How to Battle with Bronzong
Some Pokémon just don’t get enough attention. Find out why the Bell Pokémon is a lot more useful than you might think.
This article will introduce you to a Pokémon that is often overlooked, often forgotten and rarely used in the OverUsed (OU) tier (yes that’s an RU pun). Despite its unpopularity though, this Pokémon is actually pretty cool and if you use it well, it can be highly effective. As the title suggests, this wonderful Pokémon is Bronzong, the Psychic/Steel type introduced to us in the depths of Mt. Coronet.
We’re going to look at what makes Bronzong great and we’ll also examine its weaknesses. We’ll be focusing primarily on the OU tier, however in the case of Bronzong much of what is true of it in OU is more or less the same in its home tier of RU, UU and even Ubers. Few Pokémon can boast of being usable in four tiers, just one of the many things I like about it.
Isn’t it beautiful? (Image Source)
Classification: The Bronze Bell Pokémon
Type: Psychic, Steel
Abilities: Levitate, Heat Proof, Heavy Metal
Weaknesses: Fire, Ghost, Dark and Ground (if not Levitate)
Resistances: Normal, Grass, Ice, Flying, Psychic, Rock, Dragon, Steel, Fairy
Immunity: Poison, Ground (If Levitate)
Evolves From: Bronzor at Lv. 33
January OU Usage: 0.49783% (164th)
Base Stats (Range at Lv 100)
HP: 67 (244-338)
Attack: 89 (201-304)
Defence: 116 (260-364)
Special Attack: 79 (179-282)
Special Defence: 116 (260-364)
Speed: 33 (78-181)
Base Stat Total: 500
With mediocre Speed and offensive stats that aren’t much better, it is obvious that Bronzong is no sweeper. However, Bronzong has a lot to boast about defensively. It possesses a grand total of nine resistances, including some of the most common offensive types, and with the Levitate ability (which should always be the ability you choose) two immunities on top of that.
With its great defensive stats and its plethora of resistances Bronzong checks a lot of dangerous threats present in the OU metagame. Thanks to Levitate, this includes many Pokémon that other Steel types have to fear since Ground pretty much owns the meta and Earthquake is very widely spread. In fact, out of the top ten most-used Pokémon in the OU tier, several struggle with Bronzong (depending on the sets used).
Another bonus to Bronzong, is that it takes no damage at all from Spikes and resists the omnipresent threat of Stealth Rock. Furthermore, Bronzong has access to Stealth Rock, Trick Room and Toxic so it is also a useful utility Pokémon in many respects instead of being a passive wall.
Unfortunately, Bronzong does have a number of flaws. With the Steel type’s nerf in Generation Six, Bronzong now has to fear common Dark-typed sweepers as well as some other Psychic types since most have access to Shadow Ball. It iss also weak to Fire attacks which are very widespread. It doesn’t end there either, with no means of recovery outside of the Leftovers item, Bronzong is going to rack up the hits quickly. This problem could also be exacerbated by a Scald burn from Keldeo or Slowbro since, despite being based on a bell, Bronzong cannot learn Heal Bell. This means that you can’t rely on Bronzong to be a consistent wall. It should instead be used as a defensive pivot to slow down your opponent’s momentum whilst setting up things that will benefit your team such as Trick Room or Stealth Rock.
Essentially, Bronzong has a lot of pros, but its cons leave it very situational. It shouldn’t be discounted, but if you’re going to use Bronzong you will need to be careful and not rely too heavily on it.
“What do you mean no Heal Bell?!” (Image Source)
Special Tank/Defensive Pivot
EVs: 252HP / 4 Atk / 252 SDef
Nature: Sassy (+SDef -Speed)
-Hidden Power (Ice)/Protect/Toxic
This is the set I prefer to use on Bronzong and one that is more or less the same no matter the tier you plan to use it in, although I use it in OU. Gyro Ball is Bronzong’s primary method of dealing damage. A Sassy nature and no Speed IVs make Bronzong as slow as possible, raising its base power to the highest it can be. This move can hit a lot of the fast sweepers that Bronzong checks surprisingly hard.
Bronzong’s Attack is pretty average, so Earthquake is not going to straight up murder things like you’re used to seeing. What it does though, is allow you to take a sizeable chunk out of threats that are likely to switch into Bronzong such as Bisharp or Manectric.
