I’ve brought this up more times than I care to admit lately, Abiliteers, but having covered about 2/3rds of the many Abilities in Pokémon, it gets harder and harder every week to find an interesting topic to discuss. But, folks, it appears that I’ve managed to overlook a fun one. That, or I wanted a sufficient amount to time to pass from Travis talking about it before I covered it. Either way, we’re kamikazing it up in today’s Ability of the Week: Reckless!
Reckless is a risky little Ability introduced when we first set eyes on the Sinnoh region in generation four. Whenever a pokémon with Reckless attacks using a move that inflicts recoil (or crash) damage onto themselves, the base power of that move is increased by a pretty impressive 20%! Upon its inception, it was the signature Ability of Hitmonlee, but thanks to the introduction of some Unova pokémon as well as the Dream World feature, the roster of users has been expanded to a more robust eleven. Basculin and Samuel L. Jackson Bouffalant gain the Ability naturally, while the likes of Rhyperior, Emboar, and Staraptor will find their more rash natures via the Dream World.
So, let’s take a closer look at best contenders. First, though, an honorable mention to the originator of the Ability, Hitmonlee, who regrettably doesn’t make the cut for my money. Hitmonlee, while being the Reckless beta tester, only has access to two attacks with recoil: Jump Kick and Hi Jump Kick. Now, he’s got the stats to make those into OHKO moves, especially with Reckless backing it up, but variety is the spice of life, says I, and I want more than just one move on my pokémon to take advantage of an offensive Ability! Travis already discussed how great Bouffalant is with Head Charge last year, so no sense in repeating it. I should add, though, that Bouffalant has access to Wild Charge for some Electric variation. And this brings me to the three I’d like to discuss today: our beefy Dream World Reckless-users!
Rhyperior suffers from the same flaw as Hitmonlee, having only one significant recoil-inflicting attack. Namely, Double-Edge. The rocky rhino also has access to Take Down, but let’s face it, it’s a powered down Double-Edge. The biggest difference is that Rhyperior is a huge powerhouse to begin with, and has the stats to not become a glass cannon, which is the biggest drawback to any Reckless pokémon. You could even power up the beastie with a Life Orb for more butt-kicking potential. Moving on, let’s look at Staraptor. The gen four Pidgeot proxy (it so is, shut up) has an impressive Attack stat to back up two STAB’d recoil attacks, Brave Bird and yet another Double-Edge. It’s also pretty darn speedy. With a Speed stat of 100, a Choice Scarf will definitely turn Staraptor into a lean, mean, execution machine. Finally, let’s talk about the big pig on campus, Dream World Emboar! This guy can load up all four of its move slots with a recoil attack, and all of them a different elemental alignment. First, a STAB’d Flare Blitz, to Head Smash, to Wild Charge, and rounding out the list with Take Down. Now, do I recommend using all four of Emboar’s move slots with Reckless attacks? No I do not. But it’s a possibility! No, Reckless, by its nature, will force your pokémon to only last a few turns, so putting four recoil attacks on a single monster isn’t going to pay off. Pick your favorite two, and maybe a Fighting move to get your other STAB. Then for the fourth move perhaps a stat-alteration.
So, Reckless. After all we’ve discussed, what’s the practical application? Well, something you hear about a lot is scenarios where a trainer might have a perfectly good team already assembled, but only composed of five pokémon. A Reckless pokémon might make for a good space-filler. Sort of a powerhouse trump card to play when your intricate strategy just won’t work out and you need some raw power in your corner. And that does it for me this week, trainers! See you next time!