Drifblim

Drifblim, The Blimp Pokémon. It's drowzy in daytime, but flies off in the evening in big groups. No one knows where they go. It carries people and Pokémon when it flies. But since it only drifts, it can end up anywhere. ť

Overview

Drifblim is another oddball to come along in the fourth generation. It has a fantastically huge HP stat counterbalanced by awful defences; a solid Speed stat and usable offensive stats. It also has a unique ability (and one that is shared), shares the same three immunities as Gengar and Mismagius (Normal, Fighting and Ground) and packs a fairly versatile move-pool to play around with.

It's a bit short on being able to break out of the Underused tier. Sweeper variants will never supersede Gengar or Mismagius in the Standard environment whilst the Baton Passer, whilst effective, is just a bit short on Base Stats and options to make it worth building a team around. However, just like all oddballs, when its positives are exploited, it can be an effective team member.

Ability

Unburden: is Drifblim's unique ability. Once Drifblim loses its item (either by it being used up, like a Berry, or removed via Thief or Knock Off), its Speed doubles. Unfortunately, the effect can't be Baton Passed, nor will it activate if you have no item at all (so if you switch out and switch back in, you won't have the boost). It is a very good ability, and even if it can't be Baton Passed, it helps Drifblim get its Baton Pass off successfully.

Aftermath: deals 25% damage to the opponent when Drifblim is KOed. This only works when it's KOed directly, as opposed to an indirect KO, such as by Stealth Rock or Toxic. It also has to be a contact move, such as Ice Punch or Night Slash, rather than a move that doesn't make contact such as Thunderbolt.

Move Sets

Substitute Baton Passer

- Substitute
- Baton Pass
- Calm Mind / Hypnosis
- Shadow Ball
Item Attached: Leftovers | Petaya / Liechi / Salac Berry
Ability: Aftermath | Unburden
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 252 Def / 176 Spd / 80 SDef
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)

Drifblim has a gigantic HP stat, meaning it can Baton Pass some very chunky Substitutes to its team-mates. You can also consider passing Calm Minds as well, if you think you'll have the time; or you can use Hypnosis to take out a threat and free up a turn to help with the Baton Passing. Shadow Ball rounds things off, giving you an attacking STAB to pick off opponents and keep Taunt from completely slaughtering you.

The item choice depends on the ability choice. Leftovers lets you recover some of the HP lost from making Substitutes, but since you're unlikely to lose Leftovers, you should use Aftermath instead of Unburden. On the other hand, you can use the Substitutes to lower your HP into the a 25% region, activating a Pinch Berry (an additional boost to Baton Pass) and kicking off the Unburden Speed boost that should assure you'll be able to Baton Pass before the opponent can nip off the last 25% of your HP.

Special Sweeper

- Substitute
- Shadow Ball
- Calm Mind / Hypnosis / Thunderbolt / Hidden Power [Fighting]
- Calm Mind / Hypnosis / Thunderbolt / Hidden Power [Fighting]
Item Attached: Petaya Berry
Ability: Unburden
EVs and Nature:
EVs: 80 Def / 176 Spd / 252 SAtk
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)

Unburden doubles Drifblim's Speed when Drifblim's item is used up, giving it a lot of synergy with the Sub-Berry strategy. Repeat Substitute until you're down to 25% HP and activate Unburden and the Petaya Berry simultaneously. Shadow Ball is an obvious must for a sweeping, giving you some reliable STAB to work with.

You've got two more options to aid your sweeping. Calm Mind lets you get in some more Special boosts, giving your Subs a tad more durability and giving you a larger Special Attack to work with when Unburden kicks in. Hypnosis and its disruption can open up a sweeping opportunity or put a frustrating opponent out of action, making it a worthwhile choice. Obviously, Ghost-only attacking coverage with Shadow Ball is imperfect, so you have two strong options to work with it. Thunderbolt has some nice power and type coverage whilst Hidden Power [Fighting] works in tandem with Shadow Ball for all-round neutral type coverage on every Pokémon.

