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Rain's Bigger Advantages over other Weathers

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When I pondered about weathers in competitive battling, it dawned to me that Rain is the most favoured compared to the other three weathers. I also felt compelled to get this article done too, so I typed this in a night to satisfy my compulsion. There is an obligatory Politoed, yes, because this article is about rain. Now, the reasons to support this statement!



1) Moves that benefit from rain has an edge compared to others

Let's start with this one. In Rain, the moves that take advantage of its presence is generally more beneficial compared to the others. What type of moves am I referring to? Those high risk, high reward moves that elevates its disadvantages in a certain weather. Before I get down to this, I will explain the moves along with the weather.

  • Sun has Fire Blast and SolarBeam. Fire Blast has a well-rounded accuracy that is powered up in the Sun, but it is weaker in Rain and has only 5 PP. Solarbeam doesn't need to charge in Sun, and its PP count is quite good too. However, it is very vulnerable to a change in weather, as it becomes a liability to the user, giving the opponent a free turn. If that's not all, its power is halved too! Of course, there's Weather Ball too.
  • Hail has Blizzard. It is of a great offensive type, and it never misses in Hail. Even if the weather changed, it may still hit if you are lucky. However, it only has a measly 5 PP.
  • Sand is the only weather in which the current move does not benefit when it is used there, besides Weather Ball.


Now let's look at Rain. The moves they have that benefit are Hydro Pump, Thunder and Hurricane. Hydro Pump's a powerful Water-type attack that halves in the Sun, but possesses immense power in Rain (and its accuracy is still the same in any weather). That's the more balanced move, but it is the latter two moves that has better advantages. They have the same advantage as Blizzard and SolarBeam: Won't miss in the preferred weather and possesses good PP count. However, they have a couple more advantages. First and foremost is, they have a 30% chance of activating their effects. This is more than Fire Blast's and Blizzard's 10%, making them risky moves to switch into. Then, the other advantage is that they are generally great offensive types that synergises with the weather. Thunder will take care of other Water-types, while Hurricane is for the Grass-types (which is the reason I am grateful this move's distribution is limited). Only disadvantage with both of the moves is, Sun turns them into coin flips (50% accuracy). With that many advantages, they are too good to pass up if using a Rain team.

This is not even counting the Water-type moves that benefit from the presence of Rain, since the power is boosted. In terms of offensive types, Water is quite good because its neutral coverage is brilliant. Besides Hydro Pump, there is one particular move that makes Water-types a force: Scald. This essentially burns a foe if you are lucky, and it's mainly used on defensive Pokemon to bolster their Physical durability. Since it has the same power as Hydro Pump outside Rain, it is not an attack to be trifled with.



2) All Rain-related abilities are beneficial

Besides the obligatory Drizzle, which summons permanent rain, this is one of the things that made Rain quite powerful: the abilities that its users take advantage of. If you don't remember every ability I am referring to, they are: Swift Swim, Rain Dish, Dry Skin and Hydration. It would seem that only Water-types have these abilities because Water and rain have something in common, but there are other types which possess one of these abilities, with the exception of Rain Dish. For example, Toxicroak has Dry Skin, Accelgor has Hydration and Armaldo has Swift Swim.

To elaborate, Hydration heals the user of status if they have one (so in addition to avoiding status, the user can Rest), while Rain Dish is extra recovery (good for every user that gets it, actually). Dry Skin is free healing in Rain, and the extra damage from Fire attacks is not too much of an issue, because Rain mitigates this weakness. The most notorious one has to be Swift Swim, because not only does it provide the users a Speed boost, it benefits them in more than one way. Most Swift Swim Pokemon are Water-types, and this means double-boosted Water attacks in addition to double Speed! The most threatening Swift Swim Pokemon are Ludicolo (Grass STAB), Kingdra (Dragon STAB; Can even get past Ferrothorn if it is lucky enough) and Kabutops (boost-able Physical attacker). Even many of the other Pokemon with Swift Swim are not bad either. Carracosta and Omastar have Shell Smash in their arsenal, Floatzel's another Physical attacker, Beartic is an offensive Ice-type, Armaldo is a Bug-type and Qwilfish allows for fast hazards (faster than Deoxys-S, in fact. It was so good that the combination of Drizzle and Swift Swim has to be prohibited to give other weathers a fighting chance.

Compare this to other weathers,
  • Certain Pokemon cannot properly take advantage of Sun. Leaf Guard's nice, but the user cannot Rest. Solar Power gives the user a power boost, but it sacrifices the user's HP who has severe drawbacks. Flower Gift's distribution is only limited to one Pokemon, and it only works better in Doubles or Triples. Chlorophyll, the best one, has the Speed boost, but the only users are Grass-types, and they don't have a powerful Fire attack. Harvest is found on relatively slow users.
  • As for Sand, it only has Sand Veil, Sand Rush and Sand Force. Indeed, Sand Veil is quite game-changing, but it's mainly on Ground-types (who are weak to Water) and not completely reliable (if it works, it is game-changing!). Sand Rush is limited in distribution, although it made Excadrill too hard to handle. As for Sand Force, it does provide a power boost, but its users are limited and it is not feasible to most users.
  • Hail only has Ice Body and Snow Cloak. They are generally defensive abilities, but their effects are welcomed (free recovery is great for Stallrein, while an attacker would like some evasion). Problem is, those abilities are found only on Ice-types (except Seel, but Seel evolves into an Ice-type), and because of the disadvantages of their defensive type, they are harder to use.


