#116 Horsea

Everything about this is cute.

Everything about this is cute.

It’s been awhile since I had to do a Pokemon that was just designed from the very beginning to be cute. Horsea’s got itself a cute little swirly for a tail, and a big peashooter for a mouth. And then there’s those huge eyes. They’re red, to let you know that even if it’s a sea Pokemon, the salt water hurts its eyes too.

I typed that last sentence as a joke, but I got genuinely curious about that, so I did some good old fashioned fact checking. And, yup, it turns out that Horsea’s eyes are no longer red upon evolution. I don’t think it’s because Horsea is supposed to have red, irritated eyes from being a newborn, but I get the feeling that someone out there is going to take it as a serious statement and make a new theory out of it.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

Quick! Intercept with an entirely different theory!

Quick! Intercept with an entirely different theory!

So everyone likes to point out that Horsea is very obviously based on a seahorse, right. And then it can shoot ink. But seahorses can’t shoot ink! So, obviously, another sea animal came into play, that being Squids, or Octopi. Why? Because they shoot ink. Horsea is a seahorse that shoots ink. It all makes sense.

However, consider the following.

What if Horsea’s roots are much more sinister? What if that’s not ink it’s spraying out, but poison. Horrible terrible poison. And now look at that picture. Horsea from the front, with those big spikes coming off of its head. Then it’s got a tendency to shoot black liquid. Are you following me yet? Do you know where I’m going with this?

OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. I WANT TO GO HOME.

OH GOD. OH GOD. OH GOD. I WANT TO GO HOME.

That’s right. I propose that Horsea is instead based off of a Dilophosaurus. I mean, if we ignore minor things like how the dinosaur lived on land while Horsea lives in the sea, or how their bodies aren’t really similar at all, then they’re pretty much the same thing.

They’ve both got big flashy heads, and they spew black things from their mouth. If you just drape a cloth over Horsea’s head then you’ve basically got a Dilophosaurus’s frill. Now, I’m not saying that Junichi Masuda or Satoshi Tajiri ripped it off, but I am saying this.

Jurassic Park was released in 1993. The first versions of Pokemon were released in Japan in 1996. Horsea’s index number being 92 is a pretty good indicator that it was added fairly late into the game too, further supporting my theory.

NO NOT NEWMAN

It’s raining Nedry! Just wipe it off!

And that’s how awful theories get started. You bring up any objectionable points that would disprove the theory yourself, and then brush them off as being unimportant. Then, you load up your viewer with evidence. It doesn’t matter if it’s circumstantial or real, just so long as you can keep listing things to make your supporting argument look big, and complicated.

The more you know.

OH GOD MAYBE IT REALLY IS BASED ON A DILOPHOSAURUS

OH GOD MAYBE IT REALLY IS BASED ON A DILOPHOSAURUS

DID YOU KNOW?

This is another one of those minor things, but Horsea actually used to have two fins, instead of just the single backfin that it has now. It’s very obvious in Horsea’s original art.

They’re also at the sides, not the back

The position of them is different too, which makes me wonder if they were gonna be used differently. The single fin on the back nowadays looks more like it’s supposed to serve as a rotor, so Horsea can steer and make quick turns if it needs to. The original design looks more to me like the fins were basically intended to be hand-analogues. If you wanted to shake Horsea’s hand, it would raise a fin and you’d shake it! That’s only an assumption though, so who knows.

However, what makes this a little more interesting than other ancient retcons is that Horsea was actually depicted like this in other works for awhile. Sort of. Even in the game it looks like Horsea has a single fin, but…

Or maybe the manga's just wrong.

Or maybe the manga’s just wrong.

In at least one of the manga, Horsea was depicted with that twin-fin design! This picture is from Magical Pokemon Journey, which had a few major changes from other versions of Pokemon. The most notable one is that all Pokemon can speak the same language as humans.

The second most notable? Horsea’s double fins of course!

USING HORSEA IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Horsea is not great. That 70 in Defense and Special Attack is pretty decent for a Little Cup Pokemon, but it falls short in every other area and is just  all around a sub par Pokemon.

First things first though, don’t even bother with Horsea unless you’re using a Rain team. While Horsea evolutions may be able to make use of the Sniper ability, the best that Horsea itself can do is Swift Swim. With doubled Speed in rain, Horsea can use a STAB boosted Hydro Pump to smash apart a pretty decent number of things that would try to stop it. Ice Beam is always a fantastic option for coverage, and for a third moveslot you’ll probably want Substitute. If you’d prefer to play safe though, Substitute can be swapped out for Rain Dance.

You know, I’m just realizing that it’s been a long time since I’ve written about a Pokemon that has 4 moveslot syndrome. For those unaware, 4 moveslot syndrome is just the fan nickname for a Pokemon that is filled to bursting with good options for attacks, and would be insanely better if it had an extra moveslot availble.

Bringing that up because a lot of things recently have been a strugle to come up with a good fourth move. Horsea is one of them, with Hidden Power pretty much being the only good option. Seriously. The only other move it gets access to that isn’t Water or Ice typed is Flash Cannon, and Steel is a terrible type offensively. Anyway, for Hidden Power you’ll want either Grass, or Ground. Then just add a Life Orb on top for a boost in power.
ARBITRARY SCORESAPPEARANCES: 5/5
Horsea is absolutely adorable. Even its cry is cute.DESIGN: 5/5
Making use of a seahorse’s weird trumpet mouth to shoot ink is a pretty great idea in terms of design. Alternatively, Dilophosauruses man!BATTLE: 2/5
Not great. There’s better Pokemon to consider for your rain team.OVERALL: 4/5
116
We were sailing along on moonlight bay~

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#115 Kangaskhan

Touch my kid and find out what happens!

