#031 Nidoqueen

The first blatantly female Pokemon!

The first blatantly female Pokemon!

And finally we’re at the final evolutions to this line, and it’s a bit of a disappointment. At least it is to me.

Nidoqueen finally decides to try standing up on her hind legs. She’s still got those big round ears, her mouth is HUGE now, and she’s got a huge tail. Since they really need to get across that she’s female, they went ahead and colored her chest bumps differently so you can really tell that they’re breasts.

She's also an exhibitionist, and isn't afraid to flaunt the goods.

She’s also an exhibitionist, and isn’t afraid to flaunt the goods.

I’ve been pro female Nidoran all this time, but I just don’t like Nidoqueen as much as her male counterpart. She’s lost all that former cuteness, but what she’s replaced it with is just kinda awkward. She looks like a rejected kaiju, and, well, I don’t know. It’s really hard to put my finger on.

Maybe if she looked more like that weird baby Nidoqueen in Mewtwo Returns.

Maybe if she looked more like that weird baby Nidoqueen in Mewtwo Returns she’d be better?

One thing I can say for certain though, I hate that they didn’t keep up the shiny trend. Shiny Nidoqueen is puke green, instead of purple like its two pre-evos. Let’s all fondly try and imagine what a purple Nidoqueen would look like instead of this…

DID YOU KNOW?

That Nidoqueen can’t breed? Nidorina can’t either. Why? I don’t know. I looked around a lot to see if there was any definitive reason out there, but couldn’t find one. There’s a lot of fan theories out there, usually saying that Nidorina and Nidoqueen are in menopause.

HURRRRR SO FUNNY

HURRRRR SO FUNNY

But it seems like no one knows for certain. I have a theory myself, but I could be completely wrong here, so please don’t take it as fact. Basically, Generation 2 introduced breeding. Since it was all kinda slapdash and barely put together at the time, my assumption is that there was some kind of glitch in the game related to the Nidorina and Nidoqueen breeding. Since Nidorina and Nidoqueen are evolved forms of Nidoran, which can be Male or Female, the game had a problem with a Pokemon laying an egg that didn’t contain its earliest form specifically. A male Nidoran could never evolve into Nidoqueen, so this created some issues if Nidoran bred with anything that wasn’t a Ditto.

Of course, Nidoking can breed, but it doesn’t really have to worry about egg groups to produce an egg, since Ditto can take care of that and maybe the numbers work differently in that case? I don’t know.

There are... other theories too.

There are… other theories too.

But that’s just my own theory, which isn’t even fully formed. The plain and simple facts are that Nidoqueen and Nidorina are completely unable to breed in any situation, and are the only non legendary non Ditto Pokemon in this category.

USING NIDOQUEEN IN BATTLE

Thankfully, Nidoqueen is good in battle to make up for everything else disappointing about it. Gone is the ability Hustle, as it’s been replaced by one of the best Offensive abilities in the game, Sheer Force. Sheer Force + Life Orb is a popular combination for good reason, and Nidoqueen makes a pretty good user of the combo.

Nidoqueen CAN perform a defensive set thanks to Black Sludge, Stealth Rock, Dragon Tail, and Roar, but the Offensive set is better overall. Make use of Nidoqueen’s amazing Special move pool to smash things with Sludge Wave, and Earth Power for STAB. Along with those, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Fire Blast, Focus Blast, Shadow Ball, Surf, and Dragon Pulse are all available, though the most useful of this group is probably the tried and true BoltBeam combo of Thunderbolt and Ice Beam.

None of Nidoqueen’s stats are particularly outstanding, but that, combined with its unique typing makes it unlikely that Nidoqueen will go down in one hit. Just keep smackin’ stuff around and you’re likely to get a KO or two in.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 2/5
I just don’t like Nidoqueen and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

DESIGN: 4/5
Standing up on two legs, getting a huge tail, and becoming much thicker overall is a great evolution.

BATTLE: 3/5
Sheer Force is a fantastic ability with just about anything, and the Life Orb compliments it perfectly.

WHAT’S WITH THE BABY NIDOQUEEN: WHO KNOWS/THE ANIME IS WEIRD
It’s a cutie though.

