Donphan

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.

Overview

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.
Positives
- It has got considerable physical stats, giving it significant bulk and attacking power. 120 in both stats is nothing to scoff at
- It's a Rapid Spin user...with enough bulk to survive. That is nothing short of awesome
- Sturdy will allow it to survive a hit and be able to destroy many an opponent before it faints.
- Physical movepool gives it decent coverage which can defeat many a Pokémon in one go
- It has access to Knock Off

Negatives
- Its Special stats suck. As it is Ground-type, it is weak to Ice, Grass and Water-types which all are predominantly special based. Even Delphox can do sizeable damage to it.
- It lacks Speed which is a bit of a shame since it can hit hard

Abilities

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
Hidden Ability (Available):
Sand Veil: Raises the Pokémon’s evasion during a sandstorm by one level. It's a decent enough ability, but requires setting up with a sandstorm and is far less reliable than Sturdy. Don't use it.

Movesets

I Want My Elephant

- Earthquake
- Ice Shard
- Knock Off / Stealth Rock
- Rapid Spin
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature

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..

- Earthquake
- Ice Shard
- Knock Off
- Rapid Spin
Item Attached: Assault Vest
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef Adamant Nature

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
252+ SpA Life Orb Aegislash-Blade Shadow Ball vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Assault Vest Donphan: 138-164 (35.9 - 42.7%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252+ SpA Volcarona Giga Drain vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Assault Vest Donphan: 124-146 (32.2 - 38%) -- 94.7% chance to 3HKO
+1 252 SpA Genesect Ice Beam vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Assault Vest Donphan: 184-218 (47.9 - 56.7%) -- 89.1% chance to 2HKO
+2 252 SpA Adaptability Mega Lucario Aura Sphere vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Assault Vest Donphan: 244-288 (63.5 - 75%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 SpA Mega Charizard Y Solar Beam vs. 252 HP / 244+ SpD Assault Vest Donphan: 202-238 (52.6 - 61.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
This means that it can survive various Super Effective hits and still have the ability to fight back.

Other Options

Roar, Stone Edge, Head Smash, Play Rough, Seed Bomb
Roar is a decent enough move to use in reserves, and can allow for you to get rid of the opponent's Pokémon, hopefully for one you can more easily destroy
Stone Edge is an incredibly powerful Rock-type move which can decimate many opponents and remove Ice-type opponents, but it lacks accuracy
You can use Head Smash with the Choice Band. This would allow for Donphan to be able to OHKO many Pokémon, but the recoil it receives will mean it won't survive for long
Play Rough gives some decent coverage against Dragon-types and Dark-types, but realistically, Ice Shard is better against the Dragon-types.
Seed Bomb can be used for coverage against the inevitable Water-types, but why would you keep Donphan out against them?

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.

Countering Donphan

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

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Evolve Phanpy

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Evolve Phanpy

Colosseum/XD:
Evolve Phanpy (XD)
Trade from Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald (Colosseum)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Evolve Phanpy

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Route 28, Mt. Silver, Victory Road (HeartGold)
Trade from Diamond, Pearl, Platinum or HeartGold (SoulSilver)

Black/White:
Trade from Black 2 or White 2

Black 2/White 2:
Evolve Phanpy

X/Y:
Evolve Phanpy

Animé Appearences

Donphan has made a few appearances in the anime, most notably under the control of Ash in the Battle Frontier and Sinnoh League

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
M1 Mewtwo Strikes Back Mewtwo's Counterattack Pics
122 Roll On, Pokémon Donphan's Valley! Pics
148 Tricks Of The Trade Wobbuffet and the Pokémon Exchange! Pics
P4 Pikachu's Pikaboo Pikachu's Hide & Seek Pics
383 Beg, Burrow and Steal Trapinch & Vibrava! Lake of Illusion! Pics
391 Date Expectations Rollout! Loving Donphan! Pics
399 Deceit And Assist! Fierce Fighting! Grand Festival! (2)! Pics
407 Choose It or Lose It Rival Confrontation! VS Morrison! Pics
408 At the End of the Fray The Last Fierce Fighting! The Road to the Championship!! Pics
431 Reversing The Charges Startling! Frightening! Elekid! Pics
433 From Cradle to Save! Bonsly & The Ninja School! Pics
435 Queen of the Serpentine Fierce Fighting at the Battle Pike! VS Pike Queen Lucy! Pics
436 Off the Unbeaten Path! Who Single-Handedly has the Victory!? Pokemon Orienteering!! Pics
438 Odd Pokémon Out Grovyle VS Tropius! Grass Field Battle! Pics
440 Cutting the Ties That Bind Sceptile! Dawn of Revival! Pics
453 Grating Spaces Brock & Ash! Defend Pewter Gym in Tag Battle! Pics
459 Aipom and Circumstance! Aipom & The King! Pics
M9 Pokémon Ranger & The Temple of the Sea Pokémon Ranger & The Prince of the Sea - Manaphy Pics
P9 Pikachu's Island Adventure Pikachu's Mischievous Island Pics
460 Strategy Tomorrow - Comedy Tonight! Chatot & The Pokémon Comedian! Pics
468 Home Is Where The Start Is The End Of a Journey! The Start of A Journey! Pics
524 The Keystone Pops Spiritomb & The Odd Keystone Pics
540 Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu (2) Pokémon Ranger! The Wave-Guiding Riolu! (Part Two) Pics
563 Battling the Generation Gap Pokémon Contest! The Celestic Convention! Pics
609 Challenging A Towering Figure! Tower Tycoon! That Man, Palmer! Pics
M13 Zoroark - Master of Illusions Phantom Champion Zoroark Pics
650 An Old Family Blend! The Eve of the Fierce Fighting! The Big Gathering of Ash's Pokémon! Pics
651 League Unleashed! Opening! Sinnoh League - Suzuran Tournament!! Pics
653 Working on a Right Move! Trick Room of Terror! Ash VS Conway! Pics
803 Dream Continues! My Dream: Pokémon Master! Pics

 
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