Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Apart from its unfortunate weaknesses to Water and Ground, Golem is a pretty decent Pokemon. This set capitalizes on Golem's ability to hit hard and take blows from the opponent's Pokemon with relative ease. It's not the best Pokemon in the world, being partially outclassed by Rhydon and having pitiful Special Defense and abysmal Speed, but Golem can get the job done regardless. Earthquake is the first STAB move of choice, boasting solid power and great neutral coverage. Rock Slide serves as Golem's secondary STAB and has great coverage with Earthquake, hitting Salamence, Gyarados, and the like hard. Additionally, it has a 30% chance to flinch, which is useful for defeating Snorlax and Forretress. Golem's two STABs form the QuakeSlide combination, which has, at the very least, neutral coverage on pretty much everything not named Claydol, Flygon, or Breloom. Hidden Power Rock is an option over Rock Slide for its 100% accuracy, but the lack of a flinch chance makes it inferior to Rock Slide, not to mention that using it prevents the use of Hidden Power Bug. Speaking of Hidden Power Bug, it provides crucial coverage on Celebi, who could otherwise switch in with impunity. Double-Edge is another possible choice, boasting decent coverage and a lack of recoil thanks to Rock Head. Double-Edge is generally the safest move to go for in most scenarios as it prevents Salamence or Gyarados from switching in unscathed, unlike Earthquake. The last moveslot is occupied by Explosion, which enables Golem to KO most Pokemon that do not possess a Ghost typing and gives it a way to actually do some damage to Skarmory and Swampert.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Block lets Golem trap something on the switch, but as Golem will likely trap its counter, the chance that Golem can beat the trapped Pokemon is slim. Toxic lets it wear a Pokemon down, but watch out for opposing clerics. Counter is a great surprise; thanks to its decent Defense stat, Golem can survive many Earthquakes and Fighting attacks to bounce them back for a quick KO. Roar is useful to catch out Baton Pass chains. If you manage to catch Ninjask with it, Rock Blast also ruins the standard Baton Pass chain, but it is generally inferior to Rock Slide. Golem can use Body Slam to paralyze a few of its counters, then follow up with Rock Slide for a paraflinch combo. Focus Punch can hit certain threats hard on the switch, but it has the same power as Earthquake after accounting for STAB, so it is generally not that useful.
Checks and Counters
Skarmory not only walls Golem, but can also lay Spikes, use Toxic, and phaze Golem. Choice Band-boosted Rock Slide or Hidden Power Rock can 3HKO it, however. Forretress lacks an immunity to Earthquake and is similarly troubled by the Choice Band set, but it can use Spikes and Toxic as well. Also troublesome are defensive Water-types, such as Slowbro, Milotic, Suicune, and Swampert, all of whom can take an Earthquake or two and OHKO Golem with Surf or Hydro Pump. Swampert often carries Protect to thwart Explosion as well, but it might not always carry a Water-type move. Regardless, Ice Beam and Earthquake let it do severe damage to Golem.
Claydol can sponge most of Golem's moves, and is only really threatened by Hidden Power Bug or Choice Band Double-Edge; it can then set up Reflect, or ruin Golem with any of Ice Beam, Earthquake, Psychic, or Toxic. Gengar can come in on anything that isn't a Rock move and use Giga Drain, Will-O-Wisp, or Ice Punch to beat Golem into submission. Flygon and Breloom will regret coming into Double-Edge, but they resist the SlideQuake combination and have super effective STAB moves to wield against Golem. Celebi can Recover off the little damage it takes from most of Golem's moves, especially a resisted Earthquake, and OHKO with a Grass move or 2HKO with Psychic.