Hippowdon, The Heavyweight Pokémon. It blasts internally stored sand from ports on its body to create a towering twister for attack. Its huge mouth is almost seven feet across. It has enough power to completely crush a car.
Hippowdon is one of the more popular additions this generation. A combination of great HP, great Defence and Slack Off makes it one of the top choice physical walls. Even the strongest Choice Band Pokémon using their most effective attacks will only scrape a 2KO against a healthy Hippowdon.
Aside from its physical walling qualities, Hippowdon is also one of two fully evolved Pokémon who can set off Sand Stream. This alone gives it value to Sandstorm teams, as well as any team that can comfortably accommodate a continuous Sandstorm.
Sand Stream: summons a continuous Sandstorm once Hippowdon enters play. Sandstorm can be either a benefit or a hindrance for Hippowdon's team, but it'll obviously be a huge factor when it comes to constructing a team. Any team using Hippowdon will have to account for the fact that, most of the time, each Pokémon that isn't immune to Sandstorm will be losing 1/16th HP per turn.
This move-set is generally recognised as the standard. STAB Earthquakes can deal out pretty respectable damage, working off of its adequate Attack stat. Ice Fang gets some nice coverage on Flying types, particularly Salamence and Gliscor. Additional coverage on Grass types and Garchomp is a useful bonus.
The choice between Stealth Rock and Roar is really up to preference and what's already provided by its team.
Hippowdon is up there with the best when it comes to setting up Stealth Rock, and with the additional damage provided from Sandstorm, Hippowdon can provide a lot of passive damage. Of course, with Stealth Rock being so widely spread, it may be unnecessary to have Hippowdon be the provider of it.
Roar can pseudo-haze away stat-boosting opponents and pick up some passive damage from Stealth Rock and Spikes. The ability to pseudo-haze is the main reason to choose it, and with its great defensive stats, it can viably stand up to physically-inclined stat-boosting opponents.
Curse is a move that isn't often seen, and for understandable reasons. Curse may be able to turn Hippowdon into a near-impenetrable physical fortress, but it will remain just as exposed to special-attacking opposition. The move-set has some possibilities, but Curse needs to be used with a significant amount of care to be executed to its full potential.
Aside from the use of Curse, the move-set is essentially the same as the standard. Earthquake and Ice Fang both benefit nicely from Curse boosts, and Slack Off continues to provide Hippowdon with reliable HP recovery.
EVs and Nature:
Max Defence and Max HP with an Impish nature tends to be preferable to keep the damage taken from Choice Band hits down to a minimum. Ideally, the damage would be kept down to around about the 40% range, giving Hippowdon enough leeway to heal off the damage with Slack Off and eventually set itself in a position to fire back with its own attacks. Special Defence is worth some consideration, just to tame some of the less significant special damage Hippowdon may receive (weak Ice Beams, Hidden Powers and so forth).
The Curse move-set can use the standard EV spread, so that Hippowdon would be able to handle physical attackers just as effectively as the standard set would prior to Curse boosts. After Curse boosts however, Defence EVs are rather expendable and so a sizable boost to its Special Defence can be quite valuable.
Stone Edge, Thunder Fang, Crunch, Toxic, Yawn.
Stone Edge provides a viable alternative to Ice Fang for Flying coverage. Against most Flying types, it's more powerful, and the critical-hit ratio is a handy bonus. Weaker accuracy and poor PP are the main downfalls of the move.
Thunder Fang is also an alternative to Ice Fang for Flying types. The main reason to use it is for the 4x coverage against Gyarados.
Crunch is more effective than Ice Fang against some levitators, such as Cresselia, Gengar and Azelf.
Toxic causes increasing passive damage. Along with Sandstorm, Hippowdon can chip away a notable amount of HP over short spaces of time.
Yawn is a pseudo-hazing alternative to Roar. Unlike Roar, it leaves the switch in its opponents hand, as opposed to randomly dragging out an opposing Pokémon. The downside of this is it can leave your opponent at an advantage, although as a benefit, the opponent's switching choice can be predicted. Yawn is blocked by Substitute, Safeguard, sleep-immune abilities, Sleep clause and other statuses, however it is more effective than Roar against Ingrain, Suction Cups and Soundproof and ignores evasion modifiers.
Despite possessing respectable offensive capabilities, it isn't the most fearsome attacker, especially when Earthquake is taken out of the equation. With that in mind, most special attackers with moderate defensive capabilities (or useful resistances and/or immunities) can manage against Hippowdon.
With a suitable investment in its Special Attack, Cresselia can 2KO it with Ice Beam. Despite their weak defences, Azelf and Gengar won't be phased by Ice Fang damage, and present 2KO threats with Grass Knot and Energy Ball respectively. Despite an Ice Fang weakness, Celebi can cope with it comfortably and wipe it out with STAB Energy Ball. The same can be said for a lot of Grass types with respectable defensive stats (such as Tangrowth, Shaymin and Meganium, with special mentions going to Abomasnow and Ludicolo, who aren't weak to Ice Fang).
If Hippowdon lacks Thunder Fang or Stone Edge, then Gyarados can comfortably Dragon Dance against it, Taunting any attempts to Roar it.
Weezing won't be KOing it, but it can comfortably shutdown its offensive capabilities with Will-o-Wisp. The same can be said for Dusknoir (although Earthquake will hurt it a lot more than Ice Fang would hurt Weezing). Bronzong is resistant to everything it has (barring Fire Fang) and can put it to sleep with Hypnosis, or even 2KO it with Grass Knot.
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