Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Armaldo is one of those Pokemon that gets less use than it deserves. With great offensive typing—only Steel- and Fighting-type Pokemon resist both STABs—and a base 125 Attack, Armaldo has the power to rip through unprepared teams. It also has a niche over other Bug-types thanks to access to Swift Swim via Dream World, which makes it a great physical attacker in the rain. Moreover, unlike other Swift Swim physical attackers, such as Kabutops and Qwilfish, Armaldo can take care of Pokemon such as Latios, Cresselia, Latias, and other Pokemon that tend to give rain teams trouble. It also has great defensive typing as well; with only three weaknesses and 75 / 100 / 80 defenses, it'll be on the field for a while. However, it isn't all raindrops and gumballs for Armaldo. With weaknesses to the common Water- and Rock-type attacks, the former even receiving a boost under rain, Armaldo will have problems executing its offensive role properly. To make matters worse, its low base 45 Speed makes it dead weight against other Swift Swim users such as Ludicolo and Kingdra. However, Armaldo isn't a Pokemon to be underestimated, as it has enough weapons in its arsenal to wreak havoc.
By using its Dream World ability, Swift Swim, Armaldo becomes a powerful sweeper in the rain. X-Scissor is its main STAB, as it hits the numerous Psychic- and Dark-type Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame, such as Latios, Latias, Cresselia, Tyranitar, and Hydreigon, for super effective damage. Rock Slide is another great STAB move for Armaldo, as it has great coverage alongside X-Scissor and gives Armaldo a spread move to use. However, Stone Edge can be used for more power, as it OHKOes 140/0 Zapdos, 252/140 Gyarados (if you avoid Intimidate), and 252/0 Togekiss, though it comes at the cost of accuracy. There are two options for the third moveslot; Earthquake is there for coverage against Steel-type Pokemon such as Metagross, Heatran, and Empoleon. However, Brick Break can be used to hit Pokemon such as Ferrothorn and Tyranitar harder. Finally, Protect is used so Armaldo can avoid damage from moves such as Fake Out and Bullet Punch, which gives its partner time to take out the threat or set up rain.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
For some people, using Armaldo in rain is a dumb idea. However, there's an alternative to the fast sweeper set: a slower, bulkier Trick Room sweeper. Though the moves are similar to the rain sweeper, it uses Trick Room instead of rain in order to outspeed the opponent and attack. X-Scissor is Armaldo's strongest Bug-type STAB, working well when going for coverage against Pokemon such as Tyranitar, Latios, Latias, and the ever annoying Cresselia. The choice of Rock STAB is up to the user; Rock Slide gives Armaldo a spread attack, while Stone Edge should be used if you'd like OHKOs against Pokemon such as Zapdos and Togekiss. The third moveslot is based on what your team needs coverage on the most. Earthquake gives coverage against Steel-type Pokemon such as Metagross and Heatran, while Low Kick can nail Pokemon such as Tyranitar and Terrakion harder than Earthquake can. Finally, Protect is used to stall for a turn as Armaldo's ally sets up Trick Room or clears a threat.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Armaldo has a few extra options that can work out for it. Aqua Tail, while illegal with Swift Swim, can be used on the Trick Room set to hit Rock-type Pokemon harder, though it lacks general coverage with Armaldo's STABs. Bulldoze can lower the opponents' Speed, which helps both it and its partner, but it is generally outclassed by Earthquake. Rock Blast can be used with Rock Gem to bypass Pokemon that try to prevent Trick Room from going up, such as Chandelure. Superpower can be used on the Trick Room set (it's illegal with Swift Swim) to always have a reliable Fighting-type attack against Pokemon that aren't very heavy, such as Ferrothorn, though the Attack and Defense drops are a real killer. Swords Dance can be used to boost Armaldo's Attack to eye-popping levels, though this requires extensive team support. Item-wise, Focus Sash is usable on the Swift Swim set to ensure it can take an attack from faster Swift Swim users, such as Kingdra and Ludicolo, giving Armaldo time to retaliate.
Checks and Counters
Despite the armor Armaldo sports, it still has problems against common VGC 2012 Pokemon. Steel-type Pokemon such as Scizor and Metagross can Bullet Punch Armaldo before it does anything, and the latter can just Meteor Mash it as well. Ferrothorn can take any attack, and proceed to either strike with Gyro Ball or sap away at Armaldo's health with Leech Seed. Amoonguss can also take any attack and then use Spore to put Armaldo out of the picture. For the Swift Swim set, faster Swift Swim Pokemon such as Ludicolo, Kabutops, and Kingdra can all outspeed Armaldo in the rain and OHKO it with powerful Water-type STAB attacks. Bulky Fighting-type Pokemon, such as Machamp and Hitmontop, resist both STABs and can use powerful Fighting-type attacks to put Armaldo down; both Pokemon even have Wide Guard to block Rock Slide and Earthquake, making it even harder to deal with them. To make matters worse, Hitmontop has Intimidate, which lowers Armaldo's Attack, weakening it for as long as it stays in. Finally, Trick Room screws over the Swift Swim set, as it relies on Speed to be effective.