Poll: Do you think Rampardos will be viable in VGC 2017?
Maybe?
Uh...no.
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[VGC] Rampardon't Shoot the Messenger! - with 0kamii
#1
[Image: 409rampardos1920x1200.jpg]

Hey, everybody! It's 0kamii, back with my third VGC analysis of an underused mon.

This time however is a bit special. Rampardos was first suggested to me by reader @Night Blaze, and following a poll over in the General Pokemon Discussions over the last week or so, it turns out that a lot of people actually wanted me to try my hand at Rampardos. Let me just start by saying that I absolutely love Rampardos. If you haven't checked out my post, All Our Favorite Fossil Pokemon! (Link here: http://pokemonforever.com/Thread-DISCUSS...il-Pokemon), Rampardos is my favorite fossil pokemon, and has been since Gen 6 when I first started using one in Singles. While Rampardos may be frail and go down easy with a few good hits, with the proper setup and support, Rampardos can easily sweep teams because it has a whopping 165 base Attack! That caps out at 238 at Lvl 50. That's higher than Pheromosa, but not quite as high as Kartana. This makes Rampardos a recognizable threat in Singles. However...as much as I love Rampardos, we're not talking about it's use in Singles today. I ran the numbers, tested the sets, I even tried to get creative, but no matter which way I tried it, Rampardos simply isn't good in Doubles, and especially not in VGC this year. Why's that? Let's get into it.

Type:

As it stands, Rampardos' disadvantages start in its Type. Type is something that can make or break a pokemon, and unfortunately Rampardos starts off with one of the worst. Rock-Types are naturally frail because they have weaknesses to Fighting, Ground, Steel, Water, and Grass. That's 5 weaknesses naturally. All of which are very common in this metagame with pokemon like Buzzwole, Garchomp, Kartana, Tapu Fini, and Tapu Bulu just to name a few. Rampardos may have a monstrous Attack stat, but its frail typing hardly makes up for its falters. It does have resistances to Normal, Flying, Poison, and Fire-Types, but with base Defenses of 60/50 respectively, it won't be taking many hits anyway. Sadly, we're just getting started.

Stats:
 
HP: 97 (157 - 204)
Attack: 165 (153 - 238)
Defense: 60 (58 - 123)
Sp. Attack: 65 (63 - 128)
Sp. Defense: 50 (49 - 112)
Speed: 58 (56 - 121)
 
If it wasn't obvious already, Rampardos' best attribute is its Attack. This fossil hits like a wrecking ball, as spoken by it's Moon Pokedex entry: "Records exist of a revived fossil that evolved into Rampardos. It proceeded to escape and then destroy a skyscraper with a headbutt." A skyscraper isn't exactly easy to knock down, and apparently this Rampardos toppled it with a single headbutt. It's HP stat is suprisingly high, especially for a Rock-Type. My best guess is that this was designed to sponge damage from STAB Head Smash. I'm not sure why Ramparods has any Sp. Attack at all, but it does get a range of Special coverage moves with which to utilize it. Notable moves include Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, and Flamethrower. I already covered it's meager defenses, but I will make note of its Speed. Overall, Rampardos' Speed is...decent. It's manageable. But it's hardly noteworthy. It's low Speed makes it somewhat usable in Trick Room, but it won't stick around much longer than if it weren't.

Abilities:

Rampardos has two abilities, both are good for Singles, but not so much for Doubles. Mold Breaker is easily the most consistent ability, as it lets Rampardos hit through Mimmikyu's Disguise ability with a strong Crunch. It also let's Rampardos hit pokemon for possible OHKO damage if they have Sturdy (like Magnezone) or Levitate (like Mismagius). The second of Rampardos' two abilities is Sheer Force. Sheer Force is Rampardos' Hidden Ability, and it is not easy to get. Unless you gen one, or have a friend hack it onto an existing Rampardos, the only way to get a Sheer Force Rampardos' is by playing through Black 2 or White 2 with a female avatar, complete the Curtis post-game quest, and then wait four days until he decides to trade you a Cranidos with its Hidden Ability. Then you have to transfer it up and breed it into a usable mon. While it's not impossible, it's easily one of the most troublesome abilities to obtain legitimately. I do have one that I can breed for players that want to experiment with a Sheer Force Rampardos, so let me know in the comment section below if you want a Cranidos with Sheer Force. Between Rampardos' two abilities, I recommend Mold Breaker, just because it applies to more situations than Sheer Force.