The thing I am highlighting here is not that the other weathers' abilities are worthless (on the contrary, they are actually very useful), but rain's abilities are much more beneficial in the big picture compared to other abilities.



3) Types in rain has better synergy

Fire attacks mitigated in Rain means that it benefits three important types: Grass, Bug and Steel. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Ferrothorn in Rain, because it becomes harder to take down, thanks to its Special Defence. In turn, it supports the team quite well with entry hazards, Leech Seed or paralysis. Bug/Steel-types are nice to use in rain too. Scizor is an effective deterrent to any Tyranitar out there, Forretress appreciates the mitigated Fire weakness, and Genesect is allowed to unleash a powerful Thunder (and also threaten Hippowdon too). There are other Pokemon that benefit in Rain too, and works well in terms of type synergy. Toxicroak resists Grass, Bug, Fighting and certainly Dark-type attacks, Zapdos takes less from Grass attacks and is immune to Ground, and Gastrodon is immune to Electricity.

It is not just in the defense that rain benefits too. Offence benefits from this also. Tornadus and Thundurus (both Incarnate and Therian forms) are dangerous, with their powerful Hurricane and Thunder respectively (dealing with other Water-types, Grass-types and Fighting-types). Thundurus even has Nasty Plot too! Moltres and Volcarona make nice users too, since it deters Sun teams and Ferrothorn with Fire STAB and Hurricane. Let's not forget that most Water-types learn Ice attacks too. Keldeo may lack one, but it makes up for its high Special Attack and Secret Sword. Even Politoed can adapt to every playstyle too, since it has the movepool. It learns the right offensive moves, important status moves (Perish Song included) and has good defences. In other words, Rain is the ideal weather for offence, stall and balanced, because there are great choices for every playstyle.

Hail could also perform stall, but in terms of offence, it is rather limited. Besides Blizzard and residual damage, it doesn't have much in the way of attacks, though there are indeed dangerous offensive Ice-types such as Cloyster and Mamoswine. You have to remember that most of them are weak to some undesirable types, namely Fighting, Rock, Fire and Steel, which requires non-Ice-types to fill the gaps, preferably ones that either provide important type synergy or doesn't take damage in Hail.

Sand is better in some respects, such as having more types with sand immunity, so it is easier to take advantage of type synergy. The only types that they don't resist are Water, Fighting and Ground, so there are some key players that could fill the void. Flying-types would suffice as a Ground and Fighting taker, Grass-types for Water and Ground resistances, or perhaps some type combos are in order. Don't forget that Rock Special Defence boost too! Offensively, they are not too bad, with key players such as Terrakion and Landorus (and Excadrill when it was allowed). Sand is pretty OK in this category, actually, although they have a disadvantage when facing Rain (unless played properly).

Sun cannot perform a stall synergy quite like Rain or Sand. Steel-types are generally not as good at taking hits when Fire attacks are strengthened, with the exception of Heatran. Grass-types too, don't quite like the Fire also. As such, it is important to have some type synergy too, such as Water-types (for taking Fire and Ice attacks). However, the reduction in Water attacks make it easier for Ninetales and those normally weak to Water (like Donphan and Heatran). In fact, Sun is, in some ways, a Rain deterrent. In addition to that, Dry Skin, Thunder and Hurricane are at a disadvantage in the Sun. However, Fire-types are weak to Rock, and Ninetales is not exactly a weather starter that last long, compared to Rain's ones, Sand's ones and Groudon.

In other words, every weather have their brand of type synergy, despite Rain having an advantage because the type synergy is not only wider, but any playstyles is quite feasible under Rain.



This was longer than I expected it to be. If you do read this, I hope you enjoyed it. So, based on these reasons, I think the designers favour Rain (and Water-types in general) more than the other three, based on the extra perks they have. Sure, other weathers gets their share of boosts (more than Hail, at least), but Rain has bigger improvements they receive each Generation (especially Generation 5). I hope that in the future, the designers found out how Rain is very powerful (remember the Swift Swim + Drizzle ban?) than they thought it will be.

Thanks for reading.

