~“What’s up, Duck?”~
Welcome to article #000 of the Saturday/Sunday Strategy Section. This is an article that aims to provide the members of PE2K with information about certain species of Pokemon in generations IV and V, including name origin and competitive values. Considering this is the first article, what better Pokemon to choose than the site’s mascot’s evolutionary form? Yes, I am talking about the quirky duck/platypus hybrid, Golduck.
Warning! This article contains traces of B/W information, and as such contains spoilers.
As I’m sure many of you are all aware, Golduck was introduced in Generation I, the Kanto era. It is a Water type Pokemon who is often mistaken to be of the Psychic type due to its psychic abilities. It is classified as the ‘Duck Pokemon’ in the Pokedex, and is #55 in the National and Kanto Pokedex. Its natural abilities are Cloud Nine and Damp, the former of which is naturally unique to this Pokemon and its pre-evolution form. It can obtain the ability Swift Swim from the Dream World, however.
It’s most recent Pokedex Entry states:
“It is seen swimming dynamically and elegantly using its well-developed limbs and flippers.”
So, where can I find a Golduck?
Golduck are commonly found in marshy areas. They are extremely common in Sinnoh, where they can be found in twenty-two different locations! If you want to find a particularly high-leveled Golduck: head on over to the Resort Area with your Net or Dive balls, where they can be found at levels 40-55 in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and at levels 35-55 in Pokemon Platinum.
Golduck are uncommon in Johto. They can only be found in Route 6, Route 35, Ilex Forest (surfing on the little pond towards the exit) and Mount Silver. Golducks obtained at Mount Silver can range from levels 48 to 51 in both HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Golduck can be found in Isshu, too! They are obtainable after you have received the National Pokedex, in Route 11, Route 14 and the Village Bridge. If you decide to take a trek in the Village Bridge’s double battle grass, you can find a Golduck ranging from levels 57 to 59.
Of course, you could always capture a Psyduck and level it up to level 33 too. This would be a good idea if you want to use a Psyduck early in the game and then use a Golduck late game.
Why would you want to catch a Golduck? Simple. It is a reliable Water type, donning powerful special attacks and a fairly decent bulk for an in-game adventure. It also has access to five of the HMs in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, six in HeartGold/SoulSilver and four in Black/White (there are only six total HMs in Black/White, mind you)!
As mentioned earlier, Golduck is a decent Pokemon to use in-game. For example, Psyduck can be caught early on in your Sinnoh adventures and provide an advantage against Roark. Golduck is also an extremely good HM slave. Golduck is an extremely versatile Pokemon, and can fill almost any role your in-game team needs.
Everyone’s favorite moveset returns! Why brutally bad-mouth a Bibarel when you can enslave a Golduck! The first slot is dependent on which game you use. If you are playing Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, Dive and Whirpool are excluded, so you should use Rock Smash. Whirlpool only sees use in HeartGold/SoulSilver, and Dive makes a return in Black/White.
The other moves are the main moves that you’ll need to use throughout the game. Surf is arguably the best HM in the game, and provides good use of Golduck’s STAB and high Special Attack. Waterfall is similar, and could be better for your Golduck if it has an Attack boosting nature and is particularly useful in Johto. Strength helps you move all those big boulders around. Hmm!
Calm Mind/Hidden Power
A standard set for a Golduck. Surf and Hydro Pump provide STAB for Golduck. It’s accuracy vs. power for which of these moves you should use. If you want an accurate move AND a HM user, pick Surf. Hydro Pump provides more raw power, and could be more useful provided you have a Pokemon that already knows Surf on your team. Confusion is a decent move for the early game, but if you have the TM and are willing to use it, Psychic is a much better option. Ice Beam and Blizzard are nice Ice moves. Which one you pick is down to the same situation as Surf/Hydro Pump, however.
The last slot is entirely down to preference. Calm Mind allows Golduck to take special hits better and dish them out more powerfully, whereas Hidden Power can provide more coverage, depending on its IVs. Unfortunately, most of these are TMs, which are perishable in the 4th generation games. Have no fear in the 5th generation games, however, as TMs do not break after use. The only problem then is where to find them, and I’ll leave that to your own searches. This moveset is best used when Golduck does not have a Special Attack hindering nature or when Golduck does not have an Attack boosting nature. If it has either of these natures, move onto the next moveset.
Claw Sharpen/Brick Break/Aerial Ace/Shadow Claw/Rock Smash
Believe it or not, Golduck can ditch his special abilities and have fun whacking opponents around physically. Waterfall is a decent physical Water move that provides STAB, out-of-battle use and has a 30% flinch rate. Zen Headbutt is the Psychic parallel to Waterfall, except it lacks STAB and out-of-battle use and has a lower accuracy and flinch rate.
