A new Pokémon game means that there are new abilities to learn about! In this article, let’s take a look at the all of the confirmed Abilities that Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced, changes to the old Abilities, and what sort of strategies we can do with them.
Battery: The Pokémon with this ability powers up its ally Pokémon’s special moves in a double battle. Charjabug has this ability. This won’t get much use given Charjabug is a middle-stage evolution.
Battle Bond: This is a new ability that Greninja has. It changes into its new “Ash-Greninja” form whenever it faints the opposing Pokémon. Perhaps this ability will be most-effective if you have a strong opportunity to revenge-kill an enemy Pokémon, or if you feel that you can clean up the remainder of your opponent’s weakened Pokémon.
Beast Boost: Whenever a Pokémon with this ability knocks out an opposing Pokémon, it raises its highest stat by 1 (e.g. if Speed is its highest stat, then the ability raises its Speed). Each of the Ultra Beasts has this Ability. This is somewhat like Moxie, with varying degrees of use depending on the Ultra Beasts.
Comatose: The Pokémon is always considered to have the Sleep-condition, so moves that would affect Pokémon while asleep will always work on the Pokémon with this ability. Komala is the only Pokémon that has this ability so far however.
Corrosion: This new Ability allows the Pokémon to inflict the Poison status to Poison and Steel-type Pokémon! So, if you’re looking to wear down those extremely defensive Poison- and Steel-type Pokémon like Skarmory, Weezing, or Mega-Steelix, this new Ability can come in handy! The new Poison/Fire Pokémon Salandit and Salazzle has this ability.
Dancer: Whenever there is a Pokémon in the field who uses a move with the word “dance” in it, then the Pokémon with this Ability uses the same move right away. Any of the dancing moves which includes: Rain Dance, Teeter Dance, Swords Dance, Petal Dance, Quiver Dance, Dragon Dance, Feather Dance, and even Lunar Dance. Oricorio, the dancing Pokémon, gets this Ability. Perhaps it might serve better in doubles battles, but it will be interesting to see how this Ability can be used effectively.
Dazzling: A Pokémon with this Ability prevents its opponent on attacking with any priority moves (e.g. Quick Attack and Extreme Speed). This is one of Bruxish’s Abilities. This effectively shuts down some Pokémon sets that rely on priority moves after say a Swords Dance.
Disguise: With this Ability, Mimikyu has a cover that protects itself from one attack. A bonus turn to stay in the game is appreciated, and if used on a switch-in, especially if timed to negate, say, a Z-Move, Mimikyu will make the most of this Ability.
Electric Surge: Automatically turns the arena into an Electric Terrain field. This is Tapu Koko’s only available Ability. This grants a useful amount of buffs, such as boosting the power of Electric-type attacks and blocking any Sleep Status effects. Other Pokémon such as Alolan Raichu benefit from this Terrain and lends itself nicely to Doubles.
Emergency Exit: This is Golisopod’s Ability. It allows the Pokémon to automatically switch out once whenever their HP becomes 50% or less from their maximum. This combines especially nicely with Golisopod’s unique attack of First Impression, which can only be used the first turn Golisopod has switched in. Given it has 90 Base Power and comes with STAB (Same Type Attack Boost), it’s not a bad ploy!
Fluffy: With this Ability, Stufful and Bewear halves the damage from contact moves, but Fire-type moves against it are double the damage. Added Defense in cases is nice, but not necessarily at the cost of a new weakness.
Full Metal Body: This Ability prevents opposing Pokémon from lowering the owner of this Ability’s stats. Solgaleo has this Ability. This negates the like of Intimidate and side effects from moves such as Shadow Ball.
Galvanize: This Ability increases the power of the user’s Normal-type moves by 20%, and turns them into Electric-type moves. Alolan Geodude, Graveler, and Golem can all have this ability as Hidden Abilities. It gets a few moves that benefit from this nicely, including Return and Explosion.
Grassy Surge: Automatically turns the arena into an Grassy Terrain field. This is Tapu Bulu’s exclusive Ability. Grassy Terrain adds a Leftovers effect to grounded Pokémon and boosts Grass-type moves used by affected Pokémon.
Innards Out: With this, the attacker who lands the finishing hit gets damaged by the amount equal to its last HP. This is the primary Ability that Pyukumuku has. Given Pyukumuku has no directly damaging attacks, this adds a lot for opponents to consider in getting rid of it.
Liquid Voice: Any sound-based move (e.g. Hyper Voice) the Pokémon with this Ability uses become Water-type moves. Popplio, Brionne, and Primarina have this ability as their Hidden Ability, which isn’t yet accessible.
Long Reach: Moves can be used without making direct contact with any target (eg. Karate Chop and Iron Tail, while considered contact moves, don’t actually ‘touch’ the target with this Ability). The Rowlet family all have this Ability has their Hidden Ability, but it isn’t yet available. It can be quite handy if you don’t like to use contact moves that would other wise trigger Ability like Static or Flame Body.
Merciless: If the target is Poisoned, the Pokémon with this Ability has guaranteed critical hits. Mareanie and Toxapex both have this Ability, which is quite useful combined with Poison-afflicting moves like Toxic, especially with Venoshock. This may prove even more useful in Doubles, where a faster partner can inflict Toxic for the slower Toxapex. Alas, Toxapex has low stats for both Attack and Special Attack.
Misty Surge: Tapu Fini has this Ability. When it enters the field, the field changes into a Misty Terrain. Misty Terrain protects grounded Pokémon from Status and confusion, and halves the power of Dragon-type moves. The former is more useful as Fairy-types like Tapu Fini take no damage from Dragon-type moves already.
