Glub Glub PUCL readers, do you see that light in the distance, that haunting yet beautiful glow Illuminating the darkness of the ocean. If you get close enough you might see one of the most adorable Pokemon known to man but it might also be the last thing you ever see. Its a Lanturn and it happens to be my favourite Pokemon. It is another Generation 2 Pokemon with the perfect cross between simplicity and creativity in its design, and it has some interesting back story to boot. Before we jump into this article I want to shout out or Discord where I learned many of our members share a love of Lanturn and we had some great discussions.
Description: The Light Pokemon
Abilities: Volt Absorb/Illuminate
Hidden Ability: Water Absorb
Competitive: [Smogon PU] [Smogon NU] [Smogon RU] [Chinchou Smogon LC]
Evolution: Chinchou -> Level 27 -> Lanturn
Origin: Lanturn’s name is a play on “lantern”. Since it learns Volt Switch I have linked the “turn” part to the Volt-Turn strategy. However, since that came out after Gold and Silver I’m sure the initial reason behind the spelling is that Lanturn “turns” all frowns upside down with its adorable, goofy appearance. Lanturn is based on an anglerfish and though its appearance is much friendlier, its Pokedex entries often speak of it luring prey using its light exactly how an anglerfish would.
Original Appearance: Pokemon Gold and Silver
Dex Entry [Day: Sun]: Should you peer into the ocean at night and see a light shining like the stars, that is Lanturn.
Lanturn in my opinion is what happens when you cross an anglerfish with a dolphin. It has the cuteness of a dolphin with the uniqueness of the anglerfish. I have always described it as derpy, floating through the ocean doing its own thing with a big smile on its face.
Lanturn comes equipped with Illuminate, the best ability in the game for anyone scared of the Dark or hunting in the ocean. For everyone else there is Volt Absorb and Water Absorb. There are few Pokemon with two different immunity abilities, Bronzong is sort of one and I actually can’t think of any others right now. Either way though it forces the opponent into a guessing game, do you have Volt Absorb or Water Absorb. With Lanturn you almost always choose Volt Absorb since you already resist Water but I remember back in ORAS RU I ran a Water Absorb Lanturn + Camerupt core that was a lot of fun. On the stats side, Lanturn is very PU looking. Its strongest feature is its large 125HP with decent SpDef and SpAtt. Its Speed is mediocre and its Physical stats are poor.
Lanturn’s attacking moves are well defined. The standard Water and Electric STAB moves like Hydro Pump, Scald, Thunderbolt, and Volt Switch are there plus it has Ice Beam, Dazzling Gleam, and Signal Beam for coverage. I even thought of running Watmel Berry and Natural Gift to lure in Ferrothorn or Magearna which were huge threats to one of my teams. Its utility goes on forever and all of the moves offer interesting sets. Ion Deluge, Heal Bell, Eerie Impulse, Whirlpool, Icy Wind, Agility, Aqua Ring, Amnesia to name a few. My favourite is Amnesia/Aqua Ring/Heal Bell because I have dreams where no Physical Pokemon exist and Leftovers Lanturn sits there in its ring of water as Pokemon try to bother it but it doesn’t feel a thing. Unfortunately, that never works as planned but its cute thought. As with every new game I hope that in Ultra Sun and Moon Lanturn get access to Tail Glow. I know it isn’t technically a tail but it fits so well and would be a huge buff.
There are a few sets on Smogon that I’ll cover here. The first is Choice Specs. It turns out that in PU Lanturn’s speed isn’t the worst around and it can actually be run as an Choice Specs user with really any combination of moves you desire. Volt Switch, Thunderbolt, Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Signal Beam, Dazzling Gleam, or HP Fire. I haven’t played much PU so I don’t know how effective it would be but it sounds like a reasonable threat. A much more interesting set that relies on Lanturn’s strengths is that of a cleric. It runs Leftovers for recovery, Heal Bell for clericing…, Volt Switch, Scald, and Toxic. Some sets run Protect over Toxic to get more recovery but I think it needs Toxic to prevent it from being free set up fodder. In lower tiers, status is very common and having a cleric can be game winning and single handedly counter some teams that rely on status as a win condition. Lanturn has free switch ins on almost all Electric, Steel, and Water types giving it plenty of opportunity to use Heal Bell, throw off a Toxic, or pivot out with Volt Switch. You’ll notice throughout all of these sets that Volt Switch is present. I think that Lanturns #1 best use is as a pivot since it is bulky enough to absorb a hit and then pivot out gaining you momentum. For this reason it is important your team has answers to Ground types because they will prevent this strategy from really taking off.