You can use any combination of the other listed moves, dependant on the generation you are playing. Claw Sharpen is an interesting move that raises Attack and Accuracy one stage, but it is only available to those playing Black/White. Rock Smash is a HM in the 4th generation games, but not in the 5th generation, so bear that in mind when deciding whether or not you should use it. Brick Break smacks around the Normal and Steel types that may give you trouble, Aerial Ace slices the Grass types that wish to oppose you, and Shadow Claw rips apart Ghost and Psychic types. Use whichever move that counters the type giving you the most trouble.
Featured Competitive Strategy
Golduck is a lower-tier Pokemon when it comes to battle competitively, even though it has one of the most well rounded stat distributions in the game. This could potentially be due to the fact that it can’t do anything impressively well. However, don’t let that deter you from using Golduck, as it has several movesets it can run. Bear in mind, I will focus mainly on 4th generation competitive battling for the time being. It’s the generation I have the most experience in, as well as the generation that most people are familiar with. Feel free to try these out in the 5th generation, however.
Calm Mind Golduck
Item: Life Orb
Ability: Cloud Nine
EVs: 4 HP / 252 SPA / 252 SPE
Surf / Hydro Pump
Hidden Power Grass
Golduck may be commonly seen as a bulky Pokemon with many support options, but it also makes a pretty good sweeper too. It has all the things a sweeper could want: a decent speed, nice offensive stats and a set-up move.
Golduck has access to Calm Mind, which will quickly raise its Special Attack and Special Defense. After a Calm Mind, this Golduck will be firing off attacks at a maximum of 433 Special Attack, if you have 31 IVs in Special Attack, of course. With a maximum 295 Speed, Golduck can then proceed to sweep.
Surf and Hydro Pump provide a lot of power and STAB, but power vs. accuracy comes into play once again. Ice Beam and Hidden Power Grass is a very good combo, allowing Golduck to hit every Pokemon in the UU metagame for neutral damage, with the exclusion of Shedinja. Shedinja is quickly taken out with Stealth Rocks, however.
Speaking of which, entry hazard support is appreciated by Golduck. Both Omastar and Donphan can accomplish this. Donphan is recommended, as it provides an Electric immunity for Golduck and can spin away opposing entry hazards, which will dampen (pardon the pun) Golduck’s sweeping experience.
If you wish to run Choice Specs on this set instead of Life Orb, you can do so. Just replace Calm Mind with Psychic or Mud Bomb. Hidden Power Electric can then also be used, which is useful in taking out Mantine if it threatens your UU team.
Now, I love competitive Pokemon, but I’ve always had a thing for trying out new and quirky things. I’ll provide you with an interesting set that I’ll make up here and now. Who knows, maybe it could work for you!
Attractively Forgetful GRARGH Duck
Ability: Damp / Cloud Nine
EVs: 252 HP / 4 DEF / 252 SPA
Charm / Amnesia
Surf / Ice Beam
Have you ever seen a duck that was so attractive it was painfully confusing? Nope, neither have I. But you will once you use this Golduck set! Charm and Amnesia help increase Golduck’s bulk, the former of which could lead to some switches. Due to this, entry hazards are essential, with Donphan and Omastar being the prime contenders once again. Wish support would also be nice to heal your duck and use again and again. Flareon would be a good Wish user to counter Golduck’s Grass weakness.
Your choice in attacking move comes down to either Surf or Ice Beam. The former provides STAB, but the latter provides coverage and a 10% freeze rate, which would be hilarious in a set like this, so is the preferred option. After you have used Charm or Amnesia one or two times, feel free to spam whatever comes your way with Confuse Ray and Attract. Hey, you may be relying on luck, but you’ll be lapping up the satisfaction you’ll receive when your opponent is ripping their hair out due to frustration. Your opponent will have a mere 25% chance to attack with both confusion and attraction in play. You can lower this chance even further if you paralyse the Pokemon beforehand. Of course, extreme luck and support is needed to utilise this set fully, so bear that in mind if and when you use this moveset.
Fans commonly argue that Golduck is one of two things: either a duck or a platypus. What do you think? Duck? Platypus? Both? Send us your answer in the SSS discussion thread.
Golduck’s named may be derived from the term ‘duck’, a bird that is common around the word, and the word ‘gold’, a word that describes a colour and a valuable metal. Of course, the ‘gol’ in Golduck could also be a corruption of the word ‘goal’. If joking of course, but who knows, Golduck may score a few goals for you if you use one on your team!
Sadly, the article ends here. Thank you and congratulations for making it this far. This was longer than I expected. As for me, I’m off to go train a Golduck. Until next time, cheerio!