PKMN of the Week: Cresselia


I am still down here in Austin - the SXSW Music Conference is wrapping up and I will soon be enjoying many hours of much needed sleep.

During SXSW, depending on your point of view, the city of Austin can turn into a nightmare-scape.  All of downtown is closed off and literal hoards of people of all types - punk, country, hip hop, death metal, hipster, frat bros - mix in the streets (something along the lines of those first destruction scenes in Cloverfield).  The bass is turned up so loud in every club it sounds like explosions are going off from miles away.  The air hangs heavy with smoke of all kinds and laser lights project across the buildings overhead.  You can get caught up in the whirlwind of bands to see, take a turn down the wrong street, and stumble into a Harouki Zombi performance.

What balm can aid the troubled mind in such a scenario?  Who will come to your aid, bring you peace, and end the torment of phantasm?

Why, Cresselia, of course.

Cresselia is the Lunar Pokémon, but she is no Lunatone.  Tied closely to dreams, she travels the world chasing poor Darkrai who cannot help but cause damage to the sleeping.  Where Darkrai is nightmare, Cresselia is a calming dream of your happiest day.  Hold one of her feathers close and your sleep will never be disturbed.

I will tell you that I am not a fan of pure Psychic-types (or Psychic-types in general).  Personally, I find their weakness to Bug, Ghost, and Dark-type moves (move types that are commonly used) to be too difficult to work with competitively.  Cresselia is a special lady, though, since her base stats take her up into the 600 club and her move pool puts her front and center for building a strong defense.

Cresselia's highest base stats are all in the categories that bolster defense capabilities - 120 HP, 120 Defense, and 130 Special Defense.  As you train your Cresselia, you will want to focus on bringing up those core areas and sacrificing in the areas where she is weak - Attack, Special Attack, and Speed.  Natures to look for:  Bold, Relaxed, Impish, Calm, Sassy, and Careful.

I don't see much point in teaching Cresselia any attacking moves.  If you are going to use her, use her as a defender and healer.  Out of the "standard" set of moves some nice ones to consider are Safeguard, Light Screen, Telekinesis, Reflect, Rest, and Trick Room (Keep in mind that Cresselia's a slow moving girl).  Cresselia also has some special moves outside of the usual pool.  Moonlight restores HP (amount varies depending on weather conditions) without requiring a nap afterwards.  Lunar Dance (also known as the kindest self destruct) is Cresselia's signature move and quite the gift.  It acts as a Full Restore.  Cresselia will faint, you then swap in one of your beleaguered Pokémon and it will have HP restored to full, all moves PP maxed, and any status ailments removed.  Keep Cresselia going for as long as you feel comfortable, then swap her out for some final attack action.

Coordinating a hold item for someone who is going to be your big time defender is pretty easy - have her hold Light Clay.  Very basic - this extends the duration of Light Screen and Reflect from five to eight turns.

My biggest concern for Cresselia is that she is slow.  Knowing my luck and history, some dude (or dudette) is going to come along in the first round of moves and smack her with a Dark or Bug-type move and take her out of commission.  Dark Pulse or Night Daze are strong contenders for taking out a Cresselia.  If you are playing a Zoroark trick you should have no problem taking her down.  Of course Cresselia can use Protect, I personally feel that Protect is just a sign of weakness and only delays the inevitable.

Registration for the 2012 International Challenge opened on March 14 and battle begins on March 22.  Hopefully you've given some thought to your competitive team and are ready to make some waves!  Get plenty of sleep ahead of time and sweet dreams!