A Pokemon that can successfully strike the opponent's reliance on its own ability. While this individual could still utilize attacking moves or status to hinder the opponent's performance, this Pokemon functions best by punishing the opposing Pokemon for depending heavily on their ability for success.
Ever since their inclusion in third generation, abilities have played a significant role in the Pokemon metagame. Some threats rely on their ability to succeed much more than others; some are even defined by their ability and tiered consequentially. This Pokemon would aim to attack its opponent's trust in their own ability to become a feasible threat. We would essentially meet all three of the goals outlined by our TL in the original post:
Questions To Be Answered:
- Has a positive effect on the metagame: This concept focuses on the equalization of abilities, which allows Pokemon with sub par abilities to become more viable while taming over-dominating ones, such as Chlorophyll, Magic Guard, and Multiscale.
- Allows us to learn more about the metagame: True understanding for this concept would require categorization of abilities while asking a variety of questions about the importance of abilities and the roles they fill.
- Introduces a new niche in the metagame: An Ability Counter is an entirely new niche that has hardly been explored, if ever. Removing the opponent's ability and/or abusing the opponent's reliability on their ability is rarely utilized in today's metagame.
- Which threats in today's metagame rely heavily on their ability? Which don't?
- Which abilities cause centralization? How so?
- Can removing that ability or punishing the opponent for have a great ability decrease their viability?
- By hurting a Pokemon for using their ability as a crutch, would other, less-viable Pokemon with lackluster abilities become more popular?
- What determines what is a good ability and what is a poor one? Can abilities be "tiered"?
- Is a Pokemon defined by their abilities? To what degree? Furthermore, does an ability play a significant role in Pokemon selection in terms of team building?
- Is an ability defined by the Pokemon who have access to it, or by other factors?
Abilities play a huge role in today's metagame and often make or break a Pokemon. Dragonite, the top threat is BW OU, worked its way up through its game-making ability Multiscale. Many other Pokemon have arisen from the depths of "never used" simply because of their abilities, from Water Absorb Gastrodon to Dry Skin Toxicroak. This is likely due to the advent of the Dream World releasing new abilities to shake up today's metagame. The recent addition of the manor to the Dream World has brought two new threats into the OU scene: Magic Guard Alakazam and Prankster Sableye. To underplay the value of abilities is a serious mistake; they have become the defining factor of many Pokemon.
While new abilities induces a positive effect on the metagame, it also has a very serious negative consequence in the form of banning. In the most recent Suspect Vote, both Excadrill and Thundurus were shipped off to the Ubers tier. This was due, in part, to their abilities. This is quite a shame, since both Pokemon fulfilled new niches in BW OU: Excadrill was a speedy fast Rapid Spinner with considerable bulk while Thundurus was a frail but powerful Electric-type attacker. But with their banishment, we have lost the valuable niches that they once fulfilled, decreasing the variance in today's metagame.
Furthermore, certain abilities decrease the viability of certain playstyles. Just the fact that Serene Grace Jirachi exists means that teams are required to have at least one Pokemon that can outspeed the incoming Iron Head / Body Slam and threaten it off of the field. The release of Drought Ninetales and Drizzle Politoed has played a gigantic role in the molding of how we play, which has decreased the viability of weatherless teams. Furthermore, the advent of Drought and Drizzle propitiates the viability of weather-abusing abilities, like Chlorophyll and Swift Swim (the latter was banned for being too centralizing of an ability). Espeon's Magic Bounce added a whole new dimension to Baton Pass teams that put the entire move
up for consideration in the Suspect Round. While abilities add new playstyles and make certain Pokemon usable, they also have the negative effect of decreasing the viability of other playstyles.
This is the point where my submission steps in. Abilities play both a positive and a negative role in today's metagame; this concept is designed to decrease the wide and untamed gap between the two. By punishing the opposing Pokemon for relying on their great ability, perhaps the metagame will become less centralized upon those abilities and open up a door for less-viable Pokemon to become desirable. As another bonus, Pokemon would no longer necessarily need to be banned due to their ability pushing them over the edge of "brokeness", as was the case with Excadrill and Thundurus.
I'm not going to lie, this concept is going to take a lot
of creativity. We'd have to consider utilizing rarely-used moves in a competitive sense. Furthermore, abilities that punish the opponent's self-reliance are currently under appreciated could be called upon into allowing this strategy to work. While at first glance it might seem impossible to execute this concept, there are a variety of ways to achieve it, even without the aid of customized abilities/moves. Remember, this is an almost entirely undiscovered aspect of the metagame. We'd have to delve through many possibilities and bring forth numerous discussions in order to achieve our goals in pulling off this concept. However, it can certainly be done! We would learn about an aspect of the metagame that is barely touched, simply due to poor distribution of moves and abilities that punish ability reliance. The reason this concept seems so foreign to some degree is because there is nothing like it
in today's metagame. Please don't let that fear frighten you away from this submission! GameFreak has given us the tools to create this niche (read: we don't need customized abilities and stats). It will simply require that we put our thinking caps on in order to find methods that truly exploit the opponent's reliance on their own ability.
Thanks for reading!