We’re right on the cusp of one of the more exciting new additions to Pokémon GO PvP we’ve had in some time. I’ll just cut right to the chase… let’s put ARAQUANID (and Dewpider)… under the lights.
First, a formal Bottom Line Up Front for our “where’s the TL;DR?” friends:
- Relatively simple analysis coming up, as Araquanid is relevant only in Great League (or below), thanks to topping out barely above 2000 CP even at Level 50.
- That said, it enters Great League play as a truly unique new Pokémon, with Water/Bug having some funky resistances (most notably — and famously — resisting Walrein’s Ice and Ground moves), and Araquanid itself having fantastically bulky PvP stats.
- Despite initial griping (including by yours truly) when it lost some of its more promising looking moves before ever releasing with them, it does QUITE well with what it has left and should have immediate impact on the Great League meta. And it’s not nearly as bait-reliant as you might think, either… this fella puts in a consistently solid performance whether going bait heavy or not. 👀
- Similarly, even little Dewpider is also likely to see play right away in Element Cup… and future Little League Cups as well.
Now let’s get into the meat of this analysis!
ARAQUANID – Stats and MovesAraquanid WaterBug
Great League Stats
|98 (96 High Stat Product)||176 (174 High Stat Product)||133 (140 High Stat Product)|
(Highest Stat Product IVs: 0-10-15, 1500 CP, Level 35)
As mentioned in the B.L.U.F., there’s plenty to discuss here before we ever even bring moves into the equation.
To date, the only Water/Bug in the game has been Surskit (the pre-evolution of Masquerain), which is irrelevant in PvP. At least until we eventually get to Wimpod and Golisopod, that makes Araquanid (and Dewpider) the only relevant Wet Bug in the game. Why is that significant?
Water is famously vulnerable to Grass, right? The secondary typing of Bug makes that vulnerability go poof.
Bugs are weak to Fire, right? Water makes that go away too.
So what you’re left with is some one-of-a-kind resistances: Fighting and Ground from the Bug side, and Ice, Steel, and Water from the Water side. There ARE some notable vulnerabilities left over, but only three: Electric, Flying, and Rock. And no crushing 2x weaknesses (or resistances) to speak of.
Yes, as many have already noted on their own, this makes Araquanid currently the only Pokémon in the game that resists ALL of breakout star Walrein’s moves, resisting its little-used Water moves, but also its Powder Snow/Icicle Spear Ice damage (from its Water typing) and Earthquake (thanks to the Bug typing). Finally, something that truly HARD counters Wally!
Then there’s the bulk, which is really quite impressive, despite Araquanid’s spindly appearance. It has more overall bulk (and a higher overall stat product) than known chonkers like Dewgong, Tropius, Medicham, Hypno, Skarmory, Noctowl, Defense Deoxys, and even Lickitung! (Yes, seriously.) Only absolute units like Azumarill, Mandibuzz, Cresselia, Registeel (albeit JUST barely), and of course Bastiodon manage to out-bulk Araquanid. Ignore how it looks… ‘Nid is a true tank in the league that most rewards being a tank (Great League).
- Bug Bite – Bug type, 3.0 DPT, 3.0 EPT, 0.5 CD
- Infestation – Bug type, 2.0 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 1.5 CD
Bubble – Water type, 2.33 DPT, 3.67 EPT, 1.5 CD
So you might be wondering why I have a fast move that’s crossed out, but there’s a method to my madness.
As with many things these days, we got our first hints of Araquanid’s arrival in GO not from anything Niantic or TPCi said, but from the beloved PokeMiners. Initially it had Bubble in its moveset (as well as Mirror Coat, a charge move… oops 😜). This looked promising, because as you’ll see in a moment, Bubble would be ‘Nid’s only meaningful source of Water-type damage.
But just three days after teasing that, Niantic changed things up, and now Bubble was out, and Bug Bite was in, alongside another (already existing) Bug fast move, Infestation.
