Top 20 Best Pokemon Abilities

Posted on January 18, 2013 - 1:30pm by brendanmeister


If you're too impatient to read the article just read the headers of each ability. The abilities I've chosen are based on what I feel are the best competitive abilities to have. I have also decided not to include any weather based abilities since they solely rely on specific weather being up. 


Hey g1's, this is my first blog post so I hope you enjoy. If you have any constructive critism that can help me improve my blogs in anyway, please let me know as it will be greatly appreciated if I continue to write blogs in the future.
As you can see I have chosen to do my first blog post on what I feel like are the Top 20 Pokemon abilities in competitive play. Since the hype of all the Pokemon related news there have been many posts on various Top 10 related things that are Pokemon. Since I havn't seen any Top 10 Abilities recently I thought that I would bring my thoughts to the table. As you can see though this is a Top 20 since I felt that there were plenty of great abilities that wouldn't be able to fit in a Top 10.
Before starting the Top 20 I'd like to explain some of the reasons why I excluded some abilities from the list. First off I excluded any Abilities that can only be used outside of battle, this included abilities such as Pick Up, Illuminate, Honey Gather, etc. This Top 20 Best Pokemon Abilities is the Top 20 competitive Abilities, this means any ability that has effects in a battle. Next I excluded any abilities that are specific to one weather status. I did this to weed out many abilities since even if these abilities are extremely good, they can only be used while one specific weather status is up. This means if there is no weather, there is no ability to be used.
Finally I would like to add that this is my own personal opinion, which means that there will most likely be many people who disagree with some of the abilities that I have chosen or in what order they should be. Saying this please read why I chose the ability first before commenting, as you might look very stupid if what you ask is already written in this article. This is the Top 20 Pokemon Abilities so I will not be focusing much on the Pokemon who have these abilities, just the ability itself. So without further a do, let's begin. 
Honourable Mentions
Here are some honourable mentions that sadly didn't make the cut. I will not be going over them in-depth though but just explaining what they do.
This ability makes every attack that has a base power which is less than or equal to 60 do 1.5x more damage. Great ability, however it only really shines with priority moves.
This ability makes it so OHKO moves don't work. Also since Gen V it also makes it so that if a pokemon would die when it had full health it would leave it at 1 HP instead. Pretty much a free Focus Sash.
Every ability that gives immunity to 1 type
This is all abilities that give you an immunity to one type. Most of them also give added stat boosts. These abilities are Flash Fire, Levitate, Lightningrod, Motor Drive, Sap Sipper, Storm Drain, Volt Absorb and Water Absorb. I think that is all of them.
Now to the Top 20!
20. Moody
This is a strange ability. Every turn one of the pokemon's stats is lowered by one stage while another is raised by two. Each turn the stats that will be changed are randomized. This ability would be higheron the list, but it is completely luck based. While on one side it could help you win the battle if you're lucky and get a Speed or Attack/Special Attack increase consistently. On the other hand if you get an accuracy drop you will be tearing your hair out whenever an attack misses. Even though this is a great ability, be cautious. 
19. Cursed Body
If you know this ability you may be wondering why it is on this list. Well it is on this list because Cursed Body is a great defensive ability. Whenever a move makes contact with the Pokemon there is a 30% chance that that move will be disabled. This ability is great for shutting down Pokemon that have Choice items. If they happen to get disabled then they can only Struggle so they will be forced to switch, which could be a game changing moment in the battle. You may be thinking that 30% isn't that high, well in Pokemon it is extremely high and you will find most Pokemon get disabled more times than not. Just think of how many times you've miss Stone Edge.
18. No Guard
This is a great ability. It makes it so that your moves never miss. That's right never miss. That means that attacks that have a 50% chance of hitting like Dynamic Punch or Zap Cannon, have a 100% chance to hit. You may be thinking then that this should be higher on the list, the only problem is that your opponent also gains this effect as well. This means that they will be able to hit every attack as well. So essentially your opponents Pokemon gets a free ability. Nevertheless this is an excellent ability, just keep in mind that your opponent gains the ability as well.
17. Filter/Solid Rock
Even though these abilities have different names they do the same thing. These abilities reduce the damage taken from super-effective attacks by 25%. This means that a move that does 2x damage will do 1.5x damage instead and a move that does 4x damage will only do 3x damage. This is great on defensive pokemon since it almost makes up for their weaknesses. You'll still be taking heavy damage from 4x super-effective damage though. Either way this ability is a great one to prolong your Pokemons presence in a battle.
