Japanese Name: トリデプス (Toridepusu)
Classification: Shield Pokémon
Weight: 329.6 lbs
Gender Ratios: Male 87.5% – Female 12.5%
Base Stats: HP 60 / Atk 52 / Def 168 / SpAtk 47 / SpDef 138 / Spd 30
Bastiodon is an absolutely fantastic wall for the NU tier. With wonderful base Defense AND Special Defense, Bastiodon can really soak the damage, so long as you don’t let him face off against one of his weaknesses. Bastiodon’s placement in the NU tier seems to be mostly based on those weaknesses, but if you play him smartly, those weaknesses are a non-issue and are completely outweighed by his hefty defenses and his massive resistances.
Let’s take a look at those weaknesses and resistances first. Bastiodon, being Rock/Steel, has some pretty severe weak points. He takes x4 damage from Fighting and Ground, which are two abundantly common types in all tiers these days. He also takes x2 damage from Water, which against a Rain team is going to be a big problem. However, Bastiodon is resistant to a whopping 9 types and immune to 1. He takes only 1/4 damage from Normal and Flying types, and 1/2 damage from Ice, Psychic, Bug, Rock, Ghost, Dragon, and Dark. He’s completely immune to Poison, and takes normal damage from Steel, Fire, Electric and Grass. This can be a massive boon for your team with such Pokémon as Volcarona, Spiritomb, and Bronzong so prevalent in current competitive metagame.
With such a low Attack and Special Attack, Bastiodon’s movepool isn’t going to create anything astounding. It’s his Defenses that make this Pokémon a real winner. With that in mind, Iron Defense at lvl 19 is an absolute must-have on Bastiodon’s moveset. With an sharp boost to his already bulky Defense, he’s a massive blockade your opponents are going to have to push hard to get through. Bastiodon also has access to Stealth Rock through breeding and can learn the TM Roar. Being so bulky and so slow, Bastiodon can really do some damage by cycling your opponent’s Pokemon through the Stealth Rocks. Bastiodon also learns Metal Sound, which harshly lowers an opponent’s Special Defense stat, potentially making way for some good damage from a highly unexpected Ice Beam, which he can learn via TM. If a Pokemon you have a strong resistance to pops in to the battle, Bastiodon learns Block at lvl 30, which will keep your weak foe from switching out to wait for a better opportunity. With his ability, Sturdy, Bastiodon will be guaranteed to survive his first hit, even against a Fighting type or Ground type. With Metal Burst at lvl 43, Bastiodon can do some intense damage to the foe who would have taken him out. There’s also always the opportunity for a Rest/Chesto Berry refresh thanks to TM44.
Abilities aren’t much to discuss for Bastiodon. Sturdy is pretty much the be-all end-all for him. It stops an unexpected Earthquake or Focus Punch from destroying him. Bastiodon gets Soundproof as a DW ability, which I frankly find to be a complete waste of time.
I haven’t really talked about Natures here before, but in Bastiodon’s case, I feel it’s important to talk about it. Bastiodon already has low Attack and Special Attack, and if you end up with Bold, Impish, Calm, or Careful, you’re going to be shooting yourself in the foot. Bastiodon will really benefit the most from a boost in either Defense or Special Defense and a drop in Speed, meaning you should ideally be looking for Sassy or Relaxed.
EV training can be an interesting this for Bastiodon. Boosting his Defense and Special Defense will make him even bulkier and more imposing, but giving him a bit of a boost to his abysmal Special Attack or Attack based on your moveset will help him to hit a little harder. And giving him a slight boost to his substandard HP might be a sound option as well. My suggestion would be to bulk him up as much as possible, but don’t be afraid to help him hit a little harder.
Hold items aren’t very wide and varying for Bastiodon. If you’re opting for the Rest Bastiodon, make sure you’ve got a Chesto berry. But I would also highly suggest Leftovers to refresh a little HP every turn to help negate the minimal damage he takes from all those resistances!
My own Bastiodon is now affectionately known as Locke (yes, as in John Locke) and while I didn’t do as well as I’d wanted to in the NU tournament I featured my own in, he outperformed my expectations. He was a very solid and reliable wall, and I look forward to tweaking the one I have slightly to strike fear into the hearts of my NU tiered opponents!