Bronzong, The Bronze Bell Pokémon. In ages past, this Pokémon was revered as a bringer of rain. It was found buried in the ground. Ancient people believed that petitioning Bronzong for rain was the way to make crops grow. It brought rains by opening portals to another world. It was revered as a bringer of plentiful harvests.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. In times past, Bronzong was seen on many a team. With its bulk and typing, it was able to cause decent issues to any team, especially due to its abilities. With its abilities both nullifying a weakness, you always had the element of mind-games on your opponent. Was Bronzong immune to Ground-type moves or will it halve Fire-type moves used against it? Plus, with the Steel type resistences back then, those were its only weaknesses, so it was always a beast to take down. Now though, with X & Y removing Steel-type's resistance to both Dark & Ghost, Bronzong has unfortunately found two more, fairly common, weaknesses which have just completely destroyed its usability. Still, that's not to say that you can't use Bronzong anymore, just that it has far more counters than it used to. It still has 9 resistances & 1 immunity and considerable bulk, so it can still successfully wall many Pokémon. It also works wonders in a Trick Room
Levitate: Damage dealing Ground-type moves have no effect on this Pokémon. Cannot be trapped by Arena Trap ability. Takes no damage from Spikes. - Decent enough ability. Completely removes its Ground-type weakness and turns it into a second immunity. Not too shabby at all.
Saved by the Bell
-Stealth Rock / Protect
Ok, so this is a standard supporting set for Bronzong. Toxic will chip away at the opponent's health while Stealth Rock works as Stealth Rock always does...with the possibility of lopping off up to 50% of the health of a Pokémon that switches in, especially in these days of Talonflame and Mega Charizard Y, it's worth it. Gyro Ball will get STAB, and as it's based on the user's Speed, with Bronzong being a slow Pokémon, it can do wonders, especially against the faster Pokémon. Earthquake is Earthquake. It never needs explaining. That said, Stealth Rock isn't viable in the Gen VI native metagame yet, so Protect would be a good alternative until then.
For Whom the Bells Toll?
So, as said in the overview, Bronzong can be a decent dual screener. Bronzong has got 9 resistances and, with Levitate, 2 immunities. This means that, with its bulk, it is very, very, likely to survive hits thrown at it to allow it to set the screens up. Reflect will boost Defense and Light Screen will boost Special Defense, while the Light Clay item will prolong its use. For the third move, you can go Stealth Rock to put in some nice damaging entry hazards, or risk it and go for the trifecta by including Safeguard to protect your team against status moves. Finally, Gyro Ball can work well with STAB and do damage against the opponents. Not too shabby.
A Tricky Bell
This set works similar to the previous two, but allows for you to set up Trick Room. This will allow for a variety of strategies using various other Pokémon, and may screw over many strategies that have become commonplace such as using Greninja, Flare Blitz Talonflame or other fast Pokémon. Stealth Rock and Toxic work the same as before, as does Gyo Ball, and Protect will obviously protect you from various moves.
Calm Mind, Explosion, Heatproof, Hypnosis, Imprison, Rest/Sleep Talk, Rock Slide, Weather
Double & Triple Battle Options
In days long past, people would "petition" Bronzong to bring rain for their crops. It is said that Bronzong is the bringer of rain. One look at its learn set reveals that it learns Rain Dance naturally, alongside Sunny Day.
These ancient people were truly at the mercy of their benevolent Bronzong.
Room Service Bell
- Gyro Ball / Psychic / Psyshock / Extrasensory
This utility gimmick seeks to accomplish two things. Set up Trick Room for the team AND/OR prevent your opponent from setting up Trick Room AND lock them out of Protect. Because Trick Room has such low priority, no matter how low Bronzong's speed is, it WILL stop Trick Room from going up, even Aromatisse is powerless against Imprison.
The EV spread was built with surviving Modest Specs Hydreigon Dark Pulse 94% of the time (the 6% being a critical hit), however, Dark Pulse's flinch rate will ruin what plans you may have had from time to time. At best, avoid Dark Pulse, but know that when push comes to shove you will survive from full health assuming no crit.
The first move is your attacking move of choice, Bronzong naturally has higher attack so Gyro Ball is the first choice, being able to hit for a maximum of 150 BP plus STAB, but intimidate is so common and not all threats run max speed, so Gyro Ball may not be that appealing. The Psychic type attacks all accomplish something different. Psychic has the highest Base Power and can lower the opponent's SDef from time to time, Psyshock hits the opponent's physical defense, and Extrasensory has a decent flinch rate when under Trick Room.
Ideal partners for Bronzong would be pokemon who can threaten or wall Mega Charizard Y and Aegislash to some degree, so Salamence, Garchomp and Flash Fire Chandelure or Houndoom come to mind. Salamence provides intimidate support, Garchomp will enjoy launching guilt free Earthquakes and Bronzong also has defensive synergy with the dragons being part steel to scare away Fairies and some opposing Dragons.
The problem in using Bronzong today (Gen 6) is that it more or less hasn't changed since yesterday (Gen 4 and 5), while the game itself has changed drastically. Bronzong used to be able to take a +1 Crunch from Adamant Tyranitar, now it falls just a little short of that because of the Type Chart update, shoot, it might have been able to stand up to +1 Mega Tyranitar and win with Gyro Ball, but the environment is just a little too hostile for Bronzong to handle now. Previously it could tank 3 to 4 hits and now it can barely sustain just one hit. That in and of itself hints at the power creep the game has been experiencing as it's been growing.
Until Pokemon experiences a "Defense Creep," Bronzong is probably going to take backseat to Jirachi and Metagross when ORAS is released. Because Bronzong hasn't changed drastically since it's been introduced, it has more or less been left in the dust. Give or take 2000 years, the metagame may dig it back up and find a great use for it, but for now, Bronzong won't mind sleeping.
Avoid using Fire-type and Ground-type moves. While you can usually be sure that it'll be immune to Ground-type moves, you can never tell for sure. Thankfully, Bronzong now has got two new weaknesses, so hitting hard with Ghost-type and Dark-type moves is a decent course of action. A boosted Tyranitar can do wonders on it, as can many other classics including Hydreigon. Alternatively, a good way to end a Bronzong is by Taunting. Most Bronzong are truly only used for support and so have minimal, if any, attacking moves, so it will stop their strategy dead in the water.
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