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[Skeleton] Steelix

Discussion in 'NU Analyses' started by Spoovo The Pirate, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. Spoovo The Pirate

    Spoovo The Pirate Meep! Article Contributor Article Contributor

    Sep 29, 2012
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    == General ==

    *Incredible overall bulk when Mega'd; 75/230/95, making for a very efficient tank.
    *Impressive base 125 Attack too, meaning it won't be walled by much either. Steel/Ground typing is near unique, and has many useful resistances, including Electric immunity and 4x Rock resist.
    *Good attacking movepool, great supporting options, there's little Steelix can't do for a team.
    *No good abilities though. Its standard abilities are all redundant because mega evolution, and Sand Force is only useful with a sandstorm. That means employing a Hippowdon if you want to make use of it, which means two Ground-types on the team.

    == Bulky offensive ==

    Steelix @ Steelixite
    Ability: Sturdy -> Sand Force
    EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def
    Adamant / Brave nature
    IVs: 0 Speed (If Brave)

    -Heavy Slam / Gyro Ball
    -Stealth Rock
    -Roar / Dragon Tail / Toxic

    *Steelix's amazing natural bulk and frightening base 125 Attack just begs for a tanking set.
    *With the current spread, Mega Steelix sits at 354 HP, 383 Attack, 497 Defence and 226 Special Defence, which is damn impressive for something without any boosts.
    *Earthquake is the first listed attack on this set, being the Steelix go to move since its inception back in Gen 2.
    *Slot 2 has two Steel STABs to dither over. Heavy Slam makes good use of Steelix's ridiculous 740 kg weight, while Gyro Ball takes advantage of its awful base 30 Speed stat. Which STAB works better for you would likely be a product of rigorous testing, however if you're using Gyro Ball, you want the Brave nature with 0 Speed IVs to make the most of the attack. Heavy Slam tends to be the more reliable option, however for niche targets such as Virizion, Gyro Ball will hit a lot harder, due to Virizion's high Speed stat and reasonable weight.

    *Stealth Rock in slot 3 is basically a staple, and Steelix is a brilliant user of the move, with its brilliant offensive presence and phenomenal bulk. More often than not, Steelix can find itself scaring something off (what wouldn't be? The damn thing's terrifying), so it can use that free turn to throw out some levitating rocks.
    *Slot 4 has a few utility options to go with the set. Roar in slot 4 stops setup sweepers in their tracks, while Dragon Tail does the same thing, but with damage as well. It doesn't get past Fairies or Substitutes however, while Roar does, so both have their reasons to be used over the other. Lastly, Toxic's just there to break down opposing walls. Other coverage moves such as Stone Edge or Crunch are also perfectly viable here, it's worth noting.
    *Sturdy is chosen as the starting ability because it's the least useless of the three. Should Steelix mispredict and switch into a move that would otherwise kill it, Sturdy will prevent that from happening. Steelix will likely be dead weight afterwards, but that's better than getting OHKOed, because at least it'll waste 2 of the opponent's PP instead of 1. That's about the only use Sturdy would have, however.

    == ResTalk ==

    Steelix @ Steelixite
    Ability: Sturdy -> Sand Force
    EVs: 252 HP / 16 Def / 240 SDef
    Impish / Relaxed nature
    IVs: (0 Speed if Relaxed)

