don’t eat the acid
Cryogonal holds an important status as one of the few forms of hazard removal available. Access to reliable recovery in tandem with an amazing Special Defense stat allows Cryogonal to consistently keep hazards off the field throughout the entirety of a match, an incredibly valuable trait in a meta considerably lacking in hazard removal. Its Speed tier further enhances this ability to keep hazards off, being the fastest Rapid Spin user in the tier. Cryogonal has a great ability in Levitate, which makes it immune to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes. This lets it perform as one of the best bulky Rapid Spin users in the tier. It is also considerably strong with a solid Special Attack and a STAB typing that lets it threaten the likes of Sigilyph, Druddigon, and Golurk, allowing it to alleviate pressure from Rapid Spin blockers for an easier time removing one's hazards.
However, Cryogonal has an absolutely pitiful Defense and mediocre defensive typing, granting no resistances outside of Ice, as well as a weakness to Fighting- and Fire-type attacks. It also has a weakness to Stealth Rock, which makes it not as consistent when compared to other Rapid Spin users. This makes it highly vulnerable to Pursuit trapping. It also faces competition with Kabutops as a Rapid Spin user due to its generally better defensive typing and higher offensive presence allowing it to more easily pressure Rapid Spin blockers.
name: Offensive Rapid Spin
move 1: Ice Beam
move 2: Rapid Spin
move 3: Recover
move 4: Hidden Power Ground / Hidden Power Fire
item: Icicle Plate / Lum Berry
EVs: 64 HP / 252 SpA / 192 Spe
Rapid Spin is non-negotiable, as it is the calling card to Cryogonal's success. It allows Cryogonal to support its teammates by maintaining offensive pressure by either pivoting or striking foes with a STAB Ice Beam. With Icicle Plate, Ice Beam becomes a hard-hitting move, landing a 2HKO on spin blockers such as Golurk, Rotom, and, most importantly, Spiritomb. Recover is a mandatory move on any Cryogonal, as it provides Cryogonal the longevity it needs to consistently provide Rapid Spin support throughout a match. The last slot generally should go to a coverage option to cover Ice-type resistant Pokemon. Hidden Power Ground is a generally superior option, as it allows it to hit Steel-types as well as Fire-, Electric-, Rock-, and Poison-types such as Emboar, Kabutops, Lanturn, and Qwilfish. However, Hidden Power Fire is another viable option, as it allows Cryogonal to hit Steel-types such as Escavalier and Durant harder.
64 HP EVs allow Cryogonal to minimize Stealth Rock damage. 192 Speed with Timid allows Cryogonal to outspeed key Pokemon such as Sigilyph, Moltres, and Drapion. A Modest nature is usable, but it is generally unfavorable since, without Timid, Cryogonal will be outsped by the aforementioned Pokemon. Icicle Plate gives Cryogonal a stronger Ice Beam to 2HKO spin blockers. However, Lum Berry can be used to thwart the status that can severely cripple Cryogonal.
Cryogonal’s main purpose is to operate as a Rapid Spin user, threatening hazard setters such as Qwilfish, and finding hazard removal opportunities throughout a match due to this offensive pressure. Be wary of Ghost-types and letting them in for free with Rapid Spin, especially Spiritomb, as they can all either trap Cryogonal with Pursuit or overwhelm it with physical attacks. This means that Cryogonal should often double switch on these threats. Cryogonal should generally avoid all physical attackers if possible due to its low physical bulk and susceptible typing.
Cryogonal’s ability to efficiently remove hazards from the field makes it a great pivot on offensive teams, where it can maintain offensive pressure to a reasonable extent. Due to this set's little investment in bulk, Pokemon that can set up on offensive switch-ins to Cryogonal make good teammates. Klinklang, Absol, and Sceptile make for good teammates, as they can set up on Spiritomb, a spin blocker that can threaten Cryogonal, reliably. Cryogonal can also benefit strong Pokemon that are dangerously weak to hazards, such as Entei and Moltres.
name: Defensive Rapid Spin
move 1: Rapid Spin
move 2: Ice Beam
move 3: Recover
move 4: Haze / Toxic
EVs: 248 HP / 168 Def / 92 SpD
Rapid Spin is the main thing that makes this set stand out among other defensive Pokemon. This lets it act as a Rapid Spin user that can wear down opposing Ghost-types such as Spiritomb with Ice Beam while having the bulk to take on more offensive Ghost-types such as Rotom. Recover gives Cryogonal longevity so it is able to use Rapid Spin multiple times throughout a game. The last slot is more or less up to preference. Haze can shut down set up sweepers such as Sigilyph or force Pokemon such as Swords Dance Kabutops to waste a turn KO-ing Cryogonal instead of getting a boost, which makes it easier to switch into for teammates. Moreover, Toxic allows Cryogonal to cripple Pokemon that may fend Cryogonal off, such as Uxie and Slowking.
