Friday, September 23, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #20: New Pokemon Ten, Gigalith

A truly monolithic new monster.
Compressed Pokemon

H.P.: 85
Attk: 135
Def.: 130
Sp.A: 60
Sp.D: 70
Spe: 25

Abilities: Sturdy: This Pokemon will survive any hit (with at least 1HP) if at full health. Because Sturdy got a welcomed buff this generation, it now plays out far better on both Offensive and Defensive wielders. Gigalith is no different, and with nice stats can play either of those roles with the sanctity of having a built-in Focus Sash, Gigalith becomes a prime threat in any of the current tiers.

Sand Force (DW): Attacks of the Ground, Rock, and Steel types are boosted in power by 33% in a Sandstorm. This ability can actually help Gigalith out a lot more than some might think. With natural bulk and a lot of HP and Sp.Def investment, Lith will be easily able to survive hits and fire back with extremely powerful STAB and coverage moves. I think Sand Force will be an excellent addition to the Choice Band set once it gets released.

Prior to the release of Black and White, when the hubbub for certain new monsters (anyone remember Prankster Volbeat or the insane amount of Whimsicott being used??) was a bit skewed, Gigalith was looked at by most as a welcomed addition to the spot of Offensive lead. It had all the right qualities; a high Attack stat, good Defense, Sturdy, and of course, Stealth Rock (at the time people had though SR had died off). Fast forward nearly a year and you have Gigalith posted far below the cutoff point for even RU, forgotten by those who once loved it. The reason for this is that things like Donphan and Rhyperior quickly edged it out in the bulky Stealth Rock department, while Terrakion (and Rhyperior again) were exceptionally better in terms of Offense.
            But this doesn’t completely spell doom for the monolithic behemoth of a stone, as Gigalith has come to fill a special niche in today’s metagame with its power, precise ease at setting up Stealth Rock, and ability to Explode, should the need arise. 

Potential Sets:  

1     1. GigaLead
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Def
Adamant @ Leftovers or Wide Lens
-Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
-Explosion/Toxic/Rock Blast

         With a great amount of Physical Bulk, natural offensive prowess and a built-in Focus Sash, Gigalith is primed for the spot of Lead on any team type. With Sturdy it is guaranteed to get up Stealth Rocks, except maybe against the likes of Abomasnow and fast Taunters, both of which can be disposed of with ideal Team Support. Lith also maxes out at 405 Attack, giving a powerful punch to the pseudo perfect EdgeQuake coverage combo. The last moveslot may be filled with any of the provided Attacks, each of which benefits Gigalith in particular scenarios. Explosion, despite its decrease in Power this generation, is ideal with 405 Attack to effectively blast holes in weakened Offensive threats, and is also great to use against Bulky opposition, as it allows you a free switch into an appropriate counter. Toxic is another good move on Gigalith, as it can damage any Non-Steel/Non-Poison type switch-in and give you the upper hand in the long run. Lastly, Rock Blast is to break Substitutes that might otherwise give your opponent an edge for setting up and sweeping your team. It is also much more accurate than Stone Edge and can demolish a lot of noteworthy RU threats like Yanmega, Venomoth and Entei.
            As far as Item choice goes, Leftovers is for added longevity, and acts nicely with Sturdy, while if that is not your concern Wide Lens may be equipped to boost Stone Edge’s accuracy to a decent 88%.
            Overall, Gigalith has the stats and moves to work as an effective lead, and its typing, stat spread, and unique defensive ability in Sturdy guarantee that it is not outclassed by anything in the upper tiers, making it a great surprise lead for OU and UU.

1    2. GraviLith
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Def
Adamant @ Leftovers or Wide Lens
- Stone Edge
-Toxic/Rock Blast

            This may not be the most standard set by any means, as Gravity is one of the most non-standard moves in existence, but its benefits for Gigalith and teammates can prove to be extremely valuable if used correctly. Blatantly put, Gravity lasts for five turns and has many effects that can exploit and ruin the opposing team, such as:
        It is easy to see where Gigalith comes into play with these benefits, both as an Offensive and Defensive threat. Offensively, with 135 base Attack power and two very outstanding coverage moves, Lith can hit everything that is not a dedicated Physical wall for very high amounts of damage since Earthquake will now hit everything in the game, and Stone Edge will hit 100% of the time on things that resist EQ. Notable RU threats like Yanmega, Entei and Venomoth will be much easier to dispose of with a never-missing Stone Edge, just as Defensive beasts (Gligar and Claydol, Bronzong and Skarmory in OU) will be more maneuverable with the fear of being hit by a powerful Quake. The Accuracy boost to Toxic is also quite noteworthy, as it allows you to diminish other rather bulky foes like Cresselia and Quagsire without the annoying 20 % chance of a miss.
            Overall, Gravity Gigalith looks like a fearsome warrior on paper, but it is not all Stones and Quakes for the Craggy monster. Though Sturdy and very usable bulk help Giga to live a hit from most things and set up Gravity indefinitely, other powerful monsters, or fast Taunters can find themselves easily outstepping Lith before he can do much at all. For this reason, it is a great idea to pair this set with strategically placed partners in your team, such as other Gravity users and/or hazard support so that you can fully make use of the fact that everything (bar Poisons and Magic Guards) will be damaged by Spikes and T-Spikes. Considerable teammates that can also utilize Gravity include Alakazam and Porygon-Z on the Offensive side, and Clefable and Dusknoir on Defense. Scolipede, Ferroseed and Drapion will gladly fill the role of Hazard support.

