then right out for a Grass or Electric) and U-Turn. Bulky Water-types - Even with Grass Knot, Samurott struggles to handle bulky Water-types. Jellicent is the best answer as Grass Knot is Samurott's only answer to it (unless using Knock Off), while Jellicent can stall it out. Slowbro also does well against the Special Attacking version, but a +2 Megahorn really hurts.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Not in game

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Not in game

Colosseum/XD:
Not in game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Not in game

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Not in game

Black/White:
Evolve Dewott

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Dewott

X/Y:
Trade from Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Evolve Dewott

Sun/Moon:
Poni Wilds

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Evolve Dewott

Animé Appearences

Samurott has made a few anime appearances. Most notable, it was used by Cameron during his Unova League campaign

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
M14 White: Victini & Zekrom Victini & The Black Hero: Zekrom Pics
M14 Black: Victini & Reshiram Victini & The White Hero: Reshiram Pics
S28 TBC Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Introduction Pics
755 The Road to Humilau Humilau Gym Battle! Mantine VS Samurott Pics
765 Mission: Defeat Your Rival! Fierce Fighting! Win Your Way Through the Rival Battles!! Pics
768 Cameron's Secret Weapon! Ash VS Cameron! The Hydreigon Secret Weapon!! Pics
769 A Unova League Evolution Unova League Conclusion! Lucario VS Pikachu!! Pics

 
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