Welcome back to Tactical Tuesdays, where we take a Pokemon every week and attempt to provide an in-depth competitive analysis of it. This week, we’re taking a look at Mega Aggron! If you have any comments, questions, or requests, please leave them below.
Sleep Talk (TM)
Brick Break (TM)
Rock Polish (TM)
Stone Edge (TM)
Thunder Wave (TM)
Dragon Tail (TM)
Power-Up Punch (TM)
Dragon Rush (Egg move from Garchomp line)
Head Smash (Egg move from Rampardos, Tyrantrum line)
Stealth Rock (Egg move from Tyrantrum line)
Superpower (Egg move from Feraligatr, Druddigon line)
Thunder Punch (BW2 Move Tutor)
Fire Punch (BW2 Move Tutor)
Ice Punch (BW2 Move Tutor)
Aqua Tail (BW2 Move Tutor)
Aggron was a bit of a strange case when it was first introduced back in Generation III RSE. Obviously created to compound the very essences of the raw defensive power of the Steel type, Aggon always had crippling flaws that kept it from truly doing just that from the start. Although it possessed a whopping 180 base defense, its other defensive stats were less than impressive; a middling base 70 HP on top of a downright pathetic base 60 special defense always seemed strange with such a massive defensive stat. But even then, that wasn’t the huge thing that held Aggon back – instead, it was its absolutely atrocious typing, being a dual Steel/Rock type. This left it wide open to two huge x4 attacks, namely being the incredibly common Fighting and Ground type (In the modern age, Close Combat/Superpower and Earthquake are among the most common coverage moves of them all, with a team rarely lacking both together). Putting aside its underwhelming HP and special defense, what good is such an awesome defense stat if Aggron is STILL going to be hit by x4 super-effective damage? That was the thought process of many a trainer, and they weren’t exactly wrong. A surprisingly good base attack stat of 110 did little to help the situation, as EV and nature investment were almost exclusively used to patch up its HP and special defense, and its base 50 speed kept it from obtaining a pseudo-sweeping role. All things together, Aggron was left to the lower tier of RU, occasionally making a gimmicky appearance in UU for surprise value.
Mega Aggron, in a lot of ways, fixed most of Aggron’s major problems. Although it wasn’t enough to propel it to common OU usage, it was at least enough to warrant an occasional appearance in the high-calibur tier. What Mega Aggron has truly done is give Aggron a strong spot in UU, acting primarily as a superb mixed wall coupled with some excellent support ability.
But before we delve into Aggron’s already-existing move-pool, what does Mega Aggron bring to the table exactly? Well, the first thing is its jaw-dropping base defense of 230, tied with the lowly Shuckle as the highest defensive stat in the game. Such a huge natural aversion to any type of physical attack frees up its EVs in favor of other things, such as its still average base 70 HP. The mega evolution also brought an extra 10 points to Aggron’s special defense, bring up its total to 80, which isn’t THAT bad when it comes to full investment in the stat. Just like vanilla Aggron, although to a far better extent due to its universally-buffed defenses, the possibility of investing in its now-massive base 140 attack is also present. Mega Aggron’s new typing of exclusively Steel is also a massive boon to it, taking away its Water weakness and, most importantly, taking away any type of x4 weakness. “But it’s weak to fire now!” is probably what you’re thinking, but that’s where Mega Aggron’s last natural buff comes through – it gains the excellent defensive ability Filter, which turns x2 super-effective moves into just a x1.5 damage multiplier. With all things considered, Mega Aggron is truly what Aggron should have been from the start – a terrifying physically-oriented tank that lacks a glaring weakness and can hit incredibly hard back.
But what about “hitting incredibly hard back”? Well, as already stated, Mega Aggron’s base 140 attack is something that should never be underestimated, even when completely lacking in any type of offensive EV investment. But what truly makes Mega Aggron shine from an attacking perspective is its wide selection of attacking options, particularly when it comes to BW2 Move Tutor and Egg moves. Without talking about coverage, Mega Aggron has a vast selection to consider when it comes to its lone STAB option; we have Iron Head, Iron Tail, Heavy Slam, and even the gimmicky Metal Burst as part of its Steel type move-pool. With that in mind, Mega Aggron is also capable of hitting hard with just about any type of attack. The elemental punches and Aqua Tail from the BW2 Move Tutor are notable, especially Ice Punch, which is an excellent move to have when switching into the many dangerous Dragon types of the tiers. Mega Aggron also has access to powerful coverage Egg moves such as Head Smash and Superpower. A good selection of TMs round out the options, with the ever-useful Earthquake and Stone Edge. There’s even some quirky niche options to consider, such as Brick Break to smash through screens, and even Autotomize and Rock Polish if you want to go on an all-out offensive route.
Don’t kid yourself though – Aggon is still a defensive Pokemon. And to take full advantage of that, its critical to have good support moves. Mega Aggron has some great support moves on top of its vast attacking move-pool, most notably being the incredibly useful Stealth Rock and Thunder Wave/Toxic. On top of that, Mega Aggron is also really good when it comes to dealing with potential sweepers foolish enough to set up on it. With access to both flavors of phazing moves in Dragon Tail and Roar, Mega Aggron has no problem when it comes to juggling around opposing Pokemon, especially with Stealth Rock and other hazards.
