Armaldo, The Plate Pokémon. It went ashore after evolving. Its entire body is clad in a sturdy armor.Its enormous, retractable claws can cut through most anything. Its entire body is clad in sturdy plates. Its tough armor makes all attacks bounce off. Its two enormous claws can be freely extended or contracted. They have the power to punch right through a steel slab. It usually lives on land. However, when it hunts for prey, it dives beneath the ocean. It swims around using its two large wings.
Poor Armaldo. It can Swords Dance, Rock Polish, Curse, Rain Dance sweep, Stealth Rock support and Rapid Spin. The problem is that every single one of those things is done better by another Pokemon. Its a shame because Armaldo is so cool looking, and its pre-evolution Anorith is based off the Anomalocaris which easily the most horrifying yet adorable form of ancient life ever (Google it!). Its stats are solid overall, except its pathetic speed. The problem mainly stems from Armaldo's terrible typing. Rock / Bug is one of the worst typing you could ever have... comparable to even Flying / Bug. It leaves Armaldo with just resistances to Normal and Poison, both rarely used offensive types. It is weak to Water, Rock and Steel, all common attacking types (well, not so much Steel). Armaldo's great Attack stat and solid movepool are completely ruined by the terrible typing, and that everything Armaldo does something else does better. To try and use Armaldo in standard is almost suicide but in the Neverused tier Armaldo has some uses. More because of a lack of better options there, however Armaldo is a passable offensive Rapid Spinner (its rival spinners are Delibird and Spinda... not much competition). It is also usable on Rain teams to help check Grass types with X-Scissor.
Battle Armor: Prevents Critical Hits. A great ability, though you won't ever know what its working.
- Swords Dance
We were at the beach, everybody had matching towels. Somebody went under a dock, and there they saw a rock. But it wasn't a rock... It was a rock lobster. There is one thing Armaldo does that nothing else in NU can hope to compare with. That is offensive Rapid Spinning. In the Neverused tier there are 16 Rapid Spinners and of them Armaldo is by far the most powerful, claiming a massive 30 base Attack more than the second place Rapid Spinner (which ironically enough is its pre-evolution form Anorith). What this means is that Armaldo is the only Rapid Spinner in the tier that can muscle through spin blockers like Misdreavous through sheer power alone. Speed EVs allow you to outrun 4-8 Speed Tangela so you can KO with X-Scissor while the Lum Berry lets you take on Sleep Powder, Will-o-Wisp and Toxic without fear. Max Attack so you can do as much damage as possible with the remaining EVs placed into HP to improve your bulk. Armaldo does not have the longevity to Rapid Spin more than a few times per game, especially with Stealth Rocks ripping 25% of its HP per switch in. Play this more like a wallbreaker that has the ability to use Rapid Spin as opposed to a long term defensive spinner. If Armaldo can Rapid Spin once, and KO even a single opposing Pokemon you should be happy as Armaldo did its job.
- Swords Dance / Rain Dance
Black and White gave Armaldo a gift in Swift Swim, allowing it to finally patch its terrible speed. The problem is that unlike most other Swift Swimmers Armaldo does not get STAB on its Water moves making it far less powerful than its competition. The good news is that unlike Gorebyss, Floatzel, and other Swift Swimmers Armaldo has STAB X-Scissor to eradicate opposing grass types... especially defensive Ludicolo whom is a horror to bring down with the Water and Ice moves most Swift Swimmers rely on. The goal here is to have something set up Rain Dance, then Swords Dance and sweep. Swift Swim doubles your speed in Rain and gives Aqua Tail a power boost. The Speed EVs here outpace Choice Scarf Braviary with the leftover EVs placed in Attack. Stone Edge at +2 with Life Orb is enough to OHKO even defensive Misdreavous after Stealth Rocks. X-Scissor can OHKO Tangela as well, which is no small feat. Aqua Tail rounds off the coverage, decimating the Fighting types that resist your STABs as well as taking out bulky Ground and Rock types like Golem, Probopass and Regirock.
