#123 Scyther

*unsheathes scythes*

Scyther knows how to kill you seven hundred ways before you can blink, and half of those are involve mutilating your scrotum. Scyther’s design was conceived back before anyone knew anything about what Pokemon was going to be. At that time GameFreak dared to ask the question we’ve all had on our minds. What if you could create a game entirely around spin kicks? While I certainly love what Pokemon eventually became, I sometimes lie awake at night wondering what it would be like if history was different.

Each of these arms has been folded one million times.

Each of these arms has been folded one million times.

When you describe Scyther to someone your heart rate increases and your fists start to glow. A flying humanoid mantis with scythes for arms is the kind of enemy that video games aspire to be. It doesn’t help that the mad scientist responsible for creating Scyther went that extra step and added ninja DNA to the mix. Now you’ve got a five foot bug with blades for arms hiding in the tall grass and he’s pissed.

I’ve always wanted to see Scyther make cameos in other games. Something violent, and rated M for extreme violence. I want to see Bayonetta go head to head with a Scyther that isn’t limited by an E for Everyone rating. I want to see Dante, both from Dante’s Inferno and Devil May Cry, face off against a Scyther at the exact same time.

Just imagine that like, PIkachu got cut in half.

Just imagine that like, Pikachu got cut in half here.

I don’t understand why more people don’t panic when they run into a Scyther. In the games its always treated as just another wild encounter and not a “You’d better be supremely confident if you’re not going to run away” kind of thing. In Pokemon Gold and Silver you could even find Scyther as part of the bug catching challenge that you can do relatively early in the game.

You can bet your face that I took advantage of that too. I didn’t even care about winning. I just wanted a guaranteed Scyther, and wandered the grass until I found one and caught it. It also usually won (Except when someone else got lucky and caught a Pinsir) and that Scyther would come with me through the entire game. Just me and my Scyther.

Especially since Gen 2 finally added some good Bug typed moves

Especially since Gen 2 finally added some good Bug typed moves to fight off the Psychic types.

Unfortunately Generation 2 also added the thing that would kill Scyther’s appeal forever. An evolution. An admittedly also super cool evolution, Scizor. Suddenly the unstoppable rage machine that is going to hate-kill your wimpy form into shape had to play second fiddle to a bug-mech with huge mechanical scissors.

So let’s remember Scyther the way it used to be. Sharp, deadly, and annoyingly difficult to catch.

Or just, you know. However you want, really. I don’t care.

This is how I choose to remember Scyther!

This is how I choose to remember Scyther!

DID YOU KNOW?

There is something that keeps Scyther completely unique from every other Pokemon that has ever evolved ever. It’s a little thing called stats, and Scyther’s abundance of them.

Way more than this Chikorita's.

Way more than this Chikorita’s.

For a single stage Pokemon Scyther has a pretty high stat total of 500. For reference, the generally considered hard cap on Pokemon that aren’t box legendaries is a cap of 600. All lower-tier legendaries have a base stat total of 600, along with a Pokemon per generation that is usually called a “Pseudo Legendary” and has the same stat total.

Anyway, when giving something an evolution you have to add some more stats, but with 500 there’s not much more you can add and still be safe with Scyther. So once, and only once, they created an evolution that doesn’t have a higher stat total than its predecessor. Scyther and Scizor both have a 500 combined stat total!

I mean. I thought that was super interesting. I don’t know if you guys did. Another mildly fun fact is that Scyther’s base stat total of 500 means that it has the highest of any Pokemon that can evolve. You’d think that Scyther and Scizor having the same stat total would make them pretty similar in battle, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Why’s that? Well, it really just goes to show how certain aspects of an otherwise solid Pokemon can ruin it.

USING SCYTHER IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Typing. Typing is the difference maker. 70 HP isn’t amazing, but 80/80 Defenses are pretty decent for Scyther. On top of that you have a respectable speed in 105, and a nice 110 Attack stat. Technician is a fine ability, and Bug / Flying STABS are definitely better than Bug / Steel STAB.

