Hello Internet! I’m sure you know Pokemon X and Y are due out in less than three short weeks! To increase the hype in the months leading up to the release, Nintendo has been releasing more and more information about the games, such as new Pokemon, new Moves, and new abilities. While most of these leaks were meant solely to excite people and rile up Poke-fans of all ages, many of these leaks also have major implications in the competitive Metagame. And that’s what I’m here to talk about!
Appearance & Data:
From the second you see these two Pokemon, (given you are at least somewhat-versed in the previous generations of the game) a couple other Pokes come to mind: Magneton and Dugtrio. Magneton, Dugtrio, and Doublade are “evolutions” in that multiple Magnemite, Diglett, and Honedge somehow become combined or stuck together, making a new Pokemon. Now, I am completely fine with this, seeing as how this is likely a throwback to the First Gen games of Red, Blue, and Yellow, or at least a nod to those who have been playing the franchise since those games. However, this method of “evolution” has come under fire from many trolls on the Internet, despite being guarded by the unspoken “First Gen Nostalgia Bubble,” in which everything within the First Generation of Pokemon was perfect due to many members of the Pokemon community having grown up with the games.
Honedge, according to its’ Pokedex Entry, is a sword possessed by a departed spirit, which gives it its’ amazing Steel and Ghost typing. This bewitched broadsword, stands at 2’07’’, and weighs a cool 4.4 lbs. Upon evolving, the blade doesn’t change size, but just about doubles in weight, weighing in at 9.9 lbs. They are both classified as; you guessed it, the Sword Pokemon.
Judging from the obvious fact that the Pokemon themselves are weapons, I’m guessing that both Honedge and Doublade will be very offensive Pokes within the Metagame. In the current Gen 5 Metagame, Steel is a notoriously bad offensive typing, as most Steel types are inherently defensive (Steelix, Forretress, Ferrothorn, Lairon, Bronzong, etc.) In the past, Steel was only supereffective against Rock and Ice, and resisted by Fire, Water, Electric and other Steel Pokes, but now with the addition of the Fairy Type, it was given another boost, as Fairy is now weak to Steel offenses. We can only imagine the prevalence of the new Fairy types within the Metagame, but the fact that Fairy is a new type will mean people will be excited to try the new Fairy Pokes (as well as old Gen Pokes that have been recast as Fairy Types, like Jigglypuff, Marill, and Gardevoir) and to find their role within the upcoming Gen 6 Metagame.
The Ghost Type, however, is a very good offensive type, especially now that Steel no longer resists Ghost and Dark Type attacks. This new buff for Ghost type offenses leaves the type strong against Psychics and other Ghosts, weak against only Dark Type defenses, and completely unable to damage or affect Normal Types. Both Honedge’s and Doublade’s offensive Dual-STAB are able to hit every type at least normally effective, giving it what is considered perfect coverage in the Metagame.
Honedge is known to be able to use the moves Shadow Sneak, a Ghost type move, weak, but with priority; Aerial Ace, a base 60 Flying Type move with perfect accuracy; and Swords Dance, a move that doubles the Pokemon’s attack stat. Upon evolving, Doublade is able to use the move Sacred Sword, a powerful Fifth Gen Fighting Type attack which ignores the opponent’s defense and evasion stat boosts.
Both Honedge and Doublade have the ability No Guard, which ensures that every move on either side of the battle always hits. This is a fantastic ability to have in terms of offense, but given the known moveset of the Pokes, none of their current moves really benefit from this ability. If they were able to learn very powerful moves which have low accuracy, such as Stone Edge or maybe even Cross Chop for Doublade, they would be able to better make use of this great ability.
Steel is an inherently defensive typing. With resistance to Normal, Grass, Ice, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Rock, Dragon, Steel, and now Fairy Type Attacks, not to mention a complete invulnerability to Poison and Poison Type Attacks, it is an amazing defensive Type. Prior to the new Sixth Gen mechanics, Steel also resisted Dark and Ghost Type attacks. Sadly for Honedge and Doublade, however, they no longer resist these types, and now, due to their Steel/Ghost dual-typing, they are weak to Dark, Ghost, Fire, and Ground type attacks. However, they are able to dodge one of Steel’s only weaknesses: Fighting Types cannot effect Ghosts. Most Ghosts, usually more offensively based, carry the Levitate Ability, leaving them immune to all Ground Type attacks. If Honedge or Doublade were able to get this ability, either through it being their secondary ability or through the Dream World, they would dodge another of Steel Type’s few weaknesses. These Pokes might suffer more from their No Guard ability if they were more defensive, as the offending Poke’s attacks cannot miss their target. The only defensive benefit I can foresee from having this ability, is no longer being able to miss the common Ghost move, Will-o’-Wisp, a move with only 75% accuracy that always results in a burn. This would be a pretty great advantage, seeing as how burning an offending Pokemon will cut that Pokemon’s physical attack stat in half, and giving a move like Will-o’-Wisp a reliable 100% accuracy would be a great way to ensure that your Honedge or Doublade will not be taking as much physical damage.