It's so tough to make prawns based on Armaldo
- Stealth Rock
.. get it? prawns = puns...?.. ok, fine that was bad. While Armaldo's typing isn't particularly good for a Rapid Spinner (in fact, it's terrible) it does have decent defensive stats and a good support movepool. Stealth Rocks as always is a great move to use as the damage racks up extremely fast. Rapid Spin keeps the field clear of hazards although a lack of recovery and general weakness to hazards makes spinning a costly endeavor. Knock Off is a cool move to remove the opponent's item, which could be Misdreavous's Eviolite or a random sweeper's Life Orb. X-Scissor is the STAB of choice due to power and accuracy but Rock Slide is there for if you REALLY hate Flying, Bug and Fire types. Keep in mind Stealth Rocks will keep up the pressure on those types so usually X-Scissor should suffice. Speed EVs outruns the no speed base 50s like Vileplume, Lickilicky and Piloswine but you can just run 248 HP and put the rest in defense if you wish. HP EVs maximize bulk while giving you an odd HP number, to minimize the damage from Stealth Rock.
- Stone Edge
While Armaldo has bad speed, bad typing and a somewhat limited movepool it does have great typing for a Choice Band set. Choice Band Armaldo has so much power that not even defensive titans like Weezing, Torkoal, Tangela or Bastiodon are completely safe counters. Stone Edge from 125 base attack hits HARD, slamming most frail Pokemon into the ground in one shot. X-Scissor rounds off the STAB coverage with a more reliable, yet weaker Attack. Superpower hits all the Steel and Fighting types that take Armaldo's STAB moves hard, especially Probopass and Bastiodon. Aqua Tail crushes bulky Grounds like Golem in one blow although its uses are limited. It may be just be better to run Rapid Spin. Even with Choice Band Rapid Spin is very weak, but it could be used to get that much needed Rapid Spin if Spikes are wearing your team down. Max speed to outrun some of the slower walls like Weezing and Garbodor and KO them before they can retaliate.
Learn to share, don't be so shellfish
So here is something I would usually never recommend. Rest + Sleep Talk. Black / White changed sleep so if you switch out your sleep counter is reset... effectively meaning once you fell asleep you would probably never wake up as your opponent could keep forcing your sleeping Pokemon to switch out. Another issue with mono-attacker sets like this as they almost always end up Critical hit to death long before they can sweep anything. Armaldo is different due to its ability Battle Armor. This prevents Critical hits effectively meaning if you can not 3HKO Armaldo it will not faint any time soon. HP and Special Defense lets Armaldo laugh off weak Special hits like those from Tangela, Regice, Wartortle, Rotom, Vileplume and so on. Once Armaldo has a Curse or two no Physical attacks, including Stone Edge will be capable of breaking the Armor Pokemon's titanic defenses. Things such as Choice Scarf Sawk, Braviary and Swellow have little chance of countering this set. The main move options are between Rock Slide and X-Scissor. Rock Slide has great neutral coverage, at worst 1-2HKOing basically everything at +6. X-Scissor however has more PP, power, accuracy and lets you get through Tangela easier. Toxic Spike support is HIGHLY recommended as this lets you take out Tangela and Quagsire a lot easier.
Very little. Armaldo has a small movepool. Rock Blast, Claw Sharpen, Hidden Power, Bulldoze, Low Kick, Rock Polish and... Seismic Toss?
Double & Triple Battle Options
Armaldo is one of those Pokemon that gets less use than it deserves. With great offensive typing—only Steel- and Fighting-type Pokemon resist both STABs—and a base 125 Attack, Armaldo has the power to rip through unprepared teams. It also has a niche over other Bug-types thanks to access to Swift Swim via Dream World, which makes it a great physical attacker in the rain. Moreover, unlike other Swift Swim physical attackers, such as Kabutops and Qwilfish, Armaldo can take care of Pokemon such as Latios, Cresselia, Latias, and other Pokemon that tend to give rain teams trouble. It also has great defensive typing as well; with only three weaknesses and 75 / 100 / 80 defenses, it'll be on the field for a while. However, it isn't all raindrops and gumballs for Armaldo. With weaknesses to the common Water- and Rock-type attacks, the former even receiving a boost under rain, Armaldo will have problems executing its offensive role properly. To make matters worse, its low base 45 Speed makes it dead weight against other Swift Swim users such as Ludicolo and Kingdra. However, Armaldo isn't a Pokemon to be underestimated, as it has enough weapons in its arsenal to wreak havoc.