Scyther is awful compared to Scizor though. Bug / Flying is an atrocious type defensively, while Bug / Steel is fantastic. Anyway, in order to use Scyther you’ll want to have it equip a Choice Band, and raise your Speed and Attack via EV Training. Technician is a fantastic ability that will raise the power of any attacks with a BP of 60 or less, making it perfect to use with the normally worthless Aerial Ace. Bug Bite is a good secondary STAB option that is also boosted by Technician, and has a great added bonus of removing any berries your opponent is holding. Your last two moves are really up to you, but the best options are Quick Attack for Priority, U-Turn, for a secondary bug STAB with a great effect, Knock Off for utility, Brick Break for coverage, and Pursuit for different utility + a move boosted by Technician.

You can also try for an Eviolite Scyther and replace a move slot with Swords Dance if you would be so inclined. Note that 4x Damage from a Rock type move will pretty much guarantee your death anyway. If Scyther had some better typing it would be a fantastic choice in battle. As it is now though it has to watch out for the dreaded Stealth Rock, and really any small pebbles anywhere.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
OH MY GOD THIS IS THE COOLEST.

DESIGN: 4/5
A humanoid praying mantis with scythes for arms. Scyther is seven kinds of hardcore and they all taste like jerky.

BATTLE: 2/5
Could certainly be worse, but Bug / Flying is a terrible type and negatively affects many Pokemon. Including Scyther.

ONE: LAST/THING
Scyther has an awful shiny. Just the worst. I felt like I should bring that up.

OVERALL: 3.6/5
123123f
Female Scyther have a bigger abdomen! Which, uh, you can’t really see here.

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#049 Venomoth

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

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

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

Hangin' with my bros

Venomoth sadly lost the impromptu dance-off

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

Getting its ass kicked

Getting its ass kicked

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

Neutral attacks! My one weakness!

Neutral attacks! My one weakness!

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

Lucky that Camerupt didn't fall on it

Lucky that Camerupt didn’t fall on it

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

Bury me with my money

Bury me with my money

DID YOU KNOW?

Time for more Gen 1 wackiness!

Time for more Gen 1 wackiness!

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

USING VENOMOTH IN BATTLE

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

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

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

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

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

ARBITRARY SCORES

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

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

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

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

OVERALL: 3.3/5

Butterfly in the sky, I can float twice as high

#048 Venonat

Who really needs this many bugs?

Who really needs this many bugs?

Quick aside, does Venonat remind anyone else of the Little Critter? It was an old series of books by Mercer Mayer.

Maybe not

Maybe not

In my head they were nearly identical, but when I went to look it up it seemed just a little less similar than I’d hoped. Still, at least there’s a little bit of resemblance there so all the time I spent reading Mercer Mayer’s wikipedia page wasn’t wasted! I learned a lot of great info, like that he seems like a kindly old man and is not only still active, but has a twitter account.

Anyway, enough with the aside. We’re here to talk about Venonat. Despite Venonat’s name, it bears nothing in common whatsoever with gnats, and is more of a… thing. Venonat is a purple puff with gross feet, huge creepy insect eyes, some antennae, and a couple of… fangs? Are those fangs sticking out from under its nose?

It says here that you're an abomination Venonat!

It says here that you’re an abomination Venonat!

If you couldn’t tell, I don’t like Venonat. It’s just a weird amalgamation of various insect super glued together onto a fuzzy sphere. Venonat is just a Mr. Potato Head and I really don’t like looking at it. Especially its feet.

I DON'T LIKE 'EM

I DON’T LIKE ‘EM

I know that getting so worked up over a fictional animal’s feet is weird, but they really bother me. Venonat’s tiny hands and feet are the perfect shade of pink to look flesh colored, so it looks like really creepy human appendages are sticking out of its body. Like Venonat was once human, and has been mutated by exposure to numerous things, leaving it in the state it’s in now.

Now Venonat is a nightmarish mutant who seeks death but can only find more pain. Maybe Venonat kills people too, just to make this horror movie that is coming together in my head go full circle.

Maybe he can be played by Jeff Goldblum too

Maybe he can be played by Jeff Goldblum too

I do like Venonat’s eyes though. Eyes like that are cool, and have always been cool. Not many Pokemon have cool eyes, so I can appreciate Venonat for those huge red eyes and absolutely nothing else.

DID YOU KNOW?

