A Nuzlocker’s Guide to the Oshawott Line

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Oshawott’s great balanced attacking stats, solid defenses, and good movepool, coupled with a great defensive typing, make Oshawott an excellent choice for any Pokémon Black/White Nuzlocke. It does struggle against some gyms in the early-to-mid game (namely Nimbasa and Striaton City Gyms), but there is ample access to team members that can deal with these threats. As long as you’re aware of Oshawott’s weaknesses and play around them, it will serve you well for the entirety of your journey.

Oshawott’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Oshawott versus Rivals in Nuvema Town: Oshawott can deal with Bianca’s Tepig pretty easily with Tackle. This battle shouldn’t give you trouble, but Tail Whip is always an option to lower Tepig’s defense. The same can be said for Cheren and his Snivy, whose better defenses are offset by its lack of power. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 5; Tackle, Tail Whip.

Oshawott versus N in Accumula Town: If Oshawott has Water Gun, this should be an easy victory. Purrloin’s offenses are subpar, even this early in the game, and STAB Water Gun will hit it hard. Water Gun’s status as a special move also renders Purrloin’s Growl useless. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 7; Tackle, Tail Whip, Water Gun.

Oshawott versus Bianca in Route 2: Bianca’s Tepig is a joke, but Lillipup could cause a problem if it gets a Leer off. Bring a Lillipup (or Patrat) of your own in case you need to switch out. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 8; Tackle, Tail Whip, Water Gun.

Oshawott versus Cheren in Striation City: Both Purrloin and Snivy can pose a threat to Oshawott. Purrloin can pull out Vine Whip via Assist and Snivy has Vine Whip itself. However, Purrloin will go down to Water Gun easily. Picking up Pansear from the Dreamyard first is recommended; it will also provide it with much-needed experience. Oshawott shouldn’t be used against Snivy as it can’t tank Vine Whip. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 10; Tackle, Tail Whip, Water Gun.

Oshawott versus Cilan in Striaton City Gym: Oshawott can dispatch Lillipup easily, but should not fight Pansage. Dewott would have trouble with Pansage; just use Pansear. Lillipup or Patrat is an alternative to those disallowing gift Pokémon. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 13; Tackle, Tail Whip, Water Gun, Focus Energy.

Oshawott versus Cheren in Route 3: Another Pokémon should deal with Snivy, but Oshawott can handle Purrloin barring Sand Attack shenanigans. Water Gun is a 3HKO on Purrloin. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 14; Tackle, Tail Whip, Water Gun, Focus Energy.

Dewott versus N in Nacrene City: Evolving Oshawott will be very helpful in the fight against N, but Razor Shell is the more valuable commodity you get at level 17. Oshawott hits Pidove and Timburr very hard with Razor Shell; Dewott just obliterates them. Tympole should be fought with another Pokémon if you have a better option (Blitzle comes to mind). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 17; Tackle, Water Gun, Focus Energy, Razor Shell.

Dewott versus Lenora in Nacrene City Gym: If you’re planning on using Dewott against Lenora, do yourself a favor and don’t teach Rock Smash to your sea otter. Razor Shell and Rock Smash have the same chance to lower the opponent’s defense stat and STAB Razor Shell out damages a super-effective Rock Smash. Herdier’s Intimidate and STAB Retaliate could be a problem though. Herdier’s Bite shouldn’t be a problem if Dewott is faster (which it should be). However, Razor Shell is only a possible 3HKO after Intimidate, so landing that 50% defense lowering chance may be essential. Watchog is even more difficult to take down, especially if Dewott is at -1 Attack and/or low health. Retaliate after Herdier faints will remove 90% of Dewott’s max HP, so something else may have to tank (or, more likely, be sacrificed to) Watchog’s first attack. Crunch and Hypnosis can also be a problem. Focus Energy could be helpful in this battle if you get the chance to set it up; a critical Razor Shell is a guaranteed OHKO if Watchog has already taken one non-critical Razor Shell. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 20; Tackle, Focus Energy, Razor Shell, Fury Cutter.

Dewott versus Burgh in Castelia City Gym: Despite Dewott’s type disadvantage against Burgh’s ace, it can put in a lot of work in this battle. I would even go so far as to recommend using it against Whirlipede and Dwebble to save your Bug-type counter for Leavanny. Whirlipede and Dwebble both fall to Razor Shell easily. For an even easier time, give Dewott the Eviolite. However, Leavanny must be dealt with by something else (Darumaka and Pansear come to mind). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 23; Focus Energy, Razor Shell, Fury Cutter, Retaliate.

