Featured Pokémon: Aerodactyl

By: FossilJockeyMG

Aerodactyl has always been a favorite of mine, it's actually kind of surprising we've never featured it. Aerodactyl is a fossil pokémon resembling prehistoric pterodactyls. The Pokédex describes it as a very vicious pokémon known for targeting an opponent's neck. This is shown by Aerodactyl learning a variety of biting moves.

To obtain an Aerodactyl in your own game is relatively simple in every generation. Aerodactyl has be to revived from the fossil item Old Amber in every game, however the method of getting the amber has changed. Speaking only of games which are compatible with the current generation, in FireRed and LeafGreen you are given an Old Amber to revived at the Pewter City Museum. In Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum you can occasionally dig up an Old Amber in the Underground or migrate your Aerodactyl from FireRed/Leafgreen. In Black and White, you can get Aerodactyl from the Pokémon Dream World Area, the Windswept Sky which is unlocked when you collect 2,500 points.

Aerodactyl's base stats are: HP 80, Attack 105, Def 65, Sp Attack 60, Sp Def  75, Speed 130. In some of the earlier games, Aerodactyl had the distinction of being one of the fastest pokémon in the game, and even now ranks very high alongside pokémon like Mewtwo and Jolteon. It's attack stat is also pretty high, so the most common plan is to max out Aerodactyl's Attack and Speed and either put up a quick offense or support. Aerodactyl does have a couple things to worry about, however, regardless of it's high speed. It's defenses suffer, so priority moves could potentially take it out... namely Ice Shard and Bullet Punch. Both are Super Effective against Aerodactyl. Luckily these moves aren't incredibly widespread and can usually be predicted. Sucker Punch is also a problem, and it's so easily predicted. A lot more pokémon can learn Sucker Punch through breeding, so it may take poor Aero by surprise from time to time.

As far as abilities go, Aerodactyl's versility depends on the game in which you receive it. Aerodactyl can potentially have Rock Head, Pressure, or Unnerve. Rock Head is a wonderful abilty on Aerodactyl, but ONLY if you raise it in FireRed or LeafGreen (or even Emerald). Rock Head prevents Aerodactyl from getting recoil from moves like Double-Edge. Unfortunately, Aerodactyl can only learn Double-Edge in FireRed/LeafGreen or Emerald from a Move Tutor. In any other game, the only move Aerodactyl can get that is a recoil move is Take Down, which isn't nearly that good. Pressure is potentially even less useful on Aerodactyl. Pressure increases the PP required for your opponent to attack Aerodactyl. Normally, attacks only need 1 PP, but with Pressure they will need 2. This ability is great on walling pokémon like Dusknoir, but on Aerodactyl it is pretty pointless. You can make a stalling Aerodactyl, however, it's not easy. Unnerve is by far the best ability in the current games in terms of usefulness and ease. To get an Unnerve Aerodactyl you simply have to befriend one in the Pokémon Dream World. Unnerve doesn't allow your opponent to eat berries, which can prove useful should they have a berry that would heal then, reduce damage from Aerodactyl's attack, etc. Below are some suggested movesets using various Aerodactyl strategies.

Old School Fossil
Ability: Rock Head
Item: Life Orb/Normal Gem/Choice Band/Choice Scarf
Preferred Nature: Jolly or Adamant
  • Double-Edge
  • Rock Slide
  • Earthquake
  • Aerial Ace
The Aerodactyl moveset commonly used in the 3rd gen games (Ruby, Sapphire, etc). The only exception is the addition of some more items to use rather than just the Choice Band (which was used a lot in Ru/Sa). This version can only be obtained by an Aerodactyl in either FireRed, LeafGreen, or Emerald and then migrating it with the Pal Park to Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heartgold, or Soulsilver and THEN Pokéshifter it to Black or White. It's a a lot of work... but you could end up surprising someone with a extremely powered up Double-Edge which will only get recoil from the Life Orb. If you don't want any recoil at all, dump the Life Orb for a Normal Gem. This will super charge Double-Edge once, and Aero will get NO recoil due to Rock Head. The item most commonly used for this set in the older games was Choice Band, and it still works, it just will lock you into one move. With Stealth Rock pretty common, use Chioce Band with caution. You may find yourself switching a lot and taking tons of Stealth Rock damage. For all of these strategies, Jolly is probably the way to go. However, if you want to be real tricky, try Adamant and give it a Choice Scarf. The Adamant/Choice Scarf is even faster and if you max out attack, has 30 more points in attack. It still won't hit quite as hard as the Life Orb/Choice Band ones, but it will outrun other scarfed pokémon which can be really nice.

