Ranking Every Pokemon Go Community Day…So Far

One of the most well-liked events in the Pokemon Go player base — particularly by those players who are more casual players — is Pokemon Go’s Community Day events. For the unaware, Niantic1The company that runs the Pokemon Go game. will feature one Pokemon a month for an event known as Community Day. During this event, the featured Pokemon will appear in the wild significantly more frequently than normal. The event has typically also coincided with the release of the featured Pokemon’s shiny variant(s), as well as other bonuses for playing during the event. The events themselves usually last three hours, though there have been three exceptions to this rule.

While I don’t typically talk about each individual Community Day as it happens — go read That Little Lola’s work if you want some of those — I did want to take a look back at each Community Day thus far and rank them to determine which one was the best representation of what Community Day done well looks like. In doing that, I took six different factors into consideration.

  1. How useful is the Community Day Pokemon’s end-stage evolution at the time of the Community Day?
  2. How much did I personally care about the Pokemon in question?
  3. How useful is the special Community Day move(s) given to the Pokemon?
  4. How good were the Community Day specific bonuses?
  5. How good were any other bonuses that you could take advantage of on Community Day?
  6. How good is the shiny evolution chain for the Community Day Pokemon?

This allowed me to rank 23 of the 25 Community Days through January 20th, 2020 and determine which ones were the best and worst so far. I’ve chosen not to rank the two super Community Days in December 2018 and 2019, as they were structured a little differently. That said, my very quick thoughts on those.

  • December 2018 was bad because of the massively nerfed shiny rates for most of the event2The typical Community Day shiny Pokemon rate is around 1 in 25. This specific two-day event had a speculated shiny rate of around 1 in 100..
  • December 2019 was better but felt very disorganized because of the split, yet overlapping spawn pool.

With all that out of the way, here are the rest of the Community Days from #23 to #1. Feel free to get angry at and/or love me in the comments.

#23 – Slakoth (June 2019)

To say Slakoth was the worst Community Day event we’ve had so far would be a massive understatement. In addition to being a fairly standard Community Day bonuses-wise, this day featured a Pokemon that has minimal use in the game as a whole. Even in its primary role as a gym defender, Slaking’s outclassed by many lower CP options, including things like Togekiss and Wobbuffet when warding off Fighting types. The featured move, Body Slam, was actually a downgrade to Slaking’s best move, Play Rough. Combine that with a below-average shiny3I’m okay with Slakoth’s shiny, but the evolved shinies are very bad. and this was the most skippable day we’ve had.

#22 – Cyndaquil (November 2018)

I know a lot of people liked Cyndaquil day, but it wasn’t my thing. Typhlosion was a middling Fire type even with the release of Blast Burn into its move pool. Considering it couldn’t even outclass Charizard in terms of usefulness, there was definitely a ceiling here. Plus this was the one outlier Community Day where none of the bonuses were 3 or 4 times bonuses, which was very strange at the time. But combine that with an underwhelming shiny line and my dislike for Gen II starters and Cyndaquil is near the bottom of this list.

#21 – Chimchar (November 2019)

Cyndaquil day with better bonuses. At least Infernape’s shiny is better than Typhlosion’s.

#20 – Turtwig (September 2019)

In my spreadsheet ranking these Community Day’s, Turtwig, Chimchar, and Cyndaquil all tied with the same point total. Turtwig gets the nod over those two for two reasons. First, it’s a competent PvP fighter and decent lower-tier gym defender. Second, this is one of two Community Days to try introducing the featured Pokemon into raids for the day. It’s a good concept, but considering the low number of raid spawns — especially in comparison to the overload of Rocket stops featuring Turtwig4The longer the Team Go Rocket concept is out, the less I like it. It’s a massive grind for bad rewards. — and this feels like a poorly executed concept that should have been a good idea.

#19 – Trapinch (October 2019)

If Flygon had any relevance in Pokemon Go, this would be much higher on the list. But alas, even Earth Power can’t save Flygon. At least Flygon and Vibrava’s shinies make up for the trainwreck that is Trapinch’s teal sprite. I typically love green/teal shinies. Trapinch’s is bad.

#18 – Mareep (April 2018)

I wanted to like Mareep Community Day. I really did. Ampharos is one of my favorite Electric Pokemon. And if we ever get Mega Evolutions in Go, perhaps this day jumps up the list. But like Slaking getting Body Slam, Dragon Pulse is a straight downgrade to Ampharos’ other charge moves. Plus the pink shiny isn’t good. At all. If I didn’t like Mareep so much, this would have been a bottom two Community Day.

