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Where My Pokemon Go Nicknames Came From

Surprise mid-week bonus post? Yes, yes it is. It’s also a massive length post, so go grab yourself some popcorn or lunch and get settled in.

I recently had a discussion with a fellow Pokemon blogger, Lola, regarding our experience with Pokemon. In a post she wrote in late August, she talked about how one of her Pokemon Go friends refers to her as Nicknamer due to the number of Pokemon she gives nicknames too. This led to a discussion about how I do this too, almost to ridiculous levels. Both Lola and I decided we should write a post about the nicknames we give our Pokemon in Pokemon Go. This lead to me reviewing my Pokemon Go box and realizing that I have a ton of Pokemon I’ve nicknamed.

You should go read Lola’s post here: https://poketravellerlola.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/explaining-my-pokemon-go-nicknames/

How best to go about this then? I’ve decided to share all of my Pokemon Go nicknames here, albeit with a few parameters.

  • I’ve excluded nicknames that are labels for ease of searching for the most part. For example, I name all of my Pokemon I save to trade for distance with a left parenthesis, that way I can find them quickly. There are two exceptions to this rule.
    • All Pokemon I use to quickly drop in gyms I pass have an asterisk at the start of their nickname. When I refer to them in this post, I’ll use the nickname without the asterisk unless it’s part of the name.
    • All Pokemon with perfect IVs1aka perfect stats have names that begin with and accented e at the beginning (é). As with the last point, I’ll refer to them by the nickname without the extra character unless it’s part of the name.
    • Prior to lucky Pokemon being searchable, I preceded all lucky Pokemon names with an L with a stroke (Ł). While I removed this from most Pokemon once that search came out, if it made sense in the name, I kept it.
  • I’m also excluding Pokemon whose nicknames are solely informational, such as:
    • I have a Pokemon currently called Evolve Me. This is so I don’t forget to evolve it at some point.
    • Any Pokemon whose IVs/stats are part of the name.

I’ll add in a few pictures here and there, but not very many, otherwise this list would be even longer than it’s already going to be. There are also SO. MANY. links out, as some of these references are obscure. The list that follows will be in national dex order. Pokemon whose names are in bold and italics are my perfect IV Pokemon

