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If you have a good competitive moveset for Empoleon, post an answer below and upvote the best ones. Movesets for any of its pre-evolutions can also be shared on this thread.

Be sure to include full set details in your post, e.g. items, abilities, natures and EVs. Some detail, including the intended game mode for your set, is also appreciated. Access the full list of guidelines here.

Empoleon Pokédex and learnset for reference.

Sprite

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23 Answers

5 votes

DW Empoleon: (physical sweeper)

Empoleon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 4 HP
Nature: Adamant / Jolly

  • Waterfall
  • Earthquake
  • Steel Wing
  • Drill Peck

DW Empoleon #2: [can also have Torrent] (physical tank)

Empoleon @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent / Defiant
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Nature: Adamant / Impish / Careful

  • Waterfall
  • Sword Dance / Iron Defense
  • Earthquake
  • Avalanche
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5 votes

Empoleon (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Defiant
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)
- Swords Dance
- Aqua Jet
- Drill Peck
- Earthquake

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At times, Yuji, you need to be faster then the opponent,but Empoleon is not known to out-speed the foe every time( for that matter, almost never in the competitive play). Let's say the opponent has VERY little health. And so do you. Then, it's crucial at that point to be able to move faster than the opponent. I trust you to know why Aqua Jet strikes first, because you probably know what Priority is. In case you don't, well, I'll explain. It's quite simple, really. Every move has Priority. Some +1, some -1, most 0 while one has upto +7, and even -6. The move with the higher priority will attack first, even if the Pokemon is slower than the opponent.
Come on. You get STAB which makes the attack 60 power. A +1 priority is pretty good for that power. An example-

Your facing Garchomp with 34 HP left which is still deadly to Empoleon.
Simple solution - Aqua Jet to the rescue.

Garchomp Fainted!
You won the battle!
If I may suggest, list Liquidation as an alternative to Aqua Jet for those who want a water type move with more power. I would make one for that but it would be better on an upvoted moveset. Great moveset!
How did you get the defiant ability.
Defiant is Empoleon’s hidden ability.
2 votes

Empoleon @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid / Modest Nature
- Flash Cannon
- Ice Beam
- Grass Knot / Hidden Power [Flying]
- Hydro Pump / Surf

So, Choice Scarf with Timid Nature make his speed 300, or with Modest, his Speed reaches 274. Both are good for Empoleon. Scald is another option for 3 vs 3 battles, but since most of them are 1 vs 1, I prefer Surf/Hydro Pump.

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2 votes

I use this set for my Empoleon lead.

Empoleon (M) @ Focus Sash
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 128 Def / 252 SpA / 128 SpD
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Stealth Rock

Most leads are now Fire type Pokemon, or carry a Fire type move, because of Scizor and Forretress abuse. However, with this going on, there is almost NO Scizor and Forretress abuse, so now it's mostly Fire types. Empoleon can sweep out Fire types. With Hidden Power [Fire], he can cover Ferrothorn, Forretress, and Scizor, Ice Beam for any Dragons that come into the picture, while being able to set up Rocks.

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dont invest a pokemon in defenses if you're going to give it a sash
2 votes

Empoleon

Empoleon @ Chople Berry / Wacan Berry / Shuca Berry / Life Orb
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
Nature: Timid / Modest
- Ice Beam
-Surf / Hydro Pump (Depends if you want power or accuracy)
- Grass Knot (Other Water types + heavier foes that threaten the Emperor)
- Agility (Helps out with Empoleon's less than desirable speed)

Empoleon @ Chople Berry / Wacan Berry / Shuca Berry
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spe / 4 SpD
Nature: Adamant
- Aqua Jet (Priority move that picks off weakened foes)
- Swords Dance (Attack stat isn't that high; needs all the help it can get)
- Earthquake
- Drill Peck

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Recommended Abilities: Either
2 votes

Empoleon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 128 HP / 252 SpA / 128 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Flash Cannon / Toxic / Stealth Rock
- Ice Beam
- Grass Knot
- Hydro Pump / Surf

Hydro Pump is nice STAB, and packs quite a punch with Specs and a respectable base SpA of 111, but Surf can be used for a more reliable alternative.
Ice Beam hits Grass types who are eager to switch in to take the Water type STAB and rounds out the coverage nicely.
Grass Knot hits other Water types like Milotic.
Flash Cannon is also STAB, and can get some extra neutral coverage, while Stealth Rock can be used to scout and at the same time supporting the team.
Toxic can be used to cripple walls Empoleon just can't get through.
The speed EVs are to outspeed base 75, like Claydol, and below who don't invest in speed by 2 points just incase they invest 4 in Speed and SpA is then maximized for obvious reasons namely to make it do most possible damage while the rest is thrown into HP for some extra bulk.
This Empoleon can be quite a nasty surprise for Pokes who try to taunt it.

