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Old 01-31-2011, 07:27 PM
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Default 1. New Gameplay Mechanics, Moves, Items and Abilities (Part 1)

New Gameplay Mechanics, Moves, Items and Abilities

With each new generation comes a wealth of new options to play with. This section will explore new additions that Black and White have brought with them.

New Game Mechanics
The Dream World

Newly introduced game mechanics are not as radical this gen as the physical/special split was for the previous one, with only a single major new feature affecting standardised competitive play: The Dream World. Players and now able to upload their save files to Nintendo and continue their journey in a new fashion online. What this boils down to from a competitive standpoint is that a horde of Pokemon can gain access to new moves, or abilities (In some instances brining their total up to three, for the first time). However these new features are being introduced to the Dream World periodically, meaning not every Pokemon has access to their newly acquired gains (For example, there are no fifth gen pokes with access to their DW options yet).
For a list of released Dream World abilities available for standard play, click here.
For a full list of Dream World abilities, click here.
For a full list of Dream World moves, click here.

New Moves
As expected, with this new generation come a new set of moves, 92 in total for this generation. Click here for a full list. While largely weak or gimmicky attacks, there have been several new attacks that have broken into the competitive game with aplomb. Click each link to be taken to their Serebii page, where a full list of the Pokemon that learn each move can be found.

Psycho Shock/PsyStike
Type: Psychic
Base Power: 80 (Psycho Shock)/100 (PsyStrike)
Accuracy: 100
PP: 16
Effect: Inflicts special damage, however damage is calculated against the opponent's Defense state.
This move has revolutionised how many Pokemon are played. In previous generations, there was a sure-fire stop to virtually any special sweeper in the game- the pink fat blob known as Blissey. unless you could boost to astronomical levels while simultaneously being impervious to Blissey's own offensive options and status attacks, or running a decent strength physical attack, there was little hope of beating Blissey one-on-one. All this has changed with Psycho Shock. By hitting opponents with what is essentially a physical attack calculated off of your SpAtt stat, all manner of Pokemon can essentially function as mixed attackers without actually having to invest in both offensive stats. That means Blissey now has to function off of it's rather pathetic base 10 Defence, making it easy meat for 2HKOs off of even unboosted attacks.

However it is not without its disadvantages to its counterpart move, Psychic. As well as being weaker by a pretty large margin, you now have to contend with high Defence stats instead. While few pokes have the raw defensive prowess like Blissey does on the special spectrum, Steels such as Skarmory can no longer be bypassed by mono-attackers by sheer stat boosting. It's a choice that you should always weigh up when deciding which of the two moves you should pick.

PsyStrike functions identically to the aforementioned Psycho Shock, albeit with the higher base power of 100. However this move is exclusive to Mewtwo, a Pokemon limited to the Uber tier. While this certainly limits the exposure this move can get, it finds itself in an odd niche for this tier- a viable Psychic attack! With Ubers being populated with so many Psychic and Steel types, the coverage of Psychic moves is at an all time low in this tier, making them highly ineffective even as secondary STAB options. However the unique way in which damage is calculated can make Psycho Break a worthy option when a mixed Mewtwo set is called for.

Quiver Dance
Type: Bug
Base Power: N/A
Accuracy: N/A
PP: 20
Effect: Raises the user's SpAtt, SpDef and Speed stats by one stage.
This is a big one, the first of the three-stat boosting moves in the game, and arguably the best boosting move at that. The benefits of a Calm Mind with the speed increase give a truly new meaning to the term "bulky sweeper".

Flame Charge
Type: Fire
Base Power: 50
Accuracy: 100
PP: 20
Effect: Inflicts physical damage, increases the user's Speed by one stage.
In the same vein as Charge Beam, this attack inflicts minimal damage while providing a decent secondary effect, in this case a stat boost. While too weak to act as a primary attacking option or to replace conventional statting-up, it can be used as a scouting move in order to gain the ability to overcome whatever the opponent switches in.

Coil
Type: Poison
Base Power: N/A
Accuracy: N/A
PP: 20
Effect: Raises the user's Att, Def and Accuracy stats by one stage.
The second of the three-stat boosting moves, Coil Around essentially functions like Bulk Up, with the somewhat negligible Accuracy boost being a nice, if often unnecessary bonus. However there are several situations where this could come in handy. Arbok can now make use of Gunk Shot as a consistent STAB option, while Sand Veil and Snow Cloak abusers lose the advantage their abilities confer.

Clear Smog
Type: Poison
Base Power: 50
Accuracy: N/A
PP: 15
Effect: Deals special damage, resets changes to the target's stats.
A new method of PHazing, and the first to inflict actual damage (The first of two this generation, at least), Clear Smog is an excellent way of nullifying stat boosts by the opponent in that it is blocked by neither Taunt nor Substitute. Likewise it does not cause a switch, which can be of particular use if the newly-reset Pokemon is of little use without its stat rises, or if you do not risk letting a baton passer back onto the field.

