Strategy Session – Pokemon Platinum, Part III

Rotom is a bizarre little critter. The game introduces it as a Legendary, complete with dangerous-sounding theme music and a reasonably low catch rate, and yet the final product is somewhat unimpressive. Rotom’s original stat distribution focuses strongly on Speed and Special Attack, leaving the other stats to rot; However, with the introduction of the Secret Key, and thus five new Formes for Rotom, the sparky little ghost not only has much improved defenses but actually gains a little bit on the offensive side, too.

frost-rotomRotom – Appliance Forme
Ghost / Electric
HP: 50 Atk: 65 Def: 107 Sp Atk: 105 Sp Def: 107 Spd: 86
Ability: Levitate: This Pokemon is immune to Ground-type moves.

fan-rotomFirst, a bit of explaination. The Secret Key grants players access to a hidden room in the Team Galactic HQ building, where may be found five special appliances – a washing machine, a lawnmower, a refridgerator, a fan, and an oven. By selecting one of these appliances while Rotom is in your party, the little ghost will take on the form of that appliance. These new Formes are quite unusual in that the only things they change are Rotom’s stats and his moveset; That is to say, when Rotom changes shape, it’ll try to learn a new move. That move will vanish if Rotom shifts back to its original Forme or to a different appliance, locking each signature move to its respective Forme.

heat-rotomThese new additions to Rotom’s movepool give it a surprising level of flexibility. Washing Machine Rotom learns Hydro Pump, one of the most powerful Water-type attacks in the game, which opens it up to the possibility of a powerful Rain Dance set. Lawnmower Rotom learns Leaf Storm, which not only gives it some impressive damage potential, it also strikes those pesky Ground-types which love to try and switch in on Rotom’s Thunderbolt. Combined with Rotom’s immunity or resistance to a lot of the things that plague Ice teams, Blizzard makes Refridgerator Rotom a great addition to any team that relies on Hail. Oven Rotom gets Overheat, an exceptionally powerful Fire-type attack that combines exceptionally well with Thunderbolt, making Rotom a great counter for Pokemon like Forretress and Starmie who use Rapid Spin to get rid of entry hazards. And finally, Fan Rotom learns Air Slash. While this may seem like a somewhat lackluster addition next to powerhouse moves like Overheat and Hydro Pump, Air Slash’s high flinch rate combines very nicely with Rotom’s penchant for Paralyzing foes, making this Forme one of the most potentially obnoxious.

mow-rotomA nice compliment to its new shifting movepool, Rotom’s stats undergo a bizarre change as well. All these Formes share the same stat distribution (which is a bit odd when you consider how frail Fan Rotom looks next to Fridge Rotom, but anyway), and the end result is a much more defensive critter. Rotom’s ability to take a hit now ranks somewhere up near Spiritomb’s, and although its Speed has taken a slight hit, its Special Attack has grown by almost ten points, making it somewhat better on offense as well.

wash-rotomRotom’s new Formes go a long way towards fixing the little critters biggest issues, but it still has few problems. For a start, its defensive ability is seriously hampered by that atrocious HP. Unlike Spiritomb, who can play with Pain Split to make it worthwhile, Rotom can’t use that low HP to its own advantage. Further, the Speed drop it suffered in the changeover makes it a bit hard to use offensively, despite the new additions to its movepool. Still, the critter’s newfound flexibility is a definite advantage, and the stat boosts it got make it much more befitting of the pomp and circumstance of a Legendary.

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