Using Nidoking as a Competitive Pokémon in Pokémon X and Y
Jack of All Trades, Master of None.
Special Attack: 85
Special Defense: 75
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.
Movesets to Consider
Physical Choice Scarf
252 ATK/252 Speed/4 DEF
Ability: Sheer Force
Item: Choice Scarf
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
56 ATK/200 Sp atk/252 Speed
Ability: Sheer Force
Item: Choice Scarf
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.
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.
Which Pokemon Should I Cover Next?
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