Pokemon Analysis: Aegislash

Hello Hat Lovers!

Today I have another Pokemon analysis. I’ll be looking at Aegislash and its usage in VGC 2014. It is said in the Pokedex that Aegislash recognize those destined to be kings. This is fitting as Aegislash has become the king of the format, or at least one of the most used Pokemon.

Pokemon Info:

Aegislash is a Steel/Ghost type, giving it a plethora if resistances and immunities as well as four weaknesses. In Shield form Aegislash’s base stats are 60/50/150/50/150/60 and Blade form’s base stats are 60/150/50/150/50/60. Aegislash switches between it’s two forms with the Ability Stance Change. Whenever Aegislash uses a damaging attack it changes to blade form and whenever it uses King’s Shield it switches to shield form. This gives Aegislash and effective 720 base stat total when King’s Shield is used properly. The general strategy with Aegislash is to tank hits in shield form and then switch into blade form when you attack, then use King’s Shield to go back into shield form. If you can catch an opponent using a physical attack on the turn you use King’s Shield then their attack with be lowered by two stages. The downside to this is that Aegislash is reliant on King’s Shield, making it predictable.

Moves:

At the start of the season Aegislash was primarily used as a physical attacker carrying Swords Dance, Shadow Sneak, and Sacred Sword. As the format developed this set wasn’t found to be very effective as King’s Shield doesn’t block status moves meaning Aegislash had no way to prevent itself from being burnt. The metagame also shifted away from physical attackers, so King’s Shield didn’t get as many opportunities to lower the opponent’s attack.

Players started switching over to specially based Aegislash, leading us to the sets we have today. Aegislash generally carry Shadow Ball and King’s Shield, while the last two moves are up for debate.

Flash Cannon and Sacred Sword are used as the second attack to round out coverage with Shadow Ball. Which move is better is up to player preference. Sacred Sword hits Kangaskhan, Tyranitar, Bisharp, and Pyroar harder while Flash Cannon does more damage against Mamoswine, Florges, Aromatisse, and situations where Aegislash is burnt or Intimidated. Since Shadow Ball has such amazing coverage all by itself, the second move often isn’t an important choice. At Washington Regionals I chose Sacred Sword over Flash Cannon and never ended up using it, and I never found myself wanting Flash Cannon either.

For the third move we have a couple options. Substitute is a popular choice, getting a Substitute up allows Aegislash to apply far more pressure then it would’ve without one and lets it block Spore from Amoonguss as well as Leech Seed from Ferrothorn. Wide Guard can be used to help support the team, blocking Earthquake, Heat Wave, Rock Slide, and Muddy Water from your opponents, as well as letting you block your own Earthquake. Hidden Power Ice can be used to KO opposing Garchomp and Salamence. Shadow Sneak is an option for a priority attack, but that puts you into blade form before your opponent attacks.

Item:

Aegislash commonly uses Leftovers on Substitute sets. Some player opt for Weakness Policy in order to make Aegislash a major powerhouse. These are the two most common items for Aegislash to carry. Other items include Sitrus Berry and Lum Berry.

Standard Aegislash:
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 4 Def / 172 SAtk / 76 SDef
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spd
– Shadow Ball
– Sacred Sword / Flash Cannon
– Substitute
– King’s Shield

This is the Aegislash I used in Washington. With minimum speed my Aegislash moves after the opponents (or at least speed ties) and gets to Shadow Ball second, while the opponent is in blade form. 76 SDef allows Aegislash to survive Mega Charizard-Y’s Heat Wave in the sun, as well as every Shadow Ball / Dark Pulse in the format.

Threats to Aegislash:

Aegislash is highly allergic to Fire, and will not enjoy facing Rotom-H, Charizard, and other Pokemon using Fire attacks. Burning Aegislash makes it easier to deal with, and Aegislash can’t stop a faster Pokemon from burning it. Garchomp is also a major pain for Aegislash and threatens it with Earthquake. Ghost and Dark Pokemon also threaten Aegislash, but they need to be wary of Weakness Policy and a Shadow Ball / Sacred Sword in retaliation.

Teammates:

Aegislash isn’t a Pokemon that has a hard time fitting onto teams. One of Aegislash’s greatest strengths is that Kangaskhan loses to it one-on-one. For this reason I often consider it on teams that don’t have an easy way to beat Kangaskhan. If you opt for a Wide Guard set Aegislash supports both Mega Evolutions of Charizard, as well as saving you form Rock Slide in general.

Aegislash is often used as part of the “fantasy core,” consisting of Salamence, Gardevoir, and Aegislash. The core can be formed with any Dragon, Fairy, and Steel type, but those three are the most common three to be used. In this core Aegislash switches in on Dragon, Fairy, and Steel attacks for the other two, and Salamence switches in on Fire and Ground moves.

Aegislash fits in well on a rain team. Rain reduces the damage from fire attacks, and Garchomp has a tough time against rain teams that constantly threaten it with Draco Meteor and Ice Beam.

Conclusion:

Aegislash has risen to the level of Garchomp, Rotom, and Kangaskhan as the top Pokemon of VGC, where it will likely stay for the rest of the season.

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