Ludicolo

Ludicolo, The Carefree Pokémon. The rhythm of bright, festive music activates Ludicolo's cells, making it more powerful. If it hears festive music, it begins moving in rhythm in order to amplify its power.

Overview

Ludicolo has not changed a lot throughout the latest generations and it is still known as one of the most prominent rain sweepers in Singles. Thanks to Swift Swim, Ludicolo doubles its Speed in rain allowing to outspeed several threats and sweep with a good Special Attack, a good STAB combination and decent coverage moves. Unfortunately, when Ludicolo is outside of the rain, its stats are no better than average which shows how extremely dependent it is from rain. Furthermore, Ludicolo also has to compete with Pokemon like Barraskewda and Kingdra who offer higher offensive stats and speed. However, despite these shortcomings, Ludicolo will not disappoint you under the rain.
Positives
Swift Swim is the main reason why you want to use Ludicolo as it allows it to double its average Speed stat and sweep under the rain which further powers up its Water STAB.
It's decent base 90 Special Attack along with some good coverage options such as Ice Beam and Focus Blast allows it to punch holes with the right support
It's good defensive typing allows it to switch into Water attacks with no consequences thanks to its decent Special Defense.
Negatives
Ludicolo is extremely reliant to rain which would otherwise force Ludicolo to be stuck with its painfully average Speed stat
Without the power boost from rain on its Water STAB, base 90 is simply not good enough to punch holes on the opponent's team
Rain's limited amount of time means that Ludicolo is on a timer which means that the amount of turns it will have to attempt to sweep are limited and it can be worse if the opponent uses a different weather.

Movesets

RAIN DANCE

- Hydro Pump
- Giga Drain
- Ice Beam
- Rain Dance / Focus Blast
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs and Nature:
252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Modest Nature

This set aims to sweep through teams once Rain Dance is present. As Ludicolo is usually paired with other Rain Dance sweepers, its main role is to remove Water-type Pokemon that may annoy them. Hydro Pump is the most powerful STAB Ludicolo can use to punch holes on the opponent's team, specially with the rain boost in power. Despite its imperfect inaccuracy, Surf is not suggested as a replacement as otherwise it will force Ludicolo to miss out on various OHKOs or 2HKOs. Giga Drain is Ludicolo's secondary STAB which will allow it to nail Pokemon like Gastrodon and Seismitoad who are often used as checks for Rain teams. Ice Beam complements Ludicolo's STAB moves allowing it to nail Pokemon such as Dragapult or Rillaboom on the switch. Rain Dance is the recommended last move as otherwise Ludicolo can set up rain for itself on the case in which the opponent carries a different weather setter while ensuring that the rain continues for its teammates. Focus Blast is an alternative if you prefer to hit Ferrothorn for super-effective damage.

DYNAMAX:
Under Dynamax, Ludicolo finds itself on the best conditions to sweep through the opponent. Max Geyser's special effect means that Ludicolo will pretty much be able to set up the rain for itself in case that its rain setter goes down. Ludicolo also appreciates the extra bulk it gains from Dynamax which will allow it to tank more hits in courtesy of its already decent bulk. Max Overgrowth not only power ups Ludicolo's Grass STAB but it also sets up Grassy Terrain which will allow Ludicolo to recover a bit of its lost health. Ludicolo doesn't really wants to use Max Hailstorm or Max Knuckle (if you're running Focus Blast) since it will lose its valuable rain and it doesn't gains anything from the attack boost.

EVs and Items:
Max Special Attack and Speed is the only investment Ludicolo needs to increase its damage output and outspeed the mayority of the most popular Pokemon in Singles. A Life Orb increases the damage output of Ludicolo's attacks, however, it allows the freedom of choosing an attack which is preferable over a Choice Specs since Ludicolo will be sweeping the opponent on borrowed time when rain is triggered.

Other Option:
Ludicolo can use a Sub Leech Seed set with Rain Dish but this is a completely inferior option to what Ludicolo should aim for

Partners:
Pelipper is an absolute must thanks to its decent stats, ability to regain momentum with U-turn and Drizzle. Ludicolo appreciates partners who can take advantage of the rain while aiding it on its sweep; Pokemon such as Dracovish, Kingdra and Barraskewda are fantastic offensive partners that can help break each other's checks. Steel types like Melmetal and Jirachi benefit from the rain while also covering Ludicolo's weakness to Flying, Bug and Poison.

VGC & Double Battle Options

Historically, weather is always stronger in Doubles than Singles, and Ludicolo finds itself to be a consistent staple on Rain teams. Ludicolo is at its best when Rain is at its best. In addition to its great Bulk and Grass STAB that make it threatening to opposing Swift Swim Sweepers, Ludicolo has access to disruption in Fake Out, giving it consistent use game in and game out. While Rain may be beaten out by Sun simply due to how excellent Torkoal is as a Sun setter, Ludicolo has made its place in doubles for good reason.

