#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.

Advertisements

#124 Jynx

Whoa! Let’s talk this over!

What can be said about Jynx that hasn’t been said a million times over? Let’s try and take this slowly, a step at a time.

So what is Jynx? It’s Pokemon #124 is what it is. It’s also the final evolution of the only Pokemon line to be Psychic / Ice in the entire series. At least, it is for now. That could change in the future maybe.

But what is she?

I NEED AN ADULT

I NEED AN ADULT

I don’t know. There’s lots of very very strange things about Jynx. Everywhere. I mean I’m sure many of you are probably immediately jumping to the real life controversies about Jynx, and what she is, but I’ll get to that in the second section.

WHAT IS JYNX IN THE CONTEXT OF POKEMON?

Let’s look at the facts. Jynx is very reminiscent of a humanoid female. She has hands, what appear to be visible breasts, big pink lips, and long blonde hair. She’s a Pokemon, in other words.

Or is she? I present to you one of the most bizarre things in all of Pokemon.

Ooh a Pokemon Stadium gi-OH MY GOD

Now, normally when a Pokemon is KO’d in one of the 3D games it goes into a short animation where it collapses. It’s typical, standard fare. Jynx, does not do that. Jynx completely vanishes save for the long yellow hair. So what does that mean?

There are two prevailing theories. Number 1, Jynx isn’t solid. She’s actually some kind of gaseous Pokemon that doesn’t have a solid form despite all appearances. When she gets KO’d that gas dissipates, and the one solid part of her form, the hair, is left behind.

Theory number 2, and the one that I prefer to subscribe to, is way more insane. See, Jynx is just a mass of yellow hair. Jynx is dual typed Ice and Psychic. As a type, Psychic has been known to do some pretty intense things in the Pokemon world, and creating a body for itself is well within those established limits. When Jynx gets KO’d, she loses the ability to keep her physical form up, and her true body, the mass of yellow hair, flutters to the ground.

Also the hair has Ice powers.

Also the hair has Ice powers.

Further adding to the weirdness is Jynx’s speech. The Pokedex states across several games (Starting with Pokemon Stadium) that Jynx speaks a language that is completely incomprehensible. Some elaborate by saying that it sounds like human speech, and a few even say that scientists are actively trying to determine what it’s saying. That’s a bit unusual, isn’t it? Scientists don’t care what other Pokemon are saying, and shouldn’t whatever language other Pokemon speak be just as incomprehensible?

Or what if scientists have already figured out how to understand other Pokemon. Suspend your disbelief with me for a moment.

What if scientists had managed to understand other Pokemon, and could listen in on their conversations and what not. What if then, even with that ability, they were still unable to understand Jynx. That would explain why she’s being singled out, wouldn’t it?

Now get this. In the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games you actually get to play as a human transformed into a Pokemon. As such, you’re able to speak some sort of bizarre universal Pokemon language. All Pokemon can be understood by you, and you can speak with them as well. When a Pokemon joins you they have a handful of lines relating to their current status, and a snippet of dialogue for leveling up.

Jynx though. Jynx is still a mystery. What does Jynx’s dialogue look like in Pokemon Mystery dungeon?

∞XO@#*~♪ ∞XO@#*~♪ Jynx at 51-100% HP
!!O@#*~!  !!O@#*~! – Jynx at 26-50% HP
!!!!!!~! !!!!!!~! Jynx at 1-25% HP
∞XO@#*~♪♪♪ ∞XO@#*~♪♪♪ – Jynx levels up

Jynx is spooky.

DID YOU KNOW?

THAT JYNX IS RACIST?!?!?!*

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!

IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Probably.

I’m sure this is the part that most of you reading this are interested in. Jynx was at the center of some very real controversy surrounding Pokemon back in the early 2000’s. The accusations were that Jynx is a racist caricature of black people. And it’s very hard to deny the similarities between old, black-faced Jynx, and other racist cartoon characters.

Like *sigh* Marvel's Whitewash Jones

Like *sigh* Marvel’s Whitewash Jones

Nintendo reacted as most companies would, and altered Jynx’s appearance. Her skin was changed from pitch black to a light purple. And in the decade plus since people have argued about whether or not Jynx was actually intended to be racist. Arguments range from Jynx being based on Ganguro, a Japanese fashion trend, various characters or monsters from Japanese mythology, or even just the classic design of an opera singer.

