In the Meta: Abomasnow
Happy Holidays to all my dear Puclonians! It must have been pure serendipity that my article posting day landed on December 25th! So, as I pound into the night on my forge known as a keyboard in order to spread competitive cheer, I wish you all a merry Christmas / Kwanzaa / Hanukkah / Festivus + Other Assorted Holidays! For the Pokemon this week, I bring to you one of the banes of the Rarely Used tier, and although I contemplated doing Delibird, Serebii had the same idea for their Pokemon of the Week, so I highly recommend you peruse that material centered around the Santa Bird as well. Well, the most competitive, Holiday-themed, Pokemon I could find was Abomasnow, so, while he’s no Bumble, enjoy!
Well, our frosty friend tends to be a bit of a dubious fellow. How so you ask? Well, that is because Abomasnow really only has two viable ways to do battle. The first is to wear a Choice Scarf, and to frequently switch in and out to apply pressure and deal damage with 100% accuracy Blizzards and Giga Drains. The second is to allow it to mega-evolve using Abomasite. This may take away the great speed granted to it by a Choice Scarf, but on a team based around Trick Room, this monster can be truly devastating.
By using a Choice Scarf, Abomasnow is still unable to out speed a great variety of threats in its tier, and is completely destroyed by Greninja in Over Used. For this reason, Choice Scarf Abomasnow is best used as a late-game heavy hitter and weather setter in the lower tiers. It should go without saying that Abomasnow’s best move to attack with is Blizzard. Due to the Snow Warning ability that would be run on a Choice Scarf Abomasnow, Blizzard’s accuracy is boosted from 70% to 100%. A 120 base power move combined with STAB and a decent Special Attack stat of 92 is sure to hit hard on almost anything. For the Grass STAB attack, either Energy Ball or Giga Drain will work. Energy Ball hits harder than Giga Drain, but the latter can help increase Abomasnow’s sustainability and is generally preferred. The third move should definitely be Ice Shard. This is a priority move that deals 40 Physical non-contact damage in the +1 priority tier. This allows Abomasnow to out speed and finish off fast, sometimes Focus Sash abusing, Pokemon such as Noivern, Garchomp, and Shaymin-S. Though the last move will rarely be used, Abomasnow has several choices such as Earthquake, Hidden Power (Fire or Fighting), Shadow Ball, and Water Pulse.
Mega Abomasnow is definitely a more common threat in the UU and RU tiers than its speedy brethren. It too uses Blizzard as its primary STAB attack, since it’s a 100% accuracy move. Of course this move isn’t as viable if a physical Mega Snow set is run. For a Grass-type move, Giga Drain or Wood Hammer are the best bets on this hearty chap. On a side note, Mega Snow’s Attack and Special Attack stats, like its predecessor, are exactly the same. This allows it to use either viably, and is therefore one of the most common mixed attackers. For the next move, I have never encountered a Mega Snow that did not run Ice Shard on its set. I’m sure weird exceptions to this rule occur in such formats such as Doubles and VGCs, but that’s why we have Sublime Manic on staff. On most physical variants, Earthquake is used as a coverage move due to its typing and power. The most common purely physical form of Mega Snow can be seen with Swords Dance as a boosting move, as this allows it to pick off many Pokemon easily with Ice Shard, and obliterate entire teams when it is provided with Trick Room support. On Mega Abomasnow, the mega-evolving Abomasnow should have Soundproof as its ability. There are two reasons for this. The first is so that it gets a free switch-in on the off chance that you’re facing an opponent using a common sound move such as Hyper Voice or Bug Buzz. The second is so that you can activate Mega Abomasnow’s Snow Warning ability on command, and therefore override/prevent alternate weather types from taking precedence on the switch.
Choice Scarf Abomasnow
4 Attack / 252 Special Attack/ 252 Speed
Hasty or Naïve Nature
248 HP / 252 Attack / 8 Special Defense (This spread reduces Stealth Rock damage as a whole)
Adamant or Lonely Nature
In general Abomasnow works well with teammates sporting abilities such as Overcoat or Magic Guard. Usually this means Reuniclus, as almost all Trick Room teams sport this green bundle of joy. Due to its weakness to Stealth Rocks, Abomasnow appreciates Rapid Spin or Defog support. The Hitmon Trio (Especially Hitmonchan) functions very well in this capacity, in my experience. I could also see the viability of Donphan, Tentacruel, or even my dear friend Crobat filling this role nicely. I like experimenting with Abomasnow on Sand teams. The general comp on the best I created was something along the lines of Choice Specs Tyranitar, Hippowdon, Alakazam, Heatran, Mandibuzz, and Mega Abomasnow. It’s a bit gimmicky, but I remember that it helped combat other sand teams relatively effectively.
Abomasnow has certainly declined in popularity / viability since its debut in 4th Generation, but it has managed to maintain its foothold as the best Hail setter in the game. With mega evolutions, Abomasnow has secured a new place on Trick Room teams, and is certainly not to be toyed with. When you think about it, Abomasnow is sort of a gentle giant. It probably won’t hurt you if you come prepared to deal with it, but if you toy around or take it for granted, it’s going to take you to Jotunheimr. Either way, I’m sure it would be more than happy to top your tree for the holidays. Remember this Puclonians, and your Abomasnow will be the very best.
Remember to sign up for the 2nd Annual PUCL Ultimate Underground Tournament of Champions!