Touch my kid and find out what happens!

Kangaskhan is hardcore. First off, its name is like a tiny barely there difference between its name and Genghis Khan. Do you know who Genghis Khan is? I barely do because I don’t care much for history, but I can tell you this much.

He was hardcore.

SURPRISE HUGS!

SURPRISE HUGS!

Kangaskhan, on the other hand, is basically a maternal Pokemon. It carries a tiny baby around in its pouch at all times, and loves it dearly. It’ll also beat to death anything that it thinks is trying to endanger the baby. Some people have tried to make the connection between Genghis Khan’s ruthlessness and Kangaskhan’s determination to punish anything that would harm its baby, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch.

Plus, I mean, come on. Kangaskhan’s just a maternal Pokemon. There’s really not much to them besides that. I suppose the baby one in the pouch is kinda cute, if you can get past the fact that freshly hatched Kangaskhan will already have a baby.

I've never seen this episode of the anime, but I can only assume that kid is terrified.

I’ve never seen this episode of the anime, but I can only assume that kid is terrified.

I was talking about mothers with a friend of mine earlier today. I was like, “Man, my mom is annoying. She’s super gullible, and I think it’s cause she’s old. She’s a crazy old lady.”

And while that may be true, I think we would all do well to appreciate our mothers a little bit. Unless your mother was just some kind of horrible monster. Those kinds do exist, and I feel for anyone who had to grow up like that. My mother was thankfully not that kind of person, and she may be an overly gullible, well, idiot in this day and age, but she means well.

Just copy paste the Kangaskhan and add a baby into some pouches!

Just copy paste the Kangaskhan and add a baby into some pouches!

I don’t have any kids, and, really, at the moment, I’m not interested in having any. If I ever were to have kids though, one of my greatest fears is basically becoming my mother. I don’t want to have to experience slowly losing my mind and sanity. I don’t want to be the one who will believe anything I’m told and fall for all kinds of crazy scams whenever they’re presented earnestly.

But, at the same time, I like to think that any kids I may have had would be willing to help their dear mother out. Because, despite my failings in my assumed advanced age, I like to think I’d be like a Kangaskhan while they were growing up. I will already get into fights over comparatively small issues. I think that would only be exacerbated if I had a child to nurture and protect.

WHO DID THIS TO YOU? I'LL KILL 'EM.

WHO DID THIS TO YOU? I’LL KILL ‘EM.

Go show your mother some appreciation sometime readers. They may annoy us sometimes with all of their requests, but I’m sure they went through a whole lot to raise our sorry butts.

Again, unless your mom is awful. Then please, stay away. Like, if your mother is like Mega Kangaskhan, who is probably one of the worst things to ever be introduced to any meta ever, then please keep your distance.

DID YOU KNOW?

I was originally going to write about this when I did Cubone, but, I’m going to be honest here, I totally forgot. I thought the shirt thing was cool, and forgot I’d promised to do something about a certain well accepted theory. SO, I’m going to do that here, and now.

Also because there’s really not much else to talk about Kangaskhan with.

Yup. THIS theory.

Yup. THIS theory.

So, if you’re unfamiliar, the theory basically goes like this. If a Kangaskhan dies during, or shortly after birth, then its child doesn’t receive the normal nurturing required to become a Kangaskhan. Instead, it lovingly dons its mother’s empty skull, picks up a stray bone, and becomes the Cubone we all know and love.

Now, this theory is extremely prevalent. Because, I mean, first off, it does kinda make sense. A Pokemon that depends on nurturing that much would likely cry every night if it grew up without a mother. But that’s not the only bit of supporting evidence. In addition to just making sense, it’s further supported by the Generation 1 glitch Pokemon, ‘M.

‘M is another glitch Pokemon, just like Missingno. Like, really similar. They both share the same Pokedex number and sprite. The only real difference is in their name, where Missingno. is, of course, Missingno., while ‘M is ‘M.

Anyway, when you level up ‘M, it evolves into a Kangaskhan. And that’s the evidence. By jumping to conclusions through a number of hoops, people decided that ‘M is a Pokemon that was intended to be added to the game, but removed before it was completed. ‘M evolving into Kangaskhan, to these people, means that ‘M was data for what was intended to be a Kangaskhan pre-evolution.

First things first. That doesn’t make sense. See, I don’t know if it’s just dumb wording, or what, but the theory basically says that something was meant to evolve into Kangaskhan. Okay, sure. Then it says that that something, is Cubone, but the data was dummied out before release.

No. The data couldn’t have been dummied out, because we have Cubone. Cubone exists. If Cubone was intended to evolve into Kangaskhan, then it would do so. This would prove that a Kangaskhan pe-evo was meant to exist, and not prove anything about its relation to Cubone or Marowak.

Have a VERY impressive image of Missingno. by Paul Robertson. Click for source.

Have a VERY impressive image of Missingno. by Paul Robertson. Click for source.

Anyway. Here we go. Here’s why it happens. Please, remember this. I’m tired of seeing this theory.

When you perform the first few steps of the Missingno glitch you load a Pokemon battle in a town, Viridian City. Wild encounters aren’t normally allowed to happen in towns, and this exception is cleared away after you move to another area. This loaded battle, however, stays in the game’s memory when you fly to a different location, and by hanging on the very edge of Cinnabar Island you’re still technically not moving into a new area, so the game counts it as a wild encounter in a town.

