#006 Charizard

Charizard isn’t having any of this.

And we’ve reached the end of the Charmander line, and what is among the most overrated Pokemon of all time. I’ll try to keep the bile back though, and review this as unbiased as I possibly can.

So, what is there to say about Charizard? He comes out of nowhere, for starters. You see Charmander, and your mind is swimming with possibilities about where this line can go next. You see Charmeleon, and can start to see where he’s gonna go. Some big, bright red bruiser. He’ll be thick, and muscular, and will punch his way through enemies!

And then you get Charizard. For a lot of people, it was better than they could have possibly imagined. The dopey looking Charmeleon (In Gen1 remember, this is before we had quality sprites for ideas on how everyone looked) becomes this beautiful beast. He loses the darker red and returns to the orange. The lighter belly is still there and hasn’t stopped running down to the still-flaming tail. That’s just about the only thing that’s stayed consistent, though.

Two big wings have sprouted forth from Charizard’s back, and the single head-spike of Charmeleon has become two. He’s gained a new subtype in Flying, giving him a useful immunity to ground, though it gains a weakness to Electric, while Rock is even more deadly than it was before. Still, the entire world loves to eat up Charizard. Ash was given one in the anime, and it was constantly made out to be amazing, and cool by being rebellious. It’s constantly given new moves as they become available, and Pokemon X/Y even gave it TWO mega evolutions.

I’m not a fan of Charizard though. First things first. What in the world is up with his design? Where did those wings come from? Where did Charmeleon’s brighter red skin go? What on earth is up with his body? His proportions are all kinds of terrible! Take another look at Charizard up there. His body is literally a circle with 2 squat legs and thin noodly arms + a long, thin, noodle-like neck. He looked cool as a kid because he was a dragon, but if you really look at him he just looks all kinds of silly. I’m pretty sure his arms are smaller than Charmeleon’s too.


Did you know that if you EV train a Charizard’s defenses, it’ll take less damage from Stealth Rock?

What? No, Serebii is lying, not me.

What? No! Serebii is lying.

That’s not true? Well, did you know that Charizard has higher attack stats than Blaziken?

Who are you going to believe? Me, or the facts?

Who are you going to believe? Me? Or the facts?

That’s not true either? Huh. Well, I looked around and couldn’t find much good info to share here. I considered bringing up that the flame on Charizard’s tail is hardcore as he was seen diving underwater in Pokemon Origins without it going out. That’s something, I guess.

Just for fun, have a "Charizard fans get upset at a video" collage. This video.

Just for fun, have a “Charizard fans get upset at a video” collage. This video.




Pictured: Rocks.

Losing half HP on switch in?

Above: Rocks

78/78/85 defenses?



Okay okay. Charizard’s got some good speed, but low attacking stats. It’s clearly more meant to go physical, seeing as it has access to multiple Attack boosting moves, and none to boost its much higher Special attack stat. You can opt for a Dragon Dance set, but don’t expect Charizard to be working many miracles with its 82 Attack stat. To maximize efficiency on the special side you’ll certainly want Sun up, and to spam Fire moves with Choice Specs for STAB + a Solar Power boost if you’re using the Hidden Ability, which you should. Defog or Rapid Spin support is a must, as my wall of unfunny images has made clear.

Other than that, Charizard’s just not too notable offensively. His defenses aren’t as good as they could be, and if you lightly tap him with a Rock type move he’ll explode in a bloody fashion. And yes, I’m aware that there’s plenty of Pokemon who are successful despite their 4x Weaknesses to a type, but Charizard is not one of them. His stats aren’t specialized enough to be amazing, and that’s just sad.


Charizard looks cool if you’ve never seen a dragon. Otherwise his weight and ridiculously proportioned upper body won’t be impressing anyone.

How is this where Charmeleon went? Was there an alternate evolution that was scrapped so a generic dragon became the new evo? As a fire-breathing dragon though, he looks fine.

Charizard only excels in the storyline, which is made easy enough for single-digit age children to beat. Against real people you will be mocked for using Charizard.

Maybe one day I’ll be viciously insulted for saying Charizard is bad.

