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Tribulations of Great Pokémon 12

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by , 10th December 2012 at 10:25 AM (3068 Views)
I decided to submit one last article before taking a break for a few days, so here’s a Tribulations of Great Pokémon entry for your enjoyment. So, to brief on the purpose of this series of articles, it’s basically to highlight the real troubles (in terms of video games) of raising great Pokémon, considering how you don’t need to go through that trouble in simulators. Our picks for Generation 2’s third batch are confirmed, so here they are:


We start things off with Azumarill. Initially rather subpar, it got important upgrades as the Generations passed by. Azumarill is one of those Pokémon that greatly appreciate the Physical-Special split in Generation 4, and in Generation 3, its signature ability laid the foundation on its greatness.

Azumarill’s main strength is its rather exclusive ability Huge Power. This automatically doubles its Attack, making it a potent force when its Attack is fully invested, putting it along the lines of Base 150 Attack. It also has the necessary moves to take advantage of it, them being Waterfall, Superpower, Ice Punch, Double-Edge and most important of all, Aqua Jet. Its bulk is also quite good, allowing it to set up Substitutes that isn’t broken by Seismic Toss or Night Shade (this means that Focus Punch is a feasible move), as well as surviving a hit and perform certain 2-hit-KOs. It could also Sap Sipper too to get past its Grass weakness, but for the most part, it is not as good as Huge Power’s power increase.

Azumarill is, however, bad at taking Electric attacks, since it is obviously weak to them. Therefore stuff like Raikou’s Thunderbolt or Rotom’s Volt Switch will do major damage. If something resists Water attacks, you can bet they will be effective at checking or countering Azumarill, such as Milotic and Tangrowth. Since Azumarill doesn’t have its own healing, it will eventually be worn down by status or entry hazards. Special mention goes to the Burn status, which renders Azumarill less useable. Special mention goes to Jellicent, a Pokémon Azumarill has little chance of overcoming, since it packs all the attributes needed: resists common moves, inflicting status and hitting it super-effectively.

That brings us to Azumarill’s tribulations. Looking at the difficulties, it doesn’t look plentiful. There are one or two key moves that are only obtainable through breeding: Aqua Jet and Superpower. That’s not going into the moves that are quite enticing. We have Belly Drum, Encore (Azurill only), Perish Song, Body Slam and Soak (Azurill only). If you want those moves, you should check for learnability first. Azurill is another baby Pokémon that evolves through high friendship rating, so keep that in mind if you get one of them early-game. If you want to get Focus Punch, you have no choice but to import Azumarill from an earlier game, since it’s not available for it in Generation 5.

Other than that, Marill is one of those early-game Pokémon that is easy-to-raise. Breeding Marill is quite easy, as it hatches from its egg at a measly 2,805 steps, it levels up fast and evolves at an early level (18). It is also not rare to meet it in the games where it is on the ‘Dex, except for its home Johto. Huge Power is a huge perk with Azumarill, since this move is what makes Azumarill surprisingly dangerous. Since Huge Power is only one half of its abilities (Thick Fat is the other), it could require some luck to get the desired ability, since you can’t tell the difference between this and Thick Fat.

So, do I think Azumarill is balanced? Well, I guess it is balanced because despite its easy obtainability for its huge perk, it has enough flaws to make it manageable. In-game, it is not exactly the best choice since its main level-up attacks are Water and Normal, and Superpower is low on PP, not to mention being slow. Ice Punch is a move tutor, so it’s not easy to get it normally. Most of the time, other Water-types are better since Surf has more utility than Waterfall (since it requires Surf to be of use).

Verdict: Balanced [±0]


As if Onix isn’t big enough, we are introduced to Steelix, which is bigger. However, Onix is a rather weak Pokémon despite its size, so it’s understandable why there is a need for its evolution to be introduced. Steelix also has the then-signature type combination of Steel/Ground, giving it a lot of resistances.

