Tag: Lists

My Favorite Pokemon of Each Type

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted on here. I’ve got a few longer posts I’ve been working on that aren’t quite ready to go up (including a continuation of a previous short story), but I wanted to have something up on the blog, as I won’t have a ton of other content going up other places for a little while.

A couple of months ago, I did a post about what the Pokemon League would be like if I were Pokemon champion. The post itself was a fun exercise, though it didn’t quite flow as well as I wanted to. As such, I wanted to take another crack at writing a Pokemon post, this time sharing my favorite Pokemon of each type.

Like my previous Pokemon post, this one too was inspired by a Poketube video, this one by TamashiiHiroka where she covers the same topic as I’ll be doing in this post.

As Tamashii mentioned she would do, I will not reuse any Pokemon on my list even if they’re dual type. For example, if Pidgey was my favorite both Normal and Flying type[1], I’d only use it once on the list, so as to make this list as diverse as possible. Additionally, you may find that my list is biased to early gens (I-III) and Sun/Moon, as I’ve only played Gen IV (Diamond/Pearl) once and haven’t played Gens V or VI at all. With that said, since some of those Pokemon do resurface in Sun/Moon, they may show up here. All images are courtesy Bulbapedia.

Normal – Porygon-Z

Leading off, we have a Gen I Pokemon’s end stage evolution that I didn’t care about at all until playing Pokemon Moon. I’ve never found the Porygon line to be particularly useful Pokemon, despite having one of my favorite designs in the game. Then Z-moves happened, meaning Porygon-Z’s conversion changes Porygon-Z’s type to whatever the first move in its move set is. It’s a great shock and surprise strategy, particularly when I can go in with an Ice type Porygon-Z one battle and a Steel type the next.

Apologies to: Persian, Jigglypuff

Fire – Chandelure

I didn’t carry a single Fire type Pokemon on my end game team until Pokemon Moon. I didn’t see the appeal to them. Everything they could do, Ground Pokemon could do better. And then Chandelure came along. Despite its silly design, Chandelure was an indispensable member of my first Pokemon Moon run through, as its combination of Will-o-Wisp, Hex, Shadow Ball, and Flame Charge made it hard to take down and even harder to out speed.

Apologies to: Vulpix, Blaziken, Litten

Fighting – Hitmonchan

This was one of the only two Pokemon types I immediately knew my answer to who my favorite was. Yes, Hitmonchan was inferior to Hitmonlee in the original games. But I loved the unpredictability of the elemental punches. In later gens, you can combine these punches with moves like Vacuum Wave and Close Combat to make Hitmonchan an adept fighter. It’s not the best fighter, but it’s definitely my favorite.

Apologies to: Hariyama, Poliwrath

Water – Cloyster

This was definitely the hardest choice on my list, as I’ve always tended to use teams heavy in Water, Ice, and Psychic Pokemon. The Cloyster line was one of only two Pokemon in Gen I[2] to learn my favorite Ice move, Aurora Beam. Because of its statistical superiority to Dewgong, I found myself using Cloyster far more frequently. Plus Cloyster is one of the most menacing looking Water type Pokemon, not to mention a hard one to kill at that.

Apologies to: Vaporeon, Dewgong, Lapras, Whiscash

Flying – Fearow

I don’t think there’s a single time where I played through Pokemon Red, Blue, or Yellow where I didn’t have Fearow on my team for the majority of the game. Since I knew Gary/Blue/Whatever you want to call him carried a Pidgeot, I felt like repeating his Pokemon at the end would be pointless. Enter the high-speed Drill Peck machine, Fearow. He looks goofy as fuck, but Dodrio couldn’t match up moveset-wise, and the legendary birds join too late in the game for me to consider replacing Fearow. For that, Fearow holds a special place in my heart. Only one other Flying type is on the same level as Fearow in my mind…but it shows up later in this list.

Apologies to: Articuno, Drifloon

Grass – Oddish

You want a cute Grass Pokemon? Oddish is your bulb. I don’t think I’ve used the Oddish line as my main grass type in any game playthrough[3], but there’s a lot to love about Oddish (at least until it grows up into Gloom). First off, it’s adorable in the anime. Second, it learns a useful moveset that prevents you from needing to stick with Butterfree until mid-game. Third, it has the highest catch rate of any Pokemon other than Magikarp in Pokemon Go, which means stardust for days. Finally, most Grass Pokemon aren’t that great, meaning I’m inclined to replace them with something else anyway. Might as well have one that amuses you — and for me, that’s Oddish.

