Guide to Event Pokémon and Moves

By Jimbo. Art by Sephirona.

Introduction

Your Dusknoir has just burned your opponent's Dragonite with Will-O-Wisp. But then Dragonite throws a wrench in your plans with a single ring of Heal Bell, removing its entire team's status ailments. "What the?!" you say. "Dragonite can't learn Heal Bell!" Right? Wrong. Dragonite, along with many other Pokémon, have gained special moves through various events or by other means, like Pokémon XD. This guide will explain and discuss ways to use these event moves to their fullest potential.

Pokémon XD

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness is a Gamecube game that was released on December 5, 2005. It's the sequel of some sorts to Pokémon Colosseum. Besides being a 3-D battle simulator and one of the only two Pokémon RPGs on the Gamecube, it allows you to raise Pokémon found in the game.

In Pokémon XD, the Pokémon you catch are corrupted by darkness. After you "purify" them, you can transfer these Pokémon to an ADV game, then onto DPP via Pal Park; they also learn a brand new move they normally could not learn! Pokémon XD also features a move tutor that can teach your Pokémon some devastating moves like Selfdestruct and Hypnosis.

Many of the moves XD Pokémon learn are generally subpar, or only useful in double battles (examples include Helping Hand and Refresh). Since this guide only covers 1 vs 1 Battles, it won't cover those moves. What moves should you be aware of? Here are the Pokémon that received significant upgrades.

Zapdos

Zapdos is regarded as the big winner of Pokémon XD. It received three moves, and two of them are very useful. Zapdos received Extrasensory, Metal Sound, and Baton Pass. All three of the legendary bird Pokémon received Extrasensory, which isn't very good, but Zapdos's other two XD moves are potentially game-breaking.

Zapdos with Metal Sound has an obvious advantage—Zapdos is a special attacking Pokémon and Metal Sound lowers Special Defense. A Metal Sound Zapdos is very useful when paired with entry hazards, as Metal Sound will generally force a lot of switches. Here is a common moveset for a Metal Sound Zapdos:

Zapdos @ Life Orb
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Nature: Modest / Timid
-Metal Sound
-Thunderbolt
-Hidden Power Ice
-Roost / Heat Wave

Special walls will be wary of staying in on this set, so Zapdos can force a lot of switches with Metal Sound, or wear down switch-ins with Thunderbolt or Hidden Power. The best counter for this set is Regice or Registeel. Both of these Pokémon have high Special Defense and an ability, Clear Body, that nullifies the effects of Metal Sound. Unfortunately, both of these Pokémon are not very good in the OU metagame, and without them, you'll need to either use good prediction, or use a special wall that can take a Thunderbolt with -2 Special Defense, like Blissey.

Zapdos's other new move, Baton Pass, is even more useful. Baton Pass is one of the most powerful moves in the game, and Zapdos can make good use of it with Agility and durable Substitutes. Here is a common Baton Pass Zapdos moveset:

Zapdos @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Def / 84 SpA / 40 Spe
Nature: Modest
-Agility
-Baton Pass
-Thunderbolt / Charge Beam
-Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Grass / Substitute

This Zapdos aims to pass an Agility and/or a Substitute to a powerful sweeper like Medicham, Azumarill, or Machamp. Countering this set is not easy. The best choice is a Pokémon with Taunt that outspeeds Zapdos; this Pokémon needs to be able to take a Thunderbolt though. Phazers are great counters too. Swampert is a good choice for this, if Zapdos lacks Hidden Power Grass.

Moltres

Moltres, while not doing nearly as well as Zapdos, did pretty well with its XD moves. Moltres gained three moves in Pokémon XD: Extrasensory, Morning Sun, and Will-O-Wisp. While none of these moves are completely useless (though Extrasensory is pretty bad), all of these moves have been made obsolete as of Diamond and Pearl. Unless you plan on using Moltres on a Sunny Day team, Morning Sun is inferior to Roost. Will-O-Wisp, while still useful, isn't unique to XD Moltres anymore—it is now a TM.

