Sunday, May 8, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #11: New Pokemon Five

 The winner of the first Poll, the Fifth new Pokemon to be Spotlighted, Jellicent.

Tier: OU (as of January 2012) 
H.P.: 100
Attk: 60
Def.: 70
Sp.A: 85
Sp.D: 105
Spe: 60

Abilities:  Water Absorb: Quite an excellent ability for such a bulky Pokemon, this allows Jellicent the capability of switching in to a lot more hits, also giving it a very useful immunity. With the ability to replenish some of its tremendous health by merely switching into a predicted Hydro Pump, Jellicent’s usability and great bulk really benefit here. A superb option.

Cursed Body: This new ability provides a 30% chance for the opponent’s most recent move (as long as it made physical contact with Jell) to become disabled. This is an excellent choice for this new Bulky Water, for it adds a new means of defense to its list, the possibility of it not being hit by the same move twice in a row. This gives you an opportunity to Recover off damage taken from previous turns, and is an excellent absorber of Choice Band attacks (though not SE ones).

Damp: Damp has never really appealed to me at all. Though it stops the opponent from BOOMing in your face, there is really no other bright side to it. Additionally, with the Explosion nerf in the 5th Generation (it no longer halves the opponent’s Defense), it is likely to be much less used this time around. What’s more, Jellicent is immune to Explosion and Selfdestruct. So, like, it won’t take damage from them anyway…yeah, I’m just gonna stop there and hope you understand how pointless this is.

Analysis:  Jellicent is the premier Bulky Water of its generation. With superb Specially Defensive potential, a wondrous HP stat, and sub-par but still not awful Defense, there really is no better term to characterize it. It is unique, so much to the point where it is in the Top Twenty of usage statistics in OU (as of May 1st, 2011), and while its movepool and stats are nothing to completely grovel over, it truly does hold its place as a solid Wall/Tank in the new metagame and is revered namely for its distinctive typing and its near-perfect synergy with Ferrothorn.

Potential Sets: 

1.      1. Jelly Special Wall
252 HP/24 Def/232 Sp.Def
Bold/Calm @ Leftovers
-Hex/Shadow Ball/Protect

            It’s easy to point out what Jellicent is good at, and this set utilizes that to a great extent. Absorbing hits, particularly of the Special classification, is truly what this big blob of royal jellyfishness is good at. Also, with a decent amount of support/stall options, it really serves as a wonderful Wall/Annoyer capable of taking hits and gradually lowering the opponent’s longevity. Unfortunately, this set does come at a cost. While Jellicent is primed for taking Special hits, a lack of investment in its lesser defensive stat really shows; it can be demolished without a second thought by Super Effective, and even Neutral, Physical Sweepers. Still, with what this Pokemon was given, it can attempt to cripple Physical Attackers with Wisp (or a 30% chance from Scald) or take them down slowly with Toxic, Recover, and a few switch-ins (and outs).

2.      2. U Jelly? (Taunt)
248 HP/212 Def/48 Spe
Bold @ Leftovers

Access to Taunt really helps things either with great Speed or great Bulk. Jellicent is the latter, and with a significant amount of investment and a Bold nature, its Physical Tanking days are just beginning. A slight contribution of EVs in its Speed stat allow it to be faster than a number of other Wall-ish (though still quite slow) threats, and give it the ability to Taunt them before they are able to set anything up. Also, if you can predict a good switch into something that likes to setup, you can shut them down nicely before they do. The remainder of the set again focuses on Status-ing the opponent and whittling down their HP as you Recover yours up.  

3.      3. Bulky Wost (Water-Ghost)
252 HP/252 Def/4 Sp.Def
Bold @ Leftovers  
-Shadow Ball/Toxic/Protect

A dedicated Physical Wall. While the other sets were fair in their distribution of EVs, this one asks no questions and becomes a decent check to numerous Physical threats like Scizor, Blaziken (though it’s now banned), Infernape, Darmanitan, etc. Seriously, 100 base HP is a blessing. The rest of the set, as always, employs the same other things that Jellicent utilizes the best. Not much more to say.

4.      4. Water Spout
248 HP/144 Def/116 Sp. Atk
Bold @ Leftovers
-Toxic/Shadow Ball   
-Water Spout  

An interesting attempt here, I saw that, with Water Spout, a good amount of bulk, and Recover, Jellicent might be able to pull this off nicely. The EVs are a little weird here, but, I mean, Jellicent isn’t entirely not weird itself. For this variant, try to Toxic the opponent first, so that you can get a good amount of damage on them in the long run. Protect + Lefties is nice, and with Recover allows a great means of restoring that viable ammunition to Jell’s Water Spout, its Hit Points. I’ll say it here first: this set is essentially a gimmick and is not expected to work wonders on other teams, especially with Spout capping at 8 PP. This is just here if you’re tired of using ‘Cent for what it’s good at and wanna show off with the “element of surprise”. All in all, if used properly, this set does have the potential to ideally wash out your opponent.

5.      5. Trick Room
248 HP/216 Def/44 Sp.Def  (0 Speed IVs)
Relaxed @ Leftovers
-Trick Room

            Last but not least, Trick Room. This set is also not ideal for what Jellicent can do, but it is decent at switching up the dimensions. With the given EV spread, Jellicent can take a good number of hits from really almost anything, allowing it to set up TR without question. Once up, with 0 IVs, a Relaxed nature, and a meager 60 base Speed, you’re free to Recover off the damage, poison and/or Taunt your opponent, and sear them to death with a torrent of scalding hot water. Or you can switch out to a slow Sweeper that can utilize Trick Room better.

            It is arguable that a good portion of Jellicent’s high usage ranking has been a result of the monstrous Ferrothorn’s steely ascent, but without the spike-ball’s synergy, Jellicent is still a decently effective Tank. Though many of its sets (as you’ve now seen) look vastly similar, this only seems to reflect the potential this floating King of doomed waters has in the forthcoming metagame. Also, because it does not have the variety of things like Bronzong, Forretress, and even Ferrothorn, it becomes able to focus more on what it can do. While this lack of versatility does have its downsides (i.e. predictability), there is absolutely no doubt that this is a great Pokemon, and an asset to really almost any type of team.

            In terms of design, Jellicent really exhibits qualities of the families of both of its types. Though it tends to look more like a Ghost to me, it is fishy features do stand out, with its wiggly-like arms and its deep blue coloration. It is also one of only two families of 5th gen Pokemon to have a gender-difference, the other being the Unfezants. Both genders of Jellicent are very cool and unique, though I can’t help thinking of the episode of Spongebob in which the “King Jellyfish” pursues Spongebob and his role model Kevin (and his group of Jellyfishing goonies). It has also been said several times that the male version of this Poke looks a lot like the Pringles guy. I am not going to refute that.

Competitive Usability: 9 out of 10 

Aesthetic Design: 8 out of 10

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