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Pokemon Training 112- Attack Types
By Nick M. Facer
Published on 10/5/2011
A basic analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, and qualities inherent to the different Pokemon types, as applied to the attacks.

Pokemon Training 112
Pokemon Training 112- Pokemon Attack Types

Now that we've gone over all of the pokemon types available- it's time to go over the attack types.  I know I already told you which attack types pokemon are weak, resistant, or immune to, but that was relevant to the defensive types.  Besides, if I don't list them here, you'll have to mine a 10-page article to see which attack types are good against what, and that wouldn't be terribly fair to make you do.

At any rate, there are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing attack types- STAB, cross-coverage, and the fact that each pokemon can only have four moves at any given time.

STAB is an acronym- and it's short for Same Type Attack Bonus.  In short, the power of an attack move is boosted by 1/2 when it is used by a pokemon of that type.  So, for instance, Lava Plume has a power of 80, where Fire Blast has a power of 120.  However, if Fire Blast is being used by a Normal-type pokemon and Lava Plume is being used by a  Fire-type pokemon, Fire Blast's power stays at 120, and Lava Plume's power gets boosted by 40- making it also a power-120 Fire attack.  So, while it's not as strong as supereffectiveness, STAB is a significant improvement in move power and something you need to take into account, as there are times when a lower-power move, or even a resisted move (though not one hitting 2x resistance), will wind up dealing out more damage than a supereffective move.

Coverage is the second issue to take into account- a pokemon is said to have 'coverage' if the types of the attacks it has are set up so that it can hit any single-type pokemon for unresisted damage.  Theoretically speaking it is possible to set a pokemon up so that it can do unresisted damage to any pokemon in the game, but it is essentially impossible to do so without using all four move slots on attacks- which you don't always want to do.  Besides, as you have six pokemon on the team, regular coverage is generally more than good enough.

Finally, of course, there is the limit of four.  While most pokemon can do acceptably well with four attack moves, most will want to have at least one move that is not an attack move- whether that move is to inflict a negative status on an opponent, heal the user, improve an attribute, clear an opponent's boosts, or any of a number of far more specific things.  Because of this, your choice of moves needs to take that into account as well.  All things being equal, giving a pokemon a Steel attack, a Fire attack, and a Rock attack will give it coverage just like giving it an Ice attack and an Electric attack- but the Ice/Electric combination only occupies two moveslots.  On the other hand, between Steel, Fire, and Rock, the first pokemon in the example will probably be able to hit more things for supereffective damage, and different things to boot.  The real question is whether you have two or three move slots open on the pokemon.

That said, the most important thing about the move types is what they are strong or weak against, so I will list.  If a type combination is not listed under the move type's entry, but part of that combination takes double damage, half damage, or can't be affected, then assume the combination will be of the same state.

Bug Attacks

x4 damage to: Dark/Grass, Dark/Psychic, Grass/Psychic

x2 damage to: Dark, Grass, Psychic

Normal damage to: Bug, Dragon, Electric, Ground, Ice, Normal, Rock, Water, Dark/Fighting, Dark/Fire, Dark/Flying, Dark/Ghost, Dark/Poison, Dark/Steel, Grass/Fighting, Grass/Fire, Grass/Flying, Grass/Ghost, Grass/Poison, Grass/Steel, Psychic/Fighting, Psychic/Fire, Psychic/Flying, Psychic/Ghost, Psychic/Poison, Psychic/Steel

1/2 damage to: Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Poison, Steel

1/4 damage to: Fighting/Fire, Fighting/Flying, Fighting/Ghost, Fighting/Poison, Fighting/Steel, Fire/Flying, Fire/Ghost, Fire/Poison, Fire/Steel, Flying/Ghost, Flying/Poison, Flying/Steel, Ghost/Poison, Ghost/Steel, Poison/Steel.

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Poor.  While the damage from bug attacks is reduced more often than it's increased, the fact that the moves are strong against both Psychic and Dark pokemon improves their usefulness considerably.  Unfortunately, most of the moderate-strength moves are available primarily to fairly weak pokemon and there aren't many Bug attacks to begin with.  If you have STAB with the move, it's probably worth it, but otherwise there's rarely a good reason to seek out Bug attacks.  It doesn't help that most of them have no really notable side-effects.

