Competitive Pokemon: Tentacruel Picture

The ocean, a fun place to be in the real world, but utter dread in the world of Pokemon. Just like how caves are infested with Zubat, the oceans in Pokemon games are pretty much infested with the infamous jellyfish known as Tentacool! Like Zubat, Tentacool are annoying, everywhere, and at times hard to run away from. But just like Zubat, Tentacool does have some potential in the form of its evolution, Tentacruel. And boy has time been ever so sweet to this jellyfish and has given it quite a niche in competitive battle! Tentacruel went from being an underused tank and/or potential sweeper of sorts back in Gen 3 to a premier special sponge and spinner in Gen 4. Then Gen 6 gave us the new Fairy-type and something else that send Tentacruel out against. Toxic Spikes being introduced gave Tentacruel a great support move and really gave it a reason for existence. Literally there's only one Tentacruel set you'll ever see, because it is without a doubt the best set it can run. At least, it is if you want to go down the support route. Offensively, Tentacruel has the standard Water movepool and the standard Poison movepool, be it special or physical. You won't really see an offensive Tentacruel very often. Support will be the most common set.

Tentacruel's good defensive typing and stats allow it to check some of the largest threats in the metagame such as Azumarill, Slurpuff, and Clefable. However, its main claim to fame is being a Rapid Spin user that can beat Mega Sableye. It can not only set up Toxic Spikes but also absorbs Toxic Spikes as well, which are very common in the current metagame. Another thing worth mentioning is that Tentacruel is surprisingly fast for a tank Pokemon, boasting a 100 base speed stat! Though its not without its weaknesses, Tentacruel has some common weaknesses to Electric-, Psychic-, and Ground-type moves, which substantially hinder its defensive capabilities. Tentacruel also lacks any form of reliable recovery, making it easy to wear down. It also faces competition as a Water-type Rapid Spin user from Starmie, which has reliable recovery, a much better Speed tier, and more coverage options. However, Tentacruel differentiates itself with its much better support options, lack of Pursuit weakness, and some unique resistances.

Here’s my Tentacruel's summary.
Nature: Bold
Held Item: Black Sludge
Ability: Liquid Ooze (or Clear Body)
EVs: 240 HP / 244 Def / 24 Spe
-Toxic Spikes
-Rapid Spin

Scald is used for STAB and a very useful burn chance. Toxic Spikes punishes many teams, especially offensive teams lacking entry hazard removal. Rapid Spin is useful for removing hazards on your own side of the field, especially against opposing leads. I gave it Venoshock for this set because not only does it get STAB, but the move also does double the damage when the opponent is poisoned (which will be always happen so long as the layers of Toxic Spikes are up on their field).

The given EVs with a Bold nature maximize Tentacruel's physical bulk, allowing it to take on a plethora of Fire- and Fighting-types, as well as still outspeeding some offensive threats. Black Sludge, Tentacruel's only method of recovery, is used over Leftovers to scare away Trick users. Liquid Ooze is the preferred ability, as it punishes Leech Seed, Giga Drain, and Drain Punch users (because they'll lose HP rather then gain it).

Of course it can run a variety of other moves. Here are some suggestions:
-Knock Off is great when paired with Toxic Spikes, as it helps by further wearing down the opponent's team and removing foe's items.
-Sludge Bomb or Sludge Wave are secondary STAB moves that can be used instead of Venoshock to help Tentacruel beat Fairy- and Grass-types much more effectively without having to rely on the opponent being poisoned like Venoshock does.
is the 101 go to reliable-yet-strong move if you don't want to go with Scald. No added effects, 95 power, 100 accuracy, good type, it's an amazing move.
Ice Beam hits Dragon-types, Gliscor, and Landorus-T for huge damage, but it is weak otherwise on Tentacruel.
-Acid Spray lowers a target's Special Defense by two stages, allowing Tentacruel to beat Mega Sableye and use Rapid Spin, while also checking Calm Mind users.
-Tentacruel is very much like Muk, a powerful Poison type with both offensive and defensive potential but has a relatively low physical Defense stat. You can run Barrier on your Tentacruel to raise its defense to help it better tank a super effective Earthquake.
-Haze is also an option as it allows Tentacruel to reliably check setup sweepers such as Swords Dance Users and Belly Drum Azumarill by removing their boosts completely.
-Protect can be used for scouting Choice-locked moves and gaining an extra turn of Black Sludge recovery, as well as getting an extra turn of Toxic damage on the opponent.
ups a random stat by 2, which can be incredible if you get lucky.
-Confuse Ray forces switches or deals free damage, but it's so easy to cure, it isn't worth the move slot.
-Magic Coat can
reflects status as well as Entry Hazards. Pretty cool. Though not really necessary in the case of Tentacruel. You can also run one with the ability Clear Body, with prevents the opponent from lowering its stats, and Rapid Spin already deals with getting rid of entry hazard moves. So Magic Coat is completely unnecessary for a Tentacruel!
-An offensive set with Hydro Pump, Hidden Power Fire, and Ice Beam or Sludge Bomb with Black Sludge can do significant amounts of damage on Tentacruel's usual counters and make good use of Tentacruel's Speed tier. Though an offensive Tentacruel should have either a Modest or Timid Nature and should have EV's invested into its Special Attack and its already high Speed.
-A set consisting of Mirror Coat with Assault Vest can lure Pokemon such as Thundurus and Raikou. However, it is pretty bad otherwise.


This Tentacruel was traded over to me by a friend, so I was unable to nickname it. But here are some options if you wish to nickname your own Tentacruel.

-Man o' War, after the species of Jellyfish that floats on the ocean surface (which Tentacool and Tentacruel are based on). Fun fact though, the Portuguese Man o' War is actually not a Jellyfish but a species of polyps formed into a cluster that resembles one.
-Kraken, after the infamous mythological giant squid. Though Tentacruel is a Jellyfish, it does have many aspects of cephalopods such as octopus and squid. So this nickname can work.
-Gezora, after the lesser known giant Cuttlefish Kaiju from the Godzilla series (though it never actually appeared in a movie with Godzilla).
-Squidward, primarily because Tentacruel looks like a cephalopod, has a bald head, and its beak-like protrusion does look like a big nose. Sooooo......… XD

Do you have your own Tentacruel moveset and strategy? Comment below with your own moveset!

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