Alolan Sandslash is now obtainable in Pokemon GO by hatching an Alolan Sandshrew from a 7k egg. Normal Sandslash lost its Ground typing and gained a dual Ice and Steel typing with this Alolan form. Not only did the typing change, but its appearance did as well, fitting the Ice look quiet nicely! Arguably one of the coolest looking Alolan Pokemon (I think). But does it stack up to be a useful Pokemon?! Let’s take a look shall we?

Pokedex entry: Fleeing a volcanic eruption, it settled on a snowy mountain. As it races through the snowfields, it sends up a spray of snow.

Stat Comparisons in Pokemon GO

Sandslash Alolan Sandslash
Typing Ground Ice Steel
Max CP 2328 2366
Attack 182 177
Defense 202 221
Stamina 150 150
Weather Boost Sunny Snow
Move set differences
Fast Moves Metal Claw Steel Metal Claw Steel
Mud Shot Ground Powder Snow Ice
Charged moves Rock Tomb Rock Blizzard Ice
Bulldoze Ground Gyro Ball Steel
Earthquake Ground Bulldoze Ground
Type Chart
Weaknesses Water
Ice
Grass
Fire x2
Fighting x2
Ground
Resistances Electric Immune
Rock
Poison
Ice x2
Normal
Grass
Flying
Poison Immune
Psychic
Bug
Dragon
Steel
Fairy

Alolan Sandslash in the Meta

Let’s take a look at Alolan Sandslash by each of its typings.

Starting with Ice. It lacks a good Ice quick move and charge move for two reasons:

  1. Powder Snow is the worst Ice quick move we currently have in the game.
  2. Blizzard also falls short to Avalanche and Ice Beam as a Ice charge moves.

In other words, Alolan Sandslash is not a good Ice meta Pokemon at all. But when we look at it as a Steel type, its meta changes into a situational Pokemon. This is all due to its moves: Metal Claw and Gyro Ball. Looking at these two moves, we have the following:

  • Metal Claw – 13.7 DPS (STAB), 8 DMG and 700ms to use
  • Gyro Ball – 29.1 DPS (STAB), 80 DMG and 3300ms to use

Metal Claw ranks third in overall Steel quick moves, but it gets one advantage! It is fastest Steel move. Yeah, so what right? Well because it is a quicker move, dodging will be much easier. Therefore Alolan Sandslash will continue to use its bulk more in battle. Not to mention, Gyro Ball is arguably the best Steel charge move dealing 160 total damage when using both charge bars simultaneously.

Sadly, even with the great Steel move set, Alolan Sandslash can be exploited so easily. Although it has 10 resistances, it is extremely weak against Fire and Fighting. These two types are very common in the game and would destroy Alolan Sandslash regardless of its bulk.

Final Thoughts

Alolan Sandslash in a really neat addition into Pokemon GO. It has a much better bulk than its Kanto counterpart and a better move set to go with it! Sadly, it can be destroyed by some of the most common typings in the game. If you are looking to use this Alolan Pokemon, perhaps throw it in gyms because of it’s bulk to throw off Dragon type users or use it at the end of your raid team when you’re taking down a Regice/Regirock. That’s if you don’t have any better options.