Hello Azurillanders, and welcome to this month's Competitive Spotlight on weather!
Introduced in Generation III, there are four mains types of weather that all have different effects when implemented in battle: Harsh Sunlight, Hail, Sandstorm, and Rain. Each type of weather has different effects not only on the battlefield, but on Pokémon, and even their moves. Let's take a closer look at all four, as well as a common set run to help set each weather up.
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The Harsh Sunlight effect can be set up by using either the move Sunny Day, or by sending a Pokémon out with the ability Drought. While Harsh Sunlight is active, there are a few different effects that will occur. These include:
- Boosting the power of Fire-type moves by 50%.
- Decreasing the power of Water-type moves by 50%.
- Allowing the moves Solar Beam and Solar Blade to be used instantly, negating the turn of charging.
- Starting in Generation V, it caused the move Growth to boost to raise Attack and Special Attack by two stages, instead of one.
- Changing the move Weather Ball to a Fire-type, and doubles its power to 100.
- Guaranteeing that Harvest will recover the holder's used Berry.
- Prevents all active Pokémon from being frozen.
- Causes Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis to recover 2/3 max HP instead of 1/2.
- Reduces the accuracy of Hurricane and Thunder to 50%.
Harsh Sunlight set
Ninetales @ Heat Rock
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
- Nasty Plot
- Fire Blast
- Solar Beam
- Hidden Power Ice
Thanks to the Drought ability, Ninetales will set up the Harsh Sunlight effect immediately upon switching in. On top of that, by giving Ninetales the Heat Rock item, Harsh Sunlight will last for eight turns as opposed to the usual five. This set is used to make use of Harsh Sunlight, as Fire Blast gets a nice power boost, while Solar Beam will activate in only one turn.
Rain can be set up by using either the move Rain Dance, or the Ability Drizzle. When active, Rain has the following affects in battle.
- Increases the power of Water-type moves by 50%.
- Decreases the power of Fire-type moves by 50%.
- Halves the power of both Solar Beam and Solar Blade
- Causes Hurricane and Thunder to bypass Accuracy check.
- Activates the following Abilities: Dry Skin, Hydration, Swift Swim, and Rain Dish.
- Changes Weather Ball into a Water-type move, and doubles its power to 100.
- Causes Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis to recover 1/4 max HP, as opposed to 1/2.
Pelipper @ Damp Rock
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpA
Thanks to Pelipper's Hidden Ability, Drizzle, and the Damp Rock item, it will create the Rain effect as soon as it enters the battle — and the effect will last for eight turns. Thanks to the Rain effect, Hurricane has 100% accuracy and is Pelipper's most powerful move. Roost helps Pelipper live longer, while Scald can hit most Pokémon that would resist Hurricane.
Sandstorm can be activated by either the move Sandstorm or the Ability Sand Stream, and has the following affects in battle.
- Damages all Pokémon by 1/16 of their max HP, unless they are Rock-, Steel-, or Ground-type, or have the following abilities: Sand Rush, Sand Force, Sand Veil, Magic Guard, or Overcoat. The item Safety Goggles also negates the damage of Sandstorm.
- Sandstorm also activates the Sand Force, Sand Rush, and Sand Veil abilities.
- Halves the power of both Solar Beam and Solar Blade.
- Raises the Special Defense of all Rock-type Pokémon by 50%.
- Changes Weather Ball into a Rock-type move, and doubles its power to 100.
- Causes the move Shore Up to recover 2/3 HP, as opposed to 1/2.
- Causes the moves Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis to recover 2/3 HP, instead of 1/2.
Gigalith @ Smooth Rock
Ability: Sand Stream
EVs: 252 HP / 4 Atk / 252 Def
- Stealth Rock
- Stone Edge
Thanks to the combination of Sand Stream and Smooth Rock, Gigalith will cause an eight turn Sandstorm when it enters the battlefield. And thanks to its Rock-typing, Gigalith gets a welcomed 50% Special Defense boost. Stone Edge, while inaccurate, is a very power Rock-type move. Earthquake is a tried and true powerful Ground-type move, and always welcome on most Pokémon that can learn it. Toxic is always a good choice to help whittle down more bulky Pokémon, especially those that resist either of its attacks.
Hail can by activated by the move Hail, as well as the Ability Snow Warning, and has the following affects in battle.
- Damages Pokémon by 1/16 of their max HP, unless they are Ice-type. It also will not damage Pokémon with the Abilities Ice Body, Snow Cloak, Slush Rush, Magic Guard, or Overcoat. It will also not damage Pokémon holding the Safety Goggles item.
- Hail will also activate the Abilities Ice Body, Snow Cloak, and Slush Rush.
- Changes Weather Ball to an Ice-type move, and doubles its power to 100.
- Halves the power of Solar Beam and Solar Blade.
- Allows Blizzard to bypass accuracy checks.
- Causes Moonlight, Morning Sun, and Synthesis to recover 1/4 max HP.
- Allows the move Aurora Veil to be used. This move does not disappear when the Hail does, but has a fixed number of turns that it is active for.
Ninetales-Alola @ Light Clay
Ability: Snow Warning
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
IVs: 0 Atk
- Aurora Veil
- Hidden Power [Fire]
Ninetales's new Alolan form is one of the best users of Hail, as it is the only Pokémon with access to both Snow Warning and the new move Aurora Veil. Aurora Veil is a move that can only be used while Hail is active, and reduces all damage taken from physical and special attacks by 50%. This is an extremely helpful move that acts like a combo of Reflect and Light Screen. Light Clay will allow Aurora Veil to last eight turns instead of the usual five. Blizzard is not only Alolan Ninetales's most powerful move, but is 100% accurate in Hail. Moonblast is also a helpful STAB move, while Hidden Power Fire can allow Alolan Ninetales to hit Steel-types that can hit it for 4x Super Effective damage.
Castform is a unique Pokémon with the exclusive Ability Forecast, that changes Castform's type and appearance depending on the Weather.
Castform's Sunny Form changes it to a Fire-type when Harsh Sunlight is active.
Castform's Rainy Form changes it to a Water-type when Rain is active.
Castform's Snowy Form changes it to an Ice-type when Hail is active.
Unfortunately, even though Castform has these three unique forms, it isn't a very powerful Pokémon, boasting only 70 Base Power in every stat. However, it does learn a lot of different moves that take advantage of these three weather affects, such as Solar Beam, Hurricane, Blizzard, Weather Ball, and Thunder; as well as Sunny Day, Snow Warning, and Rain Dance.
Last, I'd like to go over a fun weather related glitch that only occurred in Heart Gold, Soul Silver, and Platinum dubbed "Acid Rain" by the community. This has no bearing on Competitive Play, but was a rather interesting glitch that I thought would be fun to mention here.
In order for Acid Rain to activate, a number of steps would have to occur.
If any Weather (excluding Rain), or Gravity, Uproar, or Trick Room were in effect, and a player used Pursuit on a Pokémon that was switching out AND KOed said opponent, this glitch would occur. The rather interesting thing about Acid Rain is that, not only does it cause all four weathers to be active at the same time, all four weathers also cause every Pokémon on the field to take damage. Meaning that all Pokémon will take 25% damage at the end of every turn.
Again, this is a glitch, and is only available in Generation 4, but I thought it was a rather interesting Weather based glitch that was worth noting.
Thank you for reading this month's Spotlight. Do you have a favorite weather-based moveset? Please leave it in the comments down below.