It's that time again!

It’s that time again!

Who loves Pokemon theories? I don’t. Not usually at least. I mean I like when people can piece things that are interesting together and present them as a possibility. I just don’t like when less intelligent people take these theories, spout them as fact, and then it becomes a “fact” to most people. Just wait til I get to Pokemon #132. There’s a theory related to that one that so many people claim is fact I have to restrain myself from inventing a way to send face punches through e-mail just to spam their inboxes.

That’s all besides the point though. The point here is the theory related to Venonat, which basically states that Venonat was originally intended to evolve into Butterfree, while the Caterpie line was intended to evolve into Venomoth. It’s easy to see why people would think this. Caterpie and Metapod look NOTHING like Butterfree, while Venonat is so unbelievably similar it might as well be a Butterfree with clipped wings and gross feet.

Just imagine there are Butterfree wings behind Venonat here

Just imagine there are Butterfree wings behind Venonat here

The thing is that Caterpie and Metapod don’t look anything like Venomoth either, so this theory kind of falls apart instantly. While I’m at it, I don’t really like that this theory encourages the whole “It gets bigger” trend that I dislike. Venomoth has a few aspects in common with Venonat, which works because it’s a moth. Butterfree has nothing in common with Caterpie or Metapod, which also works because it’s a butterfly, and butterflies almost never look anything like the caterpillars they spawned from.

But for the real question. Is it true? Not likely. The simplest way to tell is via the Pokemon Index numbers in Generation 1. Rhydon was the very first Pokemon completed, so it has an Index number of 1. It’s generally a reliable way to tell how when in development a specific Pokemon was created, so what does that say about these?

Venonat’s index number is 65. Venomoth is 119. And here’s the big one, Caterpie, Metapod, and Butterfree are index numbers 123, 124, and 125. So what’s that mean? Well, either someone got really lazy when adding those Pokemon to the game and had to do them all late one night, or Caterpie, Metapod, and Butterfree were always intended to be part of the same evolutionary line. So, yeah. It’s extremely likely that the similarities are just coincidence, and nothing more.

USING VENONAT IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

Stats via Smogon

Stats via Smogon

Venonat doesn’t have much. It really really doesn’t. Baton Pass manages to find its way into Venonat’s move pool though, along with Agility, giving it a useful niche.

Sleep Powder. Agility. Baton Pass. Pass on +2 speed to a better Pokemon and go to town. A 4x resistance to Fighting type attacks gives Venonat a nice and easy switch in against many fighting types in Little Cup, and thanks to CompoundEyes, Venonat’s Sleep Powder has a very nice 97.5% chance of hitting, which means it might as well be Spore. Signal Beam is probably your best option for a real attack, though Venonat’s low Special Attack means it’s best saved for use when you’re predicting an opponent that is about to Taunt.

Disable is a move Venonat also has access to, so you can mess with people by planting a Sub then Disabling whatever attack move they used to break it. If you’re not going to be using Status moves then Venonat is lucky enough to also come with Tinted Lens, which doubles damage on any resisted hits, basically making Signal Beam hit neutral on a lot more things. If you’re going for SubDisable then I’d also pack Morning Sun, so Venonat can easily heal off any damage it sustains while trolling your opponent for free turns.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
A chimera of ugliness. Why?

DESIGN: 1/5
Purple is the universal color for Poison, but Venonat in no way resembles a gnat… or any other kind of bug really. Sure, there’s fuzzy bugs out there, but Venonat sucks.

BATTLE: 3/5
I feel like I’ve been giving a lot of 3/5’s lately, but Venonat is perfectly average in battle.

BUT I LIKE VENONAT: THESE SCORES/ARE ARBITRARY
Also try liking better Pokemon.

OVERALL: 1.6/5

I’m glad I’ll never have to look at you again.

#047 Parasect

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,

This is what becomes of our wide-eyed little friend. You’re basically committing Pokemurder every time you evolve a Paras into a Parasect. The parasitic mushroom on Paras’s back now has full control over the Paras’s actions, and it uses its bug host to serve its own needs.

