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Is Dudunsparce a Good Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet?

The most original name for a Pokemon evolution goes to Dudunsparce, the evolution for Dunsparce. To quote the Angry Video Game Nerd, “What were they thinking!?” The question now, of course, is if adding a single section to Dudunsparce when it evolves actually does much for its base stat totals. It turns out that yes, Dunsparce had just 415 total base stats, while Dudunsparce has 520. Let’s compare.

Dunsparce: 100 HP, 70 ATK, 70 DEF, 65 Special ATK, 65 Special DEF, 45 Speed

Dudunsparce: 125 HP, 100 ATK, 80 DEF, 85 Special ATK, 75 Special DEF, 55 Speed

Of course, original Dunsparce was playable because of its ability Serene Grace, which doubles the chance of a secondary effect of a move. In particular, Dunsparce would run Body Slam for a 60 percent chance for paralysis and Bite for a 60 percent chance to flinch. The only downside is that Bite is an Egg Move and not one it gets naturally. Of course, that’s not hard at all to do, as plenty of potential partner Pokemon exist that learn Bite. You’ll be having a lot of picnics to get one with Bite, at least, until Spring comes and you can transfer your existing Dunsparce from Sword and Shield.

Anyway, Dudunsparce has very respectable stats. Its defenses aren’t incredibly better, but enough to live many more hits. Also, still being a Normal-type, Dunsparce is only weak to Fighting-type moves. This may end up being a pretty good Tera Type Pokemon, with Dark being a potentially good type to boost Bite’s damage.

In the Dunsparce article, we discussed how the item Eviolite boosts Dunsparce’s defensive stats to reasonably high numbers, albeit having to fully invest in one or the other. That’s going to be very much the case with Dudunsparce; but, without the benefit of Eviolite, it’s not going to be that impressive defensively. However, still having access to Coil – which boosts Attack, Defense, and move accuracy – and Roost for recovery, Dudunsparce is going to simply be a much more competitive version of Dunsparce. 

The question remains, do you just use Eviolite Dunsparce over Dudunsparce? It really depends on how you’re building your team. If you need a physical or specially defensive wall, Dunsparce with Eviolite is still the better option. However, if you’re playing Dudunsparce the way you would originally play Dunsparce, this evolution makes it much less of a gimmick and more of a potential Paralysis/Flinch “Para Flinch” threat. Now, though, its 100 ATK actually dents things, most things for neutral damage, with Bite to cover Ghosts and hit super-effective against them and Psychic types.

Dudunsparce does gain access to some powerful moves when it evolves, but unfortunately it no longer learns Body Slam by level up. It’s still accessible by TM, fortunately. These new level up moves are Hurricane and Boomburst, both Special attack based moves. It is neat that Dudunsparce gains access to these moves, especially Boomburst with its high base power. But with Serene Grace, you’ll still be best off going with the Paralysis/Flinch strategy.

It’s also the case that both Dunsparce and Dudunsparce learn a new move in Scarlet and Violet called Hyper Drill. This is a Normal-type attack – so the Dunsparce family has a same type Attack Bonus (STAB) on it – with 100 base power and it can hit through Protect or Detect. While it only has 5 base Power Points (PP), that’s a heck of a move. It’s also the case that you may not want to run it over the traditional Body Slam for potential paralysis or Bite for potential flinch. Coil, Roost, Body Slam, and Bite still seems like the best moveset. Still, this is a heck of a move to have access to in any case.

Still, Dudunsparce is still quite slow, yet that may not be an issue thanks to having significantly improved defenses over Dunsparce. In any case, it may find a home on Trick Room teams, which should be popular considering the number of very slow powerful Pokemon new in Paldea. We will also have numerous Trick Room setters in Generation 9, eventually including Legends Arceus legendaries like Cresselia and Palkia.

Unlike Dunsparce, who wants to lean into one or the other Defense at the cost of Special Attack (Impish or Careful Nature) for a TR team you’d want a minus speed plus Defense nature. Since you’re likely already running Coil anyway, going all in on physical defense with a Relaxed nature seems likely the best option for Dudunsparce. You could go Brave nature, if Dudunsparce is likely to 2-hit KO certain common Pokemon, but we’ll see on that. 

I’m entirely certain Game Freak is quite aware what they were doing giving Dunsparce an evolution. It’s also quite clear that this was done simply out of the fact that this Pokemon has been a meme since its origins in Gold and Silver, but also a surprisingly useful Pokemon once it gained the Serene Grace ability in Ruby and Sapphire. I wish they’d made Dudunsparce a bit more unique looking and gave it a cooler name, but as it is, this is a good Pokemon. Is it going to be competitive? That remains to be seen.

What do you think of Dudunsparce?

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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