#055 Golduck

Worst duck

Worst duck

Believe it or not, I, the venerable Professor Swadloon, have friends.

Here's proof. Click for source.

It’s true, have a picture as proof. Click for source.

So I was talking with some friends about how I was going to be writing about Golduck today, and how much I was not looking forward to it. I don’t like Golduck. Like, at all. I hate Golduck. I was like man, Golduck is definitely the worst duck-based Pokemon. Psyduck is better, Ducklett is better, heck, even Farfetch’d is better. So then my friends were like well what about Magmar, or Ludicolo? And my initial thought was what about them? They’ve got duck faces, but aren’t very ducky aside from that.

I wanted to start this article with a cute picture because I hate looking at Golduck, but I suppose I can’t put it off any longer.

Look how shiny this ugly thing is

Look how shiny this ugly thing is

So, after that conversation I was like man, what even makes Golduck a duck? It’s got a bill, but it looks more like a hawk’s beak, than anything else. It’s body is in no way duck-like, and it’s just shiny, and slick. Golduck looks like it would be gross to the touch, and I don’t like it. So, I’m going to go ahead and declare Magmar, the Lotad line, and any other Pokemon with one or two duck features as ducks too. If Golduck gets to have duck in its name, why can’t everyone’s favorite Mexican pineapple duck be a duck too?

Some people like Golduck though. Normally, I’m an open-minded person. I believe that most opinions are worth hearing out. Most, not all. An opinion should be coming from a place of logic in order for me to respect it, and that’s why anyone who likes Golduck should just be ignored.

Big whoop I'm real terrified

Big whoop I’m real terrified here Golduck

And Golduck still isn’t a dual typed Water Psychic Pokemon! They called it gold, because that’s apparently Psychic to GameFreak, and they have it naturally learn a handful of Psychic type moves, and it can’t get STAB from them because it’s not Psychic. What is your problem Golduck? Can you never stop being a disappointment? And why do you always look like you’re sneaking around suspiciously?

I know you're up to something, and I don't like it.

I know you’re up to something, and I don’t like it.

I’m sure at least one person out there is pissed right now about my Golduck not being like a duck complaints, so, yes, I know it’s based more off of a kappa. I know not everyone out there may be familiar with a kappa, so I’ll give a brief explanation.

I HOPE ONE OF YOU SAW THIS COMING PogChamp

I HOPE ONE OF YOU SAW THIS COMING PogChamp

A kappa is basically a monster from Japanese folklore. It’s pretty much a small, humanoid thing with a beak (Sound familiar?) that hangs out in the water (Should be ringing some bells right about now) and everybody hates them. Why does everyone hate them? Well, it’s because they’re mischievous, and like to cause trouble. Sometimes this can be things as tame and innocent as farting loudly, and looking up women’s kimonos, but it can also be as horrible as drowning people, kidnapping children, and raping women.

Fuck Golduck.

DID YOU KNOW?

I have nothing to say about Golduck, so let’s keep talking about kappas and why you should hate Golduck for being based on one.

So! Kappas were frequently blamed for drownings back then, because apparently everyone in ancient Japan was a conspiracy theorist. Nothing bad can happen naturally, so it had to be a demon. Kappas are also said to sometimes lure people into the water with the intent of drinking their blood, eating their livers, or… wrestling with them.

I'm so glad I'm not making this up. Click for full.

I’m so glad I’m not making this up. Click for full.

Kappas also have a weird sort of hat they wear that stores water from the river they live in. This is the source of their power, believe it or not, meaning that a kappa isn’t at all difficult to defeat should you encounter one. Just knock the water out of its head, and it’ll be weakened so severely it could die. An alternative is to simply give a deep bow in front of a kappa, because, for whatever reason, they’re obsessed with being polite, and will usually return the bow. The bow will, of course, cause them to spill the water out of their head, and leave them helpless afterward! You can also apparently just rip their arms out, since it seems like they’ll just kinda detach rather easily. For all the horrible things kappas do, it seems like there’s an awful lot of ways to defeat them.

Other methods include ripping their arms right off, since they apparently detach easily. Click for full.

There’s also, ahem, less orthodox methods. Click for full.

Kappas aren’t all bad though. If you can manage to befriend one, they’re apparently pretty cool for a bunch of rapist murderers. They’ll bring you fresh fish occasionally, and help farmers irrigate the land. They also are apparently credited with teaching the Japanese about medicine, a subject they’re highly knowledgeable in.

I know literally none of that applies to Golduck, but come on. Golduck sucks.

USING GOLDUCK IN BATTLE

Stats via pokemondb

Stats via pokemondb

Golduck’s stats are relatively even across the board, but at least this means it gets some decent bulk to work with! Throw up a Substitute, buff yourself up with Calm Mind, and go to town. That’s, um, pretty much it. 85 Speed isn’t great, but it’s workable, and for offensive you’ll definitely want Hydro Pump, Surf, or Scald. After that, Signal Beam, Ice Beam, Psychic, Psyshock, or Focus Blast will all work as a secondary non-STAB attack. Increase your HP and Defenses with EV’s, and hold Leftovers to make sure that Golduck can get at least one Calm Mind off to be usable. Golduck’s not THAT bad, but it’s just, well, extremely one-note. Weather isn’t nearly as common as it used to be, so Cloud Nine isn’t as useful as it once was. If you’re not sure what Cloud Nine does, then I’m happy to have a new reader! Welcome to the blog, I hope you like it! I say this because I went in-depth into Cloud Nine in yesterday’s write-up about Psyduck, so read that if you’d like to know more.

