Role: Former Champion of the Hoenn League
Type Specialty: Steel
While many people can claim to be among the best in their field of research, when it comes to battling, only one trainer truly stands above the rest, and he does it with style and ease that even the Hoenn League cannot match adequately. The son of the President of the Devon Corporation, Steven Stone is an interesting man to say the least and is perhaps one of the most powerful trainers in the entire Hoenn region. Ever since he was a child, Steven has been an avid explorer and collector of rare items, in particular fossils, and has an enormous collection of them at his home. Despite the fact that he is lined up for a very lucrative job in the future as the successor of his father, Steven is not one for office work and is more well-known for his outdoor activities than his indoor ones. Ever since vacating his throne of the Hoenn League Champion, Steven has spent much of his time helping out his father at the company while still taking the time exploring the many nooks and crannies of then Hoenn underground, searching for rare fossils specimens and overall enjoying a bit of freedom in his schedule for once. Little is known about the personal life of Steven Stone aside from his activities, so to say that the man keeps his emotions close to his vest would be an understatement. Even so, Steven is a kind man who shares great faith in the power of his Pokemon and has the courage to stand up for what he believes in without any lack of confidence or willpower. A simple man to most, Steven is a good-natured man who can definitely give most trainers a battle unlike anything they have seen before, and for those lucky enough to ever face him, it should be said that victory will likely be something more than a bit difficult to obtain. Regardless, though, Steven is a man of the people and truly brings a bright future for the Devon Corporation that no one can truly fault in logic or in heart.
Although Steven technically is a specialist in the Steel-type, he has a wide variety of Pokemon and tends to take a strongly balanced position in any battle. While most of his Pokemon are designed for brutal offense, most of them at least have some form of defensive or tactical move to help support the rest of the team. This combination, in addition to the naturally high stats and powers his Pokemon possess, makes him a dire threat in any situation and certainly not a trainer to be underestimated by even a hair. In most cases, Steven will reserve purely tactical or defensive measures to specific member of his party, so each Pokemon on his team has a specific purpose that it and only it can perform. This can make it somewhat easy to tear apart his team bit by bit, but even then, the brutal offenses of his best Pokemon can be too much to handle on any normal day. Trainers looking to exploit Steven's weaknesses will have to be careful about their approach, lest they end up getting hit by a powerful, super-effective hit from nowhere.
Metagross: This titanic monster is Steven's most powerful Pokemon and certainly not an opponent anyone wants to underestimate for any reason at all. From afar, this monster can strike with brutal force using its Psychic, Earthquake and Shadow Ball attacks, dealing intense damage to any opponent lacking strong defensive stats. In close quarters, however, this monster is literally unstoppable, as its powerful Hammer Arm, Bullet Punch, Zen Headbutt and Meteor Mash attacks can literally flatten the competition and inflict catastrophic damage while potentially increasing its physical strength in the process. This creature might not be that difficult to take out with some strong special attacks, but if that is not an option, it is likely that most trainers will end up going through at least two or three Pokemon just to get past this one (especially since it is always holding either an Occa or Sitrus berry).
Skarmory: This vicious bird is best used in offensive or defensive battling, but for Steven, both seem to work great when combined together. In battle, this beast will rely on its Steel Wing and Aerial Ace attacks to inflict considerable damage in close quarters. However, if a defensive stance is needed instead, this fiend will gladly use its Spikes technique to litter the battlefield in dangerous hazards before using its Toxic technique to make the opposition absolutely miserable. This is effective because, as one would imagine, switching out Pokemon to prevent the effects of the status condition from amplifying will expose a new Pokemon to the hazards left by Spikes, in turn making it a lose-lose situation regardless of the choice an opponent makes.
Aggron: This brute is best used defensively as a result of its massive physical defenses, but even then this creature has more than enough firepower to make it a dire threat in combat. From afar, this beast will rely on its otherwise weak SolarBeam and Thunder attacks to zap and blast Ground and Water-type Pokemon that dare to enter the battlefield, while an Earthquake attack can prove to be the perfect way of shaking up the competition. Up close, this creature is equally dangerous with powerful Dragon Claw, Head Smash and Avalanche attacks that can literally tear through the competition with ease. Trainers should be very careful about how they approach this juggernaut, as a single misstep can easily give it an advantage too powerful to overcome in emergency situations (especially if it manages to successively use its Metal Burst attack or if it is holding an Air Balloon as a deterrent against Ground-types).
