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The worst ability

Palamon

Silence is Purple
  • 8,189
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    What are some of the worst abilities in Pokemon, besides the obvious ones I know are going to be said: Truant/Slow Start.

    For me: Hustle because I hate missing moves.

    & Honey Gather is literally useless as of generation 8. As honey does nothing now.
     
    Hustle, I really can't stand having lower accuracy. Misses are frustrating. I always box things if they have this ability + find a replacement if I actually want to use the species.

    Also Rivalry. Good when you're fighting against the opposite gender Pokémon, but not the other way around and I think it's more of a hassle to have than not. /:
     
  • 3,267
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    The following abilities according to me are not of much use :


    • I will go with Slow Start and Truant. Now the Pokemon who have these abilities are quite old, hence they are crippled against newer Pokemon, only way is to use Worry Seed in dual battles, or similar.
    • Ball Fetch is also quite useless, and only Yamper learns it.
    • Flower Gift, Sweet Veil and Flower Veil are only usable in dual battles, and nowhere else. Same goes for Friend Guard, Symbiosis, Telepathy and Hospitality.
    • Illuminate is completely useless, it only increases wild encounter.
    • Plus & Minus are dependent upon each other, so will not provide much benefit.
    • Run Away is useful when we are starting fresh, as it helps us to avoid high level wild Pokemon, but afterwards it is of no use. And not provide any assistance in battles.
    • Stall is also there, which causes us to move last irrespective of our speed, and Sableye is only Pokemon to learn it. It doesn't even provide benefit during Trick Room as well, if I remember correctly, as Trick Room considers speed rather than ability.
    • Steam Engine; it provides speed boost if hit by water/fire move, but Coalossal has double weakness against water, so he will be KOed with single water attack, making this ability useless. And yes, this ability doesn't prevents damage taken.
    • Baxcalibur has Thermal Exchange, although it has got dragon subtyping, as well, but boosted Fire attack can make the usage of this ability bit tougher. And another thing is that it doesn't helps absorbing passive fire attacks, so again not much usage if don't know how to work around it.
    • Not much bad, but Comfey's Triage is also there which gives priority to Healing Moves, and her signature move is Floral Healing which heals target. Though it can be used in Doubles, but apart from it we can only use Draining Kiss and Rest.
    • Water Compaction of Palossand is also troublesome to use as it's ground typing makes it tougher to give us confidence to use him as tank against water type Pokemon.
    • Wind Rider also had similar condition like the previous one, but for grass type against flying attack!
     

    PageEmp

    No money puns. They just don’t make cents.
  • 12,738
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    I came into the thread and first thing that came to mind was Run away. Maybe but only maybe it could be useful in the newer games where you don't know if you went into a battle with a high levelled wild, but otherwise, no. Just no.

    Also not fond of abilities that are only usable in bouble battles.

    Does anyone here know what the purpose of Stall is? Other than boosting Payback?
     
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    Gets Truant, Slow Start, and Defeatist out of the way.

    Dislikes Hustle on either side. Makes battles more swingy.

    Oh, Normalize. Who thought that was a good idea? Completely wastes Delcatty's move options (Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Shadow Ball). Offers too weak of a damage boost for such a drawback. What if there is a Ghost type?

    Zen Mode (Unovan Darmanitan, specifically): Turns it from a fast, physical attacker to a slow, special attacker. Why would you do that to yourself? (Respects trying to pull it off for the rarity.)

    Klutz: Prevents you from using items. Enables a Klutz + Assault Vest + Trick move. Serves no helpful purpose for the user outside of that very specific strategy.

    Stall: Mentioned above. How badly do you want to boost Payback?

    Could list plenty of other abilities which have largely no effect in the main story also (Magician, Pickpocket, Magnet Pull, ...)

    I came into the thread and first thing that came to mind was Run away. Maybe but only maybe it could be useful in the newer games where you don't know if you went into a battle with a high levelled wild, but otherwise, no. Just no.

    Also not fond of abilities that are only usable in bouble battles.

