Japanese Name: プテラ (Ptera)
Classification: Fossil Pokémon
Weight: 130.1 lbs
Gender Ratios: Male 87.5% – Female 12.5%
Base Stats: HP 80 / Atk 105 / Def 65 / SpAtk 60 / SpDef 75 / Spd 130
One of the original 1st Gen fossils, Aerodactyl has survived the many generations and many rebalances of the game to remain a force to be reckoned with. Aerodactyl is without a doubt the Jolteon of the skies, in more ways than one. With base 130 Speed and base 105 Attack, Aerodactyl can tear holes in many teams, whether they are offensive or defensive in spirit, especially if it carries a Choice Band. Base 80 HP is a tad underwhelming, though, as are his base 60 Defense and base 75 Special Defense. Aerodactyl has the Rock typing, which permits it to get the 30% Special Defense boost in a Sandstorm, and it also has access to the precious move Roost, which helps to extend its survivability in a pinch, particularly by ending its weakness to Electric, Ice and Rock for a turn, almost guarenteed by its immense speed. All in all, Aerodactyl is a Pokemon that can serve you well, but one needs to take caution with its limited movepool and weak defenses.
Aerodactyl is a monsterously fast physical attacker, even without boosts to aid it. Base 130 Speed translates to 394 Speed with a positive nature, tying with Jolteon and outrunning all unboosted positive base 125s and lower. Adding to its ridiculous speed is its equally impressive Attack stat. With a movepool that can help mangle several types, including Stone Edge, Rock Slide, Earthquake, Crunch, Pursuit, the three Elemental Fang attacks and Giga Impact, Aerodactyl can find plenty of opportunities to come in and revenge kill, or lead with devastating consequences to an unprepared team. That said, Aerodactyl is missing something critically important that would have made him amazing: U-Turn. Aerodactyl has no means of switching out while keeping up damage pressure, which is a rather debilitating setback in the metagame today. Combined with the loss of Aqua Tail and Stealth Rock in 5th Gen, Aerodactyl’s ability to keep up pressure on an opponent has indeed been greatly reduced.
While Aerodactyl’s movepool is a bit sparse in attack variety, it has a number of support attacks it can use. Hone Claws works brilliantly for UU Aerodactyl, letting it boost the accuracy of Stone Edge while setting up Attack boosts on the many fragile sweepers in the tier. The ever-useful Roost also extends Aerodactyl’s lifespan in a battle, with its speed letting it more often than not recover HP before an opponent can attack and lessening the blow of incoming Electric, Ice and Rock attacks. Aerodactyl can also learn Taunt, breaking down setup sweepers and walls and causing havoc in an opponent’s strategy. Rock Polish and Agility can also be learned, but are generally a waste of time. The one turn you spend increasing Aerodactyl’s already insane Speed can be the turn that you get OHKOd by a lucky attack. It can also learn a number of debuffs, like Supersonic, Torment, Toxic and Swagger, which are rather situational but can be added in to tailor an Aerodactyl to a team.
Aerodactyl mainly carries items designed to help out its attack power and/or accuracy. Stone Edge carries a massive hit off of Aerodactyl, but has lagging 80% accuracy. Depending on the rules of the battle, some might carry a Wide Lens. For the most part, though, Aerodactyl carry Life Orbs or Choice Bands. Choice Bands are great items for Aerodactyl, but without a scouting move like U-Turn, Choice Bands are really better for Aerodactyl that are planning on hitting predicted counters for your own Pokemon for revenge kills. Life Orbs probably work the best, seeing as Aerodactyl’s access to Roost gives it the means to recover off the recoil.
Aerodactyl has three abilities that should be discussed. Pressure is arguably the most useful of the three, even though Aerodactyl usually doesn’t stay alive long enough to make it work effectively or let opponents live long enough to make a move. The reason why this one is the most useful is because of the other two. Rock Head is a totally useless ability, mainly because Take Down is Aerodactyl’s only recoil move. Having an ability to prevent recoil from a move you cannot get STAB from, and only one at that, is a fairly huge waste of time. Unnerve is Aerodactyl’s Dreamworld ability, and has more playability than Rock Head and possibly even Pressure. The reason it appears to be less useful is because Unnerve makes it so opponents cannot use the berries on their Pokemon, which is kind of a situational advantage. Unless you have a Frisker on your team to check for berries, you cannot predict the berries or which Pokemon that might carry them, at least not in an accurate way. Where Unnerve shines, though, is in the Battle Subway. Using an Unnerve Aerodactyl armed with Sky Drop, you can exploit the game glitch involving the move Gravity to freeze up an NPC’s team and make earning points in the Double Battle Subway much easier.
While not king of the skies, Aerodactyl still shines in the UU tier, and makes itspresence known in the OU from time to time. It’s a pretty fast, decent powerhouse of a Pokemon, and while needing to be handled with care, it can definitely hold its own in combat. No matter what you do with it, you can be sure that this pterodon will be a loyal asset to your teammates.