PKMN.NET :: Pokemon of the Week #18: Garchomp :: #19 of Pokémon of the Week - Generation 6 :: Columns
Pokemon of the Week #18: Garchomp by Richard and Blaziken at Sun 11 May 2014 04:00:00 UTC

Welcome to the eighteenth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week we'll be focusing on a Dragon type that has had a powerful influence on every metagame since his introduction. This week, we'll be discussing Garchomp.

Pokemon Overview

Gible nests in small, horizontal holes in cave cliffs that are warmed by geothermal heat. Anything that comes close by will be pounced upon and bitten with the large mouth. Gabite loves anything that sparkles. As it digs to expand its nest, it actively seeks gems and treasure to hoard in the nest. When Garchomp folds up its body and expands its wings, it looks like a jet plane, then flies at speeds just as fast as one. It never allows its prey to escape.

Competitive Corner

Base Stats: 108 HP / 130 Attack / 95 Defense / 80 Sp. Attack / 85 Sp. Defense / 102 Speed

Since the introduction of Garchomp, it has consistantly been one of the best competitive Pokemon available. In generation 4, Garchomp became the third non-legendary Pokemon to ever be banned (following Wobbuffet and Wynaut in generation 3). Garchomp was introduced in the same generation as Stealth Rock, and before our chompy friend came along, most of the good fully evolved Dragons were weak to Rock (such as Dragonite and Salamence), while Garchomp resists it. The difference is that those winged Dragons take 25% from Stealth Rock, while Garchomp takes a nearly insignificant 6%. This makes repeated switches much easier, and it also allows Garchomp to take neutral hits much better.

Garchomp's base stats are pretty amazing as well. 108 HP with 95/85 defenses gives it room to take hits that aren't Super Effective. This is also helpful when considering the Hidden Ability, Rough Skin, which will punish any opposing contact moves by chipping 12.5% off the opponent. The STABs Garchomp has are fantastic, providing you with Earthquake, Outrage, Dragon Claw, and even Draco Meteor if you're going mixed. Overall, Garchomp is, and probably always will be, a Pokemon to be prepared for.

Cynthia's Dance Partner
Garchomp@ Life Orb / Leftovers / Lum Berry
Rough Skin
Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Swords Dance
Outrage / Dragon Claw
Stone Edge / Dragon Claw / Fire Blast / Substitute

Swords Dance Garchomp is one of the biggest threats in OU. After the boost, Garchomp has 718 Attack, more than enough to break through many defensive Pokemon. Earthquake is a great STAB move with wonderful power and no negative side-effects. Outrage is your strongest STAB, and will easily muscle through nearly anything that isn't resistant or immune to it after a boost. Dragon Claw is a safer option, especially if you fear Fairy types, but the only good Fairys in OU are Azumarill, Mega Mawile and Togekiss. None of these can switch into Garchomp safely as it SD's (assuming Stone Edge for the last slot), since it will OHKO all of them at +2 with the appropriate move, or even +1 after Mawile's Intimidate with Earthquake.

Speaking of the last slot, it's important. Stone Edge nails Togekiss, Zapdos, Mandibuzz and other Flying types without the need for launching into a potentially dangerous Outrage. Dragon Claw is usable alongside Outrage to ensure that you're not forced to launch into an Outrage when the timing is bad. Fire Blast is very helpul for 2HKOing Skarmory and Ferrothorn, even with no investment (Naive nature doesn't help this either, as Skarm is still 2HKO'd and most Ferrothorn are as well). Substitute is a great option in the last slot to block status and aid prediction. Sub-SD can be very deadly if the opponent cannot break your sub in a single hit, allowing you freedom to boost multiple times and break through any defense.

Magnezone makes a great partner for Garchomp, especially if you're using Outrage. Removing Steel types with Magnet Pull and Hidden Power Fire, while also providing a Steel STAB for Fairy types in Flash Cannon. Rotom-Wash is also a great partner for dealing with Gliscor, Landorus-Therian, and even Skarmory.

Life Orb is the preferred item unless you're running Substitute, in which case you want Leftovers to help restore the HP lost from Substitutes. Sub LO chips away at your health far too quickly to be efficient. It can be used if you just value wall-breaking, but I wouldn't highly recommend it. Lum Berry can remove status once, and this can be crucial for setting up. If you SD as a slower opponent Will-O-Wisp's for the Burn, it'll be instantly removed, and if you Sub as they try for a second, you can setup another SD. Keep things like this in mind when battling.

Thank You For Choosing Jet Blue
Garchomp@ Choice Band
Rough Skin
Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Dragon Claw / Dual Chop
Fire Fang / Aqua Tail / Stone Edge

Garchomp tends to cause a lot of switches, and while that does give opportunity for setup, it can also provide a choiced Chomp to immediately chip chunks of health off opponents that switch in. Outrage is your most powerful STAB attack, and anything in the OU metagame that doesn't resist or isn't immune it 1-2HKO'd Earthquake is your secondary STAB for Steel types and for generally good power without forcing yourself into Outrage. Dragon Claw is great for this set as it has good power and doesn't force you into multiple turns. Dual Chop is a slightly weaker option for breaking Subs, though a base 40 hit on the first turn may not be enough to break bulkier subs.