#17 – Pikachu (January 2018)

The very first Community Day ever had no right being this high on the list. The first event of anything is supposed to be a terrible, buggy mess. And it was buggy. And Pikachu got a horrid featured move. And its shiny is the second-worst one we’ve had featured on any Community Day. But this Community Day did two things very, very right that we’ve yet to see replicated.

  1. The featured Community Day move could be accessed via TM during the event.
  2. There was a flat 2x XP bonus for all activities during the event.

Seriously. Considering how unrealistic those two things are for ANY event now, it’s a bit crazy to see that BOTH were done for the very first Community Day.

#16 – Charmander (May 2018)

Let’s get the good out of the way. Blast Burn was not only the best possible news for Charizard, it made it meta-relevant at a time where Entei and Moltres were hard to come by. Its relevance didn’t last long, but it was good while it lasted. Now the bad. Average bonuses, a Pokemon whose end-stage evolution has one of the worst shinies in Pokemon history5Purple Charizard for life. — though not the worst…we’re getting there — and is the single most overmarketed Pokemon this side of Pikachu. At least Charmander itself is cute.

#15 – Chikorita (September 2018)

Chikorita day would have been just slightly better than Cyndaquil day by itself. Frenzy Plant is relevant on Meganium, so it’s not like this day would have been a total bust. That said, the reason this is at #15 rather than in the 20s is because of what happened immediately after the day. Meltan’s soft launch happened. I have not seen the Pokemon Go community as hyped about something as Meltan’s launch, either before or since, with the possible exception of trading. It was the most exciting 30 minutes of a Community Day thus far.

#14 – Bulbasaur (March  2018)

In PvP, Venusaur with Frenzy Plant is STILL relevant. Think about that for a second. It’s almost two years later and a Gen I starter that isn’t the face of the franchise or a prominent member of Ash’s team is still relevant in a mode of Go. That said, nearly everyone I talked to hated this day solely because of how similar Bulbasaur’s shiny looked to its regular sprite. And…yeah, that’s totally valid. It was terrible. This is still the day where I’ve caught the most Community Day shinies to date (11). But during a time where the game’s shiny indicator didn’t exist yet, this day was tedious.

#13 – Totodile (January 2019)

There was no hope for a Gen II starter to make the top 10. That said, Totodile day is what I think of as an average Community Day at this point. Nothing too exciting. The move is an upgrade to the end-stage evolution’s current moveset, making that Pokemon relevant if you have a week pool of Pokemon to pull from. Otherwise, it’s about the shiny (average in Totodile’s case) and spawn rate (same).

#12 – Bagon (April 2019)

I expected Outrage to be better on Salamance than it was. But Salamance’s movepool is just so weird. And Bagon day had one of the lower spawn rates of any Community Day to this point. So while Bagon day should be higher on this list, Niantic did a great job managing to disappoint on this specific event.

#11 – Treecko (March 2019)

One of two Community Days I’ve missed over the past two years, Treecko day comes across as Totodile day, but with a Pokemon with better stats. To this point, it’s the best Grass type Community Day we’ve had, though I’m sure that’ll change once Snivy comes out6I swear to god, if I run into one more Serperior with Leaf Tornado in PvP…. It’s a really good shiny at least?

#10 – Ralts (August 2019)

Ralts is a bunch of ifs mashed into one day. Ralts has great shinies…if we ever get Mega evolutions. Ralts has a great Community Day move…if Synchoronoise ever gets its secondary bonus effect. Dropping 10k eggs all day would be great…if they weren’t all Ralts. The Ralts line is one of my favorite evolutionary lines in the game. This was a disappointment though.

#9 – Squirtle (July 2018)

The biggest thing about Squirtle day that I think people forget in retrospect is that even with Hydro Cannon, Blastoise was never really meta-relevant. That said, no one remembers this because Squirtle day featured the first instance of being able to encounter shiny Pokemon from Pokestop tasks AND gave us sunglasses Squirtle from those tasks. Sure, the sunglasses aren’t the ones worn by the Squirtle Squad. But it was a unique Community Day concept that there really hasn’t been a way to repeat to this point.

#8 – Torchic (May 2019)

Torchic Community Day was the first of two Community Days we’ve had wherein the end-stage evolution of the featured Pokemon got its signature move released along with the Community Day move. While Blast Burn is objectively better than Blaze Kick in most scenarios, I tend to run Blaze Kick/Brave Bird on my Blaziken in PvP for better shield breaking. Torchic’s shiny is one of the more difficult ones to discern from the original in Go, but it’s not Bulbasaur levels of bad. We got a meta-relevant Pokemon (albeit on the fringes) in this Community Day with more than one move available to it. While I don’t like this exact format as much as Pikachu day or another day I’ll be talking about later in this list, doing the signature move release alongside the Community Day move has been pretty successful in the past.

