Rhyhorn and Type: Null (Poké Monday 6/10/19)

Yep, for the first time in Vouiv-review history, here is a double feature. My first random result was 111 (Rhyhorn)—which I had already gotten during the previous generation, and not much has changed since then. So…have a bonus Type: Null with that.

Type: Rock/Ground

Base Stats:

  • 80 HP
  • 85 Attack
  • 95 Defense
  • 30 Special Attack
  • 30 Special Defense
  • 25 Speed

Ability choices:

  • Lightning Rod Rhyhorn are immune to Electric-type attacks and gain +1 Special Attack upon absorbing one. In Doubles/Triples, they redirect single-target Electric-type moves from adjacent Pokémon to themselves.
  • Rock Head Rhyhorn take no passive damage from their own recoil-inducing moves.
  • Reckless Rhyhorn deal 1.2* damage with their recoil-inducing moves. (Hidden Ability)

Notable physical attacks: Aqua Tail, Earthquake, Fire Fang, Megahorn, Rock Blast

Notable status moves: Rock Polish, Stealth Rock, Swords Dance

Notable Z-Moves:

  • Tectonic Rage (Ground) – Converts one use of Earthquake into a base 180 physical Ground-type attack.
  • Savage Spin-Out (Bug) – Converts one use of Megahorn into a base 190 physical Bug-type attack.
  • Hydro Vortex (Water) – Converts one use of Aqua Tail into a base 175 physical Water-type attack.

Overview

To quote my previous Rhyhorn review:

In essence, the primary use of Rhyhorn is as a Stealth Rock user with good ol’ EdgeQuake STAB, base stats that are nothing to scoff at, and coverage against some walls in the tier that can take on its dual STABs. Don’t expect it to take hits like its Sturdy rivals can, though.

Again, not much has changed since then. The existence of Z-Moves does give Rhyhorn a sizable one-time boost to its Ground STAB or coverage options, but it’s hard to forgo the value of Eviolite compensating for the lack of Sturdy.

Set

Rhyhorn @ Eviolite
Ability: Lightning Rod
Level: 5
EVs: 36 HP / 236 Atk / 196 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Rock Blast
– Earthquake
– Megahorn
– Stealth Rock

A rehash of the previous generation’s set (Rock Blast: valuable multi-hit STAB | Earthquake: obligatory Ground STAB | Megahorn: coverage for bulky Grass/Psychic | Stealth Rock: quintessential entry hazard), but with a more correct stat spread of 25/19/16/8/12/9, meaning its defenses are 24 physical and 18 special.

If preferred, 160 of the EVs in Special Defense can be exchanged for 156 EVs in Defense or Speed, the former to surprise physical threats and the latter to creep past uninvested base 25-44 and tie with base 45-52. (Base 53 and 54 Speed do not currently exist in Little Cup.) Another option, albeit not highly recommended, is 236 Atk / 36 SpD / 236 Spe to creep further: past 45-52 and tied with 55-64…is what I would say, but that’s the breaking point of where Pokémon start to actually invest in Speed.

Other Options

Aqua Tail is the most likely alternative coverage option, as it hits opposing Ground-types usually harder than its STABs. A less likely variety is Fire Fang, which hits Ferroseed for 260 BP whereas Earthquake only manages 150.

A set-up move like Rock Polish or Swords Dance could prove surprising, but such moves are eclipsed by Shell Smash users, especially those that pack Sturdy.

Problems and Partners

Problems

Snivy and Finneon are both hazard removers with 4* super-effective STAB, making them highly capable checks.

By virtue of Levitate, both Baltoy and Bronzor are resistant to Rhyhorn’s STAB combination. Baltoy may be weak to Megahorn and Aqua Tail, but it has a higher Speed, can retaliate with Earth Power, and can keep Stealth Rock away with Rapid Spin. Bronzor, on the flip side, has better longevity but less offensive prowess and no Rapid Spin.

Pure Ground typing makes Mudbray not weak to anything but Aqua Tail, while it has Stamina to make it harder to break through and a stronger Earthquake to hit back.

That’s just to name a few. It’s not hard to outspeed Rhyhorn and exploit its middling special bulk and many weaknesses.

Partners

Munchlax

A spectacular special wall, although not the best at dealing with physically oriented threats, particularly the Fighting-type sort.

