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Hippowdon - Best Moveset & Build
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Hippowdon - Best Moveset & Build

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Find out how to breed Hippowdon in Pokemon Sword and Shield! Learn about Hippowdon's best competitive movesets, best builds, best nature, counters and the breeding process!

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Hippowdon Best Movesets & Builds

Hippowdon
Total Base Stats525
Type Ground Icon

Physical Tank Build

Best NatureBest Item
Impish (Def ↑ / Sp.Atk ↓)Leftovers
Best Ability
Sand Stream
Summons a Sandstorm upon entering the battle.
Best Moveset
Earthquake / Yawn / Stealth Rock / Slack Off
▼Check Move Info Here
Best EV Spread
Defense 252, HP 252, Sp. Def 4

Hippowdon Strengths

Hippowdon's excellent HP and Defense allow it to thrive as a tank in the current meta. Access to Yawn also makes it frustrating for sweepers (particularly Dynamaxed Pokemon) to play against, as you force them to swap out.

Sand Stream Summons a Sandstorm

Hippowdon, just like Tyranitar, can summon a Sandstorm when it enters the battle. This will wear down some enemy Pokemon & could be a strong buff to your team. Try it out with Pokemon like Excadrill!

Yawn and Stealth Rock Are A Must

Although the above mentioned two moves are a must, the remaining two can be chosen with relative flexibility. Fire or Ice Fang are also worth considering, while Slack Off can provide a lot of potential for recovery.

Watch Out For Sleep Prevention

Max Lightning and Max Starfall prevent status conditions, so they can stop your Yawn strategy in its tracks. If the opponent Dynamaxes, be ready to react with a Dynamax of your own.

Physical Attacker Build

Best NatureBest Item
Adamant (Atk ↑ / Sp.Atk ↓)Life Orb
Best Ability
Sand Stream
Summons a Sandstorm upon entering the battle.
Best Moveset
Earthquake / Stone Edge / Iron Head / Curse
▼Check Move Info Here
Best EV Spread
Attack 252, HP 252, Def 4

Surprise Your Opponents

Most Hippowdons in the current meta are Yawn variants which set up Stealth Rock, whereas this one focuses entirely on physical attacks. Physical attackers are generally reluctant to go up against a Hippowdon, so they're likely to switch out into a special user. At this point, you can use the element of surprise to overpower your opponent with raw damage.

Damage Boosting Items Are Recommended

Although Hippowdon's HP and Defense are his main draws, this build benefits most from a damage boosting item like a Life Orb. Assault Vest variants are also very possible.

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Hippowdon - Best Moves

Press the buttons below to toggle between different builds!

Build #1 - Physical Tank

Recommended Moves

Move/TypeReason
Earthquake
Ground Icon
Powerful STAB move for coverage.
Stealth Rock
status icon
Hurts opponents when they switch in.
Extremely powerful when paired with Roar.
Yawn
status icon
Makes the opponent fall asleep the next turn. Can stop sweeps, buy time during Dynamax, and force swaps. A must.
Slack Off
status icon
Restores 50% of the user's health. Incredible for staying alive.

Other Viable Moves

MoveTraits
Ice Fang
Ice Icon
Good type coverage vs Dragon and Flying types.
Fire Fang
fire Icon
Great coverage move for Steel and Grass types.
Rock Tomb
Rock Icon
Drops the opponents speed, can be useful vs. sweepers.
Roar
status icon
Forces another of the opponent's Pokemon onto the field.
This triggers Stealth Rock and can be frustrating for some teams to deal with.
Crunch
dark Icon
Good move for coverage on Ghost types.

Build #2 - Physical Attacker

Recommended Moves

Move/TypeReason
Earthquake
Ground Icon
Powerful STAB move, a must on physical attack builds.
Stone Edge
Rock Icon
Very high damage and high crit chance. Can catch many Pokemon off guard.
Iron Head
Steel Icon
Great coverage move vs. Fairy types. Not seen on most Hippowdon, can be unexpected.
Curse
status icon
Lowers speed, but raises Attack and Defense.
Extremely powerful buff, should be used whenever possible.

Other Viable Moves

MoveTraits
Ice Fang
Ice Icon
Good type coverage vs Dragon and Flying types.
Fire Fang
fire Icon
Great coverage move for Steel and Grass types.
Rock Tomb
Rock Icon
Drops the opponents speed, can be useful vs. sweepers.
Thunder Fang
electric Icon
Coverage move vs. Water types.
Superpower
Fighting Icon
Very powerful move, good coverage vs. Normal and Steel types.
Substitute
status icon
Sacrifices some health and creates a double which takes damage instead of Hippowdon.
Roar
status icon
Forces another of the opponent's Pokemon onto the field.
This triggers Stealth Rock and can be frustrating for some teams to deal with.
Stealth Rock
status icon
Hurts opponents when they switch in.
Extremely powerful when paired with Roar.
Crunch
dark Icon
Good move for coverage on some targets.

