How Smeargle (Almost) Made Me Quit Pokemon Go

aka: Yes, people do still play Pokemon Go, you anti-nerd killjoy.

In late February of this year, Pokemon Go finally introduced one of the few Pokemon in the first four generations of the series that had not yet been released — Smeargle. While there were still other Pokemon that hadn’t been released in the game to this point, Smeargle’s omission was both peculiar and understandable, all at the same time. On one hand, most of the Pokemon that had featured slow releases in Pokemon Go had either been legendary/mythical Pokemon1Mewtwo, Lugia, Articuno, Mew, Celebi, Dialga, etc., had unique ways of evolving2Evolving via trade with an item, evolving when leveling up while knowing a certain move, evolving while in a certain location, or Feebas’ weird double evolution possibility., or were Spiritomb3The idea behind this — doing a series of tasks based around Spiritomb’s lore — was amazing. The actual quests themselves were tedious as all hell, as everything around Spiritomb revolves around the number 108.. On the other hand, Smeargle feel into a small subset of Pokemon whose entire gimmick in the game wasn’t covered in any way in Pokemon Go. The best parallel was Ditto, which uses the move Transform prior to changing into whatever Pokemon it’s facing.

Smeargle only learns one move in the main series games — Sketch. The move Sketch allows Smeargle to copy whatever move was last used on it and permanently learn that move to its moveset. This means that Smeargle can learn nearly any move in the entire game, save for the moves Chatter, Struggle4Even though Smeargle can’t learn Struggle via Sketch, it can use the move if it depletes the uses of all of its known moves, just like any other Pokemon., and Sketch itself. Considering the largest movepool in Pokemon Go prior to Smeargle’s release was Mew at 39 total moves, Smeargle certainly could have proven to be a challenge for Pokemon Go developer Niantic.

The way Niantic chose to implement Smeargle in the game was ingenious. In another recent update, Niantic introduced its AR camera feature. This feature allows you to take photos of Pokemon already in your inventory with those mons projected in the real world. This feature was already present when you encounter wild Pokemon5Though quite unwieldy, as most players I know completely shut off the AR catching mode to make catching easier., but because Pokemon Snap is a fandom that just won’t die6I adore Pokemon. This blog has plenty of evidence of that. But where I break from the Pokemon fan base is in my distaste for Snap. Not only should Snap not be remade, it’s proof that just because you slap Pokemon on something doesn’t mean that thing will be good., this was a hotly requested feature in Go as well. Smeargle will randomly photobomb your picture with whatever Pokemon your taking pictures of, giving you a chance to capture Smeargle after the event.

Notice I said randomly in that last sentence. Yes, your encountering of Smeargle is at the mercy of RNGesus. This is where my rage-fueled story begins. Most times below are estimated, though I have a few exact time stamps from pictures.

  • Monday, 4:14 pm: I learn that Smeargle is in Pokemon go and how to acquire it. I load the game, take one AR picture of my Alolan Vulpix, see I didn’t find Smeargle, and close the game. I find the feature and encounter mechanic really cool, marking the last time I have this thought.
  • 7:45 pm: After dinner and cleaning up our kitchen, the wife and I begin trying to encounter Smeargle in earnest. My father-in-law texts saying he found his in around 60 photos, so this seems like a fun way to kill twenty minutes or so before I start editing.
  • 8:00 pm: Both the wife and I are around 100 photos without seeing Smeargle. We’re having fun seeing what stupid pictures we can take, so it’s fine.
  • 8:15 pm: After some searching on Reddit and Discord, we learn that Smeargle’s appearances are completely RNG based. While some people are finding them quickly, others are literally in the thousands of photos with no encounters. My heart sinks a little, but we keep going.
  • 8:30 pm: As part of our last search, we learn that Smeargle can get moves from Community Day Pokemon. This leads me to taking the next 100 or so of my pictures of an Espeon I have that knows Last Resort.
  • 8:50 pm: I am now quite tired of looking at Espeon’s face. Both my wife and I are growing frustrated with the process. She’s at around 250 pictures, I’m just over 300.
  • 9:05 pm: My wife wants popcorn and House Hunters. She has since the Smeargle search started. We’ve both grown angry at the lack of HGTV in our lives. We resolve to spend five more minutes trying to find Smeargle before we give up.
  • 9:06 pm: My wife’s mundane super power kicks in and she encounters Smeargle within 60 seconds of the previous discussion. I decided I’m going to finish out our pre-discussed five minutes, go make popcorn, and continue searching for Smeargle, as the asshole has already ruined my editing time.
  • 9:12 pm: Popcorn in hand, my photo taking resumes as we watch a young couple with a $900,000 budget look for a home in rural Ohio. She’s an avant-garde perler bead artist while he invented hand sanitizer for blockchain. They agree on nothing, yet want a place where their pets — which they insist on calling fur babies — can roam free. The pets will be picking the house. Somehow, this infuriates me less than Smeargle.
  • 9:35 pm: My wife goes to bed. The struggle continues.
  • 10:15 pm: Now at over 500 pictures with no Smeargle, I pause for a few minutes to do some research on how Smeargle works. Apparently you’re limited to getting one per day. Which is great, as I still have zero. I find a Reddit post where someone says they’re over 2,500 pictures with no Smeargle. I consider going to bed, but I’m committed at this point.
  • 10:45 pm: After another half hour of failure, I open Smash Brothers to kick the crap out of something out of rage. I go to Spirit Board and Smeargle is one of the first things that pops up. Fuck you.
  • 11:25 pm: I finally relent and decide it’s time for bed. I’m over 780 pictures at this point. I try taking a picture in the dark to see what happens, but Pokemon Go’s AR function can’t recognize a flat surface in the dark. Which is great, because it seems to have a hell of a time doing the same thing in the light, so at least it’s consistent.
  • Tuesday, 7:50 am: I get to work and have a little time to kill before my shift starts. Smeargle hunt, round two.
  • 7:58 am: Eight minutes later, Smeargle finally shows up. It photobombed a Shuckle, because you don’t fuckle with Shuckle. I didn’t get the moveset I want, but I don’t care. I’m done. I’m fucking done.