OVERALL: 2.3/5

Charizard is not pleased with this outcome.


#005 Charmeleon

Spent a little too much time out in the sun?

That’s exactly what I meant. I knew Charmander needed something on the old noggin to look a little less silly, and a nice Parasaurolophus-esque backwards spike is perfect. Other than that, Charmeleon is just a Charmander with redder skin, longer arms, and an angry scowl.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Sort of. Charmeleon suffers from the same problem that Ivysaur does. The changes between both of them and their first stage is minimal at best. Both get a slight color change, very few new aspects to their design (Longer arms + a head spike), and a mildly perturbed expression. These wouldn’t be so bad if all Pokemon evolutions were like this, but the third Kanto starter had a greatly different middle-evolution, making Charmeleon and Ivysaur just look lazy.

The name is weird too. While technically a real salamander has nothing to do with fire, the fantasy version does, making Charmander a great name. Charmeleon, on the other hand, is literally one letter off of Chameleon, a lizard that has nothing to do with fire. It doesn’t work the other way either, as Charmeleon has nothing in common with chameleons.

Maybe the shiny is a reference to Chamillionaire’s gold teeth? No. That’s too crazy. Even for me.

All in all Charmeleon’s a disappointment. While he fixes my one issue with Charmander, his refusal to innovate even a little has made him unnecessary. He’s too close to Charmander and not close enough to his final evolution. I almost feel bad for him. All of the love for his evolutionary line is focused towards Charmander and Charizard, while he’s left in the dust with no one to love him.

Then I stop feeling bad for him because he evolves into Charizard and gets far more love than he should. But let’s save that for tomorrow.


God. This section again. It’s not that I don’t like looking up something interesting about each Pokemon, it’s just that this is going to be the fourth time in only five Pokemon that my interesting observation is because of the original Gen1 sprites. Oh well, here goes nothing.

As you can see, in the original sprites for Charmeleon, the horn spike was actually colored differently from its body. This could be attributed to poorly made sprites, or an old design that was retconned out of existence (Though again, the original Sugimori art doesn’t have this detail). I don’t know myself, but I do find it interesting that it’s there both when you play Pokemon in color and in monochrome. Unlike Charmander’s back spikes, this is something I’m glad was never continued. I like Charmeleon just having a weirdly shaped head, as opposed to some sort of disgusting enamel horn sticking out the back of his head or something.


You don’t.

GOD FINE. You can, but you won’t like it. After evolving from a Charmander, Charmeleon is now definitely leaning towards the Special side of things, as opposed to the Physical. Charmander’s saving grace, Dragon Dance, is therefore rather useless against the new opponents that a Charmeleon has to contend with. Unlike Ivysaur, Charmeleon has no useful immunities, and is vulnerable to all forms of entry hazard, including the dreaded Stealth Rock. Charmeleon has absolutely nothing going for it. His low defenses mean you won’t be getting much out of him even with an Eviolite equipped.

I find it funny that Charmeleon is pretty useless in battle though. All of the Pokedex entries state that it’s vicious, and will mercilessly attack enemies. Cause all the other Pokemon are deathly afraid of those 64/80 attack stats Charmeleon is packing. And there’s no way they could dent his paltry 58/58/65 defenses either!

If you MUST use Charmeleon in battle, you could try for a Belly Drum set, and pray that your opponent accidentally selects the wrong attack so they don’t kill you on the turn you Belly Drum. Then you’ll have to pray they continue doing it, or don’t have any Pokemon with a speed stat higher than 80. If you wanna go a special route, don’t. But if you must for whatever reason, throwing some Choice Specs onto it and maybe Baton Passing a Speed Boost or two can help it out. Or you can Baton Pass those Speed Boosts onto almost anything else. I’m sure they’ll make better use of it.


Charmeleon is the true definition of a Pokemon teenager. Angry at the world, but still ineffective at anything.

Charmander’s arms are longer, and he got a spike on the back of his head. Also he got a wicked sunburn from all that exposure to fire, and he’s pissed about it. This would be fine if Charmeleon was a first stage, and we got a new, better mid-evo for that line.

