Fixing the Grass-type (Part 3)
by, 19th March 2011 at 08:27 AM (861 Views)
And so, the last part is here. It's amazing how much I can come up with, but one thing that I am concerned is whether or not this will be interesting, but this is where you readers will chime in and comment on it. Anyway, let's continue on!
- New types of Pokémon
- Type Coverage
- Attack Distribution
- New Moves
- Modification of Existing Moves
- New Status Ailment
- Type Chart Change
- Past Improvements
Weather is something the Grass-types are said to be more inclined to, so in order to capitalize this, all Grass-types get a boost depending on the weather. One of the problems with Sun is that Grass-types with Chlorophyll aren’t able to benefit from increased attack, as Sun only raised Fire attacks. In Rain, Water-types have a huge boost in Water moves, and since they also receive STAB off them, it makes them stronger.
In the Sun, the Grass-types have a power boost, preferably a 25% increase on both Attack stats, which will make them stronger in a way, and their attacks will thus be able to do more damage, creating an “overgrow” effect. It also benefits the Chlorophyll users handsomely, for they can now dish out the power with their heightened Speed. In the Rain, the preferable thing to do is to add a Defensive boost, and 25% will do. This would mitigate some of the damage the opponents can do to the Grass-type, who is supposed to block Water attacks. This way, the Grass-type will handle the Rain-based Pokémon better, who essentially have stacked boosts to make them threatening.
The abilities can also have tweaks to be beneficial to the Grass-type. For now, there are five Grass-based abilities: Chlorophyll, Leaf Guard, Solar Power, Harvest and Flower Gift. What these abilities have in common is that their effects will be fully realised under the Sun. There are Effect Spore, Sap Sipper and Overgrow as Grass-based abilities too, but they are not Sun-related. Chlorophyll, Harvest and Flower Gift are good to go, so the only abilities I would tweak are Leaf Guard and Solar Power.
For Leaf Guard, my proposed change is that it will also block the volatile status effects like confusion and taunt by the opponent, since it’s as implied: a guard against status ailments. As for Solar Power, the HP loss would only be in effect if the attack takes place, which will aid the survivability of its users if they decided not to attack. The drawback of this move is understandable, since the power increase is a great help, but the change will give the users some breathing space. On an unrelated note, Effect Spore can be changed to double its activation rate. Annoying yes, but is made more useful in the hands of the trainer.
One crazy idea I thought of is a new ability that changes depending on the weather. Basically, it will be Flash Fire under the Sun, Thick Fat in the Rain, Sand Force in Sandstorm and Snow Cloak in Hail. It’s really meant for the Grass-type that can adapt in all kinds of weather, although I am not aware of a living thing, but this idea would be neat nonetheless. This ability will make this Grass-type suitable in any weather as a supporter or counter, since it has the ability to perform supporting roles in the respective weather, or counter its summoners and abusers.
A new weather tailored for the Grass-type wouldn’t be a bad idea either. I am not clear on what kind of weather would be good fit, so I am going to say Sunny Day will suffice as a Grass-based weather. In case you were asking, I thought of Petal Wind or Fall (Autumn), but didn’t come up with reasons to justify their existence.
When it comes to Weather, it will be great if the Grass-type to be able to benefit from most of them besides Sun, which will give them more utility as supporters in any weather. I should mention that there are Grass-types that can thrive in other weather, with Ludicolo for Rain, Cacturne for Sand and Abomasnow for Hail. However, they will truly be upgraded if they can adapt in any weather (though that might be asking for too much, I guess?).
Type Chart Change
In terms of improvements, one of the key problems is many weaknesses and resisted by a relatively great amount of types. This fix is the least probable change in the list, because since Generation 2, the type chart remained stagnant. The proposed changes are an attempt to justify them for the sake of balance as well. To make things interesting, each matchup will belong to one paragraph each, and will have an analysis, reasons for supporting the change, reasons for opposing the change, along with my thoughts.