Lots of good points have been presented to the “Jynx isn’t racist” side of things, with GameTheory in particular having a well-thought-out video as to why she’s 100% innocent of all accusations.

Now, I love GameTheory. I really, really do. But I have to disagree with them here, simply because inspiration can come from more than one source. While I agree with the sentiment that Jynx is likely based on a yama-uba, I still think that once they’d come up with a general idea for Jynx’s design, they added the blackface thing because Pokemon is full of ideas like that.

See, Japan is extremely homogenous, with something like 98% percent of the people living in it being Japanese. Making them seem dumb is not my intent, but it’s a fairly well known fact that most things other nations could find racist fly over the head of Japanese people. In 2009 (Yes, 2009. Almost a decade after the Jynx thing) a Japanese actor actually performed Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” on a TV show in full blackface. It was intended to be a tribute to black culture, and the audience had no negative reaction to it whatsoever.

Just look at how big those lips are!

Just look at how big those lips are!

In short, I really think that Jynx’s design was intended to reference a woman in blackface. However, I don’t believe for a second that it was done maliciously. It was just an unfortunate side effect of Japan’s homogeneity.

BUT THAT’S JUST A THEORY. A ME THEORY. Thanks for reading.

USING JYNX IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Oh man what do we have here. 95 Speed is pretty alright. 115 Special Attack is nice. 95 Special Defense is also pretty nice.

Shame about the everything else. 65 HP doesn’t do much good for that 95 Special Defense, and an absolutely pitiful 35 Base Defense is just terrible. This makes Jynx an extremely risky Pokemon to use.

On the one hand it has Nasty Plot, and can get dual STABs in Ice Beam and Psychic / Psyshock. On the other hand, almost all priority moves absolutely demolish Jynx. Fake Out and Mach Punch can lay a nice meaty dent into Jynx, but Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, and Bullet Punch are usually a death sentence.

SO, Lovely Kiss is a move you’ll definitely want. If you want to risk playing Jynx as a sweeper, then Nasty Plot would be your next choice. Then just stick your dual STABs on top for all 4 moves. If you’re looking for more of a revenge killer then, swap out Nasty Plot for Focus Blast, or Energy Ball. Depending on situations you find yourself encountering, you may want to also consider Frost Breath instead of Ice Beam. While it is weaker (Frost Breath has 60 BP but always crits for effectively 90 BP vs Ice Beams 95 BP) and has a lower accuracy, it won’t be deterred by screens, or overly defensive Pokemon.

As a final option, you can throw a Choice Scarf onto Jynx, and have it use Trick to disable any Pokemon on the enemy team that depends on setting up. Dry Skin is always the ability you should go for to add a much-needed immunity, and you’ll want to decide between a Life Orb as an item, for more power, or a Focus Sash to get you an extra turn to save you from the inevitable OHKO.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
“I’ll have some of that, please!” – No one, ever.

DESIGN: 4/5
Yama uba, blackface, opera singers, yokai, etc etc. Jynx is a hilarious smorgasbord of random designs glued together to create a creepy Pokemon that may secretly be a pile of hair.

BATTLE: 3/5
Too risky to rate higher, too many good aspects to rate lower.

WAIT A SECOND: BLACKFACE / AND DRY SKIN?
Now THAT’S racist.

OVERALL: 2.6/5

Fun fact: Jynx’s cry is actually the longest ever

#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.

#122 Mr. Mime

What's that buzzing sound?

Did it just get colder in here?

Ugh.

Ugh.

THE DARK LORD WILL BE PLEASED WITH THIS ACQUISITION

THE DARK LORD WILL BE PLEASED WITH THIS ACQUISITION

Mr. Mime is quite possibly one of my least-liked Pokemon of all time. It’s the one I hate most off the top of my head, but I also get strange, pounding headaches and lose concentration when Mr. Mime enters my head. So I’ll refrain from trying to think of anything I hate more than Mr. Mime and concentrate on pounding this out.

Mr. Mime is the worst. It’s just the worst. It has creepy horns that also kind of sort of resemble bat wings. Its torso looks like a giant Tylenol tablet that someone cut in half and glued pink gumdrops to. Then emerging from those gumdrops are stick-thin arms shaded a pale pink. Curly-toed shoes complete this hellish ensemble giving Mr. Mime a look that will haunt your dreams and eat your children.

