Pokemon Week: The Evolution Solution – Relicanth, Tauros and Girafarig!

Last year about this time, for Pokemon Platinum‘s Pokemon Week, I did a little piece called “The Evolution Solution! In it we looked at three non-evolving Pokemon in Skarmory, Militank and Pinsir and showed how they could still be a vital part of any Trainer’s team. Due to the popularity of that article, I’m back again to look at another three Pokemon and show that just because these Pokemon don’t evolve, that it doesn’t mean they can’t be seriously helpful in both your quest to become the Pokemon Master as well as in Trainer battles.

Relicanth

Relicanth is a pretty rare Pokemon and one that is required to get the three Relis in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. He’s actually a very solid Pokemon with a ton of Hit Points and pretty high Attack and Defensive stats. Its Special Attack is somewhat low for a Water Pokemon, but it has a nice Special Defense and Speed to make up for it. If you’ve been reading all of Pokemon Week here at Diehard GameFAN, you’ll have seen how I show that a Relicanth can be the ultimate Charizard killer.

When choosing your Relicanth you have to make a pretty big decision due to this Pokemon being able to have two Pokemon Abilities. The first is Rock Head, which keeps Relicanth from taking recoil damage. This is great if you are going for power moves like Take Down or Head Smash, which has a power level of a whopping 150. The other option is Swift Swim, which doubles Relicanth’s speed if it is raining. If you choose the latter, you’ll have a Pokemon that is guaranteed to go first, but you’ll also need to devote a move slot to Rainy Day. A Swift Swim Relicanth is a great tag partner or any Electric Pokemon as Rainy Day really helps out moves like Thunder. Raikou and Relicanth? Yes please.

For a Rock Head Relicanth, the following moves are a must if you’re not just naturally learned moves: Head Smash, Dive and Double-Edge. Yawn or Ancientpower is your best bet to fill your final slot. With this move set you have the second most powerful Normal Attack without having to take damage, you have the most powerful Rock attack without having to take damage and a decent Water attack. Yawn is a good defensive measure to stall Pokemon Relicanth is weak against such as Fighting, Ground, Grass, and Electric types. With HM’s you’ll want to replace Dive with Waterfall so you don’t have to pause a turn when using a Physical based Water attack and putting in Earthquake as your fourth move will defend you against Electric Pokemon, leaving you only truly weak against Fighting and especially Grass Pokemon, the latter of which does 4x damage to Relicanth.Because of this weakness to Grass, it might be worth nixing Double-Edge for Ice Beam, which is another TM Relicanth can learn. Sure it uses Relicanth’s much lower Special Attack stat, but it does give protection against Grass Pokemon with a 100% accuracy rate. Your call. Finally, if you can find the Move Tutor that teaches Aqua Tail, use that instead of Waterfall as it’s slightly more powerful.

Rock Head Relicanth Moveset 1: Head Smash, Aqua Tail, Earthquake, Double-Edge
Rock Head Relicanth Moveset 2: Head Smash, Aqua Tail, Earthquake, Ice Beam

For a Swift Swim Relicanth, you pretty much need to jettison the two best moves of a Rock Head in Double Edge and Head Smash. A quality Swift Swimmer is going to require a lot of TM’s. You’re definitely going to want to keep Waterfall or Aqua Tail, as it’s the best Physical Water move. You’re going to need a good Rock move as well. Stone Edge has only a Power level of 100 and also has 5% less accuracy, but it has a very high critical hit ratio, so that’s worth considering. However I tend to prefer not taking chances in Pokemon battles. I’d rather do a little less damage and guarantee myself a hit than to have a higher powered move that might not hit at all. For this reason I tend to go with Rock Slide. Rock Slide has a 75 Power Level, but it also has a 90% accuracy rate, it isn’t a contact move so you’re protected against things like Static or Poison Point, it has a 30% chance of causing your opponent to flinch AND it hits both of the opposing Pokemon in a Double Battle. Since a Swift Swim Relicanth is geared for Double Battles anyway, you might as well kill two birds with one stone by taking this move. Earthquake is a great final move as it again, protects Relicanth against Electric types and it hurts everyone in a Doubles Battle as well. A Swift Swim Relicanth with Zapdos or another flying/levitating Pokemon is a very hard duo to beat. Still, if you don’t have an Electric type with a natural immunity to Earthquake, consider using a Pokemon that can learn Thunder that can fly or levitate. Gengar for example.