    Does anyone here know what the purpose of Stall is? Other than boosting Payback?
    Skill Swapping it onto something else too. Just gave Sableye access to Skill Swap in Generation 9.
     

    Explorer of Time

    Advocate of Ideals
  • 681
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    One ability that I strongly dislike isn't listed so far: Color Change. It changes your Pokemon's type whenever it gets hit by a move. In essence, it removes your own control over the Pokemon's type and gives it to your opponent. You'll never have a reliable STAB because you won't even know what your type will be, and your opponent, if they don't 1HKO you, will definitely set up a 2HKO by exploiting Color Change to hit super-effectively next turn.
     
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    I'd say Traunt is objectively the worst in ability if playing multiplayer. Protect moves can completely shut out Slaking from doing anything. There are strategies built to stall and get Slow Start out and burn the turns away. If you can make that work, you get a regigigas in the lowest tier. I'd rather take Truant over Slow Start against A.I though.

    Aside from those two, Klutz is one that bothers me the most. I like giving my entire team items, unless I'm using acrobatics.
     

    PageEmp

    No money puns. They just don’t make cents.
  • 12,738
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    One ability that I strongly dislike isn't listed so far: Color Change. It changes your Pokemon's type whenever it gets hit by a move. In essence, it removes your own control over the Pokemon's type and gives it to your opponent. You'll never have a reliable STAB because you won't even know what your type will be, and your opponent, if they don't 1HKO you, will definitely set up a 2HKO by exploiting Color Change to hit super-effectively next turn.

    Oh god I can't believe I forgot that one. In an old randomized nuzlocke I did, I got a mon whose ability was randomized to Colour change and that ability ruined the whole thing. Basically as long as it got outsped, it loses STAB instantaneously, and that was so bad, not even a Life orb I somehow got and always attached to that mon made things any better. And what you said about giving the opponent to exploit your new type too is also something.
     
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    Cute Charm: plays around a status ailment that I never liked to begin with.

    Hustle: Accuracy drop.

    Moody: Disgusting RNG Ability. Annoying to watch the stat boosts/drops every turn and trying to keep track of them.

    Quick Draw: Basically free Quick Claw. No strategy, just pray luck to attack first when you're not supposed to.

    Rivalry: Almost no control over it except against the few Pokémon with fixed genres. Harmful Ability when you have to battle Pokémon of the opposite gender.

    Sand Veil / Snow Cloak: Never liked evasion gambling strats.

    Wimp Out / Emergency Exit: Although you may sometimes take advantage of it, being forced to switch out when HP drops below half is something you probably don't want most of the time.

    Magma Armor: Just grants Freezing immunity... to Fire type Pokémon that hardly anyone will ever attack with Ice type moves. Wasted opportunity on an Ability exclusive to the underused Magcargo and Camerupt, could have been reworked to also reduce damage taken from Water and Ice moves.

    I didn't take into account Abilities that are just useless for battle, such as Ball Fetch or Pick Up, and simply exist for their overworld effect.
     
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    Sweet Serenity

    Advocate of Truth
  • 3,373
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    I see some people mentioned the Ability Hustle. Most Pokémon that have the Ability Hustle are not fully-evolved, meaning that you are unlikely to be using Hustle competitively anyway. The fully-evolved Pokémon that have Hustle are typically really weak and/or have better Abilities. Either way, in playthroughs, it isn't that bad, at least not to me. I don't mind trading some accuracy for more damage. Anyways, regarding my list:

    Anticipation – The Pokémon shudders when the opponent knows a move that is super effective against it. This is pretty useless in my opinion because most players will be running vast coverage. Maybe this is better for in-game playthroughs, but even still, I don't know. I never really cared to know if any of my opponents knew a super-effective move, even in in-game playthroughs.

    Arena Trap and Shadow Tag – In playthroughs, it is very annoying when I run into Diglett or Dugtrio with this Ability and I can't run or switch. It's pretty bad when you're EV training, as you're forced to KO the Pokémon, which may net the wrong EVs to a certain Pokémon. In competitive, it is just very annoying and cheap, as players can pull shenanigans with Choice items and Trick, effectively trapping you into endless battles. It's a very stupid Ability and really doesn't need to exist. Shadow Tag is pretty much the same thing but worse because, unlike Arena Trap, it works on all Pokémon instead of just grounded Pokémon.

