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This article covers the Elemental Gems in UU, RU, and NU and is the second in a two-part Elemental Gem series. These Gems can be used to get past a certain Pokemon's counter to give it a free path to sweep afterwards.
When we think of Pokemon jewelry, the first item that generally springs to mind is the Flying Gem. You see, it's almost as if it were created specifically to be used in conjunction with the move Acrobatics. Acrobatics only has a measly 55 Base Power on paper, but that doubles to 110 when the user isn't holding an item. But Flying Gem takes it one step further. Once you use the move the Gem is consumed on the same turn, so it essentially multiplies 110 by 50%, resulting in a massive 165 Base Power. And that's without taking STAB into consideration! Such power means that a Flying Gem-boosted Acrobatics can be used as a one-time nuke, a move that is sure to crush any opponent that does not possess titanic Defense or a resistance to it. Unfortunately, these two attributes often go hand in hand when we think of Rock- and Steel-types, but the best users of Acrobatics have found a way around them and consequently into this article.
Tornadus has many advantages in using Flying Gem. For one, it can outright attack opponents with a huge amount of power straight off. Once it does that, it can boost its power to what it was before with Bulk Up and can avoid a Taunt or Will-O-Wisp from Sableye with its own Prankster Taunt. Tornadus can also 2HKO Snorlax reliably with Flying Gem, without the Defense and Attack decrease that it would get from using Superpower. Archeops can use Flying Gem to hit opponents harder while it still has the power, as its ability, Defeatist, halves its Attack when it reaches less than 50% HP.
Sceptile is one of the best users of Flying Gem in the lower tiers, thanks to Unburden. The ability makes the user's Speed double when it uses up an item, and that's exactly what happens when it uses Acrobatics. With the Acrobatics boost, it already makes for a one-time powerful attack, but with Unburden, its already fast base 120 Speed is doubled, meaning frail offensive opponents in RU have to rely on priority or Rock- and Steel-types to take it out. Luckily, Escavalier can survive Acrobatics and OHKO back in return with Megahorn, while Pokemon such as Steelix have no problem coming into Sceptile after it's used the Gem and can easily 2HKO in return. Like Sceptile, Drifblim also has Unburden and Acrobatics; however, it has the added bonus of getting STAB from Acrobatics. That's hitting an opponent and making Drifblim hard to take out for the rest of the match. With its Ghost typing, it is immune to Mach Punches and only falls to Sucker Punch after the boost. To combat this, Drifblim can run Substitute and use Will-O-Wisp. Drifblim can also use Destiny Bond to make use of the boost to its Speed when it knows it can't finish off an opponent. Kangaskhan is an exception, however, as the kangaroo commonly runs Scrappy, allowing it to use Fake Out and wear Drifblim down after a Substitute; however, it has to be wary of Will-O-Wisp and Destiny Bond.
Charizard is another great user of Flying Gem and benefits from STAB Acrobatics like most others. When people see Charizard in the current NU metagame, most assume a Choice Scarf set and generally switch to a special wall to take whatever attack Charizard is about to launch at them. Charizard then gets the boost to Acrobatics, which can help it take out Pokemon that otherwise take very little from its attacks, such as Altaria, and guarantees the 2HKO without Stealth Rock. In the RU metagame, Swords Dance can also allow it to boost its Attack and OHKO Slowking after a turn of set up and works without sun, unlike Grass Gem Charizard. Jumpluff is the least used out of NU's Flying Gem users, but Flying Gem and Acrobatics are extremely useful for it, for a variety of reasons. Flying Gem allows it to get notable KOs on bulkier Pokemon that may switch in, and proceed to use its high Speed to its advantage by putting something that may potentially counter it to sleep. After that, it can set up Swords Dance to regain the power it initially had.
Grass Gem is used less than Flying Gem, but it has very specific uses in the lower tiers. Sceptile can make use of Grass Gem much like it makes use of Flying Gem. Unlike with Acrobatics, Sceptile gets STAB from Leaf Blade and can activate Unburden after hitting its opponents really hard and proceed to sweep the rest of the opposing team. Charizard can use the Grass Gem to get the guaranteed OHKO on most Slowking when under sun with SolarBeam. This can make it easier for other sun sweepers such as Entei to sweep through teams.
Ghost Gem only has one main user in the lower tiers, and that's Drifblim. When used in conjunction with Unburden, it can become a powerful special attacker. While Ghost Gem has no extra power like Acrobatics does, it does give Drifblim a powerful Shadow Ball which can OHKO Pokemon like Gardevoir after Stealth Rock, compared to 2HKOing it beforehand. It can also hit other Pokemon such as Musharna harder with Shadow Ball; however, the purpose of the Gem is to help boost Drifblim's Speed for the most part. With the extra Speed boost from Unburden, Drifblim can use Calm Mind against offensive special threats such as Jynx (even when Scarfed, as Drifblim can now outspeed it due to the Unburden boost) to boost its Special Defense, which can help it survive longer and regain power in Shadow Ball. Ghost Gem also works great against physical walls such as Alomomola that may come in hoping for Acrobatics and instead face a nasty surprise.
Both of these are mostly used in the lower tiers by Hitmonlee, which is why they have the same category. Normal Gem is used almost primarily for Fake Out, which guarantees an Unburden activation due to Fake Out having priority and causing the opponent to flinch. With the extra Speed, Hitmonlee can as a result find more opportunities to sweep opposing teams with Hi Jump Kick. Fighting Gem on the other hand can be used against a slower opponent to launch a powerful and fast High Jump Kick, or priority Mach Punch against a faster opponent with the aim of killing whatever Hitmonlee faces.
That's the last of the the Elemental Gem series, as the Elemental Gems have very little use in Ubers, and in LC they work similarly to their adult counterparts. The next time you're wondering about which item to use for a Pokemon, consider using an Elemental Gem, as it just might provide the boost you need.
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