Articuno

The last of the three legendary birds of Kanto also gained three moves through Pokémon XD. Articuno received Extrasensory, Heal Bell, and Haze. Extrasensory is still a bad move, and Haze is generally outclassed by Roar (unless you need to use it on your opponent's Mr. Mime or Cradily). Heal Bell is a very useful move on a sturdy Pokémon like Articuno. Here is a common moveset an XD Articuno will use:

Articuno @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 HP / 96 Def / 64 SpA / 96 SpD
Nature: Calm
- Ice Beam
- Roost
- Heal Bell
- Roar / Haze

When paired with a Rapid Spinner, Articuno can make a very good stall and support Pokémon. Articuno is completely demolished by Toxic though. Heal Bell remedies this, while also healing your team's ailments. Most Steel-type Pokémon are good counters to Articuno—especially Metagross. Rock-types like Tyranitar can also hit Articuno very hard. Articuno's biggest weakness is to Stealth Rock though, as taking a 50% hit every time you switch in is a major pitfall.

Altaria

Altaria is an often underrated Pokémon because of its much better cousins, Salamence and Dragonite (and even Kingdra and Flygon), but it is still a very good Pokémon in its own right, especially in UU. Altaria gained only one new move in Pokémon XD, but it was a good one: Heal Bell. With this, Altaria became one of the best clerics in UU. Altaria has relatively good typing, good defensive stats, and a great ability: Natural Cure! Altaria wasn't the only Dragon-type to get Heal Bell in XD; Dragonite got it too! They play almost the same when using Heal Bell, so another section on Dragonite won't be included (if you want to use Heal Bell Dragonite, just change the EVs a tad and you'll be good to go). The HeartGold and SoulSilver tutors gave Altaria an easier way to get Heal Bell, but XD is still the only option for ADV players. Here is a possible Altaria set you would see utilizing Heal Bell:

Altaria @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 200 Def / 56 SpD
Nature: Calm
-Heal Bell
-Roost
-Toxic / Sing / Perish Song
-Dragon Pulse

This set utilizes Altaria's nice defensive stats to make a very effective cleric. Altaria cannot stand up to the heavy-duty OU attackers, but in UU it fares nicely. This Altaria set can do a bit of stalling and spread status, while also healing your own. The best way to counter this set is to bring in a Steel-type that has an attack that can take out Altaria, such as Heatran in OU with Hidden Power Ice or Dragon Pulse.

Togekiss

Not even Togetic's amazing XD attack, Tri Attack, could boost Togetic to usable levels. However, Togekiss can use Tri Attack quite well. With one of the best abilities in the game, Serene Grace, Tri Attack becomes even more deadly. A common Togekiss set using Tri Attack follows.

Togekiss @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 6 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Nature: Modest / Timid
-Tri Attack
-Air Slash
-Aura Sphere
-Flamethrower / Trick / Hidden Power Ice

Because of Serene Grace, Tri Attack has a 40% chance of inflicting either burn, freeze, or paralysis—which is quite deadly. Togekiss can also repeatedly flinch the opponent with Air Slash. Countering Choice Scarf Togekiss is somewhat difficult. You either need to predict around it, or switch in a very sturdy special wall, such as Blissey (though watch out for Aura Sphere and Trick!)

Hypno

Several Pokémon received the same move as Hypno did in XD, Baton Pass, but Hypno can use it a bit more effectively than others. Hypno can pass a very devastating move, Nasty Plot, as well as other moves like Calm Mind, Meditate, and Substitute. Here is a moveset for Baton Pass Hypno:

Hypno @ Leftovers
Ability: Insomnia
EVs: 172 HP / 112 SpA / 224 SpD
Nature: Calm
-Nasty Plot
-Baton Pass
-Psychic
-Hidden Power Fighting / Shadow Ball

Hypno is one of the bulkiest special walls in UU, so it shouldn't have trouble switching in and getting a Nasty Plot. Hypno then should either attack or pass its boost to a powerful special attacker such as Alakazam, Mismagius, or Venomoth. As is the case with all Baton Passers, this Hypno can be countered by a fast Taunt user, or a phazer.

