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Top 50 Best Pokémon Abilities

In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

What Are Pokémon Abilities?

Starting in generation 3 with Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, each Pokémon wields an ability, a passive trait that provides a (generally positive) effect in battle. Abilities come in all shapes and sizes, and we've seen hundreds over the years. Many Pokémon have access to one of two base abilities plus a secret hidden ability, giving a maximum of three to choose from.

But with several dozens of latent boosts, which traits reign supreme? Here's our list of the 50 best Pokémon abilities of all time!

How Can I Get a Pokémon's Hidden Ability?

Hidden abilities were introduced in generation 5. Not every Pokémon has one, but they add another option to select from. Not every hidden ability is more desirable than a standard attribute, so carefully examine your selections to determine which you want most. Here's a quick rundown of some methods to obtain hidden abilities:

  • Certain events
  • Pokémon Global Link
  • Pokémon Dream World
  • Hidden Grottos in Black 2 and White 2
  • Horde Encounters
  • SOS Battles
Sharpedo

Sharpedo

50. Rough Skin

Seen On: Sharpedo/Garchomp/Druddigon

Rough Skin originally caused 1/16 of a foe's max health when they attack directly, but has since increased to 1/8 of their hit points! You're either forcing them to use indirect moves or punishing them in blood for their blows. Additionally, if both your Rough Skin Pokémon and the opponent feint from a direct attack that triggers Rough Skin, the attacker will perish first—earning you the win if they were the last Pokémon on the field! Finally, note that Rough Skin will helpfully activate for each hit of a direct multi-attack move (like Fury Swipes).

Mudsdale

Mudsdale

49. Stamina

Seen On: Mudbray/Mudsdale

Stamina raises the user's Defense by one whenever it's hit by any attack! Even if you're foe is harassing you with special moves (which are calculated using your Special Defense), boosted Defense will still prepare you in case they shift tactics or swap Pokémon. The boost even works when hit by an ally's attack in a multibattle; unfortunately, only the Mudsdale family can currently learn Stamina.

Machamp

Machamp

48. No Guard

Seen On: Machamp/Mega Pidgeot/Doublade

No Guard does exactly what it says: gives each Pokémon no defensive dodges. All attacks used against and by the Pokémon with No Guard will automatically hit. You're letting your opponent strike you without fail, but since you'll have advance knowledge of the ability, you know to give your Pokémon low-accuracy high-power attacks like Dynamic Punch and Cross Chop.

Mimikyu

Mimikyu

47. Disguise

Seen On: Mimikyu

The signature ability of Mimikyu, Disguise simply blocks a single attack. Simple, yet effective—that's an entire turn wasted for your opponent. However, note that Disguise will only defend against the first hit of a multi-strike attack, and you can't restore it by switching in and out. It's once per battle, but still a great ability.

Jigglypuff

Jigglypuff

46. Friend Guard

Seen On: Jigglypuff/Clefairy/Vivillon

Friend Guard admittedly only helps in multibattles, but it's an excellent shield. With it, all damage dealt to your other creatures is reduced by 25%, a significant barrier that forces your opponent to either attack your Friend Guard Pokémon first (assuming they're even aware of its power) or deal with reduced damage. A nice ability, but note that Friend Guard doesn't work on direct-damage attacks whose HP reduction is set (like Night Shade), and that monsters like Jigglypuff and Clefairy will strangely lose Friend Guard if they evolve.

Cherrim's Overcast and Sunshine forms

Cherrim's Overcast and Sunshine forms

45. Flower Gift

Seen On: Cherrim

As of generation 5, Flower Gift morphs Cherrim from its overcast to its Sunshine form, though this is purely cosmetic for the Grass Pokémon. In a harsh sunlight weather condition (which you can generate with Sunny Day), Flower Gift boosts the Attack and Special Defense of Cherrim and its allies by 50%! That's a great buff on not one but two stats, and the ability to impact your teammates makes Cherrim one of the absolute best multibattle units available, especially when paired with creatures with high Attack (to get boosted further) but low Special Defense (so Flower Gift can compensate), like Rhyperior.

