Steelix, The Iron Snake Pokémon. It is thought its body transformed as a result of iron accumulating internally from swallowing soil. It chews its way through boulders with its sturdy jaws. Its eyes can see in the darkness underground. Its body has been compressed deep under the ground. As a result, it is even harder than a diamond. It's said that if an Onix lives for 100 years, its composition becomes diamondlike as it evolves into a Steelix.


Oh Steelix, you poor thing. With each generation, you've become more and more outclassed. It's a shame, I've always liked Steelix. I used to use it in 3rd gen all the time, but since then... it has fallen from grace. Each game brought new threats and better walls, whilst Steelix got practically nothing. On paper Steelix looks good! 200 base Defence seems incredible, but then take into account its lack of recovery, lack of offence, lack of a high HP stat, there's so much wrong with it compared to other physical walls like Skarmory and Ferrothorn. Steelix is still usable in the lower tiers, but even then it could be better. Not that I hate it, I still use it on occasion.


Rock Head: stops recoil damage from Double-Edge. That's about it.
Sturdy: used to be useless, but 5th gen actually made it useful. It's basically a Focus Sash for free. Really useful, as it can allow you to set up Stealth Rock, get a surprise kill. It's generally pretty amazing.
Sheer Force: only worth using on an offensive set. Gain more power on your attacks by losing the added effects. It has a few moves to take advantage of Sheer Force.

Solid Snake

- Stealth Rock
- Earthquake
- Dragon Tail
- Ice Fang / Stone Edge / Knock Down / Toxic
Item Attached: Leftovers / Air Balloon
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)

Stealth Rock is an obvious. It is the best entry hazard in the game, and extra damage is never a bad thing. Earthquake gets STAB and is crazy strong. Dragon Tail combos well with Earthquake, but acts as a damaging Roar. Very useful. Ice Fang lays waste to Dragons, which is basically what it is there for. Stone Edge allows you to hit stuff hard that would try to avoid Earthquake. Knock Down forces the opponent down, allowing them to get smacked by Earthquake. Toxic hits bulky Waters and stuff like that.


- Curse
- Gyro Ball
- Earthquake / Taunt
- Rest
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SDef
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)

Curse boosts your Attack and Defence, meaning they need no investment. Gyro Ball gets buffed by Curse in terms of the direct Attack boost, but the Speed lowering increases its base power too. Earthquake hits stuff that isn't hit neutrally by Gyro Ball hard, such as Fire, Electric and to an extent Water types. Taunt stops you being hit with Roar can being forced out. Rest keeps you healthy, and keeps Sturdy active.


- Autotomize
- Earthquake / Bulldoze
- Rock Slide / Crunch / Fire Fang / Ice Fang / Iron Tail
- Rock Slide / Crunch / Fire Fang / Ice Fang / Iron Tail
Item Attached: Life Orb
Ability: Sheer Force
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) / Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk)

An attempt at sweeping Steelix. Autotomize doubles its Speed but also lowers its weight, meaning Low Kick and Grass Knot deal less damage. Earthquake does more damage, but Bulldoze gets no Life Orb recoil and is only 15 base power less. Rock Slide partners well with the Ground move. Crunch gets boosted by Sheer Force and increases coverage. Fire Fang allows you to take on Bronzong, Ferrothorn, Forretress, stuff like that. Ice Fang deals good damage to the Dragons and Grass types. Iron Tail gets STAB and Sheer Force, giving it huge base power.


- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Dragon Tail
- Toxic
Item Attached: Leftovers
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SDef / 4 Spd
Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)

Rest is Steelix's only form of healing, and Sleep Talk stops it from being dead-weight whilst it naps. Dragon Tail forces switches and deals damage. Toxic inflicts residual damage whilst being spread around by Dragon Tail.

Suicide Lead?

