Stakataka, The Rampart Pokémon. It appeared from an Ultra Wormhole. Each one appears to be made up of many life-forms stacked one on top of each other. When stone walls started moving and attacking, the brute’s true identity was this mysterious life-form, which brings to mind an Ultra Beast.
Stakataka is a Pokémon that defied many expectations. Completely new Pokémon introduced in the middle of a generation is not something many people expected to begin with, though seeing Stakataka revealed as a Rock/Steel type led many to immediately write it off as one of the worst Ultra Beasts. Contrary to many expectations though, Stakataka turned out to be the most broadly viable new Ultra Beast, boasting fantastic offensive prowess in both Singles and Doubles formats. Stakataka's immensely powerful Gyro Balls make it difficult for even moderately slow threats to switch into, and its respectable coverage options in Earthquake and Superpower allow it to cover a wide assortment of threats. Access to Trick Room is what really makes Stakataka stand out though, as it can turn its insanely low Speed into an advantage without external support thanks to its incredible physical bulk and respectable special bulk. This extends to Doubles where it can also offer support with Wide Guard and Ally Switch, giving it plenty of flexibility in a competitive setting. All of this comes at the cost of a huge double-edged sword of a typing though. While Rock/Steel offers a number of incredibly useful resistances, its suffers from very crippling weaknesses to Ground-, Fighting-, and to a lesser extent Water-type moves. These are all very common types so Stakataka isn't as difficult to take down as it may seem, but these weaknesses serve more as a counterbalance to its strengths and don't invalidate its offensive prowess. Ultimately Stakataka serves as yet another example of why you should never judge a Pokémon entirely on its typing.
Beast Boost: Increases the Pokémon's highest stat when it knocks out a Pokémon. The defining ability of all Ultra Beasts, and Stakataka makes excellent use of it. Gaining either Defense or Attack boosts can turn Stakataka into a huge threat if left unchecked. The latter requires a Lonely nature and a specific Defense IV (16-17 at level 50, 15 at level 100), but both boosts are equally viable depending on the format and make it literal wrecking ball.
- Gyro Ball
Stakataka functions in a very straightforward manner, set up Trick Room and begin busting through everything in sight. The ability to run Trick Room itself is a huge boon over other slow and powerful attackers since the player doesn't need to waste a turn switching into the Trick Room sweeper after setting up. Gyro Ball should require no more explanation, just click it and watch your foes drop. Rock Blast and Stone Edge provide an excellent secondary STAB move, the former providing reliable accuracy and the ability to break through Substitute while the latter providing consistently high power. Earthquake provides excellent coverage alongside Stone Edge or Rock Blast, hitting opposing Steel-types such as Aegislash and Heatran. Superpower is an alternative that hits Ferrothorn harder though, which becomes more appealing if Aegislash isn't legal.
Maximum HP and Attack investment gives Stakataka the best combination of bulk and raw power, while the leftover EVs are put into Special Defense to avoid ruining intended Beast Boosts. In all cases Stakataka wants a 0 Speed IV to maximize Gyro Ball power against slower foes. A Brave nature maximizes raw power while maintaining its physical bulk, which is useful for surviving several relevant Earthquakes such as Mega Salamence Earthquake. However, a Lonely nature with a Defense IV of 16-17 (15 at level 100) allows Stakataka to gain Attack boosts from Beast Boost if the extra bulk is not necessary. The item choice is heavily preference-based, though Rockium Z should only be used with Stone Edge and not Rock Blast. Groundium Z is useful with Earthquake to OHKO Aegislash in Shield Forme under Trick Room. Shuca Berry also lets Stakataka punish foes that expect to OHKO it with Earthquake, which can sometimes be all it needs to win a game.
- Gyro Ball
Choice Band Stakataka is an alternative approach to wallbreaking that gives up its move flexibility for the ability to immediately punch holes into teams. This set usually requires Trick Room setup which tends to be easier to afford in 3v3 than 6v6 formats, but it functions similarly to other Stakataka variants. Gyro Ball hits at absurdly powerful levels with a Choice Band, and no Stakataka should ever be used without it. Rock Blast provides a secondary STAB move that allows Stakataka to avoid being stalled out by Substitute users and break through Focus Sash. Earthquake provides coverage for Steel-types such as Heatran and Aegislash, while Superpower rounds out coverage to hit Ferrothorn and Kartana.