Apologies to: Tsareena, Exeggutor, Abomasnow

Poison – Toxapex

Like Grass above, I really don’t use that many Poison types in my teams. In early games, they weren’t strong against much of anything, plus most Poison types didn’t have great movesets. They either relied on gimmicks (Weezing’s Explosion/Self-Destruct, Muk’s Minimize) or had terrible stats (Hi, Beedrill). Toxapex, while hard to acquire in Pokemon Sun/Moon, is a legit tank. It’s not quite a god-tier Pokemon, but it’s a dangerous Pokemon in the right hands thanks to its giant defense/special defense stats. Think Shuckle, only cute.

Apologies to: Alolan Muk

Electric – Jolteon

Electric Pokemon are, in my mind, useful, but not likable. Want a badass looking Electric type? Sorry. Since Pikachu exists, everything has to be an attempt at adorable (Minun, Plusle, Emolga, Dedenne, Togedemaru) or so stupid looking you won’t want to use it (Eelektross, Electivire, Luxray, Electrode). If you want a non-legendary Electric type from what’s left, you’re limited to Jolteon, Zebstrika, and Magnezone. I’ll take Jolteon out of that group any day.

Apologies to: Magnezone, Zapdos, Ampharos, Rotom…but only as the Sun/Moon Pokedex

Ground – Quagsire

Look at that face. Look at it.

Apologies to: Dugtrio, Whiscash (again), Zygarde

Psychic – Jynx

Remember that whole thing about liking to carry Ice and Psychic types on my teams? I was a big fan of Jynx in the early games despite its terrible move pool. I mean, she’s serviceable in later games, but outside of Blizzard, if you wanted Jynx to have a good moveset in Gen I, you had to feed her TMs. I carried either Jynx or Hypno as my Psychic in Gen I about 95% of the time. It’s close, but considering my preference to typing over move pool, Jynx wins narrowly.

Apologies to: Hypno, Gardevoir, Slowpoke

Rock – Sudowoodo

Sudowoodo is not a good Pokemon. At all. There are many better Rock types in all of the Pokemon games than Sudowoodo. That said, there isn’t a single Pokemon that you meet in the wild in a more unique fashion than the fake tree Pokemon. After all, you’ve been primed through Gen I and Gen II that you can cut down any small tree in your path. But then…surprise!…it’s a Pokemon encounter a la Snorlax. Sudowoodo wins this category based on impact made on me from the game alone.

Apologies to: Kabutops, Shuckle, Rhydon

Ice – Alolan Vulpix

Though Chandelure was my favorite Fire type, I always found Vulpix to be the best looking Fire type. Brock’s Vulpix was my favorite non-Team Rocket Pokemon in the anime, but I never found good reason to use Vulpix/Ninetales in the early games. Then Sun/Moon came out and we get a Vulpix as an Ice type. I’m sold.

Apologies to: Lapras (again), Dewgong (again), Froslass

Bug – Parasect

Almost all Bug Pokemon are useless. And then there’s Parasect in Gen I. Don’t have a Pokemon that can out-speed Sabrina’s Alakazam? Get a Parasect, teach it Spore and Leech Life, then proceed to curbstomp the hardest gym leader in the game like she’s the fisherman with six Magikarp. Parasect is a super situational Pokemon and largely useless in the rest of the game. But it’s super broken in one specific battle.

Apologies to: Vikavolt

Dragon – Alolan Exeggutor

Before Sun/Moon, I don’t think I used a Dragon Pokemon in an end game team. In my first playthrough of Moon, however, I had two (Kingdra and Alolan Exeggutor). Blame the fact that Dragon moves were terrible in Gen I. I really don’t have strong feelings about this category as a result, so I took the Pokemon I thought had a better design over the one that I used slightly more.

Apologies to: Kingdra, Drampa

Ghost – Mismagius

Outside of Jigglypuff, King troll of Super Smash Brothers, I don’t thing there is a Pokemon more fun to mess with people with than Mismagius. Did your opponent use Protect? You’ve got Phantom Force. Did your opponent Minimize to death? Magical Leaf. Playing doubles and your other Pokemon is obscenely slow like Snorlax? Trick Room. Dark Pokemon giving you trouble? Dazzling Gleam them to death. Mismagius is super fun…and that’s without getting into the Pain Split/Perish Song variants.

