Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #26: Old Pokemon Seven

Medicham, An oddity in both appearance and Competitive potential.
The Meditate Pokemon

H.P.: 60
Attk: 60
Def.: 75
Sp.A: 60
Sp.D: 75
Spe: 80

Tier: RU (as of October 2011)

Pure Power: Doubles the Pokemon's Attack stat. If you didn't know what this ability did before reading this, just know that it is the only thing that makes Medicham even remotely viable in the current metagame, and for good reason. Doubling the meager base 60 Attack gives this Pokemon usability that bottom-feeder NU monsters would kill to have. Such a wonderful ability on such a would-be godawful Pokemon.

Telepathy:  Takes no damage from teammates' attacks in a Double or Triple Battle. When given; a) Medicham's other options for ability, b) The fact that it would suck horrendously with any ability other than Pure Power, and c) The fact that no one would use Medicham in Doubles and Triples anyway, it should be apparent that Telepathy is a waste on this Pokemon. Stick with Pure Power.


        Medicham is perhaps one of the most interesting Pokemon competitively, with awful stats across the board that naturally do nothing to compliment its good typing. However, thanks to Pure Power, Medicham's viability receives a welcomed aid, giving it essentially one of the best outright Attack stats in the game. Still, with a below average Speed and quite low defenses, Cham has always been relegated to the lower end of the usage curve, standing out only to some.

        There is hope for it still, though. 80 base Speed, while nothing in particular to gawk over, is idealized with a Scarf set, backed by 438 Attack with a Jolly nature and great coverage overall. These assets are also made much more profound with a Choice Band equipped, giving Cham the potential to destroy top threats in virtually any tier.

Potential Sets: 

     1. MediChoice Band
         6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
         Adamant/Jolly @ Choice Band
         -Bullet Punch
         -Hi Jump Kick
         -Ice Punch
         -Rock Slide/Psycho Cut/Drain Punch

        Pure Power gives Medicham a raw Attack stat higher than the likes of even Haxorus and Darmanitan, meaning that with a Choice Band, it has potential to hit harder than nearly anything unboosted in the current metagame. This is only made greater by the fact that Fighting is an excellent STAB type to have. Add in the fact that Ice Punch and Rock Slide give it near-perfect coverage, and you have one very promising offensive powerhouse on your hands.
        Unfortunately, with lack of good Speed and bulk, this set is optimized through use of forcing and predicting switches, but if you are actually able to connect with the right move, you will not be sorry. Your opponent might, though.

   2. Leadicham
       6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
       Jolly @ Life Orb
       -Fake Out

       -Bullet Punch

       -Hi Jump Kick

       -Rock Slide/Ice Punch/Recover

        With its natural strength and access to Fake Out and some good coverage options, Cham makes a reliable choice for a lead slot, threatening a lot of common first-turn foes. Fake Out is a staple on this set, scoring loads of damage on frailer opponents and working to generally scout your opponent's next move. STAB Hi Jump Kick rounds off coverage nicely, and destroys anything weak or neutral to it, while Bullet Punch is for added priority after using the first-turn Fake Out. The last slot is there to fill up coverage holes, as both Rock Slide and Ice Punch work well with Hi Jump Kick. Recover may also be selected to increase longevity and nullify Life Orb damage, though the opportunities to get up a free Recover without being hit and KO-ed by an opponent's move are slim.

   3. Bulk Up
       252 HP/6 Atk/252 Sp.Def
       Careful @ Leftovers
       -Bulk Up

       -Bullet Punch/Substitute/Recover

       -Drain Punch

       -Ice Punch/Rock Slide

        Although Medicham is quite notably frail, it does have usable bulk when used as the focus for a set. That, and access to Bullk Up as means of increasing its already-superb Attack to even greater heights (with no investment at all, it has 312 Attack initially). With STAB Drain Punch for recovery, this set really has a lot going for it if played correctly. Rock Slide is great for coverage in OU, while Ice Punch yields better coverage against the threats of the lower tiers. Priority in the form of Bullet Punch is nice here, as without any Speed Cham will be much slower than usual, but if you'd like to go for a safer, more bulky route, Substitute may also be employed. Also, if you'd prefer brute power over the ability to recover some HP, you may choose Hi Jump Kick over Drain Punch and Recover over Bullet Punch/Sub.

4. ScarfCham

       6 HP/252 Atk/252 Spe
       Jolly/Adamant @ Choice Scarf

       -Hi Jump Kick

       -Rock Slide

       -Ice Punch

       -Psycho Cut/Drain Punch

      With Choice Scarf, Medicham becomes noticeably faster, becomeing able to outspeed countless threats it would not otherwise and smack them with a powerful hit. Bullet Punch is a bit unnecessary here, so the best optimal coverage is displayed above. Psycho Cut may be used for powerful STAB, while Drain Punch is good for pseudo-recovery. It should be recognized that this set, with a Jolly nature and the given EVs, hits 400+ with both its Attack and Speed stats, making it a very underrated revenge killer in OU, UU and RU alike.


        Medicham has always fallen victim to its own list of flaws, which accounts for its very low tiering placement since its introduction in Ruby and Sapphire. The good news about this, however, is that Medicham can be used in virtually any tier (bar NU) thanks to its low usage, making it effective in even the upper tiers. So while many are laughing in Cham's face for its "sucky" potential, you should be giving it a shot on one of your teams. It's really one of the most underrated competitively competent Monsters in today's game.

  Competitive Usability: 
  •  An Attack stat of over 400 with Pure Power. 
  • STAB Fighting 
  • A decent physical movepool, including Rock Slide and Ice Punch for coverage 
  • Lack of bulk and support options. 
  • Below average Speed.
Verdict:  8 out of 10 
         Design-wise, Medicham isn't pretty. It's a Fighting type, which means it has a starkly humanoid shape, but its skinny body and odd posture keep you from wishing it was anything close. It also has big lips and some odd headpiece thing that resemble a woopie-cushion or a flattened fish screaming for help. Its got a cool coloration on both the normal and shiny sprites, and the concept is cool, but otherwise that's as far as Medicham goes for me in the appeal factor.
        Aesthetic Design: 6 out of 10

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