Sudowoodo (Poké Monday 8/1/16)

RNG (Sudowoodo)

Tier: PU
Type: Rock
Base Stats: 70 HP, 100 Atk, 115 Def, 30 Sp.Atk, 65 Sp.Def, 30 Speed
Abilities: Sturdy, Rock Head, Rattled (hidden)

Usable moves: Body Slam, Brick Break, Calm Mind, Double-Edge, Earth Power, Earthquake, Explosion, Façade, Fire Punch, Foul Play, Frustration, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ice), Ice Punch, Low Kick, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Rest, Return, Rock Polish, Rock Slide, Seismic Toss, Sleep Talk, Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Substitute, Sucker Punch, Taunt, Thunder Punch, Toxic, Wood Hammer

Overview

Pure Rock. With more weaknesses than resistances, it’s not much to boast about. Although Rock is a solid offensive type (no pun intended), the issue with it is that physical Rock-type moves tend to be either relatively inaccurate or relatively weak. Its strongest STAB, Stone Edge, has 100 BP and 80% accuracy. A weaker alternative, Rock Slide, has 75 BP and 90% accuracy. Going even farther down the power tree (no pun intended), Rock Tomb has 60 BP and 95% accuracy. Finally, Smack Down is the only perfectly accurate physical Rock-type move with 50 BP. In the end, however, when it comes to slow Rock-types like Sudowoodo, you’re better off forgoing accuracy in favor of the irreplaceable power of Stone Edge.

Speaking about this wannabe tree, it is obviously unique in its own way, being the only non-Grass-type with access to Wood Hammer and one of only two fully evolved, PU-legal Pokémon with Rattled (the other being Dunsparce). However, the latter quirk is insignificant, as base 30 Speed is very slow even at +1; as such, in terms of Ability choice, Sudowoodo is always better off with its alternatives.

Access to Wood Hammer, on the other hand, is what prevents Sudowoodo from being completely outclassed by other similar Sturdy Stealth Rock users, such as Golem and Gigalith. The main reason for such outclassing is because Sudowoodo’s base stats are so poor that all of Golem’s base stats are equal or better, all of Gigalith’s base stats except Speed are better, and all of Crustle’s base stats except Attack are better. Simply put, if a paltry base stat total of 410 isn’t convincing enough proof of being outclassed, I can’t imagine what else is.

Moving on, Sudowoodo’s unique access to Wood Hammer allows it to deal with opposing Water- and Ground-types better than any other Sturdy Stealth Rock lead. For instance, Wood Hammer guarantees an OHKO on offensive variants of Relicanth, whereas Golem’s Earthquake fails to do so. Additionally, the added effect of recoil at low HP allows it to KO itself and prevent any unwanted hazard removal, granted it moves first (which is usually the case if running Custap Berry). You could use Explosion for that purpose, but Wood Hammer hits Rock-types and Whiscash harder.

Along with access to Wood Hammer, Sudowoodo also has an Ability choice in Rock Head. While this Ability renders Sudowoodo vulnerable to moves that would normally OHKO, it negates the recoil from Wood Hammer, amping up Sudowoodo’s survivability in purely offensive and purely supportive roles, contrary to any offensive support role reliant on Sturdy.

In the end, Sudowoodo may be the first Pokémon to claim pure Rock typing, but its real niche lies in Wood Hammer.

Set 1: Suicide lead

Sudowoodo @ Custap Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Stone Edge
– Wood Hammer
– Explosion

With access to Sturdy, Sudowoodo can guarantee survival of any given attack from full HP. Barring any intervention from Taunt or various status conditions such as paralysis, this allows Sudowoodo to set up Stealth Rock, which deals important residual damage as the opponent switches around. Stone Edge is its strongest STAB and hits decently hard off its base 100 Attack. Wood Hammer allows Sudowoodo to hit Water- and Ground-types harder than any other Rock-type can dream to (and, as mentioned earlier, self-KO due to recoil prevents hazard removal). Neutral Explosion is 10 BP stronger than a super-effective Wood Hammer and is therefore a better last-ditch move in situations where the target is less than four times more resistant to Explosion than to Wood Hammer. (Note, however, that super-effective Stone Edge is 50 BP stronger.)

Nature and EVs are focused on offense to make it hit harder while outspeeding uninvested base 60s. You only need 244 EVs for this creep, but there is no use for bulk on a suicide lead, so you might as well go all the way. Custap Berry forms the essence of a suicide lead, allowing the user to gain +1 priority on the next move when at 1/4 HP or below. This helps for last-ditch attempts at damage, or an extra chance of setting up hazards if a one-turn intervention occurs prior to falling below the threshold.

Set 2: Pure offense

Sudowoodo @ Life Orb
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 252 Atk / 12 SpD / 244 Spe
Adamant Nature
IVs: 29 HP
– Stone Edge
– Wood Hammer
– Earthquake
– Sucker Punch

This is a more offensive way to run Sudowoodo. Stone Edge for STAB, Wood Hammer as its niche. Earthquake grants coverage against Steel-types that would comfortably take Sudowoodo’s other attacks, and it provides a more reliable way of hitting Fire-, Electric-, and Poison-types. Sucker Punch helps, to an extent, with Sudowoodo’s low base 30 Speed by providing strong priority.

This time around, EVs are tuned for the aforementioned speed creep past uninvested base 60s, while the 29 IV in HP is to reduce its health value to a Life Orb number: 279 (which reduces Life Orb recoil to 27 per turn instead of 28). Choice of Ability is Rock Head so that Wood Hammer does not induce any recoil. Life Orb can be swapped for Choice Band for extra power and lack of recoil, but remember to fix the HP IV if going with this option, and keep in mind that the lack of freedom to choose between moves can be taxing at times.

Other Options

A fully supportive set would consist of Stealth Rock, Stone Edge, Wood Hammer, and Toxic, with a defensive EV spread rather than offensive. That’s about it, really.

Sample Teams

http://pastebin.com/018877PY – Lead Sudowoodo team

http://pastebin.com/0eUUHZc1 – Offensive Sudowoodo team

No time to test these teams because I’m up past the time I should be sleeping.

Team 1 contains:

  • Sudowoodo (set 1 above)
  • Floatzel for offensive prowess
  • Kadabra for the one-time survival factor and strong Special attacks
  • Armaldo for hazard control
  • Audino for general walling and clerical support
  • Misdreavus for the potential to sweep with Nasty Plot

Team 2 contains:

  • Sudowoodo (set 2 above)
  • Leavanny for Speed control with Sticky Web
  • Audino for the same reason as before
  • Misdreavus to cover up the gaping Fighting weakness
  • Armaldo for hazard control
  • Gorebyss for a potential sweep
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