What is Armaldo even supposed to be anyway
By using its Dream World ability, Swift Swim, Armaldo becomes a powerful sweeper in the rain. X-Scissor is its main STAB, as it hits the numerous Psychic- and Dark-type Pokemon in the doubles metagame, such as Latios, Latias, Cresselia, Tyranitar, and Hydregion, for super effective damage. Rock Slide is another great STAB move for Armaldo, as it has great coverage alongside X-Scissor and gives Armaldo a spread move to use. However, Stone Edge can be used for more power, as it OHKOes 140/0 Zapdos, 252/140 Gyarados (if you avoid Intimidate), and 252/0 Togekiss, though it comes at the cost of accuracy. There are two options for the third moveslot; Earthquake is there for coverage against Steel-type Pokemon such as Metagross, Heatran, and Emploeon. However, Brick Break can be used to hit Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Tyranitar harder. Aqua Tail gets a boost from Rain and can be used to get a solid hit on many things in Rain. Finally, Protect is used so Armaldo can avoid damage from moves such as Fake Out and Bullet Punch, which gives its partner time to take out the threat or set up rain.
The EVs given in conjunction with a Jolly nature are used to outpace positive-natured Choice Scarfed Smeargle in the rain, as that is the main threat Armaldo needs to outpace. It also outpaces Choice Scarf Politoed, Metagross, and other fast Pokemon such as Aerodactyl and Jolteon, all of which outpace Armaldo if it runs an Adamant nature. In any case, Adamant isn't that bad of an idea, as it provides Armaldo with more power and lets it Speed tie with Weavile and Swellow. Life Orb is the primary item as it provides Armaldo with a significant power boost, especially with a Jolly nature being recommended.
Considering that Armaldo is using Swift Swim as its ability, Pokemon that can set up rain are a must for this set's success. As such, Politoed is a must, using Drizzle to activate Swift Swim without any setup whatsoever. Pokemon that can take care of Water-, Fighting-, and Steel-types also make good partners. Zapdos can take care of both Water- and Fighting-type Pokemon with its STABs, as well as using Tailwind to ensure that Armaldo will outspeed Pokemon such as Kingdra in the rain. Thundurus is another good choice; the only difference is that it uses Thunder Wave instead of Tailwind to ensure that Armaldo outspeeds its checks. Thundurus can also set up Rain Dance reliably thanks to Prankster. However, both Pokemon share a common Rock-type weakness with Armaldo. Ludicolo can not only use powerful Hydro Pumps and Surfs to take care of Steel- and Fighting-type Pokemon, but also Giga Drain to take care of Water-type Pokemon. Gastrodon makes a good partner as well, as Storm Drain will redirect Water-type attacks away from Armaldo, while Armaldo's X-Scissor can handle Grass-type foes. Gastrodon also can use Earth Power to deal damage to Steel-types. Finally, Amoonguss makes a great partner, drawing away Water-type attacks with Rage Powder while using Spore to prevent Trick Room from going up, which would cripple Armaldo.
I'm out of Armaldo puns. So sue me.
For some people, using Armaldo in rain is a dumb idea. However, there's an alternative to the fast sweeper set: a slower, bulkier Trick Room sweeper. Though the moves are similar to the rain sweeper, it uses Trick Room instead of rain in order to outspeed the opponent and attack. X-Scissor is Armaldo's strongest Bug-type STAB, working well when going for coverage against Pokemon such as Tyranitar, Latios, Latias, and the ever annoying Cresselia. The choice of Rock STAB is up to the user; Rock Slide gives Armaldo a spread attack, while Stone Edge should be used if you'd like OHKOs against Pokemon such as Zapdos and Togekiss. The third moveslot is based on what your team needs coverage on the most. Earthquake gives coverage against Steel-type Pokemon such as Metagross and Heatran, while Low Kick can nail Pokemon such as Tyranitar and Terrakion harder than Earthquake can. Finally, Protect is used to stall for a turn as Armaldo's ally sets up Trick Room or clears a threat.
The EVs listed are the typical EV spread for an Trick Room abuser. 252 HP EVs give maximum balanced bulk, while 252 Attack EVs are used to make it hit as hard as possible. To make sure Armaldo is as slow as possible, 0 Speed IVs and a Brave nature are used. Again, a Life Orb is recommended as it provides Armaldo with the power to blast through teams, though a Sitrus Berry can be used instead, as Armaldo's defenses are good enough to make use of the berry.
