Ace Trainer Alvaro asks:

Although a relatively new ability introduced in Gen VI, Symbiosis has come up several times across your blog history (see https://pokemaniacal.com/?s=Symbiosis) and it sticks out as an ability that is oddly specific, to the point it’s arguably not useful except for passing on items to allies in double, triple, etc battles that have consumed their own consumable held-item. How would you rethink this ability or create a new ability that captures the concept of symbiosis (let’s just think about mutualism or the purposes of simplification)? My immediate inclination is that if a Pokémon with Symbiosis has a held item, it also copies the effects of that item (but not the item itself) onto an ally once said item is consumed. Extra credit: this ability could be retconned as a Hidden Ability for Slowbro and the Bulbasaur evolutionary line.

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Anonymous asks:

I don’t know how true this is, or if you’ve heard of it before already, but the supposed reason why so many Alola Pokemon are slow was because Gamefreak wanted to focus on diversifying the Doubles competitive environment what with Trick Room being a huge thing.

Don’t know how we would determine how true it is without actually asking Game Freak about it, but that thought had occurred to me, and it makes sense.  A lot of Pokémon in Sun and Moon (and for that matter X and Y) also have moves or abilities that seem most useful, or only useful, in multiple battles.  Me, I’m one of those cranky old bastard trainers who still insists on seeing doubles as something of a sideshow, but I agree they seem to be doing their best to push it.

Anonymous asks:

I don’t know if you’ve been following the VGC world championships, but if not (or still if so, I suppose), there’s a guy named Se Jun Park who just won the video game Masters’ division with a surprisingly effective Pachirisu on his team. While it is admittedly still a rather redundant Pikachu clone, does the fact that it’s actually somewhat competitively useful make you feel any better about Pachirisu?

Well, that was really quite spectacular.

See, this is the thing that’s quite nice about Pokémon.  In a lot of games that have… shall we say ‘issues’ with balance, the inferior option is completely and unarguably inferior all the time.  Pokémon just has so damn many attacks and abilities that practically everything has some skill or combination of skills that nothing else can imitate.  Se Jun Park has found Pachirisu’s: only a bare handful of Pokémon can learn Follow Me, which is an incredibly easy attack to screw up but very dangerous if you’re good with it, and of those, Pachirisu is the only one who can actually restore health while using it (via Volt Absorb).  Super Fang also means that her nonexistent attack scores don’t really matter, while her defences are actually pretty solid – not great, but she only has one weakness anyway.  Stick a couple of powerful Electric-weak, Ground-immune Pokémon on the team – Gyarados and Talonflame – to force your opponent to bring out powerful Discharges and Thunderbolts while messing up their Earthquakes, and you’re all set.  I mean, she’s still useless in singles – it’s just not the same game, and you’d never pull off that kind of $#!t without the right partners – but hey, it’s something Pachirisu’s good at!  This calls for celebration!