Generation I

  • Venusaur – Way back in July of 2016 when I started playing Pokemon Go, I made an effort to theme some of my nicknames. All of my Gen I starters I caught had names of Greek or Roman philosophers, causing me to have a Venusaur named Socrates. Also, within hours of posting this, I caught my second perfect shadow Pokemon, this time a Bulbasaur. Its name is Aristotle.
  • Charizard – My only named Charizard is called Overrated. I’ve talked about this before.
  • Blastoise – As was the case with Venusaur, I have a philosopher starter here, this one named Parmenides.
  • Beedrill – You’ll find as I go through this list there’s a lot of music jokes. Beedrill is Bug Dentist because…TO BE BUG DENNNNNTISSST
  • Rattata – Both my perfect Rattata and shiny Rattata are named Rat God as a play on Eminem’s song Rap God. I’d also like to note that I once had a Pidgey named Tim Horton. I called it this just so I could trade it to my wife, who had not (at that point) been to Tim Horton’s. It ended up being her best Pidgey by a mile.
  • Fearow – In what might be the longest running joke in my Pokemon nicknames, I have a Fearow named Circle. When playing Pokemon Blue on the bus to a wrestling meet in high school, I asked someone to name my Fearow. They said A Circle. It stuck.
  • Arbok – It is Also Snek. There’s also Snek, but it’s later in this list.
  • NidoqueenNidoran And….Nidoran and…Nidoran and…
  • Nidoking – When I finally got a lucky Nidoking, it immediately got named George III. He was pretty lucky for the US.
  • Clefable – Much like the Minions, Clefairy is annoying and obsessed with the moon. So when I got a perfect one, it got named ThaMooooooon!
  • Ninetales – I love me some Ninetales. All of them have Fire Emblem nicknames. The Kantoian ones are named Selkie2I understand that Selkie is the only Ninetales name that isn’t a reference to Fire Emblem: Awakening. That said, it’s also the only perfect Ninetales I had, so I had to differentiate it somehow., Luna, and Sol, while the Alolan ones are named Lucina, Chrom, and Aether.
  • Parasect – I’m not saying I’m annoyed Leech Life isn’t in the game, but I did name a Parasect after the move.
  • VenomothThe dragonslayer lives. All hail the ATV.
  • Dugtrio – My very first lucky trade ever netted me an Alolan Diglett. Upon evolving, the Dugtrio’s headbobs timed out really well to the song I was listening to at that time, Le Disko by Shiny Toy Guns. So it’s LeDisko.
  • Persian – Alolan Persian is fat. I got a perfect one, so it’s just Bigglesworth.
  • Golduck – In the SUPER early days of gym battling, Golduck was annoying as hell to deal with, winning far more battles than it reasonably should have as a defender. Considering how often it was victorious, I chose to pay homage to the Glorious Bomb by naming it Glorious.
  • Primeape – In the anime, Primeape steals Ash’s hat. So…AshHatThief.
  • Poliwrath – Ivan Drago seemed like a good choice to shout out with a punching Pokemon. It’s Drago.
  • AlazakamTwo Spoon. Because this video. This series comes up again.
  • MachampMy favorite throwaway joke from an episode of Family Guy netted me two different Machamp nicknames, Reagan and Sleepy.
  • Victreebel – Nothing says sexual tension like a Bellsprout wiggling its hips. Hence how this became Allureabel.
  • Golem – There’s a few Tolkien jokes here, as I have Kantonian Golem named JRR and Precious. That said, I also have a perfect Alolan Golem named Magnet Rock. It’s not a great name, but it fits.
  • Rapidash – I am…Photo Finish.
  • Dodrio – You’re familiar with the cerberus, right? You know, three headed dog that guards Hades? Well, this is Cerbirbus.
  • Shellder – The very first shiny I ever caught in a main series Pokemon game was a bright orange Shellder I named Scallop. Thus, once I found a shiny Shellder in Pokemon Go, it became Scallop II.
  • Hypno – I have a Hypno named Biggie. I just love his flashy ways.
  • Kingler – I get that Kingler is not a lobster. But considering mine has perfect IVs, it is JIBBERS CRABST. Yes, the all caps is necessary.
  • Hitmonlee – Both of my Hitmonlee are named after wrestlers who love to kick, Funaki and Tajiri.
  • Hitmonchan – Meanwhile, my two Hitmonchan I’ve nicknamed have been named based on female MMA fighters, named Tate and Kowalkiewicz, respectively.
  • Weezing – Oh how I wish Galarian Weezing was out for this. That said, it’s Trump’s EPA. Their track record speaks for itself.
  • Seaking – One of the few times I wished Pokemon allowed curse words, I’m referencing a VERY old meme when I call this MF Seaking.
  • Magikarp – If you ever see my CP 10 shiny Magikarp in a gym, know that its name is Gym Shame and that I’ve placed it in a gym after kicking out someone who annoys me. I have a Meditite with the same name and CP. I also have a Magikarp named LivedOn1HP, as a shoutout to my favorite Poketuber.
  • Lapras – I actually have three named Lapras, all with completely different name sources. The first is named Tree Fiddy, as Lapras looks an awful lot like the Loch Ness Monster. Second, we have one named White Rose, because while Bumbleby is finally a thing, the OTP in RWBY will always be White Rose in my mind. Finally, my shiny Lapras is Liopleurdon, because Charlie needs to see this magical creature.
  • Kabutops – My two Kabutops are named Coheed and Cambria. It’s the Cambrian explosion! Well, plus a Coheed reference.
  • Snorlax – Calling Snorlax fat is too easy. Calling it a Michael Jackson parody (or MJ Parody for short) is at least thinly veiled.
  • Zapdos – Zapdos was the first legendary Pokemon I caught in Pokemon Go3I went 0 for my first 22 attempts at catching a legendary Pokemon in a raid, including 0 for 18 on my favorite Pokemon ever, Articuno. Of course, I caught four of the first five Zapdos I saw. — and I got a near perfect one at that. Said Zapdos was named Electric Fried Chicken, or EFC for short. Then, once we got Zapdos raid day with Thunder Shock as a special move, one of the Zapdos I caught on that day became Wichita St. No, I don’t care that it’s not the same kind of shocker.
  • Dragonite – In recognizing two of the move-based nicknames I’ve given, my Outrage knowing Dragonite is oRATM4(out)Rage Against The Machine, while my Draco Meteor knowing one is Malfoy.
  • Mew – When you go to catch Mew as part of the special research reward in Pokemon Go, you go into AR mode. Mew will disappear on your screen intermittently, making it one of the more annoying catches in the game. Because it becomes invisible, its name is

