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Pokemon Legends: Arceus' Hisuian Zoroark Could be a Nightmare in Competitive Battles

Pokemon Legends: Arceus' Hisuian Zoroark Could be a Nightmare in Competitive Battles Image
  • Posted on 24th Sep, 2022 19:50 PM
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Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduces a Normal/Ghost Hisuian Zoroark, who will have the Illusion ability in mainline games, making it great for PvP.

p>Despite some early negative impressions, Pokemon Legends: Arceus was a smashing success, selling over six million copies within a week after release. There are many factors that contributed to the game's overwhelmingly positive reviews, and one is how Pokemon Legends: Arceus changes the Pokemon formula with its gameplay loop and unique systems. Letting go of abilities, held items, and breeding was a bold move because these aspects have played a big role in previous games for any form of competitive battles.

Competitive PvP is also something the game currently lacks, and it's hard to tell whether Pokemon Legends: Arceus' rumored DLC might include it, alongside other features or more creatures in the Pokedex. Pokemon Legends: Arceus' internal data includes abilities for all the Pokemon in the game, which is likely information to be shared with Pokemon Home once they become compatible so players can start transferring the creatures to mainline games. This is bound to happen at some point for all the new Hisuian forms in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, including Hisuian Zoroark - the first Normal/Ghost-type in the series, and potentially a nightmare to deal with in competitive battles.

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How Hisuian Zoroark Could Become a Problem in Competitive Battles

One of the reasons why Normal and Ghost is such a good type combination in the Pokemon franchise is that it gets two resistances, three immunities, and only one weakness to Dark-type moves - which is a big one, but it's offset by the multiple benefits. Unovan Zoroark is a Dark-type Pokemon that came with an ability called Illusion, which allows players to disguise Zoroark as the last Pokemon in their team line-up. This ability is particularly strong in competitive battles because it allows players to play mind games with their opponents, with them not knowing which Pokemon they are fighting.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus' Hisuian Zoroark can bring this concept to a whole new level in mainline games where it would get its ability, which is also Illusion just like for Unovan Zoroark, according to the game's internal data. The reason why this is huge in competitive battles is that the Pokemon could disguise itself as another monster and play with its three immunities to Normal, Ghost, and Fighting-type moves.

If Hisuian Zoroark is allowed in competitive tournaments in the future, players can potentially play deeper mind games to make it a terrifying opponent by disguising the malicious creature as a Pokemon with an ability called Justified. One example is Arcanine, or even Hisuian Arcanine. What Justified does is to make incoming Dark-type moves boost the Pokemon's Attack stat, which would be beneficial to have on a physical attacker. Because Hisuian Zoroark is only weak to Dark-type moves, disguising it as a Justified Pokemon could make it difficult to handle in competitive battles, as opponents would think twice about attacking with its one weakness based on potential repercussions.

Information is always a key factor to winning in competitive Pokemon battles. With Hisuian Zoroark providing misleading information to its opponents, and then punishing them for using Dark moves against the non-disguised Pokemon, it could become a big threat because its immunities invalidate three common move types. Ultimately, this could become a meta style in future tournaments once Pokemon Legends: Arceus' critters make their way into Gen 8 or 9 titles, potentially leading to more mind games if players come up with counters that still include Zoroark on the team.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus is available now for Nintendo Switch.

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