Steel-type Pokémon are back! They are back with a real vengeance this time and they have a slew of legendaries to put under their banner as well. Steel-types have been seen in legendaries Dialga, Heatran, Genesect and more! Throughout the games, Steel-types have often been slow, but decently bulky and can sometimes hit hard. That is certainly what Steel-Pokémon can do this time.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the newest Steel-type Pokémon as well as whether they are good or not!
- National Pokedex: 28
Sandslash is one of two old Pokémon where they went all the way to bring us something new. Sandslash has now gone from its standard Ground typing to an Ice/Steel-type. It now has a new set of resistances and weaknesses, so just some important ones are that it is 4x weak to fire and fighting. Everything else is either normal damage, halved, or nulled. It has a total of 9 resistances which is pretty good. The only important ability is called Slush Rush and it is hidden. So you will need to spend time in an SOS battle to get one with this ability. So you have to work for it. It doubles Sandslash’s Speed when it is hailing. The thing is, though, you have to trigger it.
Speaking of Speed, it’s only 65, so Slush Rush is your saving grace here. Game Freak was ready to give this generic Kanto Pokémon some love when it took its Sp. Attack and dropped it to 25. Then it shuffled the points to Defense. Now Defense is a nice, solid 120 and its Special Defense is an okay 65, which is better than it was previously at 55! As for moves, it learns Icicle Spear, its signature move, when it evolves, while learning Iron Head (Steel STAB) and Gyro Ball (Steel STAB) as Sandshrew. It also learns the Ice version of Rollout, Ice Ball that was previously only available to the Spheal and Bergmite lines. Sadly though, it is not perfect as there are not many good Physical Ice moves yet. However, it can get Stone Edge, Earthquake, Shadow Claw and more to give you that rounded-out movepool. For those of you with Pokémon Moon, keep an eye out for this gem!
- National Pokedex: 797
Celesteela is one of the unique Ultra Beasts and is a floating bamboo monster. It is Steel/Flying in type and it now is better than Skarmory. Here is why. Because it is Steel-type, it is going to wall most attacks. Being Flying-type gets rid of the Steel weakness to ground. Steel naturally has a slew of resistances and is very much a good typing when paired with Flying. It also will, since it is an Ultra Beast, end up in the OU or Uber category for battling. This is good news as its two weaknesses, Fire and Electric, are not as frequent as other moves like Ghost, Water, Dragon and Fairy. Speaking of, it also resists Dragon and Fairy because of the Steel-typing. This Pokémon also comes with Beast Boost which allows it to have its highest stat raised when it takes out another Pokémon. Its highest stat naturally is its Sp. Attack at 107. The Defense is a 103 while Attack and Sp. Defense are 101. HP is really close at 97 too. However you choose to distribute its EVs, will affect the boost of Beat Boost. So think about it before you do it.
For Celesteela to be useful, you have to rely on its bulk and count on it almost always going second. For that, a healing move like Leech Seed is good and Protect can be there to allow it to heal itself up while keeping yourself from being hit. Heavy Slam is a good idea since this metal monstrosity is 0.1kg away from weighing a tonne which is 1000 kilograms. This also makes it have a deadly STAB move. Flying STAB is really not all that necessary as a Steel STAB will hit everything save for Electric, Fire, Steel, and Water who resist it for ½ damage. You can choose to go with another Sp. Attack based move like Flamethrower, or you can make this stall-eela (get it?) mess with your foes hardcore with Toxic making your Celesteela a double drainer. You could forego Leech Seed for Giga Drain, but then you cannot guarantee healing each turn and this move will heal you less when you have a type disadvantage. Either way though, taking this Pokémon down is going to be very difficult.
- National Pokedex: 798
Kartana is yet proof that in Sun & Moon, Grass-types are on the rebound. Yet another death machine like Pheromosa, this legendary is Game Freak’s way of apologizing for what they did with Shaymin. Kartana has Beast Boost as its ability as well which raises your highest stat when you fell a foe. Speaking of, Kartana has an obscene 181 in Physical attack and a 109 in Speed. So, death machine. You do have to be careful though. While it may have a 131 in Defense, its Special Defense is a paltry 31. This means that it can be checked if you are not careful.
This Steel/Grass type only needs to be concerned about Fighting-types and Fire-types. Naturally you want two STAB moves on Kartana. For Grass STAB, you have Leaf Blade, but tragically and very oddly, Kartana does not learn a Steel-type move? That really does not do it well. You can however, at least teach it Smart Strike. Sacred Sword is another that will give it some more coverage. X-Scissor, Psycho Cut, and Night Slash are all others that it can learn. You can also let it have Swords Dance to boost that 181 higher. How you run it though, is up to you. One thing is for sure, Kartana can, and will do, damage and you can make it happen either STAB or not as 181 is nothing to laugh at. Sad news though, this legendary is only available to the players of Sun! Moon players will have to trade for it.
- National Pokedex: 791
Solgaleo looks awesome in Shiny form, so be sure to get it. It is the legendary for Pokémon Sun. Steel/Psychic in type, it is a beast. It does trade what Lunala has in two 4x weaknesses, for four normal weaknesses; Fire, Ground, Darkness, and Ghost. Three of which are commonly used, but don’t let that intimidate you as Solgaleo is good. Its ability, Full Metal Body, ignores all stat changes against it. However this really only excels the best with its Steel-type signature move, Sunsteel Strike. Solgaleo has a 137 in HP and Attack while having a 113 in Sp. Attack, a 107 in Defense and a 97 in Speed.
Those stats are very similar to Lunala’s stats, but they have been slightly shuffled to help Solgaleo excel in its own typing. You need to focus on physical moves as well as building your move set around what resists Sunsteel Strike. Really, this should be the centerpiece of your moveset. Like Lunala, Solgaleo is going to be banned to Uber tiers, so plan accordingly. Zen Headbutt is good Psychic STAB, while you should definitely consider Choice-Banding this beast for Earthquake. Be careful around Fire and Ground Pokémon. Primal Groudon is a danger to you. After those basics are covered, think about what else you can use on it. Flare Blitz is good, but if you are going to be using him competitively, then Wild Charge is better for bulky Water-types and Flying-types. The choice is yours.
- National Pokedex: 801
Magearna is the legendary of this Sun & Moon series that you can get via a QR code. It was introduced almost six months before the release of Sun and Moon in a movie in Japan. Magearna was a present to a king’s daughter, and was artificially made more than 500 years ago. It does not have a soul, but rather was given one years ago. Magearna is Steel/Fairy type which is fantastic news as it has only 2 weaknesses, Fire and Ground, barely takes normal damage, and resists or nulls 11 more types. Soul Heart is its ability which boosts its Sp. Attack every time a Pokémon faints.
Speaking of stats, Magearna is pretty well stacked. It has a 130 in Sp. Attack, a 115 in both Defenses as well as a 95 in Attack, an 80 in HP, and a 65 in Speed. While its Speed is not amazing, it has a lot of resistances, so that is not a front where you should be concerned. Fleur Cannon, made just for Magearna is the Fairy STAB move to go to. Flash Cannon as well is a wise move for Steel STAB. Aura Sphere will give you even more coverage, plus it never misses, while you can have it learn Synchronize, but Volt Switch will allow Magearna to swap out faster to be safe. This bulky legendary though is nothing to sneeze at and you are the one to make it happen.
Steel-types are ridiculous this game. So many new legendaries that are going to be changing the way that the metagame is formed. It also will be changing how in-game Pokémon are as well with Steel-types resisting so much. What do you think? Are you looking forward to any of these Pokémon or using them? Let us know in the comments below!