Mega Slowbro

Mega Slowbro

44. Battle Armor/Shell Armor

Seen On: Marowak/Kabutops/Mega Slowbro/Torterra

You've got many different Pokémon options for these two abilities, only a handful of which are listed above, so take note when constructing your ultimate Pokémon team. Whether your Pokémon wields Battle or Shell Armor, both will prevent it from suffering critical hits. Since every offensive move can potentially land a critical, additional plating saves your bacon behind the scenes more than you know, and is especially useful against high-critical chance attacks like Aeroblast.

Alolan Golem

Alolan Golem

43. Galvanize

Seen On: Alolan Geodude, Graveler, and Golem

Currently available only to the Alolan Golem family, Galvanize makes their Normal moves become Electric and boosts their power by 20%. Since Normal doesn't inflict double damage against any types offensively, it's nice to switch it to something that can potentially hit for extra pain, especially since Alolan Golem's kin are part Electric and will trigger STAB (same-type attack bonus) for corresponding moves.

Mega Salamence

Mega Salamence

42. Aerilate

Seen On: Mega Pinsir/Mega Salamence

Aerilate works exactly like Galvanize except it turns Normal to Flying and is available to two separate mega Pokémon. Like Galvanize, it now boosts the power of altered moves by 20%, but upon its debut in generation 6, it instead increased their strength by 30%! Flying lacks as many high-damage attacks as most types, so the ability to change strong Normal attacks to Flying can really make a difference in your aerial ace's assault.

Mega Glalie

Mega Glalie

41. Refrigerate

Seen On: Mega Glalie/Amaura/Aurorus

Refrigerate works exactly like Aerilate but with Ice Pokémon. Normal moves become Ice and deal 20% extra damage, originally 30% in generation 6. Ice has always been lackluster defensively, but remains one of the best offensive forces, so I'm more than happy to freeze any regular attacks to subzero temperatures.

Mega Gardevoir

Mega Gardevoir

40. Pixilate

Seen On: Mega Gardevoir/Mega Altaria/Sylveon

The last of the attack type-changing abilities, Pixilate follows the same pattern: it alters Normal to Fairy, increasing power by 20% (originally 30%). Fairy's a nice attribute with some interesting type coverage, and since its own attacks aren't generally the strongest, changing the best Normal attacks to Fairy can really increase your damage output.

Mega Blaziken

Mega Blaziken

39. Speed Boost

Seen On: Mega Blaziken//Sharpedo/Yanmega

Speed Boost fittingly increases your speed stat by one degree at the end of every turn; it's as simple as that. Creatures like Mega Blaziken, whose Speed is respectable (but not great), can really benefit from this increase since it increases their chances of attacking first from decent to a near-certainty.

Absol

Absol

38. Super Luck

Seen On: Togekiss/Absol/Honchkrow/Unfezant

Super Luck increased the critical hit ratio by one stage, making your units much more likely to land their lethal blows. Super Luck was particularly deadly prior to generation 6, where criticals dealt double damage (now its 1.5 times normal damage). However, it's still a great ability that can help in any match, especially considering that critical hits ignore any negative modifiers to your offensive stats and any positive modifiers to your opponent's defenses. Even Reflect and Light Screen don't shield against criticals, making Super Luck all the more valued.

Mega Aggron

Mega Aggron

37. Filter/Prism Armor/Solid Rock

Seen On: Mr. Mime/Mega Aggron/Necrozma/Camerupt/Rhyperior

Three abilities, one effect: the damage taken from super-effective moves is reduced by 1/4. Since moves that target your weakness deal double or even quadruple damage, reducing them saves a large percentage of Hit Points. For instance, if a move would normally deal 100 damage, guarding against 1/4 would only block 25 hit points, but if the move's power doubled to 200 thanks to your weakness, shielding against 1/4 instead blocks 50. Same percentage, but a higher amount defended, guarding you when you most need it.

Note that Pokémon don't need to be Rock-type (like Camerupt) to make use of the Solid Rock variant.

Jirachi

Jirachi

36. Serene Grace

Seen On: Togekiss/Blissey/Jirachi/Meloetta

Serene Grace doubles the chances of activating the extra effects of your offensive moves. For instance, Psychic's normal 10% chance of reducing Special Defense double to 20% while Rock Smash's 50% chance of lowering Defense jumps to 100%!

Extra effects are very common on offensive techniques, making Serene Grace a versatile and appreciated trait. It's also handy for raising your chances of the every-stat boost from moves like Silver Wind.