Also, Golduck sucks.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
Ugh. I hate looking at Golduck. Have another cute picture, on the house.

How I expect fans of Golduck to treat me after this.

This is going to be what happens to me after a Golduck fan reads this.

DESIGN: 2/5
Here’s what doesn’t work about Golduck’s design: Almost everything. It loses everything that made it a duck, in favor of a more humanoid appearance, but it’s keeping the duck name in an attempt to confuse people who like ducks into liking Golduck. Here’s what works about Golduck’s design: The sleek blue shininess of Golduck’s body does make it look like a more highly evolved form of the round, tubby Psyduck. It gets a point for that.

BATTLE: 2/5
Golduck is not great in battle. There are many better Swift Swimmers out there, and, while unremarkable in their own way, every other Cloud Nine Pokemon is cooler.

I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW: GOLDUCK/IS MY FAVORITE
Stop talking to me.

OVERALL: 1.6/5

What do you even do?

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#054 Psyduck

PSY-YI-YI-YI

Whoo I’m glad that some people out there are happy to support this dumb little blog project of mine. For the second time ever, I’ve received a lovely little piece of Pokemon art specifically to put up in this entry!

Vertical stripes? Five stripes? Gold Stars? That's an American flag if I've ever seen one!

Vertical stripes? Five stripes? Gold Stars? That’s an American flag if I’ve ever seen one!

So please, go support CapnEctoplasm and thank him for this lovely piece of art. Click here to get to his page! Again, tremendous thanks to the man for showing his support, and reminder that if you’re an artist and want a picture of your favorite Pokemon on the blog drawn by yourself, I’m more than willing to use it!

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled entry. Today’s Pokemon is Psyduck. Psyduck is a fat yellow duck who is also probably part platypus. Sort of. It’s hard to explain really, because Psyduck’s body shape and bill are clearly platypus-esque, but platypi are typically called “Duck-Billed Platypus”, so it’s not like the bill couldn’t be a duck either? I don’t know. Either way, Psyduck is a cute pink color, has three strands of black hair coming out the top of its head like Homer Simpson, and a short tail.

Psyduck’s a weird creature. It’s definitely cute, but I’m not sure why. Everything about it should be kinda weird, off-putting, or even ugly. But when it’s all together, it just works. Maybe pity has something to do with it.

This happens a lot.

Because this happens. A lot.

Psyduck is an extremely pitiable Pokemon. In-game Pokedex entries basically talk about its rather extreme, chronic headaches and anyone who’s ever had a headache (See: Everyone) can relate to how bad that feels. Misty was given a Psyduck in the anime, and it was always treated as a nuisance, but again most people liked Psyduck because he was comic relief. If something needed to get headbutted, Psyduck was always there to absorb the blow. If someone needed to get bitten, Psyduck was there.

That really has to hurt.

That really has to hurt.

And Psyduck weathered it all. Through thick and thin it stood by Misty’s side, and, well, bothered the hell out of her. Let’s be honest here. Despite Psyduck’s cuteness factor and courage, it was, in the end, still a nuisance to Misty. I could use this as a commentary on how everyone should hate Misty, but I’d be misrepresenting the facts if I did. Psyduck deserved it.

;_;

;_;

But, when push came to shove, and everyone needed him most…

NOT TODAY VILLAIN OF THE WEEK

NOT TODAY VILLAIN OF THE WEEK

…Psyduck would man up, and become a powerful asset to Misty’s team!

I HOPE MY BODY CAN TAKE IT

I HOPE MY BODY CAN TAKE IT

Of course. He was still terrible most of the time.

YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT MAN

YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT MAN

DID YOU KNOW?

More Pokemon theories? More Pokemon theories.

This one makes too much sense

This one makes too much sense

This theory basically states that when Psyduck and its evolution, Golduck, were being translated, the names were mixed up! Psyduck as we know and love it was supposed to be Golduck, which is obvious given its golden color, and Golduck was supposed to be Psyduck, which makes sense because…. well, it looks Psychic-y. SO! Is it true?

WELL PSYDUCK? IS IT?

WELL PSYDUCK? IS IT?

Once again, nope, this isn’t true at all. I hope you’re starting to notice a pattern here, because all but one of the rumors I’ve brought up during this blog have been false. This one is easily disproven by going to their original, Japanese names. In Japan, Psyduck is named Koduck. Ko comes from, well, Ko, meaning Child, and Duck is, well you should know. Koduck is child duck, and what is Golduck’s name in Japanese?

Golduck. Yup. It’s as simple as that. Golduck’s name in Japanese is Golduck. And unlike Psyduck, there’s no way someone could have unintentionally switched Child Duck around, because Golduck is not a child. Golduck is evolved.

So why is Golduck not gold?

So why is Golduck not gold?

Golduck’s name is a bit weird to me, but apparently GameFreak just likes to associate Psychic powers with the color gold? Sabrina’s badge in Gen 1 is called the MarshBadge in English, but in Japanese it’s the Gold Badge. Also, in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, you can find various color Gummi’s to eat as a Pokemon, and Gold Gummis are attuned to the Psychic type as well. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but it is logically sound. So, um. Yeah. The names are correct as is. The bigger problem in my opinion is that neither Psyduck nor Golduck has a secondary Psychic typing, which I didn’t know for a length of time far longer than I’m willing to admit.

