Now that we all know pretty much about the new gym rework, we are discussing more and more what Pokemon should we use as gym defenders now.
And if you talking to anyone about that, you probably mentioned Steelix. So lets see what's all this fuss about?
There is already a great article on GOHUB page about Steelix. I agree with some of the stuff, but it's kinda outdated so let's freshen it up a bit and talk about real life performance. Also, here is a link to the database where you can find more info about Steelix.
We have to start by saying it has the best DEF stat in the game right now. (only Shuckle has better). It is almost 50% better than Blissey DEF stat. It's so much better than everything else we are used to seeing in gyms.
His stamina is not that great, it little bit worse than Golem's, but better than most attacker Pokemon like Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Gengar, etc. And his ATK stat is also not superb, but it is better than Blissey or Umbreon.
It probably won't waste your time like Blissey or Snorlax, it probably won't do much damage with every attack. But it will make you think about what you want to fight it with and it won't be easy due to it's awesome defense.
Steelix is Ground and Steel type Pokemon.
That makes him weak to Fire, Water, Fighting and Ground type Pokemon. It's not all that bad, it will resist a lot of certain type attacks, most noticeable has to be Dragon type attacks.
Right away we find out it's not all that good because it has a lot of counters that (pretty much) everybody have.
Vaporeon comes first to mind, there is also Flareon and Arcanine, Machamp and Heracross, and also Rhydon, Donphan and Golem.
Vaporeon has to be a number one counter. Not only it's so easy to get, almost everyone have one, it's strong, with good stats and with Water type attacks that will hurt Steelix. And not only, that, Vaporeon as Water type Pokemon resists Steel type attacks.
So what attacks would you want on your Steelix when you want to leave it at the gym.
He or she can have Dragon Tail or Iron Tail (it's all 'bout that tail, 'bout that tail, no treble) as it's Quick move. While both attack are pretty much the same, difference is Iron Tail benefits from STAB (not that is 1.2) and Dragon Tail gains more energy (has better EPS).
But there is really more, Iron Tail is a Steel type attack and it's not very effective againts Water, Fire, etc. So if people are countering your Steelix with Vaporeon or any other Water or Fire type Pokemon, you would want to have Steelix with Dragon Tail.
When we look at it's Charge moves, we can see Steelix can have Heavy Slam, Earthquake, Crunch. Here you can't really find a winner.
Heavy Slam would be the best if you look at sheer DPS. But it's not very effective againts Steelix's counters.
Earthquake is close in the DPS race and it's super effective againts Fire. But, good stuff stops here. Earthquake is so easy to dodge, I hate it. Just hate it. And it's 100 Energy Charge move, that means, it's not only too easy to dodge, you can predict when he will use it. Earthquake has to be a no go.
So we are left with Crunch. Which is in my opinion the best Charge move to use on your Steelix when putting him as a defender. It's a three bar charge move that will deal 100% damage to pretty much every counter.
So, how good is it really? Is it worth it just because of it's DEF stat? We have to test it to see really. But I don't think so. I will not put any of my stardust in Steelix. I think it's way to easy to counter it with Vaporeon, and everybody has one. But I didn't see 2300+ CP Steelix in the gym, so I don't know. But would I be scared of it? No, not really. Not a Tier II or a Top 6 defender imo.
Does that make Steelix useless? Nope, not really. As I said in my last post. Clefable is one of the Top 6 defenders now imo, and Steelix is one of it's few counters. Just make sure it has Steel type attacks this time. Also, for all that Raid where you will se Tyranitar or Rhydon, Golem or any other Rock type Pokemon.