A few weeks ago, we talked about Abilities that speed up your pokémon by manipulating the weather conditions on the battlefield. Specifically, Chlorophyll, Swift Swim, and Sand Rush. These are all handy-dandy Abilities, but maybe by this time, you’re getting sick of having to run a weather-maker on your team. Well, you can take your teams indoors, because this is Ability of the Week: Steadfast!
A generation four Ability, Steadfast is a tricky little Ability that only an elite few pokémon can have (at least until you journey into the Dream World). The effect of Steadfast is to grant a 50% boost to the Speed of the pokémon using it if an attack makes them flinch. No matter what context you apply that to, it’s going to be significant. A 50% Speed boost can give a slower pokémon a competitive edge, or make a speedster downright deadly! In other words, it’s like having a built-in Choice Scarf without the drawback of being locked into only one attack! Outside of the Dream World, your Steadfast users are going to be the Lucario line, Gallade, and Tyrogue. The pokémon with Steadfast as their Hidden Ability are the Machamp family, Scyther, and Hitmontop, for nine overall monsters with the capacity to use Steadfast.
As far as who you should use with Steadfast, the best way to go must be to make your sweeping monsters even deadlier. In other words, go with something that’s already quick on its own. In my mind, that means Lucario, maybe Gallade, and if you can snag one, Dream World Scyther. All of these guys boast a natural base Speed stat of about 90, give or take 10 points, the highest of all the users. But for Steadfast, selecting a candidate goes a little bit deeper. In this case, are you going for a single or double battle approach? Because from where I’m sitting, the best way to utilize Steadfast is clear: in a double battle scenario, pair a Steadfast user with a pokémon with Fake Out. For Steadfast, a single battle scenario just leaves too much to chance. You have to rely on your opponent to trigger your Ability, and that’s never an ideal situation to be in. By pairing up your Steadfast pokémon with a monster with Fake Out, you’ll get your Speed Boost every time you play!
Using the Fake Out strategy, your best candidate for using Steadfast will probably be Lucario. With its Steel-type attribute, the Normal-type Fake Out will only deal half of its already small amount of damage when triggering the flinch. From there on out, Lucario can go to work on the opponent with Choice speed, and still make full use of its arsenal. As for the Fake Out-er, I’d recommend something focused on Defense, since your Steadfast pokémon will probably be starting at something of a disadvantage. Something like Mr. Mime or Mienshao, that can run moves like Reflect, Light Screen, or Thunder Wave to hinder your opponent while Lucario does his thing.
That does it for this week, folks! We’ll see you next time!