#082 Magneton

[MAGNETS INTENSIFY]

Magneton is extremely unoriginal, but I don’t actually hate it. The bad thing is that I don’t know how to say why I don’t hate it. Reasons to hate it should be obvious, of course. Magneton is the same tier of unoriginal as Dugtrio was. Except even less so, in a way. Dugtrio was angry about being three Digletts, while Magneton has that same completely unaware face.

Maybe that’s it, now that I think about it. Magneton is like three Magnemites coming together to form a hivemind. Plus, at least it makes sense. Magnets are attracted to each other so it’s very easy to come to the conclusion that Magnemite is held together by magnetism. What keeps the Dugtrio in place? are they fused together underneath the ground? Nobody knows, and that’s why Dugtrio is so confusing. Magneton, on the other hand, at least makes sense in its unoriginality.

[ANGRY MAGNET NOISES]

[ANGRY MAGNET NOISES]

You know what I don’t like about Magneton? All of the stupid magnetism. According to the Pokedex, Magneton emits magnetism so powerful that it raises the temperature of things near it, and dries up water nearby as well. Do you have any idea what that much magnetism would do to anything electronic? Cause I don’t. I’m not an expert on the subject of computer components, but I know it can’t be good. I also know that this much magnetism is potentially deadly, in case there’s anyone with a pacemaker, or other such device around.

One of the things a lot of people like to imagine is having a Pokemon be a pet. I think Magneton would probably be illegal to keep out of its ball if they were real. There’s just too much risk of destroying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. If you walk by someone with a nice phone, you know they’re going to hate you when your floating Magneton completely destroyed it. Then they’ll beat you up. And you know what the worst part would be? You couldn’t even call for help because your own phone would be equally ruined by all the magnetism. And then what? I don’t even want to think about it.

YES I KNOW YOU COULD JUST ASK YOUR MAGNETON FOR HELP

YES I KNOW YOU COULD JUST ASK YOUR MAGNETON FOR HELP

If Pokemon were real then Magneton is a Pokemon I can definitely see being quarantined. It’s a danger to society. Due to its relative ease to acquire I can also see horrible criminal groups using Magneton for all kinds of things before they come in and take advantage of chaos after all the electronics in an area go out.

Magneton is scary, but it’s also kind of cool. I wouldn’t want to use one myself, ever. But, I wouldn’t look down on anyone that chooses to use it.

Especially because they could be a hardened criminal.

DID YOU KNOW?

Be forewarned, we’re entering theory-ville here. Theory that can be backed up, but without any official confirmation it remains a theory.

MORE MAGNETS THAN YOU CAN HANDLE

MORE MAGNETS THAN YOU CAN HANDLE

So, let’s begin with the facts. Magnemite weighs 13.2 pounds. Magneton is three Magnemites. Simple addition should tell you that Magneton weighs 39.6 pounds, because, again, it is composed of three Magnemites. However, Magneton actually weighs 132 pounds, exactly ten times what a Magnemite weighs, rather than three.

How is that? Well, and this is interesting, Magneton doesn’t require two additional Magnemites to evolve. It just evolves into Magneton at level 30. Sure, we could just assume that this is just game mechanics since requiring three Magnemites to create a Magneton would be ridiculous, but why do that? We’re here to create our own facts, and pave our own path to the future!

So, there’s two main theories I can see at work here. The first, and more likely one, if you were to ask me, is that Magnemite is hollow. Thinking seriously here for a moment, Magnemite is about a foot tall, and weighs 13.2 pounds. For reference, the typical bowling ball is 8.5 inches, and weighs 10 pounds. Also, bowling balls are typically made of a sturdy plastic, while Magnemite’s typing implies that it’s made of a strong, sturdy steel. Magnemite being hollow just makes sense, and that would mean that when it evolves, and creates two more of itself, it is no longer hollow, but is solid throughout. This could easily account for the weight increase.

Of course, the second option is simply that everyone else is wrong. By this I mean that Magneton’s electromagnetic field messes with any method taken to measure it. Magneton would still weigh 39.6 pounds, but because of the forces it exerts on the environment around it, it comes off as weighing 132 pounds.

Or maybe there’s another reason? Who knows. I just asked a scientifically smart friend for some help and he gave me some info about how science works. Blame him if I’m wrong, I gave you a warning and said that this is all conjecture!

USING MAGNETON IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Pokemon teenagers are usually bad. Being teenagers, they’re not allowed to compete in Little Cup, but they’re also typically lacking in the stats required to compete in any other tier. However, there is an exception to this rule. Pokemon that weren’t always teenagers, and, with Magneton being given a late evolution in the Generation 4, it’s… well, it’s not bad.

Two main ways to run a Magneton. Bulky, or as a Special Attacker. The main difference between the two comes down to ability and choice of item. For a Special Attacker you’ll want Choice Specs, four attacking moves, a negative speed nature, and Analytic. I personally feel that the Bulky option is better though, so you’ll want Magnet Pull as an ability, and Eviolite as your hold item.

