Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are likely to receive another trailer or gameplay demo sometime soon, as summer is now very close, and that's when the information release cycle usually becomes more intense for new mainline Pokemon games. Still, after two trailers for Generation 9 games, fans of the series still have little to no clue about what the starters will look like when they evolve or what their combat abilities will be, which are more often than not characteristics that heavily influence the final choice of which critter to pick. Lately, out of the three starters, Fuecoco has been getting a lot of attention due to the information coming from a known leaker, Riddler Khu.


Khu has been steadily leaking information about Pokemon Scarlet and Violet for a while now, and their track record is spotless for previous releases too, such as Pokemon Legends: Arceus. One of Khu's recent riddles is about Fuecoco's Hidden Ability, and its clue is a short GIF of the Fire-type Pokemon expressing its joy after spotting an apple -- a scene from the June Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer. Hidden Abilities are often unlocked through events or further down the line after the games are officially released, such as what occurred with the three starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield, with Scorbunny getting Libero and becoming one of the best critters in the meta. Similarly, Fuecoco's rumored Hidden Ability could make or break Gen 9's meta based on how good or bad it is.

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There are various options for Fuecoco's Hidden Ability when considering the GIF posted by Khu, and all of them are based on Pokemon Abilities that involve eating in some shape or form. Existing Abilities that immediately come to mind are Gluttony and Ripen, with Gluttony once being very popular in competitive tournaments, and Ripen for now being an exclusive Ability of the Applin line from Pokemon Sword and Shield. Gluttony activates Berry effects dependent on health thresholds at 50% rather than 25% remaining HP, whereas Ripen doubles the effects of held Berries when eaten in battle, and it affects pretty much all categories of Berries, including the ones that reduce damage from specific types or that heal.

The fact that Ripen exists sort of makes Gluttony a bit redundant and situational in comparison, with Ripen being the best one of the two in most scenarios. Gluttony, on the other hand, could be more desirable in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's case if it was limited to only a few Pokemon, such as the Fuecoco evolution line. Still, both of those Abilities could be very powerful in PvP because Berry usage is often extremely high, and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's meta will hardly differ in these regards. Notably, design-wise, Ripen would make sense to have for Fuecoco because the Applin line's exclusive Ability is all about apples.

Another similar Ability is Cheek Pouch, which restores health when consuming a Berry (both the user's and the opponent's, via moves like Bug Bite or Pluck), and that too could be very useful on a supposed Fire/Ghost hybrid, as it already has several resistances and two immunities. However, it should be noted that Cheek Pouch is typically exclusive to rodent critters such as Dedenne or the Skwovet line, and it wouldn't thematically fit the design philosophy behind Fuecoco. Yet, Cheek Pouch could truly prove to be an incredibly strong Ability for a starter because it could be used in combination with defensive Berries that reduce incoming damage from super effective attacks, thus out-healing the damage or almost negating it.

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Which Pokemon Abilities Wouldn't Benefit Fuecoco As Much

Two more Abilities that could be Fuecoco's Hidden Ability in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are Thick Fat and Unnerve, even though neither of them would really be all that useful in the case of the cute Fire-type crocodile. Thick Fat is an Ability that provides damage resistance to Ice and Fire moves, which are already types that Fuecoco is going to resist naturally at 50% by being a Fire Pokemon. This would mean that, with Thick Fat, Fuecoco would effectively resist both Fire and Ice-type moves at 75% in total. Another con of Thick Fat is that it is usually given to Pokemon that have a low base Speed stat, which is almost never good in competitive matches.

On the other hand. there is Unnerve, which is an Ability that's mainly useful at times in double battles due to its effects applying to both opponents, but not so much in singles. This is because one would be sacrificing the Ability slot for something that prevents the opposing critters from eating their Berries, when in fact they could have none. Among the various possibilities, Thick Fat and Unnerve are probably the options that would impact Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's battles the least if given to Fuecoco.

The Ability That Could Make Fuecoco an Outlier in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

One more option that Khu's leak could be pointing at is Harvest. Harvest is an Ability that has always been associated with Grass-types, and it allows the user to restore any Berry they use at the end of each turn, but it has a 50% activation chance, making it extremely powerful if it activates a few times in a row or incredibly bad if it doesn't. Usually, Harvest is not that influential simply because it is too RNG-dependent compared to Pokemon Abilities that activate under specific criteria.

Regardless, if Harvest was the actual Hidden Ability for Fuecoco, it would make it interesting to see on a Fire-type for a change because it would combine perfectly with moves, other Abilities, or terrains that are in the "hard sunlight" condition. Hard sunlight means that Fire moves deal increased damage and Water moves' effectiveness is reduced, which in and of itself is usually a great win condition for Fire-types and a fantastic counter to Water-types. However, in case of hard sunlight, Harvest would proc 100% of the time, allowing Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's players to double-dip in Fuecoco's strengths and build an interesting team and kit around it.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet release in late 2022 for Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Explaining the Themes of Each Game

Source: Riddler Khu on Twitter