Swift Swim Relicanth Moveset: Rock Slide, Rainy Day, Earthquake, Aqua Tail

Tauros

I’m just going to say this: Tauros + Move Tutor = BAD ASS Pokemon. You teach it Outrage and you have a super damage dealing Pokemon that can take down any Dragon type in one or two hits. Let it naturally learn Zen Headbutt and suddenly you are super effective against Poison and Fighting types as well. Fighting is the only real weakness Normal Pokemon have, so this is definitely a keeper. For Same Type Attack Bonus, consider Thrash as your third move. It takes only 1 PP for two to three rounds, has a power level of 90 and it works great with Tauros. The only problem is after the move is done, your Pokemon is confused. Still, two or three hits from Thrash and your opponent is probably KO’d anyway. If that worries you a bit I would go with Return. A Happy Tauros gives Return a Power level of 102 and it has a 100% accuracy. So it’s more powerful than Thrash while lacking the potential for developing the Confusion Status Effect. For your fourth move, I would go with Earthquake, which will let Tauros be super effective against Electric, Poison, Rock, Steel and Fire types. That’s now seven Pokemon Typos Tauros will be able to do away with pretty handily. This, my friends is a pretty easy Pokemon to turn into a strong member of any Trainer’s team.

Tauros Moveset: Zen Headbutt, Outrage, Return, Earthquake

Girafarig

This is the toughest of the three to do in this column as Girafarig has pretty decent stats. It’s nothing great and is decidedly average in the long run, but it has no real weak spots in its stats. It’s one of those nice all around Pokemon that excels at nothing but is still solid at everything. Its total base stats are the same (totalwise) as Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan and Primeape and those are often used on main teams or even in Trainer Vs. Trainer battles. I actually used Girafarig a lot during the original Generation II games as so many people were unaware of what it could do. It’s immunity to Ghost while being a Psychic Pokemon didn’t hurt either.

First off you’re going to have to choose between Girafarig’s two Pokemon Abilities. Inner Focus prevents flinching and Early Bird halves the time a Pokemon is asleep. Trust me when I say Inner Focus is far superior. Only take that!

With that planned out, you might want to breed. Get yourself one of the following six Pokemon for a Girafarig to make sweet love to: Nidoran (Male), Nidorino, Nidoking, Jolteon, Combusken, and Blaziken. Make sure the partner Pokemon knows Double Kick so that the Baby Girafarg will be born with it. Now at first glance, this is a weak move to give to a Pokemon as one of its final four moves. It hits twice with a mere Power level of only 30. However, combined it’s a decent, but not great, power level of sixty. The reason you are taking it is that Girafarig is only weak against Dark and Bug Type moves. This gives you protection against Dark. You don’t have to go this route by any means; it’s just an option.

Because Girafarig’s Attack and Special Attack are nearly the same, you can pretty much take the best of anything in its natural moves or in HM’s and run wild with it. It naturally learns both Psychic and Crunch, so why NOT take both of those? It can learn the following awesome moves from TM’s: Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball and Energy Ball, so those three are worth considering as well. It can learn Signal Beam and Sucker Punch from a Move Tutor, so those are both worth considering as well. The key now, is to pare things down.

I would definitely take Psychic for STAB bonus. Out of the two Dark Moves, I would probably take Sucker Punch over Crunch, but only because it has that Quick Attack like “always hit first” aspect. With those two moves you are strong against Ghost, Psychic, Fighting and Poison attacks. If you took Double Kick, you’re also strong against Normal, Rock, Steel, Ice and Dark. That is a total of nine types! WOW. What do we want to add next: Bug, Grass, Electric or Ghost? Nix Ghost as you already have a Dark move, so that lowers your choices to three. Bug attacks are strong against Grass, Psychic and Dark but you already have two of those covered. Electric will give you extra damage against Flying and Water while Grass will give you extra damage against Ground, Rock and Water. You already have Rock covered so it comes down to what do you encounter more? Ground or Flying? For me personally, it’s Flying, so Thunderbolt makes the cut. Besides, a lot of Ground types are dual types with weaknesses you already have covered. Either way, your Girafarig will be super effective against ELEVEN types of Pokemon. Your only real worry at this point are Bug attacks.

Girafarig Move Set: Psychic, Sucker Punch, Double Kick, Thunderbolt

So there we go: another year and another look at three non-evolving Pokemon that can still be a solid part of any Trainer’s lineup. It’s all a matter of how you raise them and build their moveset up.

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