Either way, Thunderbolt is your main STAB of choice, with Flash Cannon being a second option for coverage. 70 Speed isn’t much so a Modest nature is preferred, and if you’re going bulky you’ll want Magnet Rise so you can have an immunity to Ground type moves, though only temporarily. After that, your only real option for an attack remains with Hidden Power. You can continue with Grass, as Magnemite used to great effect, or you can try and upgrade to Fire, and blast at some Steel types. Magnet Pull works like Shadow Tag for opposing Steel types, so if you can make yourself immune to Ground moves with Magnet Pull you’ll be pretty bulky thanks to the Eviolite.

Then, you’ve just gotta attack! Eviolite made a few Pokemon teens excellent, and Magneton is certainly an outstanding example of what is normally an awful, awful group of Pokemon.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
Bland, but I kind of like it. The blank stare really works better when there’s multiple bodies.

DESIGN: 1/5
Holy crap.

BATTLE: 4/5
A capable Pokemon teenager is the best kind of Pokemon teenager.

MAGNETS: HOW DO/THEY WORK?
I hate that song.

OVERALL: 2.6/5

They just look so uncomfortable!

#081 Magnemite

THIS ISN'T AN ANIMAL

THIS ISN’T AN ANIMAL

A lot of people seem to forget that Magnemite exists when a new Pokemon they don’t like comes about. A common claim is that earlier generation Pokemon were all based on actual things, whereas *insert Pokemon I’m hating on* isn’t even a living thing! Most recently I’ve seen these insults lobbed at a Generation 6 Pokemon I rather enjoyed, Klefki, because it’s based on a keyring. I also see these accusations thrown around as proof that Pokemon is out of ideas, usually with the statement that the earlier generations were bursting at the seams with ideas.

Magnemite proves both of these things incorrect. Magnemite is literally a random assemblage of metal objects hanging out between two magnets. It’s not based on any sort of living being, and, being from Generation 1, it proves that there is no real set “rule” as to what makes a proper Pokemon. So I don’t care if you hate Klefki, Garbodor, or whatever. If you can accept Magnemite, then you should accept them too.

OR MAGNEMITE WILL DESTROY YOU

OR MAGNEMITE WILL DESTROY YOU

Just last night I finished watching Futurama. I’d seen a handful of episodes over the years, but I’d never really sat down and watched the entire series. Over the past week or so I finally did so via Netflix, and it’s given me a new appreciation for Magnemite. It reminds me a lot of the robots in the show, in that it’s just some random assemblage of parts that don’t look like they should go together, but, hey, it lives! Magnemite’s nothing but three screws, two magnets, and a big, creepy eye. I do like that the screws are actual, real-life Philips head screws, and not just some silly made-up screws.

MAGNEMITE IS MILDLY PERTURBED

Magnemite also reminds me a lot of the personality cores in Portal. It may not be quite as expressive, but they’re both just floating balls with a single eye as their only method of conveying emotion. Using just its single eye, Magnemite can portray neutrality…

I HAVE NO STRONG FEELINGS EITHER WAY

I HAVE NO STRONG FEELINGS EITHER WAY

anger…

YOU'VE MESSED WITH THE WRONG MAGNET

YOU’VE MESSED WITH THE WRONG MAGNET

happiness…

SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE

SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE

death…

...

and, of course, an awkward uncomfortableness.


4
4

A lot of people think Magnemite’s boring, and, to be fair, it kind of is. Dumb as it is, Magnemite’s evolution is more interesting because it better illustrates magnetism, which is kind of the point of Magnemite in the first place.

Still, until then, I find i can’t entirely hate Magnemite. It’s not perfect, and it doesn’t have Levitate despite Pokedex entries and common sense saying it should, but I still don’t hate it. If I had to pick one Pokemon to take with me into a freezing cave

…I’d probably pick Darmanitan or something. I don’t like Magnemite that much, after all.

DID YOU KNOW?

This one’s a little bit meta, but one of the new features in Pokemon Black and White 2 was Join Avenue. Basically, it was a big cool place that would be full of visitors you’d interacted with, and you could set up shops, and become a mogul, or something. I don’t know. I didn’t do much of it because I didn’t get a wireless connection until like last year, long after I’d completed BW2.

Anyway, the visitors that you’d get to your Join Avenue were based off people you’d interacted with, whether it was street passing,, battling, or, of course, using the Global Trading System.

Replaced by the PSS in Gen 6

Hard to believe that the concept of a GTS is already a relic

So, the Japanese players that got ahold of the game first set up a method of maxing out their Join Avenues as quickly as possible. How do they do that? With Magnemites, of course! You just had to catch a Magnemite in your own game, put it up on the GTS, and ask for another Magnemite in return. This created an economy of Magnemites constantly being traded that allowed for people to very quickly maximized out their Join Avenue’s stats by simply trading a Magnemite over and over.

Sadly, since the GTS went down in June of this year, there’s no simple way to max out your Join Avenue anymore, and the entire world working together on a single project like that is no more. Still, it’s nice knowing that when those servers went down forever, Magnemite was by and large the single most traded Pokemon in the entire world.

USING MAGNEMITE IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Magnemite has just enough speed to outspeed the entire unboosted Little Cup tier when it gets a Choice Scarf. So, yeah, throw a Choice Scarf onto Magnemite, as it has no recovery options to really make use of those nice defenses (Not that the HP doesn’t already ruin that a little).