Movepool:

In Sun and Moon, the Headbutt Pokemon has access to a very odd array of moves. Whether it be through breeding, TM, or level-up, it seems as though the developers just threw darts at the wall and let gravity decide what moves Ramparods would get. I mentioned before that Ramparods gets Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, and Flamethrower, but it also gets access to many other odd moves. Moves you wouldn't usual think a physical attacker like Rampardos would have. One of the most bizarre moves in Rampardos' movepool is Whirlwind, and Roar too. Since it has negative priority, I would never recommend using it, but I just think it's odd that such a frail mon gets a negative priority move. It also gets Curse, which makes it even slower. I'm not sure why the developers thought that was a good idea. However, not everything in Rampardos' moveset is weird. Some of it's moves are actually very fitting. It gets great STAB in Stone Edge, Head Smash, and Rock Slide, excellent coverage in Earthquake, Iron Head, Zen headbutt, Crunch, and Hammer Arm, and average utility with Swagger, Screech, and most importantly, Endeavor. But we'll get back to that later. In total, it's movepool is actually quite good, it's just a shame that it's stats render it nihil.

Overall:

I know that over the course of this analysis, I've been ripping Rampardos apart. But hey, that's why the title is, "Rampardon't Shoot the Messenger!" Frankly, if you brought Rampardos to an actual VGC battle, it probably would get ripped apart anyway. I hate to have to shoot down everyone's hopes and dreams that Rampardos could be good, but sadly I just don't think this one will work. Unlike Rampardos, Emolga has great utility, and Alomomola has wide supportive movepool, and that's why I think they could be good. But Rampardos? Unfortunately, as much as I wanted it to be good, as much as I wanted it to be at least average, it's just not. I'm going to include three sets anyway, but I'm going to be the first to say it: Rampardos is the solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Rampardon't shoot the messenger!

The Sets:
 
Set 1
[Image: rampardos.png]
Nature: Adamant (+Atk/-Sp. Atk)
Ability: Mold Breaker
Item: Focus Sash
EVs: 4 HP/ 252 Atk/ 20 Def/ 52 Sp. Def/ 180 Spd
Moveset:
Protect
Earthquake
Crunch
Rock Slide
 

This set is designed to be used with Tailwind support, so I would suggest setting it up with Braviary, Murkrow, Mandibuzz, or Pelipper before Rampardos hits the field. I tried to give Rampardos as much coverage as possible, and Crunch really helps against the rampant Ghost and Psychic-Types running around like Metagross, Mimmikyu, and Alolan Marowak. The defensive EVs I've invested ensure that Rampardos will survive a hit beyond its Focus Sash, which will in turn let it hit back HARD! It probably won't OHKO anything, unless it's super-effective, but it will definitely do massive damage. As always, here's the link to the damage calculator so one can run the calcs on their own: (https://pokemonshowdown.com/damagecalc).
 
Set 2
[Image: rampardos.png]
Nature: Brave (+Atk/-Spd)
Ability: Sheer Force
Item: Life Orb
EVs: 252 HP/ 252 Atk/ 4 Def
IVs: 0 Spd
Moveset:
Protect/Endeavor
Earthquake
Iron Head
Rock Slide
 



My second set tries to take advantage of Rampardos' meager Speed stat. With a Speed hindering nature, as well as 0 IVs in Speed, it has a minimum of 56 Speed. That let's it underspeed all the Tapus, and let's it hit almost all of them for super-effective damage. It also covers pokemon like Metagross, which ALWAYS OHKOs Rampardos, Alolan Ninetales, and Gyarados, all of which are very common as of writing this. Sheer Force + Life Orb really packs on the damage, and unless the opposing mon is holding a Focus Sash, you're almost guaranteed at least one KO. It won't take a hit in return, which is why I discourage the use of Rampardos in the VGC doubles format, but if you're okay with playing VGC for kicks, then yeah. Rampardos will be an unwelcome surprise. Last thing, Endeavor takes advantage of Rampardos' petit defenses. If you almost get knocked out, you can use Endeavor to even the score before you go down. It's a bit situational, though, so only use it at your own discretion.
 
