Gastrodon's great defensive typing and decent bulk enable it to handle many prominent metagame threats such as Incineroar, Mega Metagross, Tapu Koko, and Mega Manectric. Furthermore, its ability, Storm Drain, offers great team support by redirecting Water-type moves. Its wide movepool and access to Recover further increase Gastrodon's supportive capabilities and longevity. However, Gastrodon's low Speed means that it is usually forced to take a hit before it can move. Also, Gastrodon faces some competition from Tapu Fini as a bulky Water-type because of the latter's access to helpful supportive moves like Heal Pulse, Nature's Madness, and Taunt, as well as its better offensive presence because of Calm Mind. However, Gastrodon sets itself apart from Tapu Fini with its ability, typing, and reliable recovery.
name: Bulky Storm Drain
move 1: Earth Power
move 2: Ice Beam / Icy Wind
move 3: Recover
move 4: Protect
item: Wiki Berry / Groundium Z
ability: Storm Drain
evs: 236 HP / 152 Def / 36 SpA / 84 SpD
ivs: 0 Spe
Earth Power is the STAB move of choice thanks to its decent power and neutral coverage. It has an advantage over Water-type STAB moves as it prevents Gastrodon from being walled by opposing Gastrodon. Ice Beam hits targets that evade or shrug off Earth Power; namely, Flying-types like Landorus-T and Mega Salamence as well as Grass-types like Amoonguss and Tapu Bulu. Icy Wind, on the other hand, is weaker than Ice Beam but provides the team with speed control. Recover increases Gastrodon's longevity, allowing it to do its job for a longer amount of time. Protect helps scout opposing moves and survive a strong attack or a double target. Toxic is an option over Protect that allows Gastrodon to cripple bulky Pokemon like Porygon2, opposing Gastrodon, and Cresselia.
Wiki Berry heals Gastrodon for half of its maximum HP when it's severely weakened. Groundium Z reduces Gastrodon's passivity at the cost of Berry recovery by providing it with a strong one-time nuke. Using Groundium Z also makes it even easier to switch in on Incineroar, which cannot punish such sets with Knock Off. Storm Drain is necessary for redirecting opposing Water-type moves and potentially increasing Gastrodon's Special Attack, making it less passive. 236 EVs in HP, 152 EVs in Defense, 84 EVs in Special Defense, and a Relaxed nature ensure that Gastrodon will survive Landorus-T's Tectonic Rage and two standard Life Orb Kyurem-B's Ice Beams. The leftover EVs are dumped in Special Attack. Minimized Speed is used to have a better matchup against Trick Room. If using Groundium Z, Gastrodon can move 20 EVs from Defense to Special Attack and run a Quiet nature to OHKO standard Incineroar with Tectonic Rage while still surviving two Choice Band Zygarde's Thousand Arrows.
You can switch Gastrodon in on a predicted Water-type attack to possibly get a Special Attack boost. Be careful if there is a Grass-type like Tapu Bulu or Kartana or just a strong Pokemon like Tapu Lele or Dragon Dance Zygarde on the field, however. Keeping Gastrodon on the field alongside Pokemon weak to Water-type attacks like Incineroar and Diancie is a smart idea too, but note that Storm Drain redirects only single-target attacks, so Gastrodon's teammate still will be vulnerable to spread moves like Muddy Water. Use Recover proactively to keep Gastrodon out of the range of attacks like Life Orb Kyurem-B's Ice Beam and Tapu Lele's Psychic. Avoid status, namely Toxic, and carefully play around possible Toxic users like Porygon2 and Chansey.
Pokemon weak to Water-type attacks like Victini and Diancie enjoy Water-type moves being redirected by Gastrodon. Fire-types like Incineroar, Volcarona, and the aforementioned Victini are especially notable teammates, as they appreciate Gastrodon's Storm Drain and threaten Grass-types in return. Gastrodon handles Electric-types like Tapu Koko and Mega Manectric well, so Pokemon that have trouble dealing with them like Mega Salamence and Zapdos enjoy having Gastrodon as a teammate. In return, they can beat Grass-types like Kartana, Tapu Bulu, and Amoonguss. Thanks to its low Speed, Gastrodon can even find a place on some Trick Room teams. It synergizes well with attackers like Diancie and Mega Camerupt because they are able to either lure Water-type moves for Gastrodon or deal with Grass-types.
Substitute in conjunction with Leftovers can be used to avoid Toxic more easily and fire off more free hits. Muddy Water is a STAB spread option with the additional utility of potentially lowering the accuracy of foes. Clear Smog gets rid of stat changes, stopping setup sweepers like Calm Mind Tapu Fini and Kommo-o from doing their job. Keep in mind, however, that by using these moves, Gastrodon will be forced to give up an important moveslot, possibly making it less effective overall.
Checks and Counters
**Grass-types**: Pokemon like Kartana and Tapu Bulu take advantage of Gastrodon's 4x weakness to Grass-type attacks and threaten to easily KO it.
**Strong Attacks**: Gastrodon's bulk can be a bit disappointing even when invested, so powerful attacks like Landorus-T's Tectonic Rage and Tapu Lele's Psychic hurt Gastrodon a lot.
**Tapu Fini**: Tapu Fini takes advantage of Gastrodon's passivity and sets up Calm Mind on it. Its summoned Misty Terrain also nullifies Gastrodon's Toxic.
**Toxic**: Status from the likes of Porygon2 and Chansey immensely cripples Gastrodon and cuts its longevity by a lot.
- Written by: [[Egor, 439341]]
- Quality checked by: [[MajorBowman, 188164], [n10sit, 267148]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Electrolyte, 148071], [talkingtree, 232101]]