Tribulations of Great Pokémon 5
by, 8th November 2011 at 04:37 PM (1212 Views)
It’s Generation 5 time, and because it’s the most recent Generation, there’s less to research on compared to the others, making this one a breather. As usual, I shall be looking at what kind of difficulties trainers should face when raising this particular Pokémon, since battle simulators deprive the difficulty of raising a Pokémon (though it helps in planning!). What are the five choices I have chosen for today’s article? Welcome, valued reader: you’re going to find out today by reading on...
This is the first time I do a legendary, so it will be something new because I never cover legendaries before (pseudo legendaries don’t count). Victini should appropriately be done as early as possible because its significance is focused early in Generation 5 through an in-game event and the first pair of Pokémon Best Wishes movies. This segment will serve to commemorate Victini’s upcoming importance where there will be those movies on TV and sweepstakes involving our little Victory Pokémon, so let’s rejoice!
Victini is a pixie legendary. This group of legendaries are all-around cute and have base 100 stats in all categories, even Happiness. I am not exactly sure, but I believe that this group is responsible for making Base 100 Speed the average, although that’s not the average because it’s not the median for all fully evolved Pokémon. With those all-around stats, it should be pretty powerful right from the start.
The main draw about Victini is its moves, especially offensively. There’s the usual assortment of Fire attacks (Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Flare Blitz and Overheat) and a good exclusive Fire attack Searing Shot, Psychic the attack, Energy Ball/Grass Knot, Thunderbolt/Thunder/Wild Charge, Shadow Ball, U-turn and Focus Blast up for grabs. The Victini obtained through event has three moves you won’t find on its ordinary version, and two of them are very good moves on it. V-create is a very powerful Fire attack that is devastating and powerful, despite its defence and Speed drops, so you can patch it up if you have Trick Room (which Victini also learns). The next move, Fusion Bolt, provides a nice well-rounded coverage against Water-types, and the bonus is it’s Physical, so it works well with V-create. Unfortunately, Fusion Flare isn’t as important, since it’s a Special attack and Searing Shot is even a better move than it because it has a good Burn chance. It has the strongest Final Gambit (base 100 HP), and that can be a surprise to any opponent who has equal or less HP than Victini. You can perform some support with Will-O-Wisp and Taunt, sure to give trouble to Physical attackers and supporters alike.
What makes Victini better than the average Pokémon is its exclusive ability. With it, every move Victini uses has a bonus accuracy of 10% its original, which applies to its active teammates as well. The bonus accuracy makes Victini’s every move more reliable, helping out in the grand scheme of things, especially with crucial but not very accurate attacks like Fire Blast and Focus Blast. It makes V-create fully accurate, so you don’t need to worry about missing that strong attack. As such, Victini is often used as an offensive force.
Victini has a type combination that is considered a blessing and a curse, because its types are great offensive types but defensively it has severe drawbacks. The weaknesses it possess makes it a point for the opponent to take advantage of, namely Stealth Rock and Pursuit weakness (though the wrong attack can cost them). Water-types can put a damper on Victini, especially if they can recover since Fusion Bolt has little PP, although the rare Grass Knot or Energy Ball are trouble to them. Dragons will give the most trouble since Victini doesn’t have an Ice attack it can use, as well as faster threats that can hit super-effectively.
As a legendary, Victini has its fair share of tribulations to face. First and foremost is its catch rate. Note that this only applies if you got to Liberty Garden. It has a very, very low catch rate and a very low level, so you should have False Swipe ready. If you fainted Victini, don’t worry; it will still be up for catching, so you can defeat it as many times as you want without the consequence of losing it forever. This actually makes Victini a valid target for EV training in HP, so defeating Victini over and over again raises the HP EVs faster than defeating multiple Stunfisk. However, when you caught it, you can’t meet Victini there forever.
