In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
In the Pokémon video games, each creature can only maintain four attacks at once, so Trainers must painstakingly assign the ideal repertoire. A Pokémon is only as good as the attacks it knows, and wily players can predict and counter the most famous strikes. We've all seen Earthquakes and Hyper Beams already; none of those are appearing today.
Instead, we'll be tackling lesser-known but still awesome techniques to consider when assembling your squad. Here are the eight most underrated Pokémon attacks!
Effect: Puts non-Grass opponents to sleep
Notable users: Parasect, Breloom, Amoonguss
Combo it with: Attacks that only work on sleeping foes, like Dream Eater or Nightmare. Or simply wail on your opponent while they waste turns asleep.
7. Tail Glow
Power/Accuracy: -/ -
Effect: Raises user's Special Attack by two stages (or three, as of Gen. 5)
Admittedly, only a handful of creatures can learn Tail Glow, but few can deny its lethal offensive capabilities, especially once Black and White came around. Three stages of Special Attack in one turn? Heck yes!
Notable Users: Volbeat, Manaphy, Xurkitree
Combo it with: Anything dealing Special Attack damage.
6. Stored Power
Effect: Power increases by 20 for each positive status change the user has. This gives a maximum power of 860!
The cool thing here is that Stored Power doesn't get weaker for negative status changes.
Notable Users: Gardevoir, Latios, Necrozma
Combo it with: Status-buffing moves, Baton Pass to transfer status changes.
5. Grass/Water/Fire Pledge
Power/Accuracy: 50 (80 as of Gen. 6)/100
Effect: If another Pokémon on your team uses a different Pledge in the same turn, only the second Pledge functions, dealing 150 damage and creating an effect based on the two used:
- Grass/Water: Creates a swamp on the opponent's field that quarters opposing speed for four turns, almost guaranteeing your Pokémon will hit first.
- Grass/Fire: Inflicts 1/8 max. health damage to non-Fire foes each turn for four turns.
- Water/Fire: Doubles probability of secondary effects on user's side of the field for four turns.
My favorite of the three is the Grass/Fire combo, creating an inferno that consistently incinerates foes. Of course, the Pledge techniques only truly shine in double or triple battles; pick another move for one-on-one clashes.
Notable Users: All Fire, Grass, and Water starters, like Charizard or Swampert
Combo it with: One of the other Pledge attacks (duh)
4. Shell Smash
Power/Accuracy: -/ -
Effect: Decreases user's Defense and Special Defense to sharply increase Attack, Special Attack, and Speed.
Yea, this attack results in lower defenses, but two negative stat changes for six positive ones is a heck of a deal.
Notable Users: Omastar, Magcargo, Carracosta
Combo it with: Make use of your boosted Speed and Attack by hitting foes hard before they hit back!
3. Pain Split
Effect: Adds your current HP and your opponent's, then divides by two and assigns the halves to each Pokémon. This move will always hit under normal conditions.
Pain Split is a great way to both restore health and inflict damage to fresh fighters. The accuracy guarantee is just icing on the cake.
Notable Users: Misdreavus, Reuniclus, Chesnaught
Combo it with: Low health makes Pain Split go in your favor; use moves like Belly Drum or Double-Edge.
2. Clear Smog
Power/Accuracy: 50/ -
Effect: Deals damage and resets all stat changes on the target to zero.
Clear Smog works great for both damaging and debuffing foes. Like Pain Split, it'll always hit unless your opponent is using an auto-dodge move like Fly.
Notable Users: Gengar, Magmortar, Nihilego
Combo it with: Here it's more like don't combo it with moves that debuff foes, because those stat changes will be reset too. Instead, focus on raw offense while your opponent buffs only to be reset.
1. Leech Seed
Effect: Drains 1/8 of the foe's health each turn and adds it to your Pokémon's HP.
Leech Seed both harms your foe and heals you each turn. It's fairly accurate, and doesn't count as a status condition, so you can still Toxic, Spore, or Thunder Wave your opponent. It continues to function if even your Pokémon is defeated, providing your next fighter with an awesome advantage.
Notable Users: Venusaur, Celebi, Celesteela
Combo it with: Protect, to block moves and heal each turn, or Mean Look to prevent switching.
Hopefully you've learned some potent and underutilized strategies to help build your team. Feel free to vote for your favorite of today's moves, or leave a comment detailing your preferred attack.
Don't forget to make use of alternative moves through Breeding and TMs, and stay tuned for more Pokémon countdowns!