#369 – Relicanth
Japanese Name: ジーランス (Jiransu)
Classification: Longevity Pokémon
Weight: 51.6 lbs
Gender Ratios: Male 87.5% – Female 12.5%
Base Stats: HP 100 / Atk 90 / Def 130 / SpAtk 45 / SpDef 65 / Spd 55
Relicanth is an often overlooked Pokemon. It has weak Special Defense and is weak to several types of attacks, making it unattractive to a lot of trainers. But I stand as a testament to how unbelievably amazing Relicanth can be when placed on the proper team and given just a little support. Despite his bland appearance, Relicanth is far from a bland Pokemon!
Let’s take a look at Relicanth. Smogon sees him as being weak to common attacks from Grass, Electric, and Fighting. What they fail to note is that Relicanth is resistant to Normal, Fire, Ice, Poison, and Flying. It takes neutral damage from everything else. And with a base Defense of 130, Relicanth can pop out against a physical sweeper (save for a Fighting type sweeper) and soak up more damage than your opponent can possibly throw at it.
Relicanth has access to three abilities. Swift Swim, Rock Head, and via the Dream World, Sturdy. Relicanth is one of the few Pokemon who does not truly benefit from his Sturdy ability. His Dream World ability is rather inferior to his other abilities. Sure, Sturdy acts as a free Focus Sash and you can use him to set up Stealth Rocks, but there are honestly scores of Pokemon who set up entry hazards much better than him. Swift Swim makes this living fossil Pokemon an absolute terror in the Rain, though does leave him very vulnerable to the 100% accurate Thunder. Rock Head stops Relicanth from taking recoil damage from moves that result in recoil damage – Head Smash, for instance.
Relicanth has a lot of moves available to him, and it really depends on what you would like to do with this surprisingly versatile Pokemon. Let’s start off with those Defensive options. Relicanth makes a great tank, and he can become an even more potent damage-soaking force with a few moveslots. Yawn can force out a Pokemon who might pose a threat to Relicanth or put to sleep a foe who isn’t smart enough to switch out. Harden can increase his already impressive Defense, and if that slightly lacking Special Defense makes you nervous, Relicanth has access to Calm Mind! (Not to mention in a Sandstorm, Relicanth gets a Special Defense boost from being a Rock type anyway!) Not interested in the increase in Special Attack? Breed in Amnesia – a sharp increase in Special Defense for Relicanth for the mere price of an egg move! Give your Relicanth a Chesto Berry, and you can Rest/Chesto to great effect. Relicanth’s Defenses are high enough that you can predict accurately when you’ll need that Rest, and your opponents will likely throw in the towel rather than trying to whittle down your rocky fish again! Safeguard can also be a nice boon to him and to your team overall. Safeguard prevents Relicanth from getting burned, poisoned, paralyzed, or put to sleep!
Offensively, Relicanth has a lot going for him. With Rock Head, Take Down and Head Smash are open to him free of the penalties usually associated with it. That horrendous recoil damage is completely negated. Rock Polish can make Relicanth fast enough to make even some of his speedier threats. Relicanth has some other good physical attacking options available to him. Waterfall, Aqua Tail, Zen Headbutt, Rock Slide, Bulldoze, Stone Edge, and Earthquake give him very strong physical attacks to utilize that base 90 physical attack. If you go the Calm Mind route, he’s also got some interesting Special Attack options. Ancient Power, Hydro Pump, Hidden Power, Ice Beam, Blizzard, Scald, Surf, Muddy Water, Brine, and Earth Power give him some great ways to utilize that Special Attack boost.
And of course if you’re looking to spread around some status infliction, there’s always Toxic.
Held Items for Relicanth can vary greatly depending on your set or role. Leftovers are always great for HP recovery, and the Chesto Berry is vital if you plan to utilize Rest. The Choice Band can make Relicanth even more potent, as can the Life Orb. Any of these would make wonderful choices for Relicanth!
Wanna make your Relicanth more ridiculously terrifying? Throw him on a Baton Pass team. I’ve had unbelievably success with a Swords Dance / Speed Boost Ninjask baton passing to Relicanth. You can Baton Pass boosts for just about any stat to Relicanth and he can roll with them.
That being said, Relicanth is an amazing Pokemon who deserves your attention. So breed one up and prepare to watch your opponents shake in their boots after a single encounter with your craggy fish!