Tag: Pokemon

What’s My Pokemon Team?

I haven’t been in the mood to write fiction lately. Really, I haven’t been in the mood to write a whole lot of anything1For context, I wrote this post back at the end of November. I was struggling to write ANYTHING at that point. I just didn’t post this until now because other stuff took precedence.. That’s not to say I’m not writing. I’m writing plenty for work. I wrote a 35+ page outline for my next story project that only one set of eyes besides my own has seen. But I just haven’t felt like writing.

At the same time, I’ve been watching/listening to a ton of videos on YouTube. While some of those videos have been for the aforementioned writing project, a large portion of them have been video game videos — in particular Pokemon and Madden 18 videos. As I mentioned in a few of my previous posts, I like taking concepts from Poketube posts and trying to write them up to see how I’d answer them, albeit in non-video format2I did the whole “let’s talk on YouTube about things” gig. It wasn’t my thing. Podcasting, on the other hand, I really loved..

This post was inspired by a pair of videos, the first of which is a video from a Poketuber named Ace Trainer Liam. His form fight series is one of my favorite series to watch on YouTube, however the premise of this post follows the video below.

As the video indicates, the four components of my post are to be as follows:

  1. What trainer class would you be?
  2. How many Pokemon would you have on your team and why would you have that many Pokemon?
  3. What Pokemon would you have and why?
  4. What would their moves/abilities/etc be?

You’ll notice that I took a slight deviation from the original format in the post, if only because I believe the idea of why I have a certain number of Pokemon on my team is less interesting than the Pokemon themselves. So, let’s get right to it.

What trainer class would you be?

To make a relatively accurate estimation of what trainer class I’d be, I needed a better understanding of all of the various trainer classes in the Pokemon games. I’ve played a high percentage of the main story games at least in part, though there’s a few generations I haven’t played all the way through3I’ve played about 50% through both Gen IV and Gen V, while I haven’t played Gen VI at all. to know every trainer class that’s out there. As such, I relied on a series of videos made by one of my favorite Poketubers, TamashiiHiroka to gain a better understanding of the various classes. The video below is long, however, you can just watch from about 1:37 to 2:05 to hear about the class I picked.

This video is the third of three videos talking about all of the trainer classes. Watching all three videos led me to realize there’s so many more Pokemon trainer classes than I thought there were. I was originally debating between the Ace Trainer/Veteran4A class featured in the first video in the series. class and Pokemon Ranger, however I ultimately landed on the Pokemon Ranger class as my choice. It’s a relatively flexible class, which I like as I tend to have pretty fluid teams. Rangers tend to be protective of Pokemon, both wild and not, as well as other trainers. Considering the fact that I’ve gone out of my way to avoid hitting even the smallest animals while driving — as well as the fact that I’m pretty protective of people I’ve trained at my job (especially when they’re newer) — I think this class makes a lot of sense for me.

How many Pokemon are on your team and why?

Six. The answer here is always six in my mind. While trainers in the game don’t always carry six Pokemon, I feel obligated to do so, as it’s rare that I make it to the first gym of a Pokemon game without a full team of six Pokemon. So that’s what I’m doing.

What Pokemon would you have and why?

I’ve decided to pick the six Pokemon I enjoy battling with the most in the main series games rather than any other specific Pokemon types. By doing this, I’m leaving off some of my favorite Pokemon5Alolan Vulpix/Ninetales remains one of my favorites in so many ways, but it just misses the cut off here., as well as Pokemon I’d use if I were creating an all-generations Pokemon team6Jynx was the hardest cut from this team., and even Pokemon with my favorite gimmicks in the game. That said, I present to you the six Pokemon that’d be on this team, as well as why.

Toxapex
Along with Chandelure, Toxapex was my favorite Pokemon to use in Pokemon Moon to run around Poni Island with to level up my lower level Pokemon for evolving. It’s the tankiest of tanks, particularly if it has time to get set up, and manages to be one of the few Poison Pokemon I’ve ever carried on my team for the majority of a main series game.

