Blastoise, The Shellfish Pokémon. It crushes its foe under its heavy body to cause fainting. In a pinch, it will withdraw inside its shell. The rocket cannons on its shell fire jets of water capable of punching holes through thick steel.
One of the original starters, Blastoise is a Pokemon that has changed very little since its release, outside of its very powerful Mega Evolution during Gen 6 and 7 which is no longer available in Gen 8. Being a stereotypical bulky Water-type, Blastoise has always held a role on teams as a defensive pivot to sponge general threats, with some offense to fight back. However, Blastoise sets itself apart with its access to Rapid Spin, allowing it aid squishier teammates such as Frostmoth. Blastoise also gained access to Shell Smash, giving it the ability to run a more offensive set if the metagame permits, though in standard play Blastoise still suffers a bit from middling offenses to effectively threaten teams with it. As a bulky water though, Blastoise isn't perfect either, as it lacks access to a form of recovery other than Rest and has lower defensive stats compared to other options such as Milotic and Vaporeon. Regardless, Blastoise is still a fairly solid Water-type that almost always puts in work within the environment it finds itself.
Access to Rapid Spin gives Blastoise a niche compared with the other options of bulky Waters, allowing it to function as a hazard remover.
Gaining Shell Smash makes Blastoise a potential devastating sweeper, especially with access to all the pulse moves from Gen 6 to bolster its movepool. We probably won't see Mega Evolutions return this gen, but if for some reason they do then this would be a huge boost for Mega Blastoise.
Its G-Max Move can cause some lingering damage
Blastoise does have lower offensive stats making it hard to really break through some threats even with Shell Smash, meaning it needs to lean on its teammates to break walls.
A lack of natural recovery other than Rain Dish, which needs team support itself, makes it harder for Blastoise to last compared to other options such as Milotic.
Torrent - Raises Water moves power when below 33% health - The overall better ability of Blastoise's options, it's not the most consistent ability but that power boost can't be overlooked.
Rain Dish - Heals 1/16th maximum health while Rain Dance or Drizzle is active - This is a good ability, but makes Blastoise more team dependent on rain to get the most out of it. Rain teams usually want more offensive teammates than this, so it's difficult to make use of this.
Item Attached: Life Orb / White Herb
EVs and Nature:
252 SpAtk / 4 SpDef / 252 Speed
With access to Shell Smash, Blastoise can be a potent late game cleaner as it can outpace many threats at +2 Speed. Hydro Pump is a devastating STAB option as after a boost, Blastoise can threaten a lot of damage on most threats that don't resist it. Ice Beam is good coverage for things that want to pivot into Blastoise such as Roserade and Noivern. Focus Blast is good for neutral coverage for threats such as Rotom Wash and tanks such as Umbreon. However Aura Sphere is a nice alternative that trades power for accuracy and still OHKOes Heliolisk. White Herb is a nice option to remove the defensive drop as Blastoise has good defenses but a Life Orb can be used to help push out more damage.
Xatu is an excellent option with access to dual screens and Magic Bounce to keep hazards off the field. Xatu also has access to U-Turn and Teleport to get Blastoise in easily, but the threats that Xatu brings in aren't great for Blastoise to set up on, such as Umbreon and Krookodile.
Incineroar is another good option with Intimidate to lower Attack to patch up its bulk. Incineroar also baits in threats such as Gigalith and Rhyperior that Blastoise can boost up on while, bringing Parting Shot to the table to get Blastoise in while forcing the opposing Pokemon to switch out due to reduced stats.
Item Attached: Leftovers
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpDef
Scald is a staple move of all bulky Waters as the 30% chance to burn is nice to cripple physical attackers such as Haxorus. Ice Beam is a nice secondary option to hit threats such as Noivern and Flygon that Blastoise can pivot in on. Rapid Spin is the key move as without it, Milotic is just better. With Defog and Rapid Spin becoming more rare, this is a major benefit in favor of Blastoise as it helps support partners such as Noivern. Toxic rounds out the set as another form of status to cripple walls and put some sweepers on a timer.
Noivern appreciates Blastoise's ability to remove hazards so it can keep coming in and harassing the opponent's team for relatively free. Noivern also can pivot out with U-Turn into Blastoise on some of the threats that it brings in such as Gigalith Darmanitan is also a nice option as Blastoise can remove Rock-type threats such as Rhyperior, which can wall it while keeping Stealth Rock off the field. This leaves Darmanitan free to abuse a Choice Scarf or Choice Band and U-Turn out with less fear of being chipped so hard every time it comes in.
