How-to Play Ludicolo

Rain = Good

I love Ludicolo. But that doesn't mean that everybody does. I can accept that. I think that one of the reasons he is not well played is because people don't understand his strengths.

Both of his abilities only work in rain.

If you are serious about playing the character you will need to keep this in mind.

Swift Swim allows him to be a Rain sweeper while Rain Dish gives him a a free second Leftovers.

But he can work without it.

Albeit not as well.

I find it hard to really give a comprehensive example of this, in so far as far as strategies for winning go, but I will say that it is possible. You can win, I mean, not amazingly well, but he can do it.

Probably the best bet would be a special wall, as Grass / Water is a pretty interesting typing. Unfortunately not very many resists, but his weaknesses (except for Flying) aren't exactly super common.

You can use either Synthesis or Giga Drain as the Insta-heal. Synthesis is good because it's a set amount, but Giga Drain is also good because it deals damage.

It's up to personal preference.

Surf is there because dealing damage is good, and Water is a pretty good attacking type.

Also to make sure Ludicolo doesn't just get Taunted and be unable to do anything, especially if you choose Synthesis.

If you run Giga Drain, though, it might be useful to use Rain Dance to guarantee the Rain Dish extra HP.

Just don't use Rain Dance and Synthesis, because rain makes Synthesis preform worse.

Maybe you won't use him in you main group. But he is worth playing. And if you are like me, and don't mind making a fun group, you may make one focused around him.

Fan Favorites: Pokémon Types

This has always been a tough question for me to give a committed respond to. Ice, Steel, and Dragon all deserve mentions, but I'll ultimately hand the chalice to Ground.

I know few Ground type lovers, and I've always pondered why. It's not my favorite, but it's offensive presence is huge and the Pokemon can range from cute, like Trapinch and Numel, to awesome like Groudon and Mamoswine! It's a very cool type.

Truthfully, it's a lot of simple things that culminates it into my favorite. Their design is broad, yet definable. Earthquake is probably my favorite move in the franchise. Their role as a tanky powerhouse is fun to go berserk with. And of course, ol' Mamoswine is Ground type.

Ground would be followed by Grass.

Grass has always been put out to pasture, though Grass is a powerful type when played well.

For example: Grass/Fairy is a subtle combo! Whimsicott is perceived as weak, yet when you look at the stats it can be very well played. Considering how closely nature and fairies are related. Florges should have been Grass/Fairy.

Fan Favorite: Mon Ludicolo

I like Ludicolo. Still wen you compare Ludicolo to mons like Shiftry you can tell he got the short end of the stick when it comes to movepools, but it more than makes up for it with a good defensive typing, far better niche in weather with Swift Swim, and ability to wall common Water type threats.


  1. Swift Swim
  2. Rain Dish
  3. Own Tempo
  • HP: 80
  • ATK: 70
  • DEF: 70
  • SPA: 90
  • SPD: 100
  • SPE: 70

I'm a huge fan of this cheerful Pokemon and still one since Ruby and Sapphire. I just can't help but to dance when it listens to music, wears a leaf sombrero and is often depicted carrying maracas and having one heck of a good time.

One of the more interesting things about Ludicolo is its unique typing, which negates several of the weaknesses that pure Water and pure Grass Pokémon have. Nothing makes me happier than using Rain Dish Rain Dance. What a great combination. Plus who can resist the charisma of a giant dacing Mexican pineapple duck. Or is it supposed to be a platypus? I don't know.

Ludicolo is awesome exactly because it's so strange which all just adds up to Ludicolo being my favorite mon.

It has been amazing going through the games and seeing them grow into the phenomenon that it is today.

Pokémon In All Forms

I don't know what it is about Pokémon, okay, I will take that back. I know what it is about Pokémon that keeps me coming back for more. I collect Pokémon cards, and I play because it holds a special place in my heart, it is that safe place I go from my childhood. There are a lot of other TCGs out that you could collect instead. But, games like Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! just seem so generic for me. Nor do the creatures do not mean anything to me.

