As the second stage in Squirtle’s evolution, Wartortle may not be nearly as cute, but he’s significantly better in competitive Pokemon. Some players actually will search the question, “Is Wartortle better than Blastoise?” That may be a stretch but Wartortle is quite good for a not fully evolved (NFE) Pokemon.
Like with its Grass-type counterpart Ivysaur, Wartortle benefits from the Eviolite item. This boosts its already solid 80 Defense and 80 special defense stats to 120 each. Also, since its attack and special attack stats are practically identical, you can create a range of competitive Wartortle builds. The most popular Wartortle builds during Generation VIII are Shell Smash Sweeper and the Utility Pivot builds, according to Smogon University.
Either way, you want to invest heavily in HP for Wartortle, as his base Defense stats are already quite good. Where you go from there depends on whether you want to use him for utility or offense. Generally, I would say utility is the better plan, where you should invest more in Defense. On offense, you want to invest in Special Attack, especially if you’re going hard on the Shell Smash plan, which lowers defense but raises attack, special attack, and speed.
Personally, I’d just stick with fully evolving your Wartortle into Blastoise, since its final evolution can perform the same jobs just as well. The upside of Wartortle, though, is the fact you can use Eviolite, which makes Wartortle slightly superior in defense, but Blastoise gains enough in both attack categories and speed to likely make the fully evolved Pokemon the better bet. Of course, Blastoise was banned in competitive play for a while thanks to its Mega Evolution during Sun and Moon, but that’s no longer the case.
In the Pokemon Trading Card Game, Wartortle has a few neat cards. Blastoise is obviously much stronger overall, but Wartortle can hold its own until it can evolve. The Sun and Moon Unbroken Bonds set features a Wartortle card with a Solid Shell ability that reduces all damage it takes from attacks by 20, as well as a two-energy attack for 60 damage. Even if it can’t attack next turn, that’s not always a big deal.
I’m interested in what people think about using Wartortle as a utility Pokemon over Blastoise because of the Eviolite defensive boosts. I’ve also written about Squirtle and will also have a write-up for Blastoise in the near future.
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