Hippowdon

Sand Stream
Summons permanent sandstorm. Decreases wild encounter rate when in a sandstorm.
Type Tier
Ground OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
108
- 357 420 -
Atk
112
234 260 323 355
Def
118
244 272 335 368
SpA
68
154 172 235 258
SpD
72
162 180 243 267
Spe
47
117 130 193 212
  • Overused

Overview

With its Sand Stream ability and access to Stealth Rock and Roar, Hippowdon is arguably the best starter there is for a stall team. Hippowdon is always restricted by its low Special Defense and Speed stats, but even outside of stall it is useful, especially when running a Curse set. If you are looking for a physically bulky Pokemon or a phazer, then Hippowdon is a sure bet.

Name Item Nature

Physically Defensive

Leftovers Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Earthquake
~ Slack Off
~ Stealth Rock
~ Roar / Toxic / Stone Edge / Ice Fang
252 HP / 152 Def / 104 SpD

In DPP's fast-paced metagame, Hippowdon provides valuable physical bulk. Hippowdon also sports an immunity to Electric-type attacks and a resistance to the Rock-type, two very common attacking types. Additionally, Hippowdon boasts 10% more physical bulk than Skarmory, its main rival for the position of physical wall. On top of all these things, Lucario cannot even OHKO Hippowdon with a boosted Close Combat. In fact, most unboosted physical moves, outside of Explosion and Selfdestruct, will never OHKO Hippowdon.

Hippowdon is a very good choice for a Pokemon to set up Stealth Rock. Hippowdon can take a hit, comfortably set up Stealth Rock, and then recover any damage which it has taken by using Slack Off. In addition to laying down Stealth Rock, Hippowdon can shuffle Pokemon around with Roar, scouting your opponent's team and dealing passive damage through sandstorm and Stealth Rock. Ice Fang may seem like a move that wouldn't fit well in Hippowdon's moveset, but it hits Dragonite, Flygon, and Gliscor, who can be problematic for stall teams. Stone Edge is a good attacking move, as it can hit both Dragonite and Gyarados switch-ins, who often see Hippowdon as setup fodder. Finally, Toxic is also a noteworthy option, and goes hand-in-hand with Hippowdon's stalling ability. If you run into the occasional Taunt Pokemon, however, then Hippowdon becomes almost useless. If you are not using Hippowdon for setting up Stealth Rock, then replacing Stealth Rock with any one of the aforementioned suggested fourth slot moves is ideal.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Specially Defensive

Leftovers Careful
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Slack Off
~ Earthquake
~ Roar / Ice Fang / Crunch / Toxic
252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD

Hippowdon's Special Defense stat may not look impressive at a quick glance, but with its great HP stat, Hippowdon is capable of taking on some of the peskiest special sweepers in the metagame. Hippowdon can use its Electric-type immunity to switch into common threats such as Jolteon and Zapdos, both of which fail to 2HKO Hippowdon with Choice Specs and Life Orb Hidden Power Grass or Ice, respectively. Hippowdon can also switch into Calm Mind Jirachi and retaliate with Earthquake. Other notable Pokemon it is capable of handling are Life Orb Gengar, mixed attacking Dragonite, and even Choice Specs Heatran in a pinch—Hippowdon can Slack Off the damage from Overheat and come out on top.

Hippowdon makes an excellent user of Stealth Rock. This variant is particularly good at using it because Hippowdon is capable of taking both physical and special attacks. Slack Off gives Hippowdon reliable recovery so it can stay healthy throughout the battle, making it difficult for the opponent to remove Stealth Rock permanently. Roar works wonders in combination with entry hazards by shuffling the opponent's team. If there is not a great need for Roar, there are other moves that can work in its place. Ice Fang works for eliminating Dragonite and Flygon, two threats that can otherwise only be phazed out. Crunch is beneficial if you are in need of something to take out Gengar; it also works well against Rotom-A. Toxic offers consistent damage to work alongside Sand Stream and has excellent coverage with Earthquake, as the latter hits most Steel-types for super effective damage.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Curse

Leftovers Careful
Moveset EVs
~ Curse
~ Slack Off
~ Earthquake
~ Ice Fang / Stone Edge
252 HP / 84 Def / 172 SpD

Hippowdon carries a rather impressive 112 base Attack stat along with one of the best HP and Defense stat combinations in the game. Because of its already horrendous Speed stat, Hippowdon makes great use of the move Curse. As Curse boosts Hippowdon's Attack stat even higher, Ice Fang becomes the better move, allowing you to score KOs on many Flying-type Pokemon. However, if Gyarados still worries you, then Stone Edge is the better attacking choice.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Earthquake
~ Crunch
~ Ice Fang / Stone Edge
~ Fire Fang / Slack Off / Toxic
252 HP / 124 Atk / 132 Def

Choice Band Hippowdon, though seemingly inferior to the Curse set, can actually cause your opponent quite a headache once you have figured out the Pokemon on their team.