The game doesn’t know how to deal with this, so through a horrible amalgamation of data corruption, it produces an error handler. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, an error handler is basically just something that stops your game from completely exploding when a serious error occurs. Missingno. is the error handler. Then, based off of your name, or just a little bit of Luck, you could get Missingno., or ‘M.

Then this all comes back to Index Numbers. In Generation 1, a Pokemon’s internal identifier is in its Index Number. ‘M, however, is glitched, and basically has a broken identifier. So when ‘M in particular levels up, it realizes there’s an error, and seeks to correct it. It does so by evolving into a Pokemon at the start of the list. This is why, nine times out of ten, Missingno. or ‘M will evolve into a Rhydon or Kangaskhan. Because those are Index Numbers 1 and 2.

That’s it. It’s easily explained, and it’s all unintentional glitches and error handlers.

For a bit more info on the process, check out this fantastic video by JWittz about Missingno.

And please, you, reading this. Please do what you can to stop the spread of this awful theory. I’m so tired of not only seeing it whenever I need to just look up Cubone or Kangaskhan, but I’m double tired of seeing it expressed as common facts, when it is so very clearly not. Please.

USING KANGASKHAN IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Again, friendly reminder, this is about regular Kangaskhan. Not Mega. Mega Kangaskhan is a destroyer of worlds only threatened by Mega Rayquaza. Regular Kangaskhan… well, it’s not great.

Give Kangaskhan an Assault Vest. Why? Because literally none of Kangaskhan’s non-attacking moves are worth a single thing. At least the Assault Vest gets you nice and bulky, while not having the drawbacks of a Choice item or Life Orb. Return is your best STAB option, and that leaves you with 3 slots. Scrappy is absolutely the best ability you should go for, and I personally love a STAB Fake Out to use alongside it. If you don’t like Fake Out, then just replace it with Power Up Punch.

After that, Drain Punch and Sucker Punch. There’s really little that a non-Mega Kangaskhan can do, and I’ve pretty much said it all. Add EV’s into Attack, and just let Kangaskhan do its best out there. Thankfully it’s got a pretty decent amount of bulk with 105/80/80, and that gets a nice boost from the Assault Vest. It’s still very lackluster on the Attack side though, so use it carefully.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
Kangaskhan looks weird. But, at the same time, it looks like it’ll ruin someone’ s day.

DESIGN: 5/5
I really love the idea of a fiercely maternal Pokemon. Sure, someone might say that Chansey did it first, but, if we’re going by Index Number, Kangaskhan did it first. And really, a baby is way better than an egg.

BATTLE: 2/5
Another one of those nicely rounded out Pokemon in terms of stats. It excels in nothing, unfortunately.

UM: EXCUSE/ME
No! No! No! No! No! No! Cubone and Marowak are not related to Kangaskhan! The final nail in this dumb coffin is Mega Kangaskhan, because the baby grows a bit older and looks NOTHING like a Cubone. No! No! No! No!

Chant it like D-Bry would!

Chant it like D-Bry would!

OVERALL: 3.3/5

The baby has to watch as Kangaskhan commits homicide

#114 Tangela

So many jokes, so little time.

So many jokes, so little time.

Tangela is the only fully evolved mono-Grass typed Pokemon in Generation 1. Every other Grass Pokemon aside from Exeggutor was dual typed Poison back then, so Tangela was a good way to get some nice Grass coverage while not leaving yourself open to Psychic attacks.

Of course, not being Poison meant that Tangela was vulnerable to Toxic. Which is kinda bad, since Tangela is made to be a pretty solid defensive Pokemon. Also Psychic attacks were considered Special in Gen 1, and Tangela has an extremely weak Special Defense in exchange for that good regular Defense.

Conclusion: They really messed up while making Tangela.

At least you'll never be THAT big of a disaster

At least you’ll never be THAT big of a disaster

Fun fact, several months back someone I know was holding a tournament where you were only allowed to use awful, weak Pokemon. Tangela fit within the requirements for this, and I actually had a pretty decent amount of success in the practice matches. Then the official thing never wound up happening so I never got to see if my Tangela would have made an excellent competitor or not. I even had the best nickname for it. Kirby. Because it looks like an enemy straight out of a Kirby game. Or like what Kirby would look like if it gained a Tentacle power.

Kirby was awesome.

OOGA BOOGA BOOGA

OOGA BOOGA BOOGA

You know what bothers me? When extremely easy references in the Pokedex never come to fruition on the actual Pokemon. Multiple entries reference Tangela’s vines as being ticklish, and unnerving to its opponent. So they made sure that Tangela can learn the move Tickle, but then they don’t give it Unnerve as an ability.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m really trying to fill time and ignore the obvious thing staring right at me. The joke I don’t want to make because this is a PG blog. I keep things clean here ya’ll. I don’t stoop to dumb jokes about unclean things.

So instead have a Tangela leading some Exeggcute aroud

So instead have a Tangela leading some Exeggcute around

I’m not going to bring it up. I mean, yes, I would find it strange if a Lass in Pokemon had only a Tangela in her party, but it would be because of Tangela’s limited usefulness. My mind wouldn’t be going to impure thoughts. I wouldn’t be worried about that schoolgirl’s innocence, or the assumed lack thereof.

Instead I’d be wondering why Tangela is blue! R-Right! Tangela is a Grass typed Pokemon. It’s based around vines and seaweed. And yet it’s blue? Why is that? I don’t know, but I’m glad that GameFreak realized their mistake and immediately made Shiny Tangela green to make up for their horrible mistake.