Dewott versus Bianca in Castelia Gate: Dewott has a less-than-favorable match-up against Herdier due to Intimidate, so this match-up is only recommended if Dewott has gotten Water Pulse at level 25. Munna can be annoying with its Yawn and Moonlight, but Razor Shell is a 2HKO. Pignite is a joke to Dewott, but make sure that Dewott is at half health or higher since Razor Shell isn’t a guaranteed OHKO. Pansage can be dealt with pretty easily if Dewott is still holding the Eviolite; Retaliate is a 2HKO. Fury Cutter can be used if you want to be fancy, but Retaliate is more reliable. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 23; Focus Energy, Razor Shell, Fury Cutter, Retaliate.

Dewott versus Cheren in Route 4: Dewott can sweep Cheren’s team bar Servine provided the Eviolite is being held. Pidove looks like a joke, but Super Luck Air Cutter can catch you off guard. Retaliate is a 3HKO on Panpour, but Retaliate’s low PP means you’ll need to go to the Pokémon Center after beating Bianca. Liepard can hit pretty hard at this point, which is why Eviolite is recommended. Razor Shell is a guaranteed 2HKO, but Torment can ruin your day. Just burn a turn with Focus Energy if you get hit with Torment; Retaliate won’t be strong enough to finish the job anyway. Do not put Dewott up against Servine, who is faster and can lower your accuracy with Leaf Tornado. With the Eviolite equipped, Dewott can tank a few Leaf Tornadoes, so it can nab Servine with Retaliate should your Fire- or Flying-type of choice die. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 23; Focus Energy, Razor Shell, Fury Cutter, Retaliate.

Dewott versus N in Nimbasa City: N’s lead, Sandile, is weak to Water-type attacks, and will be obliterated by Razor Shell as it lacks Intimidate. Darumaka will meet a similar fate. Scraggy is a little tougher, as it can hit you with Swagger. Confusion must be healed immediately; Dewott can do a lot of damage to itself after at +2. Healing confusion is superior to switching out as Razor Shell appreciates the Attack boost. Scraggy is likely 2HKOed by an unboosted Razor Shell. The boost will be very helpful when Sigilyph comes out (assuming Dewott is holding the Eviolite), as it turns Razor Shell into a 2HKO (previously a 3HKO). With Eviolite, Sigilyph can only phaze Dewott out with Whirlwind or land a critical hit Air Cutter. It can set up Tailwind, but it’ll likely come out last anyway. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 25; Focus Energy, Razor Shell, Retaliate, Water Pulse.

Dewott versus Elesa in Nimbasa City Gym: Dewott shouldn’t be used against any of Elesa’s Pokémon. Fighting Emolga is just a bad idea since they’re immune to Ground-type attacks, namely Dig. Zebstrika 2HKOs (assuming Eviolite) with its Electric-type STAB and Dewott isn’t fast enough or strong enough to retaliate. Dig has a small chance to 2HKO Zebstrika, but it won’t be enough. Revenge can be used if you like to take risks since Zebstrika is only packing attacking moves, but it’s a terrible plan since it won’t do that much damage. Use Eviolite Sandile/Palpitoad for this battle. Heck, even Quiver Dance Lilligant is a better option. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Razor Shell, Retaliate, Water Pulse, Revenge/Dig.

Dewott versus Cheren in Route 5: Tranquill, Liepard, and Panpour can all be handled by Eviolite Dewott. Razor Shell is your best move for Tranquill and Liepard, while you should use Retaliate against Panpour. Retaliate is only a 3HKO, so using another teammate is recommended. Grass Knot is only slightly better than Retaliate. Be aware of Panpour’s Scald, though; Dewott dislikes burns. Servine is still a no-go; it now has Mega Drain to compliment Leaf Tornado. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Razor Shell, Retaliate, Water Pulse, Revenge.