Generation II

  • Ariados – I’m not saying I’m annoyed Ariados can’t learn Sing in any Pokemon game, but I did name one Missing Sing.
  • Crobat – In what might be super obscure reference, my Crobat is named Vlad because you wouldn’t hit a bat with glasses on, would you?
  • Igglybuff – The most recent perfect IV Pokemon on my list gets to use the accented e as part of its nickname, as its floaty nature lends itself to the nickname éLium.
  • Ampharos – My lone Community Day Ampharos is named Glorious Hair because have you seen Mega Ampharos. I also have an Ampharos named Philip because…well, you know.
  • Azumarill – My perfect bunny Pokemon is named Crimson as a shoutout to a rabbit named Clover owned by one of my friends.
  • Politoed – In easily the most surprising perfect IV Pokemon I’ve ever encountered, I caught a perfect shadow Poliwag recently. I purified it out of principle, but because of its perfection and purification, it seemed like it needed a holy name. Since I already have a perfect Poliwrath, it was only natural to make this one a Politod, hence the named Toadsus.
  • Espeon – Much like Lapras, I have three named Espeon5This is a trend with certain Pokemon in Go for me. It started with Espeon, but it’s since expanded.. My Community Day Espeon is named Papa Roach on the account of knowing Last Resort. My shiny one also has a musical reference, having the name LoveTheAlien due to its green coloration. Finally, I have an Espeon named Magic Bounce as a nod to its ability in the main games. I’d like to think Magic Bounce’s theme song is Magic Stick, however according to my wife, I’m the only person who still likes that song.
  • Umbreon – My shiny Umbreon is named InGaN, which is the chemical notation for Indium Gallium Nitride. It’s the stuff that makes your LED lights glow blue.
  • Murkrow – More music references, as my perfect Murkrow is named éPro, which is a nod to the Beck song by the same name. Said Murkrow is also called The Murkrow of Death, as it’s a PvP monster.
  • Steelix – Oh hey! I told you Snek would show up later.
  • Shuckle – More sadness from the Cursing is Banned in Pokemon Department, as everyone knows you cannot fuckle with Shuckle. Since I like to drop Shuckle in gyms, the asterisk serves a double purpose here, as my main one is named *le.
  • Delibird – Santa Birb. This one is obvious.
  • Houndour – My shiny Houndour is named Huckleberry, both as a nod to Huckleberry Hound, as well as to Doc Holiday.
  • Kingdra – I have Kingdra and Queendra. Not much explanation necessary here.
  • Donphan – It’s an elephant. With what looks like tank treads on it. So it’s Treadaphant. Again, not a complicated one.
  • Hitmontop – I can’t be the only one who thinks Hitmontop looks like a teenage version of Groot. Right? Right. This is Teen Groot.
  • Blissey – Never have I been so pissed off about Pokemon Go as I was when I finally had enough candy to evolve my Chansey into a Blissey, only for Niantic to nerf Blissey the very next day. Not even when Smeargle almost made me quit the game. Blissey will always remain named Stupid Nerf for that reason.
  • Tyranitar – Pretty simple really. Mine is called Dark Dragon because it’s a Dark-type that’s also a drago…what? Tryranitar is Rock/Dark? Who thought this up? Next you’re going to tell me Psyduck isn’t Psychic type6For the few unaware, Psyduck is a pure Water type for reasons that literally no one has ever been able to explain adequately.

