You know, guys, I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Between it being convention season, trying to work on the next issue of The Redeemers, my day job, I’ve been one busy little Ability Editor. Makes it difficult to decide on a topic and write an article every week, you know? It’s a lot of pressure! Wait… wait! That’s it! That’s the weak lead-in for this week’s editorial! This is Ability of the Week: Pressure!
Ah, Pressure. Any good legendary-hunter should already be pretty familiar with this Ability, but for anyone not in the know, let me break it down for you. This one was introduced in the Ability base set in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Versions, where it was primarily the signature Ability of nearly every legendary pokémon- a trend that continued into generation four. A few fifth-gen monsters also received this Ability, though all but one of the legends was left out of the Pressure party. The total number of pokémon that have access to Pressure is twenty-three. Pressure’s function is to cause your opponent to burn through their moves’ PP quicker. Each time your opponent (or ally) successfully lands an attack on, or executes a self-affecting move against a Pressure-user, two PP is used up. Pressure also has an overworld effect of increasing the chance of randomly encountering a wild pokémon of a higher level when the user is at the head of your party. (Serebii readers- I’ve checked this on Serebii, Bulbapedia, iPokédex, Veekun, and Smogon. Serebii is wrong.)
As I said, most of the pokémon that can use Pressure are legendary pokémon. All the legendaries native to Kanto and Johto (except for Mew and Celebi), Sinnoh’s dragon trio, Deoxys and Kyurem all have Pressure as their only natural Ability (most can acquire an alternate Ability in the Dream World). Of course, most legendaries are banned from official play and personally, I don’t ever use them as a personal rule, so I won’t be discussing battle strategies for any of these pokémon. G’night, everybody!
…Okay, you got me. There’s still eleven pokémon over eight evolutionary lines that have access to Pressure that are not legendaries, so let’s move into them. Not counting prior evolutions, your options here are Aerodactyl, Vespiquen, Spiritomb, Weavile, Wailord, Absol, Dusknoir, and Bisharp. So, how are you to use these guys to take advantage of Pressure? Well, as far as I’m concerned, the main incentive of using a pokémon with Pressure is to cause your opponent’s pokémon to use up all their PP and become completely defenseless, effectively the pokémon version of a making your opponet "deck" themselves in the TCG. At that point, you just send out a wall and let your opponent Struggle themselves to a KO. There’s a couple of monsters in that selection that have the moves and stats to do something like that, and we’re going to look at three of them: Spiritomb, Weavile, and Dusknoir.
Spiritomb has access to the three moves that this Editor considers to be Pressure’s most complimentary moves: Spite, Taunt, and Torment. When you use Spite, the last move your opponent used will have its PP reduced by four (this has changed several times since Spite’s introduction in generation two). This, combined with Pressure will mean your opponent must use six PP each turn! With Taunt, your opponent will be forced to use nothing but attack moves for three turns. Combine Taunt with Spite and Pressure, and you’ve got a pretty devastating combo when you consider that many powerhouse moves like Earthquake or Stone Edge only have five to ten PP. Further annoy your opponent by combining all these with Torment. At this point, your opponent can only use attacking moves, never the same one twice in a row, and they’re losing six PP each turn. It’s also worth mentioning that Spiritomb has access to a STAB’d Sucker Punch (120 base damage), which you can combine with Taunt!
Weavile is a little too brittle to rely on to execute the same strategy as Spiritomb, though it does have access to the same three moves. It does, however, also have access to two decreased priority Payback-style attacks and a wicked 120 base Attack stat. The extra PP used up by Pressure is just gravy when you can hit your opponent with a STAB’d Avalanche, as far as I’m concered.
You might be saying, “Hey, tubby. All this PP reducing doesn’t mean squat if your opponent switches out!” And you’re right! And don’t call me fat! I can do that myself! Here’s Dusknoir. Dusknoir has a low HP stat, but pretty darn bulky Defense and Special Defense. While he can’t take advantage of Spite like Spiritomb or Weavile, he can give your opponent a Mean Look and do the Taunt/Torment/Pressure combo, and he can augment it with Disable. And, while not as high as Weavile’s, he does boast a significant Attack stat. This, combined with his low speed, makes him an ideal Payback-user.
Or you could just be a jerk and use Giratina or something- ha ha!
If you’ve stuck around this long, kudos to you; I think this is the longest AOTW I’ve written so far, but I hope you found it inspiring and entertaining! And that does it for me! This is your eccentric editor of all things Ability, signing out!