Scald
Type: Water
Base Power: 80
Accuracy: 100
PP:15
Effect: Deals special damage, has a 30% chance to burn the target. Thaws out frozen targets.
Another great new move which radicalises how an entire sub-set of Pokemon can play, this time bulky waters. While already known for their proficiency at taking physical hits, Scald's high burn rate can exponentially increase their bulk, given the Attack drop burns cause. It can also condense two moveslots down to one, that of STAB attack and status move, allowing for more set versatility. Alternatively, the move reduces the reliance on Defence EVs to provide protection against physical attacks, leaving players with the option to invest in SpDef or other stats. A very impressive move indeed.

Shell Smash
Type: Normal
Base Power: N/A
Accuracy: N/A
PP: 15
Effect: Raises the user's Attack, Special Attack and Speed stats by two stages. Lowers the user's Defence and Special Defence stats by one stage.
The final three-stat boosting move, and also the only five-stat changing move, Shell Smash is both a sweeper's dream and nightmare. In essence, the user trades instant sweeping ability for all defensive capability. You'll be sure to crush most things with extremely powerful attacks, but anything that gets through to your HPis going to hurt a lot. Priority is especially dangerous. In short, an excellent move but not one to be spammed at the start of the game.

Hex
Type: Ghost
Base Power: 50
Accuracy: 100
PP: 10
Effect: Inflicts special damage. Base power is doubled if target is afflicted with a status ailment.
Somewhat situational, but of great use to spin blockers. Because if you've got a spin blocker, toxic spikes can't be very far away! A base 100 STAB attack against foes who poison themselves just by switching in can be very painful for the opponent.

Circle Throw/Dragon Tail
Type: Fighting (Circle Throw)/Dragon (Dragon Tail)
Base Power: 60
Accuracy: 90
PP: 10
Effect: Forces the target to switch. Negative priority.
Another new set of PHazing moves, these moves inflict decent damage and force switches, but at the cost of lower accuracy and being blocked by substitute. Both good choices if no other PHazing move is available, also great for racking up entry hazard damage.

Acrobatics
Type: Flying
Base Power: 55
Accuracy: 100
PP: 15
Effect: Inflicts physical damage, base power is doubled if the user is not holding an item.
This move can potentially make for an excellent attack for users with consumable items or fling, becoming a base 110 move with no drawbacks. A common strategy is to combine this move with a Flight Jewel (See "New Items"), to generate a base 165 power attack before STAB is even applied.

Retaliation
Type: Normal
Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 100
PP: 5
Effect: Inflicts physical damage, base power is doubled if one of the users Pokemon was knocked out in the previous turn.
A great move for revenge killers, allowing you to hit like a truck after getting a "free" switch in.

Life Gambit
Type: Fighting
Base Power: N/A
Accuracy N/A
PP: 5
Effect: User faints. Target takes damage equal to the remaining HP of the user when the move was used.
A new addition to the line of self-sacrifice moves, Life Gambit can strip virtually anything of huge chunks of HP if the user was healthy before going kamikaze. It also comes with the advantage that if used against a foe using protect or a substitute, it will simply fail rather that KOing the user needlessly.

Volt Change
Type: Electric
Base Power: 70
Accuracy: 100
PP: 20
Effect: Inflicts special damage, causes user to switch immediately after use.
The special equivalent to the ever-popular U-Turn, Volt Change makes an excellent scouting move for speedy pokes. The downside being that Electric has an immunity, making it less effective on choice-item users. Still a great move for spreading damage around though.

Work Up
Type: Normal
Base Power: N/A
Accuracy: N/A
PP: 30
Effect: Raises the user's Att and SpAtt stats one stage.
Another great new stat-up move, this time being of great benefit to mixed sweepers. It can also play mind games with opponents on non-mixed sweepers, making their ability to predict what kind of set they are facing, giving opportunities to grab surprise KOs.

Wild Charge
Type: Electric
Base Power: 90
Accuracy: 100
PP: 20
Effect: Inflicts physical damage, user takes recoil equal to 25% of the damage inflicted.
At last, electric types get a widely available physical STAB option to use over the rather underwhelming Thunder Punch. The recoil is also pretty low, although it may start to sting against high-HP targets (Blissey, for example).

Sacred Sword
Type: Fighting
Base Power: 90
Accuracy: 100
PP: 20
Effect: Inflicts physical damage, ignores changes to the target's stats.
While the four users of this move (The Musketeer Quartet) all have access to the more powerful Close Combat, this move's secondary effect makes it a worthy option, namely for its ability to break stat boosters with ease, while also leaving their own defences intact. With a perfectly decent base power, this is a very good choice for players looking for consistency rather than raw power.

Cotton Guard
Type: Grass
Base Power: N/A
Accuracy: N/A
PP: 10
Effect: Raises the user's defence stat three stages.
Another new variety of stat-up move, being the first to raise a single stat by anything more than two stages (Barring those with the Simple ability). The ability to escalate to +6 defence so quickly can turn any user into a defensive behemoth with ease.