They're less colorful, imaginative, and charming than Pokémon.

I like how smooth and quickly Pokémon flows.

I like how much access to your deck you have because of all the draw and search. I like how deck composition decisions play out so quickly in terms of performance. I like the basic mechanic of it being a battle between active Pokémon with a little bit of interaction from the bench.

It's simple enough that 10 year old me could pick it up and play a competitive game and yet it is deep enough for me to spend hours a day acting as a strategist now as an adult. There is far more decision making than one would be led to believe if you only looked at it in the context of a "kid's game." There are a lot of different ways/tactics to play which keeps it interesting. And now it is an activity Bae and I can enjoy as a couple.

I tried playing competitively, but ultimately got frustrated with it because of things like turbo Flareon/Empoleon, Toad, the coming Vileplume, Toad, LaserBank, Toad, the coming Giratina, Toad, crushing/enhanced hammers, Toad, etc.

I just walked away frustrated whenever I tried playing seriously.

I started playing rogue decks and it's fun because people are so focused on the meta that they don't expect rogue decks.

One thing that bothers me, and I'm sure that this is the same in other card games as well, is the insane amount of hype cards get while others are hated for no good reason.

Why did you start with Pokémon, and why do you stick with it?

Why physical cards instead of the online TCG?

I like online and the TCG. Which I like most goes up and down.

Online is so smooth with the setup and shuffling done automatically. But there is a wonderful tactile quality about drawing cards, about physically a Pokémon into the active, about revealing the card that will mess up your opponent.

And it's just fun to be physically opposite someone.

Pokémon for Rainy Days

If you feel like gambling, most Swamps only put in 140 EV's into speed (to Outspeed Scarf-Lando-T in Rain). So if you instead want to got Modest for more power in other situations, only put 148 into speed, and play for bulk with the rest. This build Will OHKO what it is designed to beat, but you will easily drain off any damage done to you if if it is faster or too bulky, where Swamps ice punch does the most damage.

I simply put the leftover EVs in Special Defense after investing in speed and Special attack. This was a choice to get more worth out of the Assault Vest and greater effective returns from Giga Drain, but you can choose to put the 108 into HP instead, if you want physical bulk. Scald is pretty helpful for that also.

If you really want bulk, you can modify the set even further to bare minimum Special Attack investment for the important KOs. Did come calcs for the main threats that Ludicolo is for (based on what you said):

  • 156 SpA Ludicolo Giga Drain vs. 116 HP / 0 SpD Mega Swampert: 192-228 (101 – 120%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 8 SpA Ludicolo Ice Beam vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 168-200 (101.8 – 121.2%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 220 SpA Ludicolo Giga Drain vs. 252 HP / 148 SpD Rotom-W: 84-98 (53.5 – 62.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery (all sitrus berry users will be 3HKO, D:)

Mega Swampert in the Rain hits hard! It will likely heavily damage if not KO Ludi's partner if you can't bring it down.

One typically has to protect the previous turn with whatever partner to safely switch in Ludi beside it, So the smart player will go for the exposed partner. Oddly, switching swamp on sight of Ludicolo isn't common in my experience with the scenario, they don't want to waste limited rain time I assume.

So in theory, you could drop to only 220 EV's Special attack to allow for more defensive investment. This gives you 140 EVs to place defensively, Where I still recommend Special defense exclusively.

In the end though, Giga draining proper targets for more damage really helps your bulk as well.

To Summarize:

  • [0/0/0/252/84/172] Timid to outspeed any adamant M-Swamps — 252 SpA Ludicolo Giga Drain vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Mega Swampert: 192-228 (109 – 129.5%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • [0/0/0/252/108/148] Modest to outspeed common M-Swamps ONLY. — 252 SpA Ludicolo Giga Drain vs. 0 HP / 0 SpD Mega Swampert: 204-244 (116.5 – 139.4%) — guaranteed OHKO

Again, this is all for a Rain counter/Bulky Fake Out Ludicolo I built for a recent team. It also performs very well against the common bulky waters of the meta such as Milotic/Rotom-W/Jellicent/Suicune.