Listen, I get it. Some games have RNG-based grindfests. And if that’s your thing, awesome. But Niantic? This was genuinely the worst thing I’ve had to do in Pokemon Go. And I was around when the original gym system existed. If you’re going to give us Smeargle in this way, at least bring back the footstep Pokemon tracker. That was the best.

My Pokemon Top 25

I have a likely not shocking confession to make. I really like college football. I don’t like watching it as much as I did while I was in college (or even in the years immediately surrounding it), however it is still of great entertainment. You can have great endings, epic games, and hilarious meltdowns of overrated teams. It’s all really good.

That said, the best part of college football (especially when I got to play the NCAA Football video game series) is the polls. It’s a fun, if not subjective and somewhat inconsistent, way of comparing teams to one another. I’m not a particularly qualified person to put college football teams into a top 257At least outside of the aforementioned video game situations.. But you know what I do have some expertise on? Pokemon. More specifically, which Pokemon I like better than others.

With that said, there’s over 800 Pokemon in existence. Putting together this list took quite a bit of time, though I did use Dragonfly Cave’s favorite Pokemon tool to help generate my list. In creating my list, I did decide that only one Pokemon from each evolution line could make the final list. This means that I initially went to 50 Pokemon when generating my list, then cut it down from there. My top 25, along with honorable mentions, is below. I’ve kept my explanations for why each Pokemon made the list somewhat short, as otherwise this could be an obnoxious list.

