- Evasion increases by 25% in a sandstorm.
- Deals 1/8 damage when the opponent makes contact.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Although often ignored in NU in favor of other Dragon-types, Gabite has a solid niche in the metagame thanks to its ability, Rough Skin. Gabite is also the only Dragon-type in NU to have access to Stealth Rock, and its STAB Earthquake allows it to beat many common leads in NU, such as Golem, Regirock, and Probopass. Specifically, the offensive variant causes issues for many common leads. Gabite's rare Dragon / Ground typing gives it many handy resistances, such as Fire and Rock, as well as an immunity to Electric-type attacks. This helpful defensive typing allows it to function as an excellent support Pokemon; its base 82 Speed is quite fast, allowing it to outspeed nearly every other support Pokemon. However not all is perfect for Gabite, as many bulky sweepers can shrug off its attacks and OHKO in return. Gabite also faces heavy competition from Piloswine, which is much bulkier and more powerful. Ultimately, Gabite must rely on its superior defensive typing in order to not be outclassed.
Gabite is a solid tank, as it resists common attacks such as Stone Edge, and has a STAB Earthquake coming from a decent base 90 Attack. Earthquake is a solid attack, hitting many common Pokemon super effectively, such as Golem, Regirock, Carracosta, and Garbodor. Dragon Claw gives Gabite near perfect coverage and is used to hit Pokemon that take minuscule amounts of damage from Earthquake, such as Altaria, Sawsbuck, and Ludicolo. However, be warned that, although Dragon Claw does hit these Pokemon for more damage, Gabite cannot stay in on any of them bar Sawsbuck, as each can OHKO Gabite with little effort. Stealth Rock allows Gabite to support the team from the get-go, as it is one of the better leads in NU, using its Speed, bulk and typing to give its team the advantage. Roar is commonly used in the last moveslot to stop opposing sweepers from setting up on Gabite, while also forcing the opposition to take more residual damage from Stealth Rock. Toxic can also be used if your team struggles against more defensive teams, as Toxic can permanently cripple many defensive Pokemon, such as Tangela and Alomomola.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Gabite has the stats and movepool to pull off a few other interesting sets. A Choice Band set hits quite hard, but is generally outclassed by Fraxure, which hits much harder. Gabite can boost its Attack and accuracy with Hone Claws, but it struggles to set up and will rarely be able to pull off a sweep. Outrage offers much more power, but it usually backfires by getting Gabite KOed while it's locked into the move. Body Slam has a chance to paralyze the opposing team and can be used over Dragon Claw; however, it is noticeably weaker and will do laughable amounts of damage to most Pokemon. Stone Edge can be used to hit Flying-types super effectively, although due to the lack of STAB it will not hit them hard. Gabite has a solid special movepool, with high-powered attacks such as Draco Meteor and Fire Blast, but Gabite's poor base 50 Special Attack won't be scoring it any significant KOs. Listen closely young trainer, as this final option is Gabite's most powerful. There is an amazing technique that is only used by the battling elite,a horrifying move known as manual Sandstorm. This allows Gabite to utilize its other magnificent ability: Sand Veil. With Sand Veil in effect, Gabite's evasion is increased by 20%, which makes Ice Beam hit as often as Hydro Pump! Very few players are able to succeed with this strategy, as only the true Pokemon elite can pull it off.
Checks and Counters
Countering Gabite isn't difficult, as it is rather weak. Most of the NU Grass-types, particularly Tangela, Vileplume, Ludicolo, and Torterra, can take anything from Gabite and retaliate with their own attacks, slowly whittling its HP down (or solidly 2HKOing in Torterra's case). Bulk Up Vigoroth can set up all over Gabite, using Taunt to shut down its ability to phaze and taking next to nothing from any of its attacks. Piloswine can switch in on any move and respond with a powerful Icicle Crash or Icicle Spear, fearing nothing from any of Gabite's attacks. Golbat can switch in on Gabite, Taunt it to prevent phazing and whittle it down with Brave Bird, using Roost when needed. Misdreavus can easily come in, burn Gabite with Will-O-Wisp, and proceed to use Shadow Ball until it faints. Ice-types such as Regice, Articuno, and Glaceon can switch in as Gabite uses Stealth Rock and proceed to OHKO with Ice Beam. Bulky Psychic-types such as Musharna and Exeggutor fear little from Gabite, and can hit it with powerful Psychics. Gorebyss forces Gabite into a 50/50 prediction, where Gabite has to choose between switching out and using Roar. If Gorebyss uses Shell Smash when you predict an Ice Beam and flee, your team is in for a world of hurt. Inversely, if you predict a Shell Smash and Gorebyss uses Ice Beam, you've just lost a member of your team. Samurott also fears nothing from Gabite, and can OHKO with its powerful Ice Beam. Essentially, you should never have to search for a Gabite counter, as nearly every team packs at least one. Gabite will never be an overwhelming offensive presence and can be prepared for by any decent NU team. Don't let that keep you from using it though, as it can still be quite effective.