AOTW Rapid-Fire!! Big Pecks, Flare Boost, and Natural Cure

Line ‘em up, boys and girls, because I’m back this week to pick off three easy targets in quick succession. If you’re just joining us, one of the trickiest parts of writing an engaging exposé entailing the explicit elements of individual Abilities is finding a way to stretch the simpler ones into decent-length articles. Also, the frequent trips to to find alternate words for my amusing runs of alliteration. When the easy Abilities start to pile up, there’s just one thing to do, and here it comes. This is Ability of the Week: Rapid-Fire!! Big Pecks, Flare Boost, and Natural Cure!

First up this week, we’re talking about Big Pecks.

No, not that kind.

Actually, before we get into this one, I want to point out two things. One, no, I did not add the caption to the above picture. That was pure serendipity. Two, I love the pun in the name of this Ability. It simultaneously alludes to large pectoral muscles, and the fact that every monster that can use it is a bird pokémon. Get it? Big “pecks”. Oooooh Nintendo, you guys are sillies. Anyway, really easy Ability to wrap your head around here, and I’m not talking about motor-boating Oakeneggar’s man-mammaries up there. Introduced in generation five, Big Pecks allows the eleven pokémon that can use it to never have their Defense stat lowered. Unfezant, Swanna, and Mandibuzz get this Ability naturally, while the Pidgeot family and Chatot can acquire it via Dream World. Obviously, this is a handy Ability in the first couple hours of the game, where Leers and Tail Whips are commonplace, and can also find a home in Little Cup play. In the metagame, Mandibuzz is probably your best contender to utilize the Ability, having the best Defense and HP stats of the bunch.

Next up, lets discuss Flare Boost. This is another new Ability in generation five, but interesting, it’s a Dream World exclusive that’s only available to one evolutionary family: Drifloon and Drifblim. And this thing has the potential to make the withdrawing dirigibles popular for something other than Baton Passing. Whenever the baleful balloons contract a burn, it will grant them a 50% boost to their Special Attack stat! First of all, this kind of thing is ideal for Drifblim because it has the HP stat to take the health loss from a burn like a champ. Here’s just a quick basic strategy you can try to employ. Have Drifblim hold the Flame Orb, and at the end of turn one, it’ll contract its burn. During turn one, Thunder Wave the opponent, lowering their Speed, and effectively turning Drifblim into a makeshift Sweeper. Obviously, you’re gonna be packing a Hex in this scenario, since with Flare Boost active your base Special Attack is 135 and Thunder Wave + STAB gives Hex a base power of about 150. Give your Drifblim two more big Special Attacks to round out its arsenal. I’m personally a fan of Thunderbolt, and it also has access to Charge Beam, Hidden Power, and Psychic. You could also try playing a Life Orb or Wise Glasses in a doubles match, and having your partner inflict the burn with Will-O-Wisp. There’s a few different ways to execute a strategy with this Ability. Try experimenting for yourself!

Finally in this Rapid-Fire, we come to Natural Cure. Turns out the effect was really just hugs.This Ability from generation three causes any status effects inflicted on your pokémon to be erased upon switching out, or else when the battle ends. Thirteen monsters over seven evolutionary families, including two legendaries, have access to Natural Cure, the best know perhaps being the Chansey family. It also finds a home with Altaria, Roserade, Celebi, Starmie, Corsola, and Shaymin. Obviously, your best-case scenario with this Ability is to pack a U-Turn on the monster using that, but the developers haven’t given any of them the capacity to learn the move (I don’t know about the legendaries, I’m not checking them). Which means your best bet is probably just use it to make a battling monster more threatening by giving them the power to resist Poison, Sleep, etc. Starmie might be your best bet here, if for no other reason than it’s only other naturally acquired Ability is literally worthless in battle.

That wraps things up for this week’s installment of Ability of the Week! I’ll be back next week, folks! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!