EVs and Nature:

Without Unburden, you should give some real consideration to Speed EVs. 176 Speed EVs gets you up to the 240 Speed stat (outrunning the very large collection of Underused Pokémon in the Base 70 Speed zone). Even with Unburden, you might want to give that number some consideration, since you will have to consider the times when you aren't benefiting from Unburden.

As for the rest of your EV placement, if you want to be more impress defensively, it's better to send the EVs directly to Special Defence or Defence instead of HP (since EVs in those stats will make a bigger impact than HP EVs due to the disproportionate difference between the Base Stats). If you want to add a little more punch to your offences, then boosting up Special Attack is the obvious choice.

Also, a quick note on your HP. When using the Sub-Pinch Berry strategy, you'll want to have a HP stat divisible by 4. If you have a 30 HP IV, then you're perfectly set, since your HP will be a natural 440. If you're dealing with other IVs, then you'll need to tweak with your EVs to make sure it's divisible by 4 (for example, with a 31 HP IV, you need 12 HP EVs to get to 444).

Other Options

Chesto Berry + Rest, Thunder Wave, Will-o-Wisp, Toxic, Charge Beam, Stock Pile, Trick, Destiny Bond, Explosion, Lum Berry, Focus Sash.

The Chesto-Rest strategy works quite nicely with Unburden. You go back to full HP and kick in the Unburden boost. Aside from general use, it also has some good synergy with Calm Mind for a make-shift Tank-Sweeper move-set.

Thunder Wave, Will-o-Wisp and Toxic can be mixed with Hypnosis for the 'double-status' strategy.

Charge Beam can lead to Special Attack boosts (70% of the time) which is another Baton Passing option. Stockpile is also a Baton Passing option now that it works like Cosmic Power by boosting both Defence and Special Defence.

Trick can cripple an opponent with some well-placed timing and makes the viability of a Choice Specs set significantly higher.

Destiny Bond and Explosion are Drifblim's two 'suicide' options. With the Unburden-Pinch Berry strategy, around the 25% health marker you should be outrunning most opponents, so both moves give you a chance to take your opponent out when your own fainting is inevitable.

The Lum Berry is very good at activating Unburden, and also means Drifblim can suck up an opponent's statusing attempts. Focus Sash is another item that's decent at activating Unburden, but because Drifblim doesn't have paper-thin defensive abilities, activating it isn't guaranteed (which in turn means you aren't guaranteed to activate Unburden).

Countering Drifblim

Drifblim packs a fair few tricks up its sleeve, making it somewhat difficult to counter 'perfectly'. As a Baton Passer, it can usually Baton Pass to a team-mate in times of trouble; and since it's usually passing Substitutes, Haze poses it no problem. Roar and Whirlwind are two solid moves to use against it, since they'll force it out, removing stat-boosts and any active Substitutes. Ninetales, Steelix and Venusaur are some decent examples of (potentially Roar-equipped) Pokémon capable of taking hits from Drifblim.

As for actually halting a sweeping attempt from Drifblim, its attacking move-pool is rather narrow, consisting mostly of Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt and Hidden Power. Calm Mind increases its threat, but it can still be contained by Pokémon with good defensive capabilities; although Calm Mind does have the two-fold effect of making it tougher to bring down by special moves, which is worth keeping in mind when you try to use a Pokémon such as Clefable and its un-boosted Ice Beams.

Beyond Baton Pass, it does have some more tricks up its sleeve. Hypnosis is a big one, with Thunder Wave, Will-o-Wisp and Toxic being secondary worries. It can also mess about with Trick and has suicidal options in Destiny Bond and Explosion.

As noted, it is difficult to a name a perfect counter for it, but it isn't a perfect Pokémon. As a Flying type, it has a Stealth Rock weakness, and as a Ghost, it can be hunted down by Pursuit as well. Also, without Unburden's support, it suffers from slightly-below-average Speed.

Locations in Games

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald

Not in Game

Colosseum/XD

Not in Game

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Not in Game

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum

Evolve Drifloon

Animé Appearences

Drifblim has had a few Animé appearances. In them, it was owned by Fantina after it evolved from Drifloon during a battle. Fantina later used it in her gym battle against Ash

Episode 561: The Dancing Gym Leader! Fantina Appears!
Episode 570: Hearthome Gym! VS Fantina

 
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