Hypno
As a kid, I didn’t have friends to play Pokemon with. Since the Psychic type was broken as hell in Red/Blue and my lack of friends meant to access to Alakazam, Hypno was regularly my difficult Pokemon killer. Though I tried using Hypno again in later generation games — with little success — this spot is a throwback to a time where I made due in Pokemon with what I could find.

Sylveon
I love the versitility of the Eevee line, particularly when the Eeveelutions can do things you wouldn’t expect them to do. Prior to Gen VII, I didn’t realize that Sylveon’s hidden ability was Pixilate, which converts Normal type moves to Fairy type moves. This opened up a new world for me, making Sylveon the Eeveelution I have the most fun battling with…even if I do love Vaporeon the most.

Scizor
Hi. I’m a bug and I’m broken as hell. Scizor was the first Pokemon I learned any sort of competitive Pokemon strategy with and, though I don’t battle online often, it’s almost always on my teams as a result. My in-game Pokemon Ranger trainer would use the non-Mega Scizor version that I learned first, though I tend to go between the set you’ll see below and a Mega Scizor set somewhat commonly, depending on which Scizor I want to bring in.

Chandelure
This spot almost went to Tsareena or Victreebel, as the Pokemon Ranger class historically carried at least one Grass type Pokemon with them. That said, I generally don’t carry Grass types aside from using Cut and the ones I do carry (Parasect, Venusaur, Lilligant) aren’t ones I really like fighting with. Instead, I went with the ghostly chandelier and all the chaos I can cause with it. Oddly enough, I run a relatively similar setup to what Ace Trainer Liam runs in the video at the top of the post, though with some differences you’ll see in the next section.

Articuno
I don’t care that Articuno is garbage competitively. It’s my favorite legendary and I love using it in the main games. A bit earlier this year, I managed to complete the Pokedex in a Pokemon game for the first time ever, which involved me trading away an Articuno for Tapu Lele to fill my next to last slot. It made me a little sad to do so, but the bird of the North is showing up on my team here to make up for it.

What would your team’s moves/abilities/etc be?

For each Pokemon below, I’ve listed a name, gender, ability, nature, held item, and moveset I’d have them use on my team. Names come from what I’ve actually named these Pokemon in game. I’m not picky about natures when I actually play, but since I’m putting together a full team for this exercise, I figure why not. Links go out to Bulbapedia if you want to learn more about these Pokemon/their moves/whatever.

Toxapex
Name: Salacia
Gender: Female
Ability: Merciless
Nature: Modest
Held Item: Black Sludge
Moveset: Stockpile, Toxic, Venoshock, Surf

Hypno
Name: Rolex
Gender: Male
Ability: Inner Focus
Nature: Quiet
Held Item: Lum Berry
Moveset: Psychic, Shadow Ball, Substitute, Dazzling Gleam

Sylveon
Name: 8-Bit
Gender: Female
Ability: Pixilate
Nature: Modest
Held Item: Pixie Plate
Moveset: Echoed Voice, Hyper Beam, Psyshock, Calm Mind

Scizor
Name: Frank
Gender: Male
Ability: Technician
Nature: Careful
Held Item: Metronome
Moveset: Swords Dance, Bullet Punch, Fury Cutter, Roost

Chandelure
Name: Hololight
Gender: Female
Ability: Infiltrator
Nature: Timid
Held Item: Firium Z
Moveset: Will-o-Wisp, Hex, Flame Charge, Confuse Ray

Articuno
Name: Skaoi
Gender: Genderless
Ability: Pressure
Nature: Bold
Held Item: Leftovers
Moveset: Roost, Ice Beam, Hurricane, U-Turn

Creating an All Generations Pokemon Team

As you might be able to tell, I’m on a bit of a Pokemon kick in the last couple of months. Blame acquiring Pokemon Black, blame legendary raids launching in Go, blame the copious amounts of Pokemon YouTube videos I watched on vacation…I really don’t care. It means that I have content I want to talk about, even if it isn’t the most serious topic ever.