Like almost every legendary Pokémon, Victini levels up at a slow rate. Using on in-game means it will be one of the members where grinding is essential, not to mention the moves it get every eight levels. It’s going to take a long time to get certain moves, like Zen Headbutt at Level 49, Flare Blitz at level 73 and Final Gambit at Level 81.
Event legendaries are generally hard to get, since you need an event to get them. Victini’s no exception, so listen well on how to get it. First, you need the Liberty Pass, which you can’t use currently because it’s ceased to be distributed now. If you do, you can use it to go to Liberty Garden through Castelia City’s harbour. The other way to get it is through an event tied to Victini’s movies. An event’s coming soon on December, so here’s your chance to get it if you haven’t already! It’s also more superior for the sheer fact that you get three moves Victini doesn’t normally learn, so get more than one copy if you can, just in case someone who missed the event wants to have it.
And that’s about Victini’s tribulations. Victini is also balanced, alright. It’s not that hard to make a legendary balanced, especially one only obtainable through event since getting them is always a once in a blue moon opportunity. If you are able to do it, make it an effort to get them, because it fills a page on the PokéDex, and even if you don’t want it, a friend would love to have it. Here’s a toast to Victini! *Clink*
Excadrill had quite an impact in the metagame. This mole was nothing special when it was first introduced, and then when it’s revealed to have Sand Rush, Excadrill’s potential impact in the new metagame was brought to attention. It wasn’t until its full stats were revealed and some testing that it was found to be a powerful Pokémon, thanks to Sand Rush’s Speed boost in addition to its awesome power. What’s more, Excadrill’s only 0.7 metres tall! Who knew such a tiny mole would have made a huge impact in the metagame?
What made Excadrill such an impact? Let’s start with its ability. Sand Rush is one of the best abilities to have around, because Sand is a great weather, considering how it’s easy to set up. A Sand Rush user will seek to take advantage of this, and Excadrill happens to be the one. The bonus about Excadrill is its Speed, because its Speed happens to be over-the-top after doubling that even the speedy Deoxys-S can only dream of reaching it naturally. Excadrill also has a wonderful type combination, because with it, only Spikes will make an impact on it. Not only that! Excadrill has a very high Attack, and even has a stat boosting move to make it even higher, and all these factors makes Excadrill a very powerful threat, because an Earthquake at that power is phenomenal. While it has a lack of coverage, they are good enough. Rock Slide deals with the Bug and Flying-types that resist Ground, while X-Scissor is for Grass-types. Or, you can resort to Return if you want.
Through its impact, teams have to pack some solutions to Excadrill’s presence. This gave rise to the Pokémon with a powerful priority attack, namely Mach Punch, Vacuum Wave and Aqua Jet. Conkeldurr (Mach Punch) and Azumarill (Aqua Jet) make for good checks for Excadrill, for example. Another way to make sure Excadrill didn’t get the upper hand is to change the weather so that it’s not Sand, which is achieved by bringing a weather starter of your own and defeating the opponent’s Sand starter, because that way, more Pokémon can defeat Excadrill more easily. Having Physical walls that can outright threaten Excadrill is a considerable solution, which is why Gliscor is a good choice for a team. If lucky, you can perform a Trick Room so that Excadrill will drastically slow down.
Of course, Excadrill proved to be too much for any team to handle, and that impacted the metagame negatively, so it’s banned, but it can surely play well with its Über mates. However, I didn’t mention what else Excadrill could do. Excadrill’s other ability is Sand Force, which serves to strengthen its attacks further, but since the Speed boost is more beneficial, Sand Rush is the preferred choice. Besides, Life Orb can be used to patch up the power boost. A little known fact about Excadrill is its ability to use Rapid Spin. Its power is overwhelming enough to discourage Ghost-types from coming in to block it, so technically Excadrill’s job here is more successful than many other Spinners.
