Armaldo

Armaldo, The Plate Pokémon. Armaldo's tough armor makes all attacks bounce off. This Pokémon's two enormous claws can be freely extended or contracted. They have the power to punch right through a steel slab. Armaldo is a Pokémon species that became extinct in prehistoric times. This Pokémon is said to have walked on its hind legs, which would have been more convenient for life on land. Armaldo usually lives on land. However, when it hunts for prey, it dives beneath the ocean. It swims around using its two large wings. It went ashore after evolving. Its entire body is clad in a sturdy armor.

Overview

Continuing a trend set in the first generation, Hoenn introduced two new fossil Pokémon. Of the two, Armaldo is the more offensively-inclined. The generation shift was very kind to it. Whereas before it lacked strong STABs to match with its Bug and Rock typing, it's now gained X-Scissor and Stone Edge. Rock Polish and Choice Scarf vary up its offensive options, allowing it to work with its raw Attack stat or continue with the old ways, taking advantage of Swords Dance or Choice Band. Although it isn't a defensive Pokémon, Sandstorm giving Rock types a 1.5x Special Defence boost is also quite neat.

Armaldo gained a lot of nice improvements in the generation shift, but this still isn't enough to bump it out of the Underused tier. Nevertheless, within the UU environment, it's a pretty strong performer.

Ability

Battle Armour: gives Armaldo a critical-hit immunity. As always, I'll be quick to point out that you can never be sure if it's working, since crits are rather unpredictable. However, whilst it isn't the greatest ability, at least it's somewhat useful.

Move Sets

Swords Dance

- Swords Dance
- X-Scissor
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Battle Armour
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 52 HP / 252 Atk / 204 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Armaldo is quick to take advantage of its two new STABs. X-Scissor, Stone Edge and Earthquake will be the recurring holy trinity for Armaldo, pretty much covering everything that needs to be covered. That raw attack stat backed by a Swords Dance boost is more than enough to instil fear in pretty much every UU Pokémon.

The only real letdown is Armaldo's awful Speed stat, which caps out at 189 and almost guarantees that it'll have to take a hit before bringing down an opponent. Leftovers and its decent defensive stats provide some raw bulk to mitigate the damage, but if you do intend to go for a sweep, it'll probably have to be a late-game sweep or one supported by either Trick Room or a great deal of Thunder Wave support.

Rock Polish - Rock Polish
- X-Scissor
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Battle Armour
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 36 HP / 252 Atk / 220 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Once again, you have a sweeper option. In this case, you compensate for that awful Speed stat with Rock Polish, making that 189 cap double to 378, more than enough to outrun the majority of the UU environment. The trade-off is less power but between a strong raw attack stat, Life Orb and the holy trinity type coverage, sweeping is perfectly viable.

Choice

- X-Scissor
- Stone Edge
- Earthquake
- Superpower
Item Attached: Choice Band / Scarf
Ability: Battle Armour
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 52 HP / 252 Atk / 204 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)

Choice sets work out just as well as sweeper sets. As always, you have Band for power and Scarf for pace, depending on whether you want a Pokémon that can barge through teams or pick off weakened opponents. You save a turn stat-boosting and have a bit more freedom to bounce in and out of play, but Armaldo might find itself being a bit more picky about when it switches in when compared against other Choice Pokémon. Armaldo has no immunities and a meagre two resistances (Normal and Poison). Added with a Stealth Rock weakness gained from its Bug typing and Armaldo doesn't make the transition to Choice Pokémon as smoothly as some others.

Once again, the holy trinity is in use. X-Scissor, Stone Edge and Earthquake provide all the coverage it needs, leaving the final move-slot mostly as a filler. Superpower comes with the Platinum move-tutors, and having a 120 base power and Fighting's super-effective coverage earns it enough merit to be on the move-set.

EVs and Nature:

Max Attack always comes first for every move-set. The only one you can even consider using a nature different to Adamant is with a Scarf. What to do with the remaining EVs is the main area of variation. Some Speed is needed, with the excess being dumped into its HP stat.

Armaldo is slow. If you aren't getting a boost (either from Rock Polish or Choice Scarf), then your main concern is to outrun other slow opponents. 44 Speed EVs will put it ahead of Aggron, Vileplume and Muk (Base 50 Speed tier), 124 Speed EVs will put it ahead of Clefable and Weezing (Base 60 Speed tier), 204 Speed EVs will put it ahead of Mantine and Solrock (Base 70 Speed tier).

You've got an occasional exception to this rule. If you have Trick Room support, you'll want a Brave nature (+Atk/-Spd), no Speed EVs and the lowest Speed IV possible. Once again, the excess (which in this case is all of the EVs) go into HP, with the token 4 leftover EVs going to its Defence (or Special Defence, it doesn't really matter).

Rock Polish
If you're getting the Rock Polish boost then you'll want to aim for a Speed stat that accounts for it. Aiming for 181 Speed (220 Speed EVs) is worthwhile, since that'll let it out-speed Timid/Jolly Persian (Base 115 Speed tier), as well as Purugly (112) and Froslass (110).