OVERALL: 3/5

Quick, someone edit a surfboard underneath!

Advertisements

#030 Nidorina and #033 Nidorino


And the award for least changed evolutions goes to…

“It just gets bigger” is a complaint people tend to throw at Pokemon designs for being uninspired. Yes, getting bigger is certainly a thing that should happen when a Pokemon evolves, but the series is more creative than that. All Pokemon generations have a few evolutionary lines that are guilty of this, but Generation 1 probably does it the most, and Nidorina / Nidorino are, in my opinion, the biggest offenders.

Nidorina gets a couple more spikes on its back and ears, along with a mildly more menacing mouth. Nidorino grows into its hilariously large ears a bit, and gets a couple more spikes itself. And, well, that’s about it.

They're also way less fabulous in the anime

They’re also way less fabulous in the anime

It might sound like I’m trying to skim this or be lazy, but I’m really not. There’s very little interesting OFFICIALLY about these two. I don’t even know how I’m going to do the next section! I haven’t thought of anything ye-

DID YOU KNOW?

Damn. That snuck up on me quicker than I expected. Well, what is there to say, really? Nidorino has the great honor of being the one of the very first Pokemon seen in both the games and the anime, where it faced off against a Gengar before the game even begins.

I'm not a huge Gengar fan, but there's no way in hell its losing this matchup.

I’m not a huge Gengar fan, but there’s no way Nidorino wins this matchup.

As for Nidorina? Well, its fairly popular in the Pokemon fandom, which is about the most notable thing about it.

Not to diminish the work that went into these, of course.

Not to diminish the work that went into these, of course.

I do love when a Pokemon that has nothing going for it and is even largely ignored by the developers earns a fanbase. Thanks to these amazing fan works my opinion of Nidorina has risen from a “Seriously, who cares?” to a “Well its cute at least.” Meanwhile my opinion of Nidorino remains unchanged.

Nidorina will never be in brawl ;_;

Nidorina will never be in Brawl ;_;

If you like those gifs, check out some more of them here.

This entry is light on images, so have another gif.

This entry is light on images, so have another.

USING NIDORINA AND NIDORINO IN BATTLE

Nidorina and Nidorino are both pretty terrible in battle. Nidorina’s got a higher Defense stat, so you can try for Eviolite and laugh in the face of anything that tries to Toxic your amazing defensive Pokemon, but with no reliable recovery Nidorina’s not so hot in battle either.

So what can you do? Baton Pass boosts onto them, or give them a Choice Item and hope for the best. Nidorina can use a Choice Band for still very weak but also slightly stronger attacks on the Physical side, while Nidorino’s slightly higher Special Attack stat can make better use of Choice Specs. Neither of these are great though, and they both lack in Defense and Speed in order to be much of an attacker.

The short answer is, don’t use them in battle. I know that gif of Nidorina kicking ass in Brawl is great, but the real deal has almost nothing going for it. Let them evolve before having them go out and rip everything apart with their surprisingly still somewhat relevant evolutions.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5 Nidorina and 3/5 Nidorino
I still think Nidorina looks a little better than Nidorino, but they’re barely different from their pre-evolutions. For this reason I’m giving them a…

DESIGN: 1/5 Nidorina and 1/5 Nidorino
…TERRIBLE score here. “It just gets bigger” at its finest.

BATTLE: 2/5 Nidorina and 1/5 Nidorino
They’re both awful in battle, but at least a Poison typing + higher Defense stat means Nidorina can TRY for an Eviolite set, while Nidorino’s lower defenses + still very weak Attack stats mean its rather useless.

AT LEAST THOSE GIFS ARE GREAT: YES/THEY’RE FANTASTIC
Seriously. If only other useless Pokemon got as much love as Nidorina does. I’m looking at you Dunsparce.

OVERALL: 2/5 Nidorina and 1.6/5 Nidorino

It’ll all get better after a Moon Stone.

#029 Nidoran♀ and #032 Nidoran♂

That’s right. A two for one special. I’m doing both Nidoran’s at once because, well, there’s so little difference between them there’s little point in doing them separately. Will I do this again? Definitely. Because their evolutions are just as bad. Thankfully, the final stage in their Evolutions are different enough to bother with separate entries for. After this line? Probably again with Plusle and Minun, but I don’t think any others are this horrifically similar.

