#125 Electabuzz

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I AM

Bad bit of timing on my part to resume this blog the day before something would take up almost a week of my life. I even knew it was coming this time! I was just so eager to resume that I wrote Jynx then and there instead of waiting until after.

Anyway, that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because of Electabuzz. This… thing has been confusing people for about 500 years now. What is it?

'sup

‘sup

At first glance it seems easy. We have some yellow thing that looks furry. It has black stripes and a long tail. It’s gotta be based on a cat, right. There’s probably a bit of tiger in the design cause of the black on yellow thing, as well as the two huge fangs sticking out of its mouth.

But when taken in as a whole absolutely nothing about Electabuzz is cat-like. If anything, given its elongated limbs with thick forearms and bipedal stance, it looks more like a primate. This is further backed up by its personality.

ELECTABUZZ LIKES TO PUNCH

ELECTABUZZ LIKES TO PUNCH

There are certain moves that I associate with certain Pokemon even though they’re not signature moves. Thunder Punch is something I’ll probably always associate with Electabuzz, and that’s notable because cats don’t punch.

But primates don’t have long tails

Well, I guess monkeys do, but Electabuzz is definitely more big ape, like a gorilla, in body shape.

And on the dance floor.

The Pokedex says nothing of note either. Mentions are made of just how much Electabuzz loves electricity, and how it will cause power outages by eating the stuff. Also they’ll climb to high places during a storm in an effort to get struck by lightning.

My favorite Pokedex entry though is from Pokemon Platinum.

This is an important visual for the next paragraph

This is an important visual for the next bit

It windmills its arms to slightly boost its punches. Foes have been known to escape in the meantime.

So it’s basically like Donkey Kong’s neutral B in Smash Bros. There’s a nice long windup then POW, punch. Neat.

DID YOU KNOW?

So what is Electabuzz exactly? I didn’t answer that question in the first part cause I figured it’d go better here. And because I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about.

>:(

>:(

Electabuzz is likely based on an Oni, or a kind of Japanese demon. There’s lots of oni, but a particularly popular archetype seems to be a bright red-skinned Oni wearing a tiger pelt. And aside from the bright red bit, that would pretty much exactly be Electabuzz.

This is the kind of mad that no one takes seriously

This is the kind of mad that no one takes seriously

This particular brand of Oni typically has two horns like Electabuzz, though sometimes they’re depicted with a single horn. Also, they sometimes are depicted as deities of electricity and lightning. Upon discovering this fact I immediately went back to the last time I’d seen a figure that matched this red-skinned tiger wearing guy to see if my suspicions were correct.

grumblemumble

grumblemumble

It’s cool how stuff we may have already been aware of has connections we didn’t realize. I’ve mentioned that I’m a huge fan of fighting games, and even if it’s super cheesy I really love Super Gem Fighter. Part of the game’s many ridiculous mechanics is a random character floating through the map at times. They can be either Monkey from Journey to the West, a kappa, or a red oni.

And what happens if you touch the oni?

It's just like touching Blanka!

It’s just like touching Blanka!

You get shocked! Nobody on the internet had the decency to have ripped the Oni’s sprites from the game so I had to go and take these two images manually myself. I hope you all appreciate the extra work I go into to make esoteric references to games nobody talks about.

Really though, I thought this was cool. As a consumer of media I never put the connection between red oni and Electabuzz, and it’s kind of cool

Electabuzz still sucks though.

I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID

I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID

USING ELECTABUZZ IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Electabuzz is bad. Real bad. That 105 Speed stat is nice but neither of its attacking stats reach 100 and that Physical Defense + HP is going to get it smashed flat in only a few turns.

Luckily, through the combination of time travel Electabuzz was given an amazing gift in Generation 4 in the form of Electivire, making it eligible for some good old fashioned Eviolite. That’ll help you tank some turns, and naturally high Speed is also going ensure you’ll probably get at least a couple of hits off.

