About a year and a half ago, SBJ approached me about writing a weekly article for PKMNcast that would somewhat serve as a companion to the new Move of the Week feature. My first Ability of the Week article on the starter trio Abilities Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent was released on the last morning of 2010, and I had officially begun the long task of educating the masses on passive pokémon powers. And today, folks, we’ve hit a milestone. Last week’s article on Solar Power was the 65th segment of my column, but more importantly, due to installments with multiple Abilities, like Rapid-Fires and the auto-weather installment, I’ve written about 99 passive pokémon powers.
Count ‘em down, Abiliteers.
And now, folks, it’s time to enter the triple digits. This is a celebratory Ability of the Week: Rapid-Fire!! Abilities #100, #101, and #102!
Well, this is one-part article, one-part celebration, so what better Ability to make the landmark 100th topic than Victory Star? This handy little Ability was introduced in Pokémon Black and White Versions as the signature Ability of the new legendary pokémon Victini.
The effect of Victory Star is to grant an extra boost of accuracy not only to Victini, but also to its partners in double and triple battles. Although only a 10% boost, that extra security blanket goes a long way, particularly when you consider that some of the would-be top attacks in the game only miss out on being favorites due to having just less than perfect accuracy. For example, Fire Blast’s Achilles heel has always been low PP and 85% accuracy. Well, not only does Victini receive a STAB on Fire Blast, but thanks to Victory Star, it moves up to a much more respectable 95% accuracy, just 5% shy of Flamethrower’s. And Victini has quite a few 90% or lower accuracy attacks in its move pool to take advantage of Victory Star with (including a STAB’d Zen Headbutt!)
Wonder Guard is a dream Ability from generation three, exclusive to the Shed Pokémon, Shedinja. As I’m sure most of you are aware, Shedinja by itself is not the best pokémon, with a stat total of merely 236, and the worst HP stat in the game of only 1. What makes Shedinja, and by proxy, Wonder Guard stand out is the fact that Wonder Guard prevents all damage from direct attacks, as long as they’re not super effective! With five weaknesses, this by no means makes Shedinja invincible, but a handy trump card to hold in your back pocket. It also doesn’t prevent poisoning or damage from weather, entry hazards, or Rough Skin and Iron Barbs. Wonder Guard is also a favorite Ability amongst game hackers, who give the Ability to the likes of Sableye and Spiritomb, neither of which have any type weakness whatsoever. There is a fun in-game “hack” for Wonder Guard, though, that will give Shedinja just two weaknesses. Run Shedinja on a doubles team with a partner that knows Soak. Use Soak on Shedinja, and it will only be vulnerable to Electric and Water attacks!
Finally, in this special Rapid-Fire, we’re going back to the beginning. Of this column, anyway. Swarm is the Bug-type equivalent of the starter trios’ default Abilities; Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent. When a pokémon with Swarm has their HP drop below 1/3rd, the power of their Bug-type moves increases by 50%. The trick with Swarm is finding a pokémon worthwhile to use it on. Most of the Bug-types that can use Swarm (and indeed, most Bug-types in general) have very low HP stats that make taking advantage of Swarm difficult. I think the best bet for Swarm is probably something like Leavanny. It packs a 75 base HP, which, for a Bug-type, is pretty darn respectable, and Leavanny’s secondary Abilities aren’t any better or worse than Swarm so you may as well take advantage of it. Have Leavanny use Swords Dance on turn one, and assuming the opponent has damaged Leavanny, pull out Substitute on turn two to activate Swarm and go to work on the opponent with a powered up X-Scissor.
So that does it! We’ve entered the triple digits! 102 Abilities down, just 63 to go! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, and if all goes well, we’ll see this thing through to the very end! Later, trainers!