So, Volt Switch and Thunderbolt are your two main STABs of choice. Unfortunately, if there’s one area where Magnemite is lacking, it’s coverage, and there’s not much else Magnemite gets access to beyond that. Flash Cannon is a good secondary STAB, and will smack opposing Fairy types, and that’s almost everything. Signal Beam can be used, but your best option for a fourth move is Hidden Power. Grass or Ground typed would be good, as Grass can stop opposing Water and Ground types that will try to smash your skull in, while Ground can be used to annihilate any opposing Magnemite on the switch in (Or on the speed tie if you’re the gambling type.)

Sturdy is the ability you’ll want, even though I’m sure Magnet Pull is tempting, and the choice you’ll want upon evolution. For now, Sturdy + Berry Juice will ensure you’ve got enough durability to survive any instant kill from full health twice. Add EV’s into Special Attack and Speed, and maybe use a Defense lowering nature to ensure you get “Killed” from full health to activate Sturdy and your Berry Juice.

Magnemite’s not a bad scarf user, but it’s not terribly interesting either.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 2/5
Let’s face it. Magnemite is boring. A little cute, but boring.

DESIGN: 4/5
A random assortment of metal objects between two magnets and an eye. Magnemite’s not the most interesting thing to look at, but I love its design.

BATTLE: 3/5
Terrible coverage, but statistically fine.

I WANT TO SEE: MAGNEMITE VOICED/BY STEPHEN MERCHANT
I don’t care if he still only says Magnemite. I want crossovers.

OVERALL: 3/5

The magnets even flap like wings!

#080 Slowbro

Still dopey

The only thing I don’t like about Slowbro is that I have to write about it. All of Slowpoke’s appeal also applies to Slowbro, except Slowbro gets itself a nice big shell on the end of its tail.

So, let’s go right into it. Slowbro has some ridges on its stomach, as well as a cream colored belly now. Also its legs now end in claws, and it stands on its hind legs. Slowbro would be a perfect example of only getting bigger if not for the huge scary thing on its tail now.

Slowpoke evolves into Slowbro when a Shellder bites onto its tail.

Mmm nope. I don't see anything wrong with this.

Mmm nope. I don’t see anything wrong with this.

Let’s start with the most glaring issue. That, on its tail, is not a Shellder. If this blog isn’t the only place you get Pokemon information from then you probably know what a Shellder is. If not, just imagine a bivalve clam with 2 eyes and a giant floppy tongue hanging out. Don’t imagine a big weird hermit crab-esque shell with angry eyes and razor sharp teeth. Literally nothing about this is correct. Shellders are smooth, and curved, while this thing is rough, and spiny. Shellders have big, round eyes, and this thing has narrow, angry eyes. Shellder has a tongue, and no teeth, while this has teeth, and no tongue.

No.

Slowbro has no strong feelings about this.

Slowbro has no strong feelings about this.

The most disconcerting thing about all this is that they’ve never gone back to try and retcon this. Maybe back in the 90’s thanks to the low fidelity of the sprites someone could argue that maybe just maybe the thing on Slowbro’s tail is a Shellder. Maybe. Times have changed though, and neither Slowbro nor Shellder’s designs have been updated to make this pair-up look any better.

I think I’ve talked too much about this. It’s weird, yeah, but, whatever. We’ve come to accept this. A shell bites Slowpoke’s butt and turns it into Slowbro. Some sources call this shell a Shellder. That’s it! Apparently it’s not that easy to separate the Shellder from the Slowbro because the Shellder enjoys holding onto the Slowbro’s tail. Why’s that? Well, when Shellder clamps its teeth down (Stay with me here), Slowbro’s tail releases some kind of tasty liquid. Most of us would call this blood, but the Pokedex chooses to refer to it as liquid from Slowbro’s tail.

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

Forget it, I can’t stop harping on this. The Pokedex also says that when Shellder bites down it injects some of its venom into Slowbro, which serves to give it bursts of inspiration. First off, Shellder is a pure Water type. It is not Poison typed at all. Secondly, its evolution, Cloyster, is a Water / Ice type, meaning it still has no Poison, so you couldn’t make an argument for some kind of Poison-based thing hidden within Shellder. Thirdly, Shellder learns no Poison moves naturally. None. Ever. If you’re talking unnaturally, then it can learn Toxic via TM, and that is the only Poison-typed move in its entire repertoire.

SCREW IT. I’M DONE. NO MORE.

"Wait a second... that doesn't look much like a Shellder!"

“Wait a second… that doesn’t look much like a Shellder!”

DID YOU KNOW?

Devolution: the transfer or delegation of power to a lower level. In the Pokemon series many Pokemon can evolve, but only one Pokemon has ever had devolution referenced inside the actual games. That Pokemon is Slowbro.

Now, before I continue, I’m talking strictly games here. Other forms of media have also brought up devolution with Slowbro’s split evolution, Slowking, as well as there being a card in the Pokemon Trading Card Game called Devolution Spray.

What happens if you spill some on a person?

What happens if you spill some on a person?