Volt Switch is very important first and foremost. It’ll let you switch out while attacking so you can get a cheap shot in on your opponent while also scouting to see if they themselves have switched and if they haven’t, allow you time to swap to someone more prepared to handle this situation. Volt Switch is amazing, but could be stronger, so you’ll want Thunderbolt as well for a more powerful STAB option that doesn’t force a switch. Hidden Power Ice is pretty much a standard for Special Electric types that don’t have access to a better move, and that leaves you with one slot. Focus Blast fills that nicely, and is pretty much the only truly good option. If you want to surprise some people though, Psychic and Signal Beam also find their way into Electabuzz’s moveset, and can hit decently hard. Smash all of your EV’s into Speed and Special Attack while making sure your Electabuzz is Timid to make everything good.

And that’s it. Electabuzz is still bad though. Its movepool is shallow and Eviolite only changes the amount of hits it can take from 0-1 to 1-2. There are better Pokemon, and you should know better by now.

ALSO ELECTABUZZ LOOKS STUPID.

It's a critical hit to Electabuzz's self esteem!

It’s a critical hit to Electabuzz’s self esteem!

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
Even knowing the origin behind it doesn’t help how stupid it looks.

DESIGN: 2/5
It’s sort of clever to turn it into some kind of cat human hybrid thing, but at the same time not clever at all. I’m torn. “Make a monster” is how they approach every Pokemon I’m sure, but most have cool themes to them, or amazing origins. Electabuzz is just some horrible amalgamation of animal parts that forms a barely coherent shape. It’s simultaneously exactly what a monster should be and nothing that a Pokemon should be.

BATTLE: 1/5
Not the worst, but man does Electabuzz try to be.

STUPID MIDDLE STAGES: ELECTABUZZ / IS ONE
Not all Pokemon have stupid middle stages, but Electabuzz is one of the worst offenders. I don’t know of a single person that doesn’t immediately love Elekid, and while Electivire is harder to love it has its fair share of fans. Electabuzz kind of fails to resonate with just about anyone though.

OVERALL: 1.3/5

“Raise the roof!” Electabuzz said to an indifferent crowd.

#101 Electrode

Still can’t quite get The People’s Eyebrow™ quite right

Sometimes I wonder if I was a weird kid. Like, I’m sure almost all of us were weird when we were kids, but it’s still something I think to myself from time to time. Sure we all liked awful cartoons and awful video games and we were all pretty dumb.

But Electrode used to be my absolute favorite Gen 1 Pokemon. I don’t know why. I felt nothing for Voltorb, but I loved me some Electrode. I can only assume that my love for Electrode comes from its expression. That permanent cocky grin is a thing of beauty and can make anything cool. Even a featureless red and white ball.

The old art is just as good

The old art is just as good

I don’t think I was some kind of crazy design genius at the time. I don’t think I took a look at Electrode, declared it was mastery of design through simplicity, and moved on. I just liked that grin. Mostly. I think I may like Electrode more when its face is not that trademark grin. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s usually pretty cool when it does.

I don't know why this one in particular is so overused

I don’t know why this one in particular is so overused

Man now I’m really trying to delve deep into my own psyche and justify my strange love for this Pokemon. I had a lot of self confidence issues growing up, but I’m pretty sure those have gone away for the most part. Maybe that’s also why Electrode is no longer my absolute favorite Generation 1 Pokemon? Or maybe I’m thinking in the wrong direction.

Never a bad expression!

Never a bad expression!

Maybe the face is what I love so much. Not the expression, like I mentioned above, but rather the fact that Electrode’s design is focused entirely on its face. If Electrode had a bad face it would be a complete and utter failure as a Pokemon, but it’s really not that bad. Incredibly unoriginal? Absolutely. But bad? Nah.

I always find myself looking at the faces of things. Like, even when I’m partaking in ahem, adult media I find a solid, emotive expression to be the best. The size of those award-winning watermelons is always secondary to a believable expression. What’s the point of having the best field in the land if the people working on them can’t communicate their joy in a sufficient manner wordlessly?

I'M CONFUSING MY OWN METAPHORS

Imagine if everyone plowing your field looked like this.

