AOTW: Lightningrod and Storm Drain

When it comes to Pokémon, some Abilities are just so good that the developers go ahead and make the same one for different types of monsters. A while back, we discussed Snow Cloak and Sand Veil, and in the very first Ability of the Week, we went over Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent – effectively the same Abilities, but applied to different monsters with different conditions triggering their effects. This week, we’re looking at two more Abilities like this, and these guys are most effective in Double and Triple Battles. There’s a perfect storm a-brewin’ today! This is Ability of the Week: Lightningrod AND Storm Drain!

Lightningrod and Storm Drain fit into three categories of Abilities, as defined by Bulbapedia. Not only do they alter the damage taken by the user, they are also classified as stat-raising Abilities. Apart from these two, though, they make up their own unique category of Abilities, as the only two in the game that force certain types of moves to connect with, and only with, the user. Lightningrod draws in all Electric attacks (save for Discharge, which targets the whole field), and Storm Drain does the same for Water attacks (save for Surf, which does likewise). As of generation five, when a pokémon with this Ability is hit by a corresponding attack, their Special Attack stat will increase by one step and they will receive no damage from the attack. The exception to this rule comes up when a Ground type with Lightningrod is hit; it’s immunity to Electric attacks comes into play and it receives no boost to its Special Attack. This stat-boosting attribute to Lightningrod and Storm Drain can also be found in Motor Drive (which boosts Speed when hit by an Electric move) and Sap Sipper (which boosts Attack when hit with a Grass move), though these two will not force their corresponding attacks to home in on the beneficiary.

So what’s the advantage to these Abilities? Say you have a powerhouse Fire type pokémon, like a Magmortar. This guy’s a beast when it comes to Special Attack, but when it comes to HP and Defense he’s a bit lacking. So what’s to stop your opponent’s Gyarados from laying waste with Waterfall? Oh that’s right, this is doubles match and Magmortar’s got a Gastrodon with Storm Drain in his corner, and is now left free to one-shot that Gyarados with a TM’d Thunderbolt! In a singles match, you can also play a Bait-and-Switch strategy with this Ability. Let your opponent send out his Electric monster against your Water pokémon, and switch out to your Manectric with Lightningrod on the first turn. Not only has your opponent done no damage, but now you’re free to lay the hurt on them with a powered up Flamethrower!

Fifteen pokémon have the Lightningrod Ability, including in the Dream World the Raichu line and, interestingly, Seaking (straight Water type with an Electric immunity? Sweet!) As for Storm Drain, seven pokémon can take advantage of it. Gastrodon and Lumineon have the Ability naturally, while Cradily and Maractus have Storm Drain as their hidden Ability. There’s a pretty healthy selection for these two, so research yourself and see if something catches your eye or imagination!

That does it for me, kids! But I’ll be back next week to bring you up to speed on yet another Ability. See you next time!