USING PSYDUCK IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

Stats via Smogon

Stats via Smogon

Psyduck gets access to Swift Swim, but there is no Drizzle Pokemon allowed in Little Cup! If you want to set up rain yourself, basically give it a Life Orb, and use the same set below. If you’re not going to set up rain, then just go ahead and continue.

Choice Scarf! Psyduck gets access to a rare ability in Cloud Nine, which negates the effects of weather, but doesn’t remove the weather itself (Only Air Lock can do that.) This can be a bit confusing, so I’ll try and explain it far better than the games ever did.

Cloud Nine blocks anything that is affected by weather. Air Lock (A similar ability that only Rayquaza can get) is functionally identical to Cloud Nine. Really. They are. Solarbeam will take 2 turns to charge even in the Sun, Water type moves won’t be boosted by Rain, and abilities like Rain Dish, Swift Swim, and Dry Skin won’t activate with a Cloud Nine Pokemon on the field. If a Cloud Nine Pokemon leaves the field, then the effects of weather resume, of course. Air Lock, on the other hand, removes the weather entirely, so it has to be re-set up if Rayquaza leaves the field.

Sorry, I just had to do so much research on this because I’d never been completely sure of any differences before. Anyway, give Psyduck a Choice Scarf, and have it spam Hydro Pump. Ice Beam, Signal Beam, Psychic, Psyshock, or Hidden Power Fire / Grass are all good options for the rest of your moveset. You’ll want to be Modest and pump your Special Attack stat up in order to maximize your damage output. And. Well. That’s about it!

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
I really like Psyduck’s look. It’s cute as a button, but it’s not even trying to. It’s dopey. I like dopey Pokemon.

DESIGN: 3/5
Psyduck’s cuteness also loses it some points. What Psyduck is supposed to be is kind of unclear? It’s like a yellow platypus, but then what’s with the three strands of hair on its head? It’s got no feathers, or wings, so how is it a duck? Just because it’s yellow, and has webbed feet? I don’t know. It all works in the end, but it’s terribly confusing.

BATTLE: 3/5
Eh. Psyduck’s not bad. It has to depend on Hidden Power for coverage though.

THIS ENTRY HAD: LOTS/OF IMAGES
There were SO many good Psyduck pictures I HAD to use them all.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

I hope your headaches get better some day ;_;

#053 Persian

Literally a big cat.

Literally a big cat.

Wow. Persian. What are you supposed to be. A creamy panther with a curled tail and a jewel in the forehead? That’s not a Pokemon, that’s a cheap (And admittedly, very dangerous) art project!

And what’s with that curly tail anyway? This isn’t a Rattata evolution, it’s a Meowth evolution! Ugh. I just can’t find anything nice at all to say about Persian. And you know what they say, “When you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I'm not even scared

I’m not even scared

Unfortunately I don’t quite have that option, do I? No, of course I don’t. I mean I could skip Persian, hope nobody notices, and ignore anyone that does, but that’s not my style. I’m committed to this through and through. So! Here we go! Persian! What else can we talk about with Persian!

Well, as the image I just used right there shows, Persian is actually a big important guy over at Team Rocket in the anime. He’s Giovanni’s signature Pokemon, and I bet it’s a master at battle. Isn’t it? Right?

I don’t know. Really, I don’t. See, while looking up information here on Giovanni’s Persian, I found that it debuted in Episode 15 of the anime. Cool, but I don’t remember ever seeing it fight. When did Persian fight? How good is it as a fighter?

Turns out Persian was never actually used in battle, until, you’ll never believe this, Episode 753. This was during the Black and White arc of the anime, which ended shortly after X and Y came out. So I was like, huh, that’s pretty terrible, how recent was that anyway? The episode aired in Japan on September 27, 2012, and in the US on January 19, 2013. That means it’s been a year and a half since America got to see Persian in action, since it was first introduced in September of 1998.

 

I was going to caption this with "It was totally worth it too" but there's not enough sarcasm in the world to make it clear I'm joking.

I was going to caption this with “It was totally worth it too” but there’s not enough sarcasm in the world to make it clear I’m joking.

I do really like the whole evil cat thing Persian has going on at least. I can’t really think of a way to describe it other than “Cat that an evil person strokes at random intervals”, or, in a way I’m sure most of us cool, hip, young kids reading this will understand, Dr. Klaw’s cat from Inspector Gadget.

Seen here not stroking his cat because I care so little about Persian that I can't be bothered to find images backing up my own statements.

Seen here not stroking his cat because I care so little about Persian that I can’t be bothered to find images backing up my own statements.

Let’s see here… brought up how boring it is? Check. Compared it to a painted panther? Check. Talked about how long it was until Persian was actually used in battle? Check. Brought up Dr. Klaw? Check. Uploaded that image of Giovanni petting Persian for comparison? Hmm… where did I put that… Ah! Here we go!

Check.

Check.

DID YOU KNOW?

I bet all 15 of you following this blog are gonna be excited once I’m out of Generation 1 territory and can stop relying on Generation 1 artwork and sprites for the did you know section. Because that’s exactly where I’m going for today. The tried and true well of look what Gen 1 got wrong / was retconned silently later!

