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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
USING ELECTABUZZ IN BATTLE
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.
Even knowing the origin behind it doesn’t help how stupid it looks.
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.
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.
“Raise the roof!” Electabuzz said to an indifferent crowd.