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Tribulations of Great Pokémon 9

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by , 16th May 2012 at 10:59 AM (4571 Views)
Here we go! Out next entry of this series goes back to the great Pokémon of Generation 4, where another five great Pokémon of this generation gets an analysis on what makes them great in competitive battling and the troubles involved in raising them to greatness. Normally, I would explain the purpose of this series, but I will give it a rest for now, because the repetition might be tedious by now. Which of these user-voted Pokémon did I pick? Read on to find out.




Infernape



Like the last time I reviewed Generation 4 Pokémon, we have yet another starter in our midst. Introduced as the second Fire/Fighting starter Pokémon, it is naturally compared with Blaziken. Fortunately for Infernape, it was shown to be a better Pokémon than Blaziken, because it excels in several areas that Blaziken lack, which we will see later. In Generation 5, it is Blaziken that receives the best upgrades, while Infernape is introduced to some new competition: the musketeer Pokémon. We will explore on some of these bits later on, because explaining why Infernape is great is top priority.

Blaziken may have been a powerful Pokémon, but Infernape’s Speed makes it more superior as an offensive Pokémon despite having less Attack and Special Attack than Blaziken, because the main thing an offensive Pokémon needs is Speed, as defeating the opposition quickly puts the player at an advantage. Its Speed is unique as well, putting it above several Pokémon like Garchomp, Scyther and Jirachi. Of course, an offensive Pokémon needs the right moves to be effective, and Infernape happens to learn the right moves. It has powerful STAB attacks, mainly Close Combat (which Blaziken lacks, making it outclassed for a while) and Fire Blast. It’s also a good thing Infernape has some useful coverage moves, especially Grass Knot, Stone Edge and Thunder Punch. Because Infernape also learns U-turn (Blaziken lacks this too), it could scout the opposition to see if they brought in a counter for Infernape. Another thing Infernape could do is to boost its attack stats further, as it learns Swords Dance, Nasty Plot and Work Up. Infernape’s ability to attack Physically and Specially makes it a great Pokémon to use with Life Orb. As a surprise, you could use some support moves too! Taunt is for those thinking they could set up on Infernape, Stealth Rock is useful on a lead set (and the only way Bisharp could learn this move, which is through breeding) and Encore is for novelty. Iron Fist is also a pretty nice additional ability, as a boosted Mach Punch and Fire Punch could prove useful.

Unfortunately for Infernape, its defences aren’t the best, making it prey for faster and powerful foes, like Alakazam and Gengar. A Pokémon with resistances to Infernape’s STABs would also be ideal Pokémon to switch in, like Chandelure and Latias, and if Infernape lacks a way to deal with them, they could strike hard. Because Infernape doesn’t have a reliable Dark-type attack (Punishment isn’t reliable), any Psychic-type could prove troublesome, as with Water-types if Infernape doesn’t have the appropriate attack for them. Gyarados deserves a mention, because of its good Special Defence and Intimidate.

It should be noted that in Generation 5, Blaziken gained Speed Boost, a very good ability. Also, Hi Jump Kick gained a power upgrade, making it more powerful than Close Combat. This does make Infernape seems obsolete because of this, but it’s not the case. It’s true that Blaziken is more threatening that way, but Infernape still retains certain advantages, like higher initial Speed and Mach Punch. Its base Speed was unique, so it could opt to put less EVs in Speed for another attacking stat if it wants to. However, Generation 5 gave us more Pokémon with the same base Speed as Infernape, which are the Musketeer quartet (and Galvantula), making it a must to fully invest in Speed so that it isn’t outpaced by them. The most dangerous musketeer to Infernape is Keldeo, because of its Water-type.

