Moves Pokemon SHOULD Have, But Don't

By Philip7086 and Seven Deadly Sins. Art by HellaHellaStyle.
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Swords Dance / Dragon Dance

Flygon is one of those Pokemon that is just all-around solid. Dragon/Ground with Levitate provides excellent resistances, and it often finds plenty of free turns due to its two immunities, solid Speed, and coverage that makes nearly any opponent flee in terror. Unfortunately, Flygon often finds itself in a quandary once the opponent switches out, as it has to rely on prediction, its coverage, and hopefully a lack of opposing Ground immunities to do most of its damage. What Flygon needs is a good boosting move—something that can turn even one turn of free setup into a couple turns of free sweep. Swords Dance would turn Flygon into some kind of mini-Garchomp. It may lack the things that made Garchomp truly overpowered, such as the trolly 102 Speed, the monstrous bulk, or the 130 base Attack, but it's still got excellent offensive stats and that top-notch dual STAB that made Garchomp so fearsome. Meanwhile, Dragon Dance would let Flygon compete on a more even footing with Salamence as a sweeper. Sure, it might lack Intimidate and Salamence's vicious attacking stats, but it more than compensates with a much more powerful Earthquake and the lack of a Stealth Rock weakness, as well as a crucial Electric immunity, allowing it to set up for free on the increasingly popular Specs Jolteon.

Stealth Rock

Let's be honest, when most people consider Flygon as part of their team, they have three moves and one item in mind: Outrage, Earthquake, U-turn, and Choice Scarf. Nobody really cares about Flygon's fourth move, because people usually don't end up using it anyways. Flygon's utility would rise so much more if it could not only be a scouter and revenger for teams, but also be a designated Stealth Rock user. Imagine Scarf Flygon as a Stealth Rock lead! It could U-turn to break Azelf's, Aerodactyl's, and Infernape's Focus Sashes, it has access to STAB Earthquake for Heatran and Metagross (though you might want to run Choice Band to OHKO these two), and best of all, it could set up Stealth Rock and still be useful later in the game for revenge killing Pokemon. This is not just a random "I wish this Pokemon got Stealth Rock because it would benefit me" complaint either; Flygon's typing makes it a reasonable candidate for Stealth Rock, and if anything, it is more odd that Flygon doesn't already get it. Flygon is currently the only Ground-type Pokemon in OU without access to Stealth Rock. Instead, random Pokemon like Blissey, Celebi, and Infernape are for some reason more qualified to stealthily place rocks around their opponents. Really? You're telling me Blissey can do this job, but somehow Flygon can't? This makes absolutely no sense, and a petition should be made to get Game Freak to release Stealth Rock Flygon as the next event Pokemon.


Head Smash / Brave Bird

Aerodactyl has always seemed like one of those Pokemon that should be more effective than it is. Rock STAB combined with a solid base 105 Attack and blazing fast base 130 Speed SHOULD be plenty to make it at least a decent attacker. However, time and time again, Aerodactyl finds itself unable to capitalize on any of its offensive options. There are a number of reasons for this, and while Scizor is extremely high on the list, there's also the issue that its attacks are simply too weak to do enough damage to a wide variety of opponents. The perfect way to remedy this would be to simply give Aerodactyl a reason to actually choose an ability. Aerodactyl could make excellent use of its Rock Head ability by utilizing an incredibly powerful pair of STAB recoil moves in the form of Head Smash and Brave Bird. Even off of only 105 Attack, a STAB boosted Head Smash deals massive damage to anything that doesn't resist it, and Brave Bird rounds out the coverage incredibly well. A Choice Band boosted Brave Bird even has a chance at 2HKOing Swampert, one of the most popular defensive Rock resists in the metagame, and Earthquake hits all the Steel-type Rock resists other than Bronzong for massive damage.