Apologies to: Froslass (again), Sableye, Jellicent

Dark – Umbreon

Unlike the type following this one (Steel), Dark has a lot of Pokemon I like. I’ve used quite a few Dark types in-game playthroughs, not to mention many of them have really cool designs. But as a fan of the Eevee line, Umbreon stands out. It’s not my favorite Eeveelution (Vaporeon), it’s not the one I’ve used the most in games (Jolteon), and it’s not even the best designed one (Sylveon). But it is my favorite Pokemon within its type — not to mention a useful one to boot.

Apologies to: Houndoom, Weaville, Alolan Muk (again), Krookodile

Steel – Skarmory

The only other Flying type I liked using in Gen I and Gen II was Skarmory. It looks goofy at best. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t find it useful in the game. Steel typing was surprisingly powerful in Gen II, so Skarmory made sense to use in many cases. While it’s not one of my favorite Pokemon, in a type otherwise filled with Pokemon I don’t care about, Skarmory wins.

Apologies to: Magnezone (again)

Fairy – Primarina

By taking Alolan Vulpix under Ice type, it meant Alolan Ninetales couldn’t appear here. Essentially, this became a coinflip between Primarina and Jigglypuff. Primarina is a far more useful and powerful Pokemon, but Jigglypuff is the master of the Poketrolls. This list may change when I do my next playthrough of Sun/Moon and use a different starter, allowing me to use a different Fairy type in the team. But for now, the opera seal gets the win.

Apologies to: Jigglypuff, Sylveon, Mimikyu

Lists Full of Favorites

It’s 2017. That means the seemingly neverending global shitshow that was 2016 has finally come to an end. Granted, there’s a lot that 2016 did to mess up 2017 (and beyond) for a lot of people, but hopefully we can work together as a society to ensure that people who deserve rights (read: everyone) receives them accordingly.

Whenever I take a day off from work, I leave a paper letter on the door of my office. While I’m not a big fan of printing things out[1], it’s a tradition that started almost three years ago, so I keep it alive. While the letters started out as completely serious, work-related instructions, they’ve since morphed into a hybrid of that and a place where I just ramble because I can.

More often than not, those letters also includes lists of various things. Usually, these lists are totally random, but sometimes they’re lists of my favorite things of some type or another. There likely won’t be a ton of context in these lists. After all, I’m giving you multiple of these lists at once while on my office door there’s one at a time. If there’s enough caring in the comments/via Twitter, I’ll go back and add context later.

Ten Most Underrated Songs of all Time

10. Bayside – The Walking Wounded
9. Flobots – Panacea for the Poison
8. The Lonely Island – Spring Break Anthem
7. Mumford and Sons – Thistle and Weeds
6. Sia – Chandelier
5. Louis Prima – Sing, Sing, Sing
4. Ram Jam – Black Betty
3. Gwen Stefani – Rich Girl
2. Rise Against – Re-Education (Through Labor)
1. Straylight Run – Hands in the Sky (Big Shot)

Ten Favorite Video Games of all Time

10. Tropico (2001)
9. Madden 96 (1995)
8. Mirror’s Edge (2008)
7. Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012 (1998)
6. Catherine (2011)
5. Super Smash Bros 4 (2014)
4. Brave Frontier (2013)
3. Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen (2004)
2. Civilization V (2010)
1. Fire Emblem: Awakening (2012)

Ten Favorite End-Stage Gen I Pokemon Evolutions

10. Starmie
9. Blastoise
8. Alakazam
7. Victreebel
6. Jolteon
5. Fearow
4. Cloyster
3. Hypno
2. Dewgong
1. Vaporeon

 

The Ten Best Movie Turns Ever

Warning: Spoilers ahead for movies that are mostly at least two years old. And one that just came out. Also, stop being concerned about spoilers. Knowing what’s going to happen makes the movie more enjoyable.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I went with my wife and in-laws to see Inferno. While I haven’t read the Dan Brown book by the same name, my wife and father-in-law were both very excited as they enjoy Dan Brown’s writing. I’m always up for seeing Tom Hanks in a film, so I had pretty high hopes. While the ending of the movie and the book apparently weren’t even close, there was one moment in the film that caught my attention.

Late in the film, as Hanks and Felicity Jones are running away from a bad guy who seems to be hellbent on stopping them from saving the world from an outbreak of a deadly disease, they find themselves climbing out of a basement of a building and onto street level. Jones pays a street merchant to let her out of the basement, but then double-crosses Hanks and slams the grating shut, allowing Hanks to be captured.

