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Hisuian Samurott Pokemon

Is Hisuian Samurott a Good Pokemon?

Today, we examine the merits of Hisuian Samurott, a regional form of Oshawott’s final evolution introduced in Pokemon Legends Arceus. Originally introduced in Black and White, Samurott is a fairly above-average offensive Pokemon, with modest defenses and below average speed. What’s powerful about Hisuian Samurott gaining the Dark-typing in Legends Arceus is that it now bears more resemblance to one of the most popular final form starters of all time in Greninja. 

Of course, Greninja has a couple of things working in its favor, a 122 speed stat and the hidden Protean ability. The Protean ability is identical to Cinderace’s Libero ability; a Pokemon with Protean changes its type to the attack it’s using, therefore automatically gaining a 50 percent same-type attack bonus. While Samurott can’t compete with the sheer power of Greninja, it’s proven itself as a mid-tier competitive Pokemon in the past. So, how will Hisuian Samurott stack up against normal Samurott?

Is “Normal” Gen 5 Samurott Good?

With abilities locked and hidden in Pokemon Legends Arceus, we don’t have to even consider Samurott’s existing ability, Torrent. This common water starter ability powers up Samurott’s Water-type moves when falling below one-third HP. Its hidden ability in Shell Armor is OK, which prevents Samurott from receiving critical hits. While this defensive minded ability isn’t bad, most competitive players would rather have Torrent, being able to deal out significantly more damage in a pinch.

As a pure Water-type, normal Samurott was a decent mixed attacker, with Attack and Special Attack stats of 108 and 100, respectively. However, being only a 70 base speed held it back in higher competitive tiers in past games. Still, the mediocre speed stat didn’t stop Samurott from being one of the best Water-type sweepers of lower tiers, though. Having a priority move in Aqua Jet certainly helped its cause by making its speed unimportant, holding a Life Orb to hit 30 percent harder. 

While Samurott often would take a hit before returning the favor, it has enough HP to hold on to most neutral attacks, dishing out often super-effective special damage with Grass Knot and Ice Beam, and often also packed Taunt or Knock Off. As we’ll discuss, Knock Off is going to be an important move for Hisuian Samurott.

While the mixed attacker Samurott moveset was common, the other way to build this Pokemon was as a Swords Dance Sweeper. It would set up Swords Dance, take a hit, then dish out a powerful Liquidation or Megahorn. Against quicker foes, it could land an even more powerful Aqua Jet than before. It not only served as a solid revenge killer with its STAB move, but also could one-hit KO certain foes with the powerful Bug-type Megahorn.

Hisuian Samurott VS Gen 5 Samurott

Hisuian Samurott gains one important offensive upgrade over normal Samurott with its new Dark-typing. With this new typing, Hisuian Samurott also gains a new signature move, Ceaseless Edge. It’s only a 65 base power move, but that’s improved to nearly 100 power with the Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB). Normal Samurott learned Knock Off, a similar power move that knocks off opposing held items; while that move can be the difference between winning and losing already, this signature move can end up being more deadly. 

Ceaseless Edge not only has an increased critical hit chance, but it also leaves behind splinters. This means that the opposing Pokemon takes damage for several turns. With this move in mind, you may want to focus more on the physical sweeper role due to this now being Samurott’s other best physical move. Hisuian Samurott also gains access to Dark Pulse, but the recurring damage of Ceaseless Edge may be what tips the scales in the physical direction. Unfortunately, this Samurott doesn’t get access to Grass Knot, though it does still get Megahorn, Psycho Cut, and Poison Jab as type coverage moves at the Training Grounds. 

The best moveset for Hisuian Samurott in Legends Arceus is probably Swords Dance, Ceaseless Edge, Aqua Tail, and Poison Jab. Naturally, in future games, I knew that Hisuian Samurott would probably gain another Water type move replace Aqua Tail — and it would as we’ll see shortly. As a fourth move, Poison Jab is excellent type coverage in-game against Fairy-types. The hard-hitting Bug-type Megahorn or even the Special-based Ice Beam could be other options over Poison Jab depending on how your in-game team is composed for coverage.

For all of its offensive gains, though, there are some defensive repercussions for Samurott gaining the Dark-type. Being Dark type means gaining a 2x weakness to Bug, Fairy, and Fighting-type moves. Yes, Samurott gains one-half resistance against Dark and Ghost type moves and an immunity to Psychic-type moves. 

Unfortunately, there are plenty of Pokemon with the Bug-type U-Turn running around, as well as many Pokemon packing a variety of Fighting-type moves and the occasionally Fairy-type Play Rough. Also, with no held item like Choice Scarf to boost its middling speed, Hisuian Samurott is going to need the Agile style of its moves to be a relevant attacker.

Hisuian Samurott Gets Buffs in Generation 9!

