Sandshrew is a Ground-type Pokémon that resembles an armadillo or a pangolin. Its classification, however, labels it as the Mouse Pokémon. It is commonly found in deserts, caves and occasionally grassy plains.
Sandshrew's body is covered with a dry, tough hide that protects it from attacks and the natural hazards of its environment. Its dull-yellow colouration allows it to blend into its desert surroundings and escape the notice of potential predators.
Sandshrew spends much of its time hidden underground arid environments in deep burrows. It only emerges for hunting, in which it waits within its burrow and instantly lunges out to drag in passing prey. Sandshrew can quickly curl into a tight ball to protect itself from great falls and opponents, but may also throw sand at attackers. Its body absorbs water without waste to facilitate life in the desert.
Sandshrew have evolved very differently on the Alolan Islands in comparison to their counterparts from other regions. The Alolan Sandshrew is an Ice/Steel-type Pokémon that resides upon snow-capped mountains due to the volcanic activity near Alola's more arid areas. The plates on its body are a dazzling icy-blue and the plates adorning its head are thicker, making the head resemble an igloo. Sandshrew uses its claws to stop itself from sliding out of control on the icy slopes, though it will slide on its belly when it needs to get somewhere quickly.
Below are some of the abilities commonly used by Sandshrew.
- Defense Curl - Sandshrew curls up into a ball to protect itself.
- Sand Attack - Throws sand in the opponent's eyes, diminishing their accuracy.
- Dig - Burrows into the ground and emerges beneath the enemy for a surprise attack.
- Rollout - Curls into a ball and bowls over foes. This is a chain attack that inflicts greater damage with each hit.
- Powder Snow - The Alolan Sandshrew tosses frigid snow at its enemies.
- Ice Ball - The Alolan Sandshrew's version of Rollout. It curls into a ball and bowls toward its foe, striking multiple times and causing greater damage with each hit.
- Metal Claw - The Alolan Sandshrew slashes at the opponent with claws as tough as steel.
Sandshrew evolves into Sandslash at Level 22. However, the Alolan Sandshrew only evolves when exposed to an Ice Stone.