Generation III

  • Blaziken – My perfect IV Blaziken is named Col. Sanders. Because it’s a Fire type chicken. Fried chicken.
  • Linoone – This nickname is sadly a relic of the pre-CP rebalance days. My wife and I were sitting in our apartment catching weather boosted Pokemon when a CP 69 Zigzagoon popped up. I make the joke that all CP 69s were perfect, which she scoffed at…but then this Zigzagoon actually was. Sadly, its CP change with the rebalance, but I kept its nickname, Nice.
  • DustoxDust Devils are tornado like things that appear in the desert Southwest and are one of my favorite natural phenomena. Considering my Dustox knows Silver Wind, I found DustDevil to be a fitting name.
  • Shifty – Finding a perfect Seedot is ridiculous. So is giving it a corny nickname. It’s named énroc, which is a play on the word corny being spelled backwards.
  • Taillow – Earlier this year, I was job hunting hard and had gone through the interview process for a job I really wanted. I had waited longer than I expected for word to come back on said job. I was walking around my old work parking lot, stressing about my work situation, all while playing Pokemon Go to mindlessly pass the time. I caught a Taillow and named it Hope because hope is the thing with feathers. About an hour later, I got a call offering me the job I was looking for. It’s a garbage Taillow, but I keep it anyway.
  • Gardevoir – Though my Murkrow has the “of Death” appending to their nickname informally, my perfect Ralts (now Gardevoir) got it as part of her name, as I dubbed it DressODeath. It’s clearly a combat skirt.
  • Breloom – As someone who used to travel a decent amount for work, FlightAware was my best friend. When I caught a good Breloom with double Fighting moves in an airport, it obviously had to be named FightAware.
  • SlakingThere’s a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. It looks like fun, as they have baby sloths. When I got my first perfect sloth, it got named Costa Rica.
  • Hariyama – Yokozuna and E.Honda seemed like good names to give to these massive behemoths of destruction.
  • Delcatty – Did you know Tacocat is Tacocat spelled backwards? I love my Delcatty, even if it isn’t as trolly as I want it to be.
  • Mawile – Mawile can eat you with its hair. Nom Hair is its name.
  • Medicham – Want to know one of my least favorite Pokemon designs? It’s the Medicham line. The whole line. That said, I clearly had to keep the perfect one I hatched. It’s name? ILookDumb.
  • Manectric – Manectric has entrance music, just like a pro wrestler. That song? “I Am Electric” by Heaven’s Basement. Only it sings its name, IAmManectric.
  • Swalot – Swalot looks like a gumdrop. A toxic one. But Gumdrop it is.
  • Wailord and Kyogre – I’m combining these two as both of their nicknames have the same origin story. After catching my first Kyogre, I named it Lord Whale, as Kyogre is the guardian of the sea or something like that. My wife misheard me and thought I called it Wailord, which confused her, as I was still 100 or so candy from being able to evolve my Wailmer into a Wailord. A couple of weeks later, I got my candy and evolved Wailmer into Wailord. I named it Kyogre. I also may or may not have told a friend of mine that this was the release of shiny Kyogre.
  • Flygon – If only Flygon had gotten a mega evolution. Then I wouldn’t have to call my perfect Flygon by the name of NonMega.
  • Altaria – My Altaria is named Swabby. Not all of these are good names.
  • Seviper – My Seviper is CP 404. As such, its name is SnekNotFound.
  • Whiscash – A perfect mustache on a perfect IV Pokemon deserves the name Rollie, as an ode to one of the greatest mustaches to ever live.
  • Milotic – Pokemon Go has really made me hate Feebas. Imagine my annoyance with the recent Jirachi special research had a task to evolve a Feebas. Thus, my Feebas, eventually Milotic, got renamed IHateFeebas.
  • Castform – One of my favorite things to do is to put Snowy Castform in gyms in Ohio. It legit makes people mad. I just have an army of Snow Castform named Snow1, Snow 2, Snow3, etc. I also have a rainy Castform aptly named H2O.
  • Banette – All of my perfect Pokemon get names, regardless of what they are or how good of a name I can think of for them. That’s now my perfect Banette got the name Zippers.
  • Wynaut – I considered naming my Wynaut Why. Why? Wynaut.
  • Metagross – All of my Metagross that I use in battle are members of the Wu-Tang Clan. Currently, I have RZA, ODB7ODB started this, as it was originally short for Ol’ Dirty Beldum., Method Man, and Raekwon.
  • Latios – I am not a fan of the Latis. After my fifth consecutive research reward Latios, I named it Trashios. I then proceeded to get another one the next week.
  • Groudon – We can all agree that Primal Groudon looks like something out of the Power Rangers universe, yes? Good. Then you understand why this is Megazord.