Stealth Rock is one of Bronzong’s biggest assets to a team and the earlier you get it up the better. Switch Bronzong in against a Pokémon that can’t touch it like non-Knock Off Landorus sets, Fairies or Celebi and use the forced switch to set up Stealth Rock. Fast Defoggers fear Gyro Ball, so that’s a bonus here.
The last move slot here comes with a few viable options. If you want an extra deterrent to Ground Pokémon that are likely to switch in, Hidden Power (Ice) hits them super-effectively. If you’re worried about taking dangerous hits from unexpected moves, Protect is a good way to scout things out and might make your loveable Bronzong last a bit longer. The truth of the matter though, is that with no EVs invested in your Special Attack, Hidden Power isn’t going to do very much damage (you’re probably better off just using Gyro Ball in many cases) and Protect is just delaying the inevitable when Leftovers are the only recovery you have available. That’s where Toxic comes in. Toxic is a nasty move that will poison the inevitable Fire, Water or Ground switch-in, gradually whittling the health of the Pokémon down and helping your team in the long term. This is especially helpful if your opponent runs a Life Orb.
Trick Room Lead
Bronzong @Mental Herb/Focus Sash/Normal Gem
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 SDef
Nature: Sassy (+SDef, -Speed)
This is the other kind of set you can use with Bronzong. It’s much more gimmicky than the set I mentioned above, but it also has a lot of potential to be quite potent. The first thing you’ll notice is that this Pokémon has a lot of potential items and longevity isn’t really the goal. The Mental Herb, for one turn, prevents Lead Bronzong from being rendered totally useless by Taunt. The Focus Sash prevents a Fire or Dark Pokemon from knocking you out in one turn, leaving Bronzong just enough HP left to set up Trick Room or Stealth Rock (depending on which is more important to you) before it gets wiped out during the next turn. The Normal Gem is basically just to allow Bronzong to make the biggest boom possible if it explodes.
Trick Room is the ultimate support for a team full of normally slow Pokemon (like Bronzong) and turns the tables on fast offensive teams forcing the faster Pokemon to move after the slower. It turns slow, bulky attackers into dangerous and potent sweepers. The trouble here is that when you run into defensive or stall teams, you’re sometimes more likely to be doing them a favour than hurt them by using Trick Room.
Explosion turns Bronzong into a suicide bomber. Once it has set up Stealth Rock and/or Trick Room and doesn’t really provide any more benefit to your team, use Explosion to rip a hole into your opposition and give you a safe switch into your next Pokémon.
Gyro Ball and Stealth Rock work the same as with the other set, the only difference here is that as a Trick Room setter, Bronzong is basically a suicide lead. It exists to set up your team and then explode rather than to repeatedly wall and irritate dangerous threats. Personally, I feel like the former set makes better use of Bronzong’s strengths, but you can definitely make this one work.
To Use or Not to Use…
- Great defensive stats with 116 for both Defence and Special Defence.
- Nine resistances including those to common offensive types.
- Two immunities.
- Immune to Spikes and Toxic Spike, resists Stealth Rock.
- Effective user of Stealth Rock, Toxic and Trick Room.
- Checks common threats in four tiers.
- Weak to common Dark, Ghost and Fire attacks. In particular Pursuit and Knock Off are dangerous.
- Vulnerable to burns.
- No recovery outside Leftovers.
- For some reason can’t learn Heal Bell.
- Extremely slow.
- Poor offensive stats can leave it as setup fodder or Taunt bait.
- Either situational or gimmicky.
Use me. Use me. Use me. (Image Source)
Points of Comparison
Jirachi: Jirachi can check a lot of the same Pokémon that Bronzong can. However, it is also a lot more versatile having a decent Speed tier, a very nasty flinching set when combined with a Choice Scarf and a huge movepool. Its defences are a bit weaker than Bronzong’s though and it lacks its key immunity to Ground-types which hit it very hard – especially if you chose to use it offensively. Jirachi also suffers more from paralysis or burn (although Wish sets worry far less about burns).
Metagross: Like Jirachi, Metagross checks many of the same things as Bronzong but also has a lot more offensive power. On top of that, it has access to a dangerous Mega Evolution with an ability that makes its already powerful contact moves 33% stronger. Furthermore, Metagross actually has a higher Defence stat than Bronzong, especially when Mega-Evolved, although its Special Defence is lower. Like Jirachi though, Metagross is extremely vulnerable to Paralysis and Burn and doesn’t have Bronzong’s immunity to Ground attacks and Spikes.