Steelix’s Defence is the biggest standout, standing at base 200! This gives it plenty of opportunities to take a Physical hit for an ally. This also works well with moves that force out the opponent, in the case of set-up attackers. Other than that, Sturdy is a good ability since Steelix’s not necessarily surviving a Special attack. In fact, it could reliably set up Stealth Rock with this! Curse is another option you could resort to, but be cautious with Special attackers in that case. Offensively, Steelix’s Ground STAB is great, as with a slow Gyro Ball. If Sheer Force is considered, then you have some compatible moves to choose from, such as the elemental fangs and Crunch.

The main problem with Steelix is its low Special Defence, so even with its great bulk, it won’t be taking Special attacks well, especially neutral ones such as Leaf Storm. Steelix is also quite slow, so it won’t be reliably retaliating anything much. Because of this, a set-up attacker could take advantage of Steelix, provided they are not easily forced out first.

Onix may not be quite strong, but it is also an oddly difficult Pokémon to catch. Its catch rate is the same as starter Pokémon and pseudo-legendaries, so getting one early-game is not necessarily easy. In a way, Onix lives up to its size as being difficult to capture. Onix evolves into Steelix by trading it with a Metal Coat, but you use up your Metal Coat in the process. Considering how Scizor is the other Pokémon that requires a Metal Coat to evolve, you might have a bit of a hard time deciding this one, since there’s only one or two Metal Coats as an obtainable item per game.

Steelix is also obtainable in the wild these days. If you are in Iron Island or are lucky with Clay Tunnel and Twist Mountain’s dust clouds, you could obtain Steelix. If you do this, you need to prepare for it because Steelix’s catch rate is low. For the most part though, you need to evolve Onix if you want Sheer Force, Sand Tomb or certain Egg Moves (would take a bit of time to hatch, though).

These are all there is for Steelix. Is Steelix balanced? Steelix has some wonderful merits, yet quite some noticeable flaws, so it is balanced for the most part. The only thing that makes it not-quite-balanced has to be its evolution method, but considering how it is possible to obtain one normally, with no necessity for Egg Moves for Sturdy variants, that’s an option for players to pursue. Overall, I think Steelix is balanced.

Verdict: Balanced [±0]


Since its introduction, Heracross made its presence known with its great Attack and Megahorn, not to mention its new type combination Bug/Fighting. It would seem that Heracross was made to discourage Psychic-types and Dark-types, since it has an alright Special Defence. Now what makes Heracross a threatening force?

As had been said, Heracross has a high Attack to threaten opponents, but Megahorn isn’t the only move that it has. Close Combat is very powerful since it got STAB with it, and Stone Edge is for those Fighting-types. Ghosts would be troubled with Night Slash, but it’s not a strong attack otherwise. If that’s not all, All of Heracross’ abilities increase Attack. Guts and Moxie are the most potent of them all. Guts work well with Sleep, Burn or even Toxic, while Moxie is potent on slower teams and Choice Scarf. Defensively, it is not too shabby. Its Special Defence is oddly alright for such a powerful Pokémon, and it has nice resistances, mainly Dark, Fighting, Bug and not being weak to Rock.

For all of Heracross’ blessings, it does have certain problems. First of all, if it does not carry the necessary move, it is troubled by Flying-types, due to their resistance to both STAB attacks and ability to defeat it since Heracross is double-weak to Flying. Any faster Fire or Psychic attacker would also do it in, making Darmanitan, Alakazam and Victini sound choices at scaring or defeating Heracross. If Heracross doesn’t possess the necessary move, Ghost-types would also be a problem too, since they also resist Heracross’ STAB attacks. That being said, it is not easy to counter Heracross since its strength is herculean.

Heracross has its fair share of difficulties, though. First of all, it is of the Slow level-up group, taking longer than the average Pokémon to level up. While Heracross is easier to plow through the game, it does have some issues with catching up with the team. Megahorn’s level requirement means that you won’t go with a Bug STAB for a while, unless you think Bug Bite is good enough. Heracross also takes a little longer to hatch, needing 6,630 steps. There are a couple of Egg Moves Heracross could benefit from, which are Pursuit and Focus Punch. The latter is not available through normal means, requiring either a Dream World move or an imported insect with this move.

