Aggron

Aggron, The Iron Armor Pokémon. While seeking iron for food, it digs tunnels by breaking through bedrock with its steel horns. It is surprisingly protective of its environment. If its mountain is ravaged by a landslide or a fire, this Pokémon will haul topsoil to the area, plant trees, and beautifully restore its own territory. It claims an entire mountain as its own territory. It mercilessly beats up anything that violates its environment. This Pokémon vigilantly patrols its territory at all times.Its iron horns grow longer a little at a time. They are used to determine the Aggron's age. The gouges in its armor are worn with pride as mementos from battles.ť

Overview

Being a Steel type is a good thing… being a Rock type is fairly decent too… yet somehow, put the two together, and you have a real problem on your hands. Aggron shows us what happens when you combine them, and its giant Base 180 Defence does nothing to stop Fighting and Ground moves from mauling it (and sadly, those two moves represent staples of the usual physical sweeper).

Now onto the positive side of the map. Those 4x weaknesses are devastating, but the trade-off comes in the form of many resistances. Steel type grants a Poison immunity, but its 4x resistances to Normal and Flying moves are its most treasured, essentially acting like immunities. Additionally, you have Ice, Bug, Psychic, Rock, Ghost, Dragon and Dark resistances. Whilst Aggron isn't an effective physical wall, it's excellent at switching into Choice-locked opponents with proper prediction.

I've paid a lot of attention to its defensive side, but it isn't an inadequate attacker. With a Base 110 Attack stat and a fairly varied move-pool, it has few troubles causing problems for its opposition as an attacker. Whilst sweeping is out of the question due to its lacking Speed stat, causing its opponents problems is well within reach.

Over-all, Aggron is a prime example of a good Underused Pokémon. It isn't overcomplicated or gimmicky, it's just a balanced Pokémon with clear cut problems and positives.

Ability

Sturdy: causes OHKO moves (Sheer Cold, Fissure, Guillotine and Horn Drill) to fail when used against Aggron. Since these are usually banned from competitive play, the ability is fairly useless, although it may prove to be more useful than the alternative. Rock Head: makes Aggron immune to the damage from recoil moves (and this doesn't apply to Life Orb's recoil damage). For Aggron, this only applies to Double-Edge and Take Down, and of those two, only Double-Edge is even worth considering, and even then, it's scarcely used on Aggron. Sturdy is fairly useless but unless you're using Double-Edge, Rock Head is useless.

Move Sets

Sub-Punch

- Substitute
- Focus Punch
- Stone Edge
- Thunder Wave / Aqua Tail
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 172 HP / 252 Atk / 84 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Aggron's expertise lies in switching into Choice-equipped physical sweepers, forcing switches and buying itself free turns to execute its strategy. This is a recurring theme of most Aggron move-sets, but it works very effectively for the Sub-Punch set. With the opponent forced to switch, Aggron has a free turn to throw up a Substitute, giving it a very nice buffer between itself and the inevitable flurry of Fighting, Ground or Water moves it's due to face (and of course, this can also get in the way of any Will-o-Wisps the opponent tries to direct at Aggron, as well as any status move in general).

From behind the safety of a Substitute, Focus Punch is of course a key option, although not the only one. Stone Edge is an inevitable choice for taking out Flying types, abusing STAB and just for some generally good type coverage when mixed with Fighting moves. In your final move-slot you have a couple of options. Thunder Wave is nice for crippling faster sweepers, compensating for Aggron's own awful Speed. Sadly, it's ineffective against Ground types, who happen to enjoy switching in against Aggron (and why wouldn't they? After all, they resist its Rock STAB and have 4x effective moves of their own). To deal with Ground types, Aggron was blessed by the Platinum tutors with a very usable Water move in the form of Aqua Tail. This makes for a strong super-effective hit on most Ground types, including the likes of Nidoking and Claydol, who resist both Focus Punch and Stone Edge.