Komala

Komala

35. Comatose

Seen On: Komala

Comatose only appears on Komala, but it's one heck of an interesting power. Komala will always be treated as if asleep, but it can attack normally. Not only does this access moves like Snore and Sleep Talk, it counts as having a status condition, meaning Komala can never suffer another non-volatile debuff like paralyze, burn, or poison! A great defense to brandish, but remember that moves like Nightmare and Dream Eater can always target Komala.

Ultra Necrozma

Ultra Necrozma

34. Neuroforce

Seen On: Ultra Necrozma

As if legendary Ultra Necrozma weren't deadly enough with its 754 base stat total, it also wields Neuroforce, powering up its super-effective attacks by 25%. Between the regular extra damage of super-effective moves, Neuroforce's additional boost, and Ultra Necrozma's 167 Attack and Special Attack, most opponents just won't survive when Necrozma exploits their weakness. Although most tournaments ban legendaries, it's still fun to shatter through opposing teams with Neuroforce in casual play.

Mega Lucario

Mega Lucario

33. Adaptability

Seen On: Mega Beedrill/Eevee/Crawdaunt/Mega Lucario

Adaptability increases your Pokémon's STAB from the regular 50% extra damage to 100%, meaning moves of your creature's type can inflict twice the damage of moves with the same power of other elements!

A good number of Pokémon learn this skill, providing plenty of options when looking to increase your STAB. It helps to choose a Pokémon with two types (like Crawdaunt), giving Adaptability twice as many elements to boost. Contrary to a widespread myth regarding STAB, Normal Pokémon can in fact receive the bonus, so hit as hard as you can with that Eevee!

Ash-Greninja

Ash-Greninja

32. Battle Bond

Seen On: Greninja

Made famous in the X and Y anime, Battle Bond lets you morph Geninja into Ash-Greninja mode, similar to a Mega Evolution (but without taking your single Mega slot in your party) since it heavily boosts Greninja's stats. Additionally, signature attack Water Shuriken's power is upped from 15 to 20 and it will always hit three times, making it have a total of 60 power (before the STAB) and retaining its increased priority.

This amazing ability is only hampered by the fact that it must first be triggered by Greninja fainting another Pokémon (even an ally), so be sure to eliminate a weakened adversary with Greninja to activate its ultimate transformation.

Yveltal

Yveltal

31. Dark Aura

Seen On: Yveltal

Currently only seen on Pokémon Y's legendary mascot Yveltal, Dark Aura boosts the power of all Dark moves on the field by 33%. That's a hearty increase that not only helps Yveltal, but any other allies with Dark techniques in multibattles. Just remember this can also strengthen opposing Dark moves.

Xerneas

Xerneas

30. Fairy Aura

Seen On: Xerneas

Pokémon X's mascot, Xerneas, wields the Fairy equivalent of Dark Aura. With the same field-wide boost of 33%, all Fairy moves will deal much more damage. Once again, this can assist multiple team members, but can also strengthen opponents as well, so think carefully about the right moment to bring in Xerneas.

Victini

Victini

29. Victory Star

Seen On: Victini

A Pokémon attack could have all the power in the world and it would mean nothing if it never hit. Enter Victory Star, a superb ability that boosts all team members' accuracy (including Victini's) by 10. This lets you use riskier attacks with less worry, landing your strongest moves consistently and countering accuracy-decreasing debuffs.

While still useful in single battles, Victini's signature trait really belongs in multibattles where it can assist multiple allies at once.

Octillery

Octillery

28. Moody

Seen On: Octillery/Smeargle/Glalie

The Pokémon ability my girlfriend would probably have (don't tell her I said that), Moody randomly raises one stat by two stages at the end of every turn, but decreases another by one stage. It's unpredictable, but you're getting a net gain of one, making Moody one of the best ways to gradually increase your power. Note that accuracy and evasion are possible choices, allowing Moody to bolster (or decrease) those rarely-impacted stats.

Gyarados

Gyarados

27. Intimidate

Seen On: Gyarados/Salamence/Luxray/Incineroar

Introduced in generation 3, Intimidate remains one of the best qualities available. Whenever a Pokémon with this trait enters battle, all opposing units have their Attack reduced by one stage. Not only can this affect several opponents in multibattles, it also applies whenever an Intimidating Pokémon is switched in, making it helpful to rotate your team in and out as the situation demands.