16. Prankster
This ability allows for non-attacking moves to gain +1 speed priority. For those who don't know every move has a speed priority. Most moves have a speed priority of 0, however there are 13 different speed priority stages that range from Stage 5 to Stage -7. Now a Pokemon that uses a move with a higher speed priority will go first even though its speed stat may be lower. That's why when you were younger Quick Attack would always go first. That's because Quick Attack had Stage 1 priority. Anyways back to the ability it increases all non attacking moves priority by 1. This can be very effective when you need a Choice Scarf Pokemon paralyzed or you need a Pokemon taunted. It's a great ability to catch your opponent off guard.
15. Natural Cure
This is a pretty simple ability. Everytime your pokemon switches out of battle they are healed from their status condition. That includes sleep, paralysis, burn and poison. Nothing much to say here, but that this ability can really help during key moments in a battle. It's always nice to have a status condition off a Pokemon.
14. Regenerator
This ability works very similarly to Natural Cure. Whenever your Pokemon is withdrawn it gains 33% of its HP back. This is ability can really piss off whoever your facing,if have a wall that just never dies. It can really put your opponent off their game. It also works well with Pokemon that know U-Turn or Volt Switch. 
13. Multiscale
This is where the best of the best abilities start to come in. Multiscale allows for a Pokemon to take 50% reduced damage from attacks when they are at full HP. This once again is an excellent defensive ability. Usually the effect will happen once in a battle, however if the Pokemon who has this ability also has a recovery move, it can create the some of the best stall in the game. The only way to usually get by this if you afflict that Pokemon with a status condition or use super-effective moves. Entry Hazards kind of hurt this ability since you will enter the battle with less than full HP, but once again if you have a recovery move it will drive your opponent crazy.
12. Huge Power/Pure Power
Now we are getting to some of the greatest offensive abilities. Here's another instance where there are two abilities that do the exact same thing. The only thing this ability does is double your attack. That's it. Well that is unbelievable. Lets take a Pokemon that has a base stat in Attack of only 50. Now the max Attack it can have at level 100 with beneficial nature is 218. Now double that. Now you have a Pokemon with a 436 Attack stat. Now it is as if that Pokemon had a base attack stat of almost 150(it's about 149). That Pokemon would have the 10th highest Attack of any Pokemon so far. As you can see these abilities can make any Pokemon a threat.
11. Serene Grace
This ability doubles the chance of a secondary effect occuring. So for an example let's take the move Body Slam. When hitting a Pokemon with Body Slam there is a 30% chance that the Pokemon will be paralyzed. Now if a Pokemon with Serence Grace is on the field, the 30% chance is doubled to 60%. Now you can see why this is a fantastic ability. One of the main uses of Serene Grace is to ''paraflinch'' the opponents Pokemon. "Paraflinching" is when you paralyze the opponents Pokemon then try to flinch them with moves such as Headbutt, which has a 50% chance of flinching the enemy Pokemon thanks to Serene Grace. Even if you don't use this technique it is great for secondary effects to lower an opponents stat or give them a status condition. It is also great for raising your stats, another example of this is that Charge Beam will always raise your Special Attack by 1 Stage since its chance is raised to 100%.
10. Moxie
This ability raises an opponents Attack stat by 1 Stage whenever the opponents Pokemon faints. This ability is rated this high because whenever you see an opponents Pokemon that has this ability it is usually top priority to take out that Pokemon since it is most likely the biggest threat to a team. Let me give you another example. Say we have a Pokemon that has fairly high Attack come in that has Moxie. Now if you give that Pokemon a Choice Scarf that Pokemon becomes one of the greatest sweepers in the whole metagame since Choice Scarf raises its Speed by 1.5x. Especially when it comes in mid-game when most of your opponents Pokemon are lower HP. It will just come in outspeed that Pokemon and gain Attack after taking out, getting stronger with every Pokemon it takes out. Thats why you always need a good defensive wall in the wings in case your opponent has a Pokemon with Moxie.
9. Speed Boost
This ability works very similarly like Moxie. The only difference is that you don't have to take out an opponents Pokemon to get the speed boost. Every turn your Pokemons Speed stat is increased by 1 Stage. An amazing ability. This ability is solely the reason why Blaziken is banned to the Uber Tier. After two turns your speed is already double what it was originally and you can outspeed almost every Pokemon. Once again this is great for sweeping if you have a Pokemon with this ability that has high Attack/Special Attack since outspeeding Pokemon is a great advantage in battles. The Speed increases can also be Baton Passed giving many sweeping options to Pokemon that do not have the greatest Speed.