But for now I’m talking strictly games. Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Gold, and Pokemon Stadium 2, to be specific. Their Pokedex entries for Slowbro basically state that if the Shellder holding onto Slowbro’s tail was to ever let go, then the Slowbro would devolve back into a Slowpoke. Evolutions are very much permanent in the Pokemon series, so it’s interesting to see it specifically cite a way that a Pokemon can devolve.

I think the caption says, "Slowbro losing Shellder"

I think the caption says, “Slowbro losing Shellder”

Did you know that if you use Knock Off on a Slowbro that isn’t holding an item, it will devolve? Did you know that I made that up? Even though this is apparently possible, nobody in the Pokemon universe has ever bothered studying the “Shellder” that clamps onto Slowpoke’s tail to find out what it actually is.

OKAY I’M SORRY. I’LL DROP IT.

USING SLOWBRO IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Slowbro has low speed, and amazing Defenses. In addition, Slowbro has a very passable 100 in its Special Attack stat, meaning Slowbro is a very capable physical tank. Having Regenerator as an ability is just icing on the cake, as it makes Slowbro capable of tanking hits and switching out repeatedly in order to gain health back (hopefully) faster than your opponent can drain it.

So, how do you use Slowbro? Again, Scald and Slack Off. These two are your bread and butter, and your main method of keeping your opponents respectfully in check. Thunder Wave or Toxic are your main go-to moves to inflict status, or Yawn if you’d rather force a switch on your opponent. For a secondary attack, Ice Beam, Fire Blast, Psyshock, Focus Blast, Signal Beam, or Shadow Ball all seem like good options, though I personally would go for Ice Beam or Fire Blast over the others. Leftovers and EV’s invested into HP and Defense will complete the set. Then… that’s it! That’s all you need to build a solid, fair, effective Slowbro. On the other hand…

This got really dark really fast.

This got really dark really fast.

I’m including this more because it is notable. Please don’t do this against another player, because, well, it’s a pretty jerk move to pull. This tactic has been banned on the most popular Pokemon simulator, Pokemon Showdown, but it’s still legal to use in Wifi and such. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I just didn’t mention this, but, again, please don’t use it. Especially against me. I will ragequit.

So, the set is colloquially referred to as “Funbro”. To the best of my knowledge it originated from 4chan’s Pokemon board, /vp/. It aims to create a battle that will last forever, with the purpose of forcing your opponent to quit because there’s no way to end the battle (As you can see in the gif, the player with Infernape finally gave up after 2013 turns.)

To pull it off you’ll again need EV’s invested into HP an Defense. Then you’ll need to have Slowbro hold a Leppa Berry. Your moveset will then be Heal Pulse, Slack Off, Block, and Recycle. It’s not too effective against good players who will flee the second they see a wall in their path that they can’t break using their current Pokemon, but it will work wonders against the inexperienced. You use Block against a Pokemon that can’t KO you in 2 turns. Then, while it’s trapped, you proceed to spam Slack Off. Once your PP on that move runs low, Slowbro will use the Leppa Berry, regaining 10 PP. Using Recycle will restore the spent Leppa Berry, so you can keep this up infinitely. I can see this as a cruel, but effective method of PP Stalling.

Where it gets annoying is when your opponent has finally run out of moves. Then you start using Heal Pulse on them. You heal half their HP with the move, while they only take 25% recoil damage from Struggle. Again, you Recycle when your PP runs low and you eat your Berry. And that’s it. Again, this is banned on Pokemon Showdown, and time limits on Wifi make it not nearly as effective, but, hey, troll your friends! Have fun! Or don’t!

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
I’m not a huge fan of the shell on its own, but I love how it works with Slowbro’s look overall.

DESIGN: 4/5
I still don’t know what Slowbro is supposed to be. I wanted to give this a 1/5 because of that “Shellder” but, in all fairness, if you just pretend like it’s not a Shellder it’s a great design element.

BATTLE: 4/5
A nice solid tank, or the last thing you’ll ever see?

WHY WOULD YOU: TELL PEOPLE/ABOUT FUNBRO
I wrestled with that for awhile, but figured that there’s few places it can be used now, and more awareness to the strategy will be just as helpful for those who don’t intend to use it, as a new method of trolling will be to those who do.

Also:

OVERALL: 4.3/5

I’m going to be complaining about the Shellder again when I get to Slowking.

#079 Slowpoke

yadon?

yadon?

So I like to theme these entries. Like how I did Primape’s entry in all caps. So, how would I make the Slowpoke entry Slowpoke themed? The answers were all obvious, and involved time. However, I didn’t want to just take a day off this quickly after resuming work on the blog, so I needed to think of something. So, instead of just delivering this entry a day late, I thought that maybe I should just skip Slowpoke, and do it next week, as a way of being HAHA SLOWPOKE IS LATE TO THE BLOG, but I want things to be in order on those side panels there. So, that idea was vetoed.

With no ideas I fell back to the idea of just delaying this, and was going to do that. Then,I was reminded of something that happened last month that I wanted to bring up, if only briefly. I’ll save that for the second section, but because it happened today I wanted to definitely do Slowpoke today as well.

……………

I honestly don’t see how anyone can hate Slowpoke. Seriously. Look at that guy. A fat pink thing with white feet and a white tipped tail. It’s got a huge mouth with what I suppose could be fangs, but they don’t look intimidating at all, and its ear analogues are curly. Best of all is that stare. That wide-eyed emotionless stare. Slowpoke is cute, and wholly non-threatening.

