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Sandshrew Line
Sandshrew
Sandshrew RBY
Type Ground
Abilities N/A
Gender Ratio N/A
Catch Rate 255 (33.3%)
Evolution Level 22
Sandslash
Sandslash RBY
Type Ground
Abilities N/A
Gender Ratio N/A
Catch Rate 90 (11.8%)

On Route 3 and 4, Sandshrew has a 15% encounter rate in Yellow, as well as a 4% encounter rate on the first floor (initial floor) of Mt. Moon. In Blue, they are available where Ekans would be in Red, so on Routes 4 and 23 you have a 25% chance (and a 5% chance of Sandslash on Route 23), and on Route 11 you have a 45% chance of encountering one.

The Sandshrew line has always been a popular choice in Nuzlockes due to a combination of good typing, defensive and offensive strength, and access to Dig and Slash right off the bat. It's especially useful against Lt. Surge, who isn't far from where you capture Sandshrew. Other than its low Speed and Special stats, the Sandshrew line will be a useful member to just about any team.

Important Matchups Edit

  • Rival (Cerulean City): If you've gotten it to level 17 (for Slash), Sandshrew can easily defeat everything but your rival's starter. Be careful of those special moves, especially super-effective ones; Bulbasaur and Squirtle should definitely be left alone, but you might tackle Charmander if you have no other options, with patience and some heals.
  • Gym #2 - Misty (Cerulean City, Water-type): Not a good idea, for obvious reasons.
  • Rival (S.S. Anne): All of your rival's Pokémon have gotten stronger since the last fight -- especially the Abra, which is now Kadabra with Confusion. Avoid the Kadabra and the starter (Charmeleon could be handled), but otherwise, Sandshrew/Slash would be good for handling the Raticate, which has Hyper Fang.
  • Gym #3 - Lt. Surge (Vermillion City, Electric-type): If you've taught it Dig -- or heck, even if you haven't -- Lt. Surge should be a breeze.
  • Rival (Pokémon Tower): Gyarados, Kadabra, Wartortle, and Ivysaur could potentially be dangerous with their powerful special attacks. You shouldn't be afraid to switch Sandslash into any other one of your rival's Pokémon.
  • Giovanni (Rocket Hideout, Ground-type): Sandslash's great defense and high-powered Dig will easily defeat the Rhyhorn and Onix. It's also good for taking down Kangaskhan.
  • Gym #4 - Erika (Celadon City, Grass-type): Obviously a bad idea. Every one of Erika's Pokémon will probably win, one-on-one.
  • Gym #5 - Koga (Fuchsia City, Poison-type): Spam Dig and you'll win.
  • Fighting Dojo (Saffron City, Fighting-type): Pretty good match-up, since the fighters have low defense. Dig will win over everything in there.
  • Rival (Silph Co.): Venusaur, Blastoise, Alakazam, and Gyarados will mess you up. You should be able to take down everyone else, though. Don't fear his Exeggcute, since it has no attacking moves.
  • Giovanni (Silph Co., Ground-type): Sandslash can take down all of Giovanni's Pokémon rather easily. Nidoqueen's Body Slam is your worst problem, and it's weak to Dig.
  • Gym #6 - Sabrina (Saffron City, Psychic-type): You aren't going to want to get hit by any strong special moves, like Psychic. Use something else here.
  • Gym #7 - Blaine (Cinnabar Island, Fire-type): His Arcanine has Fire Blast, and that's scary. Also, avoid Ponyta and Rapidash's Fire Spin.
  • Gym #8 - Giovanni (Viridian City, Ground-type): Giovanni, once again, has no options for Sandslash. Rhydon's OHKO moves won't work, since Sandslash is faster, and other than those moves, nothing will do huge damage. All but Dugtrio are weak to Dig, and Dugtrio can't take a hit.
  • Rival (Route 22, pre-Elite Four): Alakazam, Gyarados, and the starters could be dangerous for Sandslash. Everything else is rather non-threatening, though, except for Exeggcute which now has Solarbeam.
  • Elite Four Lorelei (Indigo Plateau, Ice-type): There is no reason to try this. DO NOT TRY THIS.
  • Elite Four Bruno (Indigo Plateau, Fighting-type): Not a tough fight. Hitmonchan has Ice Punch, but its Special stat is even lower than Sandslash's.
  • Elite Four Agatha (Indigo Plateau, Poison-type): The only threatening thing in this battle is Dream Eater. Only the Level 56 Gengar and Level 55 Haunter have Hypnosis, so it's not really that scary.
  • Elite Four Lance (Indigo Plateau, Dragon-type): All of Lance's Pokémon carry Hyper Beam, but they are weak to Rock Slide, making this battle doable with Sandslash, albeit very dangerous. They are faster, so you must be careful. Don't fight the Gyarados, as it has Hydro Pump.
  • Champion Rival (Indigo Plateau): Pidgeot, Rhydon, Exeggutor, and Arcanine are great for Sandslash to take down. Alakazam, the starters, and Gyarados all have moves that could quickly kill a Sandslash. Still, four out of six is a very good Champion matchup for such an early game Pokémon.
  • Post-Game: No. Mewtwo is too strong for Sandslash's low Special.

