Steelix, The Iron Snake Pokémon. It is thought its body transformed as a result of iron accumulating internally from swallowing soil. It chews its way through boulders with its sturdy jaws. Its eyes can see in the darkness underground. Its body has been compressed deep under the ground. As a result, it is even harder than a diamond. It's said that if an Onix lives for 100 years, its composition becomes diamondlike as it evolves into a Steelix.
Oh Steelix, you poor thing. With each generation, you've become more and more outclassed. It's a shame, I've always liked Steelix. I used to use it in 3rd gen all the time, but since then... it has fallen from grace. Each game brought new threats and better walls, whilst Steelix got practically nothing. On paper Steelix looks good! 200 base Defence seems incredible, but then take into account its lack of recovery, lack of offence, lack of a high HP stat, there's so much wrong with it compared to other physical walls like Skarmory and Ferrothorn. Steelix is still usable in the lower tiers, but even then it could be better. Not that I hate it, I still use it on occasion.
Rock Head: stops recoil damage from Double-Edge. That's about it.
- Stealth Rock
Stealth Rock is an obvious. It is the best entry hazard in the game, and extra damage is never a bad thing. Earthquake gets STAB and is crazy strong. Dragon Tail combos well with Earthquake, but acts as a damaging Roar. Very useful. Ice Fang lays waste to Dragons, which is basically what it is there for. Stone Edge allows you to hit stuff hard that would try to avoid Earthquake. Knock Down forces the opponent down, allowing them to get smacked by Earthquake. Toxic hits bulky Waters and stuff like that.
Curse boosts your Attack and Defence, meaning they need no investment. Gyro Ball gets buffed by Curse in terms of the direct Attack boost, but the Speed lowering increases its base power too. Earthquake hits stuff that isn't hit neutrally by Gyro Ball hard, such as Fire, Electric and to an extent Water types. Taunt stops you being hit with Roar can being forced out. Rest keeps you healthy, and keeps Sturdy active.
An attempt at sweeping Steelix. Autotomize doubles its Speed but also lowers its weight, meaning Low Kick and Grass Knot deal less damage. Earthquake does more damage, but Bulldoze gets no Life Orb recoil and is only 15 base power less. Rock Slide partners well with the Ground move. Crunch gets boosted by Sheer Force and increases coverage. Fire Fang allows you to take on Bronzong, Ferrothorn, Forretress, stuff like that. Ice Fang deals good damage to the Dragons and Grass types. Iron Tail gets STAB and Sheer Force, giving it huge base power.
Rest is Steelix's only form of healing, and Sleep Talk stops it from being dead-weight whilst it naps. Dragon Tail forces switches and deals damage. Toxic inflicts residual damage whilst being spread around by Dragon Tail.
- Stealth Rock
Stealth Rock is an obvious. Every suicide lead should have it. Explosion is for Custap Berry. What Custap does is allows you to move before your opponent next turn. It either adds +1 priority or just forces you to move first, I'm not sure. Anyway, Explosion is still powerful, despite being nerfed. Earthquake hits hard and can be used with Custap on a Steel lead or what not. Taunt can be useful when used with Custap, but could also stop the opponent setting up on Steelix. However, don't count on this considering its awful Speed. Ice Fang means you can deal good damage to Dragons. Stone Edge helps with Flying Pokémon trying to avoid Earthquake.
EVs & Natures
Choice Band, Block, Body Slam, Double-Edge, Flail, Gyro Ball, Roar, Stone Edge, Thunder Fang, Torment
Double & Triple Battle Options
Weak to Surf, weak to Earthquake, weak to Lava Plume, with nothing to add to your team. It has Protect, STAB Earthquake, Sheer Force Rock Slide and Explosion. That's honestly about it. Steelix is extremely dire in doubles. Just... don't even think twice about using it. Unless someone can prove me wrong and inform me of some secret technique, Steelix doesn't get anything else here.
If you are running a defensive set, use Pokémon that can cover its weaknesses and benefit from what it walls. Steelix is obviously a counter for physical Pokémon. Try to avoid Fighting and Ground attackers though, as they will hit you for super effective damage. Running a Flying Pokémon gives you a safe switch in for them. Obviously Steelix has trouble with Water Pokémon, so running it alongside a Grass type isn't a dumb idea. Steelix takes hits from Dragons well, so running it alongside stuff that is normally beaten by Scarf Garchomp isn't a bad thought. You want Pokémon that work with its support and its typing.
Taunt really hurts most Steelix sets. No Stealth Rock, no Curse, no Rest, no Autotomize, no Toxic, it really shuts Steelix down. Burn cripples Steelix completely too. In terms of actual Pokémon, do you want a list? Oh, you do. OU: Zapdos, Thundurus, Balloon Heatran, any bulky Water, Gliscor, Ferrothorn, Breloom, Conkeldurr, Reuniclus, Volcarona, Skarmory, Rotom-A, the list goes on. All of these Pokémon can switch into Steelix and force it out or set up on it. In UU... Tangrowth and Leafeon do well as Grass types. Claydol and Donphan and most other bulky Grounds do well against it, considering how little they take from Steelix's attacks. Again, bulky Waters do well. The easiest way of stopping Steelix though is super effective special attacks. A strong Flamethrower ruins Steelix, as well as Focus Blast, Surf, Earth Power, just a special attack. Honestly, Steelix is so frail in terms of Special Defence, most attacks will take it down easily. Considering how slow Steelix is as well, you can easily revenge kill it, even if you can't switch in safely. Each generation has given Steelix nothing (except for Stealth Rock and Sturdy), whereas everything seemed to get better, forcing Steelix into obscurity. Not saying it is useless, as it can still be handy, but it is often outclassed. If you play it, play it in UU, and make sure Registeel doesn't do the job better.
Onix is actually much, much faster than Steelix, which could come in handy. Not to mention, under Sandstorm it has insane defences when combined with Eviolite. It'd be forced to do most of its damage through Toxic and entry hazards, but it is still damage whilst it sits there glancing hits off with its massive defences. Dragon Tail gives you a little offence, but it is basically for the phazing effect. Thanks to its alright Speed, ResTalk Dragon Tail works really well as Sleep Talk bypasses Dragon Tail's negative priority. Running Torment with your huge defences works too, as they would have to completely rethink their strategy if you are forcing them to change moves every turn. It's a shame Weak Armor is pretty useless, but oh well. Sturdy is what you want regardless.
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