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So You Wanna be a Master: The Coming 5th Generation Storm

Thereís a storm on the horizon for all American Pokemon fans, and its name is Pokemon Black and White. This new generation looks to change the entire metagame of Pokemon. Some old Pokemon got upgrades, some got downgrades. The Ubers look to have a bunch more Pokemon to choose from, and there are some new threats that may dominate. This truly is a great time to get into competitive battling. Here are some changes you should know about.

New Pokemon, new threats.

Look at that cute ball of fur-like Grass. Isnít it adorable? Well, you may not think so after encountering one. You see, Erufuun has a nifty little ability called Mischievous Heart. This ability makes all of Eruffunís non-Attack moves have +1 priority (same as Quick Attack). This means that Stun Spore, Toxic, Taunt, Substitute, Encore and other similar moves will go before most other moves. I think you know where this is going. Not only does it have all of that, but itís bulky enough to take an Attack or two and keep on chugging. Itís also really fast, with a base speed of 116, which means that most Pokemon will not outspeed it. These factors all come together to form one of the most annoying Pokemon to be added to the game.

You see this guy? Well, be sure to remember his face, as you will likely be seeing a lot of him. His name is Doryuuzu, and heís the best thing since sliced bread (well, maybe not THAT good, but you know what I mean). Heís a Ground/Steel Pokemon, has 135 base ATK, 110 HP, 60 DEF, 65 SPDEF, and 88 SPEED. A quick glance will point you to his ludicrous ATK stat. 135 is high. Like, Garchomp high. This guy hits like a freaking Machamp. He also has high HP to offset those embarrassing Defenses. This guy is looking to be a beast. ďBut, CkarasuĒ you say, ďDoryuuzuís speed is mediocre. How will he succeed if almost every Pokemon in OU outspeeds him?Ē. Well, thatís where one of his abilities comes in: Sand Throw. Sand Throw doubles his speed in a Sandstorm. With no investments, out of a sandstorm, Doryuuzuís top speed is 212 with a neutral nature. In a Sandstorm, it hits 424. Thatís pretty high. Heís also immune to Toxic and Thunder Wave, has access to Swords Dance and Rapid Spin. Thatís some utility heís got there. His only problem is that his moveset is kinda lacking in variety. Heís got Rock, Bug, Fighting and Ground moves as some of his only Attack moves. Despite that, he still has many uses and should always be considered when building your team.

Darmanitan is a new pure Fire type Pokemon, and is one of the most powerful ones in the game. At 140 base Attack, thereís very little he cannot dent. He also has a good base 95 Speed stat, and access to a quite a few good moves. He also has access to a neat ability called Shher Force, which boosts the power of moves with an alternate effect (Bodyslam and Rock Slide are some examples) by 30% (but removes the effect). This means that he has a hell of a lot of power going for him. His other ability is a bit more defensive in nature. Itís called Daruma Mode, and changes him into Daruma Form once he gets to around 50% or less HP. Daruma mode swaps his Attack stat with his Special Attack stat, and raises his Defenses at the cost of Speed (and a slew of weaknesses). Heís certainly a threat in both modes, and looks to be able to wreak teams that do not prepare for him.

Nattorei is the newest defensive threat to be introduced in this generation. It is a Grass and Steel type Pokemon, and has the ability Iron Barbs, which takes 1/8 of the opposing Pokemonís HP if it uses a contact move (Bodyslam and the punches are good examples). With great Defenses (131 base Defense and 116 base Special Defense), itís easily able to take the abuse it needs to be considered a tank. Itís base 94 Attack is high enough to make it a threat (with Power Whip and Gyro Ball as some of its best Attacks). With access to Swords Dance, itís even capable of denting even some of the tougher Pokemon out there. Another thing to note: It has access to Leech Seed and Spikes, so it can be quite the nuisance if you donít take care of it quickly.

Shandera is the first Ghost and Fire Pokemon to be created, and is also quite the offensive threat. While its speed is on the mediocre side, itís offense more than makes up for it (as well as bulk). You see, Shandera has among the highest base Special Attack among non-Legendary Pokemon. At a whopping 145 base Special Attack, there are few Pokemon in existence that can claim to actually take a hit from this thing. To put it into simpler terms: Itís Special Attack is among the highest of all non-legendary Pokemon. Thatís a lot. It also has high enough Defenses to take hits, and still have enough to keep going. It also has Shadow Tag as an ability (Dream World only), meaning you canĎt switch out if it has that ability (Unless your Pokemon does, too).

Meloetta is a new event legendary premiering in Black and White, and boy is it one interesting addition. It has two forms, which can be switched by using the technique Ancient Voice. Itís base form, Voice Forme, is a powerful Normal/Psychic type Special tank and Special Attacker. Capable of taking Special Attacks itís weak to due to its 100 base HP (which will cap out at 404, if tRained), and 128 base Special Defense, and hitting back with its equally monstrous 128 base Special Attack. Itís only flaws are its mediocre Defense and Attack (77 each), and passable speed. But, everything changes once it uses Ancient Voice, as it changes to its Step Forme. A powerful Normal/Fighting type Physical Sweeper, the Step Forme is capable of devastating already weakened teams. With its blazing fast base 128 speed, very few Pokemon are able to outpace it. Add its fantastic 128 base Attack, and you have one fast and powerful monster. Meloetta is helped by its great move set available to it, as well. While not ever expanding, Meloettaís possible move sets are varied enough to ensure that you should always be careful when encountering one.

