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  #1  
Old February 25, 2011, 10:17:28 PM
Justjack91's Avatar
Justjack91 Justjack91 is offline
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Default Week 7: Alakazam



(2/25/11) Gotta feel bad for a legendary like Mewtwo that's been training in a cave forever and is waiting to face a real challenge only to be caught by a Master Ball. Legendaries will always have it hard.

Hey guys. This is Justjack91. Today's Generation Shift focuses on a "special" Pokemon of the series. For most people, aside from Gyarados, this is the first "sweeper" for teams in almost any generation. It's also one of those "difficult" Pokemon to train at first due to its lack of moves in its first evolution.

You know it! You love it! Give it up for Alakazam!


Alakazam


Can you believe this Pokemon was subjected as a "racist" Pokemon to a particular group of people (just google an article on it; it sits with Jynx as a controversial Pokemon, so I wouldn't be surprised if you find both on the same page).

This guy is great. Reliable power and speed both within the game itself and in competitive play. When set up right, nothing can stop this guy.

I'm sure there's plenty of movesets and strategies you guys can find about this guy (or have created yourself), but I'm here to talk about how he's changed from my perspective going onto our current generations (I was a Red/Blue gamer after all).

Without further ado, let's get started.

Consistent Strategy

Oh, a special Weavile? Don't mind if I do? Oh, and it has fewer weaknesses? That works as well! Yep, if you're planning to have this Pokemon on your team, he'd be wasted on helping you pass your SATs. This guy moves hard and fast. If that speed doesn't attract you to him, that huge special attack will. This dude could stand up to legendaries in terms of power. Things have changed a little with more resistance to the Psychic type, but for a long time, all you could think of when facing this guy was "I need to figure out a way to keep him from taking out my entire team fast!"

The interesting thing about Ala is that he's changed in each generation in rather interesting ways. Let's start with the land Red and Blue, Kanto.

Kanto

You know what "uber" means today for us in the 4th/5th generation? Well, that description pretty much defines Ala in the 1st generation.

Ala's first major advantage (for those that put the time to train him from an Abra early on) is that being a "Psychic" type is that almost nothing could stop you. Yeah, not only did Psychic Pokemon have the ability to hit everything with neutral or super effective damage (except fellow Psychics), but they also were able to take a hit since their only real weakness was bug with only two realistic Pokemon that knew bug type moves (Beedrill, which is weak to Psychic, and Jolteon, who lacks attack power).

The only real drawback with Ala is that he didn't have the type coverage he has nowadays. His only real offensive move that uses his monstrous special attack is psychic (with two surprise moves, but we'll get to that soon). This worked great back then, but let's get more detailed on his moves.

Psychic is obviously the best attack in the 1st generation. Never again can we own Pokemon Stadium with this move the same way again. This move just about kills everything once you teach it to him. Giovanni cried like a little girl, Lance face palmed himself, and Gary and Sabrina knew what he was doing. If you paired simply this move and Ala together, the game was just about over.

It's no wonder Mewtwo was the main counter to Ala aside from other fellow Psychics like Jynx or Slowbro.

Aside from Psychic, you have options, but only a few.

Recover paired well with Ala. Take a bit of damage, get around half health, rub it in their face and recover all that health again. Ownage.

Seismic Toss was your main counter to fellow Psychics. In-game, this was handy for lower level or low heath Pokes, but in places like the Prime Cup, this usually ensured at four hit KO except with Chansey (more like 5-6). Recover is handy here as you take a small beating for using this move.

Counter can be pretty devastating when a Physical Pokemon comes out and tries to take you out. Prediction is key, but Psychic hits all his counters at this point that would try to face him.

Toxic is a decent counter to walls like Chansey to use with Ala. Again, goes well with Recover when the opponent can't kill you in one hit.

Thunder Wave is decent for support, but if you can kill it, kill it. If not, recover and try to kill it still. TW is still a safe move either way (especially for catching Pokes in game).

And then there's the gimmick moves.

Mimic, with good prediction, can give you another option in your moveset that complements your special stat. It could also waste your time and HP with a useless attack, but hey, it's just one moveslot. Otherwise, you're just spamming Psychic, Psychic, Psychic.

Metronome. This one is fun when you know you've won a match and are facing someone who can't defeat you. When in doubt, just use Metronome to pull out that late game Ice Beam or Thunder or whatever move that would help you out right then (just hope for no Explosion).

Yep, unlike a lot of Pokes, you really can only rely on a few awesome moves with this guy. If you didn't have Mewtwo, you had Ala. Nuff said.

Johto

Things changed a bit with the introduction of Steel and Dark types, both of which are resistant to psychic moves (one completely). However, Ala's stats remained the same for the most part. He still could hit hard and take one (so long as he wasn't facing a Houndoom or Tyranitar who eat Ala for breakfast with their Crunch). You just had to switch a bit more than you did the last generation.

A few additions came up for him. Twisted Spoon was a new held item that added to his already absurd offensive ability. More damage from Psychic? Yes please!

