A=X+Y+Z Y: Hard Work
Rhydon is not only a Normal-resistant phazer, but also a physically offensive Pokemon immune to Electric-type moves. However, its physical Ground- and Fighting-type weaknesses and many special weaknesses can hold it back. Moreover, it faces competition with other Normal-resistant Pokemon, namely Golem, Steelix, and Tyranitar, each of which fulfils the same primary defensive role &mdash checking Snorlax &mdash while offering defensive and team support capabilities that Rhydon lacks: Golem has access to Rapid Spin and Explosion; Steelix lacks double weaknesses, lacks an Ice-type weakness, is immune to Toxic, and also has access to Explosion; and Tyranitar can check Exeggutor, lacks an Ice-type weakness, and offers Pursuit support. Nonetheless, as a recipient rather than a provider of team support, Rhydon uniquely blends potent wallbreaking ability with defensive role-playing capabilities.
move 1: Earthquake
move 2: Rock Slide
move 3: Curse
move 4: Roar
With this set, Rhydon threatens to break walls and can even function as a win condition. Earthquake and Rock Slide form an unresisted combination of moves which, when both are backed by STAB and Rhydon’s high Attack stat, deal high damage to most Pokemon in the tier. Rhydon can boost its Attack stat even further with Curse, which can help it to break particularly resilient physical walls, such as Skarmory. With Roar, Rhydon can guarantee that no opponent will be slower than it after a Curse, meaning as long as Rhydon uses Roar, it won't be phazed out by Pokemon such as Skarmory. In addition, it can prevent opposing Curse users such as Snorlax from setting up, in fact even allowing Rhydon to threaten to counter-sweep should the opposing Snorlax foolishly engage in a Curse war. The defense boosts coupled with Rhydon's naturally high physical bulk can even render Rhydon effective against Earthquake variants of Snorlax, provided Snorlax is switching into Rhydon and not the other way around. In addition, Roar allows Rhydon to perform vital defensive duties, such as phazing Mean Look Umbreon and Misdreavus and being able to switch into and phaze a Curse Snorlax.
Rhydon fits well on teams that want an offensive phazer that can at least temporarily check opposing Snorlax.
Paralysis support is very effective alongside Rhydon, as it allows Rhydon to outspeed checks such as Umbreon, Miltank, Suicune, Vaporeon, Starmie, Exeggutor, and Skarmory, then threaten them with boosted Earthquake or Rock Slide. Paralysis also makes it more difficult for Pokemon such as Zapdos, Raikou, and Snorlax to make Rhydon’s life complicated with the appropriate coverage moves. Pokemon such as Snorlax, Exeggutor, Zapdos, Starmie, and Porygon2 can use Body Slam, Stun Spore, and Thunder Wave toward this end. Note, however, that paralyzing Skarmory renders it slower than Rhydon even after a Curse and, therefore, able to phaze. However, Rhydon is compensated by the damage output and flinch potential of boosted Rock Slide, coupled with the chance of full paralysis, which together affords Rhydon a decent chance to KO Skarmory should it attempt to phaze.
Starmie is a particularly potent teammate, as it also carries Rapid Spin, which can be useful because Rhydon tends to get worn down pretty quickly by Spikes: its numerous Special weaknesses often force it to switch out before it can heal too much damage with Leftovers, and its defensive role as a check against Snorlax will force it to switch in and take chip damage quite frequently. Other spinners whose typings do not overlap with Rhydon's, such as Cloyster, are also effective teammates for this reason.
Spikes and Toxic from Pokemon such as Cloyster can help Rhydon use Roar to whittle down an opposing team. Cloyster can also use Explosion to remove a Rhydon check, such as Starmie, Exeggutor, Zapdos, Vaporeon, Suicune, Umbreon, or even opposing Cloyster. Machamp can chip down Exeggutor with Hidden Power Bug and Skarmory with Fire Blast or a critical hit Cross Chop. Tentacruel can take advantage of some of Rhydon's Water-type checks, such as Cloyster and Suicune, to help it put pressure on Zapdos and Raikou. Vaporeon can similarly help Rhydon to apply pressure to the Electric-types, and can handle threats like Jynx.
