My Pokemon Gym: Grass

I guess this is a thing now. And by that, I mean I’ve already done three Pokemon types in this format — why not do all of them over time? In all seriousness, I love the adventure that is theorycrafting. It’s something I’ve done for a while on other games, but I’ve kept that madness to spreadsheets in my Google Docs, safe from the sight of others. There’s not a ton of people that want to read about theorycrafting for Fire Emblem or Brave Frontier anyway. But oddly enough, Pokemon theorycrafting gets a lot of clicks and interaction. So why not keep trying? As I’ve done on previous Pokemon team/gym style posts, I’ll be sharing the six Pokemon on my team, along with their held items and moves. I’ll also be giving a little additional background into why I’ve chosen each of these Pokemon. I won’t be using legendary Pokemon on my team, as has been the case in previous posts. Additionally, I’m not going to use Pokemon I’ve used in previous team posts on this list. As we get deeper into the type list, this could prove more challenging1I’m going to be saving Normal and Flying for the end for a reason.. That said, I also tried to mirror this team to how I play Grass types in games. Want to read my other My Pokemon Gym posts? Go read the Fighting, Ice, and Psychic type posts when you’re done here. Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting that Grass should be the next type in this series.

Decidueye

Grass is one of the few Pokemon types where I actually have multiple Pokemon I’d use as my lead. I’ve opted to make my other typical choice the anchor to this team (as it’s the closest thing I could think of to being my signature Grass Pokemon2There is a second Grass Pokemon that I’d say fills that role too, but I’m saving it for a later team thanks to its other type.). I quite enjoy that Decidueye gets access to a ton of tempo-changing moves such as Tailwind and U-Turn, making it a surprisingly good lead. The only problem I have with it is the lack of a good item to put on it, so if you have better ideas than Spell Tag for this type of role, I’d love to hear them.

Ability: Long Reach
Item: Spell Tag
Moves: U-Turn, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Tailwind

Tangrowth

Tangrowth: stalling out teams since 2006. In all seriousness though, I love how Tangrowth is such a verstile bulky Pokemon. There’s a ton you can do with it, ranging from being a wall to a physical attacker, to a special attacker, to a mixed attacker. I’ve tried to reflect that in the moveset below. It’s probably not the best set you could have on Tangrowth, but it is the one that epitomizes what Tangrowth is to me.

Ability: Leaf Guard
Item: Assault Vest
Moves: Ingrain, Knock Off, Ancient Power, Giga Drain

Mega Abomasnow

I really don’t like most mega Grass types. I mean, they’re fine, but they’re not what I prefer to use in battle. Kind of like Grass types in general. That said, there are some objectively good Mega Grass types, of which Abomasnow is one of them. Having Mega Abomasnow on the team allows me to pay homage to my favorite type — Ice — while allowing me to have some coverage against a few worrisome types. The beauty to Mega Abomasnow is that it doesn’t care about Speed. You will always outspeed it. It’s here to hit things hard, no matter how that needs to happen.

Ability: Snow Warning
Item: Abomasite
Moves: Earthquake, Wood Hammer, Ice Beam, Iron Tail

Vileplume

I’m very pro-Oddish and wanted to make sure the Oddish line was represented on my team. While a lot of people like Bellossom, I prefer Gloom’s other end stage as the end evolution of this line. Though this team is surprisingly filled with physical attackers and tanks, Vileplume serves as my coverage special attacker. There’s not a ton of coverage against Fire types on this team, and Vileplume continues that trend. If nothing else, it should be able to take out most anything else that it comes across.

Ability: Effect Spore
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Moonblast, Venoshock, Petal Dance, Toxic

Tsareena

Gen VII has some really good Grass type Pokemon…is a sentence I never thought I’d say about any Pokemon generation. That said, nearly all of my cuts from this team came from Gen VII, including Lurantis, Dhelmise, and Shiinotic. That doesn’t even take into consideration Kartana, which is pseudo-legendary. Tsareena is best known for its signature move, Trop Kick3Not to mention being the most likely candidate in Pokemon for Rule 34 this side of Gardevoir., but it’s also a shockingly bulky Pokemon. The goal here is for Tsareena to serve two purposes — to be the Sunny Day setter for my anchor Pokemon, as well as to hopefully take something down with it.

Ability: Queenly Majesty
Item: Muscle Band
Moves: Sunny Day, Trop Kick, Low Sweep, Play Rough

Leavanny

Instead of using one of my favorite scout Pokemon as a lead, I’ve decided to use Leavanny as my cleanup ‘mon. Leavanny is here for all the critical hits ever, driven in part by its Chlorophyll ability. Yes, this is a double-edged sword against Fire types. But it’s worth the boosted speed. The lone downside to this is that I’m choosing to carry Sunny Day as a just-in-case move. While I’d love to get Sunny Day from anyone earlier in this list, Grass type are generally not known for their speed. Using Mega Sceptile over Mega Abomasnow just to set up Sunny Day seemed like a waste, so I put it on one of my bulky team members, kept it on Leavanny as a fail safe, and decided to leave Fell Stinger off of Levanny’s moveset.

