Using Nidoking as a Competitive Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y

Updated on February 24, 2014
Nidoking
Nidoking | Source

Jack of All Trades, Master of None.

Nidoking

Type: Poison/Ground

Stats:

HP: 81

Attack: 102

Defense: 77

Special Attack: 85

Special Defense: 75

Speed: 85


Nidoking is a very lucky Pokémon this generation, because in Pokémon X and Y his attack stat is now 102, up ten points from it's previous stat of 92. This may not seem like all that much at first, but coupled with his ability; Sheer Force, which boosts all attacking moves by 33% while removing their secondary effects, makes him a Pokémon to watch out for. Nidoking's typing is also a bit better, now that it resists Fairy types and can hit them all super effectively, even Klefki isn't safe from STAB Sheer Force Earthquake, and Nidoking is immune to the Thunder Wave that it loves to use so much.

Unfortunately he didn't get very much in the form of boosting moves or recovery outside of Hone Claws and Rest. Although Nidoking famously has one of the most versatile movepools in the entire game, allowing him to do just about anything (except set-up stat boosts of course) his stats were lacking, to say the least. The meta game is proving to be taking shape in Nidoking's favor, however.

Nidoking
Nidoking | Source

Movesets to Consider

Physical Choice Scarf

EVs:


252 ATK/252 Speed/4 DEF

Nature: Adamant/Jolly

Ability: Sheer Force

Item: Choice Scarf

Moves:


Sucker Punch

Earthquake

Rock Slide

Megahorn/Poison Jab



With a Jolly nature, Nidoking can reach 443 speed, which is more than enough to outspeed even the fastest threats in the game. A Jolly natures leaves Nidoking with a 304 Attack stat, which isn't bad, considering the 33% boost that it's moves get from Sheer Force, but that means that some bulkier Pokémon like Togekiss and Rotom won't be KO'ed so easily. With an Adamant nature Nidoking's speed stat is 404, still very fast, there are very few pokémon that can beat that, and with that nature Nidoking's Attack stat is 334, which is much better for securing KO's against weakened Pokémon, and even some bulky Pokémon at full health, thanks to Sheer Force.

There aren't too many Pokémon that can safely switch in on this set, but it's important to remember that Choice scarf limits your sweeping options and requires you to predict your opponents moves much better. Nidoking's surprise factor is also great, as no one sees him coming, and even Pokémon like Starmie and Greninja are One Hit KO'ed by an earthquake before they can hit you with a Hydro Pump or Surf. Be careful about Pokémon you can't kill in one or two hits, Nidoking's Defenses aren't great, and most unresisted moves will take a big chunk out of your health.

As for move coverage, if you want to have better coverage you can use Megahorn instead of Sucker Punch in the first slot, and run Poison Jab in the last slot, to ensure the KO against Azumarill and Togekiss.

All in all, Nidoking can be a fantastic revenge killer, and late game sweeper if used correctly. His resistance to Stealth Rock allows him to switch in and out easily as well.


Mixed Choice Scarf

EVs:


56 ATK/200 Sp atk/252 Speed

Nature: Rash

Ability: Sheer Force

Item: Choice Scarf

Moves:

Thunderbolt

Earthquake

Rock Slide

Ice Beam/Sucker Punch/Fire Blast



This set utilizes Nidoking's movepool to it's fullest potential, allowing you to cover multiple Pokémon, and ensure that very few pokémon can give your team a hard time. Pokémon like Skarmory and Aegislash can be OHKO'ed by Thunderbolt and Sucker Punch, respectively.Dragonite can be OHKO'ed by an Ice Beam after Stealth Rock damage. Just like the Physical set, however, it's important to know your opponent's team and accurately predict switches and set up moves.

If you fear pokémon like Aegislash and Mega Gengar, use Sucker Punch to make short work of them. Fire Blast works against Aegislash and other Steel Types as well, but it's less reliable and does not have priority. If your team has trouble against Dragons, then Ice Beam is your best option against them, especially pokémon like Noivern and Salamence.

This set plays almost identically to the physical set, so it works best on a balanced team. Some would argue that this is the better set to run on a team, because it can hit both physically and specially defensive Pokémon with no problems. This Pokémon is quite frail however, and Pokémon like Scizor can easily KO Nidoking with Bullet Punch. Late game is where Nidoking shines, so conserving him is key. Play a more strategic game, and you can have a real monster on your hands.



Possible Teammates

Smeargle
Smeargle | Source
Rotom-W
Rotom-W | Source
Klefki
Klefki | Source

Pick Apart your Opponent's Plans

Nidoking works best on a team that can weaken the opposing Pokémon with status, residual damage, and a few choice hits here and there. Picking teammates who enjoy switching and hindering your opponent is important, as it paves the way for Nidoking to clean up later in the match.

Smeargle is one the best Pokémon in the X and Y meta game, if not the most frustrating. With access to Stealth Rock, Spikes, Sticky Web and Spore, he can give your team just about every advantage possible. He is susceptible to Taunt though, and even with his fantastic set up moves, he is easily KO'ed due to his horrendous stats. Spore makes up for all of this, and his ability to start the match off completely in your favor is what makes him an ideal teammate.