Change: Grass neutral to Bug
Analysis: By removing the Bug’s resistance to Grass, the Bug type will be hit by the full effects of Grass attacks, which will hurt a few Pokémon, like Shuckle and Crustle. If they retain their super-effectiveness, they might have to be more wary of Grass attacks, especially if it’s a strong one.
Support: It doesn’t really make sense that Bugs resist Grass, since some advantageous matchups doesn’t share the strong-weak relationship, like Water-Electric and Steel-Fighting.
Against: With one resistance down, Bug is only left with two resistances, which are good, but it’s little, considering how they have three weaknesses from types they hate being hit with. In real life, it’s part of the food chain where insects eat plants.
Thoughts: If you ask me, I wouldn’t support this change. It’s nice to be selfish once in a while, but ultimately, balance is important. It’s already bad that Bugs are weak to three good offensive types, so unfortunately, while I love this change, I have to pass this one.
Change: Grass neutral to Flying
Analysis: By removing the resistance, Grass can hit Flying-types better, which will be a good thing in-game, where the early birds can be smacked by Grass-types. Some Flying-types will lose their ability to wall Grass-types, and Gliscor would be hurt the most. Flying-types who are now weak to Grass-types may not have the same opportunity they had.
Support: Plant attacks against anything flying don’t have a one-sided advantage. In fact, birds have no natural advantage against plants. Flying is actually more of the “wind” element. Another type that resists Grass attacks is removed.
Against: The Flying-type is normally associated to birds, who in the food chain, dictates that they eat seeds.
Thoughts: Unlike the previous one, I am more open to the change, as they have enough resistances to help them still be good, seeing as their Grass resistance is just an extra. While I understand the outlook of the food chain logic, in terms of the current logical viewpoint, this matchup is outdated (in my opinion). However, I can see it staying because common sense dies hard.
Change: Grass neutral to Steel
Analysis: Steel is known to have a lot of resistances, which includes the Grass-type. By removing this resistance, Grass attacks will be one way of getting to the Steel-type, making them more useful, and it also makes more Grass-types usable because they are now able to hit Steel-types better.
Support: Simultaneous buffing of Grass as an offensive type and necessary nerfing of Steel as a defensive type.
Against: Illogical for the Grass to bypass the defence of metal.
Thoughts: This is an odd change that I saw suggested that I didn’t think of, but I like this change. It’s an oft thought that Steel is the best defensive type that might even be considered too good, but this change will at least make Grass-type a better offensive type. After all, the types that Steel didn’t resist are great attacking types for a reason.
Change: Grass neutral to Poison
Analysis: With a neutral hit on Poison, the powerful Grass-types will be able to trump even the more defensive Pokémon, like Tentacruel and Weezing. This would give the Grass-type something less to worry about, for they don’t need to worry about Poison-types ruining their day if they don’t mind it in the first place.
Support: One less type resisting Grass attacks.
Against: Poison, as a defensive type, needs the resistances it can have. Poison contaminates plants.
Thoughts: This change is something I am not sure about. This is because the Poison-type will need the resistances it can get to suit its role as a defensive type. I am inclined to agree with this, as long as it resists another type, possibly Dragon.
Change: Ice neutral to Grass
Analysis: Water has been provided the ability to learn Ice attacks, which is not a good thing for Grass-types, since they are currently hit super-effectively from that type. Because Grass is the only type that resists Water and can also hit them back super-effectively, it’s very important that Water’s alternate universal weapon isn’t immediately threatening. Granted, Ice is frozen water, but still...Grass-types are supposed to be able to counter the Water-types; it’s part of the elemental triangle business.
Support: As mentioned, one of the proponents of this is to prevent Water-types from completely dominating the Grass-type, especially the faster ones like Starmie and Floatzel, since Ice Beam isn’t going to dish out the damage. It would also provide another advantage over the Dragon-type, as being neutral to one of the best attacking types is not such a bad thing. It will make certain Pokémon better at doing their job as walls, like Venusaur and Meganium. In terms of aesthetics, wood doesn’t brittle off in the cold.
