== General == Azumarill is the pokemon that simply keeps getting better and better. Back in Gen 2, it was the epitome of terrible, with literally nothing but its shameful base 50 offences to work with. Gen 3 came along and gave it the amazing Huge Power, doubling its Attack stat to rival the almighty Groudon, while Gen 4 gave it physical STABs to use, such as Waterfall and the incredibly useful Aqua Jet, and Gen 5 gave Azumarill permanent rain to abuse, powering it up even further. However, none of these changes were as significant for Azumarill as what Gen 6 did. For starters, it gained a new typing in Fairy, giving it an impressive array of resistances to abuse - not to mention a full immunity to Dragon moves - and a nice, powerful STAB to use with it in Play Rough. Game Freak was also kind enough to tweak the breeding mechanics and make it so females could pass down moves as well, meaning that the combination of Belly Drum and Aqua Jet on the same set is now fully legal. You could almost hear physical walls like Gliscor soiling themselves when this little announcement was made. However, Azumarill does have its flaws in that - in spite of a priority Aqua Jet - it is still painfully slow, at a miserable base 50. Aqua Jet is therefore needed on just about every set if it wants to sweep, and this of course limits its moveslots, because pokemon are limited to a mere four. Sporting great typing, great resistances, passable bulk and incredible power, Azumarill is set to stay in OU this generation. With all these new changes, it shows that not only can it break the fourth wall, but it can show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Underestimate Azumarill and you may just find your pokemon six feet under. 2014 is the year of the Aquarabbit. == Choice Band == Azumarill @ Choice Band Ability: Huge Power EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef Adamant nature -Play Rough -Aqua Jet -Superpower -Waterfall / Knock Off Armed with a Choice Band, Azumarill's already impressive Attack stat skyrockets to a jaw dropping 654, which is enough to take some serious chunks out of anything that doesn't resist, and even some that do. The EV spread optimises Azumarill's power and bulk, with the Attack maxed out, the HP capping at 404, and the Special Defence being one higher than the Defence to give Download abusers such as Genesect a physical boost instead of a special. If you fear physically based Genesect, simply move the 4 Special Defence EVs to Defence instead and give it a Special boost. Bear in mind that both tactics can backfire, however. Play Rough and Aqua Jet are Azumarill's primary attacking options, where Play Rough is the hard hitting STAB for breaking into things that don't resist, and Aqua Jet is the priority STAB mostly used for picking off weakened or vulnerable targets, as well as simple revenge killing. Azumarill is powerful enough to sweep with it however, so don't underestimate it. Superpower in slot 3 is Azumarill's best weapon against Steel-types that like to switch in on its Fairy STAB, namely Ferrothorn. It'll also hammer the likes of Blissey, should the pink blob dare come in on Azumarill, however Ferrothorn is by far the most prominent target, as it is one of few pokemon who can otherwise switch in safely. Superpower can be switched out for Brick Break if you don't want to suffer the stat drops, however Choice sets encourage a lot of switching anyway, so it'll rarely pay off. Lastly, slot 4 has a few filler choices. Waterfall is the first listing, simply being a stronger Water STAB you can throw around. Bulkier opponents like Gliscor can just barely shrug off Aqua Jets if they play it right, but a Choice Band Waterfall will all but OHKO it, hitting for a minimum of 87%. Knock Off is there too, to deal some respectable damage and deny opposing pokemon access to their precious items, and can come in useful at times, in spite of not hitting much (however Jellicent is a worthy mention in spite of its rarity). Return is also worth mentioning due to its decent neutral coverage, however it won't be hitting many targets harder than the listed moves either. The EV spread can be changed to better suit your team's needs. For example, 48 Speed EVs will allow Azumarill to outpace most Blissey, and bludgeon the nurse to death, and this Speed can be increased all the way up to outpacing uninvested base 80s. Another point worth mentioning is 92 Speed EVs, as this comfortably outpaces uninvested Aegislash and Jellicent, and just outruns 0 Speed Tyranitar, the former two of whom are big threats to Azumarill. Tyranitar is simply fun to outrun and pummel. More bulk is generally preferred though, because Azumarill's bulk is one of its selling points. == AquaDrum == Azumarill @ Sitrus Berry Ability: Huge Power EVs: 128 HP / 252 Atk / 128 Spd Adamant nature -Belly Drum -Aqua Jet -Play Rough -Brick Break As far as late game cleaners go, they don't come much deadlier than Azumarill. Gen 6 blessed the Aquarabbit with the legal combination of Belly Drum and Aqua Jet, meaning it can unleash sickeningly powerful priority attacks, coming from the equivalent of 1744 Attack. With the given EVs, Azumarill will outrun 4 Speed Scizor's Bullet Punch, meaning it can attack before Scizor can attack it, and thus reduce its risk of getting killed before it can even start sweeping. As always, the Attack is maximised, and the rest are poured into HP for bulk. The Sitrus Berry gives Azumarill a little more HP after it's used Belly Drum, which is usually enough for it to survive most priority hits. Belly Drum is the staple move of this set, complementing Aqua Jet to create the dominant force it is. Play Rough works in the same way as it did on the Choice Band set, acting as the slower, more powerful STAB option that mauls more or less everything it touches. Even bulky resists like Tentacruel are OHKOed after a +6 Play Rough