Snivy deals with a good portion of things that check or counter Rhyhorn, although if it runs Defog, it may conflict with Rhyhorn’s purpose of setting up Stealth Rock.

Frillish is in a similar boat, and it can block Rapid Spin, although it may have a tough time with Grass-types.

 


Type: Null Normal

Base Stats:

  • 95 HP
  • 95 Attack
  • 95 Defense
  • 95 Special Attack
  • 95 Special Defense
  • 59 Speed

Ability: Battle Armor – Attacks against Type: Null are never critical hits.

Notable physical attacks: Frustration/Return, Iron Head, U-turn

Notable status moves: Iron Defense, Magic Coat, Thunder Wave

Overview

Despite being an evolvable Pokémon at its basic stage, Type: Null is not—and will never be—legal in Little Cup. Even if it didn’t have such beefy stats for its kind, it cannot be obtained at a level lower than 40. Speaking of the stats, they are reminiscent of Scyther—which has been banned since the inception of LC as a competitive tier—but with far less Speed and no deviation among its other stats. (And even though the Speed may seem low at a glance, it’s about average for LC, while its other stats are too drastic.)

Little Cup aside, Type: Null is one of the bulkiest Pokémon capable of holding Eviolite, sporting defenses equivalent to base 166 while holding the item. Unfortunately, its movepool does not have enough utility to live up to its defensive potential. Its support options are limited to Magic Coat, Thunder Wave, and Toxic; its attack coverage is lackluster (and its evolved form outclasses it as an attacker); and, most importantly, it lacks any form of recovery beyond Rest. As such, not only should it be wary of Knock Off, but it may also be reliant on clerical support (i.e. Heal Bell and Wish).

Set

Type: Null @ Eviolite
Ability: Battle Armor
Happiness: 0
EVs: 252 HP / 8 Def / 248 SpD
Careful Nature
– U-turn
– Frustration / Iron Head
– Rest
– Sleep Talk / Iron Defense

A slow U-turn provides notable utility in granting a free switch to a more significant threat. To deal damage, Type: Null is best off with Frustration (or Return, but Frustration is more appropriate considering it evolves by happiness), although Iron Head is considerable for the possibility of having to deal with Ghost- or Rock-types. Rest is essential for keeping Type: Null around for the long run of the match, with each use fully recovering its HP and pruning itself of status conditions such as Toxic. Thus, Sleep Talk is the most considerable fourth move of the set, although Type: Null can also opt to run Iron Defense in conjunction with its Battle Armor to give physical attackers a hard time (no pun intended).

The EV spread is tailored towards optimal special bulk with Eviolite. Its stats come out to 394/226/228/203/316/154; notice the even-numbered defenses to take the best advantage of the 1.5* boosts (because the resulting values are rounded down).

Other Options

Type: Null could potentially use one of its few support options: Magic Coat to take advantage of a better disruptor, Thunder Wave for Speed control, or Toxic as a way of alleviating overly defensive threats.

Problems and Partners

Problems

While Type: Null is relatively bulky, it can be broken down by Fighting-types, especially if using Sleep Talk instead of Iron Defense. (And even if it does run Iron Defense, Poliwrath has special attacks and Circle Throw to thwart or work around it.) Gurdurr is particularly threatening due to having Bulk Up and Knock Off to respectively outdo and sabotage the chimera in progress. Meanwhile, Primeape is a fellow U-turn user, making it difficult to answer to.

Partners

Funnily enough, Silvally—the evolved form of Type: Null—can prove a helpful ally. Its Fairy form is a wonderful Fighting check, as it resists the type and can take Knock Off with impunity. It is weak to Primeape’s Gunk Shot, however, so its Ghost form is a considerable alternative. Silvally additionally has access to Defog to keep (Toxic) Spikes off the field.

Offensive Flying-types are considerable as checks to Fighting-types, but they, like Type: Null itself, ought to be wary of Knock Off.

Type: Null is a bit iffy in the way of longevity, so it would certainly appreciate clerical support. Mesprit and Audino are the main candidates: the former for better typing/offensive synergy, and the latter for reliability. (Mesprit only has Healing Wish, whereas Audino has Wish and Heal Bell.)

 

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