POTW Pokémon of the Week #22: Mudkip, Marshtomp, & Swampert

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In the World of Pokémon, there lives a vast number and variety of amazing creatures to befriend and collect. Every week, we will be focusing on a single one of these Pokémon or evolutionary line and talking about what makes it special. This week's Pokémon of choice is the Mudkip line!

Mudkip was the Water starter introduced in Generation III, along with its Fire and Grass counterparts Torchic and Treecko. Mudkip appears to be inspired by either a mudskipper (a type of fish that can walk on land), an aquatic salamander such as a mudpuppy, or some combination of the two. Despite its small size and cute appearance, the Pokédex references its impressive strength, being able to move, lift, and even crush large boulders.

At level 16, Mudkip evolves into Marshtomp and gains the Ground typing. Then it evolves into its final evolution Swampert on level 36. Swampert is the bulkiest of the three Hoenn starters and focuses on using its strong, bulky forelimbs to smash its opponents and create seismic waves. Marshtomp and Swampert have a strong affinity for mud, and in generation III they were the sole users of the move Muddy Water. It's also stated in their dex entries that they can swim faster in mud than they can on land, but this ability appears nowhere else in the games.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire gave Swampert a Mega Evolution with even higher attack and bulk. It also gained the ability Swift Swim, which allows Mega Swampert to outspeed nearly any Pokémon without a boosted speed stat when it's raining. Unfortunately the ability Drizzle and the move Rain Dance only stay in effect for 5 turns (8 if the user is holding a Damp Rock) so Swift Swim is not as reliable for the entire battle, but it can still transform Swampert from a powerful tank to a potent sweeper for a few turns.

In the anime, Mudkip and Marshtomp are used by the main character Brock during the gang's exploits through the Hoenn region. Swampert has appeared only sporadically in Pokémon media, often being slighted when comapred to Sceptile and Blaziken, according to some fans. Examples of this are Ash's Grovyle and May's Combusken evolving while Brock's Marshtomp remained unchanged and Sceptile and Blaziken both appearing in Pokkén Tournament without Swampert.

Here are some questions to consider to get conversation rolling. You don't have to answer all of them or any of them in your post as long as you're staying on topic and within global forum rules.
  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
  • How does this compare to other Water type starters for you?
  • And the other Hoenn starters?
  • Do you think Swampert has been underrepresented in Pokémedia?
  • so i herd u liek mudkipz?
If you have any suggestions for Pokémon you'd like to discuss in the future just leave your ideas at the bottom of your post. Make sure you give your thoughts about the current Pokémon first!

Thanks to @The_Doctor for suggesting this Pokémon of the Week!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
Fire Chicken
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
i liek mudkipz. Most efficient Hoenn starter, great typing, Mudkip is cute. What's not to like about it?
How is this Pokémon in-game?
10/10. Only weak to Grass, but Hoenn has no threatening Trainers specializing in Grass.
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
I haven't used it in competitive.
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Yes, although I wish Brock's Mudkip had evolved all the way and the evolution to Marshtomp was handled a bit better, the episode was complete filler otherwise. Brock's Mudkip was really nice, as was its debut episode and that memetic scene. 10 hours of "Mud!" "Kip!" anyone?
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Mudkip would be considered very cute and infamous for the memes. Marshtomp would be your average middle stage... except it also has a meme. Swampert would be one of the cool strong Pokemon.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I guess Mega Swampert is a bit strange. Swift Swim doesn't fit its design, and it learning Hammer Arm on top of it is odd as well.
How does this compare to other Water type starters for you?
It is one of my favourite Water type starters for sure, but that's a hard question because I like all the Water-type starters so far.
And the other Hoenn starters?
Another hard question because I like all the Hoenn starters too.
Do you think Swampert has been underrepresented in Pokémedia?
Yes, but I don't mind too much.
so i herd u liek mudkipz?
i liek mudkipz
 
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Hate the meme, love the line! Especially Swampert! Very sturdy Pokemon with a great type combination, great stats, and a great movepool makes it excellent to use both in-game and in competitions. I started with it in both Ruby and Omega Ruby and I do not see myself going with anything else. In-game, it's pretty solid and handles great throughout the entire game. Its 4x weakness to Grass isn't too much of a hindrance. Competitively, I use it in Rain Dance or Trick Room teams to make use of it offensively. Speed isn't a complete issue because I have also used it as a tank and it takes hits like nothing! Is it the best tank in the competitive scene? No. There are a few other Pokemon that come to mind that can do a better job. Still, with the Water/Ground typing, it's nothing to make light of. There's nothing I would change about the line. They're pretty much okay as they are.

Don't remember the anime representation too well. Mudkip was cute enough. I do remember one episode in the Diamond and Pearl series where Swampert was kind of villainized for no reason other than to seem as a territorial threat. I never cared for the anime doing that, but eh.

If they were real, I don't see them being a nuisance or anything. They would probably be relegated to swamps and marshes away from human settlements.

The only Water-type starter I like more than the entire Mudkip-line is Samurott. Design-wise only. I can never not love the samurai otter sea lion. =D The Mudkip-line is my favorite of the Hoenn starters. I do like the Treecko-line, but the Torchic-line is just not my cup of tea. Never cared for the fighting chickens.
 
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I guess Mega Swampert is a bit strange. Swift Swim doesn't fit its design, and it learning Hammer Arm on top of it is odd as well.
Could you expand on what you mean by Hammer Arm being odd? It has pretty massive arms, and Pokémon like Rhydon and Timburr learn it as well despite having tiny arms relative to their bodies.
 