#7 – Dratini (February 2018)

Dratini’s Community Day was really good. Dragonite was still a top tier Pokemon — one that candy was hard to come by for at the time. While Draco Meteor wasn’t an upgrade for Dragonite, it was a nice alternative to Outrage at a time before having a second charged move was a thing. Spawn rates this day were crazy, even by Community Day standards. So why doesn’t this day rank higher? I took a couple of points off for this being the first Community Day to set the precedent for specializing what bonuses you receive on Community Day. That by itself though only knocked it down from second to fourth. What dropped it all the way to seventh was the fact that Dragonite has the single worst shiny sprite in all of Pokemon. Which is a shame, considering how good Dratini and Dragonaire’s are. But it’s still true.

#6 – Larvitar (June 2018)

The second of two Community Days I missed on this list was likely one of the best. At the time, Tyrannitar was the best Dark type attacker. The Community Day fast move Smack Down also made it the best Rock type attacker. That’s insane to think about. That said, everything from #3 through #6 on this list was within 1 point of each other, so it came down to shiny version and personal preference for that Pokemon. In both of those categories, Larvitar is average, all while going up against Pokemon I like a lot and that have good to great shinies. Pupitar has the best purple shiny in the game…but Larvitar and Tyrannitar’s are just kind of there.

#5 – Piplup (January 2020)

The most recent Community Day was, despite the strange hemisphere time offsetting thing, one of the better Community Days we’ve had in a while. You got a Pokemon that benefits massively from its Community Day move, combined with some of the best spawn rates I’ve seen in months, plus a very good shiny, great typing, and a Pokemon whose evolution chain I loved. This specific day had me written all over it. It doesn’t make it higher than fifth on the list because Empoleon isn’t particularly relevant outside of PvP and because I recognize that unlike the four above it, Piplup day is boosted because of my bias for it.

#4 – Eevee (August 2018)

Eevee day was actually a two-day event, where there were two separate windows where Eevee spawns were boosted. This allowed players to catch an absurd amount of a Pokemon that you NEED a lot of, considering it has 8 possible evolutions (even though only five were out at the time). Both Eevee and its evolutions evolved between the start of the first day’s window and the end of the second day’s window got the special move Last Resort. While it isn’t the best move, it did have some light meta usefulness at the time, particularly on Umbreon and Jolteon. I’d personally love to see all Community Days follow this two-day, two window format, but I understand that Eevee was a special case. Considering how helpful this was to get a ton of budget7Aside from the fact that you were likely using a TM to get rid of Last Resort. PvE attackers in the form of Flareon, Jolteon, and Espeon8You could argue Vaporeon belongs here too, but considering the prevalence of Gyarados, Poliwrath, Suicune, and Kingdra by this point, nevermind the fact that Kyogre was also out (but not readily available), and Vaporeon was there to fill the back end of most teams, even by this point., it’s one of the better days we’ve had.

#3 – Beldum (October 2018)

Beldum day was the last Community Day I remember looking back on and being annoyed I didn’t plan ahead for it. While people online had a good idea at the time what the pattern for non-starter Community Day Pokemon was, it really wasn’t confirmed by any stretch by the point Beldum was released. So of course when I got my 100% Beldum on day 1 after it was released, I walked it and caught more and evolved it straight away. Too bad Metagross has terrible charge moves without its Community Day move, Meteor Mash. And Meteor Mash did make Metagross relevant, though not as much as you might think. But considering how much this Pokemon needed a Community Day, combined with the boost its signature move gave and the top-tier shiny it gets, getting a podium finish on this list was a foregone conclusion.

#2 – Mudkip (July 2019)

Is there a Pokemon — with the possible exceptions of Charizard and Larvitar — that benefitted as much from its Community Day move as Swampert? Swampert went from being a good but not great Pokemon to one of the best Water attackers around with Hydro Cannon. Before Hydro Cannon got nerfed recently, having a Hydro Cannon Swampert on your team was the best way to cheese any battle with Giovanni. Considering how terrible of a grind the Giovanni quests are, this was a massive blessing. The Mudkip line has good shiny forms, which helps. Plus this was the second Community Day to have a signature move released at the same time as the Community Day move, though Muddy Water didn’t have the same impact as Blaze Kick. If it weren’t for amazing timing that happened in February 2019, Mudkip would have been an easy pick for the top of this list.

#1 – Swinub (February 2019)

Let’s get the bad out of the way here. Ancient Power is only useful in PvP for Mamoswine9Generally speaking, that is. That said, I did use it as my way of handling Giovanni’s Articuno in the Rocket battles, as I desperately lack good Rock attackers.. Granted, you can use it for other things — see the footnote in the previous sentence — but it is a gimmick. And the Swinub line’s shinies are alright at best. But let’s talk the bonuses for this Community Day. During Swinub Community Day, players got the following bonuses.