The last slot provides coverage, based on what you need. Fire Fang gets the boost from Choice Band and covers Steel types that are neutral or immune to Ground. Aqua Tail covers Gliscor and Landorus-Therian. Finally, Stone Edge hits Togekiss, who you otherwise can't touch, and hits Flying types.

Like with the last set, Magnezone is a great helper for eliminating Steel types like Skarmory and Ferrothorn, making Fire Fang unnecessary.

Faster Than A Jet
Garchomp@ Choice Scarf
Rough Skin
Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack) / Naive nature (+Speed, -Sp. Defense)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP
Dragon Claw
Stone Edge / Fire Blast

Given a Choice Scarf, Garchomp becomes an excellent revenge killer, outspeeding the entire unboosted tier. I won't explain the set, since it's basically the same as the Band set, but what set does is completely different. Garchomp has enough power to make a Scarf set actually threatening, something most Scarfers don't do well. Given the resistance to Stealth Rock, Garchomp can come in and revenge multiple times as well, making him a valuable team member. Of note is that Naive nature is necessary to ensure a 2HKO on Skarmory with Fire Blast. If you're not using that, then go for Jolly. Not much else to say here. If you need a fast, powerful physical attacker on your team, this is probably what you're looking for. Pairing it with Rotom-W helps deal with Ice Shard Mamoswine if that bothers you.

Mega Evolution: Garchomp

Base Stats: 108 HP / 170 Attack / 115 Defense / 120 Sp. Attack / 95 Sp. Defense / 92 Speed

Garchomp's Mega Evolution is a strange case. It's one of few Pokemon who has a stat that drops upon Mega Evolving. In exchange for 10 Speed, Garchomp's Attack jumps to base 170, Sp. Attack is boosted to 120, and it gains a bit of bulk on both sides, particularly Defense. But when you look into things, something terrifying shows up... Mega Garchomp is weaker than Life Orb regular Chomp. Being slower wasn't enough, it's weaker too. It doesn't gain Life Orb recoil, but this doesn't matter as much for Garchomp as it would for something like Blaziken, who uses recoil moves. When using Mega Garchomp, it's important to question why you're using Mega Garchomp. Sand Force makes Earthquake and Stone Edge stronger than LO Garchomp, but it's not really worth it. Garchomp's higher Sp. Attack is the only reason you'd ever consider it, and even then it needs Sand support to be effective as a mixed attacker. Assuming you have this ready to go and you're set on using this as your Mega, here's what I'd recommend:

Slower Than A Jet
Garchomp@ Garchompite
Sand Veil [Sand Force]
Rash nature (+Sp. Attack, -Sp. Defense)
EVs: 98 HP / 252 Attack / 160 Sp. Attack
Stone Edge
Fire Blast
Draco Meteor

I just spent 4 hours researching this to make sure the spread was optimal and I'm still unconvinced that this is any good. The idea is to use this inside of Sand. Earthquake and Stone Edge become mosterously powerful inside of Sand, courtesy of Sand Force. Fire Blast is for Ferrothorn and Skarmory, and Draco Meteor takes advantage of Mega Garchomp's boosted Sp. Attack to beat down physical walls that Garchomp typically faces.

The EVs are set to OHKO 252/252 Careful Ferrothorn 50% of the time with Fire Blast after Stealth Rock damage. Feel free to change them around to your liking because my brain hurts from trying to work out the best spread for this thing. I think the current spread does maximize your wall-breaking potential, so that's something. I need a drink.

In-Game Information

Gible can be found on Route 13. Garchomp is one of the strongest Pokemon you can obtain in-game, so if you catch a Gible, here's what I'd recommend for Garchomp:


Dragon Claw
Fire Blast
Poison Jab / Swords Dance

Garchomp doesn't work much differently in-game, unsurprisingly. Earthquake and Dragon Claw form your STAB core, with Fire Blast providing occasional niche coverage. Poison Jab helps deal with Fairys, of which X/Y supply many, or Swords Dance allows you to double your Attack and crush Fairys with Earthquake.

My Thoughts

I spent entirely too much time writing this article and now I hate Garchomp. I was actually never fond of his design, to be honest. Salamence always seemed cooler to me. Sure, Garchomp is better in just about every way, but it doesn't really look like a Dragon. Looks like a Sharpedo Mega Evolution that crawled out onto land. All that said, the design isn't bad at all. He's cool enough, I suppose. Meh.

Digg this! | | Reddit | Stumble Upon | Facebook

Tags: None!


There are currently 0 comments on this story... you could be first!