Rampardos, The Headbutt Pokémon. If two were to smash their heads together, their foot-thick skulls would keep them from fainting. Its skull withstands impacts of any magnitude. As a result, its brain never gets the chance to grow. Its skull is as hard as iron. It is a brute that tears down jungle trees while catching prey. Its powerful head butt has enough power to shatter even the most durable things upon impact.
When 4th gen was announced and Pokémon were leaked, Rampardos was pretty much the most feared Pokémon, and for good reason. It has the second highest Attack stat in the game, beaten only by Deoxys-Attack forme. 165 Attack is insane, and it has the moves to use it. It also has a great ability for a physical sweeper; Mold Breaker. It stops stuff like Levitate Bronzong from walling you. It also has two great boosting moves; Rock Polish doubles its Speed, Swords Dance doubles its Attack (like it needs it). People were calling uber before the games came out, and once they did... people realised it was all hype. Sure, it hits like a truck, but it has insanely low defences and awful Speed. It is the definition of glass cannon, but a really, really slow glass cannon. Sure, it has Rock Polish, but then remember it is also weak to Mach Punch, Aqua Jet, Vacuum Wave, and Bullet Punch. On top of its awful defences, this is disgustingly crippling. If Rampardos doesn't land a KO, it will die that same turn. Going from one of the most feared to one of the most underwhelming Pokémon in the game, Rampardos is forever banished to the lower tiers.
Mold Breaker: stops abilitiies from stopping your attacks. Levitate, Sturdy, that kind of thing. Really great ability, limits your counters.
- Head Smash / Stone Edge
Head Smash exists purely to ruin existence. 165 base Attack, boosted by Choice Band, STAB, and a 150 base power Attack equals destroying the world. However, the recoil from Head Smash will likely kill you in two or three turns. Stone Edge is the safer alternative, and although it is way weaker, you won't kill yourself with recoil. Earthquake is one of the best physical attacks in the game, and Mold Breaker stops any Levitate using Pokémon from switching in safely. Fire Punch is mostly there for Ferrothorn, but it stops common switch ins as well as Ferrothorn. Pursuit can catch a switch out and hit them hard.
- Rock Polish
Rock Polish brings your Speed up to 472. This is a huge improvement to its former dire Speed. Head Smash crushes any mortal being. Stone Edge hits hard, but not as hard. Earthquake is great, hits the Steels that resist your Rock STAB. Fire Punch ruins Ferrothorn, and Ice Beam, although using your dire Special Attack stat, it breaks Gliscor down in one hit, who would otherwise be a key counter.
Swords Dance Rampardos
- Swords Dance
Hit even harder than normal, thanks to having doubled Attack with Swords Dance. Head Smash with doubled Attack with destroy anything, and even if they resist, it will deal stupid damage. Stone Edge is no recoil, less power, but with +2 Attack it will be ruining stuff regardless. Earthquake is amazing etc. Fire Punch beats Ferrothorn down.
EVs & Natures
Crunch, Fire Blast, Hammer Arm, Stealth Rock, ThunderPunch, Zen Headbutt
Double & Triple Battle Options
Oh God, don't even bother. Weak to Earthquake, weak to Surf, no Speed, awful defences, there's not a chance Rampardos could work in doubles or triples. Seriously, trying is futile.
Partners... well, you need to get rid of any priority moves. Magnezone can remove Scizor from play, which is a huge plus. The most common users of Mach Punch are Breloom and Conkeldurr, so Gliscor can stop them dead, as can Skarmory as long as you avoid Spore. Vacuum Wave is limited to pretty much just Infernape and Lucario, so something like Starmie would do well. Aqua Jet... Keldeo, Azumarill, and not much else. Ferrothorn, Jellicent, whatever stops Water attacks. Running a bulky Water or bulky Grass is a good idea to remove any bulky Grounds in your way.
Switching into Rampardos is hard, but not impossible. Bulky Ground like Donphan, Hippowdon, and Swampert are great choices as they resist Rock and aren't hit too hard by other moves. Same with bulky Fighting types; Machamp, Conkeldurr, Breloom I guess, they can take a Rock move and OHKO Rampardos back. Lucario get a special mention as it 4x resists Rock. Ferrothorn can switch into anything except for Fire Punch. Gliscor outspeeds and OHKOs, but I'm pretty sure it s OHKOed by Choice Band Head Smash. Obviously, priority moves ruin Rampardos. Scizor, Conkeldurr, Hitmontop, Azumarill, Feraligatr, there's a fair few who can take him out regardless of what tier. Anythhing like Quagsire, any bulyk Pokémon like that does well. Bronzong gets a mention as it resists Rock and Ground, but be careful of Mold Breaker. Inititally Rampardos was terrifying, and it was soon realised to be just another glass cannon, but not even a good one. Sure, it might hit hard once, but that's about it. Stick to the lower tiers and it'll do... better than if it was in OU. Give it a try, you might like it more than me.
Cranidos has 125 Attack. This is incredible for a first stage Pokémon. Because Rampardos is already stuck in the lower tiers, Cranidos won't be seen there. However, it does have a place in Little Cup, being one of the strongest first stage Pokémon in existence. It runs the same sets as Rampados, but just at level 5.
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