Bronzong (Poké Monday 2/26/18)

 

Type: Steel/Psychic

Base Stats:

  • 67 HP
  • 89 Attack
  • 116 Defense
  • 79 Special Attack
  • 116 Special Defense
  • 33 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Levitate Bronzong are treated as if airborne. That is, they are unaffected by Ground-type attacks, (Toxic) Spikes, Sticky Web, Rototiller, Arena Trap, and Terrains. This Ability is nullified if the Pokémon is grounded by means of a move or item affecting it (such as Iron Ball, Gravity, or Smack Down).
  • Heatproof Bronzong take half damage from Fire-type attacks and the residual effect of Burn.
  • Heavy Metal Bronzong are treated as if having double weight, which equates to 824.6 lb (374 kg). (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Earthquake, Explosion, Gyro Ball

Notable status moves: Rain Dance, Stealth Rock, Trick Room

Notable Z-moves: N/A

Overview

Bronzong is the only Steel-type with Levitate, as well as the only Levitate user with two additional Ability choices. (Well, not that it would ever use Heavy Metal, but that’s beside the point.) Its typing, Steel/Psychic, was really good for two generations since its debut, only having two weaknesses that are each covered by its two Ability choices. The 6th generation, however, gave it two more weaknesses: Ghost and Dark. The latter weakness is particularly annoying because of the Knock Off buff in the same generation. Another debuff from Bronzong’s generation is that Explosion no longer takes half the opponent’s Defense in its damage calculation (that was the case from gen 1-4), so it doesn’t have quite the oomph that it used to.

Speaking of generations, Bronzong was pretty bulky for its generation, but the power creeps of the generations thereafter, slowly but surely, caused its influence to decline. It is one of the few Steel-types in its tier, but that is a result of Bronzong declining in usage: an inevitable consequence of this stagnant bell in the ever-changing metagame.

For starters, Bronzong doesn’t have much of a movepool. Its only real utility options are Stealth Rock and Trick Room, and its only real offensive options are Gyro Ball and Earthquake (off of base 89 Attack, even). Trick Room aside, Bronzong faces competition with Registeel, which has better bulk, arguably better typing (despite lacking a weakness-mitigating Ability), and more reliable damage output in Seismic Toss.

An even greater issue with Bronzong (which also applies to other Steel-types in the tier) is its lack of recovery beyond Rest, which means that it is easily worn down in spite of its typing and its Ability choices.

Simply put, Bronzong is best used as a Trick Room setter, and its Ability choices alone make it considerable over Registeel as a Stealth Rock setter.

Sets

Set 1: Trick Room

Bronzong @ Macho Brace
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
Brave Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Trick Room
– Gyro Ball
– Earthquake
– Explosion

Bronzong is one of the best Trick Room setters in its tier due to its decent bulk, comfortably low Speed, and neat typing in conjunction with Levitate. Macho Brace (Power items work too) supplements its Speed value to make it roughly equivalent to base 15, allowing it to outslow things like Escavalier and Mega Camerupt. The reduced Speed also amplifies the power of Gyro Ball, Bronzong’s most effective STAB. Earthquake is valuable coverage for Fire-types, Electric-types, and fellow Steel-types that resist Gyro Ball. Explosion is there for scenarios where Bronzong has expended its worth and needs to grant a free switch to an ally. It can also put a dent through defensive threats (particularly Water-types) that can take Gyro Ball and Earthquake with impunity.

EVs, Nature, and IVs are for maximizing offensive output, amplifying bulk, and minimizing Speed to optimize Trick Room and Gyro Ball. Levitate is the preferred Ability here because of the hazard immunity that it provides and because Ground is a more common attacking type than Fire.

Set 2: Stealth Rock

Bronzong @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Relaxed Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
– Stealth Rock
– Gyro Ball
– Toxic
– Earthquake

Bronzong can also use its bulk and typing-related strengths to serve as a Stealth Rock setter. This set is similar to the above, only it uses a more defensive investment, Leftovers for gradual recovery, and Toxic to keep its passivity in check while granting freedom of investment. Speaking of investment, it doesn’t necessarily have to be physically defensive; it can be specially defensive or mixed defensive, whatever fits the team’s needs.

Other Options

The legality of Drizzle in lower tiers is a bit ambiguous, but I believe Bronzong’s tier does not allow it. For that reason, Rain Dance is a considerable option for mitigating Bronzong’s Fire weakness and supporting certain Water-type attackers, particularly the likes of Araquanid and Golisopod who benefit from Trick Room. This should be used with Damp Rock for maximum potency.

Iron Head and Zen Headbutt are extra STAB options. The former has about average damage output compared to Gyro Ball, coupled with a flinching chance that could come in handy in Trick Room. The latter is similar, but it uses a different (and arguably worse due to Dark-types being immune to it) STAB, has 10% accuracy, and is less likely to flinch. As such, Bronzong does not have room for either of these two attacks.

