Artwork created by Alexalan.
Alola! For the first time, I’ll be providing something a little different, and that’s an analysis of a Pokémon that has been recently on the rise in the VGC 2017 format, the water spider known as Araquanid.
“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.”
Typing and Abilities
- Weaknesses: Rock, Flying, Electric
- Resistances: Water, Ice, Fighting, Ground
- Water Bubble – Takes 50% damage from Fire-type moves, doubles the power of Water-type moves before adding STAB, and cannot be burned
- Water Absorb (Hidden Ability) – Heals up to 25% HP when hit by a Water-type move
Base Stat Distribution
Role in the Metagame
Araquanid is a very interesting Pokémon, being able to deal a lot of damage with its Water Bubble ability, as well as take hits with its respectable bulk. Araquanid can easily shut down sun teams, and it can also OHKO many things in the format such as Marowak, Arcanine, Tapu Koko, etc. It also has a great movepool for this format as well, with moves such as Liquidation, Lunge, Leech Life, and even something like Wide Guard. It can also function as a special attacker, although not seen very often due to the lack of special Bug-type moves. In general, Araquanid is used as an offensive attacker, and it can fit nicely on a lot of teams.
DISCLAIMER: These are only entry level EV spreads, so you can get into VGC right away. I’m planning to keep EV spreads I create private until I release a team report for a respective tournament I place well into.
Standard Physical Attacker
Held Item: Waterium Z / Life Orb
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Brave / Adamant
EV: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def (0 Spe IV for Brave)
– Leech Life / Lunge / Poison Jab
– Lunge / Wide Guard / Poison Jab
This set has a wide movepool with many options to choose from. Obviously, Liquidation and Protect are mandatory to have, but two Bug-type moves, Wide Guard, and even Poison Jab can be difficult to decide on. The natures can be a bit of a toss up as well with Brave helping it function in Trick Room, or Adamant to outspeed something like neutral uninvested Gastrodon and minimum speed Porygon2. As far as the moveset, many people would opt to choose one Bug-type move and go with Wide Guard as the third option as Leech Life and Lunge have the same base power, although you could also go with both for a fully offensive set. Between those two moves, it comes down to personal preference of whether you want to keep Araquanid around for longer, or lower the attack of the opposing Pokémon. Poison Jab is only recommended if your team has a bad matchup against Tapu Lele and/or Mimikyu. As far as the items, Waterium Z is the more popular choice as a Hydro Vortex paired with Araquanid’s ability is very powerful. Life Orb is also a strong choice if you want to use a Z-Crystal on a different Pokémon, or simply increase the damage output of all moves as Araquanid has a mediocre base attack of 70.
Held Item: Life Orb / Waterium Z
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Quiet / Modest
EV: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA (0 Spe IV for Quiet)
– Ice Beam / Blizzard
– Wide Guard / Surf
Not very common, but not a terrible set either. This idea was picked up from 2013 World Champion Arash Ommati (@Mean_vgc), who made it to Day 2 of the European International Championships with a special attacking Araquanid. Scald and Surf are the only STAB moves that are special, so Araquanid will not be able to have a Bug-type move in this set. Life Orb is the preferred choice to boost the damage output of Ice Beam as its base special attack is only 50; however, Waterium Z is a strong option to consider when paired with Ninetales, as Araquanid can be threatening with two powerful spread moves, Blizzard and Surf. A Hydro Vortex based off Surf can deal a significant amount of damage, which can make up for Araquanid’s low special attack stat. It doesn’t fit well on many standard teams due to its low damage output, but the Waterium Z set is a strong choice for a team with Ninetales.
Wolfey (@WolfeyGlick)’s Assault Vest
Held Item: Assault Vest
Ability: Water Bubble
Nature: Careful / Sassy
EV: 252 HP / 188 Atk / 68 SpD (0 Spe IV for Sassy)
– Leech Life
– Poison Jab
This set was taken from 2016 World Champion Wolfe Glick’s Competitive Araquanid Guide on YouTube, and the idea behind this set is for Araquanid to have a wide option of attacks while taking advantage of its massive base special defense of 132. With the Assault Vest, Araquanid makes a hard counter for Torkoal as Wolfey stated how much he hates Torkoal. Check out the video for more of his crazy sets involving a Wacan Berry and even a Choice Band! Here are some defensive calculations below:
- 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 56-68 (32 – 38.8%) — 97.2% chance to 3HKO
- 252 SpA Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 56-68 (32 – 38.8%) — 6.1% chance to 3HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid in Psychic Terrain: 58-69 (33.1 – 39.4%) — 99.8% chance to 3HKO
- 252+ SpA Tapu Lele Psychic vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Araquanid: 39-46 (22.2 – 26.2%) — possible 5HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Water Bubble Araquanid in Sun: 27-33 (15.4 – 18.8%) — possible 6HKO
- 252+ SpA Torkoal Eruption (150 BP) vs. 252 HP / 68+ SpD Assault Vest Water Bubble Araquanid: 18-22 (10.2 – 12.5%) — possible 8HKO
Examples of Partners
Tapu Koko can make a good partner for Araquanid as it can deal with Pelipper, one of the few Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage with a high-powered special attack. Tapu Koko can also help deal with opposing Araquanid, being able to 2HKO those that don’t carry an Assault Vest. Tapu Koko can also help deal with Garchomp by using Dazzling Gleam, as that can also 2HKO those that don’t carry an Assault Vest.