IT WILL NEVER BE YOUR BIRTHDAY AGAIN

IT WILL NEVER BE YOUR BIRTHDAY AGAIN

I don’t even know what they were going for with Mr. Mime. Well, I say that because I don’t think “Soul Crushing Terror” is the kind of emotional response that they were hoping for from this weird thing. Every part of Mr. Mime’s design is unsettling, and I think adding Mime Jr. in Generation 4 was an attempt at quelling the evil that lurked in children’s closets. The evil that they unleashed when Mr. Mime was conceived.

But the strangest thing about Mr. Mime? The part that I will never understand? For some reason someone decided that Delia Ketchum, Ash’s mom from the anime, needed a Mr. Mime to hang out with her around the house.

LEAVE ME BE FOUL SHE-BEAST

LEAVE ME BE FOUL SHE-BEAST

I can only imagine that this was an attempt at humanizing Mr. Mime, and making it a bit more approachable, but it didn’t do that for me. It just made me wonder how hardcore Ash’s mom must have secretly been in order to have a Mr. Mime under her control

It can’t be easy for an abomination against mankind to be stuck sweeping and doing common household chores for a lonely housewife. Some people have used the fact that it’s just a Mr. Mime and Delia in the house all  that time as a setting for Pokemon fanfiction. The naughty kind. The kind I had to look up and make sure it existed so I could confirm I wasn’t speaking out of hearsay and hapenstance.

YOUR FATHER WISHED FOR A SON

YOUR FATHER WISHED FOR A SON

For as much as I hate Mr. Mime I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like seeing that evil monster having to do humiliating tasks. It’d be like stepping outside and finding Osama bin Mega Hitler sweeping your neighbors driveway. You wouldn’t want to come near him cause, I mean, come on. I’m not going near Osama bin Mega Hitler.

But it’d still be fun just to watch him do something so menial for awhile.

DID YOU KNOW?

Every Pokemon game ever has some in-game trades you can do with NPC’s in-game. While most of these are just to have some Pokemon that you may not have for whatever reason, some are definitely unique in that they offer Pokemon you can not get anywhere else. In Generation 1, Mr. Mime was one such trade.

From this guy on Route 2

From this guy on Route 2

Well, in Pokemon Red and Blue only, this guy wanted to trade you an Abra in exchange a Mr. Mime. So you do the trade, and once you decontaminate your cartridge you’ll notice that the Mr. Mime is nicknamed Marcel! As with pretty much everything this isn’t confirmed, but is probably a reference to a very famous real life mime, Marcel Marceau.

Significantly less creepy!

Significantly less creepy!

Marcel Marceau was one of the most famous mimes pretty much ever. He went by the stage name of Bip the Clown, and actually performed for troops after the end of WWII. In the 50’s he became world famous as he spread “The Art of Silence” and even wrote a couple of children’s books. I didn’t know much about him before all this, and I wonder why they named the spawn of Satan after him in Pokemon Red and Blue.

Thankfully, that egregious error was corrected, and the Mr. Mime was named Miles in Pokemon Yellow, and Mimien in Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen.

And we all learned to appreciate mimes a little more today.

And we all learned to appreciate mimes a little more today.

USING MR. MIME IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Mr. Mime is pretty not great. Now, having said that, I would be failing in my duties if I didn’t mention that Mr. Mime was, for a short period of time, an absolute must on the most brokenly powerful type of team that popped up as a result of Generation 6’s changes to the meta. Baton Pass was always a bit of a gimmick during Generations 2-5, but the addition of a good new Speed Booster, among other small changes made Mr. Mime, who has access to the ability Soundproof, and thus immunity to Roar, a required part of running a successful Baton Pass team. Times have changed since then, the meta has evolved, and Mr. Mime is now back where it belongs. In the trash.

So, if you’re going to use one anyway, the first thing you’ll notice is its stats. Bottom heavy, but I already made the fat bottomed girls joke somewhere else, so I’ll just point out that all of its assets are in Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed.

Calm Mind is, in general, the best set a Mr. Mime can run in my opinion. Give it Calm Mind, Dazzling Gleam, and Psychic or Psyshock. For the fourth slot you’ll want either Encore, to try and lock your opponent into undesirable moves, or more coverage in the form of Shadow Ball. Leftovers or a Life Orb will complete the set! If you want a more suicidal option, then you can run Dazzling Gleam, Shadow Ball, and Focus Blast for coverage. Then, for a fourth slot, run Healing Wish to heal anything that is going to be coming in after and keep your team alive.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
STAY AWAY.