Generation IV

  • BidoofBidoof is Rusty. Bidoof will always be Rusty until they release the shiny version.
  • Roserade – My wife used to label Pokemon she wanted to trade with the name Zz. When she made a trade with me that netted me a lucky, shiny Roselia, this lead to me naming the Pokemon RoZzelia. This changed to RoZzrade once its evolution was released.
  • Drifblim – A while back, I did a challenge wherein my goal was to beat the Pokemon Sun Elite Four using only a Caterpie to attack. This strategy was full of Baton Pass shenanigans, which involved a Drifblim passing Minimize and Stockpile boosts. Thus my Drifblim in Go got the name Minimize.
  • Honchkrow – I was traded a shiny Murkrow. It was lucky before lucky trades existed. It’s thusly named The Purpkrow. I still refuse to believe shiny Murkrow can be found in the wild8I said this to my wife once. She then tapped on a Murkrow and it was shiny. DURING THE CONVERSATION WHERE I WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. That’s some Tim McCarver level bullshit..
  • Bonsly – Sudowoodo is introduced to players in Pokemon Gold/Silver by faking being a tree. Hence my shiny Bonsly’s name TotallyATree.
  • Munchlax – I hatched two perfect Munchlax in the span of 30 days. Their names are éatAllThings and éatMoreThing, respectively.
  • Lucario – Oh look. Something for me to wreck in Smash. As a Lucina main, I consider Lucario to be SmashFodder.
  • AbomasnowAbomasnow. Obama in snow. President Snow.
  • Rhyperior – Both of my Rhyperior are references to Dwayne Johnson, being named RockBottom and Dwayne, respectively.
  • Tangrowth – Look. If you had. One shot. To name a Tangrowth anything you ever wanted. Would you capture it? Or just let it slip?9Also, Tangela should be pronounced tan-gel-a from here on out. Don’t ask why. Just do it.
  • Electivire – I caught a perfect Electabuzz in a raid, only for Rock Me Amadeus to come on the raid very shortly afterward. Hence my Electivire getting the name Ohmadayus.
  • Togekiss – Birb. Just birb.
  • LeafeonI am a leaf on the wind…except that’s too many characters for Pokemon Go, so it’s just LeafOnTheWin.
  • Glaceon – My favorite frozen dessert? Ice cream. But my second favorite? Italian Ice. Since this Glaceon is perfect, we get a small bastardization of that name, as it became étalianIce10I’ll still accept this pronunciation for Italian over people who insist on pronouncing it “eye-tal-yan”. I know, and am related to, at least two people who do this. It’s cringey..
  • Mamoswine – Did you know Ray Romano is a really good actor in things that aren’t Everybody Loves Raymond? Like Ice Age. It’s a good reason to name a Mamoswine after him.
  • Porygon Z – Porygon is a duck. It’s also made from code. A digital duck, if you will. Digital duck. Digiduck.
  • Gallade – My Gallade is named Arm Blades because…well…have you seen Gallade’s arms?
  • Probopass – Nosepass and Probopass look like dollar store Easter Island heads. Hence the nickname I’ve giving mine, Łeaster.
  • Meltan – Prior to Meltan being officially announced, Niantic gave us a sneak peek of it by having Ditto disguise itself as Meltan for a brief amount of time. Since there wasn’t any information about this Pokemon out there, the Pokemon community started giving it placeholder names. My favorite of these was Nutto. I’ve kept the first Meltan I ever caught, along with its initial nickname — Nutto.