Against: Shaymin-S will be made better with a mitigated weakness to Ice. This is the only competitive objection I can think of. In terms of aesthetics, some say that plants die in winter.
Thoughts: In my opinion, this is the most critical change among all the others, because if this change were to happen, it will revolutionise the Grass-type to become better than they already were. If this change happens, Ice should also at least hit Steel at neutral, to balance the weak-resist ratio of that offensive type, since they are already pretty flimsy defensively.
Change: Bug neutral to Grass
Analysis: By rendering Bug attacks less effective, Grass-types will not have to fear Megahorns from some popular users like Heracross and Rhyperior as much, especially ones that resist Bug like Venusaur and Virizion. This would also turn the three move coverage of Bug/Rock/Ground into something less attractive as well. Also, Celebi will appreciate this mitigation too.
Support: There are carnivorous plants that shouldn’t be weak to Bugs.
Against: Bugs eat plants. Bugs have very few super-effective targets, and its removal will worsen their problem.
Thoughts: Like my comment on Grass attacks hitting neutral on Bugs, this change, while I like it, would ultimately worsen the Bug-type, since they also have huge resistance coverage. Like before, I would love this change, but for the sake of balance, I reluctantly pass this one.
Change: Flying neutral to Grass
Analysis: While it’s not immediately apparent, Flying is actually one of the better offensive types, due to only three types resisting its attacks, and none are immune to it. By removing its weakness, the defensive Grass-types have more breathing space like Tangrowth and Celebi.
Support: Flying is associated to wind, which grass can go along with without any hassle, like the willows.
Against: Again, Flying is often associated to birds, which according to food chain logic, must have the advantage.
Thoughts: Like I have mentioned before, this matchup’s reason is outdated because wind doesn’t have much against grass, so I am for this change. However, I have also mentioned how common sense dies hard, because of food chain logic.
Change: Rock resisted by Grass
Analysis: Any type that resists Rock becomes a great type, because of the entry hazard Stealth Rock and the general usefulness of Rock attacks. If Grass resists Rock, they will naturally resist the Rock and Ground combo that was thought to be near-unresisted, and it will become a decent type to be paired with to remove any Rock weaknesses other types have.
Support: Increased utility and defensive capabilities of the Grass-type.
Against: Decreased utility of the Rock-type.
Thoughts: This is the only matchup I considered that you will see is not only unheard of, but it’s the only one that carries a resistance. A Rock resistance is a very good, since it’s one of the best Physical types out there, and being a good stop to their attacks can prove handy, although the fact that three of the types carry a domineering relationship with the Rock-type may mean that this matchup may not be seen soon.
Type chart change has been my least favourite subject, but different strokes for different folks naturally, so either you enjoyed it or not. Still, even if this is my least favourite subject, I felt that a few of the changes are necessary for the Grass-type to become better, hence my concept of Mother Nature in my previous article. It’s hopefully something you can digest, and in a way, debatable in a civil way.
To wrap things up, let’s take a look at evidences that GameFreak does care for Grass-types by looking at what little improvements the Grass-type had over the times. I don’t want to give y’all the impression that Grass-types are so bad that they need a lot of fixing; in fact, they are actually decent, but you can say that there are so many possible ways to fix them. I mean, it’s good to appreciate the little improvements they did, right?
Type Diversification – I will do my best to elaborate this one, because it’s a proposed suggestion. Typing is everything, and a dual type would allow them to perform different roles due to their movepool privileges and unique resistances. For example, Ludicolo’s unique combination allows it to suffice in Rain, Cradily’s type combination makes it able to wall in Sandstorm and Abomasnow is an Ice/Hail Pokémon. For almost every type combination, there is at least one great Grass-type Pokémon to use. This diversification allows the type to handle more threats, as the other type allows for a unique brand of support.
Sunny Day (Gen 2) – While it’s a weather that benefits Fire-types more, the fact that it makes SolarBeam hits immediately deserve a mention. Later on, it becomes a key weather in the game, thanks to Sun-based abilities, Heat Rock and Pokémon that becomes dangerous in the Sun.