Now for the tribulations portion. The first thing about Infernape is its gender ratio. As with any other starter Pokémon, it has a very huge chance to be a male Pokémon, so you can’t immediately breed for new ones. There is a reason for this: it learns some sweet Egg Moves. Moves include Fire Punch, Blaze Kick, Fake Out, Heat Wave and Thunder Punch. Because Infernape is in the Field Egg Group, you could just use Smeargle as a parent if you can’t bother to find a suitable parent to learn those moves, although the Hitmons are considerable options for some of them. On a lesser note, it learns Assist this way, and is one of the few learners of this move.

Currently, obtaining Iron Fist is a problem. This is because you can’t get one anymore. Not that it is completely useful, because the Chimchar you get this way will always be male, meaning you can’t breed Egg Moves onto Iron Fist variants. Still, without a female distribution, you won’t find an Iron Fist Chimchar easily. This means that currently, Iron Fist Chimchar misses out on Fire Punch and Thunder Punch. You might ask by now: how do you obtain it? Well, basically, you buy a Pokémon deck or a Player’s Guidebook in Korea, and then use the password attached in it to obtain one of the Sinnoh starter Pokémon, including Chimchar.

Being a starter Pokémon, you can only get one of them in your quest, so if you are looking to make a team with Empoleon, for example, you probably need to have another player with that Pokémon, or if you chose Piplup, you need to have a friend provide you with a Chimchar. While we are talking about Chimchar, I should mention that it is the only Pokémon in the family who could learn Nasty Plot, so if you are looking to learn this move, don’t evolve it into Monferno for a while (Chimchar learns it at Level 23). Chimchar can’t learn Flare Blitz, and because Monferno learns it at Level 56, it means that Infernape can’t use it in places requiring Level 50 Pokémon, like the Battle Tower.

After all of these, is Infernape balanced? Infernape is a very useful sweeper due to its type combination and movepool, but it suffers from the tiny symptoms associated with being a starter Pokémon. Infernape’s movepool also isn’t quite easily obtained, as U-turn is a moderately hard or rare TM, while Flare Blitz is a high level move. I guess it has a little bit of bias on the performance side, because for some reason I don’t feel its difficulties completely measure up to its usefulness.


Verdict: Almost Balanced [+1]




Lucario



Lucario is a star from the beginning of its career in competitive battling. First, we shall look at its characteristics building up to its greatness. Lucario has great Attack and Special Attack, which is important for a wall-breaker, because most walls are only dedicated in either the Physical and Special spectrum. Those attack stats are great for a sweeper because it allows Lucario to be flexible with what attacks to use depending on the opponents. Such an attacker would love to have powerful attacks, which Lucario happens to have! On the Physical side, the main ones are Close Combat (essential for any Fighting-type), Crunch, ExtremeSpeed (powerful priority’s practically preferred), Ice Punch (Gliscor and Dragons beware) and Stone Edge. On the Special side, Lucario has the rarely-distributed Aura Sphere, Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, Vacuum Wave (only Special priority attack) and Dragon Pulse.

That’s not all; another reason Lucario is such a powerful Pokémon is that it has boosting moves to make itself more powerful, like Infernape. Swords Dance is a given, allowing him to use a powerful ExtremeSpeed on a frailer but faster opponent, which is even better now because Mach Punch is bypassed by it, unlike in Generation 4. There’s also Agility, which provides an essential Speed boost to Lucario to make him harder to out-speed. In Generation 5, Lucario learns Nasty Plot as a Riolu, providing another option to be even dangerous. As a mixed attacker, Lucario’s preferred item of choice is Life Orb.

Lucario’s type combination mean the only entry hazard of concern to it is Spikes, because as a Steel-type, Poison will not affect Lucario, which will otherwise limit its lifespan even more, and Stealth Rock strips very little health away. The resistances Steel provide is even more helpful, especially the Dragon resistance. Its abilities are not much of a concern, but immunity to flinches (Inner Focus) is never a bad thing, as with nabbing an Attack boost from a Dark-type attack with Justified.