    -Sleep Talk
    -Heavy Slam / Gyro Ball / Dragon Tail

    *Mega Steelix's wonderful bulk allows it to run a ResTalking set efficiently, sponging hits from just about anything, and simply Resting up when needed. Sleep Talk stops it from becoming dead weight on the team, and you simply rinse and repeat.
    *Steelix's 354 / 550 / 284 bulk will keep it alive through some serious punishment, and Rest and Sleep Talk are staples of the set, being, well... the set.
    *Earthquake is just about non-negotiable, being Steelix's main attack.
    *The Steel STABs are also good choices for attacks, as they have reasonable coverage alongside Earthquake and hit damn hard. The reasoning for which STAB is the same as last time, depending on the target. If neither Steel STAB appeals, Dragon Tail is a fun option that can allow Steelix to phase things while sleeping. It'll even cancel out the negative priority when Sleep Talk selects it, meaning slower targets like Shuckle or Mega Camerupt can get phased before they even get chance to attack.
    *The EVs are configured for maximal overall bulk. 16 Defence hits a jump point with the given nature(s), while the HP is maxed out, and the rest are poured into Special Defence to make the biggest difference. Use a Relaxed nature with 0 Speed IVs if you're running Gyro Ball in slot 4, otherwise simply go Impish.

    == Other Options ==

    *Offensive Mega Steelix can easily run a 4 attacks set, having access to the elemental fangs, Aqua Tail, and the aforementioned Stone Edge and Crunch on top of what's already listed. Explosion results in a loss of Steelix, but hits damn hard, while alternate STAB options include its signature Iron Tail, and Iron Head. Neither of these are recommended over Heavy Slam or Gyro Ball, in spite of their reliable base power. Rock Blast is about the only other attack worth mentioning in Steelix's movepool.

    *Sunny Day and Sandstorm are weather effects that Steelix can set up. The former removes its Water weakness temporarily and works well alongside Fire- and Grass-types with Chlorophyll, while the latter powers up Mega Steelix's own moves in conjunction with Sand Force.

    *Mega Steelix can use Curse fairly well, which improves its Gyro Ball substantially, and also bolsters its Attack and Defence stats. Its lack of reliable recovery prevents the set from working too well however, unless you run a mono attacking set with Rest, Sleep Talk, Curse and Gyro Ball or Earthquake.

    *It's rarely worth running Steelix without its Steelixite, as not only does it help the pokemon sponge Knock Offs, but there's very little that normal Steelix has over its mega evolution, sans being able to hold the Leftovers. The loss of bulk makes this more or less redundant however.

    *Lastly, Steelix gets Taunt. It probably won't come in useful, but it's at least worth mentioning.

    == Checks and Counters ==

    *Physical walls like Weezing are the initial choices for stopping Mega Steelix. Weezing's impressive physical bulk means that it can take anything Steelix can throw with relative ease, and cripple it with Will-o-Wisp. Once Mega Steelix is burned and useless, Weezing can steal its HP back with Pain Split, and wear Mega Steelix down with Flamethrowers. It's worth noting that ResTalk Mega Steelix doesn't care about status, but often can't do much to Weezing in return, so Weezing almost always comes out on top.

    *The likes of Pelipper and Mantine also do very well against Mega Steelix, resisting all of its common attacks and firing back super effective STAB Scalds. Both must watch out for unexpected Stone Edges, but if they can burn Steelix with Scald beforehand, even those aren't scary. Pelipper also has ready access to Roost as well, meaning it can simply outlast Mega Steelix's Stone Edges. The same half applies to the likes of Jellicent, Seismitoad and Quagsire, who can all take a Steel STAB without problem, and have Scalds to cripple Mega Steelix with, however none of them like Earthquakes very much.

    *Rotom-C is a surprisingly good answer, being immune to one STAB, resistant to the other, and able to burn Mega Steelix with Will-o-Wisp. Much like Weezing, Rotom-C is able to wear Mega Steelix down over time, however Rotom-C lacks a reliable move to actually damage Mega Steelix outside of Hidden Power, which seriously hampers things. The same more or less applies to Rotom-S and standard Rotom, however the latter is far less bulky than its appliance brethren, and won't take Gyro Ball or Heavy Slam nearly as well.

    *Other physical walls like Tangela and Dusclops are both good for tanking Mega Steelix's attacks, and both can cripple Steelix in some way, be it Leech Seed and Sleep Powder or Will-o-Wisp (respectively). Both can also wear Mega Steelix down with their attacks too, however both will struggle against ResTalking sets.

    ... how's this looking? I did consider a hybrid set, using set 1's moves and set 2's EV spread. Thoughts?