  • Rival (Cerulean City): Just spam Slash. Easy.
  • Gym #2 - Misty (Cerulean City, Water-type): Not a good idea, for obvious reasons.
  • Rival (S.S. Anne): Again, spam Slash and win.
  • Gym #3 - Lt. Surge (Vermilion City, Electric-type): Beware of the Raichu's Mega Kick. If you're going to fight the Raichu, it is suggested to have Dig and a Sandslash. Sandshrew is alright, but crits will hurt it a lot.
  • Rival (Pokémon Tower): STAY CLEAR OF THE SHELLDER. That Shellder has Clamp, and you will surely die. Other than that, you guess it: spam Sla- actually, spam Dig instead.
  • Giovanni (Rocket Hideout, Ground-type): Sandslash's great defense and high-powered Dig will easily defeat the Rhyhorn and Onix. It's also good for taking down Persian.
  • Gym #4 - Erika (Celadon City, Grass-type): Obviously a bad idea. Every one of Erika's Pokémon will probably win, one-on-one.
  • Gym #5 - Koga (Fuchsia City, Poison-type): Everything has Psychic, and things aren't weak to Dig, so it's not a great match-up. It's just a bunch of bugs, so it's very likely you'll have something else. Still, Sandslash can defeat the three Venonat without problems, and attempt to take on Venomoth in a pinch.
  • Fighting Dojo (Saffron City, Fighting-type): Pretty good match-up, since the fighters have low defense. Dig will win over everything in there.
  • Rival (Silph Co.): Cloyster and Vaporeon are to be avoided. You should be fine switching into anything else, except maybe Kadabra's Confusion and Flareon's Fire Spin.
  • Giovanni (Silph Co., Ground-type): Sandslash can take down all of Giovanni's Pokémon rather easily. Nidoqueen's Body Slam is your worst problem, and it's weak to Dig.
  • Gym #6 - Sabrina (Saffron City, Psychic-type): You can take out Sabrina's lead Abra, but be warned that you'll have to switch something into Kadabra and Alakazam, unless you want to spam X items on your Sandslash. X Accuracy comes first, to negate all of its Flashes.
  • Gym #7 - Blaine (Cinnabar Island, Fire-type): His Arcanine has Fire Blast, and that's scary. Also, avoid Ponyta and Rapidash's Fire Spin. In Yellow, all the Pokémon have strong Fire moves, but Dig should OHKO everything but Arcanine. Arcanine could be fatal at Level 54 with Fire Blast, so it's best to use something that resists it instead.
  • Gym #8 - Giovanni (Viridian City, Ground-type): Most of his Pokémon have Earthquake, which is significantly stronger than in Blue, but your main concern is Giovanni's lead, Dugtrio. It has Fissure, and it will be faster than Sandslash, so stay clear of that (pro-tip: this Dugtrio cannot hit Flying-types with any move other than Sand-Attack). The rest is perfectly manageable instead.
  • Rival (Route 22, pre-Elite Four): You must beware of all Water-types (Cloyster and Vaporeon will OHKO). Exeggcute has Solarbeam and Kadabra has Psychic, so avoid switching into those. Stuff like Magneton, Jolteon, Magneton, Sandslash, and Ninetales are not equipped to harm a Ground-type, so switch in freely.
  • Elite Four Lorelei (Indigo Plateau, Ice-type): There is no reason to try this. DO NOT TRY THIS.
  • Elite Four Bruno (Indigo Plateau, Fighting-type): Not a tough fight. Hitmonchan has Ice Punch, but its Special stat is even lower than Sandslash's.
  • Elite Four Agatha (Indigo Plateau, Poison-type): The Gengars now carry either Psychic or Mega Drain, so it's less easy for a Sandslash. Haunter is the same as in Blue. Golbat and Arbok are also different, but still have nothing to hurt Sandslash with, so defeat those with Rock Slide and Dig, respectively.
  • Elite Four Lance (Indigo Plateau, Dragon-type): Gyarados and Dragonite have Hydro Pump and Blizzard, respectively. Beware the Dragonairs, as one has Electric moves while the other one has Ice moves. They are the same level, but note that in RBY the trainers always send out Pokémon in the same order, so the first Dragonair has Electric moves and the second has Ice moves. Aerodactyl can't do anything but Hyper Beam, so you can try to fight against that.
  • Champion Rival (Indigo Plateau): Magneton, Exeggutor, Ninetales, and Jolteon are good for Sandslash to KO. However, everything else only got stronger. Your rival's Sandslash now has Earthquake, which is always a dangerous move to go up against. Vaporeon and Flareon have strong special moves, with the former's being super-effective, so back out of those matchups. Cloyster and Alakazam are not to be fought, as both win one-on-one matchups.
  • Post-Game: No. Mewtwo is too strong for Sandslash's low Special.