Dark Attacks

x4 damage to: Ghost/Psychic

x2 damage to: Ghost, Psychic

Normal damage to: Bug, Dragon, Electric, Fire, Flying, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Rock, Water, Ghost/Dark, Ghost/Fighting, Ghost/Steel, Psychic/Dark, Psychic/Fighting, Psychic/Steel

1/2 damage to: Dark, Fighting, Steel

1/4 damage to: Dark/Fighting, Dark/Steel, Fighting/Steel

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Poor.  While the Dark type was made an essential counter to the early-generation power of Psychic-type pokemon, the offensive moves themselves are relatively unremarkable in coverage.  While it does pair well with Water for basic coverage, there are only two types that Dark moves are supereffective against- and there are no pokemon of the combination that would take quadruple damage from Dark attacks.  If you're looking to do lots of damage to lots of things, this simply isn't the attack type to go for.  Bug has a wider variety of targets than Dark.  The only real upside is a relative lack of resistances to Dark, but looking purely at type, this is not the offensive type to be angling for unless you have STAB and need the effects of the specific attack.  Then again, many of the secondary effects of Dark attacks are quite nice, giving the moves a lot of utility.

Dragon Attacks

x4 damage to: Nothing

x2 damage to: Dragon

Normal damage to: Bug, Dark, Electric, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Steel, Water, Dragon/Steel

1/2 damage to: Steel

1/4 damage to: Nothing

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Strong.  Although there is only one thing weak to Dragon, there is only one thing resistant to Dragon.  For coverage purposes, Dragon attacks are amazing- paired with Electric, Fire, Water, Ground or Fighting for the sake of handling Steel types, Dragon attacks will always grant you exactly what you need.  If you're looking to hit things in their weakpoints, however, Dragon does nothing for you that Ice doesn't do better thanks to there being more than one type with weakness to it.  That said, Dragon moves tend to be quite powerful, making them even moreso in the hands (claws?) of Dragon-types themselves.

Electric Attacks

x4 damage to: Flying/Water

x2 damage to: Flying, Water

Normal damage to: Dark, Fighting, Fire, Ghost, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Steel, Flying/Dragon, Flying/Electric, Flying/Grass, Water/Dragon, Water/Electric, Water/Grass

1/2 damage to: Dragon, Electric, Grass

1/4 damage to: Dragon/Electric, Dragon/Grass, Electric/Grass

Can't affect: Ground

Analysis: Good.  Coverage-wise, Electric is quite nice, with only three resistances- and no double-resistances.  The inability to affect ground can be a horrifying drawback at the worst times, though.  Still, Water pokemon are plentiful and popular enough to keep that from being too terrible a drawback (just watch out for those Ground/Water types).  Electric-type moves are fairly well spread, though the type is mostly lacking in strong physical attacks (for 4th gen and beyond), particularly since both the notable ones (Volt Tackle and Wild Charge) inflict damage on the user, which most pokemon that want powerful Electric physical attacks can't afford.  The array of special attacks is very nice, though, and the frequent appearance of Paralysis as a side-effect only sweetens the deal.  Also, Charge Beam is love.

Fighting Attacks

x4 damage to: Dark/Ice, Dark/Normal, Dark/Rock, Dark/Steel, Ice/Normal, Ice/Rock, Ice/Steel, Normal/Rock, Normal/Steel, Rock/Steel

x2 damage to: Dark, Ice, Normal, Rock, Steel

Normal damage to: Dragon, Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Ground, Water, Dark/Bug, Dark/Flying, Dark/Poison, Dark/Psychic, Ice/Bug, Ice/Flying, Ice/Poison, Ice/Psychic, Normal/Bug, Normal/Flying, Normal/Poison, Normal/Psychic, Rock/Bug, Rock/Flying, Rock/Poison, Rock/Psychic, Steel/Bug, Steel/Flying, Steel/Poison, Steel/Psychic

1/2 damage to: Bug, Flying, Poison, Psychic

1/4 damage to: Bug/Flying, Bug/Poison, Bug/Psychic, Flying/Poison, Flying/Psychic, Poison/Psychic

Can't affect: Ghost

Analysis: Good.  While it is evenly matched in weaknesses and resistances and simply cannot touch anything Ghost-typed, Fighting as an offensive type is supereffective against plenty of things, and counters to what resists it are not all that hard to find.  Almost universally physical attacks, Fighting would be crippled by that if not for the fact that it's supereffective against the three main physical tank types- Dark, Rock, and Steel.  The vast majority of physical walls and a decent number of special walls just break in two when hit with a firm Fighting attack- of which there are more than a few.  Coverage-wise, Fighting is a little touchy just because of the way the four things resistant to it are spread out, but if you have three attack moves to devote on a pokemon you can do just fine- Fighting/Grass/Rock or Fighting/Grass/Electric both work well.

