Is Grumpig a Good Pokemon?

Grumpig Pokemon

Grumpig is a Psychic-type Pokemon which debuted in Ruby and Sapphire. It has solid stats and a wide ranging move pool. While I’ve never personally used Grumpig to much of an extent, back in its debut generation, it was decent enough to see some competitive play. Now that it’s been reintroduced to the franchise in Scarlet and Violet after skipping Gen 8, how good is Grumpig in Generation 9?

Unfortunately for Grumpig, power creep left it behind all the way back during the Black and White era. According to Pikalytics, Grumpig hasn’t seen any competitive play at all during the past few years, including when it was available in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. But, this doesn’t mean that Grumpig is not a good Pokemon. It’s just become outclassed by newer Psychic Pokemon as the generations progressed. Who’s going to run Grumpig over Espathra, for example?

Still, let’s not feel bad for Grumpig. The purple bouncy pig had its day, and heck, there’s nothing keeping you from training one for your Scarlet and Violet adventure. So, if you’ve always wanted to play with Grumpig, here’s how competitive Pokemon trainers made the best use of the Manipulate Pokemon in its glory days.

Grumpig and Its Gen 3 Glory Days

First off, the base stats of Grumpig aren’t bad, but they are middling when compared to even the Psychic types available in Ruby and Sapphire. A base 80 HP is solid, although a 65 physical Defense isn’t so much. Where Grumpig shines is its Special Defense, with an above-average base stat of 110. It also has 90 Special Attack and 80 Speed, both solid enough stats for a mid-tier Pokemon. No one cares that it has only 45 physical Attack, since you’re going to be draining that stat anyway with a Calm nature to boost Special Defense or a Modest nature to boost Special Attack.

The best nature for Grumpig, then, was Calm if you were wanting to depend on it as a specially defensive Pokemon. Still, Grumpig had a diverse enough move pool to be run with a Modest nature to hit a bit harder with moves like Psychic, Ice Punch, or Fire Punch. Those familiar with how Pokemon attacks work today may be scratching your heads as to why a Special Attacker would run the Elemental Punches. Until Generation 4, the elemental Punch attacks were all special attacks.

In competitive Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald battles, there were two options for a best moveset for Grumpig. One was a Special Sweeper moveset, which could run Calm Mind, Psychic, Substitute, and either Fire Punch or Ice Punch depending on what type coverage your team needed. The other was a somewhat curious Choice Band and Trick moveset. Choice Band boosts Attack, not Special Attack; but, the idea was that you would use the move Trick to swap it onto another Pokemon, which would lock it into whatever move it chose next.

Thanks to being so specially defensive, it actually made Grumpig’s Thick Fat ability quite relevant. By taking only half the damage from Fire and Ice attacks, and since all Fire and Ice attacks were Special until Diamond and Pearl, Grumpig was a perfect defensive switch-in. While Grumpig was a bit too physically frail and outclassed by many other Psychic Pokemon, it was solidly underused during Gen 3, but still a solid Pokemon.

Would Grumpig Still Be Good in Gen 4?

Unfortunately, Grumpig was negatively affected by the physical/special split of attacking moves. With Fire Punch and Ice Punch now physical moves, Grumpig found itself transitioning into a support Pokemon more often than not. Still, Gen 4 actually added some powerful Special attacking moves to Grumpig’s arsenal. The question was more if Grumpig could still compete in its old mid-tier stomping grounds. While by the end of Gen 4 Grumpig was never used competitively, trainers certainly tried several ways to make Grumpig work.

The first Grumpig build was a purely support moveset, running Heal Bell, Thunder Wave, Reflect, and Psychic. Some Grumpig would run Toxic over Thunder Wave and Magic Coat over Reflect. While Thick Fat was still a great ability, physical Fire and Ice moves now did a lot more damage to Grumpig. But, many popular moves from types that were once purely physical now had special options. 

For example, Air Slash was a common Special attacking flying move that Grumpig could tank with no issue. Grumpig could take the still Special attacks Flamethrower and Fire Blast well, too. It often saw play on teams with Wish users such as Clefable or Chansey to keep it healthy without having to run its own recovery move in Rest.