Lucario is definitely not a perfect Pokémon, and that’s a fact. One of its main problems is the defences. Its defences are on the low side, and being weak to Fighting means it will not like to face any Mach Punch user (Conkeldurr) or a plainly faster threat (Terrakion and Landorus). Lucario also has what is called a “four moveslot syndrome”. This term is used for a Pokémon who would prefer more than four options to do its job well, but in the end it can’t do everything, and so have to settle for four suitable moves for the job, potentially leaving itself open to something else because it doesn’t have the move for the affair. Additionally, if one knows how Lucario operates, you can place a wall to hinder Lucario’s sweep, so Gliscor is able to deal with Lucario provided it lacks an Ice attack and is Physical. Still, due to Lucario’s offensive potential, countering it isn’t always going to be as planned. It is threatening indeed.

Moving on, we get to Lucario’s tribulations. The first of his tribulations is getting a Riolu. You receive an egg from Riley at Iron Island (Sinnoh), which contains a Riolu. At the point of game, grinding is the only option if you want to use Lucario to battle the Elite Four because at that point it’s middle-late game. The egg also hatches in a moderately long time at 6630 steps (in Sinnoh, Ponyta and Magby are some of the few Pokémon with Flame Body to shorten the process). Since you are getting it from an NPC you will meet on the way. In Unova, you can catch a Riolu in the wild at Challenger’s Cave, although it’s very rare. Oh, and to evolve a Riolu, you need to raise his happiness to high levels, and then evolve him during the day. If you are nocturnal, you better stay up in the morning to evolve Riolu when you reach a high happiness level.

Lucario possesses some nice Egg Moves, particularly Agility, Crunch, Bullet Punch and Blaze Kick. However, the problem with Lucario is that its gender ratio is hugely biased toward the male side, so you have a very huge chance of getting a male Riolu. If you, by chance, manage to meet a female Riolu in Challenger’s Cave, definitely, definitely catch one! I cannot emphasise it enough, because Riolu is exceedingly rare and it makes life easier because you don’t have to breed Lucario to get a female Riolu. You may be wondering why I mention Lucario as a breeding target and not Riolu. In case you don’t know, Riolu is a baby Pokémon, so it can’t breed. You have to evolve to Lucario first, which is troublesome because the evolution is happiness-based. If you have a female Riolu, you are home-free with the breeding duties. After that, just remember to check who can obtain a certain move combination, and if you don’t want to do that, just produce a male Smeargle and teach it moves to pass on.

One of Lucario’s better moves is Nasty Plot. Unfortunately, Riolu can only learn it, so you want Riolu to stay that way until level 47, which is the level he learns that move. Lucario’s best moves are also obtained at a very high level, namely Aura Sphere (51) Close Combat (55), Dragon Pulse (60) and ExtremeSpeed (65). Those moves are learnt at a lower level in Generation 4. Oh, and by the way, since Dark Pulse is no longer a TM, you need a Heart Scale to access this move, because it’s Lucario’s hidden level-up move.

Let’s clarify on whether Lucario is a balanced Pokémon. It is a powerful attacker, but you need to work hard for the moves you want to learn since Riolu doesn’t learn them, and if it does, they are breeding moves. And breeding session will only end when you managed to get a female Lucario (because Riolu can’t breed). Yep, it’s troublesome, but definitely worth the effort. Lucario’s a balanced Pokémon, unless for some reason it is commonly available in Black 2 and White 2, which would bump it to a score of [+1] or [+2].


Verdict: Balanced [±0]




Hippowdon



When I reviewed Excadrill last time, I promised to investigate this Pokémon next time. Basically, because Excadrill is a superb Pokémon to use in a sand team, its teammates had to set up unlimited sandstorm, and Hippowdon is one of them. Now the “next time” is up, so here it is: Hippowdon! This is the first Pokémon in which there is a clear sexual dimorphism that shares the same PokéDex entry, preceding Unfezant and Jellicent, which is neat.