Ability: Unnerve
Item: Focus Sash
Preferred Nature: Jolly
  • Stealth Rock
  • Taunt
  • Rock Slide
  • Earthquake
A basic single battle lead Aerodactyl modified from the Diamond and Pearl version. Basically, you Taunt to prevent any stat boosting or Stealth Rock (or Spikes, Toxic Spikes) from the opponents side. Next you set up your Stealth Rock. If not yet KO'd, attack with volleys of Rock Slide or Earthquake. The Sash should allow for Taunt and Stealth Rock to be used, unless the opponent attacks with a multi-hit move. Pretty straightforward. This set can even be used in 2 v 2, so long as you pair with a good partner. Someone with Lightiningrod or Water Absorb is nice as it will potentially keep Aero safe while it sets up Stealth Rock. If you need to use Earthquake, however, make sure to switch your partner for a Levitate pokémon, teach it Protect, or equip the partner with an Air Balloon.

Ability: Pressure
Item: Leftovers or King's Rock
Preferred Nature: Jolly
  • Roost
  • Iron Head
  • Earthquake
  • Substitute
The more difficult version of Aerodactyl to pull off is the stall version. Basically, you max out Aero's speed as much as possible and rely on Substitutes to take a brunt of the force. Hopefully, if you plan it right the opponent will use a move either not very effective or completely ineffective to keep the Subs going as long as possible. Roost will heal Aerodactyl so it can make more Subs, but be careful. The turn it uses Roost it can be hit with Earthquakes, which it will be weak to as Roost removes Aero's Flying type for one turn. Iron Head allows for attacking and potentially flinching the opponent. For extra healing, run Leftovers, for a better chance of flinching the opponent, run King's Rock. Also if you even want to attempt this set, it should be used on a Sandstorm team as Sandstorm will increase Aero's Sp Def. Unfortunately, both Sandstream pokémon (Tyranitar and Hippowdon) share weaknesses with Aerodactyl. It may be best to simply have a pokémon use the attack, Sandstorm. Steel types with Levitate or are half Flying make the best partners *cough* Skarmory *cough*.

Two for Flinching
Ability: Unnerve
Item: King's Rock
Preferred Nature: Jolly
  • Ice Fang
  • Fire Fang
  • Thunder Fang
  • Rock Slide
Aerodactyl's blistering speed is nice, and with flinching moves it could potentially keep an opponent from even attacking. The Fang moves give nice coverage and Rock Slide gets type bonus. Now, this moveset is a little risky as it relies on luck, but it is probably the easiest to get an Aerodactyl to know. Simply take 3 Heart Scales to the Move Relearner and an Aerodactyl of ANY LEVEL could run this set. It's fun, and can be very annoying to your opponent.

Riding Aero's Coattails
Ability: Unnerve or Pressure
Item: Focus Sash
Preferred Nature: Jolly
  • Sky Drop
  • Sandstorm
  • Smack Down
  • Pursuit
This moveset is complete support for 2 v 2, and as of yet is still in testing. Basically, you use Aerodactyl to set up Tailwind and/or Sandstorm. You can then either use Sky Drop to get one of the opponents out of play for a turn or Smack Down to bring them down for your partner to Earthquake. This moveset, in theory, should work relatively well with pokémon like Stoutland or Excadrill which speed up in Sandstorm.

If you have any Aerodactyl movesets you've come up with or if you have comments on the one's I've posted... feel free to reply. I will try later this week to post a couple Battle Videos showing some of these movesets in action.


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