SM Repair Shop: How STABmons Fixed My Pokémon

By Eevee General.
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Art by LifeisDANK.


In the same vein as that iconic MTV series Pimp My Ride, STABmons is able to take a beloved but otherwise underperforming car, or in this case a Pokémon, and turn it out. How is that possible? Well, the rules of STABmons are simple: gain access to all moves that match the type of your Pokémon, including pre-evolutions and out of battle forme changes. (There are a few bans in place, which you can read about here.) So when Game Freak builds a Pokémon to perform in a certain capacity but then neglects to actually stock its movepool with the right tools, STABmons rectifies the mistake and gives the Pokémon the moves it deserves. Why, for example, would you build a racecar with a v4 engine, or design a luxury sedan without heated seats? Not to worry, for the repair shop is now open.

So check out these five Pokémon that have been "fixed" by STABmons! Each Pokémon will have four sections: the first describes that specific Pokémon's merits, the second lists its shortcomings in standard play, the third shows what it gains in STABmons, and the fourth gives you a sample set to try out for yourself.

Readers, start your engines.




Mudsdale is the only fully-evolved Pokémon with Stamina, an ability that increases its Defense whenever it takes damage from an attack. It sports solid construction with a cool base 100 HP and Defense, as well as a passable base 85 Special Defense. Ground is a great defensive typing, allowing it to check common physical attackers. Its Attack of base 125 is no slouch either, and what it can't threaten with an Earthquake, it can shuffle out with Roar. Overall it has the build of a tank, able to stomach physical attacks and dish out good damage back.

Out of Gas

Unfortunately, Mudsdale lacks the (wait for it) stamina necessary to continue to wall threats throughout the match, forcing it to rely on Rest for any recovery outside of Leftovers. It has usable coverage with Close Combat and Rock Slide, but Close Combat's adverse stat drops push it toward a more offensive role, as the drops counteract the benefit of running Stamina, and while it has Roar to shuffle the opposing team, it doesn't have a move to take advantage of those switches bar something like Toxic.

Tune Up

By virtue of being a Ground-type, Mudsdale has access to a few helpful tools in STABmons, which allow it to play the role of defensive check that it was born to do. First of all, it now has Shore Up, a Recover clone with the added benefit of increasing the HP gain from 50% to 66.7% during sand (and without any decrease during other weathers!). Even outside of sand teams, Mudsdale can come in reliably against strong physical attackers, pick up a +1 Stamina boost, and Shore Up the lost damage again and again. Whatever tries to set up on it will meet a Roar to the face and in between shuffling it can throw down some layers of Spikes, too. It's best served as a Fake Out + Extreme Speed check against threats such as Diggersby, Bewear, and Ursaring, as tanking the initial Fake Out is easy enough, thus triggering the Stamina boost and softening any subsequent attack.

Test Drive

Give this set a try!

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko

Need for Speed

Electric-types are known for their Speed, and Tapu Koko is no exception. Base 130 Speed is a superb tier to be in, putting it ahead of many top OU threats. With that it carries STAB Volt Switch, giving your team a dose of momentum. A robust base 115 Attack means its Electric attacks can put a dent into just about anything thanks to the extra power coming from Electric Surge, which boosts them by 50%. Its secondary Fairy typing is the icing on the cake and gives another option for when spamming Electric moves isn't favorable.

Speed Bump

While Tapu Koko may have been designed to hit hard and fast off its Attack while pivoting off its weaker Special Attack as needed, it lacks the physical movepool to actually do so. Its best physical Electric STAB attack is Wild Charge, which causes recoil against the user, and while that may not be so bad, it lacks any physical Fairy STAB period, thus forcing it to be mixed to take advantage of both STABs to the fullest. There's a silver lining in U-turn and Brave Bird luckily, but when most of its attacking is focused on special moves, U-turn becomes more so a tool to evade Ground-types coming in on a predicted Volt Switch, and Brave Bird's power is watered down.

Quick Fix

STABmons gave Tapu Koko the two things it was missing: good dual physical STAB attacks. Now it can fire off 130-Base Power Bolt Strikes with the force of a pseudo-Choice Band thanks to Electric Surge, making an actual Choice Band set hit ridiculously hard (although it enjoys the freedom to switch attacks). It can also run Play Rough alongside it, but when you have the possibility of a Bolt Strike at your fingertips, is there anything else that really matters? And those Mega Venusaur coming in to sponge Tapu Koko's STABs? They risk taking a full-powered Brave Bird.

Peel Out

Give this set a try!