Spr_1g_053Spr_1b_053

These right are Persian’s sprites in the original Pokemon Red and Green, plus its Pokemon Blue sprite. There’s two design elements that they dropped, both of which I actually miss. First, the tip of Persian’s tail was actually a darker color than the rest of its body, just like Meowth. Secondly, the ends of its feet are also a slightly darker color, which matches up with the tips of Meowth’s feet being darker too! Both of these are design elements that were part of Meowth and were dropped for Persian, making it appear much more generic.

Unfortunately, by Pokemon Yellow, both of these design elements were dropped. It also unfortunately never appeared in any of the old artwork, which would lead me to believe that this was an error in sprites, but since it reappeared in Pokemon Blue, I’m not so sure. Either way, the thing I’m sure we can all appreciate is how cute Persian was in its back sprites during Gen 1.


It’s like a Meowth with Rattata’s tail!

USING PERSIAN IN BATTLE

I can't stop laughing at these stats

I can’t stop laughing at these stats

Ahaha oh man. There’s nothing good here holy crap. Why do you even want to use Persian? Look at these stats.

Okay okay. Basically, to use Persian, you’ve gotta do the same thing you do with Meowth. just don’t, uh, expect to be nearly as effective because these stats are awful for general battle.

Well, they’re not all awful. That 115 speed is nice. You know, Persian was actually pretty decent in Generation 1 because Critical Hits were based off the Speed stat. This was hilariously broken in many ways, but it made Persia useful thanks that 115 Speed stat. Nowadays though? The only thing that 115 Speed is fantastic for is Taunting. Taunt your opponent to stop them from setting up after you deliver a delicious Technician STAB Fake Out on them. Life Orb would be better here than a Normal Gem, but if you’re worried about dying, well, you’ve got a Silk Scarf? I guess?

Return is of course your main attack of choice after you’ve delivered your devastating Fake Out and Taunted your opponent into helplessness. Then? Knock Off. Again. Seriously. I guess Gunk Shot is still an option, but, I mean, I wouldn’t recommend it. Persian sucks. There. I said it.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
I mean sure, Persian is a pretty, sleek cat. Hell, I’d want one as a mascot for my high-end sports car, but…

DESIGN: 1/5
…It’s boring as hell.

BATTLE: 2/5
There’s some real stinkers out there, and Persian comes out a cut above these, and only just barely

WHAT ABOUT THAT RED GEM?: WHAT/RED GEM
Fun fact, this red jewel on Persian’s forehead that was around since its inception was never once mentioned by anyone ever in the history Pokemon until Gen 4, when Pokedex entries brought up its size as being valued.

OVERALL: 2.3/5

Terrible Pokemon. Would not breed.

#052 Meowth

Finally, Gen1 cat ears on a cat

Finally. Gen 1 cat ears on a cat

You know, I feel like I’ve mentioned Pokemon archetypes before, but I can’t for the life of me remember which Pokemon I mentioned it on, so I’ll reiterate here. Basically, every Pokemon generation has its archetypes that it feels a strange need to fulfill. There’s your Grass, Fire, and Water starters, your regional bug, your regional bird, and now we’re at the archetype that people seem to forget for some reason. The regional cat.

Well, okay. It’s not hard to see why the regional cat is forgotten. For whatever reason, Generation 2 had no regional cat, so a lot of people just seem to forget about Skitty, Glameow, Purrloin, and Espurr. 5/6 ain’t bad and Meowth was the original trend setter.

Meowth that's right!

Though he was generally better drawn

SO what do we have here with Meowth. Comically long legs with brown paws, a round tummy, some long arms, and a curly, brown-tipped tail. Meowth’s head has always bothered me though. It’s got two huge whiskers sticking out on either side of its face which, sure, fine, I guess that’s okay. But then it’s got two big spikes of fur popping out the top of its head so it looks like the coin on its head is set in it? I’ve never understood those weird vertical whisker-esque things. All of its whiskers look really sharp too, which severely limits Meowth’s cuddleability.

And that's not even mentioning the claws

And that’s not even mentioning the claws

There’s not much to say here without going into the most important Meowth ever though. That being Team Rocket’s Meowth, and one of the show’s main characters as important as Ash and Pikachu.

And his amazing accent

And his amazing accent

I find it kind of interesting how Meowth is practically the second mascot for the series. It may not have the popularity among the fanbase as Pokemon like Charmander, but it’s certainly beloved among the company. Meowth is everywhere, often sharing the limelight alongside Pikachu itself. Since Ash’s party changes every region, the true main Pokemon characters in the anime are Pikachu and Meowth.

And girl-Meowth

And girl-Meowth

Meowth in the anime had a long, complicated backstory about how he learned to walk on two legs and speak human, but, uh, it doesn’t really matter. Outside of the episode where he talks about his past it’s not really brought up again, and he goes right back to being an antagonist. Meowth to me is just a Pokemon full of half-assing it. It could be the mascot, but, eh, it’s content to just sit alongside Pikachu. Meowth could have been an interesting, or sympathetic character, but, eh, let’s just keep up the status quo.

Meowth could have been more interesting to write about, but, eh, Meowth is just boring.

EXCEPT FOR COWBOY MEOWTH HE'S HYPE

EXCEPT FOR COWBOY MEOWTH HE’S HYPE

DID YOU KNOW?

Two things here. First off, Meowth is based on the legend of the Maneki Neko, or, as all of us English speakers may be more familiar with, the Lucky Cat.

