Introduction: I Hate Myself for Loving You (Joan Jett)
Rock types are often one of the first types you face as a trainer on your road to the Pokemon League. They boast high defenses, and many even higher attacks. Many may be slow, but we also have one of the fastest Pokemon in the game in Aerodactyl. So what’s the catch? Why isn’t rock considered extremely over powered? The answer: type weaknesses… We have 5 of them: Steel, Fighting, Water, Grass, and Ground. Covering these is essential to building your all rock powerhouse team. Thankfully Generation 7 gave us some nice answers. Read on to learn more.
Type Overview: Walk This Way (Aerosmith)
Rock has been alive and well since Generation 1. Brock was the very first leader faced by trainers, and he brought some power with Onix. As the generations went on we’ve gained a good amount of new Pokemon, though many of them fall short of metagame glory. Almost every generation has given us at least 2 new fossil Pokemon, most of which end up being great (Generation IV is the glaring exception here). Where Rock falls defensively, it makes up for by bring one of the best offensive types. Rock is only resisted by Steel, Ground and Fighting, and is part of the famous “EdgeQuake” coverage set. It falls short in accuracy, but Stone Edge Packs a wallop!
Before Generation 7 Rock ran mostly Balanced teams, and could try to pull off Hyper offense. With the dawn of this new gen we see Hyper Offense take on a new build with impressive new Pokemon. Nihilego leads the bunch, as only the Fourth Rock Legendary. It also gave rock some much needed Special Attack power to make the Hyper Offense more complete. Lycanroc brings some speed and priority, which was much needed for rock to stay relevant. Minior brought in a new sweeper, one that was immune to status even. Gen 7 brought a lot of love to Rock types and made it more viable than ever.
By The Numbers
# of Rock type Pokemon: 59
# Fully Evolved: 33 (3 Megas, Lycanroc has 2 forms)
Super Effective Damage Against: Fire, Ice, Flying, Bug
Neutral Damage Against: Grass, Water, Normal, Poison, Electric, Fairy, Psychic, Dark, Ghost, Dragon, Rock
Resisted By: Ground, Steel, Fighting
Super Effective Damage From: Grass, Water, Ground, Steel, Fighting
Neutral Damage From: Electric, Bug, Ice, Rock, Fairy, Psychic, Dark, Ghost, Dragon
Resists: Fire, Flying, Normal, Poison
- Mega Aerodactyl
- Lycanroc (midday)
- Alolan Golem
- Mega Diancie (Unreleased)
- Mega Tyranitar (Unreleased)
Physical- Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Rock Tomb, Rock Blast, Head Smash, Diamond Storm
Special- Power Gem
Status- Stealth Rock, Rock Polish
Type in OU
Nihilego: (Beast Of Burden – Rolling Stones)
Ultra Beast 1, the new amazing Rock/Poison Pokemon. It may be a little outshined by the other UB’s, barring Guzzlord, but Nihilego has a nice niche as one of Rock’s few (maybe only) fast special attackers. Sure it can set some rocks, but that SP Atk and troll Speed tier make it ferocious in battle. Scarf is the main set, giving it a boost to its great speed, but many run specs or life orb. In monotype Rock you almost always want Life Orb, and either Hidden Power Ice for Garchomp/Landorus or Hidden Power Fire for Steel. Power Gem is an amazing 100% accuracy special rock move that is a must on this beast. Sludge Wave rounds out nice STAB moves, and Thunderbolt will help with any pesky water types. Nihilego is a must for rock teams now, and a staple in Ou currently. Watch out for Quakes.
Tyranitar: (Riders Of The Storm – The Doors)
Tyranitar has long been a fan favorite, and has been an OU staple since its introduction in Generation 2. He has outlived so many and is crucial to the OU meta game as well as monotype. In Gen 7, weather is back with Pellipper being a huge threat. TTar can even the playing field and shut down those swift swimmers. Tyranitar has many viable sets, with Dragon Dance access, strong STAB Stone Edge, Solid wall Rock Setter, and even Pursuit trapping psychic threats. Many in monotype look into mixed sets, with ice beam and fire blast common coverage on Tyranitar. You can’t go wrong with Tyranitar’s amazing stats, just be wary of fighting types! Mega Tyranitar is unreleased in Gen 7, but when it is I’m sure we’ll see it’s amazing Dragon Dance set yet again in the meta.
