A Nuzlocker’s Guide to Cryogonal

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Cryogonal is incredibly rare, comes late in the game, and has a Defense stat comparable to that of, well, a snowflake. However, the Crystallizing Pokémon can put in a lot of work against the few opponents remaining in the Unova region due to its various positive traits. It sports an immunity to Ground-type moves, gets the coveted Ice Beam by level up, has enough speed to decimate the final gym leader, good Special Attack, and a great support movepool that includes Confuse Ray and dual screens. This combination of useful traits gives Cryogonal several options, making it a useful Pokémon to have on your team.


Cryogonal: Twist Mountain (rare)

Cryogonal’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Cryogonal versus Brycen in Icirrus City Gym: Cryogonal can be very useful in its gym debut if played right. The Crystallizing Pokémon can very easily defeat Brycen’s Vanillish with a pair of Flash Cannons. Vanillish does carry a super-effective Mirror Shot, but it hits Cryogonal’s monstrous Special Defense and won’t do much damage. Don’t bother with Light Screen; Frost Breath is a critical hit every time, nullifying your screen. The opposing Cryogonal will usually be 3HKOed with Flash Cannon, who can’t do much in return. You don’t want to play around with Beartic though; its Slash has a high critical hit ratio and will kill the Crystallizing Pokémon with a critical hit. Let something with a viable Defense stat handle Brycen’s ace. Setting up Reflect on Vanillish or Cryogonal can be a great help to your Beartic counter, though. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Ice Beam, Light Screen, Reflect, Flash Cannon.

Cryogonal versus Bianca on Route 8: Bianca’s lead, Stoutland, will kill your Cryogonal with a critical hit Retaliate. As such, it should be avoided. Hidden Power Electric/Grass is required to beat Simipour while Hidden Power Ground/Rock/Water is needed to beat Simisear. If Cryogonal has none of those, keep it away from Bianca’s Water- or Fire-type monkey. Ice Beam will OHKO Simisage, but Seed Bomb hurts a lot. A critical Seed Bomb will OHKO Cryogonal, so you may want to use a more appropriate counter if Cryogonal isn’t already on the field. Musharna can be handled easily, just make sure to set up Light Screen for best results. Ice Beam is a 3-4HKO, so Cryogonal will whittle down Musharna’s health eventually. Cryogonal doesn’t want to fall asleep though, so make sure you can wake it up. Samurott carries Revenge and is therefore incredibly dangerous; stay away. Emboar is an even worse match-up for Cryogonal. It may seem like a good idea to fight Serperior, but it’s faster and carries a physical move with a high critical hit ratio. Cryogonal is OHKOed by a critical hit Leaf Blade and can only 2HKO with Ice Beam, so keep off the grass. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Ice Beam, Light Screen, Reflect, Hidden Power/Flash Cannon.

Cryogonal versus Iris/Drayden in Opelucid City Gym: This is the gym that’ll show you why you gave a team spot to the Crystallizing Pokémon. Cryogonal is one of the few Pokémon with an excellent match-up against the Opelucid Gym Leader. Ice Beam decimates Fraxure, but use Reflect or an X Special first for best results. Fraxure may try to phaze you out with Dragon Tail, but it’s more likely to Dragon Dance on the first turn, and a Cryogonal at even levels with Iris/Drayden’s ace may not be able to KO Druddigon and Haxorus without a boost or a safety net. After that, Ice Beam everything. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 43; Ice Beam, Light Screen, Reflect, Hidden Power/Flash Cannon.

Cryogonal versus Cheren on Route 10: Unfezant lacks a physical move, so it’s easily beaten with Ice Beam. Cryogonal is faster and can OHKO, so it would be an easy match up even if Unfezant had a physical move. The ease of this match-up allows Cryogonal to put up screens without opposition, so go that route. However, these will likely only help assist teammates. Liepard is dangerous for Cryogonal even if you opted for using Reflect on Unfezant. A critical hit Night Slash (a move with a high critical hit ratio) kills Cryogonal whether screens are up or not. Ice Beam is just a 2HKO and Liepard may be faster. Tread lightly. Battling Simipour and Simisear requires Hidden Power Electric/Grass or Hidden Power Ground/Rock/Water, respectively. If you have none of these, stay away. Simisage will be OHKOed by Ice Beam, but it can OHKO in return with a critical hit Seed Bomb. You may need to have Cryogonal’s Reflect up to pull this off, which would be nullified by a critical hit. Be careful. Samurott carries Aqua Jet and Slash, both of which are dangerous. You’ll need your Reflect active and Hidden Power Electric/Grass to stand a chance. Even then, it’s very risky; a critical hit Slash (which has a high critical hit ratio) kills. Emboar is an even worse match-up for Cryogonal. It may seem like a good idea to fight Serperior, but it’s faster and carries a physical move with a high critical hit ratio. Cryogonal is OHKOed by a critical hit Leaf Blade and can only 2HKO with Ice Beam, so keep off the grass. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 44; Ice Beam, Light Screen, Reflect, Hidden Power/Flash Cannon.