    Damp – Prevents the use of self-destructing moves such as Self-Destruct and Explosion. The only thing this really came in handy for was when I was Shiny hunting Forretress in Violet, which can explode. I used Golduck with Damp, which actually worked, thankfully because it sure did attempt to explode. Other than that, Pokémon don't typically explode during playthroughs and competitive players don't really explode like they used to since Explosion and Self-Destruct were nerfed since they no longer halve the target's Defense stat.

    Defeatist – The signature Ability of the Archen line is pretty bad, as it halves the offensive stats when HP is dropped to half or less. While I understand that the developers likely gave this line the Defeatist Ability to balance Archeops' high base 140 Attack stat, by today's standards, it wouldn't even be broken because it's not unusual for Pokémon to be that powerful nowadays, and Archeops doesn't even learn many powerful attacks to truly take advantage of its high Attack stat. It can't even learn Head Smash or Brave Bird.

    Forewarn – It reveals one of the opposing Pokémon's moves. Mainly, it reveals the move with the highest base power, but if more than one move have the highest base power, it would reveal one of those moves at random. If a Pokémon has only status moves, it would randomly reveal one of those moves as well. Similar to Anticipation, it just seems like a useless Ability because, personally, I don't need to know what move the opponent has, but I don't know; that's just me. In playthroughs, I feel I can deal with whatever I'm facing regardless. In competitive, I have enough experience to know what set my opponent is likely running anyway. Other players might feel differently though.

    Honey Gather – I always thought the Honey system to attract wild Pokémon sucked in previous Pokémon games. To me, it was just another way of making catching Pokémon unnecessarily tedious. Now, Honey only serves the purpose of being sold to shops. To make matters worse, Honey sells for low prices. Thus, an Ability designed only to gather a cheap sell item is pretty bad in my opinion, even for a regular playthrough.

    Klutz – Negates the effect of held items for the Pokémon with this Ability. The only thing this Ability is useful for is pulling Trick or Switcheroo shenanigans, but even still, much better Abilities exist.

    Run Away – An Ability that guarantees the ability to flee from wild Pokémon despite use of trapping moves and trapping Abilities such as Arena Trap. It sounds good on paper, but for the most part, only really slow Pokémon are going to have trouble fleeing. Most of the Pokémon with this Ability are quite fast anyway. You're better off simply purchasing Pokédolls or Smoke Balls.

    Shell Armor – Protects the Pokémon from critical hits. Maybe it is just me, but I always thought it was kind of pointless to protect a Pokémon from random RNG. Sure, critical hits can be a difference maker, but I don't think they're serious enough to warrant an entire Ability to protect a Pokémon for them. I believe Pokémon with this Ability can do so much better with other ones, with regular Unovan Samurott being the best example. Maybe it can come in handy against Pokémon that know moves that guarantee critical hits such as Meowscarada's Flower Trick and Urshifu's Wicked Blow or Surging Strikes, but that is situational.

    Slow Start – Halves the Pokémon's Attack and Speed for five turns. This Ability is horrible and shouldn't exist. It was made to keep Regigigas from being overpowered, but it is a major legendary that is the leader of another legendary group, the Regis. For that reason alone, Regigigas should be extremely powerful from the start. It deserves so much better. Varoom even has this Ability as a Hidden Ability. I guess, similar to real life cars, some varoom just have trouble accelerating?

    Stall – Although it is the signature Ability of Sableye, the Ability that forces a Pokémon to always go second is too much of a hinderance. Devalue mentioned how this is supposed to help power up Payback, but Sableye isn't exactly the best Pokémon at taking hits, especially in single battles.