Hippowdon - Best Items to Hold

ItemTraits
LeftoversRestores health at the end of every turn.
Another great tool for staying alive while buffing up with Curse.
Rocky HelmetCauses Pokemon that hit the wearer with a contact move to take damage.
Useful to wear the opponent down, good addition to Sandstorm damage.
Life OrbGood for a physical build, catches opponents off guard.
Choice BandBoosts Attack by 150% but the user can only use one move.
Only recommended for Adamant Max Attack Hippowdon. Loses utility but can deal devastating damage.
Assault VestSacrifices the ability to use Curse, Stealth Rock, and Slack Off, but gains massive Sp. Def. Worth trying out to surprise opponents who think they can take you out with special moves.
Check Out Battle Item Locations Here!

Hippowdon - Best Nature And EVs

Hippowdon - Recommended Natures

NatureTraits
CarefulSpD↑ / Sp.Atk↓
Hippowdon's Special Defense is slightly lower, so it needs some boosting in certain situations.
AdamantAtk↑ / Sp.Atk↓
The extra damage on Earthquake is never a bad thing!
ImpishDef↑ / Sp.Atk↓
For a defensive build, Impish with Leftovers is a solid bet.

Which Nature Would You Recommend?

Recommended Base Point (EV) Allocation

Build #1 - Physical Tank

StatBase Point
HP252 points (max)
Defense252 points (max)
Sp. Defense4 points

HP is a must, but you can change the Defense EVs into Special Defense if you see fit.

Build #2 - Physical Attacker

StatBase Point
HP252 points (max)
Attack252 points (max)
Sp. Defense4 points

This build goes all in on Attack to overpower opponents. Consider a Life Orb or Choice Band here.

Check Out The EV (Base Point) Guide Here!

Hippowdon Counters

Recommended Pokemon To Counter Hippowdon

PokemonExplanation
Wash Rotom IconWash Rotom Pros
- Can one or two shot with Hydro Pump
- Immune to Earthquake
Cons
- Will take damage from Stealth Rock on entry
Inteleon IconInteleon Pros
- Can one shot with Hydro Pump
- Overwrites Sandstorm with Rain when using Max Geyser
Cons
- Will take damage from Stealth Rock on entry
Rillaboom IconRillaboom Pros
- Grass moves are Super Effective
- Knock Off can disable Leftovers
Cons
- Will take damage from Stealth Rock on entry
Milotic IconMilotic Pros
- Strong sustain with Recover
- STAB Scald is super effective + can burn
- Access to Toxic
Cons
- Will take damage from Stealth Rock on entry
Togekiss IconTogekiss Pros
- 1 Nasty Plot + Max Airstream will one shot
- Can cause flinching with Air Slash
- Lum Berry variants can avoid falling asleep
Cons
- Loses to Sp. Def builds
Cloyster IconCloyster Pros
- Can set up Shell Smash
- Access to Toxic
Cons
- Will take 25% from Stealth Rock

How To Play Against Hippowdon

Bring Water Types

Hippowdon can be a pain to play against if you let it Curse over and over. It's important to get a Pokemon that does super effective special damage to take it out. Choice Spec Wash Rotom will take it out in 1 shot (in most situations).

Use Special Moves

Hippowdon is not Rock type, which means it doesn't get the Sp. Def bonus that Rock types do during Sandstorm. As such, it's best to target it with special attacks.

Prepare For Sleep

It's almost inevitable that Hippowdon will put one of your Pokemon to sleep, so make sure to be ready for it when it comes. Either bring a Lum Berry to cure it, or choose a Pokemon that can live through the sleep.

Bring a Flying Type

Non-offensive variants will typically only run Earthquake. After the initial Stealth Rock damage, you won't be in much danger of taking damage from Hippowdon. Just be careful, as Hippowdon might put you to sleep and switch out to let another Pokemon set up.

Hippowdon - Competitive Breeding Process

Breeding Process Flow Chart

1Catch a Hippopotas on Route 6, or a Hippowdon on Route 8.
2Hatch Eggs until you get a High IV Hippopotas
3Breed that Hippopotas until you get one with an Impish Nature.
4Put 252 EVs in Defense and HP
5Max out its Dynamax Level
6Reach Lv. 34 to evolve to Hippopowdon
7Teach it Earthquake, Curse, Stealth Rock, and Slack Off
8Equip Leftovers
>> Check Out Our Breeding Guide For More Info!

How To Get Hippopotas

The first step to breeding Hippowdon will be to catch a wild one. Hippopotas can be found on Route 6, while Hippowdon can be found on Route 8 and at the Lake of Outrage (Wild Area) during Sandstorms.

Check Out Wild Area Guide Here!

Competitive Breeding Related Articles

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Anonymous 1

Hippowdown cannot learn the move curse, however swapping curse for amnesia works great for a support/stall build and it gives good special attack coverage

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