The evolution of Paldean Wooper, Clodsire is the regional evolution form of Quagsire. Like most regional forms, Clodsire retains the same base stat total. But, unlike Paldean Wooper which has the same pitiful stats as normal Wooper, Clodsire has entirely different base stats in their distribution. Will this new spread make Clodsire better or worse than Quagsire?
First let’s compare Quagsire to Clodsire:
Quagsire: 95 HP, 85 ATK, 85 DEF, 65 Special ATK, 65 Special DEF, 35 Speed
Clodsire: 130 HP, 75 ATK, 60 DEF, 45 Special ATK, 100 Special DEF, 20 Speed
Two obvious things stand out. Clodsire has enormous HP and strong Special Defense. Being that much slower isn’t really an issue, and it’s actually a positive thing for Trick Room teams, where base 30 speed is what players typically shoot for with their Trick Room Pokemon outside of their setters. The problem is Clodsire isn’t going to be hitting much of anything with any authority. The good news is that Quagsire, while it was a serviceable attacker, often served a more defensive role anyway. So, Clodsire fits this bill even better, especially in absorbing Special attacks.
Being Ground/Poison, Clodsire is weak to Water, Ice, Ground, and Psychic, resisting Fighting, Poison, Bug, Rock, and Fairy type moves. From a pure numbers perspective, Clodsire seems to be of a good defensive type. It’s very much like Nidoqueen, except much weaker on the physical side, but making up for some of that with its high HP stat.
One positive is that Clodsire has Water Absorb as one of its abilities, which literally blanks the Water-type weakness. While Unaware is better, its a Hidden Ability. Clodsire loses Quagsire’s Damp in exchange for Poison Point. But, Water Absorb is the stronger ability on this Pokemon as it also provides recovery. Clodsire also retains Unaware as its Hidden Ability, which will definitely come into play with competitive battles. Your in-game Clodsire will do just fine with Water Absorb, though.
There are also some other benefits to the Poison typing. For example, Toxic Spikes are absorbed by Poison type Pokemon, which neutralizes that particular entry hazard. Clodsire also still learns Toxic by level up, plus now getting Toxic Spikes very early. While it doesn’t learn Recover any more by level up, it does learn it as an egg move. Of course, Recover has been nerfed to just 5 base Power Points, but using PP Up and PP Max can get it to 8 PP which is still serviceable.
Another issue is that Clodsire’s Earthquake is significantly weaker than one coming from Quagsire. Scald has been removed from every Pokemon except Volcanion, so that’s yet another nerf. This means you’ll likely be running two entirely different moves in those slots. There is the replacement for Scald, called Chilling Water that it can learn by TM, which has a chance to lower Attack by one stage instead of giving a Burn. It’s nowhere as good, but it’s still a decent move just for the Ground-type coverage.
However, there are other utility moves that can make sense. Yawn, for example, puts the target Pokemon to sleep after one turn. This is a possibility, one that’s seen competitive play on Quagsire before. Encore, which locks the opposing Pokemon into the same move for the next three turns, is also a solid move that Quagsire often used. A moveset of Yawn, Encore, Toxic, and Recover doesn’t look very appealing, but as a purely specially defensive wall, that’s completely OK.
On a Trick Room team, Clodsire will often move first once TR is set up, making it move faster than almost anything else on the board. An Unaware Clodsire would be better of course, but for those who don’t have the Ability Patch to get that (outside of perhaps ones found in Tera Raids), Water Absorb is solid to switch in on to blank a predicted Water-type move.
Spreading sleep and poison around while locking an opponent into an undesirable move seems good enough to me. It’s also important to point out that this exact Support Quagsire set is suggested by Smogon University for original Diamond and Pearl competitive singles. I didn’t even have to look to come up with this moveset before hand, so yeah, it seems incredibly obvious to go this route.
However, Clodsire also gains a couple Poison type moves beyond Toxic Spikes, both of which it learns by level up: Poison Jab and Sludge Wave. With this base stat spread, Poison Jab, with its 30 percent chance to poison, is probably the right choice. This is another option for teams that really are leaning into poison as a bit part of their strategy. You can also teach Clodsire either Spikes or Stealth Rock for additional entry hazard options, too.
Overall, Clodsire serves pretty much the same role as Support Quagsire, except even better against Special sweepers. Clodsire may not be pretty, but it definitely can get the job done. In the first week of Pokemon Showdown battles, Clodsire had quite a good showing, with Pikalytics reporting its usage at nearly 17 percent. The average Clodsire ran Earthquake, Stealth Rock, Toxic, and Recover as its most common moves, with Spikes often an option, too. Clodsire has become a solid defensive utility Pokemon alongside Corviknight on many early Smogon OU teams.
Most importantly, Clodsire’s Water Absorb ability is quite useful in literally absorbing powerful Water attacks from common Water-type attackers like Palafin-Hero form and Dondozo. Fortunately for everyone playing Gen 9 OU on Pokemon Showdown, Palafin has already been banned. Of course, those bans don’t affect the actual Scarlet and Violet Battle Stadium, so Clodsire is looking to be plenty useful going into the official opening of the Battle Stadium in December 2022.
What do you think of Clodsire? Will you be using one for your Scarlet and Violet adventure or even on a Battle Stadium team?