Aegislash, The Royal Sword Pokémon. Generations of kings were attended by these Pokémon, which used their spectral power to manipulate and control people and Pokémon. Apparently, it can detect the innate qualities of leadership. According to legend, whoever it recognizes is destined to become king.
Aegislash is a Pokémon that shows that sometimes Game Freak thinks about what the Pokémon is going to be in the competitive scene, or the die just happens to be cast that way. Being a Pokémon with immense offensive pressure, Aegislash excelled as a wallbreaker when it was released in XY. However Aegislash brings more to the metaphorical mind game table of wallbreakers, King's Shield and Stance SwitcChange. These allow Aegislash to switch from a squishy powerhouse to a sturdy wall, and can drop the opponents stats by two stages. These make Aegislash an immense threat on its own without factoring in its typing. However these traits got it banned away to Ubers, where while it has strong stats, Aegislash has to compete with some of the best wall breakers the games has such as Deoxys Attack, Kyurem White, and Rayquaza. However, Aegislash's typing allows it to handle some big threats in the tier and carry its weight making it still a strong Pokémon.
Stance Change - Only effects Aegislash, when the Pokémon uses a Physical or Special move it changes to Blade form. When it uses King's Shield, this Pokémon changes to Shield form - Aegislash's only ability and its half or more of what broke Aegislash in OU. The ability to get 150 Defense and Special Defense is amazing.
More a standard option, this allows Aegislash to act as a defensive pivot, checking special threats like Xerneas, Solgaleo without Flare Blitz, Lunala, and Mewtwo. King's Shield is a staple on all Aegislash sets for its ability to switch Aegislash's stance and potentially drop stats and stall for health. Toxic is nice as it smacks tanky Fire and Ground threats that try to switch in, often hindering or crippling them for the rest of the match. Gyro Ball earns the slot over Iron Head as it has the chance for higher damage with Aegislash's low speed and negative speed nature. Make sure to run as low speed IVs as possible, preferably 0. Lastly Shadow Ball acts as your Ghost stab, hitting Steels and Physically defensive walls hard such as Lugia, Solgaleo, and Celesteela.
A more aggressive option, King's Shield takes a more supporting role to help dodge threats and create chances to boost or spread the damage. Shadow Sneak is the main Ghost stab as it helps bypass Aegislash's low speed and create a one two combo per say to clean up threats that like Gyro Ball. However Shadow Claw can be used as well as Shadow Ball if your team needs more immediate damage, however Swords Dance synergizes best with Shadow Sneak. Gyro Ball is the Steel stab of choice for the same reasons as the other set, low base speed and a negative speed nature. Last spot can go to Swords Dance, allowing Aegislash to deal a lot of damage, or Hidden Power Ice to nail Zygarde C who otherwise walls this set hard. Item wise a Life Orb is best without Swords Dance to maximize your damage, though Weakness Policy can be used for stat boosts, but is a high risk item. Ghostium Z is best again with Shadow Sneak for a clean KO after a Swords Dance on a lot of threats but can work well with Shadow Claw or Shadow Ball.
Other Options and Partners
Pursuit - With Aegislash's ability to force out Psychic threats, Pursuit is a nice option to cripple or KO threats that could otherwise run rampant after Aegislash is removed. Some good targets are Lunala, Solgaleo, Mega Mewtwo, and the Lati twins.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
After a couple years of missing from VGC formats, Aegislash has returned stronger and better than ever. The sword and shield was a very common sight in VGC 2014 and 2015 before dropping in usage in 2016 due to the presence of the Primals. After sitting a year out due to the Alolan Pokedex restrictions, Aegislash is jumping back in as one of the most powerful Pokemon in the early days of VGC 2018. Aegislash uses all of its old toys from previous years, and is a great defensive Pokemon in the format with so many fairies around, but the ability to use z moves has made it more of an offensive threat than ever.
Never-Ending Stance Change
Typically, Aegislash wants to be as slow as possible so that it takes most hits in its shield form, so a Quiet nature (ideally with a zero speed IV) with maximum HP is how most trainers start. Experienced trainers do often invest in speed though (using a Modest nature). The main purpose for this is to speed-creep other Aegislash who may threaten a KO, but offensive teams may also factor in speed control like Tailwind to outspeed targets and simply sweep. Maximum special attack of course lets Aegislash smack opponents hard, and the remaining 4 EVs are typically thrown into special defense since King’s Shield can lower an opponent’s attack (and also give opposing Download Porygon2 an attack boost, which can be useful if they carry Shadow Ball or threaten Aegislash’s teammate with a move like Ice Beam). Stance Change is the only available ability, but an amazing one that flips Aegislash between two powerful forms and can play mind games with your opponent. Ghostium z turns Shadow Ball into Never-Ending Nightmare, which is an absolute nuke with Aegislash’s base 150 special attack.
Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon are Aegislash’s strongest special STABs found on nearly every set. Flash Cannon is useful against many of the common fairies, while Shadow Ball pairs with the z crystal. King’s Shield is necessary to protect Aegislash from attacks and take them easier in its defensive form, but dropping the attack of opponents who make contact is also a nice side effect. The final move slot has a few possibilities, but Wide Guard is arguably the most effective with the number of spread moves in the format, especially super-effective ones against Aegislash like Heat Wave and Earthquake.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-A number of other items are still effective on Aegislash and see good use. Weakness Policy is great with Aegislash’s ability to take a super-effective hit in one form, and take out opponents with the boost in another. Life Orb gives Aegislash extra power on all of its moves, while Leftovers is common on sets with Substitute. 50% recovery pinch berries have seen some usage as well with their gen 7 buffs to keep Aegislash healthy.
Fire Types - While Primal Groudon and Ho-Oh don't like switching into Toxic, Ho-Oh overall carries a small amount as it has access to a lot of recovery with Recover and Regenerator and easily KOes back with Sacred Fire if Aegislash stands its ground. Primal Groudon fairs the worst unless it carries Rest, but is a more pressure counter, guarantying a switch out and either setting up Stealth Rocks or just pound what comes in with its massive Earthquake.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
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