Sun & Moon has kept it creative nonstop with the pokemon that it has been introducing to us. Well, what about the new Ground-type pokemon? Thankfully they seem to be quite well. They are all enjoyable, some better than others, and many do deserve a spot on your team at least during the game’s playthrough. After that, they will probably be relegated to certain tiers of battling. Let’s take a look at the new top Ground-types!
4. Alolan Dugtrio
- National Pokedex: 051
Surfer Alolan Dugtrio would be great if he came with a comb. Now though, it is here with a new type. When you think about it, it does make sense with Alola, islands, and surfers. It’s a theme. Is the theme worth it? Well, one thing to note is its new Ground/Steel typing. While it picks up a lot of new resistances, it does have to be careful of the following: Water, Fire, Fighting, and Ground moves. You basically resist everything else though, so congrats! As for its abilities, Alolan Dugtrio has Sand Veil and a new one called Tangling Hair. This will drop an opponent’s Speed by one stage when they touch it. Truth be told though, Sand Force, a new ability, is the better of the two. While a Sandstorm is in effect, Ground, Rock, and Steel-type moves are powered up by 33%. Speaking of stats, its Speed is dropped from 120 to 110 and its Defense is moved up to 60. One bad point is that Dugtrio only has a 35 in HP.
Sandstorm is all fun and games unless you get OHKO’d before you can fire off a STAB move. If you are going to use this ability, be sure to have a Pokémon before Dugtrio set up sandstorm or trigger it. Speaking of, let’s move beyond the goofy guise, and see what the movepool looks like. For Ground-type, the clear winner is Earthquake. Metal-type though, it only gets Iron head which is decent, and you can re-teach it Night Slash for more coverage. Other than that it is okay. Just heed our advice about setting up that Sandstorm before it switches in.
- National Pokedex: 770
Palossand looks lazy in design, but with a creepy Pokedex entry, this Pokemon actually becomes kinda cool. Underneath that castle exterior are supposed to be the bodies of victims whose vitality it has drained. So, as one would expect, Palossand is Ghost/Ground in typing. It is weak to Water, Grass, Ice, Ghost, and Dark. However, Water can be used to its advantage with its ability Water Compaction. Every time it is hit with a Water-type move, be it special or physical, its Defense jumps two stages. This is very useful and you can see why below!
Palossand has a 110 in Defense. This will only climb higher when it is hit by Water-type attacks. Following that is a 100 in Sp. Attack, an 85 in HP, and a 75 in Attack and Sp. Defense. The Speed is negligible, so just assume you are going last each time. Shadow Ball is there for Ghost-type STAB while Earth Power is for Ground-Type STAB. You do have to worry about Flying/Normal types. Rock Slide is good but know that it probably will no OHKO. It also learns a unique move called Shore Up which heals Palossand. It will heal you for more if a Sandstorm is present. It can learn Giga Drain as well, which is great for clearing Water-types when you know they will hit you.
- National Pokedex: 794
Mudsdale is a pure Ground-type pokemon that you also can ride on, on the world map. To be quite honest, this pokemon is good. It is not OU good, but even through late and post-game, Mudsdale is one that will serve you well. Mudsdale comes with three abilities, and one of these is all that matters. It can have Own Tempo as a normal ability and Inner Focus as a hidden one, but Stamina is the way to go. Stamina will boost your Defense one stage every time you take an attack. This is a dead end for pokemon that enjoy using moves that hit 2-5 times. Mudsdale does need to be careful of Water, Grass, and Ice types though.
Mudsdale has a wonderful 125 in Attack with a 100 in both HP and Defense. It also has a decent Sp. Defense attack at 85. Sadly, the speed is terrible at 35. The Defense will continue to rise which is excellent. Earthquake is a must for your only STAB move. You can breed Close Combat onto it. Heavy Slam will let you hit Fairy-types hard with a Steel-type move. Rock Slide is another option for pokes that will escape your reach with Ground-type moves. Unfortunately, the downfall of Mudsdale is not just the Speed, but also the lack of a diverse movepool. Beyond that though, it is still a formidable foe. It just will not be poking its head in OU any time soon.
1. Zygarde 100%
- National Pokedex: 718
Zygarde is a bit of a weird Pokemon. Zygarde was given to us in Generation Six and while it was not flat out stated that this is the Z Pokemon, no one can confirm or deny it. Zygarde now has three forms in Sun and Moon, 10%, 50% and 100%. The 100% form is unique because it needs to drop down to 50% HP to be triggered to transform. This essentially then makes this pokemon a gamble as you need Zygarde to be able to take a hit and then transform. Zygarde is Dragon/Ground-type and its ability is Power Construct. This is what makes it possible to transform into 100% form. Zygarde needs to watch out for its weaknesses to Ice, Dragon, and Fairy.
In 100% form, Zygarde has a fat 216 in HP, followed by a 121 in Defense, a 100 in Attack, a 95 in Sp. Defense, a 91 in Sp. Attack, and finally an 85 in Speed. While the last few stats are not terrible, they are not too amazing for this Pokémon being in the Uber tier. It is so bulky now with it’s HP that Dragon Dance is viable. Earthquake for Ground-STAB is a given. While you can allow it to learn Extreme Speed, Dragon Tail is better to give you a Dragon-STAB move, and you can top it off with Stone Edge if you would like. Another popular moveset is a Rest and Sleep Talk set coupled with Dragon Tail and Earthquake. No matter how you do it, it will work fine.
Ground Pokemon are quirky and fun. Thankfully with these new ones too, you will be able to enjoy yourself even more. Zygarde is a beast not to be underestimated as are Mudsdale and Palossand. What do you think? Who do you like? Let us know in the comments below! Till next time,