Tapu Lele paired with Araquanid can provide a lot of offensive pressure. You can give yourself a bit more flexibility on choosing which Z-Move to use, one being physical and one being special, or you can give one of them a Z-Crystal if you would prefer that. Many players tend to pair Tapu Lele with Araquanid because of their flexibility in item choices along with their offensive prowess.
Tapu Bulu pairs well with Araquanid as they cover each other’s weaknesses, being fire and steel for Tapu Bulu, and electric and rock for Araquanid. The Grassy Terrain recovery is also very beneficial for Araquanid, and Tapu Bulu can also OHKO Gastrodon with ease, as it can redirect Araquanid’s Water-type attacks away.
Porygon2 makes an excellent partner for Araquanid because of its bulk, as well as its ability to set up Trick Room, which compliments Araquanid’s slow speed. Porygon2 also has one of the biggest movepools in the format, sometimes making it unpredictable on what moves it would use.
Arcanine can cripple many physical attackers with its ability, Intimidate, as well as use Will-O-Wisp, which is extremely helpful for Araquanid’s lower base defense. Arcanine also has the ability to use Snarl, which makes Araquanid even harder to take down thanks to its massive base special defense. Araquanid can also help Arcanine by dealing with Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon.
Alolan Marowak is an interesting partner for Araquanid because it has the ability, Lightningrod, which redirects any Electric-type moves away from its partner. Because Araquanid is a Water-type, Lightningrod would be extremely beneficial by its side. Marowak is also a Pokémon that can hit hard thanks to its typing and its item, the Thick Club. Araquanid can also help Marowak by dealing with Rock-type and Ground-type Pokémon, as well as opposing Marowak.
Garchomp and Mudsdale are helpful for Araquanid as they are Ground-types that can deal with Tapu Koko, as well as Gigalith and Aerodactyl. Garchomp and Krookodile are fast, offensive attackers with different capabilities. Garchomp has a better movepool than Krookodile and has better bulk; however, Krookodile has Intimidate as its ability, which can be useful for many teams. Mudsdale, on the other hand, is slow and bulky, and also has the ability, Stamina, which raises its defense by one stage each time it gets hit by a physical attack, making it a very safe switch-in for any Rock-type move.
Muk is an interesting partner because it is one of the few Pokémon that can deal with Tapu Bulu with ease. Tapu Bulu can be a huge threat to Araquanid by dealing over 70% to it with a Wood Hammer. Muk is easily able to OHKO a Tapu Bulu with a Poison Jab, and it also has solid bulk paired up with its ability, Gluttony, along with the Figy Berry. Muk also has access to Knock Off, which can make it significantly easier for Araquanid to deal with the likes of Porygon2 and Celesteela.
Like Tapu Bulu, Kartana is a Grass-type that can OHKO a Gastrodon with ease. Kartana is also four times weak to fire, which makes Araquanid a great partner for Kartana. Kartana also has an easier time dealing with Aerodactyl and Tapu Bulu as it is also a Steel-type.
Celesteela makes a defensive partner for Araquanid as it can wall most of the Pokémon in the format, and Araquanid can help Celesteela deal with the Fire-types out there with its Water-type moves. Celesteela can also help deal with Aerodactyl and Tapu Bulu, as it is a Steel-type. If you plan to use Celesteela with Araquanid, Marowak is a mandatory partner to redirect Electric-type moves away from both Celesteela and Araquanid.
Gastrodon is easily one of the biggest threats to Araquanid as it can redirect Water-type moves away thanks to its ability, Storm Drain, also giving Gastrodon a special attack boost each time it gets hit. This is especially dangerous for Araquanid, as Gastrodon can potentially waste the Hydro Vortex coming towards its side. Tapu Bulu and Kartana are the easiest answers to Gastrodon, although you can also get creative and include Grass-type moves on other Pokémon like how Gavin Michaels (@komvgc) did to win the 2017 San Jose Regional Championships with his Drampa by including Energy Ball as one of its moves.
