What Have Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet Done For Rock Types?

With the dust all but settled on Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet (just SV from here on) now that the second part of the DLC has come out and been thoroughly explored we'd thought we'd take the time before the epilogue drops to see how rock types were served in the latest mainline Pokémon video games. We've already reviewed how rock types, the greatest pokémon typing, were added to in Pokémon Legends: Arceus and Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield so let's see what's new and what's returning for rock types in the newest pair of games and the DLC. 

SPOILER WARNING: If, unlike us, you're not several hundred hours into these relatively new games and their expanded content then there may be a few spoilers within.

Rock-Based Pun Sub-headline

Pokémon SV adds just a measly eight new rock type pokémon to the pokédex in generation nine and one new floozy 'rock type' form a la Arceus (best form) and Silvally to the mix. Across the main game and two expansions there are 28 official in 'dex returning rock types and a further six secret transferrables including one which is catchable in game and two which are gifted to you during the story. Honestly, it's getting extremely confusing these days as to what it meant by 'available' in these games and younger or newer players to the series get our sympathies in trying to understand it all. Let's take a look at the newbies first. 

Nacli, Naclstack and Garganacl 

AKA that minecraft one. Following in the footsteps of the Geodude, Roggenrola and Rolycoly lines, Pokémon SV brings us yet another three stage, early game rock type that gets bigger and more rocker as it evolves and yes, I'm glad you asked, this line has good physical stats and utterly meh special and speed stats. All three are monotype rock. I think despite early reactions to these three, they are actually quite coolly designed based on the idea what if salt licks were sentient? The salty inspiration runs deeper than just the stacked block design however, this line's unique ability Purifying Salt protects them from all status effects and reduces the damage from ghostly attacks because you know, ghosts hate salt rings etc. That's not all though, Naclstack learns the signature move Salt Cure at level 24 which does damage every turn after it is used and wonderfully, does more damage to steel and water type pokémon. I mean, hats off to the folks at Game Freak for such a flavoursome design, ability and move inspired by humble rock salt. The English names for this line are especially ingenious and inspired. 


This monotype crab-inspired pokémon was one of the ones which was teased a fair bit before the games were released and in the story of the main game you have to beat a titan Klawf. It also has a very cool shiny form. But erm aside from that it doesn't really have that much going for it. I went through the main game's story with one but it quickly became a party filler thanks to middling physical leaning stats and abyssmal special stats. Its unique ability Anger Shell is an automatically triggering shell smash when it gets below half HP which is too awkward to contrive to trigger without putting Klawf at serious risk of just getting straight up KO'd. Fun and goofy design to come across early in the story but ultimately forgettable. 

Glimmet and Glimmora  

Okay, okay, listen biblical angel toxic space bloom crystal flower wasn't top of my list for new rock type designs but I absolutely love that it's here. Glimmet are firmly weird little guys and Glimmora is so fantastically alien that I imagine otherwise pleasant picnics are totally put on edge by the floating alien cone face thing just chilling out in creepy silence. Both of these are rock and poison types, the only other rock and poison type being the fellow weirdo, body-possessing Ultra Beast jellyfish thing, Nihilego. We rock type aficionados are truly well-treated this generation with yet another unique ability, both have the ability Toxic Debris which is a free toxic spikes upon being hit by a physical attack. I bet there wasn't a dry seat over at entry-hazard-worshipping Smogon when they first learned about this new ability. To please them even further, upon evolving from Glimmet, Glimmora learns the cool-sounding signature move Mortal Spin which does chip damage, guarantees poisoning the target and removes entry hazards, trapping and binding move effects. Glimmet are rare but not impossible to find in Paldea outside of Area Zero where they are essentially mascots of the area found in abundance. The regional champion, Geeta is closely affiliated with this pokémon line, she has a Glimmora ace (which hilariously, given how it is so lead-pokémon designed she doesn't lead with when you first challenge her but does in League Club rematches), will trade you a Glimmet at the League Club and has hair strikingly similiar to the petals of Glimmora. League Club dialogue with another certain character reveals that she frequently gets Glimmet caught in her hair. Why do I mention all this? Well when was the last time a rock type pokémon was associated with a regional champion? Let alone such a weird one. I look forward to seeing a plethora of Glimmora merch and nostalgia in the future (lols).

Iron Thorns

So, if you've read this far, I take it you know about paradox pokémon hey? What a cool idea! Depending on the version of your game at a certain point in the story you encounter time shifted pokémon either with bad designs and cool names from the past in Pokémon Scarlet or good designs and awful names from the future in Pokémon Violet. In the grim-dark future of these games' universes it seems that pokémon have been engineered or replaced with robotic versions, firmly described as 'objects' is the Violet expedition journal. Thankfully for us, it seems that at some point in the future the Tyrannitar line end up as the objects described as Iron Thorns, the Mechagodzilla to Tyrannitar's Godzilla. Iron Thorns is rock and electric type and has identical HP, attack and defense stats as T'tar but loses some special attack and bulk for a tiny speed advancement over the progenitor line. There's no real need to compare these two loosely associated lines but I feel compelled to. Iron Thorns loses a lot of Tyrannitar's 2 x weaknesses picking up a 4 x weakness to ground in exchange but having spent some time with Iron Thorns it doesn't feel quite as stompy as Tyrannitar still does despite readily picking up the attack boost from the future paradox pokémon ability Quark Drive. Shame but it looks like we'll be sticking with the OG over the new model for the time being. 

