NFE Bulky Rocker + Rock Polish (Lairon) @ Eviolite
Ability: Heavy Metal
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Rock Polish
- Heavy Slam
- Stealth Rock / Magnet Rise / Stone Edge
NFE Choice Band (Lairon) @ Choice Band
Ability: Rock Head
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
- Head Smash
- Iron Head
- Hone Claws
- Custap Berry
- Steelium Z
- 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe (Jolly)
Overview: Lairon is a reasonably good Stealth Rock user which can also function as a cleaner against frailer, offensive teams. Its typing and fantastic physical defense lets it switch into Pokemon such as Clefairy, Alolan Grimer and Pawniard well. However, its poor special bulk, 4x weaknesses to common Fighting- and Ground-type attacks and 2x weakness to Water-type attacks leave a lot to be desired. However, it still has the good niche of being an offensive, hard-hitting Stealth Rock user and setup cleaner.
Bulky Rocker + Rock Polish: Rock Polish lets Lairon boost its Speed, outspeeding the entire unboosted metagame after one boost. Heavy Slam in conjunction with the Heavy Metal ability has 120 base damage against most Pokemon in the tier, giving Lairon a spammable STAB move which hits Fairy-types such as Clefairy and Togetic for super effective damage and hits most neutral targets hard. Earthquake provides a solid coverage move which hits Electric-, Fire-, Poison- and Steel-types such as Electabuzz, Mareanie, Metang, Pawniard and Magmar hard. Stealth Rock provides the team with hazards. However, if another Pokemon has Stealth Rock, Lairon can run Magnet Rise, which lets it set up on and wall Pokemon such as Metang, non-Choice Scarf Gabite, Vibrava and Fraxure at +2. It can also run Stone Edge, which gives it a Rock-type STAB attack to hit bulky Bird-types such as Staravia and bulky Water-types such as Prinplup and Wartortle harder.
Choice Band: The Choice Band Lairon set gives up most of its defensive utility in exchange for being a wallbreaker. Choice Band Head Smash hits any neutral or super effective target hard and Rock Head ensures no recoil damage is taken. Iron Head provides a useful secondary STAB attack to hit Clefairy and Togetic hard. Superpower is primarily to hit Ferroseed, a defensive wall which resists both of Lairon's STAB attacks.
Checks & Counters: Bulky Water-types such as Prinplup and Wartortle can usually tank a few hits from Rock Polish Lairon and threaten it with Scald. Monferno can usually revenge kill a slightly chipped Lairon with Mach Punch / Vacuum Wave. Faster Choice Scarf users like Electabuzz, Frogadier, Monferno and Krokorok can revenge kill Lairon at +2. Bulky physical walls such as Ferroseed, Quilladin and Tangela can shrug off non-banded hits from Lairon and wall it. Choice Band Lairon is harder to defensively check and switch into because it is very strong. However, it is easier to revenge kill due to its low speed and weakness to common offensive typings in the tier.