A great number of Pokémon can learn Intimidate, leaving you plenty of choices to cut your foes' Attack.

Ditto

Ditto

26. Imposter

Seen On: Ditto

Prior to Imposter, Ditto had little competitive prowess. Sure, it could transform into any foe, copying their moves, type, and stats, but it'd have to use a turn to do so, giving your opponent an entire turn to strike unhindered (knowing that Ditto's first turn would be spent morphing). This also lets foes faster than Ditto hit its naturally low defenses before it could shapeshift.

Then came Imposter, letting Ditto automatically transform as soon as it enters battle. Thanks to this, you're saved that initial, vulnerable transformation step, letting Ditto enter primed to reflect your opponent's best warriors back at them.

Toxapex

Toxapex

25. Merciless

Seen On: Mareanie/Toxapex

The signature ability of the Toxapex family, Merciless automatically converts any attack into a critical hit—as long as the opponent is poisoned. Thankfully, Toxapex bears many venomous strikes, and as soon as your foe is sickened, they'll simultaneously have to deal with poison damage and guaranteed criticals.

Too bad Toxapex didn't exist back when critical hits were double damage (remember, it's 1.5 now), but Merciless remains a ruthless trait that adds insult to injury.

Solgaleo

Solgaleo

24. Clear Body/White Smoke/Full Metal Body

Seen On: Metagross/Registeel/Torkoal/Heatmor/Solgaleo

Another set of abilities that all fundamentally provide the same effect: your Pokémon's stats can't be lowered by other creatures' moves or abilities. Many Pokémon have abilities that can only guard against a single stat reduction (Big Pecks shields Defense, Keen Eye defends Accuracy, etc.), but all pale in comparison to this trio's every-guard. Just note that you can still lower your own stats with moves like Superpower, so don't try to stretch the boon beyond its natural limits.

Heat Rotom

Heat Rotom

23. Levitate

Seen On: Flygon/Misdreavus/Rotom

Another ability seen on a great many monsters, Ghost and Psychic Pokémon (among others) often may often levitate, rendering them immune to Ground-type attacks. Not only does this prevent common Ground moves like Earthquake, it's especially useful when ignoring what would otherwise be super-effective damage. For instance, both Heat Rotom's Electric and Fire elements would take extra pain from Ground, meaning quadrupled damage, but thanks to Levitate it's immune!

Note that in generations 3-4, Gengar could learn Levitate (useful to negate its Poison weakness to Ground), but this was later changed since Gengar walks on two feet in battle. Past evolutions Gastly and Haunter can still have it, though.

Bewear

Bewear

22. Fluffy

Seen On: Stufful/Bewear

Bewear has a decent Defense stat that becomes incredible when you take into accounts its Fluffy trait, which reduces the damage you take from direct attacksin two! Assuming your opponent isn't wise to this strategy, that means approximately 50% of their attacks will only deal half damage, greatly limiting their options.

However, Fluffy also doubles damage from Fire attacks, so keep your oversized stuffed animals away from flames. That said, if it's a direct Fire attack, both effects trigger, ultimately meaning you'd take regular damage. Thus, the only real way to exploit the downside is with indirect Fire moves, a specific category of a specific type that hardly hinders your extra defenses.

Butterfree

Butterfree

21. Compound Eyes

Seen On: Butterfree/Dustox/Galvantula

Every Pokémon with this awesome trait is at least partially Bug, mimicking the vision of real-life insects. Compound Eyes raises your accuracy by a whopping 30%, a huge increase that lets your iffy moves strike with near-certainty and fiercely counters accuracy-reducing tactics. The possibilities are as endless as the movepools of the Pokémon with fragmented vision, from ensuring a Sleep Powder with Butterfree to nailing every Thunder with Galvantula.

Alolan Persian

Alolan Persian

20. Fur Coat

Seen On: Alolan Persian/Furfrou

Like Fluffy's defense but wish it didn't have a downside? Simply choose a Pokémon with Fur Coat to avoid Fluffy's Fire weakness! Yep, Fur Coat is an amazing ability that essentially doubles your defense—no strings attached. I particularly enjoy this trait on Alolan Persian, since most elements that deal extra damage to its Dark type (like Fighting and Bug) are contact moves.