Check that coin out

Check that coin out

Unfortunately, aside from appearances, Meowth seems to have little in common with the lucky cat. The legend states that the cat raised its paw to welcome a lord, and when the lord presumably stepped forward for a super sweet high five, a bolt of lightning struck the spot he’d been standing in just a second earlier. So lucky cats are used for decoration as good luck charms, and the like.

I think it’s a cute little story and all, but, uh, I don’t think it particularly relates to Meowth at all. The only part that does is that oversized coin its frequently depicted with, which is basically just an ancient Japanese coin. So if Meowth got the coin from the legend of the Lucky Cat, where does the rest of Meowth come from? Well, according to…

This guy

This guy

…Junichi Masuda, the guy who’s currently the head honcho behind Pokemon as a series, Meowth was actually based off of…

This other guy

This other guy

Satoshi Tajiri’s own pet cat! And just in case you’re uninitiated, Satoshi Tajiri was the original brains behind the Pokemon series. Even Ash, in the Japanese anime is named Satoshi after him. Is Masuda telling the truth though? Well, I couldn’t find any pictures of Satoshi Tajiri’s cat anywhere, and I don’t have any reason to believe Masuda would just lie to everyone, so I’ll go ahead and believe it.

USING MEOWTH IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

Stats via Smogon

Stats via Smogon

Meowth gets access to Technician. This makes Meowth pretty not bad when it comes to battle, especially because it gets Fake Out. Topping all that off, Meowth is a Normal type, so a STAB Fake Out with a Technician boost is some pretty noteworthy power, especially if you add a Normal Gem on top of all of that! A Life Orb can be used over a Normal Gem, but I prefer the Gem because it opens up the possibility to continue being a huge jerk to your opponent.

Of course, a Pokemon can’t be good with just one move. So what’s a good second move? Well, if you’re a Life Orb user, you’ll want Return, to get a nice powerful STAB option in. If you’re using a Normal Gem, then you’ll have lost it from your mega hyper powered Fake Out at the start of the match. So then Covet becomes a great option. 60 Power means its as strong as is allowed by Technician, and has the added bonus of stealing your opponents item. A fantastic 90 Speed certainly helps Meowth in this as well.

With two slots left a simple glance at Meowth’s learnset should spell the obvious remaining choices out for you. Knock Off provides coverage, a way to hit Ghost types, and a way to keep the item removal shenanigans up after you’ve both exhausted your item + stolen a second one from the enemy. Finally, U-Turn, when paired up with Meowth’s 90 speed is another excellent option.

And that’s it. There are literally no other options. Yes, Meowth gets access to Gunk Shot, which is I guess technically an option, but Poison isn’t a very great offensive type, so it’s best to just stick with those 4 moves if you intend on using Meowth.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Meowth is cute, but I still don’t like those sharp whispers on top of its head.

DESIGN: 4/5
Lucky cat + Satosh Tajiri’s cat. I love Meowth’s design, and love that its first and second generation sprites are pretty much exactly the typical lucky cat pose.

BATTLE: 4/5
Normal type with Technician and moves to abuse it. Meowth is pretty great in Little Cup.

CAN YOU STEAL THAT COIN? PROBABLY NOT/DON’T TRY IT
Seriously. If that thing is attached there’s going to be Meowth blood everywhere.

OVERALL: 4/5
52
Are you shadow boxing Meowth? Do you even know how?

 

#051 Dugtrio

No words. None.

No words. None.

Oh hey sorry about the inactivity again. Had some problems getting motivated and all that jazz. Hey, if you like this thing, tell your friends, and maybe they’ll like it too.

ANYWAY There’s Dugtrio. Right there. Up there. What happens when three Digletts get uncomfortably close together? You get Dugtrio, of course. Dugtrio is usually angry, so at least here’s one difference between three Diglett’s and Dugtrio, but that’s literally it. Nothing else. This isn’t even a case of “it gets bigger” because even though Dugtrio is literally bigger than Diglett, you can’t tell at all without a frame of reference!

You can't prove this isn't just 3 Digletts!

You can’t prove this isn’t just 3 Digletts!

I’ve been really struggling as I write this. Motivation and such aside, it’s just that there’s so little to talk about! I mean… Dugtrio is brown. You know what else is brown? This guy.

Hello.

Hello.

That guy’s got brown skin, and his head is made to look vaguely like a Dugtrio’s. You know, the more I look at Dugtrio the more I start to wonder about things. It’s classified as a single Pokemon, when it’s not really. I mean, with Magneton I can assume that they’re all magnetic and robots or something so they have a hivemind thing goin’ on. With Dodrio they’re all clearly attached to the same thing, so they have a reason to stick together. But with Dugtrio? Is there anything stopping the Dugtrio from separating, and going off in their own directions? The Diglett’s it’s comprised of clearly had their own minds at some point. Are they all just really close? Are they best friends? Do they fight a lot regardless of that?

I'm asking if they're like the 3 Stooges, in other words.

I’m asking if they’re like the 3 Stooges, in other words.

At the same time, imagine what they could accomplish. Just imagine yourself with all your attributes multiplied by three. If you could lift three times what you currently can you’d be able to show off to all of your friends. If you could run and jump three times what you currently could, you’d probably be amazing at parkour, or something. If you could think three times as fast, write three times as fast, throw a punch three times faster, or do everything that fast! There would be no stopping you!