An effective team with Rhydon also needs teammates that can absorb hits typically aimed at its numerous weaknesses. For instance, Electric-types are good teammates that can handle Water-types. In particular, Raikou, by virtue of its Ice-type neutrality, also offers insurance against opposing Electric-types and Gengar, which can be important since Rhydon takes a lot of damage from their coverage moves. Snorlax works similarly, and as with all Ground-types, it synergizes well with Rhydon against Zapdos and Raikou: Rhydon goads the Electric-types into using Hidden Power, thereby allowing Snorlax more opportunities to switch into the low-damage coverage move rather than the high-damage STAB move. In addition, Water-types, Exeggutor, and Heracross are good teammates for Rhydon, as they cover the Ground-types to which Rhydon itself is weak. Exeggutor and Starmie are also solid checks to Machamp, whose Cross Chop targets another of Rhydon's physical weaknesses. The additional offensive synergy of Exeggutor and Starmie has been discussed earlier, whereas Heracross can use Seismic Toss to bait Skarmory into taking chip damage, or even a potential 4HKO if either Rhydon or Heracross has forced it to Rest. Additionally, Skarmory itself can check threats such as Exeggutor, Machamp, and Marowak, and additionally counters Snorlax with Earthquake coverage to complement Rhydon’s ability to check Snorlax with Fire-type coverage.
Pokemon that use Heal Bell, such as Blissey and Miltank, are also welcome teammates, as they allow Rhydon to risk taking a potential Toxic without being put on an inevitable timer. Blissey additionally offers a more reliable Electric-type check to use alongside Rhydon, thereby relieving it of its duty to dissuade Thunder usage so that Snorlax can switch in safely. However, both Heal Bell users are weak to Fighting-type moves, which can often make it difficult to build the rest of the team in a manner that is not too weak to Machamp.
With Zap Cannon, Rhydon itself can inflict the paralysis and thereby support teammates such as Machamp and Charizard. Thunder is also a worthwhile alternative, since it 2HKOes Cloyster and 3HKOes Skarmory a lot more consistently than Zap Cannon, and has a decent chance of inflicting paralysis to assist with wallbreaking. Counter can deal heavy damage against Snorlax using Earthquake or Zapdos using Hidden Power Ice, although Hidden Power Water threatens to OHKO and an opponent can switch out instead of attacking. Rhydon is one of the most effective users of Counter against Curse Earthquake Snorlax, as the fear of being phazed and losing boosts for nothing tends to encourage them to attack once Rhydon shows its face. Rest provides Rhydon with longevity to shrug off damage and poison. This allows Rhydon to fit on a defensive lineup and play the role of an answer to opposing Snorlax that have Fire moves, as well as accompany Belly Drum Snorlax in offensive duties, although it competes with Curse Tyranitar, which is less easily forced out by special attackers. Being able to use Rest makes Rhydon a much more reliable long-term check to Curse Snorlax that lack Earthquake, but it can fail to actually KO a boosted Snorlax if it fails to score a critical hit, potentially even losing to Snorlax in a Struggle-off if it comes down to that. Dropping Roar for Rest also leaves Rhydon without a tool it can use to break through sturdy walls, such as Skarmory. Hidden Power Bug targets Exeggutor, which can be problematic for standard Rhydon sets. Fire Blast is a decent surprise option that has some merits against Exeggutor and pressures Forretress and Skarmory. Substitute not only helps block status afflictions while Rhydon uses Roar or attacks potential threats such as Snorlax, but also provides a way to get around Umbreon and Miltank. It is effective with a wide variety of options, including the aforementioned Electric-type moves, and also synergizes with the paralysis inflictions that are a common theme on teams featuring Rhydon. However, it must be kept in mind that in order to use these options, Roar or Curse must be replaced. These moves are not entirely mandatory on Rhydon, but replacing Roar limits Rhydon’s defensive capabilities, takes away its ability to use a slower Roar to beat Skarmory, and barring a critical hit or timely flinch from Rock Slide, actually makes a Curse war against Snorlax a losing proposition. Meanwhile, replacing Curse causes it to struggle to do enough damage to paralyzed or sleeping Umbreon, Suicune, Miltank, and Skarmory, thereby limiting Rhydon’s wallbreaking capabilities and forcing it to rely on Spikes and its teammates to avoid being PP stalled.
