RU Spotlight: Absol

By Ryoma Nagare. Art by aXl.
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RU Spotlight: Absol

Absol's History

Absol was first introduced in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, which did it more harm than good. This was due to how moves were physical or special depending on their typing, meaning Absol wasn't able to take advantage of whatever few Dark-type attacks it had, aside from having low defensive stats and Speed. Such drawbacks relegated Absol to passing Swords Dance boosts in UU.

Once Generation 4 came along, Absol received some massive improvements. The physical / special split meant Absol could finally work with its amazing Attack stat. Access to new moves such as Night Slash, finally giving it a reliably Dark-type STAB attack, and Superpower, which allowed it to tear through opposing Dark- and Steel-types, made Absol a fearsome Swords Dance sweeper. It also gained a new ability in Super Luck, which gave it a 25% critical hit chance to moves such as Night Slash and Psycho Cut. Among all these new perks Absol got, the best one was Sucker Punch, giving it a better match-up against faster offensive Pokémon.

With the advent of Generation 5, Absol was finally able to settle down as one of the most formidable offensive Pokémon in the newly formed RU due to various reasons: it could deal with faster offensive threats such as Sceptile and Aerodactyl with Sucker Punch, its STAB Pursuit made it great at trapping Psychic-types such as Slowking and Mesprit, and prospective checks such as Steelix, Tangrowth, and Escavalier were easily taken care of with Fire Blast. Alternatively, Absol could become a powerful Swords Dance Sweeper with Night Slash and Superpower. Sadly, Absol's relatively low speed for an offensive Pokémon meant faster attackers could take advantage of it with via moves such as Substitute, and its low bulk meant Absol would struggle to get up Swords Dance consistently, as even resisted hits could likely 2HKO it.

In XY, Absol was one of the few lucky Pokémon to receive a Mega Evolution, granting it a good deal of improvements, most notably an increase to its Attack, Special Attack, which made it an even more fearsome attacker, and a new ability in Magic Bounce, letting it easily set up on passive Pokémon such as Blissey and Sableye. While it was UU during the entirety of XY and a good deal of ORAS, once Smogon decided to split Mega and non-Mega Pokémon usage, Absol was once again back to its BW homefield of RU. While Steel-types no longer resisted Dark-type moves and Knock Off was buffed to a respectable 65 BP, the introduction of Fairy-types and the myriad of physically bulky Pokémon in RU meant Absol would have a harder time performing as well as it did in BW2. Nonetheless, Absol still stands as a fearsome wallbreaker that should not be taken lightly.

Absol's Qualities

Absol sports a ridiculous base 130 Attack stat, making it a formidable physical wallbreaker. Further complementing this is its STAB-boosted Knock Off, which can make Absol rather painful to switch into for more defensively-oriented teams, and a useful number of coverage moves that include Superpower, Play Rough, and Iron Tail, which allow Absol to get past Mega Steelix, Fighting-, and Fairy-types, respectively. Absol's greatest tool is perhaps its STAB Sucker Punch, which patches its middling Speed and makes it a potent revenge killer (fun fact: Absol's Sucker Punch is the second strongest priority move in the game, only falling behind Yveltal's own Sucker Punch). Among other moves it can opt for, Swords Dance turns Absol into an even more fearsome wallbreaker, and Pursuit can help it trap pesky Psychic- and Ghost-types such as Slowking, Meloetta, and Hoopa.

Sadly, Absol has pitiful defensive stats, meaning even some resisted hits can manage to 2HKO it. It also sports a rather average base 75 Speed, leaving it outpaced by various faster attackers in RU. While Sucker Punch allows it to revenge kill faster Pokémon, they can take advantage of Absol by switching out or using certain moves such as Substitute. While its Dark typing grants it STAB on great moves such as Knock Off and Sucker Punch, it gives Absol a nasty weakness to Fighting-type moves.

Playing with Absol


Absol functions best as a wallbreaker thanks to its immense Attack stat and great physical movepool. Knock Off is an overall great move that removes its foe's item. Sucker Punch is Absol's best tool available, as it makes it a powerful revenge killer while also giving it a better match-up against most faster offensive Pokémon. Superpower is mandatory in order for Absol to break past Mega Steelix, as its other moves fail to do so. The last slot is a bit of a toss-up depending on what you want Absol to cover. Pursuit allows Absol to trap Psychic-types such as Meloetta, Slowking, and Hoopa, Play Rough gives it a method to pressure Fighting-types to an extent, and Iron Tail lets Absol get past Fairy-types without requiring much support, although its accuracy is rather unreliable. Absol could opt for using a Swords Dance set with Knock Off, Sucker Punch, and Superpower, although it is heavily reliant on team support. Fire Blast may be used as an alternative over Superpower that also hits Tangrowth. A Life Orb increases the overall power of Absol's attacks. A Dread Plate can be opted for if Absol carries Pursuit and Life Orb recoil is seen as too troublesome.

Playing against Absol

Absol is rather hard to switch into due to its decent coverage options and how no Pokémon likes to lose their item due to Knock Off. Absol's last moveslot can usually be determined depending on its teammates: if its partners cover Fairy-types well, it is most likely to carry Play Rough, and so forth. Due to its underwhelming Speed, some faster attackers may switch out to a check if they predict Sucker Punch, and faster Psychic-types such as Meloetta and Sigilyph can stay in on Pursuit and KO it with their respective Normal- and Flying-type STAB moves. Absol's low bulk also leaves it susceptible to priority attacks such as Fletchinder's Acrobatics and Hitmonlee's Mach Punch.

Faster Fighting-types such as Choice Scarf Emboar and Virizion can switch into Absol's STAB attacks rather decently, with the latter receiving an Attack boost thanks to Justified, and OHKO with their corresponding Fighting-type attacks. However, they risk being KOed if they switch into Play Rough. Bulkier ones such as Hitmontop and Gurdurr tank Play Rough slightly better due to Intimidate and Eviolite, respectively, and can OHKO Absol with their own STAB moves.

Physically bulky Pokémon such as Tangrowth and Alomomola can take most of Absol's attacks rather well, but they can be KOed with Fire Blast and +2 Knock Off, respectively. Fairy-types such as Diancie, Aromatisse, Mawile, and Granbull can handle sets that lack Iron Tail without much trouble, although Diancie lacking physically defensive investment is OHKOed by +2 Superpower.

Fitting Absol on your team

Absol works best on offensively inclined teams as an early- through mid-game wallbreaker, while also being able to function as a late-game cleaner thanks to its powerful Sucker Punch. As such, Absol is quite capable of paving the way for its teammates to clean late-game.

Mega Steelix is a great partner that provides Stealth Rock support and a solid answer to most Fairy-types. As Absol lures in Fighting-types, Pokémon that can solidly switch into these such as Slowking and Granbull are valuable partners. As it can effectively check Psychic-types with Pursuit, Fighting-types that struggle with these such as Hitmonlee and Medicham really appreciate the support Absol provides.

Get out there!

While Absol isn't the offensive powerhouse that it was during BW due to the introduction of Fairy-types and the myriad of physically bulky Pokémon, it is a respectable sweeper that should not be taken lightly, as just a slight mistake might make you another victim of the Disaster Pokémon.

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