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Turtonator, the Blast Turtle Pokémon, is a dual Fire/Dragon-type Pokémon introduced in Gen 7. I love using Turtonator to explain that the Pokémon world is more than just some random monsters with random attacks battling constantly. Let me explain. Turtonator is inspired by the Matamatas, old freshwater turtles with sharp shells and spiked-like heads.
Here’s when the thing gets interesting; the Matamatas have a special hunting method where they hide at the bottom of the rivers, under the muddy ground. They are mahogany-colored, so they can easily camouflage on the ground.
The Matamatas wait for a fish to swim around their zone, and when a fish is near them, these turtles will suck the fish and the water around, then expel the water out of their mouths.
Why is this interesting? Well, Turtonator has the same hunting method but, of course, adapted to its conditions. Turtonator normally lives in volcanic zones, hence Turtonator’s Fire-type and their capacity to handle high temperatures with no issues.
Turtonator has to hide as well as the Matamatas, so Turtonator hides in volcanic rocks, hence its spiky shell shapes and its red and yellow colors. And here’s when things get crazy; when Turtonator detects something stepping on its shell, it’ll make it explode, therefore eating its prey. As you can see, Turtonator also has some inspiration from Landmines.
As well as the Matamatas, the Turtonators don’t need to live in groups; they prefer being alone. Turtonator is a very aggressive Pokémon, and it’s very hard to train them, as well as the Matamatas, which need special perks to have them in captivity.
Lastly, Turtonator’s name comes from Turtle and Detonator. I love these simple details, but the show must go on; let’s talk about Turtonator in the Pokémon franchise. Turtonator Summary of Appearances in Pokémon Versions and Media (Games, Anime, Movies).
In the games, you can find Turtonator in the following places:
- Gen 7: Turtonator only appears in Sun and Ultra Sun in the Blush Mountain. If you want it in Moon or Ultra Moon, you’ll have to transfer it.
- Gen 8: Turtonator is an exclusive Pokémon in Sword, appearing in Lake of Outrage. You can also find it in Rolling Fields, Axew’s Eye, Stony Wilderness, Dusty Bowl, and Hammerlocke Hills as a Max Raid Battle.
Turtonator has only a few appearances in the anime as it isn’t a common Pokémon. Its most famous one is under Kiawe’s ownership. Its debut was in Alola To a New Adventure!
Turtonator has cards in the following expansions:
- Guardians Rising (Rare) (as a Fire-type)
- Burning Shadows (Rare)
- Ultraprism (Uncommon)
- Dragon Majesty (Uncommon) (as a Dragon-type)
- Sword & Shield (Rare) (as a Fire-type)
- Fusion Strike (Uncommon) (as a Dragon-type)
Also, Turtonator has GX cards in the following expansions:
- Guardians Rising (Ultra-Rare Rare, Rare Ultra, Rare Rainbow)
- Hidden Fates (Rare Shiny)
Turtonator Evolution Line: When Does Turtonator Evolve?
Turtonator doesn’t evolve and doesn’t have pre-evolutions, so it’s a unique Pokémon.
Despite its threatening aspect, Turtonator wasn’t ever competitively considered a good Pokémon for high elos, mostly because it lacks a decent movepool. Besides learning Rapid Spin, and other interesting moves like Shell Smash, Turtonator doesn’t have something that makes it excel above others.
Nonetheless, It can work as a Late-game Special Sweeper for low elos, like RU or PU, where it’s very known. Let’s see its stats.
|HP||Attack||Defense||Sp. Atk||Sp. Def||Speed|
You might ask, “How can Turtonator work as a Sweeper with these stats?” And I know it looks a lot like a Wall, in fact, it actually can work as a Wall too, but there’s a special move that completely switches Turtonator into a Sweeper beast.
Let’s talk about Shell Smash, a move that, even if it’s older, seems like the perfect match for Turtonator. Shell Smash decreases the user’s Defense in one stage while increasing its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed in two stages. This is great for Turtonator as it has a strong base Defense stat, around 135, so even with some Shell Smash, we are talking about a Sweeper that can withstand many hits.
But that’s not all about Turtonator, as it has access to Rapid Spin, which can remove any Entry Hazard off the field. Resuming, we have two main options for Turtonator, Shell Smash or Rapid Spin. We have a planned strategy for this Pokémon, so it’s time to carry it out. First, let’s talk about Turtonator’s Abilities and Nature.
Turtonator can only have the following Ability:
- Shell Armor: Turtonator is immune to Critical hits.