Ursaring

Ursaring

19. Guts

Seen On: Machamp/Heracross/Ursaring/Conkeldurr

For an ability so common (above are just a handful of the many eligible Pokémon), Guts offers an awesome boost: your Pokémon's Attack stat increased by 50% while it suffers a status condition. This punishes your foes for debuffing you by retaliating with extra-strong counterattacks. Combine a status condition with Guts and Facade (a move that's also stronger while you have a negative status) to land some amazing damage, especially when used by a Normal Pokémon to gain Facade's STAB!

Also, a hidden effect of Guts that few players know about is that simply having it prevents the burn condition from lowering your Attack, another benefit of being bold.

Zygarde's forms

Zygarde's forms

18. Power Construct

Seen On: Zygarde

Power Construct is the key to unlocking Zygarde's ultimate transformation. When Zygarde (in any of its prior stages) ends a turn with less than half its health, it morphs into Complete Forme. Compared to 50%, Complete is very similar but with drastically increased health, meaning you'll gain many hit points upon mutating. Hard to beat that mid-battle.

Am I the only one who thinks Bug should have been one of Zygarde's types rather than Dragon/Ground? Next you'll be telling me Solgaleo isn't a Fire Poké—let's move on.

Aegislash

Aegislash

17. Stance Change

Seen On: Aegislash

Stance Change helps the powerful Aegislash (who bears an awesome Steel/Ghost typing) between its Blade and Shield Forme. Both bear the same stat total, but Blade's stats are heavily geared towards Attack and Special Attack while Shield's gravitate towards Defense and Special Defense.

Basically, you begin in Shield Mode, tanking hits well. Right before using an offensive attack, Stance Change switches you to Blade Mode, powering your offensive stats right when you want them. You can revert to Shield Mode by either switching out and back in or with Aegislash's exclusive King's Shield move, once again guarding until your next heavy blow.

Comfey

Comfey

16. Flower Veil

Seen On: Floette/Florges/Comfey

Flower Veil prevents its user's Grass-type companions from both having their stats reduced by others and from suffering a nonvolatile status condition. Wow. Guarding against either would already be nice, but defending against both works wonders for protecting your earthly allies.

Flower Veil also applies its benefits to its user if the user is Grass-type, but sadly, no Grass Pokémon can currently learn the trait. If this ability ever gets onto a Grass unit...I might just pick Venusaur over Charizard in Kanto.

Mega Kangaskhan

Mega Kangaskhan

15. Parental Bond

Seen On: Mega Kangaskhan

When Kangaskhan mega evolves to Mega Kangaskhan, its adult form stays the same but its baby advances to an independent stage, letting it assist in battle. With Parental Bond, any offensive attack you use will hit a second time for 25% of the damage, accounting for your youngling's efforts.

A nice increase that helpfully boosts all attacks, Parental Bond was particularly scary in generation 6, where its extra hit instead dealt 50%.

Mega Mawile

Mega Mawile

14. Huge Power/Pure Power

Seen On: Azumarill/Mega Mawile/Medicham/Mega Medicham

Huge and Pure Power both grant the same lethal bonus: your Attack stat is doubled. Yes, doubled, letting you dish out twice the pain. Combined with an STAB, a damage-increasing held item, and a nature that leans towards an Attack spread (like Brave or Naughty), you can really pile on the hurt.

Sadly, most Pokémon capable of learning these gifts tend to bear lackluster Attack stats, but if you can gimmick one onto, say, a Luxray, using skill-swapping moves like Role Play, your battle is as good as won.

Tapu Fini

Tapu Fini

13. Misty Surge

Seen On: Tapu Fini

No silly, we're not talking about Pokéshipping. Misty Surge is the first of many landscape-altering abilities, fittingly changing the arena to the Misty Terrain condition. Sadly, Misty Terrain doesn't boost the power of your Fairy moves, but it guards all affected Pokémon from suffering non-volatile status conditions (plus confusion) and halves the damage from Dragon moves.

As long as you're not employing either status effects or Dragon attacks, you've just drastically reduces your opponent's options. That said, like other weather conditions, Misty Surge's effect will fade after five turns.

