Hey everyone, this article talks about the new Alolan Pokemon that have been given to us in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Don’t forget to check out Part 1 of our analysis if you missed it!
Ability: Emergency Exit
Golisopod is a Pokemon with rather strong stat distribution, but is hindered by its poor ability. ‘Emergency Exit’ forces Golisopod to switch out if it is below 50% HP. In the doubles format especially, this means that Golisopod will struggle to be effective, as if it threatens an enemy’s team it can easily be focused down and forced to switch out. Golisopod also has a very low speed stat (40) that means it would most likely require Trick Room support.
Things aren’t all bad for Golisopod however. It does have an impressive attack stat (125), and has access to solid STAB-moves in Liquidation and Leech Life. It also has access to interesting priority moves like First Impression (a +2 Priority Bug type move, only usable on first turn), Sucker Punch and Aqua Jet, all of which will allow it to overcome its low speed stat. Finally, Golisopod can also learn Wide Guard, a move with relatively low distribution, that will be effective in stopping Pokemon like Garchomp, Torkoal and Discharge-using electric types.
Golisopod’s role on a team is likely as a Trick Room sweeper that is able to work both in and out of Trick Room due to its powerful priority moves. Effective partners for Golisopod include Marowak – who can take advantage of Trick Room and redirect Electric-type attacks. Porygon2/Oranguru – who can set up Trick Room, and Krookodile, who can threaten Electric-types and provide Intimidate protection.
A Golisopod set might look like this:
Type: Normal (Changes)
Ability: RKS System
Silvally is a Pokémon who received a lot of attention before the release of Sun/Moon for being similar to Arceus. Unfortunately, Silvally’s power is significantly lower than its counterpart, and most notably, its type-changing item does not provide extra damage like the type-plates do. Its well-rounded stats, while being decent, do not allow Silvally to accomplish very much without taking significant damage. Its bulk is mediocre in the face of many high-powered attacks, and its offensive capabilities are limited by its inability to hold an item without being Normal-type.
This being said however, there are some uses for Silvally in the format. Firstly, it has an impressive Special movepool, with access to Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Shadow Ball and Flash Cannon, all of which have reasonable Base Power and allow Silvally to hit for decent damage when super-effective. Its Physical movepool, while significantly worse, is also aided by the inclusion of boosting moves like Swords Dance and Flame Charge, as well as its signature move, Multi Attack, which will change to be the same type as Silvally. Silvally can also use a few unique supportive moves like Snarl, and Parting Shot, as well as Thunder Wave in order to help its teammates in battle. There have also been numerous Explosion sets used by Japanese players to secure an early advantage in the Best of 1 format, where surprise movesets can be especially effective.
Silvally seems like a Pokemon that would be most effective as a “6th ‘mon” that is added to round out a team’s coverage and as a precaution for certain matchups. As far as viable typings, I will list sets for Normal, Ground, Steel, and Fire, as these have stood out the most in testing. There are likely other sets for other types that have not been considered, so don’t hesitate to test out your own!
Ability: Iron Barbs/ Lightning Rod/ Sturdy
Togedemaru is the 7th Generation’s electric mouse Pokemon, who is notable in this format for its access to Fake Out and Lightning Rod. In a format with so many strong Electric-type Pokemon, like Xurkitree and Tapu Koko, Lightning Rod can be especially valuable, as it helps neutralize threats, and protect its teammates from all Electric moves bar Discharge. In addition to this, it has access to moves like Fake Out, Encore, Nuzzle, and Spiky Shield, which allow it to be useful in battle despite its relatively poor stat distribution.
Togedemaru suffers however, from its generally poor stats, with its Speed (96) being the only thing that really stands out. It also has weaknesses to common offensive types in Ground and Fire, while being unable to provide much offensive pressure itself. Togedemaru does learn moves like Poison Jab and Zing Zap, but does not have a STAB, Physical Steel-type move, and has to rely on weaker poison coverage for fairies.
Togedemaru’s role on a team is likely as a fast, leading Pokemon that provides Fake Out pressure and can help a partner set up or deal significant damage. It also leads well into the common Tapu Koko, and can Fake Out its partner – effectively limiting the options of the opposing pair. Partners for Togedemaru could include pokemon like Gyarados, who appreciates Electric redirection. and can utilize a free turn from Fake Out to set up with Dragon Dance. In turn Gyarados threatens Ground-types who would otherwise be an issue for Togedemaru.
An example Togedemaru set could look like this.
Mimikyu is a particularly interesting Pokemon who has seen a frankly shocking amount of usage given its rather unimpressive base stats. Reports from Japanese player, (@voranchi), have listed Mimikyu as a potential S-tier pokemon, and have shown that in 250 battles of the Battlespot’s double battle format, Mimikyu was used in 26%. These figures should be taken with a grain of salt, as the Doubles format is slightly different to the VGC format, though the stats are surprising nonetheless.