I can’t explain it, and I have no desire to pay some sort of mental-mancer a hundred million dollars to delve into my mind and find out. So, instead, I’ll just say that I like Electrode despite its simplicity. I can understand why you wouldn’t though. That just means you’re wrong though. It’s okay. We’re all wrong sometimes. Unless you’re talking about Electrode from a battling perspective. Then you’re right to hate Electrode. Electrode sucks in battle.

THIS DOES NOTHING FOR ME

THIS DOES NOTHING FOR ME

DID YOU KNOW?

GUESS WHO

GUESS WHO

Yup. It’s time to bring up Imakuni? again! I don’t think I’ve mentioned him since Doduo! In case you’re not up to the task of clicking on that link and would like a refresher, Imakuni? is basically a Japanese guy who helped a lot with Pokemon, doing TCG art, promotions, etc. He seems like a cool guy, if extremely eccentric.

Anyway, Imakuni? was part of an old Japanese rap group called Suzukisan, alongside Kobayashi! (Yes, the exclamation point is part of it like the question mark is part of Imakuni?) and Raymond (Just one name. Like Cher.) Together they made… well, a bunch of forgettable songs really. But, exactly one song was dedicated to a single, specific Pokemon. It was called, ああマルマイン, or, “Ah, Electrode.”

Well, exactly one song as far as I can tell. I just looked over the titles of every song they released and none of them mentioned a Pokemon by name as far as I can tell. While I’m discrediting myself I should add that this barely counts as a song too. But, hey! Not every Pokemon is going to have something immensely interesting about them. Sometimes they’re just gonna have a single 45 second song released somewhere twenty years ago.

Besides. The album that it’s from, “Can You Draw All the Pokemon?” Has both an adorable name and a cover that’s as equally adorable as it is incompetent. Seriously, there’s five Pokemon on the cover drawing pictures and only used two Pokemon with arms!

And Electrode is somehow wielding a crayon with its mouth

And Electrode is somehow wielding a crayon with its mouth

USING ELECTRODE IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Electrode has the highest base Speed of every Pokemon ever. Ever.

Too bad it can’t do much with all that Speed. 60/70/80 Defenses mean it’s probably going to get smashed in half from any decently hard hitting attack. On top of that, a Special Attack stat of 80 is far from the world-ending nuke that Electrode would need to properly play the role of a fast, frail attacker. Jolteon was introduced in Gen 1 too, and works much better than Electrode, even if it was a little slower.

But, that’s not important. If you’re forced to use Electrode in battle then Taunt is going to be the first thing you want. I could be speaking out of turn here, but, aside from Pranksters and Deoxys-S, I think Electrode actually has the fastest taunt in the game. Then you’ll want to either continue by setting up a Rain Dance if you’re on a rain team, or Volt Switching out of there.

There’s really not much else Electrode can do outside of that. You should be running Electrode in a Rain team because outside of that niche there’s even less that it can do. At least you can follow up the Rain Dance with perfect Accuracy 120 BP Thunder attacks afterward. Invest in more speed so Electrode will outrun absolutely everything, then keep Static as an ability.

I love Electrode, but there’s not much it can do in battle unfortunately. Maybe when there’s a Mega Electrode some day ;_;

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Check out that grin. You can’t say no to that grin.

DESIGN: 3/5
Flip Voltorb upside down then give it a completely different expression. It seems lazy but it’s also super cool.

BATTLE: 2/5
Incredibly high Speed means even less now that we’re in Generation 6 where Priority reigns supreme.

NOSTALGIA: 100/100
A MAN IN CINNABAR ISLAND WILL TRADE YOU AN ELECTRODE FOR A PIKACHU. THIS MEANS YOU CAN HAVE A LEGAL, LEVEL 3 ELECTRODE.

OVERALL: 3.3/5

Now it just needs a big fat cigar sticking out the side of its mouth.

 

#100 Voltorb

I don’t even know what to say

Oh man I haven’t done this in so long. This is so weird. I wonder if I can do it. I wonder how long I can stall for space by talking about nothing because I left on a really dumb Pokemon.

I mean. look at Voltorb. Does it look familiar to you? If it doesn’t, you may have some memory issues and should visit a doctor. If you’re sure you’ve seen it before but can’t quite put your finger on it, try scrolling up to the top of this page, and slide your eyes to the left.