While on vacation, I was waiting for my car’s transmission fluid to get changed when this post’s idea hit me. What team would I use within a Pokemon game if I were required to use one Pokemon from each generation? I really hadn’t considered the idea before. After all, I’m still only about halfway through Black[1] and still have yet to play either X or Y. That said, I still think it’s worth taking the task on and theorizing from it.

With that said, there are a couple of parameters I need to set when writing this post. First off, most of you reading this post are probably wondering how I plan to get a Pokemon from each generation onto my team when a Pokemon party can only have six slots, yet there’s seven generations of Pokemon. I’m going to have one reserve spot. Sure, it’s not within the team, per say, but it would be the Pokemon I’d swap in if I needed some type coverage or a change of pace within my team.

Additionally, this team is being written with in-game content in mind, not competitive battling. I can count on one hand the number of online battles I’ve had in any Pokemon game, so I don’t feel qualified to talk about it. This team is primed to take on the end of game bosses in the main series, meaning my team is meant to battle the Pokemon League champions (along with Professor Kukui, who isn’t the technical champion, but is your end boss). This means we’re going to be dealing with a metric fuckton of Water, Flying, Dragon, and Rock types, but not many Electric, Dark, Fairy, or Fighting Pokemon.

Finally, if a Pokemon has an evolutionary chain that spans multiple generations, the generation Pokemon was introduced in is what gen it belongs to. This means that even though Tangela gets a later evolution in Gen IV, Tangela and Tangrowth are Gen I ‘mon. Similarly, all Eeveelutions are Gen I by this logic. Also, Alolan forms also count as Gen I Pokemon, as they’re just type variations of Pokemon introduced in that generation of the game.

Rotation Spot and Honorable Mentions

Rotation – Weaville (Gen II)

There’s surprisingly not a ton of Psychic type Pokemon used by champions (5 by my count), so there’s not a major need for Dark Pokemon to counteract them. That said, having Weaville and its freakishly high speed in my back pocket is never a bad thing. Plus, considering the absolute glut of Dragon (10) and Flying (12) types used by champions, more Ice types can’t be a bad thing.

Honorable Mentions

I considered, but ultimately decided against, giving spots to quite a few Pokemon. Gen I was the hardest to narrow down, particularly because of the high amount of later generation evolutions the gen has. That said, apologies to (in Pokedex order) Alolan Ninetales, Cloyster, Hypno, Starmie, Vaporeon, Dragonite, Quagsire, Scizor, Houndoom, Gardevoir, Metagross, Empoleon, Garchomp, Magnezone, Gliscor, Porygon-Z, Rotom, Leavanny, Whimsicott, Krookodile, Chandelure, Talonflame, Ribombee, Salazzle, and Mimikyu.

The Team

Note: The team I’ve chosen is listed below by generation.

Generation I – Jynx

Remember how in Gen I and Gen II you could pretty much sweep Lance with a single Ice-type Pokemon? Now there’s two Dragon-type champions with the introduction of Iris in Black 2/White 2. Granted, Iris doesn’t have the same level of fear put in her by Ice Pokemon as Lance does, but you can still a massive amount of damage to her team. Nevermind the fact that Cynthia’s fearsome Garchomp is 4x weak to Ice.

So…why Jynx? I decided on Gen I last due to the larger pool of options from this generation, and I found myself wanting to improve upon Weaville’s typing and move pool for my main team. Although Articuno is by far my favorite legendary Pokemon, I made a concerted effort not to take legendaries on this team. That left me with a decision between Jynx, Cloyster, and Lapras for this spot. As you’ll see though, I have plenty of water types on the team, so I took Jynx over the other two.

Generation III – Swampert

Generations III and IV were the hardest for me to fill out, as I’ve only played the main games once. Even then, both were games I played shortly after they came out, but not again. I felt it necessary to take a starter Pokemon from one of the generations on my team and, with apologies to Primarina, Swampert was the only logical Pokemon to put in this spot. His dual-typing of Water and Ground allows for a ton of coverage around the abundant Rock types in champion teams. Combine that with his sky high attack and access to tons of physical moves (particularly Rock moves) and he provides some of the best coverage of my team.

Generation IV – Mega Lopunny

Alright. This one’s going to confuse some people. Hear me out though.