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1 vote

Gen V

Empoleon (M) @ Leftovers

Trait: Torrent

EVs: 252 SAtk / 4 SDef / 252 Spd

Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)

  • Scald
  • Agility
  • Grass Knot
  • Ice Beam
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1 vote

Gen VI

Empoleon @ Assault Vest

EVs: 252 SpAtk / 96 Def / 162 SpDef

Modest Nature (+SpAtk, -Atk)

  • Scald
  • Flash Cannon
  • Grass Knot
  • Ice Beam

I love the typing on this guy. Scald is STAB and has a chance to burn, helping your defenses. Flash Cannon is STAB and is Super Effective against the new Fairy type, who usually appear as special attackers (Sylveon, Florges, etc). Ice Beam is coverage, so is Grass Knot.

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1 vote

Its a pretty odd moveset, but it works.

Empoleon @ Leftovers
Ability: Defiant
Bold Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 128 Def / 128 SpD

-Bide
-Aqua Ring
-Whirlpool
-Steel Wing

So Bide is a pretty powerful move. Take 2 hits and it unleashes twice the damage taken.
If there is a sweeper, lock them into Whirlpool. They cant switch out. you could use Shadow Tag Wobbuffet and replace Whirlpool for Swords Dance. Aqua Ring and Leftovers for recovery, and Steel Wing for pesky Ghost types.

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0 votes

Physical set

Empoleon (F) @ Life Orb
Ability: Defiant
Adamant Nature
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd

Waterfall - STAB, good power, chance to flinch foe.
Drill Peck - Good power, covers weaknesses.
Earthquake - Great power, covers weakness.
Swords Dance - Sharply raises attack.

This set is pretty legit. It does some serious damage, pretty standard but effective, all weaknesses covered. Plus, Empoleon is pretty sturdy, so this allows the user a turn to set up at least. It makes for a pretty powerful Empoleon.

OR

Special set

Empoleon (F) @ Wise Glasses
Ability: Torrent
Modest Nature
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spd

Scald - STAB, good power, and a chance to burn the foe.
Hidden Power [Ground] - covers weaknesses.
Ice Beam - Coverage and good power, and a chance to freeze foe.
Flash Cannon - STAB, good power, and a chance to lower foe's Special Defense.

This set works well too, though you might have a problem against Fighting types. If trained properly, you could probably knock out the Fighting Pokemon in a shot, as most Fighting Pokemon have atrocious Special Defense stats.

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0 votes

Empoleon (M) @ Mystic Water

Trait: Torrent
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 Atk / 160 Speed / 70 Def / 20 SpDef

Physical Moveset

-Swords Dance: (Type: Normal / PP: 30) Combined with full attack EVs, this enables Empoleon to do some serious damage.

-Waterfall: (Type: Water / Power: 80 / Accuracy: 100 / PP: 15) Covers Ground weakness, as well as Fire & Rock. Also good as at low health. STAB, Mystic Water, and Torrent combined with a pretty solid power of 80, along with 252 Attack EVs, can pack an extremely powerful punch.

-Drill Peck: (Type: Flying / Power: 80 / Accuracy:100 / PP: 20) Covers Fighting weakness, as well as Grass & Bug.

-Earthquake: (Type: Ground / Power: 100 / Accuracy: 100 / PP: 10) Raw power. Covers Electric weakness, as well as Fire, Poison, Rock, and Steel.

Hope this helps you as much as it did me!

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Yes it did thanks
You're welcome!
0 votes

Empoleon (M) @ Petaya Berry
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 Spd / 252 SAtk / 4 HP
Modest Nature
- Substitute
- Agility
- Brine
- Ice Beam

The SubPetaya set is one of my favorite movesets. The trick to using this set is to use Agility when you predict your opponent will switch out. That way, Empoleon can outspeed a handful of Pokémon (with the exception of Choice Scarf users). Then, you spam Substitute until your HP goes low enough to activate the Petaya Berry (which at the same time will trigger both Torrent and Brine's 130 power). After all these boosts, Empoleon is ready to sweep and can dominate the arena.