Dewott versus Clay in Driftveil City Gym: Eviolite is once again the item of choice. Persim Berry seems appealing due to Krokorok’s Swagger, but Dewott needs the Eviolite to stand up to the monster that is Excadrill. Keep some Persim Berries in your bag though; Dewott would enjoy the Attack boost. Krokorok also has Moxie instead of Intimidate, so Razor Shell should OHKO. Palpitoad can cause a problem; its Water typing makes it neutral to Dewott’s Water STAB. This is where Grass Knot comes in; that TM you should’ve picked up in Pinwheel Forest nets the 2HKO on Palpitoad. Muddy Water’s accuracy drop may be a problem, though. Krokorok and Palpitoad are just warm-ups compared to Clay’s Excadrill. Fortunately, Razor Shell/Scald is a 2HKO. Unfortunately, Hone Claws patches up Rock Slide’s imperfect accuracy, allowing Excadrill to outspeed (which it almost always will) and flinch Dewott much more reliably. At +1, Excadrill will OHKO Dewott with a critical hit Slash if Eviolite isn’t equipped. Barring a miss, Razor Shell/Scald will 2HKO Excadrill while Bulldoze can only OHKO with a critical hit at +1 on a very high damage roll. Play this battle carefully, though. Stocking up on healing items and X Accuracies is recommended. Alternatively, you could evolve Dewott early…if you enjoy murdering wild Audino for hours at a time. Dewott can take care of this. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 31; Razor Shell, Scald, Revenge, Grass Knot.

Dewott versus Bianca in Driftveil City: Dewott can 3HKO Herdier with Scald and tank hits thanks to Eviolite. Revenge is also a 3HKO, and it will do double damage if Dewott gets hit first. Since Dewott is going to be tanking some hits anyway, Revenge is preferred. Musharna can be annoying with Hypnosis, but Dewott can take it down with Scald. Be wary of Psybeam; you’ll likely need to use a healing item. Pansage should be avoided due to its Seed Bomb. Pignite is a joke if your health is in the green; otherwise, Arm Thrust becomes a threat (Dewott might not OHKO). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 31; Razor Shell, Scald, Revenge, Grass Knot.

Dewott versus N in Chargestone Cave: Boldore and Ferroseed are annoying, but pose no threat to Dewott. Boldore’s Mud Slap will do pitiful damage, but the loss in accuracy may force Dewott to switch if you don’t possess any X Accuracies. Only use special moves on Ferroseed due to Iron Barbs. Ferroseed will go down to five or six Scald attacks; keep Dewott’s health intact to avoid Pin Missile shenanigans. As long as Dewott’s health is above half, it can fight both Joltik and Klink. Joltik’s Electric-type STAB may seem threatening, but it’s only a 4HKO and Dewott’s Razor Shell 2HKOs in return. Klink’s Charge Beam is a joke and Revenge takes it out with one hit (assuming Dewott gets hit first). Dewott can sweep N, but it’ll require healing items and an Eviolite. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 32; Razor Shell, Scald, Revenge, Return.

Dewott versus Skyla in Mistralton City Gym: Eviolite Dewott is the sea otter of choice in this battle since Skyla’s ace is at level 35 while Dewott evolves at level 36. Swoobat poses virtually no threat to Eviolite Dewott; however, Heart Stamp can be annoying. As always, bring healing items. Razor Shell is a 2-3HKO on Swoobat. Unfezant is a joke that gets 2-3HKOed by Scald, but be wary of Air Slash’s flinch chance. Swanna should be handled by something else though; Aqua Ring is annoying and Air Slash can still cause flinching. Dewott’s Return would be your attacking move of choice if you were to attempt this. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 35; Razor Shell, Scald, Return, X-Scissor.

Samurott versus Cheren in Twist Mountain: Do yourself a favor and get Megahorn from the Move Relearner. Megahorn has a chance to OHKO Servine from full health, which X-Scissor can only manage with a critical hit. Samurott requires a Speed-increasing nature or about 84 Speed EVs to outspeed Servine though, so it’s recommended you use a different Pokémon (especially if that Speed-increasing nature is Hasty). All of Cheren’s other Pokémon fall to Samurott easily. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 36; Razor Shell, Scald, Return, X-Scissor/Megahorn.

