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Pokemon of the Week DP: Aerodactyl

by Ninjomewtwo

Aerodactyl

Sets

Choice Band Sweeper

Item Held
Choice Band
Ability
Pressure
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Rock Slide / Stone Edge
  • Ice Fang
  • Earthquake
  • Fire Fang

One of the best Choice Banders of Advance is here again with some new moves to play. Stone Edge can be used now over Rock Slide for that extra power but with Aerodactyl’s 130 base Speed, having a move that can flinch your opponent isn’t bad. Ice Fang takes care of Ground-types, especially Garchomp.Earthquake does what it did in Advance, hitting hard Jirachi and Metagross among other Steel-types. Fire Fang is here for having a move that can actually do something to Skarmory and Bronzong, which will otherwise laugh at you. Beware though of Stealth Rock as those annoying pointed rocks take away 25% of Aerodactyl’s HP every time you switch in. Having a Pokémon with Rapid Spin on your team won’t hurt.

Life Orb Sweeper

Item Held
Life Orb
Ability
Pressure
Nature
Jolly (+Speed, -Special Attack)
Effort Points
252 Attack – 252 Speed – 6 HP
  • Stone Edge / Rock Slide
  • Ice Fang
  • Earthquake
  • Fire Blast

As mentioned in the previous set, Aerodactyl’s weakness to Stealth Rock won’t favor the hit-and-run style of a Choice Bander. So, sacrificing the 1.5x boost for a 1.3x one and the ability to use a different move without having to switch is not a bad idea. The concept is pretty much the same. The only difference between this set and the CB one is in the Fire-type move of the last move slot. Fire Blast gets boosted by Life Orb and guarantees a 2HKO on Skarmory unlike Fire Fang.

Other Possible Options

Pursuit is a great move that Aerodactyl can get but its use on the CB moveset will be really limited. Crunch is your best option against Claydol and Cresselia but Ice Fang and Stone Edge will do the job whatsoever. Aerial Ace is Aerodactyl’s most powerful Flying-type move in case you want to take advantage of a second STAB. Thunder Fang, Dragon Claw, Iron Head and Double-Edge are its only other noteable Physical moves but they do not offer something to Aerodactyl’s type coverage.

Since Aerodactyl’s trait is Pressure, a stalling moveset with Roost, Fly, Toxic and Protect would be possible but the Defenses of the flying fossil are not that good. Finally, Substitute is an option in the Life Orb set and it can prove quite useful if you are not good at prediction wars but be careful as passive damage from Stealth Rock, Life Orb and Substitute will stack up really quickly.

Counters

Claydol and Bronzong are probably the best Aerodactyl counters in the game. Both of them are immune to Earthquake and resist Rock Slide/Stone Edge while they can hit back with Ice Beam and Gyro Ball respectively. Hippowdon and Donphan can also take some hits and survive but Donphan’s lack of a recovery move hurts it. Rhyperior with its massive Defense and Solid Rock won’t have a problem getting an Earthquake and OHKOing Aerodactyl with Stone Edge.

Bulky Water-type Pokémon can stop Aerodactyl, recover off any damage they receive and KO it with Surf. Weezing is also a quite awesome counter, being immune to Earthquake and carrying Will-O-Wisp. Finally, an unexpected Stone Edge by a Choice Scarf Heracross will OHKO Aerodactyl.

Opinion & Notes

More or less, Aerodactyl has remained the same in D/P. The additions of Life Orb and Ice Fang are what it got while Stealth Rock and Choice Scarf are what makes it wish it could go back in Advance. Certainly, many new Physical Sweepers have been added to the metagame, such as Garchomp and Infernape, but Aerodactyl is still a pretty strong Pokémon with a Speed that other Sweepers would die for.

Note that Aerodactyl’s second trait, Rock Head, doesn’t block Life Orb’s recoil damage so there’s no reason to use it in the second set.

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