135 base speed and 136 base attack as a mega. On a Pokemon that resists Rock, Dark, and Bug, and is immune to Ghost. I know those don’t sound like the best resistances to have, but they come on a Pokemon with access to Baton Pass. So take Mega Lopunny in, set up with a Substitute, then use some combination of Agility, Charge Beam, Work Up, or Double Team, then Baton Pass out to someone else. Say an Electric Pokemon in need of some extra Special Attack or a tanky Pokemon in need of Speed[2]. Or you could just High Jump Kick your opponent to death. Your choice.

Generation V – Galvantula

Aside from Jolteon and Magnezone, I really don’t use Electric Pokemon. I don’t like them. But considering there are 12 Pokemon that have Water typing and another 12 with Flying typing on champions teams, Electric Pokemon are all but a requirement[3]. So I decided I’d use an Electric type that not only isn’t cute, but isn’t particularly well liked because of its second typing. The goal here, however, is to have Sticky Web slow your opponents down, or to use Galvantula’s high speed to your advantage against slower Pokemon. Most importantly though, I needed an ugly Electric type on my team.

Generation VI – Aegislash

I get that some people hate the sentient stuff-around-your-house type Pokemon, but they’re some of my favorite ones (hence why Stephanie and I had two of them in our Pokemon theory crafting post). Aegislash has amazing typing and great stats, and with only two Dark type Pokemon on champions’ teams, Aegislash can sweep things, particularly if the right stats are passed to it. Since none of the champion Pokemon carry Taunt, Aegislash is free to use King’s Shield as much as it wants.

Generation VII – Toxapex

I really only used two Pokemon beating the Elite Four of Pokemon Moon — Chandelure and Toxapex. Toxapex is a tank. Not just an average tank, a massive, I’m going to stop you from having a team ever again tank. While Smogon prefers Toxapex carrying Regenerator from a competitive standpoint, in-game Merciless is far more useful…and fun. Baton Pass it some speed, then set up with Stockpile and Toxic. The rest of the match is just fun.

 

What would your team look like if you had to use one Pokemon from each generation in the main games? Sound off in the comments.

10 New Dual Type Pokemon for Switch

I know I’ve been doing a lot of gaming related content recently, but there’s just been something about it that has resonated with me. I’m thinking it’s a combination of my love for certain video games, as well as receiving great inspiration from gaming YouTubers. The inspiration for this post came from the video below by Poketuber TruGreen7.

In the video above, TruGreen7 takes a look at dual type Pokemon that have never existed in a core Pokemon game, then speculates on the dual types he’d like to see in Sun and Moon. Some of his wants came true, while others we’re still waiting on. In fact, there are 25 type combinations that have never existed in any Pokemon game, even after Sun and Moon.

For this exercise, not only am I taking a look at the ten new dual type Pokemon I want to see in the next Pokemon game (not counting Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon…as those seem like extensions on Sun and Moon, so far), but I’m also adding some additional color around those Pokemon. I’ve decided to give description as to a potential Pokemon that would fit that typing, its potential skills and a comparable existing Pokemon for stats. Finally, I’ve provided a potential learnset for each of the Pokemon in question using existing moves as of Gen VII.

Each of the type combos is listed below. Before you read, I want to say that I cannot understate how much my friend Stephanie helped me in the formulation of the ideas for these Pokemon. This really was a combined effort on both of our parts to come up with these ideas.

10. Poison/Steel

What is the Pokemon Based on? While Gen VII brought us our first sea urchin-like Pokemon in Mareanie, it didn’t look particularly look like an urchin. Ideally, this would be a Pokemon with two evolutionary stages, with the beginning stage based off of the sand dollar (a type of urchin) and the end stage based off of the Sputnik urchin. Its spiky exterior would lend itself to defensive moves and abilities, with the intent of being a wall-type Pokemon competitively.

Abilities? Poison Point and Poison Touch make the most sense as primary abilities. That said, I feel like a hidden ability of Steelworker would be a nice way to boost a Pokemon with limited attacking capabilities.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? A slower, slightly less bulky Toxapex, but with better typing.