  • 3x catch stardust
  • 2x catch candy
  • 5x the rewards from trainer battles, including guaranteed Sinnoh Stones
  • 6-hour lure modules

The first two items on this list are relatively standard Community Day rewards10Though we haven’t had a catch candy reward to this point, this is what I’d imagine it’d be if we did get one.. The trainer battle rewards were game-changing at the time, as most players were struggling to find ONE Sinnoh Stone, nevermind being guaranteed five just from doing PvP battles. Combine that with the fact that lure modules — which typically last 3 hours from Community Day — were further doubled by the Valentine’s Day event that was going on, and people were able to catch like crazy. This fact makes Swinub Community Day the bar a Community Day needs to beat in order to be considered the best…and it’s not particularly close.

My Pokemon Gym: Ghost

Welcome to the eleventh iteration of the My Pokemon Gym series. If you’re new to this series, I take a Pokemon type then build out my team of six Pokemon of that type as if I were the gym leader. Here are the rules:

  1. I can’t use legendary/mythical Pokemon
  2. I can’t reuse Pokemon I’ve used in previous gyms in this series.
  3. Forms of the same Pokémon can be reused, provided they have different typing. For example, if I used Rattata in a Normal gym team, I could use Alolan Rattata in a Dark gym team.

Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, Fairy, Electric, Bug, Fire, Flying, and Normal type posts when you’re done here. All images courtesy pokemondb.net unless otherwise stated.

Chandelure

A shoo-in for both my Fire and Ghost teams, I decided to put Chandelure on my Ghost team because this type isn’t one I have a lot of depth in, especially since Decidueye and Froslass ended up on my Grass and Ice teams, respectively. Chandelure’s typing and abilities give it a ton of resistances and immunities, which is awesome for a speedy lead. I’m keeping the non-Gen VIII move Flame Charge on Chandelure, as it’s a great momentum builder, but the rest of the set is intended to force matchups I want later on in the game. It’s not my normal status-inflicting lamp I love to use, but I think it fits in better with this team.

Ability: Flash Fire
Item: Choice Scarf
Moves: Flame Charge, Memento, Pain Split, Trick

Mimikyu

And so we arrive at the first of two Pokemon that I slotted on this team solely to get the team to six Pokemon. Mimikyu is a fine Pokemon, but it’s not one I particularly love. That said, it’s a super useful Pokemon with a great ability. Plus it’s arguably the least annoying of the Pikachu clones. Mimikyu can — and will — hit hard if it get setup. With Chandelure’s Memento possibly forcing a switch, followed by the free hit that Disguise gives, that’s possibly two times to get Swords Dance up. And not many things like getting hit by a +4 Attack Mimikyu with Life Orb. Especially not when it already has some thumping physical moves.

Ability: Disguise
Item: Life Orb
Moves: Swords Dance, Leech Life, Play Rough, Shadow Claw

Cursola

Image courtesy Bulbapedia

This was the last spot on the team I filled, debating between several Pokemon that are either good, but that I don’t care about (Aegislash, Gengar, Alolan Marowak) or Pokemon that I like but are trash (Dhelmise, Golurk, Cursola). In the end, I went with Cursola, partly for some Gen VIII representation, but also because going with Alolan Marowak just felt wrong when Chandelure is already on the team. Cursola is slow and hits hard…and that’s about all it’s got going for it. I know I’m not living long with Cursola. Let’s just try for boosts and hope it works.

Ability: Weak Armor
Item: Bright Powder
Moves: Ancient Power, Protect, Light Screen, Reflect

Mega Banette

I love me some Mega Banette. The Prankster ability is fun to throw around status with, while its design and thumping Attack stat are great to boot. It’s one of my least favorite Pokemon to come up against in a battle, and for that alone it earns a spot on this team. I’ve seen quite a few sets online arguing that you only need one attacking move on Mega Banette. While I don’t totally buy that, there is quite a lot you can do with Knock Off. That said, if you managed to know that your opponent is locked into a move they don’t want to use — say because your Chandelure tricked a Choice Scarf onto them — you’ll want a second move to use while you’re forcing them to Struggle to death.

Ability: Prankster (Cursed Body before Mega Evolution)
Item: Banettite
Moves: Thunder Wave, Disable, Knock Off, Gunk Shot

Mismagius

LOOK AT THAT HAT. LOOK AT IT.