Aside from that though, Slowpoke has achieved meme status on the internet. While there’s various animals in real life that are slow, and boring, Slowpoke takes things to a whole new level. How slow exactly? Well, according to the Pokedex, Slowpoke likes to fish using its tail. I can’t imagine Slowpoke as being very good at this though, since it also states that Slowpoke won’t notice if something has bitten its tail for an entire day.

................!

…………….!

I don’t like to get into battle aspects in the first section of a review, but I really like Slowpoke, and Pokemon like it because their gimmick is going slow. When a Pokemon has to go incredibly slow, that means much more of their stats can be distributed elsewhere, since Speed has to remain low. Slow Pokemon are oftentimes powerhouses offensively or defensively, and Slowpoke certainly holds true in that regard as well.

Really the only thing I don’t like about Slowpoke is its name. Sure we’re all used to it now, but Slowpoke as a name is just, well, generic. It’s an actual word, for once, and not a clever pun or something. When something is being slow, or inefficient, you call it a slowpoke, that’s just how it is. Having Slowpoke also be a Pokemon is not only potentially confusing, it’s sadly unoriginal. It’s too well ingrained in our minds now though. There’s no way we could go back and rename our pink little… thing to something else.

So Slowpoke will be a slowpoke, now, and forever.

...............slow?

……………slow?

DID YOU KNOW?

When writing this blog I have a tendency to stick to the past. This isn’t out of rose-tinted glasses, or anything like that. Of course not. If you’ve read this you’ve probably seen me heap loads of crap onto Gen 1 for all its mistakes. No, the reason is simply because not much is being done with these Pokemon these days.

Well, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are coming out very soon. I don’t know how I’ll handle a new Pokemon game being released when I have this blog to write, but I’ll tackle that hurdle when I get there. For now, the main thing I wanted to note is that last month something new happened involving Slowpoke, so instead of talking about the dumb ridges on Slowpoke’s belly (If you’re really interested, its Japanese Gold and Silver sprites have ridges a la Slowbro’s, while Slowpoke’s belly is supposed to be flat) I’ll be talking about this.

Donaiyanen Yadon is the name of the song. For reference, Slowpoke’s name in Japanese is Yadon. And what is the song about? Well, I’m not entirely sure, unfortunately. The site revolving around the song is completely in Japanese and all the text is in images, so I can’t just Google Translate my way through it.

From what I can gather though, the site (Which is here, by the way) seems to be called Slowpoke’s Paradise. It’s got lots of great art of Slowpoke, Slowbro, and Slowking just being their usual, cute, slow selves. I couldn’t gleam much enjoyment out of it since I don’t read Japanese, but maybe one of you can provide me with some more info about it?

Anyway, it seems to be related to hyping up Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, as seen here, so who knows. Maybe the Slowpoke line will have some extra-special bits in the upcoming games? Or maybe the Japanese just really love Slowpoke and wanted to do all this for it.

USING SLOWPOKE IN BATTLE

stats by pokemondb

Like I said, having a low speed means you get extra points to spend elsewhere. Throw some Eviolite on Slowpoke, punch up its HP and Defense, and make sure it’s got Regenerator as an ability. Now you’re playing with some real defenses.

Scald and Slack Off are your bread and butter here. Scald, with its lovely 30% chance to Burn opponents will make Slowpoke more effective at tanking, and Slack Off will, of course, heal half your HP. Psychic, Fire Blast, or Shadow Ball will make for a good third attack, while Thunder Wave or Yawn will make for a good fourth move. Slowpoke may only really be able to play one role in battle, but it can do a damn fine job of it.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Slowpoke is a cutie pie. Everybody loves Slowpoke!

DESIGN: 4/5
Slowpoke’s design works and all it’s just… weird. What exactly is it based on? I can’t quite tell, but it’s not bad.

BATTLE: 4/5
Great wall, would use again.

……..: ………./……..?
yadon

OVERALL: 4.3/5

Look at those little feet wiggle!

#078 Rapidash

Wait a sec are you tryin’ to trick me again

I was wrong.

Way back when I wrote Nidorino / Nidorina I was mad at how wildly unoriginal they were when it comes to evolutions. I declared that they were the worst example of “It just gets bigger” in Generation 1. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re still terrible as evolutions, but I was wrong. No, the worst example of “It just gets bigger” in Gen 1 is Rapidash. I think. Gen 1 was absolutely terrible on this front, and off the top of my head a certain Ice-typed Pokemon may be an even worse example. But even that’s just a maybe, because Rapidash is pretty not-amazing across the board.

Rapidash is all too often depicted as a goofball too

Rapidash is all too often depicted as a goofball too

So what changes between Ponyta and Rapidash? Well, Rapidash has a horn on its head. A sickly, flesh-colored horn that matches the color of its… coat?

This is something that bothered me yesterday too but I forgot to bring it up. Do Ponyta and Rapidash have fur? I mean I guess there’s other flaming Fire-typed Pokemon that have fur incorporated into their design, but the color of Ponyta and Rapidash make them look fleshy. And, as much as them being furry could be justified, being  fleshy simply works better. Who knows. I think this should be retconned into a better color, but GameFreak seems pretty intent on keeping with all the Pokemon they’ve made as is. Good or bad.

