- Abilities that hinder attacks are nullified.
- Increases power of moves with secondary effects by 30%, but removes the effects.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Rampardos is a simple Pokemon whose prehistoric brain was wired to do one thing: break walls. With its wide movepool, amazing base 165 Attack, and Mold Breaker, it can break through even the sturdiest of walls, including those with Sturdy! Rampardos's Head Smash is the strongest attack in NU, even outdoing the power of Zweilous's Hustle Outrage by a fair amount. Sadly, Rampardos lacks Rock Head and will usually kill itself after a few kills, while its low base 58 Speed lets it down a lot of the time. Thankfully, its Speed is just enough to outpace some of the fastest walls in the tier including Misdreavus, but Rampardos won't be having as easy of a time against more offensive Pokemon. Rampardos's Rock typing and low defenses make it incredibly easy to revenge kill and check, and its weakness to common priority in Aqua Jet and Mach Punch keep it in in its place. Rampardos's access to Sheer Force allows it to pull of an effective special attacking set, giving Rampardos essentially a base 99 Special Attack stat to get past some of its best checks such as Torterra, Tangela, Vileplume, and Alomomola, but it struggles against offense regardless. If you're looking for a Pokemon to break down opposing walls with the sheer strength of its Head Smash or the 'sheer force' of its special offense look no further than Rampardos.
Thanks to Rampardos's wide movepool, great Attack stat, and Mold Breaker ability, it has what it takes to become a highly effective utility Pokemon. Thanks to Superpower, Crunch, and Mold Breaker, it can OHKO common Stealth Rock users such as Probopass, Golem, Bastiodon, Carracosta, and Golurk without much of a hassle due to Rampardos's ability negating the effects of Sturdy or possibly Solid Rock in Carracosta's case. Rampardos can even be used to take down some of the more uncommon users of Stealth Rock such as Piloswine, who has a very good chance of getting OHKOed by Superpower. Head Smash is Rampardos's STAB attack of choice and will dent any Pokemon that comes in, while having a very good chance of OHKOing standard Garbodor and preventing it from setting up Spikes against Rampardos's team. Once it has taken down or forced out its main target, Rampardos can set up its own Stealth Rock or begin breaking down the enemy team with its powerful attacks. Rampardos's EVs allow it to do maximum damage with its strong physical attacks while its Speed investment allows it to outspeed some of the fastest walls in the tier, including Misdreavus. While Rampardos usually has an easy time defeating Stealth Rock users, there are three that stand out in being capable of beating Rampardos one on one. Torterra, Regirock, and Miltank have their individual special traits that allow them to get up Stealth Rock without the fear of Rampardos. Torterra's typing allows it to tank any of this set's attacks and either get up Stealth Rock or OHKO Rampardos with either one of its STAB attacks; Miltank's extremely high speed (for a wall) and good bulk allow it to always outspeed Rampardos and safely set up what it needs to, while Regirock's massive 80/200 defenses let it easily survive a Superpower.
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Choice Band Rampardos is the very definition of power and gives Ramapardos the niche of being one of the most frightening Pokemon to switch into in NU. With its impressive base 165 Attack stat and its 150 BP STAB Head Smash, Rampardos can ram through even some of the bulkiest Rock-type resists in the tier such as Golem, Gurdurr, and Torterra, who Rampardos can cleanly 2HKO. While with Rampardos's newfound power boost it could use Earthquake to OHKO Golem, Probopass, and Bastiodon, Superpower is still chosen over it due to the ability to hit Normal-type Pokemon such as Lickilicky and Miltank as well as Air Balloon Probopass. Crunch serves the same purpose as it does in Rampardos's offensive utility set, but now has more use. With a Choice Band, Rampardos will have no problem doing major damage to Golurk, Misdreavus, and Musharna without suffering the massive recoil brought upon from Head Smash. Zen Headbutt falls in a similar boat as it only really serves as a way to 2HKO Vileplume, Gurdurr, and Throh without the recoil from Head Smash. Head Smash from Choice Band Rampardos truly hits like a nuke and Rampardos will usually find itself constantly using this move regardless of the situation, which brings it to its biggest problem. Head Smash gives Rampardos half of the amount of HP it dishes out as recoil, which alongside entry hazards severely limits the amount of times Rampardos is capable of abusing its STAB attack. With priority such as Aqua Jet, Sucker Punch, and Mach Punch on almost every team, Rampardos is relegated to demolishing Pokemon on the switch and won't be as effective against more offensive and faster teams. However, when it does get a chance to attack, Rampardos will never disappoint.
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Rampardos seems like a straightforward Pokemon at first glance: just give it some physical attacks and hope to burst through the opponent's team. Rampardos has a very wide physical movepool, but another look reveals that Rampardos also has its share of excellent special attacks. Ranging from Fire Blast to Surf and even Thunderbolt, Rampardos has a special movepool that is sure to drive some Pokemon such as Samurott insane. Even with its wide special movepool there is no way it can make much use of them with its low base 65 Special Attack, right? Surprisingly, the answer is no. With its new Sheer Force ability, Rampardos can prevent Life Orb recoil and strengthen the power of its ability compatible moves. With this newfound ability, Rampardos essentially has a base 99 Special Attack stat to make use of to turn Rampardos into a powerful and unexpected special attacker. Special Rampardos is one of the best Alomomola lures in NU and deals solid damage to any switch in. The main thing that differentiates Rampardos from other special attackers is his massive base 165 Attack stat and STAB Head Smash. Head Smash will easily destroy any special wall that would be capable of coming into any of Rampardos's other attacks. Regice, Altaria, Flareon, or Lickilicky think they can come into Rampardos and check it? Nope, they get torn to shreds by the 'sheer force' of this dinosaur's prehistoric wrath.