While a little disappointing that Araquanid is left with no Water fast moves (in addition to Bubble, it can also learn Water Gun naturally and Waterfall via TM in MSG), at least these Bug moves are both viable.
Bug Bite is Water Gun for Bugs, with exactly average 3.0 Damage Per Turn and Energy Per Turn. Lick is another move that exactly matches in terms of DPT, EPT, and cooldown, and most of you probably know how Lick powers things like Lickitung, Snorlax, and Little League Seel to victory.
“Average” like Bug Bite is still a fine move. Infestation is less exciting and less heralded, but it’s a clone of Ghost move Hex, which has certainly been viable on other tanky Pokémon like Jellicent, Drifblim, Dusclops, and at times, Alolan Marowak. Infestation should be workable in PvP on the right Pokémon.
- Bubble Beam – Water type, 25 damage, 40 energy, Decreases Opponent Attack -1 Stage
- Mirror Coat – Psychic type, 60 damage, 55 energy
- Bug Buzz – Bug type, 100 damage, 60 energy, 30% Chance to Decreases Opponent Defense -1 Stage
Lunge – Bug type, 60 damage, 45 energy, Decreases Opponent Attack -1 Stage Crunch – Dark type, 70 damage, 45 energy, 30% Chance to Decrease Opponent Defense -1 Stage
The pre-release move shakeup wasn’t just limited to fast moves, though. Initially hinted as coming with Crunch and Lunge, two 45-energy charge moves that both came with at least a chance of debuffing the opponent. (Lunge’s debuff, of course, is 100%.)
And these alongside another debuffing move: Bubble Beam, which deals negligible damage but is importantly A.) the only Water damage ‘Nid has left, and B.) a guaranteed debuff to the opponent’s Attack, as with Lunge. Good thing, too… because both Lunge AND Crunch disappeared during the subsequent move shakeup, replaced by Bug Buzz and the errant fast-now-charge move-again Mirror Coat.
And that’s what it looks like Araquanid is being released with, so that’s what we’ll examine… though let’s pour one out for what could have been. Sigh.
Thankfully, Araquanid remains more than viable even after the move shakeup. Let’s see what it can do….
Great is really the highest we’ll go, as Araquanid’s very high bulk and low Attack means it tops out well outside of normal Ultra League territory, barely crossing 2000 CP at Level 50 (2065 for a hundo, to be exact), much less anything close to 2500, and uh… yeah, that doesn’t go well. So, how about Great League?
The initial look is quite promising, so much so that you may notice that ‘Nid has been added to the Great League core meta Pokémon on PvPoke itself now.
Unlike theoretical Bubble/Crunch/Lunge dream that was snatched away, actual Araquanid cannot overcome Lickitung, Toxicroak, or either Stunfisk (though we’ll revisit that in a minute), and thanks to the loss of Crunch, loses to Jellicent, Cofagrigus, Drifblim, and Alolan Marowak. However, it DOES gain Shadow Machamp, Venusaur, and Trevenant, so it’s not ALL bad.
As a Bug with solid Bug moves, it easily handles all the core Grasses and Psychics, and ALL Darks in Great League aside from Flying Mandibuzz (and Honchkrow and Vullaby XL). Heck, even among the Grasses and Psychics it’s pretty much a clean GL sweep, with only Tropius, Jumpluff, Roserade, Alolan Raichu, and somehow Pa’u Oricorio (who has all Flying moves, so….) getting away.
In other words: it basically does everything you’d want a Bug type to do, and Bugs have a perhaps surprising number of tasty targets in Great League. It also beats most Fighters (among viable Fighters, only half-Fire ones, Toxicroak, Lucario, and Bewear survive). Again, relatively standard Bug fare.