  1. Articuno – One of my two favorite Pokemon as a kid (along with Rattata), the Team Mystic mascot has always been one of my favorite Pokemon. I’ve had trouble putting it at the top of any list or on most teams due to its legendary status. That said, if I’m really being objective, it’s my favorite Pokemon.
  2. Shellder – My favorite shiny Pokemon gets the number two spot thanks to its silly tongue-filled sprites throughout the game’s history, as well as that beautiful hunter orange shiny. If only Cloyster retained that loud coloring with its shiny.
  3. Hitmonchan – One of the most versatile Fighting types you’ll ever encounter may not be a particularly useful Pokemon, but it won me over as a Gen I kid. The elemental punches are amazing and fit with Hitmonchan’s style, even if the moves are better suited to another Pokemon.
  4. Vulpix – Prior to Gen VII, Vulpix would have been a top 10 or 15 Pokemon, but not this high. Then Alolan Vulpix came out, combining a creature I really like with my favorite battle typing. I’ve decided to put Vulpix 4 on this list to average out my thoughts on its Kanto and Alolan forms. Ninetales was ranked 5, but since only one of each line makes the list8I only had to make two cuts for this reason, but it did still come up., Vulpix gets the spot.
  5. Jynx – I recognize most people hate Jynx, but it was on the very first team I ever beat a Pokemon game with. My pro-Ice bias likely keeps Jynx higher on this list than it has any business being, but I still love trotting Jynx out there in online battles, particularly when paired with this next Pokemon.
  6. Delcatty – The top non-Gen I Pokemon on this list is my favorite cat Pokemon. I don’t care that it looks like it has a neck pillow around its neck. Throw Cosmic Power, Toxic, Rest, and an attacking move9I personally like Facade, as someone is likely going to try to poison this set. on it and really mess with people not expecting to see Delcatty in an actual battle. Or, pair it with a Jynx or Smeargle spreading sleep and watch Delcatty wreck teams with Dream Eater (seriously). I love how trolly Delcatty can be.
  7. Mismagius – Speaking of trolly, Mismagius is a great Rest/Sleep Talk Pokemon. While I never got into Misdreavus when I played Gen II, getting a Mismagius for the first time in Pokemon Moon made me really love this Pokemon. Plus, it has some of the better art in the game’s history. Even though the Pokemon on my favorite Pokemon of each type list has changed over time10See: Delcatty going from not mentioned on that post to #6 on this list., Mismagius has remained my favorite Ghost type.
  8. Chandelure – No, I don’t care that it looks like an inanimate object. A ghostly chandelier is amazing. That’s just good design. Chandelure might be my favorite Will-o-Wisp spreader I’ve ever used, but that’s not why it’s this high on this list. That art, though.
  9. Vaporeon – There isn’t a bad Eeveelution other than Flareon11To be fair, this isn’t Flareon’s fault.. But Vapereon has such an awesome movepool, even though it’s mostly known for Wish and Baton Pass. The fact that it’s had access to Acid Armor since Gen I — at a time when there wasn’t much move pool variety — amuses me to no end.
  10. Umbreon – It glows. It’s such a pretty glow at that. I originally had Umbreon above Vaporeon in this list, only to realize how frequently I’ve used Vaporeon in my playthroughs of the various games rather than opting to choose Umbreon. While Umbreon is useful — possibly more so than Vaporeon — I had to fix the list to more accurately reflect my usage.
  11. Murkrow – WHY CAN’T I FIND A SHINY MURKROW IN POKEMON GO? WHY?
  12. Dodrio – While Fearow was always my Gen I Flying type of choice, over time I’ve become a bigger fan of Dodrio than its Drill Peck-driven brethren. Though this is mostly driven by Dodrio’s silly looks, I do quite enjoy battling with too. Don’t worry, Fearow makes this list too.
  13. Parasect – Two words: Alazakam killer.
  14. Toxapex – My favorite non-Alolan form Pokemon from Gen VII is, not shockingly, a Water type. That said, it’s the first Poison type I’ve used with any regularity, not to mention yet another Pokemon that loves harming James in the anime12One of my favorite running tropes in the series.. Marenie was my other evolution line limited cut from this list, but it’s just an amazing line.
  15. Mawile – I find it amusing that there’s a Pokemon that can literally bite your head off with its head. Pokemon Go reminded me how much I like Mawile, all while disappointing me how much Go doesn’t understand how to implement some Pokemon13See also: Shuckle, Azumarill..
  16. Fearow – Fearow and Persian were critical hit machines in Gen I. Access to Fly and immunity to Ground type attacks caused me to use Fearow over Persian in many playthroughs of Red and Blue. I don’t make the rules, just this list.
  17. Ampharos – The quest involving Ampharos in Pokemon Gold/Silver creates a memorable character, causing people to love the electric sheep. But combine that with references to a Philip K. Dick novel and the glorious hair of that mega evolution and you’ve got an amazing Pokemon.
  18. Gardevoir – Mawile, but people make more fan art of it. Unfortunately, most of that art is creepy. But Gardevoir is super useful.
  19. Leavanny – In my first run of Pokemon Black, I was stunned how useful I found Leavanny to be. Finding a good physical Bug attacker is kind of hard to do, especially in early generations. I took Leavanny all the way through Black when I beat it, which I never would have guessed when I first started the game. It’s also a shockingly good lead/scout competitively, especially in lower tiers, thanks to access to Sticky Web and U-Turn.
  20. Lapras – Lapras being introduced as the surfing ride Pokemon in Gen VII was the best decision made about that game. That’s all there is to it.
  21. Froslass – Another Gen IV Pokemon that I didn’t get to use for the first time until Gen VII, Froslass is one of my favorite Pokemon to use as a competitive lead. It can spread Spikes and take Pokemon down with Destiny Bond. But above all else, at least it’s not Glalie.
  22. Espeon – Did you know Espeon’s shiny looks like it’s a fox made out of Mountain Dew?
  23. Xurkitree – The best kept secret to beating the Battle Tree in Sun/Moon? Xurkitree with Thunderbolt coming in on Electric Terrain. Just bring Tapu Bulu or another similarly fast Grass/Water Pokemon to deal with Ground types.
  24. Shuckle – Don’t fuckle with Shuckle.
  25. Oddish – The #25 spot on this list was obnoxiously hard to decide on. Do I pick one of the first two Pokemon I ever liked or do I pick the adorable grass bulb that I like enough that there’s a planter shaped like it in my apartment? This is even beyond the fact that I cut two Gen VI Pokemon to get to this point, leaving me with no Pokemon from that (admittedly thin) generation on this list. I leaned to Oddish ultimately, but it was nearly a coin flip here.

