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Pokemon Training 255: Curiosity Spotlight- Just a Hop, a Skip, and a Jump Away!

TIME :2022-07-03
Jumpluff.  The Cottonweed pokemon.

And, startlingly, a not-half-shabby wall.

‘What’, you may ask, ‘Are you trying to feed me?  I don’t eat tripe.’

And to you I say, ‘You’re right, you don’t.  This is a blue cheese hamburger.’

Like any food with an unusual nature or a bitter or even just pungently non-sweet flavor, Jumpluff walling is a bit of an acquired taste- but the results can be oh so scrumptious.

Jumpluff is traditionally a trickster pokemon- Chlorophyll gives it a speed edge in Sunshine teams or even just with Sunny Day, and while its offensive stats are frankly utter drek, its ability to inflict any named status other than Burn or Freeze, coupled with Leech Seed, Worry Seed, and a fistful of other annoying options like Encore, Memento, and Protect/Substitute, it makes a perturbing obstacle to an opposing team’s function.

More interestingly, it can become a more literal obstacle- while it’s not as wall-capable as, for instance, Blissey (who only has one weakness and much stronger defenses where its walling ability comes up), it can function as a wall in a pinch, or as a surprise.

You see, Jumpluff has slightly subpar Hit Points, and decent defenses.  This actually puts it in a good position to take massive advantage of Substitute and Leech seed in tandem.  Because Leech Seed’s healing facto is dependent on the opposing pokemon’s HP, and Substitute is dependent on the user’s HP, a Leech Seeding Jumpluff will often heal more than half of the hit points its Substitute cost each and every turn, if you don’t invest training in boosting its HP.  This gets compounded by the fact that no matter what, Substitute stops one hit- it doesn’t care how much the damage exceeded the HP of the substitute, it still absorbs the entire hit.

Sticking this with Leftovers and Chlorophyll in the sun can make Jumpluff near-impervious as it heals away all the damage it deals to itself with Substitute and slowly saps the opponent’s health away.  However, this means that you’ve got a very tight build- Substitute, Leech Seed, and Sunny Day are all needed, and the final move slot had best be something like Detect in case you either can’t lay in Leech Seed as often as you want, or you run out of Leech Seed PP.  Worse, it becomes a single-unit- the moment you swap it out, you can’t switch it in mid-fight, it has to come in to replace something that just went down- and your opponent already knows everything you’re going to do with it.

However!  Sticking a Heat Rock on Jumpluff instead of Leftovers, and giving it something like Synthesis (or even Giga Drain if you’re brave) can make it into an excellent lead for a Sunny Day team- coming out first, laying in Sunshine, stalling for a little while, and then swapping out at an unexpected moment for Chlorophyll Exeggutor or Tangrowth to dish out some fast heavy hits.  (Chlorophyll Leafeon, when it comes out, promises to be a horrifyingly powerful option here).

Of course, it’s vulnerable to priority moves, but no pokemon is perfect, so you’ll have to just be careful- just like with any other pokemon, really.

Because of this, Jumpluff, otherwise a less-than-mediocre novelty pokemon and passable trickster, can be either a highly frustrating wall, or a very useful Sunshine team lead.  It just goes to show that you can’t outright count any pokemon out of your possible options- Jumpluff’s walling ability functions in a nearly unique fashion, as the only other pokemon that can really pull it off quite the same is Whimsicott, and Whimsicott makes a better trickster pokemon anyway, thanks to Infiltrate giving it priority.