Heracross is also quite difficult to get. In Gold, Silver and Crystal, you need to Headbutt trees in the mountain, and the chance of meeting one is rare (its rarity is improved in HeartGold and SoulSilver). For Hoenn’s Safari Zone, you only have a 5% chance of meeting one in one of the areas. In Sinnoh, you need to resort to the troublesome honey luring method (also a 5% chance). In Unova, you have a 5% chance of meeting it in Lostlorn Forest (Black 2 only, for this part). If you do meet one, remember that Heracross’ catch rate is not quite high, which is more troublesome in the Safari Zone. Its Dream World kin is similarly not easy to get. Meeting one in Hidden Grotto is up to chance, while it has a high point requirement in Dream Park of Dream World.

Yep, that’s all. Heracross is definitely a powerful force, but it is not perfect since it is threatened by a good number of Pokémon, such as Gliscor and Darmanitan, preventing it from being a common face. Based on this, I could safely say that Heracross is balanced, since it has its share of difficulties to overcome.

Verdict: Balanced [±0]


Kingdra is the only Dragon-type introduced in Generation 2, meaning there are no original Dragons then. Since Dragons were rare, any Dragon master back then had to rely on other dragon-like Pokémon to fill their party, such as Gyarados and Aerodactyl. Kingdra has that special Water/Dragon-type, which is all-around a great type to possess. Let’s find out what makes Kingdra a great Pokémon.

The advantage of the Water/Dragon-type is its great offensive coverage and decent defensive coverage. Water is one of the few types that are not resisted by Steel-types, making Kingdra a powerful attacker, especially in conjunction with Dragon Dance. Its Special attacks are also great, as it has the necessary coverage to get past its opponents, especially other Dragon-types. That is not going into how potent it is under Rain. One of its abilities is Swift Swim, which doubles its Speed in Rain. It is very fast under Rain, and combined with its powerful Water attacks, Kingdra won’t be getting walled for the most part. Kingdra’s potency in Rain is one of the factors for the Swift Swim + Drizzle ban, in fact.

Kingdra does have a few problems getting past certain types, such as Empoleon and Ferrothorn. Both of them resist both Water and Dragon, have ways to discourage Kingdra from being troublesome, such as Scald from Empoleon and Leech Seed from Ferrothorn. Those two aren’t the only ones that threaten Kingdra. Any faster Dragon-type will ensure Kingdra will be checked, such as Flygon and Salamence. Under the right circumstances, Kingdra is threatening, but if you have something handy to take care of it in a short time, it shouldn’t be a problem.

In order to obtain Kingdra, you need to evolve Seadra first. The way to do this is to trade with a Dragon Scale. Since Dragon Scales are not easy to come by, you need to make sure that the Kingdra you want is confirmed, as in stats, nature, etc. Trading is also not exactly an accessible activity, so it’s not exactly a Pokémon you would use in an in-game playthrough, considering how you need to relinquish your evolution item first, not to mention the need to trade, which is troublesome if you want to breeze through the game.

If you want to, you could check out the rippling waters west of Unova’s Route 1 with a fishing rod. You only have a 5% chance to meet one, but if trading’s not your thing, this is the only alternative. If you do this, however, you won’t be able to access Egg Moves, since you need to evolve it first (which involves the Dragon Scale). The only Egg Moves of note are Disable and Outrage (the latter could be taught through Move Tutor). If that’s not your thing, then you don’t need to worry about catching Kingdra straight, besides its relatively low catch rate (Net Balls come in handy).

So, is Kingdra balanced? I thought it is almost the case. Some difficulty is involved when obtaining one in-game. It may not have the sheer power, but it does make up for its versatility, being able to be Physical or Special depending on preference. In my opinion, Kingdra’s assets make up for its difficulties a bit too much, since all of its moves are easily accessible, save Outrage.