Just add some butter for an easy meal!

Just add some butter for an easy meal!

You know what else Tangela reminds me of? Spaghetti? I kinda wanna just jab a fork right into Tangela’s body, twirl it up, and eat it whole, and alive. I have to wonder how good it tastes, you know? I mean I’m sure it’s atrocious, but that could probably be countered with some cayenne pepper and extra time boiling.

You know what Tangela doesn’t remind me of? TENTACLE P-

DID YOU KNOW?

Tangela is one of the few still unsolved mysteries about Pokemon. Much like Diglett, nobody quite knows what is hidden underneath all of Tangela’s vines. I don’t understand why, because Pokedex entries say that Tangela’s vines snap easily, and while a day to grow back might be extremely quick it’s also plenty of time to tear the vines away and look at what’s underneath.

However, much like Diglett, I like this remaining a mystery. It’s way too late to try and surprise everyone by revealing it at this point, and really, we pretty much know what’s inside. It’s a small kirby-esque thing with a black face and big eyes. I mean, probably.

Look, lemme give you an example.

I love Kirby. Pretty sure I haven't said that before.

I love Kirby. Pretty sure I haven’t said that before.

See that masked guy there? That’s Meta Knight in Meta Knight’s Revenge from Kirby Super Star. Like many people, I’m sure we all wondered what was beneath Meta Knight’s mask. Was it a bird face? Maybe he was like Kirby but he had like, a beard, and a scar, and an eyepatch! Oh man! I can’t wait to find out what’s underneath!

Luckily, when you defeat Meta Knight, his mask cracks, and falls off. Allowing you to see his face for a brief moment.

Oh, hi. I'm pretty much just you, except blue.

Oh, hi. I’m pretty much just you, except blue.

And then we found out that there was nothing special underneath. Meta Knight was, and to this day, still is just a palette swapped Kirby underneath the mask.

We don’t know what’s underneath Tangela’s vines, and we probably never will. Don’t worry about it though. Just assume it’s a black blob with feet and you won’t be disappointed.

USING TANGELA IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Eviolite Tangela. Give it Regenerator as an ability. This is the strat I used to murder my companions at Pokemon for the mini tournament with a 450 BST limit.

Anyway, Tangela’s got a fantastic 115 base Defense stat, and a sad 40 Special Defense. Eviolite helps to patch both of those up, and the Grass type is finally somewhat half decent as a defensive type thanks to built in immunity to spore and powder based attacks. Regenerator is a fantastic ability that will recover 33% of your HP on a switch out, so you should be basically using hit and run tactics to keep your Tangela healthy. The Eviolite will serve you well in tanking incoming attacks while you’re doing all that switching,

As for moves, Giga Drain, Toxic, and Leech Seed are pretty much required. If you really want you can sub Leech Seed out for Synthesis in the interest of keeping yourself alive, but Regenerator will usually suffice there. Leaf Storm is another good option over Giga Drain, since the -2 to Special Attack means little when you plan on leaving shortly after using the move.

For a final move? Knock Off is always useful for utility, but you should not expect to do much damage off of that 55 Attack stat. Sleep Powder is also useful if you don’t want to run Toxic, and Hidden Power Ice is pretty much the only other option worth considering.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
I don’t want this thing anywhere near me. It’s unnerving.

DESIGN: 3/5
Tangela’s original name was actually Meduza. This seems to imply that they were going for a whole gorgon head motif, but it doesn’t really look like that to me. So I don’t know. I like the mystery behind it though.

BATTLE: 2/5
Eviolite is hilarious on defensive Pokemon. Tangela’s just not great though.

I DON’T GET: THE FIRST/SECTION
Good. Don’t look into it. Keep your innocence, children. Cherish it.

OVERALL: 2/5

And take your creepy tickling fantasies with you!

#113 Chansey

Sup dawg, we put an egg inside yo eggg

Sup dawg, we put an egg inside yo egg

Chansey is pink and round. She’s shaped like an egg. She’s also got a pouch on its front that also has an egg. She’s weak on the offensive, but strong on the defensive. She’s got a permanent smiled etched into her face.

That’s all there is to say about Chansey.

This is more or less Chansey's job in game.

This is more or less Chansey’s job in game.

For the games at least. I was really worried about writing this because I was like man, what is there to really say about Chansey? Then, much to my surprise, I discover that the anime has an extremely different view of Chansey. A cartoonish, completely inaccurate view.

I normally save talk of stats for the last section of a review, but I’m going to bring this up now. Chansey has the absolute lowest Attack stat of all. 721 Pokemon and Chansey is the absolute lowest, with 5. For reference, the weakest Pokemon in terms of stats overall is Sunkern, which still manages to have a 30 in every stat.

Say that to my face not online and see what happens.

Say that to my face not online and see what happens.

The anime, however, seems to make Chansey out to be some kind of world-ending monster. Beneath that big, goofy smile is the mind of a killer. Chansey will end your life in a heartbeat and smile while doing it.

I have to actively remind myself that Chansey is phenomenally weak in game. Fair warning, the images in this article may disturb you.

Tonight... you.

Tonight… you.

What makes this more disturbing is that Chansey is also frequently associated with Pokemon Centers and Nurse Joy in the anime. It’d be like finding out that all the hospitals in your town are secretly run by the mafia. The scary mafia. The kind that make a living murdering the living hell out of people, and not running casinos or something.

I don’t like it.