I feel like I wasn’t sarcastic enough in my battle section. Charmeleon is terrible at battle. With no access to Sp. Atk boosting moves, he can’t do much with his one almost-good attack stat. A poor defensive typing + low defensive stats means the mystical Eviolite can’t save it from mediocrity either.


OVERALL: 2.3/5

Even his animation is underwhelming.

#004 Charmander

Our first fire type is ready to go!

Here we go. The Charmander line. Now let me first start by saying that no, I don’t hate Charmander, or its evolutions. It’s the ridiculous amount of love and favoritism that it gets by everyone else (Including GameFreak) that annoys me. Kids who think that any of the other first generation starters paled in comparison to Charmander, are an awfully big, and vocal part of this community, after all.

I like the name though. Charmander. Char + Salamander. Fantasy salamanders are born out of fires and such, while char is just a good all around word for stuff that’s been on fire. It makes sense, and most importantly, Charmander is a fire type. Had Charmander not been a fire type, all these references to fire would’ve been a little ridiculous.

But let’s forget about all that for now. Taking Charmander in for what it is, there’s very little wrong with the design. A cute lizard standing on its hind legs, some claws, and a bright burning flame on the end of its tail. His belly’s a lighter color, and that travels all the way down to the tip of the tail, and his mouth has only a few, sharp teeth. One thing that I’ve never liked about Charmander though is his head. It’s too smooth, and flat, making it look almost like an aging bald gentleman. I feel like there should be a crest up there. Maybe some spikes. Or maybe another flame.



I’m not sure whether it was a mistake, or a retcon on Charmander’s design, but he originally had a line of spikes going down his back. Again, like Ivysaur standing on its hind legs, this was only visible on his Generation 1 sprites from behind.

The thing is, this wasn’t visible on his original art, or in the Pokemon manga at the time. This leads me to believe it’s only a mistake in the sprites. People who’ve played the original games can confirm just how bad EVERY Pokemon looked when viewed from behind. Maybe some artist just got a bad memo, or maybe it really was a design aspect that was later removed.


Again, don’t use Charmander in regular circumstances. You should be using first stage Pokemon in a Little Cup-like setting only.

Anyway, Charmander’s not that great even in Little Cup, and would be wholly unremarkable if not for the fact that it got Dragon Dance. Being the only first stage fire Pokemon to get the move, it’s able to carve itself a nice little niche that no other fire type can fill. This does limit it to Physical moves to be effective, but thanks to the amazing power of elemental punches (Particularly Thunder Punch, so Water types are less scary) it can be a pretty decent attacker. Other good options include Crunch, Brick Break, Dragon Claw (Because otherwise Dragons will eat you for lunch), and Rock Slide. Throw a Life Orb on top, and Charmander will probably kill itself rather quickly, but is almost guaranteed to bring down a Pokemon or two before it does.


That head is just screaming for something extra, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe if all Charmanders were required to wear hats it’d get the 5/5.

Rather generic, but it all makes sense. The flame tail is a nice touch, and it being an indicator of Charmander’s overall health is a great idea that totally works.

Dragon Dance is the only thing keeping Charmander from a horrible 1/5. It’s a great boosting move, and a pretty nice physical move pool certainly helps that.

This is a joke because Charmander’s Hidden Ability is Solar Power. The more you know~

OVERALL: 3.3/5
You’ll learn to fly one day Charmander.

#003 Venusaur

You've, uh, put on some weight there

You’ve, uh, put on some weight there

Our little Bulbasaur’s all grown up! I’d be proud if he wasn’t so… erm.

So this is what the cute little plant dinosaur becomes when it’s fully evolved. His sick tattoos are gone and replaced with horrifying hives. The ears are now fully formed, and resemble a cats, which seemed to be a bit of a trend during Generation 1. The plant on its back has been revealed to be a rafflesia-alike, and Venusaur’s grown fat and stout to be able to support its presumably massive weight.