It would be very fun to see Samurott back in competitive play with the release of Generation 9’s Scarlet and Violet. It was probably for the best that we had to wait, as neither normal Samurott nor Hisuian Samurott would match up well with Generation 8’s metagame. Zacian eats Hisuian Samurott for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Urshifu will snack on him, too. Anything packing a Bug, Fairy, or Fighting move will need to be dealt with immediately, as Samurott isn’t surviving a return hit and it’s going to be revenge killed fairly easily. (Unfortunately, Zacian and Urshifu would return to Scarlet and Violet in a big way later, but we’ll get to that.)

In Scarlet and Violet, Hisuian Samurott gains Night Slash as an egg move, a Dark-type move that often lands a critical hit. Such a move may mitigate some of his defensive drawbacks, but that won’t be enough to make it towards the top of the competitive ladder. When it comes to Ceaseless Edge VS Night Slash, the latter with the 100 percent critical hit chance is likely the better competitive option on a Pokemon you’re looking to be a sweeper like Samurott. But, in Legends Arceus, the damage-over-time is useful for weakening Pokemon in order to have a better chance at catching them. 

Also Generation 9, Ceaseless Edge has been modified slightly. While it’s still only 65 base power and 90 percent accurate, it leaves behind Spikes each time it makes contact. So, this signature move may prove to be the better move than Night Slash, which it now gets as an egg move. However, more importantly, Hisuian Samurott swaps its Hidden Ability with Sharpness, one new to the franchise with Scarlet and Violet. This ability powers up slicing moves by 50 percent, such as Ceaseless Edge and Sacred Sword, which it also gets now as an egg move. Samurott’s original signature move Razor Shell suddenly is much more powerful, too. 

Aqua Cutter is a move new to Scarlet and Violet that Hisuian Samurott can get as yet another egg move. It’s basically a more accurate version of Razor Shell with five less base power but with 100 percent accuracy, plus an improved critical hit rate. Razor Shell does have the chance to lower the target’s Defense stat, but honestly the critical hit chance might be better.

Because of Sharpness, the best moveset for Hisuian Samurott in Scarlet and Violet could well be Swords Dance, Ceaseless Edge, Aqua Cutter, and Sacred Sword. Ceaseless Edge being powered up to 97 power is pretty darn good, and Night Slash would be not much better at 105. However, leaving Spikes behind is really useful, even if the move doesn’t provide the damage-over-time that it has in Legends Arceus. With Sharpness, Sacred Sword is a massive 135 base power, even without any same type attack bonus, providing great coverage. 

Would Hisuian Samurott Succeed in Competitive Generation 9 Pokemon?

Sadly, you can’t evolve an Oshawott into a Hisuian Samurott in Scarlet and Violet. So, you’ll have to transfer a fully evolved Hisuian Samurott from Legends Arceus. (You could get one fully evolved from a 7 star raid, but I’m not going to get into how much I hate those.) But, once there, things get really good for our regional variant friend. Fortunately, Scarlet and Violet lets you pick up egg moves at picnics if the Pokemon you want to learn the move has an open move slot and Mirror Herb as a held item. This means there’s no need to breed at all. This means you can easily get moves like Sacred Sword and Aqua Cutter just through hanging out around the picnic table, plus other strong moves like Night Slash and Knock Off.

While Hisuian Samurott hasn’t emerged as a viable option in VGC doubles, thanks to its typing, it has done very well for itself in Smogon’s Pokemon Showdown OU (Over Used) tier. There are several possible builds, all of which are viable in the top-tier of singles. One of them is used as a “suicide” lead on hyper-offense teams running a set of Ceaseless Edge and Razor Shell with a choice of two from these four: Aqua Jet, Encore, Knock Off, or Taunt. A move that both deals damage and sets up entry hazards is pretty sweet, and this lead Samurott holds a Focus Sash so it at least survives a turn to set-up for the rest of its team.

Another possibility is a Swords Dance Wallbreaker set, using Swords Dance, Ceaseless Edge, Aqua Jet/Sucker Punch for priority, and either Aqua Cutter or Razor Shell to deal as much damage as possible. Razor Shell is probably the better choice for the Wallbreaker role thanks to the 50 percent chance to drop the opponent’s Defense stat. 

Third, there’s an Assault Vest variant that goes all in on hitting Ceaseless Edge as many times as it can to set up multiple layers of Spikes. It also runs Razor Shell for the potential Defense drop, Knock Off to remove opposing Pokemon’s items, and Aqua Jet or Sucker Punch for priority damage. It may also run Sacred Sword for coverage. This is the set that’s shown up briefly in Regulation E, according to Pikalytics.

However, my favorite set, and the one that may prove to be the best choice going forward, is the Choice Scarf set. While locking oneself into a single move can be problematic, the Choice Scarf doubles Samurott’s middling speed. With full investment and a Jolly nature (plus Speed, minus Special Attack), at level 100 its speed is maxed at 295. But Choice Scarf boosts this by 50 percent, making it essentially 442 speed. That makes Hisuian Samurott faster than just about every unboosted Pokemon in the game, even Zacian!