Even knowing this, most people would stray away from special Rampardos asking themselves what it can do that a physical set cannot. Both sets can easily break down walls, but the physical set makes use of its tremendous Attack to heavily damage even Pokemon that resist its hits. However, the main reason that special Rampardos is viable over a physical set is that it can break walls with far fewer drawbacks. Physical sets are constantly taking Life Orb or Head Smash recoil and are having their stats decreased by Superpower. This set, on the otherhand, takes no Life Orb recoil for three out of four of its moves and doesn't need to use Head Smash nearly as often.
Sadly, special Rampardos is definitely not a set that every team should use. While its wallbreaking powers are awing, most teams would rather have support from the offensive utility set or bone shattering Choice Band set. While this set has the advantage of not taking much recoil and switching up moves, the fact still stands that most of special Rampardos's kills are 2HKOs. Choice Band Rampardos has a much bigger list of OHKOs and is, for the most part, free to just spam Head Smash. While it will kill itself very quickly compared to special Rampardos its ability to force an opponent to sacrifice a Pokemon every time it gets an opportunity fits more teams better. Compared to the offensive utility set, special Rampardos will never be able to replicate the same support due to the requirement of having Sheer Force in order to be competitive and having no room for Stealth Rock. While special Rampardos will never be capable of matching what the other two sets can do, it still has a definite niche as a special attacker that some teams can appreciate.
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Rampardos's main sets have all listed most what it can do, including becoming a special attacker. However Rampardos's movepool is extremely wide and has other options up its sleeves. Rampardos has access to most of the elemental punches and can use Thunder Punch or Fire Punch to hit specific targets such as Alomomola, Tangela, and Vileplume. These attacks can give the Choice Band set a way to break through these extremely defensive Pokemon without taking recoil damage, but comes at the price of replacing another of Rampardos's moves and maybe some of its coverage. Rampardos has access to Pain Split and Endeavor, which it can use on the offensive utility set to take advantage of its constant use of Life Orb and Head Smash, but requires Rampardos to give up either Crunch or Stealth Rock which are required to achieve the set's main role. Rampardos can use a Choice Scarf to unleash fast Head Smashes, but Rampardos is way too slow to take advantage of the speed boost, is weak to common priority moves in Aqua Jet and Mach Punch, and gives up a lot of its wallbreaking power. Rampardos also has access to Pursuit which it can try to make use of to trap Ghost-type Pokemon, but will generally fail as Rampardos is slower than most Ghost-type Pokemon and risks taking a lot of damage. Rock Polish and Swords Dance can be used to give Rampardos a possible chance to sweep, but due to Rampardos's subpar bulk and typing it is extremely hard to set up and not worth it due to Rampardos's weaknesses to priority.
Checks and Counters
Finding straight-up counters to Rampardos, Pokemon who can effortless take the onslaughts of both the physical and special variants, is almost impossible. Gurdurr is possibly one of the best switches into Rampardos regardless of the set thanks to its Fighting-typing and great all around bulk with Eviolite. Even so, Gurdurr does have to watch out for Choice Band Rampardos's Zen Headbutt, as it will 2HKO and put Gurdurr at an unsalvageable range of HP. Tangela and Alomomola can take a hit from physical Rampardos, forcing Rampardos to take recoil from Life Orb or Head Smash. Thanks to their Regenerator ability, they can switch back to an appropriate resist and gain 33% of their health back to be capable of doing it over and over again. While Rampardos is lacking in counters, almost the entire metagame can be considered a check to it. Due to it's Rock-typing, bad bulk, and low Speed any Pokemon that can be safely brought against it that can outspeed can be considered Rampardos check. Rampardos's tendencies to use Life Orb, recoil attacks, or the stat dropping Superpower only serves to make checking it a breeze. Essentially having all the of the best Pokemon in the metagame including Braviary, Zangoose, Ludicolo, Haunter, Gurdurr, and Samurott as good revenge killers serve to bring Rampardos down and is the reason why it has managed to say so dormant in NU.
Rampardos's Rock-typing also brings forth weakness to priority in the form of Aqua Jet and Mach Punch, while its frailty leaves it at the mercy of Sucker Punch users. This major weakness to the common priority is the primary suspect in the lack of effectiveness in the Choice Scarf set. While Rampardos does indeed have excellent attacking stats, there are Pokemon that can take a hit and retaliate, becoming checks without needing to outspeed Rampardos. The Regenerator Pokemon, Alomomola and Tangela, can all take a hit from physical Rampardos with their good defensive stats and retaliate with their STAB attacks. Other Pokemon such as Torterra, Golem, and Regirock can all take a hit thanks to their typing or excellent defense and retaliate with Earthquake or Drain Punch, respectively. While the special set is capable of 2HKOing almost the entire metagame, it misses OHKOs on a lot of Pokemon as well. Pokemon such as Swords Dance Lickilicky, Gurdurr, and Musharna can all take a hit and beat down Rampardos with their attacks.