Azelf: Azelf is good competition for Bronzong as a suicide lead. It might not have all of Bronzong’s resistances and defensive abilities but those aren’t really requirements for a suicide lead. Azelf is capable of setting up Trick Room and Stealth Rock just as efficiently but will also do a lot more damage with Explosion. It is worth noting though, that because of its excellent Speed, Trick Room will work against it.
Smeargle: Smeargle is the ultimate suicide lead in many ways. It has access to almost every move in the game and doesn’t fear Shadow Sneak or Sucker Punch since it rarely uses offensive moves and is immune to the former. It has access to literally every kind of entry hazard, lots of nasty status moves – including the particularly unpleasant Spore and Dark Void – and can also be a viable setter of Trick Room. Where it has problems however are its terrible stats. It can’t run a Mental Herb to ward of Taunt users like Bronzong because it absolutely needs a Focus Sash to keep it alive long enough to do anything. Furthermore, once its Focus Sash is used up it is extremely vulnerable to priority attacks. Suicide leads tend to be like this, which is why Bronzong’s great defensive abilities set it apart from even the great Azelf and Smeargle.
Steelix: Whilst it lacks Bronzong’s ability to function in tiers above RU, within its tier Mega-Steelix is a formidable tank and one of the best in the tier. With access to Stealth Rock, great Attack and a positively enormous Defence it gives Bronzong a lot of competition in the tier. It also doesn’t take massive hits from Pursuit or Knock Off. Unfortunately for Steelix though, the same lack of a Psychic typing that gives it this protection removes Bronzong’s Fighting neutrality. It is also vulnerable to Earthquake which is very widespread in every tier, takes up a Mega slot and has no recovery at all, not even from Leftovers since it needs its Mega Stone.
Registeel: Like Steelix, Registeel can’t function in higher tiers but gives Bronzong a run for its money in RU. Registeel has a brilliant 150 for both its Defence and Special Defence and a fantastic ability in Clear Body which prevents those stats from being lowered. It also boasts a pure Steel typing, freeing it from Bronzong’s deadly weakness to Pursuit and Knock Off. Even better, it has access to Seismic Toss allowing it to do consistent damage, Curse to boost its mediocre Attack and huge Defence at only the expense of its already useless Speed stat and more importantly Stealth Rock, Thunder Wave and Toxic which can cripple many teams. Unfortunately, it has no recovery outside of the risky Rest, is just as vulnerable to Burns and takes hard hits from common Fighting and Ground attacks.
Ferrothorn: One of the biggest competitors for Bronzong’s spot in OU and Ubers teams is Ferrothorn. Like Bronzong, it boasts an incredible nine resistances. It also has great defensive stats with a Special Defense equal to that of Bronzong and superior Defence. What’s more is its access to a plethora of great support moves including Stealth Rock, Spikes, Thunder Wave and Leech Seed. Its typing frees it from most Steel-typed Pokemon’s fear of Ground moves and its ability punishes anything that dares attack it with moves that make contact. Leech Seed also gives it slightly more reliable recovery than Bronzong. Unfortunately the typing that protects it from the deadly Earthquake also leaves it wide open to a 4x weakness to Fire attacks as well as a weakness to common Fighting attacks. A point worth noting here is that Fire and Fighting moves are common amongst Pokémon Ferrothorn is meant to check.
Skarmory: Skarmory is the last contender for Bronzong’s slot and also functions in both OU and the Ubers tier. Boasting eight resistances, a whopping 140 Defence and the same two immunities, Skarmory has a lot going for it. Skarmory also has a key advantage over Bronzong thanks to its access to Roost, allowing it reliable recovery. It also can lay Spikes as well as Stealth Rock and has Whirlwind allowing it to phase out threats. On top of that it can also use Defog, removing hazards that are bothering your team (although also removing your own). Access to Taunt can also cause problems for your opponent. Unfortunately for Skarmory, it has distinct disadvantages also. Whilst it has a beastly Defence, its Special Defence is shocking and its typing leaves it weak to common Fire and Electric attacks. This combination of weaknesses and its low Special Defence leave it very vulnerable to notable Special Attackers although its ability does prevent it from being taken out in one shot.
Aromatisse: In RU, Aromatisse makes for a great teammate for Bronzong. Aromatisse is a bulky Pokémon that can easily take a Dark attack whilst Bronzong covers its weaknesses to Poison and Steel. Additionally Aromatisse can provide Wish support to make up for Bronzong’s lack of recovery.
