As I'm sure you all know, a contest was recently started on the Pokemon Global Link that allows fans to vote for their favorite 001-493 Pokemon, and the winner will be released with its Dream World ability following the contest. Many people will view this as a means of determining the community's favorite Pokemon, but to the more adept and cunning of us (i.e. competitive players), this is an opportunity to get an unreleased DW Pokemon released.
Outside of the strict boundaries of the contest, this idea got me thinking; out of all of the Pokemon, not just the pre-Unova ones, which unreleased Pokemon has the best DW ability for its strengths and weaknesses? Which Pokemon being released would be of the most benefit to the competitive community? In short, what Pokemon with an unreleased Dream World ability would be the most blessed by its new ability if it were released?
The nine in the poll represent what I personally think are the top nine, with an "Other" slot for any oversights I've made. I figured I'd give some rationale however to back up my choices.
1. Lightning Rod Zapdos:
Zapdos has always been a solid, reliable sweeper, temporarily knocked into UU thanks to Thundurus however, and can also play the role of a physically defensive wall thanks to SubRoost. He has good typing and good STABs, with a movepool filled with everything he needs to do his job and not much extraneous stuff that he doesn't. But with a Stealth Rock weakness and no way to boost his Special Attack to complement his walling abilities, Lightning Rod would be a great benefit to him. It would add Electric to his impressive list of safe switch-ins, would give him that Special Attack boost, and would allow for useful pairings with the likes of Tentacruel, Gyarados or Skarmory. However, it would be illegal with one of the most pivotal moves in his arsenal: Heat Wave.
2. Sheer Force Feraligatr:
Feraligatr has always lived in Gyarados' shadow. They run almost exactly the same basic strategy, with the exception being that Gyarados can also run a bulky set while Feraligatr can pretty much only be a DDer. Sheer Force would give Feraligatr a significant boost to give him a leg up on his older brother. While Sheer Force would not be enough of a kick to bump him up out of UU, it would still make him a very real powerhouse in that tier. He has lots of moves that can utilize it as well, including STAB Waterfall, Crunch, Ice Punch and Rock Slide.
3. Multiscale Lugia:
Lugia has absolutely massive mixed defensive stats, and a very high Speed stat for his tier. He also has nearly every move in his arsenal that he could want, including Roost, Whirlwind and Dragon Tail. Though he is somewhat outclassed by Arceus, Multiscale could change all that easily. Just look at what Multiscale did for Dragonite, a Pokemon that previously had applications as a bulky attacker, but that has now become one of the most fearsome tanks in OU; Lugia would go from being one of the most unstoppable walls in ubers to being very likely the best with the addition of Multiscale. Roost would allow him to abuse it by recovering back to his maximum just like with Dragonite, and his ability to utilize Leftovers, unlike Arceus, would become even more of a prominent benefit in his quest to stay at maximum HP to activate Multiscale. This is an ability very obviously tailor-made for this Pokemon.
4. Regenerator Ho-Oh:
Get it? Because it's a phoenix? Ho-Oh has always been one of the most prominent attackers in ubers, and he has the defensive stats to play as a solid tank as well. Being a Flying-type helped him, since it gave him Roost to further help his tanking abilities, but Flying/Fire gave him a nasty 4x weakness to Stealth Rock. Regenerator could fix all that by essentially neutralizing the damage taken from Stealth Rock. He would be able to come in and strike hard without having to fear entry hazards quite as much. However, much like Zapdos' predicament, Roost would be illegal on a Regenerator set; he would gain one form of healing, but lose another.