Terrakion: (Trampled Under Foot – Led Zeppelin)
Terrakion deserves OU mention since it was recently banned from UU (Good Job UU Mods!). Terrakion shines as a Scarf threat, with great STAB in Close Combat and Stone Edge/Rock Slide. It can also run EdgeQuake coverage, and Iron head for pesky fairies. With scarf Terrakion fears little, but he can hit harder with Life orb/Swords Dance, or Banded sets. Mostly, he can clean up well and go almost unresisted with his great typing. Must be cautious of Priority though, like Aqua Jet, Bullet Punch, and Mach Punch.
Mega Diancie: (Killer Queen – Queen)
Without her mega stone yet, Diancie is not the threat she once was. In Gen 7 she remains in lower tiers. Once we get her stone she will emerge again as Rocks best answer to Fighting types. Without the need to protect for the speed of her mega, Mega Diancie will be a killer offensive threat for Dragons and Fighting types. As always, don’t let her stick around against Bullet Punch threats, and Hidden Power Fire or Earth Power will help against those steel types lacking priority.
Type in Monotype
Aerodactyl: (Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpions)
Aerodactyl is pivotal to monorock teams. Many lean towards a suicide lead since it can set rocks almost unopposed with its fast speed. Taunt comes in handy to shut down other setter, and a few moves to do some minimal damage before death, like EdgeQuake. Tailwind can also aid your team if you have the time. Focus Sash is necessary for such a set. Besides setting, Aerodactyl also has a prime Mega form. With lots of coverage in Ice and Fire Fang, the possibilities are endless. Its speed means it only fears scarf users and priority, so keep that in mind while you plan your team.
Rhyperior: (Brick House – The Commodores)
Rhyperior is great for its EdgeQuake being STAB on all fronts. Though slow, he is great for his immunity to Electric types, and is a solid Defensive wall. His Solid Rock ability aids his tanking ability to take lots of physical hits. If sand is up and you have an Assault Vest, little can OHKO your Rhyperior. His attack is a monstrous 140, so Banded or Weakness Policy can help him break through many many Pokemon. Be wary of his Grass and Water 4X weakness however. Use him wisely and save him for Pokemon that really give you trouble.
Tyrantrum: (Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne)
Tyrantrum was somewhat scoffed at until late in Generation 6 when his potential as a wallbreaker brought him into some OU usage. Banded Tyrantrum has little trouble killng most walls, especially with HeadSmash, Earthquake and Outrage. Rock Head Hidden Ability made him much more viable and now a solid wallbreaker. If you struggle with stall teams, look no further than The King! Just be wary or his low speed and keep him safe until the walls are dead and gone.
Minior: (Rainbow In The Dark – Dio)
With all its pretty colors, who would have guessed Minior would be a GREAT Pokemon? Shell Smash plus its status protection with shields up help you wall threats like Mega Sableye. If you can get its shields down and keep it alive, its attack and speed reach INSANE levels. Talking 600’s here. Power Gem is run on mixed sets, but Rock Slide gives you more of a fixed physical set. Earthquake and its killer Acrobatics make it a lethal threat after a smash. White Herb ensures you get that Acrobatics to full power, and enough defenses to tank a hit to get those shields lowered. Acrobatics makes Minior a killer vs Fighting types, something rock has had issues with.
Lycanroc (Midday): (Life In The Fast Lane – Eagles)
Priority is finally here. It sucks that only one Rock type got it, but it certainly helps us out in a pinch. Sand Rush is a great ability to run with your Tyranitar (or gigalith if you’re so bold) so you can get off fast Stone Edges. Banded sets are great under Sand, but others go for Life orb Swords Dance. Its lack of a movepool quickly saw it fall from OU usage. Fire Fang and Sucker Punch are its only good non Rock moves. Without Earthquake access Lycanroc suffers, and should be used to quickly revenge kill on the run. Use her Priority wisely.