Samurott versus Brycen in Icirrus City Gym: Samurott is an excellent choice for this gym despite its lack of a type advantage; the only move that Samurott doesn’t resist is Beartic’s Slash, which is a possible 5HKO without a critical hit. Samurott does have to watch out for Beartic’s Swagger, so let Samurott hold a Persim Berry if possible to take advantage of the attack boost. At +2, Waterfall will 2HKO Beartic from full health, and Samurott’s Waterfall may also cause Beartic to flinch considering Samurott’s Speed. Vanillish is a joke that is 2HKOed with Surf. Cryagonal can’t do any damage to Samurott, but is faster and can set up Reflect. Waterfall, Megahorn, and Return should all 2HKO easily, but Cryagonal may be annoying due to Reflect. Don’t be tempted to use Surf, though; Waterfall does the most damage even with Reflect up (unless Samurott has Modest, in which case Surf is your best move). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Return, X-Scissor/Megahorn, Surf, Waterfall.

Samurott versus Bianca in Route 8: Samurott can handle Stoutland, Emboar, and Musharna with relative ease. Have Samurott hold the Mystic Water; it dramatically increases your chances to 2HKO Stoutland. Stoutland may be faster, but can’t do much with its two turns of life. Work Up may seem dangerous, but +1 Retaliate shouldn’t OHKO Samurott from full health even with a critical hit. Megahorn is a 2HKO on Musharna, but use Mystic Water-boosted STAB Surf if your Attack is at -1 from Stoutland’s Intimidate. Emboar is a joke to Samurott; it doesn’t even have Fighting-type STAB anymore. Samurott’s STAB Surf is also a guaranteed OHKO with the Mystic Water equipped. Simisage, however, is faster and 2HKOs with STAB Seed Bomb. Samurott can only 2HKO with Megahorn, and the move may miss. Use something else to deal with Simisage, if possible. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Return, X-Scissor/Megahorn, Surf, Waterfall.

Samurott versus Iris/Drayden in Opelucid City Gym: Since Ice Beam is post-game, using Samurott in this gym requires the unreliable Blizzard. This is especially dangerous considering that Haxorus can get free turns to set up with Dragon Dance if Blizzard misses. Unfortunately, there is not likely a better alternative to Samurott due to the rarity of Ice-types and Ice-type coverage. Samurott likely is your best counter to Iris/Drayden. X Accuracy patches up Blizzard’s poor accuracy to some extent, but every Pokémon on Iris/Drayden’s team carries Dragon Tail. One Dragon Tail causes your X Accuracy to be wasted. You don’t need a Big Brain strategy for this gym, you need a Galaxy Brain strategy. First, make sure you grabbed the Never-Melt Ice from the Cold Storage. Next, check Samurott’s nature. If its nature is Mild, Modest, Quiet, or Rash, then Never-Melt Ice Blizzard becomes a guaranteed OHKO on Druddigon, making this battle much easier. Don’t worry too much about Fraxure; one Blizzard will always OHKO. Next, go to the Celestial Tower and use Litwick to grind; this will increase your Special Attack EVs to maximize damage output. Surf in Icirrus City to battle Stunfisk for HP EVs. You can also feed Samurott some Calciums or HP Ups, just note that these will not work if Samurott already has 100 EVs in that stat. This means that you’ll have to EV train to get any more EVs. Now, gather your TMs. Blizzard can be bought in the Icirrus City Pokémon Center and Substitute can be found in Twist Mountain (winter only). Go to the Move Deleter in Mistralton City and delete Waterfall and Return (or X-Scissor if you’re not using Megahorn) for now. Teach Samurott Blizzard and Substitute (this will be temporary unless you opt to keep Blizzard). Stock up on healing items and X Accuracies. Don’t forget to have Samurott hold the Never-Melt Ice; this is necessary to nab the OHKO on Druddigon if Samurott has a Special Attack-increasing nature or has at least 104 Special Attack EVs. Fraxure is Iris/Drayden’s lead; use Substitute on the first turn. This prevents Fraxure from forcing a switch with Dragon Tail. Fraxure will likely Dragon Dance first turn, but isn’t much of a threat. Next, use an X Accuracy. Note that Samurott needs 160 HP or more to avoid Fraxure’s Dragon Rage breaking Substitute. Be careful; +1 Speed Fraxure will be faster than Samurott. Dragon Tail may or may not break Substitute without a boost, but becomes a danger at +1. With a little luck, Fraxure will go down to Blizzard with Samurott at 75% of its maximum HP and an X Accuracy under its belt. If your Samurott meets the requirements for nabbing the OHKO (holding Never-Melt Ice, Special Attack-increasing nature), go for Blizzard. It will OHKO unless Samurott has a particularly terrible Special Attack IV and gets a ridiculously low damage roll. If not, set up Substitute; Druddigon can only break your Substitute with a high roll Dragon Tail/a critical hit. Heal behind Substitute (it will likely fade this turn). Set up Substitute again and fire off a Blizzard. Ideally, you’ll be at 75% of your maximum HP when Haxorus comes out. Blizzard should nab the OHKO on Haxorus, who will likely set up Dragon Dance. However, Haxorus is faster, so you may need to start this process all over again or have a back-up plan (if your Substitute has faded; you’ll be fine with Substitute up). This strategy is difficult to pull off and requires a lot of luck. However, it is the safest and most viable strategy. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 43; Surf, Megahorn/X-Scissor, Blizzard, Substitute.