Can't quite put my finger on it...

Somewhere in this general area

Voltorb is pretty much just a Pokeball with eyes. No mouth even, just two permanently angry eyes. I think I mentioned previously that there’s a theory that Voltorb is just a regular old Pokeball that got possessed by a Haunter. Due to the nature of Pokeballs, the Haunter was quickly trapped in the Pokeball and it now tries to free itself through a variety of methods. Including, but not limited to, exploding randomly.

As illustrated by this very helpful chart

As illustrated by this very helpful chart

You know what I hate? Conspiracy theories that are dumb, but also make a lot of sense. I can’t deny that this seems completely feasible, given that Haunter can pass through solid objects and also be contained within a Pokeball. And who’s to say that entering a Pokeball through unnatural means couldn’t lead to you getting stuck? There’s no precedent for this as far as I know.

Either way, I like Voltorb. Its name is super cool. What’s like, the coolest possible word for something related to electricity? Joules. But volts are a close second!

Then we need a cool name for circles. We’ve got spheres, balls, ellipses, and, oh, right orbs.

And thus Voltorb leaps into action!

And thus Voltorb leaps into action!

Voltorb doesn’t even have a mouth. No, really, look again. The line separating the two halves is, well, just a line. It’s not a mouth. It looks kinda like a mouth, completing Voltorb’s stern, angry expression, but it’s still just a line.

Despite that, it can apparently eat in Pokemon Amie. My 3DS is indisposed at the moment so I can’t check for myself, but I’ve been assured that a Voltorb can and will eat Pokepuffs in Pokemon Amie. I assume this happens the same way that other lazy Pokemon will eat food. It’ll simply bob its head up and down where a mouth would be if it had a mouth, and the Pokepuff will disappear.

What kind of a world do we live in where Pineco is restricted from eating in Pokemon Amie, but Voltorb is perfectly allowed. I’ll tell you what kind. A kind I don’t want to live in.

Or maybe all Voltorb are just Dittos

Just remember to exercise caution when checking if your Voltorb is real or a super fake Ditto. You never know when they’ll explode!

And please don't let it set off a chain reaction.

And please don’t let it set off a chain reaction.

DID YOU KNOW?

I’ve always been a sucker for cool shiny sprites. I don’t mean cool as in just a cooler alternate palette, I mean cooler in that they have secondary meanings, or cool alternate references. My favorite example of this is probably Druddigon, whose shiny sprite uses the same palette as an Irish flag for reasons I won’t go into for a long time.

But the Voltorb line is a close second.

What a pretty shade of blue.

What a pretty shade of blue.

See, Voltorb is based off of Pokeballs, like I said. Pokeballs have a nice red and white palette. Then, a shiny Voltorb is blue and white, while being based off of the next Pokeball up in the hierarchy. Great balls.

Dream_Great_Ball_Sprite

Great balls are awful. You almost always don’t need them by the time they’re introduced, and when Pokeballs finally start to lose their attractiveness you probably have access to Ultra Balls, negating the need for Great Balls entirely.

Still, the the idea is cool, and I really love it. If more shinies are ever introduced I’d love to see a whole family of Voltorbs mimicking the entire remaining set of balls. I’d use a Love Ball Voltorb, because I love the idea of a Pokemon with a big pink cartoon heart on its face.

That’s probably just me though.

This is the best result I got for Love Ball Voltorb. Cherish it while clicking for source.

This is the best result I got for Love Ball Voltorb. Cherish it while clicking for source.

USING VOLTORB IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Voltorbs stats tell you it only excels in one thing. Speed. Because of this, Voltorb is best used as a way to disrupt enemy strategies by moving first and trying to mess them up.

Taunt is a staple for fast Pokemon looking to interrupt opponent strategies. Voltorb also gets access to Thunder Wave, so the rest of your team can switch in and take advantage of a freshly slowed opponent. Volt Switch is perfect for an attack while escaping, and, if your team makes use of it, adding Rain Dance to that last slot is helpful.