Honorable mention: Rattata, Sylveon, Fennekin, Blastoise, Ariados, Meloetta, Hypno, Beedrill, Skarmory, Hawlucha, Persian, Wigglytuff, Liepard, Kabutops, Popplio

My Pokemon Gym: Ice

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post where I shared what my Pokemon gym would be if I were the gym leader of a Fighting type gym. As I mentioned in that post, Fighting isn’t a type that’s particularly high on my list of types I like, though I did want to write the post at the request of one of my blog followers. With my birthday coming up later this month, I wanted to take the opportunity to revisit this gym concept, only this time looking at my favorite Pokemon type. That type would be Ice type Pokemon.

Ice type Pokemon are a much maligned type in the Pokemon universe. While it’s a great attacking type, dealing super effective damage to some of the most frightening offensive types, Ice types are defensive liabilities. Defensively, Ice types are weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel Pokemon, nearly all of which feature on most common Pokemon teams in some capacity. This is what makes trainers like Lorelei, Wulfric, and Candice much easier to battle than other gym leaders or Elite Four members. Even with that in mind, my goal is to do my best to represent my favorite Pokemon typing well as a gym leader for it.

As I’ve done on previous Pokemon team/gym style posts, I’ll be sharing the six Pokemon on my team, along with their held items and moves. I’ll also be giving a little additional background into why I’ve chosen each of these Pokemon. I won’t be using legendary Pokemon on my team, despite the fact that the very first Ice type I loved is the original Ice type legendary, Articuno. I’ve tried to limit the number of Pokemon I’ve taken from any single generation, however, since Ice types have a fairly limited pool to pull from — and many of those Pokemon get evolutions in later generations randomly — I have a team that’s largely comprised of Gen I and Gen IV Pokemon.

Alolan Ninetales

Alolan Ninetales courtesy Bulbapedia

One of the critical components of getting any Ice type team to work is setting up Hail for sake of Aurora Veil and residual damage. Enter Alolan Ninetales, which combines both of these into one easy package. I chose to make Alolan Ninetales my lead Pokemon rather than my ace for this reason, as its primary purpose is to protect the rest of my team the best it can. I really wish I had five move slots on this set, as I’d love to run the Toxic/Hex combo that amuses me so much. But alas, that’s not Alolan Ninetales’ job with this set.

Ability: Snow Warning
Item: Icy Rock
Moves: Aurora Veil, Mist, Blizzard, Toxic

Lapras

Lapras courtesy Bulbapedia

Because Ice types have so many weaknesses, part of my strategy as a leader is that I need to have specific counters to those weaknesses. This means that as much as I wanted to bring Cloyster on the team, Lapras is the much smarter choice as my anti-Fire counter. Lapras can be a shockingly good mixed attacker with the right moveset, though I’ve chosen to boost its survivability over attacking power, as it is one of the bulkier creatures on my team.

Ability: Shell Armor
Item: Assault Vest
Moves: Whirlpool, Perish Song, Curse, Protect

Froslass

Froslass courtesy Bulbapedia

Can you tell I like troll-y Ice type Pokemon? Between a screen setting Ninetales, a trapping Perish Song Lapras, and now the queen of Destiny Bond in Froslass, my first three Pokemon on this list are meant to take out major threats to the three Pokemon that end this list. I’ve used Froslass as a lead when I’ve battled online, however her purpose on this team is to cripple the other team’s hard hitters, as well as to take them out with self-sacrifice if needed.

Ability: Cursed Body
Item: Focus Sash
Moves: Destiny Bond, Confuse Ray, Will-O-Wisp, Ominous Wind

Weavile

Weavile courtesy Bulbapedia

And thus begins the hard hitters of my team. Weavile hopes that any Fighting Pokemon are dealt with before it comes in, however it’s set up to start wrecking the other team if that’s the case. As much as I want to justify using Pickpocket on Weavile, there’s no good reason to do so when Pressure exists. Not that anything will live long enough for Pressure to truly matter if all goes well.