248 HP minimizes Stealth Rock damage while also maxing out bulk as much as possible. 168 Defense EVs let Cryogonal live Choice Band Spiritomb’s Sucker Punch and not be 2HKO’d by its Shadow Sneak. The rest is put into Special Defense to better take hits from special attackers such as Rotom. Leftovers grant Cryogonal passive recovery to assist with taking hits and Stealth Rock damage.
Cryogonal appreciates Pokemon that can support it versus the plethora of Fire- and Fighting-type Pokemon of the tier. Slowking is a natural fit choice, resisting both Fire- and Fighting-type attacks and forming a solid defensive core with Cryogonal. Poliwrath can also work in this role, acting as a more physically defensive partner that resists nearly all of Cryogonal's weaknesses. Pursuit trappers such as Spiritomb and Escavalier are also solid partners, as they can trap and take out hazard setters, mainly Uxie and Roselia. Cryogonal's Rapid Spin support clearing Stealth Rock means that naturally, more offensively-minded Pokemon that are horrendously weak to Stealth Rock make good partners. Moltres especially appreciates this support, as Cryogonal can switch into the Electric-types that commonly attempt to revenge kill Moltres.
Knock Off can annoy switch-ins such as Slowking and Alomomola at the cost of becoming walled by Steel-types. Protect allows Cryogonal to scout Pursuit trappers and Choice-locked Pokemon such as Entei and Braviary. However, Cryogonal generally struggles to fit them over either crucial coverage for Steel- and Fire-types that otherwise wall it, or useful utility options such as Haze and Toxic. Cryogonal has access to both Reflect and Light Screen, making for a potentially solid screen setter. However, Uxie is generally better at setting screens due to having access to U-Turn and Stealth Rock.
Checks and Counters
**Physical attackers**: Due to Cryogonal’s awful Defense stat, powerful physical attackers are extremely threatening towards Cryogonal. Durant, Aggron, and Escavalier do not fear much from Cryogonal outside of Hidden Power, with the former outspeeding and easily taking out Cryogonal. However, Durant and Escavalier must be cautious when switching in due to Hidden Power Fire. Kabutops is able to switch in and put Cryogonal out of commission with Stone Edge or Aqua Jet.
**Fire-types**: Entei and Emboar resist Ice Beam and in return, can completely obliterate Cryogonal. Although it has to exercise greater caution while switching in, Moltres can easily OHKO Cryogonal with Fire Blast. However, Entei has to exercise caution switching into Hidden Power Ground, and Moltres dislikes taking an Ice Beam.
**Water-types**: Qwilfish and Kabutops can make for effective checks towards Cryogonal. The former in particular can force it out with STAB Waterfall and can set up Spikes, and the latter’s sheer physical strength means that it can outright KO Cryogonal. However, all three of these Pokemon dislike taking a Hidden Power Ground due to their weakness to Ground. Seismitoad is more prone to Cryogonal's STAB than the aforementioned Pokemon, but can either use Toxic and ruin Cryogonal's longevity or overwhelm it with STAB Hydro Pump under rain. Crawdaunt and Feraligatr are other strong Pokémon that resist Ice Beam and can KO back, while also taking little from Hidden Power Ground. Alomomola, Poliwrath, and Slowking are also able to switch into anything Cryogonal can throw out and 2HKO it with Waterfall, Circle Throw, and Psyshock respectively.
**Fighting-types**: Gallade boasts good bulk and the ability to OHKO Cryogonal with Close Combat. Hitmonlee and Medicham, although not as bulky as Gallade, are still feasibly able to threaten it out with their respective STABs.
**Pursuit-trappers**: Cryogonal's pitiful Defense stat leaves it highly vulnerable to Pursuit trappers. Spiritomb stands out as a check due to its ability to reliably block Rapid Spin. Spiritomb can easily withstand Cryogonal’s hits if it lacks an Icicle Plate. In return, Spiritomb can Trick a Choice Band onto Cryogonal or overwhelm Cryogonal with Black Glasses-boosted Pursuit. Other Pursuit trappers such as Drapion and Skuntank can withstand an Ice Beam, and in return, threaten to OHKO it on the switch with Pursuit or punish Ice Beam with Sucker Punch.
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