Bronzong, The Bronze Bell Pokémon. One caused a news sensation when it was dug up at a construction site after a 2,000-year sleep. It can summon rain clouds. People long ago revered it as the bringer of plentiful harvests.
Bronzong has been a highly valued addition to the game, favoured for its wonderful collection of resistances, eight in total with a further two immunities (assuming the use of Levitate). Among those resistances and immunities are many key ones, including Ground, Rock, Dragon, Ice and Normal. As a result, it makes for a useful switch-in against Choice Pokémon, as well as being a good wall in general.
However, there are two key areas that cause Bronzong to suffer. Firstly, and most obviously, the lack of a reliable recovery move really stings its walling abilities, leaving it exposed to repeated abuse. Secondly, aside from Hypnosis and Explosion (both one-off moves), Bronzong lacks the ability to reliably threaten many opponents, especially if they resist Gyro Ball.
Regardless of its faults, Bronzong is a top-choice Pokémon and one of the few noteworthy walling additions in the generation shift.
Levitate: is the one you'll want to go ahead with. Earthquake is simply too popular a move to pass up an immunity to (and without the immunity, Bronzong will be weak to it). Needless to say, Bronzong stops being an effective counter to many opponents when it lacks an Earthquake immunity.
Heat Proof: reduces the damage Bronzong takes from Fire moves by 50%. It's nice in theory but poor in practice. Educated opponents wouldn't attempt to throw Ground moves at Bronzong, just on the assumption that it's using Levitate, but that doesn't account for the fact that a Heat Proof Bronzong will be unable to switch-in on opposing Ground attacks (or worse, mispredict and accidentally land in the way of one). Although the damage reduction to Fire moves will initially catch the opponent by surprise, an experienced battler would be able to recognise the abnormality in the damage caused and would be able to guess that Heat Proof is in use. Quite frankly, immunity to Ground moves is simply more important to Bronzong than increased survivability against Fire moves.
- Gyro Ball
Bronzong's resistances and general stat distribution lends itself nicely to a supportive role on its team. Hypnosis has its obvious uses, shutting down a troublemaking opponent or generally keeping Bronzong's opponents in fear. It's unfortunate though, that with the standard Sleep Clause active, only one Pokémon can be put to sleep at a time, so it should be used wisely.
Alongside Hypnosis, Bronzong has room for another supportive move. Stealth Rock has its obvious merits, picking up a wonderful amount of passive damage throughout a long battle and punishing the Pokémon who are weak to it. With its terrible Speed, Bronzong lends itself well to the role of Trick Room support, and a team designed to benefit from it should be able to take full advantage. Reflect is another useful choice, since Bronzong makes for a comfortable switch-in against many physical attackers, and Reflect helps mitigate the damage taken for both its team-mates and itself.
Gyro Ball will generally serve as its primary offensive move. Gyro Ball picks up power depending on Bronzong's own Speed and the target's Speed. The general gist of it is, the faster the opponent, the more power the move gains (to a maximum for 150, before STAB), with the more detailed formula available on the main site's Game Mechanics section. With a 0 Speed IV and an ideal nature, Bronzong can bring its Speed down to a snail-paced 61, which in this situation, is very useful. Expect a respectable amount of damage from Gyro Ball, aside from against those resistant to it or just generally as slow as (or slower than) Bronzong.
Finally, the standard Bronzong can pick between Earthquake and Explosion. Earthquake has its obvious merits. It has wide type coverage, especially an ever useful hit on Fire, Electric and Steel types, who resist Gyro Ball. In particular, it catches Magnezone and Probopass, who would otherwise trap and destroy Bronzong with their Magnet Pull abilities. Explosion is a useful last ditch move, and particularly effective when used at the opportune moment to break a deadlock or defeat an otherwise difficult opponent, with the overriding purpose to swing the match in the favour of Bronzong's team. Sometimes the situation of the battle lends itself to a suicidal attack, and provided it's not used against Rock, Ghost or Steel types, it's all but a guaranteed KO.
- Gyro Ball
As mentioned in the overview, one of Bronzong's primary faults is its lack of reliable recovery, causing it some problems when it comes to withstanding repeated abuse. As with most Pokémon who suffer from this situation, Rest-Talk becomes a viable strategy. With Gyro Ball and Earthquake providing offence, Rest and Sleep Talk can keep Bronzong alive for a much longer period of time than would be usually expected of it, and at the same time keeps it free of unwanted statuses.
