AOTW: Cloud Nine and Air Lock

Weather effects on the field are some of my favorite additions to the basic formula of monster wrangling and battling laid down in the classic Pokemon Red and Blue Versions. Each one has its own unique properties, and in some cases, can be the crux of a team’s strategy. But hey, to each his own, and maybe you’re not like me and hate weather effects! Who am I to tell you you’re wrong, even though you are? There are a few pokémon in the game who can totally negate a weather effect without spending a single PP, such is the nature of the mighty passive Ability. May as well put away the raincoats- this is Ability of the Week: Cloud Nine AND Air Lock!

Both of these Abilities were introduced back during our first foray into Hoenn, and when we reacquainted ourselves with the nostalgic vistas of Kanto in generation three. Appropriately enough, too, because while generation two introduced weather effects, they were expanded on and brought into much greater prominence in gen three, to the extent that even the trio of Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza have powers evocative of individual effects. In fact, Air Lock is Rayquaza’s exclusive Ability! Whenever Air Lock or it’s little brother, Cloud Nine, are in play, all weather effects are negated. This doesn’t necessarily stop the weather, only their effects. From Bulbapedia:

While Rayquaza is battling, all effects of the weather are essentially negated, though the actual sunlight/rain/sandstorm/hail remains going. Psyduck and Golduck may also have a similar ability.

And so they do! While elitist Rayquaza demanded his own trailer, liek, omg, that's hot.bowls of green Swedish Fish, his own exclusive Ability, and an HDTV with season five of Mythbusters on DVD, the weather-negating effects are not exclusive to him. Golduck, along with Lickilicky and Altaria have Cloud Nine, which has the same effect as Air Lock. Golduck probably makes the best use out of this Ability, because there are two moves that are highly dangerous to it that are improved drastically by certain weather effects. Namely, Thunder and Solarbeam. Thunder’s 100% accuracy in a rainstorm and the removal of Solarbeam’s charge turn are an impossibility if a pokémon like Golduck has Cloud Nine.

The other cool thing about Cloud Nine and Air Lock is that they also take precedent over other Abilities that trigger weather effects like Sand Stream, Snow Warning, Drizzle, etc. That also means that pokémon who might utilize Abilities like Snow Cloak, Dry Skin, or Sand Force have officially had their days and strategies ruined.

That does it for this meteorological installment of Ability of the Week. We’ll see you next time, trainers! Have a week!