AOTW: Prankster

Happy New Year, poképeople! Hope nobody overindulged too much over the holiday (particularly considering that a sizable chunk of the reader-base is probably below the drinking age), and welcome back to your weekly Ability class. In a metagame where defense buffs and Tailwind are incredibly popular, you need to give yourself a leg up on the competition. That’s where our topic comes in. This is Ability of the Week: Prankster!

Prankster is a new Ability in generation five, granting an increased priority to a pokémon’s moves as long as it’s a non-damaging attack. Obviously, folks, we’re not going to be talking about any Sweepers today. Prankster is suited to Stallers and team buffers, and therefore use in the theater of double battles. Eleven pokémon over nine evolutionary families have access to Prankster, most of them via Dream World. Outside of it, the four monsters with access are Cottonee, Whimsicott, Thunderus, and Tornadus, but you can get your hands on a Prankster-using Liepard, Volbeat, Sableye, or Illumise. You can also snag a Rilou if you don’t feel like evolving to Lucario, but I’m gonna assume that you don’t.

As for who you should consider for Prankster, it depends on what exactly you want to do with it. Sableye has access to two powerful damage-over-time attacks, with Will-O-Wisp and Toxic, as well as Mean Look, all of which receive a benefit from Prankster. Volbeat meanwhile can use Prankster to increase its priority for Tail Glow (+3 special attack), Moonlight, Confuse Ray, Thunder Wave, Trick, Baton Pass, and even Tailwind. Speaking of Tailwind, after all the talk of VGC this past fall, it should go without saying that Whimsicott is an ideal user of Prankster. With access to moves like Tailwind, Cotton Guard, Cotton Spore, and Leech Seed in its learned moveset alone, Whimsicott was a force to be reckoned with at the 2011 tournaments. And while I don’t condone the use of legendaries, it’s worth mentioning that Tornadus also has access to Tailwind.

That’s it for Prankster, people! Gotta say, I was hoping for far more whoopee cushions. Eh, guess you can’t win ‘em all. See you next time!