AOTW Rapid-Fire!! Leaf Guard, Flower Gift, and Forecast, In the past, folks, we’ve talked a lot about the benefits of rain. And not without good reason! There are a lot of Abilities that are triggered by rain, and Water Pokémon are the most abundant of all the various types as of this writing making the precipitous weather condition especially useful. Today, though, we’re discussing perhaps the most overlooked of the weather effects: sunlight. And it so happens that there are three Abilities left to discuss that take advantage of the rays. This is an Ability of the Week Rapid-Fire!! Leaf Guard, Flower Gift, and Forecast!
It seems like intense sunlight’s lack of usefulness stems from the slightly contradictory nature of it. Most of the Pokémon that have Abilities that take advantage of the sun are Grass-type Pokémon, while the move type powered up by sunlight is Fire. Oh sure, there’s the famous fact that intense sunlight allows Solarbeam to be used without a turn for charging, but when Grass-type Pokémon are frequently frail and/or weak attackers, you can see why sunlight has been largely overlooked. Let’s take a look at these three Abilities and see if we can find a reason to work on our collective tans, eh?
This Ability was introduced in generation four, and is a reasonably rare Ability. Fourteen Pokémon over eight evolutionary families have access to Leaf Guard, though some lose it before becoming fully evolved and about half of them can only access it as their Hidden Ability. As the name implies, all the Pokémon with Leaf Guard are Grass-type as well. Some of the noteworthy users of Leaf Guard include Tangrowth, Leafeon, and Dream World Meganium. Now, the effect of Leaf Guard is to negate status conditions, provided the sun is shining. This allows wallier Pokémon like Tangrowth even more staying power, because they’ll never succumb to Paralysis or Poisoning. The drawback to Leaf Guard, though, is that it makes using Rest impossible as of generation five. Regardless of this, the idea of facing a Leech Seed/Protect Meganium that cannot be poisoned is daunting. Try it out if you’re so inclined.
This guy is the signature Ability of Cherrim, who you may or may not remember as a novelty Pokémon from generation four. Cherrim is a flower and it has two forms, open- and closed-petals. Its open-petal form, while unrelated to its Ability, is also activated by intense sunlight. Once Flower Gift activates, it grants a 50% boost in Attack and Special Defense to all other Pokémon in the party. This makes it an ideal supporter for Drought teams, pairing it with physical attackers like Blaziken. You can play up the support angle with moves like Worry Seed, Morning Sun, Lucky Chant, and Helping Hand.
In generation three, when weather was expanded upon, Game Freak introduced a Pokémon that functioned entirely on it. Castform has the capacity to transform not only with sunlight, but also the rain and hail thanks to its Ability, Forecast. Castform, usually a Normal-type, will become a pure Fire, Water, or Ice type depending on which form of weather is in play. It has the advantage of potentially having powered up Hydro Pump and Thunder, or Fire Blast and Solarbeam in its move set, too!
Maybe I’m just pining for the 60° temperatures the Chicago area was enjoying yesterday, but I kind of enjoyed discussing some sun-based Pokémon powers. Now somebody just bring me a friggin’ Ninetales so I can get rid of the snow that’s falling at the moment and I’ll be in business! ‘Til next time, trainers!
Proofed by Greg