Hippowdon’s greatness mainly comes from the ability Sand Stream, allowing it to create an ongoing sandstorm that will benefit certain Pokémon, like those immune to sand damage or those who can take advantage of it because of an ability (like Stoutland). However, there are some cases where having a great ability isn’t enough to stand out from the crowd, because of certain factors like not having the stats for the ability (like Venomoth’s Shield Dust or Sharpedo’s Rough Skin) or having a lack of moves for the job (Braviary’s Sheer Force). Fortunately, Hippowdon isn’t one of them. It has very good stats for a wall, with the best ones under HP, Attack and Defence, and its Special Defence isn’t that bad when put together with its high HP. While Hippowdon’s movepool isn’t known for its diversity, it learns enough moves to be threatening. There’s Slack Off for longevity, Whirlwind or Roar for forcing out an opponent, Stealth Rock for entry hazard, Yawn to cause the opponent to get drowsy, the elemental Fangs for elemental damage, Stockpile for defence boost, Earthquake for STAB damage, and Stone Edge for coverage. Its Hidden Ability Sand Force is also decent on a bulky Pokémon like it, especially with the ability to recover Life Orb damage. If you are using that ability, remember to bring Tyranitar so that you have permanent sandstorm on your side.

One of Hippowdon’s flaws is its Speed. With a very low Speed, other Pokémon are able to take advantage of it, like Taunt users, status users (Toxic is bad for Hippowdon) or worse: offensive Pokémon with a super-effective move, like Roserade. It’s important to note that while Hippowdon’s Special Defence it not terrible, it’s not quite enough to deal with powerful Special-based Pokémon, like Hydreigon’s Draco Meteor or Chandelure’s Fire Blast. If Hippowdon doesn’t possess the necessary coverage move, it will be walled by a Steel-type that isn’t affected by ground, namely Skarmory and Bronzong or a Grass-type like Tangrowth. Finally, as said before, Hippowdon’s isn’t known for its movepool diversity.

Let’s discuss Hippowdon’s tribulations. The first thing that you will immediately find hard about this Pokémon is finding it. If you decided not to go to the faraway island of Sinnoh at Route 228 or 229 for a Hippowdon, you can try your luck at the Maniac Tunnel for a Hippopotas. Over there, there’s only a 5% chance of meeting one, but by collecting more Unown forms, you have a higher chance of meeting it (although I unexpectedly met one in my first encounter once). In Unova, it’s a Swarm Pokémon, meaning it’s not every day that you meet one.

Another thing about Hippowdon that makes it a challenge to raise is its Experience Group. As I have said several times already, this is one of the factors that make a great Pokémon difficult to raise, because it just makes them very time-consuming to level up. While it’s a decent choice in-game, you don’t need to have one if you think you don’t want to dedicate more experience on one. Also, because Hippopotas is a slow Pokémon, it can’t run from battles easily. In addition to this, the moves it learns are not quite strong early on, unless you bred Earthquake or taught it through TM (not recommended in Generation 4, because it learns it naturally). Hippopotas evolves at a moderate level 34, so it’s probably not difficult to evolve it. Just remember that Hippopotas can’t learn the elemental Fangs, meaning that Heart Scales are a must to learn them.

Another issue with Hippowdon is breeding. Unlike many Pokémon, its eggs hatch at a rather long time, at 31 Egg Cycles (7905 steps). When I mention this, you might probably expect that this Pokémon have some important moves that could only be obtained through breeding, don’t you? Well, even if you’re not guessing, I will still tell you anyway. A very important move that you will need Hippowdon to have is Slack Off, because it’s just a very good move for a defensive Pokémon. Unfortunately, there are only three families who learn this move, but one of them is not compatible (Slowpoke), leaving the other two (Slakoth and Chimchar). The other Egg Moves you would want to consider are Sleep Talk, Whirlwind (Generation 5), Body Slam and Curse.