Set 3
[Image: rampardos.png]
Nature: Adamant (+Atk/-Sp. Atk)
Ability: Mold Breaker
Item: Choice Scarf
EVs: 252 Atk/ 4 Sp. Def/ 252 Spd
Moveset:
Zen Headbutt
Earthquake
Crunch
Stone Edge
 
I love Rampardos so much, and I'd hate to spend all this time ripping it to shreds without touches on some of its positives. The set above isn't intended for VGC Doubles, but rather Battle Spot Singles. Giving Rampardos max invested Speed with a Choice Scarf gives it a Speed stat of 141. It's not the speediest thing it in the world, but it can outspeed a lot. I talked earlier about Rampardos being better in Singles than Doubles, and this set exemplifies that. With proper set-up, and the right team, Rampardos is a hellsend for any unsuspecting player. You can also use the Sheer Force set from earlier in Singles, but just a fair warning, pokemon with Levitate are a lot more common in Singles, so just beware of those predictable switch-ins.

Partners:

And lastly, I want to showcase some partners for Rampardos. If I haven't made my point clear already, YOU SHOULDN'T BE USING RAMPARDOS IN VGC 2017! But that doesn't mean there aren't pokemon that can support Rampardos aptly. Here's two examples:
 
[Image: rampardos.png] [Image: 121.png]
 
Starmie covers the majority of Rampardos' weaknesses, and even gets access to Trick Room so it can be used with Set 2. Starmie also has very wide coverage, and Rampardos handles a fair amount of Starmie's weaknesses. Both are insanely offensive, though. So this pair lacks defensive capabilities. Be very careful if you use it, but it is doable if you're stubborn enough to try it.
 
 
[Image: rampardos.png] [Image: murkrow.png]
 
You could probably throw in any Tailwind user in this slot, but I decided to give the spotlight to Murkrow because it has Prankster. Prankster applies to moves outside of Tailwind, including Taunt, Torment, Haze, and Thunder Wave. Not only that, but it's immune to Earthquake, which is easily one of Rampardos' best assets. But again, there are better options out there, and I would only recommend this pair if you're okay with losing...a lot.

Conclusion:

Gees, this has to be the most depressing VGC analysis I've ever done. I wanted Rampardos to be good so bad, but it just seem as though for the first time, my VGC analysis of an underused mon turns up short. I think that Rampardos has potential for the Singles format, but I don't expect to see a VGC player bringing a Rampardos to an official tournament any time soon. There are simply pokemon that can do the things it does better, like Kartana, heck even Garchomp. If you want a slow, hard-hitting mon, Rampardos is your fossil. But if you want a hard-hitting mon that's consistent and reliable, well...I think you'd better look elsewhere. Sorry, Rampardos. We love you, but I don't think this is your year. Anyhow, that's all for this analysis. I look forward to discussion in the comments below, and I'm taking suggestions for future VGC analyses below as well. Remember to let me know if anyone wants a Sheer Force Cranidos, and I'll continue to bring underused mons into the spotlight. Battle onwards, friends!

- 0kamii

Update: 5/23/2017 - 4:18pm

For those of you wondering, I no longer use images from Bulbapedia because they have a tendency to glitch out or get blocked. That's understandable, and thus I've started using images from PokemonForever's archive. As for my title card images, like the ones I have at the start of my other posts, those are pulled from free websites that have no copyright and are free to be used by the public. If anyone knows anything otherwise, let me know. For example, the title card for this post was pulled from: (http://freehdwallpapers.website). Not a sponsor. I have a new VGC analysis planned for next week, and I have a different post planned for either Thursday or Friday. I also have another new and exciting project in development, and I thank everyone for the support over the last few months. I hope to update these posts again soon with further news. Thanks again, and battle onwards friends!