Tapu Bulu

Tapu Bulu

12. Grassy Surge

Seen On: Tapu Bulu

Similar to Misty Surge, Grassy Surge is only seen on a legendary Tapu (Bulu, in this case) and mimics the Grassy Terrain field condition. For five turns, all impacted Pokémon will recover 1/16 of their max health at the end of every turn. Even better, Grass-type moves will increase in power by 50%! Grass isn't the most common offensive type, meaning your opponent will likely miss out on the boost while you'll be exploiting it to its naturalistic glory.

Tapu Lele

Tapu Lele

11. Psychic Surge

Seen On: Tapu Lele

Yet another Tapu's automatic field-creation, Psychic Surge induces a state of Psychic Terrain. For five turns, Pokémon will be immune to increased-priority attacks and Psychic moves will increase in power by 50%.

You're simultaneously boosting your strength while shutting down first-attack techniques, all without having to spend a turn (or a move slot) using Psychic Terrain.

Tapu Koko

Tapu Koko

10. Electric Surge

Seen On: Tapu Koko

Our last Tapu, Koko, morphs the stage into Electric Terrain upon entrance. Electric Terrain prevents monsters from falling asleep, always a nice guard to have, and increased Electric attacks by 50%.

No longer do Electric Pokémon have to use Rain Dance just for increased accuracy on Thunder; now they've got their own preferred field, and Koko will cast it for free in each battle.

Alolan Ninetails

Alolan Ninetails

9. Snow Warning

Seen On: Alolan Ninetails/Abomasnow/Vanilluxe

Snow Warning creates a state of hail upon entrance, which damages all non-Ice Pokémon at the end of every turn. Few Pokémon contain the Ice-type, so you should be relentlessly battering most foes. Additionally, certain healing moves your opponent may use (like Synthesis and Morning Sun) are less effective in a hailstorm.

Thankfully, several non-legendary Pokémon can learn Snow Warning, and it was especially useful in generations 4-5, where it lasted indefinitely rather than the standard five turns.

Mega Tyranitar

Mega Tyranitar

8. Sand Stream

Seen On: Mega Tyranitar/Hippowdon/Gigalith

Sand Stream works like Snow Warning but now generating a sandstorm, originally lasting indefinitely but eventually reduced to the usual five turns. Sandstorms are admittedly easier to resist the damage of than haik, since Rock, Ground, and Steel Pokémon are all immune to their end-of-turn bombardment. However, remember that as of generation 4, sandstorms boost the special defense of Rock Pokémon by 50%, drastically reducing the common Water and Grass indirect strikes used against them.

Thus, Rock creatures like Mega Tyranitar and Gigalith can use Sand Stream to simultaneously batter foes and defend themselves, all without needing to spend a turn casting the dust cloud.

Kyogre

Kyogre

7. Drizzle

Seen On: Kyogre/Politoed/Pelipper

Mostly known for its debut on legendary Kyogre, Drizzle mimics the Rain Dance move by summoning a rainstorm for five turns. While pouring, Water moves will be boosted by 50%, Fire attacks will be lessened by 50% (though most opponents wouldn't use them on Kyogre anyway). Sadly, Thunder will always hit, so you have to be careful when facing potential Thunder-learners, but Kyogre itself can exploit this trait since it may learn Thunder as a TM move. Finally, rainfall thankfully dampens the power of Solar Beam by 50%, reducing the strength of what would otherwise be a devastating and super-effective Grass attack.

Groudon

Groudon

6. Drought

Seen On: Groudon

Drought's the Sunny Day version of Drizzle, filling the field with harsh sunlight for five turns. This boosts the attack of Fire moves (which Groudon has several of despite being Ground-type), reduces the power of Water moves (useful for a Ground Pokémon), and lets Solar Beam be cast in a single turn, no charge time required.

Groudon has to be careful with this, since opponents can also use single-turn Solar Beams against it (for double damage on a Ground-type), but Groudon itself learns Solar Beam naturally while leveling, letting it make good use of this tactic.

Primal Kyogre

Primal Kyogre

5. Primordial Sea

Seen On: Primal Kyogre

Primordial Sea creates a unique variant of rain called heavy rain. Along with rain's usual effects, Fire moves will now entirely fail if attempted, and no other regular weather condition can be enacted. The heavy rain also has no turn limit, lasting until Primal Kyogre is removed from the field.