Solrock and Lunatone

Like Hypno, the sun and moon Pokémon also received Baton Pass from Pokémon XD. Both of these Pokémon are adept Baton Passers, each able to pass Cosmic Power, Rock Polish, and Calm Mind. These two play almost identically to each other when Baton Passing, but Lunatone is used as a passer much more, so here is a set for it:

Lunatone @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 120 Def / 136 Spe
Nature: Bold
-Baton Pass
-Calm Mind
-Substitute / Hypnosis
-AncientPower / Earth Power

Lunatone's best option for Baton Passing is probably Calm Mind, as there are numerous Pokémon that would love receiving Calm Mind boosts. Like all Baton Passers, Lunatone and Solrock are stopped by taunters and phazers.

Selfdestruct Tutor

Also included in Pokémon XD is a move tutor. Similar to the move tutors in FireRed and LeafGreen, this tutor (an old woman found in Agate Village) teaches moves to your Pokémon for free, but each move can only be taught once. Here is a list of the available moves:

  • Mimic
  • Thunder Wave
  • Seismic Toss
  • Icy Wind
  • Substitute
  • Dream Eater
  • Swagger
  • Nightmare
  • Body Slam
  • Sky Attack
  • Double-Edge
  • Selfdestruct

The only moves of note are Selfdestruct and Sky Attack, and the latter isn't very good, since most of the other moves are available to many Pokémon by other means. Selfdestruct is especially useful on three Pokémon: Snorlax, Mewtwo, and Wailord. Movesets for each follow.

Snorlax @ Choice Band
Ability: Thick Fat
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 SpD
Nature: Adamant
-Return
-Earthquake / Superpower
-Crunch / Selfdestruct
-Fire Punch / Selfdestruct

Snorlax isn't as sturdy a wall as it used to be, but it's as good a Choice Bander as ever, and Selfdestruct makes it even better. Snorlax already commands a solid 110 base Attack. Combine that with the boost of Choice Band, STAB, and the high Base Power of Selfdestruct and you have one damaging move. Ghost-types such as Gengar and Rotom-A are good counters to Snorlax if it lacks Crunch (or doesn't Crunch you on the switch-in), as they're immune to Snorlax's STAB moves, Superpower, and Earthquake. Very sturdy physical walls also make great counters to Snorlax, especially Steel-types like Skarmory.

Mewtwo @ Life Orb
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 40 Atk / 252 SpA / 216 Spe
Nature: Timid / Hasty
-Thunder
-Ice Beam
-Aura Sphere
-Selfdestruct

Mewtwo is an insanely powerful special attacker, but it's stopped cold by the powerful special walls of the Uber metagame, such as Blissey. Selfdestruct completely destroys Blissey and many other Pokémon that would normally stop Mewtwo cold. One of the easiest ways to stop this Mewtwo is to lure it into Selfdestructing, then switching to a Ghost-type.

Wailord @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Water Veil
EVs: 28 Atk / 252 SpA / 228 Spe
Nature: Naive
-Water Spout
-Hydro Pump / Surf
-Selfdestruct
-Ice Beam / Hidden Power Grass

Wailord gained a very nice finishing move in Selfdestruct. It can now attack powerfully when at full health (with Water Spout), at medium health (with Hydro Pump), and finish with Selfdestruct. Wailord isn't insanely powerful, so if you can predict around it and slowly damage it, its Water Spout will lose its edge and it will have one less option. As always, switching to a Ghost-type when you predict the Selfdestruct is the best option.

The Mew Tutor

If you transfer a Mew from a third generation game, you'll find a man in Pokémon XD who will teach your Mew four moves depending on how you answer his questions (this costs 5,000 PokéCoupons). Here is a list of the moves that, at the time, Mew could not learn through any other method:

  • Faint Attack
  • Fake Out
  • Hypnosis
  • Night Shade
  • Role Play
  • Zap Cannon

The only move of real merit, Hypnosis, can now be obtained by other means (by getting a Mew from Pokémon Ranch). Hypnosis can be used on almost every set Mew uses if you don't mind the low accuracy. Role Play is another interesting move, though it is somewhat gimmicky.

