Sandslash, The Mouse Pokémon. Although they are sharp, its claws and spikes often break off. They grow back the next day, so it is not bothered by the temporary loss. It uses its claws to climb trees and then curls its body into a spiny ball, ready to drop onto any prey that appears.
While it's not currently available, you can't talk about Sandslash without including its classic Kanto variant. It may be a face that both old and new fans will recognize, but Sandslash is unfortunately far from the most impressive Ground-type out there. Ever since Gen 1, Sandslash has always had to deal with rough competition in the form of Rhydon and Golem, and that competition only got tougher as the years went by and more threats appeared. Sandslash might not have the misfortune of being a slow Ice-type like its Alolan variant, but being a slow Ground-type with no recovery and disappointing Special Defense isn't much better. Sandslash still doesn't have that great of an Attack stat either, so nothing about it is particularly outstanding. Sandslash does at least have utility in Rapid Spin and a useful ability in Sand Rush to attempt to alleviate its bad Speed, but if you're looking for something to add to your competitive team, you may want to look elsewhere before trying out Sandslash. They say that skill comes with experience, but for all the time Sandslash has been around it certainly hasn't gained much of that unfortunately.
Sand Veil: Raises the Pokémon's evasion during a sandstorm by one level. This is an amusing ability when it works, but typically not reliable enough to abuse it. It also completely relies on Sandstorm which hurts its reliability further.
Sandslash shouldn't try to deviate too much from this set. Earthquake is a mandatory move on any Kanto Sandslash, especially with its very average Attack stat. Stone Edge allows Sandslash to hit Flying-types that otherwise can switch into Earthquake freely, and provides great neutral coverage alongside Earthquake. Knock Off provides crazy utility in the ability to remove a foe's item and further complement's Sandslash's coverage in order to hit Claydol, a fellow rival Rapid Spinner that otherwise walls Sandslash without fear. Rapid Spin allows Sandslash to function as a hazard remover, though if this isn't necessary then Swords Dance is recommended to boost its otherwise unimpressive Attack stat.
Maximum Attack and Speed investment are necessary to ensure Sandslash can actually hurt something, while Jolly is preferred to ensure that it outspeeds as much as possible under Sandstorm. Sand Rush is necessary for it to actually outspeed foes, but this naturally requires some form of weather support to work. Adamant nature is also fine if the extra power is desired, though the Speed drop is rather significant. Life Orb should be used with Swords Dance to maximize damage output, but Groundium Z gives Sandslash a one-time nuke that isn't weakened under Grassy Terrain.
- Poison Jab can be used to hit Fairy-types, notably Tapu Bulu, which annoyingly messes with Earthquake's damage output thanks to Grassy Terrain.
If you haven't already figured by now, Sandslash is not too difficult to take down. Given its terrible Special Defense, any strong Special Attacker with realistic Speed will make quick work of Sandslash. Bulky Water-types such as Slowbro, Tapu Fini, and many others that become available through transfer can threaten Sandslash even without significant investment. Pelipper and Politoed meanwhile can not only remove Sandstorm support that Sandslash may have, but also threaten it further with their rain-boosted Water-type moves. Grass-types such as Tapu Bulu also resist Earthquake and aren't weak to any of its common moves unless it runs Poison Jab, making them effective answers to Sandslash. Ice types moves are also common coverage especially for Electric-types, even if it's only Hidden Power Ice, so with some prior damage even strong Electric-types can threaten Sandslash. Under the right circumstances Sandslash can certainly be threatening, but for the most part you shouldn't have trouble dealing with it. 20 years of experience certainly hasn't done Sandslash many favors in the power department.
Sandslash, The Mouse Pokémon. Fleeing a volcanic eruption, it settled on a snowy mountain. As it races through the snowfields, it sends up a spray of snow. This Pokémon’s steel spikes are sheathed in ice. Stabs from these spikes cause deep wounds and severe frostbite as well.
While a Mega Evolution may have been what people would have preferred Sandslash get, it does get an Alolan Form and the Alolan Form is a bit more usable than its standard, but comes with a few drawbacks. Rather than Ground-type, Sandslash is now an Ice/Steel-type and Ice-type has never been the best defensive type. While Steel does negate some of the issues, and adds a few neat resistances, it gives it two 4* weaknesses, both of which are common, which leave Sandslash in the lurch. With its Speed not being the best, it will be getting hit before it can attach, but thankfully you can use that to your advantage.
Snow Cloak: Raises the Pokémon’s evasion during a hailstorm by one level. - Like Sand Veil, this ability can be amusing when it works but is just far too unreliable. Its other ability is a much better shout without a doubt
Iceberg, Dead Ahead
- Swords Dance
This is a set that capitalises on Sandslash's strengths. With Slush Rush it can be fast, but Icicle Crash is a good bet. It's a devastating move that can cause the opponent to flinch, so with the added Speed it is very useful. Swords Dance will double its Attack, making it an even larger force to be reckoned with. Iron Head helps deal with Fairy-types and Earthquake provides some solid coverage
Aurora Veil can be used on a support Sandslash in order to weaken opponents attacks, which is very useful.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Alolan Sandslash will steal the spotlight today, as its Kantonian Cousin simply cannot compare to Excadrill in the Sand Rush department. Slush Rush, which doubles speed in Hail, is where Alolan Sandslash will shine. That is until Excadrill inexplicably gets Slush Rush too....
Sandslash needs some catering to in order to be effective. Slush Rush is a neat ability, and having one of your STAB moves have a flinch chance is great. Though as said earier, it isn't going to clear the field on its own even after setting up. Before setting up it's only denting things a bit, which may prove useful later in the game. As it stands now, it's a threat to all Tapus under hail, doesn't really do much to Celesteela or Alolan Marowak. It's just a touch fast for Trick Room, and base 100 Attack is terribly mediocre in this day and age. Sandslash, like Hail, is very niche, but will blast holes through teams who ignore it entirely.
To take full advantage of Slush Rush, Sandslash must put out massive offensive pressure, so absolute max attack is neccessary. 124 Speed will make it faster than Max Speed base 130s (Tapu Koko, Aerodactyl) in Hail. The remainder is invested into bulk. Swords Dance and Life Orb/Z-Crystal may seem greedy, until one sees that Sandslash only has base 100 Attack. To ease the pain though, Alolan Ninetales can set up Aurora Veil and in general is a threat all on its own. Sandslashe's strongest STABs are on the set, and Rock Slide is one of the better spread moves it gets, but Protect is fine all the same. This sets greatest weakness however, is that should Sandslash set up properly, it more than likely won't take a game all on its own due to it's strongest attacks being just single target, leaving it wide open for an opposing partner Pokemon to take it out.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Leech Life: The move is alright coverage, but will only find a home in the most niche sets.
-Ninetales should be on every team with a Sandslash, setting up Hail automatically, 100% Accurate STAB Blizzards, STAB Dazzling Gleams and Aurora Veil access begs the question... will a better partner ever exist?
Countering Alolan Sandslash
Go with the Fire or Fighting-type moves. It's as simple as that. Even with Sandslash's solid defences, it should typically go down in 2 hits, if not 1. Going for Special attacks is a good shout as well since, due to Sandslash's inadequate Special Defense, it will not be able to take many of those hits. Due to its moves being predominantly Ice and Steel focused, switching in a Fire-type is always a good thing. Unfortunately for Sandslash there are just way too many Fire and Fighting-type Pokémon going around. It shudders if it ever sees a Blaziken, Emboar or Infernape...
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
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