AOTW: Motor Drive

Goooood morning, pokefans! It’s Friday once again, so it’s time to discuss another one of those profuse passive pokemon powers, a new featured Ability! I love Electric type pokemon, despite their obvious Achilles ’ heel of low HP and defense stats, there’s something inherently cool about what are usually small, fragile creatures housing such volumes of voltage. Electric types have always been included on my team in past incarnations of the franchise we all love, whether it's the recognizable mugs of Pikachu and his evolutionary line, the speedy and spiky Jolteon, or the cool and powerful Luxray. The most recent in the string of Electric monsters I’ve employed in my party is the grossly popular evolution of the first generation classic monster, Electivire, who appears in both Featured Teams that will be discussed in episode 27 of It’s Super Effective. And this Electric titan of a pokemon brings his own unique Ability to the table; this is Ability of the Week: Motor Drive!

Zebstrika. Somehow he looks speedy enough without Motor Drive, doesn't he?Before some knowledgeable reader calls me on it, Electivire’s signature Ability is indeed unique in the fourth generation of Pokemon games, but this will change upon the introduction of gen five. Blitzle and its evolution, Zebstrika (the electric zebras) will also be able to harness Motor Drive as a secondary ability, and Emolga (the flying squirrel) will gain this as a Hidden Ability in the Dream World. However, it shall remain Electivire’s sole Ability.

Motor Drive is an interesting Ability, particularly upon its inception. As one of those unusual evolutions whose stats are shuffled a bit rather than only increasing, Electivire’s Speed stat actually decreases from the Electabuzz stage. It’s almost as if Motor Drive, which neutralizes all Electric attacks used against the pokemon possessing it, causing you to take no damage, and instead increases the Speed stat by one stage, is sort of an apology from the developers for nerfing one of your stats. The neutralization of Electric attacks doesn’t only apply to damage-dealing moves, though, it also applies to Electric-based stat-altering moves, like Thunder Wave.

The usefulness of this Ability could easily be called into question; it’s a bit like Flash Fire or Water Absorb, and who in their right mind would use a move against your pokemon that is of that type already? Well, this is one of those quirks in the game that requires you to consider your battling strategy and outthink your opponent. I like to use a very simple strategy with this Ability: The Bait and Switch. If faced with another Electric type, or a pokemon that you know is likely to have a surprise Electric move, present your opponent with a wElectivire with Motor Drive activated in the anime.ater type (in my case, my Blastoise). The very next turn, switch out to Electivire. Assuming your opponent didn’t see through the ruse and used an Electric attack, Electivire will take no damage this turn, and be almost assured of the first move on the next turn (though not as high as Electabuzz’s, Electivire’s Speed is no slouch, and you can easily train Electabuzz a bit longer and use Carbos to help his Speed stat prior to inducing evolution). Once his Speed is powered up by Motor Drive, Electivire becomes a great force to be reckoned with. Apart from having an excellent Attack stat (the highest of any non-legendary pokemon, according to Bulbapedia) that makes Thunderpunch absolutely devastating, Electivire has an enormous move pool spanning eleven of the seventeen elements. Through this, it can indeed learn movesets that will make him a threat to almost every type of pokemon in the game! I’d be remiss at this point to not mention that an Electivire taking advantage of its move pool can make great use of the held item Expert Belt, which increases the power of moves that are super effective by 20%. True, even without utilizing Motor Drive, Electivire is an incredibly powerful monster, but with Motor Drive’s Speed bonus, it can demolish an opponent’s entire team!

Didn’t mean to turn this article into a commercial for Electivire, sorry about that, but that’s kind of what happens when it’s an exclusive Ability, I suppose! That’s about all I have for today, folks! See you next week!