Anyway, the point is that Rapidash’s horn is the same color as its coat. Literally identical, which is horrifying. It makes it look less like a horn and more like a cartoony bump to the head.

THE SECRET RAPIDASH DOESN'T WANT YOU TO KNOW

THE SECRET RAPIDASH DOESN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

What other differences are there? Well, the flames go slightly further down Rapidash’s back, and, well, that’s it! Don’t get me wrong, I still like Rapidash, because the concept of flaming horse is always cool. Always. And Rapidash, with the right artist, can look amazingly cool.

Not everyone got the memo, it seems

Not everyone got the memo it seems

That’s as far as it goes though. Rapidash is as “It just gets bigger” to Ponyta as you can get. Rapidash is cool in a vacuum, but we don’t live in black holes. We live in the real world, and when you bring up all the context, Rapidash is just an uninteresting evolution to an already unoriginal design.

Rapidash is the worst.

Even if it is super cool. Click for source.

Even if it is super cool. Click for source.

DID YOU KNOW?

The original Pokemon games are old. As such, lots of myths and such have sprouted up around them. These range from the obviously fake (Pokemon Black version, etc) to those based on things actually in the game (Lavender Town syndrome, etc.)

However, there’s one NPC directly in the game, no joke, that has been unsettling players for years. Who is this NPC?

As seen in manga form

As seen in manga form

The Pokemon Fan Club Chairman. In the original games you go to him to receive a Bike Voucher to progress further. So, what’s so bizarre about this guy? It’s his dialogue. He asks if you’d like to hear about his Pokemon. Now, this should raise some red flags to most people immediately, but well, you need this bike voucher. So, you have to accept, and listen to him speak.

What follows is absolutely filthy, depraved, and probably illegal in several countries. He launches into a speech about Rapidash, which is, apparently, his favorite Pokemon. If you’re under the age of 18, I highly recommend you skip this next section. So, here it is, quoted directly from the game.

Good! Then listen up! My favorite RAPIDASH… It…cute…lovely…smart…plus…amazing…you think so?…oh yes…it…stunning…kindly…love it! Hug it…when…sleeping…warm and cuddly…spectacular…ravishing……Oops! Look at the time! I kept you too long! Thanks for hearing me out! I want you to have this!

I’m all for having a favorite Pokemon. Hell, I’m sure anyone into this series has their own favorites, but this guy takes things a bit too far. Even as a kid I found his dialogue to be suspect, but now that I’m an adult it just weirds me out way too much.

And what’s with all those pauses? What could he possibly be doing while talking to you to have him be out of breath that much? I don’t think I need to answer that. I think you have your answer already.

Ravishing

Ravishing

USING RAPIDASH IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Rapidash can run 150 miles an hour but it only has 105 Speed. Gen 1 stat spreads are awful. Rapidash is awful, and can no longer make use of Eviolite for passable bulk.

Luckily, Rapidash’s moveset has been expanded a bit, so it can at least get better coverage on the Physical front. Flare Blitz is, of course, still the STAB of choice, and Wild Charge is still great for coverage. GameFreak likes to give every Pokemon with a horn Megahorn, which is great Bug coverage for Rapidash. If you’re going Choice Band, then your fourth move could be Low Kick, Poison Jab or Drill Run for more coverage. If you’re holding a Life Orb, then Morning Sun is still great to heal off any damage you take, while Hypnosis, though inaccurate, is always good.

Rapidash isn’t great. Not at all. It doesn’t get much of a stat boost from Ponyta, and could really use some more moves in its movepool. Rapidash is just disappointing on all fronts, isn’t it?

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Always I wanna be with you make believe with you

DESIGN: 1/5
Even less original than Ponyta

BATTLE: 2/5
It’s terrible, but that 105 Speed means its at least got a decent chance of going first to survive and smack stuff longer.

NO PONIES: THIS TIME/HAHAHA
A friend linked me to this right as I started writing.

OVERALL: 2.3/5

QUICKLY! SOMEONE DOUSE THAT HORSE!

#077 Ponyta

Everybody's favorite equine Pokemon!

Everybody’s favorite equine Pokemon!

I used to wonder what friendship could be. Then I met Ponyta, who proceeded to share its magic with me. Fiery, heat-based magic.

Okay, fine, here's the real art.

Okay, fine, here’s the real art.

Ponyta is cool. I know that several epic amazing cool horses in various forms of media incorporate flames into a horses hooves or mane, but Ponyta was the first one that I was ever exposed to. It didn’t resonate with me all that much at the time though. I wasn’t one of those kids sketching flowery pink horses with badass flames all over them in school. Nope, I was too busy sketching Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles because I was one of those kids. I was even a terrible artist! Good thing I didn’t have an internet to drop those pictures on!

I bring this up because I wonder if there was anyone who did that sort of thing. Lisa Frank was a huge thing when I was growing up, and people were into all kinds of crazy neon stuff. A flaming pony seems like it should’ve been all the rage, but even among my Pokemon playing friends nobody ever seemed to bring up Ponyta.

