Rhyperior, The Drill Pokémon. From holes in its palms, it fires out Geodude. Its carapace can withstand volcanic eruptions. It puts rocks in holes in its palms and uses its muscles to shoot them. Geodude are shot at rare times. It can launch a rock held in its hand like a missile by tightening then expanding muscles instantly.
Rhyperior was one of many Pokémon to receive an evolution in D/P in an attempt to breathe new life into several old favorites. As far as improvement goes, Rhyperior manages to be everything that Rhydon was, but with several modest boosts to its stats and shiny new plated armor. While the new look might not be for everyone, this succeeded in being an evolution that was more or less a straight upgrade for Rhydon, which is something it was starting to look for once the new mechanics and items in Gen 4 began to give rise to many big threats. Unfortunately these boosts turned out to be too modest, so Rhyperior suffers from nearly all of the same problems that kept Rhydon from continuing as a top threat with the coming generations. Numerous weaknesses to common types like Water and Fighting and an incredibly low Special Defense stat are crippling issues for Rhyperior, and a similarly low Speed often throws the idea of sweeping out the window. A pitifully low Special Attack stat also wastes any potential that its surprisingly wide special movepool would otherwise suggest, even with Lightning Rod as an ability. However, despite facing many crippling weaknesses, Rhyperior is still a physical powerhouse boasting one of the highest Attack and Defense stats among Rock-types, with the dangerous Ground/Rock STAB combination and impressive physical movepool to back it up. Rhyperior also trades Rhydon’s Rock Head ability for the even more useful Solid Rock, noticeably buffing up its durability despite only receiving minor boosts to its overall bulk. Rhyperior still manages to function as a powerful physical tank, weathering super-effective hits even from top threats like Landorus-Therian and Garchomp, and this manages to give Rhyperior a niche in a world with stronger and faster threats. Rhyperior might not be seeing the glory that Rhydon once had anytime soon, but Rhyperior still manages to avoid falling into complete obscurity like its old friend, Golem.
Lightning Rod: Electric-type moves are drawn to this Pokémon. Electric-type moves will do no damage and the Pokémon's SP ATK is raised one stage. If the Pokémon is Ground-type, moves are drawn to it, but it gets no boost. While this is a useful ability in theory, Rhyperior is just not the Pokémon that can utilize it. A terribly low Special Attack stat and natural immunity to Electric-type invalidates any viability for Lightning Rod in Singles. While it has use in Doubles, Rhyperior generally doesn't bother with Lightning Rod.
One of Rhyperior's strongest traits is the ability to endure heavy hits, and this naturally makes Rhyperior an effective Stealth Rock setter. Earthquake is the primary STAB option, still hitting incredibly hard with little investment thanks to Rhyperior's huge natural Attack stat. Rock Blast is typically the second STAB move for its ability to punish Substitute users and break through Focus Sashes and Sturdy, though Stone Edge is also a viable alternative for its consistent high power. However, this set is often not meant to be breaking through opposing teams as much as it's meant to serve as a bulky Stealth Rock setter with notable offensive presence, so Rock Blast is still often the preferred option. The last slot is more flexible and lets Rhyperior provide more utility beyond setting up Stealth Rock. Roar pairs nicely with Stealth Rock to rack up residual damage and can throw off an expected switch-in, possibly giving Rhyperior an extra free turn to attack. Protect is also a viable option to scout an opponent's next move and increase its longevity through extra Leftovers recovery, though using it carelessly can give the opponent a free switch so it can't be used as freely as Roar. Alternatively, Rhyperior can run Toxic in the last slot to threaten bulky switch ins such as Slowbro, Alomomola and Hippowdon, and it makes this set less of a free switch-in for opposing defensive threats in general.
The EV spread is designed to make Rhyperior as bulky as possible while still maintaining some bit of offensive presence. Maximum HP investment makes the most use out of its impressive base 115 HP, while 28 Attack EVs with an Adamant nature ensures that it can still OHKO offensive Drapion with Earthquake. The rest is put into Special Defense to try and patch up its awful special bulk, though this can easily be shifted over to Defense to check physical attackers more effectively. A physically defensive approach is only more preferable in less restrictive formats though, where the ability to check physical threats stands out more and the special bulk is not good enough anymore. Leftovers helps increase Rhyperior's longevity, and it has no other form of recovery so this is especially important for it to function as an effective tank.
