I'm really feeling it!

Greninja: Overpowered, or a Meta-Game Waiting to Happen?

Ok, so, first off I wanna thank Xavus for grabbing me a Protean Frogadier, and not only that but a Modest one on top of it. I spent all of yesterday evening Super-Training and Pokémon-Ame-ing him before finally being able to grind him up. He's sitting at level 50 right now with my preferred moveset for some slightly competitive gaming among friends. Which leads me to the topic at hand. Is Greninja overpowered, or is it a whole new level of thinking?

A little background here. Greninja's Hidden Ability is called Protean, and it changes his typing to the move that he uses, before he uses it. Example. You command Greninja, naturally Water/Dark, to use Extrasensory, a Psychic type attack. Before he attacks, Protean goes off, changing his typing to Psychic. He then uses Extrasensory, as a Psychic type, gaining the Same Type Attack Bonus, more commonly known as STAB.


I got to test out my Protean Greninja in a battle against a friend tonight. I had chosen three pocket monsters, thinking for some reason it was going to be a three on three. My friend chose his full team. The battle played out like this:

My Tyrantrum against his Noivern. Noivern one-shots Tyrantrum with Dragon Pulse.

My Greninja against Noivern. Greninja one-shots with Ice Beam.

My Greninja against Charizard. Greninja one-shots with Surf.

My Greninja against Lucario. Greninja one-shots with Extrasensory.

This is freaking ridiculous. In about thirty seconds Protean Greninja just cleared half of my friend's party, evening the fight to something a little more fair. The second half of the battle wasn't quite as interesting, but it goes as follows:

My Greninja against his Greninja. My Greninja has no moves to counter him, so I switch out to Lucario. Lucario one-shots with Aura Sphere.

My Lucario against Raichu. One (technically 5-shot) with Bone Rush.

My Lucario against Gardevoir. I throw Aura Spheres at him because the fight is over.


So in summary, what should have been a crushing defeat (six on three) for me turned into an easy victory thanks to Protean Greninja, properly EV-trained and natured.

So I began to wonder what the outcome of this pokémon was going to be. Clearly in official tournaments he's going to be thrown into either the Over Used category or maybe even banned. Is this a fate worse than death? Perhaps not. What would have happened, if say, a Protean Greninja comes up against another Protean Greninja in battle?


Greninja's movepool is limited in typing, with a higher number of special attack based moves than physical attack ones. Sure, at this moment an Egg movepool hasn't been established yet, but let's look at the elements he's capable of obtaining: Water, Dark, Psychic, Fighting, Ghost, Ground, Normal, Ice, Poison, Rock, Flying, Grass, Bug. That's 13 out of 18. The only elements Greninja can't obtain moves for are Electric, Fire, Dragon, Fairy, and Steel. Not all of the 13 elements have good damage dealing moves available to them, some are traps (Spikes for Ground) or various status effects (Toxic for Poison). But let's not look at this from an all out attack perspective.

With four attacks and Protean, you're able to select four elements and turn Greninja into a defensive monstrosity. Perhaps Spikes for Ground and making issues for monsters switching in. Shadow Sneak to become ghost and gain the immunity to Normal and Fighting it entails? U-Turn, the only Bug type it can learn, that lets you attack and switch out. Greninja's greatest asset is his speed (his highest base stat). He's not defensively built in any way, but by taking advantage of switching resistances it's possible he could become a wall to sweepers.


So what happens when Protean Greninja faces off against Protean Greninja? Perhaps a battle of epic proportions where you have to take into consideration just how your opponent built him? Is it a Physical Sweeper, a Special Sweeper? Or perhaps it's just there to torment you by switching elements while it wears away at you with Toxic, causing your monsters to take Spike damage while you desperately switch out trying to find the one you have that can take him out.

I don't know about you guys, but if you battle me you best beware. I don't plan on playing by any competition rules, so I'm gonna have two of these bad boys in my party. All would be challengers, good luck. Ninja Frog Team, out. *smokebomb*

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