Hello, everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve posted. I had a bit of a stressful rut out here in Korea with loads of internal government changes that unfortunately affected my plans for next year, so I’ve had to job hunt. Paired up with graduate courses and extensive language learning has sucked up most of my time. However, next year I’ll be relocating to Kuwait for work. I’m so sad to leave Asia, but I’m excited for some new experiences!
So far we’ve played in the rain and traversed through the sand. Now we’re going to talk about basking in the sun! It’s the third of our fourth weather strategy, Sunny Day. I’ve actually been quite excited for this article because Sunny Day teams have gotten much more interesting since the most recent generation. Sunny Day teams have become somewhat of a double edged sword in certain ways, delivering extremely gratifying results while simultaneously making the user more vulnerable. Below are the changes, both positive and negative, that Sunny Day has to offer on the battle field:
(note this is also updated from the release of XY)
– The base power of fire moves is increased by 50%
– The base power of water moves is decreased by 50%
– Growth increases attack and special attack by two stages
– Frozen Pokémon thaw faster
– Solarbeam no longer needs a turn to charge
– Heat Wave always hits (even through protect)
– Thunder and Hurricane have their base accuracy reduced to 50%
– Weather Ball is a fire type move with 150 base power
– Morning Sun, Synthesis, and Moonlight all heal 66% of the user’s base HP
– Pokémon with the ability Chlorophyll have their speed doubled
– Pokémon with the ability Leaf Guard become immune to statuses
– Pokémon with the ability Solar Power have their special attack increased by 50%, but lose 12.5% of their HP every turn
– Pokémon with the ability Dry Skin lose 12.5% of their HP every turn
– Both Castform and Cherrim change forms
What strikes me the most with Sunny Day is it’s obvious offensive use. The Solar Power ability and Growth move can easily be abused to create fantastic sweepers. That’s not to say there aren’t defensive benefits, though. Three previously (somewhat) overlooked recovery moves now have boosted effects, which can prove useful for walls and stalls on your team. The realm of Pokémon also has no shortage of fire and grass types to take advantage of these benefits, either! Below are my personal recommendations for any Sunny Day team:
Charizard Y / Ninetales
Not only are these two Pokémon absolute beasts on the battle field, but they come with the crucial ability Drought. This creates an instant five turn Sunny Day without having to waste a move. Unfortunately, drought was nerfed in Pokémon XY and changed to only five turns instead of unlimited (uber haxx), but I personally see that as a benefit. It levels the playing field a bit more when facing weather teams.
While Charizard Y is the most viable for Sunny Day teams due to increased stats, Ninetales is a better option for a longer lasting Sunny Day (since Charizard Y can’t hold a Heat Rock). Ninetales can work just as well in offensive roles (and even better in a more defensive role). Charizard Y is a pure attacker sporting moves like Flamethrower, Fire Blast, Heat Wave, and Fire Blitz which are insanely powerful under the Fire STAB and Sunny Day boost. If you prefer a more defensive player, Ninetales would be a better choice. It can create an array of annoying statuses with utility abilities such as Will-o-Wisp and Hypnosis while interrupting set ups with Roar. It can also run a more offensive set with Flamethrower, Solar Beam (taking advantage of its boost), and Nasty Plot.
I both love and hate Heatran. It’s such a great Pokémon with an excellent mixed typing, unique move set, and excellent stats. However, it has screwed me over so many times when fighting competitively! The Fire/Steel type combined with Flash Fire give Heatran two immunities to fairly common types (fire and poison) and a ridiculous nine resistances. Its diverse stats allow it to run a defensive set as well as an offensive set. However, it does come with a 4x weakness to the common ground type and a standard weakness to water which can hinder its set ups and team sweeping streaks. Having it hold a Balloon item would be extremely beneficial to take care of those dangerous ground moves. It’ll be interesting how Heatran fares when Pokémon Bank opens up, but so far it seems like it’ll do quite well with that double resistance to the common fairy type.
I prefer my Heatran to be a more offensive teammate. Take advantage of its excellent special attack stat with STAB Flamethrower. Earth Power can take out any opposing fire types and opposing Heatran. Now that Steel types have a new use offensively, it wouldn’t hurt to have something like Iron Head to take care of the rising fairies on the battlefield. I don’t know exactly what new moves will open up for Heatran in XY, but hopefully something that will benefit its steel typing offensively so it provides more use than just defenses!
The fire/flying type combo, in my opinion, is one of the worst combos out there. Weaknesses to common rock moves, electric moves, water moves, and a 4x weaknesses to Stealth Rock certainly aren’t doing these Pokémon any favors. They have also seem to be notorious for having poor defenses (with the exception of Ho-Oh), so a single hit from something as meager as a Rock Slide is enough to land a 1HKO. However, the introduction to Talonflame in Gen VI has given some new light to the usefulness of fire types in the game.
Talonflame is lightning fast, sporting an impressive 126 base speed. It’s attack prowess also isn’t very shabby, capping at 81/74 respectively. But what makes Talonflame shine is its hidden ability Gale Wings, which provides a +1 priority to flying type moves. This gives his Pokémon a serious edge, especially when taking advantage of the Sunny Day weather to boost up its Fire Blitz attack. It can also set up your Sunny Day team by the use of Tailwind, which now has a +1 priority with Gale Wings, so sweeping just got that much easier. I’d love to fight a +1 speed Charizard in the sun, said no one ever.
Overshadowed and underpowered from Gens 1-4, Venusaur has made a huge comeback in Gen 6 as what I think one of the most improved lower tier Pokémon out there. It’s hidden ability, Chlorophyll, doubles its speed in the sun. This makes Venusaur an extremely formidable sweeper with plenty of bulk to keep it out of harm’s way. Also, the introduction of the fairy type makes poison a much more viable option. Not only that, but it receives a flippin mega evolution just to top things off. With that said, Venusaur is easily the best chlorophyll user. The only thing that keeps up from being in the ranks of top tier epicness is its movepool, which GameFreak has yet to improve for many of the grass types out there. Venusaur is quite predictable; you can expect it to run its typical STAB grass, possibly a powder status move, and/or a SubSeed set.
I wanted to throw in something unexpected in the last slot, so here it is! Heliolisk is a strange one – an electric/normal frill lizard with unique move sets, diverse abilities, and interesting stats to boot. It’s made for the quick special sweeper slot, but can also take advantage of its Dry Skin ability to heal itself in the rain. Parabolic Charge is a fantastic recovery move that it has access too, which can make help keep it up and going while doing STAB damage at the same time. Its ability Solar Power is what interests me since it boosts its special attack stat to a whopping 218, which is something to consider. Combine this with a Choice Scarf and you’ve got a fantastic sweeper. It also gains access to an oddball assortment of special moves like Surf, Grass Knot, Dark Pulse, and Focus Blast. While not the best Pokémon on Sunny Day teams, I think it can hold a niche spot on the battlefield.[/spoiler]
There you have it, folks! We’re almost done with the weather series! Please leave your comments below. I do enjoy reading your feedback! I’m hoping to a bit more active since school is out, so I look forward to posting more articles in the near future.