Thanks to Little Cup’s overall ability to forgive low stats, Voltorb can also be used as a fast, frail Special Attacker, though the other set is definitely better. If you wanna try your hand at brooming up with Voltorb though, give it a Life Orb, Volt Switch, and Thunderbolt. Hidden Power Ice remains a good option for coverage, while Taunt remains good for utility and Signal Beam adds some additional coverage.

Definitely definitely recommend using Voltorb as a fast scout though. Check out what your enemy has, then Volt Switch out of there for someone who can handle it. Aftermath is my preferred ability, as it’ll do some nice damage to anyone that kills Voltorb via physical hit, but Static is also fairly usable.

Just keep careful with Voltorb and, as far as fast Electric types go, Voltorb isn’t too bad.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
Literally a white and red ball with eyes.

DESIGN: 4/5
I love Pokemon based off of real things, and having a Pokemon based off an item in game is still a really cool idea to me.

BATTLE: 3/5
Has a nice niche, but outside of that, well, let’s just not use Voltorb outside of its niche, okay?

GOTTA GO FAST: WHAT MEANS OF/PROPULSION EXISTS
I like to imagine that Voltorb is just permanently rolling down a hill as a way to excuse its speed.

OVERALL: 2.6/5
100n
The face isn’t even animated! It just rocks back and forth!

#082 Magneton

[MAGNETS INTENSIFY]

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

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

[ANGRY MAGNET NOISES]

[ANGRY MAGNET NOISES]

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

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

YES I KNOW YOU COULD JUST ASK YOUR MAGNETON FOR HELP

YES I KNOW YOU COULD JUST ASK YOUR MAGNETON FOR HELP

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

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

Especially because they could be a hardened criminal.

DID YOU KNOW?

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

MORE MAGNETS THAN YOU CAN HANDLE

MORE MAGNETS THAN YOU CAN HANDLE

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

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

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

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

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

USING MAGNETON IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

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

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

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

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

ARBITRARY SCORES

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

DESIGN: 1/5
Holy crap.

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

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

OVERALL: 2.6/5

They just look so uncomfortable!

#081 Magnemite

THIS ISN'T AN ANIMAL

THIS ISN’T AN ANIMAL

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

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

OR MAGNEMITE WILL DESTROY YOU

OR MAGNEMITE WILL DESTROY YOU

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

MAGNEMITE IS MILDLY PERTURBED

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

I HAVE NO STRONG FEELINGS EITHER WAY

I HAVE NO STRONG FEELINGS EITHER WAY

anger…

YOU'VE MESSED WITH THE WRONG MAGNET

YOU’VE MESSED WITH THE WRONG MAGNET

happiness…

SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE

SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE

death…

...

and, of course, an awkward uncomfortableness.


4
4

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

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

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

DID YOU KNOW?

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

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

Replaced by the PSS in Gen 6

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

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

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

USING MAGNEMITE IN BATTLE
Little Cup only!

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

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

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

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

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

ARBITRARY SCORES

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

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

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

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

OVERALL: 3/5

The magnets even flap like wings!

#026 Raichu

You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?

You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?

Raichu is Pikachu’s evolution. For this reason, all Pokemon media seems to have a grudge against Raichu. They regret creating him, and would rather pretend like Pikachu is a fully evolved Pokemon, so they can give it all kinds of options that a mid-evo is incapable of.

Things aren’t good for Raichu. It’s unwanted even among its own family. Pikachu is often shown triumphing over Raichu, because, like I said in Blastoise, everyone loves an underdog story.

An eight foot tall American with a Raichu. Japan's greatest fear.

An 8 foot tall American with a Raichu. Japan’s greatest fear.

Raichu’s great though. Gone is the yellow for a warmer orange, and its got a big white belly now. The ears are changed and are kinda weird now, but I love the new, more whip-like tail. I don’t like the new color scheme that much, but Raichu’s perfectly fine with me. It may be forever typecast into the role of a villain to Pikachu’s heroism, but we all know that Raichu will kick a Pikachu’s ass every time in game.

And it's pretty fucking cute too. Click for source!

And it’s pretty fucking cute too. Click for source, plus a whole lot more!

DID YOU KNOW?

