AOTW: Contrary

Ooooooh, we’ve got a good’un this week, folks. Well, at least a cool one with a lot of potential. Nintendo, why do you keep doing this to me? Some of the new Abilities that were released in generation five are really cool, but then you give it to a pokémon that gets almost no benefit from it! Man… The irony of this statement is that that’s pretty much exactly what this week’s Ability does. Mary, Mary, this is quite the Ability of the Week: Contrary!

There is SO much potential for this to be the most overpowered Ability in the game, particularly for sweepers. As it is, it’s a bit limited. Confined to the Dream World, Contrary reverses the stat increases and decreases inflicted by moves.

Including self-inflicted stat decreases.

Yes. Close Combat? Every time you use it, instead of losing a Defense and Special Defense point, you gain one. Hammer Arm? Watch you strike first over and over when you gain a Speed boost with every hit. Draco Meteor? How about making that next one even MORE powerful instead of less, by flipping that Special Attack decrease!

Now here’s the catch. None of those moves I just discussed can be learned by the pokémon that have access to Contrary. I know, I’m a jerk. Actually, five pokémon over three evolutionary lines have access to Contrary, and those pokémon are Shuckle, Spinda, and the Serperior line. Yeah, I know, noooot a lot to choose from, but let’s see what we can do here.

Let’s look at Shuckle. This guy has a reputation for being an amazing Power Trick user, particularly on a Trick Room team thanks to its microscopic Speed stat. Gyro Ball is Shuckle’s bread and butter, yet for some reason, this guy can learn Rock Poli- …oooooooooooooooooh. Run a Contrary-using Shuckle, and you can Rock Polish your way to the slowest Shuckle you’ve ever seen. Couple that with the fact that Shuckle now has access to Bulldoze in generation five? You can set up an absolutely insane Gyro Ball!

Spinda is a little tricky with this one. We all know that confusing the target is Spinda’s thing, and to that effect you could Swagger your opponent, confusing them and nerfing their Attack stat at the same time. Contrary Spinda could also potentially buff other team members in a Multi-battles with Flash or Fake Tears.

And now, Serperior. From what I’ve been able to see, when running a Serperior with Contrary, your strategy should revolve around one move: Leaf Storm. Normally, this attack has 90% accuracy, deals 140 damage, and lowers your pokémon’s Special Attack stat by two steps after each use. Now, let’s throw that on a Serperior with Contrary. With STAB, Leaf Storm has a base power of 210. Throw a Wide Lens on there to bring it up to 100% accuracy. And the crux of this is that after every use, you’re going to gain two Special Attack stages, so each attack will grow progressively stronger! What’s more is that as a Grass-type, Serperior has access to Leech Seed and Giga Drain (which has had an increase to 75 base damage in gen five), so his longevity could be amazing!

We’ll have to play a wait-and-see until generation six to see if Contrary is given to a pokémon that can really use it to its full potential, but in the meantime, keep on training, trainers. We’ll see you next week!