Role: 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 in the Hoenn region, 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 without a doubt 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. Though he actively serves as the Champion of the Hoenn region, Steven has nonetheless spent much of his time helping out his father at the company while still taking the time to explore 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 and love for rocks, minerals and Steel-type Pokémon, 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon and tends to take a strongly balanced position in any battle. While most of his Pokémon are designed for brutal offense, some 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon 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 Pokémon 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, Shadow Ball and Hyper Beam 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, Meteor Mash and Giga Impact 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 Pokémon just to get past this one, especially once Steven manages to make it Mega Evolve into Mega Metagross.
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 entry hazards before using its Toxic technique to make the opposition absolutely miserable. This is effective because, as one would imagine, switching out Pokémon to prevent the effects of the status condition from amplifying will expose a new Pokémon to the hazards left by Spikes, in turn making it a lose-lose situation regardless of the choice an opponent makes and in turn making this bird a noticeable tactical threat.
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 Solar Beam and Thunder attacks to zap and blast Ground and Water-type Pokémon that dare to enter the battlefield, while Stone Edge and Earthquake attack can prove to be the perfect way of piercing and shaking up the competition. Up close, this creature is equally dangerous with powerful Dragon Claw, Iron Tail, 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 its held Air Balloon comes into play).
Claydol: As with Steven’s Cradily, this automaton is designed more for defensive purposes than offensive ones. In battle, this creature will rely on its Ancient Power, Extrasensory, Earth Power 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 creature 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 Pokémon 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.
Aerodactyl: This ancient beast might not have the best defenses when it comes to being a Rock-type, but it is nonetheless more than capable of proving to be a fast-moving threat worth watching out for. Foregoing any tactical or defensive moves, this monster will waste little time in battle standing idle and will instead charge head-first at its opponent, striking in close quarters with powerful Fire Fang, Ice Fang and Thunder Fang attacks while occasionally creating some distance and blasting targets with a vicious Rock Slide attack from afar. It might not take much in the way of offense to take down this ancient creature, but it is still fast enough to outrun most other Pokémon and should thus be tackled with high defenses if at all possible.
Carbink: This strange creature is generally better-suited for a defensive positon as a result of its high defensive stats, but Steven’s specimen is a little bit different in that it focuses mainly on offense instead. Keeping its distance from an opponent, this strange critter will attack with powerful Moonblast, Earth Power, Power Gem and Psychic attacks while trying to survive blow after blow that it takes. It’s unlikely that this Pokémon will be able to deal much in the way of damage, but its high defenses can nonetheless prove to be difficult for Pokémon without strong offenses to break through, especially if it has a little help from defensive shields raised by Steven’s other Pokémon.
Cradily: This crinoid takes a more defensive stance than Steven's other Pokémon and but is still able to use Ancient Power, Earthquake, Seed Bomb, Sludge Bomb, Stone Edge and Giga Drain attacks to deal damage, assisted in turn by its held Expert Belt. Aside from this, the creature can use its Ingrain technique 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.
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 Metal Claw, Slash, Ancient Power, Rock Blast, Crush Claw, X-Scissor, Earthquake, Superpower (complimented 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 Pokémon worth fearing in battle.
OVERALL DIFFICULTY: 5/5
As the Champion of the Hoenn region, Steven is justifiably a powerful opponent and more than match for even the best trainers in the world. Steven is properly armed with a wide variety of different Pokémon, 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 Pokémon 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
Defeating Steven will secure a trainer's identity and Pokémon within the data banks of the Hoenn League Hall of Fame for the entire world to see.