YOU COULD'VE STOPPED IT

YOU COULD’VE STOPPED IT

Despite all these endless possibilities, Dugtrio still winds up being mediocre. Maybe all of the heads are just suffering from clinical depression, meaning they’re only slightly better than a single Diglett. Or maybe Dugtrio just sucks.

DID YOU KNOW?

This section for today should really be called NOBODY KNOWS or something. Because that’s what this is about. Something nobody knows. Something nobody seems to care enough about to define.

Not what it looks like.

Not what it looks like.

So I’ve seen this image popping up around a lot with people saying it finally proves what’s underneath Dugtrio, and by extension, Diglett. But, no, this doesn’t. A real Dugtrio would be far too big for Brock to hold like that, and this is just a Dugtrio toy in the context of the anime.

It does however bring up a point that a lot of people have wondered about for a long time. I briefly brought it up yesterday, but nobody’s really quite sure what’s underneath Diglett and Dugtrio. There’s all kinds of great fanart depicting it as anything from a bunch of sexy men or women, to a horrific huge nightmare-fuel tier monsters. GameFreak hasn’t helped matters by never addressing it, and of course nothing below the dirt is modeled in 3D games, leading to situations like the image I used last time.

Diglett used Mimic!

Diglett used Mimic!

Not only that, but Diglett and Dugtrio are often treated special in order to accomodate for their “handicap”. There was an awful minigame required to be beaten to transfer Generation 4 Pokemon to a Generation 5 game. As part of this game, Pokemon would bounce between bushes and you’d have to tap on them in order to capture them. Diglett and Dugtrio were an exception to this rule, as they both simply ran on the ground between bushes, instead of jumping. Then, in X and Y, Pokemon will pop out of a Pokeball in midair and drop to the ground upon being sent out. Again, Diglett and Dugtrio are the exception, as they merely fade into existence, and don’t just pop out of the ball and onto the floor.

Now you're just doing this on purpose.

Now you’re just doing this on purpose.

So, what’s underneath? Nobody knows. Not even a hint, and honestly, I kind of like it this way. One thing I’ve always admired about Nintendo and its developers is that they can keep a secret. Things like the Gamecube idle music being the Famicom start up theme were kept secret for literally decades. Nobody at Nintendo filled anyone in on this, and Nintendo hasn’t ever brought it up now that it’s come to light. I sometimes wonder about what kind of cool stuff is hidden in today’s Nintendo games that won’t be discovered until 2030 or so.

So no, we don’t know what’s under Diglett and Dugtrio. We probably never will, and I’m just fine with that.

USING DUGTRIO IN BATTLE

Sadly not 3x Diglett's stats

Sadly not 3x Diglett’s stats

Dugtrio still has Arena Trap, and it’s got access to Reversal, which can offset its not too amazing 80 base Attack. Its terrible HP and Defense stats only mean it can do this single useful thing even better.

So, uh, yeah. Hold a Focus Sash, switch in for a revenge kill, absorb an attack, and use Reversal so hard your opponent will be feeling it for days.Invest in HP and Speed for maximum efficiency, and you can guarantee a Choiced mon will die at the non-existent hands of Dugtrio.

If you don’t want to try that, Dugtrio’s Speed still makes it an excellent user of a Choice Band. Pump all your stats into Attack and Speed, then click whichever move is most applicable. Stone Edge, Earthquake, Aerial Ace, Sucker Punch, and, well, if there was anything else I’d put it here, but there really, really isn’t. Memento can still be used if you get a Dugtrio out at the last second and want to use it again to neuter someone later, thanks to its high speed. That’s it. I suppose. Don’t use Dugtrio. Just saying.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
Dugtrio is just three brown things popping out of a hole. That’s not a Pokemon that’s a stomach virus.

DESIGN: 1/5
When I started this blog I wanted to use a 1-5 scale because then I would be forced to actually use the entire scale. A 1 is irredeemable, a 2 is very bad, a 3 is average, a 4 is good, and a 5 is excellent. Times like these make me wish I hadn’t made that promise to myself, so I could give things like this a 0/5.

BATTLE: 3/5
Dugtrio’s not that bad, but it’s just not that great anymore. Entry hazards and priority make it extra difficult for Dugtrio to keep its Focus Sash intact, in order to pull off the deadly Reversal.

THREES: 2/3
There are three Pokemon in Generation 1 whose gimmick is a three. Dugtrio is better than Magneton, because at least its usually angry, justifying it being an evolution, but it’s worse than Dodrio because Dodrio is actually alright.

OVERALL: 1.6/5

Dugtrio can’t contain its excitement

#050 Diglett

Submitted for approval

Submitted for approval

Three young men stand in a tight, cramped office. Stretched before them is a massive, wooden desk. A man sits on the other side, eying them all suspiciously through the wisps of smoke coming off the end of his cigar.

“So,” He begins after pulling the cigar free from his mustachioed lips. “What’ve ya got for me?” He asks, before chomping back down onto the cigar.

“I-It’s the new Pokemon, Mr. GameFreak, sir.”

“Please!” The important-looking man interrupts, snapping his suspenders on his beefy chest. “Mr. GameFreak is my father! Call me John.” He laughs, watching for any changes in his subordinates faces.

“Right. J-John. This is the new Pokemon we’re submitting for your approval today, sir.” The man on the left says as he places a sheet of paper on the desk.

Design #059. Diglett.

