The Impact of Forme-All Wear, and what it means for BW2
Forme changes were first introduced in Ruby and Sapphire with a tease from Castform's ability, Forecast. Soon afterward, Fire Red, Leaf Green, and Emerald introduced us to a multitude of Deoxys. In Diamond and Pearl you had Gastrodon and the Wormadams. I love Gastrodon as much as the next guy, but lets face it—it was in Platinum, though, with the release of Giratina-O, Skymin, and the Rotom-formes, that turned formes from an event gimmick into something that should grab your attention. While some Forme changes are basically cosmetic or on Pokemon too poor to really utilize them, most of the Forme changes have been brutally effective in reshaping the metagame.
- Even though this is the most limited of the alternate formes since it requires an item, Griseous Orb's 20% Ghost / Dragon damage boost and the swap from 120 defenses to 120 offenses (and 100 the other way) combined with Giratina's 150 Base HP, a Trick / Knock Off item removal immunity, and Levitate all melded together to form an incredible bulky offensive force with two of the best boosted STABs in Ubers. Ghost annihilates Psychics, and Dragon wipes out other Dragons. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about it is that it's weak to its own STABs, so its original Altered Forme doesn't exactly want to switch into it. The viable Steels in Ubers are neutral to Dragon (Dialga) or Ghost (basically everything else), but even if they weren't Giratina has Aura Sphere and Earth Power.
- The ultimate glass cannon. The original Deoxys had 150 Offenses and Speed with 50 Defenses. This monstrosity traded Base 30 of those defense points for even more offense, making every attack at its disposal something out of a nightmare. The kicker on this isn't even what Deoxys-A itself got in Fire Red, but that Deoxys-S learned Extremespeed in Emerald, meaning your Deoxys-A often couldn't even be taken out by priority.
- It's rare for defensive Pokemon to get banned unless by "defensive" you mean "also has 150 Base in an offense." With the exception of Lugia, almost no hard defensive Pokemon got the honor of being sent away from OU. Why was Deoxys-D sent there? Taunt, hazards, and direct recovery. Unlike Cresselia, who was completely mauled by Tyranitar in every conceivable way, Deoxys-D not only had things to do other than look and feel like a sitting duck, it could even fight back with Superpower, though I doubt it'd run it much were it dropped into OU.
- Easily the most interesting case study for all of DPP. Deoxys-S was sent away because it was the best lead ever created. It had Taunt, Hazards, acceptable bulk for a Dual Screening lead with 50/90/90 Defenses, and more Speed than Ninjask. Its 95 offenses with the insane Speed were even enough for it to earn a mixed offensive set! How do you know you are fast? When you outspeed Timid ScarfOgre just by running +Spe.
- In what may have been the trolliest stat-revision ever, Shaymin-S went from a fluffy grass fairy in the shadow of Celebi to the most annoying little reindeer ever envisioned by anyone, anywhere. When you have 127 Speed, you know you basically exist to mock Darkrai, Swellow, and Weavile, the only three Pokemon that sit at 125. Granted the latter could still Ice Shard you into oblivion, but the first two gape at the unfairness of it all. The 120 SpA was also a vast improvement over 100, though one can't imagine where the 103 Attack came from. Oh Game Freak, you Tangela smoking fiends you! The only good thing about Shaymin-S was the hax could roll two ways. Nothing says ultimate justice like Skymin missing your LO MixSwine with Seed Flare and getting KO'd by Blizzard outside of Hail.
We've had enough fun playing around with Ubers, lets get to the Forme-change that shook Gen 4 OU to its very core, taking a Pokemon with one of the best type/ability combinations in the game, giving it a stat makeover, and giving it one move of its choice.
- The only one of the formes to get its own unique set. While Rotom-H's Overheat was useful in taking out Steel-types, Rotom-W's complete exploitation of rain made it a great Pokemon, and the strong Water coverage made it one of the best Pokemon around. Most of the other formes failed to get much in the way of use, save Rotom-F on hail teams for its perfect accuracy Blizzard and it's one-Pokemon response to Scizor, Metagross, and Fighting-types.
