Zamazenta isn't used often because it's linear and requires more prediction than you'd expect.
This is far from a reasonable argument to use against something. Some things are linear because they are good
. Espathra was linear, but that didn't stop it from being good, no? Zamazenta is also anything but linear. It has three different viable sets, with the CB variant having a plethora of moves to choose from. You're pretty much required Close Combat and Crunch, leaving you with two open move slots to use on how you want depending on what you need for your team. Various options include:
- Ice Fang
- Wild Charge
- Psychic Fangs
- Play Rough
- Iron Head
Banded, Tera Fighting Close Combat is barely more than a 3HKO versus offensive Lando-T,
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Landorus-Therian: 135-159 (42.3 - 49.8%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 4 Def Landorus-Therian: 135-159 (42.3 - 49.8%) -- 89.1% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
It helps when you include calcs, instead of leaving us to take your word for it. It's more like it's almost a 2HKO versus offensive Lando-T, especially with rocks.
and the defense drops mean scarf Lando can check it fairly easily without needing to explode. Defensive Lando has an even easier time because the CC drops occur before Lando attacks.
Choice Band variants often have Ice Fang, and Howl variants can sometimes carry it as well. Zamazenta also does not have to stay in on an opposing Lando-T, as switching is apart of the game (shocker).
Lando-T is very common so this is a huge hurdle for Zamazenta that he can't overcome without running subpar moves like Ice Fang, requiring more prediction.
I have two problems with this.
The first problem is that defensive Lando-T usually chooses from Rocky Helmet, Leftovers, or Heavy Duty Boots. Landorus-Therian does not have the benefit of reliable recovery moves, making it a risky check to Zamazenta.
- You can deal chip damage to Zamazenta, but you lose out on all recovery by not using leftovers, and make yourself susceptible to hazards.
- Lando-T becomes a do-nothing Pokemon against Zamazenta. You have gradual recovery throughout the game, but there is no downside on Zamazenta's end when you bring this in, as Zamazenta can switch out, and you are still vulnerable to hazards.
Heavy Duty Boots
- This is another do-nothing Pokemon against Zamazenta. You lose out on all recovery (do not say rest LOL), and again have no real downside on Zamazenta's end.
My second problem is your claim that Ice Fang is "subpar."
I'm going to use Pikalytics.com for this as reference. If Pikalytics is outdated or incorrect, I'm sorry. https://www.pikalytics.com/pokedex/gen9nationaldex/zamazenta
I will list every move by usage percent until I get to Ice Fang:
- Crunch (62.695%
- Body Press (57.985%
- Iron Defense (57.560%
- Close Combat (42.119%
- Substitute (32.750%
- Wild Charge (31.917%
- Ice Fang (26.700%
Substitute and Iron Defense are limited to ID Press variants, so we can remove those from the list. Body Press and Close Combat are also usually never on the same move set, so we can also remove at least one of those. Factoring this in, we can see that there are four
moves left on our list, and would imply that Ice Fang is not subpar, but in-fact a good coverage tool.
What's more, while Zamazenta has great defensive stats for an offensive Pokemon, the bland defensive typing means it has to rely on those raw stats more than resistances...
...isn't great at switching into physical attacks more than once
This is a non-issue. Zamazenta should not be your defensive switch-in outside of dire circumstances.
It's really susceptible to chip and indirect damage
This is the only objectively correct thing you've said so far, but "really" might be an exaggeration.
It's also not very strong outside of CC.
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Crunch vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Lopunny-Mega: 65-77 (23.9 - 28.4%) -- 95.8% chance to 4HKO
What is this calc supposed to prove? Tera-Fighting is redundant in your calc, and Mega Lopunny's should not be switching in against Zamazenta, nor should you be clicking Crunch on Mega Lopunny, considering you have a super effective STAB, and have a higher base speed.
Zamazenta's coverage is so weak that offensive resists can switch in and do huge damage even if they're slower. That's a big problem for a Pokemon that's supposed to be anti-offense.
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 117-138 (41.6 - 49.1%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tapu Lele: 117-138 (41.6 - 49.1%) -- 84.4% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tornadus-Therian: 221-261 (61 - 72%) -- guaranteed 2HKO
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 40 Def Tornadus-Therian: 212-250 (58.5 - 69%) -- guaranteed 2HKO (if you want to invest just enough speed to speedcreep iron valiant)
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Landorus-Therian: 96-113 (25.1 - 29.5%) -- guaranteed 4HKO
-1 252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Landorus-Therian: 96-113 (25.1 - 29.5%) -- 0.3% chance to 3HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Tera Fighting Zamazenta Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 99-117 (32.5 - 38.4%) -- 2.4% chance to 3HKO after Leftovers recovery
While Toxapex is a good pokemon to force out the CB variant, it becomes fodder against the howl set just after one boost.
+1 252 Atk Zamazenta Wild Charge vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 148-176 (48.6 - 57.8%) -- 96.1% chance to 2HKO
+1 252 Atk Zamazenta Gigavolt Havoc (175 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Toxapex: 288-340 (94.7 - 111.8%) -- 68.8% chance to OHKO
Defensive Lando-T also becomes fodder against a howl set which is running Ice Fang
252 Atk Zamazenta Ice Fang vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Landorus-Therian: 208-248 (54.4 - 64.9%) -- guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (assuming you set up howl and then lost the boost to intimidate)
Compare Zamazenta to Walking Wake. Wake is slower + less bulky, but stronger.
The x4 resists to Fire and Water are useful as it means Wake fears little from Heatran or Rotom-W, common OU glue.
Hydro Pump/Draco Meteor/Hurricane are all 110+ BP moves, so Wake has an easier time punishing risky switches.
Wake also partners well on sun, rain teams
Why are you comparing these two? They are different types, and hit different (literally). Zamazenta is a physical attacker, and Walking Wake is a special attacker.
...while Zamazenta isn't really a team player.
Now, ID/BP sets are better than band imo, but are walled harder by Ghost-types. That set especially struggles with Annihilape who is neutral to Crunch and enjoys chip from weak attacks.
This is objectively incorrect. ID Press sets can sometimes carry crunch, or are usually paired with pursuit support. Zamazenta as a whole is very splashable and versatile mon that only gets better when backed up by other team members.