Samurott versus Cheren in Route 10: Unfezant falls to Blizzard with some luck, but Surf is a 2HKO anyway. Just use Surf. Liepard falls to Megahorn/X-Scissor. Megahorn/X-Scissor is also your best way to best Simipour, who Samurott walls. Alternatively, Return can be used if you opted to forget Blizzard. Serperior should be handled by another Pokémon; Leaf Blade is a move with a high critical hit ratio that will OHKO Samurott with a critical hit. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 44; Surf, Megahorn/X-Scissor, Blizzard, Waterfall.

Samurott versus the Elite Four: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 50 (for the Elite Four)/Level 54 (for N/Ghetsis); Surf, Waterfall/Grass Knot, Megahorn/X-Scissor, Blizzard (Swords Dance comes a level 57, but that is a pretty high level considering the highest level Pokémon you’ll face is level 54. If you want to grind to level 57, a Swords Dance set would look like this: Waterfall, Megahorn/X-Scissor, Surf/Return/Dragon Tail. However, note that Shauntal’s Cofagrigus cannot be set up on due to its Will-O-Wisp).

Samurott versus Shauntal: If using Samurott against Shauntal’s lead, Cofagrigus, Samurott will need to hold Mystic Water to nab the 2HKO. Cofagrigus has Grass Knot, a 2HKO at best, so it’s best to use a different Pokémon against Cofagrigus. Watch out for its Will-O-Wisp though. Jellicent is a no-go due to Cursed Body, Energy Ball, and its ability to wall almost every Samurott set. Golurk falls to Surf with ease. Chandelure meets a similar fate, but it may be faster and its Shadow Ball OHKOs Samurott with a critical hit. Tread lightly.

Samurott versus Grimsley: Scrafty is annoying due to Sand Attack and Samurott may not 2HKO, so it’s better to have another Pokémon deal with Grimsley’s lead. Krookodile is faster than Samurott, but Earthquake is a 3HKO while Samurott OHKOs in return with Surf (not Waterfall due to Intimidate). Megahorn nabs the OHKO on Liepard, but it may hit Samurott with Fake Out or Attract (if Samurott is male). Liepard is mostly just annoying, but keep Samurott’s health above half due to the possibility of a critical hit Night Slash. Surf is a 2HKO on Bisharp, but continue to keep an eye on Samurott’s health. Again, have Samurott hold the Mystic Water.

Samurott versus Caitlin: Fighting Caitlin with Samurott may seem like a good idea at first glance (due to Megahorn), but it is very risky. Reuniclus cannot be fought at all due to Energy Ball and Thunder; it is also packing Focus Blast and its obligatory STAB Psychic, making it a pain to deal with. A Ghost-type is recommended here. Musharna has Charge Beam, but it is an unlikely 3HKO while Megahorn is a 2HKO. Beware of Megahorn’s imperfect accuracy though. X-Scissor may seem appealing for this battle, but it misses the 2HKO by a mile against Musharna. Sigilyph may not be OHKOed by Blizzard, so Mystic Water-boosted Surf is better as it can land the 2HKO much more reliably. Fighting Gothitelle with Samurott is very risky, but it’s not an impossible endeavor with some luck. However, surviving an onslaught of Thunderbolts, perhaps boosted by a Calm Mind, is not something Samurott can survive. It’s best to keep Samurott away from Gothitelle.