DESIGN: 3/5
It gets across the whole mime + clown thing fine. Too bad it looks like it walked out of your nightmares.

BATTLE: 1/5
Mm. Nah.

I┴: ʞƎƎԀS/H∀ԀԀƎNINפ
HƎ˥Ԁ

OVERALL: 1.6/5
122
I’ll seal you in an invisible box. Forever.

#121 Starmie

Starmie is feeling down

Starmie is feeling down

Starmie is a criminally underrated Pokemon. It’s pretty great in battle, and it’s got an interesting design. That same yellow thing all over Staryu is now much more uniform in shape, and the round gem has been updated to a brilliantly cut jewel. A Psychic typing was superglued on top of all that and now we have Starmie.

Now, let me make one thing clear. I like Starmie, but it creeps me out. It’s a tenacious like. I can’t help it. I like the purple color and the whole two starfishes stacked on top of each other thing, but I don’t like how the bottom one moves around.

Get that outta here!

Pidgeotto has had enough of your mess Starmie!

See, when I look at Starmie all I can see is two Starfish stacked on top of each other. It looks like they’d move in tandem and all that, but they don’t. Starmie is able to move the top or bottom starfish separately of the other, and it looks super creepy. Sometimes it stands on the front star while the back one spins around, and sometimes it’s reversed.

And I’m talking full spins here, not just like they have a little bit of freedom. These are moving like they’re not attached to anything except for a drill.

Don't mind me! Just haunting your dreams!

Don’t mind me! Just haunting your dreams!

Then that raises all kinds of questions. How well attached are Starmie’s two halves? Do they grind up against each other and make a horrible sound that is just edited out of the games and show? Or do they make no sound? Do they have to be well-oiled to make no sound? Are they cutting out scenes of Misty spraying some WD-40 between the two halves so Starmie doesn’t make squeaky sounds?

More than anything else though, this just makes me think that Starmie has it all wrong. While it’s busy shooting water, ice, or psychic energy at opponents it’s missing on the best possible way for it to attack.

By aiming for the teeth with the gem!

By aiming for the teeth with the gem!

That method, of course, is spinning. I know I said last time that Staryu could probably spin and do some damage pretty well, and for the unitiated it may seem like Starmie would be less effective at it. After all, two blades with some space inbetween shouldn’t work, should it? I actually don’t know…

…if they’re spinning in the same direction. Thanks to Starmie’s unique ability to control them individually, it can, theoretically, spin the two in opposite directions. And that, I know for a fact, is more effective than a single spinning blade.

Or so I’ve been told. Years ago there was this show called Pitchmen on the Discovery channel starring the late great Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan. In one of the episodes they showed off a man who’d invented what was basically a handheld saw with two blades placed close together that spun in opposite directions. He then proceeded to cut a car in half with is miniature saw.

All I’m saying is imagine Starmie making use of that incredible destructive power and just like, flying straight through a Snorlax or something. That’d be horrifying, but also educational for everyone.

DID YOU KNOW?

One thing that’s always frustrating to hear is someone trying to determine what a Pokemon is based off of. Like, it’s obvious that Staryu is a starfish, but what about Starmie? To me that answer is obvious too, it’s not based off anything in particular. They took their already stylized Starfish Pokemon, and added onto it to make it look cool and unique.

Some people don’t like that answer though, and look for other solutions.

Starmie! Circa 500 BC

Starmie! Circa 500 BC or so

Way back in the ancient times of Mesopotamia there was a lot of Gods and Goddesses being worshiped.  Among those was a Goddess of Heaven, known as Inanna (Or Ishtar, as she may have also been known? I’m not 100% there’s a lot of info here to take in at once)

Anyway, as cool as it would be to have a Pokemon based off of an ancient Goddess, she doesn’t hold much relevance to this story. However, way back then, because people didn’t have the modern niceties of things like telescopes, Venus was thought to be two stars in the night sky. The morning star, and the evening star. These were supposedly Inanna in her celestial form, and basically became a symbol to represent her. Two stars laid on top of each other, with a circle in the center. The star of Ishtar. It does bear a pretty interesting resemblance to Starmie.

Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to believe this was intentional, I don’t think it was. If anyone out there can provide any more supporting evidence I’d love to think that GameFreak did something that cool, but for now I’m just going to assume that it was a cool, unintentional reference.

And a sweet shirt design too!

And a sweet shirt design too!

USING STARMIE IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

Starmie is actually pretty solid in battle. It’s lost a bit of usefulness as of Generation 6 thanks to the Dark type’s buffs and the continued weakening of the Psychic type, but it still can surprise you if used carefully!

Anyway, Starmie’s got two main things it can pull off, just like Staryu. An offensive set that utilizes a choice item and a less offensive set that utilizes Rapid Spin. If you’re going to be a Rapid Spinner, then you’ll of course want Rapid Spin in your arsenal, along with Scald, Recover, and Ice Beam / Thunderbolt / Psychic. Since Eviolite no longer works Leftovers will have to suffice, and you’ll need to pump EV’s into HP and Speed, while Natural Cure is the best defensive ability you get.

The Choice set is mildly more interesting though. Basically pick from a Choice Scarf or Choice Specs, and make sure Analytic is the ability this time. Hydro Pump over Scald again, and Thunderbolt is also a must. However, you’ll also want Trick, so you can force that Scarf or Specs onto someone at whim, and cripple them with the burden of a Choice item they weren’t expecting! After that you’ll really just want to pick between Ice Beam or Dazzling Gleam for your last move. Ice Beam offers greater coverage, but Dazzling Gleam gives you a solid weapon against Dark types that will try to stop you.

Either way, Starmie is pretty solid, and a Pokemon I’d definitely try out if you haven’t yet.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 5/5
Two stars. Purple. And a big light-up gem in the center! Starmie is pretty and cool all at once.

DESIGN: 4/5
I like the simplicty behind just adding a second star behind the first, even if it is a little lazy. The updated gem is a great touch too.

BATTLE: 4/5
Another solid contender. I love Starmie in battle and hope it gets another surge of popularity soon. maybe in the form of a mega!

REST IN PEACE: BILLY/MAYS
I don’t care if anyone else doesn’t care. I was a big fan of the show Pitchmen, and to see it end so soon due to Billy Mays’s untimely passing makes me sad ;_;

OVERALL: 4.3/5
121
Coming soon to a jugular near you!

 

#120 Staryu

I can't let you do that, Dave.

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!

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

“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.

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

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!

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.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 4/5
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.

DESIGN: 3/5
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.

BATTLE: 4/5
Relatively low defenses are patched up decently by Eviolite. If Staryu had better base defenses it would be absolutely amazing in battle.

HI-YAH!: HI-YAH!/HI-YAH!

OVERALL: 3.6/5

Just doin’ some calisthenics!

#119 Seaking

This guy was angrier the last time I saw him.

This guy was angrier the last time I saw him.

There’s a lot of boring, generic fish Pokemon. In Generation 1, Seaking is easily the worst of the group, because it’s an evolution. Goldeen set the template, and instead of evolving in any meaningful way, Seaking just gets a different coloration, slightly different shape, and a bigger horn. It’s just… boring.

And yet, it somehow became a meme.

Because there's nothing else to talk about with Seaking!

Because there’s nothing else to talk about with Seaking!

I just wanted to get out of the way because there’s nothing to Seaking.It’s boring. A (now-ancient) meme from 2007 is the most traction this thing has ever had with anyone, and they had to draw angry eyebrows onto the fish to add to it.

I’ve been staring at this page for hours because after bringing that up I can’t find anything new to talk about. Like, nothing. I only have a series of thoughts that I can’t really form into proper statements. So, I’m going to go ahead and do that. For the rest of this first section, enjoy my first ever stream of consciousness about Seaking.

This is what you get for being so boring!

This is what you get for being so boring!

Seaking is a darker shade of orange than Goldeen. Seaking’s fins have dark spots. The back of Seaking looks like a Butterfree’s wings. Seaking’s horn is commonly depicted as spinning, much like Rhydon’s horn in the Pokemon Stadium games. Seaking is fat. Seaking has Goldeen’s lips. Seaking has two sharp fangs. I wonder if Seaking is secretly a vampire. I bet if Seaking was a vampire it’d be cooler. What could they add to Seaking to make it more vampiric?

First it has to stop jobbing to Poliwrath.

First it has to stop jobbing to Poliwrath.

