Making a case for Sap Sipper Azumarill in OU

by NewGame+

Azumarill has always had a sad fate as a bit of a niche Pokemon in the OU metagame; all it’s ever really good for is hyper physical offense, and is almost never used with any ability besides Huge Power. Always confined to running either a Choice Band or Sitrus Berry/Belly Drum set, it’s easily defeated by Scald, Will-O’-Wisp, and physically defense Pokemon such as Skarmory, Ferrothorn, and Tangrowth. It’s sub par defensive stats also make it fodder for just about every Grass, Electric, and Poison user in the tier, meaning that a lot of work has to be done before Azumarill is allowed to do it’s thing.

 

Recently, however, I got to thinking; could Sap Sipper be useful in any way in OU? Maybe not as an offensive set, but maybe for defensive? I did some digging and research, and found that maybe, just maybe, Sap Sipper Azumarill could make a stand in this cold, cruel tier. Allow me to start with the set I tested:

Azumarill @ Leftovers
Ability: Sap Sipper
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
– Scald
– Toxic
– Protect
– Knock Off/Encore

For this particular set, the fourth moveslot comes down to your personal preference; Knock Off pairs well with Sap Sipper and allows you to get rid of any pesky items for your sweepers (Leftovers, Black Sludge, Eviolite, Rocky Helmet, Assault Vest, etc). Encore can be useful for locking your opponent into a status/weak move and allow toxic to chip away at their health (or you could switch out to one of your sweepers, either way). At it’s core, this set immediately walls all of the following:

Breloom, Ferrothorn, Serperior, Weavile (set pending), Lati@s, and Tangrowth (set pending). Breloom absolutely cannot touch Azumarill, since Bullet Seed is useless and Technician sets die to Toxic. The only way for Breloom to reliably take down Azu in this case is to SD up, but even then it’ll slowly be dying at the hands of toxic and scald. While Ferrothorn would be able to get up hazards, it wouldn’t be able to Leech Seed and/or Power Whip, and Gyro Ball would do a very small amount due to Azu’s pathetic speed stat. Serperior’s only option would be to HP Fire, since Leech Seed, Leaf Storm, and Dragon Pulse can’t do Jack shit. Weavile can’t do much unless it’s carrying Poison Jab. Just take a look at this:

252+ Atk Choice Band Weavile Icicle Crash vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 90-106 (22.2 – 26.2%) — possible 5HKO after Leftovers recovery

This is the best thing Weavile can do against Azu, and it’ll be taking Scalds to the face as it tries it’s damndest to take down the Big Blue Water Mouse Of Hatred.

Lati@s is pretty self explanatory; unless they run Psychic over Psyshock or unless they run Thunderbolt, they’re going nowhere fast. Sure, the could Calm Mind, but then they get encored into that as Azu poisons their drinking water, so good luck with that, fam. Tangrowth is walled depending on it’s set; if it’s not running Sludge Bomb, then it’s super fucked. Period.

Besides these Pokemon, Azumarill fares really well against other physical threats like Tyranitar, M-Lopunny, M-Medicham, Garchomp and M-Garchomp, Talonflame, Dragonite, M-Heracross, Bisharp, Landorus-T Scizor, and M-Scizor.

Let’s go with the biggest monster here in terms of attack power; M-Medicham. It’s best attack against Azu is Zen Headbutt, and is calculated as follows:

252 Atk Pure Power Mega Medicham Zen Headbutt vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 181-214 (44.8 – 52.9%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

3HK0. That’s beans to Azu. In this case, every Scald Azu throws at M-Medicham does 25-29% with a chance to burn. If Medicham has been weakened in any way prior, then it doesn’t stand a chance. Here’s some other calcs for other Mons listed here:

+2 44 Atk Technician Mega Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 159-187 (39.3 – 46.2%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

+4 44 Atk Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 139-165 (34.4 – 40.8%) — 54.5% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Mega Lopunny Return vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 144-169 (35.6 – 41.8%) — 84.8% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Life Orb Bisharp Iron Head vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 138-164 (34.1 – 40.5%) — 42.1% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Mega Garchomp Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 166-196 (41 – 48.5%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252 Atk Mega Tyranitar Stone Edge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 162-192 (40 – 47.5%) — guaranteed 3HKO after sandstorm damage and Leftovers recovery

Now, offensive Lano-T can do quite a bit of damage, as seen here:

252+ Atk Soft Sand Landorus-T Earthquake vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 195-229 (48.2 – 56.6%) — 34.4% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

However, on the flipside, Azu does this:

0 SpA Azumarill Scald vs. 72 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 138-164 (40.9 – 48.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO

So it’s not all bad on this front. I would also like to specially point out Talonflame:

+2 252+ Atk Sharp Beak Talonflame Brave Bird vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 313-369 (77.4 – 91.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

however

0 SpA Azumarill Scald vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Talonflame: 156-186 (52.5 – 62.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO

…so yeah. It’s gonna fucking die.

So, after all this, you may be thinking to yourself; oh, golly gee willikers, what could possibly take down such a bulky, ferocious monster?

LITERALLY EVERY SPECIAL ATTACKER WITH A POISON OR ELECTRIC TYPE MOVE

As with any Pokemon with a crazy stat in one defensive category, it’s destroyed by Pokemon with high offensive stats in the other (i.e. Chansey is destroyed by physical mons, Skarmory is destroyed by special, etc). Such threats include Amoonguss, T-Bolt Clefable, T-bolt Lati@s, Rotom-W, Gengar, M-Manectric, Magnezone, Raikou, Thundurus, and Zapdos. These pokemon can absolutely ravage Azumarill, and those running Sap Sipper Azu need to be extra careful around these pokemon in particular. They can ruin you in one turn, so if you ever find Azu in front of one of these monsters, you need to get the fuck out. There’s also some physical attackers than can do a number on Azu, in particular Kyurem-B:

252+ Atk Choice Band Teravolt Kyurem-B Fusion Bolt vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Azumarill: 364-430 (90 – 106.4%) — 43.8% chance to OHKO

Yeah, it’s not a guaranteed OHKO, but it can be very frightening if caution isn’t heeded.

So, that’s the end of my analysis for Sap Sipper Azumarill. This article has gotten over 1000 words, which means I’ve put more effort into this than anything college related ever. brb as I bathe myself in a tub full of Flamin’ Cheetos.

October 1st, 2016

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