10 Pokemon Go Community Day Ideas Based on Shinies

Nearly three years on from its launch, Pokemon Go is still doing quite well for itself. Sure, there are some flaws in the game — like the fact that we never got the footprint tracker from the game’s launch back — but all in all, it’s a pretty interesting game for one that’s closing in on preschool age. One of the big reasons for Pokemon Go’s success is its constant barrage of in-game events. Though some of the events are hit or miss, one of the game’s earliest creations, Community Day, is still going strong.

For those unfamiliar, on Community Day players will have a three-hour window1There have been a couple of exceptions to this rule, most notably Eevee’s Community Day, which lasted 48 hours. where a pre-selected Pokemon will spawn with significantly greater frequency than normal. The Pokemon for Community Day is typically either the base form of one of the various starter Pokemon from the games2Squirtle, Chikorita, Torchic, etc. or a Pokemon that’s known to be overpowered3Metagross, Salamance, Dragonite. or has a special gimmick in the main games4Amphraros, Pikachu.. The end stage evolution of the Community Day Pokemon also gets a special move bestowed upon them that they can’t learn any other time.

The other common thread with Community Day is that it typically coincides with the launch of the shiny forms of that Pokemon’s evolutionary line. Shiny Pokemon do appear at an increased rate, though it is still somewhat low, leading to variable luck between trainers. With the most recent Community Day, Bagon, just wrapping up this past Saturday, I thought it’d be a good time to throw out my ideas for some potential future Community Day Pokemon.

For this list, I’ll be basing all of my entries off of the shiny Pokemon I’d be most excited to see as part of a Community Day. This means that any Pokemon whose shiny has already been released — including my personal favorite, Shellder — are excluded from this list. Furthermore, I’ve chosen to exclude starter Pokemon from this list, as they’re all but guaranteed to eventually get their own Community Days. Additionally, I’ve limited this list to Pokemon from Generations I-IV, as those are the only generations released at the time of writing. All images courtesy pokemondb.net.

10. Voltorb

Voltorb
I genuinely considered cutting this list to nine before remembering that Voltorb’s shiny existed. While it has the same basic color swap as another entry later on this list, the flip from red to blue is simple enough to look good on both Voltorb and its evolution, Electrode. As for its Community Day move, this would be the perfect time to introduce a 1-bar charge move for Explosion, as that’s pretty much Electrode’s entire gimmick.

9. Croagunk

Croagunk
I’m really picky about how I feel about shiny Pokemon with loud coloration. I either love them (see: Shellder, Scizor, Espeon, Murkrow) or hate them (see: Alazakam, Heracross, Masquerain). That said, I quite like Toxicroak’s best attempt at recreating the 1990s Charlotte Hornets jerseys. Croagunk itself is noticeable enough that shinies won’t be hard to spot, so that helps it in my book too. For its special move, I’d give Toxicroak Focus Blast, but only because it already gets most of the good moves it can learn anyway in Pokemon Go.

8. Shuckle

Shuckle
Welcome to the No Fuckle Zone. There would be some people in my local community hyped as hell for this Community Day, in part because of the beautiful artwork that is this shiny. Like a couple of other entries on this list, Shuckle has some other things working against it, thereby keeping it low on this list. It’s the only Pokemon on this list without an evolution, meaning it’ll have to learn the move on Community Day via catch. Beyond that, Shuckle’s offense is putrid, so regardless of what move we give it, it’ll still deal minimal damage. So let’s just give it Rock Slide to mess with people.

