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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
I don’t want this thing anywhere near me. It’s unnerving.
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.
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.
And take your creepy tickling fantasies with you!