Taking all these tribulations into consideration, is Hippowdon a balanced Pokémon? I consider it balanced, because Hippowdon’s flaws balance nicely with its strength. It’s a force to reckon with, that’s for sure, but I believe the effort put in raising it well makes the effort worthwhile.


Verdict: Balanced [±0]




Electivire



Generation 4 gave us evolutions to some of our favourites in the past and it so happen that Electabuzz is one of these Pokémon. Because Magmar is Electabuzz’s counterpart, it received an evolution as well. After their evolutions are revealed, it is evident that the designers favoured Electivire a bit more than Magmortar. For starters, Electivire had a new ability that grants a type immunity, something Magmortar wished it had. Magmortar also needed to wait for a longer time to get Vital Spirit compared to Electivire (although the latter is better off with its new ability). I suspect that this is due to Magmar getting a slight edge over Electabuzz, meaning the designers decided to compensate it in Electabuzz’s favour, but that’s just my observation. Now, don’t get me wrong: both of them are almost equal in a sense. It’s just that Electivire stood out more because the environment is more favourable to it and that it got a much better ability.

As always, we start things out with what makes Electivire great. One of the things that stood out to players when Electivire was first introduced is its new ability. Motor Drive basically gives the user an Electric immunity and turns it into a Speed boost. Naturally, it’s a very useful ability because a Speed increase puts the user at a big advantage, and you could pair up with a Pokémon weak to Electric attacks (or Thunder Wave) like Gyarados, in which you could bait your opponent to give Electivire an advantage, or use Discharge in doubles to continually give Electivire a Speed boost each turn. Electivire also learns a slew of useful offensive moves to go along with its decent offensive stats. There’s Cross Chop, Wild Charge, Ice Punch and Earthquake for example to go with its high Base 123 Attack, with some Special attacks like Thunderbolt and Flamethrower. Add Life Orb or Expert Belt, and you’re good to go, I guess?

As with most Electric-types, Ground attacks are generally not welcomed, because it’s the only super-effective attack for that type. While Electivire’s Base 95 Speed is by no means slow, there are some faster offensive Pokémon that might just be able to threaten it, like Alakazam. That’s not forgetting that Electivire has a rather low Defence, meaning that a strong Physical attacker could do it in, like a strong Sucker Punch in the face. If Electivire is exposed to a Burn, its Physical attack would be much less useful, so you need to watch out for some of the bulkier Burners, like Cofagrigus.

While Electivire is not exactly a bad Pokémon, it is a rather infamous Pokémon in a sense. On the one hand, its superb super-effective coverage allows it to do a lot of damage to most types, making it an inconvenient Pokémon to switch into. On the other hand, it felt underwhelming to competitive players playing the Standard metagame. The reason for this is probably how it couldn’t hit hard enough, even for a Physical or mixed attacker, compared to others like Lucario and Salamence. You have to remember that there was no Wild Charge for a great Physical Electric STAB, meaning it had to rely on Thunder Punch, a weaker attack that (I once saw) Skarmory stalled out (with Rest). When Team Preview becomes mainstream, Electivire’s strategy to boost its Speed becomes a lot more predictable, so it can’t rely on Gyarados to bait an Electric attack or expect any Electric attack in general by a smart opponent, even though the ability to turn Volt Switch into an advantage comes in handy.

With that said, we look at Electivire’s tribulations. Electivire is never found in the wild, so this naturally means you need to find Electabuzz first, because Elekid isn’t as common, being normally accessed through breeding. Anyway, in the games you could find it. For example, you only have a 5% chance to find one in the Power Plant, and in Route 10 in HeartGold and SoulSilver, it’s between 5% - 10%. The exception is Platinum, because you could find it at a 20% - 30% rate at Route 222 (at this point, it’s late-game because you can only go here after fighting Team Galactic for the last time). In White, Elekid is one of those Pokémon you could find in the White Forest, but like all the other Pokémon found there, it’s not a guaranteed find. Therefore, Dream World would be the only option if you don’t have access to past games.

