Mamoswine, The Twin Tusk Pokémon. A frozen Mamoswine was dug from ice dating back 10,000 years. This Pokémon has been around a long, long, long time. Its impressive tusks are made of ice. The population thinned when it turned warm after the ice age.
Do you remember Piloswine? ...Probably not. After people finished with Pryce’s gym back in Gen 2, well, that was pretty much the last time anyone ever really gave a second thought to Piloswine. Its unique typing didn’t do it much good with a rather lackluster stat spread to back it up. As such, the Ice/Ground Pokemon was largely forgotten… until Gen 4 came along, and gave it a new lease on life by giving it an evolution in the form of Mamoswine! With more power, speed, and bulk, Mamoswine finally had the stats to utilize that Ice/Ground typing in a way that Piloswine never could. Ice/Ground has some unique perks, such as making Mamoswine immune to both Sandstorm and Hail, while also giving it a powerful STAB combination that’s only resisted by three Pokemon, all of whom utilize Levitate. However, the same cannot be said about its defensive typing. Although Mamoswine is literally the only ice type not to be weak to Stealth Rock, it lacks many resistances to fall back on. Notably, it only has an electric immunity and a poison resistance, although its Thick Fat ability can afford it a resistance to Ice as well. Even then, though, this leaves the entire metagame able to hit it at least neutrally, and its weaknesses are all very common on most teams. Finally, although its stats are all a welcome improvement over its pre-evolution, it still finds itself with a few shortcomings. Notably, its speed prevents it from being truly threatening offensively, as it finds itself in the no-man’s land of speed tiers. Its special bulk also leaves a lot to be desired, so it’s not as sturdy as one might like. With competition higher than ever, Mamoswine’s shortcomings caused its usage to decrease a bit more in the Generation 6 singles metagame than it did in past generations. Don’t let that deter you though; Mamoswine may not be as dominant a force as it was a few generations ago, but it’s still got a unique niche, and it has no problem reminding you why its STAB combination is to be feared.
Oblivious: The Pokémon cannot be under the Attract condition, or be taunted, while having this ability. - Oblivious is something of a niche ability, but fortunately Mamoswine has the niche to take advantage of it. Oblivious works well for lead sets so that Mamoswine can set Stealth Rock without fear of being Taunted. With a Sash and Oblivious, very few things short of Fake Out users, Sleep inflicters, and Magic Bounce users can prevent Stealth Rocks from being put up. That said, if you’re not using Mamoswine as a dedicated lead, you probably don’t want to be using this ability.
Here we have the most commonly used Mamoswine set, and one that takes advantage of its offensive prowess. Ice Shard is practically mandatory for Mamoswine, given it takes advantage of Mamoswine’s high attack but average speed through its priority. This makes Ice Shard a great tool for revenge killing things such as Salamence. However, there are certainly times when you need a more powerful Ice STAB, rather than a weak priority attack. This is where Icicle Crash comes in; with base 85 power it’s significantly stronger than Ice Shard. The base 90 accuracy may be a bit lackluster at times, but it makes up for it with a 30% chance to flinch, which can be used to punish some slower defensive Pokemon. Of course, Ice is only half of Mamoswine’s potent STAB combination, and the other half is the ever infamous Earthquake. With how common Earthquake is, it should need no introduction that STAB Earthquake coming off Mamoswine’s base 130 attack is going to hit most things rather hard. Outside of its STAB attacks, Mamoswine has a few options for its fourth and final move slot. Knock Off is a potent weapon in Generation 6, stripping foes of their items while also doing decent damage in the process. If Knock Off doesn’t tickle your fancy, however, Superpower is an option for give you a little more coverage. It does have some overlapping coverage with Earthquake, but can hit certain things such as Ferrothorn a little harder. Finally, given Mamoswine’s potent STAB combination, you can always opt for Stealth Rock to be able to set up hazards on an obvious switch.