Film twists rarely catch me off guard, however this Face-Heel Turn was beautifully executed. While I’ve seen Inferno too recently to place it on this list[1], I was inspired to write about the ten best movie turns I’ve ever seen. These turns can be of the Face-Heel variety like Felicity Jones in Inferno, or they can be a Heel-Face version, wherein a bad guy becomes a good guy. That said, here’s my top ten.

10. Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) in Black Swan

This isn’t a turn in the truest sense, particularly once you realize Sayer’s attempted murder is actually an attempted suicide. But the fact that she goes from this demure, sweet character at the beginning of the film to an unhinged and violent character at the end as she descends into madness is wonderfully written.

9. Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) in Side Effects

While I really enjoyed Side Effects, I had a hard time debating between whether Mara’s character or Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character deserved the spot on the list. While Zeta-Jones’ character’s turn is more surprising, the fact that Emily Taylor is faking a mental illness to get away with murder is truly despicable…and really well-written.

8. Felonious Gru in Despicable Me

The first bad guy to good guy turn on this list features a movie that spawned a ton of characters that the majority of the internet hates. But Gru — the main character of the Despicable Me series before Pixar decided that minions were made of money — goes through a tale of super-villain becomes family man. Okay, it’s not all that common, but it’s touching all the same.

7. Fletcher Reed (Jim Carrey) in Liar Liar

As much as I love Jim Carrey when he does serious roles, I still enjoy a good Carrey comedy every now and again. What makes Fletcher Reed’s turn from a crappy father and skeezy businessman into a good father and husband great is that it’s so relatable despite being unrealistic. Everyone tries to make their own lives better and fix their mistakes in some way, and Reed is able to do so. It’s formulaic, but it works.

6. Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) in The Empire Strikes Back

This won’t be the only appearance by a Star Wars film on this list. You KNOW it’s coming. You know Lando is going to backstab Han Solo. And yet, it has to happen and is written perfectly to boot. Lando eventually turns back into being a good guy, which feels forced, particularly when his backstabbing was just business. But sometimes business is evil.

5. Arthur (Michael Caine) in Kingsman: The Secret Service

Michael Caine has spent an inordinate amount of time in the 2010s playing evil guys named Arthur. But what makes this turn beautiful is the respect that all of the other Kingsmen have for him as their leader. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, which means we should have seen this turn coming. But you’re still caught off guard more by his turn to the dark side than by his death a few minutes later.

4. Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) in Now You See Me

Can we all pretend Now You See Me 2 didn’t happen? Thanks.

While Rhodes isn’t a particularly unlikable character, the fact that for the majority of the movie he’s chasing the main protagonists of the film, only to reveal that he’s actually been helping orchestrate their plan the whole time is a pretty cool twist. The only reason that this turn doesn’t rank higher is because of how convoluted the whole twist is. I mean NO ONE at the FBI realized he was working with the Four Horsemen? Seriously?

3. Miranda Frost (Rosamund Pike) in Die Another Day

One of the worst Bond films of all time had one of the best evil characters of the series. Too bad she was relegated to second fiddle as Gustav Graves[2]‘ personal assistant. Frost was a chameleon throughout the film, making herself fit in to whatever situation she was in. You could make a strong argument that Frost when from villain to protagonist and back again at least twice in the film. It’s too bad she dies in the end. Frost would have been a great main villain in a sequel.

2. The Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas

While entries 3 through 10 on this list could be debated, particularly in terms of their order and movie preferences, I think you’d be hard pressed to find any list of great changes in movie characters that doesn’t include my top two entries. The change in The Grinch is so drastic that his heart literally grows three sizes. I get that this was originally a book, but the film adaptations of the book — both animated and not — sell the change in The Grinch just as well, if not better, than Seuss’s original classic.

1. Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) in Return of the Jedi

One of the most evil villains in movie history kills his boss to save his son just before he suffers his own death. Is there really any other turn capable of being number one? I think not.

A Handy Guide To Sports For Hockey Fans

Hello/Bonjour/Eh.

