- Evasion increases by 25% in a sandstorm.
- Deals 1/8 damage when the opponent makes contact.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
One might question why Gabite would be used over its Dragon-type brethren. It has a much lower Attack stat than Druddigon, doesn't have access to Dragon Dance like Fraxure, and is not nearly as bulky as Altaria. However, Gabite does have a few advantages over the other available Dragon-types. One attribute that stands out is its secondary Ground typing. This sets it apart from other Dragon-types, as Gabite can eliminate Steel-types, which would normally be troublesome, with a STAB Earthquake. Gabite is also the fastest Dragon-type in the tier with a usable base 82 Speed. This allows Gabite to outspeed important threats such as Kabutops and Gallade. Its base 90 Attack isn't too shabby, either. These stats are screaming for Gabite to hold a Choice Band, as it can wreak havoc with a powerful Outrage. One of Gabite's abilities, Rough Skin, can also come in handy for inflicting some extra damage on the opponent. Despite all of these advantages, Gabite is not without problems. It is extremely frail, meaning that it is 2HKOed by most of the metagame. Furthermore, it has no boosting moves outside of Hone Claws, so its only reliable set is the Choice Band set. All in all, Gabite is a unique Dragon-type that has the potential to thrive on a team given the proper support.
Even though Gabite's stats are mediocre overall, Outrage from a base 90 Attack hits hard enough, even having a slim chance to 2HKO Poliwrath, one of RU's most common physically defensive walls. Outrage allows Gabite to excel at weakening opponents early-game, or cleaning up at the end of a game. Earthquake is a blessing for Gabite, as it allows Gabite to get past Steel-types, most notably Steelix and Escavalier, as Earthquake can 2HKO both of them. Stone Edge should be used when facing Flying-types such as Sigilyph and Moltres, since being locked into Outrage might put you at a disadvantage. Dual Chop is an alternative Dragon-type move that can be used if being locked into Outrage would be unfavorable, and it also has the perk of breaking through Substitutes, Focus Sashes, and Sturdy. Overall, Gabite should be paired with another strong attacker and used to either weaken opposing walls early-game or pick off foes later in the game.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Hone Claws is sadly Gabite's only boosting move, but can help Gabite hit harder and increase the accuracy of Stone Edge and Dual Chop—if Gabite can fit both of those in its moveset. Letting Gabite hold a Choice Scarf is another option, but Gabite will be significantly weaker. Another option would be to hold an Eviolite to create some sort of a tank set in tandem with Stealth Rock, Toxic, or Roar, but it is completely outclassed by Druddigon. Lastly, Life Orb is usable, and Bulldoze can be used in order to make up for Gabite's lack of Speed. However, none of these options allow Gabite to reach its full potential.
Checks and Counters
Gabite is quite frail and thus relatively easy to take down without putting up a major fight. Pokemon with the Levitate ability can come in on Gabite's STAB Earthquake; physically defensive Uxie does this well in particular, as it also avoids the 2HKO from Outrage. Steel-types such as Steelix, Aggron, Klinklang, and Escavalier resist Outrage, but they all must be careful of Earthquake. Ferroseed is the best Steel-type counter to Gabite, as it is not 2HKOed by Earthquake. Gabite is much easier to deal with once you figure out which move it is locked into. Tangrowth fails to be 2HKOed by any of Gabite's attacks, and can recover any of the damage with Synthesis and Regenerator. Gabite is frail, so ExtremeSpeed from Entei or Sucker Punch from Spiritomb can knock it out when weakened. Most Pokemon that are faster than Gabite can easily revenge kill it, such as Cryogonal, Jynx, Rotom-F, and Moltres. Other Pokemon with Ice-type moves, such as Mesprit and Quagsire, can take care of Gabite. When facing Gabite, just try to get as much damage on it as possible, as it can't take many hits and will not last for long.