Built to Last

It's only taken us five generations, but we finally have another Steel / Flying type Pokémon. Along with its superb typing, Celesteela shines with base stats that rival the 600 BST pixies except for Speed, along with the unique UB ability Beast Boost, which gifts a +1 stat bonus to its highest stat after each successful KO. Lastly, it boasts a varied movepool containing a high-powered Heavy Slam and such curious additions as Leech Seed and Flamethrower.

Flat Tire

While it may have a lot going for it, Celesteela is still no Skarmory. It lacks access to any entry hazards or entry hazard removal, can't recover off damage outside of Leech Seed, and must rely on the mediocre Air Slash for its Flying STAB move. Funnily enough, because of its great coverage in Earthquake and Flamethrower, offensive Autotomize sets aren't out of the question, although its potential is greatly wasted on such an endeavor.

Pit Stop

Steel and Flying are some of the most charitable types in STABmons. Steel grants a range of high-powered attacks (Sunsteel Strike, Gear Grind, Doom Desire) and the unparalleled utility of King's Shield. Flying packs all sort of benefits, too, namely the moves Dragon Ascent, Oblivion Wing, Beak Blast, Roost, and Defog, to name but a few. And Celesteela, with its nice stat spread, can utilize just about all of them! With Defog and Roost at its disposal, it can mimic a support set a la Skarmory complete with Brave Bird and a Steel move of choice. Of course, combining Leech Seed and King's Shield is always a wise idea. Throw in the more sinister trapping move Anchor Shot, and you have a real muscle car that gets bulkier and bulkier with every subsequent KO.

Pedal to the Metal

Give this set a try!



Nuts 'n' Bolts

Kartana is in an excellent position with a Speed tier one point higher than the musketeers. Its typing may favor defensive capabilities, and while a base 131 Defense is impressive, it would rather hack and slash with its staggering base 181 Attack, landing super effective hits on common Water, Ground, Rock, and Fairy Pokémon. Along with its fellow UB brethren it has the Beast Boost ability, but because of its sky-high Attack, Kartana will pretty much always be boosting that particular stat. And there's really nothing wrong with that.


Things start to fall apart when you realize Kartana's strongest Steel STAB is the paltry 70-Base Power Smart Strike. Leaf Blade sits at a comfortable 90-Base Power and Sacred Sword grants it much-needed coverage on Pokémon such as Heatran and Ferrothorn, but outside of these, it doesn't have much else going for it. Swords Dance looks tempting, but setting up can be tricky, especially with such a vulnerable base Special Defense stat of 31. There's always Substitute, but it really wants to run three attacks, making it even harder to fit Swords Dance in. Thus, it's often left to clean after its main checks are gone and must sit safely on the bench until then.

Insurance Claim

Along with its metal cousin above, Kartana also enjoys a buffed repertoire of Steel attacks, most notably Sunsteel Strike, which is its strongest option. Note that it can also utilize the riskier Meteor Mash for a pseudo-double Moxie effect or run Anchor Shot to trap targets. Because it's also part Grass, Kartana gets access to Spore, making setup much easier. Although running Spore + Swords Dance doesn't alleviate its coverage issues as outlined in the paragraph above, a beefier STAB option (Power Whip, anyone?) run alongside Sacred Sword is generally enough to decimate unprepared teams.

Good as New

Give this set a try!



Under the Hood

Before Sun and Moon, we only had Surskit representing the Water / Bug combination. Now we have the Dewpider and Wimpod lines to capitalize on a nifty defensive typing that gives important resistances to Water, Fighting, Ground, Steel, and Ice. Golisopod may stand out for its much higher Attack and comparable bulk, but Araquanid holds a secret in its Water Bubble ability, which not only halves Fire damage and grants an immunity to burn, but also doubles its Water damage, thus making it stronger than Golisopod when using Water attacks. For reference, a Liquidation coming off Araquanid's Attack is about 37% stronger than one coming from Golisopod and about 20% stronger than one from Azumarill!

Manufacturer's Defect

It may be built like a nuke, but it's a slow one at that. On top of having dismal Speed, Araquanid is a big momentum suck, as it has to cold switch when anything sturdy that resists Water comes into play. If it goes for the Bug attack instead, it's back to hitting off a base 70 Attack, which is more likely to tickle any Pokémon not weak to that type. And finally, while it may have some impressive resistances, it certainly can't benefit from them for long, as it has no good recovery and is weak to Stealth Rock.

Safety Recall

Fortunately, all is not lost for the diving spider. STABmons is very kind to Bug Pokémon, showering them in amazing setup moves such as Quiver Dance and Tail Glow while also providing superb recovery with Heal Order. And let's not forget the momentum-gathering U-turn, something Araquanid greatly appreciates in those sticky situations. It also increases the value of a Choice Band set quite nicely, in which case lumping the powerful Megahorn next to U-turn begins to sound alluring. Water grants it the priority move Aqua Jet, bypassing that nasty Speed stat altogether, and access to a nice, meaty Crabhammer with 100 Base Power. Although, with its resistances, bulk, and access to Quiver Dance ...

