PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
15 votes

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, abilties, 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.


edited by
Definitely one of the best water types yet I think it's pretty close between it, swampert, and primarina.
Empoleon is the most hideous thing ever
Sounds like someone’s feeling a little NaCl.

32 Answers

11 votes

My recommended moveset for Empoleon would be:

(no Hydro Pump or Hydro Cannon. Low pp, flawed accuracy.)

Drill Peck
(You want to be able to counter grass and Fighting, seeing as fighting is a major weakness.)

Ice Beam
(If you only have Blizzard, then use it. Use Blizzard to hit Dragons and Ground-types, another threat.)

Flash Cannon / Grass Knot / Brick Break
(Flash Cannon for STAB, hitting ice types. Grass Knot for hitting other Water types, and to mix it up and hit heavy enemies hard. Brick Break can ruin Reflect, Light Screen, and hit Steel types hard.)

This is only one opinion, but I had a Star Empoleon with this moveset. :)

Or earthquake seeing as it covers electric types.
It Doesn't Need Blizzard/Ice Beam
Since Its Surf Covers It's Ground Weakness.
My Empoleon has this moveset. It is pretty good but I can't find ice beam.
maybe hidden power if your lucky.
Is waterfall or surf better? Surf having 10 more power but waterfall having that 20% flinch chance.
In youtube, there was an Empoleon that swept using
- Surf
- Ice Beam
- Flash Cannon
- Grass Knot

I personally quite approve of this moveset.
what about when u are fighting dragons overload
Pretty good moveset except that I would change ice beam to earthquake. Also, what is your item, ability, and ev's?
7 votes

Surf - YEAH! + coverage
Flash Cannon - YEAH!
Earthquake - coverage
Drill Peck - coverage

edited by
But my brother says Avalanche is better, is Ice Beam more powerful? And to add I have Blizzard. I HAVE Avalanche and Blizzard but I DON'T HAVE Ice Beam, in my bag at least.
No, here's how Avalanche works:
- Accuracy is normal 100%.
- It always goes last.
- By default it is power 60.
- If you got hit by the other pokemon in the same move, it is doubled to power 120.

Ice Beam is power 95, accuracy 100. However there is a big difference because Ice Beam is a special move while Avalanche is a physical move, so choose the one that's best for your stats.
Uhhh, it now has blizzard. :)
Wow, That Pokemaster guy is a real Stud, what a comment :P
This move set is great, I'm definitely going to use it though what item should empoleon hold? I think a muscle band would be a good choice since it will need a little boost in Atk. It should also have defiant as its ability.
This sounds like the type of moveset Cynthia would have if she had an Empoleon.
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

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.
4 votes

Here are two Empoleon movesets, in order from best to worst:

  1. Special Attacker: Leftovers

Surf: STAB, good power, high accuracy, double damage against Pokemon using Dive, deals with Ground types.
Ice Beam: Good power, high accuracy, chance to freeze, deals with Ground, Dragon, and Flying types.
Grass Knot: Deals with other water types and also Ground types.
Aqua Ring: Both Leftovers and Aqua Ring would be healing Empoleon.

  1. STAB Defensive: Leftovers

Surf: STAB, good power, high accuracy, double damage against Pokemon using Dive, deals with Ground types.
Flash Cannon: Good power, high accuracy, STAB, chance to lower Sp. Def.
Iron Defense: Raises Empoleon's Defense.
Toxic: Inflicts toxic poison.

Scald is also good in Gen.5 with a decent chance to burn and STAB.
4 votes

DW Empoleon: (physical sweeper)@Choice scarf

EVs:252Atk, 252Spd, 4HP


  • Waterfall
  • Earthquake
  • Steel wing
  • Drill peck

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

EVs:Atk, Def, SDef


  • Waterfall
  • Sword dance/Iron defense
  • Earthquake
  • Avalanche
2 votes

Physical Sweeper:

Drill Peck (Ok Power, Great Accuracy, Perfect for it's fighting Weakness)

Swords Dance/Steel Wing (The best move for a Physical Sweeper, raising Attack or A STAB power move which has a 10% chance of raising Empoleons defence)