Also his name is Venusaur now. Bulbasaur I can get behind, because the seed on its back is very bulb-like. Ivysaur is a bit iffy, since Ivy is more of a vine, but maybe the leaves can be interpreted for a mass of vines, or something. Venusaur, on the other hand, is nothing. What’s a Venu? No, Scientology is Xenu, not Venu. The obvious reference is towards a Venus fly trap, which Venusaur in absolutely no way resembles (And we wouldn’t get a Pokemon based on that until Generation 4)

Really though, Venusaur’s always been a bit of a mixed bag. Pretend for a moment like you’re its parents, and this is what your promising child grew up into. While you may be disappointed, every cloud has a silver lining, even if it’s one I made up. I like to imagine Venusaur as the Pokemon equivalent of a power lifter. He looks fat, but is so physically powerful you’d be looking to get your arms ripped off if you ever pissed one off.

Just ignore its disappointing 82 Attack stat if you’re gonna think like that.


Venusaur probably has some terrible allergies, and the fact that it’s got a giant plant attached to its back is only making things worse. What makes me think this? Just take a look at Venusaur during his Pokemon Stadium animations.

Are you okay man? You don’t look so good.

Its eyes get completely bloodshot, and veiny every time it attacks. It’s horrifying, but it really makes you feel bad for the tragic character that is Venusaur. He didn’t ask to be born with the giant, heavy plant on his back, and now you’re forcing him to fight. Being exposed to all those leaves, vines, and spores can’t be good for you. Maybe that’s why his green spots have disappeared and were replaced with warts. Or maybe that’s because he was a toad all along.


Ah, finally, a fully evolved Pokemon. Now first I’d like to note that this is not for MEGA Venusaur. I will be reviewing Mega Pokemon much later, so for now this will only apply to regular Venusaur.

Anyway, Venusaur’s got a base stat total of 525, and some pretty solid defenses at 80/83/100. You could try for a set similar to Ivysaur, with a focus on maximizing bulk, holding Black Sludge for passive HP recovery, and siphoning off enemy HP thanks to a combination of Leech Seed, Giga Drain, and possibly even Ingrain if you’re feeling ballsy. This can be effective, but it is far from Venusaur’s best niche.

See, Generation 5 of Pokemon introduced this thing called Hidden Abilities. What is Venusaur’s Hidden Ability? Chlorophyll. When the sun is out, Venusaur’s speed DOUBLES. This allows it to outspeed pretty much the entire unboosted game. Sun, of course has the added bonus of making Growth twice as effective, meaning after a single turn of setup you have a Venusaur with +2 Speed and +2 to both Attack stats. Slap a Life Orb on Venusaur and it can shred through an unprepared team in an instant. For survivability you’ll want Giga Drain to be your STAB of choice. For straight up damage, you can swap out for the much more powerful Solarbeam, and make even shorter work of your opponents.

Of course, Generation 6 has weakened the weather abilities, meaning that this strategy is not as incredible as it once was. It can still be worked, but keep in mind that Venusaur will stop being a speed demon once the Sun wears off, and a measly base 80 Speed means it’s going to be outrun by just about everything after that.


Look at this guy. He’s menacing, but ugly. I can assure you that there are ways to pull off menacing without being ugly, but it kinda works. He’s not going to be winning any beauty contests anytime soon, but colors all work well together.

As ugly as he is, this seems completely natural given the rather dark turn this line took. The weight of the plant on its back made what could have been a taller, more horse-like Pokemon into a squat, toad-like Pokemon.

Venusaur can be a horrifying threat in battle, but a Prankster’s Thunder Wave will stop it in an instant. Then there’s his dependance on the Sun for his best set, and the big nerf that weather as a whole suffered in Generation 6.

Look at that gif. Venusaur dances like my grandparents after they’ve had a bit too much to drink.


Female Venusaur has a seed on top of the flower!

#002 Ivysaur

Bulbasaur's lookin' a little blue

Bulbasaur’s lookin’ a little blue

Ivysaur is Bulbasaur with a slightly different color scheme, some leaves, and furrowed brows.