Ogerpon (Cornerstone Mask)

Not only did we get a champion with a rock type mascot, a paradox rock type pokémon, or two, but also a (sorta) rock type legendary pokémon this generation. We are truly blessed. The 'face' pokémon  of the first DLC: The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero Part 1 The Teal Mask, is Ogerpon a cutecore, shy grass type pokémon that gains extra types and abilities and changes the type of their signature move when equipped with different masks. Giving Ogerpon the cornerstone mask (which looks like a very happy Bastiodon) makes Ogerpon grass and rock type, changes Ivy Cudgel's type to rock and Ogerpon's tera type to rock also. The mask also changes Ogerpon's ability and terastallised ability into Sturdy and providing a defense boost respectively. Now listen I'm not the world's biggest fan of floozy type changing pokémon, no disrepect to Arceus n'all, but I'm grateful we got this mask at all given the other three masks are the primary elemental types (fire, water and grass), they could have just left it at that and I don't think anyone would have complained at all. Plus, I was a big Aku aku fan back in the day. 

Iron Boulder

Yes, these games gifted us not one but two rock type paradox pokémon! Iron Boulder joins its mecha swords of justice brethren and is the robot version of, chubby Absol lookalike, Terrakion. Sadly we get tantalisingly little lore when it comes to the paradox Pokémon and their pokédex entries are particularly detail-free. Interestingly, considering it isn't native to the game, the Scarlet pokédex entry gives more detail than the Violet one does, recording that a dubious magazine mentions an evil organisation that modified a Terrakion which this resembles. Like the other paradox swords Terrakion's fighting type has been replaced with psychic type in Iron Boulder. What's more is we get our third and final new signature rock type move in Mighty Cleave a 95 base power, 100% accurate move that hits even through protect. Nice work if you can get it. 

Returning Rock Types

As I hinted at above, post the 'National Dex' drama, that is the decision since 2019 to not have every existing pokémon available in every game going forward, it's been increasingly complex to track which pokémon is available where and there are varying levels of availabilities. Some pokémon are mysteriously transferrable in but do not appear in a pokédex (relying on an external guide or sheer luck to notice that you can). Others you can transfer in forms but cannot obtain those forms within the game itself. This also affects how much mileage you can get from hunting or breeding particularly rare marks, sizes or shiny forms. You can't find a better example in the Nintendo Switch games of how inconsistent the approach is than with  the Geodude line. 

Kantonian Geodude and Graveller can be found in the wild in Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! and Pokémon Let's Go Eevee! but can only be evolved into Golem by trading with another player with ones of those games. You can get Alolan form Geodudes in those games by either performing a repeatable trade with an NPC in game and the rest of the line by evolving, trade evolving for the A-Golem or by bringing them in from Pokémon GO using the GO Park feature. You can't for example shiny hunt or size hunt for them in this game or bring in your A-Geodude from previous generations. In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield and respective DLCs this line is just straight up not available in game or via transfer. In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Pokémon Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus the Kantonian Geodude line is back in the wild, arguably too much. However, A-Geodude cannot be brought into these games at all. Furthermore, in BDSP K-Golem can only be evolved through trading, however in PLA K-Golem can be found in the wild and additionally evolved without trading using the handy item the Linking Cord (resembling the old GameBoy link cables). Then, both Kantonian and Alolan geodude are back in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet meaning they can be shiny, mark and size hunted to your heart's content provided you have the DLC of course. I'm sure there's a way to breed the Alolan forms using items but I'd have to look it up online honestly. Spare a thought for other pokémon lines too*. If you have an Alolan Raichu or Alolan Exeggutor, they can be transferred into some of the Switch games but if you have a Pikachu or Exeggutor you're especially fond of, there's currently no way to evolve it into these forms in modern games (spoken as someone who's got a shiny Exeggcute from Pokémon GO awaiting the day...).  Now, I for one am in the enviable position of owning every game in the series and enough consoles and connector cables to currently transfer through from older games but I do feel bad for new players who just by sheer chance of when they came to the series are 'locked out' of being able to, ahem, catch them all. It also doesn't sit right with me that navigating all of this requires finding third party advice and an awful lot of misleading and bad advice, on the internet. 

Right, whinge over. So which rock types from older games are available in Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet? In pokédex order:

Hisuian Growlithe and Hisuian Arcanine. At a certain point in the story you'll be gifted an H-Growlithe but neither of these appear as forms in the pokédex despite Kantonian Growlithe and Arcanine having entries. Why Game Freak????? Why????