Anyway, enough unrelated stuff aside, IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE NIDORANS. Now, I do like that even at a glanceyou can tell which is which. The left is the female, and the right is the male. Female Nidoran’s got some whiskers that the male doesn’t, and is a nice Easter egg shade of blue. The ears are shorter, and more round, and the eyes have a nice white pupil.

Male Nidoran, on the other hand, has no whiskers, which seems off to me, since they’re usually a mustache analogue. Aside from that, the Male’s got a very dark shade of purple, and a much more prominent horn. It all comes down to preference, but overall I do like the female Nidoran more than the male.


Although in the anime they’re both FABULOUS

Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a mega long entry because I’m doing two Pokemon at once, you’re in for a disappointment. There’s not much to say from these unusually colored hamsters. They may have been trailblazers in getting Pokemon to have genders, but aside from that their contribution to the series overall is next to nothing. They’re the dictionary definition of Dex filler.

Even if they're a cute pair of dex-fillers.

Even if they’re a cute pair of dex-fillers.

And I HATE that they’re still considered two separate Pokemon, instead of 1 Pokemon with a split evolution line based on gender.

DID YOU KNOW?

Not much to say here, just a small reference that I’m glad GameFreak made.

29 32

With Generation 2 came Shiny Pokemon. If you’ve ever wished that the female Nidoran was purple like the male Nidoran, or vice versa, well, that’s exactly what their shinies are! Male gets the pale blue while Female gets the nice shade of purple. It’s not a big noteworthy thing, but I really like it, even if I prefer their original colors.

USING NIDORAN IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

As a further note, male Nidoran fares slightly better in battle than the female does, thanks to its slightly higher Speed and Attack stats. This also marks the beginning of the unfortunate trend of GameFreak creating male and female counterparts to a Pokemon, with the female being defensive and the male offensive.

But enough of that. Both Nidoran’s get the same same abilities, and the one you’ll be wanting to make use of is Hustle. Then, you’ll want to be a mixed attacker because Nidoran can pull off attacks of both types very effectively thanks to a move pool that’s a mile wide. For Special, you’ll want to include Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, and a good Hidden Power type, like Fire. Then, to take advantage of Hustle, Poison Jab, and, well, Sucker Punch is your only other good option. And even then, it’s only available on the male Nidoran, so you can substitute it for Shadow Claw on female, which isn’t nearly as good. The main thing is to use something with 100% accuracy with Hustle, as even other good options like Drill Run become way too big a gamble when the chances of hitting are only 75%. After that add a Life Orb for that extra touch of power and you’ve got yourself a decent threat!

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5♀ and 3/5♂
I greatly prefer the palette and overall look of the female Nidoran over the male. The male seems like its trying to hard to be tough, when its a tiny purple hamster thing.

DESIGN: 3/5♀ and 3/5♂
I’m still not sure what either Nidoran is supposed to be, which loses them points. But, they manage to recover by being visually different enough to get their gender across, while being similar enough to be easily identified as the same.

BATTLE: 3/5♀ and 4/5♂
Male Nidoran outperforms the female largely thanks to its access to Sucker Punch. Other than that, they’re mostly the same, but the male still wins thanks to its higher Speed and Attack stat.

OVERALL: 3.6/5♀ and 3.3/5♂

I even think the female’s idle animation is cuter.

#028 Sandslash

Look at those arms. They’re segmented like an insects.

Sandslash is Sandshrew’s evolution.

Thanks for playing!

Thanks for playing!

I joke, but I’m a little serious. There’s really not much to say about Sandslash. Sandshrew is a relatively forgotten Pokemon on its own, and its like everyone even forgot it existed. Sandslash has barely gotten any time on the anime, in any of the mangas, or on anyone’s team in the games.

Oh SNAP #SHOTSFIRED

Oh SNAP #SHOTSFIRED

I do like the evolution that is implied to have taken place between Sandshrew and Sandslash. That brick pattern on Sandshrew’s hide has popped out or something I suppose, and is now a big bunch of spikes. Where Sandshrew could become a road hazard by curling into a ball and rolling around, Sandslash will become a ball of death by doing the same thing. Sandslash’s claws are longer, and Sandslash is all around a much more threatening looking Pokemon. If not for the fact that the EVEN MORE threatening looking Scyther came about in the same generation, I’d say Sandslash would be much more popular.