Armaldo: This beast is all about bring pain in battle and is equipped to handle a decent variety of opponents in battle despite its otherwise limited combat ability. From afar, this beast will rely on its Water Pulse attack to deal damage and potentially Confuse the opposition; once their guard is down, this monster will rely on its Slash, AncientPower, Rock Blast, X-Scissor, Earthquake, Superpower (helped along in battle by a held White Herb) and Aerial Ace attacks to deal maximum damage in battle. This creature might not have a lot going for it in terms of diversity, but considering it can still deal incredible damage to Rock-types, it is definitely a Pokemon worth fearing in battle.
Cradily: This crinoid takes a more defensive stance than Steven's other Pokemon and but is still able to use AncientPower, Earthquake, Seed Bomb, Stone Edge and Giga Drain attacks to deal damage. Aside from this, the creature can use Ingrain to continuously restore its energy while its Confuse Ray and Sandstorm techniques befuddle the opposition and make it seemingly impossible to properly attack while the target is continually damaged by the abrasive weather. This beast may not be able to deal a whole lot of damage, but when it comes to winning a battle of attrition, this monster can certainly win without having to exert much effort in the process.
Claydol: As with Cradily, this automaton is designed more for defensive purposes than offensive ones. In battle, this creature will rely on its AncientPower and Earthquake attacks to deal damage from afar. When needed, however, this machine can put itself to great use by using both Light Screen and Reflect techniques to bolster the defenses of Steven's team, in turn making it almost impossible to get in a powerful strike. Combined with the already impressive powers of Steven's other teammates, it becomes clear to most that this thing needs to be taken out quickly before it spells the end of the line for a trainer's best offensive fighters.
Excadrill: While many of Steven's Pokemon are able to withstand a considerable amount of punishment, Excadrill does not follow this pattern in the slightest. Even so, this creature can deal incredible damage with attacks like Rock Slide, Earthquake and X-Scissor while its Sandstorm technique and held Focus Sash help it to survive for at least a few turns more than it normally would. It is unlikely that this beast will prove to be an extreme threat to most trainers, but even then it is a powerful offensive force worth dealing with swiftly.
Archeops: This species was never meant to last very long and becomes extremely weak when critically damaged, but it's still more than worth fearing in any situation. This swift beast will rely on its Quick Attack move to strike before the opposition can, followed by a head-first dive at its target and the execution of vicious Acrobatics, Earthquake and Head Smash attack to deal as much damage as possible before its Ability drains its overall damage capabilities. Its held Sitrus berry can still help the beast last a bit longer in battle at full power, but this is still likely not enough to keep a strong super-effective attack from knocking it out, a trait that should be taken advantage of immediately in combat when it appears on the battlefield.
Steven does not possess any reserve Pokemon outside of the ones he uses regularly in battle.
OVERALL DIFFICULTY: 5/5
Leaving the office of Hoenn League Champion has done nothing to lessen the combat ability Steven has and in some ways has only made him stronger than ever before. Steven is armed with a wide variety of different Pokemon, and while they may share some common weaknesses, the fact that they are all designed for intense combat means that type advantages alone will not be enough to guarantee victory in any situation. In fact, type advantages are probably the least of the problems trainers will face when battling against Steven, as his Pokemon are also able to type-match quite effectively as well, in turn calling for a defensive stance in battle. Even this choice is a poor one, though, as the Steel-type is generally able to resist damage from many different types of attacks, making his team practically indestructible on both offense and defense. Trainers that are lucky enough to battle against Steven will likely come to realize these facts too late, but for the wiser ones out there, the only thing that can make a battle against him easier is preparation. Overall, Steven might not be as well-rounded as some would think, but when it comes to getting a battle done in little time, this is one trainer that should be feared extensively in all cases.
REWARDS FOR DEFEAT
While he was Champion, defeating Steven would have secures a trainer's identity and Pokemon within the data banks of the Hoenn League Hall of Fame for the entire world to see. At the moment, however, victory over him will provide no benefit.