Fire Attacks

x4 damage to: Bug/Grass, Bug/Ice, Bug/Steel, Grass/Ice, Grass/Steel, Ice/Steel

x2 damage to: Bug, Grass, Ice, Steel

Normal damage to: Dark, Electric, Fighting, Flying, Ghost, Ground, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Bug/Dragon, Bug/Fire, Bug/Rock, Bug/Water, Grass/Dragon, Grass/Fire, Grass/Rock, Grass/Water, Ice/Dragon, Ice/Fire, Ice/Rock, Ice/Water, Steel/Dragon, Steel/Fire, Steel/Rock, Steel/Water

1/2 damage to: Dragon, Fire, Rock, Water

1/4 damage to: Dragon/Fire, Dragon/Rock, Dragon/Water, Fire/Rock, Fire/Water, Rock/Water

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Passable.  While you would think that trading off one type it can't affect for one less thing weak to it would keep Fire roughly par with Fighting, the things that resist it are a little too popular and the things weak to it a little too unpopular as pokemon types to really bring that effect through.  Dragon and Water types are always well-loved, and Bug and Grass types tend to be underused.  That said, it's not bad by any stretch- just not remarkably good.  It doesn't help that while most Fire types are as good or better at physical attacks compared to special attacks, the majority of Fire attacks are special attacks.  Burn brings that back up, though, as a good-quality status effect, and Fire attacks come in a variety of power grades and with a few interesting side effects scattered here and there.  Coverage-wise, Fire is a little hard to get coverage for, as the only appropriate match for normal coverage is Dragon, but placed right it can be quite useful.

Flying Attacks

x4 damage to: Bug/Fighting, Bug/Grass, Fighting/Grass

x2 damage to: Bug, Fighting, Grass

Normal damage to: Dark, Dragon, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Water, Bug/Electric, Bug/Rock, Bug/Steel, Fighting/Electric, Fighting/Rock, Fighting/Steel, Grass/Electric, Grass/Rock, Grass/Steel

1/2 damage to: Electric, Rock, Steel

1/4 damage to: Electric/Rock, Electric/Steel, Rock/Steel

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Poor.  As of fifth generation, Flying attacks do 4x damage against: Parasect, Heracross, Breloom, and Leavanny (and its evolution line).  Rock/Steel types are numerous enough to be problematic, and while its coverage is decent, its ability to take things out is questionable.  Flying has relatively few powerful attacks, and a fairly large number of Flying attacks are special attack based.  This wouldn't be too much of an issue if these attacks were available to Flying-types with high special attack, but for the most part they aren't.  If you're really worries about Fighting type pokemon and just can't find a spot to put a Psychic move, Flying is a decent substitute, but otherwise it's hard to find a way to make Flying attacks really shine.  That said, they're not outright bad, just really tough to implement.

Ghost Attacks

x4 damage to: Ghost/Psychic

x2 damage to: Ghost, Psychic

Normal damage to: Bug, Dragon, Electric, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Grass, Ground, Ice, Poison, Rock, Water, Ghost/Steel, Psychic/Steel

1/2 damage to: Steel

1/4 damage to: Nothing

Can't affect: Normal, Dark

Analysis: Poor.  The decision between Ghost and Dark is always a hard one.  On the one hand, Ghost is only resisted by Steel.  On the other hand, both Normal and Dark types are completely immune to actual Ghost attacks (and therefore most Ghost status-effect moves as well).  Both Ghost and Dark have the salient issue of only being supereffective against two types.  It could be argued that Dark being thrice resisted instead of resisted once and ignored twice as Ghost is makes Dark the better option, but frankly outside of the fact that both move types are strong against Ghosts and Psychics, neither type actually has much going for it as a type.  As with Dark, Ghost gets a decent coverage-match with Fire, but that's not going to help it all that much.  Ghost moves do, however, offer a wide field of interesting and varied effects, and when you do need a Ghost or Dark attack, you need it very badly.