Despite Special Attack being Bronzong’s lower attacking stat, Bronzong has an interesting special repertoire notably containing Calm Mind, Psychic, Flash Cannon, and Bloom Doom via Solar Beam (primarily for Quagsire). However, there are many better special attackers in the tier such as Gardevoir and Necrozma.

Problems and Partners

Problems

In general, it is key to avoid super-effective types. Mega Banette is particularly worrisome with Prankster Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, and Destiny Bond alongside hard-hitting STAB. Dhelmise is faster prior to Trick Room, doesn’t take much from Gyro Ball, and has STAB Shadow Claw off base 131 Attack. Mega Camerupt resists Shadow Ball, outspeeds Macho Brace variants before Trick Room, and hits obscenely hard with its Sheer Force boosted STAB. Pangoro also doesn’t take much from Gyro Ball and has STAB Knock Off. Rotom-Heat quad resists Gyro Ball and is immune to Earthquake thanks to its own Levitate. Salazzle hits hard with Fire STAB, but it doesn’t take Earthquake well, making it a check at best.

By virtue of Thousand Arrows, Zygarde-10% can make Levitate variants prone to Ground-type attacks and deal heavy damage to Heatproof variants.

Partners

Slow Pokémon are the best allies of Trick Room variants. Fire, Ghost, and Dark resistances have particularly good synergy with Bronzong. Mega Camerupt deals well with most of the threats mentioned above, and Rotom-Heat can’t do much back to it. As for Pangoro…well, the resistances are reason enough.

Bulky Water-types are also valuable due to their ability to take on most Fire-types with relative ease. Rotom-Heat checks them but has a hard time switching into Water STAB.

More Phoenotopia on my mind (Whimsical Weekend #21)

The root cause of this sudden flash (no pun intended) of inspiration is that the Phoenotopia dev blog announced in December 2017 the existence of a dedicated Discord server. The community grew quite a fair bit in the first few months, and there was even enough interest in speedrunning the game for a #speedrunning channel to be created. This made me consider that perhaps there is more to be done for the speedrun.com leaderboard.

For starters, there was talk about doing any% without buying the Iron Hammer. Low% would be an inaccurate name for the category because Phoenotopia’s percentage counter is independent of the Iron Hammer, but when I thought back to the Most Dangerous Arsenal miscellaneous category idea, it dawned on me. That’s when I decided to stop saving additional categories until I do runs of them (and that’s kinda unfair in the first place) and establish two new miscellaneous categories:

  • Most Dangerous Arsenal – Based on a medal of the same name, this category involves completely filling all the TOOLS and MISC slots in the pause menu. (P.S.: The armor slot must contain Ancient Armor.)
  • Least Dangerous Arsenal – Based on the previous category, this category involves beating the game with minimal equipment. This means that only the following items may occupy the TOOLS and MISC slots:
    • Wooden Bat
    • Slingshot
    • Artifact
    • Rolling Technique Scroll
    • Bombs
    • Rocket Boots
    • Javelin
    • Floatation Donut
    • Green Bracelet / Bandit Boss / Golem Head

I also established a No Major Glitches subcategory that prohibits the use of Loot Duping, Pot Head Clipping, and Door Pushing.

On top of that, remember when I said that All Heart Rubies was a bad idea? Well, I considered the coexistence of All Moonstones and Most Dangerous Arsenal. They are more similar than you’d think (you have to get 25 moonstones (for one of the Asteroid Rocks for the Morning Star) to complete MDA), and perhaps 100% and All Heart Rubies are in the same boat (you have to have 40 moonstones to obtain the Heart Ruby at Hidden Village), so…yeah, now All Heart Rubies is also established as a miscellaneous category.

In light of the newly established categories, I wanted to do a Most Dangerous Arsenal run, but several attempts yielded nothing satisfactory. Then February came along, a telltale sign that Flash Marathon III was drawing near. Thus, I decided to put MDA on hold and focus on All Moonstones. At first I figured that the category could use a bit of rerouting, which later led me to wanting to PB before the marathon. (If I ended up not getting the PB over this weekend, I would have discarded the idea and focused on practicing the no-reset and commentary-related aspects of the marathon run.) Thankfully, I ended up doing so.

I’m honestly still kinda irritated about how Forgotten Forest pressure plate puzzle went, but everything else was totally acceptable.

So, next up is practicing for the marathon (and, obviously, running in said marathon). Afterwards, I’m considering transitioning to Any% No Major Glitches (which, if there ever happens to be a fourth Flash marathon, will probably be my next marathon category of choice).

 

 À la prochaine! (Until next time!)