Still, as far as Pokemon go, one could do much worse than Sandslash, so it’s okay with me. I much prefer the cuteness of Sandshrew, but, hey, we can’t have everything we want.

DID YOU KNOW?

I spent about half an hour trying to look up something interesting about Sandslash. I searched everywhere, and couldn’t find much. So it’s got the same species name as the Pikachu and Rattata lines. So what? It’s got a great shiny. That’s cool, cause most shinies are awful, but it’s still not very interesting.

God. I can't believe I went with this.

God. I can’t believe I went with this.

In the 71st episode of the anime, the group encounters an Onix. A big Onix. Bigger than any Onix they’ve ever seen before. This Onix is pissed and it spends the episode beating the shit out of Pikachu, Squirtle, Staryu, Brock’s own Onix, and the entirety of Team Rocket.

I can't reach you up there! How did you know my weakness?!

I can’t reach you up there! How did you know my weakness?!

Luckily, the Elite Four member Bruno shows up to save the day. How does he do so? He tells everyone to withdraw their Pokemon, and walks up to the Onix itself.

Bruno shows off of course.

But not after showing that Onix he could kick its ass in a real fight.

Then. He, um. Well, in order to fix the cranky Onix, he…

JESUS CHRIST MAN THIS IS A CHILDREN'S SHOW

JESUS CHRIST MAN THIS IS A CHILDREN’S SHOW

After he’s done… ahem. With that, we all discover the reason Onix was so grumpy! 1. It needed a good fuck, and 2.

There was a Sandslash lodged in its nethers.

It had a Sandslash in its vagina

And that’s all I have to say about Sandslash.

USING SANDSLASH IN BATTLE

Sandslash’s role in battle is pretty much that of a less amazing Excadrill, much like Sandshrew’s role in Little Cup is that of a less amazing Drilbur.

So what can Sandslash do? Many of the same things that its pre-evo can. Sand Rush means Sandslash will outspeed just about everything ever in Sand, and a 100 Attack stat is passable. Slap some moves like Earthquake and Stone Edge on top of Swords Dance to have yourself a good attacker with an amazing 110 Defense stat. For a fourth move you can go utility with Rapid Spin, or throw in a third attack for coverage like X-Scissor, Shadow Claw, Night Slash, and Knock Off. Being Ground type also means that Sandslash is immune to Thunder Wave, making it hard to slow down.

Unfortunately, if any Special Attackers out there can tank Sandslash’s attacks, they can easily revenge murder Sandslash as it has a measly 55 Special Defense. So be on the lookout for Slowbro’s and the like if you’re using a Sandslash.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Sandslash is super badass, time that it spent in an Onix’s unmentionables aside.

DESIGN: 5/5
Sandslash is a great, logical continuation of Sandshrew’s design. There’s nothing wrong with it in my opinion, as every part has been replaced but still looks great.

BATTLE: 3/5
It all sounds good, but Excadrill can do it better with a higher Attack and Speed stat. Sandslash is okay, but not too great.

I CAN’T UNSEE THOSE ARMS NOW: YOU’RE WELCOME/BLAME SUGIMORI
Seriously, why are they segmented? That’s creepy.

OVERALL: 4/5

IT CAN CONTROL INDIVIDUAL QUILLS TOO.

#027 Sandshrew

Just try and say no to those eyes

Just try and say no to those eyes

I can’t explain it. I can’t explain why Sandshrew is one of the Pokemon I immediately think about when I need to think of a Pokemon. I don’t hate it, but there’s nothing particularly notable about it either. It’s just kinda there, in the background. Reassuring us with its presence, but not feeling any need to speak up.

I love Sandshrew though. It’s pretty great. Its got itself those weird cat ears that popped up all over Gen 1 Pokemon, a nice tanned hide that seems like it’d be extra sturdy thanks to that brick pattern on it. Some claws and a tail finish the look off, with big blue eyes added for flavor.