Electabuzz utilises one of the most troublesome ways to evolve a Pokémon: trading with an item. Yep, you need the Electirizer. This is a largely troublesome search hunt, because they aren’t found anywhere else besides wild Elekid in Diamond and Pearl! I said “largely” because Elekid isn’t found normally without your FireRed cartridge plugged into your DS. You success rate at finding this item is higher in Diamond, so take advantage of this! Fortunately, in Platinum and subsequent games, you are able find this item somewhere in the game world, although only one exists per game. Once you got your Electabuzz and Electirizer, you are now able to evolve it, as Electivire is almost always better in all areas, with the exception of Speed (although Electabuzz’s Attack is lower by a good margin). One more thing: Elekid evolves at Level 30, unlike many baby Pokémon who only evolve by getting a lot of happiness.

Some trouble might be involved in breeding Elekid. First of all, this family has a gender ratio of 3 males to 1 female, and combined with a rare chance of meeting Electabuzz (except Platinum), it might take a while to find a female one. If you do decide to breed for one to get a female, remember that a Flame Body Pokémon will be helpful in speeding the process, because like Riolu, it takes 6630 steps to hatch each egg. That is not recommended if you have the patience to meet a female Electabuzz. As Elekid is a baby Pokémon like Riolu, you need to reach Level 30 first. The Egg Moves you definitely want to consider for your Electivire are Ice Punch, Focus Punch and Cross Chop, as it can learn Fire Punch through a Heart Scale if you have one to spare. Just remember that both Elekid and Electabuzz is more of Special attackers, although their Physical attack isn’t much weaker.

I suppose it goes without saying that Electivire is a balanced Pokémon, because both of its tribulations and its greatness balance each other suitably. It’s a strong Pokémon if used properly, but it is also reasonably difficult to train. Perhaps some may find it underwhelming compared to its competition, but for what Electivire is, it is considered balanced.


Verdict: Balanced [±0]




Dusknoir



When it comes to Ghost-types, you don’t have many different options to choose from, because they lack the diversity of other types like Water and Grass. This makes Dusknoir easier to stand out because of this, as it provides the player with one option for a powerful Ghost-type. Dusknoir isn’t quite an original Pokémon, because it evolves from another Ghost-type that existed in Generation 3, Dusclops. It’s a valid guess to say that Dusclops was given an evolution because Dusclops was perceived as outdated, although it would be great if Banette is given an evolution too (here’s hoping Generation 6 does it justice!).

One of Dusknoir’s strengths is its defences. Having a gigantic Physical and Special Defence of base 135, this Pokémon can really take some hits. Its low HP may be a bit of a problem, but at least it could learn Pain Split, which averages the user’s and the target’s HP, making Blissey a huge target for the move. In conjunction with Dusknoir’s nice Status movepool, this makes it a good supporter. One of the best examples is being a Trick Room user, because in Doubles, Fake Out, a move usually used to make sure the target doesn’t do anything, won’t affect Dusknoir. Dusknoir is also one of the first Gravity users, and it can make decent use of it, because it is able to learn Earthquake and Dynamic Punch. Other Status moves worth mention are Will-O-Wisp, Destiny Bond, Memento, Confuse Ray, Calm Mind, Taunt and Trick. Dusknoir’s Attack is also a noticeable upgrade from Dusclops, meaning that it can make use of its Physical attacks better, like the elemental Punches, Shadow Sneak, Shadow Punch, Earthquake, Rock Slide, Focus Punch, Brick Break and Sucker Punch. This makes Dusknoir a wall with some power to not be helpless against some of the bulkier attackers. With these, it makes Dusknoir a great spin-blocker, so it all seems good for our grim reaper-like Pokémon, right? Well...