Night Burst
Type: Dark
Base Power: 85
Accuracy: 95
PP: 10
Effect: Inflicts special damage, has a 40% chance of reducing the target's accuracy by one stage.
The signature move of Zoroak's line, this move functions as a very effective Dark STAB. The combination of the mind games it's Transform ability can cause and the potential accuracy drop can make Zoroak very difficult to pin down.

Ball of Flame
Type: Fire
Base Power: 100
Accuracy: 100
PP: 5
Effect: Inflicts special damage, has a 30% chance of burning the target.
Another signature move, this time exclusive to Victini. Essentially a superior version of Flamethrower in every regard, aside from the far lower PP. Still a very good option for this poke, however.

Bolt Strike
Type: Electric
Base Power: 130
Accuracy: 85
PP: 5
Effect: Inflicts physical damage, has a 20% of paralysing the target.
Still in signature move territory, this one belongs the Pokemon White's mascot, Zekrom. Arguably the best electric move in the game, it couples massive base power with decent paralysis rate and no drawback aside from accuracy.

Blue Flare
Type: Fire
Base Power: 130
Accuracy: 85
PP: 5
Effect: Inflicts special damage, has a 20% chance of burning the target.
The Yin to Zekrom's Yang, this is the signature move of Reshiram, overtaking Fire Blast as the highest damage Fire attack with no drawbacks. Another important thing to bare in mind is that thanks to Reshiram's ability Turboblaze, which negates the opponent's ability if it would weaken or negate a move, Reshiram can hit everything in the game with just its STAB combination for at least neutral, something that will never change unless nintendo introduce a completely new type.

Fiery Dance
Type: Fire
Base Power: 80
Accuracy: 100
PP: 10
Effect: Inflicts special damage, has a 50% chance of raising the user's SpAtt stat one stage.
The signature move of Volcarona, this move is especially useful when you consider its huge SpAtt stat and its access to Quiver Dance. The damage drop lost to Flamethrower is somewhat negligible when after a BD you are safe to throw Fiery Dances around until you reach sky-high attacking stats.

Honorable Mentions
Spoiler:

Hone Claws: A move that raises Attack and Accuracy by one stage apiece, it's a somewhat underwhelming stat-up move that may benefit those with no other options, but even then will provide a pretty negligible effect, and rarely preferable to the immediate boost offered by Choice Band.

Power Share/Guard Share: These moves average out the stats of the user and the target. Pain Split for the stats, if you will. Can potentially cripple opponents or elevate your own stats, but given how the averages tend to be low and how stat changes are removed by switching, they aren't likely to see any real use.

Venom Shock: A base 65 power Poison move that doubles if the opponent is poisoned, it can be useful in the same way Retaliation is. However poor coverage and the fact that poison is not guaranteed to be widespread make it a somewhat risky option.

Body Purge: Another Agility clone with an interesting secondary effect in that it halves the opponents weight, reducing the damage from Low Kick and Grass Knot. Unfortunately the vast majority of users are either so heavy that they still take base 100 damage from these moves, or have a quad weakness to them, or both.

Mountain Storm/Ice Breath: Base 40 damage moves (physical Fighting and special Ice respectively), that always get critical hits, essentially making them base 80 moves. Can be useful against stat-uppers, but otherwise inferior to Stone Edge and Ice Beam.

Gear Change: A perfectly decent stat-up move that increases Att by one stage and Speed by two, but if unfortunately limited to Gigigiaru's line, none of whom can make real use of it.

Incinerate: A base 30 Fire attack that instantly destroys the target's berry, if it is holding one. Very useful Little Cup where berries are very common, nigh on useless in the standard metagames.

Double Chop: A base 40 Dragon move which hits twice. Can be useful for hitting opponents hiding behind substitutes, but the low damage and base 90 accuracy rarely make it useful in the place of Outrage or Dragon Claw.

Afro Break: The signature move of Buffalon, this high damage/low recoil attack is by no means bad, but so limited that it will rarely be come across in any metagame.

Glaciated: A base 65 Ice attack exclusive to Kyurem, its utility comes in its ability to drag its opponent's speed down, easing prediction of switches and giving Kyurem the chance to attack whatever appears before it can. Too weak to be a reliable STAB move, however.

Icicle Drop: A base 85 Ice move, making it the strongest physical Ice attack excluding a boosted Avalanche or a 4-hit chain from the newly improved Icicle Spear. Not a bad move by any stretch, but the only Pokemon who learn it all have better STAB options, making it relatively redundant.

Cross Flame/Cross Thunder: The second signature attacks of Reshiram and Zekrom respectively, These base 100 moves are perfectly usable but overshadowed by their other signature moves in every instance other than multi-battles (Where they have to be used simultaneously to gain any benefit)

Last edited by Viva la Gofre; 07-10-2011 at 09:18 AM.
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