This will be a sneaking mission.

This will be a sneaking mission.

The brick pattern on Sandshrews hide has always bothered me though. It’s shown using it as camouflage in the anime, but just how prevalent are tanned brick walls in the Pokemon world? How long have those exact style of bricks been used for Sandshrews to evolve that pattern?

Ah, well, I suppose it doesn’t matter in the end. Sandshrew’s appealing, and is a lovely Pokemon overall. Even if Sandshrew is more of a pangolin than a shrew.

It can even roll into a ball like Sandshrew!

It can even roll into a ball like Sandshrew!

DID YOU KNOW?

This one’s debatable, but I really like it so I’m going to treat it like its fact. It’s primarily fanon though, so keep that in mind. Anyway, Sandshrew is probably the first example in the anime of a little thing called EV training.

Feel the burn! Burn the feeling!

Feel the burn! Burn the feeling!

In the eighth episode of the anime, Ash and company meet some guy by the name of AJ. AJ is a bit of a dick to his Sandshrew, but it’s shown to be very effective, as his Sandshrew is very powerful. Hold Items didn’t exist in the first generation of Pokemon, but the Macho Brace was introduced as of Gen 3.

It’s not exact of course, but it does bear a slight resemblance to the contraptions that AJ’s Sandshrew wore, and the Macho Brace has the effect of doubling all EV’s you get, which could be taken as the method AJ is using to buff up his Sandshrew. This theory obviously has issues (The biggest one being the Macho Brace was introduced in Gen 3, and this episode occurred before Gen 2 was even released.) but I think it’s interesting to look back at this episode with what we know today.

USING SANDSHREW IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

Sandshrew’s almost completely outclassed by its 5th Gen Ground type cousin, Drilbur. This is just something you should accept before trying to use Sandshrew.

The reason for this is that Sandshrew’s usability revolves entirely around its fantastic Hidden Ability, Sand Rush. Just like Swift Swim and Chlorophyll, Sand Rush will double your Speed stat when a Sandstorm is up. Combined with Sandshrew’s great Attack stat of 75, and even better Defense stat of 85, you get yourself a nice attacker that can out speed the entire tier, and can easily tank an attack to set up a Swords Dance before sweeping. What moves do you use afterward? Earthquake, Rock Slide, Night Slash, Brick Break, Shadow Claw, X Scissor, Poison Jab, and *deep breath* Knock Off give Sandshrew some great options offensively.

A Support set is also feasible thanks to that great defense. Just throw Rapid Spin and Stealth Rock onto the set! Sandshrew’s great defense loves Eviolite, so that’s definitely the item you’ll want.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Look how adorable that thing is. It can curl up into a ball and you can play Soccer with it.

DESIGN: 4/5
Sandshrew’s design is very strong. I love it. The brick pattern is weird if you think about it, but other than that…

BATTLE: 3/5
Completely outclassed by Drilbur, but it’s actually a great partner to Drilbur, as they check each other’s checks.

ACTUALLY A PANGOLIN: 10/10
Seriously. Names. Call it a Sandolin, or something.

OVERALL: 4/5

STOP BEING SO GOD DAMN CUTE

#026 Raichu

You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?

You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?

Raichu is Pikachu’s evolution. For this reason, all Pokemon media seems to have a grudge against Raichu. They regret creating him, and would rather pretend like Pikachu is a fully evolved Pokemon, so they can give it all kinds of options that a mid-evo is incapable of.

Things aren’t good for Raichu. It’s unwanted even among its own family. Pikachu is often shown triumphing over Raichu, because, like I said in Blastoise, everyone loves an underdog story.

An eight foot tall American with a Raichu. Japan's greatest fear.

An 8 foot tall American with a Raichu. Japan’s greatest fear.

Raichu’s great though. Gone is the yellow for a warmer orange, and its got a big white belly now. The ears are changed and are kinda weird now, but I love the new, more whip-like tail. I don’t like the new color scheme that much, but Raichu’s perfectly fine with me. It may be forever typecast into the role of a villain to Pikachu’s heroism, but we all know that Raichu will kick a Pikachu’s ass every time in game.

And it's pretty fucking cute too. Click for source!