And so, what are the tribulations required to acquire Excadrill? I am afraid to say, the question should be rephrased as “what is the only tribulation required to acquire Excadrill?”. Yes, that’s right, there’s only one obstacle towards getting Excadrill that is truly considered a challenge. And the difficulty is finding a Drilbur. What makes Drilbur hard to find? That’s easy: you know how some caves have dust clouds sprouting out sometimes? In four locations, you can find a Drilbur hiding in it. Otherwise, it’s a mineral (evolution stones are consolation prizes). There’s no guarantee you will find one, because you have to remember that if you run into a battle on your way, the dust cloud’s gone. You can always get Repels to get hunting to solve that problem. If you got the perseverance, you will eventually find a Drilbur. However, Drilbur will have one of the two abilities, with Sand Rush being suitable for competitive battling, and Sand Force for in-game quests. If you found one, you can breed for more, and it’s not hard to breed them because they have equal gender ratio and average hatching time.
While getting Excadrill is the only tribulation for it, there's another indirect tribulation. Excadrill needs Sandstorm to function to its fullest, but there are only two main Sand Stream Pokémon around, and both of them are harder to obtain and train. I had covered Tyranitar before, but not Hippowdon. However, trust me when I say they are hard to raise. In fact, the next article on Generation 4 Pokémon will cover Hippowdon. One can try to set up Sandstorm manually, but it's not useful since there is a lack of Sand Rush and Sand Force Pokémon.
Excadrill is a powerful Pokémon that doesn’t require enough effort to get, although it’s not always a practical thing to catch one for an in-game quest. If you do get one, you have a powerful asset in your team. Excadrill’s moves are easy to get because its best moves are obtained through level-up (Earthquake, Rock Slide, Swords Dance and Rapid Spin). X-Scissor is gotten through a TM in a short diversion in Unova and Return is for sale. It doesn’t need Egg Moves because there’s nothing exclusively there that Excadrill needs. A shallow movepool, you would say, but Excadrill really doesn’t need much else.
Excadrill would have joined the club of special few Pokémon that fits the severe imbalance of great rewards for little effort if it weren't for the one thing that held it back (Sand Stream partners). Perhaps if Mold Breaker is the natural ability instead of Sand Rush the threat level isn’t very high so soon...
To reward a frequent reader of this series, I chose one of the Pokémon he suggested as a token of my gratitude. Anyway, Reuniclus didn’t seem like a Pokémon that’s great beyond its cuteness when it was revealed, but by looking at it further, you will be sure to know why it’s so great. First and foremost is its ability. Magic Guard means that stalling it down is futile, and having either Poison or Burn will help it guard status. More importantly, it can use Life Orb without the recoil. It can even utilise Trick to get Flame Orb to anyone who tries to get it out of the way, in the same way Clefable did last Generation.
Its stats are also quite impressive. It has very high Special Attack and great bulk, which can be boosted with Calm Mind or Acid Armour (if you want to). What’s more, it has Recover to keep itself healthy. Of course, the main reason it is dangerous is its perfect offensive coverage, consisting of Psychic/Psyshock, Shadow Ball and Focus Blast. Even Trick Room can shake things up, for Speed is the least of your worries after the dimensional twist.
Unfortunately, Reuniclus needs to be wary of certain dangers. Because Acid Armour isn’t a common move for Reuniclus to use, some foes can exploit its lower Defence stat by using a move it is weak to, like U-turn and Crunch. Psychic-types too can be a wall to Reuniclus like Latias, especially those who are not weak to Shadow Ball. If they can force it out like the use of Roar, they will temporarily remove it. Of course, Spiritomb, being immune to some of Reuniclus’ tricks (Trick is not one of them) can handily counter it because of its immunities. Last but not least, Reuniclus is very slow, so without Trick Room, others will get their turn before Reuniclus.
What makes Reuniclus a challenge to raise? First of all, you have to get Pokémon White, because that is the only game you can find it and its pre-evolutions. Otherwise, you need to trade from a friend who has that game. When you have reached an environment with Solosis, Duosion or Reuniclus, you are free to find it. However, they have two abilities, and generally Magic Guard is preferred because it has a 100% advantage over Overcoat. If you have a Pokémon to sample each Solosis or Duosion you meet (Reuniclus is the rarest to meet) like through Leech Seed, better do that. From my experience, Magic Guard Solosis took a long time to find, so I am not sure how much luckier others are when they got theirs.