A big meme across the Pokemon community is comparing a Pokemon’s power in how many Indian Elephants it can demolish.

The Pokedex is weird. Very weird.

The Pokedex is weird. Very weird.

The reason for this trend is a handful of Pokedex entries. Of these, Raichu is the first one listed in the Pokedex! According to the Pokedex, Raichu can store up to one-hundred thousand volts of electricity in its body, and careless contact can even cause an Indian Elephant to faint.

Y-You know they're endangered, right Raichu?

Y-You know they’re endangered, right Raichu?

On a similar note, a typo in the English version of Pokemon Stadium said that Raichu actually stores 10,000 volts in its body, not 100,000. Definitely a typo, since every other time this is mentioned its 100,000, but, whatever. I like spelling errors so I thought it was interesting.

USING RAICHU IN BATTLE

Raichu may not be the best battler around, but its move pool does lend it a handful of options. Static is a below-average ability, espeecially with Raichu’s weak defenses, but Lightning Rod is very good. Your entire enemy team will be afraid of using Electric moves, knowing that your Raichu can come in, absorb it, get the boost, and become a much bigger threat.

So how do you use Raichu? A Choice Scarf or Specs set can work fine, especially if you can manage to absorb an electric attack for a free boost. Many of the same moves Pikachu can use well are good here, aside from the Physical ones. Raichu’s Attack and Special Attack stats may be even, but the boost you get from Lightning Rod is Special, so you’ll want to play to those strengths. A Choice Band set could work in theory, but I’d still always go Specs over it.

If you don’t want to use Choice items though, Raichu can perform well thanks to Encore. Set up a Nasty Plot on the turn your opponent switches out from Encore, and start whacking stuff. Whichever set you go with, you’re going to mainly want to go with Thunderbolt as a requirement, with Volt Switch, Hidden Power Ice, Grass Knot, Signal Beam, and Focus Blast as other options.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
Raichu is cute, but I don’t really like the new color scheme. I think Pikachu’s works better.

DESIGN: 4/5
Raichu is great as an evolution. It manages to avoid the “It gets bigger” syndrome, and introduces some cool new design quirks. Love the tail specifically.

BATTLE: 3/5
Better than Pikachu is a start, but Raichu’s defenses are still very weak. Encore is a fantastic move to get a free set up turn though.

WILL RAICHU EVER GET ANY LOVE? MAYBE/ONE DAY
A popular theory going around before X/Y came out was that Dedenne would be retconned into being a Raichu pre-evo, freeing up Pikachu to get a Mega evolution, among many other things that only fully evolved Pokemon can take advantage of.

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Female Raichu tails don’t end at as sharp a point!

#025 Pikachu

You should all know who this is

Here we go. Pikachu. The mascot of the entire series.

As well as the anime and a lot of the manga

As well as the anime and a lot of the manga

In a vacuum, it’s nearly impossible to not love Pikachu. It’s got a nice, cute design. The thunderbolt shape of the tail is a nice touch, it’s got a chubby mouse body, bright red cheeks, and big huge eyes. If you don’t think Pikachu is cute then you’re probably lying to yourself.

Remember that Squirtle coin I mentioned awhile back? Pikachu got one too!

Remember that Squirtle coin I mentioned awhile back? Pikachu got one too!

Of course, that’s if you’re reviewing Pikachu in a vacuum. A space where nothing else exists. If you’re reviewing Pikachu in the real world, it can be a bit, well, grating. In my Charizard entry I mentioned that part of why I’m not too big a fan of it is that it’s always shoved down our throats. Pikachu is like Charizard turned up to 11, and then multiplied by a hundred. Pikachu is the Pokemon everyone knows, not just the Pokemon every Pokemon fan knows.


In the shitty, original Japanese version of Pokemon Stadium, Pikachu was the only playable unevolved Pokemon.

Unlike Charizard though, Pikachu fans aren’t nearly as obnoxious. The reason for this is probably because Pikachu is there to draw new fans in with a cute, friendly design. Some fans stick with Pikachu afterward, but the second that we know it has an evolution, most of us will try using that instead. Pikachu fans aren’t nearly as vocal, as a result, and I don’t have to constantly listen to talk of how Pikachu is the greatest thing since canned bread.