This is one of the three or so Dragon types that have been introduced in Black and White, and boy is it a doozy. It has a massive attack stat of 147, and a decent Speed stat of 97. It has access to Swords Dance, Dragon Dance, Earthquake, and Outrage to name just a few attacks. It also has the ability Mold Breaker, which means that Earthquake will still hit Gengar and Bronzong. Despite the stats, its more of hit and run type Pokemon, as it does not have stellar Defenses. It makes a great partner to Garchomp, and can easily finish the job other Pokemon could not. Itís a big threat, and will probably be seen a lot on Dragon teams.

Old threats evolved

It looks like Mewtwo didnít get a whole lot new this generation, if you just take a quick look at his move pool. An inexperienced tRainer would likely glance over what is Mewtwoís greatest gift this generation: Psychobreak. Psychobreak is Mewtwoís newest move, and is exclusive to him (and Smeargle, for obvious reasons). It has 100 base power, is Psychic type, and is a Special type move. Whatís most concerning about this move for trainers though, is that it hits the Defense stat. Thatís right, itís a Special Attack that hits like a physical Attack. This means that one of Mewtwoís greatest counters, Blissey, is now countered by Mewtwo. Running off his godly Special Attack, Psychobreak will easily kill off a Blissey in one or two hits. Thatís fucking scary.

Ho-oh has always been a pest. With its ludicrous Special Defense and Attack stat, Ho-oh has been a large threat in the Uber metagame. Itís only real problem was the fact that Stealth Rock was always taking chunks out of its HP. Well, now it has an ability to help make up for that: Regeration. Regeneration restores 33% of a Pokemonís max HP upon switching out. This means that Ho-oh can survive more switches, and is now more of a threat than ever. It also got Nitro Charge, which a 50 base power Fire move that raises its Speed by one stage, making faster and harder to deal with.

Lugia got two things this generation that could make it all the more annoying to fight against. The first thing it got was Dragon Tail, which a 90 BP move that acts like Whirlwind upon hitting the opponentĎs Pokemon. This means that it switches the target out, and damages them. It wonít phaze them out if theyíre behind a substitute, and it only has an accuracy of 90. Still, itís a useful tool for the legendary bird. The second thing it got was an ability called Multiscale. What this does is lower the power of any move that hit Lugia by half so long as Lugia has 100% HP. I know what youíre thinking: it sounds useless. Stealth Rock will still be prominent, and it seems awfully conditional. That it, until you look at Lugiaís moveset and stats. Lugia has recover, and really high Defenses. Itíll likely survive any move that hits it with health to spare, even after itís hit with Stealth Rock. Just spam Recover and watch as Lugia walls the opponentís Pokemon. Thatís not even taking Leftovers into account.

Oh god, this guy. Breloom was always an interesting Pokemon. It had great typing, offense, and moveset. It only really lacked speed. The things that made it see use in OU were the facts that it had access to Spore, Leech Seed, Poison Heal as an ability, and Substitute. This made it extremely hard to kill once it set up, as it would easily replenish the HP it took to set uP a Substitute. Well, now itís got Technician, which ups the power of any move under 60 BP (Battle Power) by 1.5 times. This makes Mach Punch have 90 BP instead of 40 (Because of Same Type Attack Bonus, or STAB). It also makes Bullet Seed more powerful than Seed Bomb, most of the time. It didnít change Breloom so much as it gave it another option, which makes it all the more dangerous.

From Underused to Overused

Oh yeah, the blazing chicken now has its chance to shine, baby. Blaziken was always stronger than Infernape, and was really only missing a good speed stat. I mean, with a base 80 speed stat, there were tons of things that were flat out faster than it, including Infernape. Well, Blaziken now has an alternate ability courtesy of Dreamworld: Speed Boost. After just one turn on the battlefield (ala Protect), Blaziken already can outspeed Infernape. At two turns, it starts getting scary. After turn three, your opponent has stopped even trying to outspeed the thing, and is just hoping they will survive a hit so they can hopefully kill it in retaliation. Blaziken was always blessed with high Attack stats and a nice move pool. All it really needed to be effective was speed, and now itís got it.

In this generation, Venusaur got a pretty big boon in the form of its Dream World ability: Chlorophyll. Venusaur was never really that fast, and had trouble keeping up when most of the other Pokemon in the metagame easily outpaced it. Now it has a way to keep up. Another bonus is the change Growth received. Now it raises the Attack and Special Attack up by one stage (Itís basically Growth + Howl). Growth gets even better when used under Sunny Day, as it raises both stats by two stages (Itís like Swords Dance and Nasty Plot combined). So, in addition to speed, it now has a way to raise both Attack stats easily. Add in its good move pool (Sleep Powder, Leech Seed, Power Whip, Substitute, Stun Spore, and Earthquake are nice moves to have available), decent bulk, and you have a new and improved Venusaur.