Another of Reuniclus’ difficulties is its weak pre-evolutions. Their best stat is Special Attack, but the other stats are lacklustre. In fact, it’s hard to keep them alive most of the time due to how slow they are, so they almost never get to move first, making training one from young a very hard thing to do, because they may die a little too often. Solosis is especially not fit to take hits, so you need some support for the little cell until Level 32, when it evolves, but to reach there with Solosis alone is challenging. Duosion have average bulk (not a huge improvement), and Eviolite should do a good job patching up, since it’s still not fit to take hits. It is when it evolved all the way to Reuniclus will the reward of level-up be more evident, because its bulk is suddenly more acceptable. This is important to keep in mind when training one, since Solosis doesn’t immediately learn Recover unless you breed that move. Another important concern that needs to be brought up is due to the slowness of this family, it’s difficult to run from battles, since slow Pokémon have less chance of doing that (repeated running increases its chances, though).
Some of the moves Reuniclus can learn can be challenging to get. Acid Armour requires Grimer/Muk (the only parent who learns it naturally), Trick from Shuppet/Banette at a high level (some parents need a Move Tutor to learn it), Trick Room in Abundant Shrine (meaning you can only get it post-game), Focus Blast in Wellspring Cave (requires Surf) and Calm Mind (Seven Sage in Relic Castle; remember to get Shadow Ball there while you are at it). Not too big of a deal if you already found the moves, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Is Reuniclus balanced? The major one, weak pre-evolutions, is the most crucial, because it’s something you have to face every time you hatch or catch Solosis, since Special Attack EVs are not available in a convenient area for Solosis (Celestial Tower). Besides, if you are planning to raise one in-game, its slowness will not bode well for Solosis’ frailty, so Eviolite will be very handy to have. The progression of strength on the Pokémon felt meaningful because it makes raising a Reuniclus feel like an accomplishment. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion and say it is balanced.
If you are a competitive player, you will easily recognise Ferrothorn. Implied to be a necessary Pokémon in the metagame, Ferrothorn will never lose its popularity. You can thank the developers of the game for requesting a Grass/Steel Pokémon from the designers. There are many reasons Ferrothorn is both helpful and necessary. Grass/Steel is one of the best defensive type combinations because it is the only type that resists Water, Electric, Rock and Dragon simultaneously. There are other resistances too, but the combination allows Ferrothorn to hold a special niche that no other Pokémon can fill. Having great defence stats coupled with this type combination makes it even better, as Ferrothorn is able to come in on certain threats and take little damage. Iron Barbs even makes the target hurt if they try to damage it, providing a useful form of passive damage, like Outrage and Rollout users.
Of course, defending is not the only thing Ferrothorn does well. It learns both Power Whip and Gyro Ball which it gets STAB from, and they are powerful. Ferrothorn’s Attack is average, but the Base Power of those moves make up for that; Power Whip has a Base Power of 120, while Gyro Ball works well with Ferrothorn’s very low Speed. If you want, you can even use Curse to strengthen Gyro Ball further. As such, Choice Band is a viable item for Ferrothorn, where you can resort to Bulldoze (it doesn’t get Earthquake, sadly) and Explosion for coverage. Last but not least, Ferrothorn learns four great support moves that are worth putting in: Spikes, Stealth Rock, Leech Seed and Thunder Wave. Having stellar defences and support, Ferrothorn is bound to stay as a great Pokémon through and through.
