Monday, October 31, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #25: Ability One

            In accordance with the new posting schedule, today accounts for our first day of the week, as well as the first Competitive Ability Spotlight. Today’s ability is Mold Breaker.

            Description (What it Does):

Mold Breaker “breaks the mold” of the opponent’s ability, allowing it to ignore certain abilities when attacking.

 Haxorus with Mold Breaker can hit Flygon, Rotom-W, Bronzong, and other Pokemon with Earthquake, despite them having the Levitate ability.

Pinsir (and all other Mold Breakers) can cause a flinch on Crobat, despite it having Inner Focus.

            Who Has It Now:

-Pinsir; Excellent offensive presence, decent Speed and a pretty good physical movepool make this currently Pinsir’s best choice.  

-Rampardos; The second best Attack stat in the entire game! That’s Pardos’s selling point; all the rest of its stats are garbage. 58 Speed is, however, decent for a Choice Scarf or Rock Polish set to start ripping holes through teams with Mold Breaker.

-Haxorus; Powerful, kinda fast, STAB Dragon. Mold Breaker gives Haxorus perfect coverage on everything in the metagame with just Outrage and Earthquake, bar a particularly annoying metal bird.

Who Gets It Through Dream World:

-Excadrill; The ability to hit Bronzong with your STAB Earthquakes is tempting, but I think everyone can agree that Sand Rush is superior. Still, the now-Uber mole might find breaking Lugia’s Multiscale (when released) to be very useful…

-Sawk; Though Mold Breaker is an ideally offensive ability, it might garner some usability on this pretty bulky Fighting type.

-Throh; With similar offensive stats to Heracross, Mold Breaker can serve its purpose against Sturdy abusers like Donphan, and Snow Cloak Frosslass in UU.

-Basculin; Cool! This sub-par Sharpedo knock-off can hit Water Absorbers on the switch without healing off their damage!

-Druddigon; As a Dragon type with great power and reasonable bulk, Dragon Tailing out annoying Suction Cuppers like Cradily might definitely come in handy.

What Abilities Does it Break?:

    Battle Armor
    Big Pecks
    Clear Body
    Dry Skin
    Flash Fire
    Flower Gift
    Heavy Metal
    Hyper Cutter
    Inner Focus
    Keen Eye
    Leaf Guard
    Light Metal
    Magic Bounce
    Magma Armor
    Marvel Scale
    Motor Drive
    Own Tempo
    Sand Veil
    Shell Armor
    Shield Dust
    Snow Cloak
    Solid Rock
    Sticky Hold
    Storm Drain
    Suction Cups
    Tangled Feet
    Thick Fat
    Vital Spirit
    Volt Absorb
    Water Absorb
    Water Veil
    White Smoke
    Wonder Guard
    Wonder Skin

Why It’s Good:

Mold Breaker is excellent because it gives its holders a very prominent offensive presence that they might not otherwise secure. The ability to hit certain threats that would otherwise shrug off a move or garner a benefit from it for themselves is nearly unrivaled in the Pokemon Kingdom. It also helps greatly that just about every single user of Mold Breaker has a strong Attack stat, which bolsters Mold Breaker’s usability near twofold.

Generally, this ability provides some edge over other offensive threats, and usually serves to distinguish its holders as prominent offensive threats in their respective tiers. Haxorus is indeed the best user of it at the moment, but I recommend trying out some of the lower tier guys like Pinsir and Throh to see how they play around certain opponents that rely solely on their abilities to make a difference.

How It Could Be Better:

While it is no doubt a blessing, I think Mold Breaker could take its ability-stopping a bit further, perhaps even to the point where it negates all abilities upon attacking the opponent. This could come in serious handy this generation, with the dawn of highly-impenetrable Weather abusers like Swift Swim Kingdra or Chlorophyll Venusaur. Imagine being able to outspeed them with your Choice Banded Haxorus and score the OHKO you might otherwise desperately need? Stopping them, the annoying-as-hell Serene Grace abuser Jirachi, and countless others would make Mold Breaker a true ability of the gods, but for now we can marvel in the fact that it still gives us more competitive benefit than an ability like Keen Eye or Big Pecks.


Mold Breaker is a quite underrated trait in the current metagame, owing to the fact that the majority of its current holders are not strong competitive choices, being outclassed by superior threats. This overshadowing should not mean that these Pokemon suck, however. Surely things could be better, but as they are now, Mold Breaker remains as one of the most uniquely successful abilities in the entire game, and should be considered as such. Go ahead and try it for yourself!

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