Ability: Chlorophyll
Item: Normalium-Z
Moves: Sunny Day, Giga Impact, Leaf Blade, Shadow Claw

My Pokemon Gym: Psychic

I came to a startling realization the other day. For the first time in well over a year (if not more), I had no drafts in my blog’s Drafts folder. Everything I had started as a draft was finally complete, had been merged into something else, or is something that I ended up scrapping for parts for my work in progress. Well shit. Now what do I do? Since I’ve done two different My Pokemon Gym posts (Fighting, Ice) to this point, I feel like it’s about time to revisit this concept. This is in no way because I was desperately hoping Fire Emblem: Three Houses would be out by now so that I could review it. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

In preparing for this post, I decided to pick a type that wasn’t one I feel super strongly about one way or another. Instead, I picked my type thanks to the single best written character in the first season of the Pokemon anime, Sabrina. She was a difficult gym leader to fight in the Gen I games4Mostly because of how broken the Psychic typing was in those games., though she could be managed if you had something that could outspeed her. While Psychic typing has fallen off in later games, it’s still one of the better typings in the game, not to mention one I struggled to make a team for without repeating Pokemon I’d used on other teams.

As I’ve done on previous Pokemon team/gym style posts, I’ll be sharing the six Pokemon on my team, along with their held items and moves. I’ll also be giving a little additional background into why I’ve chosen each of these Pokemon. I won’t be using legendary Pokemon on my team, as has been the case in previous posts. My main goal in this post was to not reuse Pokemon from the other teams I’ve done, which means no Jynx and no Gallade5To give you an idea of how little I use the Fighting type in games, I had this post completely finished with this rule in mind, only to go back and notice I had used Gallade in my Fighting type gym post.. That said, I also tried to mirror this team to how I play Psychic types in games. While I love elemental coverage on Fighting types and love troll-y, trapping, instant killing Ice types, you’ll see my Psychic strategy below.

Meowstic

The first of three pure Psychic types to grace this team features a struggle that all Psychic types face — how do you hit Dark types? Female Meowstic struggles with this in particular, as it doesn’t gain access to Miracle Eye like its male counterpart. That said, Meowstic is the scout of my team, as the rest of my team is intent of taking out the ever dangerous Dark type, along with Psychic’s other weaknesses in Bug and Ghost. Meowstic is a lead to see what I have to deal with.

Ability: Infiltrator
Item: Choice Scarf
Moves: Fake Out, Signal Beam, Shadow Ball, Psychic

Hypno

I lacked friends as a kid6Read: I lacked friends who had Pokemon and a Link Cable., meaning I was locked out of the possibility of getting Alakazam, Golem, Machamp, and Gengar. As a result, my Psychic type of choice in the original generation of games was nearly always Hypno. Its tanky nature made it superior to Kadabra’s frailness, plus it has a shockingly good Attack stat for a Psychic type. Barrier does a bit to help its lackluster Defense stat, but the goal is to help Hypno live as long as possible by any means necessary in an attempt to stall out an opposing Special Attack ace.

Ability: Inner Focus
Item: Muscle Band
Moves: Barrier, Drain Punch, Zen Headbutt, Fire Punch

Mega Gardevoir

I originally had Gallade here as my dedicated Dark type killer, only to realize my violation of my own rule after the fact. I really do like the Ralts line in general, so it’s not like this is a disappointment. Gardevoir relies heavily on Psychic and Fairy attacks, and I’m not going to change that here. That said, I will say I do prefer Gallade in single battles and Gardevoir in double battles. Mega Gardevoir paired with Oricorio is hilarious if used correctly.

Ability: Pixilate (Trace prior to Mega Evolving)
Item: Gardevoirite
Moves: Hyper Voice, Calm Mind, Thunder Wave, Psychic

Delphox

I didn’t have a ton of cares for the Fennekin line until I spent the better part of three weeks breeding one as a present for a friend for her birthday. Delphox is super fun to use in game, particularly because of how thoroughly it scares away Bug types. Laugh all you want, but Bug types are much better now than they used to be7This is thanks in massive part to the buff to Leech Life.. Delphox is here to trap you and slowly chip away at your health, and it will keep living thanks to heavy investment in Defense and Special Defense. Also, I made a massive oversight neglecting to have Delphox on my mega evolutions we need to see list.

Ability: Blaze
Item: Leftovers
Moves: Fire Spin, Rest, Sleep Talk, Toxic

Starmie

The hardest debate I had was for the fifth spot on the team, as I was stuck going back and forth between Starmie, Alolan Raichu, and Exeggutor. In the end, I picked Misty’s signature Pokemon because I’m a bit more attached to it than I am the other two. I can’t begin to tell you how much I wish Starmie got access to Curse, as it’s too fast to use Analytic effectively. I have a plan to deal with it, but I don’t like it.

