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Bulbagraphic:The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
A look at how different-looking Pokémon fare in battle
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  • Thursday, November 17, 2011

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This article is brought to you by the National Bulbagraphic. Any opinions expressed are those of the author.
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Being at a school full of Pokémon freaks, there’s going to be an argument or two. Around me, a major one is “should you use the powerful and good looking Pokémon or less attractive ones with good stats and move pool?” Different people definitely go for different looks. Let's have a look at an ugly guys in the argument:

Battle well, look awful

Politoed. Couldn’t look worse. A clown of a frog. What was Ken Sugimori thinking when he designed it? But his Dream world ability, Drizzle, makes him infinitely useful. But who would want to look like him?

A typical set would be:

Item: Choice Specs. Nature: Modest. EVs: 252 Special Attack 4 Special Defence 252 Speed. IVs: 30 HP 31 Attack 31 Defence 31 Special Attack 30 Special Defence 31 Speed.


Why use it? Drizzle. Although out classed by Suicune and the like, Drizzle trumps all. Its main STAB attack, Hydro Pump, along with the rain acts like double-STAB. Weather has been a dominant force in OU, Ubers, and even NU. Right since the beginning of competitive battling. Before Generation V unlimited weather duration was restricted to Tyranitar, Hippowdon and Abomosnow in OU. Politoed’s Dream World ability has come and turns OU on its head.


Set breakdown: Hydro Pump powers through many a resistor. With weather almost guaranteed to be on your side, death via Hydro Pump is imminent. Ice Beam is strong and powers though Dragons and Grass types who dare to resist you. Focus Blast is for Ferrothorn and other steel walls. Hidden Power Grass dominates IVs and among other things sort out water type copy cats who have come to play in the rain with you. Other options: Surf is a more reliable move accuracy wise but loses out on power. In doubles it can be very useful just make sure you aren’t sweeping your own team.


Weather analysis: Hail: Getting damaged by hail each turn isn’t brilliant and the set revolves around the rain. Avoid if possible.

Sandstorm: Again getting damaged by the sand isn’t desirable and the 50% boost to rock types is annoying. Avoid if possible.

Sun: Not good at all. Undermining all water attacks, taking off your water STAB, is not good. It lets the mega powerful solar-beam hit you without charge based warning and can sweep Politoed with ease. Avoid at all costs.

Rain: Set up instantly by Drizzle and makes powering through even resistors easy. There is no difficulty setting up the rain and should be used as much as possible.


Checks and counters: Any specially-focused bulky grass type does the job. Because the set is powered by Choice Specs, Ice Beam can’t be used defensively. This is a key factor to taking Politoed down. Because it runs mainly off low PP moves, walling them until they are drained can help. Blissey does this extremely well.

Look great, battle terribly

And now, a look at someone suave who doesn't have as much power, but wins hands-down in the looks department: Aggron. It sure does look amazing. Who could argue? Shows Sugimori is not as thick as he might appear to be. I mean, he drew up Politoed, but...this is definitely a whole different universe of creativity and awesomeness.

You can’t use Aggron in the OU metagame; he has awful typing, is slower than slow, and possesses a pretty constricted move pool. But who cares? When he looks that epic who needs him to be competitive?

A typical set would look like:


Item: Choice Band. Nature: Adamant. EVs: 4 HP 252 Attack 252 Speed.


Why use it? Aggron is a tank of a sorts with massive Defence and usable HP. His typing lets him down though. Combining Rock Head and Head Smash is your best bet if you were to try and use him. He has a can battle just about where he is in NU and will be pretty stuck outside of NU.


Set breakdown: Head Smash has the power in this set. With STAB and Rock Head to negate recoil, the move is pretty broken. Heavy Slam builds on the steel side of his STAB and considering he outweighs most Pokémon by a long distance, he can deal some damage but not as much as Head Smash. Earthquake arguably is one of the best physical attacks in the game and gives some type coverage. Aqua tail deals with Ground types who have come to destroy you with your 4x weakness to ground. Other options: Superpower is a good move to take out other rock or steel types but the recoil of your attack and defence dropping by one stage each is switch forcing.


Weather analysis: Hail: Not preferable, considering that Aggron can’t heal but could help finish off an opponent. Avoid if possible.

Sandstorm: Not bad, hurts the opponent while you are safe and the special defence boost can always help a little. Use sandstorm at will.

Sun: Not brilliant, doesn’t do much, the boost to fire damage can be nasty but the reduction to water damage could help. If they start healing then you are in trouble. Probably best avoided.

Rain: No way. Aggron dislikes water just the way it is, without environmental help. Especially if they have water absorb as an ability. Avoid at all costs.


Checks and counters: Any decent fighting type ground type or water type. Even though counter measures may be in place, OHKOing Aggron with a fighting type or a ground type is no hard feat, especially since most outspeed him. Special attacks are your best bet because he can wall a lot of physical attacks; Earth power, Focus Blast and Hydro Pump/Surf will sweep like crazy.

Which side are you on? Do you battle competitively, or just play for the fun of it with exciting Pokémon and unusual movesets? The answer decides how you play (and who you play with) the game. There is no right or wrong answer to the question; it is a complete matter of opinion. But try and explain that to a load of Pokéfreaks...