Cryogonal versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 50 (for the Elite Four)/Level 54 (for N/Ghetsis); Ice Beam, Reflect, Light Screen, Hidden Power/Flash Cannon (Note: Hidden Power’s viability depends solely on its type, and it is recommended that you grind wild Golett with a Thief Pokémon to get a Light Clay, which extends screen turns).

Cryogonal versus Shauntal: The worst Cofagrigus can do to Cryogonal, barring a critical hit, is Will-O-Wisp. As such, Cryogonal can safely set up dual screens and 2-3HKO with Ice Beam (or switch to a more appropriate counter). Jellicent isn’t much of a threat either, but look out for Brine, which will deal double damage if Cryogonal’s health is low. On the other hand, the Crystallizing Pokémon needs Hidden Power Electric or Grass to do any real damage. If your Cryogonal lacks a super-effective Hidden Power type, then switch to a more appropriate counter. Golurk may be OHKOed by Ice Beam, but the threat of Brick Break is much too high. Not only will the move destroy your screens, but it also decimates Cryogonal. A Ghost-type like Jellicent is a good Pokémon to switch in on Golurk, as it can block Brick Break and has its Ghost weakness essentially nullified by screens. Chandelure is a no-go; why would you pit an Ice-type against a Fire-type with a massive Special Attack stat? A super-effective Hidden Power type can 2HKO Chandelure, but Chandelure may OHKO back with Fire Blast (without screens). A critical hit will OHKO every time.

Cryogonal versus Grimsley: Scrafty can destroy Cryogonal and your screens with Brick Break, so stay away. Krookodile will fall to Ice Beam, but its Crunch hits hard. A critical hit Crunch is the end of the Crystallizing Pokémon, so it’s risky. Liepard has Night Slash, which has a high critical hit ratio and will kill Cryogonal with a critical hit. Liepard can be 2HKOed with Ice Beam though. Cryogonal may OHKO Bisharp with Hidden Power Fighting, but the Sword Blade Pokémon can OHKO in return even when Reflect is up. Stay away.

Cryogonal versus Caitlin: The only real threats here are Reuniclus’ Focus Blast and Gothitelle’s Calm Mind. Cryogonal can set up Light Screen and sweep. Reuniclus will fall to three Ice Beams, but Focus Blast will do a lot of damage. It’s best to avoid Reuniclus. Sigilyph, on the other hand, can’t even make Cryogonal flinch. Set up Light Screen (if it isn’t already up) and OHKO with Ice Beam. Musharna can also be screen bait, but it’s best to use an Ice Beam or two first (as Musharna is 3HKOed). Again, watch out for Gothitelle’s Calm Mind. Your best option is to ensure that Light Screen is up before switching to a team member with a Dark-, Ghost-, or Bug-type physical attack. Hidden Power Dark/Ghost/Bug or Ice Beam can 3HKO if Gothitelle doesn’t boost.

Cryogonal versus Marshal: The Crystallizing Pokémon is easily shattered by any of Marshal’s Pokémon, and Hidden Power Flying/Psychic can’t even get close to OHKOing the frailest Pokémon Marshal has. Don’t even bother trying to set up screens; Cryogonal is at risk anyway.

Note: Do not forget that you can leave the Elite 4 and train your team before fighting N and Ghetsis. This is recommended for those that entered the Elite 4 with their team below level 52.