Learn Set? Poison Sting (Learned at level 1), String Shot (1), Harden (5), Water Gun (9), Gyro Ball (13), Toxic Spikes (18), Iron Defense (23), Acid Spray (27), Smart Strike (32), Metal Sound (36), Swords Dance (40), Cross Poison (44), Flash Cannon (49), Hydro Pump (56)

9. Rock/Ghost

What is the Pokemon Based on? I know there’s already a Pokemon literally named Golem. But I’m still pretty sure we haven’t had a Pokemon based on the mythological golem. I get that it’s clay or mud that gets possessed by a spirit, but this specific take on the theme will use rocks that come to live via possession rather than ground/mud.

Abilities? Since the word golem has historically been used to connotate amorphous things, this Pokemon would share abilities with some notable Rock and Ghost Pokemon in the amorphous egg group. The Pokemon’s main abilities would be the Cursed Body and Levitate abilities, however it gets a hidden ability typically associated with Fighting Pokemon as its hidden ability, Steadfast, which can boost its low-speed into a respectable range.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Confagrigus, only with more balance Attack and Special Attack.

Learn Set? Lick (Learned at level 1), Harden (1), Night Shade (5), Haze (9), Rock Blast (13), Confuse Ray (17), Curse (22), Ancient Power (26), Spikes (30), Embargo (34), Shadow Ball (39), Stone Edge (44), Trick Room (49), Mean Look (53), Destiny Bond (58)

8. Fire/Ice

What is the Pokemon Based on? The white Bengal tiger. Basically the lore here is that the tiger’s two parts are composed of its two elements — the white fur made of ice and snow, with the black stripes being ash atop burning embers. When the tiger is cornered, its flames grown bright, allowing it to attack with powerful Ice and Fire…and Water…moves.

Abilities? Intimidate feels like a natural fit on this beast and its pre-evolutions, as does the Refrigerate ability to change the type of the Normal type moves it gets access to. As for a hidden ability, the Solar Power ability will pair well with this tiger’s ability to learn Sunny Day early on.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Arcanine, though with lower Speed and slightly higher Defense.

Learn Set? Tackle (Learned at level 1), Ember (1), Ice Shard (5), Water Gun (9), Sunny Day (13), Water Pulse (17), Fire Fang (24), Ice Fang (24), Take Down (29), Aurora Beam (34), Flame Charge (40), Double-Edge (44), Scald (49), Sacred Fire (55), Ice Burn (61)

7. Normal/Steel

What is the Pokemon Based on? You know that nursery rhyme, “Hey Diddle Diddle“? This is basically what would happen if the end of that nursery rhyme came to life. Stage one of this Pokemon’s life would be a sentient plate that is Normal type only — think one of the members of the enchanted tea set from Beauty and the Beast. But when it evolves, the dish adds its spoon buddy, along with its Steel typing.

Also, both this Pokemon and the next one might be a bit odd. But go with me here.

Abilities? Having a Pokemon that’s part fine china screams the Weak Armor ability, though old dishes have a habit of not breaking, so its second ability will be Sturdy. That said, I really like having a Pokemon with a spoon as part of its design having the Pickup ability as its hidden ability. Because spoons are superior to forks.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Togedemaru. It’s a cute Pokemon, but not a great one, even with an evolution.

Learn Set? Rapid Spin (Learned at level 1), Sing (1), Hex (5), Scald (9), Metal Sound (13), Protect (17), Mirror Shot (22), Baton Pass (26), Metal Burst (29), Echoed Voice (33), Taunt (37), Metronome (42), Iron Defense (46), Flash Cannon (50)

6. Normal/Poison

What is the Pokemon Based on? What if a can of pop (soda/soda pop) came to life? Yeah. That’s the plan here. I know pop isn’t good for me, but I love it. Still though, that much sugar over time isn’t good, hence the Normal/Poison typing.

Abilities? Oddly enough, the two main abilities for this single-stage Pokemon are beneficial despite this Pokemon’s corrosive nature. Sweet Veil benefits your teammates, while Sap Sipper raises our Pokemon’s attack when hit by Grass types. That said, what would the first Normal/Poison typing be without a hidden ability of Corrosion to go along side it?