Ability: Pressure
Item: Darkium-Z
Moves: Snatch, Icicle Crash, Bite, Dark Pulse

Mamoswine

Mamoswine courtesy Bulbapedia

While Weavile is meant to take advantage of its speed and flinching capabilities, Mamoswine is my glacier. Sure, it doesn’t move as fast as my other Pokemon14Though Mamoswine has shockingly good speed., but it’s going to hit like a truck when it does. I considered putting Mega Glalie in this spot to give me a mega Pokemon, but then I remembered how much I detest Glalie. So no.

Ability: Thick Fat
Item: Muscle Band
Moves: Thrash, Earthquake, Superpower, Avalanche

Jynx

Jynx courtesy Bulbapedia

My ace for this team is a much-maligned Pokemon that I’ve found I’m one of the few people who loves. Jynx is one of my favorite Pokemon to use, both in the mainline games and in Pokemon Go. Yes, it has horribly frail defenses, but the hope is that most of its threats are taken out early by the first few Pokemon on my team — or by Weavile and Mamoswine if not. While I was tempted to do a full kiss moves team with Jynx15As it can learn Draining Kiss, Lovely Kiss, and Sweet Kiss., only one of those made my final moveset. Jynx is oblivious to your team’s wiles, and is the anchor of my Ice type gym because of it.

Ability: Oblivious
Item: Wide Lens
Moves: Lovely Kiss, Blizzard, Dream Eater, Hyper Voice

10 New Mega Evolutions I Want to See on Pokemon Switch

The hype train for Pokemon Switch keeps chugging along. Seriously. Go on YouTube and look at nearly any PokeTuber’s channel. It’s all a lot of people want to talk about. And why wouldn’t fans of the game want to speculate about it? Between the 2017 E3 Nintendo Direct mentioning that Nintendo has a core Pokemon game in development for Switch, the announcement of a new Pokemon as part of the Let’s Go Eevee/Let’s Go Pikachu releases, as well as various other sources reporting a release date of mid-2019 for a core series game, there’s reason to get excited.

One of the more recently introduced game mechanics that I believe will have a greater amount of usage in any Pokemon game on the Nintendo Switch is the concept of Mega Evolutions. There are currently 46 Pokemon capable of mega evolving, which is a particularly low number when considering that there are now 807 Pokemon in the game16I started writing this post thinking there were 806 Pokemon in the game. I’m glad I doublechecked. Apparently a new one got announced in April. Who knew?. In addition to expanding the usage of Z-moves that was introduced in Generation VII, I expect us to see some new Pokemon capable of mega evolution.

So, which Pokemon will we see mega evolutions for? I’ve created a list of 10 Pokemon I’d personally like to see get mega evolutions. For this post, I’ll share with you which ten Pokemon I’d most want to see get mega evolutions in a Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch, a little information about how I imagine the new evolution playing out, as well as why I want that specific Pokemon to get a mega evolution. All images are courtesy Bulbapedia.

Honorable mentions that missed the cut: Dragonite, Toucannon, Ledian17Yes, the king of garbage Pokemon would be a ridiculous Pokemon to consider for mega evolution. Yet…would it really be all that shocking?, Vikavolt, Delibird, Raichu18*insert tears from Pikachu fans here*, Gothitelle, and Parasect

10. Hawlucha

Mega evolutions were introduced in Gen VI of the Pokemon games. One of the game’s gym leaders, Korrina, knew the secrets behind mega evolutions, yet doesn’t carry a single mega evolving Pokemon in her main gym team. The best way to remedy that is to give one of Korrina’s signature Pokemon, Hawlucha, a mega evolution. Mega Hawlucha would remain a dual type Flying/Fighting Pokemon, but does pick up some additional Defense (20 points), Attack (30 points), and Speed (40 points)19Mega evolved Pokemon tend to gain around 90 points to their attributes overall, generally spread across 3 stats, not including HP. I’ll be using 90 points of gain as the standard amount for all Pokemon on this list.. Instead of retaining its Limber, Unburden, or Mold Breaker abilities, Mega Hawlucha would gain the Motor Drive ability, which would boost its formidable speed even further if it’s hit by an electric attack.

9. Gogoat

Our second (and final) Gen VI Pokemon on the list might be a bit unexpected, as Gogoat is not a particularly standout Pokemon in the game in terms of usage. With that said, its appearances in Super Smash Brothers for WiiU caused Gogoat to grow on me. Mega Gogoat would be our first type changing Pokemon on this list, going from a pure Grass type to a dual Grass/Fighting type, picking up a massive amount of additional Attack (50 points), as well as some Defense and Special Defense (20 points each). Mega Gogoat would also be the first Pokemon with the Grass-type version of Aerilate, turning its wide pool of hard-hitting Normal attacks into STAB-Grass attacks.

