Legendary Pokémon tend to be among the most sought-after Pokémon due to their rarity and power. Tracking down Pokémon that possess Hidden Abilities can be as tricky as finding Legendary Pokémon. That makes Legendary Pokémon that possess their Hidden Abilities perhaps the rarest Pokémon of all! Fortunately for players, there have recently been great opportunities to acquire some of these Pokémon for themselves. Trainers who access Pokémon Bank before October 31, 2016, can receive Regirock, Regice, and Registeel with their Hidden Abilities. Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres with their Hidden Abilities are available to Trainers who check the May Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter, or to those who stopped by a participating retailer in Europe and received a code to get them.
A Pokémon's Ability can greatly enhance the way it performs in battle. Unlike the Mythical Pokémon distributed recently, these Pokémon are permitted in the Video Game Championships and in the Battle Maison. Let's take a look at some strategies that benefit from these newly discovered Hidden Abilities in battles.
Regirock, Regice, and Registeel all normally possess the Clear Body Ability. A Pokémon with Clear Body is protected from stat reduction caused by the moves and Abilities of other Pokémon. While Clear Body is an Ability that can help here and there, it isn't often a major factor in battle, or one that is easy to build a strategy around. Let's take a look at some strategies that are available to Trainers who are using these Pokémon enhanced by their new Hidden Abilities. And remember, all three Pokémon are still available through Pokémon Bank.
If Regirock is at full HP, its Sturdy Hidden Ability will allow it to survive any single attack that would normally have knocked it out (and it won't be affected by one-hit knockout moves like Sheer Cold). With the Sturdy Ability it's as if Regirock were holding both a Focus Sash and a second item at once. Regirock's fantastic Defense stat makes it difficult for foes to knock it out with a single physical attack, but Sturdy helps make up for Regirock's weaker Special Defense. For a powerful trick in battles against other players, try giving Regirock a Custap Berry (sometimes available from the Poké Doll Grabber attraction on the Pokémon Global Link) to hold. If your opponent does enough damage to activate Regirock's Sturdy Ability, the Custap Berry will allow it to move first on the next turn. The combination of a Custap Berry and the Sturdy Ability can allow Regirock to use an extra Stone Edge, Hammer Arm, or even Explosion before its opponent can move. This strategy can allow the normally slow Regirock to quickly change the course of battle. Because the Custap Berry is consumed when it's used, and because this is a move that benefits from a certain element of surprise, it works better against real players than against a CPU opponent.
Regice's Hidden Ability is Ice Body, which allows it to restore some of its HP at the end of each turn when the hail weather condition is in effect. The Regice you receive will already know the move Hail, which will damage most opposing Pokémon at the end of each turn and activate Ice Body. For even more healing, try giving Regice the Leftovers item to hold. With both Ice Body and Leftovers restoring Regice's HP, most Pokémon you encounter during a battle will struggle to do much damage to Regice.
Spending a turn to use Hail to restore Regice's HP can take too long in battles against other players. You may find it's more effective to pair Regice with an Abomasnow or Aurorus that has the Snow Warning Ability, which activates the hail weather condition upon entering battle. Regice can also be especially effective against these Pokémon: not only does Regice's Ice Body allow it to recover HP, but its high Special Defense will limit the damage from many other Ice-type Pokémon's attacks. You may find there isn't enough hail in the Video Game Championships for Regice to activate Ice Body due to Primal Kyogre's Primordial Sea and Primal Groudon's Desolate Land, so consider trying out this Regice on Battle Spot or in the Battle Maison instead.
Registeel's Light Metal Hidden Ability halves its weight, which may not have a clear benefit at first glance. Reducing its weight won't change any of Registeel's stats, and weight isn't a factor in every battle, so Light Metal isn't the sort of Ability you can normally base a strategy around. But, having a lower weight does reduce the damage Registeel takes from Low Kick and Grass Knot, which both do more damage against heavier Pokémon. Since Registeel is weak to Fighting-type attacks, Light Metal can give it some protection by reducing the amount of damage it takes from Low Kick. When battling against a Pokémon that knows Low Kick, such as some Mega Kangaskhan, Light Metal can help Registeel stay in battle longer.
Birds Are the Word
Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres all normally have the Pressure Ability, which increases the PP consumption of moves that target them. These Pokémon are tough to knock out, so Pressure can be helpful. However, unless your opponent is using a move that starts with only 5 PP, battles often don't last long enough for Pokémon to exhaust all of a move's PP. The new Abilities available to these Legendary Pokémon are also defensive abilities, so you may find that each of them is more likely to have an impact in battle than Pressure.
Articuno's Snow Cloak Hidden Ability opens up some great new strategies! Snow Cloak increases Articuno's evasion under the effects of hail. Like Regice's Ice Body Ability, Articuno's Snow Cloak can be challenging to take advantage of. We would again suggest pairing Articuno with another Pokémon that has the Snow Warning Ability to activate hail, but Articuno will also know Hail when you receive it. Combining Snow Cloak with the held item Bright Powder, which lowers the accuracy of opposing Pokémon, can make Articuno very difficult to hit. If you teach Articuno Substitute to absorb attacks that do connect and Roost to restore its HP, you can make it even more difficult to knock out. Combining these tactics with training Articuno's defensive stats can lead to one stout Pokémon!
Don't worry about training your Articuno to deal more damage. The attack that best completes this move set is definitely Sheer Cold, which will knock out any Pokémon it hits in a single blow. Keep a Substitute active and keep firing away, and Sheer Cold will hit eventually.
Zapdos's new Static Ability can paralyze Pokémon that make contact with it. Many Trainers already train their Zapdos to be difficult to knock out so that it can weather multiple attacks and use moves like Thunder Wave or Tailwind as many times as possible. The Static Ability enhances these defensive strategies by giving Zapdos a way to paralyze foes without having to use a move. You can make the most of Zapdos's Static Ability by continuing to train it defensively and by giving it ways to restore its health. Giving it a Sitrus Berry to hold and teaching it Roost are both great options for keeping Zapdos's HP high. The more times your opponent has to hit Zapdos before they knock it out, the more chances Static has to inflict paralysis.
Moltres's Flame Body Ability is very similar to Zapdos's Static, but instead of paralyzing foes, Flame Body may burn them. As with Zapdos, Trainers looking to make the most of Moltres's new Ability should train its defensive stats and teach it the move Roost. While Sitrus Berry is a great item for Moltres as well, Trainers may want to consider giving Moltres a Rocky Helmet to hold. Not only will Pokémon that come into contact with Moltres risk being burned by Flame Body and taking damage each turn from a burn, but Rocky Helmet will deal damage, too! This can be especially effective against Mega Kangaskhan, as Parental Bond will cause Kangaskhan to take double damage from Rocky Helmet and risk being burned by Flame Body twice.
If you're not looking to take your Moltres into battle, it can also be a great Pokémon to help you train your other Pokémon. Having a Pokémon with the Flame Body Ability in your party halves the number of steps you must take in order for an Egg to hatch. If you also use HM02 to teach Moltres Fly, it can help you hatch Pokémon Eggs and travel around Hoenn or Kalos to train them!
Good luck finding new ways to battle with these six Legendary Pokémon and their Hidden Abilities. Don't forget to look at your e-mail if you signed up for the May Pokémon Trainer Club newsletter to get your code for Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. And remember to check out Pokemon.com/Strategy to find all the most recent strategy content and tournament coverage.