Pikachu's been a staple of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for years now

Pikachu’s been a staple of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for years now

The point is that despite all of the ridiculous favoritism Pikachu gets (Such as the Light Ball, we’ll get to that in the battle section) I’m willing to tolerate it. It’s cute, it’s cuddly, and it’s inoffensive. Sure it gets shoved down our throats a bit too much for my liking, but, well, you learn to live with it. I’m not the biggest fan, but I’m certainly not a hater either.

DID YOU KNOW?

There’s a lot of random little tidbits about Pikachu I threw up in the first section for fun. But now it’s time to get SCIENTIFIC!

Oh shit it's time to LEARN

Oh shit it’s time to LEARN

I went to Wikipedia intending to summarize the info on it, but oh my lord this is all so complicated to read. In a nut shell, some Japanese scientists in 2008 discovered a protein that can carry electrical impulses from the eye to the brain? And that helps you understand what you see? I don’t know this is way over my head science class is cancelled.

What’s that got to do with Pikachu? Well, the protein was named Pikachurin, because it’s a “nimble” protein, which reminded the searches of how Pikachu is, well, fast. That’s about it. If you’re a super genius you can read all about Pikachurin by clicking here. Just note that the name is literally all it has to do with Pikachu.

USING PIKACHU IN BATTLE

Pikachu is terrible in battle. I know, you’re thinking, “Pfft, haven’t you heard of the Light Ball?!

Ah, the Light Ball.

Ah, the Light Ball.

The Light Ball is probably the biggest indication of GameFreak’s ridiculous favoritism towards our little yellow friend. I like to think that whoever came up with Raichu as an evolution for Pikachu was fired as soon as Pikachu became an icon, because it severely limits what they can do with Pikachu to improve it.

One of these ideas was the Light Ball. It’s a Hold Item that works on Pikachu only. When held, it doubles Pikachu’s Attack, and Special Attack stats. That means a Pikachu holding this item in battle essentially has a free Swords Dance and Nasty Plot set up without having to do anything.

Wait, THAT'S what that does?

Wait, THAT’S what that does?

This absolutely sounds like it should make Pikachu not only usable, but a significant threat. Unfortunately, the rest of Pikachu’s stats just don’t make the cut. With an absolutely ABYSMAL defensive spread of 35/40/50, Pikachu isn’t going to be taking ANY hits well. The Light Ball does make Pikachu ever so slightly more powerful than a Life Orb Raichu, but its older cousin gets the added bonus of having greater defenses and more speed. 90 Speed isn’t bad per se, but with Pikachu’s laughable defenses it should be much higher.

So, don’t use Pikachu. Really, don’t. If you’ve made a bet with someone that you could use Pikachu to win a battle, see about getting your money back. If bill collectors are coming for you right now, then I suppose you could make use of Volt Tackle, Thunderbolt, and Hidden Power Ice for offensive prowess. Encore’s a great status move that can help your Pikachu set up a Substitute in a vain hope of survival. Other good moves for coverage include Grass Knot, Focus Punch (Don’t use unless you’re behind a sub though), Knock Off, Signal Beam, or Brick Break. Pikachu doesn’t have the defenses necessary to even try to set up, so you should go in there guns blazing and hope your opponent doesn’t carry any Priority moves.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Pikachu is cute as a button, and goes great on lunchboxes. And occasionally in them, if you catch my drift.

DESIGN: 5/5
That was a joke about eating Pokemon. Did you get it? Oh, design is fine too. Perfectly recognizable as a Pokemon and a nice yellow color with red cheeks. Pikachu’s design is solid throughout.

BATTLE: 2/5
Pikachu is terrible in battle. Use Raichu instead. Or better yet, use Jolteon.

FUCK YOU THE LIGHT BALL IS GOOD: NO/SORRY TO BREAK THE NEWS
The Light Ball is an absolutely amazing item, but Pikachu’s so weak that it doesn’t particularly matter.

OVERALL: 4/5

Female Pikachu’s have a little curve at the end of the tail!