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January 20, 2014

Florges


INTRO:


I'm surprised this Pokémon hasn't been subjected to rule 34 like Lopunny and Gardevoir have.

...That was a weird way to open an article.

Florges, to me, is the flagship Fairy-type Pokémon.  It's pure Fairy-type, three stages in its evolution line, and has overall high stats...in fact, those are really high stats! Just wait until the stats section - what the heck, man...

The Fairy-type is sure to be a strange but inventive addition to the Pokémon series, and I think Florges is an example of their power.  Let's take the intro to deduce the basics of the Fairy-types, shall we?
  • Fairy-type moves are supportive by nature, though there are a few attacking moves.
  • Fairy-type Pokémon are weak to Poison and Steel-type attacks.
  • Fairies and their atacks are strong against Dark, Fighting, and Dragon-type Pokémon.
So Fairy-type was pretty much implemented to drive down the usage of Fighting-types and Dragon-types, which in turn would raise the new type's popularity, as well as bolstering the usage of Poison-types and possibly Grass-types.

Does Florges function well on its own as a battler?  Well, let's find out!


STATS:

HP - 78 (Average)
ATTACK - 65 (Below Average)
DEFENSE - 68 (Below Average)
SPECIAL ATTACK - 112 (High)
SPECIAL DEFENSE - 154 (Very High)
SPEED - 75 (Average)

TOTAL - 552 (Above Average)


MOVEPOOL:

Florges is an honourary member of the "Grass-type" club.  A lot like Klinklang, it learns so many moves of a certain type, you wonder why they even left it as is.  My best guess is so the dual STAB doesn't prove too powerful on a Pokémon with Special Defense so unexpectedly high alongside the strong Special Attack.

The movepool is still rather limited, though: Grass-type moves, Fairy-type moves, a few supportive tools here and there...the real kick where it hurts is the lack of reliable recovery.  It's disappointing at best, especially for a Pokémon with so much bulk hidden away in the Special department.  I know it gets Wish, but with how fast-paced the metagame has become, waiting for recovery isn't reliable, as far as I'm concerned.  But hey, at least it can use Psychic and run one screen!

To bring up Wish though, it does carry those great support tools!  They're few and far between, but they still exist.  Fairy Terrain and Grassy Terrain are two that come to mind: the former halves damage done by Dragon-type moves, while the latter will heal Pokémon touching the ground at the end of each turn.  If anything, Florges knows how to outright shut down Flygon and Hydreigon, I guess!

A good in-game set for Florges would be...

MOONBLAST (The strongest Fairy-type attack in the game, and what a doozie it is!  Be careful though - if you evolve Floette into Florges too early, it can never learn this move)

PETAL DANCE (A strong Grass-type move; same with above)

NATURE POWER (Why not, right?  Sometimes you can get some fun moves out of it.  Standard battlefield changed from Earthquake to Tri-Attack, which is still loads of fun!)

HIDDEN POWER / GRASSY TERRAIN (Hidden Power can give you further coverage, or if you'd like, Grassy Terrain can help out Florges and some of your other teammates)

Florges has a few interesting concepts going its way, so I'll try a couple sets this time: A Special Tank and a more traditional style of Sweeper.
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MALICIOUS MERMAID (Special Tank Set):

MOONBLAST (STAB; Moonblast is a potent attack - I believe it's one of the last few moves with 95 base power left.  It can hit Dragon, Dark, and Fighting-types nice and hard)

ENERGY BALL (Not as strong as Petal Dance, but stronger than it used to be!

HIDDEN POWER (GROUND) (The great thing about Fairy-types is that a simple Ground-type Hidden Power can rid them of their weaknesses!)

CALM MIND (Buff those Special stats to astronomical levels)

RECOMMENDED ITEM: Expert Belt / Leftovers

RECOMMENDED NATURE: Modest

RECOMMENDED EV SPREAD: / 252 HP / 130 Special Attack / 126 Special Defense /

This set is pretty cut-and-dry: You're got three attacks, a boosting move - it's pretty easy to put two and two together here!