Gaining access to Gigantamaxing with Isle of Armor, G-Max Blastoise is interesting as its G-Max move, G-Max Cannonade, does damage to any non Water Pokemon for 4 turns, once per turn. This is comparable to G-Max Charizard's unique move, which has a similar effect for non-Fire-type foes and saw some success in VGC due to the powerful effect. However, Charizard had more options to take advantage of this such as a better Speed tier and STAB Max Airstream, so Blastoise is unlikely to make the same kind of impact with it. Overall it's a decent option but with a more subpar G-Max move, G-Max Blastoise is more limited to a team that can abuse Rain that it can set with its max water moves.
VGC & Double Battle Options
Blastoise has never really stood out in Doubles and your opinion of it will largely depend on whether you're factoring in past gen transfer moves or not, since it does have one obscure move that entirely changes how Blastoise is used. However, in the official Doubles/VGC metagame these moves are not an option, so the elusive Follow Me that Blastoise gets via an old event is not a viable option here. Blastoise does have its fancy new G-Max form which opens up some interesting possibilities for it, though it's unlikely this new move will make the same impact that G-Max Charizard did in the past. That being said, Shell Smash and Water Spout open up another interesting avenue for Blastoise that it did not have in past years. Even with these tools, Blastoise is unlikely to have significant impact on the metagame, though if you're interested in trying it out then Shell Smash and the G-Max move are definitely a step up for it.
- Water Spout
- Shell Smash
- Ice Beam
Item Attached: Mystic Water / White Herb
EVs and Nature:
252 SpA / 4 Def / 252 Speed
Modest / Timid Nature
Shell Smash is one of the few unique tools that Blastoise has over other Water-types such as Primarina, so if you want to make use of Blastoise then this is one of the few ways to justify it. In combination with Water Spout, Blastoise can dish out huge damage as long as it stays healthy, as Water Spout is a very powerful spread move especially when boosted. Ice Beam gives Blastoise coverage against Dragon-types such as Dragapult and Grass-types such as Venusaur, which otherwise resist Water Spout. Meanwhile Protect gives Blastoise valuable defensive utility in order to keep its health up for Water Spout, and it will often become a big target after boosting having the option to defend itself is valuable.
While Blastoise would prefer to avoid damage whenever possible, it has a reasonable bulk so White Herb is helpful to offset the Shell Smash drops. That being said, Intimidate can easily waste this item slot so if you want a more consistent item then Mystic Water is helpful for boosting damage output without passively reducing the damage of Water Spout like Life Orb would do. With that in mind, an offensive spread is the only logical approach since Shell Smash drops make defensive investments difficult to justify.
Other Options & Team Ideas
- Blastoise wants redirection to help it set up safely without taking unnecessary damage, so the classic Togekiss is always a valid choice. Amoonguss is another new option available in the upcoming season, though keep in mind that Grass-types ignore Rage Powder and these are some of the bigger threats to Blastoise.
- If you're playing in another Doubles metagame that allows these obscure transfer moves, Follow Me Blastoise is the way to go. This completely changes how you use Blastoise, but since redirection is such a rare tool it's definitely worth utilizing it if you're allowed the option.
- On the topic of support moves, Blastoise has access to Fake Out and Helping Hand, giving it a wider range of support tools to help its teammates.
- Blastoise has other coverage options such as Aura Sphere for Ferrothorn, though most of them tend to be less worthwhile than simply using Ice Beam. Being able to hit Ferrothorn is quite valuable, but hitting Dragapult with Ice Beam is arguably more valuable than that.
Rotom Wash is one of the best options as Blastoise can't OHKO it and has to lean on Focus Blast to truly damage it, and with a defensive set Rotom can sponge a few hits and disrupt Blastoise with Thunder Wave or Trick.
Choice Scarf Heliolisk can outrun Blastoise after a Shell Smash if the Blastoise uses Modest nature, and it can threaten to KO it with high damage. However, Blastoise can outrun Heliolisk with Timid even though it really hurts its damage output.
Toxicroak can switch into Blastoise for free, potentially even healing due to Dry Skin, and can set up Substitute and boost with Bulk Up. It can even take a more offensive approach with Swords Dance and then threaten a sweep.
Locations in Games
Trade from Red/Blue/Yellow
Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen
Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen
Trade from HeartGold/SoulSilver
Transfer from Generation IV
Black 2/White 2:
Transfer from Generation IV
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X & Y
Trade from Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Max Raid Battles: Workout Sea, Stepping-Stone Sea
Gigantamax Raid Battles: Workout Sea, Stepping-Stone Sea