But even though it doesn’t dish out much Water damage, its Water typing plays a big role as well. By resisting Ice, it takes out every single Ice type except (again, Flying) Articuno. By resisting Water damage, it takes out all Waters but Jellicent, Tentacruel, Tapu Fini (which, as a reminder, is sneaky good in Great League, and Flying Pelipper and Swanna.
It even outlasts most Grounds…the Stunfisks, Nidoqueen, and Flyers Gliscor and Gligar being the only exceptions. Though here comes out first caveat, and it’s a good one: with a bit of extra Attack, ‘Nid CAN manage to take out Galarian Stunfisk, not by hitting a Bug Bite breakpoint, but by pushing up the damage of its charge moves JUST enough to finish it off before it reaches a FIFTH and final Rock Slide.
(And by the way, that same kind of higher-Attack ‘Nid maintains its performance versus the rest of the core meta, dropping only Froslass as a direct exchange for gaining G-Fisk… not bad!)
Anyway, even among Fire types that terrify most Bugs (and obviously resist all of ‘Nid’s Bug damage), only the Flyers (Charizard, Talonflame, Moltres, Oricorio, Ho-Oh) and a small handful of others (Salazzle, A-Wak, Chandelure, Magcargo, Blaziken, and a couple other not-really-viable options) manage to survive Araquanid’s assault.
Add to all that things like Drapion and Vigoroth, and note that that list of Waters above includes Walrein (the domination of which is so oppressive that ‘Nid can throw a single Bubble Beam and then just farm ALL the way down if it wants to, coming out with 100 energy!) and even Azumarill — [regardless of moveset], and despite Azu resisting ALL of ‘Nid’s moves! — and DANG. It’s hard not to be impressed by the overall body of work, despite some obvious holes (like being walled by Steels and Flyers, losing to Charmers, and obviously having to run in fear from most Electrics and Rocks).
There is an additional concern, though: the reliance on Bubble Beam baits. Most everything that utilizes Bubble Beam tends to fall off a bit when it does not reliably get shields with Bubble Beam baits, and despite PvPoke’s constant improvements over the years, sims still tend to elevate the performance of BBBaiters, sometimes unrealistically so. Is this another case of that? Thankfully, no, not really.
Even by utilizing ONLY Bubble Beam (so no reliance on sneaking in a Bug Buzz to get the KO at the right time), Araquanid’s insane bulk allow it to farm a ton of things down. In fact, stripping away Bug Buzz actually reveals some NEW potential wins, such as the mirror match, CharmTales, and Froslass rejoining the win column in the case of that higher Attack, G-Fisk-slaying ‘Nid up above… perhaps high-Attack Araquanid is THE way to go? 🤔).
But perhaps more important, the new losses — ones that strictly require Bug Buzz to close out — are few, with just Shadow Machamp, G-Fisk, Sableye, Trevenant, and Venusaur surviving a Bug Bite/Bubble Beam onslaught.
Heck, even going the other direction, with NO baiting whatsoever, is decent enough, adding only Meganium and Swampert to the list of losses just above. So in short, yes, Araquanid is somewhat bait-reliant, though not drastically so. It’s plenty viable even if things don’t all go according to plan. Again, as a reminder, consider the record with JUST Bubble Beam. You have to like that basically the worst case scenario still has a winning record that still includes Walrein, Azumarill, and Ice, Psychic, Dark, Fighting, Grass, and Ground types galore.
Real quick, just a peek at other shielding scenarios:
- With shields down, ‘Nid does drop off, but only a bit. Things like Froslass, Machamp, Medicham, Venusaur, and unfortunately (Play Rough) Azumarill slip away, but Araquanid picks up Alolan Ninetales and even Galvantula to help soften the blow, and maintains the rest of its impressive 1-shield performance. This is fine.