Earthquake serves as Hippowdon's obligatory STAB move, whereas Crunch is used to hit Levitating Ghost-types, such as Rotom-A. Deciding whether to use Ice Fang or Stone Edge really boils down to whether you want to hit Gliscor and Flygon harder or Gyarados harder. The final move is more a matter of preference than anything else. When given Fire Fang, Hippowdon can do reasonable damage to Forretress, as well as OHKO Scizor. Slack Off has merit as the last move, allowing Hippowdon to heal off any damage which it has taken during the match and allow itself the chance to try to sweep again. However, since Hippowdon is holding a Choice Band, it is forced to switch out and switch back in. Toxic can also be used, but as Celebi and Skarmory are common switch-ins to Hippowdon, it will do no more than allow your opponent a few free turns of set-up.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Stockpile

Leftovers Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Stockpile
~ Roar
~ Slack Off
~ Earthquake / Toxic
176 HP / 84 Def / 248 SpD

Hippowdon is probably the only Pokemon in the game that can make good use of the defense boosts granted by Stockpile. After a single Stockpile, Hippowdon becomes incredibly difficult to KO without Toxic, as it can survive both a Grass Knot from 40 SpA Celebi, a Waterfall from Adamant Life Orb Gyarados, and Roar them both away with over half of its health left after Leftovers. Half health may seem low, but the only other even remotely common things that could subsequently KO Hippowdon are offensive Life Orb Suicune and Choice Specs Heatran, so it is likely that Hippowdon will be able to Slack Off afterwards. After a second Stockpile, there are few things in OU which can even 3HKO the sandy hippopotamus.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Although Hippowdon has a disappointingly shallow movepool, there are a few other useful moves it can employ. Yawn is an alternative to Roar. It will never miss, even if a Pokemon's evasion is raised (due to Sand Veil or Snow Cloak, for example), and is useful in forcing switches to rack up more entry hazard damage. However, it makes Hippowdon extremely vulnerable to Substitute users, and it becomes worthless once Sleep Clause is in effect. If you feel like going for paralysis, Body Slam can be used in the fourth moveslot of any set. This can provide vital support for a slower team, but with a mediocre 85 Base Power, poor coverage, and only a 30% chance to paralyze, there are better options. If you really do not like Blissey, then Superpower is also an option, but its coverage is almost pointless against every other Pokemon. If you fail to take down the pink blob in one shot she can easily use Softboiled to recover any lost HP, while Superpower becomes progressively weaker and reduces Hippowdon's impressive Defense.

Maximum HP and a heavy investment in Defense is needed to effectively counter Tyranitar and to have a chance to survive strong boosted attacks, such as Lucario's +2 Life Orb Close Combat. The EV spread of the Physical Wall set maximizes Hippowdon's walling potential, giving it a bonus point and going as far as giving it a chance of surviving Mixed Infernape's Grass Knot. If you choose to run Curse, adding some Special Defense EVs and using a Careful nature is ideal, and if you are running Stockpile then you should be applying Special Defense in bulk. No matter what set you run, you should remember that maximum HP and 80 Special Defense EVs will cause Hippowdon to be only 3HKOed by SubPunch Tyranitar's Ice Beam, making it an almost guaranteed counter to any Tyranitar set (beware, though, as some Choice Band Tyranitar carry Aqua Tail to 2HKO Hippowdon).

Checks and Counters

Defensive Hippowdon's lack of attacking power hurts it here. Any special attacker with moderate Defense and no Ground-type weakness will switch in happily. Special mention goes to both Bronzong and Skarmory, as both take negligible damage from Hippowdon's attacks and can set up on it. Speaking of setup, Gyarados will happily come in on any set without Stone Edge and Dragon Dance away. Celebi and bulky Water-types can switch in on just about anything and force Hippowdon out with a STAB Grass Knot or Surf, and, depending on the set, may be able to set up as well.