Design #059. Diglett.

“What, uh, what am I lookin’ at here?” John GameFreak asks, scanning the piece of paper suspiciously.

“It’s based off a mole, sir!” The man in the middle says excitedly, barely able to contain himself. “But it’s more like one of those whack-a-mole things, so it’s-”

“I know what a whack-a-mole machine is son.” John says, silencing the man as he looked over the sketch. “It’s a little… simple, isn’t it? What’s supposed to be underneath it, anyway?”

“That’s what we’re here for today, sir!” The man in the middle announced, stepping forward happily. “We wanted to see which of these designs you liked most! Here’s my suggestion!” He chirped, sliding a sheet of paper onto the table with utmost confidence.

Is that a...

“Is that a…”

“Yes, sir! It’ll be a robot Pokemon, and hide most of its body underground until it evolves.”

“I don’t like it.” John said flatly, crumpling up the paper. “The idea works though. Get out of my office and get to work on a technology based Pokemon. Make it a duck, or something cute. The kids’ll eat that up.”

“B-But!”

“OUT!” John GameFreak roared, frightening the man on the left.

The man in the center scurried out of the room without making another peep. In all the shuffle, the man on the right stepped forward, and dusted himself off. He was a stocky, well built man, and he winked slyly at John, before taking a seat on his desk. Offering his boss a warm smile, he reached into his shirt pocket, unfolded a piece of paper, and spread it out on the desk.

John GameFreak had no words.

John GameFreak had no words.

“Like what you see there Johnny?” The man asked, fingering the top button on his shirt as he leaned closer to his boss. “I modeled it after myself, I can show you more, if you’re interested?” He teased, tickling the older man’s mustache with his index finger.

“No.” John said simply, crumpling up the paper and sliding back in his chair. “Weren’t you coming up with evolutions for that Machop thing? Why are you even here?”

“I can’t pay our big ol’ boss a visit from time to time?”

“Get out.” John sighed, crumpling up the paper and pushing the man off of his desk. Undeterred, the man on the right gave John a wink, before slipping out of the room wordlessly.

“I don’t even remember hiring that guy.” John laughed, eliciting a nervous chuckle from the man on the left. “Ah, well, what have you got for me?”

“Erm, well, I wasn’t told about this meeting beforehand, so, well, I didn’t-”

“Out with it boy, time is money, after all.”

“R-Right.”

"This is..."

“This is…”

“I-I’m sorry sir, you’re right, there definitely should be something underneath there, I’ll just run back to my office and draft up some-”

“This is perfect! Look at that! That’s not just a pile of dirt at the base of Diglett, no no no, that dirt is it’s feet! Clean your desk out, you’ve earned yourself a promotion!”

The man on the left fainted, unable to believe his last-second gamble for idiocy worked.

DID YOU KNOW?

This one’s kind of adorable, but, if you were ever a fan of the Pokemon anime, you’re probably familiar with Veronica Taylor.

She’s the lady who provided the voice for Ash Ketchum, his mother, Delilah Ketchum, May, and a slew of other roles on the show. One of these roles, was Diglett. What makes this so adorable, or important? Well, for that you have to go visit her personal website. Also you’ll need to go back in time cause it’s not really available anymore. Anyway, once you’re there, just click on the Characters section of her website, where she’s got a very short and hilariously outdated page on various characters she’s played.

Right there, alongside the other characters she’s played is Diglett! I don’t know if it’s just some inside joke, or maybe she just really likes the Diglett voice, but she really seems to take a lot of pride in having voiced Diglett.

Adorable

Adorable

USING DIGLETT IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

Stats via Smogon

Diglett is one of those Pokemon that has almost nothing going for it. 10 HP is the dictionary definition of hilarious when it comes to a Pokemon’s stats, and 95 Speed is the stuff of legends for a Little Cup competitor.

Diglett is very frail. Very very frail. Don’t expect it to survive, well, just about anything. Diglett’s only use comes from its great ability, Arena Trap. It works like a slightly less useful Shadow Tag, in that any grounded Pokemon will be unable to switch out. Levitators or Flying types will be unaffected, so make sure to keep Diglett away from them. Basically you’re going to want to add a lot to Diglett’s Speed and Attack, and trap your opponents. Choose between a Life Orb or a Focus Sash (Because seriously, Diglett is hilariously frail) and then just start bashing your opponent as a revenge killer. Diglett will out speed just about anything, and thanks to its trapping ability your opponent can’t do much but try and kill Diglett before Diglett kills them. Earthquake is your move of choice, having a nice 100% accuracy, 100 power, and STAB from Diglett. Rock Slide is a good secondary attack, while Shadow Claw or Sucker Punch both make for a good third attack. And yes, those are the only offensive moves of note Diglett has access to.

So what do you use on that 4th slot? Substitute is good if your enemy was dumb enough to be choice locked into an Electric attack, or you can just find another way to get a free turn in. Stealth Rock is obviously useful because it’s Stealth Rock. I personally like to go Memento though. Once Diglett’s outlived its usefulness you can make sure the opponent’s current Pokemon has things just a little more difficult for it by killing yourself and sharply lowering both of its attack stats!

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
It’s a cute whack a mole. Also it’s cute.

DESIGN: 2/5
This gets 1 extra point for being at least similar to whack a mole’s. Otherwise Diglett has literally nothing in common with any sorts of moles.

