Anonymous asks:

Just rereading your comments on Farfetch’d in the “worst pokemon” category, and I thought of how gen. VI boosted him somewhat with the changes to the critical hits mechanics, which makes him one of very few pokemon who can consistently deliver 100% critical hits all the time. Sure, he’s still far from being strong in any sense of the word, but do you think that this at least gave him a niche to excel in? Or is it merely a single step in the right direction, with many more to go?

Explanation for anyone behind on this: critical hits only do x1.5 damage in X and Y, not x2, but the critical hit rate scales more rapidly with bonuses like a Scope Lens or the Super Luck ability, to the point that many combinations will actually give you a 100% critical hit rate.  For most Pokémon, using Focus Energy is the way to do this, but Farfetch’d has the distinction of being able to achieve 100% right out of the box, without having to buff himself first, by using his signature item (the Stick) and sticking to moves that already score a lot of critical hits, of which he has four – Slash, Night Slash, Leaf Blade and Air Cutter (the last of which is unfortunately special and therefore doesn’t work so well with the other three).  Even his other attacks will still have a 50% critical hit rate.

I’m very happy that Farfetch’d can now do this, because it makes him appreciably more powerful, it works with his ‘good luck’ theme, and it’s just really cool.  Unfortunately, it’s just very difficult to get away from the fact that he’s… y’know… Farfetch’d.  He’s still really slow and really fragile, and you can’t even get around his poor speed with a Choice Scarf because he’s already holding a Stick (and speaking of his stats, a whole bunch of other Pokémon got +10 to one stat or another in the transition to X and Y – more speed for Pidgeot, more special attack for Vileplume, etc – would it really have killed them to throw Farfetch’d some extra attack or speed?).  More to the point, what does this little gimmick give him, exactly?  +50% damage, that can’t be stacked with a Life Orb or similar.  His native attack stat maxes out at 251 with an attack-positive nature like Adamant and a perfect attack IV, so we’re pushing that up to 376 for those three moves, effectively.  That’s just slightly lower than Pangoro, who has a very similar speed stat.  Pangoro has far better defences, can use stuff like Leftovers or a Choice Band to heal or further increase his power, uses stronger attacks, has a cool signature move, isn’t weak against Stealth Rock – and, all things considered, isn’t really all that good.  Farfetch’d gets Agility (if he can get a chance to use it instead of just being brutally murdered) and ignores defensive buffs, which aren’t all that common anyway.  Yeah.  ”Right direction,” absolutely, but I’m afraid it’s a very small step.

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