AOTW Rapid-Fire!! Iron Fist, Pickpocket, and Normalize

The post-it notes are closing in on me again, guys. These adhesive-laden reminders of game mechanicery deigned discussion-worthy in my weekly rambling sessions are sure to rise up against me in open rebellion the likes of which have never been seen should I not thin out the herd soon to assert my dominance. And I’d rather not have a bunch of paper airplanes reenact the Death Star trench run with my butt crack, so I guess that this can only call for one thing- ladies, gentlemen, and assorted others, this is an Ability of the Week: Rapid-Fire!! Iron Fist, Pickpocket, and Normalize!

First up this week on your Ability combo platter, let’s talk about Iron Fist. This Ability was introduced in generation four, and at the time it was the signature Ability of the Fuehrer of Fisticuffs, Hitmonchan (although he could also obtain Keen Eye). With the advent of the Dream World, though, a further seven monsters could have their puncher’s chance, as well as the newly introduced Golett and Golurk without having to access their Hidden Ability. Iron Fist’s effect is to increase the base power of punching moves by 20%. Bullet Punch? Moves up to 48 base damage. Sky Uppercut? How’s over 100 base power sound? Oh, and the always-modest Focus Punch? Well that moves up to a whopping 180 base damage. And keep in mind folks, that’s without factoring in STAB or type-effectiveness. What’s more, there’s pretty much no bad pokémon with Iron Fist (with the possible exception of Ledian, as it’s much more of a defensive monster). We’re talking not only Hitmonchan and Golurk, but beasts like Infernape and Conkeldurr.

Next up, we’re looking at Pickpocket. This Ability is a new addition in generation five games, and the only way you can snag it is to journey to the Dream World where it may be acquired for the Weavile or Shiftry evolutionary lines. As usual for the Abilities I talk about in the Rapid-Fires, Pickpocket is pretty simple. If your pokémon isn’t holding an item, it will steal the opposing pokemon’s held item upon contact. And that’s not a chance to steal it, it just happens. Yeah, apparently Nuzleaf is Ezio Auditore. How we missed that, I don’t know. You’d think all the Italian would have given it away, right? Abilities like this and Klutz are invaluable if you can make them work, because like we discussed previously, held items are often the crux of any given pokémon’s strategy. Depriving them of their keystone will be devastating.

Let’s finish this thing off with something adorable. Normalize is the signature Ability of Skitty and Delcatty, although it was introduced after them in generation four. Normalize makes any move behave as if it were a Normal-type move. So, while it does deprive the user of any chance of a super effective attack, it does guarantee that every attack used by these cats is backed by a STAB, which, considering their modest offensive stats, is helpful to say the least. It also allows Delcatty to use powerful moves backed by a same-type attack bonus that don’t require two turns to execute like Giga Impact or Hyper Beam. Include Delcatty on a Rain Dance team, use a STAB’d Thunder. Include it on a Sunny Day team, it has access to Solarbeam. Delcatty’s move pool is unfortunately not especially expansive at the time of this writing, but I remain optimistic that this generation will see an equivalent to HeartGold and SoulSilver, wherein move pools were expanded to insane proportions, so there is hope that Normalize will show its usefulness soon.

Whew! That ought to quell the post-it uprising for a little while longer, guys. You really do have to keep a close eye on these upstart sticky notes though. You never know when they’ll gain sentience and affix themselves to your back with “kick me” written on them. It’s a conspiracy, I tells ya! At least that’s the most logical explanation I have to how those signs keep winding up on my jacket.

…That or it’s just Jay.

…It’s totally Jay, isn’t it?