They can easily 2HKO Araquanid with their super-effective attacks. Tapu Koko is especially dangerous as it summons the Electric Terrain when it enters battle with its ability, Electric Surge. Togedemaru is especially obnoxious for Araquanid to deal with as Zing Zap is a physical move, and it also has a chance to flinch its target. Togedemaru can also Encore Araquanid into Protect or Wide Guard, which can bring forth a dire situation. Marowak is the greatest answer for these threats thanks to its ability, high attack power, as well as its access to Bonemerang. Ground-types like Garchomp, Krookodile, and Mudsdale are viable answers to these Pokémon as well.
Tapu Bulu can be a great partner for Araquanid, but it can be a great threat to Araquanid as well. Tapu Bulu is one of the few Pokémon in the format that can easily deal over 70% damage to Araquanid without a super-effective hit. With that in mind, there’s no way Araquanid can be guaranteed to survive a Choice Band boosted Wood Hammer from this Pokémon.
- 252+ Atk Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 129-153 (73.7 – 87.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Grassy Terrain recovery
- 252+ Atk Miracle Seed Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 156-184 (89.1 – 105.1%) — 31.3% chance to OHKO
- 108+ Atk Choice Band Tapu Bulu Wood Hammer vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Araquanid in Grassy Terrain: 175-207 (100 – 118.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
Although it doesn’t seem so, Gigalith can be terrifying for Araquanid to stare down in Trick Room, as Gigalith is much slower than Araquanid. Gigalith may not be able to OHKO with Rock Slide, but the 30% chance to flinch can be heartbreaking for Araquanid, which can result in missing the KO on Gigalith. Players also opt to use Rockium Z for a powerful Rock-type attack that doesn’t miss, and the Continental Crush can easily OHKO Araquanid.
- 0 Atk Gigalith Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 218-258 (124.5 – 147.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
- -1 124+ Atk Gigalith Continental Crush vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 176-210 (100.5 – 120%) — guaranteed OHKO
Aerodactyl is obnoxious for Araquanid as it carries the Focus Sash, and it can also 2HKO Araquanid with both of its STAB moves, Rock Slide and Sky Drop. Sky Drop is especially threatening for Araquanid, as Aerodactyl can prevent it from moving for a turn, and Aerodactyl can easily take advantage of this move if a Wide Guard were to be predicted. The 30% flinch rate from Rock Slide is also not a great thing for Araquanid to deal with either.
Although Araquanid benefits from the rain, Pelipper is one of two Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage to Araquanid with a special attack that cannot be redirected away, which would be one of its moves, Hurricane. Hurricane will never miss in the rain, it can 2HKO Araquanid that do not carry an Assault Vest, and it also has a 30% chance to confuse its target, which is terrifying for Araquanid to stare down. Trick Room and Electric-types can deal with Pelipper easily.
Although rarely seen, Braviary is one of Araquanid’s worst nightmares. Recently, a Japanese player who goes by Cantona (@AuGUROSU), placed Top 4 at the Kanto Regional Championships in Japan with a Braviary, and he used it to check Pokémon with Intimidate thanks to its own ability, Defiant. This is especially bad news for Araquanid because its main means of damage to Braviary has a 20% chance to lower defense, which means a 20% chance for an attack boost on Braviary. Lunge is not a wise choice either, as Braviary will also get a free attack boost from that move while taking nearly no damage. Here are some calculations I made with the EV spread I read from his team report (Note: He did not have Facade in his set; I’m only showing how threatening Braviary can be):
- 204+ Atk Braviary Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 222-264 (126.8 – 150.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
- +1 204+ Atk Braviary Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Araquanid: 195-229 (111.4 – 130.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
Nihilego has very low defense, and can be easily OHKO’d by a Liquidation; however, many Nihilego carry a Focus Sash to make up for its low defense. Nihilego can easily 2HKO Araquanid that do not carry an Assault Vest with Power Gem, which is bad for 1V1 situations. This makes Nihilego one of two Pokémon that can deal super-effective damage to Araquanid with a special attack that cannot be redirected away.
Araquanid is a strong Pokémon in the format, and should be considered when teambuilding when it comes to deciding what you want to use, or preparing how to beat Araquanid. With is respectable bulk and ability, Water Bubble, it is no surprise how threatening Araquanid can be. If you want something that can deal with Arcanine, try an Araquanid today!