Choice Scarf
Max Speed gives you a 283 Speed stat after the Scarf boost. This puts you ahead of Pokémon from the Base 90 Speed tier (Mr. Mime, Kangaskhan and Venomoth) as well as the 91 Speed tier (Rotom), provided they don't have Speed boosting natures of their own.

Jolly Max Speed gives you 310 speed after a Scarf boost. This gives you the edge over Pokémon from the 95-105 Speed tiers when they don't have nature boosts, which includes Jynx, Dodrio, Scyther, Raichu and many others.

Other Options

Rock Blast, Rapid Spin, Knock Off, Sandstorm, Stealth Rock.

Firstly, Rock Blast is an alternative to Stone Edge. It hits 2-5 times, and most importantly, this means that the first hit can break a Sub and then the following hits will land against the Pokémon. The most obvious example of this being used is against Ninjask, who is infamous for Sub-stalling with Speed Boost and also easily OHKOed due to its poor defences and 4x weakness. Other situations where it's useful are against any fragile (or Rock-weak) Substitute users (such as Jolteon, Gengar and Zapdos).

The downside, is reliability. Stone Edge isn't the most reliable STAB move, leaving a lot to be desired with its poor 80% accuracy. Rock Blast takes on the same unreliable accuracy and adds to it with unreliable power. It takes four consecutive hits to match Stone Edge for power and five to outmatch it. There's a 75% chance that Rock Blast will hit 2 or 3 times (weaker than Stone Edge), a 12.5% chance it'll hit four times (matching Stone Edge) and a 12.5% chance it'll hit five times (beating Stone Edge). Over-all, these poor odds mean the only reason you should consider it as an alternative is if you have major concerns about Substitute-using leads, and intend to use Armaldo as a lead as well.

Rapid Spin and Knock Off are two useful utility moves. Before Superpower, they were also the main 'filler' options for the Choice sets. They used to clash as egg moves, but with Knock Off becoming a Platinum tutor move, both can be utilised on the same set now if you want to go for a supporting move-set.

Sandstorm and Stealth Rock round off its supporting options. Sandstorm gives Armaldo a 1.5x Special Defence boost whilst Stealth Rock provides an entry hazard threat.

Countering Armaldo

Armaldo's biggest downfall is its awful Speed stat. If it's using Rock Polish, it means its Attack stat will usually only have a Life Orb boost, whilst with Swords Dance, it's exposed to hits from any Pokémon with a better Speed stat. For UU Pokémon, 'countering' Armaldo isn't an easy task however. Bug, Rock and Ground give it type coverage over almost every popular wall, and it also packs a reasonable degree of bulk that OHKOing it with a super-effective attack isn't a guarantee.

Weezing is the best off, packing a Will-o-Wisp threat and a useful resistance to X-Scissor and immunity to Earthquake. Blastoise works well with a max Def/HP EV spread. Surf does around 60-70% damage to a max HP Armaldo without any EV investment. Being resistant to both of Armaldo's STAB moves, Poliwrath isn't too bad. Without defensive EVs, Poliwrath takes around 75-90% damage from a Swords Dance-boosted Earthquake, but in return, Poliwrath does 60-70% damage with an un-boosted Waterfall. Hitmontop also benefits from a double-resistance to Armaldo's STAB moves, as well as Intimidate, but it only does 40-45% damage with Stone Edge without Attack EVs, so it needs a bit of EV support to reach a 2KO (or some support from entry hazards or Life Orb recoil to compensate for falling short of the 50% mark).

In the Standard environment, bulky waters carry on Blastoise's job, just a bit more efficiently due to superior base stats. Suicune, Swampert and Milotic are the classic ones to mention here, all comfortably grabbing 2KOs with STAB Surfs. Skarmory gives it a tough time, Whirlwinding away any stat-boosts and possibly playing prediction mind-games with Roost.

Over-all, Armaldo is its own biggest counter with its awful Speed stat. Hard-hitters with a super-effective move should be able to get an OHKO, or at least near enough, and although many hard-hitters are slow, most of them have more Speed than Armaldo does.

Although it's stating the obvious, all of the move-sets have some kind of additional downfall. Using Swords Dance or Rock Polish costs a turn, giving a free switch for a lot of the aforementioned counters (as well as anything faster with OHKO potential). Life Orb recoil reduces its bulk and with that additional Stealth Rock weakness, it's easier to KO as well. Any move-set using a Choice item is obviously restricted, and whilst not many Pokémon resist all three of its core offensive moves, plenty resist two out of three, easing prediction on their part a fair amount.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Evolve Anorith

Colosseum/XD

Trade from RSE

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Trade from RSE

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Evolve Anorith

Animé Appearences

Armaldo has had a few Animé Appearences. First it was seen in a film. After that, it was on an island of Pre-historic Pokémon in Hoenn and was lost so Ash & Co. had to find one. Later, one was free in Oreburgh City after Aerodactyl got revived and started causing havoc.

Episode 362: Lights, Camerupt, Action
Episode 379: Where's Armaldo?
Episode 485: Wild In The Streets

 
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