This concludes that Pokémon XD section of this article. It should be noted that several Pokémon received Charm and Baton Pass, though few of them use them well enough to merit a mention in this article. Many Pokémon also received Sing. While Sing isn't a horrible move, it isn't good enough to warrant a spot on the Pokémon who received it (e.g. Froslass, Glalie). Finally, a few Pokémon received XD moves that were good in the past, but were made obsolete by either DP's new moves or Platinum's tutor moves. Now, on to the special event Pokémon!

Special Events

Darkrai

The Nightmare Pokémon can only be obtained through events. You can obtain Darkrai from Pokémon Ranger, receiving the Member's Pass, or from a Toys 'R' Us event. The Toys 'R' Us Darkrai, commemorating the Pokémon movie, is the one that's actually unique. This Darkrai will come with two special moves: Roar of Time and Spacial Rend (previously unique to Dialga and Palkia, respectively). While Roar of Time isn't the best of moves, Spacial Rend is a very good move in the Uber metagame with the abundance of Dragon-types. Even though Spacial Rend isn't overly powerful because it is unSTABed, it's Darkrai's best option against Pokémon such as Palkia and also helps against Rayquaza (both of whom are 2HKOed). Darkrai is a very powerful force in the Uber metagame and should never be underestimated.

Pikachu

Nintendo's signature Pokémon has been released as an event numerous times over the years. In the ADV generation, Pikachu with Fly and Surf were available, but you cannot transfer Pokémon with HMs to fourth generation games. Since then, there have been new events with Surfing Pikachu, and more recently an event for Flying Pikachu on the Pokéwalker. Until late 2008, Surf Pikachu was only available with a Hardy nature (from Pokémon Battle Revolution), which is basically useless. However, there have been two new events (A Birthday event and a Yokohama event), that gave away a Modest Surfing Pikachu. While Modest isn't the best nature for Pikachu (because Pikachu needs Speed), it's still usable. Surf gives Pikachu good coverage when coupled with Thunderbolt, Hidden Power Ice, and Grass Knot—though this Pikachu is stopped cold by special walls like Blissey.

Linoone

Through a special event with Pokémon Box, a Zigzagoon with ExtremeSpeed became available. ExtremeSpeed is a very good move for Linoone, especially when paired with Belly Drum. This combination became even better in DPP, with Linoone's new Gluttony ability. Shown below is the Belly Drum Linoone set:

Linoone @ Salac Berry
Ability: Gluttony
EVs: 108 HP / 252 Atk / 8 Def / 4 SpD / 136 Spe
Nature: Adamant
-Belly Drum
-ExtremeSpeed
-Shadow Claw / Pursuit
-Rock Smash / Seed Bomb

Gluttony makes Linoone's Salac Berry activate right after you use Belly Drum, which is crucial because Linoone can't take hits, especially after using Belly Drum. At +6 Attack, ExtremeSpeed will be completely obliterating most Pokémon in UU (and most Pokémon in OU too!) Shadow Claw helps Linoone combat Ghost-types, such as Rotom. Linoone's last slot is tricky; it does not have that many viable options. Rock Smash can be a very powerful attack against Rock- and Steel-types which resist ExtremeSpeed, especially if Linoone gets the Defense drop on its opponents. Linoone can also use Seed Bomb to destroy Rock-types, particularly Rhyperior, but then it has no way of defeating Steel-types, most importantly Registeel.

Vileplume

You may have heard stories about the elusive New York and Japanese Pokémon Center events. These events were few and far between; some of the Pokémon released at these events got awesome moves too. Vileplume, indirectly, was one of these Pokémon. An event Oddish Egg from Japanese PC for GBA hatches with Leech Seed. Here is a common moveset using this rare move:

Vileplume @ Leftovers
Ability: Chlorophyll
EVs: 244 HP / 136 Def / 128 SpD
Nature: Calm / Sassy
-Leech Seed
-Substitute
-Sludge Bomb
-Stun Spore / Body Slam / Synthesis

With Leech Seed, Vileplume can now perform the strategy common to Grass-types—"SubSeeding." Vileplume is especially adept at using this strategy because of its STAB Sludge Bomb; with this, Vileplume can inflict super effective damage on those immune to Leech Seed (Grass-types). In Platinum, Vileplume received Synthesis as a tutor move; you can use this to stall your opponent even more. The best way of countering this Vileplume is to use a Grass/Poison-type Pokémon like Venusaur (preferably with Hidden Power Ice or Fire).