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Male Salandit. Not every Pokemon can be a star.

Learn Set? Sweet Scent (Learned at level 1), Tackle (1), Defense Curl (5), Toxic (9), Acid Spray (13), Rollout (18), Facade (22), Venom Drench (26), Gyro Ball (30), Nasty Plot (33), Sludge Wave (37), Natural Gift (42), Explosion (48)

5. Bug/Dark

What is the Pokemon Based on? Back to animal/plant/mythical based Pokemon. Did you realize we’ve yet to have a Pokemon based off of the black widow spider? It’s true. And what better way to introduce one of the world’s deadliest spiders to the Pokemon world than through a new typing.

Abilities? A spider with Pressure might not make sense at first, but find a black widow in your house and see how you feel. We’re also going to give this spider the Moxie ability, as its reputation for knocking out things bigger than it precedes it. Finally, the Justified hidden ability makes this spider a nightmare for other Dark types to face.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Scizor-level attack, but with Leavanny-level stats otherwise.

Learn Set? Poison Sting (Learned at level 1), Sticky Web (1), Bug Bite (6), Swagger (11), Fury Cutter (17), Bite (22), Sleep Powder (26), Poison Powder (26), U-Turn (31), Crunch (37), Poison Fang (41), Bug Buzz (48), Lunge (52), Parting Shot (55), Hyper Beam (61)

4. Fighting/Fairy

What is the Pokemon Based on? I’m not saying that there needs to be a Fairly Odd Parents crossover just so Jorgen Von Strangle can become a Fighting/Fairy dual type…but it wouldn’t be terrible. The point remains though. Have a fairy, like a wood nymph, make it super buff and muscular, then throw a tutu on it.

Abilities? When you’re a fighter, your ability to take a hit matters. As such, this Pokemon gets two abilities that’ll help it take a hit that would more severely harm others: Inner Focus and Guts. As for a hidden ability, we’re going to fight some darkness with this Pokemon, so it also gets the Justified ability.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Poliwrath, but with significantly better Attack.

Learn Set? Tackle (Learned at level 1), Leer (1), Detect (5), Power-Up Punch (9), Sweet Kiss (13), Payback (18), Rolling Kick (22), Draining Kiss (26), Submission (31), Work Up (36), Reversal (40), Substitute (44), Play Rough (49), Close Combat (55)

3. Poison/Psychic

What is the Pokemon Based on? I find the idea of a bayou muskrat that wears a gris-gris around its neck to be a good fit here. Although muskrats themselves aren’t poisonous, the luck brought to the Pokemon by the gris-gris would allow for it to use its psychic and poison powers both for healing and for defense.

Abilities? As this Pokemon carries a gris-gris around, the Super Luck ability makes for a natural ability here. That said, the main abilities would be divided by gender, with males getting the aforementioned Super Luck, while females get Queenly Majesty due to the importance placed on voodoo queens in Louisana voodoo. Both genders share the same hidden ability, the ever useful Psychic Surge.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? Sigliyph, but faster and with more Special Attack. Not that Sigliyph would need either of those.

Learn Set? Teleport (Learned at level 1), Hypnosis (1), Smog (5), Quick Attack (9), Acid (13), Vacuum Wave (18), Calm Mind (21), Poison Fang (25), Mirror Coat (29), Focus Blast (34), Heal Pulse (39), Psychic (43), Cross Poison (48), Purify (53), Future Sight (59)

2. Ground/Fairy

What is the Pokemon Based on? It’s a tumbleweed. A single stage tumbleweed Pokemon.

Abilities? Tumbleweeds love blowing around the desert, so the Sand Rush ability is a given. With the tumbleweed itself being a spore-bearing plant, Effect Spore makes for a logical second ability. As for a hidden ability, tumbleweeds just tumble. They do their own thing. Thus, we give this Pokemon Own Tempo as a hidden ability.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? I’m thinking Whiscash, but with a bit lower HP.