5. Justified Lucario:
Lucario has always been a solidly OU Pokemon thanks to its ability to run a multitude of sets. SD allows it to be a physical attacker, NP this generation allows it to build on its naturally slightly higher Special Attack and be a special attacker, Agility helps bolster its sub-par Speed stat, and an extremely diverse moveset gives it a wide range of coverage to pick and choose from. You never exactly know what you're going to be facing when you fight a Lucario. It also has very useful typing in Fighting/Steel, albeit not the best defensive stats in the world to back up its Steel side. The one thing it has always been lacking in was Ability however; Steadfast only activates upon the occasional flinch and Inner Focus is inferior to Steadfast in every way. While boosting its Speed via ability is useful, it only activates on occasion. Justified would see much more use as it is easier to activate, meaning while the Attack boost would be less useful than the Speed boost, it would happen more often. Given that he also dual resists Dark, it would work more or less like Flash Fire or Lightning Rod, since he would be taking almost no damage from a Dark-type attack. Justified would fill Lucario's only real hole in his armor.
6. Contrary Serperior:
Serperior currently sits in the dark nether region of NU due to being an extremely bland, run-of-the-mill Grass-type "blah" Pokemon. He doesn't get Chlorophyll, he doesn't get any particularly interesting moves that other Grass-types don't also get aside from Coil, he doesn't have interesting dual-typing, he's just yet another Grass-type with nothing to set him apart. Enter Contrary mixed with Leaf Storm. Leaf Storm is an extremely strong STAB attack that most Grass-types nowadays get; the problem is that it lowers your Special Attack by 2 stages, meaning it can't be used for an extended period of time. Serperior already only has a measly 75 in his Special Attack stat, so after using Leaf Storm, he'd basically be forced to switch. Contrary would turn that -2 into a +2, essentially giving him a single move which both does tremendous STAB damage, but also boosts him as much as a Nasty Plot would. That is totally awesome. Thanks to his typing, naturally decent defensive stats and his actually very good Speed, Leaf Storm + Contrary would easily make him a premier stat-boosting tank. I could definitely see him going to at least UU when Contrary is released, if not low OU; slap a Choice Scarf or, better yet, Choice Specs on him and it'd be off to the races for old Smugleaf.
7. Prankster Liepard:
Ahh Prankster... the ability which propelled Thundurus into ubers and which makes even Sableye and Murkrow look good. Liepard is another NU denizen with horrible defenses, bad defensive typing and not even a particularly useful Speed stat, but it does get Prankster, and it has plenty of status moves to utilize it. It also gets Nasty Plot and Hone Claws, which would be effected by Prankster, and Torment, which could have some interesting effects. Probably not the best unreleased DW Pokemon out there, but Prankster is still Prankster.
8. Regenerator Reuniclus:
Reuniclus is an odd Pokemon, as it can legitimately claim to be a Psychic-type tank. Good defensive stats, access to Recover and great Special Attack, but Psychic typing. He also has a very good ability in Magic Guard which prevents damage from indirect damage like entry hazards, weather and LO. Regenerator has one thing up on Magic Guard though: while Magic Guard prevents damage from those things, Regenerator can be used to heal damage from anything. Probably also not the best unreleased DW Pokemon out there, but it's a valid candidate.
9. Shadow Tag Chandelure:
Shadow Tag is one of the best abilities in the game, as it prevents your opponent from switching, even if you yourself switch your Shadow Tag user out. It is a significant part of what made Wobbuffet uber for two generations. It is entirely possible it would go to ubers as well if it were ever released, and it would probably be the final nail in the coffin for Ferrothorn. If it somehow didn't go to uber, it would at the very least knock Magnezone down a tier, as its role as a premiere Steel-type trapper/killer would be outdone by Shadow Tag Chandelure. Flash Fire is a useful ability, but it pales in comparison to Shadow Tag; if paired with Calm Mind, it could actually function like Flash Fire as well anyway.
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Honorable mentions, as far as my own list is concerned, go to Unburden Hitmonlee, Flash Fire Entei, Technician Breloom, Moody Glalie, Moxie Salamence, Ice Body Regice, Iron Fist Conkeldurr, Skill Link Cinccino, Shadow Tag Gothitelle, Regenerator Amoonguss and No Guard Golurk. If you feel there's a good one I've left off, vote for "Other" and mention it as a reply. If we collectively had the ability to release any DW Pokemon and make it widely available, what would be the best option for us to vote on as a collective? What benefits most from its DW ability?