Now a new generation has begun, and with Black 2 and White 2 information slowly being leaked, it's time again to turn our attention to what surprises, opportunities, and sphincter-tightening horrors await! Like a sandwich, Rotom-A comes back with something new for us this generation, though most of its formes dropped a tier or two.
- Although all the appliances lost their spinblocking ability, Rotom-W gains infamy as a Pokemon whose only weakness is Grass, and on top of that who receives a Grass Knot against it of only 20 BP. Combine that with the fact it laughs at Steel even harder now and gets STAB on Hydro Pump, and Rotom-W is the cream of the crop. It does have some new problems though in the face of Ferrothorn, as well as its older Gen threats like Celebi and Blissey, and with all the new Fighting and Psychic offense it does miss the Fighting immunity and the STAB on Shadow Ball. Volt Switch has made all of the Rotom-formes more viable, as it is part of the "VoltTurn" momentum keeping strategy, easing prediction while doing significant damage with Rotom and Scizor—a Pokemon which incidentally also benefits from rain.
- The little toaster that could is languishing in UU, but it's still got a fair few applications elsewhere. The Grass and 4x Steel resistances make it laugh at Ferrothorn (who can't even Bulldoze it thanks to Levitate), and the unique STAB combination lets it take a crack at the Jellicent / Ferrothorn core. BoltBeam resistance isn't too bad either. For now though, it's rocking Choice items like nobody's business.
- Moving down to RU we have Rotom-C, which has a unique Electric / Grass typing. It's a bit overkill when it comes to Water-types, but the combination is fairly effective against most other types. It still has uses in upper tiers with that unique defensive typing, but it does struggle against threats that Rotom-W and Rotom-H do not.
- Now we're down to NU, where the switch from Ghost to Ice typing hit Rotom hard. Not every type change works out well. It was doing great in NU too until they banned Snover. This fridge keeps getting left out in the cold. Still, it does have STAB BoltBeam, and unlike most Ice-types, it has an acceptable list of resistances in Electric, Ice, and Flying, plus a Ground immunity.
- And now for the worst sting of all, a Rotom forme that doesn't even have a unique type to make up for its mediocrity. What Rotom-S lacks in viable distinct strategies, it makes up for it by being the only Flying-type Pokemon capable of Tricking Ring Target, while still being immune to Earthquake. Next time Marowak comes into Rotom-S, remind him why you're his biggest fan, then give him a charge! That will teach him to use Lightningrod instead of Rock Head! It should be noted Rotom-S is still a great Scarfer in NU.
Yes folks, it's time for the main event. We don't know what Kyurem's formes will portend, but I have a few ideas, each more terrifying than the last! If Nintendo's Japanese is to be trusted, Kyurem is supposed to be the most powerful dragon on earth. Hopefully this includes the stratosphere, or else we'll end up with something worse than space dragon Rayquaza! For shorthand, I'm going to refer to these formes as Kyurem-Z (for Zekrom) and Kyurem-R (for Reshiram).
Before I get into a lot of this, I'll go over a few things I assume will happen. The first is that Kyurem will get those hidden Sky Attack style moves Freeze Shock and Ice Burn. I imagine these will occur at the level 100, as Kyurem's moves mimic Reshiram and Zekrom up to level 92, and Kyurem has no level 100 Attack. Furthermore, Kyurem's level-up list mimics Reshiram and Zekrom exactly up to level 50, where they each learn a signature attack (Fusion Bolt / Fusion Flare / Glaciate), then they learn Dragon Pulse at level 54 (Kyurem at 57), then the pattern re-locks at level 64 with Imprison.
Since there's going to be a movie, I'm also assuming there will be a Fusion Bolt Kyurem-Z and a Fusion Flare Kyurem-R, either also as level-ups (54 most like) or as an event. Remember, these are the same folks who gave these attacks to Victini, and gave Darkrai of all things Spacial Rend and Roar of Time. Even excluding all other moves like tutors only each Forme can learn (as is the case with Dragon Arceus and Shaymin / Skymin learning different tutors based on the forme they are in), these should be sufficient for my purposes.