- The sky is the limit in 2v2 shielding. While Venusaur, Shadow Champ, and Sableye now escape, Araquanid now has a real shot at Galarian Stunfisk, CharmTales, Drifblim, Jellicent, and Lickitung! Yes yes, still relies on some baiting luck, yadda yadda… or DOES it? 🧐 Looking again at firing off ONLY Bubble Beam, and amazingly, only CharmTales and Lickitung escape… and Sableye moves back into the win column… and even freaking Mandibuzz (with Snarl) can flip to a win as well! 👀 I’m rather shocked myself, to be honest. This is the most NON-bait-reliant Bubble Beamer I’ve ever seen. Most impressive, I gotta say.
So yeah, regardless of shielding scenario, regardless of losing arguably a better moveset before ever seeing the light of day, and regardless of whether the baits all work out not, I think it’s clear that Araquanid will arrive in Great League with authority, not reshaping the meta, per se, but definitely finding a place in the meta, and immediately so.
So all that’s left is the other league where ‘Nid (and Dewpider) may see play. No, not up in Ultra League… we’re downsizing instead.
I’ll make this brief, as Dewpider is the real story here, but yes, Araquanid works in Little League too. It would be particularly good in a format like Element Cup if allowed. If you find one that fits under 500 CP (easier than you might think, as ‘Nid can get all the way up to like Level 10 or even 11 and still fit in Little League), I don’t know that I’d fully build it and double move it yet, but I WOULD hold onto it.Dewpider WaterBug
That all said, Little League is usually the place for unevolved Pokémon to shine, and that means DEWPIDER. It’s roughly as bulky as things like Cottonee and Seel at this level, and has the same unique typing as Araquanid, so yes, on stats and typing alone, it should fit in nicely. And while it lacks Bug Buzz, it DOES have Mirror Coat as a handy enough closer, alongside the customary Bug Bite and Bubble Beam.
Put it all together, and Dewpider is quite good in Element Cup, especially if you look at the entire format and see that it beats not only nearly ALL Water and Grasses, but even more than 50% of the Fire types too. And while it can’t beat Bronzor, it’s good in Little Cup and other Little League formats as well.
You may not want to grind for a Little League Araquanid, but I DO strongly recommend looking for a solid Little League Dewpider. You ideally want one right around Level 30, and 0-15-15 is #1 IV, by the way. Good luck!
OTHER VIABLE MOVES…?
You may have wondered why I didn’t sim at all with Infestation. Well, I actually DID, but it just wasn’t worth highlighting in the main article. Turns out that with something like Araquanid, where the battles tend to be long and protracted affairs, the cumulative damage from Bug Bite, which deals 50% more damage than Infestation, really matters. Again, here is Bug Bite ‘Nid… and here is much sadder Infestation ‘Nid.
There’s not a single win that Infestation gets that Bug Bite does not, and eight new losses: Shadow Champ, Vigoroth, Scrafty, Sableye, Drapion, Venusaur, and both versions of Play Rough Azumarill. Big sads. It’s strictly worse in 0v0 and 2v2 shielding as well… I did check.
As for Mirror Coat. It’s obviously a much worse move that Bug Buzz on paper, dealing significantly less damage (and no debuff chance) for a savings of only 5 measly energy.
That all said, it DOES provide some coverage, and mostly works as an alternative if you prefer, gaining the mirror and things critically weak to Psychic damage like Toxicroak, in exchange for things like Sableye and Dewgong getting away thanks to carrying a much weaker KO move.
That said, it falls off the cliff a bit with shields down (again, lack of closing power), and despite holding up well in 2v2 shielding, I don’t generally recommend it. Bug Buzz is generally more useful and far more impactful in nearly all matchups where you’re able to land a closing move.
Alright, that’s all I got for today. I know it’s a lot, but just wanted to take a little extra time, as this looks like a truly impactful new addition to Great (and Little!) League from the moment it arrives in the game. THIS IS ONE WORTH GRINDING FOR… don’t miss out!
Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon.
Thanks for your faithful readership, and good luck on your wet spooder hunt! Don’t forget your Pinaps, and stay safe out there! Catch you next time, Pokéfriends.