Araquanid, The Water Bubble Pokémon. It delivers headbutts with the water bubble on its head. Small Pokémon get sucked into the bubble, where they drown. Despite what its appearance suggests, it cares for others. If it finds vulnerable, weak Pokémon, it protectively brings them into its water bubble. It usually passes its time in the water. When its belly is full, it stores its subdued prey in the water bubble on its head.
With access to the unique ability Water Bubble, Araquanid is a surprisingly powerful Pokemon, having access to a double power Liqudation, added Water resistance, and burn immunity all in one. This allows Araquanid to pressure a wide range of threats, threatening OHKO or 2HKOes on anything but the bulkiest foes with Water-type STAB moves. This in conjunction with Araquanid's access to niche supporting movepool makes it a strong threat and worthwhile Pokemon to consider on a bulky offensive team.
Water Absorb - When hit with a Water move, heal for 25% of the Pokemon's maximum health - A strong ability that complements Araquanid's stat line well, but Water Bubble is better in most instances as Bug isn't a great defensive typing.
Aiming to be a bit more of a supporting Pokemon, this set gives up the bulk of the trapping set but maintains the use of Liquidation for damage. Sticky Web is a nice supporting move, slowing everything that enters by one stage till they are removed with Rapid Spin or Defog. Magic Coat is nice to bounce back Toxic and Taunt onto defensive checks and counters such as Milotic and Umbreon. Finally, Mirror Coat rounds out the set to bounce back special moves that Araquanid can sponge quite well. Leech Life can be used in substitute to Mirror Coat to heal off damage and hit Grass-type threats a bit harder but it's mostly personal preference. Toxic can fill a similar role in certain formats where Magic Coat isn't worth the move slot. The EV spread is designed with Sticky Web in mind, giving it as much Speed as possible to give it the ability to set up against slower foes without fear of Taunt. However, those Speed EVs are better moved into HP if Araquanid is being used in Battle Spot because Sticky Web itself is less useful overall, and can be replaced with Toxic or Leech Life.
Aiming to be as bulky as possible while having as much attack, the EVs are key here to outpace uninvested base 65 Pokemon such as Umbreon, in order to avoid Taunt. Liquidation is the only damaging move of the set and with the raw power Water Bubble Liquidation has, it's plenty powerful. Spider Web is the key move, trapping the opposing Pokemon so Araquanid can just slowly wear it down with Liquidation, Toxic, or both. Rest is very important as the final move as it prevents bulky Water-types from just Toxic stalling out Araquanid and gives it a form of recovery.
Other Options and Partners
Choice Band - A nice option with the raw power of Water Bubble, the main drawback of the set is that Pokemon such as Chesnaught can get in for free. However, this is true of any choiced set so that's not necessarily a deal breaker.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Unlike last week's Machamp, Araquanid is a Pokemon that actually succeeds at defining its niche via Wide Guard, due to a much better typing. Water/Bug is a mixed bag of a typing but the resistances to Ground, Water, Fighting, and Fire-type attacks are all very valuable in Doubles. While its weaknesses to Rock- and Electric-type moves are problematic with Rock Slide and Tapu Koko around, Araquanid is bulky enough that it can take a hit if necessary, and another if it has berry recovery. A limited movepool doesn't bother the spider too much either since all of its moves cover everything it needs to threaten foes with raw power or support its team. Trick Room support also lets it bypass its awful Speed and become a powerhouse, so Araquanid definitely isn't something you should sleep on. However, it's predictable enough that any competent team should have ways to handle the spider.
Araquanid is a very straightforward Pokemon, there is minor variation in its sets but don't expect too many other moves besides the ones listed above. Liquidation is Araquanid's most powerful Attack, hitting incredibly hard with Water Bubble's boost. Bug Bite isn't terribly strong but it can both remove troublesome berries, but also use that healing for itself. Due to Araquanid's mediocre Attack stat the power boost from Leech Life isn't terribly important anyway. Wide Guard provides very useful utility in combination with its typing, effectively allowing Araquanid to wall Landorus-T while also protecting its team from foes such as Mega Charizard Y's Heat Wave or Tapu Fini's Muddy Water. Protect clashes slightly with Wide Guard since they use the same Protect counter, though Araquanid lacks any other valuable moves and the ability to protect it comes in handy against foes such as Tapu Koko that annoy it otherwise.
The EV spread maximizes overall bulk while allowing Araquanid to hit as hard as possible with Liquidation. As usual, more specific EV spreads can be used if you need Araquanid to take certain physical hits better, though the spider typically values its overall bulk more. A Brave nature is preferred since Araquanid is typically used on a Trick Room team, though Adamant nature is fine otherwise if you want to preserve its Speed tier a bit. Waterium Z is the preferred item to give Araquanid a powerful nuke, though if the team already has enough Z-Move users then a pinch berry such as Figy Berry is just as useful to give it some longevity.
Other Options & Team Ideas
- Substitute can provide an unexpected buffer to catch foes trying to make a switch, though Araquanid tends to prefer its other move slots more than the situational advantage that Substitute would provide.
Bulky Water Resists - With how well Araquanid does against bulky Waters, bulky water resistant Pokemon are the best option to handle it. Chesnaught is a strong option with its good bulky and recovery with Leech Seed, and deals significant damage with Seed Bomb or Wood Hammer. Alternatively Milotic can win a one on one with Refresh and Haze. More offensive Pokemon can also work but can't switch in as reliably due to Araquanid's power, though anything that can tank a Liquidation tends to check the spider effectively.
Stealth Rock - With Araquanid's weakness to Stealth Rock, this is an easy way to put heavy pressure on the spider. In combination with Toxic commonly carried by bulky Pokemon, Araquanid can be worn down rapidly by residual damage.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
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