Parasect is the first, and in my opinion the most tragic of all Pokemon in the first generation. I know that Cubone fans will cry foul at this, but I really do feel that way. Living life as a brainless husk is a fate I’d consider worse than losing your parents at a young age. At least Cubone is able to evolve into a Marowak and live a life of pure vengeance on its own, and maybe get revenge on whatever forces caused its mother to pass. Meanwhile, Parasect is forced to do whatever the parasite wants, which is usually “absorb the nutrients from that tree” or “now seems like a good time to release some more spores”.

Psyduck mocks our brethren! Destroy it!

Psyduck mocks our brethren! Destroy it!

It’s not like the Pokedex tries to hide this fact either. Several dex entries mention that the parasite now controls Parasect, confirming its terrible fate. They also confirm with its pre-evolution that the mushrooms are called Tochukaso. Funnily enough, Tochukaso is a REAL species of parasitic fungi that does… well, exactly what it does to the Paras line.

It's that ugly gray section

It’s that ugly gray section on this caterpillar

Tochukaso will take over a bug’s body and use it to spread its spores, as I mentioned briefly in the last entry. What I didn’t mention, is how this particular moment also happens in the Paras family. See, when Parasect lays its eggs, it’s said that the Parasect will then spread its spores all over the egg’s shell. Then, when the Paras is born, it’s immediately exposed to, and infected with these spores, which is how a newborn Paras already has the mushrooms.

Parasect is not a nice Pokemon, but we can’t blame it for what it’s doing. It’s being controlled, and is deserving of our pity. Please, don’t evolve your Paras, for its own good.

DID YOU KNOW?

This happens very rarely in the Pokemon series, but Parasect is actually the first Pokemon whose Dex entries reference a real world location. China.

Have a Parasect vomiting while I look this up

Have a Parasect vomiting while I look this up

The bug host is controlled by the mushrooms that scatter poisonous spores. The spores are sometimes used as medicine in China.

Directly from Pokemon Stadium. China is again referenced in the Fire Red Pokedex entry, and it hasn’t been brought up since. My assumption is that they wish to cull all references to real world locations from the Pokemon series. I didn’t bother looking up to see if references to other real world locations have been dropped over the years, but I can confirm that this one at least has.

China being referenced also has a second cool fact to it though. Like I said above, the tochukaso that grows on Paras and Parasect are real life fungi, and true to form, they are used medicinally in China. I really love how thorough they were when making a Pokemon based off a real life version of a cthulhian horror.

USING PARASECT IN BATTLE

Stats via Smogon

Stats via Smogon

Spore. Spore spore spore. Spore is a fantastic move and just about the only thing that makes Parasect worth using. You can try using Parasect by buffing its HP and Defenses as high as you can, and spamming Spore on your opponent, or you can try for some good old SubSeeding.

What is SubSeeding? It’s a strategy where you basically use Leech Seed on your opponent, hold Leftovers, and simply keep spamming Substitute. Leftovers + Leech Seed are usually enough to recover your HP loss from making a substitute, and unless the opponent has an Infiltrator mon, there’s not much they can do to prevent this. Of course, Parasect needs a turn to set up in order to SubSeed, a turn that is easily obtained thanks to the aforementioned fantastic move, Spore! After that? Well, Protect or X Scissor / Seed Bomb are the only real alternatives. Protect will make you complete Taunt bait, as you’ll be 100% useless if it’s used, while the latter can rob you of good opportunities to heal more HP and be even more infuriating.

The other option is to try for a more defensive approach. Parasect is unfortunately cursed with two 4x Weaknesses in Flying and Fire (The latter being 5x weakness if Parasect has Dry Skin), but it’s got some pretty decent Defenses other than that. Of course, Spore is still the main move you’ll want to use, and the rest is, well, pretty much the same! Just swap substitute out for a second attack, or a single attack if you want to keep using Protect as a way to heal up some HP with Leftovers.

Unfortunately, Parasect isn’t exactly an amazing Pokemon. It’s got some great tools at its disposal though, and if you play carefully you may be able to pull off a surprising amount.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
A hermit crab with a mushroom instead of a shell. Clever. The pupil-less eyes make it look like an old geezer, which works because its an evolved ‘mon, and not a young’un like Paras.