Ability: Analytic
Item: Iron Ball
Moves: Scald, Cosmic Power, Thunderbolt, Psywave

Espeon

 

The Mountain Dew fox is back! And, like Mountain Dew, things just magically bounce around in its presence — in this case status conditions. I love how stupid this set is. I don’t care if there’s zero way for it to his a Sableye. It’s fun. And that’s the whole point of Pokemon.

Ability: Magic Bounce
Item: Psychium-Z
Moves: Morning Sun, Calm Mind, Last Resort, Stored Power

My Pokemon Gym: Equipment

I’ve spent a few posts talking about what my Pokemon gym would look like if I used different types of Pokemon as my specialty. It’s a theme I enjoy so much that I’ll be giving you yet another installment in the series tomorrow. That said, as I was writing tomorrow’s post, I came to a startling realization. I’ve written three8Well, two at that point. Three now. posts about what Pokemon I’d use in each of my single-type Pokemon gyms, yet I haven’t mentioned once what kind of equipment I’d have in my gym. It is a gym after all. And what’s a gym without the ability to get swole?

As is the case with the rest of the Pokemon gym series posts, I’ll have a six deep team, full with items, abilities, and moves. Images are from Pexels unless otherwise noted.

Door

Steve Johnson

No gym — or building for that matter — team is worth trotting out without a gatekeeper to lead off your team. And for that, I have a door. Doors keep the heat or cold in depending on the time of year. You can lock them to keep intruders out. You can prop them to ensure steady flow of customers. Doors are a fantastic way to introduce your team.

Ability: Literally being a door (prevents opponent from using priority moves if Close or Slam was used last by door)
Item: Squeaky Hinge (sound based moves have a 10% chance of flinching the opponent)
Moves: Open, Close, Clopen9A mix between closed and open., Slam

Treadmill

William Choquette

Like running but hate nature? Have you ever wanted to feel like a hamster but get vertigo at the idea of using a wheel or ball to run? Try treadmills. They’re all the fun of running without the unnecessary distraction of scenery.

Ability: Maintenance Mode (treadmill will randomly stop working for 1-15 turns when you need it the most)
Item: Pulse Monitor (item stops functioning as soon as you equip it)
Moves: Extreme Speed, Extreme Slow, Extreme Incline, Team Xtreme

Water Fountain

Artem Bali

Once you get tired from all that running, you might want to cool down with a refreshing beverage. And while some fancy gym leaders might use a vending machine, I’m all about the water fountain life. Water fountains are a bit of a mystery (which is part of their appeal). What color is the water that comes out going to be? It’s a surprise! The pressure of the water will also catch you off guard, as the water will either barely trickle out of the fountain or it’ll hit someone in the next zip code. It’s like a spontaneous blind date, only with the added risk of cholera.

Ability: Variable Height (water fountain will always be at a height that will require you to bend over awkwardly to use it)
Item: Queue (item always forces the user to wait on everyone else before attacking)
Moves: Bubble, Cloudy Water, Weak Stream, Loose Handle

Overenthusiastic Gym Patron

Anush Gorak

AHHHHHHHHH! HOOOOOOOOOOOOO! OH YEAH! DO YOU SEE THAT? DO YOU SEE IT BRO? LOOK AT THAT VEIN! IT’S SICK, BRO. THAT’S MY THIRD VEIN POPPED THIS WEEK! YOU WANT A PROTEIN SHAKE? I’VE GOT CHOCOLATE COOKIE AND CARAMEL DREAM. NO? SUIT YOURSELF, BRO. AHHHHHHHHHH! HOOOOOO! GO BUCKS!

Ability: Big Voice (sound moves are six times louder than they need to be and may cause flinching)
Item: College T-Shirt (allows user to be nostalgic about an institution they’ve never attended)
Moves: Growl, Grunt, Sick Gains, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Elliptical

Pixabay

This notoriously low impact machine has gained a reputation for only being used in classes led by overly enthusiastic college grads and people going through mid-life crises, but it’s more fun than you’d expect. Much like the treadmill is meant to replace running, the elliptical is meant to replace cartoon running. Could you imagine how good Daffy Duck would be as a personal trainer running a spin class?

Ability: Personal Trainer (Elliptical will become 1 stage faster per each opposing Elliptical in horde battles)
Item: Neverending Spiral (holding this item will cause you to feel like you’re going somewhere, even though you’re not moving)
Moves: Fire Spin, Leg Spin, Spinny Spin, Ohgodwhenwillthisend?

Barbells and Dumbbells

Victor Freitas

Hehehehehhehehe. Dumbbells.

Ability: Set Weight (barbells and dumbbells are immune to moves that impact their weight)
Item: Try Hard (equipping this item will cause the user to always look like they’re trying hard)
Moves: Clank, Clang, Clanggityclang, Rollout

Happy April Fools Day, all. Real content will be posted tomorrow.

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 Pokemon10Mewtwo, Lugia, Articuno, Mew, Celebi, Dialga, etc., had unique ways of evolving11Evolving 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 Spiritomb12The 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, Struggle13Even 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 Pokemon14Though 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 die15I 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 2516At 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 list17I 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 move18I 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 time19See: 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 Flareon20To 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 anime21One 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 Pokemon22See 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