AOTW: Rivalry

You think you’re cool? You think you’re bad? You ain’t got nothin’! Nothin’, readers! Particularly those of you who happen to also have a Y chromosome! (Ladies.) Nothin’, says I! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that, I’m sure you all have copious amounts of things and are plenty “bad” and/or “cool”. But if you happened to be yelling at me in the future reading this (and I assume none of you are. No DeLoreans or TARDIS’s have materialized in my immediate vicinity so I guess that means you all have senses of humor. Or ran out of plutonium. But I digress) then you’d be channeling this week’s pick for our passive pokémon power! Prepare for the one-upsmanship- this is Ability of the Week: Rivalry!

This Ability was introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions, and was previously useable by nine of our favorite digital cockfighters. At the time of this writing, an additional seven pokémon have been added to the Rivalry roster in generation five. If a pokémon with Rivalry is confronted with an opponent of the same gender, the Rivalry-user will receive a 25% boost to all their damage-dealing moves. Pretty easy to understand, so moving along.

Of the pokémon who can use Rivalry, six are fully-evolved. Nidoking and Nidoqueen, Haxorus, Luxray, and via Dream World, Unfezant and Beautifly. Getting off-topic for a second, I find it interesting how wide the spread is as far as type-coverage amongst the pokémon that can use this Ability. Usually, selecting which pokémon to discuss in this next chunk is a question of stats only, because typically most of the users of the Abilities I’ve covered are similarly typed. For example, Rock Head is pretty much only found on Rock and Ground types. This time, though, we’ve got Poison, Electric, Dragon, Bug, etc… very varied selection here. That means that you can work a Rivalry user into most any team configuration, and all these guys have respectable Attack, Special Attack, or both to make use of the Ability. However, I’d recommend ignoring Nidoqueen unless you have a sentimental attachment or something. Rivalry’s about dishing out damage, and Nidoking does it better. The two standout users have got to be Haxorus and Luxray, though. In the Attack department, these guys weigh in with base stats of at least 120. Nidoking makes a good mixed Rivalry user, and Beautifly takes the top prize for a Special-based Rivalry-user.

Here’s a suggestion for a strategy with Rivalry: let’s say you’re in a doubles battle against an opponent with a mixed-gender team. You can supplement your Rivalry-using pokémon with a monster with Arena Trap or Magnet Pull, or else one with a trapping move like Fire Spin. Have your pokémon with Rivalry pack a Roar (Nidoking, Luxray, and Haxorus can all learn this move). If your opponent gets wise the fact that your Nidoking has Rivarly and tries to counter by sending in a female wall pokémon, have the ‘King Roar in a male opponent and your trapper will force them to stay put!

Well, folks, that’s one more in the can! Hopefully everybody had a safe Black Friday and didn’t get trampled in a mall in the name of Tickle-Me Elmo. Again. Is that still a thing? It should be. Also Tomagatchi’s. God, I’m old.