- Recoil moves deal no recoil damage.
- Enemy attacks lose one extra PP. Increases wild encounter rate.
- Prevents the foe from consuming its held Berry item.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
With Team Preview required in all standard BW battles, Aerodactyl's role as a suicide lead is less effective than it was in DPP. No longer can it immediately grab momentum and prevent the opponent from setting up Stealth Rock; they can just set it up later. As such, Aerodactyl has seen a great drop in usage, falling from the ranks of OU all the way down to RU. Its poor defenses and Stealth Rock weakness make it almost useless mid-game, limiting its roles greatly. On the bright side, the one thing it hasn't lost over the generation shift is its ability to set up Stealth Rock effectively—its amazing Speed allows it to set up the entry hazard with remarkable consistency. Add to that the fact that most players don't account for Aerodactyl when they make their team, and you might just have yourself a key cog in your strategy machine. In such a fast-paced, offensive metagame, this niche is more than enough reason to use Aerodactyl.
With a new generation comes a new strategy. You may be shocked to see Taunt not listed as a main option and even more so to see Fire Blast getting the nod. However, this is where Team Preview actually works to your advantage! When an opponent sees Aerodactyl, they will more or less assume that you are running Taunt to prevent opposing setup. As such, they will neglect to send out their Stealth Rock user in exchange for a more favorable matchup, such as Scizor or Forretress. This is where Fire Blast comes in—with the EV spread provided, you OHKO both Pokemon (although Forretress will survive due to Sturdy). How's that for a momentum grabber! Also, think of it this way—if your opponent doesn't use his Stealth Rock setter as a lead, then that's just more turns that Stealth Rock isn't on your side of the field! But all that is beside the point, as Aerodactyl's main attraction is its ability to set up Stealth Rock. With its fast Speed, Aerodactyl is almost impossible to prevent from setting up the entry hazard, only stopped by Magic Coat and Prankster Taunt users. Aerodactyl does not even fear the two Magic Bounce users (Espeon and Xatu), as both are promptly 2HKOed upon switching in. It also has the added advantage of being able to threaten some of the most prevalent Rapid Spinners in OU, 2HKOing Starmie and Tentacruel with Stone Edge and Earthquake, respectively, and as mentioned before, roasting Forretress with Fire Blast.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
A Hone Claws attacker set can be used to boost Aerodactyl's middling Attack to higher levels, while also making Stone Edge incredibly accurate. Although it has trouble getting the opportunity to set up a Hone Claws, Aerodactyl can wreak havoc with the boost. A stallbreaker set including Taunt and Roost can be used, but with the decline of stall in the metagame, its use has greatly diminished. Aerodactyl can use a Choice Band to further increase its power, but a lack of coverage and bulk make such a set generally inferior to those run by other Pokemon, such as Garchomp. A specially defensive set in sandstorm could be useful to counter Tornadus, but at that point you're picking for straws out of a dead haystack.
Checks and Counters
Aerodactyl's main job is to set up Stealth Rock and then cause as much damage as possible before it faints, so a counter to it would have to prevent Stealth Rock. Donphan is a solid counter, as it can damage Aerodactyl with either Ice Shard or Stone Edge and finish it off with Rapid Spin, effectively nullifying its presence. Deoxys-D with Magic Coat is also an excellent counter, as Magic Coat allows it to bounce Stealth Rock back. If your goal is to defeat Aerodactyl at the cost of having Stealth Rock on your side on the field, then nearly any Pokemon is a good switch-in against it. Just make sure that your Pokemon isn't weak to Rock-, Ground-, or Fire-type attacks and doesn't have Sharpedo-esque defenses, and you'll be fine.