Rotom-W is a very reliable Pokémon, and has been ever since his debut in Generation 4. He can do just about anything from tank hits, spread burn with Will-O-Wisp and even sweep with Hydro Pump and Thunderbolt. His Immunity to ground type moves makes him a perfect partner for Nidoking as he covers Nidoking's Ground type weakness. There aren't very many Pokémon that can OHKO Rotom, but there are plenty of Pokémon that are afraid of Rotom.

Klefki is one of the more useful Pokémon to come out of Generation 6. His ability Prankster gives him access to Priority Thunder Wave and Spikes. Two great moves for disrupting your opponent's strategy early on. His Steel/Fairy typing is also very good defensively, and his bulk makes him one of the best tanks to use in combination with Nidoking.

Nidoking Sweep (UU)

Nidoking In action

Unfortunately there is not video evidence of any battles involving Nidoking at the moment. So i encourage everyone out there to test him out! In the meantime, here is some Generation 5 Nidoking action.

This particular Nidoking is a bit more gimmicky, but it works very similarly to the sets mentioned above.

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Summary

So that's Nidoking, underwhelming on paper, however he finally earned his place in higher competitive tiers thanks to a much needed attack boost, and added usefulness to his typing. Nidoking looks to be one of the more promising Pokémon of this generation, and his ability as a mixed sweeper is almost unmatched when used correctly.

As always if you have any suggestions for a different set or if I missed something let me know in the comments below! I'll have another Reader Poll up so you guys can pick the next Pokémon I analyze!


For Battles, Trades, and general Pokémon talk follow me on Twitter! @danny_saya

Questions & Answers

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      • Sean Keranen profile image

        Sean Keranen 19 months ago

        Nidoking is actually one of my favorites, and with each additional game, he just keeps getting better and better. All he is missing now, a scary idea, is a Mega...

        Physical Nidoking

        Prefer Jolly over Adamant

        and of course with Sheer Force

        -Earthquake (Unfortunately, you only get the stab bonus)

        -Poison Jab (for other stab)

        Last 2 slots can be virtually anything, thanks to Nidoking's vast movepool.

        Special King

        Similar to Physical version, but with a Timid nature preferred over Modest

        -Earth Power

        -Sludge Wave

        Last 2 move slots, again, can be virtually anything from Ice Beam to Fire Blast

        Nidoking isn't shy about mixed sets, either taking advantage of either a Naive or Hasty Nature for keeping the speed at its highest.

      • adevwriting profile image

        Arun Dev 2 years ago from United Countries of the World

        Earthquake is good for Nidoking and it gets STAB. But Nidoking is weak itself to the move Earthquake.

      • profile image

        Oracle 3 years ago

        My Nidoking is Jolly nature, perfect IVs, maxed out attack and speed. His moveset is mega horn to cover psychic weakness, earthquake and poison jab STAB, and rock slide for decent extra coverage plus flinch chance. I give him the assault best though to give him some more durability from special super effectives. Seems to work out really well

      • profile image

        Perseus 3 years ago

        @Max yes i did give him an estimated 75-100 HP thanks for the idea (that's problably why my nidoking didn't last very long xD)

      • profile image

        Perseus 3 years ago

        My new nidoking shown above STUNK... i know he has the potential to sweep but mine never took down more than two opponents. So, i decided to change him to the clean up crew, which was already overflowing with good pokemon. (Lucario, Tyrantrum, Zygarde, and others) i obviously didn't need him there so i finally came up with the idea to breed the nidoking below and use him as a lead! And sorry guys this da** chat glitched and i can't finish the EV spread...

        Ability: poison point

        Item: rocky helmet

        Attacks: Protect, Toxic Spikes, Poison Jab, Earthquake

        EV spread (estimates): ATK:100 DEF:125 SPD:125

      • profile image

        Freddie Dickinson 3 years ago

        Move set:

        Earthquake for STAB

        Sludge Bomb for STAB

        Substitute use substitute when predicting a switchout then you get a free toxic

        So of course the last move is Toxic

      • profile image

        Max 3 years ago

        @perseus, I would invest in 150 hp just so the Nidoking can live a bit longer, and run rock slide over thrash just because coverage (it hits ice types super effectively) and doesn't have the confusion. Also, rock slide gets boosted by LO and sheer force, unlike thrash. Your set looks good, though!

      • profile image

        Perseus 3 years ago

        Got PokéBank and bred a new Nidoking... here he is

        Ability: Sheer Force

        Item: Life Orb

        Attacks:

        Poison Jab

        Sucker Punch

        Earthquake

        Thrash (last resort)

        Nature: Jolly (speed is (sometimes) more important than attack)

        EVs: 252Speed 150Attack 75Defense 75 Special Defense

        (Ik there arent that many points but that is my closest guess)

        Any suggestions to make him better?