    Truant – Causes the Pokémon with this Ability to move every two turns. This Ability is horrible because Pokémon with this Ability can literally be completely stopped by Protect and similar protection moves. I would say that, next to Slow Start, this is arguably the worst Ability in Pokémon. This Ability was made strictly to keep Slacking from being overpowered, which makes sense because Slaking is an early-route Pokémon that is literally as strong as a major box legendary. My question is why is Slaking even that powerful to begin with? Another question is why does Durant have this as a Hidden Ability? Ants are supposed to be very hard workers in the insect world. Are some Durants just lazy?

    These are all the worst Abilities that have come to mind to thus far that I have experienced in regular playthroughs and competitive play.
     
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    Alex_Among_Foxes

    A lover of Foxes
  • 7,603
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    My thoughts on terrible Abilities? Pretty much everything Serenity said, with just two exceptions.

    Run Away – An Ability that guarantees the ability to flee from wild Pokémon despite use of trapping moves and trapping Abilities such as Arena Trap. It sounds good on paper, but for the most part, only really slow Pokémon are going to have trouble fleeing. Most of the Pokémon with this Ability are quite fast anyway. You're better off simply purchasing Pokédolls or Smoke Balls.

    While not super useful in standard play, it can be very nice in certain challenge runs of older Gen games where you are playing with a low level cap.
    And in the newer, more open-world style games, having a Pokemon with Run Away allows for much easier early exploration of places like the Wild Area of Gen 8, and the totally open (non-level scaling for whatever reason) world of Gen 9 without getting destroid by level 60+ late area Pokemon that you won't have a chance in hell of running from otherwise, and you don't even need to spend any money on Smoke Balls or Dolls.

    Shell Armor – Protects the Pokémon from critical hits. Maybe it is just me, but I always thought it was kind of pointless to protect a Pokémon from random RNG. Sure, critical hits can be a difference maker, but I don't think they're serious enough to warrant an entire Ability to protect a Pokémon for them. I believe Pokémon with this Ability can do so much better with other ones, with regular Unovan Samurott being the best example. Maybe it can come in handy against Pokémon that know moves that guarantee critical hits such as Meowscarada's Flower Trick and Urshifu's Wicked Blow or Surging Strikes, but that is situational.

    While I'll definitely say there are more useful Abilities, there are certainly much less useful Abilities than being immune to bad RNG. Not as much a counter-argument as it is just an observation by someone who's been owned by RNG plenty of times lol.
     
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    One that I think is good, but too niche to be useful, is Mega Launcher. There just aren't enough moves that get the boost, or Pokémon that get the ability (especially since one of them is Mega Blastoise). (Also Surf and Hydro Pump already do more damage than Mega Launcher boosted Water Pulse anyway.) I think it would be so much more useful if they expanded the moves affected by Mega Launcher to include the moves blocked by Bulletproof. Any kind of blasting, launching, bombing, or cannon move should get the Mega Launcher boost, not just the 7 "aura and pulse moves".
     
  • 67
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    • Seen Jun 16, 2024
    I can't think of any that noone's mentioned already. I'll point out a couple of things that some of you may not have considered, though.

    • Steam Engine; it provides speed boost if hit by water/fire move, but Coalossal has double weakness against water, so he will be KOed with single water attack, making this ability useless. And yes, this ability doesn't prevents damage taken.
    Apparently Steam Engine actually saw some success in competitive, via triggering it on purpose with an Ally's weak Surf while also damaging the opponents, and combining it with a Weakness Policy. See here:

    Also, even if it's not being used without STAB by a Pokemon with low Sp. ATK, how sure are you that Coalossal will always go down to a single Water type attack? Do you say that from experience, or at you just assuming? Coalossal has very good defensive stats.

    Zen Mode (Unovan Darmanitan, specifically): Turns it from a fast, physical attacker to a slow, special attacker. Why would you do that to yourself? (Respects trying to pull it off for the rarity.)
    Galarian Darmanitan is much better with it, due to not changing from a physical attacker to a special attacker, and becoming even faster.