and Stealth Rock damage, just to put things into perspective. Lastly, slot 4 has Brick Break, which powers through the likes of Ferrothorn effortlessly. == Assault Vest == Azumarill @ Assault Vest Ability: Huge Power EVs: 252 Atk / 168 SDef / 96 Spd Adamant Nature - Waterfall - Aqua Jet - Play Rough - Knock Off / Superpower Holding the esteemed Assault Vest, Azumarill bolsters its already respectable special bulk, and - in conjunction with its brilliant typing - this allows the Aquarabbit to check several pokemon, including both Mega Charizard formes. With the given EVs, Azumarill is guaranteed to outrun bulky Tyranitar sets, as well as the 12 Speed Aegislash that's trying to outrun said Tyranitar. Both can easily be pummeled with appropriate STABs, however Azumarill must be wary of Aegislash's King's Shield. The Attack is maximised after that, and the remains are poured into Special Defence to capitalise on the Assault Vest's presence. While usually dropped into HP for optimal overall bulk, biasing the EVs towards the Special Defence helps this set better serve its purpose. The Adamant nature is fairly obvious, making the most of Azumarill's hefty power. The allotted moves are pretty straightforward, being an Azumarill set. They're essentially the same as those listed on the Choice Band set, with the only real difference being the fact that both Waterfall and Aqua Jet are non negotiable. This set needs to make the choice between Superpower and Knock Off instead, with the former helping break walls like Ferrothorn, and the latter providing fun utility (not to mention hitting the likes of Aegislash and friends a fair bit harder than Waterfall). == Other Options == With Azumarill's great combination of power, typing and bulk, the Life Orb can be used on any set for a great power boost, however don't expect Azumarill to last very long when using it. It won't gain Azumarill many new KOs either, so it's rarely worth trying. Azumarill's classic SubPunch set is still viable, however rarely seen, and often considered outclassed by many of the Fighting-types in the tier, with Breloom being a very notable one. The Lum Berry is a notable hold item, as it can let Azumarill switch in on a status move or Toxic Spikes without fear, and go from there. This could work well against the uncommon stall teams, however simply employing a cleric will usually yield better results. Wherever Waterfall's listed, Aqua Tail can be used instead for a slightly more powerful STAB with the drawback of reduced accuracy, and Ice Punch exists in its movepool. While it won't hit many things hard (aside from obscure NU Grass-types, like Vileplume and Torterra), it's at least worth a mention. Lastly, there are a few interesting support options available to it, such as Encore, Scald, and Perish Song. == Checks and Counters == Mega Venusaur is one of the first ports of call when it comes to dealing with Azumarill, as it resists every move it can use aside from Ice Punch and the rare Return, and thanks to Thick Fat it doesn't even fear the former. Mega Venusaur packs reliable recovery in Synthesis too, and both of its STAB moves also hit Azumarill for super effective damage, making it a solid answer. Ferrothorn is also a solid choice, being able to switch in on any move that isn't Fighting-type. Even it can't withstand too many Superpowers, but if it can avoid them, Ferrothorn is free to switch in and annihilate the Aquarabbit with a Power Whip. Rotom-W is able to take Azumarill's Water STABs with ease and fire back a powerful Thunderbolt or Volt Switch to bring Azumarill down. Boosted Superpowers or Play Roughs will give Rotom-W second thoughts, but if it can get in safely, it can easily threaten. The uncommon Tentacruel is much like Mega Venusaur in the sense that it doesn't fear any of Azumarill's common attacks, and can strike back with a powerful STAB in Sludge Bomb. However, unlike Mega Venusaur, it is worn down more easily due to its lack of recovery, and can sometimes struggle to find room for Sludge Bomb alongside its usual moves, Scald, Toxic Spikes, Rapid Spin, and Knock Off. Trevenant is also rare, but it serves as a strong check, taking the Water STABs and Superpower without fear, and draining Azumarill's HP away from it with Horn Leech or burning it with Will-o-Wisp in response. However, both Play Rough and Ice Punch threaten the old oak, and faster Azumarill sets can easily outrun its sluggish base 56 Speed and 2HKO with either move. Skarmory must be careful when Roosting, but also takes most of Azumarill's attacks well, and can hit it hard with a Brave Bird or simply phaze it out with Whirlwind. Aegislash fears only Water STABs, and can neuter Azumarill's Attack power with a well timed King's Shield, and then set up on it. Aegislash must be cautious though, because if it times its King's Shield badly, it could end up helping Azumarill's setup instead. Unaware users such as Clefable and Quagsire are great answers to the Belly Drum set, negating the set's boosts with their ability and forcing Azumarill to sacrifice half its HP for nothing. Beware though, as Azumarill still hits very hard even at +0, and both Clefable and Quagsire can be worn down with entry hazards and switch in damage. Anything immune to Water STABs and packing reasonable Speed is instantly a strong check to Azumarill, if not a straight counter. Among these you can include Jellicent, Toxicroak, and Heliolisk. While none of them are particularly common in the tier, Jellicent fears nothing except for Play Rough and the uncommon Knock Off, and can burn Azumarill with Will-o-Wisp, while Toxicroak is much faster, can take any move other than Play Rough reasonably well, then hit hard with a STAB Poison Jab. Lastly, Heliolisk is frail, and can't switch into anything bar a Water STAB, however it can nuke the Aquarabbit with a powerful Thunder(bolt) or Volt Switch once it's in.