At first glance, Mega Magcargo has all the makings of a great mixed wall. Access to reliable recovery, stellar 175/110 defenses, and a fantastic ability in Castle Moat all make for an interesting case. Castle Moat is its best feature, allowing it to turn one of its biggest weaknesses into an asset and walling off many of the Water-types in its tier. This works well in tandem with its typing, sporting it numerous resistances to several Pokemon in NU. A good support movepool allow it to function well as a wall and stall out the enemy, and reasonable offensive options means it isn’t completely passive as a Pokemon
On closer inspection, however, Mega Magcargo suffers from several flaws. Though it no longer has a Water weakness, it still possesses weaknesses to Fighting, Rock and Ground, the last of which is a 4x weakness. A horrendous base 10 (yes, you read that correctly) Speed stat means that it is practically guaranteed to take a hit before it can dish out anything, leaving it prone to being revenge killed. It’s bulk is also undermined by a poor base 50 HP, meaning it isn’t nearly as bulky as it seems. Finally, it faces stiff competition from other Fire-types such as Magmortar and Pyroar, and as a bulky Stealth Rock setter from Pokemon such as Regirock and Steelix. However, Castle Moat does mean it lacks the Water weaknesses most of these Pokemon possess, and it does possess a larger movepool compared to Pyroar.
Overall, M-Magcargo is a bulky wall that possesses some positives, especially a water immunity, over other similar walls, but its weaknesses have to be considered when building it into your team.
Final Verdict: NU, maybe RU if feedback says so.
Set 1: Mixed Wall
Nature: Calm EV: 252 HP/8 Def/248 SpD Item: Magcargonite
- Stealth Rock/Earth Power
- Lava Plume
- Ancient Power/Toxic
Stealth Rock allows it to wear down several Pokemon for both Magcargo and its team, giving it valuable chances at softening up the enemy team. Alternatively, Earth Power can be used if Stealth Rock support is already available, allowing Magcargo to hit certain switch ins such as Magmortar and Rhydon more effectively. Lava Plume is the move of choice in the 2nd slot, hitting for respectable damage and spreading burns on the opposition. Toxic is the preferred move in the 3rd slot, crippling many of Magcargo’s main switch ins where they would wall its other ones otherwise. Alternatively, Ancient Power can be used to hit Pokemon such as Charizard and Swellow harder, often netting OHKOs against these particular mons. Recover is the final move, allowing Magcargo to heal off much of the damage it will inevitably take against the opposition, and is best used against Pokemon it walls, such as Samurott, Pyroar, and Scyther.
An attacking set utilizing Shell Smash, Earth Power, Fire Blast, and Ancient Power can be considered, but M-Magcargo’s atrocious speed and compromise of defensive stats means it’s generally outclassed by Carracosta and Barbacle as setup sweepers. A physically defensive spread of 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD with a Bold nature can be used to check physical attackers better, but it leaves it even more vulnerable to special attackers such as Gastrodon and Poliwrath. Will-o-Wisp is an option, but Lava Plume’s high burn chance means it isn’t generally needed, and Toxic is often better anyway.
Checks and Counters:
Ground Types: Almost all relevant Ground types in NU can switch in with little trouble and OHKO with their Ground type STABs. About the only thing they fear is the possibility of being statused with either Lava Plume burns or Toxic. Steelix and Torterra, however, have to be wary of being 2HKO’d by Lava Plume, and the rare offensive variant can cause trouble for them. Worse yet, Ground-type coverage in Pokemon such as Aurorus, Kangaskhan and Tauros mean that Magcargo faces an uphill task in walling them. It speaks volumes when even defensive Pokemon such as Gastrodon and Quagsire can OHKO Magcargo with their Ground type STAB.
Revenge Killers: As Magcargo possesses a horrible speed stat, it is very prone to being revenge killed by just about every other Pokemon in the tier. The aforementioned Ground-types are the most obvious, but other Pokemon such as Zangoose and Mespirit can also give Magcargo a headache.
Fighting Types: Pokemon such as Hariyama, Hitmonchan and Poliwrath can prove to be a severe headache for Magcargo, as they can switch in on any of their attacks, and can 2HKO or even OHKO Magcargo with their STAB moves. Hariyama in particular can safely switch in on Lava Plume, as Guts variants get an attack boost, and Thick Fat variants take little damage from it. Poliwrath also resists both STAB moves, but it should be mindful of the rare Earth Power. With the exception of Guts Gurdurr and Hariyama, however, none of them like being statused.
Residual Damage: Toxic and Stealth Rock are the two biggest sources of grief for it, as they force Magcargo to be on the defensive and spam Recover to stay healthy. Toxic in particular is bad, as it only worsens over time, making Magcargo’s job even more difficult.
Rock-types: Pokemon such as Aurorus, Barbacle, and Rhydon can cause severe problems for Magcargo, as they can mostly switch in without too much trouble and 2HKO with their Rock STAB. Rhydon even has access to STAB Earthquake, making it a particularly dangerous threat. Aurorus, however, has to be careful of Lava Plume, and the others don’t particularly like being statused.
Let me know what you guys think. Suggestions, deletions, additions, all welcome.