I'll make this good, don't worry. I'm not sure if Offensive Rapid Spin deserves a slot, but people seem to use it, so...
okay I'm revamping the overview
- Donphan is pretty meh
- outclassed by Hippowdown, Gliscor, and Gastrodon as a defensive Ground-type and outclassed by Landorus offensively
- a meta full of special attackers and weather isn't quite kind to Donphan either
- Donphan's one niche is as a Rapid Spin user, and even here it is largely outclassed
- thankfully, its ability to check all variants of Terrakion reasonably well while not being setup fodder allow it to perform its duties
name: Rapid Spin
move 1: Rapid Spin
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Stealth Rock / Head Smash
move 4: Ice Shard
evs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spe
<p> This set attempts to use everything good about Donphan at once, and for such a conglomeration it does quite well. Donphan's high HP and Defense let it take physical hits that some Pokemon wouldn't even dream of. It can take Terrakion's Choice Band Close Combat, OHKO back with Earthquake, and have enough HP remaining to survive coming back in on a layer of Spikes. Rapid Spin is obviously the most important move on this set, providing rarely-seen team support. Earthquake is an obligatory STAB move, and hits incredibly hard coming off of base 120 Attack. Stealth Rock, while relatively common, is another great move on Donphan, providing the most important entry hazard in the game. Head Smash is a powerful alternative to hit Flying-types and Gengar on the switch, although it has hideous recoil. Ice Shard is a nice move to pick off weakened opponents and Dragon-types before they can hit Donphan.</p>
- 192 HP / 252 Atk / 64 Def, which allows Donphan to survive a +2 Close Combat (after SR) from Terrakion more than average.
- Fire Fang for Ferrothorn & Forretress who tries to use Donphan as Spikes bait. Also effective against Breloom and Scizor.
- Stone Edge for a solid coverage move without HSmash's nasty recoil.
- Assurance for hitting Gengar & Jellicent hardest if SR is up
- 128 HP / 252 Atk / 128 Spe @ LUM BERRY to outrun standard Jellicent and 2HKO specially-defensive variants. SR damage + boosted Assurance + EQ 2HKOs Jellicent. Assurance (with Rocks) or Head Smash OHKOs Gengar. Lum is nice to prevent Sableye and Jellicent from burning Donphan, allowing Donphan to 2HKO Sableye.
- 252 HP / 56 Atk / 200 Def & IMPISH Nature for a more defensive spread. Survives +2 Close Combat from Terrakion always and +2 LO CC from Lucario on more than average (after SR). 56 Atk just enough to 2HKO Landorus & Salamence with Ice Shard. Alternatively, 80 Attack EVs lets it 2HKO Haxorus with Earthquake, or 128 Attack EVs does a minimum of 50% to 252 HP Dragonite (broken Multiscale)
- Odor Sleuth for guaranteed spin even against ghosts.
- Donphan's rise to OU was largely based on Sun teams - naturally it performs best on them, as its Water weakness is essentially removed
- Donphan is the only OU spinner truly vulnerable to Toxic Spikes, so it loves a way to fix that problem
- - Grounded Poison-types such as Venusaur or clerics like Heal Bell Chansey work wonders
- Jirachi is a great defensive partner - Jirachi passes Wishes and takes special blows while Donphan spins, keeps Heatran at bay and takes physical hits
- Heatran stops most Venusaur from simply blasting it with Giga Drain
- Sun sweepers in general appreciate the hazard removal - think Victini and Volcarona
- Donphan is a nice option on Rain teams as well. Despite the extra damage done by Water attacks, it can now stay in against certain Fire types
- Pokemon that can check Genesect are Donphan's favorite teammates - many of those have already been mentioned
<p>Donphan gets a few other toys in addition to the set listed above. It can augment its nice Attack with a Choice Band, but then it essentially loses its niche as a user of Rapid Spin. Its physical movepool is actually pretty neat, even including Seed Bomb, which can be used to hit things like Gastrodon and Rotom-W on the switch. Its support movepool is rather nice as well. Toxic and Roar rack up residual damage and mess with many of Donphan's common switchins. Knock Off removes items - not a bad choice when facing a Choiced Pokemon or an Eviolite user. Body Slam can spread some paralysis, although this is better left to Jirachi. Counter is surprisingly good on Donphan as well; Donphan's great Defense combined with Sturdy makes it able to take on numerous physical threats—all of which fall victim to Counter.</p>
[Checks and Counters]
- Skarmory can chip away at Donphan's health and set up Spikes
- Same story for Hippodown
- Bronzong too if Donphan lacks Fire Fang
- Deoxys-D with Night Shade or even better Psycho Boost can make short work of Donphan
- Ferrothorn doesn't enjoy tanking powerful EQs but usually a safe switch-in and wins with Power Whip
- Physically defensive Jellicent can tank an EQ and burn Donphan; same for Sableye
- Gengar fears nothing from Donphan without a coverage move stronger than Ice Shard
- Gyarados and Cloyster can set up on Donphan without Head Smash or Stone Edge to threaten it
- Celebi, Tangrowth, Virizion, Breloom (LO Bullet Seed 3HKOs max HP Donphan)
- Bulky Toed, Physically defensive Gastrodon, Slowbro, Keldeo, Rotom-W
- Landorus-T Intimidates Donphan, making even Ice Shard do paltry damage
- Gliscor can take Ice Shard pretty well
- Max HP Latias
- Latios / Latias / Hydreigon / Kyurem(-B) can switch in if it doesn't switch into Stone Edge / Assurance. Special mention for Kyurem-B for ignoring Sturdy with Terravolt
- Air Balloon Heatran checks Donphan if either Sturdy is broken or Air Balloon is intact.
- Abomasnow as long as it doesn't switch into super-effective moves; negates leftovers recovery, making Sturdy harder to keep intact
- Any powerful special assault once sturdy is broken