It Takes Two to Tango

-Fake Out
-Muddy Water
-Giga Drain
-Ice Beam
Item Attached: Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs and Nature:
252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spe
Modest Nature

Pair Ludicolo up with a Rain Setter for immediate pressure when the battle starts. It is near impossible to outspeed a Fake Out when Ludicolo is being boosted by Swift Swim, enabling it to disrupt most setup on the opposing side of the field, keeping momentum in your favor. Muddy Water is a reliable STAB spread move and is further boosted by Rain for impressive power. Giga Drain keeps Ludicolo healthy, forcing your opponent to invest more attacks into it to force Ludicolo down and pairs well with Assault Vest. Ice Beam provides valuable coverage against Dragon, Grass and Ice types like Dragapult, Tornadus, and Venusaur. Assault Vest improves Ludicolo’s special bulk from good to fantastic, enabling it to tank powerful special attacks like a Sun Boosted Eruption from Torkoal or Hurricanes from Tornadus.

DYNAMAX:
Ludicolo is an effective Dynamaxer. The Bulk increase alongside Assault Vest makes Ludicolo very hard to take down without double targeting. Muddy Water turning into Max Geyser enables Ludicolo to reestablish rain and focuses power enabling it to muscle through bulkier targets and bypass Wide Guard. However, the lack of power may make it less preferred over other more offensively inclined Pokémon.

Other Doubles Options & Team Ideas

Icy Wind -Excellent speed control that is difficult to disrupt in rain.
Pelipper, Politoed and Kyogre all automatically setup rain and thus are incredibly valuable partners for Ludicolo, enabling it to sweep with ease and not worry about having to setup its own Rain. Ludicolo also does not share weaknesses with them outside of Freeze Dry, avoiding weakness stacking which does ease teambuilding a bit. Other Swift Swim Sweepers like Barraskewda and Kingdra compliment Ludicolo and help provide continous pressure (and other Dynamax Max Geyser users)

Countering Ludicolo

Ludicolo stops becoming a threat once it is outside the rain as otherwise it becomes an extremely average Pokemon vulnerable to faster threats. Toxapex walls Ludicolo to death and there's nothing that the pińa colada can't about it. Without Focus Blast, Ferrothorn can use Ludicolo as set-up fodder. Additionally, Chansey and Blissey will always wall Ludicolo thanks to their gargantuan Special Defense. Faster Pokemon that can hit Ludicolo super-effectively like Gyarados and Togekiss, who can also take a hit from it, are good options to deal with it. .

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Not in game

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Not in game

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Evolve Lombre (Sapphire, Emerald)
Trade from Sapphire/Emerald (Ruby)

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Trade from Sapphire/Emerald

Colosseum/XD:
Trade from Sapphire/Emerald

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Lombre

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Lombre

Black/White:
Evolve Lombre (White)
Trade from White, Black 2, White 2 (Black)

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Lombre

X/Y:
Evolve Lombre

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Evolve Lombre (Alpha Sapphire)
Trade from X, Y, Alpha Sapphire (Omega Ruby)

Sun/Moon:
Trade from Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Evolve Lombre

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Not in game

Sword/Shield:
Route 10, Lake of Outrage, Giant's Bed, Giant's Foot (Sword) Max Raid Battles: Giant's Seat, Rolling Fields, Stony Wilderness, Slippery Slope, Giant's Bed, Snowslide Slope, Ballimere Lake

Anime Appearences

Ludicolo has made a few anime appearances. Most notably it was used by Brock during his Hoenn travels and Tierno in his Kalos travels

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
P6 Gotta Dance The Secret Base of the Dancing Pokémon Pics
343 Go Go Ludicolo! Dancing Battle! Ludicolo! Pics
382 Once In A Mawile Falling in Love With Mawile! Lombre's Flower Arrangement!! Pics
383 Beg, Burrow and Steal Trapinch & Vibrava! Lake of Illusion! Pics
384 Absol-ute Disaster!! Absol! Creeping Shadow Of Disaster!! Pics
385 Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snorunt! Catch Snorunt! Pics
386 Do I Hear A Ralts? Rescue Ralts! Hurry Max!! Pics
394 Berry, Berry Interesting! 'May-Delicious' Captures Munchlax Pics
395 Less Is Morrison! Rival Enters! Morrison & Beldum! Pics
401 Island Time! Let's Go With Survival! Pics
411 A Real Cleffa-Hanger Mt. Moon! With Cleffa, Clefairy & Clefable! Pics
453 Grating Spaces Brock & Ash! Defend Pewter Gym in Tag Battle! Pics
475 Like It or Lup It Piplup Hangs On!! Pics
607 A Faux Oak Finish! Rescue Professor Oak! Politoed VS Croagunk!! Pics
868 Good Friends, Great Training! Enter Wartortle and Raichu! Sliggoo Does its Best!! Pics
929 Valuable Experience for All! Mega Sceptile VS Raichu! I Received Some EXP!! Pics
1130 Pikachu Translation Check... Up to Your Neck Operation: Dub Pikachu
Half Marshtomp
Pics