Chlorophyll (Gen 3) – When abilities were first established in Generation 3, this was one of the good abilities because the effect can change the tide of the battle. Basically, in the Sun, the possessor of the ability has their Speed doubled, which will usually put them at an advantage. While not really related, the addition of both Leaf Guard and Solar Power could be seen as legacy abilities in that they take advantage of the Sun to benefit the users.
High-powered Grass-type attacks (Gen 4) – Solarbeam was the only powerful worth mentioning last time, as Giga Drain and Petal Dance were rather weak moves at that time. Generation 3 had Leaf Blade which is a stronger attack, but only Grovyle and Sceptile could learn it. However, in Generation 4, we have a myriad of new powerful Grass attacks. The first of these is Leaf Storm, which is strong but weakens the user. Another is Petal Dance, which was made stronger, from 70 (Gen 1) to 90 (Gen 4) to 120 (Gen 5). Leaf Blade, Sceptile’s former signature move, also had an upgrade in power. Wood Hammer is basically Double-Edge with a Grass-type. Power Whip is also a powerful Grass-type attack. Seed Flare is, while a signature move, is a very useful attack to use. The best addition is Grass Knot, a move that gets stronger the heavier the opponent is. This is great because many fully-evolved Pokémon are usually heavy enough for the move to have high power. Similarly, in Generation 5, two other moves gained a power boost, besides Petal Dance. Bullet Seed have a great power boost, which is now a more viable move to use. Giga Drain also got a power boost, which becomes more useful because it now does substantial damage.
Stealth Rock (Gen 4) – The move that many competitive players dread, so what does this have to do with the improvement of the Grass-type? Four of Grass’ nemeses are the Fire-type, Ice-type, Bug-type and the Flying-type. And what do they have in common? Rock weakness! That’s right; this means that Grass-types would love some Stealth Rock to discourage these nemeses from constantly threatening them. It’s also worth mentioning that this type is the only one that resists Ground and not weak to Rock (Bug and Flying Pokémon hates Rocks, despite their Ground resistance/immunity).
Synthesis (Gen 4) – This move was introduced in Generation 2, but it was only made into a Move Tutor in Generation 4, thereby giving every Grass-type a recovery move. Some that do not already have it appreciates it, like Tangrowth and Parasect. A small, yet sweet way of giving them a boost.
Growth (Gen 5) – Growth is a move that was introduced back in Generation 1, but its effect was different from the effect we have now. In the past it only raised Special by one stage, or Special Attack in later ones. However, Generation 5 had buffed this move, where it is now able to boost both Attack and Special Attack by one stage. More important, using this move in the Sun will boost both Attack stats by two stages each! Because many Grass-types learn it, it is a great boost to them, especially under the Sun. This meant that Chlorophyll users have another move that benefits them greatly.
Whimsicott & Ferrothorn (Gen 5) – These two are the new Grass Pokémon that happen to be some of the greater ones, and they help raise the image of Grass-types with the strengths of their typing. Whimsicott is an annoyer with lots of support moves that go first thanks to ability, while Ferrothorn is a resilient wall with a great type combination. To elaborate on Ferrothorn, due to his/her type, most Water-types have to be wary, especially because Ferrothorn’s very defensive and cannot be poisoned, not to mention his/her powerful offensive potential.
Hopefully, mentioning these improvements will give all of us the hope that Grass-types will have an insurgence of usefulness in the next Generation. Let’s keep our fingers crossed until then!
Before I written this, I thought I would have a lot of fun doing this, but it wasn’t as fun as I thought, since a lot of thought needs to be put into it to make the material worthwhile, so it’s really challenging to come up with what I just put here. However, as I have progressed, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, and I must admit that doing this seems very fun. Feel free to provide some debate, since there’s plenty of material here to choose your topic. We will look at the Celebrity Trainers that specialise in the Grass-type next time, which will be the last article on the Grass-types for now. With this article being ended, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading.
(Part 1) ● (Part 2) ● (Part 3)
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