Samurott versus Marshal: Throh, Marshal’s lead, is an unlikely 2HKO with Surf, but it can utilize Payback to deal some damage. Tread lightly. Both Sawk and Conkeldurr carry Grass Knot. However, these moves should not be feared. Grass Knot comes off of their terrible Special Attack stat, meaning that Samurott can tank more than a few. Grass Knot is only a possible 5HKO from Sawk. Sawk’s best move is Stone Edge (or Retaliate after a team member goes down), so Samurott can likely handle it provided its health is high enough. Samurott will 2HKO Sawk with Surf. Conkeldurr will likely waste turns with Grass Knot while Samurott can 2HKO with Surf, but keep Samurott’s health high. Conkeldurr can 2HKO Samurott from full health with Hammer Arm. Mienshao could cause a problem due to access to Retaliate and Jump Kick’s ability to 2HKO Samurott, but you could utilize Protect (in place of Blizzard, temporarily) to either kill Retaliate’s turn of double power or force a Jump Kick miss. Keep Samurott’s health high throughout the battle though; one stray critical hit could end Samurott even with full health (in the case of Hammer Arm and Jump Kick).

Note: Do not forget that you can leave the Elite 4 and train your team before fighting N and Ghetsis. This is recommended for those that entered the Elite 4 with their team below level 52.

Samurott versus N: N’s box legendary is a no-go for Samurott. Zekrom is a definite no-go due to its powerful Electric-type STAB, but Reshiram shouldn’t be fought due to the sheer power of its Hyper Beam. Carracosta won’t do too much damage (barring a critical hit), and Grass Knot will take it down to one health point (due to Sturdy). This will likely make N heal stall, so spam Grass Knot. If you opted to go with Waterfall instead of Grass Knot, then Surf is a 2HKO. While both Grass Knot and Surf are guaranteed 2HKOs, Grass Knot is preferred since it will force N to waste a Full Restore. Vanniluxe is likely faster than Samurott and will almost certainly set up Hail first turn. This will activate Ice Body, making Surf an unlikely 2HKO as opposed to a likely 2HKO. However, Samurott can still nab the 2HKO if it’s holding the Mystic Water. Archeops is OHKOed by Surf or Waterfall, but it is faster than Samurott. Make sure that Samurott is at high health before attempting to use Surf; Acrobatics is a likely 2HKO. This matchup should be left to something that can either outspeed or tank more than two hits. If you see Klinklang, note that it is likely a Zoroark. Its Retaliate isn’t a threat even if it is used after one of N’s Pokémon goes down, and Focus Blast will almost certainly be a 3HKO. Zoroark can be 2HKOed by your Water-type STAB move of choice; however, keep Samurott’s health above half in case of a critical hit Night Slash. When the real Klinklang comes out, it’ll have Thunderbolt, which 3HKOs Samurott from full health. Klinklang is 2HKOed by Surf, but it’s faster. Treat it with caution.

Samurott versus Ghetsis: Cofagrigus can be dealt with by Samurott as Surf should 2HKO and Cofagrigus only has a chance to 3HKO with Shadow Ball. However, it can hit Samurott with Toxic. Fortunately, Cofagrigus lacks Hex and will almost always use Protect after its opponent is poisoned. These Protect turns could be utilized by Samurott to get free Swords Dance boosts, but that requires grinding Samurott to level 57 (three levels over that of Hydreigon) and therefore isn’t a viable strategy for those using a level cap. Bouffalant and Eelektross cannot be fought by Samurott; they are both packing Wild Charge. Seismitoad will likely be slower than Samurott until it uses Rain Dance. It will likely use Rain Dance if Samurott is at high health (if not, it’ll likely go straight for the KO). It will almost certainly outspeed everything in your team once Rain Dance is up (due to Swift Swin). The aforementioned rain also gives Samurott ridiculous power with Mystic Water-boosted Surf. A Samurott in good health also won’t take much from Earthquake while it 2HKOs Seismitoad with Surf regardless of weather (besides Sunny Day of course, but nothing can set it up on Ghetsis’ team). The rain ends up being a massive boon to Samurott; its Water-type STAB now has 50% more power. With rain up, Samurott can hit Bisharp with Surf (now an OHKO) without having to worry about Metal Burst. Samurott shouldn’t fight Bisharp otherwise though; Metal Burst will take it down. Hydreigon is a completely different beast; both Blizzard and Megahorn can only net the 2HKO. This is compounded by the fact that Hydreigon is faster and can 2HKO in return. Samurott will likely only get one chance to attack Hydreigon before being crippled or OHKOed with a critical hit. Tread lightly.