DESIGN: 5/5
I can’t get over how simultaneously creepy and cool Parasect is. Gone are all the soul from its eyes, and it now is under the control of the mushroom on its back, which has grown to a size even larger than its body. It’s great all over.

BATTLE: 3/5
Slow, multiple 4x weaknesses to common types, and average stats mean that even Spore can’t save Parasect from mediocrity.

ZOMBIEMON?: THE ONE AND ONLY/EXCEPT GHOSTS
Are ghosts zombies? I don’t know but Parasect is definitely one.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

This song’s my jam!

#046 Paras

Could you say no to those eyes?

Could you say no to those eyes?

Before I go any further I’m very, very proud to announce that I’ve received my first piece of art created specifically for this blog! Click the next image to view the source, and throw the artist some love for creating a picture of her favorite Pokemon for me to use on this blog!

Go leave her a nice comment!

Go leave her a nice comment! If you’re an artist and have a favorite Pokemon you’d like to draw leave a comment and I can include it on that Pokemon’s entry page when I get to it!

Again, a million thanks to botherbothrium for creating this image. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog entry.

Paras is based on a kind of cicada, and it’s got two small mushrooms growing on its back. Not too appealing on its own, but all of Paras’s cuteness is focused on one aspect of its design. Those big, emotive, eyes.

Have you ever seen a more content Pokemon?

Have you ever seen a more content Pokemon?

The lovely art created for this entry reflects my own thoughts on Paras as well. Paras is a dreamer. Paras has big ambitions. Paras wants to go out, see the world, and see what life is really like out there. Paras isn’t sure how it’s going to go about doing these things, but it sure knows that it’s going to try.

Things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows for our little mushroom cicada though. Paras has been struck with a fungal infection in the form of those little mushrooms on its back. In this case the infection is terminal, and Paras can not be spared the terrible fate that awaits it.

Paras doesn't like to think about this inevitability

Paras doesn’t like to think about this inevitability

For this reason Paras reminds me a lot of the Make-A-Wish Foundation children. They’re too young to understand the tragedy that’s been inflicted on their lives. It’s always hard to lose someone, and when that someone is a child who should have had their whole lives ahead of them, it just hurts that much more. Sure, Paras can be cute, but I always feel a little bad when I look at it. I can’t separate what becomes of our little Bug / Grass friend from my mind. I feel for the little guy, and wish I could do something to help.

But, like all terminal illnesses. There’s nothing we can do to save Paras. The best we can do for is make its short life a happy one. If Paras wants to go into space, we’ll do what we can to make that happen. If Paras wants to meet John Cena, well, I’m sure he’d love to meet Paras. If Paras wants to defeat the Elite 4, well, it’s up to you to make that happen.

Paras... had a hard life.

Paras… had a hard life.

And when that short life comes to an end, we’ll mourn for our fallen friend. May Paras never forget us, as we’ll never forget Paras.

DID YOU KNOW?

WAIT A SECOND

WAIT A SECOND

PARAS CAN JUST REMOVE ITS MUSHROOMS?

Yes. Yes it can, and it has in the anime before. However this is always implied to be unhealthy for it, which really goes to show just how dependent Paras is on its infection. Still though, that’s a little silly.

USING PARAS IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

Stats via Smogon

Stats via Smogon

Paras has two main options for battle. Offensive, and Defensive. While 70 base Attack is FANTASTIC by Little Cup standards, I feel that the Defensive set is better, so I’ll start there.

Basically, Paras gets access to one of, if not the best Status inflicting move in the entire game. Spore. With Spore, Paras can put any opponent to sleep that isn’t immune to the status or the move with 100% accuracy. Spore is the only sleep-inducing move in the game with perfect accuracy, and though Paras has low HP, 55/55 defenses are pretty workable by Little Cup standards. Eviolite or an Oran Berry can keep Paras healthy, along with Synthesis should you choose to devote a moveslot to it. Unfortunately, Paras is lacking in the coverage department, and is pretty much restricted to Bullet Seed for a Grass STAB, or X-Scissor for a Bug STAB. Bug Bite can be used instead if you think your opponent will be carrying a lot of Berry using Pokemon, but X-Scissor is usually the preferred move. Paras is bulky enough to survive fairly easily with Eviolite + Synthesis, so it’s not likely you’ll be going down too quickly.

