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Historically, Rock-types have always flattered to deceive. The strongest Rock-type move was Rock Slide, and it was at a measly 75 Base Power with less-than-perfect accuracy. Rock-types were built to be powerful and bulky, but they were let down by their poor typing, since many of them have Ground as a secondary typing, and their pathetic Speed stats. On the plus side, they received a new, powerful STAB move in Stone Edge, and the support move Stealth Rock is arguably the best move in the game. On top of this, Rock is one of the best attacking types in the game—chances are, you have a Rock-type move on your team, even if there is no Rock-type Pokemon present.
When you mention the words "Rock-type" in OU, Tyranitar is the first Pokemon to come into mind. With a beastly base Attack stat of 134 and a Stone Edge that is capable of 2HKOing Skarmory with a Choice Band, Tyranitar is not a threat to take lightly. Tyranitar is also the bane of Ghost- and Psychic-types, since it can come in on their STAB moves—and often their coverage moves—and Pursuit them as they flee. If Tyranitar doesn't feel like using a Choice item, it can sweep with a Dragon Dance set instead. Tyranitar has a myriad of sets that it can use, including Expert Belt, SubPunch, and Choice Scarf. Tyranitar may be slow, but it is capable of taking hits—and dishing them out as well.
Aerodactyl is usually not utilized as an "offensive" Pokemon per se—it is used mainly as a lead. Aerodactyl breaks the mold when it comes to Rock-types; it is fast and frail, as opposed to the traditional slow, physically bulky Rock-types. It happens to be the fastest Taunt user out there, along with Crobat, but unlike Crobat, it can set up Stealth Rock and deal reasonable damage with Stone Edge. Aerodactyl is almost guaranteed to set up Stealth Rock depending on what lead it is facing, thanks to Focus Sash. For this reason, it is the suicide lead of choice for offensive teams.
Tyranitar is one of two Rock-type Pokemon who isn't lacking on the special side, and is thus able to play a defensive role quite well. Tyranitar is so bulky that it can survive a Focus Blast from any Gengar short of Choice Specs Gengar, assuming that it runs an EV spread of 252 HP / 216 SpD with a Careful nature. A large part of Tyranitar's defensive prowess stems from the fact that sandstorm boosts its Special Defense by 50%. Tyranitar can also run a Curse set, which can be terribly hard to break down if you lack powerful super effective moves. However, Tyranitar is let down by its sub-par defensive typing, which packs weaknesses to Water, Ground, Bug, Steel, and Fighting.
Rhyperior is the number one Rock-type threat in the UU tier. With powerful moves in Stone Edge, Earthquake, and Megahorn, Rhyperior hits everything for at least neutral damage, and with base 140 Attack, Rhyperior hits stupidly hard. It can choose to smash gaping holes in the opponent's team with a Choice Band or Substitute set, or it can sweep with Rock Polish.
Aggron is a vicious attacker in UU. It may not have as much Attack as Rhyperior, and its typing gives it some horrible weaknesses, but STAB Head Smash makes up for it. Aggron can attempt to sweep with Rock Polish or hit Pokemon ridiculously hard with Choice Band. It can also utilize a Substitute / Magnet Rise combo, which gives it immunity to its 4x Ground-type weakness. Either way, base 110 Attack is good enough for it to do its job.
Kabutops in the rain is one of the scariest and most dangerous Pokemon to face in UU. With base 115 Attack, Swords Dance, and Swift Swim, few things can survive a hit from this monster. Faster Pokemon are picked off by Aqua Jet, while Waterfall and Stone Edge take care of everything else. Outside of rain, it is still a formidable threat, especially once faster Pokemon have been eliminated or brought within killing range of Aqua Jet. In fact, Toxicroak—who is considered a counter to Kabutops—has a decent chance of being 2HKOed by Stone Edge, showing just how powerful it is.
Omastar is like a special version of Kabutops, except that it has no offensive boosting move. It is the most powerful rain sweeper on the special side, and has enough bulk to take a hit (except for Grass-type moves). Rain-boosted Surfs from Omastar are extremely powerful, and Ice Beam, Hidden Power Grass, and Earth Power take care of everything else.
While Rhyperior is known mostly for its attacking prowess, one cannot overlook its impressive bulk. Base 115 HP, 130 Defense, and the Special Defense boost from sandstorm combine to make Rhyperior hard to take down. Rhyperior's ability, Solid Rock, makes it even harder to bring it down.
Regirock has great defenses both physically and specially—rare for a Rock-type—and its Special Defense is further enhanced in a sandstorm. Regirock also has access to Curse, making it extremely hard to remove. If used as a supporting Pokemon, Explosion can take out a Pokemon that you find troublesome.
Omastar is used as a Spiker when it is not sweeping in the rain. It's a great lead in that it is quite capable of putting down three layers of Spikes or two layers of Toxic Spikes, as well as Stealth Rock. Good physical bulk makes Omastar's job easier, and it can still hurt Pokemon with STAB Surf.
Stone Edge – 100 Base Power – 80% Accuracy – High critical-hit ratio.
Rock Slide – 75 Base Power – 90% Accuracy – Has a 30% chance to flinch the target.
If you are using a Rock-type sweeper, one of these two moves will be your main STAB attack. Stone Edge is the more powerful choice; however, its accuracy has given it the title of "worst move in the game". Rock Slide has its merits – being able to flinch your opponent, as well as having increased accuracy—but Stone Edge is by far the most used Rock-type attack.
Head Smash – 150 Base Power – 80% Accuracy – User suffers 1/2 recoil damage.
This is the attack that makes Aggron the threat that it is. With Rock Head nullifying recoil damage, Head Smash is a fantastic move, being able to 2HKO Milotic, among other threats.
Rock Blast – 25 Base Power – Hits 2-5 times in a row.
This is a move that is used for one purpose only—breaking Substitutes. Cloyster and Rhyperior used it a lot when Froslass was UU. Otherwise, it is a mediocre option.
When the folks at Game Freak created and developed the Rock-type, they had one thought stuck to their minds—Rock-types would be physically-based. As a result, the Rock-type has been completely shafted to the physical side; there are a paltry two special Rock moves, AncientPower and Power Gem, neither of which are very powerful. If a special sweeper needs a Rock-type move for coverage, their only hope is (usually) Hidden Power Rock.
Stealth Rock – Enemies lose 12.5% of their health upon switching in. The amount depends on the Pokemon's susceptibility to Rock, so the range is 3.125% – 50%.
Stealth Rock is the most-used and arguably the best move in the game. It helps many Pokemon gain KOs that they couldn't achieve normally. Stealth Rock also helps keep dangerous threats like Salamence, Gyarados, and Zapdos at bay.
Rock Polish – Doubles the user's Speed stat.
Rock Polish finally gave those slow Rock-type Pokemon a chance to sweep. Pokemon like Rhyperior and Aggron are suddenly much scarier when they outpace so many Pokemon.
Despite all its shortcomings, the Rock-type is certainly a force to be reckoned with. With its great coverage and hard hitting Pokemon, the Rock-type has an important role to play in the metagame.
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