A PvP Analysis on Hisuian Samurott (for Raid Day)

Surprise! I have several other ongoing projects (Retro Cup rehash analysis, Flash Tournament’s “Arctic Cup” overview for grassroots PvP, and a deeper look at the unexpected +2 energy boost to Steel Wing and its effects on the meta) and didn’t plan to review HISUIAN SAMUROTT at all ahead of its Raid Day. But I hate leaving y’all hanging, even when it’s not a particularly exciting look, so uh… here we are!

Keeping this short, as I have a busy family day and all those other projects to try and get to sometime, so let’s blow through the Bottom Line Up Front and then see what I can cram into an hour or two. Hang on cuz here we goooooooo! 🏃💨


  • Almost the entire “article” today is a BLUF, but in short, Hisuian Samurott needs some move help to become even somewhat interesting in PvP, and even then likely only to a degree.
  • Flimsier than even regular Samurott (making it the glassiest starter except for Greninja), it’s also cursed with a secondary typing that technically brings in more new resistances (Dark, Ghost, Psychic) than vulnerabilities, but those new weaknesses are killers (Fighting, Fairy, Bug).
  • While Hisuian Samurott CAN learn Hydro Cannon in MSG, and was initially in its GO movepool, Niantic removed it at the last minute before release. If it’s not getting it now during its Raid Day, who knows how long we may have to wait for it?

Now, briefly, the stats and moves before we dive into a short analysis.


Samurott (Hisuian) WaterDark

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
133 (130 High Stat Product) 96 (100 High Stat Product) 132 (132 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-15 1500 CP, Level 20)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
171 (169 High Stat Product) 128 (129 High Stat Product) 166 (170 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-15-13, 2498 CP, Level 37)

So first a note on the IVs: yes, I know that the high stat product ones there are basically unobtainable now, with this ‘mon only being in raids and necessitating trades to get below 10-10-10 IVs (and trades with a 0 IV just don’t happen, so….), but I wanted to show you that even with best possible PvP IVs, H-Sammie is still very flimsy. As I said in the BLUF, the only Water starter with less bulk is Greninja, who of course only works because Niantic gave it ridonkulously OP moves. (Honestly I was a little surprised not to see Greninja scaled back this season, but I’m okay with it continuing as is for a while longer, personally.) Also want to note here that even with that 10-10-10 raid IV floor, Hisuian Samurott doesn’t fit under 1500, so you WILL have to trade for the time being to squeeze it into Great League at all. Something like a 5-11-11 Best Friend trade works, so it’s not TOO difficult to pull off. (Recommend playing around on PvPIVs.com to find out the many combinations that can get you there… shout-out to my friends over there!)

Perhaps more worrying is the typing. Again as mentioned in the BLUF, the Dark subtyping adds resistances to Dark, Ghost, and Psychic to the Water, Fire, Steel, and Ice that Water already brings to the table, but the vulnerabilities to popular Fairy (on the rise!), Fighting, and Bug damage, plus the Grass and Electric that come from the Water typing, are a real concern. H-Sammie becomes wet tissue paper versus opponents with those type of moves. At least it can’t be farmed down? 🤷‍♂️


  • SnarlDark type, 1.66 DPT, 4.33 EPT, 1.5 CoolDown
  • Fury CutterBug type, 2.0 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
  • WaterfallWater type, 4.0 DPT, 2.66 EPT, 1.5 CD

When you’re glassy, there are two ways you want to go with your fast moves: very high damage to simply outrace things before your lack of bulk catches up to you (see: Shadow Victreebel, Sharpedo, Chandelure, etc.), or very high energy to spam charge moves like there’s no tomorrow (see: Haunter/Gengar, Excadrill, Magnezone/Magneton, Honchkrow, etc.). Hisuian Samurott kinda comes with both options, though Waterfall is just an okay move in general, dealing the same damage per turn as other “slow” fast moves like Confusion, Gust, and Incinerate but with less energy generation than all of them. That drives it more in the direction of fellow Water/Dark Greninja — high energy, low damage fast move shifting the pressure to spammy charge moves — but with comparatively inferior pressure. As great as Snarl is, it’s no Water Shuriken (2.0 DPT, 4.66 EPT). And then there’s the charge moves….