Grass Attacks

x4 damage to: Ground/Rock, Ground/Water, Rock/Water

x2 damage to: Ground, Rock, Water

Normal damage to: Dark, Electric, Fighting, Ghost, Ice, Normal, Psychic, Ground/Bug, Ground/Dragon, Ground/Fire, Ground/Flying, Ground/Grass, Ground/Poison, Ground/Steel, Rock/Bug, Rock/Dragon, Rock/Fire, Rock/Flying, Rock/Grass, Rock/Poison, Rock/Steel, Water/Bug, Water/Dragon, Water/Fire, Water/Flying, Water/Grass, Water/Poison, Water/Steel

1/2 damage to: Bug, Dragon, Fire, Flying, Grass, Poison, Steel

1/4 damage to: Bug/Dragon, Bug/Fire, Bug/Flying, Bug/Grass, Bug/Poison, Bug/Steel, Dragon/Fire, Dragon/Flying, Dragon/Grass, Dragon/Poison, Dragon/Steel, Fire/Flying, Fire/Grass, Fire/Poison, Fire/Steel, Flying/Grass, Flying/Poison, Flying/Steel, Grass/Poison, Grass/Steel, Poison/Steel

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Very weak.  More than twice as many things resist Grass as are weak to it, and only the fact that Ground, Rock, and Water are all common types keeps Grass from being a total wash as an attack type.  Although the attacks come in a wide variety, it rarely matters what grade or flavor your weaksauce is- it's still weaksauce.  Grass offers some okay coverage in type-triads, but the seven things that resist it are hard to pin one type on.  Leech Seed, the relative reliability of Sleep Powder, the stunning 100-accuracy Spore, an abundance of self-healing effects and a few other things keep Grass in the running as a move type, but the attacks themselves often leave a lot to be desired.  Still, when they are used on a Grass pokemon, Grass attacks do well enough- and it helps that there's a good variety of both physical and special attacks.  Just keep in mind that there's rarely a good reason for a Grass attack on a pokemon that isn't Grass type.

Ground Attacks

x4 damage to: Electric/Fire, Electric/Poison, Electric/Rock, Electric/Steel, Fire/Poison, Fire/Rock, Fire/Steel, Poison/Rock, Poison/Steel, Rock/Steel

x2 damage to: Electric, Fire, Poison, Rock, Steel

Normal damage to: Dark, Dragon, Fighting, Ghost, Ground, Ice, Normal, Psychic, Water, Electric/Bug, Electric/Grass, Fire/Bug, Fire/Grass, Poison/Bug, Poison/Grass, Rock/Bug, Rock/Grass, Steel/Bug, Steel/Grass

1/2 damage to: Bug, Grass

1/4 damage to: Bug/Grass

Can't affect: Flying

Analysis: Very strong.  The types that resist Ground attacks aren't terribly popular, and almost never seen together.  Flying is immune to it, which is annoying, but there aren't enough truly threatening Flying pokemon to make this a hazard- especially since most things that can learn Ground attacks have access to moves like Rock Slide and Stone Edge- Rock moves that will thoroughly wreck Flying and Bug types and are unresisted by Grass pokemon.  Alternatively, Ice wrecks Grass and Flying and is generally unresisted by Bug types.  That makes Ground supremely easy to get coverage with, and since it's usually coverage with an offensively strong type, supereffective damage gets handed out like free samples.  Ground attacks are in essentially the reverse position of Dark or Ghost attacks- there are very few things you don't want it against, but when you don't want it, it's completely useless.  It helps that Ground has the amazing 100-accuracy 100-power Earthquake, a move whose closest parallel is Psychic- which does less damage but has a (slim) chance of cracking an opponent's special defense.  Just like Earth Power, in fact, which is another tasty Ground attack.  Add in the accuracy reduction of things like Mud Bomb, Mud Slap, and Sand Attack, and Ground's got everything it needs to be a good attack type with the sole exception of a consistently applied status effect.

