If you paid any degree of attention to older episodes of It’s Super Effective!, you know well and good that my favorite member of my roster of digital cockfighters is my Electivire, Tigerzord. The main reason that the Thunderbolt Pokémon is the MVP of my sextet of scrappers is very simple: with the move set I’ve outfitted him with, he can hit 14 of the 17 elemental types in the game for 2x super effective damage. As far as I’m concerned, type-coverage is the name of the game in Pokémon. Well, okay, no, “Pokémon” is the name of the game in Pokémon, but type-coverage is at least the subtitle. Tigerzord’s type-coverage is about as ideal as you can get, but all too often, you’ll find yourself in scenarios where you just don’t have a super effective move at your disposal, and worse yet, backed into a corner against a stalling monster with a ton of resistances. Well, if you’re lucky, that’s where our pick this week comes in. Gentlemen, ladies, get out your rose-tinted spectacles of optimism, because this is Ability of the Week: Tinted Lens!
Tinted Lens was introduced in generation four, and is a favorite of Bug and Flying-type pokémon. In fact, every monster that has this ability is some type of bird, beetle, moth, or fly. The effect of Tinted Lens is to negate elemental resistances. If, for example, you’re attacking with a Bug-type move against a Fire-type like Charmeleon, it would normally only dish out ½x damage. With Tinted Lens in play, though, it still deals its full damage. Let’s up the ante now. If you’re a Bug facing a Charizard, your STAB attack will deal ½x instead of the ¼x that it’s Fire/Flying typing would normally afford it. From where I’m standing, this means that Tinted Lens is a great supplemental Ability that allows a sweeper to never have to worry about being “not very effective”.
…Implying that any of the Tinted Lens users can be viable sweepers. Which, for the most part… no.
Yeah, sorry about that. But let’s look at the two monsters that can potentially sweep, Sigilyph and Yanmega.
Both of these guys are viable Special Attackers, and each have Speed stats just below 100. Sigilyph’s move pool is perhaps slightly less varied than Yanmega, but it has enough variety to pack four Special attacks, two of which are STAB’d. Yanmega, however, has an even greater variety of elements in its move pool, a higher Special Attack stat than Sigilyph, and greater Speed to boot. That said, they’re close enough in stats that if you want to implement this strategy, you really just have to choose whether you want to have a STAB’d Bug or Psychic-type move.
While Tinted Lens won’t be the crux of your strategy, it’s still an interesting Ability that can help a versatile battler be even moreso. We’ll see if generation six expands the list to include any more clear contenders. Till next time!