This set takes advantage of Rhyperior's titanic Attack stat and shifts focus from being a Stealth Rock setter to a Choice Band wallbreaker. Earthquake is Rhyperior's best STAB move for this role and deals massive damage to anything that doesn't resist it, though the prevalence of Flying-types and Levivate makes this less safe due to the risk of giving many threats a safe switch-in. Stone Edge as the secondary STAB helps circumvent this issue so that Flying-types and Levitators don't try to recklessly switch in every time. However, due to the Stone Edge's lower accuracy, Earthquake will be the safer option most of the time unless the opposing team has many Ground-type switch-ins. Megahorn is a useful coverage move on Rhyperior that hits Grass-types that threaten it otherwise such as Tangrowth, Rotom-Mow and Serperior and is more accurate and powerful against them than Stone Edge. However, Rhyperior typically does not want to stay in against Grass-types since many of the outspeed it so this is more useful for catching them as they attempt to switch in. Megahorn also lets Rhyperior break through Dark and Psychic-types more effectively though Earthquake and Stone Edge still hit most of them hard enough anyway. Ice Punch may seem like redundant coverage with Megahorn for Grass-types, but the utility of Ice Punch is being able to hit Ground-types such as Flygon, Gliscor and Landorus. However, Rock Blast is an alternative if the Ice-type coverage is not needed and the ability to break Substitutes is preferred.
Maximum Attack investment with an Adamant nature ensures that Rhyperior is hitting as hard as possible given that its goal here is to break down walls. 84 Speed EVs lets Rhyperior outpace base 50 Pokémon which is relevant for outspeeding uninvested Tangrowth, and the rest of the EVs are put into HP to increase its bulk. Rhyperior can choose to run more or less Speed but that will ultimately depend on how important it is for Rhyperior to outspeed threats. An offensive set like this is also noticeably less bulky despite Solid Rock so running less bulk makes it more difficult for Rhyperior to switch in as often, so keep that in mind if running more Speed instead of HP.
- Rhyperior is capable of running an Assault Vest set with heavy Special Defense investment, but it usually isn't effective in less restricted 6v6 formats. However, Assault Vest is Rhyperior's item of choice in a 3v3 format.
VGC, Double & Triple Battle Options
Rhyperior is a dead giveaway of a Trick Room team. It's low Special Defense coupled with very exploitable x4 Weaknesses doesn't make it a safe choice outside of a Trick Room team. It's physically bulky enough though and STAB Rock Slide from base 140 Attack isn't anything to sneeze at.
Rhyperior won't perform well in 2016's Primal Dominant metagame. It's weak to both Kyogre and Groudon STABs and on top of that, is even a little outclassed by Groudon. Some can argue Rhyperior can have respectable SDef with Assault Vest and Sand, but there's close to no way to have sand up. The first two attacks are STABs. Drill Run is single Target but has a possibility of missing. The last two moves are filler, though if Rhyperior finds itself in a spot to where it isn't being bugged for a few turns, firing off a few Horn Drills will get the opponent's attention, especially if it ends up landing on a Pokemon who Rhyperior has no business OHKOing (Mega Rayquaza, Cresselia, Suicune, Ferrothorn)
Rhyperior will want to partner up with Primal Groudon to remove water attacks as a possibility against Rhyperior. But Cresselia will give the both of them nightmares for the redundancy of type coverage.
Rhyperior belong in Trick Room currently, but in 2016's VGC, Trick Room has no room for Rhyperior. Having lopsided defensive stats hasn't been feasible since the Physical/Special Split in Gen 4, and wasting items and team slots to help make a bad stat mediocre only shows that the Trainer's first priority is making sure Rhyperior is taken care of instead of battling to win.