    Klutz: Prevents you from using items. Enables a Klutz + Assault Vest + Trick move. Serves no helpful purpose for the user outside of that very specific strategy.
    Assault Vest isn't the only item you can take advantage of it with. There are other items that you can force on your opponent while it also being nice to not have to deal with their effects yourself, such as Toxic/Flame Orb, Ring Target, or a Choice item. I don't think Klutz is a GOOD ability overall, but it has its uses.

    One that I think is good, but too niche to be useful, is Mega Launcher. There just aren't enough moves that get the boost, or Pokémon that get the ability (especially since one of them is Mega Blastoise). (Also Surf and Hydro Pump already do more damage than Mega Launcher boosted Water Pulse anyway.) I think it would be so much more useful if they expanded the moves affected by Mega Launcher to include the moves blocked by Bulletproof. Any kind of blasting, launching, bombing, or cannon move should get the Mega Launcher boost, not just the 7 "aura and pulse moves".
    Clawitzer makes good use of Mega Launcher. I'm guessing you've never played X and Y; Siebold's Clawitzer has Water Pulse (making it a 90 power STAB move with a good effect), Dragon Pulse, Dark Pulse, and Aura Sphere, which I find to be a pretty effective coverage combination.

    Also, Surf does not do more damage than Mega Launcher boosted Water Pulse. They have the same base power, and Water Pulse also has 20% chance of confusing.
     
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    For a playthrough the double battle specific abilities like Plus and Minus are pretty useless as most games don't have enough double battle to want to waste an ability on them.
    Heavy Metal/Light Metal are far too niche to ever be of any real use.
    Magician is completely pointless if you have your Pokemon hold an item and as someone who doesn't like relying on the opponent for one, mine would.

    Hustle, Truant, Slow Start, Defeatist and Color Change would be my top picks though.
     
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  • 2,059
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    Outside of abilities intentionally given to Pokemon to nerf them (Slow Start/Truant/Defeatist), Run Away is my least favorite; it does literally nothing to help your Pokemon in battle and running away from wild Pokemon already works >99% of the time unless you're extremely slow or underleveled.
     

    Palamon

    Silence is Purple
  • 8,189
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    Outside of abilities intentionally given to Pokemon to nerf them (Slow Start/Truant/Defeatist), Run Away is my least favorite; it does literally nothing to help your Pokemon in battle and running away from wild Pokemon already works >99% of the time unless you're extremely slow or underleveled.
    Not true it also prevents Mean Look and Shadow Tag from tapping your Run Away Pokémon in battle.
     
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    Apparently Steam Engine actually saw some success in competitive, via triggering it on purpose with an Ally's weak Surf while also damaging the opponents, and combining it with a Weakness Policy. See here:

    There's also the fact that Steam Engine triggers also triggers by Fire. Even if you don't want to play all or nothing with Water moves, there's also the much safer option of triggering the Ability via Fire move instead. Getting an almost free switch on an upcoming Fire attack that only does Coalossal 1/4 damage and getting +6 Speed is great.

    The Ability itself is amazing, it's just very risky when you want to take the Water route for Weakness Policy combo. There's also now the option to Terastalize Coalossal to mitigate or remove its Water weakness.
     
  • 67
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    There's also the fact that Steam Engine triggers also triggers by Fire. Even if you don't want to play all or nothing with Water moves, there's also the much safer option of triggering the Ability via Fire move instead. Getting an almost free switch on an upcoming Fire attack that only does Coalossal 1/4 damage and getting +6 Speed is great.
    In the video, Michael specifically says that the strategy of "boost Coalossal's speed while also hitting both opponents" also works with Lava Plume which does 0.25x damage to Coalossal instead of 4x, but that, surprisingly, the Surf version is actually considered better in competitive (at least at the time) because of the combo with Weakness Policy.

    it's just very risky when you want to take the Water route for Weakness Policy combo.
    As to it being "risky," he also notes that (in Gen 8) you can mitigate the damage to Coalossal by Dynamaxing it, which greatly increases its HP.

    There's also now the option to Terastalize Coalossal to mitigate or remove its Water weakness.
    I didn't think of that; that's awesome!
     
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