But with so many positives, it’s important to note that there’s a reason that Mega Aggron hasn’t made an impact in the OU tier. It still has tough competition for the spot of your Mega when it’s pitted against the Mega Charzards, Manectric, and Scizor. It also, very sadly, lacks any type of dependable recovery outside of Rest, which is, in all actuality, an enormous detraction from the role that it would normally fill so well. But if you love the UU tier, and you’re looking for a Pokemon that’s among the best in defensive prowess, Mega Aggron is a great selection for your Mega Evolution.
HP: 70 – Average, which is kind of a shame
Attack: 140 – Outstanding, making a tank-ish among the most viable
Defense: 230 – OVERKILL
Special Attack: 60 – Mediocre, although Aggron has a good special move-pool
Special Defense: 80 – Average, and a good candidate for EV investment
Speed: 50 – Terrible, as it is for most defensive Pokemon
1.) “Ball of Steel”
EVs: 252 HP, 252 Special Defense, 4 Attack
– Stealth Rock
– Thunder Wave/Toxic
– Roar/Dragon Tail
– Heavy Slam
– Built to be a supporting tank, this set makes the best of what Mega Aggron has to offer. Dedicating its nature and EVs to make it monsterously defensive on both side of the spectrum insures that it can switch in multiple times, and support your team with hazards, status effects, and even critical phazing against opposing potential sweepers.
– Stealth Rock is among the best support moves Aggron has, and should be a near-given on a majority of sets. Thunder Wave and Toxic are both great status-effecting moves, although I would pick one or the other; Toxic is an incredibly common status move known by many Pokemon, so I would personally go with Thunder Wave to, again, shut down any opposing Pokemon that might think Mega Aggron is set-up fodder. Thunder Wave also does a great job in general of shutting down anything that isn’t a Ground or Electric type, as you always have the haxy side-effect of getting fully paralyzed.
– It’s rather difficult to choose between Roar and Dragon Tail when it comes to the ever-useful phazing move that Mega Aggron should have. Roar has the excellent ability to go through Substitutes, but Dragon Tail actually is a good Dragon type coverage option that can deal decent damage to opposing Pokemon at the cost of not going through a Substitute. Dragon Tail also bypasses Taunt, which is a rather common move for very quick Pokemon to use on Mega Aggron when anticipating Stealth Rocks. All in all, I’d personally go with Dragon Tail, but always keep in mind that Roar is just as viable.
– Your choice of Steel coverage is pretty critical, as all the options have their pluses and minuses. Iron Head is accurate and dependable, but does have a rather low base 80 power. Iron Tail is much more powerful at base 100, but has a rather lackluster accuracy at 75% that will probably miss at the most important times. Heavy Slam rounds out the options as my personal favorite, especially with Mega Aggron as it’s incredibly heavy (Heavy Slam has a base power depending on the differentiation of your opponent’s weight to Mega Aggon’s).
2.) “Steel Slammer”
EVs: 252 HP, 252 Special Defense, 4 Attack
– Stealth Rock
– Heavy Slam/Iron Head/Iron Tail
– Ice Punch
– What happens when you take an offensive approach to Mega Aggron? The first thing to keep in mind is that you should always have some type of defensive presence, as there are others that can take the all-out attack method and do it better. With that in mind, I’d recommend the same type of EV spread as above, capitalizing on improving Mega Aggron’s average special defense and bringing it up to par with its excellent defense.
– I don’t think a Mega Aggron with four attacking slots is all that useful. Yes, you want to have as great of coverage as possible, but as said above, there are other, faster Pokemon that do better with a Life Orb and the four-attacking slot setup. Instead, use Mega Aggron has a defensive pivot against primarily physical attackers that can both hit hard and bring with it the utility of Stealth Rock. This is especially true in the UU and OU tiers, as Stealth Rocks do a number one some of the most dangerous threats available. If you’ve already got multiple Pokemon to get up Stealth Rock, I would sacrifice the slot for another support move such as Roar or Thunder Wave like above.
– The choice of a Steel type attacking STAB is the same as the above set; choose which one you thinks suits your needs or preferences the best, and run with it.
– I really like Earthquake and Ice Punch as the last two options, as they bring a wide spectrum of effectiveness with them. Mega Aggron does an excellent job switching into Outrages, and hits incredibly hard back to any Dragon or Flying type with Ice Punch. Earthquake does an excellent job against Fire types that try to switch in on it, as well as being a dependable move that can also hit opposing Steel and Rock types. But if you’ve already got tons of Earthquake users, Head Smash is an incredibly powerful Rock type option that can deal even better with Fire types.
- Mega Aggron is a cool example of “overkill” when it comes to extreme base stats, being up there with Deoxys Attack, Shuckle, and Mega Mewtwo. With such an overkill present, it’s certainly attractive when it comes to choosing good defensive Pokemon, and in a lot of ways, it doesn’t disappoint much at all. Play around its lack of good, reliable recovery, and I believe that Mega Aggron can serve a defensive-needy Pokemon very well in the UU tier.