Second, I assume the common opinion that the formes will increase to the the relevant offense of the title legend, so that Kyurem-Z will have 150 Attack and Kyurem-R will have 150 Special Attack.
Finally, because ability changes happen so often with Forme-changes that readjust stats (at least after DPP), my assumption is that Kyurem-Z gets Teravolt and Kyurem-R gets Turboblaze.
Here's what it looks like
Credit to Katakiri for ripping sprites from B2W2 footage.
125 / 150 / 90 / 130 / 90 / 95
New moves: Freeze Shock, Fusion Bolt
125 / 130 / 90 / 150 / 90 / 95
New moves: Ice Burn, Fusion Flare
Kyurem's formes might be unlocked using an item like Griseous Orb, which would presumably give them a 20% boost on their STABs. This would make Kyurem's Ice and Dragon STABs much more powerful, especially with the stat boost.
- This is probably more desirable from a practical perspective, since Kyurem needs more physical coverage and Ice / Electric is a much better combination than Ice / Fire. This would give Kyurem an effective way to tear through bulky Water-types that can currently take its Dragon attacks, and if it gets physical Ice STAB business it will be even better. If not, a mixed set with Fusion Bolt / Blizzard / Hone Claws / [Outrage / Dragon Claw] would do marvelously well with the +20 Attack boost. Since Kyurem does not receive STAB on Fusion Bolt, Hone Claws can help buff its power and patch up Blizzard's accuracy.
- The upside of this combination is the Special Attack boost making Kyurem's Ice attacks and Dragon Pulse even more dangerous. Since both Ice and Dragon get a boost, it makes more sense to use Physical Dragon attacks and Special Ice attacks. A mixed set would most likely result in Fusion Flare / Ice Beam / Focus Blast / [Dragon Claw / Outrage]. It should be noted that if Kyurem gets Icicle Crash, a mixed set of Fusion Flare / Icicle Crash / Hone Claws / Focus Blast is another option, since the advantage Dragon brings in the former set is higher Base Power. Although Dragon is not resisted by anything but Steel-types, Ice is generally better offensively. That said, Water / Psychic resists the second set where it doesn't the first.
- Another ability possibility
- While its not released and there's no known coding for it, one Ability that could really change Kyurem formes around would be an ability that acts like Power Herb, getting rid of the charge turn for attacks. That would instantly allow the Kyruem formes access to their 140 BP Ice STAB, making them incredibly formidable. The BAP for a 20% boosted 140 BP STAB Ice Attack is 252. This is unparalleled physically (Icicle Crash maxes at 191.25 with STAB and Choice Band) and is barely beaten out by STAB Choice Specs Blizzard at 270. Life Orb STAB Blizzard only hits 234 BP.
- Formes without item
- Further still, if these formes were accessible without needing an item attached, they would become infinitely more versatile, and the slight Speed advantage Kyurem possesses could be put to maximum use in a Choice Scarf set. Life Orb would also be extremely threatening, since both of the new moves have amazing coverage and the additional offensive boost makes previous attacks even more dangerous.
- Trade-able Attacks
- If Kyurem is tradable with these attacks like Deoxys, all bets are off. The most practical result would be a Kyurem-Z that traded over Fusion Flare to take care of Ferrothorn, Forretress, Scizor, and other Steels, resulting in a mixed set of Fusion Bolt / [Blizzard / Ice Beam] / Fusion Flare / [Outrage/Dragon Claw]
There's a lot coming up with Pokemon B2W2; this is just a sample of what could be in store for our fine readers. If you're not aware, the formes will be known as Sparkling Blue Black Kyurem and Burning Red White Kyurem, respectively. If it makes any of you feel better, while SBBK Kyurem will probably be more competitive, FRWK just makes you want to shout "SHINING FINGER!" as you crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women.
Both forme names are Fabulous, by the way.
You all heard it here first though. Oh, and apparently the bros are getting new formes. You never cease to amaze TrollFreak.
(I wonder if I should tell them about Kyurem-R getting Levitate-proof Earth Power...)