Rhyperior may boast incredibly physical defense, but the low Speed and mediocre Special Defense are very exploitable weaknesses. Generally speaking, anything with respectable Special Attack threatens Rhyperior out, and due to its low Speed it isn't difficult to find something that can come in and KO it or quickly force it out. However, it is not uncommon for Rhyperior to try and patch up its Special Defense in preparation for this so it won't always be as simple as throwing a strong Special Attacker in its face. Taking advantage of its numerous weaknesses also isn't as simple as it sounds due to Solid Rock reducing the damage of these super-effective hits, but Water-types and Grass-types still manage to give Rhyperior a terrible time. While Rhyperior can live some Water-type and Grass-type hits with proper investment, these moves are usually enough to take Rhyperior down. Alomomola, Jellicent, Suicune, Sharpedo, Seismitoad, Keldeo and many more are all more than capable of beating Rhyperior with their respective Water-type STAB moves, though many of them must be careful since none of them appreciates switching into a strong Earthquake or Stone Edge, or in the case of bulkier threats being hit by a Toxic. On the Grass-type side, Tangrowth, Virizion, Amoonguss, Roserade, Venusaur, Shaymin, Serperior and Ferrothorn are some of of Rhyperior's stronger checks. Many of these don't mind Toxic though Megahorn, Ice Punch and the occasional Fire Punch can catch them on a switch-in so be wary of these moves before carelessly bringing them in. Floating Ground-types also give Rhyperior trouble, since they're not only immune to Earthquake but only take neutral damage from Rock-type moves at best. Flygon, Landorus-Therian and Gliscor are all very sturdy checks to Rhyperior, but it commonly runs Ice Punch just for them so they aren't necessarily free switch-ins either. Beyond these options, Rhyperior hates residual damage since it lacks any form of recovery beyond Leftovers, so whittling it down will eventually bring it in range of a stronger attack later in the game. Poison and burns are especially problematic since they wear Rhyperior down fast, and Knock Off also limits its durability with the loss of its Leftovers. Beating Rhyperior safely is often dependent on what coverage it runs since it has the tools to catch most of its checks and counters off-guard, though Rhyperior is still limited to four moves so paying attention to what moves it has is the most important factor. There's no shortage of weaknesses to exploit on Rhyperior, so beating it is not as intimidating as it might first appear as long as you're aware of what you're up against.
While Rhydon is no longer the juggernaut that it was in past generations and now has an evolution taking its place, Rhydon still manages to find a niche in restricted play. Rhydon works very similarly to its evolution by virtue of having near identical stats, though Eviolite grants Rhydon higher raw defensive stats than Rhyperior. Just like Rhyperior, Rhydon makes for an effective Stealth Rock setter thanks to its impressive bulk so it functions the same way as its evolution does. Earthquake is the primary STAB option for its reliability and high power, and still hits very hard with little investment coming from a base 130 Attack stat. Rock Blast is used as an accurate Rock-type STAB that has the ability to break Substitutes and Focus Sash, but Stone Edge is still a fine alternative if the higher power is preferred. The last slot is typically Megahorn to hit threats like Claydol, Torterra and Musharna harder than its STAB moves can, though Swords Dance lets Rhydon function as a bulky wallbreaker after it gets Stealth Rock up. Just like Rhyperior, Rhydon can also run Roar or Toxic in this last slot for racking up Stealth Rock damage and catching bulky switch-ins respectively. Alternatively, Rhydon can run Rock Polish in place of Stealth Rock but that would also require a more offensive EV spread than the one listed.
Maximum HP investment and 240 Special Defense EVs make it as specially bulky as possible since its physical bulk is more than acceptable as it is.The rest of the EVs are put into Attack to give it an extra bit of power. Eviolite increases Rhydon's bulk to impressive levels that surpass Rhyperior, and it's much less durable without it due to the lack of recovery so it's important to avoid losing Eviolite to Trick or Knock Off. The ability choice has no impact as none of the abilities are helpful for Rhydon at all, so the decision ultimately doesn't matter. One final point to note though, is that despite better raw defenses, Rhydon is not recommended in any Singles format that does not restrict its evolution. Rhyperior outperforms Rhydon in any Singles format that allows both because of the former's access to Solid Rock and slightly better natural bulk with Leftovers, so only consider Rhydon if Rhyperior is not allowed.
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