AOTW: Dry Skin

Another week, another Featured Ability! At the end of last week’s article about Intimidate, I promised something a little more obscure, and with a touch more subtlety this week. I’ve scoured Bulbapedia for ideas, looking at Abilities I’ve never even heard of, and I think I’ve found something interesting to discuss. Go grab yourself a bucket-load of moisturizer! This is Ability of the Week: Dry Skin!

This Ability’s effect is partially dependent on the weather during the battle. If it is raining, the pokemon with Dry Skin will regain 1/8th of their health at the end of each turn. Similarly, if the sunlight is strong, the pokemon with Dry Skin will lose 1/8th of their health at the end of each turn. When it comes to actual attacks, Dry Skin works a bit like the Water Absorb Ability. If the pokemon is attacked with a water-type attack, it will regain 25% of their maximum HP, and on the other side of the coin, fire-type attacks will deal 25% more damage than usual.

Many Abilities in Pokemon are utilized by very few of the titular monsters. For every Levitate (33 monsters with this Ability), there’s a Motor Drive (only Electivire has this one). Your choices for taking advantage of Dry Skin are pretty slim, as it is only possessed by five pokemon as of Pokemon Black and White Versions, and two of those are earlier stages of evolution. The pokemon with this Ability are Paras, Parasect, Jynx (in the Dream World), Croagunk and Toxicroak. Because of the risky nature of Dry Skin, this editorialist recommends that you consider Toxicroak for this Ability. Fun fact: Dry Skin actually makes Paras and Parasect the only monsters in the game that take more than four times damage from any given move- with Dry Skin, these monsters take five times normal damage from fire moves. Can you say “super effective”?

If you acquire a monster with Dry Skin, it’s very easy to take advantage of the Ability. The Toxicroak line, as well as Jynx, can learn Rain Dance via TM. Apart from activating Dry Skin’s healing factor, Rain Dance will also decrease the power of fire-type moves, reducing the 25% additional fire type damage to 25% resistance to fire-damage! You can also utilize Rain Dance and Dry Skin to perform the infamous “Catie’s Boot on a Wheel” strategy (It’s Super Effective, episode 22) by teaming your Dry Skin user with your team’s water type.

So that’s Dry Skin! A seldom-used, but definitely useful Ability. Now, if you’ll excuse me, all this talk of “dry” has got me thirsty and in desperate need of some Jergens and Clear Eyes. Later!