Verdict: Almost Balanced [+1]


Generation 2 is very sparse with Fighting-types, as there are literally only two fully-evolved Fighting-types introduced (both being reviewed in the same article). Hitmontop is the latest relative to the classic Hitmon-duo. Introduced together with pre-evolution Tyrogue, they are made to be related, despite their wildly different appearance and playstyle. Perhaps Hitmontop is the overall most useful Hitmons, even though Hitmonlee could give it a run for its money. Now let’s see what makes Hitmontop a great Pokémon.

Hitmontop is considered the bulkiest of the Hitmons, with its higher defence stats and Intimidate as one of its abilities. This makes it a great Rapid Spin user, since it could survive a hit and remove hazards with it. There’s also Foresight if it needs to hit through ghosts. Offensively, Hitmontop isn’t shabby either. It has Technician as one of its abilities, and the moves to properly use it with, among them Mach Punch, Fake Out and Low Sweep. There are quite a few coverage moves it could utilize as well, such as Stone Edge and Sucker Punch, which are great coverage moves. There’s also Bulk Up if you want to use that too.

However, Hitmontop has a few obstacles to overcome. The primary thing that troubles Hitmontop is anything that resists its main STAB, such as Psychics, Ghosts and even Poison-types. Sure, Hitmontop has the necessary coverage moves, but it needs to have them first. A pretty good wall would also be an obstacle to Hitmontop, since its Attack isn’t quite high, but this wall has to not be weak to Fighting. Slowbro, for example, walls Hitmontop to no end, but not Ferrothorn. Because it has trouble with walls, Toxic is a viable move for it to discourage repeated matchups with them. Basically, Hitmontop’s obstacles are basic: walls and advantageous types.

For the first part of getting Hitmontop, you have to understand how it evolves. Hitmontop’s evolution method is unique to it, in which you need to make Tyrogue’s Attack and Defence identical first. However, the evolution only happens at Level 20, so the stats may differ a lot by then. Since Tyrogue’s base Attack and Defence is identical, the only issue is to know the IVs. If they are not even, you have to devote a bit of EVs to ensure that the evolution happens. If they are even, best not to invest any Attack and Defence, because you might not want to devote some EVs on that stat! If you successfully evolve Tyrogue into Hitmontop, you are pretty much good, since Hitmontop could have different Attack and Defence with no problem.

Not all of Hitmontop’s essential moves are available in its level-up movepool, so it needs to obtain it through breeding. But wait! Hitmontop is male-only, so how does it acquire Egg Moves in the first place? Well, with Tyrogue, Hitmontop can! However, it’s only limited to Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. The only two moves of note that Hitmontop didn’t already learn are Bullet Punch and Mach Punch, which work well with Technician, meaning you need some luck with this one. Technician is from a Steadfast Tyrogue (ironically, Hitmontop also gets Steadfast, but from a Vital Spirit Tyrogue), while Guts Tyrogue leads to Intimidate Hitmontop. The hatching will take a bit of time, due to the requirement of 6,630 steps.

It should be noted that Hitmontop is not available naturally. In some games, Tyrogue is hatched from an Egg, while in some others, Tyrogue is an uncommon find. Even in the Dream World, Tyrogue has a high point requirement if you want to meet it, so you really need to grind to meet them.

With that said, is Hitmontop balanced? Hitmontop’s a potent fighter indeed, with a side dish of utility of Rapid Spin. Since Hitmontop is quite useful in not only Singles, but also in Doubles and possibly Triples (because of Intimidate, Wide Guard and being a Fighting-type), I thereby declare Hitmontop a balanced Pokémon, despite some of the troubles you need to go through.

Verdict: Balanced [±0]

*Whew* Finally, this one’s done! Admittedly, I am not certain if Generation 2 has a lot more great Pokémon to choose from at this point, since there may not be a lot left. However, this is not the time to worry about it, as it’s time to pick up to next five Pokémon from Generation 3. Remember that these Pokémon must be great in competitive battling, or at least useable in some way. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.

Thanks for reading.

