Relicanth

Swift Swim
Speed doubles in rain.
Rock Head
Recoil moves deal no recoil damage.
Type Tier
Water / Rock NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
100
- 341 404 -
Atk
90
194 216 279 306
Def
130
266 296 359 394
SpA
45
113 126 189 207
SpD
65
149 166 229 251
Spe
55
131 146 209 229
  • Underused

Overview

Although it's seen as "just another Rock-type" by many, Relicanth has several positive niches that make it a strong Pokemon. It is faster than most other Rock-type Pokemon, has usable Attack, and has splendid physical bulk. In comparison to Aggron, its Water sub-typing makes it less susceptible to Ground-type Pokemon. Relicanth's Water / Rock typing also grants it a useful dual resistance to Fire, along with resistances to Normal, Flying, Ice, and Poison. Movepool-wise, Relicanth has access to a variety of moves that offer great coverage and support. However, the main selling point of using Relicanth is its access to Head Smash, which, when combined with Rock Head, makes for a deadly sweeper.

It's not all sunshine for Relicanth though. Relicanth's horrible Special Defense stat makes it unlikely to live through several neutral special attacks. That poor Speed in comparison to the rest of the metagame makes you want to gouge your eyes out. It also comes with a dual weakness to Grass, as well as weaknesses to Fighting, Ground, and Electric. Nevertheless, Relicanth can be one of the most devastating Pokemon in a blink of an eye.

Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Band

Choice Band Rock Head Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Head Smash
~ Aqua Tail / Waterfall
~ Earthquake
~ Double-Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Thanks to its high Base Power attacks, just good enough Speed, and Rock Head, Relicanth can threaten to bulldoze through any team with correct prediction. Head Smash offers Relicanth the ability to obliterate most Pokemon while causing huge dents on even those that resist it. Aqua Tail goes hand in hand with Head Smash by smashing most Ground- and Rock-type Pokemon, while also hitting Fighting- and Steel-types for neutral damage. Waterfall can be used instead of Aqua Tail if you dislike imperfect accuracy, though at the cost of lower damage. Earthquake covers every other Pokemon that resist, take little damage from, or are immune to Head Smash and Aqua Tail - Toxicroak, Quagsire, Poliwrath, and Registeel are a few examples. The last slot is mainly a filler, but Double-Edge gives Relicanth a wide range of neutral coverage should you find a situation where you can't trust your prediction skills.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Rock Polish

Life Orb Rock Head Adamant / Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Rock Polish
~ Head Smash
~ Waterfall / Aqua Tail
~ Earthquake
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

With shabby Speed, great offenses and coverage, incredible physical bulk, and the ability to force switches, Relicanth makes a natural candidate for a Rock Polish set. Rock Polish boosts its Speed from a low 209 to an amazing 418, outspeeding even Electrode. Head Smash obliterates most of the metagame, while Waterfall takes care of any stragglers and has a chance to flinch. Aqua Tail is a fine alternative over Waterfall for more power at the cost of lower accuracy. For the last slot, Earthquake is used to deal more damage to Registeel, Toxicroak, and Poliwrath, which would otherwise give this set a world of trouble.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Rain Dance Physical Attacker

Life Orb Swift Swim Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Head Smash
~ Aqua Tail / Waterfall
~ Earthquake
~ Rain Dance / Stone Edge
72 HP / 252 Atk / 184 Spe

Despite the fact that without Rock Head Relicanth will be taking huge recoil damage from Head Smash, it can still successfully utilize its other ability, Swift Swim, to sweep under rainy conditions. Head Smash is Relicanth's main attack, and it dents even Pokemon that resist the move. Aqua Tail comes off Relicanth's secondary STAB and smacks Fighting- and Ground-types that try to switch in on Head Smash. If you despise Aqua Tail's accuracy, you can replace it with Waterfall for its perfect accuracy and chance to flinch. Earthquake rounds out the coverage by hitting Toxicroak, Poliwrath, and Registeel for good damage. In the last slot, Rain Dance is preferred to set up rain if it is not present, but Stone Edge is a perfectly viable option in case Relicanth is taking too much recoil from Head Smash.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Relicanth is really limited in its movepool, so there's no doubt that there are hardly any other moves to use. Bounce has the niche of hitting Grass-types super effectively off of Relicanth's Attack stat, but it requires two turns, can miss, and is, most of the time, just not strong enough. A RestTalk set can be used courtesy of Relicanth's bulky physical defense, though Relicanth has too many weaknesses and will be too weak offensively to be much of a threat. Toxic is available to cripple bulky Pokemon such as Tangrowth, Leafeon, and Donphan, but it's better to just chip their HP away with Head Smash or Waterfall. Substitute is a neat option to prevent status and critical hits from ruining Relicanth's day if you can find a moveslot for it. Due to the presence of Yawn and Stealth Rock, you could run a supporter tank set; however, the lack of recovery makes it fairly uninteresting, though the set isn't terrible.

Checks and Counters

Despite Relicanth's deadly offensive prowess, it has several hard counters. Bulky physically defensive Grass-types such as Tangrowth, Leafeon, and Torterra can take a hit and OHKO back with a STAB attack. Likewise, bulky Fighting-types such as Hitmontop and Hariyama can survive Relicanth's assaults and 2HKO back with Close Combat; as a bonus, Hitmontop has access to Intimidate to lower Relicanth's damage output. Although they take heavy damage from Relicanth's attacks, other bulky Pokemon such as Donphan, Poliwrath, Uxie, and Registeel can still take a hit and dent it with a super effective attack or afflict it with status. Although uncommon, Quagsire gets a special mention as a counter due to its immunity to Water, resistance to Rock, and access to reliable recovery in Recover, which allows it to switch in on Relicanth easily. In terms of checks, faster Pokemon such as Rotom, Venusaur, Moltres, and Milotic can threaten Relicanth with a super effective move provided that they can switch in on a resisted attack or immunity. Fighting-type priority attacks from the likes of Toxicroak and Blaziken can pick off any weakened Relicanth. Lastly, afflicting status such as burn, paralysis, and poison will greatly hamper Relicanth's ability to sweep.