This leads to a final spread of [0/0/0/220/140/148 Modest].

Slightly more bulky than the other set, but deals enough damage when it counts. I still run the [0/0/0/252/108/148 Modest] On my team though.

This Fluff Packs A Punch

The real main difference between Bewear and Furfrou is that Bewear hits a LOT harder and is more physically bulky due to much higher HP. I don't think anyone thinks Fluffy is better than Fur Coat. It's obvious Fur Coat is better.

Furfrou is, however, a competitively useless character.

After doing calculations, the only thing Furfrou can take better than Bewear are fire type moves and special moves, and even then, not that much better due to Bewear's much higher HP.

Furfrou and Bewear are both bulky pokemon with no good recovery options. The difference is that Bewear can actually threaten things while Furfrou has to rest stall.

  • 1/16 of Furfrou's 354 max HP: 22 HP
  • 1/16 of Bewear's 444 max HP: 27 HP

Where Toxapex is a Wall.

Bewear is a bulldozer.

Bewear's HP outweighs the difference in Special Defense so much that Furfrou can only take special hits only a couple of decimal places better than Bewear. And due to how Pokémon rounds decimals they will generally be taking the same amount of damage specially.

Furfrou only takes physical fire type moves about 5-ish percent better than Bewear usually. If the only thing Furfrou can take better physically is fire type moves, while Bewear takes EVERY other non-super effective type move MUCH better, and they take about the same from special moves, there's really no comparison on who has the better survivability.

Bewear hits like a bulldozer while Furfrou has no real strength when it comes to actual play. Bewear packs Hammer Arm, Superpower, Return, Ice Punch, Earthquake, Thunder Punch, Payback and more. Furfrou gets considerably less attacks to work with that are weaker and provide less coverage.

Bewear can beat:

  • Skarmory
  • Ferrothorn
  • Scizor
  • Tyranitar
  • Bisharp

and many other OU Steel and Rock types that think it may even have the possibility of staying in safely. Bewear also cannot get walled by stalling Pokémon like Toxapex and Celesteela because it packs Taunt. Furfrou cannot learn Taunt.

There is absolutely nothing superior about Furfrou to Bewear.

For every benefit that Fur Coat has over Fluffy, it is negated by Furfrou's terrible stats and terrible movepool. Bewear will always be selected more because it doesn't have the same weaknesses other Pokémon like Furfrou. Also, while I mentioned Toxapex this mon is not a synonym for Bewear, they are not interchangeable.

The Evolution of Trade – A Pokémon Quirk

Some players new to Pokémon wonder why certain features work the way that they do in the game. One of them is when you trade certain mons, this will cause them to evolve.

But why?

New experiences help us grow, and same goes with Pokémon. But not all experiences are good.

Haunter needs th despair and sadness it feels from being sent away by its trainer in order to evolve into Gengar.
Machoke needs grief mixed with loss of the trainer to achieve stronger willpower, this allows them to evolve into Machamp.
Kadabra gains depression by being traded, this leads to psychotic powers allowing it to evolve into Alakazam.
Graveler evolves into Golem but this can only happen through a trade when its heart is cracked and broken, causing immense stress.

There's only so much they can experience with one trainer, so by being traded away into the hands of another trainer, they learn a lot more, triggering their evolution. It could be the sadness of being traded away that contributes to this experience, it could be the ability to learn how to trust another trainer.

But this is all fine and good, a little on the sad side, and a little stupid in my opinion because it is basically on and off, you could have a bad trainer who treats them poorly and trade them to a nice trainer, this would be the opposite, and it wouldn't create the desired effect, yet, it does.

The real reason it to encourage players and kids to buy the link cable and trade with friends. So you have to trade them so that the Pokémon Company and Nintendo make money.

Check That Game Freak

Have you ever wanted to collect all of the cards, and I mean all of the cards? Then it is time to start printing out some checklists. And it just so happens that I have a couple of them for you to get started with.