Okay, no. There isn’t much to say about Ivysaur that is specific to Ivysaur itself really. Its ears got a little sharper, and they now stick out more from the top of his head. His big, red eyes are squinting now, showing that this little guy is tired of being cute. The bulb on his back absorbed a lot of the green pigment from his skin, changing it to a pleasant blue. Leaves have sprouted from the giant seed, and it’s changed colors to look more like a flower now.

I’ve always felt kinda bad for Ivysaur. As the Pokemon equivalent of a teenager, it doesn’t have much to look forward to from fans. It’s not as cutesy as it once was, and it’s not a powerhouse like it will eventually become. It’s an awkward time for teens, both human and Pokemon, but Ivysaur has it worse than most. Saddled with a giant plant that weighs it down, the poor little guy is forced to grow powerful, sturdy legs, or die a horrible death, crushed beneath it. Tonight, while you’re getting drunk, try and remember the plight of our poor Ivysaur brethren.

Keeping up the amazing trend started with Bulbasaur, Ivysaur has some equally great names in other languages. In French, it’s Herbizarre, which I think I like just as much as I do Bulbizarre. Mandarin Chinese, as usual, has the best name with 妙蛙草, which, again, according to Google translate, is “Wonderful Frog Grass”. It’s still not much of a dinosaur, contrary to its English name, and it’s still got those weird green spots all over its body. I don’t know why they’re there, and my issues with them will be expanded on next time.


Ivysaur being forced to grow strong, sturdy legs or die a horrible death isn’t something I just made up. Early, more morbid Pokedex entries stated that an Ivysaur lost the ability to stand on its hind legs for this reason, before they were changed to the much more pleasant, “It smells sweet and after the plant on its back has grown enough it’ll evolve.” entries.

I feel like they added this bit to Ivysaur’s Pokedex entry before realizing that they’d drawn Bulbasaur standing on all fours. So, in a rush to legitimize what they’d written, Ivysaur’s sprite in Pokemon Red / Blue was drawn standing up, instead of Bulbasaur’s for whatever reason.  They never went back to this design, so once and only once in Pokemon history do we get a sprite of Ivysaur standing on its hind legs, something it shouldn’t even be able to do



Because it’s not fully evolved, Ivysaur won’t be hitting anything like a freight train anytime soon. Luckily, because Ivysaur is still not a fully evolved Pokemon, it can pull some hilarious shenanigans off thanks to the magical mystical power of Eviolite. Pump up its HP and defenses for a not-too shabby wall that is immune to Toxic, Leech Seed, and all Powder moves.  Thanks to its dual typing with Poison, Ivysaur can hit an enemy with Toxic 100% of the time as long as it’s not a Steel or Poison type, and Protect stall thanks to the power of Leech Seed offering some kind of recovery.

Unfortunately, the grass type isn’t the best defensively, so anything that packs Super Effective moves can still likely take out a fully roided up Eviolite Ivysaur with relative ease, but that’s why most people don’t play with mid-evolutions. It can work, but it’s far from Bulletproof (You’d need a Chesnaught for that HI-OHHHHHHH POKEPUNS). Pair up your defensive Ivysaur with something that doesn’t mind taking all those horrible Flying, Fire, and Psychic type moves, for a possibly good core.


Gone is Bulbasaur’s cuteness, and replaced with a serious, determined face. Unfortunately, it still just looks like a mildly perturbed Bulbasaur. It’s a little too similar, is what I’m saying.

In terms of design, this makes perfect sense. The giant seed is sprouting, forcing Ivysaur to be more grounded, and grow stronger as a result. Giant leaves and a color change for the seed are good indicators of this at a quick glance.

Like most teenage Pokemon, Ivysaur can’t do much in a battle, but with some good support it may be able to do surprise you. Unfortunately its reliance on the ever-popular Eviolite forces it into some very specific niches.

I really don’t hate Ivysaur, but it’s definitely a bit too close to Bulbasaur, and not close enough to Venusaur.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Does the plant look like an open mouth to anyone else?