Geodude, Graveller and Golem. We're a bit burned out on this line now having fought several hundred of them in BDSP and PLA playthroughs but the OG rock bois are back! 

Alolan Geodude, Graveller and Golem. They were last natively available in a mainline game back in 2017's Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon on the 3DS so it's good to have them back. This is the first time they can be found with marks too. 

Rhyhorn, Rhydon and Rhyperior. Another Sinnoh staple is back in the second DLC. Look forward to getting bumped into by 14,000 Rhyhorn in the Savannah Area of the Blueberry Academy Terrarium. 

Bonsly and Sudowoodo. I won't lie, any complaint I might have about this line is completely undermined by Sudowoodo's comical legging it when discovered in the wild. 

Magcargo. It has been a while! Everyone's favourite mediocre stat and awful dual typing lava snail is back in the first DLC. 

Larvitar, Pupitar and Tyrannitar. Stomp, stomp, stomp.

Nosepass and Probopass. One of my favourite areas in the first DLC is the field of Nosepass all eerily pointing in the same direction. Wait, how do you evolve Nosepass these days? 

Regirock. One of those off-book rock types. Listen don't tell anyone I told ya you can bring it into this game right? Wink, wink. 

Cranidos and Rampardos. FINALLY, there's a way to semi-reliably shiny hunt for these without breeding or rolling the dice on time-space distortions in PLA. 

Shieldon and Bastiodon. FINALLY, there's a way to semi-reliably shiny hunt for these without breeding or rolling the dice on time-space distortions in PLA.

Terrakion. It back. You can actually catch one in the second DLC too despite it not having a pokedex entry. 

Carbink. I can't decide if they added Carbink back because Diancie was back or the other way around. 

Hisuian Avalugg. I'm just not a huge fan of this pokémon. Ice rock snow plough 'mon? Why? Transferrable in but doesn't appear in the dex and you can't evolve it from Bergmite in this game.   

Diancie. I can't decide if they added Diancie back because Carbink was back in the dex or the other way around. 

Rockruff and the Lycanrocs. I just love that this beautiful line with quirky evolution forms just doesn't really have any viability. Good luck finding the 20 seconds in each in-game day to get your dusk form.  

Minior. Probably the most exciting returning rock type appearing in the second DLC. It's been locked out since 2017 so enjoy collecting all the forms if this is your first rodeo. First thing we did was shiny hunt one of these in the new DLC. 

Drednaw. We daren't ask ourselves if having a G-Max form even made this pokémon viable in the first place. 

Rolycoly, Carkol and Coalossal. Or as I like to call it, slightly less worse Magcargo. It's fine. Nobody has ground or water type moves these days anyway. 

Stonjourner. Whilst the Shuckle's away, this gimmick stat rock type will play. 

Kleavor. Okay the inclusion of this pokémon really grinds my OCD gears especially bearing in mind the other two Hisuian introduced pokémon above. Kleavor does have a pokédex entry but it can't be evolved in game but is catchable in-game in the wild. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Notable Absentees

I'm not going to go into depth about every rock type not making an appearance here but I'd love to know the decision making process behind who is in and who is out each game. 

Onix Last seen in PLA but not returning here with it's Gen 1 buddies Geodude and Rhyhorn. 

Like, All But Two Of The Fossil Pokémon. Oh we never had it so good as when all but the Shieldon 
and Cranidos lines were available in the wild in Sword and Shield. Back to semi obscurity with ya! 

Corsola One of the meh Gen II rock types, however, they got a beautiful new form and evolution in Sword and Shield, currently locked into that one game. 

Lunatone and Solrock I mean, I'm no great fan of these two but how dare they bring back Volbeat and Illumise and Plusle and Minun and not the mediocre rock pair? Rude. 

So there we have it. That's the break down. There's just enough time left to use some irritating neologism to sum it all up. Rock types in SV: we really ate this generation. We were served. They rizzed. Goated in Gen 9. Let's see if any of these stick around for the next generation. HINT: BYE BYE KLAWF. 

*Listen this paragraph was already getting long so I didn't want to make it even longer with another anecdote so it's tucked down here. I was recently called in by a friend to help their child as they were only missing an Ekans from their Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu! pokédex. They had one on Pokémon GO, however, it was a purified shadow Ekans and not transferrable directly into LGP and there's no way to guarantee finding any particular wild Pokémon in GO depending on the event and season. I also only had access to LGP which doesn't have Ekans in, it is version exclusive to the other game. So although I had many many ways of catching an Ekans in older games and in newer games, there was no way to help my friend out without finding yet someone else and then daisy chaining trades to get them sorted out. I don't like to complain too much as I imagine the ongoing compatability work creates no end of headaches in developing new games, I just wish it was a bit more transparent and didn't require a degree in Pokémon Studies in order to work out sometimes.    


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