AOTW: Liquid Ooze

You know what one of my favorite moves is? Well, yeah, Thunderbolt. But I’m not talking abou- okay, yeah, Ice Beam is pretty sweet t- yes, we all love Toxic, I kno- who just said Sand Attack? Really? Shut up. I’m talking about Leech Seed. 90% accuracy and you get to steal 1/16th of your opponent’s HP each turn. And if you have a Big Root attached, you steal even more HP! Now, I bet your asking, “Wil, why are you writing Aaron’s column?” I like to build you up, buttercup. Leech Seed and all the other HP-draining moves are great, but what if your opponent has an ace up their sleeve that would cause it to backfire? We have just that today. This is Ability of the Week: Liquid Ooze!

This sucker is an interesting little Ability, introduced in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire. First of all, it’s rare. Like, almost an exclusive Ability rare. The only two evolutionary lines with access to Liquid Ooze are Tentacruel and Swalot. So, what can you do with Liquid Ooze? Well, first of all, if you dump it down a sewer in New York, you can make some sweet turtles that do martial arts. …Wait. Wrong file. Okay, if your pokémon has Liquid Ooze and is hit by an attack that drains its HP, the amount of health your opponent would normally recover will instead be dealt to them as damage! Now, there is a catch or two- Liquid Ooze doesn’t stop the damage dealt to your pokémon, it only deals damage back to the opponent. It also doesn’t affect Dream Eater, so be wary of Gengar and the like.

Let’s set up a scenario. Let’s say you’re facing an opponent and you lead with Tentacruel. (Swalot’s certainly not without merit, too. It’s just that most of the HP-draining moves are Grass-type, and therefore more likely to be used on Tentacruel. I think you can develop a better strategy with Tentacruel, as well.) Your opponent sends out Cacturne and uses Leech Seed as their first move, and you lead with Toxic. Your opponent doesn’t know it, but it’s actually you that has the upper-hand at this point, despite a type disadvantage. Liquid Ooze means they’re receiving damage rather than recovering it, plus they’ve got the bad poison ailment. Oh, and you were clever enough to give your Tentacruel some Black Sludge to hold onto. Aren’t you smart? Leech Seed is totally negated for you. Some more ways to enhance this strategy might be to breed Aqua Ring onto your Tentacruel. Double Leftovers-style recovery each turn if you’re not affected with Leech Seed? Pretty sweet. Maybe take advantage of Wrap, to let Toxic and Liquid Ooze do their job without the possibility of a switch? Forget “Gangster of the Sea”, Tentacruel is a troll.

By virtue of the fact that most HP-drainers have the type-advantage over Tentacruel, and that Swalot lacks a strong strategy to make use of it, Liquid Ooze is a risky Ability to employ. But, if you keep your wits about you, you can overcome even a type disadvantage with its help. That does it for me this week, trainerinos! See you next time!