8. Fearow

I’d have to imagine that if there’s new mega Pokemon in Generation VIII, at least a handful of them will be from Gen I, particularly with Pokemon Let’s Go on the horizon. As such, I’m going to hope that Fearow gets a mega evolution. Fearow was one of the most underrated Pokemon in Gen I, particularly with how its speed stat combined with Drill Peck to abuse Red/Blue/Yellow’s broken critical hit mechanics. Mega Fearow pays homage to that, as its current hidden ability, Sniper, would become the mega’s ability. Most of Fearow’s growth as a mega would come in Attack (30 points) and Speed (45 points), but a small amount of growth in its Defense (15 points) would make it a slightly bulkier bird to battle. Fearow would retain its Normal/Flying typing as a mega evolution.

7. Mamoswine

With all the hype surrounding the pending20It was pending when I originally wrote this post. The post just got rescheduled a few times. announcement of Generation IV in Pokemon Go, I thought it’d be fitting to include two Pokemon from that Generation in this list. Mamoswine is a beast of a Pokemon, however it’s not the tank of a Pokemon that it looks like it would be. Yes, its Thick Fat ability removes two of its weaknesses, but it’s not a particularly good defensive Pokemon. Its Ice/Ground mega evolution would change that, as Mega Mamoswine would pair the Thick Fat ability with an additional 40 points in both its Defense and Special Defense, with a small boost going to its Attack (10 points) as well. It’s about time this woolly mammoth became a defensive behemoth in its own right.

6. Toxapex

I know what you’re thinking. Does Toxapex really need a mega evolution? It’s one of the best Generation VII Pokemon. And yes, I hear that argument. My counter argument to that is Rayquaza, Grodon, Kyogre, Salamance, Mewtwo, and Scizor. Just because a Pokemon is really good does not mean it shouldn’t get a mega evolution. Toxapex is the lone Gen VII entry on this list, but it’s one of the most standout Pokemon from Sun and Moon, making it one of the most deserving of this spot21Apologies to Mimikyu, the Tapus, Salazzle, Toucannon, and Vikavolt, the last two of which were the hardest debates.. Mega Toxapex would trade out its overpowered Merciless ability for an ability currently unique to Salazzle — Corrosion. Though Toxapex would retain its Poison/Water typing, its stats would see a small jump in Attack (10 points) to go along with massive jumps in its Special Defense (30 points) and Defense (50 points). That 202 base Defense stat would give Mega Toxapex the fifth highest Defense in the game, becoming a wall on the level of Shuckle, just with more power to hit back. More on that in a bit though.

5. Flygon

Allegedly Flygon was supposed to get a mega evolution in Generation VI, but didn’t due to artist’s block. As a writer, I’ve been there. That said, Flygon is overdue for a mega evolution. Despite its massive move pool, Mega Flygon would retain the original’s Dragon/Ground typing, along with its Levitate ability. Due to how overdue this mega evolution is, Mega Flygon becomes our only exception to the 90 point rule, getting an astounding 120 points spread out amongst its Speed (30 points), Attack (45 points), Special Attack (35 points), and Special Defense (10 points). It might be two generations too late, but Flygon would finally get the place it deserves along other mega evolutions, leaving another Dragon type Pokemon as the most asked for mega evolution22Sorry Dragonite fans. Your favorite Pokemon was one of my final two cuts from this list, along with Toucannon..

4. Mismagius

We now begin a two entry run on this list with Pokemon I personally love to use in the main games, and therefore would love to see get mega evolutions. We begin with Mismagius, who is my favorite Pokemon to use a Rest/Sleep Talk moveset with. Mismagius is already a great Special Attack Pokemon, so Mega Mismagius would see a natural furthering of that trait, with a 35 point boost to Special Attack, along with boosts to its Special Defense (30 points) and Speed (25 points). Mega Mismagius would see one of the more drastic changes of any one this list, both with an ability change from Levitate to a new ability similar to Thick Fat which reduces damage from Dark types, as well as a new dual typing of Ghost/Psychic. Yes, that would make Mega Mismagius four times weak to Ghost and Dark, but its ability is meant to mitigate some of that weakness.