One of the problems with Dusknoir is that is often finds itself in a position where other Ghost-types have something better than it. One example is the Rotom forms in Generation 4. Not only are their defences and defensive type combination quite good, they have Levitate to prevent them from being affected by Spikes. Another example is Golurk, who is a better Physical attacker thanks to higher Attack and generally better Physical movepool (for one, it can learn better Fighting-type attacks). Cofagrigus is another, as it has a very high Defence and Mummy, which is bad news for any Guts or Physical-based Pokémon. Of course, the biggest offender has to be Dusclops, because there is now an item called the Eviolite, essentially making it bulkier than Dusknoir by a wide margin, and Pain Split still works well because it has lower HP and better defences. However, keep in mind that Dusknoir still have certain advantages over the examples I just listed, so there are still reasons to use it. Another big problem is Dusknoir’s slowness, so it has to watch out for ruthless attackers that are able to really hurt it, or Taunt because it usually can’t out-Taunt the opposition. Also, there’s the threat of status and entry hazards, since Dusknoir is vulnerable to both.

Now let’s get over Dusknoir’s tribulations. In order to evolve this Pokémon, you need to trade with a Reaper’s Cloth. The prospect of needing to trade a Pokémon to evolve it is already troublesome, because it meant that it’s not convenient to use one if a regular play-through. Finding it is not necessarily that difficult, but it’s a post-game find in most games (Platinum seems to be the exception, since you can find Duskull before the Elite Four). Remember that this only works for Dusclops, so this means you must evolve Duskull.

Duskull is a somewhat rare find in Sapphire and Emerald, although it is commonly found in Ruby, making it a somewhat pseudo-version exclusive Pokémon. In subsequent games it doesn’t seem to be common to find one, like in Platinum, you find one at Lost Tower 20% of the time and 10% at Route 209 (at night in both places), and 4% or 5% at Turnback Cave (same for Dusclops).

Training a Duskull could be a challenge as well. This is because Duskull has the curse of being very slow, making it a bad runner from battles. This is thankfully offset by its high defences. While some slow Pokémon are still able to hit well despite being slow, like Golett and Litwick, Duskull doesn’t have such luck. First of all, while it has a higher Physical attack, it doesn’t have a lot of Physical attacks to choose from. Its first offensive move is Night Shade, meaning it is generally not a good move to plough through wild Pokémon for experience. However, usually it will be caught at a higher level, so it might be able to make use of Astonish or Shadow Sneak. If you want, you can teach it Payback for the time being because it is bulky and slow (even slower with a Power item or Macho Brace). This Pokémon evolves at Level 37, which could take a long time, but at least it levels up relatively fast. Only after Duskull evolves, it finally learns a decent Physical attack Shadow Punch, and has the option to learn the elemental Punches as well.

If by chance you want to teach it some Egg Moves like Pain Split, Destiny Bond or Memento, you would want to breed a parent who can learn the moves. The moves I mentioned are some useful moves, and most of the parents usually learned them at relatively high levels. Not only that, Duskull eggs hatch at a moderately long time at 6630 steps. This is not a major tribulation, but it’s still worth mentioning.

Now, do I think that Dusknoir is a balanced Pokémon? Well, I guess it goes without saying that this Pokémon is balanced. While it does have some notable difficulties (evolving it by trade, for instance), it is still a pretty good Pokémon. This is not taking into account its competition who has something that they do better than Dusknoir (like Dusclops), though. Normally, I would rate Dusknoir as having a tribulation bias (score of -1), but I decided to put it as “balanced” because Dusclops is also great without the need to evolve.


Verdict: (Eventually) Balanced [±0]





That’s it for now. Generation 5 had shown us some twists that fans never expect, like the most unexpected crossover ever, and more importantly, a duo of sequels to the popular Pokémon Black and White! Release of it is around a month away, and the next entry of Tribulations of Great Pokémon will take those games into account. Speaking of that, readers, I ask you to choose up to five great Pokémon in competitive battling, and they have to come from Generation 5. Now then, I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.

