One of the first Pokemon from the Generation 9 games Scarlet and Violet revealed to the public was Fidough, a Fairy-type Puppy Pokemon named with an obvious, childish pun. Much distaste was aimed at the poor doughy pug-like pocket monster for being yet another food-related Fairy type. While a decent evolution into Dachsbun did already temper the disdain for this Pokemon, there may yet be some positives to discuss with Fidough.
At the very least, Fidough is useful in the every day life of the Paldea region, as Fidough’s breath contains useful yeast. According to the official Pokemon website, Fidough is able to ferment things with its breath alone. That yeast is also useful for cooking, an explanation as to why people have been protecting Fidough from danger for many years.
As you may expect from its appearance, Fidough has “a moist, smooth feeling to it,” having skin with elastic qualities that make it both soft and firm simultaneously. Also, the lore explains that when Fidough becomes excited, “they intimidate their opponents by puffing up their bodies to appear bigger.” This tracks with the fact that this Pokemon learns Work Up, which boosts both its Attack and Special Attack stats.
Long time Pokemon trainers may assume by this last bit of lore that Fidough could have the very useful Intimidate ability as one of its positives. Sadly, Fidough only offers its trainers one ability: Own Tempo. That’s not to say it’s a bad ability; the Own Tempo ability actually blocks both confusion and the aforementioned Intimidate ability, which cuts opposing Pokemon’s physical Attack by one stage.
As a Fairy-type, you’ll want to keep Fidough away from Poison-type and Steel-type moves. However, it is immune to Dragon-type moves, and resists Bug, Dark, and Fighting type moves. Fidough’s Fairy-type attacks are super effective against Dark, Dragon, and Fighting-type Pokemon, although they are resisted by Fire, Poison, and Steel type Pokemon. From a purely type coverage standpoint, Fidough is a decent early game team member.
Of course, as one of the first Pokemon you can catch in Scarlet and Violet, its stats aren’t great. Only 37 HP is lackluster against what’s a decent 70 Defense for an unevolved Pokemon. Its 65 Speed isn’t bad, though, but with only 55 Attack and 30 Special Attack, it’s not biting back very hard. Fidough’s Special Defense is also only 55 Special Defense, not terrible for an early game Pokemon, but you definitely would rather face Physical attack based Pokemon early on with this in play.
Move wise, Fidough actually learns a decent Normal-type move at level 8, which is 60 base power and can steal an opponent Pokemon’s held item if Fidough isn’t holding one. This isn’t bad at all. Bite is your basic 60 power Dark move, but again, at level 11, that’s decent. It learns Baby-Doll Eyes to decrease opponent’s Attack at level 15; again, this is great for Fidough to stay out and take some hits. Most importantly it learns the 90 base power Fairy-type move Play Rough, which it also gets same-type Attack Bonus of 50 percent for, meaning that Fidough is actually a decent heavy hitter early on, even with only 55 base Attack. It learns the aforementioned Work Up at level 22.
So, in the early game, Fidough is actually a usable Pokemon with decent moves and passable stats. Running Covet, Bite, Play Rough, and Work Up means this is a totally usable Pokemon even for the first two Gyms of the game. If you don’t both bother to evolve it at level 26, it continues to learn some decent moves. Roar is useful in forcing away lower level wild Pokemon and for forcing trainers to switch Pokemon, and it learns this at level 30. It learns Double-Edge at Level 33 and Crunch at Level 40. Fidough also learns Last Resort, but you have to use at least one of each of its other three moves in this battle to use it. While it’s 140 base power, you’re not going to use it much.
While it’s not a bad Pokemon in early gameplay, the design is uninspired, and probably won’t be a permanent team member for anyone. There’s not much else to say about this little Puppy Pokemon except that you definitely want to evolve it into Dachsbun if you want to use it full-time.