Ability: Levitate
Item: Sitrus Berry
Moves: Calm Mind, Mystical Fire, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball

Drifblim

Another member of the Caterpie Elite Four Dream Team makes one of these lists. The chain’s primary passer of bulk and survivability was Drifblim, carrying Stockpile, Minimize, and Amnesia1I originally carried Calm Mind instead of Amnesia, but Caterpie’s lack of access to Special Attacking moves in Sun/Moon caused the change. all to be Baton Passed to our buggy little friend. That said, Drifblim isn’t typically a defensive Pokemon, preferring to go on an all-out offensive. I’ve chosen to go the more Special Attacking route here, if only because that’s what this team is lacking outside of Mismagius. That said, try the bulky, evading Drifblim sometime. It hates Shock Wave, but shrugs off most other moves, especially with Bright Powder.

Ability: Flare Boost
Item: Flame Orb
Moves: Shadow Ball, Psychic, Minimize, Mud-Slap2Seriously. Yes, I know it’s a legacy Gen IV move. But it’s hilarious to watch people disconnect when they can’t hit your Drifblim because they’ve been hit with a Mud-Slap after a Minimize.

9 (More) New Dual Type Pokemon Ideas for Switch

Welcome to the last (for now) final Monday of the month blog post. This post is actually a collaboration post with Lola from Poke Traveller Lola. She and I decided to take a look at the final 18 dual-type Pokemon combinations that don’t exist and create our own Pokemon for them. Her post will be linked here when it goes live later this week.

I know what some of you are thinking. Tim…didn’t you do this before? And the answer is yes. Sort of. I am going to co-opt the format from that post (as I quite like it). That said, there’s a few additional rules I’ll be following this time that Stephanie and I didn’t follow last time.

  1. I must give a name to the end-stage Pokemon I’m designing.
  2. If there’s an evolutionary line, I’ll call that out, including names for the full line and evolution levels/methods.
  3. I must try to create one new ability somewhere in the post (this is my own challenge more than anything).
  4. I can’t reuse any ideas from the previous post.
  5. None of the Pokemon in this post will be regional variants of other Pokemon. That’s a whole other post.

1. Normal/Rock

What is the Pokemon Based on? There’s going to be a ton of part-Normal types on this list. And the thing about Normal type is that they tend to be based on animals we encounter in the real world. Which means we’ve seen them done to death. But you know what we haven’t seen that often? A bird that can’t fly. This Pokemon is based on the kiwi bird, which is both adorable and has the aerodynamics of a rock.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Pumwi -> Granwi (level 24)

Abilities? Considering the massive size of the kiwi’s beak, one of its primary abilities has to be Big Pecks. I also like Early Bird because, you know, bird. For the hidden ability, I decided to go with an ability that belongs to another bird Pokemon, Decidueye, giving it the Long Reach ability for its beak.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Something along the lines of Spearow and Fearow would make sense here, only with lower HP and Speed, but higher Defense and slightly higher Special Defense.

Learn Set? Peck (Learned at level 1), Baby Doll Eyes (1), Rock Blast (5), Defense Curl (9), Mimic (12), False Swipe (17), Rollout (22), Stealth Rock (27), Pluck (33), Sandstorm (38), Chip Away (43), Skull Bash (47), Rock Slide (55), Bounce (on evolution)

2. Electric/Fighting

What is the Pokemon Based on? Wait. Didn’t we do this already with Luchadora Pikachu? *checks notes* Apparently not. Huh. Well then. I’m picking a Numbat. And it’s a luchador. Because the name amuses me. And a robot Pokemon would be WAY too on the nose.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Kimohmra

Abilities? We’re going to mix some abilities here, giving our new Pokemon Static as an homage to Luchadora Pikachu as one ability, while its second primary ability will be Unburden, which it shares with another wrestling-inspired Pokemon, Hawlucha. For a hidden ability, we’re going to give this Pokemon the dreadful Slow Start ability. This is because our Pokemon is going to be the babyface that gets beaten up throughout the early stages of the match, only to come back and win in the end.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Interestingly enough, Hawlucha, but with better bulk.

Learn Set? Thundershock (Learned at level 1), Growl (1), Spark (7), Bide (11), Rolling Kick (16), Nuzzle (21), Force Palm (27), Thunder Punch (32), Mega Kick (36), Coil (41), Reversal (47), Taunt (54), Close Combat (61), Volt Tackle (68)

3. Normal/Ghost

What is the Pokemon Based on? I’m pretty sure the primary reason The Pokemon Company hasn’t done a Normal/Ghost type yet is because there’s no such thing as a normal ghost. That said, I knew what animal this would be inspired by immediately upon ending up with this typing. It’s the vampire bat. There really isn’t another logical option. The fun part about this is that you’ll have two forms thanks to your ability.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Stomida -> Fangidae (level 18) -> Vlaidae (level 40+ at night)

Abilities? We’re going to do a new ability here loosely based off of Wishiwashi’s Schooling ability. When our Pokemon has above 25% HP it will be in its Vampire form, which uses its full compliment of stats. When it’s at or below 25% HP, it will be in its Bat form. In this form, its Attack and Special Attack are cut by 80%, but its Speed is doubled.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Crobat, only it hits like a fucking truck in the Vampire Form.