The choice of an adamant nature vs. a jolly nature is an age old question that comes down to preference. Adamant has a much better chance of 2HKOing Mega Aggron, 1HKOing Mega Aerodactyl and Crobat with Stealth Rock Up, and various other KOs, but Jolly allows you to outspeed things such as Jolly Feraligatr, Adamant Heracross, and several others. Both have their merits depending on whether you prefer the extra power of extra speed. Regardless of which nature you choose, the EVs remain the same. Max Attack and Speed help Mamoswime maximize its offensive presence, while the remaining 4 EVs are put into special defense. A Life Orb helps extend Mamoswine’s damage, while also giving it the freedom to switch attacks, given it prefers not to be locked into attacks. Finally, Thick Fat is the ability of choice to give Mamoswine a bit more survivability by neutralizing its fire weakness and giving it an ice resistance.
With access to Stealth Rock and Oblivious, Mamoswine can function decently well as a lead. It should be noted though that one Magic Bounce user in particular gives this set nightmares, and that would be Mega Sableye. However, if you’re using this set in formats where Mega Sableye isn’t around, then it’s still viable.
It should go without saying that Stealth Rock is the crux of this lead set. Thanks to Oblivious, Mamoswine cannot be Taunted, and with Focus Sash in tow, it’s usually able to survive long enough to set up Rocks as well. The premise is fairly simple. Of course, with Mamoswine’s meager speed tier, being left at 1 HP following the use of the Focus Sash often leaves it easily picked off thereafter. However, with Ice Shard’s priority, it can have a “last ditch effort” before it gets KO’ed for a little chip damage, in addition to being a good revenge killing tool should Mamoswine survive. Earthquake is utilized alongside of Ice Shard because… it’s Earthquake. It goes without saying that STAB Earthquake is really, really good, and helps Mamoswine pressure Espeon, who risks being 1HKO’ed by Mamoswine if it thinks it can utilize Magic Bounce to ward off Stealth Rock. For the final moveslot, once again Mamoswine finds itself with a choice. Endeavor works very well with Focus Sash, and allows Mamoswine to troll slower offensive threats, being able to bring them down to 1 HP after Sash does its thing. Knock Off is also an option, for its ever reliable ability to knock off items, which is annoying to switch into in general. Finally, there’s always the choice to opt for Icicle Crash, which affords Mamoswine a stronger ice STAB.
The EVs and Nature are much the same as the previous set; Mamoswine seeks to maximize its power and speed, and the choice of Adamant vs. Jolly really comes down to your preference of power vs. speed. For lead sets however, Jolly tends to be the more common to edge out slower leads. Finally, as already mentioned, it is the combination of Oblivious and Focus Sash that allows Mamoswine to function as a reliable Stealth Rock setter.
-Freeze Dry has some niche value in that it can hit certain water types such as Gyarados, Quagsire, and Slowbro harder, but it requires Mamoswine to run a mixed set, and most other water types are hit harder by Earthquake.
VGC, Double & Triple Battle Options
Mamoswineis a dangerous Pokemon, both to the opponent and to the user. Mamoswinehas excellent matchups against THE most popular Pokemon in VGC right now, Amoongus, Salamence, Thundurus, Landorus, Heatran, some Aegislash. All have to be very cautious when playing against one, while the Mamoswinetrainer has to be very cautious of switching it in on anything. Because it scares the previously mentioned Pokemon so terribly, Mammoswine's value goes up ten-fold, meaning letting it get burned, intimidated too much or just plain knocked out before its job is over can cost you a game or two depending on your team.
Bread and Butter Mamoswineas far as attacks go. The diversity comes in the item choice. Focus Sash takes some of the stress away when put in a position to take an attack. Ice/Ground isn't defensive typing, period. Life Orb and Choice Band both land unexpected OHKOes, but Life Orb allows Mamoswineto Protect to help preserve it longer. Choice Scarf is a neat tech, it almost allows one to go without Ice Shard, but the tough pill to swallow with Mamoswineis that Icicle Crash isn't 100% Accurate, and Icicle Spear isn't 100% going to hit 5 times. It's only true reliable STAB Ice attack is Ice Shard, but too often that isn't enough power. Missing (the KO) on Amoongus or Salamence will only lead to Mammo being KOed the following turn failing to take out its prime targets.
Mamoswine likes being paired with Mega Charizard Y, Drought removes a water weakness and Zard has troubles with Heatran and Dragons, both are handled by Mamoswine, who is free to Earthquake thanks to CHarizard being part Flying. This kind of team leans towards being offensive.
