|Aspertia City (Surfing)||5 Badges|
Dat Basculin! First of all, let me say that Basculin is available in two colors: Red and Blue. They have slightly different appearances, sure, but they also may have different abilities. Red-striped Basculin has Reckless or Adaptability, while Blue-striped Basculin has Rock Head or the aforementioned Adaptability. Adaptability is definitely the preferred ability either way, since it raises the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) from 1.5x to 2.0x, meaning its Water-type attacks get pretty strong. It's effectively a permanent 33% bonus for its Water-type attacks. Its stats are kind of eh. It has good Speed and pretty good Attack, but rather underwhelming everything else.
It gets Aqua Jet at level 13, which is like a Water-type Quick Attack. I'd mention Bite at level 10, but it gets Crunch at level 24 to replace it, and that's pretty nice. Aqua Tail at level 28 is its best attack and should hit hard, particularly if you have Adaptability. Its 90% accuracy is kind of unfortunate, though. Soak at level 32 is an odd move that turns the foe into a Water-type, overriding whatever types it originally had. The can be inconvenient for Basculin on its own, but works great in combos, plus it also removes the foe's STAB, thus reducing their damage. It gets Double-Edge at level 36, which will do more damage with the Red-striped Basculin's Reckless ability or forego any recoil damage with the Blue-striped Basculin's Rock Head ability. The rest of its moves aren't really all that worthwhile in the big picture.
As for TM moves, it is very, very limited. It learns Surf and Waterfall for HM moves, but Aqua Tail is definitely preferred over Surf (it's a toss-up with Waterfall). Sure, it gets Ice Beam, but it won't hit as hard as it could. I'd still recommend it, though, just to have something else to attack with. Rain Dance boosts its power even more, which is always welcome. And there's always... Return. Move Tutor moves that may be worth investing into are Bounce for a mere 4 Red Shards in Driftveil, which works kind of like a weaker Fly, but has a chance of paralyzing the foe. Zen Headbutt for 8 Blue Shards and Superpower for an expensive 10 Blue Shards, both in Lentimas Town, are funny options, but you can spend your Shards on better things, trust me.
I really can't recommend Basculin. It doesn't have anything that great going for it. It hits kind of hard with its Water-type attacks, but that's only going to take it so far. Simipour is a much, much better option, while even Floatzel can easily outclass it. Both of these Pokemon are Water-type, have higher Attack and Speed, and have a much better movepool.