Learn Set? Tackle (Learned at level 1), Astonish (1), Leer (5), Quick Attack (9), Disable (12), Shadow Punch (17), Night Shade (23), Hyper Fang (28), Moonlight (32), Drain Punch (36), Shadow Claw (41), Detect (46), Recycle (50), Oblivion Wing (59)

4. Fighting/Fairy

What is the Pokemon Based on? I hate that I made my self-imposed rule that I’m not allowed to reuse ideas, as I love my Jorgen von Strangle homage. So for this one, we’re going to have a really buff dandelion. People think they’re weeds. While they’re technically correct, they’re also wrong. I love dandelions. They’re fighters. That don’t attack. Unless you’re complaining about your lawn being attacked by them. In which case, you’re wrong. The base Pokemon will be based on the yellow dandelion, while the evolution will be based on the puffball dandelion.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Danden -> Dandette (level 32)

Abilities? Do you know how hard it is to kill a dandelion? I thought so. Its first ability is Sturdy on principle. We’re also going to give a secondary ability that is the inverse of Speed Boost, meaning our Pokemon will get slower each turn. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Finally, we’re going to give it a hidden ability of Storm Drain, as the first moment it rains marks the return of dandelions across the Midwestern US.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Shuckle. Yes, I know there’s so many more weaknesses here. But it really does amuse me to make an unkillable plant unkillable.

Learn Set? Absorb (Learned at level 1), Charm (1), Rock Smash (5), Fairy Wind (9), Bulk Up (15), Leech Seed (19), Curse (25), Recover (30), Growth (36), Revenge (41), Floral Healing (48), Rest (53), Final Gambit (59), Geomancy (67), Pollen Puff (on evolution)

5. Normal/Bug

What is the Pokemon Based on? To misquote my wife, there are no normal bugs and they all must die. But what is the most normal bug? I’m leaning a housefly.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Buzzn -> Gnatign (level 20)

Abilities? Remember that whole kill it with fire thing? We’re cranking that up to 11, giving this fly the Fluffy ability straightaway. It’ll also get the Compound Eyes ability because it’s a fly and flies have those. As a hidden ability, I think most of us have probably been trapped in a house with a fly before and feel like we’re stuck. So I’m thinking the right answer here is Arena Trap.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Houseflies are harmless so…shitty Dustox?

Learn Set? Pound (Learned at level 1), Minimize (1), Growl (5), Quick Attack (9), Bug Bite (14), Round (18), Powder (22), Facade (27), Wing Attack (31), Metal Sound (35), Swords Dance (40), Quiver Dance (45), Lunge (50), Uproar (54)

6. Ground/Fairy

What is the Pokemon Based on? What exactly would a Ground/Fairy type look like? In my mind, the first thought is a wood nymph of some sort. But based on that, you’d immediately think Grass, not Ground. So is it a possessed avocado or something? Clearly not. Avocados are evil and would, therefore, be a Dark/Ground type. Maybe a sentient compost heap? Fine, let’s go with that.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Bogger -> Methene (level 34)

Abilities? Anyone who has ever been near a compost pile knows that the worst part of composting is keeping random farmers trying to grow organic vegetables away from your backyard. You’ve got to do something, but I don’t think our primary ability, Stench, is going to be enough. Nor can you just use this Pokemon’s secondary ability, Run Away, as they’re just going to find you. No. You have to go nuclear. You must use the Power of Alchemy (also this Pokemon’s hidden ability) to get away from them.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Swalot, but with less HP and lower Speed.

Learn Set? Growl (Learned at level 1), Acid (1), Scratch (5), Mud-Slap (9), Poison Gas (14), Crafty Shield (19), Stockpile (23), Spit Up (23), Swallow (23), Magnitude (28), Amnesia (32), Grassy Terrain (38), Seed Bomb (42), Belch (45), Play Rough (49), Earth Power (55), Earthquake (59)

7. Normal/Steel

What is the Pokemon Based on? Prior to the release of Gen VIII, I would have made a Normal/Steel type a robin, a crow, or some other common bird. But then we got Corviknight and…it’s pretty much just that. That said, everything here is based on animals. So let’s go with a Pokemon based on a pair of scissors. And I literally mean a pair. It starts as one and evolves into two. Think Duoblade, but with arts and crafts.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Scix -> Crafix (level 10) -> Shearix (level 25)

Abilities? I’d like to think the appearance of this Pokemon is slightly dictated by its ability. One with Light Metal will appear like arts and crafts scissors, while one with Heavy Metal will look more like pruning shears. There’s not any particularly good ability to throw on this Pokemon as a hidden ability, so since I likened it to Duoblade earlier, let’s say No Guard for the hidden ability.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? The resistances say Scizor, but the stats say Excadrill.

