Sudowoodo, The Imitation Pokémon. It mimics a tree to avoid being attacked by enemies. But since its forelegs remain green throughout the year, it is easily identified as a fake in the winter. It hates water, so it will disappear if it starts raining. Although it always pretends to be a tree, its composition appears to be closer to a rock than a plant.
Sudowoodo isn't a half bad Pokémon, although it'll certainly never break out of the Underused tier. It's gotten a few neat additions this generation, most notably a more powerful STAB from Stone Edge. It also boasts good Attack and Defence stats. Rock carries a handful of helpful resistances, especially Flying and Normal, which are quite prevalent in the Underused environment.
It's generally got everything it needs to be a solid physical wall in the UU environment, and unlike some fellow UU Rock types (such as Golem and Aggron) it's spared from having any 4x weaknesses.
Rock Head: is the one to use if you intend to use Wood Hammer or Double-Edge. If it isn't using any recoil moves, then Sturdy would be the way to go.
Sturdy: isn't all that great. Competitive battlers rarely use OHKO moves (such as Fissure and Sheer Cold) because of their poor accuracy. But if Sudowoodo isn't using Rock Head, there's no reason to not use it, although it'll rarely see any action.
- Stone Edge
There's not much to say about this set. It provides some decent defensive resistances for its team whilst packing a pretty strong punch. Stone Edge provides strong STAB (with a chance of a critical hit). Wood Hammer deals with any Water or Ground types that attempt to counter it, and because of Rock Head, it doesn't need to worry about recoil. Likewise, Earthquake deals with Steel types and has some very solid coverage to boot. Explosion is an ideal way to end things when Sudowoodo is low on HP, especially since it lacks a recovery move.
For a balanced move-set, Leftovers would be the primary choice, since it won't receive healing from anything else. The move-set can easily be modified for a more offensive mindset by changing the item. Choice Band is an obvious option for hit-and-run, whilst Expert Belt could be used for a minor boost that isn't at the expense of versatility. Life Orb would sting a bit, since Sudowoodo has some very good defensive possibilities, but it could be useful on a more offensive variant.
Rock Polish Sweeper
- Rock Polish
Sudowoodo is slow, but with Rock Polish and a lot of Speed EVs it can outrun the bulk of un-boosted UU opponents, making sweeping a viable option. It's a pretty straightforward move-set, although with Rock Polish taking up a move-slot, Sudowoodo must drop an attack. Wood Hammer is helpful for Water types and Ground types, Earthquake has fantastic type coverage and deals with Steel types and Explosion gives Sudowoodo a huge hit to use before it's taken out of action. All three are very good choices, so a lot of personal preference will affect which moves are chosen.
As far as items are concerned, Life Orb and Expert Belt will aid sweeping whilst Leftovers will add a bit more defensive stability.
Counter is a move from the 3rd generation move tutors, so obviously it's limited to Sudowoodo's raised from the 3rd generation. With its large Defence stat and fairly respectable HP, Sudowoodo can make good use of Counter. The general gist of the move-set is to use Counter when the opportunity opens up, for what would hopefully be a KO. As HP runs low, Sudowoodo can pull out Explosion for what would likely be another KO. In between it can dish out its normal offensive attacks and provide its team with its helpful resistances.
Leftovers is the obvious option for a slight bit of HP recovery, but one of the type-resist berries may have some potential to allow it to suck up a strong attack and fire it back (such as a Shuca Berry to reduce damage taken from Earthquake). In the Standard environment, where there are some very hard hitters, a Focus Sash may even be worth consideration (with a significantly different EV spread).
EVs and Nature:
Most move-sets would want to keep a healthy balance between offensive power and defensive survivability. Understandably, maxing its HP should be a priority. Afterwards, the focus would primarily turn to its Attack and Defence, with more offensive variants giving a significantly larger focus to its Attack stat (most likely with an Adamant Nature). Special Defence is definitely worth a look if Sandstorm is likely to be active, since the boost can give Sudowoodo a very respectable Special Defence stat.
The Rock Polish move-set is significantly changed by which nature it picks. Without Jolly, it can reach a maximum of 318 Speed after a Rock Polish (which sets it just above nature-boosted Pokémon in the Base 95 Speed group, such as Jynx and Sharpedo). With Jolly, Sudowoodo can reach a maximum Speed of 348 after Rock Polish (which is more than enough to set it above nature-boosted Pokémon in the Base 105 Speed group, such as Manetric and Scyther, as well as others in lower Speed groups such as Fearow and Tentacruel). There's a fair few common UU Pokémon that can beaten with the Jolly nature, but in exchange Sudowoodo loses a bit of offensive power that it would've gained from Adamant (and of course, not all of the aforementioned Pokémon would necessarily be using their max Speed stat anyway).
