AOTW: Healer

Ugh, folks, I’m sorry, I know this article is late. I spent the entirety of last week helping my girlfriend move from one side of the country to the other, and if you’ve never tried that… trust me. It’s an exhausting process. I also thought that I had prewritten enough articles that I was covered, but apparently not, so I apologize. Still pretty spent from the whole ordeal, I could use a boost… (I swear, I don’t plan for things in my personal life to sync up with the chosen Ability like this, but) this is Ability of the Week: Healer!

Healer is a new Ability in the generation five titles, and it’s a pretty simple one to understand. I probably could have gotten away with including it in the next AOTW:Rapid-Fire. The truly interesting thing about Healer is that it kind of helps to create (or maybe refine) Pokémon’s version of the typical RPG staple, the party healer (appropriately enough). When you send out a pokémon with Healer during a double or triple battle, there is a thirty percent chance that a status condition inflicted on an adjacent pokémon will be erased. Obviously, this is referring to the major status conditions, like Poison, Paralysis, etc. I’ve been unable to determine whether or not minor inflictions like Confusion or Infatuation are affected by Healer, though. If somebody is in the know about this, sound off in the comments.

So now that we know what Healer does, who can learn it? Well, it’s a short list, I’ll tell you that. Five pokémon, over four evolutionary lines have Healer as a potential Ability. The EXP beast Audino and No-It’s-Not-Luvdisc’s-Evolution Alomomola are the monsters that can get Healer naturally, while Chansey, Blissey, and Bellossom can snag this passive power in the Dream World. Not a lot to choose from, so let’s just break ‘em down one by one.

The little weed has reasonably decent stats, with a total of 480. I think the whole point of running a pokémon with Healer is to keep it in play for as long as possible, so it has the most opportunities to work. And Bellossom has decent stats for such a thing! 100 in Special Defense, and 85 in Defense. Let’s see what we can do for some moves to compliment the Ability. With a 75 in its HP stat, Substitute’s probably not the most worthwhile of moves. You can breed Ingrain onto an Oddish. This will grant you some HP each turn, and it also means that your opponent won’t be able to force you into switching out your Healer. Synthesis could also be a good alternative for a recovery move. Giga Drain is also in Bellossom’s pre-evolutions learn sets, and it has access to all three of the status Powder moves so you can inflict your opponent with a status ailment of your own.

With HP being the clear winner in the contest of Alomomola’s best stats, this guy is all about sticking around and healing its buddies. Throw up a Substitute on the first turn, and an Aqua Ring on the second, repeat Substitute as necessary, and our fishy friend will be able to stick around and heal up the other pokémon on your team for a while. You can add a Refresh onto Alomomola, allowing it to heal its own Status troubles, and/or a Heal Pulse to restore allies’ HP.

Another Heal Pulser is Audino. With respectable HP and defensive stats, it’s another great candidate for Substitute, too. Wish and Refresh to heal yourself. Audino also has access to Simple Beam, which will allow you change your ally’s Ability to Simple, doubling the effectiveness or stat multipliers. That’s pretty much it on this one.

Here’s the meat and potatoes, far as I’m concerned. Eviolited Chansey or Leftovers’d Blissey are beasts with HP and Special Defense, and therefore are prime candidates for Substituting. They can heal themselves with Softboiled, and teammates with Heal Pulse, all the while Healer does its thing in the background. I know that Thunder Wave is also popular on Blissey, and you could also consider the improved Minimize on it, or else the always-popular Toxic or Attract.

So that’s Healer. Decent method of keeping your team in good shape with absolutely no effort put in on your part. With luck, next this week’s article will go up in a more timely fashion, now that I have a bit more free time to play with.

On the obligatorily and sappy note on the one-year anniversary of PKMNCast… I’m sorry, I don’t have much to say. I’m a man of few words when it comes to this Hallmark stuff. I will say that I’m pleasantly surprised how what started out as an amusing distraction for me in listening to the podcast has evolved (ha, pokémon pun) into what it has for me. While I’ve been unable to remain as active as I’d like on some of my other online communities of nerdom due to job issues, writing this article and occasionally participating on the podcast has been fulfilling and enjoyable. Here’s to year two, folks! See you next time!