Ice Attacks

x4 damage to: Dragon/Flying, Dragon/Grass, Dragon/Ground, Flying/Grass, Flying/Ground, Grass/Ground

x2 damage to: Dragon, Flying, Grass, Ground

Normal damage to: Bug, Dark, Electric, Fighting, Ghost, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Rock, Dragon/Fire, Dragon/Ice, Dragon/Steel, Dragon/Water, Flying/Fire, Flying/Ice, Flying/Steel, Flying/Water, Grass/Fire, Grass/Ice, Grass/Steel, Grass/Water, Ground/Fire, Ground/Ice, Ground/Steel, Ground/Water

1/2 damage to: Fire, Ice, Steel, Water

1/4 damage to: Fire/Ice, Fire/Steel, Fire/Water, Ice/Steel, Ice/Water, Steel/Water

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Strong.  If not for the common resistance from Water, Ice would be up there with Ground- and it nearly is anyways.  Second only to Dragon for taking out Dragon type pokemon, and with strength against Ground types, Ice has a lot to offer offensively.  The fact that many Ice attacks can inflict the Frozen Solid status makes them even more terrifying, as Frozen is probably only outclassed by Badly Poisoned as status effects go.  Ice attacks come in a wide variety as well, and are available to a large portion of pokemon- partly because most Water types can learn Ice attacks.  The type is a bit lacking in status-effect moves that aren't attacks, but that's really not much of a deficiency.  Coverage with Ice is easy- stick Electric or Ground to it, depending on whether you're more concerned about Water types or about Fire and Steel types, or on what the pokemon in question can learn.

Normal Attacks

x4 damage to: Nothing

x2 damage to: Nothing

Normal damage to: Bug, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Water

1/2 damage to: Rock, Steel

1/4 damage to: Rock/Steel

Can't affect: Ghost

Analysis: Poor.  What is there to say for Normal?  It's got a lot of neutral coverage, but you can get that with some supereffective hits by going to any of a number of other types.  On a Normal-type pokemon, these moves do well, but outside of that there's rarely a reason to use them.  Normal doesn't have much to offer in and of itself, and you'll probably find most Normal type pokemon not using any Normal type moves either, unfortunately.  It doesn't have the multiple-immunity problem that Ghost does, but that's really not much of a recommendation.  On the upside, most Normal attacks are very reliably powered, though that comes at the cost of relatively rare status effects.  The thing it has going for it most is that most stat-boosting effects are Normal type, but that's not a recommendation for the attacks either, is it?  The moves aren't as bad on non-Normal type pokemon as Grass moves on non-Grass pokemon, which is something, I suppose.  There's just not much to recommend them unless you're using a Normal-type pokemon (or Explosion), and even then it can be dicey.

Poison Attacks

x4 damage to: Nothing

x2 damage to: Grass

Normal damage to: Bug, Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fighting, Fire, Flying, Ground, Ice, Normal, Psychic, Water, Grass/Ghost, Grass/Ground, Grass/Poison, Grass/Rock

1/2 damage to: Ghost, Ground, Poison, Rock

1/4 damage to: Ghost/Ground, Ghost/Poison, Ghost/Rock, Ground/Poison, Ground/Rock, Poison/Rock

Can't affect: Steel

Analysis: Passable.  Initially, Poison doesn't seem like much, as Steel is immune to it and four other things resist it- and only Grass is weak to it.  And that would be correct- if not for two major points.  First off, Poison gives access not only to Poison status which deals damage every turn, but Badly Poisoned status, which deals damage that doubles every turn.  And the other thing is that while the low-end poison attacks are abominably weak (Poison Sting having a measly 15 power), the high-powered poison attacks are devastatingly powerful (Sludge Bomb anyone?).  With the side advantage of curious moves like Gastro Acid, useful moves like Acid Armor and Minimize, and the Go Straight To Horror Do Not Pass C'thulhu that is Toxic, Poison attacks in the later game are universally strong hits that will lay your opponent flat as long as you keep an eye on the four types that resist them.  Coverage-wise, Poison is easy to handle, pairing well with Ground and fitting into a number of type-triads.  In the hands of a skilled user, Poison probably rates a Strong, but its base difficulties in terms of what is weak to it and what resists it make it hard to use well.