I DON'T EVEN CARE THAT THIS IS TECHNICALLY NOT VERY EFFECTIVE

SINCE THIS IS TECHNICALLY NOT VERY EFFECTIVE I’LL HAVE TO HIT YOU TWICE AS MANY TIMES

You know what else is awful? Chansey’s eggs. See, everyone likes to laugh and say that Chansey is a cannibal because the move Softboiled very strongly implies that Chansey eats its own eggs. But Softboiled isn’t the only egg-based move that Chansey uses. It also gets access to Egg Bomb, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Platinum’s Pokedex confirms that Chansey lays these eggs themselves, but that they contain no Pokemon. That’s all well and good, but now I have to wonder just how quickly a Chansey can lay an egg. It gets 10 PP for Softboiled, so that implies it can produce 10 in a relatively quick period of time. That 10 can be raised to 16 PP though, thanks to PP Ups. On the other hand, Egg Bomb has another 10 PP that can also be raised to 16 thanks to the power of PP Up.

Chansey can produce, at minimum, 32 eggs in a single battle without the need for medicine. And that’s why I can only assume that any Exeggcute that get separated from their group wind up in a Chansey’s grasp.

This may look cute but the undertones are sinister.

This may look cute but the undertones are sinister.

DID YOU KNOW?

First things first. In Japan, Chansey’s name is Lucky. That makes everything else I’m about to mention very strange. At least I think it’s strange. Or at least very lazy.

The nurse is ready to see you now! =D

The nurse is ready to see you now! =D

So, aside from Arceus, who has that whole plate gimmick going on, Chansey’s line actually has the highest number of items related to it! For starters we have the Lucky Punch, an item so phenomenally useless I’m not even going to bother explaining what it does (Except I will it raises Chansey’s crit chance by 2 stages which is amazing if not for the fact that Chansey is absolutely atrocious as an attacker). Next up is the Luck Incense, which is how you hatch Happiny out of eggs, instead of Chansey. Then there’s the Oval Stone, which your freshly hatched Happiny needs to evolve into Chansey. And finally we have the most actually useful of these items, the Lucky Egg, which will raise your exp gained by 50%.

Notice how 3 of those have Luck in them. I don’t know if Japan is just really uncreative, or if they really like the name Lucky.

Have a cute gif for once.

Have a cute gif for once.

USING CHANSEY IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Wow. Those stats. It’s very very obvious what role Chansey is meant to play in battle. This is also the first time in ages that I’ll be talking about a Pokemon that is actually insanely strong in battle.

Why’s that? Eviolite. Pump all your EV’s into both Defense stats, and give Chansey Eviolite. Congratulations, you now have a Pokemon so insanely bulky that other Pokemon weep when they try to destroy it. Be careful of Knock Off though!

Anyway, that’s really all there is to it. No matter what you run your Chansey will probably be an effective teammate. You’ve got two main ways to plan this out though. You can either be a strong defensive unit, or support the rest of your team. Either way, Toxic is going to be your main way to deal damage in a timely manner. Or Seismic Toss, in case of Taunting. Or both! Softboiled should be used if it’s going to be standalone, but Wish is better if it’s going to support. Natural Cure is 100% the ability you should go with, so that Chansey can’t be defeated via Toxic unless it’s the last Pokemon on your team. Stealth Rock and Heal Bell are also excellent choices for Chansey to support your team.

Just, again, watch out for Knock Off users. With Eviolite the amount of bulk Chansey has on both ends is absolutely fantastic, but if it loses that item it immediately becomes extremely susceptible to Physical Attacks.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Cute as a button.

DESIGN: 2/5
What even is this? An egg with a tail?

BATTLE: 5/5
I hate fighting Chansey. I hate it because good players can keep it around and away from Knock Off users for a looooooong time.

CHANSEY IS CONFIRMED: TO LAY/EGGS?
Yes, actually. The eggs Chansey uses in battle appear to be unique from regular Pokemon eggs, though. Chansey’s Platinum Pokedex entry confirms that the eggs are laid by Chansey herself though.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

My defenses are impregnable. My style is impetuous.

#112 Rhydon

What if Rhyhorn… stood up?!

Rhyhorn is one baaaad mother trucker. Take Nidoking, make him a much more intimidating gray , add two feet to his height, and add in the ability for him to be female. Now you’ve got yourself a Rhydon!

Except, there’s one minor detail I forgot. That big scary poison horn that Nidoking proudly wields? Swap it out for an industrial drill with Real Spinning Action!™

Then toss it at someone like a football!

Then toss it at someone like a football!

Rhydon always annoyed the heck out of me as a kid. Like, I would see Rhydon and be like, “Holy crap, that thing looks awesome!” and want to use it. Then I’d try to find one and couldn’t. Never ever ever. It’s not that Rhyhorn are super ultra rare or anything, it’s just that you don’t get them until the Safari Zone in Fuchsia City.

Now, I know some people like to play Pokemon by changing their teams the entire time through and acquiring a large team of Pokemon both stored and in their party at all times. If you played like that, then more power to you. I’m not one of those people though. I liked to collect my entire well balanced team relatively early in the game, and make use of those the entire time. I work with a small, core group, and Fuchsia City is way too late to keep a slot open, even if it meant never using Rhydon.

If I'd known it could surf at the time I may have changed my mind.

If I’d known it could surf at the time I may have changed my mind.