Learn Set? Rapid Spin (Learned at level 1), Defense Curl (1), Constrict (5), Fairy Wind (9), Spikes (14), Spore (18), Rototiller (22), Rollout (26), Bulldoze (30), Shadow Ball (35), Lock-On (39), Shore Up (43), Earth Power (47), Dazzling Gleam (52), Fissure (56)

1. Fire/Fairy

What is the Pokemon Based on? The lionhead rabbit (I’ve been told the rabbit in that picture is named Coal). Only instead of the fluff you see around his neck, its flames. This is either a two or three stage Pokemon that has the flames become more pronounced as it evolves.

Abilities? How in the world wouldn’t you snuggle this thing? Clearly one of its two abilities has to be Cute Charm. Furthermore, I envision this being a fast Pokemon, with it only being further boosted by its Quick Feet ability when a status is inflicted. Finally, this bunny’s massive amount of fluff allows for it to have the Overcoat hidden ability, protecting it from weather.

Comparable Existing Pokemon? By its end stage, I’m thinking a faster Blaziken, with maybe a little less HP.

Learn Set? Ember (Learned at level 1), Baby-Doll Eyes (1), Quick Attack (7), Double Kick (11), Flame Charge (16), Double Team (21), Dig (25), Nuzzle (31), Play Rough (35), Work Up (39), Flamethrower (44), Slash (48), Moonlight (53), Blast Burn (59), Moonblast (65)

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?

5 Ways to Revitalize the Pokemon Go Gym Scene

Edit: Niantic announced massive changes to gyms this morning following the posting of this article. I’m going to keep the article up for sake of discussion of both the ideas here as well as discussion of Niantic’s announced changes.

Though the initial frenzy of popularity that came with the release of Pokemon Go is gone, the game still has a dedicated core base of players. This group ranges from the hyperactive players who spend money on the game to the player who picks the game up once per day for their bonuses, to somewhere in between. As someone who falls solidly into that group of casual, but still somewhat serious players, I couldn’t have been more excited than when I saw that Pokemon Go would be closing its gyms on June 19th (today, as this post is releasing) for “remodeling”.

What will be entailed in the remodeling is up for debate. Data miners on various sites had found code in the game suggesting limits to a specific Pokemon in a gym, however that find has not (yet) amounted to anything. I’ve seen suggestions from various people online with ideas from putting limits on gyms one trainer can be in to changes to the way CP[1] is calculated. That’s to say nothing of the prevalence of spoofers[2] and gym shavers[3] in the game.

I wanted to present a few different ideas that I think could be improvements to the current gym system as it exist. While the problems with the gym system are by no means Pokemon Go’s biggest problem, they do seem to be the most significant problem Niantic is willing to address.

Idea 1 – One Pokemon Per Evolution Line Limit

Let’s lead off by addressing the alleged fix to gyms that was found in code (briefly) a few months back. The current Pokemon Go gym scene features seven Pokemon pretty much everywhere — Blissey, Snorlax, Gyarados, Dragonite, Vaporeon, Rhydon, and Tyranitar. These Pokemon are the seven highest CP Pokemon currently available in the game[4], with two of the Pokemon — Blissey and Snorlax — benefiting from a relative dearth of strong counters to their presence. A solo player, particularly a casual one, has little hope of taking down a high level (6-10) gym is there are more than two Blissey and/or Snorlax present.

One potential solution for this is to set a limit to one Pokemon per evolution line in a single gym. This plus side to this is that players would stop seeing gyms with 4-5 Blisseys in them on a regular basis[5], potentially promoting greater turnover in gyms. On the down side, this likely also means that players would still see 6 of the 7 highest CP Pokemon[6] in a gym on a regular basis. Now those last four spots would be filled with some combination of Donphan, Heracross, Golem, Lapras, and Exeggutor — or pretty much what is seen as occasional filler now.

Idea 2 – Encourage Themed (Mono-Type) Gyms

In every generation of Pokemon until Pokemon Sun/Moon[7], one of the main story lines of the game was to defeat all of the gym leaders in the game’s region before going on to face the Elite Four. If you haven’t played the main games of the series, more about that premise is in my theorycrafting post here.

