Despite the title of this article, Kingler is not your enemy- the massive-clawed fiddler crab is actually one of your best friends, and you never even knew it.

Despite its abysmal special stats, Kingler packs not only a whopping 130 physical attack (higher than most non-Uber pokemon), but a very sturdy 110 physical defense and a not at all shabby speed of 75.  While it’s not inclined to winning major races, it’s plenty fast enough for common battling- its Special Defense and pure-Water typing are its weak points, and to be perfectly frank, these aren’t the terror that everyone likes to expect them to be for the orange crustacean.

With the potential to use Agility, Swords Dance, or even both boosts in tandem, and access to the high-critical-rate Crabhammer with its stunning power of 90 as well as a good array of Normal attacks, Kingler can easily pull off a sweep if it’s just given a moment to boost itself.  One boost to either side can easily give a level 100 Kingler a speed over 500 and an Attack that pushes the 800 rating.  Combining these with Crabhammer and Return is pretty standard, giving Kingler the opportunity to dish out nasty hits to anything not resistant to both Water and Normal- a difficult proposition, fulfilled only by Empoleon, Ferrothorn, and Dialga.

While this is the most obvious use for Kingler, another stands up when you take a good long look at the crab- namely as the exception to a Special-assault team.

If you take a look at the overall stats of many pokemon, most things that are powerful at Special defense are strong offensively with their Special stats.  This also applies to physical Attack and Defense.  Between these and Kingler’s excellent physical capability, it’s easy to see that throwing Kingler or even just something like it on a team that has many members with strong Special defenses will usually benefit you.

What’s more, Kingler’s decent Speed means that you may not even need to invest in Agility- many of the things you’ll want it against are slow Physical tanks or Physical sweepers that either won’t outspeed it, or won’t be able to crack it’s shell before it can lay down the claw.

Kingler also is a standout in one other way, though this is much harder to take advantage of: Kingler is one of the only two pokemon whose fully-evolved form is weak to Electricity that gains Mud Sport as a naturally learned move in its development (the other being the curious Relicanth).  This can make it a dangerous foe for some odd opponents- physically-oriented Electivire or Zebstrika come to mind, but other than that, this remains mostly a curiosity.

Perhaps more interestingly, Kingler is often discarded in favor of Crawdaunt- while the crab is faster and not only has stronger Attack but significantly higher Defense, somehow Crawdaunt’s lackluster speed and comparatively poor Attack are overshadowed enough by its decent Special Attack and the power boost from Adaptability to its Crabhammer that even its lack of Agility doesn’t keep it from being seen more.

Because of this, it may be worthwhile to consider putting Kingler where you might use Crawdaunt- the huge increase in speed may well let you catch an opponent off-guard, and the two share some weaknesses while Kingler actually has fewer holes than Crawdaunt (whose speed and Dark typing leave it with some problems dealing with the Fighting types that Kingler can usually handle, in exchange for a large edge on Psychic and Ghost pokemon- neither of which something with such terrible Special Defense would have any business being near otherwise, and should probably avoid anyway thanks to Energy Ball and Thunderbolt).

At any rate, Kingler’s speed and potential to break your Special Attack flow in only the best way make it an excellent companion to anything that can take a Special hit but not a physical one- particularly if that thing can take out electric and grass types easily.  So don’t discard it out of hand.