Mamoswine falls short defensively, most attacks will 2KO or OHKO it period, but it puts Swaggerless Thundurus in awkward spots. Mamoswine finds itself in a "high risk, high reward" spot often.
Never underestimate Mamoswine. It needs support, yes, but the utility it offers in checking a lot of the biggest threats in VGC right now is currently unmatched.
Switching into Mamoswine can be a daunting prospect with its high attack and solid STAB coverage, but it’s not an insurmountable obstacle. In its most commonly used formats, Mamoswine has a few foes that stifle it. Bulky waters are usually a good way to go. Suicune is usually a reliable answer, as even with Life Orb boosted Adamant Earthquake, Suicune is only being 3HKO’ed at best. Suicune’s Scald can 2HKO, which of course has the ever-present threat of a burn as well. Milotic and Vaporeon in the exact same boat as Suicune, although they take Earthquakes a little worse so they have a miniscule chance of being 2HKO’ed. Alomomola tends to only be 4HKO’ed most of the time by LO Earthquake, but its Scald only 3HKOs, and the rare Freeze Dry on mixed sets can be trouble. However, it can shrug off damage dealt to it thanks to Regenerator as well. Some water types are bulky enough to check Mamoswine but not quite enough to counter it outright. These include Feraligatr, Mega Swampert, and Mega Blastoise, all of whom can take any attack from Mamoswine and 1HKO it back, but run the risk of being 2HKO’ed due to being outsped. Rotom-H acts as a fantastic counter to Mamoswine, being immune to Earthquake and resisting its Ice STAB, and generally When it comes to checking Mamoswine, there are many Pokemon who outspeed Mamoswine and 1HKO it due to its subpar speed tier, although many have difficulty switching into Mamoswine. Mega Sharpedo, Cobalion, Infernape, Darmanitan, Lucario, Arcanine, Entei, and several others fall into this category, all being able to outspeed and obliterate Mamoswine, but none of them like eating an Earthquake, so switching in is not a safe endeavor. Cresselia can attempt to wall Mamoswine, as although Adamant Life Orb Knock Off can take about half of its HP, Cresselia can usually wear down Mamoswine with the combination of Toxic and Moonlight, plus Mamoswine’s own Life Orb recoil. Forretress is 3HKO’ed by Adamant Life Orb Earthquake, but it can 2HKO with Gyro Ball after Life Orb’s recoil, and it can spin away any Rocks that Mamoswine tries to set up. As was mentioned earlier, Bronzong’s typing and ability render it resistant to Mamoswine’s ice STAB and immune to its Ground STAB. However, Life Orb Adamant Knock Off can strip Bronzong of up to 93% of its HP at most, so it has to watch out for that. However, it can still 2HKO Mamoswine with Gyro Ball on defensive sets, and even offensive sets can 1HKO with Gyro Ball while tanking Knock Off just as well. Shaymin may seem like an odd choice with its Ice weakness, but it outspeeds Mamoswine, is bulky enough to eat an Ice Shard, and can destroy Mamoswine with Seed Flare. Machamp and Heracross can both 1HKO Mamoswine with their powerful fighting STAB, and are powerful enough to survive any one attack that Mamoswine throws at them, However, they can’t switch in due to the fact that Mamoswine can pick them off with Ice Shard after an Earthquake or Icicle Crash, respectively. Mamoswine’s special defense is usually the weak spot in its bulk, so there’s a lot of special attackers whose high powered STAB attacks can wipe Mamoswine out. For instance, Mamoswine has no chance of survive Life Orb Fire Blast from Moltres, a Hydro Pump from Kingdra, a Choice Specs Adaptability Tri-Attack from Porygon-Z, or a Draco Meteor from Kyurem or Hydreigon.