Learn Set? Scratch (Learned at level 1), Harden (1), Copycat (6), Sharpen (11), Cut (14), Metal Claw (19), Spikes (24), Slash (29), Smart Strike (33), Last Resort (37), Razor Wind (42), Swords Dance (46), Leaf Blade (51), Guillotine (56)

8. Ice/Poison

What is the Pokemon Based on? This is the only Pokemon on this list that I had an ability in mind before knowing what I wanted to make for the Pokemon itself. I ended up landing on a platypus, which is just a venomous duck, more or less. Except that its ability makes it unique on so many levels.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Toxice -> Venichill (level 22) -> Neurikelv (with low friendship at level 35+)

Abilities? This Pokemon would get a brand new ability, Antifreeze. The premise of it is simple — if a damage-dealing move has a chance to inflict a status effect, be that burn, paralysis, sleep, or poison, a Pokemon with the Antifreeze ability will replace those move’s effects with an equal chance to freeze. Note that Pokemon with this ability CANNOT learn moves that have a status effect chance of above 30% (so not Toxic/Thunder Wave/Nuzzle/etc). Other effects like confusion and infatuation work the same as normal. Moves like Toxic Spikes and Fling that indirectly inflict a status aliment work as normal.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? A more offensive Toxapex, but with worse typing.

Learn Set? Poison Sting (Learned at level 1), Withdraw (1), Scratch (5), Water Gun (9), Nasty Plot (13), Acid Armor (18), Body Slam (23), Aqua Tail (27), Scald (32), Fling (36), Calm Mind (40), Ice Beam (44), Sludge Wave (49), Blizzard (56)

9. Normal/Ice – Blitzer

What is the Pokemon Based on? I mean. This is clearly where the direwolves from Game of Thrones belong, yes? Three stages. Starts as a pup. Then becomes a dog. Then it’s a majestic fucking wolf. Blitzer is a wolf Pokemon.

Evolutionary Line and Name(s)? Snuppy -> Blizzy (level 18) -> Blitzer (level up while knowing Foresight)

Abilities? What abilities can I give a Normal/Ice Pokemon? Normal. Ice. Normal Ice. Normalice. Yep. Refrigerate. Well, and Normalize. As for a hidden ability, let’s create the Fighting and Steel type version of Thick Fat. Let’s call it The Situation Room. Because if a Lucario so much as sneezes near Blitzer, it’s dying without it.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Luxray? That feels like a good stat spread for Blitzer.

Learn Set? Tackle (Learned at level 1), Tail Whip (1), Growl (5), Scratch (9), Frost Breath (14), Howl (18), Ice Fang (22), Block (27), Bite (31), Shadow Claw (35), Foresight (38), Icicle Crash (42), Psychic Fangs (47), Haze (52), Thrash (58)

2019 Writing Goals Wrap-Up and 2020 Goals

Oh hi, 2020. How are you? Is bad shit happening in the world by the time this gets posted, even though I’m writing it on the afternoon of January 2nd1Spoiler: Just a few hours later, this happened.? I hope not, but let’s be real…probably.

That said, I’m going to try to be optimistic about 2020, at least the best I can be. That said, I also want to look back on 2019, as it was a pretty good year for me writing-wise, as well as with the writing goals I set for myself in 2019.

If you want to go back and read the original goal post, you can find it here. One thing I’m doing different in this post in comparison to previous posts is that I’ll also be sharing my 2020 goals — or more specifically, goal — as its own section later in the post.

2019 Goal 1: Blog Growth?

Back in my original post, I said how I wanted to average one hit per hour of the day every day. That would work out to 8,760 visitors if I kept up that pace throughout a whole year. Through the first four months of 2019, I was sitting just above that goal, averaging around 25.5 visitors per day. But then my blog saw a massive spike in traffic starting in early May. I finished May with over 1,300 page views in the month. I ended every month for the rest of the year with at least 1,000 page views, including a four month stretch from June through September where every month had at least 1,600 page views.

By the end of the year, I had reached 16,136 page views — nearly double what I set out to hit. While a lot of this was driven primarily by three posts, I had 18 different posts reach 100 views. That might be the most astounding part of the whole thing in my mind, as much of that traffic was driven by video game posts that I never thought would take off. While my traffic saw a bit of regression near the end of the year, it was still exciting to reach this goal so handily.