One of the notable things that was true of all gym leaders/trial captains in the mainline games was that those leaders featured teams that had Pokemon all of a specific element. Whether you were facing Sabrina’s psychic types in Red and Blue, Maylene’s fighting types in Diamond and Pearl, or Valerie’s fairy types in X and Y, you generally knew what you were getting yourself into before you went into a gym[8]. One possible way to improve gym play would be to have gyms rotate what type of defenders are allowed to be in them. For example, let’s say that a specific gym was a water type gym. All three teams could attack that gym with whatever Pokemon they wanted to in order to take over the gym. However, when placing defenders in the gym, they would be restricted to Pokemon with a main or secondary typing of water.

At the end of that seven days, the gym changes to a new typing for defenders. There’s two ways to do this. One would be to kick out all defenders and to set the new typing at random. The second would be to set the new typing based off of the most prevalent secondary type in the gym, then kick out any Pokemon who don’t fit that typing. I’d prefer the former personally, but would be okay with either.

Idea 3 – Randomize Kickout Order

My third idea for improving the gym scene in Pokemon Go is also the one that is now probably the least likely to occur, as it would have been the easiest to implement under the old system. Under the previous gym system, when a team was attacking a gym, defending Pokemon were kicked out in order from weakest to strongest. While this was a great idea in theory, all it ultimately did was to lead to the gym shaving issue I brought up earlier.

If whatever revamp is being done to the gyms is not a major change, I would encourage Niantic to have some level of randomization to the order that Pokemon get kicked out of gyms.While there don’t seem to be a ton of spoofers and gyms shavers where I play, the few I do see are very noticeable, as you’ll find the same group of people in the same gyms after they’re done (typically in the same order with the same Pokemon). Battling a gym down with your alternate account to get your main account in a gym? Have fun with the roulette wheel that could knock one of your friends out in the process.

Idea 4 – Set Tier Limits in Gyms

The main series Pokemon games have a robust competitive gaming scene, thanks in part to competitive battle forums like Smogon and larger world tournaments that occur. These tournaments generally have some sort of tiered system that sets limitations as to what Pokemon, moves, and items can be used within a battle. Aside from the fact that items cannot be used in battle and that legendaries are not in the game currently, Pokemon Go does not feature such limitations.

Why not implement them? Sites like GamePress already do tier lists for top defenders and attackers. Why not have Niantic implement these limitations into gyms? Similar to the mono-type gym idea from earlier in the post, gyms could have rotating tiers on a weekly basis. One week, meta Pokemon like Blissey and Snorlax could be put in the gym with no limitations. The next week, the gym would switch to underused Pokemon, limiting your choices to Pokemon like Raichu and Butterfree. The next week, the gym could be a Little Cup format, filling the gym with Vulpix and Staryu. Different gyms in the same area could have different tiers running at the same time to further enhance play.

Idea 5 – Add in the Special Attack and Special Defense Stats

I get the purpose to the CP number. It’s meant to be a simplified calculation to help people who have never picked up Pokemon before to get acclimated to how the game works while still playing Pokemon Go. But CP makes strong Pokemon weak while making otherwise average Pokemon amazing. Remember Blissey? In the main games, it has the same base stat total as Kingdra. In Pokemon Go, Kingdra’s CP is approximately 3/4 of Blissey’s.

Is that to say Kingdra is a better Pokemon than Blissey? Not really. Objectively it’s not. But by combining Special Attack and Attack into a single attack stat, as well as doing the same with defense, Niantic has put Pokemon with widely skewed stats such as Blissey in a position to be light years better than those with more balanced stats like Kingdra.

The solution? Add in Special Attack and Defense. Blissey remains a wall against psychic/water/fire/other heavy special attackers, but becomes extra frail against strong physical attackers like Machamp (who it already has a weakness to) and Kingler. Meanwhile, Kingdra goes from being an afterthought to being a semi-viable attacker, particularly with STAB[9].

 

I’d like to hear from those of you out there who still play Pokemon Go. How would you improve the gym scene? Is there a particular idea on the list above you love or hate? Sound off in the comments.