Wish Pokémon

The other extremely rare and valuable NYPC event Pokémon gained the move Wish. This included Chansey, Lickitung, Kangaskhan, Drowzee, Exeggcute, and Farfetch'd. The only major Pokémon that gained Wish was Chansey. With Wish, Blissey could pull off a new way of healing and team-support. Here is a set employing Wish:

Blissey @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 Def / 80 SpA / 176 SpD
Nature: Calm
-Wish
-Protect
-Flamethrower
-Toxic

Blissey is easily the #1 special wall in the game, and Wish made her even better. Wish + Protect gives Blissey two turns of Leftovers health and 50% from Wish without being attacked (this is more than Softboiled!) Wish also allows Blissey to provide team support by healing her fellow members. Protect also helps lengthen the Toxic stalling. The easiest way to counter Blissey is to use a very powerful physical attacker, specifically Fighting-types. Heracross makes a great choice, as Toxic will activate Guts, making Heracross even more powerful (though watch out for Flamethrower!)

The Drowzee mentioned earlier not only comes with Wish, but also comes with Belly Drum. While Hypno usually works as a special attacking Pokémon, Belly Drum allows it to run a quite potent physical attacking set:

Hypno @ Leftovers
Ability: Insomnia
EVs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 SpD
Nature: Adamant
-Belly Drum
-Wish
-Zen Headbutt
-Fire Punch

This set, while very unconventional, can actually have some degree of success due to Hypno's good defenses and Wish. This set works best on a team with paralysis support, so Hypno's pathetic Speed won't be as much of an issue. The only way to counter a Belly Drum Pokémon is to take it out quickly before it can attack (thankfully, Hypno's low Speed stat means this won't be as much of a problem).

More Wish Pokémon were released in Japanese Pokémon Centers, including Bagon, Ralts, Pichu, and Absol. Bagon is the only notable Pokémon from this group, as the others aren't bulky enough to use Wish (though it should be noted that by using the event Ralts, Gallade can use Wish, which was previously unique to Gardevoir). While Wish Salamence is rare, here is its most common moveset:

Salamence @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 180 Def / 76 Spe
Nature: Timid
-Wish
-Toxic
-Dragon Pulse / Draco Meteor
-Protect / Flamethrower

This "FatMence" works similarly to WishBliss. You can Toxic stall while damaging opponents with Salamence's strong STAB moves. This set also provides team support, though Salamence can't switch in and out as easily as Blissey due to its Stealth Rock weakness. Heatran is the best counter to FatMence, as it either resists or is immune to all of Salamence's attacks.

Wynaut

Through a PokéPark event in Japan, players could obtain a Wynaut with the move Tickle. While this move isn't overly exciting or effective in Ubers, it's still worth a mention. Players can switch in Wobbuffet, Tickle the opponent's defensive Pokémon to lower its Defense greatly, then switch in a Pursuit user like Choice Band Tyranitar or Scizor and Pursuit for the kill. Wobbuffet doesn't really have "counters" in a sense because nothing can switch out against Wobbuffet. The only way to defeat it is to use very powerful attacks, especially Dark-, Ghost-, and Bug-type ones.

Why can't I use my event moves with some other moves?

Pokémon with event moves (or XD Pokémon) cannot have Egg moves because they weren't bred with them; they also cannot have moves from other events (for example, a Bagon with Wish and Iron Defense has an illegal moveset, as these moves come from two different NYPC events). Another example of an illegal moveset is a Snorlax with Selfdestruct and Pursuit. The former can only be obtained through XD Tutor; the latter is a DPP Egg move.

Conclusion

Although rare on Wi-Fi, players should always be prepared for event Pokémon.

Hopefully this guide helped you understand how to use and be prepared for event Pokémon!