There are some features that make a Pokèmon very desirable in draft leagues.Some of the more well known ones are Electric types, Defoggers and versatility.The biggest upsides for Electric as a typing are the lack of weaknesses (only weak to ground) and Volt Switch.The momentum gained from it is crucial in the format since teams usually have a few star pokèmon that do the heavy lifting. Protecting these from damage and enabling them to apply pressure is one of the best things low tier pokèmon can achieve and these two tier 5 “losers” do it very well wich makes me wonder why they have not been used so far.
How to use them
Actually that is not true. El Scizor and the Borussia Donphan picked up Luxray in the 4th week of season 5. However, it was not used a lot and since it did not get drafted initially in any season, I think it is still eligible to being called underrated.
Even though its best stat is the 120 base attack, Luxrays main role is that of a defensive pivot. Intimidate is a great ability to have on weaker pokèmon since it always cripples physical attackers regardless of the actual power of the user. This also applies to other chip damage/crippling abilities like Rough Skin, Flame Body and Static. Here, it allows Luxray to take physical attack surprisingly well and a slow Volt Switch is great to gain momentum or bring in vulnerable pokèmon like Weavile or Talonflame. It has many attacking types in its arsenal but often has to settle for the inferior version. Instead of the elemental punches it only has the fangs and instead of Close Combat is has to be content with Superpower. Wild Charge as the main STAB-move is also suboptimal since the recoil will keep Luxray from sticking around longer. The best items are probly Rocky Helmet, Assault Vest and Sitrus Berry to improve your chip damage, bulk or staying power. A few more interesting moves are: Roar, Snarl and Thunder Wave. An offensive set with Guts and Facade is also possible but lacks the speed to really make use of Luxrays attack stat.
I’ll be honest. The reason I wanted to include Drifblim in here was Defog and Aftermath. Suicidal utility is very effective coming from low tiers. Once I started looking into its expanded movepool it became clear that it can be extremely effective and I am going to make the bold claim that it is in the TOP 10 OF TIER 5 POKÈMON.
Let’s calm down for a bit and look at what it actually has to offer. The base hp of 150! seems tempting but the underwhelming defense stats hold it back quite a bit. The overall bulk is still decent in tier 5 but it could have been so much more. The ability Aftermath is one of the best you can have on this type of pokèmon. Potentially losing a quarter of their max health to a sack will make people very cautious around the DEMON KING DISGUISED AS A BALLON! Ghost/Flying is an amazing typing as well. Important immunities to Fighting/Normal and Ground are great to have. Spin blocking is especially useful. Speaking of hazard control Drifblim learns Defog wich any team enjoys in their lineup. Utility in general is probably its biggest selling point. Not convinced? Well I have this list: Clear Smog, Haze, Baton Pass, Calm Mind, Memento, Disable, Knock Off, Pain Split, Sucker Punch, Thunder Wave, Destiny Bond, Trick, Will-O-Wisp, Icy Wind, Skill Swap, Magic Coat and Weather Ball. Drifblim is a damn swiss army knife.
I guess I failed at that calming down part. Anyway this MONS… I mean underrated low tier Pokèmon obviously has some downsides attached to keep it in check. One of the biggest problems is lackluster recovery. Drifblim is one of the few Flying types that do not learn Roost. There are other options available like Stockpile/Swallow and Rest (Resto-Chesto into Unburden anyone?) but they just dont feel the same. Pain Split is largely useless due to its insane hp stat anyway.
The offensive movepool is functional but not outstanding. Hex and Knock Off are probably the more effective options but Drifblim is not supposed to be a sweeper anyway. You can still use Unburden for some offensive plays but it does not allow for attack enhancing items like Life Orb wich really stops any sweep attempts. The most effective Unburden triggers are probably Chesto/Resto, Power Herb/Phantom Force/Fly and Natural Gift. Still Drifblim can do so many things on a slim budget that you are guaranteed to get a lot of bang for your buck.
- @Chesto Berry
- Ability: Intimidate
- HP 252 Atk 12 Def 244 Relaxed
- Volt Switch
- Superpower/ Ice Fang/ Fire Fang/Signal Beam/Hidden Power
- Wild Charge
- @Flame Orb
- Ability: Guts
- Atk 252 SpDef 4 Speed 252 Jolly
- Wild Charge
- Quick Attack
- Crunch/Ice Fang
- @Chesto Berry
- Ability: Unburden
- Atk 252 SpDef 204 Speed 56 Careful
- Destiny Bond
- @Rocky Helmet
- Ability: Aftermath
- Def 252 SpAtk 4 SpDef 252 Bold/Calm
- Clear Smog
- Will-O-Wisp/Thunder Wave
There are still many hidden treasures buried deep in tier 5. Most of them should only be used as enhancing talent to your core but every man with two hands has a fighting chance. The choice of your benchplayers is more important than most players realize and they often offer the crucial bit of spice to really unlock your teams potential. They are more than just waterboys.
[Oct 3rd, 2016]