Cranidos

Mold Breaker
Abilities that hinder attacks are nullified.
Sheer Force
Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Type Tier
Rock LC
Level 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
67
- 23 26 -
Atk
125
17 19 22 24
Def
40
9 10 13 14
SpA
30
8 9 12 13
SpD
30
8 9 12 13
Spe
58
10 12 15 16
  • Little Cup

Overview

Cranidos, quite frankly, hits about as hard as the comet that killed off its dinosaur brethren. Sporting an absolutely monstrous base 125 Attack equal to that of Gyarados all the way in OU, as well as a powerful STAB move in Head Smash, Cranidos is an offensive juggernaut to say the least. It also sports great coverage moves as well and an amazing ability in Mold Breaker. Combine this with good HP and decent Speed, and Cranidos has the potential to flatten unprepared teams.

However, not everything is peachy for Cranidos. Its Speed is only average, allowing faster Pokemon to prey on its mediocre defenses and take it out. Priority is also a thorn in Cranidos's side; most of the widely seen priority moves in Little Cup hit Cranidos super effectively, meaning that priority abusers probably need to be eliminated before Cranidos can be used effectively. Once most or all of the threats to Cranidos are gone, it can do what it does best: hit everything in sight as hard as possible.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Mold Breaker Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Head Smash
~ Stone Edge
~ Earthquake
~ Zen Headbutt / Fire Punch
60 HP / 236 Atk / 212 Spe

With Choice Scarf to alleviate its average Speed, Cranidos can work as a great cleaner thanks to its combination of massive Attack, STAB Head Smash, and great coverage moves. Cranidos hits 22 Speed with an Adamant nature and Choice Scarf, allowing it to get the jump on all unboosted Pokemon in Little Cup as well as many Choice Scarf users that sit at 21 Speed. Head Smash hits extremely hard, scoring 2HKOs on most Pokemon in the metagame. However, when Head Smash's recoil starts to get Cranidos's health down to dangerously low levels, it's advised that you use Stone Edge, which doesn't hit quite as hard but lacks recoil, making it a great choice. Earthquake provides great coverage alongside Rock-type moves, and has the added bonus of hitting Pokemon with Levitate thanks to Mold Breaker. Lastly, Zen Headbutt hits common Fighting-types very hard on the switch, while Fire Punch knocks out Ferroseed, which otherwise walls Cranidos nicely.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Rock Polish

Life Orb / Oran Berry Mold Breaker Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Rock Polish
~ Stone Edge
~ Earthquake
~ Zen Headbutt / Crunch
60 HP / 236 Atk / 212 Spe

While Choice Scarf Cranidos is meant to use a hit-and-run strategy, the Rock Polish set is meant to set up and sweep outright with its combination of high power STAB and coverage moves as well as its ever-useful base 125 Attack. Rock Polish is a given on this set, boosting Cranidos to 30 Speed, enough to outpace all of the unboosted metagame and most boosted Pokemon as well. Stone Edge is used on this set instead of Head Smash, as Cranidos can't afford to take more recoil than it already does from Life Orb, and it is still very powerful. Earthquake is a great coverage move, getting wonderful neutral coverage when combined with Stone Edge. Thanks to Mold Breaker, it also hits Pokemon with Levitate, which is a huge plus. Zen Headbutt allows Cranidos to hit Fighting-type Pokemon very hard on the switch, while Crunch allows Cranidos to hit Ghost-types incredibly hard. Life Orb is the preferred item, allowing Cranidos to switch attacks and giving it a nice power boost. However, Oran Berry is an option to allow Cranidos to stay on the field longer.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

While Cranidos has that massive Attack, which should always be used, it has a respectable special movepool. However, its Special Attack isn't anywhere near as great as its Attack. The only special attacks that should possibly be considered are Ice Beam to hit Ground-types harder, and Fire Blast to hit Grass-types and Ferroseed. Superpower is an option to hit Scraggy very hard, though unfortunately it doesn't OHKO Eviolite variants. ThunderPunch is a nice option to hit Water-types.

Cranidos can run a Swords Dance set or a set with two boosting moves in Swords Dance and Rock Polish, but it is fairly slow and needs as much coverage as it can get. Choice Band Cranidos hits like an 18-wheeler, but once again Cranidos isn't quite fast enough to abuse it. Paralysis support is recommended if you use Choice Band Cranidos. It also has access to Whirlwind and Stealth Rock, but Cranidos is frail and as such is not exactly the best user of either move. A Substitute + 3 attacks set seems interesting on paper, though Cranidos has trouble setting up due to its frailty.

Checks and Counters

Switching into Cranidos comes with the problem of taking a hit from something with base 125 Attack, as well as a 150 Base Power STAB move to back it up. Perhaps the best Pokemon for the job are bulky Ground-types such as Hippopotas and Phanpy, which take little damage from Head Smash and most of Cranidos's other moves. They also threaten Cranidos with STAB Earthquake, OHKOing more often than not. Steel-types are the next best option, as they can switch in on anything but Earthquake with relative ease. If you don't have to switch in on an attack from Cranidos, the list of checks increases dramatically. Faster Pokemon and users of priority can take out Cranidos with ease thanks to its only average defenses. Fighting-types with and without priority can maim Cranidos with their super effective STAB moves.