The Great Wall
- Item Held
- Impish (+Defense, -Special Attack)
- Effort Points
- 252 HP – 252 Defense – 6 Attack
- Ice Fang
- Slack Off
- Stealth Rock / Roar
With a base stat of 108 in HP and 118 in Defense, a resistance to one of the most common Physical types, the Rock-type, and a move like Slack Off, many Pokémon would like to become a Hippowdon when they grow up. Earthquake and Ice Fang provide excellent type coverage and Slack Off’s existence in this set is obvious. In the last move slot, use Stealth Rock if you have no other Pokémon in the team to set it, otherwise, Roar is a great option as it lets Hippowdon switch in on something powerful, Roar it away along with any stat boosts it had and Slack Off the damage next turn.
Other Possible Options
Like most Pokémon who have access to one Elemental Fang, Hippowdon can learn the other two as well. Fire Fang can be used if you really fear Forretress and Thunder Fang is for Gyarados mainly. Curse can also be used for making Hippowdon better on the offensive side but its low Special Defense won’t help you set up easily. Stone Edge is also a viable choice as it offers nice type coverage along with Earthquake and can also hit Gyarados, something that Ice Fang can’t do.
As far as supporting options go, Yawn is an excellent alternative to Roar but it has some problems. It is stopped by the abilities Vital Spirit and Insomnia and also Substitute. What’s more, your opponent is likely to switch in something that can counter Hippowdon. Toxic can also be used here, maybe along with Protect in order to stall for a really long time. Finally, Stockpile can raise Hippowdon’s Defenses.
Powerful, Special hits in its weaknesses are your best bet. Grass Knot is probably the best move to use on Hippowdon, STABed or not. Starmie threats Hippowdon with Surf while it can Rapid Spin Stealth Rock away. Bronzong with Levitate will stop Hippowdon really easily, provided it has Grass Knot. Bulky Water-types and Grass-types will carry out the job with their STABed moves as well. Gyarados can switch in on a Hippowdon caught without a super effective move for it and Taunt it while setting some Dragon Dances up. Also, be careful of those Pokémon that seem to be Physical sweepers, just for luring out your Physical Wall and KOing it. The number one suspects in this case is Garchomp with Draco Meteor and Tyranitar with Ice Beam.
Opinion & Notes
You won’t find many better Physical Walls in D/P, that’s certain. But what makes Hippowdon such a great Pokémon? Of course, it’s its capability to stop the uber-like Tyranitar. Tyranitar won’t be able to 2HKO Hippowdon unless it has 2 Dragon Dances set or unless Crunch decreases its Defense after one Dragon Dance. Hippowdon’s main problem is its lack of offensive power, Ice Fang can’t even OHKO Garchomp. But with Slack Off, it totally makes up for that as it is not likely to be KOed by any unboosted Physical move in the game (bar Explosion). Overall, I think Hippowdon is a fantastic Pokémon but with its Sand Stream ability, you have to be careful when choosing your other team members.