Waterfall (STAB, Great Power, Great accuracy, With rain, Torrent and STAB in play, it can do a deadly 480 dmage! Also has a 20% chance to flinch)

Avalanche (Only useful if Empoleon has been hit first and deals with Dragon, Grass, Ground and Flying Types)
Special Sweeper

Hyrdro Cannon (STAB, Awesome Power, under-average accuracy, the water elemental Hyper Beam)

Surf (STAB, awesome Power, Awesome Accuracy Almost a Water version of Earthquake)

Flash Cannon (STAB, Great Power, Great Accuracy, 10% chance of decreasing opponents Sp. Defence)

Ice Beam (The same purpose as Avalanche exept instead of double Power, it has a 10% chance of Freezing)

edited by
Swords dance does not increase speed
Thanks Pakey!
Great answer, definetly going to use that physical set. Just going to switch out avalanche for the steel wing, and MAYBE, waterfall for aquajet, still dont know.
Use Hydro Pump, Scald, Surf, or Waterfall instead of Hydro Cannon.
2 votes

Empoleon@Choice scarf


Role:Special sweeper


EVs:252SpAtk, 252Spd, 4HP


  • Flash Cannon
  • Ice beam
  • Grass knot/Hidden power[flying]
  • Surf/Hydro pump

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 the most of them are 1 vs 1 I prefer Surf/Hydro pump.

2 votes

I use this set for my Empoleon lead.

Empoleon (M) @ Focus Sash

Trait: Torrent

EVs: 128 Def / 252 SAtk / 128 SDef

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 if Scizor and Forretress abuse, however, with this going on, there is almost NO Scizor and Forretress abuse, so now its mostly fire types, Empoleon can sweep out fire types, with HP fire, he can cover Ferrothorn Forrretress and Scizor, Ice beam for any Dragons that come into the picture, while being able to set up Rocks.

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


Nature: Timid/Modest
Item: Chople/Wacan/Shuca Berry/Life Orb
EVS: 252 SP. Attack; 252 in Speed; 4 SP. DEF.
- 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)

Nature: Adamant
Item: Chople/Wacan/Shuca Berry
EVs: 252 ATTK; 252 Speed; 4 SP. DEF.
- Aqua Jet (Priority Move that picks off weakened foes)
- Swords Dance (ATTK Stat isn't that high; needs all the help it can get)
- Earthquake
- Drill Peck

2 votes

Empoleon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Torrent
Nature: Modest
EVs: 128 HP / 252 SpA / 128 Spe

  • Hydro Pump/Surf
  • Ice Beam
  • Grass Knot
  • Flash Cannon/Stealth Rock/Toxic

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.
[1]: http://sprites.pokecheck.org/s/395.gif

2 votes

I've only used this Empoleon during Wi-Fi battles and for the Battle Subway.

Empoleon @ Leftovers
Nature: Calm
EVs: I'm not sure of the exact values. However, I do know they've been given to his HP in full (252) and a lot to his Sp. Def, and the last bit goes to Def. Also, little did I know that he had a perfect value in Speed for his IVs; that does come in handy sometimes!

-Stealth Rock

Explanation: I use this Empoleon as a bulky lead--an unsuspected lead at that! I bet it could be made into a very nice staller for mid-game use if you swap Stealth Rock with something else (such as Ice Beam for some nice coverage). Empoleon is a bit bulky by its stats alone, but its typing complements those stats very well...
Anyway, I will generally use Toxic right off the bat--unless I believe I could rip the opponent with Scald, so that I can start compounding the Poison right away. If the opponent is steel, or I have already implemented Toxic, I will set up Stealth Rocks. Assuming all goes smoothly, I will then alternate between Scald and Protect; I chose Scald over Surf because of that great 30% chance of leaving a burn, particularly useful against some Steel types, not to mention it looks cool and is only slightly less powerful. Protect allows for Toxic to decimate and for Leftovers, which I find to be particularly hefty on a bulky Empoleon, to do their job well.
I also love how this set catches the opponent off-guard despite its being a Smogon suggestion (I find it useful against Pokemon from all tiers); it is not the usual Empoleon. The element of surprise is always about as necessary as a setup of Stealth Rocks or at least that first layer of Spikes.
The largest issues with this set would be facing other bulky waters, especially those with a Rest-based moveset; and I wish I had invested more EVs into its Def rather than its Sp. Def, mostly because my team has more problems with Physical Attackers opposed to Special Attackers (go figure, since they're more common).

edited by
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
1 vote

The Napoleon Pokemon
enter image description here

Empoleon @ Focus Sash

Ability: Torrent

Nature: Adamant (-Sp. Atk., +Atk.)