Support

- Stealth Rock
- Toxic / Thunder Wave
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Being able to force free turns by the aforementioned “switch into a Choice Pokémon and abusing one of your many resistances” strategy allows Aggron to perform as an adequate supporting Pokémon. Not one of the best but certainly capable. It's equipped with the beloved Stealth Rock, and being able to set that up with relative comfort is the primary reason to consider using Aggron in a supporting role. Its status options are aimed more at supporting Aggron itself rather than its team. Toxic does a great number on Bulky Water and Ground Pokémon (who would otherwise fancy themselves as decent Aggron counters), whilst Thunder Wave helps to compensate for Aggron's rather lacking Speed stat. Both are useful to Aggron's team, but also very useful for Aggron itself.

You can round out the move-set with a two-pronged attacking combination. Stone Edge and Earthquake are the classic combination for type coverage; simple and effective.

Choice Band

- Stone Edge
- Aqua Tail
- Double-Edge
- Earthquake / Superpower
Item Attached: Choice Band
Ability: Rock Head
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Aggron gets its kicks by switching into Choice Banders, yet this makes Aggron rather effective at utilising Choice Band itself. Being able to switch into play with relative ease is fairly key to making a Choice Bander effective, and Aggron can mark a check next to that requirement.

Stone Edge is the obvious first choice move. Shaky accuracy is undesirable in a STAB move, but its coverage and power make it a necessity. Aqua Tail is equally a necessity for covering the Ground types that resist Rock moves. What Double-Edge lacks in super-effective hits it gains in neutral type coverage. It can be treated a bit like a STAB move in the sense that you can use its power against Pokémon who don't carry weaknesses to your other moves (such as Quagsire, Poliwrath and Fighting types in general).

To round off the move-set, you need to pick a move to deal with those pesky Steel types. Earthquake is the obvious one. Consistency, type coverage and power, but Superpower is also a viable option. It's a little stronger initially, and also comes with equally sound type coverage. Aggron just needs to keep its eye on the stat-drop side effect. Whilst it should always be fleeing from Ground and Fighting moves, that Defence drop can open the door for neutrally-hitting physical moves to look for a KO, whilst that Attack drop can see Aggron fall a bit short of what it would otherwise expect to be a KO. It isn't much an issue if you're switching constantly, but sometimes you aren't, and that's when the stat-drops can catch up to you.

Rock Polish

- Rock Polish
- Stone Edge
- Aqua Tail
- Earthquake
Item Attached: Life Orb / Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

In the overview I did say that “sweeping is out of the question due to its lacking Speed stat”, but Rock Polish is an exception to this rule. A single Rock Polish mixed with a fairly hefty Speed investment allows Aggron to outrun most of the Underused environment, and whilst it hasn't got the strongest raw Attack stat, Base 110 is enough to work with.

Stone Edge and Aqua Tail need no explaining. Earthquake is the first-choice to take along, taking precedence over Double-Edge and Superpower (for its super-effective hit on Steel types and consistency respectively). You can make a final decision on just how much of a sweeper you want to make out of Aggron. Life Orb provides a difference making power boost, but that comes at the cost of its HP, which comes at the cost of Aggron's defensive capabilities (which are not to be scoffed at). Leftovers helps to reinforce Aggron's role as a defensive Pokémon, but that means you need to rely on its raw Attack stat and type coverage to do all the work when it comes to sweeping.

EVs and Nature:

Sub-Punch
Max Attack (with Adamant) is an advisable starting point. The rest of the EVs are debatable. You could dump them straight into HP and be done with it. Alternatively, you could invest in some Speed. 84 Speed EVs gets you to 157 Speed (outrunning Weezing and Clefable) and on a further extreme, 204 Speed EVs gets Aggron to 186 Speed (outrunning Claydol), with a further extreme being the full 252, bringing Aggron to 199 Speed (just ahead of Milotic). The excess EVs can be placed in HP, since it makes a sizable difference when it comes to percentages when measured against its innate massive defence stat.

Support
Max HP is probably the starting point here, and pairing it with Max Attack and Adamant is straightforward and effective. The main area worth looking at here is Special Defence, which could be given a sizable boost to allow Aggron to take Special Attacks a bit better (and whilst it won't “wall” Special moves, it does have many resistances to take advantage of). It's not necessary but it wouldn't be a waste.