After writing that last bit I realized that I never used a Rhydon. So I got to hypothesizing, has Rhyhorn ever been available at a reasonable point in any of the games? I already mentioned Gen 1’s Fuchsia City. In Gen 2, Rhyhorn didn’t show up until Victory Road. In Gen 3? Rhyhorn was again limited to the Safari Zone, which, in Hoenn, was a pretty good chunk into the game. Once again, in Gen 5, Rhyhorn was restricted to a post game area. Gen 4 was a half-exception. While Rhyhorn was limited to a post-game area in Diamond and Pearl, it was made available much earlier, on Route 214 for Platinum. And finally, in Gen 6, they relented and made Rhyhorn available in the relatively early Glittering Cave.

The point I’m trying to make is that the 500th Geodude you encounter before finding a Rhyhorn starts to look really sweet if you want some good old fashioned Rock and Ground coverage.

All the sparkles in the world can't change that.

All the sparkles in the world can’t change that.

All of this writing about Rhyhorn makes me want to kinda catch one right now actually. I’ve never had the chance to level one up, and I’ve always found the gimmick of an Eviolite Rhydon to be hilarious. Maybe I will some day. Maybe I will for the inevitable Pokemon Z, or Pokemon X2 / Y2 that comes out near the end of this year.

I’ll make sure it’s male, so I can use the perfect nickname of Mr. Driller without pulling on my collar every time someone points out that the gender and use of Mr. are technically incorrect.

MAYBE WE WON'T EVEN GO ON AN ADVENTURE

MAYBE WE WON’T EVEN GO ON AN ADVENTURE

DID YOU KNOW?

A long time ago, while writing about Venonat, I mentioned this little thing called Index Numbers. They’re basically a sort of way to determine via the games internal data what order Pokemon were added to the game and in which order. I used it to point out that the entire Caterpie line was added together, separate of Venonat and Venomoth. This time though, the Index Numbers will prove something much more trivia-based.

Rhydon was the very first Pokemon ever conceived.

Before Pokemon, there was Capsule Monsters.

Before Pokemon, there was Capsule Monsters.

That art right there is from an ancient manga-pitch thing for what would eventually become Pokemon. It started off as Capsule Monsters, and that thing shown a lot is an early version of the very first Pokemon, Rhydon. Rhydon also has the coveted index number of 001. But, as you can probably tell, it goes a bit farther than that.

See that sketch on the top left of that image? It’s basically illustrating how Capsule Monsters were supposed to work. Does that chibi Rhydon look familiar to you at all? Cause it should.

DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?

DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?

Given the GameBoy’s processing and memory limitations at the time, it couldn’t exactly have a cute little tiny icon of every Pokemon like we enjoy today. So, instead, there was a small handful of cute little icons that represented the type of a Pokemon basically. That substitute plush is based off of the most common of these figures, which, again, is based off of a chibi Rhydon.

Tada! What. Is that too small? Maybe I should just make it a little bit bigger and…

IT'S MIND-BOGGLIN' YEAH

IT’S MIND-BOGGLIN’ YEAH

The “Generic Pokemon” used so frequently in statues in some of the games is also based on that same depiction of the first Pokemon. Rhydon is everywhere if you know what to look for.

USING RHYDON IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

Rhydon, just like Rhyhorn, is extremely top heavy. I mentioned it awhile back but, if you give a Rhydon Eviolite, it is actually the bulkiest unboosted Pokemon in the entire game. Unfortunately that still doesn’t mean too much when it’s just so slow and still has that awful Special Defense stat.

So, you’ll want to pick a role. You can either be a tank, in which case you’ll want to set up Stealth Rocks, and carry Roar to phase out enemies. After that, two STAB moves will complete the set, with Earthquake and Stone Edge or Rock Blast being the best option. Alternatively, you can run Swords Dance, and smash things around with a boosted Earthquake and Stone Edge. For a fourth moveslot you can either try to correct Rhydon’s speed problems with Rock Polish, or you can forego that entirely for Megahorn and have additional coverage.

If you’re running a Defensive Rhydon you’ll want to put all of your EV’s into Special Defense and HP to make a nice, bulky Rhydon, but if you’re running Offensive you should be putting all of your EV’s into Attack and Speed. Ability again doesn’t matter, because none of the recoil moves Rhydon gets access to are particularly good.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Rhydon is always cool. Except when

DESIGN: 4/5
Take Rhyhorn, let it stand up, and give it a spinning drill horn. It’s cool and a great evolution, but still a little lazy.

BATTLE: 2/5
Not useless, but not really worth using either.

HOW DOES: THAT HORN/MOVE?
I’ve wondered this myself for a long time. In most 3D games Rhydon’s horn is depicted as being able to spin, which makes sense because it’s a drill. But, I mean, Rhydon is a natural thing. So how does it spin? No amount of dumb theories can ever answer that!

OVERALL: 3.6/5
112 112f
Female Rhydon have a smaller horn!

 

#111 Rhyhorn

The most literal rock monster

Look at this. This thing is amazing. Give it a lick. Mm, it tastes just like raisins.

Rhyhorn is basically a rhinoceros made out of plates of rock instead of, you know, leathery flesh. It’s got narrow red eyes, and a small stubby horn. The kind of horn that a real rhino would look at and laugh. If there’s a rhinos-only shower anywhere you can bet your face that Rhyhorn is the one that just likes to hang back and wait ’til everyone else is done before going in.

Meanwhile Rambi struts around like he owns the place!

Meanwhile Rambi struts around like he owns the place!

