With a wrathful disposition and a determination for revenge, basically the same as someone who just got rickrolled, Marowak has returned to PUCL again to be the center of attention. Unfortunately, this angry bone lizard doesn’t reach as far into the competitive battling field as it does into our hearts. On the plus side, it has a really good unique item and a nice natural Defense stat that gives it a chance to set up.

When you first look at Marowak, it is anything but glamorous. Taking a peek at its battling ranking will quickly reveal that, since it’s in the lowest portion of usage in NU, your first glance was not mistaken. Basically, despite the title of this article, Marowak is not “In the Meta” per say. It is not obsolete however, as it possesses some interesting qualities that can help it stand out against the other not so special Pokemon. Likely due to its bony head, Marowak possesses a naturally high Defense stat of 110. This gives it a chance to survive in situations where you bring it in against physical attackers. This time can be used to set up with either Belly Drum or Swords Dance. Well, it would likely be able to set up if it didn’t have an abominable Speed stat of 45. This causes it to be out sped by most threats in the tier with zero investment in Speed. Other than that, a notable perk to Marowak is its unique item: Thick Club. This item doubles Marowak’s attack, skyrocketing it to astronomical levels. To summarize Marowak’s battle potential, you will be able to do a lot of damage if you are actually able to land a hit. Sadly, you will rarely be able to land a hit due to one of the worst defensive types in the game and an HP stat of 60. The Special Defense stat sits averagely at 80.

There are ways to make landing a hit more likely. The most notable would be the inclusion of Substitute in your move pool. This move is especially useful since the opponent will often switch into an Earthquake-immune Pokemon to dispatch Marowak next turn with. By using Substitute, you can test the waters and even get a free Knock Off or Stealth Rock off to support your team before switching out. Another way to counteract Marowak’s unfortunately low speed is to use it as the primary attacker of a Trick Room team. Be sure to minimize speed when running this set though.

An often overlooked feature of Marowak, especially in the NU tier, is its access to the move Bonemerang. This move will do the same amount of damage as Earthquake, but will hit twice. While this may first seem insignificant, hitting twice allows for the breaking of other Pokemon’s substitutes as well as bullying the variety of Sturdy Pokemon in NU such as Golem, Carracosta, Carbink, and Gigalith. Other notable attacking moves besides Bonemerang include Knock Off, Double Edge, and Stone Edge. If one decides to use Double Edge, be sure to take Rock Head as Marowak’s ability. Otherwise, Battle Armor will prove more useful by preventing critical hits. Although it’s rare, Swords Dance and Belly Drum are both options if one is feeling confident in the longevity of their Marowak.


Run of the Mill Spread


252 Attack, 252 Speed, 4 Defense (Smogon recommends 212 Speed and 40 HP, but 252 Speed is better in cross-format battling)


Trick Room Spread

Brave Nature

252 Attack, 252 Defense, 4 Special Defense

0 Speed IVs


Due to Marowak’s necessity of its hold item to be effective at all, include team mates that can take Knock Offs for it. Fairy types or Dark types should do the trick. Granbull is a good choice because of Intimidate. If you are familiar with Sticky Web, then you know that setting it up would greatly increase the usefulness of Marowak against the opponent. Consider Ariados, Masquerain, and Kricketune for this purpose. I find that Cradily and Marowak have great synergy due to Cradily’s Storm Drain. Since Omastar is a common Marowak check, being able to turn Scalds against the opponent is invaluable.

Well, hopefully Marowak has been able to prove that its sleek helmet isn’t just all for show. When playing Marowak, note that you need to find some way to overcome its low Speed for it to be useful. Also, don’t bring up its mommy problems. Remember this Puclonians, and your Marowak will be the very best.