Chosen Pokémon that were done (meaning, they can't be picked):
- Blaziken, Claydol, Salamence, Milotic & Metagross
- Swampert, Breloom, Ninjask, Shedinja, Flygon & Walrein

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Updated 18th May 2013 at 11:06 AM by winstein



  1. Infinity Mk-II's Avatar
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    Personally, having trained one in-game... I'd say Steelix is a bit on the negative side of the scale. Getting one in-game does take effort (and requires linking!), and the payoff isn't as amazing as with Pokémon such as Scizor. And training one competitively also has some key drawbacks you pointed out, which don't live up given the ease the opponent has to take advantage of it-- it's a risky pokémon to use.
    Though I don't say its problems are crippling, so I guess I'll leave it on a "-0.5" or somewhere there.

    A good read as usual, though. I enjoy these blogs.

    For the next one... I actually wonder about Latios & Latias. Certainly great in competitive battling, regardless of which tier they are. The Soul Dew item really makes them relevant among all pokémon, and their unique position as half in-game roaming legendaries and half event legendaries (and again, linked to the Soul Dew as that's event-only) ensures there being plenty of things to talk about them.
    I know doing popular legendaries isn't as fun as less appreciated pokémon... but I figure they are unique enough.
    winstein likes this.
    Updated 13th December 2012 at 08:14 PM by Infinity Mk-II
  2. winstein's Avatar
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    @Infinity Mk-II; Thanks, I appreciate your feedback! For Steelix, the only argument in which makes it not too bad is that it is possible to capture one without needing to evolve Onix, which I think is a lot better than needing to evolve it. I guess the designers found out how difficult it is to use Steelix, so they gave us an option to capture it without trading. This is very good because you don't get Metal Coats easily (or trade them, for that matter). Still, your suggestion for -0.5 is good, although I prefer my ratings to be in round numbers only.

    About doing legendaries, it's not that I am not very interested to do them. It's that to a certain extent, I want to save them for later when I will be doing a series based on legendaries. Looking at the list, I withheld any suggestion for Generation 1 and 2 due to the low number. Generation 3 is OK, because I can only afford to cover one (or one pair in Latias & Latios' case). I think Gen 4 is OK because they have so many Legendaries, and to a certain extent, Generation 5 (Victini is the only one covered so far). So basically, I can take your suggestion for Latias & Latios, but if they are chosen, other legendaries beyond them won't be chosen.

    Thanks for reading.
  3. Savi's Avatar
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    Aw yay I liked this! It's so in-depth, thank ya! I personally love Kingdra and Steelix! I totally agree with everything you say about them.

    Could you perhaps do one on Milotic or Dragonite? Ta! xo Savi
  4. winstein's Avatar
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    @Cleffa; Both already covered at one point of time. Milotic was covered in the third entry, while Dragonite was covered in the sixth.

    It would be good if you check what's covered first before suggesting. Also, could you please suggest Gen 3 Pokemon this time?

    Thanks for reading.
  5. Savi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winstein
    @Cleffa; Both already covered at one point of time. Milotic was covered in the third entry, while Dragonite was covered in the sixth.

    It would be good if you check what's covered first before suggesting. Also, could you please suggest Gen 3 Pokemon this time?

    Thanks for reading.
    sorrry didn't know you did others.
  6. Yato's Avatar
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    I used Azumarill in Gen 3 and Gen 4 (HGSS), and I found it extremely useful. Gen 4 because of the Physical attack split... though it was still useful in Gen 3 as there weren't many other pokemons that could learn Surf, Waterfall, and Dive all at the same time AND get STAB from all of them.

    Kingdra... I never really had been able to counter one in a good way (mostly due to me hating dragons). Though in rental battles, I had been rather bewildered that my opponent always found a way to KO my borrowed Kingdra.

    How about covering Gardevoir, Altaria, Swellow, and Sableye? Gardevoir and Swellow were my absolute favorites and I always used them whenever I played Emerald. Gardevoir has good Special Attack that Calm Mind + Psychic combos works wonders. Swellow is extremely fast and can hit rather hard.


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