Choice Band Max Attack and Adamant go on without question. The rest of the EVs follows a similar story to the Sub-Punch move-set. 84 Speed EVs edges you ahead of Weezing and Clefable, 204 ahead of Claydol and the full 252 edges you ahead of Milotic. Since this is very offensively oriented, and striking first really can make the difference between finishing off a Pokémon and being finished off yourself, going with Max Speed isn't particularly inadvisable. The main alternative stat to invest in is HP once again.

Rock Polish
Max Attack and Adamant once more. Speed is very important here, since you're working on the assumption that you'll double it. All 252 is quite worthwhile since that doubles to 398 Speed, which should secure Aggron as the fastest Pokémon in the Underused tier (certainly faster than everything that's un-boosted, barring Electrode).

Other Options

Iron Head, Fire Punch, Ice Punch, Thunderpunch, Curse, Magnet Rise, Metal Burst.

Iron Head provides consistent STAB damage, but it only really matches Double-Edge for power. It does have the benefit of a 30% flinch chance but Double-Edge has better neutral type-coverage, so it'll usually get the nod ahead of it.

The elemental punches are better suited for the Standard tier rather than the UU environment. Fire Punch deals with Bronzong and Scizor, Ice Punch deals with Salamence (and fills Aqua Tail's boots in dealing with Ground types) and Thunderpunch deals with Gyarados, and in almost all cases you'd be using these moves on predicted switch-ins rather than switching into the aforementioned Pokémon.

Curse is a good move, but the Defence boost is fairly negligible when you have two huge 4x weaknesses to cope with; and of course, it's a bit too slow to take advantage of the Attack boost (especially with the Speed drop).

Magnet Rise is a bit of a gimmicky way around its Ground weakness, but that Fighting weakness will still be a huge bulls-eye, and the same goes for its lacklustre Special Defence and its Water weakness.

Metal Burst acts like Counter and Mirror Coat all in one. A lack of any reliable recovery move really ruins its usefulness, and surviving moves targeting its weaknesses becomes a bit of a problem too (pairing it with Focus Sash is one solution but as a consequence you're pretty much sacrificing Aggron's existence for one Metal Burst).

Countering Aggron

In the absence of Aqua Tail (and despite me pushing it so much, it isn't always in use), Claydol and Sandslash are very effective. Even with Aqua Tail, Quagsire and Torterra also make effective counters. Water types in general are also fairly effective counters. Poliwrath is one of the standouts due to its Rock resistance, but even in the absence of a resistance, Milotic, Slowbro and Blastoise are all pretty effective (just be weary of a Band-boosted Stone Edge). Hitmontop with Intimidate is fairly well equipped for taking on Aggron, again benefiting from a Rock resistance. Even in the absence of resistances, Weezing is fairly effective, although it might not land a Will-o-Wisp against the Sub-Puncher, and speaking of the Sub-Puncher, Nidoqueen's Rock and Fighting resistances throw its name into this section, although it needs to be weary of Aqua Tail and Earthquake.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Evolve Lairon

Colosseum/XD

Trade from RSEXD (Col) Evolve Lairon (XD)

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Trade from RSEXD

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Evolve Lairon

Animé Appearences

Aggron has had manu Animé Appearences. Most of its appearances are simple cameos, however it has been owned by a variety of trainers including James, Steven Stone and Conway. It is usually depicted as a powerhouse.

Episode 298: A Hole Lotta Trouble!!
Episode 310: Having A Wailord of a Time!
Movie 6: Jirachi - Wish Maker
Pikachu's Summer Festival
Episode 402: Like A Meowth To Flame!
Episode 405: Shocks and Bonds
Movie 8: Lucario & The Mystery of Mew
Episode 453: Grating Spaces
Episode 519: Glory Blaze
Episode 525: Bibarel Knows Best
Episode 540: Pokémon Ranger and the Kidnapped Riolu (2)
Movie 11: Giratina & The Sky Warrior!
Episode 559: One Team, Two Team, Red Team, Blue Team!
Episode 578: Steeling Peace of Mind!
Episode 579: Saving the World from Ruins
Episode 587: Clash! Mamoswine VS Aggron!

 
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