Sucker Punch

First of all, Tyranitar already just looks like the type of Pokemon who would Sucker Punch his opponents. Even though he has some really stubby arms, I'm sure he can pull it off, seeing as he already has access to the elemental punches. However, aside from the fact that Tyranitar fits the bill for using Sucker Punch, he should get it because it would make him even more of a beast. Tyranitar literally has the highest stats in OU, seeing as the Special Defense boost he gets from being a Rock-type Pokemon in sandstorm (a weather effect which he instantly brings into play thanks to his nifty ability) gives him an effective BST of over 600. However, even with such a ridiculously high BST, Tyranitar suffers from his low Speed stat, sitting at 61 Base Speed. Sucker Punch's priority allows Tyranitar to overcome that weakness immediately, instead of opting to use Choice Scarf with a Jolly nature, or Rock Polish / Dragon Dance to outpace foes. To top it all off, the mind games Tyranitar could play with his opponents would drive them crazy! It would leave people thinking, "Should I stay in in case of Pursuit? What if I attack and he uses Sucker Punch? What if I don't attack and he uses Stone Edge?" If Tyranitar had Sucker Punch, he could force his opponents to play Rock-Paper-Scissors where if they lose, they probably lose a Pokemon, and if they win, they don't gain much because Tyranitar is generally bulky enough to take a powerful hit anyways. If Tyranitar got Sucker Punch, I'm sure we would be looking at a much different metagame than the one we currently have.


Aura Sphere

Focus Blast sucks. There, I said it. Nobody likes being forced to rely on a 70% accuracy attack simply so Gengar can make some kind of attempt to hit Tyranitar, Scizor, and Heatran, especially when 70% accuracy translates into 30% "dead beyond belief". Sure, Hidden Power Fire can patch up the issues against Steel-types, but it just leaves you more open to Tyranitar and Heatran than before. Hidden Power Fighting has a similar issue in that even though it can hit Heatran and Tyranitar, you might as well not even use it since there's no chance that Hidden Power Fighting is actually going to do anywhere near enough damage to those brutal Ghost resists that make Gengar's life so hard. That's where Aura Sphere comes in. Accuracy-wise, it's the polar opposite of Focus Blast. While Focus Blast will always miss and probably at some point make you break your keyboard, Aura Sphere will NEVER MISS, even when you're facing something stupid like BrightPowder Glaceon in hail with +6 Evasion! Meanwhile, 90 Base Power is plenty for Gengar's purpose— it OHKOes Tyranitar 100% of the time after Stealth Rock as long as it's not running Special Defense EVs, while Heatran has a ~60% chance to be OHKOed after Stealth Rock and 100% after Stealth Rock and Spikes. Aura Sphere is the tool that Gengar needs to return to glory as a special sweeper, Tyranitar and Heatran be damned!

Nasty Plot

"To steal the life of its target, it slips into the prey's shadow and silently waits for an opportunity."

That is the description of Gengar in Pokemon SoulSilver. If that doesn't scream "I plot nasty things!", then I don't know what does. As the original mischievous ghost, there is absolutely no logical explanation as to why Gengar doesn't get Nasty Plot. Gengar would be able to make use of Nasty Plot really well too, boasting that 110 Base Speed and 130 Base Special Attack with perfect neutral coverage coming from Shadow Ball and Focus Blast. The fourth move can even still be Substitute to scout for Pursuit or Bullet Punch, and hide from Blissey's status moves. To put things into perspective as to exactly how powerful Nasty Plot is with Gengar, a non-Life Orb +2 Focus Blast does a minimum of 58% to the standard Bold Blissey, allowing for a guaranteed 2HKO. If Blissey would not be able to wall this beast, you would be hard pressed to find something that can, and we would probably see countless teams aiming at opening a Gengar sweep. Maybe Game Freak decided not to give Gengar Nasty Plot because they knew he would just be absolutely too good with it - that's the only legitimate reason I can think of as to why they wouldn't anyways!


Metal Burst

Ask pretty much anyone who's used Careful Skarmory about their experience, and you'll probably hear the same thing: Specially Defensive Skarmory is damn near impossible to OHKO without using a STAB Fire Blast / Thunderbolt. This, of course, makes it the premier spiking machine in OU. However, it's always been a bit weak in the offense department, and this can be a huge issue for it when dealing with Pokemon such as Gyarados and Salamence, against which it can only Whirlwind and hope it doesn't get Taunted. However, what if it could parlay that fantastic defensive prowess into an offensive force capable of retaliating against attacks such as Gyarados's Waterfall, Salamence's Outrage, Jirachi's Fire Punch, and even Scizor's Superpower? CounterCoat can be a little bit cumbersome, requiring prediction and two moveslots to do anything of note. However, Metal Burst simply requires you to face a faster attacker, click the Metal Burst button, and watch as your foe's attack gets sent right back to them for 1.5x damage. Against most opponents, this will just flat out KO them, and then Skarmory can heal up later with Roost and do it all over again.