3. Shuckle

The beauty of Shuckle is that it’s the most extreme stat Pokemon in the game, boasting the top non-legendary values in Defense and Special Defense, while having bottom five HP, Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats. That begs the question…how could you make Shuckle even more of a stalling Pokemon? Mega Shuckle is the only Pokemon on this list to not get the full 90 points in stat boosts from its mega evolution, gaining a mere 40 points, split evenly between its Defense and Special Defense. That said, Mega Shuckle changes types from Bug/Rock to Bug/Steel and changes abilities to the Heatproof ability. This means that the only four times weakness Mega Shuckle would have suddenly becomes a regular weakness. Have fun killing Mega Shuckle, especially now that you can’t poison it.

2. Leavanny

Over the years, the Bug typing has gone from one of my least favorite types in the game to one that I actually really like. Yes, Bug has some terrible Pokemon in it, but it also has some really fun Pokemon. In my playthrough of Pokemon Black, one of my favorite Pokemon to use was Leavanny. It was a shockingly adept battler, thanks in part to the combination of Fell Stinger and Leaf Blade in its arsenal. Mega Leavanny remains a Bug/Grass dual type, but does get the Super Luck ability to help raise its critical hit rate, making it an even more dangerous offensive threat. Since Leavanny is losing the Chlorophyll ability as part of its mega evolution, the bulk of Mega Leavanny’s stat boosts go to its Speed stat (40 points), with the remainder going toward Attack (30 points), Defense (10 points), and Special Defense (10 points). With those boost, you might not even need Swords Dance or Fell Stinger on Mega Leavanny, but good luck if it gets the boost from either of them up.

1. Lapras

Finally, we come to the Generation I Pokemon that I feel has most deserved an evolution or mega evolution since its inception. Its bulk has always been its calling card, however Lapras’ ability to deal with Dragon types can’t be understated either. Mega Lapras retains its normal form’s Water Absorb ability, though its growths in Special Attack (45 points) and Special Defense (35 points) make those values the same for the first time since Generation I. The remaining points go into Mega Lapras’s Defense (20 points). Mega Lapras does retain its Ice typing, however thanks to its reputation as an anti-Dragon unit, Mega Lapras gets a type change from dual Water/Ice to Fairy/Ice, further solidifying its niche in that realm.

What do you think of the list? Which Pokemon do you most want to get a mega evolution? Let us know in the comments.

Pokemon Who Can’t Learn Obvious Moves

Pokemon has some weird game mechanics at times. Between the natural level up process, TMs and HMs, move tutors, and breeding, most Pokemon have a bevy of moves at their disposal. Sometimes, this means that a Pokemon can learn a move that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, like Kantonian Raticate learning Icy Wind or Flame Wheel23Kantonian Raticate is the poster child for this phenomenon, and that’s not even taking into account that it learns Jump Kick in the anime. That’s a move that actual makes some form of sense.. Sometimes, a Pokemon’s entire gimmick is the breadth of the movepool it can learn, such as Clefairy or Delcatty24Or, if you want the most extreme case, Mew..

That said despite all of the flexibility in ways that a Pokemon can learn moves, there’s still some glaring misses for logical moves that Pokemon should be able to learn. A glaring example of this that was fixed in Generation VII was the fact that Luvdisc — the heart shaped Pokemon — wasn’t able to learn Heart Stamp until the release of Sun and Moon25It still can’t learn Heart Swap, but this is progress.. While this omission has been resolved, there’s still quite a few missing move pairings that haven’t been addressed. This blog post will take a look at a few of those Pokemon and move matchup that Game Freak has overlooked through seven generations of the game.

Are there any moves and Pokemon pairings that I missed? Be sure to share them in the comments. All images are credited to Bulbapedia.

Growlithe

Let’s begin with one of the two Pokemon that inspired this post idea. Growlithe, a Pokemon that has been around since the original generation of the game, has never been able to learn the move Growl. The puppy Pokemon. The one with growl as the first five letters of its name. It can’t learn Growl. Togepi, the least intimidating Pokemon in existence, has been able to learn it since Generation II. Yet Growlithe cannot.

Everyone good on the premise of this list now? Good. Let’s get into some of the progressively weirder examples.

Mew

If you’re one of the people who actually reads my footnotes, you might have noticed that I mentioned Mew as being the most extreme case of a Pokemon whose entire gimmick is its movepool. Notice how I didn’t say it can learn every move in the game. That has never been its exact role. In Generations I and II, Mew was capable of learning all of its level up moves, as well as every TM, HM, and move tutor move in the game26Since Mew is a Pokemon that cannot be bred, it can’t learn any moves via breeding.. But beginning in Generation III, Mew can no longer learn every move tutor move, as it is locked out of the three starter-only moves, Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon. As of Generation VII, there are now ten moves that Mew can’t learn via move tutor. Since many of those moves are signature moves for certain Pokemon, it makes sense to limit them from most Pokemon. But not Mew. I want Dragon Ascent Mew, dammit.

