Welcome to the twenty-fourth issue of 6th Generation's Pokeon of the Week! This week we'll be covering a Pokemon that has been popular in the OU metagame since 5th generation. This week we'll be discussing Rotom-Wash.
Rotom's body is composed of plasma. It is known to infiltrate electronic devices and assume control of wreak havoc. Research continues to find that Rotom could be the source of a unique motor.
Base Stats: 50 HP / 65 Attack / 107 Defense / 105 Sp. Attack / 107 Sp. Defense / 86 Speed
Rotom-Wash was my favorite competitive OU Pokemon last generation, and while that spot now shifts around a bit, there's no doubt that it remains one of my favorites to use in battle, and is still one of the most important Pokemon in the metagame. Rotom-W's nearly unique typing (shared only with Lanturn grants it only two type weaknesses: Grass and Ground... and in a move that seems almost too good to be true, Rotom was given Levitate, granting a single weakness to Grass under normal circumstances.
So what changed for Rotom-Wash this generation? In terms of things it can do... nothing worth mentioning. But what did change is the metagame around Rotom-Wash, for better of for worse. The fields are no longer soaked with rain in every match, which is sort of a negative point, since many rain teams often carried multiple Water types. It does, however, mean that Gastrodon is not even heard of in OU, and any Quagsire you see are running Unaware because that's the only thing it does well in OU. However, dangerous new threats have been introduced that Rotom-Wash's typing and ability allow it to nearly perfectly counter: Talonflame and Mega Pinsir. Without a counter to these Pokemon in your team, you're setting yourself up for a huge disadvantage in standard competitive OU, and having one Pokemon that can counter both of them can be the difference between winning and losing.
Not everything is great for Rotom-Wash though. Mega Venusaur is a common threat that resists both STABs, and most sets aren't overly bothered by Burn. Being forced to run defensive spreads also means most Rotom-Wash have less Speed and damage output as well, so they don't feel as useful as they did last generation. Even with these negative points, Rotom-Wash is easily one of the best choices in OU at the moment, and you should always be prepared for it.
|Rotom-W@ Chesto Berry / Leftovers|
Bold nature (+Defense, -Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Defense / 4 Speed
Rest / Pain Split
As I said, Rotom-W's unique typing and ability allow it to counter standard Mega Pinsir and Talonflame, and if that's your intent with it, this is the set you want. Hydro Pump ensures you can KO Talonflame and not worry about Roost. Volt Switch is a great STAB attack that gives you both offensive output very close to Thunderbolt, and momentum. I'll pause here to explain momentum, because it can be tricky to understand momentum in a turn-based game.
Momentum in competitive Pokemon can refer to a few different things, but when it's attached to an attack, it's usually attached to U-Turn, Volt Switch, Baton Pass, or Parting Shot. They all allow you to switch out without actually using the switch action. Why is this useful? Well, first off, you get to see whether your opponent is switching out or staying in. See, you've used an attack, but if they don't have one of those 4 moves I listed, they're either staying in to attack with a normal attack, or switching out. If they stay in and you take a hit, your next Pokemon comes in without worry of damage from the opposing Pokemon. If your attack goes before them and they stayed in, you can switch to something that resists the attack you think they'll use. If they switched, you're hurting their switch (in the case of U-Turn and Volt Switch anyway; Parting Shot gets to lower their stats instead, while Baton Pass passes any stat changes) while given the chance to switch out to a counter to the newly switched in opponent! See how this gives you momentum? You can gain the upper hand over an opponent with these kinds of moves, and that can help ensure your victory in battle. Everyone clear? Good! Back to the set!
Will-O-Wisp is an offensive and defensive play; Burning the opponent both chips at their health and halves their Attack stat. This can be useful for ruining physical attackers, but it's also a long-term device that can be employed to weaken Mega Venusaur or Ferrothorn for the rest of the match, punishing any later switch-ins even harder when you Volt Switch out of them and they take Burn damage, on top of any entry hazard damage you may have.
The last slot is a difficult choice, and it really depends on why you're using this kind of Rotom-W. Rest allows Rotom-W a one-shot full restore, which can be a life-saver in the middle of the match when you've been weakened by entry hazards and physical attacks. It allows Rotom-W to much more effectively perform its role to counter Talonflame and especially Mega Pinsir. On the other hand, Pain Split can be used with Leftovers to keep Rotom-W healthy in the long haul of a match, so consider your options and your team before deciding.
The EVs maximize Rotom-W's ability to take physical hits, which is pretty important when you're facing a +2 STAB Aerialate Return from Mega Pinsir, but some HP can be dropped if you need to outspeed specific things. This usually isn't worth it, however, as 220 Speed is needed to outspeed maximum Speed base 70's, and that's too much to even consider dropping from HP, while nearly anything lower isn't worth considering.