Psychic Attacks

x4 damage to: Fighting/Poison

x2 damage to: Fighting, Poison

Normal damage to: Bug, Dragon, Electric, Fire, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Ice, Normal, Rock, Water, Fighting/Psychic, Fighting/Steel, Poison/Psychic, Poison/Steel

1/2 damage to: Psychic, Steel

1/4 damage to: Psychic/Steel

Can't affect: Dark

Analysis: Good.  This would be higher, but the introduction of Steel and Dark pokemon in second generation pretty much gutted Psychic supremacy and it's never really recovered.  Dark pokemon are popular specifically because they're immune to Psychic attacks, and Steel is found in the majority of walling pokemon.  That said, the coverage Psychic gets is otherwise excellent, although it can be harder to use with most physical walls being steel and most special walls being... well, special walls.  There are very few physical Psychic attacks and most of those are little more than novelties, either absurdly powerful moves restricted to legendary pokemon or specialized moves that can't actually be bred onto most other pokemon (except for Zen Headbutt, on whom opinions vary wildly).  Stick a Psychic move with a Bug move and avoid Steel-types and you're golden- or you can stick Psychic together with Fire and not concern yourself with dishing out supereffective hits.  Not that you're likely to need it- Psychic attacks are equally as brutal as Ground attacks and Poison attacks at the higher end.

Rock Attacks

x4 damage to: Bug/Fire, Bug/Flying, Bug/Ice, Fire/Flying, Fire/Ice, Flying/Ice

x2 damage to: Bug, Fire, Flying, Ice

Normal damage to: Dark, Dragon, Electric, Ghost, Grass, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Water, Bug/Fighting, Bug/Ground, Bug/Rock, Bug/Steel, Fire/Fighting, Fire/Ground, Fire/Rock, Fire/Steel, Flying/Fighting, Flying/Ground, Flying/Rock, Flying/Steel, Ice/Fighting, Ice/Ground, Ice/Rock, Ice/Steel

1/2 damage to: Fighting, Ground, Rock, Steel

1/4 damage to: Fighting/Ground, Fighting/Rock, Fighting/Steel, Ground/Rock, Ground/Steel, Rock/Steel

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Good.  Coverage alone nets Rock a Good, as there are many two and three type sets that it fits well into for coverage, and while the things weak to Rock attacks aren't that plentiful, they are usually outright crippled by such attacks.  Additionally, the sheer power involved in most Rock attacks is fairly high.  While recoil damage is common in the high-power attacks, that can be compensated for- and the poorer accuracy of the others isn't too hard to work with, actually staying at or above 75 regularly.  The real problem Rock has is that, as a physical attack type, it is resisted by pretty close to every physical wall in the game (salient exception being Skarmory), often double-resisted to boot.

Steel Attacks

x4 damage to: Ice/Rock

x2 damage to: Ice, Rock

Normal damage to: Bug, Dark, Dragon, Fighting, Flying, Ghost, Grass, Ground, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Ice/Electric, Ice/Fire, Ice/Steel, Ice/Water, Rock/Electric, Rock/Fire, Rock/Steel, Rock/Water

1/2 damage to: Electric, Fire, Steel, Water

1/4 damage to: Electric/Fire, Electric/Steel, Electric/Water, Fire/Steel, Fire/Water, Steel/Water

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Poor.  While not outright weak, Steel just doesn't have much to offer as an attack type.  Offering a comparable fare to Bug type in terms of attacks and scatteredness of side-effects, Steel is mostly only good for breaking up rocks and ice.  It can come into some interesting triad arrangements (Fire/Rock/Steel, for instance) or pair decently with Ground (horrifyingly so in the case of Excadrill), but it just doesn't shine much (I'm not sorry for the pun).  As with Grass or Normal, you generally won't want to use this attack type on a pokemon that isn't the same type.

Water Attacks

x4 damage to: Fire/Ground, Fire/Rock, Ground/Rock

x2 damage to: Fire, Ground, Rock

Normal damage to: Bug, Dark, Electric, Fighting, Flying, Ghost, Ice, Normal, Poison, Psychic, Steel

1/2 damage to: Dragon, Grass, Water

1/4 damage to: Dragon/Grass, Dragon/Water, Grass/Water

Can't affect: Nothing

Analysis: Strong.  While not quite up there with Ground, Water is a very useful attack type.  Only three types resist it, and of the three potential combinations that could reduce its damage to 1/4, only Grass/Water exists, and relatively few people actually use Ludicolo.  Water offers mainly special attacks, but recently has offered a nice selection of physical attacks to accompany that- and many Water pokemon are well poised to take advantage of either- or even both.  Its resistances are relatively easy to cover for in a triad, or by sticking it together with something like Normal, Fighting, or Dark.  That said, there are few Water attacks that will really wow anybody, and there are relatively few status effects associated (although rain always makes Water very happy), so it doesn't offer quite the right combination of raw might and flexibility that would make it Very Strong.... but it comes close.