Mimikyu benefits greatly from its ability, Disguise, which allows it to ignore damage from the first attack to hit it in battle, much like the move Substitute (though it will still be effected by status moves). This can be used to give Mimikyu a free turn, where it can do a number of things. Access to moves like Swords Dance, Will-O-Wisp, Trick Room and the newly introduced Z-Move Destiny Bond, all allow Mimikyu to gain a significant advantage in only a single turn. Its speed is also rather helpful, as you can make sure you always outspeed base 95 Pokemon like Tapu Lele, and Arcanine. Finally, Mimikyu’s typing is generally good, as it allows it to take advantage of Ghost-type STAB, and pick up key KOs on common Pokemon like Alolan Marowak and Tapu Lele.
(For those who don’t know, Z-Move Destiny Bond is a combination of Follow Me and Destiny Bond, which can be incredibly effective in both giving the partner a free turn, and taking an enemy down with you.)
Mimikyu’s downside however is its apparent weakness to Celesteela, an especially common Pokemon, as well as its mediocre defensive capabilities due to its low HP. It also has a rather average attack stat (90), and will most likely rely on a Z move to hit notable offensive benchmarks. Good Partners for Mimikyu could include Gyarados, who appreciates redirection from Z – Destiny Bond, and can match up well into Celesteela and Marowak. Another Pokemon could be Araquanid, who provides similar pressure to Gyarados, with the advantage of being able to deal with Tapu Lele more convincingly. Finally, Torkoal may be an effective partner for Trick Room Mimikyu, as it appreciates redirection to ensure full power Eruptions, and benefits greatly from Trick Room.
Mimikyu can be run in many ways, so here are multiple example sets:
Type: Dragon/ Normal
Ability: Berserk/ Sap Sipper/ Cloud Nine
Drampa is a typical Trick Room Pokemon with mediocre bulk, incredibly slow speed, and a tonne of damage – in this case, Special Attack. As a Normal+Dragon-type Pokemon it has access to strong STAB moves in Dragon Pulse, Hyper Voice, and Draco Meteor. It can also utilize strong coverage moves in Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Flamethrower, Energy Ball and Focus Blast. The combination of this wide movepool and Drampa’s huge special attack stat allow it to apply enormous offensive pressure while supported by speed control.
Drampa also has other abilities in Sap Sipper and Cloud Nine, but due to its nature as a Special Attacker, the former will likely be useless. Cloud Nine however, may help Drampa fit onto teams that are weak to Pelipper’s rain or Torkoal’s Sun-boosted Eruptions, though this will depend on the prevalence of weather teams in the format.
Drampa has the typical weaknesses of Trick Room attackers in that if Trick Room is unable to be set up, it will struggle to get much done before going down. It is also slow to the point that even with Thunder Wave or Tailwind support it will be unable to outspeed many threats. Partners for Drampa could include Oranguru – who provides Trick Room and Psychic coverage for Fighting-types. It could also include Celesteela, who typically matches up well into opposing Dragon and Ice-type pokemon, and can protect Drampa somewhat with Wide Guard support.
An example Drampa set could look like this:
Type: Water/ Bug
Ability: Water Bubble/ Water Absorb
Araquanid is a particularly exciting Pokemon due to its incredibly powerful ability, and its matchup versus common Pokemon in the metagame. Firstly, its ability – Water Bubble, doubles the damage of Water-type moves used by Araquanid, and halves the damage of Fire-type moves. It also prevents Araquanid from being burned. This makes Araquanid go from 0 to hero, as its previously unimpressive offensive stats are effectively doubled, albeit only when using water moves.
Secondly, Araquanid’s matchups into common Pokemon really set it apart from other water types. Unlike pokemon like Milotic or Gyarados, Araquanid requires no boosting item or move in order to OHKO Alolan Marowak. Furthermore its typing allows it to resist attacks from common Pokemon like Torkoal. Garchomp and Celesteela, and its impressive Special Defence allows it to tank neutral hits like Tapu Lele Psychic. Araquanid also has access to Wide Guard, which allows it to protect its partners from moves like Earthquake, Discharge, Rock Slide and Eruption, all of which are somewhat common.
Araquanid’s downside is mainly that its coverage options are limited by its low attack stat, forcing it to rely heavily on its Water-type moves for damage. This being said, it does have access to Leech Life and Lunge, both STAB moves with unique utility (being able to heal the user and lower an enemy’s attack respectively). It also suffers from low speed and a weakness to the common Electric-Type, meaning that it must have good partners to back it up.
An example of an effective partner to Araquanid is Marowak. Marowak is able to redirect Electric-type moves away from Araquanid, and threaten Grass and Electric types that Araquanid will struggle against. In turn, Araquanid can protect Marowak from Earthquakes and Rock Slides by using Wide Guard, and can threaten opposing Ground-type pokemon with its strong Water STABs.
An example Araquanid set might look like this:
Well that’s it for the new Alolan Pokemon! While there are a few Pokemon that didn’t get featured in these articles, most of the realistically viable Pokémon have been covered, but that doesn’t mean that the others aren’t viable! These articles were made with the goal of provoking thought and discussion, so hopefully you’ve got some ideas for the upcoming format! Best of luck, and be sure to tweet at us @TrainerTower with any questions or concerns!