Sandslash

Sand Veil
Evasion increases by 20% in a sandstorm.
Type Tier
Ground NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
75
- 291 354 -
Atk
100
212 236 299 328
Def
110
230 256 319 350
SpA
45
113 126 189 207
SpD
55
131 146 209 229
Spe
65
149 166 229 251
  • Underused

Overview

Sandslash has a tough time competing for a team slot with Donphan, who boasts superior stats in everything but Speed. However, Sandslash does have a few advantages over his tusked counterpart, namely access to Swords Dance and a rare ability, Sand Veil. Sandslash's unique access to both Rapid Spin and Swords Dance (a combination only shared by Kabutops in UU) allows him to support the team and sweep when given the opportunity. Sandslash is quite effective on sandstorm-based teams, because Sand Veil boosts Sandslash's evasion by 20%, potentially allowing Sandslash to avoid an attack that would normally KO him. Sandslash may be burdened with low Speed and Special Defense, and he may even face serious competition with Donphan, but he is still a solid choice if you want a reliable defensive Ground-type Pokemon or a powerful offensive sandstorm sweeper.

Name Item Nature

Bulky Swords Dance

Leftovers / Lum Berry Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Rapid Spin
~ Earthquake
~ Night Slash / Stone Edge
252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def

Sandslash's unique access to both Swords Dance and Rapid Spin helps him differentiate himself from Donphan as a bulky Ground-type Rapid Spinner. Sandslash is typically used as a physical wall and spinner, acting similarly to Donphan but having the ability to go on the offensive at any given time. Swords Dance boosts Sandslash's already decent Attack stat to powerful levels, making him capable of doing some serious damage to even the bulkiest of walls. Rapid Spin allows Sandslash to remove entry hazards on his side of the field, which greatly aids his team. Earthquake is his primary STAB move and deals solid damage after a Swords Dance boost, even without an Attack-boosting item; Earthquake cleanly OHKOes standard Registeel and, with a little residual damage, OHKOes Steelix and defensively oriented Rhyperior as well. Night Slash is useful for dealing with Ghost-type Pokemon who attempt to block Sandslash's Rapid Spin. After a Swords Dance, even the bulkiest Rotom sets are OHKOed by +2 Night Slash. Stone Edge, on the other hand, is useful for taking out Flying-type Pokemon who attempt to switch into Earthquake.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Offensive Swords Dance

BrightPowder / Leftovers Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ Earthquake
~ Stone Edge
~ Substitute
44 HP / 252 Atk / 212 Spe

Despite facing serious competition from other Ground-type Sword Dancers, Sandslash is able to set himself apart due to Sand Veil. The evasion boost from Sand Veil is highly important to his success, as it gives him the ability to beat his counters by potentially avoiding attacks that would otherwise be fatal. Swords Dance increases Sandslash's Attack to an impressive 656, which allows him to 2HKO all of his counters and become a significant threat to the opposing team. Earthquake is the bread and butter STAB attack of choice that deals amazing damage to any Pokemon not resistant or immune to it. Stone Edge is an excellent coverage move when paired alongside Earthquake, as it gives Sandslash a way to deal with troublesome Flying-types and Levitating Pokemon. Substitute is highly important to this set's success, as it lets Sandslash scout for his counters and gives him an opportunity to dodge an incoming attack without risking his own life if he fails. If Sandslash succeeds in dodging his counter's attack, then he can freely set up a Swords Dance.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Support

Leftovers Impish
Moveset EVs
~ Stealth Rock
~ Rapid Spin
~ Earthquake
~ Night Slash
252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD

Sandslash can put his good defenses to use by serving as a solid Ground-type support Pokemon. Not only is Sandslash capable of removing entry hazards, but his above-average physical bulk allows him to check prominent physical sweepers such as Rhyperior, Swords Dance Toxicroak, and Hitmonlee. Stealth Rock provides immediate support for the team, aiding your team's sweepers with much appreciated residual damage. Rapid Spin helps Sandslash's teammates preserve their health by clearing away entry hazards. Earthquake is his main STAB attack and is at least strong enough to noticeably hurt frail Pokemon. Access to Night Slash makes it somewhat difficult for Ghost-types to block Sandslash's Rapid Spin, as Night Slash hits Rotom and Mismagius hard even with no EV investment in Attack.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Moveset-wise, there isn't much else that Sandslash can do without being outclassed by other Pokemon. He can run a Choice Band set, but he is entirely outclassed by Donphan in that respect, as Donphan boasts more power. Toxic is an option on the defensive set if you want Sandslash to cripple bulky switch-ins. X-Scissor is an option on the offensive sets, as it does decent damage to Grass-types. Finally, Safeguard is an option if your team really hates status afflictions.

Checks and Counters

Bulky Grass-types in general are capable of switching into Sandslash with ease and threatening him with their STAB attacks. Tangrowth only takes 30.4% - 35.9% damage from +2 Stone Edge and KOes back with STAB Power Whip or Leaf Storm. Leafeon and Torterra can easily switch into Sandslash and set up in his face. Bulky Water-types are also great counters to Sandslash, as they can usually shrug off his attacks and threaten him with STAB Surf. Milotic and Slowbro do not mind boosted Earthquakes and are capable of OHKOing Sandslash with Surf. Moltres is able to comfortably switch into most of Sandslash's attacks and destroy him with STAB Fire Blast. Weezing is an effective counter, as it can switch into any of Sandslash's moves and cripple him with a burn. However, Weezing needs to watch out for Sandslash who carry Substitute as he will actually beat Weezing one-on-one unless he carries Flamethrower. Typically, strong special attackers carrying a Grass-, Ice-, or Water-type move can usually dispose of Sandslash without too much difficulty.