If you want to be more offensive though, you’ll still want to be carrying Spore for its many many uses, and you’ll need to use a second move slot on Agility. +2 Speed means Paras will be outrunning just about everything that doesn’t have a Scarf + a very high Speed itself. After that? Well, it’s pretty much the same as the previous set except you’ll be Sporing any new enemy that comes in, and hitting them normally afterward. A Life Orb is better used here for the extra power, but it lacks the survivability that the Defensive set has for obvious reasons.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 3/5
Paras is kinda creepy if it wasn’t for those big eyes. Those definitely save it from a lower score.

DESIGN: 5/5
Paras is actually based on a real fungi that can infect a species of ants. It basically devours them from the inside, but keeps all the vital organs intact until there’s nothing else required of it. Then, it’ll take control of the ant, climb to a high place, kill the ant, and release its spores into the air. This is what makes Paras so tragic.

BATTLE: 3/5
Paras has a lot of good things going for it, but it’s going to need to take a hit before it can do anything, which may be asking too much of it at times.

WHY IS PARAS SO SAD: ;_;/;~;

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Gone but not forgotten

#015 Beedrill

He really looks more like a hornet, or a wasp though.

Aww yeah. Here we go. Beedrill is a seriously badass Pokemon. Look at this guy. Oh? What’s that? Bugs have six limbs? Nah, Beedrill can get by just fine on four. A hilariously oversized stinger at the bottom of his abdomen is lined with police tape to let you know not to cross this guy.

PICTURED: Microscopic view of Beedrill’s abdomen.

Giant red eyes make Beedrill look fierce. and those giant spikes for arms only complete the menacing package.

Wait, spikes? And his name is Beedrill? Yes, unfortunately, those huge spikes are nothing more than squishy stingers. Beedrill has no drills on its body whatsoever, not that there’s anything wrong with that when you’ve got stingers big enough to murder the hell out of you and everyone you love. Beedrill is the perfect example of Poison-typed Pokemon being typecast as villains in Generation 1, as nothing about Beedrill looks nice or friendly. I’m glad that Dark took the burden of “Evil Type” from Generation 2 onwards, leading to some interesting Poison types in later generations.

Still, Beedrill is one scary looking guy, and definitely a good Pokemon. Sort of. Not really. Looks can be deceiving, sadly.

DID YOU KNOW?

 THAT BEEDRILL HAS NO ACTUAL DRILLS ON ITS DESIGN. Seriously this has scandalized me for years. They give the guy access to a move like Drill Run, he has no drills. I suppose if Beedrill really wanted to drill through things he could put those giant spikes together and dive at the ground, but, again, they’re stingers. I don’t think they’d be made of keratin, or whatever would need to be strong enough to pierce the ground and drill straight through it.

This will never be canon ;_; Click for source.

This will never be canon ;_; Click for source.

He should’ve been named Beelance, or something. I don’t know. This one may be a little obvious, but Beedrill is commonly depicted in fan works with literal drills, when that is sadly not the case.

USING BEEDRILL IN BATTLE

God. Beedrill may be way cooler than the entire Butterfree line, but he totally sucks in battle by comparison. X and Y gave Beedrill a nice +10 to his base attack stat, but he’s still utterly useless in battle. 65/40/80 defenses mean it won’t be taking any hits well. On the plus side, these awful defenses mean it can pull off a hilarious Endeavor set via Focus Sash. Any wall will be brought to its knees by being forced to 1 HP, so that’s a small niche Beedrill can fill.

Poison typing of course means that it’s immune to Toxic, and despite all appearances, Beedrill is not a Flying type. He’s not pulling off a Flygon either, by gaining a pseudo-Flying type via Levitate. Because of this, he can absorb any pesky Toxic Spikes your enemy may have set up. If you’re feeling super ballsy, you can try for a Swords Dance set, since Beedrill can get some decent coverage through its somewhat shallow move pool. X Scissor, Poison Jab, Drill Run, Brick Break, Acrobatics (If you run a set that loses an item only.), and the new and vastly improved Knock Off all find their way in, but Beedrill’s low speed will keep it from achieving greatness. You can add Agility to the move set to counteract that, but then you’d be down two move slots, and be committing two turns to setting up, which most skilled players will simply not allow to happen.