Cryogonal versus N: Keep away from N’s dragon; they are both too powerful for Cryogonal to manage. Set up Light Screen on Vanilluxe to tank its Flash Cannons and retaliate with Flash Cannons of your own. Stay as far away from Carracosta and Archeops as possible; they are both packing super-effective physical attacks. You can’t even use Reflect on either, as Carracosta has a high critical hit ratio move and Archeops is much faster. Klinklang lacks a physical move, but the first Klinklang that comes out is likely a Zoroark. Zoroark is dangerous as a critical hit Night Slash, Retaliate (if one of N’s Pokémon has just fainted), or Flamethrower will hit Cryogonal too hard. The real Klinklang is only manageable with Light Screen and a super-effective Hidden Power type. If you lack the correct Hidden Power type, use Light Screen and hit the road.

Cryogonal versus Ghetsis: Cofagrigus can Toxic stall Cryogonal, so it’s best to set up screens and switch to a more appropriate counter on a predicted Protect. It does lack physical moves, so the Crystallizing Pokémon walls it. You’ll want Light Screen up when Hydreigon comes out, so set it up on Cofagrigus or Seismitoad. Bouffalant, Eelektross, and Bisharp are all dangerous. They all carry powerful physical STAB that will decimate Cryogonal, even with Reflect active. The aforementioned Seismitoad is walled by Cryogonal thanks to Levitate, so use it as Light Screen bait and switch out (assuming you lack Hidden Power Grass, which is an easy 2HKO). Hydreigon is packing Focus Blast and Fire Blast, hence your need for Light Screen. Cryogonal is one of the few Pokémon that can stand up to it, so 2HKO with Ice Beam if Light Screen is up.

Everything in Between

Water Routes: If you want Cryogonal to handle the water routes, equip it with Hidden Power Electric or Grass. If it is unable to get either, then it will have trouble damaging Water-types. There is also a fair few Fighting-types in the area, so be wary of that. As always, keep the Crystallizing Pokémon away from strong physical attackers.

Late-Game: Cryogonal is great for the Icirrus City area thanks to its Ice-type STAB. Watch out for powerful physical attackers in Dragonspiral Tower, though. Route 9 is riddled with solid physical attackers, so be careful. Again, just avoid strong physical attackers on Route 10 and Victory Road and Cryogonal should be fine.

Checks and Counters

Powerful Physical Attackers: Cryogonal has a paltry base 30 Defense and a subpar base 70 HP, so any strong physical attack will bury it. Reflect can counteract this to an extent, but the Crystallizing Pokémon is so frail that it’ll still get hit hard. Those with super-effective moves, like N’s Archeops or Marshal’s Mienshao, are also major threats. As such, a good physical wall would make a good teammate and form an excellent defense core with Cryogonal. In return, Cryogonal can further boost their survivability with Reflect or take special attacks with ease (which is where most physical wall falter).

Water-, Fire-, and Steel-types: These three types of Pokémon wall Cryogonal who lack a super-effective Hidden Power type, and two of them will be packing super effective STAB. Water-types, like Bianca’s/Cheren’s Samurott, can wall most variants of Cryogonal. A Grass- or Electric-type Pokémon would make a good teammate. In return, Cryogonal can switch in on Ground-type moves and deal with Dragon-types. Fire-types, like Bianca’s/Cheren’s Emboar, can be threats as they have super-effective STAB and wall most variants of Cryogonal. A Water-, Rock-, or Ground-type Pokémon can be useful against them. In return, Cryogonal can set up screens, switch in on Ground-type moves (for Rock-types), or tank Ice-type moves (for Ground-types). Steel-types, like Grimsley’s Bisharp, have super-effective STAB and wall most variants of Cryogonal. As such, it’s good to keep a Fire-, Fighting-, or Ground-type Pokémon around. In return, Cryogonal can set up screens, switch in on Ground-type moves (for Fire-types), take most Flying- and Psychic-type moves (for Fighting-types), or tank Ice-type moves (for Ground-types).

Overall Grade: C

Cryogonal has a fair few good points, but its late availability coupled with its bad attacking movepool and pitiful Defense prevent it from making much of an impact. Its Ice-typing also leaves it susceptible to a lot of late-game threats, so there won’t be many situations in which the Crystallizing Pokémon can be useful. However, this isn’t to say that Cryogonal is bad. Its dual screens and access to Ice Beam by level-up can make it a great team player that can even stand up to Drayden and Ghetsis’ Hydreigon. Cryogonal can be a solid late-game addition despite its disadvantages, but be very careful with the Crystallizing Pokémon.

Resources to Utilize

Cryogonal’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/cryogonal/moves/5

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.