EVs and Nature:
Understandably, being its weakest defensive stat, and being that Bronzong can wall both physical and special attacks, HP will be the first stat you'll want to max out. The manner in which the rest of its EVs are used are dependant on personal preferences however. Typically, Bronzong is preferred more as a physical wall or a mixed wall. Special Wall variants are achievable, although less popular, and would simply use a mirror spread of the physical wall EV spreads.
As a physical wall, Bronzong can viably achieve an excess of 350 Defence, although a little less may be favoured to boost its Attack.
EVs: 252 HP / 52 Atk / 204 Def
As a mixed wall, Bronzong can viably achieve 300 in both of its defences with plenty to spare (leaving the possibility of boosting them higher available).
EVs: 252 HP / 108 Atk / 20 Def / 130 SDef
Since Gyro Ball is its primary attack, Bronzong will want to run as low a Speed stat as possible. Speed lowering natures are preferable and ideally, it would want a 0 Speed IV.
Light Screen, Imprison, Calm Mind, Charge Beam, Block, Psychic, Flash Cannon, Grass Knot, Hidden Power [Ice], Heal Block, Toxic, Macho Brace.
Light Screen finds itself relegated to the position of 'other option' as a result of Bronzong being more favoured as a counter to physical attackers than special attackers. Although its resistances and capabilities are certainly useful against special attackers, it seems to be better tailored to counter its physical opponents, and as a result, usually finds less use for Light Screen than it would for its other supportive moves.
Imprison has its uses in 2v2 play. In particular, Earthquake and Explosion are quite popular moves in the 2v2 environment and are worth preventing.
Calm Mind can be used for a tanking move-set, to boost its offensive and defensive Special stats simultaneously. Charge Beam only boosts the offensive Special stat, but at the same time provides an offensive move (as well as providing a move that can help in countering Gyarados).
Block has some uses, primarily to trap an unthreatening opponent and take the opportunity to build up stat-boosts (such as the aforementioned Calm Mind and Charge Beam).
Psychic is a strong Special STAB move, as is Flash Cannon. The main reason to go with Psychic is its neutral coverage against many opponents, whilst Flash Cannon would be useful for hitting Weavile and Tyranitar, with passable coverage against other opponents.
Grass Knot is a pretty useful option for catching Rhyperior, Swampert, Hippowdon and others.
Hidden Power [Ice] would primarily be used for Garchomp and Salamence.
Heal Block seems to have better use in theory than it would in practice. Preventing the opponent from healing is useful, but, because of Bronzong's Speed, it's difficult for Bronzong to execute it before an opponent heals, making it seem like a less worthwhile choice.
Toxic takes a up a much needed move-slot, but does aid against some defensive Pokémon that can simply out-stall Bronzong, particularly defensive Water types who resist Gyro Ball.
Macho Brace is simply there to lower Bronzong's Speed further, cutting it in half to be more precise. The obvious benefit from this is increasing the power obtainable from Gyro Ball, essentially doubling it (until it reaches its cap, of course). This item is more tailored towards an offensive Trick Room Bronzong, rather than the run-of-the-mill supporter Bronzong. Understandably, you won't want to wield Iron Ball, since that would cancel out the effects of Levitate.
Magnezone is the obvious number one counter for any Bronzong lacking Earthquake, since it has Magnet Pull, preventing Bronzong from escaping eventual destruction at the hands of Thunderbolt. Probopass is useful for the same reason, although it lacks Magnezone's STAB Thunderbolt (although the 4x resistance to Explosion is very useful).
Gyarados resists Gyro Ball, lowers its offences with Intimidate and can Taunt its attempts to use non-offensive moves, it just needs to worry about Explosion or the unlikely use of Charge Beam. Bulky Waters in general are useful, for their resistance to Gyro Ball and the fact their STAB does neutral damage to Bronzong, who as previously covered, is exposed to the effects of repeated abuse. Much like Gyarados, they too need to be weary of Explosion.
If Bronzong lacks Earthquake, most Electric, Steel and Fire types can comfortably switch-in against it, with the latter having the obvious advantage of super-effective STAB. Most of these will simply be able to beat it down, much like the aforementioned Water types, benefiting from Bronzong's difficulty in dealing with repeated abuse.
There are two things to really worry about when dealing with Bronzong, Hypnosis and Explosion. Until its been landed, and the Sleep Clause activated, it can always pose a threat with Hypnosis (barring those immune to its effects). Explosion on the other hand, whilst costing Bronzong its involvement in the battle, will more than likely take down anything that isn't resistant to it.
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