      • profile image

        Perseus 4 years ago

        @Danny Saya Ok thanks ill problably go with life orb. And i forgot that earth power is a special attack so im going to change that to earthquake

      • Danny Saya profile image
        Author

        Danny Saya 4 years ago from Berkeley

        @perseus My thoughts would be, go with a Choice Scarf or a Life Orb

      • profile image

        Perseus 4 years ago

        I really love nidoking. i haven't transferred mine up to y yet but here's the loadout i went with:

        Ability: Poison Point

        Item: ? (Please give some suggestions)

        Attacks: Earth Power, Poison Jab, Thrash, Mega Horn

        Please tell me if there is anything wrong or anything that could be made better

      • profile image

        mrihavenoname1 4 years ago

        i use an sp attacking shiny nidoking, he has perfect iv's and a timid nature and sheer force ability, ev's are maxed in speed and sp atk, his moves are icebeam, sludgewave, shadow ball and earth power, and is holding a life orb. This set wrecks most teams late game and can OHKO many commonly seen pokemon such as gardevoir, noivern, togekiss, garchomp, and mega gengar, etc. tbh hes possibly one of the best competitive pokemon ive used.

      • ilikegames profile image

        Sarah Forester 4 years ago from Australia

        Love that Nidoking Sweep, I've never gotten into competitive Pokemon but I do love watching it. I used to love getting a Nidoking on Pokemon Blue, always one of my strongest Pokemon.

      • profile image

        Absol Thunder 4 years ago

        I go for:

        Nidoking: (life orb)

        Ability-sheer force

        Nature-timid

        Iv-Sp.Atk and Speed (can't get 5 iv)

        Ev-252 sp.atk,252 speed,4 or 6 on hp

        Moves:

        -ice beam

        -thunderbolt

        -earth power

        -sludge wave

        I have had no problems with it whatsoever

      • Danny Saya profile image
        Author

        Danny Saya 4 years ago from Berkeley

        Oh it's fine, I appreciate all feedback! Thanks, I try to think the sets through before posting but sometimes you just miss things.

      • Danny Saya profile image
        Author

        Danny Saya 4 years ago from Berkeley

        Nidoking's Poison STAB can only hit Azumarill and it's not worth running for just one fairy (Gardevoir OHKOS you before you can hit back) Nidoking does best as a mixed attacker and he has no other ground type moves that come close to EQ's power even with the boost. Sucker punch is for foes that are going to outspeed you scarf or not, it's more about making sure Nidoking can KO something than giving him maximum damage output and dying to a faster opponent. Your points are valid though and a life orb Jolly Nidoking is just as good as any.

      • profile image

        Glitchy 4 years ago

        *

        Your Physical Choice Scarf method is great :D

        Basically everything my previous post was on about.

        Sorry for being so snappy, keep up the good job :)

      • profile image

        Glitchy 4 years ago

        Nature: Rash

        Ability: Sheer Force

        Item: Choice Scarf

        Moves:

        Thunderbolt

        Earthquake

        Rock Slide

        Ice Beam/Sucker Punch/Fire Blast

        ....

        I'm really sorry, but that is by far the WORST recommendation for Nidoking I have ever read.

        1.) No Poison type STAB move?

        2.) Special attacks on a Physical attacker?

        3.) Move set isn't covering important weaknesses/ineffective use of Nidokings extensive movepool.

        4.) CHOICE SCARF? For a Pokemon with such a versatile movepool? Why not Life Orb and stack it with Sheer Force?!

        5.) Some of these moves have nothing to do with Sheer Force.

        (ie; Earthquake & Sucker Punch)

        6.) Rash nature? You would want either Jolly or Adamant nature. Rash unnecessarily lowers the Special Defence stat.

      • profile image

        @fact 4 years ago

        *sucker punch , eq and megahorn are not boosted and can cause nidoking to take recoil damage from lo, but are much needed for coverage

      • profile image

        @fact 4 years ago

        stone edge DOES get boost from SF since its increases crit chance gets negated in exchange for that extra power.

        sucker punch as well

      • Danny Saya profile image
        Author

        Danny Saya 4 years ago from Berkeley

        No argument here, I'm just more used to a physical Nidoking, and since X/Y gave him a Physical boost, I figured I would focus on that.

      • profile image

        third Fact 4 years ago

        special attack is much better now since sheer force boosts most of the movepool and with lifeorb when you use a move that is affected by sheer force there is no recoil but still the extra 30% boost from it

      • Danny Saya profile image
        Author

        Danny Saya 4 years ago from Berkeley

        Right you are, well as of right now, there aren't that many attacks that are better than STAB Earthquake, but I'll switch Stone Edge for Rock Slide. Thanks for the correction!

      • profile image

        CounterFact 4 years ago

      • Danny Saya profile image
        Author

        Danny Saya 4 years ago from Berkeley

        Yeah I just looked that up, Thanks for that! I'll have to change the sets accordingly. I think that Stone Edge does get the boost because it's secondary effect if having a higher critical hit ratio.

      • profile image

        Fact 4 years ago

        Sheer force doesn't boost all moves only moves with secondary effects . so EQ sucker punch, megahorn, stone edge don't get boosted

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