Thanks for reading.



Chosen Pokémon you can’t pick: Victini, Excadrill, Reuniclus, Ferrothorn, Hydreigon

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Updated 16th May 2012 at 01:34 PM by winstein

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  1. HumanDawn's Avatar
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    Zoroark
    Braviary
    Haxorus
    Krookodile
    Darmanitan
  2. Ghetsis-Dennis's Avatar
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    Magmortor is sadly depressed for being in his counterpart's shadow, just like Luigi, and it's all Steath Rock's fault.
    Updated 16th May 2012 at 12:04 PM by Ghetsis-Dennis
  3. Oswin's Avatar
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    What.

    Magmortar has Solarbeam and Thunderbolt, and a pretty impressive Sp.Atk. Not in Electivire's shadow at all. Plus, it's a pixel, it doesn't get depressed. And not every battle has Stealth Rock :I
  4. TheMissingno.'s Avatar
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    But Magmortar has much worse typing, a less useful ability and much worse speed and defense. It pretty much just goes out there and dies.
  5. Baron Brixius's Avatar
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    Yeah, Magmortar and Electivire both suck. I'd rather use Tangrowth.

    Oh, and try doing Durant and Eelektross.
    Updated 16th May 2012 at 01:04 PM by Baron Brixius
  6. Zeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghetsis-Dennis
    Magmortor is sadly depressed for being in his counterpart's shadow, just like Luigi, and it's all Steath Rock's fault.
    No it's not "all Stealth Rocks fault". It's because there's better Fire-types that Magmortar is not used much. Nothing to do with Stealth Rock. Complaining about Stealth Rock all the time is getting old, btw. And I don't understand what Stealth Rock did to Luigi either.

    --------

    Suggestions for the next one, winstein: Volcarona, and Galvantula! :p
  7. Infinity Mk-II's Avatar
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    Ah the monkey. I do agree that he isn't quite entirely balanced, being a bit leaning on the broken side. Unlike other similarly powerful pokémon, you CAN easily obtain one, after all.
    I think that even if Lucario was relatively easily obtainable in B2W2... its main and worst problems are the four moveslot limit, and the difficulty of getting the best movesets (which is all the worst because of again the moveslot limit). So even if it was a bit more readily available... it would still require plenty of work.

    Anyway, suggestions:
    - Zoroark is a very notable pokémon in regards of balance. Both of its unique status as "half event", and its unique characteristics. I'm curious what do you have to say for it.
    - Darmanitan is also notable, being the first pokémon with DW ability available.
    - Volcarona. One of the greater pokémon with 4x weakness to rock, and seems to act as a counterpart to Hydreigon.
    - Mienshao. Again, it is a very good pokémon.
    - Lilligant. Just because I love the thing. Not good in the metagame because she has the single most shallow movepool next to things that aren't supposed to have usable movepools... which is a real shame. (Though admittedly Quiver Dance is wonderful, but really? Only Hidden Power for coverage?)

    e: let me clarify, I know Lilligant can destroy things. But the lack of coverage keeps her from tearing up a hole in OU. She doesn't NEED it and she does have a good enough movepool to be threatening, but she has potential for being absolutely dreadful were her movepool expanded.
    Granted, saying she was "not good in the metagame" was plainly wrong.
    Updated 21st May 2012 at 12:11 PM by Infinity Mk-II
  8. SharKing's Avatar
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    ^ You'd be surprised what kind of crap Lilligant can tear up with a Chlorophyll utility set consisting of Sleep Powder, Leaf Storm, HP Rock, and Healing Wish with a Life Orb. It doesn't need an awesome movepool to be awesome.
  9. Lord Clowncrete's Avatar
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    @Infinity Mk-II;

    loooll what? Check out my battle against Sharking here. Lilligant was the MVP. A user at smogon also got to the top of the ou ladder with Lilligant 2 months back.

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