Jigglypuff

When you think of Jigglypuff, what comes to mind? Is it the singing one that follows Ash and his gang around in the anime, only to draw all over their faces with a marker when they fall asleep from its singing? Maybe it’s the Smash Brothers edition and its insistence on trying to one-hit KO you with Rest. That said, what you’re likely not thinking of is Jigglypuff as the balloon Pokemon, even though that’s how the Pokedex classifies it. You would think that the balloon Pokemon would get a move that would keep it off of the ground, yes? But that’s not the case. Not only does Jigglypuff not get the Levitate ability, it also is incapable of learning the only move in the game that allows for levitation, Magnet Rise. And while you’re likely thinking ‘yeah…but that’s a move for Electric Pokemon’, remember Vanillite and Larvesta — two Pokemon that are neither Electric nor Steel — can learn it via breeding. What’s worse is that Jigglypuff learns the only move in the game capable of helping an ally levitate, Telekinesis, via move tutor.

Steelix

Steelix is a snake. A really big iron snake, but a snake nevertheless. And what do snakes do, other than wear silly hats to be fancy? They coil up. Need proof? In the link earlier in the paragraph, I count seven coiled snakes on the first page alone. Yet, despite the fact that Steelix is a snake, it can’t learn the most basic action in all of snakery, Coil. Steelix can learn Dragon Breath despite not being a dragon, Aqua Tail in spite of its weakness to water, and Stomping Tantrum despite not having legs. But it can’t learn Coil. Dunsparce learns Coil, and Dunsparce has never done anything useful. Why can’t Steelix learn Coil?

Chesnaught

Lest you think I’m only choosing Pokemon that were introduced in the Game Boy generations, here’s an entry from Generation VI. It usually takes a generation or two for a Pokemon to get their movesets fully realized27Unless you’re talking Gen I Pokemon, in which case that number is closer to 3 or 4., so you might be able to forgive the fact that Chesnaught is missing a logical move or two here and there. But the fact that Chesnaught is missing the move Spike Cannon from its arsenal is strange on two separate levels. First off, it already learns an array of moves where it hurls pointy barbs at other Pokemon, such as Pin Missile, Needle Arm, and Spikes. Second, I find it peculiar that only Water type Pokemon can learn the Normal type move Spike Cannon, despite the fact that it’s not a Water move. Yeah, this hedgehog gets Spiky Shield, but something’s missing.

Mimikyu

For a Pokemon that disguises itself as an Electric type Pokemon while itself being a combination Ghost and Fairy type, Mimikyu has a movepool littered with Normal type moves. Which is fine. Nearly all of them make a ton of sense for Mimikyu to learn28I could make an argument that Splash makes no sense, but I’m not going to be picky.. But why is it that a Pokemon built around a disguise and fooling people can’t learn Fake Out? There are so many Pokemon that can learn Fake Out. Squirtle can learn it. Sableye can learn it. Spinda — whose entire thing is that it falls over itself — can learn Fake Out. Yet the one Pokemon that is pretending to be another one can’t learn it. Because reasons.

Jynx

I really like Jynx. It has one of the more interesting movepools of any Generation I Pokemon, both now and in previous generations. That said, there’s a move out there — one that Jynx shares the typing of — that I’m befuddled how Jynx doesn’t learn. That move would be Synchronoise. For those unfamiliar with the move, Synchronoise is a high-powered move that can only deal damage if the Pokemon you’re battling shares a type with the Pokemon using the move. It’s almost as if they’re synchronized. You know what else is a punishment for synchronization? A jinx. How this move has been overlooked from Jynx’s movepool since Generation V is beyond me.

Ariados

At the start of this post, I mentioned that Growlithe was one of two Pokemon that inspired the creation of this list. Ariados is the other. Ariados has a giant movepool that includes some moves that might make you wonder how a spider can learn them. How Ariados learns Night Shade, Psychic, Psybeam, or Sonic Boom is beyond me. And yet, Ariados is missing the one obvious move it should have had from its creation in Generation II — Sing. Yes. The move that is synonymous with Jigglypuff actually belongs on Ariados. The long leg Pokemon has aria in its name for a reason. It was meant to create beautiful melodies for anyone in earshot to listen to. If Generation VIII gives us a growling Growlithe and a singing Ariados, the Pokemon world will be a better place.

 

Like my list? Disagree with me? Do you have your own thoughts as to what obvious moves a Pokemon should learn that it doesn’t? Tell me about them in the comments.