As with any Pokémon out there, Ferrothorn has its drawbacks. The main disadvantage is the Fire weakness, which it hates to take, but not every Fire attacker can hurt Ferrothorn badly, especially in the rain. Therefore, only the strong Fire users can do the trick, not something like Blissey. Strong Fighting attacks are also troublesome, since Ferrothorn’s weak to Fighting, unlike Forretress and Skarmory. A Trick user can stop Ferrothorn too, provided they don’t trade a Choice Band away like Spiritomb. Of course, there’s no denying that Ferrothorn is slow, so many Pokémon can give it trouble. Likewise, those that resist Grass and Steel could take care of this metal plant, as with Pokémon that can reflect entry hazards and Leech Seed.
Now let’s look at Ferrothorn’s tribulations. The most important tribulation on Ferrothorn is the Egg Moves. There are five Egg Moves that are worth mentioning: Spikes, Leech Seed, Stealth Rock, Gravity and Seed Bomb. The last one isn’t for Ferrothorn, but for Ferroseed, since it can’t learn Power Whip, leaving the other four. The problem is, Ferrothorn can’t have them all. It can only have two of the first three moves, and Gravity is incompatible with Spikes and Stealth Rock + Leech Seed. With the selective move combinations, parents are selective as well. Turtwig can have both Stealth Rock and Leech Seed, Exeggcute learns both Leech Seed and Gravity, Dwebble can learn both Spikes and Stealth Rock, and the most preferred combination by competitive players is the Spikes and Leech Seed combination, which makes Cacnea the preferred parent.
When you have those moves, now you got to train Ferroseed from young! Ferroseed may have been defensive and have the ability to punish contact users, but one thing is for certain: it’s very, very slow. In fact, you will be hard-pressed to find a Pokémon it can out-speed. This would mean almost any Pokémon gets the first attack, which makes Ferroseed’s resistances handy (don’t make it battle Fire or Fighting attackers and you will be fine), but the trouble is running away from battle. As mentioned in Reuniclus’ segment, slow Pokémon have a hard time getting away from battle, so you will need other Pokémon’s help to do that. You also need to rule anything that resists Steel or Normal out since Ferroseed doesn’t have any Grass attacks, unless you bred a Seed Bomb. Also, finding targets to raise the Defence stat is not always consistent for EV training, since there’s no sure area where all the Pokémon raises Defence. Pinwheel has Sewaddle and Venipede with a total of 60% chance of meeting, while Wellspring Cave has a 50% chance of Roggenrola appearing.
Ferrothorn is, without a doubt, balanced. It’s a very great Pokémon, that’s for sure, but its two problems will ensure that it is balanced because those challenges are reasonable for trading with the greatness of this Pokémon.
Another pseudo-legendary covered...it’s the fourth article in a row that a pseudo-legendary is being covered. Looks like pseudo-legendaries are the most popular requests, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Dragonite will be chosen for the next one (not that I am calling you to suggest, but I am prepared for when it happens to be the one). So, Hydreigon. As a pseudo-legendary, you can be assured that it is a great Pokémon. Let’s explore its strengths.
Hydreigon’s best stat is Special Attack, which is different from past pseudo-legendaries who has mastery over Attack instead. To be great with this Special Attack is to have great Special attacks, and fortunately, Hydreigon has plenty of awesome attacks to do the job. Not only does it have Dragon Pulse, Draco Meteor and Dark Pulse courtesy of its type combination, it has Flamethrower and Fire Blast, Surf, Focus Blast and Earth Power. As such, Choice Specs would be a deadly item to have. Its physical Attack is no slouch either: it has a good Attack stat and some great Physical attacks, namely Earthquake, Outrage, Crunch, Stone Edge, U-turn and Head Smash. Having both high Attack and Special Attack allows Hydreigon to cover both defensive sides, so Life Orb or Expert Belt will be useful items to possess.
Like all but three Dark-types, Hydreigon has Taunt, deterring any slower Pokémon from setting up. Other support moves worth noting are Work Up, Substitute, Dragon Tail and Thunder Wave. Its good Speed would give it an edge over a lot of Pokémon, but Choice Scarf is often used to get an edge over Pokémon with a higher Speed. Of course, there’s no forgetting Hydreigon’s only ability Levitate. With this, it doesn’t bother the two dangerous entry hazards, giving it some room for safety.
