AOTW: Hustle

A few weeks ago, Travis and I co-anchored episode 47 of It’s Super Effective, in which we reviewed SBJ’s pokémon line up for the VGC’s. Taking the reins of the podcast was sprung on us at the last second, so it was a little unnerving for both of us, but fun. We did hit one significant snag, though, and I’m embarrassed to say that it involved an Ability. I learn a lot about passive pokémon powers writing this article every week, but until I write the thing, I remain woefully ignorant of many of them. Well, I’m gonna remedy my own obtuseness, at least for this particular Ability, today! This is Ability of the Week: Hustle!

Hustle was introduced in generation three, and, as we remembered a few minutes into discussing SBJ’s Durant, grants your pokémon the interesting trade-off of a 50% boost to its Attack stat, but 20% reduction in accuracy. It also has the overworld effect of causing an increased chance of encountering a wild pokémon with a higher level than your own when a Hustle-user is leading the party. There are eighteen pokémon with Hustle as a possible Ability, and, interestingly (or oddly) enough, very few of them are fully evolved. So unless you’re interested in battling with Nidorino over Nidoking, here are your main options: Raticate, Durant, Togekiss, Corsola, and Delibird.

Immediately, let’s throw out Togekiss, because Hustle is wasted on it- Togekiss is far better suited for special attacks and it works better with Serene Grace as its Ability anyway. Delibird and Corsola both make for interesting Hustle-users, as they both normally have slightly higher Special Attack stats, so with Hustle you can mix things up and potentially catch your opponent off guard with powered up physical attacks. That said, their stat totals aren’t stellar. They’re more of a novelty than actual competitive battling prospects.

A Raticate with Hustle effectively has an Attack stat of 121.5, and with Raticate’s reasonably impressive repertoire of physical attacks, could prove a useful trump card. Raticate’s Achilles’ heel is his low HP stat, so he’s already a sacrificial lamb. Outfit the vermin with Double-Edge and a Wide Lens and you should be able to Hustle your way to a huge hit!

Of course, of all the users of Hustle, Durant is the best. With Hustle, the armored insect has a base Attack of over 160, and as he boasts two other stats of over 100, he’s an ideal battler- just watch out for special-attackers and/or Fire-types. It’s worth noting that Durant has access to Hone Claws, one use of which when combined with the Wide Lens will bring his Accuracy back up to 100%, leaving you free to lay waste. As far as attacks go, X-Scissor and Iron Head are must-haves of this guy. You might also consider Shadow Claw, Bug Bite, Thunder Wave, or Aerial Ace/Faint Attack.

So that’s Hustle! I know I learned something, but stay tuned for our next screw-up! Later, folks!