The introduction of the "Punch" moves as TM's were a blessing and a curse for many. Now you could take out Dragonite easy with Ala along with other types thanks to these moves. You usually should only choose one of the Punch moves though (Ice Punch, Fire Punch, or Thunder Punch) or risk getting walled by Chansey (or now Blissey). Ice Punch, in my opinion, is probably the best of the three for its coverage, but Fire Punch takes care of steels (and at this point, it REALLY hurts).

Zap Cannon, though notorious for its accuracy, is another attack for Ala, but Thunder Punch or Thunder Wave still do a good job against flying and water types. Just use with caution.

Thief is great for Ala in this gen thanks to Dark being only special at first. Items were more of an afterthought at first in gen 2, but hey, dark means you have another weapon against ghost and psychics.

Encore, by breeding, was cool to get back then. Forcing them to do one move over and over that didn't hurt you much was effective in the 2nd gen. As always, prediction is key.

A few uneventful changes occurred like Future Sight (which could hit Dark types I believe), but eh, nothing else special. Ala's only real change was new enemies and a few more attacks that used his Sp. Att stat a bit more.

Onto Hoenn.

Hoenn

Better counters have come out for Ala, so now you need to play mind games with them.

Synchronize allows you to get paralyzed or poisoned at the same time as they do. Means they better think twice before putting a status on you.

Trick switches held items with the opponent. Choice Band had just been introduced, so why not trick an opponent who doesn't need it (like Blissey) into holding it? Works great in the right circumstance.

Calm Mind is awesome for sweeping. This increases his already disgusting special attack and his impressive special defense to high levels both for walling and for sweeping.

Offensively, Shock Wave is meh (get Thunder Punch in Emerald or by breeding), and you get some gimmick moves you lost in Johto, but hey, not a whole lot changed really for his offenses.

And then there was Sinnoh...

Sinnoh

And just as counters for Ala are mounting up, so are his counter attacks. Finally, Ala has moves much more suited towards his special attack stat. Yep, now he can own people with much more powerful moves than before.

Before we talk about his pros now, we need to first define his losses. First, elemental punches lack the "punch" they had due to the P/S split, so best not to go this route with him anymore. Damn dragons can take him on again.

Shadow Ball went special, and that's cool bro. Ghost types have more to fear than Thief now. If you're faster than a Gengar, they're in for a world of hurt.

Focus Blast, a strange but awesome move, gives you a special fighting attack for both Steels and Dark types! Awesome! Your main counters of Johto better think twice before switching in. That accuracy is an issue though, but hey, why use moves like Fire blast if we're not willing to take a little risk, right? At least he can fight his counters now.

Energy Ball
works well for a lot of foes. Grass covers ground, rock, and water, so it never hurts when you're facing a Hippowdon to have this secret weapon (or Quagsire for that matter, but what's he doing facing down Ala in the first place?).

Grass Knot
is more for Ubers. You can predict that legendaries are relatively heavy in ubers (Groudon will hate you with this move), but other areas are less so.

Charge Beam, unlike its predecessors of electric moves, is actually a decent choice to use when you have the advantage. A boost in special attack with almost every hit takes care of the need for Calm Mind (though it's still a good move).

Signal Beam is...cool. Although it lacks what Focus Blast and Shadow Ball can do, it takes care of a lot of the same opponents (save for ghost and steel, which you wanna take care of).

That's really it for realistic options for Ala though. Your choice items are always handy, but there's plenty of articles out there that tell you how to use them to your advantage.

Summary

The Psychic types were regarded as "gods" at one point...until they bled in Johto onward. Psychic has gone from being Ala's only and main weapon to one of many. Each gen introduced something new and took something old from Ala. It's like his old toys had gotten old and broken and so he got new toys to play with instead.

Ala still holds its ground pretty well, but much like Mewtwo, competition is fierce. There's no longer any one dominant type in the games anymore, and Ala has to deal with the fact that he will go down in one hit every now and again.

That's it for this week's Generation Shift. Hope you enjoyed it.

Last edited by Justjack91; February 26, 2011 at 06:36:47 PM.
  #2  
Old March 1, 2011, 05:06:17 PM
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gokugurl11 gokugurl11 is offline
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too bad I enver raised one baby ^^'
  #3  
Old March 5, 2011, 07:23:16 PM
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Alakazamaster Alakazamaster is offline
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wait how did I miss this

Oh dear sweet Alakazam, how far you have fallen from the glory days. Alakazam is still a Pokemon that I will never give up, though, and as Generation V. debuts tomorrow and with it a new metagame, I can only assume Alakazam will stay in UU. This doesn't mean that I won't use him in OU, though, since he is more than capable...
  #4  
Old March 6, 2011, 04:13:02 AM
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Shadow Shadow is offline
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I actually never knew that Alakazam was that powerful in the Kanto region...

Last edited by Shadow; March 6, 2011 at 04:13:07 AM.
 
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