How goes it, folks? Wil here, now officially an Editor for the site! I’ll be going over a featured Ability every Friday. Before we dive into this week’s selection, let’s start with a primer on Abilities. Inspired by Pokemon Powers from the trading card game, Abilities are passive powers first introduced in the core games in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire versions. Most Abilities influence battles in some way (changing stats, triggering weather effects, etc), but a few are used only in the overworld map. Some pokemon are known as “Dual Ability” pokemon, meaning that they can potentially have one of two, or in Black and White with the Dream World addition, three Abilities. Some Abilities are common, others are exclusive to just one monster, but every pokemon has one and they can make or break a battle for you. So, now that we’ve gone over the basics, I thought that for my first article it would make sense to start at the beginning. This is Ability of the Week: Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent!
No matter what game that included Abilities you started with, the first Ability you encountered was one of these three. Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent are the Abilities possessed by each of the generational starters; Overgrow for the Grass types, Blaze for Fire, and Torrent for Water. Each of these Abilities does basically the same thing (hence why I’m grouping them in the same article). If the active pokemon’s HP falls below 1/3rd of its maximum, the Ability will add an extra 50% power to your pokemon's Grass, Fire, or Water attacks. For example, your Empoleon is attacked with a Thunderbolt on the first turn, but is left with a small chunk of its health. Lucky for you, you’ve selected Surf for your attack this turn and your opponent just activated Torrent for you. Suddenly, your 80 damage attack, 120 with STAB, goes up to 160 base damage! And oh, how the tables have turned.
Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent also kind of go hand in hand with the generational starter Move Tutor attacks. Each of these Abilities are kind of “last resort” Abilities, as they don’t activate until the end of the round, so they compliment these moves which are essentially the elemental Hyper Beams (Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon). Each of these moves does 150 base damage, 225 with STAB, and has a one turn cooldown. Normally on the show, we don’t endorse moves like this, but if your HP is low to begin with, why not go for it and use one of these moves, that with your Ability will have a base power of 300? Just don’t lead with it and leave yourself open the next turn.
So that’s Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent, the trinity of starter abilities. Take advantage of these in a pinch and you might just be able to squeak out some last-second wins! See you next time, folks. I’m outta here!