If there’s one thing I love to do in Pokémon, it’s poisoning opponents. Longtime fans of course know the running joke of me running Toxic on my HGSS-era Blastoise, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Using a poison affliction to my advantage on either side of the battlefield is one of the most fun things to do in the game. Maybe I’m a little sick, but I love making my opponents squirm. Of course, Abilities are the best way to accent any facet of the game, and status afflictions including poison are no exception. Let’s line up three of them. This is an Ability of the Week Rapid-Fire!! Immunity, Toxic Boost, and Poison Heal!
Let’s get the easiest one out of the way, folks. Immunity was introduced in generation three as the signature Ability of Zangoose, and also available on Snorlax. Nowadays, it’s also Gligar’s Hidden Ability. Immunity does exactly what it sounds like it does: renders the pokémon using it impervious to succumbing to poisoning. That’s… well, that’s about it really. Apart from the obvious, you can use this to your advantage if you have a partner in a doubles match with Sludge Wave or a similar move.
In a complete inverse, Toxic Boostis a new Ability in generation five and is found exclusively on Zangoose as its Hidden Ability. When Zangoose with Toxic Boost is afflicted with poison, its Attack stat gets cranked up by a pretty little 50%! Zangoose already has an impressive base Attack stat, and with the right training, can be made into a powerhouse with this Ability.
Finally, let’s talk about a personal favorite: Poison Heal. This Ability came into play in generation four, and its Wonderlandian effect is to make your poison affliction serve as a built-in Leftovers! At the end of every turn, a pokémon with Poison Heal who is poisoned will recover 1/8th of its overall HP instead of losing it. And which pokémon can take advantage of it? Just three: Shroomish, Breloom, and a Gliscor who has accessed its Hidden Ability. I use the latter on my BW singles team, and I’m going to tell you exactly how I play it.
Before I dive into covering my Gliscor (affectionately dubbed “Schumacher”, after the visionary hack who put nipples on the Batsuit), I have to give a shoutout to our resident maestro of moves, Kenny, who bred the badass bat for me. Thanks, Kenny!
Schumacher is designed for longevity and attacking prowess. To that end, I’ve trained him with a focus in HP, Defense, and Attack. To activate Poison Heal straightaway, I’ve equipped Schumacher with a Toxic Orb, which activates at the end of turn one if he’s the initial battler, or immediately if he’s switched in by my Mienshao’s U-Turn. In a player vs. player battle, I utilize Fling immediately after the Toxic Orb poisons Schumacher, dealing damage and inflicting bad poison onto the opponent. This gives me a four-fold strategy utilizing the Ability. I recover health, I can poison one opponent, I cannot be put to sleep or under paralysis, and finally, for the fourth item, Schumacher has Façade in his arsenal. I’ve balanced out his moveset with STAB’d Aerial Ace and Earthquake, but Poison Heal is the star of the show.
I think I need to call the Poison Control Center, guys. After all this talk of toxicity, I’m feeling a little woozy. Later, trainers!