Breaking the Meta: Farfetch’d
Happy Thanksgiving / Turkey Day / convenient excuse to eat a lot of food to my fellow Puclonians! In honor of said holiday, deliberation has decided that the Pokemon to be analyzed for this week should be the closest to a turkey. While it’s a bit farfetch’d (Yes, I went there already) to say that Farfetch’d looks like a turkey, after close analysis, we at PUCL would say that it’s the closest. I mean, turkeys are eaten with stuffing, stuffing sometimes has onions in it, and Farfetch’d carries a stalk of green onions with it. What more reasoning could you possibly require? As for the different title name, I didn’t find it suiting to say that some Pokemon were even in the metagame. Sometimes Pokemon are either so bad or neglected that they aren’t even considered for the average team, so I’m going to give them a chance to strut their stuff every once in the while by breaking the meta.
Now Farfetch’d is going to be a tough Pokemon to start this series off with. Even the brilliant competitive minds of Smogon cannot think up any way in which Farfetch’d could even remotely be useful to the sixth generation metagame. In fact, their fifth gen analysis of Farfetch’d is a complete gimmick (http://www.smogon.com/dex/bw/pokemon/farfetchd) and in this gen, our dear wild duck Pokemon has been consigned to the ranks of PU (Which oddly enough, stands for nothing).
So rather than continuing to berate our dear friend with the tales of his irreversible tragedy, I shall attempt to spark a glimmer of hope into the brave heart of our mighty warrior, who needs nothing more than a stick and a knight’s honor to do battle with.
By no means does Farfetch’d have a bad move pool. Access to recovery, great attack moves, U-turn, and reasonable offensive typing would pretty much guarantee Farfetch’d a place among the stars if its stats weren’t so awful.
Basically, to run an offensive set, Farfetch’d needs one turn to have a chance, and two turns to become a real threat. Then you look at speed and realize that, on the turn that Farfetch’d would be setting up, the opponent could easily switch to a counter and outspeed and thusly OHKO your beloved duck due to those abominable defenses. The speed can be somewhat mended by the likes of Agility or Tailwind, but both still require a turn to set up with. Thinking with this in mind, priority is the next feature to check, and it turns out that Farfetch’d has access to Quick Attack. STAB priority has never hurt any Pokemon, but it’s still not going to be powerful enough even with a Swords Dance to boot. The most powerful STAB move Farfetch’d has is Brave Bird for Flying and Last Resort for Normal. Brave Bird has recoil, and Last Resort has all sorts of strings attached, sooo…
Basically, Farfetch’d needs a way to get power quickly without wasting too much time. Looking at Farfetch’d’s (What did I just do there?) best ability in Defiant, we see that Farfetch’d can abuse the opponent’s Defog users by getting a free attack boost on the switch in, but that requires the error of an opponent and is therefore unreliable. As much as I hate to say it, Farfetch’d needs time to set up. If Farfetch’d could always get three free turns, then it would be top-tier. Other notable moves of Farfetch’d are Roost, Rest, and Wish for recovery; U-turn for switching; and Revenge, Leaf Blade, and Knock Off for coverage.
I doubt I will be able to do anything revolutionary in terms of redefining the metagame, but I’ve concocted a few ideas that might be worth a try.
EDIT: USE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
The idea behind this set is that you’re operating under the Sleep Clause, and you therefore want to try either force your opponent to put multiples of your Pokemon to sleep or not at all. Well, this is all solved with Restfetch’d! Simply plop Rest, Sleep Talk, and U-turn on a Farfetch’d, and watch the magic happen! This bird will go to sleep so that the rest of your team doesn’t have to!
Have you ever wanted a duck that is simultaneously a dragon? Well that’s no problem thanks to Farfetch’d! Put some Choice Specs, Perfect IVs, 252 Special Attack EVs, a Modest Nature, and Heat Wave on this duck and watch your opponents as they are burned alive! That may be a bit of an overstatement considering this won’t even OHKO Ferrothorn, but it was worth a shot. On the upside, this will OHKO a VGCs Abomasnow that decides to not use Ice Shard.
Tailwind on turn one. Wish on turn two if you manage to survive that long. Max HP and Speed investment.
Rather than using Swords Dance or Agility to boost, forget speed and throw Curse on your feathery friend. Both Attack and Defense will be boosted at the cost of Speed. To offset your opponent’s barrage of attacks, throw Roost on this Farfetch’d and heal the pains at the cost of exposing a fighting-type weakness. Once you’ve used Curse 4-6 times, you’re ready to rumble with Return and Brave Bird. Just hope that your opponent has absolutely no special attackers on their team.
Upon further inspection of Farfetch’d, I have determined that it simply can’t reliably break the meta. It can try, and on rare occasions succeed, but success was simply not in the cards for this unlucky fowl. The closest sets to actually succeed on Farfetch’d are the 5th gen Smogon analyses, so please take a look at those if you truly want to give it a chance in the spotlight. Much like the fated demise of the turkey on this day every year, Farfetch’d is cursed with forever being subpar and neglected (Not to mention it’s considered a delicacy by Ash’s Pokedex). Victory is indeed farfetch’d with this Pokemon. Remember this Puclonians, and your Farfetch’d will never be the very best.
For the Trivia Giveaway winner. Goggles! Congratulations! With a score of 14/15, you tied with another Puclonian (Shout out to TheFluffiestWhimsicott), and subsequently won the random draw (I assigned evens and odds on a die to you two and rolled it). Your prize is a Shiny Kalos Born Umbreon. This Umbreon is in a Moon Ball, has access to the egg moves of Wish and Yawn, and presently knows the tutor move of Foul Play. It has an Impish nature, and is fully trained defensively. Contact me with a good time for you to retrieve it!
A big thank you to everyone who participated! I’ll try to do this again sometime in the future. The answers are below if you are interested in what you missed.
1. Trapinch or Nincada (Mega Evolution didn’t count, sorry)
2. Either Charizard, Salamence, Flygon, and Kingdra or Salamence, Flygon, and 2 Kingdras
5. Ken Sugimori
8. Vic Mignogna
10. Scolipede (Whirlipede has no mouth to bite off your head with)
11. Megayanma or メガヤンマ
14. Miror B.
15. Thatch-Feraligatr, Scizorkick-Scizor(Thank Arceus no one missed that), Ethan-Eevee, Bocefus-Jolteon, DrShamu-Shuckle, Scron-Crobat, Viger-Magnemite, GatorMaximus-Salamence