Donphan, The Armor Pokémon. It has sharp, hard tusks and a rugged hide. Its Tackle is strong enough to knock down a house. The longer and bigger its tusks, the higher its rank in its herd. The tusks take long to grow, It attacks by curling up, then rolling into its foe. It can blow apart a house in one hit.
Donphan has always felt like an awesome Pokémon to me. Ever since it just had a random appearance in the first movie, it has just screamed awesome. It is a shame, however, that it doesn't quite live up to the expectations brought by the way it appeared. That doesn't mean that it is useless, though, as it has quite a lot going for it and can sit comfortably among many other Pokémon, but really you can find better ones to do the tasks that Donphan can do. It is a purely phyiscally focused Pokémon, but you can easily find others with similar stats but better special stats to allow for it to survive better. Despite that, its physical stats are stunning and it has an amazing movepool to support it.
Sturdy: The Pokémon is unaffected by One Hit Knock Out moves and in Generation V, the Pokémon cannot be knocked out when it has full Hit Points. This ability is necessary if you want to properly use a Donphan and not have it as cannon fodder
I Want My Elephant
This is the typical Donphan set that is used. It has a decent range of moves in order to do damage and can also be used to set up and remove hazards. Earthquake gets STAB and capitalises upon Donphan's high Attack stat. This means that it can give serious damage to a variety of Pokémon, being able to OHKO many, and even 2HKO phyiscally gifted Pokémon like Tyranitar and Terrakion. Ice Shard gives priority, which is awesome on a Pokémon with speed like Donphan. It helps Donphan be used to stop many Dragon-types like Salamence, Garchomp and even Pokémon that stop spnners like Landorus. Knock Off, thanks to the Gen VI buff, is also a very viable move which can do serious damage to a Pokémon with a hold item, which let's face it, is practically every non-Mega Evolved Pokémon in the competitive environment, but if you don't want to go that route, then you can screw the opponent over by setting up Stealth Rock. Rapid Spin speaks for itself, it can get rid of entry hazards and that's what Donphan is good at. It's bulky enough to survive a hit and remove the entry hazards. .
Try taking my tusks...I dare you..
This set runs a bit similarly to the previous one, removing the Stealth Rock use but comes with the Assault Vest. This item is a godsend for Pokémon like Donphan. It boosts its Special Defense up by 50% but limits it to moves that can attack. Since you'll most likely be running a Physical set, it's very useful. Donphan having the equivalent of base 90 Speed is much better than not, at the cost of Stealth Rock. If you choose to invest EVs into Special Defense as well, it can do wonders
Roar, Stone Edge, Head Smash, Play Rough, Seed Bomb
Double & Triple Battle Options
If you have the ability to protect the Donphan, then it can do wonders in Doubles & Triples. Its Earthquake can do serious damage to all the opponents.
Go Special. Water-types like Starmie, Greninja, Politoed and Gastrodon can all do ridiculous amounts of damage on Donphan, so that would force the opponent to switch out. In addition to that, Kyurem can be a good counter as both of its alternate forms have an ability that causes Sturdy to no longer function. If you're running hazards against the team with Donphan in, then having a Ghost-type will cause its Rapid Spin to fail, and the hazards will remain. Essentially, just keep hitting its special weakspot, and it will crumble.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
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