Featured Pokemon: Looking Back, Looking Forward

By Seven Deadly Sins.
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In the previous 11 issues of The Smog, we've covered some of the most notable Pokemon in the 4th Generation, from old guard stars like Tyranitar to up-and-comers like Flygon. However, with Generation 5 right around the corner, there's plenty of potential for these former superstars to improve even more. So let's take a look at these stars of days gone by, and take a little look into the future of these kings of OU!


There isn’t really much in store for Salamence in the 5th generation, unfortunately, as the BW changes mostly passed the flying dragon over. However, it did gain one notable move: Dragon Tail. While a STAB Dragon Tail may not deal massive damage, it still gives Salamence a little more reason to take a shot at using a defensive spread along with Intimidate. It may not have Gyarados’ typing or Special Defense, but it does have access to Roost, as well as solid enough offensive stats that it really doesn’t have to invest a lot in them in order to hit specific opponents effectively.

Dream World: Overconfident

Overconfident is really a bit of a mixed bag for Salamence. While the attack boost can give Salamence a bit of a “snowball effect” once it gets its first KO, it comes with a number of severe disadvantages. First off, the loss of Intimidate is a huge problem for Salamence, as it makes it a lot harder to come in to resisted physical attacks or scare opposing Pokemon out. Second, Overconfident is illegal with Outrage, as it is a 4th generation Tutor, and cannot be used with Dream World abilities. Still, Overconfident can make Salamence a major force, especially if it manages to pick up a kill on an opponent’s prediction.


Tyranitar is another Pokemon that got basically entirely missed by the 5th generation. Its only new moves are exclusively mediocre, and it can’t really make very good use of them either. Claw Sharpen is the only marginally interesting one, as it removes Stone Edge’s accuracy issues and also boosts its power, but it is largely outclassed by Dragon Dance and Curse, both of which are still viable options.

Dream World: Tension

Another nearly useless ability, but this one at least has a couple gimmicky options. First off, Tension prevents opponents such as Heatran from using Shuca Berry to shrug off its Earthquakes. Second, while Sand Stream may be an awesome ability, it can also hinder as much as it helps, so Tension allows Tyranitar to be used without forcing Sandstorm in battle. This may be one of those rare cases where “no ability is better than a double-edged ability”, and indeed, Tyranitar is one of the few Pokemon that can actually take advantage of losing its ability.


Yet another Pokemon nearly completely passed over by Generation 5, Scizor has literally gained nothing usable from the new generation. Its only new moves are Venom Shock, a weak special attack with poor typing and a mediocre boosting effect; Sing A Round, an uninteresting special Normal-type move that has more use in doubles and triples than singles; Acrobat, a Flying-type move that is likely more useful for Scizor’s pre-evolved form; and Bug Opposition, which lowers the target’s Special Attack, but with its low Base Power and Scizor’s low Special Attack, is unlikely to do anything of note.

Dream World: Light Metal

Just like its movepool, Scizor’s Dream World ability is basically useless to it, especially in comparison with Technician. The only possible purpose it would serve is to reduce the power of Low Kick, but giving up Scizor’s powerful STAB Bullet Punch for it is a high price to pay.


It looks like we’re setting a pattern here, as Celebi is basically unchanged from Generation 4. However, there is one notable change that has occurred since the original Featured Pokemon article was written, so I’ll take some time to go over that: Celebi has gained Nasty Plot via a Movie event in Japan. This not only makes Celebi an extremely competent sweeper, but also one of the few Pokemon capable of Baton Passing a Nasty Plot boost. Combine that with a Pokemon like Heatran, which can pick up a Flash Fire boost as well as a Nasty Plot boost, and can also use Nitro Charge to pick up a Speed boost and make sweeping easy.

Dream World: Nothing

That’s right, nothing to see here, move along, etc. Not that it really matters, Natural Cure is a fantastic ability anyway.


Starmie actually managed to pick up a couple of really awesome new options in Generation 5. For offensive sets, Psycho Shock gives Starmie a way to utilize its Psychic STAB, and it also gives it an option against Blissey, its greatest nemesis as a special sweeper. Meanwhile, defensive sets can use Boiling Water, a new Water-typed Lava Plume clone, which can allow Starmie to inflict Burn on opponent, potentially crippling physical attackers switching in, as well as making up for Starmie’s fairly uninteresting defensive stats.

Dream World: Analyze

Given that Starmie’s greatest asset is its impressive Speed, an ability that requires it to go second isn’t really the biggest benefit for it. Plus, considering that Natural Cure is such an excellent ability for Starmie, losing it probably wouldn’t do it any favors.


Of all the Pokemon that we've featured in The Smog, Rotom-A is the one that has undergone the most dramatic change, and indeed has changed more than any Pokemon ever has between generations. Essentially, Rotom-A is no longer a Ghost-type. Its secondary type instead changes to that of its signature move, making its W/H/F/C/S forms Electric/Water, Electric/Fire, Electric/Ice, Electric/Grass, and Electric/Flying respectively. While we don't really have the time to go into more details here, there is one thing that I will point out: Rotom-S is now a Flying-type... with Levitate. Thanks, Game Freak.


