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Swift Swim - A Very Powerful Ability
Abilities are a vital aspect of competitive battling, far more so than many casual Pokemon players realise. They can boost a Pokemon from being a mid level, bit part player right through to being a pure power house, just take a look at the example of the Speed Boost Blaziken.
Swift swim is a Pokemon ability that allows certain types of water Pokemon to be extra fast in the rain. Which makes it a very useful Pokemon ability indeed, with many teams focussing their entire team based around this ability.
What is Swift Swim?
As we said, Swift Swim is an ability that certain Pokemon have, that can speed them up when the rain weather condition is in play in a Pokemon battle. For which Pokemon can have the Swift Swim ability, check out the list below.
How Swift Swim Works
For the Swift Swim ability to activate first of all rain needs to be in play. Rain is a weather condition in Pokemon battling that not only effects Swift Swim but other abilities as well (such as Rain Dish), and also boosts the effects of Water moves and reduces Fire type moves (see the rain info box for more information).
With the Swift Swim ability, when it is raining the Pokemon's speed doubles (though not on the move it becomes 'Heavy Rain'). Now since speed is vital to Pokemon battling, allowing you to knock out opponents before they can hit you (especially with a late game sweep, where the opponents are already somewhat worn down), this can be very important.
Which is why Swift Swim teams (see below) are often implemented by people, to make full use of the power and the speed boost that rain can give.
Rain Info Box
When it is raining numerous effects in battle happen
- Abilities that are effected by rain get activated (such as Swift Swim and Rain Dish)
- Water moves get a 50% power boost
- Fire moves get a 50% power reduction
- Thunder and Hurricane always hit
- Solar Beam causes only half it's normal damage
- Moonlight, Synthesis and Morning Sun only recover quarter of the Pokemon's HP.
Pokemon Black and White
Pokemon That Can Have the Swift Swim Ability
The following Pokemon can have the Swift Swim ability in normal play (in order of Pokedex number)
- Seismic Toad
The following Pokemon can have Swift Swim as a Dream World ability (not all abilities have been released yet, click for info on what Dream World Abilities are available)
Swift Swim Teams
As discussed many people create entire battling sets of Pokemon based around this ability, which are usually known as Swift Swim teams.
The idea is a simple one, bring in a couple of Pokemon that either know the move Rain Dance (which creates Rain for 5 or so moves), or that have the Drizzle ability (which automatically creates rain when the Pokemon with Drizzle is brought into play).
The team will be centred around water moves and abilities that activate in the rain, such as Swift Swim, Hydration and Rain Dish. This allows it to take advantage of the strength boost that rain gives water moves.
With Swift Swim Pokemon it also allows Pokemon to be extra fast, so even Pokemon that were previously too slow to be considered, such as Carracosta, suddenly become viable, whilst reasonably paced Pokemon like Seismitoad go from average, if slightly slow pace at base 74, to an impressive base 148 speed, which in normal circumstances is only beaten by Deoxys and Ninjask.
Swift Swim teams have to beware of a number of factors. Elevctric type moves (which is why the duel Ground/Water types like Swampert can be useful) and Grass types (which hammer those Ground/Water types with 4* strength), which is where Toxicroak can be useful (his Dry Skin ability can also be very useful in the rain) as he can use his Poinson moves to hit the annoying grass types hard.
Other weather teams, such as Sunny Day teams, can also be a real pain and becomes careful management of how you can get weather into play.