Maximium HP and Attack investment ensures Stakataka is hitting as hard as possible while rounding out its bulk. Meanwhile the leftover EVs are placed in Special Defense. A Brave nature with 0 Speed IVs is preferred as it allows Stakataka to maximize damage against slow threats, achieving feats such as 2HKOing Porygon2 with Gyro Ball. The aforementioned Lonely nature setup can also be used to help Stakataka snowball faster but this is usually not necessary since Stakataka will often be forced to switch out if Trick Room is not active.
Other Options and Partners
- Stealth Rock allows Stakataka to fit a support role on the team, though it can rarely afford to make room for it and generally prefers to stick to the offensive approach.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Stakataka is one of the brand new toys that many trainers are trying out for the first time in ranked VGC battles on Battle Spot. While it has a good attack stat with potential to sweep, Stakataka's defense is so high that a Lonely nature with a defense IV of 17 or less is necessary to get attack boosts from Beast Boost. This Ultra Beast is so slow that even without a negative speed nature its Gyro Ball is very strong and it can thrive under Trick Room. Unlike many other Trick Room sweepers, however, it can also set up Trick Room itself, giving it a unique role in which you can potentially have two sweepers out for all of your Trick Room turns. Its typing may not make it the best pokemon in VGC 2018, but Stakataka can be one of the scariest Pokemon to see if your team is not built to handle it.
Stakataka wants to be very slow to power up its Gyro Ball and outspeed as much as possible under Trick Room, but a Lonely nature with a defense IV of 16 or 17 (at level 50) ensures that Beast Boost powers up its attack (while still maximizing its defense). If this is too difficult to get in-game, a Brave nature still maximizes attack, will not sacrafice any defense, and can make Stakataka even slower, but Beast Boost will give boosts to defense. Regardless of nature, a speed IV of zero is ideal. Maximum attack investment lets it hit hard, while max HP lets Stakataka take hits to set up Trick Room or get more attacks off. Life Orb gives a boost to its attack, and Beast Boost is the only available ability, but is great to get a stat boost after picking up a knock out.
Gyro Ball is a very strong attack with Stakataka's low speed, while Rock Slide is great for strong spread STAB damage with the chance for flinches under Trick Room. Trick Room sets up valuable speed control for Stakataka and its teammates, while Protect keeps the Ultra Beast safe from threatening attacks, especially z moves.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Rockium Z gives Stakataka a strong single-target rock move that will not miss and avoids the opponents' Wide Guard.
Beating Stakataka on paper really is as simple as hitting it with Ground- and Fighting-type moves from the likes of Landorus-T, Blaziken and Focus Blast users, though in practice this is often easier said than done. Under Trick Room, being able to survive a 150 BP Gyro Ball off of base 131 Attack is just as important as having the coverage to hit Stakataka for super-effective damage. Physical attackers need to be especially careful because Stakataka can comfortably survive non-STAB Earthquakes and Superpowers from full, so being able to wear it down is important. Stakataka lacks any form of recovery and rarely runs Leftovers or recovery berries, so chip damage hurts Stakataka a lot. Earthquake users also must be wary of Grassy Terrain from Tapu Bulu, since Stakataka will often carry such support to mitigate the damage it takes while also providing passive recovery. Similarly, physical Water-type STAB moves are rarely enough to take down Stakataka in one hit so having the bulk to survive Gyro Ball cannot be stressed enough. However, special attackers, such as Mega Lucario, Heatran, and Focus Blast Thundurus-T have a significantly easier time KOing Stakataka due to its Special Defense being not much more than decent without investment. Boosted Special Attackers will generally have an easier time breaking through this brick wall though they must also be careful dealing with it under Trick Room, since many special attackers tend to be physically frail. If Stakataka gets any opportunity to begin snowballing, it becomes significantly more difficult to stop, so pressuring it to prevent Trick Room setup or a Beast Boost KO is vital. In general, anything that can hit Stakataka super-effectively can shut it down or force it out quickly since its 4x weaknesses are often easy to exploit, but don't let that be your entire game plan against it. Few things are more terrifying than a brick cube ramming into you at high speed.
Locations in Games
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