Pokemon Legends Arceus brings a good Pokemon in Qwilfish a much deserved evolution with Overqwil. While only available in the Hisui region, this Dark/Poison type has solid stat boosts over its pre-evolution. The swap of types from Water to Dark has done both Qwilfish and Overqwil some serious favors defensively and offensively. So, is Overqwil a good Pokemon for your in-game team and in competitive play?
Overqwil has just one defensive weakness in Ground, but resists Ghost, Dark, Poison, and Grass. It gains a powerful signature move in Barb Barrage, which while only has 60 base power, it becomes 90 with the same-type attack bonus of 50 percent. Not only can it poison the target, it can also deal double damage if the opponent already has a status condition. Essentially, it’s Venoshock, but a physical move, perfect for a purely physical attacker as Overqwil. The beauty of this move is that to evolve Qwilfish in Legends Arceus, you use this move 20 types in Strong Style; honestly, why wouldn’t you want to use this move?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Overqwil learns any physical Dark-type moves, learning only the special Dark Pulse by level up. This is unfortunate, as Overqwil has just 65 special attack VS 115 physical attack. Also, its move pool is mostly special, which is an odd oversight by the Game Freak team. The type coverage is great, with moves like Water Pulse by level up, and Sludge Bomb, Ice Beam, and Hyper Beam by the Training Grounds. Alas, those are all special moves. Its other physical moves by level up are Pin Missile (ew), Poison Jab (OK), Aqua Tail (a bit inaccurate), and Double-Edge. It does learn Self-Destruct, but that move is nowhere as nasty as it was before Generation 5’s nerf.
Fortunately, Overqwil does gain a few more moves, including Spikes for entry hazards. Honestly, entry hazards aren’t too great in Legends Arceus, which is why moves like Stealth Rock have a Strong style that does damage. Outside of this game, it’s an OK utility move. But, it does learn some other physical attacks, such as Ice Ball (the Ice version of Rollout) and Giga Impact, plus Rest for recovery. With this move pool, it doesn’t seem like Game Freak gave Overqwil much chance to succeed competitively. Why they didn’t give Overqwil the powerful physical Dark-type move in Foul Play is beyond me.
Qwilfish VS Overqwil
The traditional Qwilfish, a Water/Poison-type Pokemon, has been a competitive Pokemon before. It was an underused, but still valuable, competitive Pokemon from Gold and Silver through Diamond and Pearl. Qwilfish fell to rarely used by Smogon standards in Black and White, before dropping to the lowest competitive tier in PU in Sun and Moon. It hasn’t done much at all in Sword and Shield, which is likely why it was chosen for an evolution in Legends Arceus.
While abilities are turned off in Legends Arceus, they do exist on the Pokemon in the code, so Overqwil still has the choice of abilities in Poison Point and Swift Swim. Unfortunately, it lacks Qwilfish’s main ability, Intimidate, one of the best in the game. Being able to cut opposing Pokemon’s attack is important, and while Swift Swim makes Overqwil rather quick in rainy conditions, it’s unfortunate that it has lost Intimidate.
Many competitive players have pointed out that with Hisuian forms being added to Sword and Shield in the future, this means Qwilfish will be able to hold Eviolite. Since it will no longer be a fully-evolved Pokemon, Eviolite can boost its defenses by 50 percent. This makes Qwilfish much more of a tank than it ever was, although it’s as yet unknown if it will only be the Hisuian form of Qwilfish that can hold it and not both it and the traditional form. If just the Hisui form can hold it, Hisuian Qwilfish may prove better as a tanky utility type in competitive play. If both can hold it, then traditional Qwilfish will once again have its day in the lower tiers of Sword and Shield play.
Overqwil VS Other Dark/Poison Type Pokemon
Fortunately for Overqwil, there have been other Dark/Poison type Pokemon to grace competitive play. Alolan Form Muk was an Underused Pokemon in Sun and Moon, although it was skipped in Sword and Shield. Alolan Muk and Overqwil are somewhat similar, although Overqwil is better on physical defense and is much faster. Alolan Muk has the advantage in special defense, but it has a strangely similar move pool to Overqwil, with a lot of special type moves it can’t really take advantage of, besides the solid type coverage of Flamethrower.
Overqwil is basically the physical tank version of the special tank that Alolan Muk was. It also is similar to Drapion, another Dark/Poison type that has hung around the mid-tiers of competitive play. Drapion is significantly faster than Overqwil, by 10 base stat points, and is also a physical tank. However, Drapion has access to other strong Physical moves like Earthquake and Night Slash.
However, Overqwil is actually much more of a tank than Skuntank. Despite the name, Skuntank’s defenses are mediocre, with just 67 defense and 61 special defense. It’s never been quite that competitive, even in its debut generation of Diamond and Pearl. Overqwil looks as if it will be better than Skuntank in competitive play, but not quite as good as Drapion. All in all, it appears that without some new moves that it can learn in Sword and Shield, which is rather likely, Overqwil will be a mid-tier competitive mon at best.
Overall, it’s possible that Hisuian Qwilfish will be the better mon in competitive play, simply being able to hold Eviolite. Competitive players will be able to train it in HP and Attack to shore up its weaknesses compared to Overqwil. Also, traditional Qwilfish can learn Destiny Bond, meaning it will likely trade with its biggest threats, and hopefully Hisuian Qwilfish will be able to learn the move outside of the limits of Legends Arceus.
It’s strange to say, but despite Overqwil being a decent evolution for a long-time mid-tier favorite in Qwilfish, its pre-evolved form may be the better mon at least in competitive Sword and Shield play. Overqwil’s signature move of Barb Barrage is neat, and it will be able to hold a Black Sludge for recovery. Its defensive typing will give it a shot at being a relevant competitive mon, but unless its move pool is buffed in the transition to regular Pokemon, it’s going to fall a bit short, meaning you’re probably better off with Drapion in that team slot.
The final verdict is that Overqwil is probably a B-tier Pokemon in the limited dex environment of Legends Arceus, but likely a C-tier Pokemon once it enters the Sword and Shield arena. That being said, Overqwil is a Pokemon that we’d like to see succeed like Qwilfish once did, and hopefully with some movepool buffs on the transition, it will have just that chance.
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