-Drill Peck (Coverage for Fighting types)

-Avalanche/Aqua Jet (Depends on ehich generation you are playing on)

-Earthquake (Coverage for Electric types)


*When a move that can OHKO Empoleon is made, Focus Sash will leave it with 1 HP left, and then the power of Aqua Jet will rise.

Or Special Attack Empoleon:

enter image description here

Empoleon @ Damp Rock

Ability: Torrent

Nature: Modest (-Atk., +Sp. Atk.)


-Rain Dance (A good water-type move booster)

-Hyper Beam (Yes, I know it doesn't cover any weakness, but its good to try it)

-Flying/Ground/Ice Hidden Power (Depends on the type combination)

*Note: I know you have to recharge when using Hyper Beam or Hydro Cannon, so switch quickly before an enemy targets you.

edited by
Scald doesn't raise in power when you are at low HP...
But the Torrent ability does. Its description is "Raise Water type attacks in a pinch" (Pinch means that it has 1/3 of health). That's why it's useful.
That Hydro Cannon thing would be useful, but after using Hyper Beam or Hydro Cannon (or any move like them), you can't do anything - not even switch out. This was the case since at least Gen 3.
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.

1 vote

Its a pretty odd moveset, but it works.


252 Hp
128 def
128 spdef

Aqua Ring
Steel Wing

So bide is a pretty powerful move. Take 2 hits and unleashes twice the damage taken.
If there is a sweeper lock them into whirlpool. they cant switch out. or you could use shadow tag wobbuffet and replace whirlpool for swords dance. aqua ring and leftovers for recovery and steel wing for pesky ghosts.

0 votes

Empoleon is a very good water type with great defenses.

Ability: Torrent

EV's: 252 Sp.Atk/ 252Sp.Def/4Def

Item: Leftovers

Attacks: Earthquake to cover the electric weakness.

Drill Peck to cover fighting weakness.

Surf, not hydro pump because it has more PP and better accuracy, STAB.

Blizzard to cover ground weakness.

You suggest Surf instead of Hydro Pump, but put Blizzard instead of Ice Beam?  Why?
0 votes

i dont know if im too late to post this but here is my thought:

Empoleon (M)@ Focus Sash/Focus Band
Physical Sweeper

Drill Peck - covers grass and fighting weakness
Waterfall - STAB...?(not really sure what that is XD) and may cause opponent to flinch
Steel Wing - may cause defense to rise
Agility - raises priority and gauranteed to be able use if used first turn because of focus sash/band


STAB just means Same-Type Attack Bonus. So if a Water type uses a Water type move, then its power is multiplied by x1.5 (50% increase). Waterfall normally has a power of 80 but with STAB, its power is 120. Hope this has helped :)
0 votes

Empoeleon @ Petaya Berry
Trait: Torrent
EV's: 252 Sp.Attack/ 252 Speed/ 4 HP
-Hydro Pump
-Ice Beam

edited by
0 votes

THIS is a EMPOLEON move set:
hydro pump(STAB)
brick break (coverage against steel types)
earthquake (cover against fire/electric types)
blizzard (really good for finishing off early)

P.S. wide lens if you want blizzard to hit
splash plate for hydro pump
ground gem for earthquake
black belt for brick break
(if you don't want/need blizzard, go with avalanche)


0 votes

Physical set

Empoleon (female)
@life orb
likes to fight
Atk and Spd EV's

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, 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, makes for a pretty powerful empoleon.


Special set

Empoleon (female)
@wise glasses
Sp.atk and Spd EV's

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 Sp.def.

This set works well too, you might have a problem against fighting types however, but if trained properly, you could probably knock out the fighting Pokemon in a shot as most fighting Pokemon have atrocious Sp.def stats, so you should be fine.