BATTLE: 2/5
Priority is around a lot this generation, and Diglett can’t tank a hit to save its life. That high speed is no longer the amazing asset it once was.

THE FIRST SECTION WAS WEIRD: FOR THAT/I APOLOGIZE
I write stuff not Pokemon sometimes, and wanted to try writing here once, whoops.

OVERALL: 2.6/5

Anything I could compare this animation to would be 18+

#049 Venomoth

Venomoth is a strange beast. It looks nothing like it’s pre-evolution, and evolved without a cocoon middle stage. I don’t mind that so much because cocoons suck, but it’s still a bit weird and I think only one other Pokemon has ever done that before, and it was also based off a moth.

So Venomoth’s limbs are tiny and look more like white markings on its thorax, and Venomoth gets brand new eyes that make it look constantly surprised. It’s still completely purple, and has a cool trident thing going on with its head.

That’s all besides the point though. I was going to struggle to find something to write here and figured I’d have another Vileplume situation on my hands, but then I noticed a strange trend. While looking for images of Venomoth to use in this article, I found a surprising number of images that, erm, well…

Hangin' with my bros

Venomoth sadly lost the impromptu dance-off

When I look for images this is the kind of thing I look for. The Pokemon is clearly visible on the screen, maybe something interesting is happening, or maybe it’s just a picture of the Pokemon. I favor official images because, well, they’re official, and because I don’t have to go find the original artist to give them credit if its fanart. The thing is that this image here of Venomoth floating next to a dancing Ninetales and Rhydon is one of the few odd images out. This is one of the only images I could find that didn’t depict Venomoth…

Getting its ass kicked

Getting its ass kicked

Being destroyed. It’s strange. I never pegged Venomoth for a perpetual victim, but the anime, and especially the manga seem to enjoy them some dead Venomoths.

Neutral attacks! My one weakness!

Neutral attacks! My one weakness!

It’s kind of funny in a way. In the same way that a man walking into a door only to get smashed in the skull by a baseball bat every time is funny.

Lucky that Camerupt didn't fall on it

Lucky that Camerupt didn’t fall on it

As you’ve probably noticed I’m mostly stalling for space now. Like I said I don’t have a lot to say about Venomoth as a Pokemon. Its huge hilarious eyes are kinda cute, I guess. Don’t judge me. I’ve done 48 of these and have 670 more to go after this. I have one more image before I move onto the next section anyway.

Bury me with my money

Bury me with my money

DID YOU KNOW?

Time for more Gen 1 wackiness!

Time for more Gen 1 wackiness!

Venomoth’s original art depicted it as having yellow spots on the back of its wings! These were dropped in an instant, and never again reappeared. So, yeah, they were probably retconned out of existence. I don’t really like them, so I’m glad that we’ve got our current veiny wings that really aren’t that great either.

USING VENOMOTH IN BATTLE

Venomoth is surprisingly capable in battle. I say surprisingly because I think all the other fully evolved Bugs I’ve reviewed so far are terrible or just extremely lackluster for a variety of reasons.

Venomoth though, gets Quiver Dance. I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, sure, Venomoth is good because of Quiver Dance but Butterfree sucks?” and the answer is, of course, yes. God. Don’t be dumb. Of course Venomoth is better. It’s got Bug / Poison typing for one, as opposed to the infinitely worse Bug / Flying typing that Butterfree has. That, and it’s got higher stats across the board except for very slightly lower Special Defense. Special Defense is of course corrected by the move they share, Quiver Dance!

So you’ve got two main options with Venomoth but really they’re both the same except for one thing so I’ll just explain what you’re required to have. Sleep Powder. Quiver Dance. After that, you have to decide if you want to be a Baton Passer. If you do, then you’ll be needing Baton Pass in your moveset of course, and an attack. Thanks to new Gen 6 mechanics Bug Buzz is your best option as you’ll get STAB on it + you can pass through any Substitutes your opponent may put up in an attempt to stop your inevitable sweep.

That’s if you’re going Baton Pass. If you want to use Venomoth itself to sweep, well, just use the same 2 base moves, and replace Baton Pass with a second attack. Good options include Psychic, Hidden Power,  Sludge Bomb, Giga Drain or… Ominous Wind, if you really want Ghost coverage, since there aren’t too many options with Venomoth. You’ll want at least one Quiver Dance before attacking though, so remember that.

For items, Black Sludge is always fantastic on Poison types, especially one that needs to be in for awhile to boost / status the enemy. If you plan on Baton Passing to your opponent, you’ll want to use CompoundEyes as your ability of course, but if you’re going to be doing the sweeping yourself Wonder Skin  or Tinted Lens is generally a better option to avoid all those nasty incoming moves yourself / hit for weak damage harder. Also a Life Orb if you’re going to be attacking, but you really should be Baton Passing those delicious Quiver Dances on.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
Venomoth is… well. It’s passable. It’s not fantastic, but it’s passable.

DESIGN: 3/5
Venomoth is… well. It’s the same thing as up there. I love its shiny color too.

BATTLE: 4/5
Quiver Dance is a great move and any Pokemon that can learn it has a shot at being great. Better typing + stats make Venomoth a much better user of it than Butterfree, and that’s fantastic.

I THINK VENOMOTH: IS A/MASOCHIST
Not even Magikarp gets kicked around that often.

OVERALL: 3.3/5

Butterfly in the sky, I can float twice as high