It’s okay Rhyhorn. Okay because despite all appearances Rhyhorn is, in fact, the first stage of a three stage Pokemon. That means that this guy is supposed to be considered in the same tier as tiny, cute Pokemon like Igglybuff and Pichu. And that is where Rhyhorn’s stubby horn becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Know why else it’s okay? Call it cliche, but it’s true. The size of the horn doesn’t matter, it’s how you use it. And although Rhyhorn isn’t the most effective Pokemon out there, it’s certainly able to pack a punch in the right circumstances.

WHAT THE HECK IS A 4X WEAKNESS?!

All innuendo aside, Rhyhorn has always seemed like the kind of thing that you absolutely do not want to mess with. It’s a living monster made out of rocks, and it’s got a horn. It’s probably not going to break apart easily, and, according to the Pokedex, it’s got an extremely one-track mind. When Rhyhorn sees a target that it determines is worth charging towards, it does so. And then, it immediately forgets why it started to run, and decides it’ll just keep doing so until it crashes into something.

I imagine this leads to many Rhyhorn deaths, but who knows. Maybe even falling off a cliff wouldn’t be enough to break that rock plating and damage it. I’d post that famous gif of lemmings jumping to their deaths here but it turns out that that whole thing was faked. Not the lemmings falling to their deaths, no. That was real. The reason that they were doing it was fake, and a bunch of documentary filmmakers decided that lemmings were boring and letting them jump to their deaths would be a good way to add some interesting stuff to their documentary.

People were messed up back then.

E-Even Rhyhorn is afraid!

E-Even Rhyhorn is afraid!

The more I look at Rhyhorn the more I think it really wouldn’t be all that dangerous. First things first is the height. Despite all appearances, Rhyhorn stands at a diminutive 3′ 03”. If ever there was a monster that could use a couple feet in height it was Rhyhorn. But not Nidoking. Nidoking is too hilarious being that tiny to give up the joke.

Secondly, those legs. I don’t know a lot about anatomy, physiology, or the body’s more intricate processes. But, I can tell you this much. Legs that are that stubby and unable to bend will not be moving very fast at all. A charging Rhyhorn would likely look similar to a jogging Rhyhorn, and would only be dangerous if its target is a dying old person trapped in an iron lung that has a giant hole in the side so it’s vulnerable to that short horn.

Rhyhorn isn’t scary, is what I’m saying.

DID YOU KNOW?

Generation 6 introduced something new to the world of Rhydon. Something dumb. Something phenomenally stupid. It’s called Rhyhorn racing.

This is from the anime, but it's in the game too.

This is from the anime, but it’s in the game too.

In Pokemon X and Y, your “mother” is a former amazing Rhyhorn racer. I say “mother” because I played through Pokemon Y with tan skin, and my mother clearly did not have the same skin color. Now I’m not saying I was adopted, but I am saying that my lack of a father is probably racist if I wasn’t adopted.

Anyway, I suppose that’s all really. People ride around on Rhyhorn in a track. I can not possibly fathom how uncomfortable that would be, given Rhyhorn’s incredible hardness. And again, remind yourself, Rhyhorn is three feet tall with an anatomy that does not lend itself well to racing.

Conclusion: Rhyhorn racing is dumb, but I’m glad it exists because otherwise I’d have nothing to talk about here. Except how the Rhyhorn line is the only Pokemon that has both Rock and Ground types, but has the Rock being secondary while Ground is the primary.

USING RHYHORN IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

Rhyhorn is about as top heavy as you can get when it comes to stats. It 80 HP and 95 Defense makes it a fantastically potent tank when given Eviolite. Unfortunately, that pitiful 30 Special Defense and 25 Speed leaves it vulnerable to Special Attackers. Solution? Get Rhyhorn out of there when there’s a Special Attacker involved, even if it can only hit neutral.

Anyway, to use Rhyhorn, you’ll just want to play to its strengths only, and not attempt to salvage those bottom stats. Pump its HP, Defense, and Attack EV’s, while giving it Earthquake and Rock Blast as a dual STAB. Stealth Rock is great to set up with Rhyhorn as well, because it’s got enough bulk to take just about any Physical attack and set the rocks up without issue. After that your best options are to add another coverage move, with Aqua Tail or Megahorn being the best choices.

As for an ability? Fun fact, they’re all useless. Being Ground type means Rhyhorn is immune to Electric attacks already. Reckless and Rock Head are two decent abilities, but they both revolve around bettering recoil moves, and Rhyhorn won’t learn any of those until it evolves.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
A nice, fat, rhino. With a cute stubby horn.

DESIGN: 4/5
I really like Rhyhorn’s design. Rhinos already look like they’re plated in armor, and Rhyhorn just removes the leathery look in favor of fearsome rock plating.

BATTLE: 4/5
Very good. Fantastic bulk, and Eviolite actually helps its Special Defense too. I mean, not enough to be useful, but it could survive something!

WHY DO YOU CARE: ABOUT POKEMON/HEIGHTS?
Because Pokemon heights and weights are never not hilarious. Fully grown adults riding a three foot Rhyhorn is something you have to be fully cognizant of to appreciate.

OVERALL: 4/5
111 111f
Female Rhyhorn actually have smaller horns than the males!

 

#110 Weezing

*coughing noises*

And there you have it. This is what happens when something’s sole redeeming feature is ruined. Koffing at least had a great face that you could photoshop onto other things for hilarity. You could do the same with Weezing, but it would just make the target look awful. And ugly.

Weezing is just kind of depressing, really. As ugly as Koffing’s body was it really looked like it was just enjoying life. When it evolves it looks like it’s silently begging for you to show it mercy and end its life.

THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME I OPEN MY MOUTH JUST KILL ME

THIS HAPPENS EVERY TIME I OPEN MY MOUTH JUST KILL ME ;_;

I’m like 99% positive I’ve brought this up every time I have to write about one of these “it gets another head” evolutions, but I can’t help but wonder how that physiology works. Unlike Dodrio or Dugtrio, one of Weezing’s heads is very obviously the dominant one. It’s much bigger than the other, it has more teeth, and is also generally portrayed as the head that speaks when it’s saying its name.

That other head? It’s just kinda hangin’ around. Checkin’ stuff out.

And being annoyed with its roommate.

And being annoyed with its roommate.

Something I found very interesting was that, according to the Pokedex, the dominant Weezing head can actually change! That’s right! One head is not permanently designated to tininess! Even though Weezing looks like a horrible craggy rock volcano monster it’s actually got the ability to inflate and deflate itself. Like a balloon. A hard, rocky balloon that doesn’t lose any of its shape depending on whether or not it’s inflated or deflated.

I don’t think the people who wrote this Pokedex entry were familiar with how balloons work. Or, well, anything that can inflate really. You see, after something gets inflated it can’t really return to its proper uninflated form perfectly. Try it at home yourself! If someone asks why, tell them a scientist told you to.

Although if you make a face like this pretend you've never heard of me and call an ambulance

Although if you make a face like this pretend you’ve never heard of me and call an ambulance

I’m not an expert on balloons though, so, who knows. Maybe there are special kinds of materials that will return to their original shape after being inflated? Maybe there’s a kind of rock that is super hard, resistant to breakage, but will also inflate and deflated if you just pump some air into it.

Have I ever mentioned that Pokemon is silly?

I fail to find any levity in this

I’m a giant cobra that was slathered in makeup and I find no levity in this situation

Am I done talking about Weezing yet? No? How much more space do I need to fill? 70 words? Well, that’s not so bad I suppose. At least I found that cool info about Weezing being able to switch heads via inflation. And not the creepy, fetish kind of inflation either. The entirely safe for work kind. Have you ever seen a clown make an animal balloon? Congratulations, now you know how Weezing works.

4444

I HIT 500 I’M DONE ONTO THE NEXT SECTION

DID YOU KNOW?

I couldn’t find much about Weezing really, so I’m going to go with a theory. But not an awful theory, because I make no claim that what follows is true in any way. It’s merely an interesting observation that you can take as a possible source for inspiration, but not confirmed fact.

So, there’s a minor theory going aroud based on Weezing’s origins. People believe that Weezing may be based on cancer. Or, more specifically, cancer cells.

Have a photo of some prostate cancer. I don't know if that means this is NSFW

Have a photo of some prostate cancer. I don’t know if that means this is NSFW

The first and most obvious supporting detail is appearance. The way that cancer cells replicate and spread apart is very much reminiscent of Weezing’s horrific look. Then there’s Weezing’s name, and what it represents. It speaks in a strained, raspy tone, and it’s named after the act of wheezing. And hey, isn’t there something that can be used to connect all these dots together?

WELL?! CAN YOU?!

WELL?! CAN YOU?!

That’s right! People believe that Weezing is totally an anti-smoking message! Weezing spews putrid gas, can barely breathe, and visually resembles cancer, all of which are known effects from smoking! It’s all pretty interesting stuff, and is one of the few hidden messages Pokemon may contain that I actually enjoy.

But hey, that’s just a theory. A STOLEN JOKE theory! Thanks for reading.

I'll close with this image of Weezing made with the cancer theory in mind. It's by the talented Bohnny John, and you can view his website by clicking the image!

I’ll close with this image of Weezing made with the cancer theory in mind. It’s by the talented Bohnny John, and you can view his website by clicking the image!

USING WEEZING IN BATTLE

Still givin us the middle finger

Still givin’ us the finger

Weezing is really not great. I mean, that 120 Defense is amazing, but it’s ruined by the low HP and Special Defense.

Basically, you’re going to run Weezing pretty much the same way you do Koffing. Will-O-Wisp is an absolute must, as is Pain Split to keep yourself healthy and alive. Swap out the Eviolite for some Black Sludge, and pump all your EV’s into HP and Defense.

That’ll leave you with two open move slots! From there you can go offensive, in which case you’ll want Sludge Bomb + Flamethrower for a solid STAB + coverage move. If you want to use Weezing as a wall, then Toxic Spikes is a good option to auto poison and attempt to outlast anything that switches into it. Protect is good for stalling out an extra turn and healing some more if necessary. You’ll definitely still want at least Sludge Bomb on a defensive Weezing because its low Speed makes it vulnerable to Taunt.

Just don’t expect to do much when Weezing attacks. It should be used primarily for Defense, and the attacks should be there primarily to sort of kick an enemy while they’re down, so to speak. Status effects are your friend, and stalling will keep you alive.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
GET IT AWAY.

DESIGN: 3/5
As much as I want the cancer thing to be real, there’s no conclusive proof of it. Regardless, it does still look like a horribly diseased monstrosity, and I feel like that works as a Koffing evolution.

BATTLE: 3/5
Solid bulk, really. Just easily destroyed by Special Attackers.

REALLY?: AN ANTI-SMOKING/PSA?
You know it. We do it all here. Check back next year for the obligatory after school special. How will little Jimmy’s parents react when they discover he’s been hanging out with the nefarious Team Aqua? Tune in and find out.

OVERALL: 2.3/5

Just not havin’ a good day.