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Overqwil pokemon
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Is Overqwil a Good Pokemon?

With the Indigo Disk DLC bringing Hisuian Qwilfish as a catchable Pokemon into Scarlet and Violet,  it seems about time to revisit my thoughts on Overqwil. This is the unique regional evolution introduced in Legends Arceus that is now available within Generation 9, and is much easier to acquire, in fact.

As one of a few Hisuian forms which debuted in Pokemon Legends Arceus, Qwilfish gains a much deserved evolution with Overqwil. Initially only available in the Hisui region, this Dark/Poison type has solid stat boosts over its first stage. The swapping of typing of Hisuian Qwilfish from Water to Dark has done both its regional variety and Overqwil some serious favors on both defense and offense. So, is Overqwil a good Pokemon for your in-game team in Legends Arceus and in competitive play for Scarlet and Violet? 

Hisuian Qwilfish pokemon

To start, besides the type change and some moveset shifts, both forms of Qwilfish have identical base stats: 65 HP / 95 ATK / 85 DEF / 55 SP ATK / 85 SPD. These make up a base stat total of 440, which is middling but serviceable. Overqwil gets significant stat buffs to everything but speed: 85 HP / 115 ATK / 95 DEF / 65 SP ATK / 65 SP DEF / 85 SPD. That’s a base stat total of 510, which is very good.

Overqwil and its baby form have just one defensive weakness against Ground-type moves, while resisting Ghost, Dark, Poison, and Grass type moves. Both the first form and evolved Pin Cluster Pokemon 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 twenty types in Strong Style, and its evolution will then become available. Honestly, you’d want to use this move simply on account of its overall strength. 

Overqwil Pokemon

Unfortunately, in its initial run with Legends Arceus,  Overqwil doesn’t learn any physical Dark-type moves, learning only the special Dark Pulse by level up. This is an unfortunate oversight, as Overqwil has just 65 special attack VS 115 physical attack.  Also, its move pool is mostly special, overall, yet another odd oversight by the Game Freak team. 

Still, Overqwil was given great type coverage in its first run, with moves like Water Pulse by level up, and Sludge Bomb, Ice Beam, and Hyper Beam by the Training Grounds. Alas, again, 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 other utility moves, including Spikes for entry hazards and Rest for recovery. Honestly, entry hazards aren’t too great in Legends Arceus, which is why moves like Stealth Rock have a Strong style that does damage rather than its typical hazard setting. Outside of this game, it’s a great move. While Overqwil does learn some physical attacks by tutor, the best of the bunch are Ice Ball (the Ice version of Rollout) and Giga Impact. These aren’t bad moves, but not ones you’d use over the Special attacking moves. 

With this move pool, it doesn’t seem like Game Freak gave Overqwil much chance to succeed competitively. Why they didn’t give Overqwil any powerful physical Dark-type move is beyond me. Fortunately, some of this move pool strangeness would be remedied somewhat in Generation 9, as we’ll get to shortly.

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 didn’t do much at all in Sword and Shield, which is likely why it was chosen to gain an evolution in Legends Arceus.

While abilities are turned off in Legends Arceus, they do exist on the Pokemon within 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 pointed out that with Hisuian forms being added to Scarlet and Violet in the future, this means Hisuian Qwilfish will be able to hold Eviolite. Since it will no longer be a fully-evolved Pokemon, Eviolite can boost its both of its defenses by 50 percent. Notably, this benefits only Hisuian Qwilfish, and not the traditional form initially featured in Paldea. Only the Hisui form can hold it, which some thought meant Hisuian Qwilfish could find a niche as a tank/utility type, especially if a Careful nature is used to shore up its meager Special Defense while draining its relatively useless Special Attack stat. 

Just how much does Eviolite help the Hisui Qwilfish? With a neutral nature at level 100, its Defense stat maxes out at 269 (nice) and its special Defense at 209. But with the 50 percent boost, you have 403 Defense and 313 Special Defense. A careful Nature gets that Special Defender up to a max 229 but boosted with Eviolite to 343. For some context, 403 Defense puts it on par with Stonjourner and Dusknoir, but only with a Ground type Weakness. Even 313 Special Defense puts it on par with the new Gouging Fire and is slightly better than Gholdengo! The Careful nature puts its special defense on par with Heatran and Rotom! So, yes, this is a relevant boost for a not fully evolved Pokemon. 

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’s infamous limited Pokedex. 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. (Notably, the Alolan Muk returned in Indigo Disk, as well.) 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. While Drapion does appear in Lefends Arceus, it doesn’t appear in Scarlet and Violet or in either DLC.

However, Overqwil is actually much more of a tank than Skuntank, who’s in both Legends Arceus and base Scarlet and Violet. 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 has been previously. All in all, without some new moves that it could learn in Scarlet and Violet, Overqwil would be a mid-tier competitive mon at best.

Overall, it seemed possible that Hisuian Qwilfish could be the better mon in competitive play, simply being able to hold Eviolite, doubling down on both of its defensive stats. 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 first form may be the better mon at least in competitive Generation 9 play. Overqwil’s signature move of Barb Barrage is neat, and it will be able to hold a Black Sludge item 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. 

What Does Overqwil Gain in Scarlet and Violet?

Fortunately, with the release of Scarlet and Violet, Overqwil and its baby form would gain three important additions to their movesets. These are Gunk Shot, a powerful Poison-type Physical Attack, Crunch, its much needed physical Dark-type move, and Liquidation, a physical Water-type move offering good offensive type coverage. Overqwil also 

As it turned out, its decent stats and Swift Swim ability have allowed Overqwil to find middling success in the lower tiers of Pokemon Showdown singles. It had just enough speed in the Rain to be relevant in the Underused tier when it first came into play with the Pokemon HOME update. But by usage, it eventually fell the Rarely Used tier. 

Overqwil would go all in on its strong Attack stat with an Adamant nature and a Life Orb to boost its damage output further. It runs a fairly standard moveset of Gunk Shot, Crunch, Liquidation, and Swords Dance, although it sometimes runs Spikes over the boosting move if its team needs a hazard setter. While a Water Tera Type is advantageous to boost Liquidation damage, its defensive profile is such that Terastallizing should only be used if that extra boost will KO a key opponent.

Just below it in Never Used, Hisuian Qwilfish indeed would hold Eviolite and be a decent defensive utility role player. The defensive set ran a Careful nature and the Intimidate hidden ability, with its signature Barb Barrage move, thanks to also running Toxic Spikes or Toxic, Taunt or Haze, and the STAB Crunch for coverage. It would run a Grass or Ghost type Tera type to cover its single Ground type weakness.

It also has a swords dance variant that could surprise sweep in the rain, with the same moves as Overqwil, but holding Eviolite for bulk, while boosting Speed with a Jolly Nature or an Adamant nature for attack. This variant would run a Water Tera Type to boost Liquidation damage, just like Overqwil.

The final verdict is that Overqwil is a B-tier Pokemon in the limited Pokedex environment of Legends Arceus, but a high C-tier Pokemon once it entered the Scarlet and Violet arena. Hisuian Qwilfish has held its own too, albeit as more of a C-minus Pokemon. That being said, Overqwil is a Pokemon that would succeed like vanilla Qwilfish once did in previous generations. 

Updated 12/19/23

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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