Magcargo

Magcargo, The Lava Pokémon. Its body temperature is roughly 18,000 degrees F. Flames spout from gaps in its hardened shell. The shell on its back is just skin that has cooled and hardened. It breaks easily with a slight touch. Its brittle shell occasionally spouts intense flames that circulate throughout its body.

Overview

Magcargo is everyone's favorite lava snail Pokemon, though it being the only one makes this not exactly the most prestigious feat. Unfortunately, Magcargo really isn't that great of a Pokemon, with sub par stats (even for being in NeverUsed), as well as a bad typing. Being a Fire / Rock type not only leaves Magcargo weak to several types, including 4x weaknesses to Water and Ground, it also leaves Magcargo vulnerable to Stealth Rock. Its movepool isn't the greatest either, but it does have some handy tricks up its shell. Although most of its stats aren't too great, it does have a quite good Defense stat that sits at base 120, as well as having access to a variety of support moves, as well as Shell Smash (if you're crazy enough). This does not however mean that Magcargo is anything near being a good Pokemon, they just redeem it a little, so if you really want to use Magcargo, go for it, but it isn't the greatest idea.

Abilities

Magma Armor: Prevents Magcargo from Freezing and halves the number of steps required to hatch eggs, an ability only useful for the latter half and definitely not at all useful competitively.
Flame Body: Has a 30% chance to burn the enemy when struck with a contact move and halves the number of steps to hatch eggs, this unlike Magma Armor is pretty useful as the burn chance can often cripple physical attackers.
Weak Armor: Boosts Magcargo's Speed by +1 and lowers Defense by -1 when hit by a physical move, not the greatest of abilities as 1) Magcargo's Speed isn't really worth boosting as it's a snail, it's slow and 2) it lowers the only stat of Magcargo's that is decent.

Movesets

A Fiery Delicacy In Kalos

-Stealth Rock
-Toxic / Will-o-Wisp
-Recover
-Lava Plume / Hidden Power [Rock]
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Flame Body
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SDef
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) or Calm Nature (+SDef, -Atk)

This is basically the only set you'll see on Magcargo except for the occasional gimmicky Shell Smash set. Magcargo functions mainly as a supporter, and its movepool shows that. Stealth Rock is there for the obvious reason of setting up Stealth Rocks on the field. The second slot depends on which sort of status you want to give to your opponent, with Toxic helping to wear down opposing walls or anything Magcargo can't muscle through (which is pretty much everything), while Will-O-Wisp allows for you to burn everything, which is very likely to happen thanks to that in addition to Flame Body and Lava Plume. Yawn is the third option for status, and probably a better choice than Will-O-Wisp, as it can force many switches that would otherwise be unlikely to happen. Recover is there for recovery (derp) which is actually one of the best assets that Magcargo has over several other walls. Its last slot goes to whichever attacking move you find more useful, with Lava Plume providing solid STAB with a chance of burning the opponent, and HP Rock hitting weaker with no added affect, but dealing with different opponents. The choice of nature is whether you want the nature to help compensate for having all the EVs in Special Defense, or for if you want your Special Defense to be just a bit higher.

Other Options

AncientPower, Earth Power, Fire Blast, Flamethrower, Heat Wave, Overheat, Pain Split, Shell Smash, SolarBeam
AncientPower is a decent STAB move that also has the chance of boosting all your stats, although its low chance of occurrence as well as low PP makes this a risky option.
Earth Power is a good coverage move for a more offensive set, hitting a different set of threats than Magcargo's STABs.
Fire Blast is alternative Fire STAB #1, being powerful but having lower accuracy.
Flamethrower is alternative Fire STAB #2, being weaker than Fire Blast but having perfect accuracy.
Heat Wave is alternative Fire STAB #3 (sick of me saying this yet?), being in between Fire Blast and Flamethrower in terms of both power and accuracy, as well as hitting all opponents in Doubles and Triples.
Overheat is alternative Fire STAB #4 (you can sing your hallelujahs now, this is the last one), being drastically more powerful than the others but having the drawback of dropping your Special Attack by -2 afterwards.
Pain Split can be used over Recover, but Recover is the far better option as it is much more reliable and heals more than Pain Split in almost every condition.
Shell Smash is almost obligatory for any offensive Magcargo set, and Magcargo can definitely take advantage of the boosts to both its Special Attack and its Speed (although the Speed boost still doesn't help it much).
SolarBeam can be used for coverage if you're running Magcargo under Sun or as a Sun setter, as it can hit Water types quite well that would otherwise cause problems for Magcargo (for obvious reasons).

Double & Triple Battle Options

Why you're even considering Magcargo over much better options, I have no idea, but I will assume it functions the same way in those formats as it does in Singles (except throw Heat Wave in over Lava Plume), but seriously, there are much better options.

Partners

Any Pokemon that can deal with Magcargo's weaknesses is a great asset to it, so basically any Flying or Levitating Pokemon (Braviary and Rotom-S for example) can help out, as well as Water absorbing Pokemon like Jynx and Seismitoad. Sun and Sand setters can also be decent partners as Sun boosts Magcargo's power and Sand boosts its Special Defense.

Countering Magcargo

Special Attacks. Seriously, hit it hard enough with almost any Special Attack and Magcargo will crumble. Hydro Pump, Earth Power, and the like all have the power to knock over this crusty snail so that it doesn't ooze back up. Outspeeding Magcargo isn't exactly a challenge, so the only thing you really have to worry about is it using a status inducing move on your Pokemon before it can obliterate this flaming escargot. For some specific Pokemon, go for Samurott, Seismitoad, Camerupt, Carracosta, Golurk, Sawk, Gurdurr, Gardevoir, etc.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Evolve Slugma

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Mt. Ember Basement 3 (Rock Smash)

Colosseum/XD:
Evolve Slugma (Colosseum)
Snagged from Cipher Peon Kolest in Citadark Isle (XD)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Stark Mountain

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Evolve Slugma

Black/White:
Transfer from Generation IV
Evolve Slugma from Dream World

Black 2/White 2:
Transfer from Generation IV
Evolve Slugma from Dream World

Animé Appearences

Magcargo has made a few appearances. Most notably, it was used by Flannery in her Gym Battle against Ash, and by Macey in her Johto League battle with Ash.

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
242 Some Like it Hot! Magcargo! Catch In The Hot Spirit! Pics
269 Love, Pokemon Style! League Preliminaries! Quilava Flame Battle! Pics
270 Tie One On! Meganium vs. Bulbasaur! Spirit of the Grass Types! Pics
331 Poetry Commotion! The New Gym Leader, Flannery! The Hole-Filled Battle Field! Pics
332 Going, Going, Yawn! Heat Badge! Win The Blazing Battle! Pics
456 May, We Harley Drew'd Ya! Begin! Pokémon Contest - Grand Festival! Pics
582 Another One Gabites the Dust Pokémon Contest! Akebi Convention!! Pics
630 Playing the Performance Encore Double Battle! VS Plusle & Minun! Pics

 
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