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Could you expand on what you mean by Hammer Arm being odd? It has pretty massive arms, and Pokémon like Rhydon and Timburr learn it as well despite having tiny arms relative to their bodies.
A move that makes it lose Speed seems like an odd choice when its niche is the Swift Swim Ability which should be used alongside rain to increase Speed.
 
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A move that makes it lose Speed seems like an odd choice when its niche is the Swift Swim Ability which should be used alongside rain to increase Speed.
Ah, I see. I'd chalk that up to it learning Hammer Arm before they knew they wanted to give it Swift Swim, and they usually prioritize moves that make sense over competitive synergy.

As for Swift Swim itself, I think in the anime its shown to propel itself with jetst of water that come out from around its elbows. So maybe that was their justification. I'd they hadn't gone forthat ability, what would you have preferred they give it?
 
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Ah, I see. I'd chalk that up to it learning Hammer Arm before they knew they wanted to give it Swift Swim, and they usually prioritize moves that make sense over competitive synergy.

As for Swift Swim itself, I think in the anime its shown to propel itself with jetst of water that come out from around its elbows. So maybe that was their justification. I'd they hadn't gone forthat ability, what would you have preferred they give it?
I agree that Hammer Arm makes sense on it.

Mega Swampert itself hasn't been seen a lot in the anime, so I haven't noticed. Drizzle would be nice, there was already Mega Charizard Y as a precedent of starter Mega Evolutions being able to set their respective weather.
 
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Personally I think I would have preferred something like Water Absorb. Its sizable bulk makes it a classic physical tank stat-wise, but all of its abilities in normal and mega form are situational and don't really contribute to this idea. So I'd have preferred they give Swampert either a Hidden Ability or a Mega ability that would give it increased survivability or let it counter certain Pokémon better, like Water Absorb increasing its HP and making it immune to Water attacks.

If they really wanted to go offensive I think that something like Sheer Force would have been fun for the Mega. That would give it a nice boost to Waterfall and Ice Punch. Powering up those moves could help it overcome its somewhat limited movepool and deal more consistent damage while also keeping it within the tank archetype.
 
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I love this whole line! Seeing Tucker's, the Brain of the Dome, Swampert being so strong, made me love it even more. :D


How is this Pokémon in-game?
Swampert packs a mean punch as a tank.


How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
I don't battle competitively yet.


Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I don't watch the anime at all. So haven't seen any episode of Mudkip and Marshtomp yet.


How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Mudkip and Marshtomp would make great fishing buddies. Swampert would be your big brother who protects you from bullies. :)


If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I would have given Mega Swampert Sap Sipper. :p


How does this compare to other Water type starters for you?
Mudkip's line is one of my most favorite Water starter lines ever. They began my love for the Water starter.


And the other Hoenn starters?
I love Sceptile, hate Blaziken, so Swampert is tied with Sceptile for my favorite starter from this generation. :)


Do you think Swampert has been underrepresented in Pokémedia?
I haven't followed Pokemedia at all. So can't really say. :|


so i herd u liek mudkipz?
In Pokemon, mudkipz liek me. :p
 
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The Mudkip line is very useful in-game.

Super effective on the first, third, and fourth gyms.
Takes normal damage and is normally effective on gyms two, five, and six.
Should do normal damage to the seventh gym, but their main Pokemon (and only Pokemon in ORAS and RS) are part Rock type.
Is not so effective on the 8th gym.

Admittedly, it doesn't do so well against the Elite Four, getting neutral matchups on Dark, Ghost, and Ice (but not on Water/Ice), while being fairly walked by Dragon/Flying unless it has an ice move (probably would have Ice Punch, though...)

Against Steven, it deals a lot of damage to Rock and Steel types, which is helpful.

Over all, a very solid Pokemon and my usual goto choice for Hoenn starter.
 
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Mudkip was my first starter in my very first owned Pokemon game and probably my most used starter other than possibly Charmander. Definitely one of my most sentimental Pokemon. I can remember playing Ruby a lot as a child occasionally starting the game over and choosing Mudkip all over again. Usually a would give it simple nicknames like "Muddy". When ORAS came out I knew I had to try to recreate many of my original Pokemon while also giving them a new spin in the spirit of a remake. In total for my ORAS redos I used Linoone, Golem, Medicham, Camerupt, Aggron, Tropius, Pelipper, Breloom, Skarmory, Exploud, and Swellow. But above them all of course I used Murmillo the Swampert. I actually spent some time coming up for a great new nickname for Swampert and I'm very happy with this one that I found. It is taken from the Murmillo class of Roman gladiators whose helmet crest resembles a fish fin and Murmillo is also Greek word for a type of saltwater fish. I really love it because it's very thematic and conveys the new found strength of Mega Swampert.
 
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I've always loved this line. Mudkip is really adorable(although I don't like the meme), while Swampert is my favourite fully evolved starter Pokemon. It is also one of only two Water/Ground Pokemon I like, the second one being Quagsire. I love the fact Swampert looks derpy yet powerful. If I could change anything about the line, I'd have given them a better Hidden Ability, like Water Absorb, since they lack reliable recovery, unlike the Wooper line, and because Damp is really underwhelming in general. I also think Mega Swampert's design could have been much better, but otherwise it's fine.
 
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They are a gift from the gods and the best Pokemon to have ever existed. Even before Arceus was born, they were already destined to be the most beautiful creatures on Earth and it will continue that way for centuries and centuries. Specially Marshtomp, the users above didn't talk much about it because they know it's perfection personified.

But sadly they are a bit underrrepresented in media, and the remake didn't change that much. At least they have decent popularity.
 
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