On the Road Again

Give this set a try!


Dishonorable mentions


The Kommo-o model has the look of a setup sweeper with strong defenses, access to Dragon Dance to further boost its base 110 Attack and base 85 Speed, and even Poison coverage to bypass Fairies that would otherwise wall it to the Motor City and back. All it really needs is a strong Fighting-type attack, right?


Nova in Spanish Means No Run

Not even Close Combat, Drain Punch, or the Belly Drum + Mach Punch combo can save this year's model from the scrap heap. Kommo-o has no way to get around the omnipresent Landorus-T, which erases that +1 to Attack from Dragon Dance and threatens it with a powerful Brave Bird or Dragon Ascent, depending on the set. In general, Fairies give it grief if it lacks Poison Jab, and Sylveon has no problem dispatching it with Pixilate-boosted Fake Out + Extreme Speed, seeing how Fake Out alone does a minimum of 75% from the standard Pixie Plate set. (Yes, that's a 40-Base Power attack coming off a base 65 Attack against a Pokémon with base 125 Defense.)

Might I Suggest Something More in Your Price Range?

If you're looking for a Fighting-type that isn't completely screwed over by Fairies, give Bewear a try. As a part Normal-type, it has access to the coveted Swords Dance or Z-Belly Drum and Extreme Speed sweeper set, and thanks to its Fighting coverage, it can usually run just its dual STAB attacks, or in the case of opposing Landorus-T, throw in Ice Punch for the upgraded technology package. And thanks to Fluffy, it's much harder to revenge kill by Fake Out + Extreme Speed; not even Sylveon can 2HKO. If it's Dragons you're chasing, stick to Garchomp, which has an easier time setting up with its similar good bulk, Rough Skin to punish revengers, an already high Speed, and the move Shore Up to regain health along the way.

If you insist...

Pair Kommo-o with Heatran to remove Sylveon and Rotom-W to take on the physical walls such as Landorus-T and Mudsdale in your way.


There's a new prototype in town. Crabominable is the first ever Fighting / Ice type in Pokémon. Its STAB types are pretty complementary, allowing Fighting to blast through those Steel-types that Ice moves can't break, and in return it uses its icy claws to freeze out the Flying-types that would try and swoop in for the kill. Problem is, it's terribly slow. If only it had access to some useful priority...


Unfortunately, not even Iron Fist + Mach Punch can make Crabominable all that good, nor can Ice Shard. Sniping birds is nice, unless that bird is Celesteela, in which case, "What sniping?" It also still can't break past Water-types, of which STABmons has plenty. Rotom-W, Araquanid, and Slowbro are all capable of disabling it or outright KOing given the chance. Sylveon (yes, it's back) stands as another roadblock. This time it can just Boomburst Crabominable into oblivion, as it outspeeds naturally and doesn't need to fuss with any of that Fake Out + Extreme Speed nonsense.

Break out of Your Shell

If you're still looking to cool down, try another Ice-type such as Weavile or Cloyster, which while threatening birds also threaten other portions of the metagame thanks to their naturally high Speed and access to Shell Smash, respectively. If it's a Fighting-type you need that can also smash through birds, use Terrakion, whose Diamond Storm won't make contact against any stray Celesteela King's Shields and can boost past it with Swords Dance.

Stuck on a Feeling

If it's Crabominable or bust, consider pairing it with Scarf Magnezone to trap Celesteela and remove it from the party. Magnezone also has the perk of dismantling bulky Waters and can even give Sylveon a run for its money.

Junkyard Hero


The newest model on everyone's lips this season is Silvally, or as we like to call it, when Arceus met Smeargle. Silvally gets access to every move in the game via its ability, RKS System. It is essentially a sports car, luxury sedan, utility truck, and economy hatchback all rolled into one. Popular sets at the moment include Ghost Memory with Quiver Dance / Shore Up or Strength Sap / Moongeist Beam / Secret Sword and a bulky Water Memory set that also runs Quiver Dance and usually Scald and a few support options.

Silvally is so good at doing so many things it was recently suspected. However, it managed to avoid a ban. Regardless, it's the ultimate example of the STABmons repair shop in action, turning an otherwise mediocre Pokémon into a metagame-defining threat.


So there you have it! I've shown you a handful of examples where that STABmons metagame has "fixed" a new Sun / Moon Pokémon. Are there any more Pokémon that you think need fixing? What Pokémon can you see performing at their full potential now that they have access to all their same-type moves?

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