Trick Room users that have trouble against Tyranitar, such as Musharna and Cresselia, make great teammates as they can boost Armaldo's attacks with Helping Hand, while Armaldo takes care of those pesky Dark-type Pokemon that give them trouble. Like the Swift Swim set, Pokemon that can take care of Water-, Fighting-, and Steel-types make good partners. Eelektross takes care of Water-type Pokemon due to its STAB, has Acrobatics for Fighting-types, and can use Flamethrower against Steel-types. Breloom takes care of Steel- and Water-types due to its STABs, and has Spore as well, which can cripple an opposing Pokemon. Amoonguss makes a great partner, as it can draw away Water-type attacks with Rage Powder, or use Spore to cripple Pokemon that give Armaldo trouble.
Armaldo is more or less a self contained Pokemon. It supports the team with Rapid Spin, but shouldn't be put on teams that absolutely requires it as Armaldo isn't particularly good at it. It is very good at breaking through walls so it can be used on offensive teams that really hate dealing with Misdreavous and Tangela. The Curse set really needs Trick users and extremely strong Special Attackers removed before it can try to sweep. Pursuit Absol is effective at preying upon those Pokemon. You can also use Toxic Spikes to cripple the few Pokemon that can sort of counter Armaldo, like Alomomola.
The first Pokemon that comes to mind is Alomomola. It can sponge any hit Armaldo can manage and eventually KO back with Waterfall. It can recover all the damage off with Regenerator, or just directly with Wish. Quagsire is immune to Swords Dance boosts thanks to Unaware and tanks even Choice Band hits well. Regirock takes most of Armaldo's hits well, even surviving +2 Life Orb Aqua Tail in the rain. It can easily beat the ancient armor bug with Stone Edge. Gurdurr and Sawk both resist Armaldo's STABs, though Sawk is fairly frail. Revenge killing Armaldo is much easier. Any decently powered Special Attack will slay the bug. Samurott, Haunter, Exeggutor, Vileplume and so on all force Armaldo out but can't switch in safely. Be aware that many of these checks and counters are unable to stop the Curse set. The Curse set can be overpowered by slapping it with almost any super effective Special Water hit stronger than Wartortle's Scald. Trick also stops it permanently.
One Tough Fossil
Anorith can be surprisng good at supporting your team, which can make all the difference in a close match. Stealth Rock is always good for whittling down Flying-Type Pokemon, Bug-Type Pokemon, and Fire-Type Pokemon, such as Larvesta, Murkrow, and Ponyta. Rock Blast is a nice STAB move, that can break through Substitute which is especially helpful against Murkrow. Brick Break hits Steel-Types, like Pawniard, that normally Anorith could not touch. X-Scissor is another reliable STAB move that can hurt Snover more. Knock Off can really screw up opponents strategies, destroying Eviolites and Oran Berries. Rapid Spin provides well... Rapid Spin support, leaving your Pokemon unharmed by entry hazards when they come into battle. Anorith gets even better with the Sandstorm Special Defence boost, making it able to take reasonably strong Special Attacks. Attack and Speed EVs sets it apart from Dwebble as 75 base speed is very high in Little Cup. Eviolite helps tank hits but Focus Sash makes Anorith an effective lead. Swift Swim is a great ability on Rain teams, further setting it apart from Dwebble, but Battle Armor can keep annoying Sucker Punch critical hits away.
Takeo isn't good at making Armaldo puns
-Rock Polish / Swords Dance / Rain Dance
Anorith can be a deadly sweeper, when supported right. Rock Polish and Rain Dance both double your Speed, but Rain Dance can support other members of your team (only for a limited time though). Swords Dance is best if you already have Rain support, so you can have double Speed and Attack. X-Scissor is a reliable STAB move that has good power and accuracy. Rock Blast can hit through Substitutes and gets STAB, but Rock Slide has more reliable power and can flinch. Brick Break is good for coverage, hitting most Steel-Types for massive damage. Eviolite is the preferred item, but Life Orb makes you even more powerful, and Damp Rock makes your Rain Dance last longer. Adamant nature is preferred, since at +2 Speed, Anorith out-speeds the entirety of Little Cup, even Adamant speed-ties with Drilbur in Sandstorm, and Jolly outright out-speeds it.
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Black 2/White 2:
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