2    3. Of Sandstone
252 HP/4 Atk/252 Sp.Def  OR 252 HP/252 Atk/4 Sp.Def
Careful OR Adamant @ Smooth Rock
-Stone Edge

            The second best Sand Rush abuser (Stoutland) lies quite dormant in RU. But though no Auto-Sand support is present in the tier, Gigalith has an amazing amount of assets to make use as an effective Sandstormer, bolstering the capabilities of appropriately selected teammates. With the ability to live any hit when at full health, you are guaranteed to set up an eight-turn Sand with Smooth Rock equipped. Explosion is to decimate anything that then stands in your way, and also for scouting purposes so that you may get a free switch into just about anything at the cost of Giga’s life. EdgeQuake is for….well, you know.
            Though the Hippos, T-tar, Excadrill, and Landorus reside in the upper tiers, the possibility of making a dominant Sand team in RU is very real, with Sand lovers like Stoutland, Durant, Krookodile and Cacturne for excellent Offensive potential. Also on the Defensive side of things, a myriad of beasts including Claydol, Clefable, Mandibuzz (with Overcoat), Ferroseed, Rhyperior, Crustle and Rhydon [the latter 3 of which garner an astounding 50% bonus to their Special Defense] can all make wondrous use of the Storm and work well to form solid cores for more Defensive teams. A lot of these Pokemon are even capable of setting up Sandstorm as well, so you can have a nice backup should Gigalith fall or your initial Sandstorm should falter.
            In terms of EV spread, an ideal one would be Max HP and Max Sp.Def with a Careful nature, so that you can more optimally abuse Sandstorm once it’s up. Alternatively, Max Defense may be attained, though Lith hits very high Defense without any investment. Furthermore, if you’d like to play more offensively, a standard spread of 252 Attack with Adamant nature is ideal.

3    4.  BandedLith
252 HP/252 Atk/4 Def
Adamant @ Choice Band
-Stone Edge
- Return
- Rock Blast/Explosion/Heavy Slam

By now, you should be annoyed with what I have to say about Gigalith, but a Choice Band set is effective for abusing this monster’s mountain-high Attack stat, good coverage options, and of course, Sturdy. The outright power and coverage of this set also serve to make a great anti-lead in both RU, and also in UU where things like Frosslass and Nidoqueen are common. The motives of a CB Pokemon remain true here, as dishing out disastrous attacks and hitting surprise switch-ins anchor this set as being extremely reliable, scoring notable 3HKOs on dedicated Physical walls like Max Defense Cress and even Cofagrigus. And while this may not be something exceptional to boast about, there still remains a possibility of landing a Critical Hit with that STAB Stone Edge.
The usual two-move coverage scheme returns here as always, with a number of notable options to back it up. First off, Return adds a decent means of hitting typical resists of EdgeQuake, and with base 102 power should hit a lot of things quite hard. Rock Blast is nice to prevent the opponent from setting up a Substitute, and has a chance of hitting harder than Stone Edge at the 5-turn max. Explosion is another great move choice that works well against powerful foes once Sturdy has been activated. Lastly, Heavy Slam is an interesting choice as it acts similarly to Grass Knot in that the opponent’s weight affects how powerful of a move it will be. This could be beneficial against lighter opponents and adds significant coverage as well.
Because Gigalith is slow, it lacks a convincing amount of purpose for use when considered against super-powerhouses Honchkrow and, especially, Rhyperior for employment of Choice Bander on a team. This is likely because, despite the fact that Lith has an astounding Attack stat, there remains a certain lack of additional factors that make him a particularly superb Band abuser. Blatantly put, he is “just another Rock type” and has nothing entirely worth note when compared to things like Rhyperior, Archeops, and even Golem.

Despite these shortcomings, Gigalith does make great use of its ability and is a great surprise player against teams who would normally expect a Standard Lead set and can add the very beneficial element of surprise to your roster, potentially giving you a slight edge over the opposing team. Use Gigalith, as with anyting, for its assets, and because these are unique in of themselves, it is hard to say he is outclassed by anything upon more in-depth consideration.

         Competitive Usability: 7 out of 10  

        Gigalith's design didn't stand out too much to me when I first saw it. In fact, I didn't even think it was a final-stage evolution, I thought it still had a couple more to go through to reach its highest state of awesomeness.  Its shiny sprite is pretty awesome, resembling some sort of crystal rock formation, but otherwise, I think the whole scheme is a bit sub-par. 
        Aesthetic Design: 7 out of 10

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