And it’s pretty fucking cute too. Click for source, plus a whole lot more!

DID YOU KNOW?

A big meme across the Pokemon community is comparing a Pokemon’s power in how many Indian Elephants it can demolish.

The Pokedex is weird. Very weird.

The Pokedex is weird. Very weird.

The reason for this trend is a handful of Pokedex entries. Of these, Raichu is the first one listed in the Pokedex! According to the Pokedex, Raichu can store up to one-hundred thousand volts of electricity in its body, and careless contact can even cause an Indian Elephant to faint.

Y-You know they're endangered, right Raichu?

Y-You know they’re endangered, right Raichu?

On a similar note, a typo in the English version of Pokemon Stadium said that Raichu actually stores 10,000 volts in its body, not 100,000. Definitely a typo, since every other time this is mentioned its 100,000, but, whatever. I like spelling errors so I thought it was interesting.

USING RAICHU IN BATTLE

Raichu may not be the best battler around, but its move pool does lend it a handful of options. Static is a below-average ability, espeecially with Raichu’s weak defenses, but Lightning Rod is very good. Your entire enemy team will be afraid of using Electric moves, knowing that your Raichu can come in, absorb it, get the boost, and become a much bigger threat.

So how do you use Raichu? A Choice Scarf or Specs set can work fine, especially if you can manage to absorb an electric attack for a free boost. Many of the same moves Pikachu can use well are good here, aside from the Physical ones. Raichu’s Attack and Special Attack stats may be even, but the boost you get from Lightning Rod is Special, so you’ll want to play to those strengths. A Choice Band set could work in theory, but I’d still always go Specs over it.

If you don’t want to use Choice items though, Raichu can perform well thanks to Encore. Set up a Nasty Plot on the turn your opponent switches out from Encore, and start whacking stuff. Whichever set you go with, you’re going to mainly want to go with Thunderbolt as a requirement, with Volt Switch, Hidden Power Ice, Grass Knot, Signal Beam, and Focus Blast as other options.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Raichu is cute, but I don’t really like the new color scheme. I think Pikachu’s works better.

DESIGN: 4/5
Raichu is great as an evolution. It manages to avoid the “It gets bigger” syndrome, and introduces some cool new design quirks. Love the tail specifically.

BATTLE: 3/5
Better than Pikachu is a start, but Raichu’s defenses are still very weak. Encore is a fantastic move to get a free set up turn though.

WILL RAICHU EVER GET ANY LOVE? MAYBE/ONE DAY
A popular theory going around before X/Y came out was that Dedenne would be retconned into being a Raichu pre-evo, freeing up Pikachu to get a Mega evolution, among many other things that only fully evolved Pokemon can take advantage of.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Female Raichu tails don’t end at as sharp a point!

#025 Pikachu

You should all know who this is

Here we go. Pikachu. The mascot of the entire series.

As well as the anime and a lot of the manga

As well as the anime and a lot of the manga

In a vacuum, it’s nearly impossible to not love Pikachu. It’s got a nice, cute design. The thunderbolt shape of the tail is a nice touch, it’s got a chubby mouse body, bright red cheeks, and big huge eyes. If you don’t think Pikachu is cute then you’re probably lying to yourself.

Remember that Squirtle coin I mentioned awhile back? Pikachu got one too!

Remember that Squirtle coin I mentioned awhile back? Pikachu got one too!

Of course, that’s if you’re reviewing Pikachu in a vacuum. A space where nothing else exists. If you’re reviewing Pikachu in the real world, it can be a bit, well, grating. In my Charizard entry I mentioned that part of why I’m not too big a fan of it is that it’s always shoved down our throats. Pikachu is like Charizard turned up to 11, and then multiplied by a hundred. Pikachu is the Pokemon everyone knows, not just the Pokemon every Pokemon fan knows.


In the shitty, original Japanese version of Pokemon Stadium, Pikachu was the only playable unevolved Pokemon.

Unlike Charizard though, Pikachu fans aren’t nearly as obnoxious. The reason for this is probably because Pikachu is there to draw new fans in with a cute, friendly design. Some fans stick with Pikachu afterward, but the second that we know it has an evolution, most of us will try using that instead. Pikachu fans aren’t nearly as vocal, as a result, and I don’t have to constantly listen to talk of how Pikachu is the greatest thing since canned bread.