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#2
First, i just want to say that this is a very good thread. You go into a lot of detail and trying to get a spotlight on some lesser used pokemon is a good and interesting idea. Do one of Cradily next so @ChaseInfinity is happy.

Rampardos is a weird pokemon in this game. With its Awkward Speed tier it cant outspeed mons such as Arcanine but cant underspeed mons such as Araquanid. Trick Room seems to be the way to go with it but it will take alot of work to be useful.
"Oh no, how did he get mod?"

-Everyone


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#3
Well, I was hoping for some good news competition-wise, but I guess I'll have to use him net time I battle my brother. At least there are plenty of options for my Fossil Team. Smile
Reply
#4
@Slec Hey, Slec. I appreciate the uplift and I'm always trying to diversify the metagame. While some of my endeavors may be fruitless, there's no harm in trying, right? I don't think I can do Cradily next. I've checked the Alola Dex, and Cradily isn't VGC legal this year. As much as I'd love to cover other Fossil pokemon, the only candidates are Bastiodon, Carracosta, and Archeops. Though, they are all underused. We'll just have to see. But I probably won't be posting another VGC analysis until next week.

@Night Blaze I'm sorry, amigo. I really tried to find something positive for Rampardos for you, I know you were really excited for this analysis. But sadly, if I said Rampardos was good, and then people tried it and found out it wasn't, well I'd be in a bit of trouble. As I mentioned earlier, Rampardos is FAR BETTER is Singles, so all hope isn't lost. Maybe you could try giving it a Focus Sash and pair it with Rock Polish. That'll double its Speed and let it retaliate with big damage. Just a thought. Again, sorry the analysis didn't go as planned. Hopefully the next one will be better.

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
Reply
#5
He looks so much sturdier then he is :\ I'm surprised he didn't get a stat boost in either of the last gens. he might be considerable if his defensive stats were just a bit higher but as is he has the defences of like a speedy sweeper xD he's hardly a threat so at least give him a bit of speed if he's not supposed to be bulky
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#6
@wartty I know, man, I know. I've been crossing my fingers that they show my favorite fossil pokemon some love since Gen 4. A lot of other pokemon have gotten stat boosts over the years, heck even Poliwrath got a boost to its Attack in Gen 6. Actually, Rampardos might even be better if they LOWERED its Speed. At least then it'd be more useful in Trick Room. But I digress, I guess Rampardos will forever be stuck in PU. Oh well. Fear not buddy, you're number one in our hearts! Heart

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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#7
@0kamii Hi again! I noticed you said that you could pair Rampardos with Murkrow. However, why not pair it with Honchkrow? Wouldn't it be better stat-wise?
So I herd u liek Tyflozions...
I'm a VGC player. Contact me if you need help with competitive battling!
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#8
@RetroTyphlosion Murkrow has Prankster and Honchkrow doesn't, giving it a decent niche.
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#9
(May 27, 2017, 07:42 PM)écarlate Wrote: @RetroTyphlosion Murkrow has Prankster and Honchkrow doesn't, giving it a decent niche.

@écarlate Oh, I see! Thanks a ton!
So I herd u liek Tyflozions...
I'm a VGC player. Contact me if you need help with competitive battling!
Reply
#10
Thanks, @écarlate! You took the words right out of my mouth. 

And yes, @RetroTyphlosion . I suggested using Murkrow over its evolution because it has access to Prankster, which means it can get a priority Tailwind on the field and boost Rampardos' meager Speed. This pretty much doubles the fossil's Speed, letting it move first in a lot of situations, but unfortunately it still isn't hitting as hard as I'd like it to, even with 165 base Attack. Honchkrow has better Attack and HP, but it loses Speed and with an Eviolite, Murkrow actually manages to have better bulk. But anyway, that's why I suggested Murkrow over Honchkrow. I know it's a bit situational, but I still managed to pick up a handful of KOs in testing, so maybe it's not completely useless?

- 0kamii
Amethyst Ωmega - Guild Leader/Founder 
 
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