Vampires are cool. Vampires are also immortal. Like, real immortal. Not that fake immortal, like a lot of people like to claim. I think Hitler said he was immortal at some point. That obviously wasn’t true. I think. Maybe the plot of Wolfenstein has some basis in reality though, and Hitler is still alive out there. Would it sitll be considered living if he’s in a robot suit? Or is that a form of death. I think he had some voice clips in 3D.

He was speaking English though. Maybe it was just a lookalike. A stand-in. What if that wasn’t actually a robot suit, and was just power armor. That would’ve been insane. It’s a good thing BJ Blazkowicz saved the day on that one. What if Hitler was a vampire? What could have stopped him then?

Then again, when are vampires a serious threat in cool things?

A lot of things, probably.

How do we really know that Hitler wasn’t a vampire anyway. There’s so many ridiculous versions of vampires that have cropped up through the annals of history that I sometimes wonder if there are real vampires. Just like, immune to sunlight. And don’t need to drink blood.

Like, what if everything we know about vampires is wrong? What if all of us are vampires? What if the only non-vampires are the people who can’t handle sunlight, and have to drink blood to survive?

What if Seaking was a vampire?

And what if Mozart was still alive?

And what if Mozart was still alive?

DID YOU KNOW?

Once again displaying a staggering amount of laziness, Seaking is just a couple more goldfish put together to make a new one. I know that might sound like a weirdly specific thing to complain about, but a lot of future fish Pokemon are basically variations on their animal. Aside from the horn that isn’t even that big, Seaking is not.

Fancy!

Fancy!

Unlike Goldeen’s basis, the stuff that Seaking comes from is unfortunately significantly less pretty. This time the species of fish that Seaking’s body is based off of is called the Azuma Nishiki. They’re a type of Veil Tailed Goldfish, just like the Tosakin that Goldeen is based on. Unfortunately, they don’t look much like Seaking, aside from their shape.

That’s because their coloring is likely based off of a second fish. The Shubunkin.

I can see the resemblance from here!

I can see the resemblance from here!

And then there was a horn. And some sharp teeth. It’s still got that fluttery wispy tail though, making me think it’d be difficult for it to attain any sort of real speed and actually do well in a fight.

Seaking is useless. Don’t use it if you can help it. There’s so, so many better Water types. Go find a real Goldfish, and play Pokemon with that instead. It won’t affect you in battle, and it looks cooler!

USING SEAKING IN BATTLE

stats via pokemondb

stats via pokemondb

I literally just said don’t use Seaking. What are you doing reading this? Stop!

If you’re just skimming though, I’ll go ahead and tell you how to use Seaking, should you want to. Seaking still has the wonderful ability Lightning Rod, and an okay-ish amount of bulk. It’s no longer got access to Eviolite, thanks to being fully evolved though, so you’ll want to attach a Life Orb to it for extra power. Generally, the sames moves as before work too. Aqua Tail or Waterfall for STAB, Megahorn, Knock Off, and Drill Run are good options for attacks. If you want to sacrifice coverage for power, Drill Run can be removed in exchange for Return, but I’d rather have Drill run myself. Throw EV’s into Attack and Speed to do the best you can with what little you have at your disposal.

In normal, singles battles, Seaking is phenomenally useless. It has a very low Attack Stat, so its decent-ish coverage combined with Lightning Rod will no longer make it worth considering. I will say though, that it has managed to find some use in Doubles, and the VGC meta in years past. I don’t know much anymore, but thanks to Lightning Rod it can neutralize Electric attacks from your opponents, or even absorb them from your own side for Special Attack boosts to fuel Surf or Ice Beam. In addition, things like Soak, and Horn Drill are nice little wrinkles to its moveset that are completely useless in singles battles.

I don’t know how well it still holds up today, but I can say this much. Don’t use Seaking in singles.

ARBITRARY SCORES

APPEARANCES: 1/5
Dumb. Generic. These are some words that come to mind when discussing Seaking.

DESIGN: 1/5
Awul. Boring. These are some more words that come to mind when discussing Seaking.

BATTLE: 1/5
Seriously. Stats people. A little lesson in minmaxing could have saved Seaking.

WHAT HAS SEAKING: DONE/TO YOU?
I don’t know but I hope it goes away and never returns.

OVERALL: 1/5
119119f
Male Seaking still have a slightly larger horn!