In more inclusive formats, Mamoswine has more problems. Lead Mamoswine is entirely shut down by Mega Sableye, whose prankster Will-o-Wisp on turn 1 can neuter offensive presence, while Magic Bounce prevents Stealth Rock. Offensive sets meet a new foe in Rotom-W, who, unlike its fire-type cousin, doesn’t really fear any of Mamoswine’s coverage moves barring the rare Freeze Dry which still only 3HKO’s. Meanwhile, Hydro Pump is a clean 1HKO even without investment, or it can always go the Will-o-Wisp route to neuter Mamoswine. Mega Slowbro can take anything that Mamoswine can throw at it and soundly 1HKO it with Scald, as even Freeze Dry is typically only going to 3HKO it. Mega Venusaur can be 2HKO’ed by Adamant Life Orb Earthquake, but it 1HKOs Mamoswine with Giga Drain and heals back the damage as well. Everyone’s favorite Steel bird, Skarmory, has no trouble tanking Mamoswine’s attacks, and can utilize Roost to let Mamoswine KO itself with Life Orb recoil, in addition to being able to blow away Mamoswine’s Stealth Rock with Defog. Ferrothorn is only 3HKO’ed by Adamant Life Orb Earthquake, and can 1HKO with Gyro Ball. However, it should be noted that Adamant Life Orb Superpower can threaten a 2HKO, although between Iron Barbs, Life Orb recoil, and the stat drops, Mamoswine will usually end up being forced out afterwards. Gyarados can 1HKO Mamoswine with Waterfall more than half the time on offensive sets, while Icicle Crash only 2HKOs and Intimidate causes it damage to barely break 50%. However, it does have to watch for the rare Freeze Dry on mixed sets, and rock type coverage moves can be a nuisance. Manaphy has enough bulk to survive any attack Mamoswine can muster plus the follow-up Ice Shard, and 1HKO Mamoswine with a Water STAB. There exist some powerful priority users that can shrug off Ice Shard and then pound Mamoswine with super effective priority attacks to force it out. These include Azumarill with Aqua Jet, Scizor and its Mega Evolution with Bullet Punch, and Conkeldurr with Mach Punch. Also worth noting is that Talonflame can also pick off a weakened Mamoswine in a pinch with its notorious priority Brave Bird. Several Pokemon outspeed Mamoswine and have no trouble tanking an Ice Shard, but have trouble switching into certain coverage moves. This includes Starmie, Keldeo, Mega Charizard Y, and Weavile. Mega Medicham and Mega Lopunny can’t reliably switch into Mamoswine, but they can utilize Fake Out to allow themselves to Mega Evolve, and then promptly destroy Mamoswine with their fighting STAB attacks. Excadrill can destroy Mamoswine with Iron Head and generally outspeeds it, but has to watch out for its own Adamant sets matching up against Jolly Mamoswine, which allows Mamoswine to outspeed Excadrill and 1HKO it with Earthquake. Gengar and Serperior can outspeed and 1HKO Mamoswine, but they have to watch out for Ice Shard, which can deal heavy damage to them. Terrakion can also outspeed and destroy Mamoswine, but it just has to watch out for switching in since Earthquake will ruin its day. Overall, Mamoswine’s bulk is only average, especiall on the special side, and with its reliance on Life Orb, you can usually wear it down with decently strong STAB attacks, especially since it lacks resistances.
Although Piloswine could never make it in the big leagues, with the advent of Eviolite in Gen 5, Piloswine could at least take solace in being decent in certain tiered formats. Piloswine may not be versatile, making it pretty predictable, but it does have bulk on its side thanks to Eviolite. As a result, this set is pretty similar to Mamoswine’s in terms of its movepool. Ice Shard is your STAB priority attack, which is just as valuable for Piloswine given it’s even slower than Mamoswine. Icicle Crash provides the power that Ice Shard lacks for when priority isn’t needed. And once again, Earthquake is Earthquake one of the best STAB attacks in the game with its solid power, coverage, and accuracy. Not much more needs to be said about it. Finally, with Piloswine’s ability to force some switches, it finds plenty of time to set up Stealth Rock, and what team doesn’t love Stealth Rock?
Piloswine’s speed cannot be salvaged, so a bulkier set is preferred. 252 HP and 252 Attack with an Adamant Nature lets Piloswine maximize its attack while also prioritizing bulk, while the remaining 4 EVs are put into its weaker special defense. Eviolite and Thick Fat complement the bulk, with Eviolite bolstering Piloswine’s decent defenses to studier levels, while Thick Fat neutralizes its fire weakness and gives it an ice resistance.
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