Pokemon Scarlet and Violet provided an odd Dark/Flying type the chance to shine. In each generation, one unexpected Pokemon usually rises to the top of the competitive meta. Given its meager essential stat total of 405 and far more potent evolution, Honchkrow, Murkrow is hardly the type of powerful monster most players envision.
However, several circumstances that impacted a typical competitive strategy before the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet helped this monster solidify its status as a must-use member of several teams.
Although using Murkrow over Honchkrow initially seems odd, Murkrow has one benefit over Honchkrow that makes it the better pick despite having a lower primary stat total. The fantastic Hidden Ability Prankster, which grants status moves priority, is available to Murkrow, albeit it exchanges this Ability for Moxie when it matures.
As crucial as Prankster is for laying the groundwork for various strategies, Murkrow has some other qualities that make it particularly well-suited to dominate the Gen 9 meta.
Murkrow’s Typing, Ability, and Move Pool
Using various stat-boosting moves to control a player’s team’s numbers is one of the most crucial aspects of competitive combat. Prankster works well with moves like Light Screen or Reflect because the Pokemon employing them will receive speed priority due to this ability.
Some competitive teams may use these moves to boost their entire team’s Defense and Special Defense for the turns they are active. Murkrow is the preferred creature for players trying to set up Tailwind similarly, even if mons like Gen 8’s Grimmsnarl are better Prankster users than Murkrow at achieving this particular strategy.
The fact that Tailwind increases the speed of every Pokemon on a player’s team while active makes it an excellent support move in competitive encounters. In previous generations, the go-to mons for this tactic were significantly stronger creatures like Whimsicott and Tornadus that had access to both Tailwind and the Prankster ability.
However, these Pokemon are not present in Scarlet and Violet. Murkrow is currently the only creature with access to both, making it a necessary team member for gamers who wish to use this speed-boosting combination.
Although Murkrow’s status alone would make it a necessary Pokemon, it’s Dark/Flying typing increases its usefulness. This combination is vulnerable to the common offensive kinds of Rock, Ice, Electric, and Fairy.
Its immunity to Ground and Psychic-type attacks, however, more than makes up for its numerous weaknesses. In addition to these defenses, a Pokemon with Dark typing can prevent other Pokemon from using their Prankster ability. As a result, Murkrow can deploy Prankster while preventing rivals from employing the same tactic.
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The move Haze, which restores all stat adjustments on the battlefield, is also available to Murkrow. When partnered with Murkrow as a partner, this is useful for counteracting the adverse effects of moves like Gholdengo’s Make It Rain or Hydreigon’s Draco Meteor.
Due to Prankster, Haze also gains priority and has the potential to be utilized to counter an opponent’s stat-altering attacks like Swords Dance or the Ability Intimidate. Murkrow’s reign at the top may not endure for long, though, since players have recently discovered ways to reduce its use by deploying threats like Dondozo.
It will nevertheless be recalled as a star of the Gen 9 competition scene when discussing the early years of Scarlet and Violet. For the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are currently available.