My Pokemon Gym: Steel

Welcome to the fifteenth iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, Bug, Fire, Flying, Normal, Ghost, Dark, and Rock type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Magnezone

For as much as I like the Magnemite line, I genuinely never know how to use it properly in competitive play. It’s a bulky special attacker in my mind, even though everyone plays it as an anti-Steel Pokemon. As much as I know what the right way to play Magnezone should be thanks to the existence of the internet, I just roll with it the same way I have for generations now — Tri Attack, otherwise Rain Dance then spam Thunder.

Ability: Magnet Pull
Item: Shuca Berry
Moves: Rain Dance, Thunder, Tri Attack, Flash Cannon

Skarmory

The Skarmory/Blissey defensive core was downright terrifying in earlier generations if you didn’t know how to handle for it. And while Blissey is one of my least favorite Pokemon ever, I have a soft spot in my heart for Skarmory. So much so that I’m still just a little annoyed that instead of getting an evolution for Skarmory in Sword/Shield, we got Corviknight. Which, yeah, good Pokemon. But Skarmory deserved better.

Skarmory is on this team to be bulky and to try to flinch opponents. That means Roost, Rock Slide, and Iron Head were guaranteed spots in the build. The last spot came down to Aerial Ace or Toxic. I decided on the former just in case there were ever a situation where I needed a guaranteed hit.

Ability: Sturdy
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Roost, Rock Slide, Aerial Ace, Iron Head

Scizor

One of the unfortunate things about the Steel typing is that it has two Pokemon that I love using Mega Evolutions for1The more I play Shield, the less I like the Dynamax concept. — Scizor and Metagross. In deciding which of the two to have as a mega on this team, I thought about my history with using each of them. And while I’ve used both in their mega forms on my teams before, only Scizor managed to stay useful to me in its base form. This is thanks in large part to its Technician ability, as well as an array of moves that get a boost from it, such as Bullet Punch, Vacuum Wave, Aerial Ace, Thief, and Bug Bite. This set lacks recovery, but that could easily be fixed by dropping Aerial Ace for Roost.

Ability: Technician
Item: Metronome
Moves: Swords Dance, Bullet Punch, Bug Bite, Aerial Ace

Mega Metagross

On the list of non-legendary Pokemon abilities, Tough Claws has to be near the top of the list in terms of most overpowered, right? It powers up ANY move that makes contact. That includes things like Grass Knot. Yes, Grass Knot is powered up by Tough Claws, despite being a special move. Anyway, Mega Metagross is OP, please nerf.

Ability: Tough Claws (Light Metal before Mega Evolution)
Item: Metagrossite
Moves: Meteor Mash, Zen Headbutt, Ice Punch, Grass Knot

Alolan Sandslash

As much as I love the concept of the Ice/Steel typing, even I’m willing to admit it’s not a particularly practical nor useful type. When you have a 4x weakness to both Fire and Fighting — two of the best offensive typings in the game — you’re gonna have a bad time. That said, I just really like Alolan Sandslash. It’s not going to live long. I know that. But if it’s able to switch in on something it can set up on with Curse, it becomes hilariously hard to stop thanks to Gyro Ball.

Ability: Snow Cloak
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Curse, Flail, Poison Jab, Gyro Ball

Empoleon

Can we take a moment to talk about how so many of the starter Pokemon have terrible hidden abilities for what they’re used for? Empoleon is an example of this. Instead of getting an ability that benfits its excellent defensive typing, its bulk, or its special attack, it gets…Defiant? Defiant works well on a Pokemon with good attack. But unless you’re dead set on making your Emploeon a mixed attacker, there’s not much point. I decided to use it because why not. But what the hell?

Ability: Defiant
Item: Petaya Berry
Moves: Surf, Power Trip, Steel Wing, Double Team

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