Shell Armor is the only Ability Turtonator has, so it’ll be our pick. But, to be honest, it is a wonderful ability to have in a Pokémon like Turtonator because, as a Sweeper, receiving a Critical Hit can change the course of the battle, and preventing them is always a good thing.
I’ve seen many Turtonator builds using a Nature to increase its Speed, but I feel it’s pointless. Turtonator, even with a favorable Nature, will always be slower than the vast majority of Pokémon in NU. So, I don’t waste the Nature on Speed; I prefer to buff its Special Attack.
We want a Sweeper, and Turtonator’s base Special Attack is decent, but it’s not enough.
These are the possible Natures Turtonator can use:
- Modest (Increases Special Attack, Decreases Attack)
- Mild (Increases Special Attack, Decreases Defense)
- Quiet (Increases Special Attack, Decreases Speed)
- Rash (Increases Special Attack, Decreases Special Defense)
As I always say, it’s useless to decrease its Defenses, so the most logical thing is to choose Modest, which will decrease Turtonator’s Attack but buff its Special Attack. It’s perfect as Turtonator’s base Attack stat is poor, and its movepool doesn’t have any interesting Physical moves to use.
We decided on Turtonator’s Ability and Nature, so it’s time to check its Movepool list. So, let’s see what we can use for Turtonator.
Moves Per Level (Gen 8)
Moves Per TM/TR (Gen 8)
|TM/TR (GEN VIII)||Move||Type||Category||Power||Accuracy||PP|
Turtonator is a Dual Fire/Dragon-type Pokémon, so it can resist attacks from the following types:
- It only gets 1/2 of the damage against Steel, Bug, and Electric-type attacks.
- It only gets 1/4 of the damage against Fire and Grass-type attacks.
Meanwhile, its attacks will deal extra damage to the following types:
- Its Fire-type attacks will deal x2 damage against Steel, Bug, Ice, and Grass-type Pokémon.
- Its Dragon-type attacks will deal x2 damage against Dragon-type Pokémon.
Turtonator has a very offensive type combination that doesn’t offer a high defense range but, to compensate for it, Turtonator has a very good Defense stat, and it’s very bulky. So it’ll be very hard to take it down if it hasn’t used Shell Smash yet.
But Turtonator has the upper hand against many sweepers and pivots in NU and PU because of its movepool and that bulkiness I aforementioned. Also, having the Dragon-type is always a good thing, especially for Turtonator, which, thanks to its Fire-type, won’t be affected by any Ice-type attack.
Turtonator’s Dragon/Fire-type can outplay many PU threats like Frosmoth, Jellicent, Lanturn, Glastrier, and others like Charizard (if used with a Rock-type attack), Galvantula, Accelgor, and many more.
Sadly, Turtonator as a Sweeper has a big flaw; let’s discuss it.
As a Fire/Dragon-type Pokémon, Turtonator is weak against the following types:
- It takes x2 damage against Dragon, Rock, and Ground-type attacks.
Also, with its attacks, it won’t do much against the following types:
- With Fire-type attacks, it will only deal 1/2 damage against Dragon, Water, Fire, and Rock-type Pokémon.
- With Dragon-type attacks, it will only deal 1/2 damage against Steel, while Fairy-types are immune to Dragon-type attacks.
Sweeper Turtonator heavily depends on having a Defog or Rapid Spin user in the team as it’s highly susceptible to Stealth Rocks and Spikes. Any Entry Hazard Setter can mess around with Turtonator’s strategy by simply setting some Stealth Rocks.
Nonetheless, there is another way to help Turtonator, which is using Heavy-Duty Boots. The only problem is that Turtonator will not have access to White Herb, which works perfectly alongside Shell Smash, restoring Turtonator’s Defense when it gets lowered.
Another problem Turtonator can have is facing a Fairy-type Pokémon. Still, it isn’t a big deal as Turtonator has access to Venoshock and Flash Cannon, two options that can hurt Fairy-types a lot.
Turtonator Best Moveset
Shell Smash Late-Game Special Sweeper
Turtonator can work with the following build:
- Shell Smash
- Fire Blast
- Dragon Pulse
- Any other coverage move.
With Heavy-Duty Boots or White Herb as its item, Shell Armor as its Ability, and Modest as its Nature.
EVs: 252 SpA / 252 Spe / 4 Def
Let’s start with its moves. Turtonator’s most important move will be Shell Smash, which will reduce Turtonator’s Defense in one stage while increasing its Attack and Special Attack in two stages. If we use this move with White Herb as Turtonator’s item, we will have the buffs without losing Defenses.