7. Weedle

Weedle
I love Beedrill’s shiny. It’s one of my favorites in the entire game. That said, Weedle gets a low spot on this list because it suffers from the same problem that one of my least favorite Community Days — Bulbasaur — had. The regular and shiny sprites look super similar. Granted, this was common in Gen I, but it does hold Weedle down. Beedrill would ideally be the Pokemon to introduce the move Fell Stinger, which boost attack each time it’s used. Think a Bug version of Power Up Punch, at least for purposes of Pokemon Go.

6. Bidoof

Bidoof
Shiny Bidoof is a meme. You cannot evolve a shiny Bidoof obtained on Community Day. It will know Superpower and it will wreck you all. Praise be.

5. Electrike

Electrike
Pokemon whose evolutionary line have wildly different shinies can be a little jarring. Hell, just look at the Shellder line if you want an extreme example of this. That said, while the Electrike line has two very different shiny color schemes depending on where in the chain you are, it works. I like the blue Electrike and the gold/gray Manectric equally well, meaning this would be one of the few Pokemon I’d keep a shiny evolutionary family for. Manectric would ideally be the introduction of Shock Wave to the game, giving it a reasonable reward for not being Luxray.

4. Tangela

Tangela
Green spaghetti. We all support this, right? Cool. Give Tangrowth Power Whip and we’ll call it a day.

3. Seedot

Seedot
Have you seen the shiny Seedot line? They’re all amazing. All of them. Seedot’s silver and orange color scheme in particular is one of the more unique shiny sprites in the game, which is a shame, as it’s wasted on a line that’s not particularly good in Pokemon Go. In an ideal world, Shiftry ends up with Grass Knot as its charge move on Community Day, but if I’m realistic, it’ll end up with Leaf Tornado, which might be the single biggest dumpster fire of a move in Go right now.

2. Riolu

Riolu
Let me tell you how much I’d love to see a Community Day for a Pokemon that typically only hatches from an egg. Whether its Riolu, any of the baby Pokemon, or the Alolan types that only come from eggs, it’d be a great way to increase Community Day interest. Riolu is recognizable because of its evolution’s presence outside of the Pokemon main series, not to mention that Lucario has a bevy of moves we could give it. That said, my main reason for picking it over other egg-based Pokemon is because of that yellow and gunmetal shiny. I know it’s not everyone’s taste, but it works in this case.

1. Hoothoot

Hoothoot
If memory serves, the first shiny Pokemon we saw in the anime was Ash’s Noctowl. How Hoothoot hasn’t gotten a Community Day yet solely based off this fact alone is stunning. But here’s the thing — Noctowl is an awesome shiny. The gold and rust coloring is a huge improvement over Noctowl’s normal brown coloration and is (at least in my opinion) one of the best looking shiny Pokemon of all generations. Giving Noctowl Air Slash as a quick move for Community Day would be a nice touch, as it’s one of Ash’s Noctowl’s signature moves.

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 251At 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 list2I 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 move3I 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 time4See: 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 Flareon5To 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 anime6One 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 Pokemon7See 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

How Pokemon Go Changed My Opinion on Gen I and II Pokemon

Remember when Pokemon Go was a giant deal? It’s not anymore, though it’s not gone yet. The initial buzz has worn off and we’re back to the point where I get weird looks if I bring up Pokemon Go with non-players (though no one has excitedly told me that they’re proud not to have to spell Pokemon names). I’ve played through 5.5[1] of the 7 main story games, and through each generation, I’ve developed different opinions on certain Pokemon. These opinions change based on how the Pokemon is presented in the game, its moveset, my personal attachment to it, importance to the story line, and many other factors.

In this regard, Pokemon Go is no different. The longer I’ve played Pokemon Go, the more the game has molded my opinions of the Gen I and Gen II Pokemon within the game. Because of Go’s goofy CP mechanic, some Pokemon that were valuable in the first two generations of the game are afterthoughts in Go[2], while Pokemon useless in either the main story of Gen I/Gen II[3] or in competitive play[4] are suddenly relevant because of Go.

