Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Competitive Battling Spotlight #30: Ability Three

            Today’s ability spotlight will be of the new ability Magic Bounce.

What it Does:

Regurgitates the effect of opponent’s non-attacking, status-inducing moves (i.e. Thunder Wave, Leech Seed, Taunt, etc).

If your opponent uses Will-O-Wisp on you, assuming it doesn’t miss or they are not of the Fire type, they will become burned instead of you.

Who Has It Now:

Only three Pokemon have this ability at the moment:

-Natu; Some of the worst stats ever, but then again, what can be expected from a pre-evolved Pokemon? I am only mentioning Natu here because 1) Magic Guard is a good ability, 2) It is one of only 3 things that gets it (including its evolution), and 3) It can be made use of as a decent support Pokemon in NU with Magic Bounce .

-Xatu; Stat-wise, Xatu is inferior to its Bouncing counterpart Espeon, but with an additional Flying typing it scores several notable resistances, chief amongst them to the common Fighting type, as well as an immunity. 95 Special Attack and Speed are not horrible either, so Xatu makes a good supporter in UU, as well as in OU with these aforementioned resistances.

-Espeon; With a great stat spread and movepool, Espeon makes a great support or offensive user of Magic Bounce, stopping threats that rely on non-attacking strategies in their tracks. A great OU supporter, be on the lookout for Magic Bounce Espeon.

Bouncing for Yourself:

When using Magic Bounce on your team, be cautious. Keep in mind that it is very likely that your opponent will also be playing cautiously, ideally avoiding setting up hazards or throwing a status move into the wind. For this reason, it is very important to attempt to learn from your foe’s playstyle before sending your Espeon to an unexpected doom.

In other words, prediction is key. If your opponent sends out Ferrothorn as their lead, you can either predict them to begin to lay up hazards and send in Espeon to bounce them back, or you can predict them to expect you to send Espeon in, therefore keeping it safe from a powerful STAB Gyro Ball.

This may sound confusing, but the most important thing to keep in mind when using Magic Bounce on your team is keeping your Bouncer alive longer than their hazard/status Pokemon. With the right amount of prediction this won’t be too hard to do.

Playing against Bouncers:

Just like when using Magic Bounce on your own team, playing against it effectively requires a solid amount of prediction. Team preview may just be Magic Bounce’s worst nightmare, and should help you when facing off against it, as you’ll know whether or not your opponent has it from the very beginning of battle. This means that if you see Espeon on the opposing team, you can play your Ferrothorn a little more safely to guarantee you get your hazards up when the time is right.

This means if you have Ferrothorn in and your opponent has a different Pokemon, you might want to hold off on setting up Stealth Rock or Leech Seeding the foe, lest they send in their Magic Bouncer to make your efforts in vain. If you do predict an Espeon switch, you may fire off a STAB Gyro Ball or Power Whip, both of which will do loads of damage, hitting both Esp and Xatu from their weaker defensive side (ensuring a 2HKO on all standard variants).

Who Should Get It:

-Bronzong; With a superb defensive typing and stats to boot, Zong would make an extremely effective, extremely annoying, abuser of Magic Bounce. Sure, losing out on Levitate is a downer, but with the capability of forgoing entry hazards and being immune to status and Taunt would make this ancient bell ring with potency.

-Starmie; Fast, powerful, and capable of Recovering off stray damage, Starmie would become a deadly Bouncer for most rain teams, becoming both offensively and defensively threatening like never before. Magic Bounce would also render Rapid Spin semi-obsolete on most sets, allowing you to fill that slot with another, more effective choice.

-Mismagius; A fast, bulky Ghost with decent support options and a good Special Attack make Mismagius one tough threat to shake. Add in an ability to never be Paralyzed or Taunted again, and you’ve got yourself one solid counter to most of today’s common UU Ghost threats.

-Deoxys; Considering only Defense and Speed forms are available in the metagame, Deoxys would make a massive threat in combination with its formidable stats and a new addition of Magic Bounce. Deoxys-D can already take hits all day from all types of threats, making it perhaps the perfect Pokemon to speculatively receive Magic Bounce. While this would become one of the best supporters in the entire meta, I think it’s safe to say Deoxys-D not having MB generally is a good thing for the time being. Otherwise it just wouldn’t die!

How It Could Be Better:

Magic Bounce really can’t get too much better than it already is, but if I had to choose an improvement, I’d say that even added effects from certain attacks should be bounced back. Could you imagine Suicune’s Scald burning itself instead of your Xatu? That would indeed make Magic Bounce several times more effective, but it doesn’t take away from the already outstanding effects of this ability.


Limited to only 3 users makes Magic Bounce a very unique ability. And though only two of those are even remotely viable in the competitive realm, and that they share a common typing and similarly poor defensive stats, it remains a very helpful ability. Use Magic Bounce to help you get the edge over your opponent’s team, as it can often times stop certain Pokemon dead in their tracks.

No comments:

Post a Comment