The most important thing to know when using Shell Smash is knowing when. You can’t use it in any circumstances; it depends on how worn out the opposite team is. The best option is to do it when facing a weaker Physical Attacker or a Wall which doesn’t have much to do against Turtonator.
Remember Turtonator is a Late-game Sweeper, meaning it needs the opposite team to be weak to get to the field and start stomping, so we need some preparation through Pivots, Entry Hazard Setters, etc. Now, on to its offensive moves. Fire Blast is the best Fire-type move to have on Turtonator, as it deals a lot of damage and has a 10% chance of burning the target.
Same thing with Dragon Pulse. I chose this move as it’s very strong and won’t have any additional effect, but there are other riskier options, like Draco Meteor but I don’t recommend it as it will decrease Turtonator’s Special Defense in two stages.
The last move is up to you. I chose Scorching Sands as it gives Turtonator more coverage against Rock-types and has a 30% chance of burning the target. Other moves can be Venoshock or Flash Cannon, as I said earlier. It mostly depends on your team’s needings.
Let’s move to Turtonator’s Object. You have two clear options, Heavy-Duty Boots or White Herb. Heavy-Duty Boots will make Turtonator immune to Entry Hazards, like Spikes or Stealth Rocks, but when using Shell Smash, Turtonator will not have a way to keep its Defenses up. So even if Turtonator has a very good Defense stat, having its Defense decreased in one stage can be problematic for Turtonator.
That’s why I like to play Turtonator with White Herb; the only extra thing to have is a Defog or Rapid Spin User in the team. There are plenty of options that can combine with Turtonator, like Articuno, Sandslash, or Cryogonal.
The EVs Spread I use in this build works to enhance its Special Attack and Speed. Turtonator will get constantly outsped, but we can opt to attack first sometimes with this EV Spread. You can also give the 252 points to the Defense or HP.
Utility Rapid Spin User
Now, if you want to benefit from Turtonator’s Defenses, then it can work with the following build:
- Rapid Spin
- Dragon Pulse
- Fire Blast or any offensive move.
With Heavy-Duty Boots as its item, Shell Armor as its Ability, and Modest as its Nature.
EVs: 252 SpA / 126 Spe / 126 HP / 4 Def
With this build, Turtonator will not work as a Late-Game Sweeper, but will be a wonderful Rapid Spin user, cleansing the path to any other Sweeper on your team.
Rapid Spin deals damage and removes any Entry Hazard from the field, so it’ll be our main move. Meanwhile, I chose Dragon Pulse and Fire Blast as offensive moves as the idea is using Turtonator to stay on the battlefield for a long time, both attacking and receiving.
I gave Will-O-Wisp to Turtonator in this build to give it another utility, but you can use any other move. On the other hand, Will-O-Wisp is an interesting weapon against Walls because Turtonator will not have any tools to defeat them.
There’s no point in having White Herb as an item this time, so the chosen item will be Heavy-Duty Boots. We don’t want Turtonator to step on pointy Spikes.
Lastly, this EV spread will give Turtonator more durability on the battlefield by enhancing its HP while having some offensive options by giving the maximum points to its Special Attack.
Turtonator In Action
It’s hard to create different strategies for Turtonator because there’s not much to take from it, so I looked for videos that picture the strategy I planned for it as I want you to see its usage. I feel like these capture its usage perfectly:
This video showcase the classic Turtonator usage with Shell Smash and Special moves. As it’s a Gen 7 competitive match, Turtonator was using a Z-Crystal, which isn’t available in Gen 8, but the rest of the build is perfect!
In this video, we can see a great team for Shell Smash Turtonator. Turtonator mostly needs an Entry Hazard Setter, a Defog or Rapid Spin user, and a Pivot that will gradually weaken the enemy team.
Question: Does Turtonator Have a Counterpart?
Answer: Turtonator is an exclusive Pokémon from Sun, Ultra Sun, and Sword, while Drampa, a Normal/Dragon-type Pokémon, only appears in Moon, Ultra Moon, and Shield.
Drampa and Turtonator don’t have any similarities besides being Dragon-types, so it’s more of an exclusivity thing than a counterpart situation.
Question: Is it Hard to Get Turtonator in Sword?
Answer: I would say that it will take you a while, but it’s not hard. You’ll have a better chance to get it on Lake of Outrage while having sunny weather.
Question: Does Turtonator Have a Signature Move?
Answer: Yes, it has; it’s Shell Trap. It’s a very good move that works like Revenge but as a Special Fire-type attack. It is a good option for a Wall-like Turtonator, but it doesn’t work at all for a Shell Smash Turtonator as it depends on receiving a hit, and there are better options because Turtonator needs type coverage.