We think of Abilities as a perk-system. They’re an added benefit that helps to differentiate one pokémon from the other. They’re why you choose to use Gyarados over Lapras, or Cofagrigus over Gengar. Without Abilities to set them apart, the massive library of going on 700 pokemon wouldn’t be nearly as appealing and potentially addicting to immerse yourself into, and that’s what makes them great! So when you find yourself staring down the proverbial barrel of an Ability that just doesn’t measure up, it’s a very strange scenario to find yourself in. Such is the case with our Ability of the Week: Defeatist!
Defeatist is an Ability accessible by only one evolutionary group of pokémon- the Archeops line. Like Aerodactyl, Archeops is a fossil-revived Rock/Flying-type. However, while the pterodactyl pokémon is used much as a trap-layer, the archaeopteryx pokémon is forced by its Ability to be a (perhaps reluctant) sweeper. The effect of Defeatist is to cause the offensive stats of the pokémon using it (perhaps cursed by it?) to plummet by 50% when their HP drops below half-capacity. But we’ll see how to make the best (sick of parenthesis yet?) of a bad situation.
Archeops has some very solid Attack and Special Attack stats to bring to the playground, and its Speed stat isn’t too shabby, either. With all three stats sitting at 110 or greater, and indeed, 140 for Attack, Archeops has the power to dish out some major hurt. The problem is with just as impressively bad defensive stats, the prehistoric prototypical chicken is like that nerdy kid in school. You know the one I’m talking about. They excel at the academic subjects and then utterly fail in gym? They tend to look like this:
It’s a long way to go for self-depreciating humor, but I’m so glad I did it.
Anyway, with both defensive stats sitting at 65, and a pitiful HP stat of 75, Archeops has got some big guns, but you better use ‘em quick before Defeatist does its thing.
From where I’m standing, this means you have two possibilities with your Archeops’ move set: a “phased” moveset where you have damage-dealing moves, and pre-fainting moves, or a “guns blazing” moveset where you just go whole hog and dish out as much as you can. You might be tempted to equip Archeops with some defensive moves or Leftovers to recuperate HP, but with such poor standing in those departments, you’re better off just ignoring such ideas. Archeops has a ton of powerful STAB moves, such as Rock Slide, Stone Edge, Head Smash, and Sky Attack, but its bread and butter is undoubtedly Acrobatics. Equip Archeops with a Flying Gem and use Acrobatics the first turn it’s advantageous, and watch the damage pile up! On the alternate edge of the spectrum, a STAB’d Head Smash will dish out huge damage, but at the expense of immediately activating Defeatist. Outside of STAB moves, Archeops also has access to several powerful attacks like Outrage, Earthquake, and Thrash. If you’d rather let Archeops prepare the field before it’s knocked out, you could consider running Stealth Rock, Swagger, Tailwind, or other such foe- or field-affecting move. Maybe even Endeavor if your opponent has just switched in a fresh monster!
Archeops and its Ability definitely promote a fast and furious style of gameplay, functioning as a risky sweeper. Try one out on your team and see what you come up with! Just remember not to roll over and die. ‘Til next time, trainers!
P.S.- We interrupt the end of this article for a brief commercial announcement. Writing AOTW is fun, but it's purely a labor of love, as is the case for all the editors of PKMNcast. In my case, I work a day job waiting tables in a themed restaurant geared towards kids. However, in the months between school restarting and holiday shopping, business takes a huge nosedive. Those of you who pay any attention know that I'm also trying to make my way towards being a professional comic book illustrator, and during this slow time at my day job, I'm offering 50% offmy character art rates! Maybe you want a personalized portrait of yourself as a trainer with your favorite pokemon, just like members of the PKMNcast editorial staff! I gotta pay the bills somehow folks, so if you're so inclined, commission me from now until about the end of October. Thanks!