The Counter move-set would probably want to be a bit more defensive than normal, to allow Sudowoodo to suck up Earthquakes and Brick Breaks a bit more respectably.
In the case of Trick Room support, Sudowoodo would want as low a Speed IV as possible and a Speed lowering nature. Since it's already slow, Sudowoodo is quite well suited for a Trick Room team.
Hammer Arm, Ice Punch, Fire Punch, Focus Punch, Sucker Punch, Double-Edge, Taunt, Sandstorm, Stealth Rock, Rock Slide.
Hammer Arm is a nice offensive Fighting typed option. It's got a fair bit of strength and the Speed lowering side-effect is pretty negligible (on account of its already snail-paced Speed). With plenty of Normal typed Pokémon lingering in the UU environment, a Fighting Attack can be quite a valuable offensive asset, and it covers Steel and Rock types nicely (making it a viable replacement for Earthquake).
Sudowoodo gets the elemental punches from Emerald. Ice Punch is a great choice for hitting Garchomp whilst Fire Punch does quite nicely against Forretress and Bronzong. For the most part, they are more useful for the Standard environment rather than the UU environment, and being a UU Pokémon, Sudowoodo may not see much use for them at all (unless it's being specifically played in that environment).
Focus Punch is a decent option to add to any Choice Band variant of Sudowoodo, provided it can be used with proper prediction, but Hammer Arm probably proves to be a more reliable choice.
Sucker Punch is a nice way to catch opponents off-guard, especially since just about every opponent would be expecting to out-speed Sudowoodo.
Double-Edge has no recoil with Rock Head, although there's few (if any) situations where Stone Edge, Wood Hammer or Earthquake wouldn't be a stronger choice.
Taunt is a fun move when used with proper prediction, although Sudowoodo is too slow to beat out most opponents to catch them off-guard with it.
Sandstorm can cause some passive damage to the opponent but also gives Sudowoodo (as well as other Rock types) a 1.5x Special Defence boost. Although Sudowoodo would rather have a team-mate set it up, it's still a relatively useful move.
Stealth Rock is a pretty helpful supportive move, especially in the UU environment where there's plenty of Bug, Fire and Flying types (and few viable Rapid Spinners).
Rock Slide is an alternative to Stone Edge. It's significantly weaker in power, and its Flinch side-effect is negligible (due to Sudowoodo's low Speed), but it does have twice as much PP as Stone Edge.
Sudowoodo is relatively predictable in its choice of offence, but between Stone Edge, Wood Hammer and Earthquake, most counters risk taking a big hit (especially if Choice Band is a factor), and any counter risks taking an Explosion.
Defensive Fighting types do nicely since they have a Rock resistance, particularly Hitmontop who has Intimidate. Hariyama is also a decent choice and Poliwrath can work if Wood Hammer is absent. Despite lacking a Rock resistance, Meganium, Bellossom and Vileplume are reasonably effective.
Most Ground types are weak to Wood Hammer, but if it's absent, most of the defensive ones can make for decent counters. Sandslash, Quagsire and Whiscash are good examples. If Earthquake is absent, Golem, Nidoqueen and Nidoking also work decently. If Earthquake or Hammer Arm are absent, there's also a bunch of a Steel types that work, such as Mawile, Bastiodon and Aggron. Of course, all of these aforementioned 'counters' require a fair bit of scouting beforehand, or prediction in the case of a Choice Band move-set.
Since it's quite slow, 'revenge' KOs are relatively easy. Rock comes with a fair few exploitable weaknesses, Water, Grass, Ground, Fight and Steel. Unless Sandstorm is active, its Special Defence is usually quite low and makes for an easy target. Offensively, it's entirely shut-down by Will-o-Wisp and defensively, Toxic saps away its HP pretty quickly. Since it's without a reliable healing move, repeated beatings can catch up with it fairly quickly.
In the standard environment, it doesn't compete too effectively. Barring an elemental punch, Bronzong, Torterra, Breloom and many others can shut it down completely and the list of sweepers that can KO it is ridiculously large.
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