I know why you’re here. It’s nearly summertime north of the Equator, which means that ice hockey is about to hit its offseason. For a small, confused, and undereducated portion of the world’s population, this means absolutely nothing. But to you, the hockey fan — nay, I should say the hockey connoisseur — this is the toughest time of the year. You’re scouring the internet for anything that can fill that need for hockey news. Your search history over the past month has consisted largely of phrases like “NHL trade rumors”, “where to sign my child up for Canadian junior hockey leagues”, “is Gary Bettman dead yet?”, “how much does a Swedish passport cost?”, or “no really, did Gary Bettman sign a deal with the devil where he gets to be immortal in exchange for running the NHL into the ground”.

(If there’s any good news for Bettman, at least he’s not hated as much as John Cena in Chicago…though it’s very close.)

Part of the common coping tactics for hockey withdrawal is to find another sport to watch. I personally feel this is a fantastic choice, as evidenced by the growing popularity of other sports amongst hockey fans. That said, I also understand that acclimating yourself to a new sport, its terminology, its rules, and its culture. As a public service to hockey fans everywhere, I’ve created the following guide to help you learn the basics of whatever sport you wish to use to help you deal with the current lack of hockey.

Soccer/Futbol/Football

Image credit: thebiglead.com

aka: Grass Hockey
How It’s Like Hockey: The rules are fairly similar in a lot of ways. One goal equals one point, there’s offsides, penalty shots, forwards, defensemen, and goalies. Also, it’s far more popular in Europe than the USA, so it’s basically ice hockey’s cousin.
How It’s Not Like Hockey: Not only is soccer ice hockey’s cousin, it’s ice hockey’s boring cousin that everyone pretends to like only because he still lives with his mom at age 35. There’s more diving in soccer than at an Olympic pool. Plus, NBC shows more Premier League games than NHL games each year. Seriously. Fuck those guys.
Chances You’ll Like It: 20% if you like low scoring hockey games, 10% otherwise.

Field Hockey

Image credit: udel.edu

aka: Mallet Hockey
How It’s Like Hockey: It has hockey in the name and follows a fairly similar rule system to ice hockey.
How It’s Not Like Hockey: You mean other than hockey’s meant to be played on ice with knives tied around your feet as a vulcanized rubber disk screams at you at speeds over 100 miles per hour, and that this sport isn’t that?
Chances You’ll Like It: 35% if the game is played anywhere other than a ski resort, 75% if it’s at a ski resort and the snow machine guy actually takes your bribe.

Basketball

Image credit: totalprosports.com

aka: Tree Hockey
How It’s Like Hockey: There are five players who are realistically capable of scoring from either team at any given time, Ricky Rubio not withstanding. Also, its season overlaps with ice hockey nicely in the USA, so its breaks feel kind of familiar.
How It’s Not Like Hockey: Remember everything I said about diving in soccer? It’s ten times worse in professional basketball. Just watching a Miami Heat or New York Knicks game is like watching the fight scene from any bad Steven Segal film (read: any Steven Segal film), only you can’t see the good guy who is murdering the bad guys.
Chances You’ll Like It: 0%. The NBA gave us Gary Bettman.

American Football

Image credit: aresalona.blogspot.com

aka: Concussion Hockey/Demolition Derby Hockey
How It’s Like Hockey: Unlike any of the sports I’ve listed above, there’s an actual chance of getting hurt in American football. It’s got that going for it, right?
How It’s Not Like Hockey: They have lots of weird rules involving yards, downs, and other things that don’t involve actually scoring. Also, hand passes are not only legal, but encouraged.
Chances You’ll Like It: 85% if you enjoy gratuitous violence, 5% if you don’t.

Baseball

Image credit: nytimes.com

aka: Nap Hockey
How It’s Like Hockey: Both hockey arenas and baseball stadiums sell hot dogs? That’s all I’ve got.
How It’s Not Like Hockey: Hockey is full contact, baseball is trying to outlaw contact. Hockey games are fast paced, baseball games move slower than glaciers. Playing hockey requires athleticism, playing baseball requires that it not be raining.
Chances You’ll Like It: 1%. If you’re in that one percent, may whatever deity you believe in have mercy on your soul.

#BestOfTheWeek, Edition Four

At the prompting of a handful of my regular readers, I decided to start writing a Sunday post sharing those links. You can check out previous editions of this series by viewing the #BestOfTheWeek category.

Have posts that you think should belong in the #BestOfTheWeek roundup? Send them to me on Twitter at @thattinywebsite.

Take the time to swing by these blogs, read them, and (perhaps) leave comments for the authors. It’s always appreciated by me when someone comments on my work, so I’d imagine these people would feel the same way.