Ninetales was always a mediocre Pokemon in the previous generation, but it seems Game Freak decided that they wanted people to actually USE her. So, to alleviate this, they gave her Drought as her Dream World ability. Drought sets up a permanent Sunny Day effect on the battlefield, so its obvious now why Ninetales is seeing more use. That was really the only change they gave her, but it made it so that she was vital to any OU Sunny Day teams.

Like Ninetales, Politoed received a Dream World ability that had him see more use: Drizzle. As all of you know, Drizzle sets up a permanent Rain weather effect on the field. The revitalization of the Rain in OU has actually made people consider banning the frog. Why? Because the Rain teams were too powerful (not unbeatable, mind you). There are a great many Pokemon that are powerful in the Rain, like Kabutops and Manaphy. With permanent Rain, Kabutops (and other Swift Swimmers in general) was powerful AND blazing fast. Manaphy was also a pest, as its Hydration ability allowed it to use Rest and immediately wake up the next turn so long as it was Raining. Nattorei also befitted from the Rain, as it took some of the sting out of Fire Attacks. These, and other factors, could see the frog being too powerful of an asset for the current OU metagame.

Honorable Mentions

One of the new pure bug types to be introduced in Back and White. With a really high base 145 speed, Agirudaa is among the fastest Pokemon in OU (and in general). Agirudaa seems to have been relegated to a more support like role, given its speed and access to Spikes. He has the option to be a Special sweeper, given his good Special Attack, but suffers from a bad type coverage, move wise, and horrid Defenses. Still, if you want a reliable spiker, then this seems to be one of the better choices.

Reuniclus is a new pure Psychic type Pokemon. Itís mostly a tank, and has a nice ability: Magic Guard. Magic Guard negates all non direct damage (Poison, Spikes, Stealth Rock, and Sanstorm damage are all some examples). He also has high Special attack, nice defenses, and high HP. The only flaws are the lack of good resistances, and low Speed stat. Other than that, this looks to be one of the more sturdy Pokemon to be introduced to the game (and make Clefable obsolete, sadly).

Kojondo is a new pure fighting type that was introduced in Black and White. Itís actually quite interesting, given its ability Regenerate. Regenerate gives Kojondo some survivability, and lets it switch in more often that most of its other fighting type brethren. Add in its high 125 base Attack stat, and good 105 base Speed, and you have a pretty threatening Pokemon. The fact that it has access to High Jump Kick is also something worth noting.

Zapdos has remained practically the same, save for the addition of Lightning Rod as an ability. Lightning Rod was buffed, so now it negated Electric Attacks and gets a boost to its Special Attack stat. Other than that, it is still the threat it always was. Its bulk and high Special Attack stat make it a threat all teams should look out for.

Miscellaneous information and changes

The ability Sturdy got an overhaul, it seems. Instead of just protecting against moves like Fissure and Horn Drill, it now prevents your Pokemon from being Koíd in one hit. So, it acts just like a Focus Sash.

Storm Drain
Storm Drain, and Lightning Rod, both got a major buff. Instead of just attracting Water, and electric, moves towards the pokemon who have this ability, they now negate the damage and raise the Special Attack stat by one stage.

As you may have seen me mention, Growth got a big buff. Now it raises the Attack and Special Attack stat by one stage. In the sun, the effect doubles.

Miracle of Evolution
A new held item. This item raises the Defense and Special Defense of any not-fully evolved Pokemon by 50%. This means Pokemon like Porygon2, Golbat and Chansey got a pretty big buff. Does not work on Pokemon that do not evolve, mind you.

Technical Machines got a change that I think most of you will like. It seems that now they do not disappear once used, and can be reused over and over again. No more worrying about figuring out who to give them to. YAY!

Team Preview
Another change is that now, before battle, it seems that both players see the other Trainerís team. No more surprises, but you now have to worry more if you see a particularly major threat.

Dream World abilities
These seem to be released randomly, and you have to be on Wi-fi to get them. S9ome legendaries got new ones, as you have seen on here, and most normal Pokemon got a new one, too. Oh, and you can breed them onto baby Pokemon, just so you know.

Closing statements
This is truly a great time to be getting into the competitive scene. So many new additions, and Pokemon rising up to be stars. Whether youíre a noob or a veteran, this seems to be an interesting change. Iím certainly excited. I hope you are, too.

If you want more information, go to Smogon. Their site is way more informational than I will ever be, and they have a bunch of info on all the new Pokemon. I only covered a tiny bit of the information I have come across.
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About Ckarasuone of us since 11:43 AM on 02.14.2009

My Name: Chad
Favorite Games:
Resonance of Fate
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Persona 4
Super Smash Brothers Brawl
Fire Emblem Sacred Stones
Final Fantasy IX
Shadow of the Colossus
Brave Fencer Musashi
Jade Cocoon
Knights in the Nightmare

About me:undergoing renovation

Contact info:
Twitter: @Ckarasu

PSN ID:Ckarasu
Steam ID:c_karasu


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