Calm Mind

Okay, so this one doesn't have much justification outside of "Psychic-type special attacking Pokemon should have Calm Mind!" I suppose there is precedent on both sides of Starmie's typing, though, for having Calm Mind; there are a few bulky Water-type Pokemon who have access to Calm Mind, and many Psychic-types have it as well, so why not Starmie? Starmie could be so monstrous with Calm Mind, due to its incredibly high Base 115 Speed and access to Recover and Natural Cure which make it hard to status and chip to death. If you thought offensive Suicune was good, this thing would be like offensive Suicune on steroids. It wouldn't even have to rely on Hidden Power Electric for its Electric-type attack! However, Calm Mind Starmie might have some trouble, seeing as Scarf Tyranitar is currently one of the most common Pokemon in the metagame. People would probably have to resort to Colbur Berry in order to bait out and beat Scarf Tyranitar. With Colbur Berry, Jolly Scarf Crunch does a maximum of 69% to a 4 HP Starmie. Meanwhile, Starmie is guaranteed to OHKO back with a +1 Hydro Pump after Stealth Rock damage. By pairing Calm Mind Starmie up with something that benefits from the removal of Tyranitar, you can come up with some pretty solid strategies. Also, a moveset like Calm Mind, Hydro Pump, Rapid Spin would be the premier Rapid Spinning set in the game. Rotom would not be able to take on this set, seeing as after a Calm Mind, Rotom fails to OHKO, allowing Starmie to KO first and use Rapid Spin afterwards! Although this one was a bit of a stretch to justify, Calm Mind Starmie could really be a great way to disassemble the current metagame.


Close Combat

Dragonite has always been one of those Pokemon that lives in the shadows. In RBY, its only use was as an Agility-Wrap trapper, while in GSC, it was limited to being just another mixed attacker with a 4x weakness and no real STAB options. ADV brought it out of the shadows of BL with the addition of Dragon Dance to its movepool, but it also brought with it Salamence AND Flygon, both of which had better abilities and were, as a result, much easier to switch in. For a while, Dragonite at least had the benefit of having both Dragon Dance and Outrage, while Salamence had to rely on the weaker Dragon Claw for offense. However, those glory days were short-lived, as Platinum gave pretty much everything and its brother Outrage, forcing Dragonite back into obscurity. While ExtremeSpeed does provide some solid benefits for the pudgy Dragon, it needs something truly excellent to set it apart from Salamence. Superpower is nice and all, but the Attack drop is just unacceptable for something with Dragonite's vicious attacking potential. What it needs is something like Close Combat, which provides all the power and accuracy of Superpower, but doesn't horribly cripple Dragonite's offense after use. It'd make the perfect way to get rid of pesky Tyranitar without using a boosting move, and after a Dragon Dance, it even does massive damage to Metagross and Jirachi, and 2HKOes Skarmory and Forretress with ease. Because of this, Dragonite can replace Earthquake AND Fire Punch with Close Combat, leaving the fourth slot for something like ExtremeSpeed or even Roost.


Slack Off

Really? Snorlax doesn't get Slack Off? The only other Pokemon in the game that deserves Slack Off more than Snorlax is Slaking, and that's only because it practically has "slack" in its name, and its ability literally makes it slack off every other turn. Other than that, Snorlax is the first Pokemon that comes to mind when I think "Who looks like they slack off a lot?" Snorlax could make better use of Slack Off than any Pokemon that actually gets it, too. If you thought Curse + Rest Snorlax was hard to take out, imagine a version that did not have to rely on Rest as its form of recovery! Let's break it down: Snorlax would have a ridiculously high natural Special Defense stat, an effective way of increasing its Defensive stat, access to instant 50% recovery, and immunity to Toxic. On top of all that, Snorlax could then run two attacking moves without worrying about the two turns of nothing he would have if he opted to not use Sleep Talk. If you could successfully eliminate all Fighting-type attacks on your opponent's team, you could easily secure a sweep with this new and improved Curselax.



