VGC 2018 Pokemon Spotlight #4 – Aegislash

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Continuing with the series with the goal to look at Pokemon who have received a large amount of success and take a closer look at them. Today, we'll be taking a look at Aegislash, a Pokemon that has seen success at multiple World Championships and will surely see more success this year as well. Hope you enjoy and let's begin!

If you want to learn some of the technical aspects of Aegislash that won't be covered in this guide, check out this video from Leonard Craft III (@DaWoblefet) linked here as he covers some very important things about Aegislash that are very important and useful to understand. The video mainly covers how Aegislash and other Pokemon interact with both King Shield and its Stance Change ability.


Base Stats and Typing




The first thing to talk about is the reason Aegislash has 2 different base stats which is due to its ability: Stance Change. What this ability does is every time Aegislash attempts to use a damaging move while in shield form, it switches to blade form and its stats changes according to its form. Aegislash can change into shield form if it uses King's Shield.

Looking into its stats while in shield form, Aegislash has some strong defensive stats which can allow it to allow it to survive some big hits, including some Z-moves. While in shield form, Aegislash's offensive pressure isn't anything notable, but since Aegislash can't lose its ability through common methods, this isn't anything to worry about. When Aegislash attacks, it changes into Blade form, it gains amazing offensive stats but very weak defenses at the same times. With its offensive stats being the same number, it gives Aegislash the option to either be a physical attacker, special attacker, or a mixed attacker taking advantage of both stats. Its speed stat makes Aegislash pretty slow, but its not the worst as it allows Aegislash to play a very interesting tricks as a fast Aegislash will surprise its opponents when it picks up KOs they weren't expecting.

The Ghost and Steel typing only gives Aegislash 4 weaknesses in Ghost, Fire, Dark, and Ground type moves but thanks to Aegislash's steel typing, it resistances to 9 typing including the very common Fairy and Psychic type moves that Aegislash does well against. This allows Aegislash to switch into a lot of very common Pokemon and Z-Moves which can greatly help it out. Having an immunity to Normal, Fighting and Dark type moves allows Aegislash to not be affected by Fake Out and essentially walling Mega Kangaskhan which can be helpful, which means Aegislash can deal with a majority of the metagame.

Notable Moves



Shadow Sneak
Toxic
Shadow Ball
Flash Cannon
King’s Shield
Hidden Power [Ice]
Substitute
Wide Guard


Aegislash is a very simple Pokemon in that it's moves reflect how it plays. Despite having a high attack stat, its commonly played as a special attacker due to the popularity of the Intimidate ability so if it chooses to use a physical attack, its usually only one attack for coverage. Shadow Sneak is a good priority move to pick up a KO on a Pokemon at low health which can be very helpful. King's Shield is vital on Aegislash due to it being its signature version of Protect and the only move that makes its Stance Change ability useful. Toxic is a niche option that can be useful to wear down Pokemon like bulky Pokemon that are generally hard to KO like Cresselia and Porygon2. 

Hidden Power [Ice] is for Pokemon like Landorus-Therian and Salamence, which can be nice for a surprising KO. Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon are Aegislash's main options for damage as they can do consistent damage to a lot of Pokemon, especially when used in combination with Z Crystals. Because of Aegislash's amazing defensive typing, Substitute only makes sense because it can increase Aegislash's longevity. The final option in Wide Guard is very helpful to block spread moves like Heat Wave and the very popular Wide Guard.


Notable Items




Ghostium Z
Leftovers
Life Orb
Weakness Policy



Aegislash is a very simple Pokemon in that it's moves reflect how it plays. Ghostium Z has become its most popular item due to how it has the ability to KO Pokemon that very much cannot be trained to survive these hits. Leftovers is great for the end-of-turn residual health recovery which works well with Substitute. Due to Aegislash being able to survive certain super-effective hits, Weakness Policy allows it to survive these hits and boost its offensive stats to allow it to become an even bigger threat. The final item in Life Orb can be helpful to improve Aegislash's general offensive power that to the levels a Ghostium Z and Leftovers set can strive to do.

Now, let's look at some sample sets for Aegislash that I recommend.