Beedrill’s best role is as a supporter. Endeavor + Focus Sash, Tailwind, U-Turn, Toxic Spikes, Knock Off, and Defog are all good options and can help your team out. Beedrill is still outclassed in these aspects by other Pokemon, but hey, at least there’s something it can do.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Beedrill is badass as hell. A strong design can win a lot of fans over even if the Pokemon is awful statistically, and nowhere is this more true than Beedrill.

DESIGN: 4/5
Let’s take a bee and give it more stingers. Beedrill communicates the fact that it’s a bee-like insect effectively, while having a lot of elements that keep it distinctly Pokemon. Misleading name though.

BATTLE: 2/5
Terrible stats but no Quiver Dance. Beedrill is completely outclassed by its significantly less badass, and wimpier looking rival.

ANOTHER MISLEADING NAME: BULBASAUR/CATERPIE
One’s actually a frog and the other’s a snake. Now we’ve got Beedrill with no drills while being more of a wasp, or hornet.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Check out that dual-wielding stance.

#014 Kakuna

Aww here it goes.

Aww here it goes.

I wanted to get this up yesterday, but E3 is really amazing and watching 5 hours of streams really took a lot out of me. On the inside though, I also didn’t really care enough about Kakuna to make the time. That’ll be saved for fifth generation bugs.

But, alas, the show must go on. Here we are at Kakuna. The official winner of the, “At least it’s better than Metapod” award 20 years running! I know I’m bringing comparisons to Caterpie and Metapod up a lot, but they really, truly, are terrible. Their counterparts are way cooler. Even Kakuna, despite being a literal cocoon, is way cooler than Metapod.

Unlike Metapod, you can see elements of the final evolution’s design in Kakuna. The ringed section at the bottom is reminiscent of a bees stripes, while the upside down diamond in the middle looks like two stingers if a bee was lying in the fetal position. And look at those cruel, menacing eyes. Even if he is just a cocoon, I wouldn’t want to fuck with Kakuna.

Don't give me that look Kakuna. I know what you're up to.

Don’t give me that look Kakuna. I know what you’re up to.

DID YOU KNOW?

This one’s a bit weird. Basically, for a short period of time, Kakuna was depicted as having its arms stretching out the cocoon, so they resembled a pair of scythes.

Creepy!

However, unlike all the other Generation 1 sprite mistakes, this one did appear elsewhere. In some old Sugimori art for the ancient Pokemon Bandai Trading Cards, Kakuna appears with the same outstretched arms!

Still creepy!

Still creepy!

Given how strange a lot of the cards in that ridiculous Bandai game looked, I’d be willing to bet this is an old design that got canned for the uniformity of a solid cocoon. I kinda wish they’d kept it though, to further stress how much cooler Kakuna is than Metapod.

BATTLING WITH KAKUNA

Go back and read my entry on Metapod. Kakuna is just as bad at battle as Metapod is, so all the info is pretty much the same. The only difference is in typing, as an added Poison subtype gives Kakuna a handful of new weaknesses, while offering in return an immunity to the dreaded Toxic. Of course Kakuna isn’t nearly defensive enough for anyone to bother using Toxic over just murdering it instantly.

Maybe you can give a Kakuna a Focus Sash and use its added Poison typing to guarantee a Toxic against an opponent? Just spitballin’ here, cause Kakuna is awful.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 2/5
Cooler, and more menacing than Metapod, but he’s still just an oddly shaped thing you could kick around like a tin can.

DESIGN: 2/5
Looks marginally more like a Pokemon than Metapod does, but he’s still boring as hell. I like the idea of a three stage bug simulating real bugs, but these middle stages are always ass (Until 5th gen)

BATTLE: 1/5
No.

THE GRIM REAPER: NOT QUITE/BUT IT’S CLOSE
Seriously though. Scythe arms. I can guarantee not a single other Bug in the history of Pokemon has something as cool as scythes for arms.

OVERALL: 1.6/5

I can’t help but wonder what he’s listening to.