Last week we talked about gimmicks, and how to turn one into a legitimate strategy. One section was about using "good" Pokémon to make your strategy work. However, you all know how much we at PKMNcast cherish using rarely used Pokémon, so I'm going to tell you how to make those odd-ball Pokémon into good Pokémon. Cue the silly chapter headings.
Chapter 1: Turn Weakness into Strength, Or: "Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow!"
Many Pokémon are considered "unusable" because of one fatal flaw. Let's take Heracross, one of my favorite Pokémon, as an example. He used to dominate with Choice Band sets and even with a Sleep Talk strategy. Unfortunately, as time has gone on, faster and faster sweepers have been introduced, making Heracross less usable. With base speed of only 85, most sweepers can outspeed and 2HKO him, if not 1HKO. A pessimistic player would give up, saying that Heracross is no longer useable.
But that's not the PKMNcast way! So Heracross is slow? Slap a Choice Scarf on him and he is faster than most opponents. With access to STAB Megahorn, Close Combat, and a wealth of awesome non-stab moves like Earthquake and Night Slash, Choice Scarf Heracross goes from being too slow to being able to outspeed almost anything.
Other thoughts on turning weakness into strength: Trick Room for slow Pokes, Choice Band/Specs for fast Pokes that don't have much offense, Use Bait-and-Switch strategies for Pokémon with 4x weaknesses.
Chapter 2: Utilizing Abilities, Or: Apparently Porygon's Ability is Epilepsy
Many Pokémon with low base stats and lackluster movepools are that way because they have access to extremely good abilities. Let's take Bouffalant for example, because, after all, he is an afro bull, and all afro bulls demand our attention.
Bouffalant is really slow. Slow enough that a Choice Scarf isn't going to help. Because of this, he's probably only going to get one hit in before he checks out. Luckily, his ability Reckless makes him a beast. A STAB Head Charge, which has a base power of 120, gets increased 20% by Reckless, making an extremely strong attack, since Bouffalant's Attack stat is an immense 110.
It's easy to pass off Bouffalant as not useful because of his low speed, but even one Head Charge can take out big opponents. That's only because of his ability. Often Pokémon are overlooked just because of one low base stat, even if they have an ability that makes them great. Check out Wil's Ability of The Week for more on abilities.
Two weeks or so ago I said I'd be writing more about my experience replaying Gen III. Well, I stopped playing for a while as I'm working to make my VGC team. I will probably get back to it later, if any of you are just dying to hear more about it. Somehow I doubt that. Anyway, I'll catch you on the flip side.