The addition of Bullet Punch to Scizor's movepool made Scizor's usage jump to astronomical levels. Technician Bullet Punch off of base 130 Attack gives Scizor simply monstrous power, and its priority makes Scizor the ideal revenge killer in the 4th Generation. However, outside of Bullet Punch, Scizor's offensive movepool has always left something to be desired. STAB U-turn is one of the best moves in the game, but its 70 Base Power and iffy coverage limits its use as a true offensive tool. Pursuit is excellent for situational usage such as catching Latias and Gengar as they flee from Scizor's powerful Bullet Punch, but after its use, it's blatant setup fodder for vicious sweepers like Dragon Dance Tyranitar and Swords Dance Lucario. Superpower provides pretty decent coverage, but it also hangs a great big "I'M SWITCHING" sign on Scizor's head, as it can't afford to be locked in after the Attack and Defense drops. What Scizor needs is the move that it's been yearning for throughout all of its existence: Earthquake. Its reliable accuracy and power with no drawbacks other than an immunity makes it easily one of the best attacks in the entire game, and it provides exactly the coverage that Scizor needs to do as much damage as possible. No more needing to rely on U-turn and Superpower to deal damage to Metagross and Jirachi. Heatran and Magnezone get absolutely destroyed by Scizor, making it even harder for Scizor's worst enemies to switch in on it. Of course, Earthquake has its drawbacks. However, it's far better than Superpower could ever hope to be, and would be the perfect move with which to bolster Scizor's already stellar power.


Flare Blitz

With Flash Fire and a Base Attack stat of 130, Flareon has the potential to rip through teams with powerful STAB Fire-type attacks... or so you would think until you realized the strongest physical Fire-type attack Flareon gets is Fire Fang. I can understand why Flareon doesn't get Fire Punch (it doesn't really have arms to punch with), but how on earth does it not have access to Flare Blitz? It has "flare" in it's name for crying out loud. It's not like giving Flareon Flare Blitz would make it unbelievably broken either, seeing as Flareon doesn't have much to choose from on the physical end of the attacking spectrum anyways. It would essentially just end up being a physical version of Heatran that doesn't have as much Speed, bulk, variety of moves, and neutrality to Stealth Rock—in other words, a worse version of Heatran. However, it would at least make Flareon more useful than it currently is. I have a feeling the person who designed Flareon at Game Freak just completely screwed the company over somehow, so they just decided to doom Flareon to mediocrity for all eternity to get back at him. It's the only explanation that makes sense!



One look at Ninjask, and it's clear what purpose it is meant to serve in the metagame. The ability to Baton Pass both Swords Dance boosts AND its boosts from its ability, Speed Boost, makes it probably the most effective Baton Passer in any metagame. At least, that's what it looks like on paper. In practice, Ninjask is far less effective than it seems like it should be in theory. While it is the "best" Baton Passer, it also happens to be the least reliable. Why? Ninjask suffers from the most extreme weakness that any Baton Pass user can suffer from: a weakness to phazing. Swampert, Skarmory, Vaporeon, and anything else that runs Whirlwind or Roar is going to ruin Ninjask's chances at successfully setting up a sweep. Obviously, the best way to remedy this is to give Ninjask the move that makes Gliscor such a dominant Baton Pass user: Taunt. By giving Ninjask Taunt, it can prevent opponents from doing stuff that would inhibit Ninjask's pass, especially Whirlwind/Roar. While I doubt that this will change the whole "jask is for noobs lolol" mindset shared by many competitive players, it'll at least make it suck less.

Latias and Latios

Flamethrower / Fire Blast

Are you on the fence about whether or not Latias is OU? Well I bet you wouldn't be if she got Flamethrower or Fire Blast! No more safe steel switch-ins, allowing Lati@s to hit everything for at least neutral damage, including Heatran through Surf. You would basically be forced into using either Tyranitar or Blissey on every team if you wanted to have a chance at beating Latias. No more relying on Hidden Power Fire to beat Scizor, sacrificing that precious 1 Speed IV. No more being stopped by Jirachi or Bronzong. It's not like this is too much to ask for either. Lati@s is currently one of only two other Dragon-type Pokemon who don't have access to Fire-type attacks: Kingdra and Giratina. Kingdra I can understand, because it's part Water-type (ignoring the fact that Palkia gets Flamethrower/Fire Blast, but whatever), but I don't understand why Giratina doesn't get it either. The bottom line is: dragons breathe fire. They have breathed fire since the dawn of dragons. It makes no sense for a Dragon- and Psychic-type Pokemon to not be able to use Fire-type attacks for some reason.

Honorable Mentions

Stuff that would just be too broken!

