When a single-target Water-type move is used, the ability holder draws that move towards it, even if it was used by an ally. Originally, the ability would absorb the attacks but, it was updated in the fifth generation, to give the ability holder a Special Attack boost by one stage when hit. Absorb Bulb and Luminous Moss will not trigger while Storm Drain is active. In Triple Battles, Storm Drain cannot draw attacks that are out of range.
If another Pokémon becomes the center of attention via Follow Me or Rage Powder or the target of Spotlight, Water-type moves will be directed to it instead of the ability holder.
In Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, a Pokémon with Storm Drain draws in all enemy Water-type attacks on the floor, and their damage/effect is completely neutralized. Dungeon enemies with Storm Drain can negate the Storm Drain of the player's team.