The upcoming releases of Pokémon Scarlet & Violet have every fan thinking about the franchise. A new region full of new Pokémon will become available come November; and along with these new mons will come new Abilities. One of the franchise’s most important yet underrated parts, Abilities can make all the difference in battle.
Not all Abilities are great, though; some are actively bad and can potentially result in a defeat for any trainer that uses them in battle. There are thousands of Abilities, but there is a consensus about which are plain bad, and fans on Reddit seem to agree.
Slaking’s signature Ability prevents it from performing any form of attack every second turn. Truant will stop Slaking from using two-turn moves unless it’s holding a Power Herb. Game Freak created this Ability to balance Slaking in battle, considering it has HP and Physical Attack stats that rival those of Legendary Pokémon.
Redditor itsIzumi – and, frankly, any fan that knows the bare minimum about Pokémon battles – agrees that Truant is arguably the worst Ability in the franchise. “Losing 50% of your turns or having to switch out immediately is restricting to everything.” Indeed, Slaking’s excellent stats become useless when it becomes a sitting duck for Fighting-type moves every second turn. Truant makes sense, considering Slaking draws inspiration from a sloth, but it’s a devastating ability on the battlefield. Having a Pokémon with Truant in battle is like fighting with one hand tied behind the back.
Fossil Pokémon can be incredible. They are unique Pokémon with great designs and interesting gimmicks, making their trainer one of the lucky few. Archeops, in particular, is an incredible Pokémon, thanks to its strong stats and Rock / Flying-type combination. However, its signature ability, Defeatist, can be problematic.
Defeatist halves Archeops’ Physical and Special Attack whenever its health drops below half; basically, it becomes a moving target once its health bar turns yellow. Archeops might OHKO some foes, but at one point or another, someone will land a blow, and then it’ll be over. It’s even more strange considering its stats aren’t impressive enough to warrant such a devastating nerf. Defeatist Redditor Simon142857 said it best: “The worst ability IMO is defeatist.” It’s right there in the name.
8 Slow Start
Legendary Pokémon are a staple in every generation, and most are extremely powerful. Regigigas is not one of those, mainly thanks to its signature Ability, Slow Start. It halves the Physical Attack and Speed stats of the Pokémon for the first five turns.
Every fan knows that Speed is one of the decisive factors in battle; a Pokémon can have a decent showing, even with underwhelming Attack stats, as long as it gets to go first, inflict some damage, and get out. But Regigigas needs to stall for five (!) Turns before it can do any significant damage. Slow Start is awful because of how unnecessary it is. What’s the point of it? It has no upside or benefit; it’s just a middle finger to Regigigas. Redditor that_one_guylol agrees, saying, “Regigigas needs to limit it’s move slots with Protect and sub just to counteract.”
Introduced in Generation IV as the signature Ability to Bunneary and Lopunny, Klutz prevents the Pokémon’s held item from working. Following Generation V, several other Pokémon received this Ability, including Golurk, Audino, and Bewear.
Held items can make all the difference in battle. The Sinnoh Elite Four is by far the best because they strategize using items. An Ability like Klutz reduces a Pokémon to only its basic stats, making them much less competitively viable. There are ways around Klutz – especially by pairing it with the Dark-type move Switcheroo – but having to go the extra mile to make a decent Pokémon is awful. Redditor Rooklu said it best: “Klutz is workable at best and a hindrance at worst.”
Sabaleye’s signature Ability is making fun of its owner. Per the Pokédex’s description, “the Pokémon moves after even slower foes.” Stall disregards Speed - not that Sableye had a great Speed stat in the first place – and overrides gimmick moves like Trick Room.
The Stall Ability has no logical reason to exist. Sableye had no weaknesses when it debuted in Generation III, so perhaps making it move last was Game Freak’s way of making it a fair fight. Redditor bydy2 agrees that Stall is a terrible Ability, commenting that it “makes half of all in-game Sableyes immediately useless.” Indeed, Stall is a considerable blow to Sabeleye’s competitive viability, although experienced trainers can successfully use it in a normal playthrough.
5 Run Away
Run Away allows the user to escape from any wild Pokémon battle. In Trainer battles, however, Run Away has no use because there’s no escaping from these situations. Thus, Run Away only works in specific circumstances, like Shiny Hunting or when trying to find a rare Pokémon on particularly crowded routes.
Reddit user Llafer thinks Run Away is the worst Ability because it “literally does nothing.” They have a point because it indeed has no use in a Trainer battle. The best Abilities can turn the tide around and give players an edge in battle, but Run Away does nothing and actively sabotages Pokémon that could be competitively great, like Kantonian and Galarian Rapidash. However, it at least has no downside, unlike Truant or Slow Start, which is something.
Like Run Away, Illuminate does nothing in battle, literally. Instead, its usefulness is solely outside of battle, where it raises the likelihood of encountering wild Pokémon. Illuminate comes in handy when leveling-up or trying to find a specific Pokémon, but its usefulness in battle is nonexistent.
In user Stormychu’s words: “Competitively speaking, (this ability is) awful.” Illuminate is even worse when compared to the far more useful Ability Arena Trap, which has the same effect in the wild while actually being useful in battle. Illuminate affects mainly mediocre Pokémon, with one clear exception: Starmie, a Pokémon that could be great but whose useless Ability severely holds it back.
3 Weak Armor
Any Ability with the word “weak” on the name is probably bad. Weak Armor decreases a Pokémon’s Physical Defense and increases its Speed whenever the Pokémon gets hit by a Physical Attack. To make things worse, multi-strike moves like Fury Swipes activate the Ability with each hit.
Redditor lyoncobalt describes Weak Armor as “the equivalent of drawing a target on your head and shouting HIT ME WITH A MULTI-HIT ATTACK!” Creatures saddled with this Ability can potentially become some of the best glass cannons in Pokémon, provided they have above-average Attack stats. Otherwise, they’ll be sitting ducks waiting to faint because what’s the point of being fast if you can’t hit hard?
Another Generation IV Ability, Rivalry raises a move’s power by 25% if the user and the target have the same gender. If the genres are opposite, Rivalry will instead decrease the power by the same amount. The Ability has no effect on genderless Pokémon like Porygon.
Redditor YumaS2Astral does not think too highly of Rivalry, saying, “the effect is very situational, as genders are randomized by default.” Indeed, Rivalry is basically a 50-50 Ability; However, it affects otherwise amazing Pokémon like Luxray, Haxorus, and Nidoking, becoming detrimental to their performance in the competitive scene, where genderless Pokémon are common. Rivalry is the ultimate nuisance in battle.
The Normal-type is tricky. It is one of the types with the most Gyms in Pokémon, but it has considerable limitations; it is not super effective against anything and has no resistances. However, it is immune to Ghost and has only one weakness, so it’s far from the worst type in the franchise.
Even so, hardly anyone would want their Normal-type Pokémon to only know Normal moves, and that’s what Normalize does: it turns all moves into the Normal-type. Reddit user Justice_Avenger thinks Normalize “is almost absolute garbage.” Harsh but deserved words. Normal-type attacks will make for an unnecessarily long battle and will be completely useless against Ghost-types. Normalize is Skitty and Delcatty’s signature Ability, so at least no other Pokémon share this burden.
NEXT: 8 Classic RPG Elements Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Needs To Include
The 10 Best Thanos Quotes, According To Ranker
About The Author