Everything in Between

Pre-Nacrene City: Oshawott/Dewott performs pretty well in the early game. Oshawott/Dewott can even handle any Blitzle that is lower than level 11 (when Blitzle learns Shock Wave). There isn’t an early game Pokémon in the entire game that can tank hits from wild Throh/Sawk, and Dewott is no exception. Stay away from Pinwheel Forest until Dewott is at a high enough level to either run from or not be KOed by the wild Fighting-type Pokémon.

Pinwheel Forest: Dewott can’t fight the Grass-type Pokémon here, but the Plasma Grunts should be a breeze if you’re wary of critical hits.

The Desert: Dewott is a good choice in this desert thanks to its typing providing it super-effective STAB for Ground-, Rock-, and Fire-type Pokémon. Be wary of stray Sigilyph and wild Maractus though. There are also some backpackers in Route 4 (the part that is only accessible after defeating Burgh) that are packing Grass-type Pokémon, so be careful.

Mid-Game Areas: Dewott can handle anything the Nimbasa City area throws at it (be wary of the police officer on the route east of Nimbasa, who is packing a tough Herdier). The route past Driftveil should be avoided by Samurott due to the abundance of Grass-types and annoying Tranquill. The Cold Storage and battles against Plasma Grunts shouldn’t be too difficult, but wild Herdier can be tough. The route north of Mistralton should be avoided due to the abundance of Zebstrika.

Caves and Mountains: Dewott/Samurott’s resistance to Ice-type moves and Water-type STAB makes it an excellent choice for the caves and mountains of the region. Be wary of the Joltik in Chargestone Cave as well as the trainers in Wellspring Cave, the latter of which are packing powerful Fighting-type Pokémon that are better handled by a Flying- or Psychic-type.

Water Routes: Samurott has a lot of trouble with the water routes west of Nuvema Town due to the abundance of Water Absorb Frillish, who can wall most variants of Samurott with ease. Bring a Grass- or Electric-type Pokémon.

Late-Game: The Icirrus City area is tricky; Samurott is weak to Electric-type moves but can OHKO most Stunfisk. A Grass-type is better for this area, but Samurott can be used as long as you don’t switch it into an Electric-type move. Samurott can handle Routes 9 and 10; however, keep Samurott away from Grass- and Electric-types as always (which only applies to Route 10).

Checks and Counters

Grass-types: As with most Water-type Pokémon, Oshawott cannot handle Grass-types in the early-to-mid game. Some Grass-types can be handled with X-Scissor or Megahorn, but Samurott still can’t hold its own against Bianca’s Simisage or Cheren’s Serperior. Therefore, a good counter is required. The Pansear from the Dreamyard can fill this role well in the early-game, but any Pokémon that can handle Grass-types will do. Due to Samurott’s excellent versatility, it can likely check or counter Pokémon that give trouble to your Grass-type counter.

Elesa: The Nimbasa City Gym is the only gym in the entire game where Dewott can’t be used at all; it can put in a significant amount of work in the other gyms despite rarely having a type advantage. A Ground-type like Eviolite Sandile/Krokorok or Eviolite Palpitoad is almost necessary for this gym. However, there is a very good chance that you won’t have either at this point, so something that can take some Electric-type attacks is recommended in that case.

Faster, Stronger Foes: The Oshawott line has great attacking stats and respectable bulk, but its speed stat will often leave it in the dust against foes like N’s Archeops. A fast, powerful glass cannon works well with Samurott due to their ability to outspeed and OHKO these threats. Pokémon like Zebstrika and Mienshao come to mind. Samurott can also tank some hits for these glass cannons in return.

Frillish/Jellicent: This is a rather niche problem, but having a counter for Water-types will be a boon to your team. Frillish/Jellicent is the only Water-type Pokémon that can completely wall Samurott, and Samurott can deal with most other Water-types on its own. A Grass- or Electric-type Pokémon will still make a good teammate, and Samurott can counter opposing Fire- and Ground-types in return.

Overall Grade: A

Samurott’s great mixed attacking stats, good physical bulk, and wide movepool make it an excellent team member that can check many of the Unova region’s threats, including the terror that is Clay’s Excadrill. While Samurott doesn’t do very well in the Nimbasa City Gym or against Bianca/Cheren’s resident Grass-type, it can be incredibly helpful against seven of the region’s gyms if played correctly and will be a very solid team member for the areas in between.

Resources to Utilize:

Samurott’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/samurott/moves/5:

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.