Wobbuffet – Recover

It's pretty much accepted that Wobbuffet's combination of moves makes it one of the most effective supporting Pokemon in the entire game. The brutal combination of Encore, Shadow Tag, CounterCoat, and its fantastic bulk gives it the ability to bounce attacks back to their user pretty much for free. However, its final attack is pretty much a toss-up between Tickle and Safeguard, two moves that are rarely used. However, Wobbuffet does have one major weakness. Outside of Leftovers recovery, Wobbuffet has NO way to recover its HP. This would be remedied by giving Wobbuffet access to one move that the majority of Psychic-types already have access to: Recover. Imagine if, after Encoring Lugia's weak Ice Beam, Wobbuffet not only Mirror Coated Lugia to death, but also used the free time to Recover up to full health, ready to reflect Scarf Palkia's Spacial Rend. Encoring Forretress' Rapid Spin now not only means that you get to dent Forretress to death, it also means free full recovery! Running Recover in the fourth slot still lets you stall out Darkrai's Dark Void, as over 4 turns (maximum time asleep), Wobbuffet only takes 25% damage after Leftovers, meaning that it can simply Recover off all of the damage for free. When Wobbuffet can abuse its unique abilities over and over again, it becomes one Pokemon that might even be deserving of the title "Uber of Ubers".

Slaking – Skill Swap

Since the introduction of doubles battling, people have tried to come up with strategies to use Skill Swap on their own Slaking in order to prevent him from loafing around every other turn. Imagine if Slaking could do this all by himself, and as a bonus, he would force his opponents to not be able to attack every other turn instead. If Slaking could do that, he would literally be invincible in all one-on-one situations if he just ran Protect alongside Skill Swap; if he alternates using Protect and an attacking move, his opponents can never touch him. Because of how broken this could be, we decided it should only get an honorable mention, because it should never actually be implemented into the game.

Tyranitar – Rapid Spin

Whenever you talk about Ghost-types, there's pretty much one phrase that always comes to mind: "Too bad Tyranitar exists..." Tyranitar is the bane of all Ghost-types anywhere, as its powerful Pursuit and Crunch always threaten to put the hurt on any pesky Ghost-types that the opponent might be packing. So what would be the best tool for the kind of Pokemon that Ghost-types would never ever think of switching into? Why, the reason that Ghost-types are so important in the metagame to begin with: Rapid Spin! It's already an iffy decision to switch the average spinblocker into Tyranitar, and when you look at a Rapid Spinner that can also double as a destroyer of opposing Ghost-types, you just might be looking at the end of entry hazards in OU altogether.

Machamp – Sheer Cold

Okay, does this one really need an explanation? No Guard + OHKO move = BROKEN. Sure, this doesn't have much use for the Smogon competitive metagame where OHKO moves are banned, but for just about any other situation this would be incredibly broken. Slap on a Choice Scarf and watch Machamp 6-0 anybody by himself. I guess this would at least give Skarmory a reason to actually pick an ability!

Thanks, Troll Freak!

Game Freak trolling us... :(

Flareon - Lava Plume

In Platinum, it was revealed that each of the Eeveelutions would receive a new level up move at Level 78. Of course, in true Game Freak fashion, every single move was either a move they already had or one that has no real competitive use. At least, all except one. In true Game Freak fashion, the only Eeveelution to get a bump in Platinum was Flareon, arguably the worst of Eevee's various evolution paths. Plenty of people were psyched to hear this, since Flareon has always had that fantastic 130 base Attack that it was never able to truly utilize. However, in even truer Game Freak fashion, Flareon's pickup wasn't the move that would turn it into the monstrous physical attacker it always wanted to be... instead it received Lava Plume. While Lava Plume may actually be an incredibly useful pickup for Flareon, the great irony is that while Flareon's stats are oriented towards those of a powerful physical striker, Lava Plume was the last nail in the coffin, relegating it to a lifetime of boring support roles and rolling the dice for a lucky burn or two. Thanks, Game Freak.

Heatran - Eruption (BUT ONLY QUIET!)

Ah yes, a lot of people were excited to hear that Heatran would be getting Eruption in an upcoming event a few months back. However, what they did not know was that it would only be available with a Quiet (+SpA, -Spe) nature! Eruption would arguably be best used on a Choice Scarf set for Heatran, allowing it to outpace normally faster switch-ins to nab some 2HKOs. However, with a -Speed nature it only reaches 340 Speed after the Choice Scarf boost, which isn't even enough to outpace Infernape. I guess I'll keep Heatran in mind the next time I decide to make a Trick Room team, but other than that, thanks for the useless event move, Game Freak!

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