Essentially, this is Super Drizzle, entirely canceling Fire and preventing weather changes while boosting your aquatic techniques.

Mega Rayquaza

Mega Rayquaza

4. Delta Stream

Seen On: Mega Rayquaza

When Mega Rayquaza enters the field, its Delta Stream creates a unique weather status called a mysterious air current. In this mode, moves that would normally deal double damage to Flying Pokémon only deal neutral damage instead, and other regular weather conditions can't be enacted.

Basically, Rayquaza's shielding itself from Ice and Rock attacks thanks to Delta Stream, simultaneously denying foes whatever atmosphere they hoped to employ. Rayquaza's Dragon element naturally covers Flying's weakness to Electric, but if you're fighting a multibattle, the air current will also guard your other aerial units from extra damage due to Electric strikes.

Primal Groudon

Primal Groudon

3. Desolate Land

Seen On: Primal Groudon

Because harsh sunlight wasn't harsh enough, now we have extremely harsh sunlight. This amazing field state mimics regular sunlight but now completes blocks Water moves, especially useful thanks to Primal Groudon's quad weakness to the type (it's now Ground/Fire). It also lasts indefinitely and prevents other normal weather conditions from appearing.

Desolate Land lets Primal Groudon use Solar Beam (and worry about it less since Grass is only neutral against Ground/Fire), boosts your Fire moves, and really saves its terraforming bacon against Water strikes.

Mega Sableye

Mega Sableye

2. Magic Bounce

Seen On: Mega Sableye/Mega Absol/Mega Diancie

Available on a handful of mega Pokémon, Magic Bounce basically provides an always-active Magic Coat, the onetime signature move of Grumpig. Magic Bounce (and Coat) reflect almost all non-damage attacks back at the user, turning their stat decreases, status conditions, taunts, and more back to them.

With Magic Bounce, you not only block attacks but potentially nail your opponent with them, and even if they're savvy to your ability, you're still gaining the benefit of reducing their moveset to use against you. A full-time shield against almost everything except damage simply gives you an unprecedented defense that only one ability can top...

Shedininja

Shedininja

1. Wonder Guard

Seen On: Shedinja

Shedinja is one of the most unique Pokémon yet. He's only got a single hit point, meaning he'll faint when any attack hits him. However, thanks to his amazing Wonder Guard ability, only super-effective damaging moves will ever strike him, protecting him from an enormous number of attacks and leaving him completely invincible to some foes. Note that Wonder Guard doesn't protect against status conditions, so Shedinja can still faint from poison or a sandstorm, and unfortunately, Shedinja's Bug/Ghost duo bears many weaknesses to victimize.

Unfortunately, you can't Role Play or Skill Swap Wonder Guard (attempting it will fail), so you can't gimmick it onto other, less-vulnerable Pokémon in double and triple battles. Still, there's no denying it's by far the best ability we've ever seen.

The Future of Pokémon Abilities

Arguably the biggest new feature of generation 3, abilities remain a beloved and versatile mechanic, letting us further customize our Pokémon. They're also good balance tools; weak-stat Pokémon often bear great abilities while some of the strongest creatures (like Slaking) suffer from negative traits.

With this guide, hopefully you've learned more about the top-tier Pokémon powers and how to use them in meta play. But for now, as we eagerly await Nintendo's next batch of powerful abilities, let us know which you prefer in the comments below, and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!

© 2018 Jeremy Gill

Comments

Enaxie on August 26, 2020:

there is a way to get wonder guard onto another pokemon. you use the ability trace (used by ralts, kirlia, gardevoir, porygon, and porygon2), which copies the ability of an adjacent pokemon. you can also use wandering spirit, a new ability used by galarian yamask and runerigus that switches abilities with whoever comes in contact with it.

Eevee Squad on June 04, 2020:

My favorite ability is Pixilate

hana on October 22, 2019:

Personally I really like Rock Head, because lots of powerful moves inflict recoil damage (volt tackle, double edge, close combat etc) and it will be good to be excuse from the recoil damage that can take half of the damage inflicted to your opponent!

名無しさん on October 22, 2018:

ice body snow clock and snow rush

overcoat magic gard