That said, just because a Pokemon has become more or less useful because of Go doesn’t necessarily mean I care about it more or less. But there have been some changes in my thoughts on certain ‘mon[5]. With that in mind, here are the five Pokemon I like more — and less — because of Pokemon Go.

Pokemon I like less

5. Togepi

In the anime, the writers do their best to make an otherwise forgettable Pokémon adorable. And it works. You can’t help but find Missy’s Togepi cute. But in the games itself, Togepi wasn’t particularly useful. This trend only got more severe with its lack of viability Pokémon Go. Neither Togepi nor its evolution, Togetic, are very good in Go, making their appearance from a hatched egg groan-inducing after the first time. At least there’s a good third stage evolution coming down the line[6].

4. Spinarak

What if we had a Pokémon that was just as common as Pidgey, but wasn’t as good and took more than four times the candy to evolve? Ladies and gentlemen, Spinarak.

3. Gyarados

A year plus into the game, Gyarados has proven to be one of the most versatile and powerful Pokémon in Go. That’s not my issue with it. Magikarp has always been a pain to evolve into its giant dragon form, but none more so than in Go. It takes four times as much candy to evolve Magikarp as it does to evolve any of the starter Pokémon from their second to final form. Is Gyarados significantly harder to train to than most Pokemon? Yes. Is it four times harder? Nope. Is it that much stronger that it’s worth the effort in a non-water biome? Not a chance[7].

2. Xatu

I remember seeing the Natu line in Gold/Silver and being excited there was finally a Flying/Psychic dual type. And then Xatu was useful, though a bit underwhelming. That said, Xatu might be the single worst end-stage Flying type in Go — and that includes Butterfree and Ledian. Flying type as a whole is underwhelming in Go, and Xatu manages to be the worst available option.

1. Blissey/Chansey

Fuck Blissey[8].

Pokemon I like more

5. Kingler

I don’t think I used Kingler on a single playthrough of Gen I or Gen II. There were a litany of reasons Kingler made for a less-than-desireable ‘mon to use, most notably the fact that Kingler had a low special attack stat at a time where all Water moves were special attacks. That said, Go’s goofy CP system actually turns Kingler into an above average glass cannon Water type. Add in the fact that I picked up a perfect IV Krabby that I named after the giant fire-breathing lobster that lives behind the rings of Saturn, and Kingler is much more likeable in my eyes.

4. Kabutops

I think I found myself liking all three of Gen I’s fossil Pokémon more as a result of Go, however Kabutops in particular stands out.  Kabutops is in the game’s second tier of Rock Pokémon, which is a great type at both attacking and defending. With the recent gym revamp, players are no longer forced to put their top CP units in a gym, drastically boosting the usefulness of Pokémon like Umbreon, Kabutops, and Quagsire[9]. Combine that with Kabutops’ badass design and you have a winning Pokémon.

3. Oddish

What Pokémon has the highest catch rate in Pokémon Go aside from Magikarp? One of the 12 candy evolutions (Pidgey, Caterpie, Weedle)? If not them, what about the next lowest max CP Pokemon[10], Diglett? How about the cave herpes that is Zubat? Nope. It’s Oddish. I already had an Oddish potted plant pot in my apartment before Pokemon Go came out. Its existence as essentially free stardust in Go is wonderful.

2. Sneasel

I already like Ice and Dark Pokemon as it is, so Sneasel was already pretty high on my list of Pokemon I like. But with the badge system in Pokemon Go allowing you to have a higher catch rate once you’ve caught enough of a certain type of ‘mon, Sneasel became an easy way to make progress towards badges for two types that are uncommon in my area.

1. Sudowoodo

I’ve talked about how Sudowoodo is already my favorite Rock type in a previous post. That said, it further endeared itself to me because of Pokemon Go. Just watch it dance at roughly the 25 second mark of the video below.

How can you not love that?

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