AOTW: Magic Guard

Hoooo boy, we’ve got a fun one this week, boys and girls. Like a good murder mystery or episode of Doctor Who, the best Abilities always appear simple, but in practice go deeper into the realms of complexity and cleverness. Such is the case for today’s selected pokémon power. What happens when you negate the negative side effects of status alterations? Let’s dive in and find out! Requested by Max D., this is Ability of the Week: Magic Guard!

Introduced in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Versions, Magic Guard grants immunity to the user from indirect damage caused by status effects, weather, Curses, etc. While it doesn’t prevent the negative statuses from occurring, it removes the HP loss that comes with them. For example, your opponent’s Glaceon sets up Hail on the field. Hail will still be in play, and their Glaceon will still receive the benefit of Snow Cloak, but you won’t take damage each turn from the hailstorm. Let’s say your opponent is packing a monster with Toxic. Well, they can poison you all they like, but you won’t lose any health from it. The same could be said for Will-O-Wisp, but you’ll still be slapped with the Attack reduction from the burn as Magic Guard only protects against HP loss. There are certain things that Magic Guard will not defend against, such as damaging yourself with recoil or confusion, or from traps like Stealth Rock. Hopefully that should clear up for you exactly what the Ability does, so let’s move onto our list of potential pokémon!

Every user of Magic Guard happens to be either a Normal or Psychic-type pokémon, and the list is comprised of a reasonable ten monsters, but only four evolutionary families. Clefable (whose line were previously the exclusive Magic Guard-users until Black and White Versions), Sigilyph, Reuniclus, and via Dream World, Alakazam. All three of these Psychic-types are excellent Special attackers, and therefore lend themselves to a Life Orb strategy. Much like a burn, only the HP loss is prevented with Magic Guard, so you’ll still get the attacking boost without the repercussions! Clefable can even expand on the strategy by using one of my favorite moves, Façade. In a double battle, have Clefable hold a Life Orb, and have another monster poison it with Toxic. Clefable will take no damage from neither the Life Orb nor its status condition, but it will have a powered up, STAB’d Façade and Life Orb bonus! If my math is right, Clefable will dish out 273 damage before Attack and Defense stats are factored in! You might be saying “but Clefable is a Special Attacker!” Horseshoes and hand grenades, I say. There’s only a fifteen point difference between Clefable’s base Special Attack and Attack stats, so why not throw it in. For extra fun, why not make the poisoner in our Double Battle scenario a Klutz-using Lopunny? Here’s the picture I’m painting in bulleted list format, just to make sure I’m clear:

  • Begin double battle with Magic Guard Clefable holding Toxic Orb and Klutz Lopunny holding Life Orb.
  • At the end of turn one, Clefable will be poisoned.
  • On turn two, use Lopunny’s Switcheroo to exchange the Toxic and Life Orbs between Lopunny and Clefable. Lopunny should easily be faster than Clefable, so you can immediately use your maxed out Façade.
  • On turn three, Switcheroo the Toxic Orb that Lopunny is now holding onto an opposing pokémon.

So, in short, your best friend you were playing against hates you and your adorable menagerie of monsters now. You’re welcome!

That takes care of our weekly perusal of passive pokémon powers! Next week, I’ve got an AOTW first for you guys. I’ll say no more here, but I’ll see you next time!