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Pokemon Training 254a: Curiosity Spotlight- I Am Wall... Am I Not?
By Nick M. Facer
Published on 05/15/2012
Many pokemon are obviously one thing or obviously another.  And others are just obviously strong or obviously weak... right?  Well, things aren't that simple, and using a pokemon for something it doesn't seem like it can be used for may give you a surprisingly powerful team member.

There are few things more frustrating to face than a highly-durable and effective wall.  Bastiodon is not this.

How, you may ask, is Bastiodon not a wall?  It does, after all, have insane Defenses (its highest possible Defense is nearly 500) and while it’s a bit lacking in HP, the Rock/Steel typing relegates all of its weakness woes to Water, Ground, and Fighting attacks.  It even has some wallish moves like Stealth Rock, Block, and Toxic!

Well, unfortunately, Water attacks are everywhere, and so is Earthquake.  4x weakness to Earthquake and Earth Power is crippling, as Earthquake is nearly ubiquitous and Earth Power is the thing you put on stuff that can learn Earthquake but isn’t very physically oriented.  The Fighting weakness is usually much less of an issue, but the simple fact of the matter is that between Ground and Water, it’s far too easy to find something to punch a hole in Bastiodon.

Sadly, this isn’t helped by an utter lack of any way to restore its own hit points and some thoroughly abysmal attack stats.  Leftovers helps some, but when a single Earthquake or decent STAB Water attack is enough to lay the poor ceratopsian bulldozer flat, you’re left wondering- what is Bastiodon really for?

Well, this much-maligned member of the fourth-gen fossil folly duo has two things that it actually does exceptionally well, and one move that, while highly predictable on it, it uses better than anyone else.  We’ll start with the latter.

Metal Burst is a move that stands out not for being exceptionally good, but for being exceptionally poorly placed.  Known originally only to Aggron, Bastiodon and Dialga (who has better things to do with its moves), Generation V hasn’t really helped the move much, granting it to Bisharp and Cobalion, neither of which really has any use for the thing.

Between Aggron and Bastiodon, the bulldozer is by far the better user- Aggron has stereotypically horrible Special Defense and therefore no guarantee of surviving the attack it uses to trigger Metal Burst.  Bastiodon, on the other hand, while not having enough HP to guarantee a knock-out with the move, can still use it as a very effective targeted retribution against sweepers- because Metal Burst returns double the damage you just took from an attack, no matter whether the attack is physical or special, nor requires contact or not.  Unlike the other moves that do similar things (Magic Coat, Counter, etc.) Metal Burst has a type that allows it to hit any pokemon in existence (except Shedinja), and put together with Bastiodon’s huge HP and Sturdy ability, this can result in a magnificent counter-kill against anything that uses an attack Bastiodon is weak to.  On top of that, because Bastiodon’s special defense is incredible as well (though not nearly so extreme as its physical defense), it can stick around for multiple hits if your opponent is, for some reason, not packing Ground, Fighting or Water attacks.  This can give it a chance to mess up something else a bit on top of Metal Bursting an opponent into oblivion.

There are two other things Bastiodon can get up to with surprising effectiveness.