Kabutops: (Round and Round – Ratt)
Rapid Spin if you need it, and something to take Swift Swim teams by surprise. With Swift Swim you can accelerate Kabutops into a lethal threat. Waterfall and Stone Edge are great STAB, and Aqua Jet priority makes it an amazing killer. Swords Dance with Life Orb is common, but banded or scarf can be used as well. Kabutops is a bit frail, so if you use it keep it out of harm’s way. Most rock teams won’t need Rapid Spin since Stealth Rocks aren’t a big threat, but Toxic spikes and Webs can be devastating.
Omastar: (Here I Go Again – Whitesnake)
The OG Shell Smash Lord Helix is back, and with Pellipper out and about his Swift Swim makes him all the more viable. Hydro Pump/Scald and Ice Beam will KO almost anything after a Shell smash. Hidden Power Grass helps against water threats that wall Omsastar as well. Timid is a must nature to outspeed Chomps. Helix also has some use as a suicide lead, but honestly it is outclassed by so many, even Probopass. Just Smash and kill them all.
Cradily: (Who’ll Stop The Rain? – Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Sick of all the water types running around because rain is a thing again? Well let me tell you, Cradily is thirsty. Storm Drain soaks in all Water damage, and boosts its SP Atk. Running Toxic and Recover on a bulky set makes for a great special wall, and giga Drain gives you more longevity. If you hate being walled by steel types you can run Earth Power, or use that last slot for a number of other moves, like Mirror Coat surprise, or Ancient Power, or even Stockpile. Cradily can be very useful on a balanced team, but don’t let it sit on steel types to long.
Shuckle: (The Wall- Pink Floyd)
And then there was Shuckle. Shuckle deserves some mention as a lower tier staple with a definite role on Rock. Shuckle was formerly known for its role as a Sturdy Toxic staller. With the highest defenses and the lowest everything else in the game, Shuckle is certainly one of the weirdest yet most niche useful Pokemon. It helps offensive rock teams by setting up Sticky Web; it is without a doubt the best user of the move in the game. It can also Toxic stall well.
Tips and Tricks: Message In A Bottle (The Police)
With so many weaknesses keep on your toes. Cover what you can, especially Steel and fighting, as those are an issue all the time. Make use of tanks like Rhyperior, Tyranitar, and even Cradily for water type immunity! Keep up the pressure, run coverage moves, and know your Pokemon. Rock is a hard type to run well, believe me. With hard work you can make it shine.
Killer Rock Hyper Offense:
Nihilego @ Life Orb/Choice Specs/Choice Scarf
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
– Power Gem
– Sludge Wave
– Thunder /Thunder Bolt
– Hidden Power Ice/Hidden Power Fire
Terrakion @ Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Close Combat
– Stone Edge /Rock Slide
– Iron Head /X-Scissor
Rhyperior @ Weakness Policy
Ability: Solid Rock
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD
– Fire Punch/Hammer Arm
– Ice Punch
– Stone Edge
Tyranitar@ Assault Vest/Smooth Rock
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 80 Atk / 176 Def
– Fire Blast
– Ice Beam
– Stone Edge
– Pursuit /Crunch/Earthquake
Aerodactyl@ Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
– Stealth Rock
– Rock Slide/Stone Edge
Lycanroc @ Choice Band
Ability: Sand Rush
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
– Stone Edge
– Sucker Punch
– Fire Fang
Or sub Lycanroc with Minior…
Minior @White Herb
Ability: Shields Down
EVs: 252Atk / Def / 252 Spe
– Stone Edge/ Rock Slide
– Shell Smash
Rock and Roll ain’t Noise Pollution – Closing Remarks (AC/DC)
Rock is a tough type, but it shines in this new Generation 7 meta. Always be aware of its weaknesses, and always be wary of the power of a STAB Stone Edge. Many Scoff at rock type, seeing it as lowly among types. Let me tell you something, I am currently undefeated in my trials as a leader using monorock. We do not break so easily my friends. We have many surprises up our stoney sleeves.
Rock on my friends. \m/