2019 Goal 2: Finish a Second Draft of the WIP by July (WIP Update Section)

I’m not going to give a ton in this section, as it does tie into my 2020 goal that’ll be at the bottom of this post. With that said, I did get my second draft done well before July, as draft number three actually went to my editor in mid-t0-late July. I’m currently on draft number four of the book. The good news here is that this is the first draft I’ve touched that hasn’t felt like an overwhelming amount of edits. There is the downside that there’s one character that I’m going to nearly completely re-write, though I think I knew that pretty well when submitting the third draft. Things are coming along nicely, though more on that in a moment.

2019 Goal 3: Take on Four New Freelance Projects This Year

I took on a couple of new freelance projects early in 2019 and had a few others lined up for later in 2019. Unfortunately, those got pushed back for various reasons. In every case, it’s a good reason. I think the books I’ll be working on editing will be better for waiting and spending more time with their authors. That said, I did fall short of my goal here. Those same projects that were originally projected to be late 2019 projects are now Q1/Q2 2020 projects hopefully. So I still get to work with some great writers — just a little later than I had originally planned.

2020 Goal

All that said, that leads me into my 2020 goal, which I actually tweeted out on January 1st.

I realize that goal is kind of, sort of three parts long, but I’m considering it to be one goal. I have a work in progress that I started writing in 2017. In getting my manuscript back from my editor in December, I said something along the following lines to her. I said that I finally felt like the book was improving in terms of edits left, which was great. But more importantly, I finally started to get the feeling that the book was Good. Capital G Good. And I was a bit overwhelmed for a few hours after having that discussion with her.

So I want to finish the book. I want to get it all the way to being good. And I want people — some more than others — to be proud both of me and the work itself. I recognize that the last one is going to be the biggest challenge. That said, I think this book might just be good enough for that.

How did you do on your 2019 goals? What are your 2020 goals? If you’re a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, or other creator, I’d love to hear how you’re doing. Sound off in the comments.


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What’s Coming in 2020

With the beginning of the year upon us, I wanted to give a quick update as to what will be coming down the line of this blog in 2020. I’ll be reviewing 2019’s blog goals next week, as well as discussing why I won’t be doing a new set of blog goals in 2020. That said, I wanted to lay out a bit of what this blog is going to look like in 2020, as well as why.

Let’s start with content, both in terms of typing and frequency. Up to this point, I’ve been doing a post every Monday. This is the schedule I’ve followed for around two years now. While I don’t want to change that schedule too much, posting every single Monday might be a bit aggressive of an ask for most of this coming year. I have a few projects coming down the line that are going to take up a significant amount of my time, meaning I want to be able to give myself greater flexibility in when I write for the blog. Starting in February, here’s what the structure for the posting schedule will look like.

  • First Monday of the month – Video game-related post (This will be the My Pokemon Gym posts through August)
  • Second Monday of the month – TBD
  • Third Monday of the month – Writing-related post (WIP updates, original short stories, etc)
  • Fourth Monday of the month – Break week
  • Fifth Monday of the month, if applicable – TBD

You’ll notice that I have two different weeks that are currently listed as to be determined. In the case of the fifth Monday of the month, this is because such a situation only occurs four times in 2020 (March, June, August, and November). Considering how infrequent that is, I think I’ll just play that by ear. As for the second week of the month, I want to keep that week open for posting things that don’t fit under one of the two other categories I’ve listed up there. This would include things like new editions of Every Internet Recipe Ever, long-form posts1The long-form posts could end up being about video games or writing, though aren’t necessarily. I know for sure one of the ones I’m currently working on is video game related, but we’ll see beyond that., my year-end book review posts, and the occasional random post that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

Beyond that, there are a few posts that will randomly go up when it makes sense for them to do so. This would include quarterly podcast announcement posts, other Patreon announcements, or charity-related items. I’d love to get back into doing author interviews, but we’ll see if I have time.

You may have noticed the shift in layout of the blog back to a simpler layout. Part of why I’m cutting down the blogging schedule is to be able to spend more time on the writing/editing projects that I do work for as noted on my Audio and Print Editing Services page. Historically, I’ve only been able to keep this updated roughly once every six months or so, though my hope is to change that going forward. I’d also like to build out a portfolio of stuff here, so there may be some backend rearranging that isn’t noticeable on the blog itself, but will allow for some new things to be rolled out later this year.

I will continue to follow my current Patreon reward schedule for those who support me there. Patrons receive various rewards, including a monthly podcast, a monthly bonus blog post, and a monthly signed picture that isn’t of me, depending on what tier they support me in. If you’re interested in becoming a patron and helping me be able to do the work I do, please consider supporting me on Patreon.

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