Welcome to the sixteenth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week we'll be discussing a Pokemon that has possibly the dumbest name in all the series. This week we discuss Conkeldurr.
Timburr appear at building sites and help out with construction. The bigger they get, the bigger the logs are that they carry. They always carry squared logs. Upon evolution, Gurdurr skillfully carry steel beams with their muscular bodies. Even a group of professional wrestlers could not make Gurdurr move an inch. Conkeldurr master moves that utilize the centrifugal force of spinning concrete. It's thought that Conkeldurr taught humans how to make concrete over 2,000 years ago.
Base Stats: 105 HP / 140 Attack / 95 Defense / 55 Sp. Attack / 65 Sp. Defense / 45 Speed
Conkeldurr has seen a spike in use this generation. Everything seemed to come together for him. The buff to Knock Off as well as the B2/W2 tutor for Ice Punch has given him all the coverage and utility he needs to be a team player. The addition of Assault Vest has also given him enough of a boost to his Sp. Defense to take some hits from both sides. Mach Punch gives Conkeldurr a fantastic STAB priority move that allows it to pick off fast threats and/or weakend threats. Overall, I'd say Conkeldurr is a fantastic Pokemon in the current metagame, with very few safe switch-ins. On top of that, Conkeldurr has three great abilities, one of which will punish you hard for trying to cripple it with a Burn (Guts) by making it even stronger. Iron Fist will make 3/4 of his standard moves stronger. Sheer Force makes Ice Punch much stronger than Iron Fist would, but doesn't boost any of the other moves.
Not everything is peachy with Conkeldurr, however, as it has to deal with Talonflame, and possibly worse, Pinsir, who can switch in before becoming Mega Pinsir with little fear and immediately force Conkeldurr out with the threat of a STAB Aerialate Return / Frustration. Mega Venusaur has no problem in taking anything that Conkeldurr can do, courtesy of Thick Fat, and can heal it off with Giga Drain, Leech Seed, or Synthesis. Azumarill resists all 4 common moves and threatens with Play Rough. Even with these shortcomings, Conkeldurr provides a valuable niche to Bulky Offense teams as a powerful and bulky Fighting type, and with Wish support, Conkeldurr can stick around for quite a long time.
|Conkeldurr@ Assault Vest|
Guts / Iron Fist
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 4 Sp. Defense
Ice Punch / Thunderpunch / Poison Jab
Equipped with an Assault Vest, Conkeldurr is capable of tanking hits from both sides pretty well and recover the damage back with a powerful Drain Punch. This seemingly moderately powerful move with healing properties is what makes Conkeldurr most appealing. The inclusion of this move is what makes Conkeldurr viable in OU, providing a niche as a bulky Fighting type that is hard to take down. Knock Off is the best tool Conkeldurr has in his arsenal to make a lasting impact on the opposing team, while also providing coverage against Ghost or Psychic types that switch in to take an expected Fighting hit. Removing the foe's item can severely cripple them for the rest of the match, so this is becoming one of the most common moves on a wide variety of Pokemon. Ice Punch is necessary for warding off Gliscor and Landorus-Therian, who would otherwise infinitely wall you, but Thunderpunch is an option for ridding yourself of Azumarill and Tentacruel. Poison Jab is an option if you really hate Fairy types, but it doesn't really cover much in OU that ThunderPunch or Drain Punch doesn't hit harder (given that the only good Fairy types in OU are Azumarill, Togekiss and Mega Mawile). Finally, Mach Punch allows you to pick off weak threats as well as frail faster threats.
As mentioned before, Pinsir, Mega Venusaur, and Azumarill can give Conkeldurr trouble, but if paired with Pokemon that can handle these threats, this isn't too much of an issue. Talonflame can check the former two, and your own Mega Venusaur or Amoonguss can put a stop to Azumarill (Amoonguss has to watch out for Choice Band Ice Punch on the switch).
