M(s)OTW: Light Screen & Reflect

The best offense is a good defense. I mentioned that in last weeks move, Wood Hammer, but now I’m really going to hammer home that point (get it? hammer? yea I didn’t laugh either...) in this edition of Pokemon Move O’de le Week.

Something that a lot of trainers overlook in there teams is how they might counteract an opposing team. I know at least when I started out I went all out with 4 super powerful moves on each Pokemon of my team. A specific example that comes to mind was my original Blastoise. If I remember correctly I think it had Hydro Pump (my move of choice), then Surf, Blizzard, and Hydro Beam. To a 10 year old that’s a totally epic moveset! But when you start to think about it there’s nothing you can really do when somebody starts attacking you to attack back harder. Kind of the ‘my stick is bigger than your stick’ argument. I mean if your stick really is bigger, and by stick I mean Pokemon, (I heard you chuckling), then all power to you, but for the rest of us who want an actual chance in a fight, we are going to actually put up our left while we jab with our right.

So defensive moves. The argument I had with myself for the longest time with defensive moves is that you’re wasting a turn while your opponent wails on you, so I was that kid who had all offensive moves. I have, however started to see the light...

I didn’t even realize it but all the way back in Gen I with the original 150, two moves were introduced: Light Screen and Reflect. These are defensive moves through and through. I sort of covered what they do back when I discussed Brick Break, but I’ll review really quickly here. Light Screen takes any special damage dealt to a Pokemon by half. It also works in double battles too, but in the case of having two Pokemon out it will only take 33% of the damage off. Reflect has the same purpose and effect as Light Screen, but instead of halving special moves it has the same effect towards physical moves.

This effect will last 5 turns unless you are holding Light Clay, then it will last 8 turns instead. Also to counteract that, Brick Break will instantly demolish a Light Screen or Reflect defense. I talked about how important Brick Break is to have on your team before, and I’ll actually repeat myself again. If you have a Light Screen up against a super powerful special Pokemon, like Gengar, or Alakazam, it’s GOING to take them nearly twice as long to kill, aka faint, your Pokemon. It just will. Your defense is greatly increased with something like Light Screen or Reflect. This same theory also applies if your opponent is using this strategy. You really need to have Break Break on your team. It truly is a necessity to counteract this strategy.

I like these moves because almost any Pokemon can use them. 26% can learn Light Screen and 19% can learn Reflect. The odds are that at least one on your team is going to be able to learn one, which really is a blessing for a team. If you have a double battle going on and you have a really weak Pokemon to special moves that can’t learn Light Screen, pair with one who can! Since it plays to both players in the field you can be using the one that knows Light Screen as your defender to a more powerful but susceptible sweeper. The same concept goes for Reflect.

This is just to kind of get your brain churning. I think that everyone should analyze their team to see where one of these two moves could fit in. Even if you don’t know what move to put on one of your team, just throw in a defensive move. I actually just did that with my Mamoswine as my fourth move. It’ll also make my Mamoswine a lot more of a team player than it already is, and counteract Earthquake possibly damaging my own teammate in a double battle.

Consider putting a good defensive move on your team. It couldn’t hurt! In fact, it’ll make it hurt less.

Tell me what you think! Let me know if you think something could change or whatever. Contact me through twitter or leave a comment below, send an email to pokemonpodcast@me.com or whatever you feel. Thanks again for reading!

- It's Super Effective

-Aaron Spriggs