PKMN of the Week: Garchomp

When I go out on the town, which I tend to do on Friday nights, I like to check in to places on Foursquare.  Most of the places I frequent don't have bonuses for the mayor but I like being able to see who else has checked in at the same location and where my friends around the country are at the same time.

Unfortunately, downtown DC has terrible cellular coverage and it can be difficult to get a data connection when you are trying to check in.  This past Friday I was having just that problem, fiddling with my phone trying to check in, when a hand started waving over the screen.

I looked around to see what was up.  There was this guy standing next to me.

"Are you ready to type in my phone number yet?" he said.

Now, I had never met this guy before, not even spoken one word to him.  What was he thinking?  How could I reply and set him off his guard?

"Not yet." I said.

This pretty much shocked him enough to give me a chance to tell him that I had to meet up with my friends.  I went upstairs to a different section of the bar.

As I was talking to one of my friends five minutes later, the guy came up again.

"I really like your shirt, where is it from?" he said.

"It's an album cover." I replied.

"Oh . . . Billy Joel?" he guessed.

Well, honestly, if you ever want to invoke Outrage from me, accuse me of liking Billy Joel ever, ever, ever in my life.

"You're on probation," I told him, "you're not allowed to talk to me for a half hour.  Go somewhere else."  I was being more kind than you would believe.

Five minutes later he came back.  My friends took pity on him.  They said if he bought me a beer he didn't have to wait any longer.  I told him he could talk to me for five minutes.  I timed it.

When the five minutes were up, I gave him my number (I mean, he was kind of cute).  I told him that I really had to go and hang out with my friends.  I started looking for them.

I couldn't find them anywhere, I looked and looked.  Five minutes later I got a text message:

"Hey handsome your friend is downstairs! :-)"

Well, at least he had proven somewhat useful.  This whole experience reminded me of the last episode of the Diamond and Pearl anime I saw - Gotta Get a Gible!  That cute little Gible kept following Ash around, trying to chomp on his hat. Every time the group managed to shake him off, a few minutes would pass and he would pop back up looking to get a bite on that hat.  Gibles are pretty sweet.

What do Gibles eventually evolve into?  Garchomps!

Now, let's be honest.  Garchomps are primary Dragon types.  That makes them boring by default but have patience.

Gible is known as the Land Shark Pokémon and Garchomp is the Mach Pokémon but let's be honest.  Garchomp looks like something straight out of the famous Saturday Night Live sketch:


So I've decided, after hating so much on Salamence last week, I'd promote a more chill vibe here at PKMN of the Week and actually be kind to Garchomp.  Dude may actually bring some useful flavor.  For the purposes of this article, all Garchomps are dudes.  Let's have a look.

According to my base stats tables, Garchomp's strengths are Attack, Speed, and HP so you are going to want to work towards building him up as a quick physical attacker who can take a punch or two.  Note that even though Garchomp is advertised for speed (Mach is a measurement of an object's speed against the speed of sound) his highest base stat is Attack.  Also note that even though he has wings and is described as flying, Garchomp cannot learn Fly.  I would recommend a nature that builds up either Attack or Speed and sacrifices Special Attack, such as Adamant or Jolly.  You can EV train against Ducklett for HP, Lillipup for Attack, and Tympole for Speed.

There are two options for abilities for Garchomp, Sand Veil which increases evasion during a sand storm (good for your weather team) and Rough Skin.  I'm a fan of Rough Skin because it can deal damage (1/8 max HP) if Garchomp is hit with a physical attack.  Mix Rough Skin and a Rocky Helmet and Garchomp is passively dealing almost 1/3 max HP damage every time it is hit with a physical attack.

You'll want to focus on the physical moves when outfitting you Garchomp.  Dragon Rush is powerful but lacks accuracy, Dragon Claw appears to hit the sweet spot in the middle.  Of course, I have a special fondness for Dragon Tail.  Probably best to have Earthquake as your ground type move.  With STAB it is probably the highest powered attack Garchomp han have.  Stone Edge or Rock Slide will round out your move pool while Swords Dance will help boost your Attack stat (up two stages) if you can get it in.

As I said before, I think the Rough Skin/Rocky Helmet combo is probably the best when considering held items - if you can get your hands on a Dream World based Garchomp.  If your Garchomp is saddled with Sand Veil, you may want to look for a speed enhancing item like a Quick Claw or a Choice Scarf if you are feeling confident.

Of course, if you have to battle a Garchomp, use a Cloyster.

This past Thursday I spent my battle time trying to breed a female Combee, so didn't have any actual battles.  While setting up in the Day care center I noticed that I somehow managed to lose my original Ditto.  How is that even possible!?  Either way, I caught another Ditto and got to work!  We'll see if anyone is brave enough to battle me this Thursday coming up.