- Stealth Rock
- Explosion
- Earthquake
- Taunt / Ice Fang / Stone Edge
Item Attached: Custap Berry
Ability: Sturdy
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SDef
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SDef)

Stealth Rock is an obvious. Every suicide lead should have it. Explosion is for Custap Berry. What Custap does is allows you to move before your opponent next turn. It either adds +1 priority or just forces you to move first, I'm not sure. Anyway, Explosion is still powerful, despite being nerfed. Earthquake hits hard and can be used with Custap on a Steel lead or what not. Taunt can be useful when used with Custap, but could also stop the opponent setting up on Steelix. However, don't count on this considering its awful Speed. Ice Fang means you can deal good damage to Dragons. Stone Edge helps with Flying Pokémon trying to avoid Earthquake.

EVs & Natures

Defensive sets
It has base 200 Defence. Do not invest into this stat, it is already big enough. Instead, focus on its less than ideal Special Defence and HP. This will allow it to wall much more effectively.

Offensive sets
Max Attack and max Speed on the Autotomize set, as otherwise you are wasting your time trying to raise your Speed. On the suicide lead, Speed isn't needed due to Custap.

Other Options

Choice Band, Block, Body Slam, Double-Edge, Flail, Gyro Ball, Roar, Stone Edge, Thunder Fang, Torment
Choice Band is generally inferior to Life Orb Sheer Force, but it's an option.
Block forces the opponent into a corner, as it prevents them from switching.
Body Slam can potentially paralyse the opponent's Pokémon, which is always useful and always handy.
Double-Edge can be used with Rock Head... I guess...
Flail is cool with Sturdy, but because of Steelix's dire Speed, it won't be too useful. You could use Rock Polish or Autotomize to fix that, but you are still weak as hell.
Gyro Ball is a great attack, especially on Steelix. Its low Speed means it deals good damage to pretty much everything.
Roar is an alternative to Dragon Tail.
Stone Edge has high base power and a nice chance to crit.
Thunder Fang is another elemental fang, giving Steelix more coverage.
Torment works well with Steelix's huge amount of resistances.

Double & Triple Battle Options

Weak to Surf, weak to Earthquake, weak to Lava Plume, with nothing to add to your team. It has Protect, STAB Earthquake, Sheer Force Rock Slide and Explosion. That's honestly about it. Steelix is extremely dire in doubles. Just... don't even think twice about using it. Unless someone can prove me wrong and inform me of some secret technique, Steelix doesn't get anything else here.


If you are running a defensive set, use Pokémon that can cover its weaknesses and benefit from what it walls. Steelix is obviously a counter for physical Pokémon. Try to avoid Fighting and Ground attackers though, as they will hit you for super effective damage. Running a Flying Pokémon gives you a safe switch in for them. Obviously Steelix has trouble with Water Pokémon, so running it alongside a Grass type isn't a dumb idea. Steelix takes hits from Dragons well, so running it alongside stuff that is normally beaten by Scarf Garchomp isn't a bad thought. You want Pokémon that work with its support and its typing.

Countering Steelix

Taunt really hurts most Steelix sets. No Stealth Rock, no Curse, no Rest, no Autotomize, no Toxic, it really shuts Steelix down. Burn cripples Steelix completely too. In terms of actual Pokémon, do you want a list? Oh, you do. OU: Zapdos, Thundurus, Balloon Heatran, any bulky Water, Gliscor, Ferrothorn, Breloom, Conkeldurr, Reuniclus, Volcarona, Skarmory, Rotom-A, the list goes on. All of these Pokémon can switch into Steelix and force it out or set up on it. In UU... Tangrowth and Leafeon do well as Grass types. Claydol and Donphan and most other bulky Grounds do well against it, considering how little they take from Steelix's attacks. Again, bulky Waters do well. The easiest way of stopping Steelix though is super effective special attacks. A strong Flamethrower ruins Steelix, as well as Focus Blast, Surf, Earth Power, just a special attack. Honestly, Steelix is so frail in terms of Special Defence, most attacks will take it down easily. Considering how slow Steelix is as well, you can easily revenge kill it, even if you can't switch in safely. Each generation has given Steelix nothing (except for Stealth Rock and Sturdy), whereas everything seemed to get better, forcing Steelix into obscurity. Not saying it is useless, as it can still be handy, but it is often outclassed. If you play it, play it in UU, and make sure Registeel doesn't do the job better.

