When I first saw Salandit, I was immediately drawn to it. In my opinion, it has everything that makes a good Pokémon a good Pokémon; it’s got an interesting design, its name is a pun, and most importantly, it has something that sets it apart from other Pokémon. Salandit wins big in that category, as it has the ability Corrosion. During your first play through, Corrosion might not mean much. But when Salandit enters the competitive scene come November? An ability like that could really shake things up!
For the uninformed, Salandit’s ability Corrosion allows it to poison Steel and Poison types, which normally cannot be affected by the poison status. On a competitive level, the potential this ability has with an imaginative mind is astounding. But before we get carried away, it makes sense that we start to wonder how viable Salandit will be outside of its ability.
I personally feel like base stats will be the main deciding factor in terms of how Salandit is used. I’ve heard many people tell me in detail how amazingly Corrosion would work on a stall team, or against opposing stall teams. But I can’t help but wonder if Salandit will even be built for stalling.
I mean, just look at the thing!
No seriously, look at its appearance. The slender, reptilian design is reminiscent of Heliolisk, Krookodile, Grovyle/Sceptile, Charmeleon, and Feraligatr. I personally feel like these are our closest design comparisons to Salandit. If you think about it, none of these Pokémon are exactly slow, bulky, stalling Pokémon, not even in the slightest. Based on this small sample size, they don’t even really have all that good of access to reliable recovery. (Charizard gets Roost, but Salandit will most likely not be sprouting wings.) So when we look at these Pokémon, we’re talking about speed and offense. It is my prediction then, that Salandit will be a fast special attacker. After all, the three known moves it can learn are Flame Burst, Sludge Bomb, and Toxic. Taking its type into consideration, Fire types have the third highest average special attack among Pokémon types. Meanwhile, Poison type’s best average stat in relation to other types is Speed. Besides, just think about it: Salandit is supposed to be a bandit, right? What good crook isn’t good at getting away?
That puts my approximate base stat prediction at:
- HP: 75
- Atk: 60
- Def: 60
- SpA: 95
- SpD: 70
- Spe: 115
- BST: 475
So no, Salandit isn’t going to be the stall-god people are purporting it to be, but that doesn’t mean Salandit won’t be able to support its team. Corrosion is still an excellent support ability, and played correctly, Toxic could quickly be spreading to all of your team. When it comes to Smogon tiers, I’m not exactly sure where it could end up, but if it has at least half-decent stats, I could definitely see it being a hassle somewhere.
In draft league format, I think Salandit could definitely have a big impact on the way people draft teams. If Salandit ends up with great stats and a nice movepool, I would expect all of the clerics to get picked incredibly fast. Heal Bell and Aromatherapy will be appreciated more than ever, because so few Pokémon would be safe. Heatran and Mega Aggron, who could normally take Salandit’s fire moves, will now be in fear of poisoning. Defensive Poison types like Crobat, Mega Venusaur, Amoonguss, and Nidoqueen will all need to think twice before entering the field.
There will be innovative answers to handle such a threat, I’m sure. Lum berries, Façade, or Guts could all help in the matchup against it. Magic Guard and Natural Cure can help, too. Let’s also not forget about how Salandit is 4x weak to Ground, making it an easy target for a random Earthquake or Hidden Power Ground. Gliscor is almost a perfect answer on paper with Poison Heal and a 4x super effective STAB Earthquake, but it could always be fearing a Hidden Power Ice. Breloom is there too, but he’s weak to both of Salandit’s STAB types. Chansey could deal with Toxic through Natural Cure or Heal Bell, and sponge up special hits, but then that creates opportunities for set-up sweepers to come in against Chansey.
So overall, I feel like Corrosion could have some interesting applications, especially in draft leagues, but if its stats are underwhelming or if its movepool isn’t brilliant, Toxic on everything won’t be able to get the job done alone. Clever coaches will always find a workaround. However, if Salandit gets some powerful STAB moves, some good stats, and a little diversity in its movepool, Salandit could really steal the show!
… No seriously, he could steal it. He’s a bandit, remember?