And now we're back to the trend. Metagross' movepool is almost entirely unchanged from Generation 4, aside from a random smattering of moves like Level Ground, Psycho Shock, Telekinesis, and Sing A Round. The only thing of note that it really got is Claw Sharpen, a move that may see use as Metagross' only Attack-boosting move, and it also has a pretty neat side effect of making Meteor Miss suck a bit less. However, Metagross did get hit a bit by the nerf stick with the Explosion nerf, as it no longer has that CB Explosion that threatens to OHKO crazy stuff like Skarmory.

Dream World: Heavy Metal

This might be a cool ability... if Metagross got Heavy Bomber. Too bad it doesn't. As such, Heavy Metal really doesn't do anything for Metagross, and it costs it a lot of its movepool versatility, so the likelihood of Metagross ever using this ability is minimal at best.


Yet another loser in the whole "new Gen 5 stuff" race, Infernape at least gets a neat and fairly usable move in the form of Nitro Charge. As the first Speed boosting move that Infernape gets access to, a Nitro Charge boost can make Infernape extremely difficult to revenge kill outside of Priority due to its 108 base Speed and the +1 boost. Furthermore, while Nitro Charge may not have amazing power, it's still decent if Infernape goes with a physical set. Other than that, though, there's really not much going on for Infernape.

Dream World: Iron Fist

This is actually a really cool ability for Infernape, especially Swords Dance variants. Iron Fist increases the power of Fire Punch to 90 Base Power, making it a much more effective sweeping tool, and giving it a strong Fire-type physical move without murdering itself with Flare Blitz's recoil. It also boosts the power of Mach Punch to 48 Base Power, which may not be huge, but it still provides a much needed power boost. There are also a couple side benefits, such as a more powerful ThunderPunch or Focus Punch, but Mach Punch and Fire Punch are the big winners here.


Generation 5 was fairly kind to Breloom. While it didn’t get any new moves, Breloom got a huge buff in the form of Generation 5’s new Sleep mechanic. Basically, if a Pokemon is asleep, its sleep counter now resets, making it much harder to get Pokemon to wake up on their own. Combine this with the fact that Sleep Talk is no longer a TM, and Breloom’s 100% accurate Spore becomes an even more incredible move in the 5th Generation.

Dream World: Technician

Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! Technician is an incredible asset for Breloom, boosting its Mach Punch’s Base Power to 60, and its newly buffed Bullet Seed gets boosted to between 75 and 182.5 Base Power. It can use this alongside Spore, or it can use a Technician-boosted Force Palm to hit hard and also inflict Paralysis on Pokemon that switch in. Ankle Sweep also benefits from Technician, and its ability to lower the target’s Speed without fail can make it hard for opponents to safely switch in and still be able to deal with Breloom. However, it’s not all rosy. Unfortunately, Technician prevents the use of Superpower, as Dream World abilities are illegal alongside earlier generation move tutors. All in all, Breloom is one of the Pokemon that benefits the most from its Dream World ability, and once it gets released, it’s sure to make a splash in the OU metagame.


Heatran got a number of interesting boosts to its movepool in Generation 5, which make it even more versatile than before. One of the biggest is the addition of the move Nitro Charge, which is a 50 Base Power Physical Fire-type attack with 100% accuracy and a 100% chance to increase the user’s Speed by 1 level. This move gives Heatran the ability to boost its Speed by itself for the first time, and helps make Life Orb Heatran an even more effective threat, especially if it can pick up a Flash Fire boost. Second, Heatran’s signature move, Magma Storm, got a minor accuracy boost from 70% to 75%, making it slightly more reliable. Third, the new item called “Balloon” is a godsend for Heatran. Absolute immunity to its most crippling weakness is incredible, especially since Heatran has issues taking Ground-type attacks even with a Shuca Berry equipped. The only issue is that it becomes hard to switch Heatran into resisted attacks when using Balloon, as any attack damage will destroy the Balloon and remove Heatran’s Ground immunity.

Of course, this all comes at a high price. With the nerf to Explosion, Blissey is now basically a 100% hard counter to Heatran if it comes in at any reasonable amount of HP. Even if Heatran could blow up on Blissey TWICE, it probably wouldn't take it out. Oh well, time to pack some more Fighting-types!

Dream World: Flame Body

That’s right, Heatran is one of many recipients of a straight up useless troll ability. Considering that Flash Fire not only gives it an immunity to fire instead of a neutrality, but also powers up its vicious STAB Fire Blast, Flame Body is beyond useless on Heatran.


Unfortunately, it looks like Generation 5 is pretty much more of the same for Flygon. Not only has its movepool remained basically static, but Generation 5 has introduced an entire new roster of vicious Dragon-types to compete with, such as Kyuremu, Sazandora, and the brutal Ononokusu. Meanwhile, with Garchomp seeing freedom at the beginning of Generation 5, it’s unlikely that Flygon will be the star that he is currently at the end of Generation 4.

On the upside, it DID get Claw Sharpen, its first Attack-boosting move EVER! Too bad it's not Dragon Dance.

Dream World: Nothing

That’s right, on top of getting no real new moves, it also got no Dream World ability. While everything around it is improving, Flygon is staying the same, making its prospects in Generation 5 grim at best for now.


Okay, so maybe it's not all rosy for our good old Featured Pokemon in Generation 5. However, despite the generation's improvements largely passing them by, you can be sure that they'll still be making a splash in Generation 5's OU tier! Except Flygon, nobody likes him. Sorry, Flygon.

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