Pre-Evolution Corner

Onix is actually much, much faster than Steelix, which could come in handy. Not to mention, under Sandstorm it has insane defences when combined with Eviolite. It'd be forced to do most of its damage through Toxic and entry hazards, but it is still damage whilst it sits there glancing hits off with its massive defences. Dragon Tail gives you a little offence, but it is basically for the phazing effect. Thanks to its alright Speed, ResTalk Dragon Tail works really well as Sleep Talk bypasses Dragon Tail's negative priority. Running Torment with your huge defences works too, as they would have to completely rethink their strategy if you are forcing them to change moves every turn. It's a shame Weak Armor is pretty useless, but oh well. Sturdy is what you want regardless.

Locations in Games

Trade from FRLG.

Evolve Onix.

Trade from FRLG.

Iron Mountain, Snowpoint Temple, Victory Road (Diamond/Pearl)
Iron Island, Victory Road (Platinum).

Mt. Silver, The Cliff Cave .

Evolve Onix

Animé Appearences

Steelix has had a few appearances in the anime. In them, it has been under the control of the Gym Leaders Jasmine & Byron. Brock also eventually evolved his Onix into one and finally, Ash faced one in both the Johto and Hoenn leagues

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
226 Nerves of Steelix Olivine Gym! Vs. Steelix! Pics
C1 Legend of Thunder Raikou! Legend of Thunder! Pics
273 Playing with Fire!! Blaziken Returns! Battle with Harrison!! Pics
334 All Torkoal, No Play! Breaking Through Steel Valley! Torkoal VS. Steelix! Pics
403 Saved by the Beldum Start The Preliminaries! Morrison Appears!! Pics
405 Shocks and Bonds To The Tournament Finals! Every Day A Heated Battle! Pics
407 Choose It or Lose It Rival Confrontation! VS Morrison! Pics
M8 Lucario & The Mystery of Mew Mew & The Wave-Guiding Hero - Lucario Pics
449 All that Glitters is not Golden Sudowoodo! Legend of Gold! Pics
453 Grating Spaces Brock & Ash! Defend Pewter Gym in Tag Battle! Pics
491 Faced with Steelix Determination! Roaring Steelix! Protect the Bidoof Village!! Pics
517 Dawn's Early Night Pokémon Contest! Hearthome Convention! Pics
529 Team Shocker! Pokémon Contest! Solaceon Convention! Pics
M11 Giratina & The Sky Warrior Giratina & The Bouquet of the Sky - Shaymin Pics
570 Shield with a Twist Hearthome Gym! VS Fantina! Pics
576 Dealing With Defensive Types Canalave Gym! Steel Battle! Pics
578 Steeling Peace of Mind! Riley & Lucario! Pics
579 Saving the World from Ruins The Hidden Ruins of Iron Island! Pics
588 Not Aired Mysterious Creatures: Pokémon Pics
642 Last Call, First Round! Grand Festival! The Art of Flame & Ice! Pics
648 Four Roads Diverged in a Pokémon Port Ash VS Kenny! Setting Sail for Each Destination! Pics
S27 TBC Pewter Gym - The Biggest Crisis Ever! Pics
S37 Pokémon Mega Evolution Special I Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act II~ Pics
S38 Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Mega Special Animation Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire Mega Special Animation Pics
M18 Hoopa & The Clash of Ages The Archdjinni of the Rings: Hoopa Pics
M19 Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel Volcanion & The Ingenious Magearna Pics
986 TBC Gym Battle! Z-Move VS Mega Evolution!! Pics

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