Hydreigon’s drawbacks include its defensive typing. It has great resistances, sure, but it has also great weaknesses. Fighting and Ice are a given, but Bug is a dangerous weakness to have because fast Bugs like Volcarona and Accelgor can pose a problem, and U-turn users are especially the main problem with the weakness, since the move encourages the opponent’s momentum by putting offensive pressure on the player. Most important is the Dragon weakness, mainly because those with a higher Speed like Latios and Salamence will be the bane of Hydreigon’s existence. The Speed makes Hydreigon prone to being revenge killed (term used for sending another Pokémon to threaten a foe when they knocked out one of your Pokémon), especially from the likes of faster opponents or those that resist one of its locked attacks.
Just like other pseudo-legendaries, Hydreigon has a host of tribulations to overcome. First and foremost is finding Deino. This Pokémon is available in only one location in Unova, which is the Victory Road. At this point of the game, it’s unfeasible to use it on the Elite Four, because its level is likely lower at this point (you should have a level of around 50 because the Elite Four’s Pokémon are around that level). It can only be found in certain areas of the cave at a 20% chance, so good luck finding it. It will actually be ridiculous to find either Zweilous or Hydreigon in the wild, and the next point will explain why...
When you caught Deino, you can train it to evolve into Zweilous and then into Hydreigon. However, both of them have an insanely high level requirement, even for an average Pokémon’s standards. Zweilous is obtained as early as Level 50, while Hydreigon is only available at Level 64! What’s more, they have a Slow level-up rate, and by now you should know what this means: lots of required experience to get them up to stage. There is a popular observation that Ghetsis’ Hydreigon isn’t legit because it’s underlevelled, and its level isn’t controlled like in tournaments or wifi battles.
Like all pseudo-legendaries, Deino takes a long time to hatch from its eggs. The reason you want to do this is to get some nice Egg Moves (or obtain the suitable stats and nature), which are Head Smash, Dark Pulse and Earth Power. All of those moves have some degree of difficulty to get. Dark Pulse (Ekans, Gyarados and Seviper) is a past Generation TM and Earth Power (Gible) is a past Generation Move Tutor. This should tell us that you need to import a Pokémon from a past Generation first. Head Smash, on the other hand, requires Scraggy at at least Level 53. As you can tell, none of these moves can be used together.
Deino’s not a strong Pokémon, and it has to endure as a young one for so many levels, so it can be strenuous to train one from the start. Actually, this is not the only reason it’s strenuous. The other reason it’s arduous is its ability Hustle. With this, any move you use will have an accuracy reduction of 20%, but then, Zweilous has this ability as well, providing a bumpy road for 63 levels. That’s not all: Deino and Zweilous are more Physical-oriented if their ability and higher Attack stat is of any indication. It’s very likely the Pokémon is bred to have a lowered Attack nature, so you have to then work with the lessened Attack for the time being with attacks like Crunch and Return, since the juicier Special Attacks are exclusive to Hydreigon, namely Flamethrower.
In the end, it’s not hard to say that Hydreigon’s a balanced Pokémon, because it has some outrageous tribulations to overcome, especially its level-up evolution. I am actually impressed by how well this Pokémon is balanced because it is easier to see these balance factors.
OK, that’s it for this entry of Tribulations of Great Pokémon, so that means we shall go back to Generation 1’s greats next time. It’s up to you to vote for who shall be in the next article, especially the great Pokémon in competitive battling (five choices). The only suggestions that you can’t make are ones I done before, so Gengar, Machamp, Gyarados and Cloyster are out. I don’t mind doing Alakazam again, since there is substantial new material to write about him, so if you want, Alakazam is up for the picking. I chose not to repeat Gengar because I only have one point to add, so it's not worth taking a spot from another Pokémon for just that. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.
Thanks for reading.
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