For the past week I have been playing all sorts of Lanturn teams that I’ve made. I would have done PU where it finds itself currently ranked but I received some challenges to show off Lanturn’s true potential! That being said it is hard to make Lanturn the core of a team due to its poor offenses so you will see that I use it as more of a support Pokemon to help set the stage for other threats. Here is my team for RU. This was my first foray into SM RU meaning I won’t recommend this team. There is plenty of room for improvement once I understand the threats and counters present in the tier but it can be a starting point. I initially tried the Aqua Ring strategy I mentioned earlier but that never had enough impact and I switched it up. Welcome the Heatran of RU PUCL. With Whirlpool it can trap an opponent’s Pokemon that would cause your team trouble or if you are lucky that you counter completely. Something like Galvantula, Blastoise, or Diancie. Once it has fallen into your trap you throw off a Toxic and Protect every other turn until they are toast. Since Lanturn is typically too slow for Substitute, which Heatran runs, I replaced it with Heal Bell to prevent the trapped Pokemon from Toxic-ing you back. When not trapping this set can still act as a cleric, throw off Toxic, or gain momentum because whirlpooled opponents can’t switch giving you an easy prediction. Here are some replays i have of it in action! (ignore my Zoroark lapse in game 2 please, it was kind of late)
Alright now for the real test of Lanturn’s merit, OU. I have been climbing the suspect test ladder up to #148 (1332 ELO) with this set. It has been a lot of fun too and I am much more confident in this team than the RU one so I encourage you to try it out. My goal was to pair Lanturn with an Electric weak team because it is not only immune to Electric types it walls the common sets completely. Tapu Koko, Manetric, not Xircuitry because of Energy Ball, and most Magearna sets. For this reason you see Gyarados and Celesteela present. The key thing about Lanturn is that it is Ground weak so it needs good Ground switch ins surrounding it. Both Celesteela and Landorus-T fit that category, plus Mew is there for Zygarde and Garchomp. Landorus is Scarfed to deal with Volcarona as well. Finally, I needed another threat to round out my mostly defensive team which is why I chose Magearna. With Fairy/Electric coverage it hits most of the things that the rest of my team can’t deal with. It can also switch in easily on moves that threaten the rest of the squad, Will-o-Wisp, Knock Off, and Toxic, then proceed to set up. Enough about the team lets talk about the star. I wanted Lanturn to be a slow pivot and that was it. I wanted it to take a hit then Volt Switch out into a counter. Therefore it is max HP and SpDef with a snazzy Assualt Vest. For moves it ran Scald to avoid being a free switch in by Physical attackers, Ice Beam and Dazzling Gleam for coverage. With a lack of threatening Ground and Grass type Special Attackers there isn’t a Special move out there that can put a dent in this sharp dressed fish. It is a great teammate to have when fighting Tapu Koko rain teams as well because it counters Pelliper, Koko, and Greninja. I actually found my set was too fast and that I was outspeeding things like Clefable. If I were making this team again I might run even less Speed because being a slow pivot is that important. It lets you get in your Gyarados or Magearna to set up and win in the late game or Landorus to put on pressure mid game. One more change I would make is to run enough SpAtt to KO Landorus with Ice Beam. Ground types are a serious threat to this strategy so luring it in with your bright Electric type light before demolishing it with an Ice Beam offers game winning potential. My final comment is that Dazzling Gleam may not be that important. The only Pokemon I really needed it for was Kyurem but I far more frequently struggled with Ferrothorn and Scizor so it might be a good idea to use that lure on your head one more time and learn HP Fire. I added some replays below of it doing its thing in OU!
This article is super long, but I find it fitting for my favourite Pokemon. Lanturn’s little brother Chinchou may not have its cuteness but it does have much better recognition in its tier. I won’t get too into the details but both the Berry Juice and Choice Scarf sets can be very effective in Little Cup. Even in VGC, if you are looking to play some goofy games, you can run Soak Lanturn with Tapu Bulu/Koko to get some surprise KO’s. There is plenty of room for trying new things with Lanturn which brings us to the theory crafting of the week. Ion Deluge Lanturn. Ion Deluge is a unique move that Lanturn learns with +1 priority. It transforms all normal type attacks this turn into Electric type allowing it to not only eliminate the damage but to heal thanks to Volt Absorb. By adding Toxic onto this set you can wear down threats in your tier, such as CurseLax or Swellow in RU, while they futilely try to attack you, only being able to heal you instead. I haven’t tried it but it is next on my list of Lanturn sets for sure.
In the icy depths the sea churns, lost Pokemon can’t find their way, until by the soft glow of Lanturns, they are guided back to light of day. I hope this article didn’t drag on too long and that it helped fuel PUCL’s Lanturn love. Let me know your favourite Lanturn/Chinchou sets or facts either here or in the Discord!
Until next time, SumtimesIFly