The EVs can be tweaked to 252 Attack, 252 Sp. Defense, 4 HP, and it allows you to take special hits much better than you would with the given spread, but 252 HP allows you to take hits from both sides, and you'll lose some physical bulk by choosing this. Finally, the choice between Guts and Iron Fist is hard to make, but Guts is almost always the superior choice in my opinion, since it allows you to switch into things like Scald and Lava Plume without much fear. I'd also like to say that this set gets the Richard seal of approval, since I use this on a lot of my OU teams and it rarely under performs, often being one of the most valuable Pokemon on the team.
|Conkeldurr@ Leftovers / Black Belt|
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 4 Defense
Ice Punch / Mach Punch
SubPunch Conkeldurr may seem like an odd gimmick... and it is! It is also a potent gimmick, one that can leave massive gaping holes in the opposing team if pulled off. Substitute provides a buffer, hopefully on an expected switch, at which point you're free to launch an incredibly powerful Focus Punch, boosted by Iron Fist and STAB. Knock Off hits Ghosts and Psychic types and removes the item from the opponent. Ice Punch allows you to punch through Gliscor and Landorus-Therian, which is very useful as they're often the main physical walls of many teams, which can then open the way for other physical sweepers to run through the opposing team. Mach Punch can be used instead if you'd like to finish off weakend threats that survive a Focus Punch.
This set fears status a lot more than other sets because a Burn will actually cripple it, and Toxic will put a timer on Conkeldurr's life, while Paralysis can ruin the whole SubPunch strategy and cost you 25% of your health for nothing. A cleric and/or Wish passer is helpful for keeping Conkeldurr healthy.
It goes without saying that this set is incredibly risky, since if you're unable to effectively get the Sub up, you're left without a good, reliable STAB attack, and once your set is revealed, the opponent is unlikely to stop attacking, so you have to be very strategic about how you use this, and even that doesn't ensure success.
Black Belt is an option that boosts Focus Punch's power even higher, which can allow it to reach some frightening KOs. Talonflame has a chance to be OHKO'd at full health by Focus Punch, which shows how frightening it is. Mega Venusaur takes 46.9 - 55.2% from it, which is a nice size hole to punch into it, but after that you're forced out since it can Giga Drain to stop you from Subbing and Focus Punching, and switching allows it to Synthesis the damage off.
|Conkeldurr@ Flame Orb|
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Attack / 6 Sp. Defense
This is basically the first set, but with Flame Orb in place of Assault Vest. The Guts boost from being Burnt allows Conkeldurr to be a more consistent offensive force for your team. With the added power, Conkeldurr has an easier time as a wall-breaker, but dies much, much faster than Assault Vest does if you're up against foes that resist Drain Punch, or if you get Intimidated (or both). Honestly not much to say about this set that isn't said in the first one.
Gurdurr can be found on Route 18 and in Victory Road, so they're pretty late in the game. Even so, they're strong Pokemon, though it requires a trade to evolve them. Here's what I'd recommend for an in-game Conkeldurr:
Conkeldurr is a simple Pokemon, but it's also a powerful one. Hammer Arm is a powerful STAB attack that lowers Speed. Conkeldurr is naturally slow, so this is of little consequence. Rock Slide hits Flying types, and Poison Jab hurts the slew of Fairy types in X/Y if necessary. Bulk Up is used in the last slot because... Conkeldurr's movepool is barren. You could use something like Low Sweep here to lower the opponent's Speed before finishing them off with Hammer Arm, or Earthquake for dealing with Aegislash, so pick your poison.
Conkeldurr is dumb and stupid and dumb. The name is horrible, and Conkeldurr's big clown nose and cartoonishly small torso and legs in comparison to his arms just makes him look silly. The ball on top of his head also contributes to his ridiculous look, but when it all comes together... somehow it works. Don't get me wrong, Conkeldurr is far from one of my favorite designs, but he does somehow pull off a "badass" look, even though he looks like a freak in a side-show. He may be a pirate clown with slabs of concrete that serve no purpose in actual battling, but you know... he's kind of grown on me. You're free to hate him, and I wouldn't blame you, but being a fan of Fighting types and of bulky offense, I've got a soft spot for this big lug.
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