The Choice Scarf set runs Ceaseless Edge, Razor Shell, Knock Off, and Sacred Sword. The last move is mostly to deal with Kingambit. It partners really well with Mr. Gholdengo, one of my favorite Generation 9 mons. All in all, Choice Scarf Hisuian Samurott is exactly what I think Game Freak intended for this regional form, and through the Teal Mask DLC, it’s served that role well.

Potential Checks for Hisuian Samurott in the Indigo Disk

However, in my original analysis of Hisuian Samurott, I did take note of a bunch of Pokemon that would’ve been a problem for it if we were using the same Pokedex as Sword and Shield. Fortunately, many of those Pokemon weren’t around for the first year or so of Scarlet and Violet competition. But, with the Indigo Disk bringing back many old competitive favorites, it may only be a matter of time before we see Hisuian Samurott have many more checks in OU.

Two of its biggest checks I foresaw were Thundurus-Therian and Hydreigon. Both mons have been relegated to UU (UnderUsed) where they can’t hurt Hisuian Samurott. Thundurus-Therian returned in the Teal Mask DLC, packing Close Combat and Focus Blast and superior speed. Hydreigon has been around since the base game, and has a powerful U-Turn. One mon i did see as a check was Ribombee with its Moonblast, but it’s been in the OU tier since Teal Mask and hasn’t stopped its dominance.

With the release of Indigo Disk, however, there are a few old faces in OU that could prove to be a problem. Scrafty is back with its Fighting STAB moves. Skarmory has its Body Press variant. Flygon has U-Turn and Bug Buzz. Cobalion has Close Combat. Reuniclus has Focus Blast. I don’t expect all these Pokemon to remain OU by usage alone, but clearly Hisuian Samurott now has a lot more to think about when it goes to sweep. 

Cobalion is the only one from this group that really concerns me, because Sacred Sword needs a Swords Dance boost, and it OHKO’s with a single Close Combat if it outspeeds. Choice Scarf Samurott-Hisui obviously doesn’t run Swords Dance, so if your opponent has a Cobalion, you’re in trouble. Reuniculus could be a bit of an issue, too, as even Tera Boosted Ceaseless Edge or Knock Off isn’t guaranteed to OHKO if the opponent has any Defense investment. Basically, let’s hope you’re fighting an Assault Vested variant. 

Fortunately, many of these checks are nullified by choosing a Ghost tera type, blanking the Fighting type moves and making the Bug type moves neutrally effective. However, this greatly reduces the damage output of Samurott, which you’d prefer to have a Water or Dark Tera Type to get the 50 percent damage boost. In any case, a lot of the new best checks are slower than Jolly Samurott naturally, except for Cobalion. Also, while Zacian and Urshifu would be a problem, they’ve both been relegated to Ubers for Generation 9 Showdown singles. Phew!

Also, while there are many more Grass-types added to OU in the Indigo Disk, this shouldn’t matter too much if you’re Tera Dark or Tera Ghost anyway. Ideally, you’re going all in on your Ceaseless Edge anyway. So, the Fighting types are really the only ones that really concern me; there are also some new Fairy type threats to wall Ceaseless Edge a bit, but I don’t think they’re all that threatening outside of slowing down Hisuian Samurott’s sweep a bit. Just have your other teammates deal with them first.

What Happened to Gen 5 Samurott?

Unfortunately, normal Samurott and its mono-Water type don’t fare as well in today’s game as its new Dark type Hisuian form. That being said, Mono-Water Samurott was at least an early star in NU Sun and Moon. It’s fallen to the lowest tier, PU, since the release of both DLC expansions for Scarlet and Violet. It’s served as both a mixed wallbreaker (Hydro Pump/Knock Off/Megahorn/Sacred Sword) or a Swords Dancer (Swords Dance/Liquidation/Megahorn/Aqua Jet). It’s certainly useable in the lowest tier, so it’s not a lost generation for our Unovan friend.

The Hisui form of Samurott is a great design and perhaps will continue its really nice run in Gen 9 OverUsed. Perhaps some clever players will eventually allow it to break through in VGC in a future rule set. Yet, in Legends Arceus, without the benefit of Sharpness or the coverage of Sacred Sword, you’re better off taking one of the other two Hisui starters over Samurott. It’s kind of funny how that’s worked out. Fortunately, the chance came for the buffed Sharpness Hisuian Samurott to carve out a significant role as a physical sweeper in competitive Pokemon. That makes me very happy.

P.S. Some more news for Hisuian Samurott: his VSTAR card from the Astral Radiance set in the Trading Card Game is not only nice to look at, but is pretty good to play in the TCG. Unfortunately, I don’t plan on writing any articles about that specific card any time soon.

Updated 12/18/2023

Pokémon and All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2023

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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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