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Updated 23rd November 2012 at 01:34 PM by winstein

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Comments

  1. Ghetsis-Dennis's Avatar
    Rain definitely needs nerfing and try focus on improving Hail.
  2. Lord Clowncrete's Avatar
    Well, with the bans, namely drizzle + ss, Manaphy and thundurus-I, Smogon did a pretty good job at balancing a metagame, which gf is bent on destroying. Frankly Hydration or Dry Skin aren't as strong anymore, since neither Toxicroak or Vappy are too useful. Without, doubt, Hurricane spam from Tornadus-T is the deadliest rain offense strategy, but beyond that Hurricane and Regenerator madness, I do not think rain is broken in the current metagame.

    I think Sand force and Sand Rush are rare because they were just released in gen 5.

    I would love it if gf released a grass/fire type with chlorophyll with a decent bulk and offenses.
  3. Pidgeot's Avatar
    That's a coincidence, because in some parts of Britain there is severe flooding right now. :/
  4. winstein's Avatar
    @Lord Clowncrete; I forgotten to mention Manaphy, an important point about Hydration's utility! It's true that Smogon (and PO) does make a good choice with the bans, but it doesn't cover the fact that Rain has bigger advantages compared to other weather (which is the reason I made this article in the first place).

    About Sand Force and Sand Rush being new, yes that's a valid point, but there are a few new abilities that immediately gained a good amount of distribution upon introduction: Unnerve, Weak Armour, Sheer Force, Moxie and Regenerator are some of them. Sand Force admittedly have a decent distribution, but as I said, most of the users would make use of their other abilities better. Sand Rush is the rare one, which I would love to see on a few others, such as Cacturne (I reckon it will be a pretty good user of this ability).

    If you ask me, I would love to see Sun get some important stuff too, such as what you mentioned. Sure, they got nice stuff now also, such as Growth, but I felt that Chlorophyll is limiting in terms of flavour (it's a Grass-type ability, compared to the other two abilities, which is feasible on any type, as evidenced by Beartic and Stoutland).

    @Pidgeot; Sorry to hear that...

    Thanks for reading.
    Updated 23rd November 2012 at 02:24 PM by winstein
  5. Mijzelffan's Avatar
    Sun also has good synergy with ground. And no mention of GeneSun? GeneSun is known for being a greatly destructive sun core (nintetales + victini + genesect + dugtrio + chlorophyll sweeper + potentially xatu). It requires quite some prediction though.
  6. Ghetsis-Dennis's Avatar
    @Mijzelffan; But Genesect has a 4x Fire Weakness. That strategy is suicide.
  7. Takaki's Avatar
    Rain still isn't overpowered in any way since despite how good it is, any decent player can easily prepare for it and win. In fact sometimes it can be a problem because almost every team has a go-to rain beater and unless your rain team can break from the norm to beat it, you will lose.

    In fact, the best team type right now is hyper offense followed by sun, rain then sand. At the very start of BW2, Genesun was without a doubt the best core in the whole metagame.
    @Ghetsis-Dennis; If you think that then you have either never used it, played against it or even played the game. At the start of BW2 the hardest core to beat, and the one that almost every good sun player used at the time, was that one.
  8. Mijzelffan's Avatar
    @Ghetsis-Dennis; Allright, tell me what pokemon is going to KO you with a fire attack before you can u-turned out. Genesect being scarfed of course.
  9. Infinity Mk-II's Avatar
    Totally agreeing with the blog here.

    Basically, Rain being THAT good is the main reason why Water is a bit on the overpowered side. It's just so inmensely reliable and versatile, in comparision to any other kind of weather, and boosts the already reliable and versatile Water type in ALL the right ways.

    It's a problem of reliability, basically. Your average sun team will never recover from the slightlest of mistakes, while your average rain team does the same offense and doesn't care about mistakes.
  10. Ghetsis-Dennis's Avatar
    @Mijzelffan; If we're not including ubers, then I'd say either Salamence or Infernape.
  11. winstein's Avatar
    @Mijzelffan; One point I forgotten to mention in the blog is certain how Sun offence is the best one. I also used a Genesect Sun team and it is quite awesome, with the only downside being Landorus. I believe Lavos Spawn is the one who started this idea, so credit goes to him.

    @Takaki; Well, it's true that Rain is manageable now, but not without the compromises needed to level them at an appropriate level (Drizzle + Swift Swim ban, and possibly Manaphy). I am uncertain about the Uber playground, but based on Kyogre's frequent usage, it looks like it is still the preferred playstyle (plus, Kyogre learn important moves to threaten other weather starters or stopper, in Rayquaza's case).

    So, the point I am making isn't that Rain is overpowered, even if it does hint at this when I mentioned that Swift Swim + Drizzle ban. It's to say that Rain generally has more advantages over other weather.

    Thanks for reading.
  12. Takaki's Avatar
    @winstein; In ubers it has always been the way. Rain isn't overcentralising though, you either run it because Kyogre is good or to abuse it,in both cases there are easy ways to stop it that are extremely common. There is no need to change anything that would need to be changed about any of the weathers since they can easily be controlled by clever bans and the nature of a metagame.
    @Ghetsis-Dennis; That point is completely null. When is Genesect even going to be near then? Oh and they KO it without sun anyway so...

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