Hisuian Samurott​ | Pokémon


  • Razor ShellWater type, 35 damage, 35 energy, 50% Chance: Lower Opponent Defense -1 Stage
  • X-ScissorBug type, 65 damage, 40 energy
  • Icy WindIce type, 60 damage, 45 energy, Lowers Opponent Attack -1 Stage
  • Dark PulseDark type, 80 damage, 50 energy
  • Hydro CannonWater type, 80 damage, 40 energy

In fairness, an energy “curve” that starts at 35 energy and tops out at 50 energy is something many wannabe-spammy Pokémon would kill for. In a vacuum, that’s pretty good. The problem is the moves themselves. Again comparing to Greninja, Razor Shell (very low damage, leaving you basically praying for the debuff) is no Night Slash (decent enough damage to pressure on its own, and comes with a higher impact — if lower probability — buff chance), and Dark Pulse deals the same damage as Greninja’s Hydro Cannon but for 10 more energy. In between you have some decent moves with X-Scissor (used to be 35 energy, but now 40) and seemingly awesome Icy Wind, which in theory could make H-Sammie feel less glassy than it is thanks to constantly debuffing the opponent. But as just one of many examples, Hisuian Samurott is still SO glassy that even against things it should never lose to, like Skeledirge, even that debuffing isn’t always enough. Ouch.

Greninja can rather famously reach two Night Slashes with only 5 Water Shuriken fast moves/15 PvP turns. In the same number of turns, H-Sammie doing its best with Snarl still needs one additional fast move to do the same, and only if the first move is the subpar Razor Shell. Three Snarls generates 39 energy, frustratingly just ONE short of any move except Razor Shell. Three more after that gets you to 43 energy, so you can switch to X-Scissor at that point, but STILL not anything else. No matter how you slice it, it will always take at least seven Snarls to fire off any combination of two charge moves unless you specifically do one Shell and one X-Scissor. You can do a number of different things with those seven Snarls, to include back to back Icy Winds, one X-Scissor and one of any other charge move (including even 50 energy Dark Pulse), or a number of other things. But no matter how you slice it, this is nowhere NEAR the pressure of Greninja.

As a result, the sims are not overly kind.

In Great League, it’s actually Waterfall that seems to pull the best numbers, but even that high bar is still pretty low, and the wins really include things that it pretty hard counters: Fires like Talonflame and Charizard, Grounds like Steelix and Gligar and Clodsire, Rocks like Carbink (but not Bastiodon, who still pushes through for an H-Sammie loss), Ices like Froslass and A-Slash, and a few Darks like Mandibuzz and Sableye. Basically, ask it to do anything beyond its best case scenarios, and it just can’t. Even trying to outrace things with Snarl, its wins remain things it hard counters (a handful of Ghost, Psychic, Ground, and/or Ice types). And it always does so inconsistently, with things like Clodsire, Bastiodon, Talonflame, Alolan Sandslash, and Galarian Stunfisk at least situationally able to escape (and sometimes more often than not!). It’s just kind of sad. Hydro Cannon would help quite a bit and make this a much more exciting analysis, so maybe one day. But until then, this doesn’t seem like a high priority grind to me.

Pokemon Go Hisuian Samurott Raid Day: Date & time, bonuses, can it be shiny? - Charlie INTEL

Same with Ultra League, where Hisuian Samurott at least puts up more respectable numbers thanks to a meta where Dark damage (and Icy Wind) have a lot of good targets. But even there, its wins are limited to ones you’d probably expect: Fires, Ghosts, Grounds, Ices, and some Waters and Darks, with precious few rare bonuses like Shadow Dragonite. And even then, things like Tentacruel, Guzzlord, Steelix, Charizard, and Alolan Sandslash that you would hope and expect your Water/Dark type to beat can all get away.


Add it all up, and it’s unfortunate that Hydro Cannon was removed even as an Elite TM obtainable move prior to release, as without it, Hisuian Samurott just can’t do enough to overcome its own frail form. It may have some Cup use here and there, but I can’t see how it gets past Greninja and many other Waters and Darks we already have on hand. I won’t tell anyone how to play or not, but I can say that I personally will only hit up what’s right around me this Raid Day. Just doesn’t seem worth it to push for more than that, personally. How about YOU, dear reader?

Gonna wrap it up right here and let us both get back to our days. Several more analyses to come soon, but again, didn’t want to leave folks high a dry with the Raid Day this weekend. Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with regular GO analysis nuggets or Patreon.

Happy raiding if you’re venturing out. Do be safe out there, stay warm, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

Author & tags

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

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