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brine stays at 65 base power unless the opponent has 50% or less remaining HP. Hydro Pump is the best choice for water STAB
0 votes

Defensive:

King Pingu (Empoleon) @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
Calm Nature
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 SpA
-Stealth Rock
-Roar
-Toxic
-Scald

Stealth Rock is... well... Stealth Rock, and Roar gets boosts off of opposing Pokemon as well as forces them to take damage from Stealth Rock. Scald is a nice source of damage, and if you can burn the opponent's physical attackers, your Empoleon will becom annoyingly hard to take out. Toxic provides a nice constant source of damage.

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0 votes

Empoleon @ Focus Sash
Ability: Torrent
Nature: Modest
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spd / 4 HP

  • Scald
  • Flash Cannon
  • Ice Beam
  • Agility
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0 votes

Special Attack Sweeper
Empoleon (F) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Torrent
Nature: Modest (+SpA -Atk)
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spd / 4 SpD

-Scald (STAB, burn chance, for Rock, Ground and Fire types)
-Flash Cannon (STAB, for Fairy and Ice types)
-Ice Beam (for Grass, Flying and Dragon types, freeze chance)
-AGILITY (this is your game changer, risky but perfect timing can sweep at least 3 Pokemon. Sitrus Berry for instant healing, just wish that they wont 1 hit KO you with Earthquake or Close Combat LOL)

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0 votes

Here's my set.

Empoleon @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 Atk / 252 Spd / 6 HP
Nature: Adamant

Swords Dance - Increases Attack
Aqua Jet - Priority, STAB and helped by Torrent
Earthquake - Coverage mainly against pesky Electric types
Drill Peck - Coverage

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0 votes

TripleD (Empoleon) @ Leftovers

Nature: Modest
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 Sp. Atk, 252 Spd, 4 Def

Surf (STAB)
Flash Cannon (STAB)
Ice Beam (Coverage, and just a flat out great move.)
HP Flying (Artificial Coverage, but still great.)

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What nature?
"Nature: Modest"
Modest, it's right under the sprite
Oh, shoot. Not sure how I didn’t see that. :P
0 votes

Standard Power Trip Set
Empoleon @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Defiant
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP (or more EVs in HP for a substitute in attack EVs)
Jolly/Adamant Nature

  • Swords Dance
  • Agility
  • Power Trip
  • Substitute/Aqua Jet

Swords Dance and Agility are setups for Power Trip, in addition to the Weakness Policy that will boost Power Trip even further when hit with a super effective move. Power Trip is for high damage, that can KO anything easily with stat boosts. Substitute can be used to take an extra hit/activate Weakness Policy, and Aqua Jet can be used for priority/coverage, if you aren't able to get off an Agility.

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Image glitch :P
0 votes

This is for a Tank with some decent recovery

Empoleon @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 Special Attack/ 180 Defense/ 76 Special Defense

Moves:
-Surf: STAB
-Ice Beam: Coverage
-Grass Knot: Cover Water types
-Aqua Ring: Paired with Leftovers, gives 1/8 HP per turn

Could throw in Flash Cannon instead of Surf or Ice Beam for different STAB move, also could swap Aqua Ring for Rest

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0 votes

Depending on its nature, Empoleon can be a great staller!
Generation 7
Empoleon @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 124 SpD
Bold Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Scald
- Defog
- Toxic
- Protect
Explanation:
Scald is Empoleon's STAB move, and has a chance to burn, crippling physical attackers trying to switch in on Empoleon.
Defog is to remove entry hazards, such as Stealth Rock. Defog can also remove barriers like Light Screen and Reflect.
Toxic is used to wear the foe's hp down.
Protect can be used to get extra healing from leftovers.

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Those EVs are illegal. You can use a maximum of 510 EVs in total.
That's OK, but now the set is underutilising EVs -- it only spends 400 out of a possible 510. (Though, technically, only 508 of those 510 are useful, since level 100 Pokemon only gain a stat point with every 4 EVs invested.)
It's not a good idea to split EVs into as many stats as you have, either. If you're new to building movesets, then you should stick to maxing out the two most important stats for your Pokemon, which is never too far off from the 'optimal' spread. In particular, there is no reason not to max HP if you're using a defensive Pokemon.
I guess 252 def and 252 sp.def should do the trick.
This is my first moveset I created. I think the moves are good, its the Evs I need to work on.
In almost every situation, it's better to max HP than to split between each defensive stat. 252 HP EVs are indeed slightly less effective than 252 Def EVs at blocking physical attacks (or 252 SpD EVs for special attacks), but HP EVs affect *both* stats, which makes them almost universal on defensive Pokemon.
As far as the moves go, you should probably use Scald instead of Waterfall due to the burn chance, which puts a lot of pressure on physical attackers trying to switch into Empoleon.