The second best moveset for Grumpig was a Calm Mind set. It was similar to what you’d see in Ruby and Sapphire, setting up Substitute along with a Calm Mind or two to boost Special Attack. It would then run Psychic and Signal Beam (a Bug-type move to deal with opposing Psychic and Dark types) as its most common attacking moves, although some ran Focus Blast (a Special Fighting-type move) or even Hidden Power Fighting (which is actually physical, but much more accurate than Focus Miss.)

The third best Grumpig moveset was a dual screens build, running Reflect, Light Screen, Psychic, and either Heal Bell or Thunder Wave. The hope was that you’d set up both physical and special screens before switching out. This Grumpig only ran Psychic as something to do if your opponent used Taunt.

Of these three options, I prefer the Calm Mind Grumpig. Still, I can see cases where the other two Grumpig builds would be useful on teams needing a strong defensive core. After all, Grumpig’s best quality was still its Special Defense, with its solid support move pool a close second.

Grumpig’s Fall into Competitive Obscurity

In Gen 5, Grumpig had to contend with a whopping 156 Pokemon added to Black and White. With so many new Psychic types introduced, Grumpig began to see itself on the outside looking in and found itself resigned to the bottom of the barrel. In the early days of Black and White, Grumpig still held its own in the lower tiers with its support moveset, even adding Whirlwind to spread poison with Toxic or paralysis with Thunder Wave. But, at this point, its strong Special Defense and Thick Fat resistance to Fire and Ice moves were basically all that was keeping it even a competitive option.

It didn’t get much better for Grumpig in X and Y, although it seems that with the reshuffling of competitive singles tiers, Grumpig still hung on for dear life in PU, the lowest of all Pokemon Showdown tiers. There Grumpig actually ran three different builds: its familiar Substitute and Calm Mind set, a specially defensive set, and a offensive utility set. The latter ran Psychic, Focus Blast, Shadow Ball, and either Taunt or Thunder Wave. So, Grumpig still would appear very rarely in these three roles, but it had definitely fallen from grace as the special defender it had been just a few years before.

Grumpig would have a final swan song in Sun and Moon PU, running Fightinium-Z as a powerful Fighting-type Z-move off of its familiar Focus Blast. But, by now, it was so outclassed by newer Pokemon, Grumpig quickly disappeared from competitive Pokemon for good. It would be entirely passed over during the massive Pokedex crunch of Sword and Shield, and even when it reappeared in the Gen 4 remakes of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, it came and went with little fanfare.

With absolutely no competitive usage in Scarlet and Violet, what role does Grumpig play in Gen 9 Pokemon? While there are so many options for pure Psychic types in Scarlet and Violet, Grumpig does have a couple interesting things going for it. First off, it can have a Psychic Tera Type, making its Psychic hit 50 percent harder when it Terastallizes. 

But, Game8 has an other interesting option, running a Fire Tera Type with Tera Blast. Along with finally being given TM access to Nasty Plot, giving Grumpig the two-stage Special Attack boost it always needed, an effective 120 power Fire-type move coming from a Grumpig isn’t something you’d ever expect. Also, Grumpig was given even more type coverage with the Ground-type Special Attack Earth Power and Normal-type Hyper Voice. 

It actually seems a bit strange that Grumpig hasn’t gotten any love at all, especially considering the new weapons Game Freak gave the purple pig. Unfortunately, Grumpig seems to be on the outside looking in of the competitive scene. Nonetheless, that doesn’t keep clever trainers from training a Special Sweeper Grumpig themselves. With Nasty Plot and a suite of type coverage, Grumpig is still a fun Pokemon to use, and perhaps has strong as it ever has been. Let’s hope someone comes along and recognizes the potential that Grumpig still has.

Have you ever used Grumpig on your Pokemon team?

Related: Is Armarouge Good? – New Scarlet and Violet Pokemon | Is Hypno a Good Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet? | Is Rabsca a Good Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet?

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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