What's the main draw for using Florges to attack other things? Simple: it's easy to detect when it's unsafe to attack when using a pure Fairy-type.  See, Fairies aren't any more powerful than other Pokémon on their own - aside from stopping Dragon-type moves, they're actually quite average, power-wise.  What the main draw of Fairies is lies in how predictable the weaknesses are.

Steel and Poison-type moves are some of the easiest types to predict in any given match, since most Pokémon won't be running the moves unless they get a STAB boost or unless they're deliberately trying to target Fairy-types.  The moves are fairly polarized as well - you know there only exists one two Special-based Steel-type attacks, and you know which Pokémon will be running Special-based or Physical-based Poison attacks, if any.  Fairy-types fit well on teams, and they're easy to switch around for avoiding heavy hits.

Florges' biggest asset is its high Special Defense, helping against hits from Flash Cannon and Gunk Shot.  Hidden Power (Ground) helps a lot as well.  Psychic could be used in its stead in case you're up against the odd Weezing or something, but you'd lose your ability to combat Steel-types.

Keep in mind the new Fiary-type when running this set.  Will people prepare to counter them? A lot of teams probably won't, actually.  The ones that do prepare are the teams you'll see coming from a mile away. Nothing is more obvious than someone trying to exploit a Fairy's weaknesses.
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PUNISHING PIXIE (Old-School Sweeper Set):

MOONBLAST (STAB)

PETAL DANCE (The strongest Grass-type move Florges has, and boy is it a good one!)

SAFEGUARD (Good ol' Safeguard prevents status ailments from befalling your team for five turns)

GRASSY TERRAIN (Florges is on the ground, so allow Grassy Terrain to be your non-restrictive Ingrain!)

RECOMMENDED ITEM: Life Orb / Wise Glasses

RECOMMENDED NATURE: Modest

RECOMMENDED EV SPREAD: / 252 HP / 248 Special Attack / 8 Speed /

This set takes advantage of the new Grass-type weather effect, Grassy Terrain!  And what an effect it is: it powers up Grass-type attacks and heals Pokémon that would normally be affected by hazards at the end of each turn.  It lasts for five turns though, so be prepared to renew that subscription!

I call this an "old-school" sweeper set because I'm honestly not sure if this set is or isn't too traditional for the current metagame.  Two attacking moves and two set-up moves? What is this sorcery?!

I dunno.  Try it and get back to me on that.

Set up Grassy Terrain for some healing and extra kick - then use Safeguard to protect yourself from ailments.  After all that, plug away at Petal Dance for a painful string of attacks.  Be sure to use Moonblast when necessary as well.

The idea I tried to implement here was for Grassy Terrain to help Florges last longer from all the damage it'll be taking, especially if you decide to run the Life Orb.  Again, I have a funny feeling this set is completely irrelevant in today's competitive scene (It feels a bit Gen-2-ey when I look at it), but give it a try!  Base 154 Special Defense means this set might work really well for wallbreaking or attacking other Special Sweepers.  Pick your battles though - odds are you're giving your opponent the ability to heal as well, so punish them for that benefit.
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CONCLUSION:

Florges is an odd specimen, I find: it's pretty slow and is massively lacking in Defense and HP.  The Special Defense makes up for Florges' HP bulk on that end, but Florges does not take kindly to any kind of physical attack, boosted or not.  However, this Fairy is surprisingly good at sponging Fighting-types, oddly enough.  Don't question it - if it works, it works.

I can see Florges fitting comfortably onto a team, but I feel it hasn't fully realized its identity.  It has great stats for supporting, yet it doesn't really learn enough to fill that role well.  The supportive tools it does have are either temporary in effect or risk lesser payoff, which is a major problem for a Supporter.  This all results in Florges being outclassed to something like Chansey or Blissey.

For the most part, at least.

There are upsides:  Florges, arguably, has better overall bulk than both competitors.  Its typing also lets it resist a lot of physical-based moves common seen in most tiers, supplementing for the sylph's overall lower physical defenses.  Roll it all up in a package offering offensive options the Blissey duo could only dream of, and you have Florges:

Not the better choice, but the more versatile choice.


RATING:

8/10 (76%)


~WILL

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