Game Freak released them a while ago and I am glad that they did, since it is neat having them printed out and slipped into a binder, seeing what you have and don't have, and drooling over the names of cards you may never find.

I love the lists, but I will mention that none of them are actually 100% complete. Unfortunately, the checklist do not include the secret rares.

Base Sets

Base Set Checklist

Base set checklist

Base Set 2 Checklist

Base set 2 checklist


Jungle set checklist


Fossil set checklist


Rocket set checklist

Gym Heroes

Gym Heroes set checklist

Gym Challenge

Gym Challenge set checklist

Neo Genesis

Neo Genesis set checklist

Neo Discovery

Neo Discovery set checklist

Fan Favorite: Black 2 & White 2

The reveal of Black/White Kyurem was done spectacularly. The game made use of the DS' visuals brilliantly here.

As for the gameplay, it's almost the same as the gameplay in Black and White, which is not a bad thing in the slightest since those contributions to the series were excellently done. And at the same time almost everything bad about the first Black and White were improved with these two games.

My favorite new feature was probably the Black Tower/White Treehollow. It was basically the Battle Tower with levels, EXP, and prize money, plus you got a free shiny dragon out of it.

I liked that it had its own final boss, too, Benga wasn't too bad. And in addition to that the evil team actually did something catastrophic and there wasn't a clear-cut happy ending.

Easily the most underrated feature.

There are so many items here. It's a great resource for a lot of items, including rare stones, thanks to the Black Tower/White Treehollow.

Almost all of the available Pokémon appeared in the game, with very few of the monsters being left out, and most of those were starters or legends. Speaking of legends, this game has 'em in spades. Heatran, the Regis, and Lati@s are just a few examples.

I don't care what you say, Ghetsis was gonna kill the player. Even if he only wanted to freeze you, that would have killed you, just a bit more slowly. The rest of the game is smooth sailing from there on out, I guess. The champion reveal is done well, though I feel it could have been someone else, as there was already a Dragon-type leader in the region.

The end credits theme is possibly my favorite in the series to date.

I will probably see Black 2 & White 2 as the perfect Pokémon games until they inevitably top themselves.

Pokemon: Alola

The average speed of all the Pokemon in Alola isn't actually lower than other generations by much, the issue is the most popular/commonly used Pokemon are slow.

The faster ones are mostly rare and/or late or post game which is a deterrent for many players. Some of these include:

  • Raichu
  • M-Metagross
  • Tapus
  • UBs
  • Flygon
  • Dugtrio
  • Salazzle
  • Dragonite
  • Lucario
  • Porygon-Z
  • Ninetales
  • Salamence
  • Garchomp

But then you have fast moving options like:

  • Crobat
  • Sharpedo
  • Alakazam
  • Talonflame

A lot of people would rather try out new Alolan Pokemon than use one they likely had before. This can also be countered if done properly, for example: whenever I battle a Bewear with Fluffy, I one shot it with my Salazzle using Flamethrower. If they placed A-Vulpix, A-Diglett and Minior on Melemele Island they'd get a lot less complaints about slow Pokemon. And you would have a more balanced hand. But many people ignore that.

Yet, with with proper balancing, for example, A-Forms like A-Raichu. There are plenty of Special Pokémon as well.

But you will notice that you mostly encounter Physical ones, whether it's because of Trainer representation, encounter rates or whatever else. They include stuff you can get like Abra. Or Magnemite. A lot of purely new Alolan Pokemon seem to be physical. Still, physical isn't the problem it's having moves that make direct contact that is the problem. Though to be fair finding a physical non-contact move that is SE on Bewear isn't easy but mons like Pelliper and other special guys are still available. It makes contact moves deal ineffective damage, and all fire moves are then super effective.

One example of how I play this is for me to use a 3/3 during my play through: Sylveon, Raichu, Rimbombee as specials and Decidueye, Golisopod, Bewear for physicals.