- Summons permanent sandstorm.
- Increases power of Ground-, Rock-, and Steel-type attacks by 30% in a sandstorm.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
While Hippowdon might seem statistically inferior to many Ubers, it has certain qualities that set it apart from the pack. Its great physical bulk and pure-Ground typing make it a sturdy physical wall, and while it might appear outclassed by Groudon, the hippo has some very distinct advantages over the land titan. Firstly, Hippowdon has access to reliable instant recovery, something that Groudon would kill to get. Also, unlike Groudon and Ground Arceus, Hippowdon has the rare Sand Stream ability, which allows it to support its team in a unique way, and can open up some very interesting team options. Play Hippowdon to its advantages, and it will likely be an excellent addition to your team.
Hippowdon's good physical bulk and access to instant recovery make it an excellent physical wall. It can easily take hits from physical attackers such as Ho-Oh, Choice Scarf Zekrom (watch out for mixed sets), Groudon, Normal Arceus, and Excadrill. It is also a reliable Sand Stream user that can come in repeatedly to set up sandstorm, something that a stall team can use without having to run Groudon, if sunny weather is not to your fancy. Slack Off is obviously the main attraction of this set, allowing Hippowdon to take hits repeatedly and heal off the damage. Earthquake is Hippowdon's reliable STAB move, and Roar allows it to force out dangerous enemies such as Ho-Oh and Normal Arceus. Toxic is preferred in the last spot to defeat last-Pokemon Normal Arceus, which would otherwise set up Swords Dance without fear of being forced out. Stealth Rock is a solid support option due to Hippowdon's good physical bulk, while Ice Fang can be used to score surprise KOs on Garchomp and Rayquaza.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Hippowdon has the option of running a Curse set, but given the specially offensive nature of the Uber metagame, it will be taken down way too easily. The same goes for a Stockpile set. Yawn can be used to force switches, but Roar is much better, as it is not blocked by Substitute. Fire Fang can be used to hit Ferrothorn for decent damage, and discouraging it from setting up hazards with impunity.
Checks and Counters
Hippowdon is countered by anything that is not weak to Earthquake and has access to reasonably strong special attacks. Kyogre is especially problematic because it wipes out sandstorm and drowns virtually everything that it touches. Any Uber Dragon-type will take down Hippowdon with a Life Orb- or Choice Specs-boosted Draco Meteor. Physically defensive entry hazard users such as Ferrothorn, Forretress, and Skarmory can also use Hippowdon as setup fodder. Skarmory is particularly problematic because there is absolutely nothing Hippowdon can do to it, while Skarmory can shut down Hippowdon completely with Taunt.