Not even amongst the kids that lived in the countryside

The day after I return from my break and I’m already at a loss for words. There’s just not much that I can talk about with Ponyta. It’s literally just a horse made of fire. Cool looking, but wildly unoriginal. According to the Pokedex in Generation 1, Ponyta can jump over the Eiffel Tower in a single leap. In Generation 3 this was updated to saying it was Ayers Rock. I do find it interesting that they bothered to find two separate 1,000 foot tall entities to demonstrate Ponyta’s 1,000+ foot leap, but there’s nothing else really to say beyond that. We can laugh at the writers of the Pokedex and then move on, because there’s nothing here. Only trash.

References!

References!

DID YOU KNOW?

This is going to sound a lot like the next segment, but that’s because I wanted to verify this information myself. Basically, I read somewhere that Ponyta has the highest Base Stat Total of any unevolved Pokemon that can evolve. So, for reference, here’s Ponyta’s base stats.

Not bad at all

Now, the first thing I noticed is that this is better than my one of my favorite Pokemon, Generation 3’s Mawile. Generally, when a Pokemon has no evolution it’ll be given fairly high base stats to compensate for the lack of boosts it’ll get from a lifetime of evolution. However, because people at Pokemon were apparently smoking all kinds of narcotics during the development cycle of Generations 1-3, a lot of single stage Pokemon were given awful stats. Whether it was Generation 1’s Farfetch’d, or Generation 2’s Delibird, there was a lot of completely useless garbage. Generation 3 continued this with some of the worst Pokemon (In terms of battle anyway) to date, and here’s the Base Stat Total of Mawile.

Terrible.

Terrible.

So, 380, but that doesn’t fit the qualifiers given. This was a Pokemon that doesn’t evolve by normal means, so, while that 380 Total is awful, it’s not exactly accurate as a measurement to how good Ponyta’s total is.

But, I brough it up for a reason. See, when Pokemon are created with the intention of evolving them, they tend to be given hilariously low stats, with the  caveat being that at full evolution, this Pokemon will be capable in terms of battle. This is not the case for any Pokemon that got cross generation evolutions (With a few exceptions). So, while we know these days that Sneasel evolves into Weavile, Sneasel was created with the intention of being a standalone Pokemon. This is where I ran to try and find a BST higher than 410. A Pokemon that was intended to be single stage, and was given one later to increase its power further. What did my results tell me?

Hey wait a second...

Hey wait a second…

My results came back and told me that you can’t always believe what you read. Some people will claim that Ponyta has the highest Base Stat Total of any unevolved Pokemon that can Evolve, but this is not true. I’m sure there’s probably more Pokemon in that category with a total higher than 430, but I don’t care enough to look. I’m just glad that the second Pokemon I looked up was enough to stop me from talking about this any further.

Remember kids, always check your facts!

USING PONYTA IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

Not to say that Ponyta’s stats are bad. Oh no, these are quite good for Little Cup. Decent enough defenses with an okay HP with satisfactory Attack and Speed stats.

So, you’ve got 2 main things here. You can have Ponyta be a hilarious wall, by giving it Eviolite and Morning Sun. Flame Body as an ability gives physically attacking enemies a chance at being burned, and an Eviolite Ponyta has the defenses necessary to survive many attacks and heal them off with Morning Sun. Naturally, it gets even better at this if someone else sets up Sun for Ponyta, such as Vulpix, or just adding the move to your move set. Flare Blitz and Wild Charge are your only real options for STAB + Coverage, to stop any Water types that may try to rain on your parade.

badum-tish!

Thanks to Little Cup’s level limit of 5 though, Ponyta can also run a half-decent Special set. You’ll need Sun up, but a Sun-boosted Fire Blast is devastating, while Solarbeam offers much greater coverage to anything that would threaten a Ponyta, as it would also stop Rock and Ground types, in addition to the Water. That’s it. There’s no other Special moves of note that Ponyta can learn, so Morning Sun is again your best option for a fourth move alongside Eviolite.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Flaming horses are cool I tell you what.

DESIGN: 1/5
They’re also not original in the slightest.

BATTLE: 3/5
Great stats, but a shallow movepool stops Ponyta from really shining. That and dependence on Sun to make most of those moves work in the first place.

NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO NOW HATE ME FOR THAT FIRST IMAGE: INFINTY/ALL OF THEM
I’ve never seen an episode of the show, I just couldn’t resist the My Little Ponyta pun.

OVERALL: 2.6/5

Flames don’t need a fan to look cool.

#076 Golem

Why is this allowed?

Why is this allowed?

Back from break and I feel fine! Sort of. Mostly. I feel fine enough, I suppose. Maybe I kinda feel terrible. Maybe I’m in exactly the right place to write more about Pokemon daily and have some more fun with it. OR/AS is coming out soon. Would anyone be interested in a super short review of the game shortly after that happens? I dunno I think it’d be cool to do a game.

Anyway. Back to what’s important. What this awful Pokemon line has been leading up to for weeks. It started off as a living rock with arms that people throw like snowballs. A living boulder with four arms that rolls down mountains. This is obviously the next step in evolution. A dinosaur peeking out of its egg.