8. Contrary
This is another odd ability. This ability makes stat changes have the opposite effect. This means moves that raise stats will lower them instead and viceversa. That means that moves like Sword Dance will lower your Attack two Stages instead of raising it by two. What makes this ability so devastating are moves that do damage while lowering your stats afterwards. So moves such as Leaf Storm, Overheat and Draco Meteor will raise your Special Attack by two Stages as well as doing immense damage. Since your opponent cannot really exploit the downside of this ability, this make it so most Pokemon can become a threat.
7. Unaware
This is one of the best if not the best defensive Ability in the game. What this ability does is make it so that your Pokemon ignores your opponents Pokemon stat changes. Remember all those stat increases from what I said from Moxie, Speed Boost and Contrary. Well all those stat changes are not recognised and it's as if nothing happened. This is a teams best option to stop a sweep. The only downside is that stat drops are ignored as well, so playing smart is key to have this ability show its maximum potential.
6. Magic Bounce
This ability shuts down any walls or support on an opponents team since it essentially a Magic Coat at all times. This move reflects back the effects of moves that lower stats, inflict status, entry hazards and also moves such as Torment or Taunt. There are many others but the list is quite long. Since a walls job is to take damage and inflict status conditions on the powerhouses of the opponents team, if you switch into a Pokemon with this ability there is nothing they can do and in most cases when switched in the status condition is reflected back to them. This happens more times than not. This ability is so high on the list since it lowers the options to use of many moves in the game.
5. Magic Guard
This ability makes it so that you can only take damage from ther Pokemon attacks. That means that you cannot take damage from weather, entry hazards, recoil damage, status conditions and most importantly items. This means that items such as Life Orb have no negative effect at all meaning all your moves will do 1.3x more damage without losing any HP. Since quite a lot of the metagames damage output is solely due to entry hazards and status condtions, this is a great ability to have. Also there is nothing better than using a high damaging recoil move such as Double-Edge without losing any HP.
4. Shadow Tag
This ability is pretty much a free Mean Look. It makes it so that your opponents Pokemon are not allowed to switch when this ability is on the field. If you time this ability right and switch in on a Pokemon that can do nothing to you then you can freely set up with your opponent not being able to do anything. This is also a great way to take out Pokemon with Choice items since they are locked into one attack and cannot switch. There are 3 ways though that an opponents Pokemon can switch which is if they use either Baton Pass, U-Turn or Volt Switch. This makes this ability very deadly against any team.
3. Simple
When I heard of this ability I was completely blown away with how good it was. This ability doubles all stat changes and the power of critical hits. This means setting up is a whole lot easier. For an example if a Pokemon with Simple uses Sword Dance, their Attack immediately goes to Stage 4 instead of Stage 2. What would have taken you two turns to do only takes 1 which means that if you use one Dragon Dance you can almost sweep a team. It also doubles the damage caused by critical hits so instead of 2x damage it does 4x damage. This is pretty much an instant kill on any Pokemon if you manage to get a critical hit. This is a great ability to bring into a battle mid to late game.
2. Imposter
This is almost the best ability in the game and is essentially a free Transfrom. This ability makes it so that as soon as your Pokemon enters the battle it transforms into that Pokemon. This means that you get all your opponents moves, its ability and also all its stats except for HP. That includes all the stats that it gained throughout the battle. There are so many benefits to this ability it's ridiculous. First off you get to see your opponents entire moveset, meaning that if you're a smart player you can instantly shut that Pokemon down and know its entire stategy. Second is that you gain a free ability after you've transformed. Finally you gain all your opponents stat boosts. Meaning that if you opponent manages to get their Speed and Attack to Stage 6, you will have the those stat boosts as well and be tied with them in every stat. Now if you give your Pokemon a Choice Scarf they will always out speed that Pokemon unless that Pokemon has Choice Scarf as well. That means you can out speed that Pokemon and continue to sweep their entire team. Now you see why this is such a good ability.
1. Wonder Guard
I know that most of you saw this coming if you're familiar with Pokemon, and with good reason to. This ability makes it so that your opponent can only hit you with super-effective moves. Lets take a Pokemon Celebi which it tied with having the most weaknesses in the game with 7. That means that 10 of the 17 types in the game will have no effect at all on itF. This is a huge advantage. To see how good it is imagine a Pokemon with 0 weaknesses such as a Pokemon with a Dark/Ghost typing. Literally the only way to kill it would be to stall it out or take it out over time using a status condition. A Pokemon with this ability can be virtually unbeatable, which is why to balance it out Game Freak made it so there is currently only one Pokemon who has this ability that has just 1 HP.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 20 Best Pokemon Abilities and also hope that you learned at least one thing from this post. Once again constructive criticism is appreciated and if you have any questions let me know in the comments. Thanks g1's.

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