Pikachu's been a staple of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for years now

Pikachu’s been a staple of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for years now

The point is that despite all of the ridiculous favoritism Pikachu gets (Such as the Light Ball, we’ll get to that in the battle section) I’m willing to tolerate it. It’s cute, it’s cuddly, and it’s inoffensive. Sure it gets shoved down our throats a bit too much for my liking, but, well, you learn to live with it. I’m not the biggest fan, but I’m certainly not a hater either.

DID YOU KNOW?

There’s a lot of random little tidbits about Pikachu I threw up in the first section for fun. But now it’s time to get SCIENTIFIC!

Oh shit it's time to LEARN

Oh shit it’s time to LEARN

I went to Wikipedia intending to summarize the info on it, but oh my lord this is all so complicated to read. In a nut shell, some Japanese scientists in 2008 discovered a protein that can carry electrical impulses from the eye to the brain? And that helps you understand what you see? I don’t know this is way over my head science class is cancelled.

What’s that got to do with Pikachu? Well, the protein was named Pikachurin, because it’s a “nimble” protein, which reminded the searches of how Pikachu is, well, fast. That’s about it. If you’re a super genius you can read all about Pikachurin by clicking here. Just note that the name is literally all it has to do with Pikachu.

USING PIKACHU IN BATTLE

Pikachu is terrible in battle. I know, you’re thinking, “Pfft, haven’t you heard of the Light Ball?!

Ah, the Light Ball.

Ah, the Light Ball.

The Light Ball is probably the biggest indication of GameFreak’s ridiculous favoritism towards our little yellow friend. I like to think that whoever came up with Raichu as an evolution for Pikachu was fired as soon as Pikachu became an icon, because it severely limits what they can do with Pikachu to improve it.

One of these ideas was the Light Ball. It’s a Hold Item that works on Pikachu only. When held, it doubles Pikachu’s Attack, and Special Attack stats. That means a Pikachu holding this item in battle essentially has a free Swords Dance and Nasty Plot set up without having to do anything.

Wait, THAT'S what that does?

Wait, THAT’S what that does?

This absolutely sounds like it should make Pikachu not only usable, but a significant threat. Unfortunately, the rest of Pikachu’s stats just don’t make the cut. With an absolutely ABYSMAL defensive spread of 35/40/50, Pikachu isn’t going to be taking ANY hits well. The Light Ball does make Pikachu ever so slightly more powerful than a Life Orb Raichu, but its older cousin gets the added bonus of having greater defenses and more speed. 90 Speed isn’t bad per se, but with Pikachu’s laughable defenses it should be much higher.

So, don’t use Pikachu. Really, don’t. If you’ve made a bet with someone that you could use Pikachu to win a battle, see about getting your money back. If bill collectors are coming for you right now, then I suppose you could make use of Volt Tackle, Thunderbolt, and Hidden Power Ice for offensive prowess. Encore’s a great status move that can help your Pikachu set up a Substitute in a vain hope of survival. Other good moves for coverage include Grass Knot, Focus Punch (Don’t use unless you’re behind a sub though), Knock Off, Signal Beam, or Brick Break. Pikachu doesn’t have the defenses necessary to even try to set up, so you should go in there guns blazing and hope your opponent doesn’t carry any Priority moves.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Pikachu is cute as a button, and goes great on lunchboxes. And occasionally in them, if you catch my drift.

DESIGN: 5/5
That was a joke about eating Pokemon. Did you get it? Oh, design is fine too. Perfectly recognizable as a Pokemon and a nice yellow color with red cheeks. Pikachu’s design is solid throughout.

BATTLE: 2/5
Pikachu is terrible in battle. Use Raichu instead. Or better yet, use Jolteon.

FUCK YOU THE LIGHT BALL IS GOOD: NO/SORRY TO BREAK THE NEWS
The Light Ball is an absolutely amazing item, but Pikachu’s so weak that it doesn’t particularly matter.

OVERALL: 4/5

Female Pikachu’s have a little curve at the end of the tail!