Exploud: Another great choice for an RU teammate, Exploud is generally too slow to function as a sweeper. However, with Trick Room support from Bronzong can turn into a beast. With an absurdly strong Boomburst as well as a wide range of coverage moves, Exploud can rip through Pokémon that could cause problems for Bronzong. One particularly notable element here is its ability to get a free switch into a Ghost attack and then likely take out the offending Ghost with a Scrappy Boomburst.
Tentacruel: A good option for a partner in UU or OU is Tentacruel. The two have great type synergy, resisting most of each others weaknesses. In addition Tentacruel has access to Rapid Spin allowing it to remove Stealth Rock which would otherwise gradually take a toll on Bronzong. It also adds to the utility of a team with potential to burn or poison the opponent’s Pokémon.
Chesnaught: Also a great teammate for Bronzong in UU or OU is Chesnaught. Chesnaught resists Dark moves like the omnipresent Knock Off, which cripples Bronzong and is immune to Shadow Ball, a move that is quite widely spread and hits Bronzong hard. In addition, it also adds further utility to the team by having access to Leech Seed and Spikes. Due to its low Speed (but great Attack), it benefits hugely from Bronzong’s Trick Room.
Keldeo: Keldeo is one of the best special sweepers in the OU tier and also works fantastically with Bronzong. It resists most of Bronzong’s most common checks and can answer back hard with extremely powerful STAB moves with a chance of inflicting a Scald burn whilst it’s at it. Meanwhile, Bronzong checks a lot of the Pokémon that threaten Keldeo such as the majority of Flying Pokémon and, in particular, the very common Latios and Latias.
Slowbro: Slowbro makes for a great partner to Trick Lead Bronzong, in particular in OU. Able to switch into notable Fire-typed threats, such as Talonflame and Charizard X, Slowbro not only covers a key weakness of Bronzong’s, but also benefits greatly from Trick Room support due to its decent Special Attack and horrible Speed tier. It must be said though, that Slowbro shares two of Bronzong’s weaknesses.
Heracross: Another good OU partner for Bronzong is Mega Heracross. Bisharp and Weavile are common in the OU tier and through their potent STAB-boosted Knock Off pose an enormous threat to the Dark weak Bronzong. Mega-Heracross can switch into a Dark move with ease and then punish the opponents with its enormously powerful multi-hit moves. In addition to this, Mega-Heracross appreciates Trick Room support due to its low Speed.
Arceus (Water): Bronzong’s great defensive typing, stats and access to Toxic, Trick Room and Stealth Rock make for a niche as a surprisingly effective support Pokémon in the Ubers tier. In particular, it has the ability to set up Stealth Rock against a large number of Pokémon that check or threaten other Stealth Rock setters. Unfortunately though, Ho-Oh and Primal Groudon exist. Water Arceus however completely walls Ho-Oh and in a pinch can at least hurt Groudon making it a great teammate for Bronzong.
Latios and Latias: Latios and Latias are also a good partners for Bronzong, particularly in Ubers where they can function as a check for the common Ho-Oh and Primal Groudon due to their Fire resistance and immunity to Earthquake/Precipice Blades. In addition to this, access to the Soul Dew item in Ubers allows them to answer back with attacks even more powerful than those of their Mega Evolution whilst Defog can remove Stealth Rock that might be troubling your Bronzong over a longer period of time, although it unfortunately removes your own also. It is worth noting here that Latios is generally preferred due to its offensive presence and that both share Bronzong’s weaknesses to Ghost and Dark.
Bronzong is very underrated and an extremely useful utility or lead Pokémon with great defences, typing and ability as well as access to fantastic support moves in the form of Stealth Rock, Toxic and Trick Room. Boasting nine resistances and two immunities, Bronzong has the ability to check or counter a good number of very common threats. Due to these factors, it can function well across four tiers, a trait rare amongst Pokémon. Despite these positives though, Bronzong faces problems due to a lack of reliable recovery, weak offence and weaknesses to common Dark and Fire sweepers/attacks.
Before you decide if these, admittedly notable, flaws make Bronzong unworthy of your time though, remember that it will not be the only Pokémon on your team. With the right companions, such as slow Fighting types, bulky Water types and/or Wish support, Bronzong can become a force to be reckoned with. It’s definitely not going to fit on every team, but under the right conditions Bronzong is extremely effective and I think that its many positives should earn it some consideration.
Make a Bronzong happy. (Image Source)
Edited by Astinus, Archy, Aurora, bobandbill, Hiroshi Sotumora and wolf.
Featured image created by Pebbles.