Power Construct: When Zygarde’s HP becomes half or less, it changes into its complete form. This is a useful Ability if you’re looking to change up your strategy in a pinch, and something bound to set Zygarde apart and possibly into Ubers.
Power of Alchemy: Alolan Grimer and Muk’s ability. It can copy any ally Pokémon’s Ability when the ally is defeated. It would probably be best on double battles, provided you have the right ally out. This doesn’t work on Abilities like Wonder Guard, however – but Alolan Muk will pair well with Levitate users like Flygon.
Psychic Surge: Tapu Lele has this Ability. When it enters the field, the field changes into a Psychic Terrain. Psychic Terrain negates damaging priority moves (e.g. Quick Attack, Sucker Punch) against grounded Pokémon, and boosts the power of Psychic-type moves.
Prism Armor: This Ability reduces the damage from super-effective attacks for Necrozma, the owner of this Ability. It is rather handy if you’re looking to have Necrozma with a tank EV spread with some utility-moves like Stealth Rock.
Queenly Majesty: The opposing Pokémon cannot use priority attacks (e.g. Quick Attack, Bullet Punch) against Tsarenna, the sole owner of this Ability. This has some uses for Tsarenna.
Receiver: Like the Power of Alchemy Ability, Passimian can copy any ally Pokémon’s Ability when the ally is defeated.
RKS System: Silvally can change to any type depending on what memory disc it holds (e.g. if it is holding a Fire Memory, then it becomes a Fire-type). So depending on your team, perhaps you can throw in a Silvally, as it can be made to be any type of Pokémon you want.
Schooling: The Pokémon Wishiwashi changes into a ‘schooling form’ at level 20 minimum, when it has a good amount of HP during battle. When its HP gets too low, then it reverts to normal. It’s a good idea to have it consistently healthy having Pokémon who can use Wish or Lunar Dance to help restore HP.
Shadow Shield: When its HP is full, Lunala reduces the amount of damage it takes during battle by half. This is another Ability where it’s a good idea to be as healthy as possible, and functions like Multiscale for Dragonite.
Shields Down: With its HP above half of its full amount, Minior can’t be affected by status conditions. Minior becomes a ‘Core form’ when its HP drops to below half of its full amount. It gets improved base Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats (60 to 100), but lowers its Defense and Special Defense base Stat (100 to 60). Try Minior with Shell Smash as it can’t be affected by status conditions with its shield, and can dish out even more damage when it changes into its core form.
Slush Rush: With this Ability, a Pokémon’s speed doubles while it is Hailing. Cubchoo and Beartic have this as a new Ability, while Alolan Sandshrew and Alolan Sandslash has this as their Hidden Ability. This is quite handy if you’re looking to build an offensive Hail team, and will pair well in VGC.
Soul Heart: Whenever a Pokémon faints, Magearna gets a boost to its Special Attack. This will be handy if you’re looking to clean up the remainder of your opponent’s Pokémon.
Stakeout: Yungoos and Gumshoos can deal double damage to a target’s replacement Pokémon when the target switches out during battle. Perhaps if you’re the predicting type, you can get the maximum use of this Ability!
Stamina: Whenever it gets hit by an attack, Mudbray and Mudsdale gets a boost in Defense. A handy Ability if you’re looking to take as many hits as you can with a defensive set.
Steelworker: Dhelmise’s Steel-type moves are increased by 50% in power during battle. This grants it an additional STAB for moves like Heavy Slam and Anchor Shot.
Surge Surfer: On an Electric Terrain, Alolan Raichu’s speed doubles! A good – and obvious – idea is to combine this with Electric Surge.
Tangling Hair: Whenever Alolan Diglett and Alolan Dugtrio gets hit by a contact move, the attacker’s Speed is lowered. Alolan Dugtrio is fairly fast, but this simply benefits the team until the opponent switches out.
Triage: Healing-type moves by Comfey gains +3 priority during battle. This can be a good help for moves like Synthesis.
Water Bubble: Not only does this Ability lowers Fire-type moves by 50%, but it prevents Burns, and increases the power of Water-type moves by 100% before STAB calculations. Dewpider and Araquanid both have this Ability, and while they aren’t great with attacking, this Ability lets them deal quite respectable damage, rivaling the likes of Keldeo.
Water Compaction: Whenever Sandygast or Palossand gets hit by a Water-type move, its Defense is sharply raised. However it is also a Ground-type Pokémon, so be wary when wanting to take advantage of this Ability – it’ll still take damage!
Wimp Out: When Wimpod’s HP drops to half or less, it automatically switches out. It only works once per battle, though. This Ability is only for Wimpod but is akin to Emergency Exit, the Ability for its evolution.
Changes to old Abilities
Gale Wings: This unique Ability to Talonflame has received a nerf. This gave priority to Flying-type moves at any point in the battle. Now however, it only grants priority when Talonflame’s HP is full.
Parental Bond: This Ability was the prime reason for Mega Kangaskhan’s high presence in VGC. Every move used by the Pokémon will hit twice, with half the power on the second hit. Now the damage inflicted by the second hit is 25% of the initial attack.
Prankster: All Status attacks were granted priority by Prankster last generation. While this is still the case, Prankster-affected moves now fail against Dark-type opponents! This even includes the move Assist picking a damaging attack. Luckily this still works on ally Pokémon.
Weak Armor: This lowered Defense but increase Speed by one stage each upon suffering Physical damage. This Ability received a buff – it now sharply raises the Speed stat (a +2 increase).
Edited by bobandbill and tokyodrift.