Seriously. This is one of the most unusual evolutionary lines I can think of offhand. This is how the Geodude line ends. It’s not like I’m just making up the archetype of a dinosaur peeking out of its egg. It’s been done before, and I firmly believe that this is what Golem is referencing, as opposed to its namesake. Arguments have been made for Geodude just being a highly stylized version of a turtle, and while I can definitely see that as possibly being true, I much prefer the dinosaur egg theory.


Two examples for example

Either way Golem is a bit of a radical departure from its two pre-evolutions. I do like the rock plating on its body though. While Geodude and Graveler look plenty hard, they also look like they’d explode after a huge drop. You’d think all the cracks on Golem’s body would make it look even less stable, but it works. Somehow. Armor plates are weird like that.

Golem wasn’t always as delightfully craggy as we know it today though. Back in Generation 1 its sprite was all round, and, well weird. It looks cancerous, or like its bulging with muscle. It looks like someone zoomed in one of Machamp’s biceps and drew a funny face and arms on it. This is reminding me why I decided to take my break at Golem. I just don’t like it, and never have.

See, Golem is just weird to me. There’s lots of weird Pokemon, but Golem is that weird kind of weird. Am I supposed to take this scary rock dinosaur monster seriously? I”m sure I am because, well, just re-read that description. That’s some third-grade nightmare fuel right there. But then you see its Gen 1 sprite and your friends laugh at you for making a big deal about how cool Golem supposedly is.

YOU'RE NOT HELPING, GOLEM

YOU’RE NOT HELPING, GOLEM

Golem’s heyday was back in Generation 1. It was cool then. You couldn’t see it in English versions of the game because everyone was short-sighted back then, so you had to find other methods of viewing it. Golem had an air of mystique around it, and, of course, the anime actually bothered to make it look tough, and dignified.

Most of the time, anyway.

Most of the time, anyway.

Now Golem is an oft-forgotten Pokemon. Nobody remembers the dumb rock turtle with an even dumber name. All of the mystery behind Graveler’s evolution has gone away, and what we’re left with is just a big fat hunk of rock with a dumb face. Normally this is where I say I feel bad for a Pokemon. I talk about how it doesn’t deserve what it’s getting, but, you know what, I don’t like Golem. Golem absolutely deserves to be hated, so it can go die in a fire, except that it can’t because it has a 4x resistance to the type.

DID YOU KNOW?

THAT GOLEM DIED LAST WEEK?

KA-BOOOOOOOOOOOM

KA-BOOOOOOOOOOOM

WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN? SERIOUSLY? GOD NOW I’LL HAVE TO LOOK FOR SOMETHING ELSE.

Oh wait, I have something. I briefly mentioned above that Golem was the only Pokemon that couldn’t be seen in Red / Blue without acquiring it for yourself, and that is 100% true. In the English versions only, that is. Obviously, given the way to obtain Golem, there is no way to attain it in the wild. In addition, no Pokemon trainers had a Golem for you to add to your Pokedex, and there were no in game trades for one. Depending on version it could also have been impossible to encounter a Kabutops, Omastar, Electabuzz, and Magmar, but only Golem was 100% unfindable in both versions.

Or maybe Golem was just those Strength rocks all along!

Or maybe Golem was just those Strength rocks all along!

Although, again, this only applies to the English language versions. The Japanese version of Pokemon Blue had an NPC who was willing to trade for a Graveler, meaning you could  acquire a Golem all on your own! And that’s it. That’s all I have to say. Have another image of Golem being silly.

EAT MORE INTENSELY

EAT MORE INTENSELY

USING GOLEM IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Golem is still as top heavy as ever, with a nice respectable 130 Defense stat with a solid 120 Attack stat. Unfortunately Rock / Ground isn’t a great typing, so that 130 Defense can evaporate quickly if it gets smacked with a Grass or Water type move. Things only get worse if it’s a Special attack, as Golem’s 65 Special Defense stat is far from good.

So. Sturdy. Sturdy will allow you to survive any move that would kill you from full HP. Set up some delicious Stealth Rocks, and then, well, erm. Golem does not have a lot going for it. The typical set for Sturdy Stealth Rock setting Pokemon involves a Custap Berry, but that’s not available at the moment. If it becomes a thing as of OR/AS then just do that and add Explosion, Earthquake, and such to the list. So, until that happens, the best you can do is slap leftovers onto Golem, pump your Defense and Attack, then start attacking. Rock Blast is good for multihitting and destroying Subs, while Stone Edge is a solid attack that can unfortunately be inefficient thanks to Golem’s slow speed. Sucker Punch is also usable as a solid Priority attack, with the drawbacks being obvious.

Golem is not great. Not at all, really.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 2/5
Golem looks so not-great. So so not-great.

DESIGN: 4/5
In terms of design Golem is cool though. Whether it’s supposed to be a turtle or a half-hatched egg I’m a big fan of the idea, just not so much the execution.

BATTLE: 2/5
There are worse Pokemon, but Golem isn’t great.

WORTH THE WAIT?: NOPE/NOT AT ALL
I should’ve taken a break when a cooler Pokemon was next.

OVERALL: 2.6/5

I don’t like how that head rotates.