While Rotom is still my favorite battle Pokémon, Breloom is usually far easier to find in the games it appears. Its pre-evolution Shroomish is a common sight in early-game grassy routes, with its adorable stubby legs and grumpy face. I can’t look at its unamused little frown without smiling.
Breloom (along with Shroomish) is clearly a fungus Pokémon, but I like how much more interesting its design gets than just that. Sure its mushroom hat is awesome, but it’s also got arm pincers and some sort of clubbed tail for bludgeoning foes. Despite being cute, you can still tell Breloom has clearly evolved for cutthroat combat, befitting its Grass-Fighting typing.
Breloom boasts high physical attack and decent speed, meaning Adamant is their ideal nature. One of its biggest claims to fame is a very versatile movepool. It can lay down big damage, status effects, health recovery, or stat-boosts for a wide range of playstyles. Its biggest weakness is a 4x vulnerability to Flying, unless you happen to have taught yours Thunder Punch. The best part is that most of Breloom’s ideal moves are learned naturally during level-up. You won’t need to go scouring to find TMs or move tutors to kit out your mushroom dinosaur for success.
There are two well-known Breloom builds in the Pokémon meta. The more-popular revolves around its hidden ability Technician, which boosts the power of any low-damage moves. This lets you grab some great utility moves (like Mach Punch with its priority status) without sacrificing damage. But the lesser-used moveset, revolving around the Toxic Orb item, is probably my favorite playstyle of any Pokemon in the series. I used it heavily in my playthrough of OmegaRuby on a physical-attacker named Brenda.
You see, Brenda had the ability Poison Heal, which regenerates 1/8 of her max HP every turn if she’s poisoned. By giving her the Toxic Orb, I could auto-poison her and trigger that buff at all times. Even better, the poison status makes her immune to enemy status effects! On top of that, she could use Giga Drain and Drain Punch as high-damage STAB moves that also healed her, giving her an insane amount of survivability. Her biggest weakness was Breloom’s middling speed, but that’s why she had Stun Spore to paralyze enemies and slow them down. (Her last move was Facade, which deals a whopping 140 damage if the user has a status effect.)
Breloom: The Past and the Future
Shroomish and Breloom debuted in Ruby and Sapphire, and usually weren’t too terribly difficult to obtain in any generations they appeared. Unfortunately, they were among the many casualties of Gen 8’s ‘Dexit‘, and cannot be ported forward to Sword and Shield in anyway. However, there’s luck on the horizon, as Breloom appeared in a trailer for the imminent 9th generation. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will be hitting shelves this month on November 18th. If you want to tackle the new Paldea region with a dependable Grass/Fighting Pokémon, you could do a lot worse than everyone’s favorite mushroom!