Substitute Surf / Muddy Water Ice Beam Hidden Power Fighting
240 HP / 200 Sp Def / 68 Spd
Passable defenses, access to a x2 Special Attack boost from Deepseatooth, as well as Battle Armor preventing critical hits, makes Clamperl a very capable Pokemon if played correctly. Sub on a switch to prevent status effects and powerful physical attacks that can ruin Clamperl, then sweep with boosted Sp Atk from the Deepseatooth. Hidden Power Fighting hits Chansey, Sneasel, Vigoroth, Magneton and Porygon2 for super-effective hits, and can put a good dent in Porygon2 despite its decent bulk, although it should be noted that Clamperl cannot hit Chansey very hard, even with Hidden Power Fighting and DeepSeaTooth. Muddy Water is a nice alternative to Surf, as it gives you a 30% chance of an accuracy drop, if, of course, you don't mind the 15% accuracy drop from Surf. It should be noted that this set is Uber, and cannot be used in standard play.
68 Spd EVs allow Clamperl to outspeed Neutral-natured, 0 Spd Rhydon, and KO with Muddy Water or Surf, while the Special Defense investment helps with sponging Electric attacks from Pikachu, Magneton and Porygon2. With DeepSeaTooth, Clamperl's Special Attack is already high enough to OHKO or 2HKO most threats with the appropriate attack, so defenses are implemented to survive the 2HKO revenge turn, not to mention that Clamperl is already slow enough (only outspeeds 0 Speed Dusclops and Wynaut in Ubers), so it will most likely be taking a hit before it can retaliate with its boosted Special attacks.
Substitute Surf Ice Beam Hidden Power Ground / Hidden Power Electric
252 HP / 52 Def / 136 Sp Atk / 68 Spd
A more defensive set that takes advantage of DeepSeaScale to skyrocket Clamperl's Special Defense to 320 with no EV investment. Ice Beam, Surf and Hidden Power Ground hit almost all OU NFEs for super-effective damage, bar Bronzor with Levitate, any Water-type (thus the option of Hidden Power Electric, which 2HKOs the standard Poliwhirl, Croconaw and Seadra), Marshtomp and Sneasel.
68 Speed ensures that Clamperl always outspeeds a neutral-natured, 0 Speed Rhydon for a KO with Surf. 136 Special Attack ensures that said Rhydon is KO'ed, while Sneasel is always 2HKOed with Stealth Rock in play. Any Gligar who doesn't invest extremely heavily in Special Defense, or who doesn't possess a Yache Berry is OHKOed with Ice Beam after Stealth Rock damage, as well.
Clamperl works well both as a sweeper, and a wall. However, Clamperl gets no reliable recovery, so a Wisher, most soundly Chansey, can compliment Clamperl's defenses if pulled off, the latter usually being the better option, due to being able to take most Thunderbolts that are aimed at Clamperl, giving an opportunity to switch-out easily. In OU, Togetic works in the same way if one isn't using the DeepSeaTooth variation. Clamperl also works very well in Trick Room teams because of its very low Speed, but be sure to have a negative Speed Nature on Clamperl if you intend to do this. Otherwise, Dusclops may outspeed it, who usually sits at a Speed of 86 with no Speed investment. In general, bulky Grass-types synergize well with Clamperl because of its Water element, the most notable being Bayleef (who can set up Light Screen and Reflect to aid Clamperl even more in its defenses, making the DeepSeaTooth set more threatening), and Tangela. Tangela utilizing Stun Spore also immensely helps Clamperl out if Trick Room isn't a team's main goal, as Clamperl's Speed is its biggest flaw.
The DeepSeaTooth set almost completely relies on Trick Room, as Clamperl can only manage a 2HKO on most attacks aimed at it, even with defensive EV investment. Bronzor is one of the most potent Trick Room users thanks to its very low Speed, high defenses and multiple resistances. Baltoy could also work holding because of its immunity to Electric attacks and weakness to Water and Ice attacks that Clamperl can switch into, but only has mediocre defenses, and shares a Grass weakness with Clamperl.
Chansey makes an excellent counter. Even DeepSeaTooth Hidden Power Fighting fails to scare it, while it can hit back with Thunderbolts, and heal away Hidden Power with Softboiled. Munchlax also takes manageable damage from Hidden Power Fighting and Surf with DeepSeaTooth, and can chip away at Clamperl with Body Slam while recovering away residual damage from Clamperl's attacks. Pikachu can OHKO any Clamperl who doesn't invest heavily in Sp Def (assuming it's holding a DeepSeaScale) with Thunderbolt if it holds a Light Ball. Magneton can also use Thunderbolt for a guaranteed OHKO to any variant of Clamperl with DeepSeaScale, even with absolutely no Special Attack investment. Exeggcute only fears Ice Beam, and can hit Clamperl with Energy Ball or Leaf Storm for critical damage.
In OU, Haunter is a considerable foe, especially one who carries Taunt. Clamperl with a DeepSeaScale can only manage a 2HKO on it, while Haunter slams it with a Thunderbolt that will always 2HKO. Unless Trick Room is up, Haunter can always outspeed the next turn, and KO Clamperl. Electabuzz only fears Hidden Power Ground, and can slam Clamperl with a STAB Thunderbolt or Thunderpunch.
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