Checks and Counters
**Water-types**: Although Cloyster, Suicune, Starmie, and Vaporeon don't resist Rhydon's attacks, they threaten an OHKO with Surf. Cloyster can set up Spikes or spread Toxic against Rhydon teams. However, it should be noted that Rhydon is often chosen partly because of its ability to punish switches to Cloyster with its powerful Rock Slide. Suicune has mammoth-like defensive stats, making it an especially reliable check to Rhydon, especially if it is using its RestTalk set. Starmie can predict switch-ins and spread Thunder Wave against Rhydon teams or use Substitute.
**Exeggutor**: Exeggutor resists Earthquake and can use status moves against Rhydon teams. It can also choose Giga Drain for an OHKO or Psychic for much damage against Rhydon specifically.
**Skarmory**: Skarmory with Toxic can put Rhydon on a timer. Without Toxic, Skarmory struggles against Rhydon, whose slower Roar makes it impossible to phaze and neutral Rock Slide with numerous Curse boosts threatens heavy damage. However, even without Toxic, Skarmory’s immunity to Earthquake and neutrality to Rock Slide still make it a fairly safe option to switch into Rhydon in the event that one must PP stall it, or attempt a chain switch to a Water-type without letting it take a boosted Earthquake on the switch.
**Umbreon and Miltank**: Umbreon can use Charm and Miltank can use Growl to stall out Rhydon. Amusingly, Rhydon also checks Mean Look variants of Umbreon.
**Machamp**: Machamp can 2HKO Rhydon with Cross Chop or set up Curse, but it should be wary of taking Earthquake from Rhydon too often.
**Jynx**: Jynx cannot switch into either of Rhydon’s attacking moves and does not bait it into switching into its super-effective STAB Ice Beam. However, if it switches into Curse or is dragged in by Roar, it can threaten to OHKO and can guarantee one if Rhydon has taken chip damage that has left it at 359 HP or less, which corresponds to 86% or 41/48 pixels, thereby forcing Rhydon to switch out.
**Pure Ground-types**: Thanks to STAB Earthquake, higher Speed, and a lack of mutual weakness, Marowak can take advantage of Rhydon, although it struggles to switch directly into its Earthquake. Alternatively, Donphan is defensively sturdier and can check Rhydon effectively even if it needs to switch into Earthquake, although it naturally poses less of an offensive threat.
**Residual Damage**: Spikes and Toxic from Pokemon such as Snorlax and Misdreavus can wear Rhydon down before it can deal too much damage. This can also open a lane for Snorlax to deal heavy damage to an opposing team.
**Super Effective Coverage**: Water-, Ice-, and Grass-type coverage moves allow Pokemon otherwise threatened by Rhydon to 2HKO or even OHKO it in return. Common examples include: Hidden Power Water or Ice from Raikou and Zapdos, Ice Punch from Gengar, Surf or Ice Beam from Tyranitar, Ice Beam from Dragonite, Surf from Snorlax, and Giga Drain from Forretress. Snorlax and Forretress can even switch into Rhydon with minimal prediction if they are carrying the appropriate coverage move, whereas Zapdos and Dragonite can attempt to switch into an Earthquake with the proper coverage. To a lesser extent, Ground-type coverage moves such as Earthquake from Snorlax and Tyranitar can also chip away quickly at Rhydon’s health in matchups that it would normally relish.
- Written by: [[wyc2333, 336830], [Jorgen, 53302]]
- Quality checked by: [[Jorgen, 53302], [Earthworm, 15210]]
- Grammar checked by: [[, ], [, ]]
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