I can’t let you do that, Dave.
Staryu is a starfish. It’s brown, and has a big fancy jewel in the middle of it. Staryu is kind of underrated in my opinion, as far as cool Pokemon go.
Maybe that’s because it’s wearing some kind of weird harness. The kind that you’d normally see in black, instead of the full yellow of Staryu. The big yellow piece of its body with a jewel set in the middle has “straps” that go around each bit of the star except one. Normally I’d say that this bit without a yellow wrapping around it is the head, but it’s always depicted as somewhere along the sides. Typically the left, or right from its point of view, but not always.
Staryu answers the call to action!
I’ve always liked Staryu for its practical applications, and hated it for what it actually did. See, when you look at a Staryu, there’s probably a few interesting ways you can come up with for it to attack, and they all involve spinning. Five sharp points and the ability to fly and spin are all Staryu needs to be a fearsome battle, as it can spin its body like a buzzsaw and scare everything away.
“But Professor Swadloon!” I can hear you say. “What about the inevitable Rock or Steel typed opponents! How can Staryu make use of its Water typing to attack those kinds of enemies?”
Easy. You see that big orb in the center of Staryu? It’s perfect for that kind of thing. Just have it blast water out of it or something. That’s the easy, obvious thing, isn’t it?
“We have no idea what we’re doing.” – Everyone who works on the anime
Nope. Apparently the top point of a Staryu is where the people who animated the anime unanimously decided a Staryu should fire water from. It raises all kinds of disgusting questions, like is there a horrible hole at the top of a Staryu filled with pressurized liquids that it can fire? Why doesn’t it use the gem?
Well, the gem thing seems like it’d be solved actually. Contrary to other forms of media constantly using gems to harness lasers and such, Pokemon wants to use its gems realistically. The gem can’t, and won’t fire horrible streams of water at everything that moves.
Stars though? Stars are okay.
That all goes out the window when Staryu needs to use Swift though. Suddenly that gem can create and fire projectiles perfectly fine.
Everyone who works on the anime clearly had no idea what sort of continuity they should try and establish for the starfish. Not even with his cries! While most Pokemon will say their name in some shape or form, Staryu is different. Instead, like some kind of crazy karate master it’ll just shout, “HI-YA!” every time it does anything. There has never been and will never be an explanation for this.
So in my own personal head canon, Staryu is also a black belt in addition to being a starfish. It’s the only way anything makes sense.
ALSO IT CAN SUMMON THE DRAGON BALLS
DID YOU KNOW?
Aside from legendaries, most Pokemon have a gender. Most, that is. Staryu and Starmie are one of the very few species of non-legendary Pokemon that are genderless.
HOWEVER! It seems that the starfish Pokemon may have been intended to have a gender at some point.
And maybe a shuriken too!
In Pokemon Gold and Silver, the games to introduce breeding, Staryu is actually programmed to be able to learn some egg moves. Just in case you’re uninitiated, a genderless Pokemon can ONLY breed with Ditto, and because the only move Ditto can learn is Transform, there’s no way to pass on egg moves to a baby formed by a Genderless Pokemon + Ditto.
Aurora Beam, Barrier, and Supersonic were all programmed to be passed on to a baby Staryu. In addition, in Generation 2 only, Staryu and Starmie both were able to learn the move Attract. As the move implies, Attract will make your opponent fall in love with you if they’re the opposite gender, and lessen the chance of them attacking you.
Unfortunately, a genderless Pokemon learning Attract doesn’t mean it’ll be able to attract everything. Instead, it does the opposite, and is able to attract nothing. Not even other Genderless Pokemon.
So there’s your bit of a history lesson. Now go forth artists, and make horrible pictures of what male and female Staryu and Starmie would look like!
USING STARYU IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!
stats via pokemondb
Staryu has two main roles it can do in Pokemon battles. First, it has access to the relatively-rare move Rapid Spin, so it can be used to clear hazards on your side of the field. Secondly, it can just be used as a typical fast Special sweeper thanks to its solid 85 Speed and 70 Special Attack stats.
If you’re going to be a spinner, you’ll want to hold Eviolite, and, of course, give it Rapid Spin. Since you’ll want to be focusing on survivability, Scald is the best STAB option for that nice 30% Burn chance. Ice Beam, Psychic, or Thunderbolt are all good options for that coveted third slot, so you’ll need to pick one because your last slot is picked for you. Recover. It’s still probably the best healing move available to anyone since it has no drawbacks whatsoever. Staryu also has excellent abilities in the form of Analytic and Natural Cure. While Analytic’s free 30% boost may sound tantalizing, it depends on moving second to activate, and Staryu’s decent speed makes it a non option. Natural Cure, on the other hand, will heal any status effect placed on Staryu if it switches out, and thanks to Eviolite and Recover, it’s likely to be a thorn in your opponent’s side for some time.
If, however, you want to run a more offensive version. Give Staryu a Life Orb, and replace Scald with Hydro Pump. Psychic, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt all offer pretty solid coverage, and are bolstered by the Life Orb bonus.
Between the two I’d definitely go for the bulky Rapid Spin option, but because that option sounds better on paper you can frequently catch people off guard if you go for a more offensive version.
I’m a big fan of Staryu’s design. Perfectly recognizable as a starfish, but also changed up enough thanks to the addition of a big red jewel in the center. That yellow bit is kinda weird and unsettling though.
Staryu is kinda boring in terms of design though. I think I can vaguely see where they were going with the jewel to make it kinda look like a gem set into a ring. Sort of. Staryu’s overall shape though doesn’t really add anything to it and just makes it look weird.
Relatively low defenses are patched up decently by Eviolite. If Staryu had better base defenses it would be absolutely amazing in battle.
Just doin’ some calisthenics!