House Kricketune: Keeping Our Rhythm
Good news, Kricketune found his niche! I saw this really cool strategy in doubles of pairing Kricketune with Cresselia. This takes advantage of Focus Sash, Protect, Endeavor, and Perish Song under the effects of Trick Room to easily clear your opponent’s Pokemon.
What exactly does Kricketune specifically add to that? Wigglytuff and Marowak also get both Endeavour and Perish Song, are faster than Kricketune under Trick Room, are significantly tougher than Kricketune (although I’m not sure whether that matters in the context of this strategy) and have more useful abilities. I mean, major props to whoever found a way to make Kricketune useful, but without more details I kinda suspect there are still other Pokémon who would do it better, even for something as specific and contrived as this.
Will kricketune get banned to ubers?
Kricketune will get banned to Anything Goes (the Mega Rayquaza tier). Its incredible tanking ability with Bide leaves your opponent paralysed with laugher, so that they’re helpless to do anything against Kricketune’s devastating Perish Song. Let’s not even talk about how overpowered its Technician-boosted Aerial Ace is.
I am prepared to accept that someone at Game Freak once believed Spinda and Delcatty had the potential to be decent Pokémon. I am prepared to accept that they may have dramatically miscalculated the importance of a Pokémon’s movepool in comparison to its raw stats. I am prepared to accept, in other words, that the positions they currently hold in the ranks of the most mind-blowingly incompetent Pokémon in the game are the result of a terrible, terrible mistake.
I am prepared to accept no such thing with regards to Kricketune.
Kricketune has it all. Lacklustre attacks, mediocre speed, cardboard defences, unhelpful abilities, and a grand total of perhaps nine or ten genuinely useful techniques. This Pokémon is not here for us to use. He is here for us to laugh at, poke, step on, and ultimately set on fire. In theory, Kricketune is a Swords Dancer (that is to say, this is the role at which he fails least horribly), setting him up to be compared with the other Bug-type Swords Dancers who came before him: the infinitely superior Scyther and Scizor. Kricketune’s physical movepool isn’t actually much worse than Scyther’s; they can both choose from X-Scissor, Brick Break, Night Slash and Aerial Ace, which is pretty solid in terms of type coverage but leaves them relying on some comparatively weak attacks, holding them back from being really effective top-tier Swords Dancers. The difference between Kricketune and Scyther (well, besides the fact that Scyther is better at everything because of his higher stats) is that Scyther has a bunch of useful support moves and can keep his opponents guessing. Kricketune… has Taunt, I guess, so he can stop big defensive Pokémon from weakening or disabling him, but that just draws attention to his massive vulnerability to… y’know… attacks. He can slap away another Pokémon’s item with Knock Off. Lots of other Pokémon can do that too, but I guess it’s fun. He can use Perish Song to… fail to achieve anything whatsoever, since he has no way of trapping opponents in play long enough for the song to kill them, and he’ll eventually be forced to switch out too (assuming you don’t want Kricketune to die, which, I will grant you, is something of a stretch). Finally, he can use Sing to be slightly less ineffective and put things to sleep, or alternatively, to spend a couple of turns failing to put things to sleep because Sing is dreadful. Finally, to make sure there was absolutely no doubt that Kricketune was an inferior version of Scyther, Game Freak went and gave him exactly the same abilities. Once Kricketune has been badly injured, he will almost certainly die too quickly to notice that his Swarm ability has amped up his Bug attacks, like X-Scissor. If that doesn’t appeal, Kricketune’s Dream World ability is Technician. This is actually a really awesome ability and, together with Bullet Punch, is a pretty big contributing factor to the massive popularity of Scizor. Technician powers up several weak attacks, which are often the ones with the best secondary effects (like Bullet Punch, which always hits first). Kricketune has precisely two moves worth using that benefit from Technician: Bug Bite (this basically becomes a slightly better replacement for X-Scissor) and Aerial Ace (which does help Kricketune with his type coverage… I guess).
I’ve had trouble coming up with a good way to improve on Kricketune’s flavour, because most of my hatred against him is directed at his art and I find myself having to admit I probably couldn’t do better. Getting rid of the moustache, or at the very least making it more wiry to better suit an insect body, seems like a no-brainer. I’m tempted to suggest exaggerating the violin shape of his body and making the whole thing more stylistic, because the attempt to compromise between a naturalistic design and the instrument concept is what’s created this unearthly teardrop-shaped body, which just doesn’t work at all. Also, change the eyes. Kricketot’s eyes have black irises and white pupils. Kricketune’s eyes have black irises and blacker pupils. Kricketot’s look bright and Kricketune’s look dead. I know it’s small, but it bothers me.