Welcome to our twentieth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week, to round out our coverage of the Kanto starter trio, we'll be discussing Blastoise.
Squirtle withdraws into its shell when it is in danger, then fires back with spouts of water in every direction. Wartortle is said to have an extraordinary lifespan, with some living up to 10,000 years. Its furry tail is popular as a symbol of longevity. When tapped, it retracts all of its limbs into its shell. The end of the tail still pokes out, however. Blastoise utilizes pressurized water jets in its shell for high-speed tackles. It attempts to crush its foe under its heavy body to cause fainting. It withdraws into its shell to minimize damage.
Base stats: 79 HP / 83 Attack / 100 Defense / 85 Sp. Attack / 105 Sp. Defense / 78 Speed
Mega Blastoise: 79 HP / 103 Attack / 120 Defense / 135 Sp. Attack / 115 Sp. Defense / 78 Speed
Blastoise... in my opinion, Blastoise has consistently been the worst competitive Kanto starter in terms of competitive battling. It has always had to compete with other Water types, of which there are many. Generation 2 gave it somewhat of a niche as a Rapid Spinner, but this niche is shared with Starmie and Tentacruel, in terms of Water types, and newer spinners such as Excadrill. The biggest downfall for Blastoise this generation is the buff to Defog, making Rapid Spin somewhat less useful overall. It still has a niche in that Rapid Spin only removes opposing hazards, while Defog removes all hazards, but the value of this depends on how heavily you stack your own hazards.
Blastoise isn't completely useless, however, as it was given a somewhat decent Mega Evolution this generation. This is not without its problems, however. Mega Launcher makes offensive sets viable, but they're generally outclassed by better Pokemon like Rotom-Wash, Manaphy, and Azumarill (from the other offensive end). Blastoise's defenses make defensive sets appealing, but with the lack of recovery outside of Rest, Blastoise can't keep itself alive long enough to be of much use, so it's not nearly as good on defensive teams as something like Slowbro, Vaporeon, or, again, Rotom-Wash. Overall, Blastoise is a very niche Pokemon to use, and if you are using it in OU, there needs to be a specific reason for you to do choose it. Make sure that Blastoise's role isn't filled better by something else. Since Blastoise itself isn't good in OU, we'll be focusing only on the Mega Evolution.
Rain Dish [Mega Launcher]
Modest nature (+Sp. Attack, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Sp. Attack / 4 Defense
Hydro Pump / Water Pulse
Aura Sphere / Dark Pulse
Ice Beam / Dragon Pulse
Rapid Spin / Dark Pulse
Blastoise can serve as an offensive Rapid Spinner in OU fairly well with his wide array of coverage moves, some of which are boosted by Mega Launcher. The first attack is a choice between power and accuracy. Hydro Pump sports 110 base power, while Water Pulse is boosted to 90 by Mega Launcher, and has a 20% chance to induce confusion. Aura Sphere provides great coverage, dealing with Pokemon like Ferrothorn, Tyranitar, and Bisharp, but Dark Pulse can be used for Pokemon such as Aegislash, Trevenant, and Latias / Latios. Ice Beam is recommended in the third slot, since many Dragons are hit harder by Ice Beam than by Dragon Pulse, such as Dragonite, Garchomp, and also covers things like Togekiss and Mandibuzz. Dragon Pulse hits Latios and Latias harder, but Dark Pulse already hits them nearly as hard as Dragon Pulse would.
The last slot gives a choice. Rapid Spin is the main use Blastoise has, removing all the entry hazards from your side of the field if not blocked by a ghost. Alternately, you could use Dark Pulse alongside Aura Sphere and go all out offensive, since Mega Blastoise's Sp. Attack is quite high, and both of these moves are boosted by Mega Launcher. If you go this route, I'd recommend having a Wish passer and a Defog user to keep Blastoise healthy through the match. Latias can do both of these things in one, and it's the only Pokemon that can (besides Xatu, but I don't think it's viable in OU this generation, sadly).
This kind of Blastoise works best on a bulky offense team. As I said, Latias is a great partner for Wish and Defog, but it also covers both of the type weaknesses Blastoise has. Breloom makes a decent offensive Pokemon, putting pressure on Pokemon like Rotom-Wash. Talonflame or Latios is a good choice for dealing with opposing Mega Venusaur.
Calm nature (+Sp. Defense, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Sp. Defense / 4 Sp. Attack
Ice Beam / Aura Sphere
A defensive set is more in line with what a Rapid Spinner is traditionally meant to do, as Blastoise can keep itself alive to remove entry hazards for longer if it takes hits better. Scald is your best choice for a STAB here, providing a 30% chance to Burn opponents. Dark Pulse is more of a mandatory move on this set, allowing Blastoise to break through Ghost types that attempt to block Rapid Spin.
The third slot is for additional coverage; Aura Sphere for Ferrothorn and Tyranitar, while Ice Beam hurts Dragons.
A Wish passer is very helpful for keeping Blastoise alive, as it unfortunately lacks a recovery move, which is his biggest downfall. As mentioned previously, Latias can pass wishes, or you can use the old standby of Blissey (on Showdown anyway; any Wish Blissey you get in X/Y are hacked or have terrible IVs, since the Wish event was from 3rd gen and you didn't have a way to soft-reset for events back then as they were traded to you). Jirachi passes decently bulky Wishes as well, and Blastoise can tank a Fire attack aimed at Jirachi and receive the Wish relatively safely in such a situation.
A Bold nature can be used if you so desire. The given nature and EVs protect Blastoise from the special side, while relying on Burns to keep physical damage to a minimum.
Squirtle is offered as a starter choice by Professor Sycamore, so it's fairly easy to obtain, if one so desires. Wartortle can also be found in some Friend Safaris if you didn't choose Squirtle. Here's what I'd recommend for an in-game Blastoise:
Earthquake / Aura Sphere
This set works for both Mega and non-Mega Blastoise. Surf is just as powerful as a Mega Launcher Water Pulse is, but has a lot more utility in-game for crossing the water. Ice Beam is obvious for any special attacking Water type, covering Grass types, Dragon types, and Flying types. Earthquake covers Electric types, which is something not many Water types can do (not even X/Y's other water starter, Greninja!). Aura Sphere can be used here if you're willing to breed for it, since it gets the Mega Launcher boost. Finally, Dark Pulse is good because Blastoise doesn't have a lot of offensive options, and in-game is all about offense. It also gets the Mega Launcher boost, so why not.
Poor, poor Blastoise. Charizard has always been popular, and now it gets 2 Mega Evolutions, both of which are fantastic competitive Pokemon. But now even Venusaur, the Pokemon that it stole a game from in generation 1, even he gets a great Mega Evolution! Meanwhile Blastoise, since generation 1, has been begging for Recover or some method of healing (I don't count Aqua Ring because that's incredibly stupid). Blastoise has a cool design, and I've always kind of liked him, to be honest. All 3 of the Kanto starters had cool designs, in my opinion. Hopefully the future will bring some kind of recovery for Blastoise to make itself relevant in the metagame. If a giant worm can recover, why can't a turtle?
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