Poké Monday 7/28: Gigalith

Welcome to the first official Poké Monday! The Pokémon to be covered in this segment, whose number was generated at random.org, is number 526, Gigalith!

 

Smogon official tier: NU
Type: Rock
Base Stats: 85 HP, 135 Attack, 130 Defense, 60 Sp. Attack, 80 Sp. Defense, 25 Speed
Abilities: Sturdy, Sand Force (HA)

“Usable” moves (according to Pokémon Showdown): Autotomize, Block, Curse, Earth Power, Earthquake, Façade, Flash Cannon, Frustration, Gravity, Heavy Slam, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Iron Defense, Iron Head, Nature Power, Protect, Rest, Return, Rock Blast, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Sleep Talk, Solar Beam, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Superpower, Toxic

Anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock (no pun intended) as far as competitive Pokémon knows that there is one vital aspect of competitive play that cannot, absolutely cannot, be overlooked: entry hazards. Stealth Rock, Spikes, Toxic Spikes, Sticky Web…all of these should be considered when building any team. You can see among Gigalith’s listed moves that Stealth Rock is there and bolded, and for a good reason. In 5th gen, this was the only thing that Gigalith was known for.

Looking at its stats, its main purpose is to take physical hits (and even special hits, courtesy of Sturdy) and get up Stealth Rock and/or hit hard with its base 135 Attack. Looking at its stat distribution, it would look good with an Assault Vest…that is, it would look good if it had the movepool (and a Gigalith without Stealth Rock is generally a bad Gigalith). But, alas, it is a sluggish mass of rocks. What type of movepool would you expect from a sluggish mass of rocks? Exactly. If you want a Rock-type in NU with a solid movepool, look no further than Golem, but Gigalith has better stats and no extra Grass, Water, or Ice weakness.

Long story short, Gigalith’s purpose is to set up Stealth Rock and hit hard. Here is the set I use:
Gigalith @ Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Rock Blast
– Toxic
– Earthquake

Out of all the entry hazards to get up, Stealth Rock is the most useful. It breaks Focus Sashes, it secures KOs that would otherwise not be possible, and only Magic Guard users are immune to it (not to mention Duosion and Kadabra are the only Magic Guard users who pose any sort of threat). Rock Blast is its primary STAB move. You could use Stone Edge instead, but I prefer Rock Blast for its better hit rate (even though hit rates generally don’t mean anything in Pokémon; what can miss will miss) and its ability to break through Substitutes. Let’s analyze which is actually more powerful from a statistical standpoint.

Stone Edge: 100 base power, 80% hit rate, 12.5% critical chance
Expected base power: .8*(100+50*.125) = 85 base power (127.5 with STAB)

Rock Blast: 25 base power per hit, 90% hit rate, 6.25% critical chance per hit, 2-5 hits
Expected base power: .9*((50+25*.0625)/3+(75+37.5*.0625)/3+(100+50*.0625)/6+(125+62.5*.0625)/6) = 73.4765625 base power (110.2148438 with STAB)

Therefore, Stone Edge has the better expected base power. Still, Rock Blast breaks through Substitutes.

At any rate, Toxic is for things to which Gigalith does little to no damage such as Seismitoad and Torterra. The Pokémon Showdown damage calculator suggests Explosion, which I guess is an okay alternative, but I just don’t see the point in using the move (anyone who wants to enlighten me, please comment). Earthquake provides good coverage with Rock Blast, forming the classic EdgeQuake combination (Torterra, Vibrava, and Levitate Bronzor are the only NU Pokémon that resist this combination; Magnet Rise is a thing, but it’s generally not used).

Other options: Superpower, Iron Head, and Explosion are options on an Assault Vest (or even Choice Band) set, but again, I don’t condone it. Sleep Talk is an option on Choice Band or lead sets to deal with Sleep Powder leads (like Vivillon and other pesky Bugs). Rest could be used for recovery, but it requires Heal Bell/Aromatherapy support or a moveslot dedicated to Sleep Talk. Façade could be used on a Choice Band set in case it gets burnt (I can confirm that Façade ignores the Attack drop of Burn). Really, that’s the extent of it. As far as what else it has (Autotomize/Rock Polish, special attacks), there are bigger fish in the sea.

Bonus: If you read this far, here is the team I used with this Gigalith: http://pastebin.com/4BUXYZ7Y

This is my first “official” competitive analysis, so any and all questions/comments are welcome (but no trolling, please).

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