#001 Bulbasaur

Look at that smug grin. He knows he's #1

Look at that smile. He knows who’s #1

Let’s get right into it. As far as quadrupedal dinosaur-plant mutants go, Bulbasaur is pretty cute. Its name cuts right to the chase, letting you know he’s a dinoSAUR, with some bulbs mixed in. With giant, red, expressive eyes, and an open-mouthed grin, it’s hard to resist this wily grass-type’s charms. All these years later, I’m still not sure what the deal is with those darker green spots seemingly placed at random all over its body, but I’m sure they serve some kind of purpose. Maybe they’re just sick tattoos that it uses to attract mates. Is Bulbasaur even old enough to breed? Maybe I’m thinking too much.

Anyway, Bulbasaur debuted in the first generation of Pokemon many many years ago, but that doesn’t mean its earned any special favor with Nintendo and GameFreak. Bulbasaur and its family were actually banned from being traded on Pokemon Black/White’s GTS unless they were nicknamed to something less offensive beforehand. In addition to that, Bulbasaur isn’t even very much of a dinosaur, contrary to what its name suggests. No, it more closely resembles some kinda dumb toad, and not a majestic, beautiful reptile.

Speaking of names, Bulbasaur’s name in France is Bulbizarre, which I absolutely love. And his Mandarin Chinese name, 妙蛙種子 is something along the lines of “Wonderful Frog Seed” if the wizards at Google Translate are to be believed.


The bulb that makes Bulbasaur a Bulbasaur and not just a cute wannabe-dinosaur is actually a giant seed. Bulbasaur collects nutrients from it in order to grow big and strong. This is stated by Bulbasaur’s Pokedex entries throughout the series.

EXCEPT in Pokemon Stadium. In Pokemon Stadium, Bulbasaur’s entry states that the bulb is actually a pouch full of seeds. A small difference, but that would explain why Bulbasaur can learn Bullet Seed, and, erm, well, not much more.


Back in first gen being a Grass / Poison type was a curse, as it just meant you were fodder for the horrifying power Psychic types wielded. Times have changed, though. Psychics are now only a shadow of their former selves, and being dual typed Grass and Poison is actually decent these days, and gives a ton of great immunities and advantages.

Of course, because Bulbasaur is a completely unevolved Pokemon, it’s outclassed in normal battling conditions. If you insist on using one anyway, slap some eviolite onto it, pump up its defenses, and pray for the best. Alternatively, you can play the Little Cup tier that Pokemon Stadium 1 introduced, and make use of Bulbasaur as a revenge killer. He may not learn many moves, but Sludge Bomb + Leaf Storm are all this little guy needs to do some serious damage to its fellow babies. Sleep Powder will keep your opponents confined to their tiny, adorable cribs, so you can viciously murder them without consequence.


Bulbasaur is cute, there’s no denying that. The over sized bulb and wide smile make it difficult to not look at this Pokemon and love it.

It’s called BulbaSAUR. I see the Bulb, but this is clearly more amphibian than reptile, much less dinosaur. It gets a 3 only because no other languages implied it was a dinosaur.

It may have sounded all well and good, but Bulbasaur is somewhat unremarkable in battle, even among other first-stage Pokemon. It’s gotta evolve before it really starts to shine.

Bulbasaur isn’t a very good dinosaur. This doesn’t change when it evolves. Not even a little.

OVERALL: 3.3/5
Just pretend like you didn't see my bulb detach when I jumped
He’s just happy to be included



The goal of this blog!

Welcome to my little bloggy thing. What am I trying to do with it? Simple.

Review. Every. Pokemon.

Not the games, no. There’s plenty of other outlets that have taken care of that for you. What I want to do is review every single individual Pokemon. Based on appearances, abilities, and all other aspects of it. Maybe I’ll make a couple of jokes along the way, and offer some helpful advice from a battling aspect. I’m far from a master, but I know my way around a Pokemon battle.

Every Pokemon will be rated, and given a score based on how good I feel it is in one or more categories! As of this writing I’m not sure if I’ll do them all in order, or skip around and point to the Search bar to easily find a specific review I may have done.

If you agree with me, then by all means go ahead and comment saying so. If you don’t, well, you’re wrong, but you can comment anyway.