Moves Edit

Sandshrew learns Scratch and Defense Curl immediately, and then learns Sand Attack at Level 10. At Level 17, the only important move is learned, which is Slash. After that, Poison Sting, Swift, and Fury Swipes are learned (Levels 24, 31, and 38 for Sandshrew, and 27, 36, and 47 for Sandslash). None of those moves matter, though.

Sandshrew and Sandslash have the same TM and HM accessability, which is Swords Dance, Toxic, Body Slam, Take Down, Double-Edge, Hyper Beam, Submission, Seismic Toss, Rage, Earthquake, Fissure, Dig, Mimic, Double Team, Bide, Swift, Skull Bash, Rest, Rock Slide, Substitute, Cut, and Strength.

Slash and Dig are strong enough alone to make Sandslash powerful, but if you're willing to give it the Swords Dance, Toxic, Earthquake, or Rock Slide TMs, then it can only get stronger. Dig has 100 power in this generation, and is available right after the Misty fight, so it is highly recommended to give it to Sandshrew. Slash is always going to be a critical hit, so it's useful to have for not only emergencies, but regular fights as well thanks to its relatively high PP. Rock Slide is very useful for taking down Flying-types, but it's a very valuable TM, and you may want to save it for something else. Toxic is useful for taking down physical attackers that can't break Sandslash's defenses. Swords Dance would be great for taking down entire teams, but Sandslash is slow and has low Special, meaning it would probably prefer to be switched out occasionally. Fissure could be cool, but it's very inaccurate, and Sandslash is slow. If you had all the TMs to spare, the best moveset would probably be Earthquake, Rock Slide, Slash, Toxic. Otherwise, Dig, Slash, Sand-Attack, and Cut would do.

Recommended moveset: Earthquake, Rock Slide, Toxic, Slash

Other Edit

Sandshrew's stats Edit

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 50
110 - 157 210 - 304
Attack: 75
72 - 139 139 - 273
Defense: 85
81 - 150 157 - 295
Special: 30
31 - 90 58 - 174
Speed: 40
40 - 101 76 - 196
Total: 280   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.


Sandslash's stats Edit

Stat Range
At Lv. 50 At Lv. 100
HP: 75
135 - 182 260 - 354
Attack: 100
94 - 167 184 - 328
Defense: 115
108 - 183 211 - 361
Special: 55
54 - 117 103 - 229
Speed: 65
63 - 128 121 - 251
Total: 410   Other Pokémon with this total  
  • Minimum stats are calculated with 0 EVs, IVs of 0, and a hindering nature, if applicable.
  • Maximum stats are calculated with 252 EVs, IVs of 31, and a helpful nature, if applicable.


Sandshrew Line Ratings
Availability
3.5 Stars
Matchups
4 Stars
Movepool
4 Stars
Survivability
4 Stars
Type Usefulness
4 Stars
Team Role
4.5 Stars
Offensive Utility
4 Stars
Defensive Utility
4 Stars
Tankiness
4.5 Stars
Fun Factor
4 Stars


Overall
4 Stars
  • At what point in the game should I be evolved? Immediately. Unless if you want Poison Sting, Swift, or Fury Swipes quicker (you don't), you should take the stat boost ASAP.
  • How good is the Sandshrew line in a Nuzlocke? Really good. This line sees its peak in this generation due to critical hit rates and Dig being so powerful. This line sees many good match-ups, and is useful for taking strong physical attacks. If you can't get Geodude or Rhyhorn, use this or Diglett.
  • Weaknesses: Water, Grass, Ice
  • Resistances: Rock, Poison
  • Immunities: Electric
  • Neutralities: Normal, Fire, Bug, Fighting, Psychic, Ground, Flying, Dragon, Ghost

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