I'll take this opportunity to say that Calm specially defensive and Modest with 232 HP / 56 Sp. Attack / 220 Speed are all viable if your team requires something specific, but in general they're not great options for the current OU metgame.
|Rotom-W@ Choice Scarf / Choice Specs|
Timid nature (+Speed, -Attack) / Modest nature (+Sp. Attack, -Attack)
EVs: 252 Sp. Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense
Trick / Thunderbolt
Hidden Power Ice / Fire / Will-O-Wisp
Giving Rotom-W a choice item allows it to perform many roles that can be incredibly useful for teams. Choice Scarf allows Rotom-W to perform as an excellent revenge-killer and a more reliable member of VoltTurn core teams. Hydro Pump and Volt Switch form the STAB core of the set, with Hydro Pump providing great power and coverage, while Volt Switch allows Rotom-W to quickly deal out damage and get out of the battle.
Trick is the recommended move for slot 3, as it allows Rotom-W to cripple Chansey, Ferrothorn, and nearly any wall, but be careful of Mega Venusaur, since Mega Stones cannot be removed through any means, and it walls both STABs and every move in the last slot. Thunderbolt is a good option if you're not into Trick, giving you a more reliable Electric attack if you need to hit more than once (an example being Pokemon with Substitute that are weak to Electric).
The last slot presents a few options, and they're all worth considering. Hidden Power Ice is the most honorable mention, able to revenge kill many Dragons. Possibly the most important thing to keep in mind is that it can revenge-kill Dragonite at +1 if Multiscale has been broken. Hidden Power Fire is an option for dealing with Scizor and Ferrothorn, but this is more suited to Choice Specs sets. Speaking of which, Modest with max HP and max Sp. Attack is recommended if you're going with Specs. You can dump 220 EVs into Speed to outrun max base 70s, which will give you the jump on Bisharp and Breloom, as well as all slower Pokemon, to Burn or Volt Switch out of. The final option on this set is Will-O-Wisp, giving Rotom-W a utility move after the choice item has been tricked. Obviously don't use this if you're not using Trick.
Rotom can be found in the Lost Hotel on Tuesday, found in shaking trash cans. Since Rotom doesn't have egg moves, getting one with the right moves is easy. Here's what I'd recommend for an in-game Rotom-Wash:
Water and Electric coverage hits nearly everything except Grass neutrally, making Rotom-Wash one of the best teammates you can have. Hydro Pump is the only Water attack you have the choice of, but the great power is worth the 20% miss chance. Thunderbolt provides a more reliable STAB that aids coverage. Volt Switch is nice for dealing damage while switching out, and can help Rotom-W gain the full amount of experience for leveling up without being a complete burden if it's not ideal to keep it out. Shadow Ball because that's pretty much the extent of Rotom's movepool. It doesn't gain STAB in this form, but it provides a little bit of extra coverage, so that's something. Hits all those common Celebi you're always running into or something.
Rotom seems to have a few influences on its design, behaviour, and typing. Its initial inspiration could have come from one of the designer for Pokémon, Ken Sugimori’s, previous creations: Pulseman. It was a game about a teenage boy who is half-human, half-highly advanced A.I., and has powers of electricity somewhat similar to Rotom’s. Aside from possibly sparking the idea behind Rotom, there isn’t much else similar between the two. Rotom’s design could have been inspired by a largely unexplained and rare natural phenomenon known as ball lightning. This also could have inspired its Electric typing and low encounter rate. Rotom’s Ghost typing meanwhile could be attributed to poltergeists, a kind of ghost in folklore that is said to possess objects and cause havoc, which is a lot like how Rotom behaves. Another possible inspiration for Rotom comes from Japanese folklore, Tsukumogami. Tsukumogami are objects that, upon becoming 100 years old, come to life. However, given that Rotom isn’t an object that came to life, it only possesses objects, Rotom being based on poltergeist is more likely.
Rotom’s name is fairly simple. It’s ‘motor’ spelled backwards. It likely comes from the fact that Rotom possesses electronic objects, which usually have some sort of motor, and then runs the object on its own power, likely bypassing the motor, essentially making it a motor. There is almost no variation on its name in other languages, with French being the only language with a different name for Rotom. In French it is known as Motisma, which comes from moteur meaning ‘engine’, and plasma. In every other language Rotom is just called Rotom, or a transliteration of Rotom.
I didn't have much of an opinion on Rotom when it was first released, but I really love it now. It's such a unique and interesting Pokemon, able to fill many different roles with the many machines it can possess. I love the idea behind this, and I love the execution of it. Changing type with the appliance was a great move, though it hindered most forms, giving them a nasty weakness to Stealth Rock, it gave us unique types in Electric/Grass, Electric/Ice, and Electric/Fire, and a much better Electric/Water than we had previously (sorry Lanturn), competitively speaking. Poor Fan Rotom though... Levitate on an Electric/Flying type and given the worst signature move of the bunch in Air Slash. Regardless of the form you're using, Rotom is a fun, tricky Pokemon and I've grown quite fond of it.
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