Sample Set #1: Z-Move Offensive

Shield Aegislash
Aegislash @ Ghostium Z  
Ability: Stance Change  
EVs: 188 HP / 252 SpA / 68 Spe  
Modest Nature  
IVs: 0 Atk  
- Shadow Ball  
- Flash Cannon  
- Wide Guard  
- King's Shield

The first set was used by Aaron Zheng (@CybertronVGC) on his YouTube Road to Ranked series. The reason I chose to include this set is that it accomplishes what a Ghostium Z Aegislash should be able to do. The moveset is very standard for Aegislash in VGC. Having both Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon on Aegislash allows it to hit a large majority of Pokemon for at least neutral damage can be very valuable and effective. In the video, Aaron noted that with these Speed EVs, it allows Aegislash to out-speed Kartana under Tailwind, which also means this Aegislash can also out-speed both Kangaskhan and Charizard which can be very effective. Due to this popularity of spread moves like Heat Wave, Earthquake, and Rock Slide, Wide Guard is essential to deal with these moves. The final option is King's Shield which is vital because without it, Aegislash has to switch out change back into Shield Form.

Sample Set #2: Leftovers with "BillaSlash" Option

Shield Aegislash
Aegislash @ Leftovers
Ability: Stance Change
EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
Quiet Nature
IVs: 0 Spe
- Shadow Ball
- Flash Cannon / Wide Guard
- Substitute
- King's Shield

The idea of this Aegislash is to use its amazing bulk and defensive typing while in shield form to allow it to set-up a Substitute to stay on the field longer, which the Leftovers item will help aid in accomplishing this goal. Shadow Ball is your main STAB option for dealing damage and King's Shield is as said before, the most important move to teach Aegislash. Now I wanna talk about what BillaSlash means. In 2015, the term BillaSlash emerged when Baris Akcos (@BillaVGC) used a very interesting Aegislash, which was essentially this set but had both Substitute and Wide Guard, that he used at multiple European Nationals. The hidden strength of this Aegislash is in the surprise of having both Substitute and Wide Guard which allows this Aegislash to play a very strong support role. The EV Spread is very simplistic, focusing on maxing out Aegislash's HP and Sp. Attack stat to survive multiple hits and hit as hard as possible.

Possible Partners for Aegislash

Defensive Synergy

salamence-mega.png terrakion.png tapu-fini.png tapu-lele.png tapu-koko.png tapu-bulu.png
Since Salamence and Terrakion are both weak to Fairy types, Aegislash can help with this as it's steel type moves can take care of the main Fairy types like the Tapus and Gardevoir. Terrakion in particular can also help Aegislash deal with the Fire and Dark type Pokemon that Aegislash are weak to thanks to its Rock and Fighting type moves respectively. The Tapus can use there Fairy type moves to threaten the Dark types that give Aegislash trouble. Although Tapu Bulu doesn't learn.

Rain Setters

politoed.pngpelipper.png
Since Aegislash doesn't enjoy facing fire types, Politoed and Pelipper can set the Rain to allow Aegislash to survive these attacks better while the team's rain setter can use there water type moves to better deal with them.

How to Beat Aegislash

Fire Types

heatran.png volcarona.png charizard-mega-y.png
Due to Aegislash's weakness to fire type moves, these 3 are the most common fire types that will give Aegislash trouble. Since there's most common fire type move is Heat Wave, if Aegislash uses Wide Guard, then it can delay the attack.

Dark Types

hydreigon.png scrafty.png incineroar.png muk-alola.png tyranitar.png
Since Aegislash is also weak to dark type moves, these 5 can hit it for super-effective damage. Hydriegon can attack on the special side while the other 4 hit on the physical side. Because of this, Aegislash only really could damage them for super-effective damage and Muk for neutral if it has Sacred Sword, but since it isn't common on Aegislash, it will surely lose the 1v1.

Ground Types

landorus-therian.png swampert-mega.png excadrill.png
These 3 Ground types can hit Aegislash for super-effective damage. Landorus and Excadrill can use Groundium Z to hit Aegislash for big damage, even through King Shield while also having strong Ground type moves. Swampert also learns Earthquake to hit it for super-effective damage.

Alternative Options for Aegislash

Steel Types

excadrill.png heatran.png celesteela.png
Aegislash isn't a Pokemon that can be easily replaced, but steel types are something you can do. Excadrill, Heatran, and Celesteela all have very strong steel type moves to threaten fairy types while all having decent defensive typings as well.

Thanks to its great defensive typing, simple sets to understand, and a lot going for it that it was able to prove in the past, Aegislash has proven to be a main stay as VGC 2018 progresses. I hope you enjoyed this. Check back to the Nimbasa City Post for more VGC content in the future. Bye!

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