Building the Best Pokémon Team (Part 10)
It turns out that Pokémon Sword, Shield and Battering Ram won’t have all 1,000 or so Pokémon available to catch, and the nerds don’t like it one bit. I don’t like it either, because it means my favourite Pokémon, Chatot, is almost certainly for the chop. My decision to buy the game may very well rest on whether a wise-cracking 3D parrot makes it into the game. If he doesn’t, then unfortunately Game Freak have lost themselves a customer this time round – and you can picture me as Homer Simpson, shouting that to Moe at the height of the Flaming Moe craze. The real question is, how many of the forgotten Johto boys, girls and Shuckles will make it over?
Fans always reserve a special kind of scorn for the Pokémon designers and their work when a new Generation’s representatives become revealed, possibly borne out of nostalgia for the older games. And when more of the Generation 8 Pokémon designs surface, this criticism will surely begin anew. Now there’s been some howlers alright, like a pile of purple sludge turning into a bigger, angrier pile of purple sludge. There was also a big, anti-Semite rock feature. But I feel they generally do a fine job in creating memorable Pokémon designs. Occasionally though, you get a Pokémon that’s doomed to the status of generic outcast from the start, possessing no redeeming features like boss stats, moves or type combination. Every Generation has a few, and Granbull is probably the most glaring example of Generation 2: egregious in its own forgetability. Hey hey! Use that one if you like. Even the cute Snubbull lost out on the type of fame that his poster-dog looks would usually confer. You won’t catch Snubbull or his big brother on the guestlist of exclusive Pokémon parties, that’s for damn sure.
Eat this Pokémon the wrong way, and you die a horrible, horrible death. A painfully slow death, at that. So you’ll need a good cook to make Qwilfish edible. Actually, is there any Pokémon of prey? It seems macabre, but we’re on about a series where young children are told to journey a dangerous world free of parental supervision and coerce cute animals into knocking lumps out of each other. So why not Pokémon cannibalism? The Pokedex sometimes has scant references to Pokémon feeding on other Pokémon, but that devil computer ought not to be trusted – some of its entries are creepy, if not downright disturbing. Qwilfish, by the way, is mostly a bottom feeder Pokémon that could really do with an evolution or 3. Maybe it could turn into the Gloomy Galleon boss from Donkey Kong 64, save itself some face?
It’s actually got the same stats as its pre-evolution, Scyther. It simply swaps Scyther’s Flying type out for the Steel type, a type which tends to turn moderately tough Pokémon into diamond mofos, as we’ve already established. Plus it’s red, my favourite colour (little Burkey fact for you there). And it even manages to look more vicious than Scyther despite trading in its claws for pincers that look a bit like Baron von Blubba from Bubble Bobble. If this guy descends from the night sky and goes to mug you, then you’ve had it.
The incredible Bulbapedia once told us that wee Shuckle here is capable of doing the most damage in a single move out of any Pokémon in any of the games. Apparently, “a level 100 Shuckle can potentially deal the most damage in one single attack (481,266,000 damage) under the following conditions…” It then goes on to name a load of conditions that you’d have to be a bit of a fool to fall into. Even if that figure of 481 million damage was decimated, it’d be an insane amount – the highest HP of any Pokémon still only just breaches 700, after all. To add my own take on Shuckle, I like his look but I don’t know if I’d ever try to use him in a battle – even he doesn’t look terribly confident in himself. He kind of reminds me of those Bumble Ball toys. Remember them? I had one of those as a kid – and I loved and loathed its frightful unpredictability in equal measures. A bit like watching Tottenham Hotspur, I suppose.
Now here’s a strong Bug type that we can be confident in! Whoops, part Fighting type, and therefore it gets boy’d by Psychic types. Oh well! But Heracross is a good fella all the same, if a bit derpy looking. Ash must have had faith in Crossy, as he carried one around for a while. Got rid of it in the end, of course, dumping it on Professor Oak. Is he going to do the same with his kids? Who will Ash have kids with? Did Ash’s father ever show up, for that matter? A thousand episodes, and we still don’t know… what we do know is that we cannot allow our reputation to suffer by using the same Pokémon as Ash would, so through no fault of his own, we must dismiss Heracross. Sorry lad.
You remember Sully from Commando? The one who Arnie promised to kill last? Sneasel is Sully. A slippery customer, a little slimy, evil in mature – but ultimately lacks the minerals. And, although I’ve never experienced it myself, going up against Sneasel in the TCG allegedly used to bring out Sully-esque deathscreams from opponents. The card was later banned, along with Slowking, meaning that Sneasel wasn’t even good on paper anymore, literally. But at least Sneasel got an evolution years later, and with better hair too.
It’s big, it’s vicious, it’s… not terribly memorable. If you’re going to use a bulky Normal type, with low Speed but high Attack and HP, you’re not going to look past Snorlax, are you? I’d rather keep it as a cute Teddiursa, to be quite honest. At least Teddiursa has a cool crescent moon motif on its head. Yes, that’s right, I just used the word ‘motif’ unironically. I would like to be a bear, though, you know. I’d just cut about the woods, eat some honey and not even feel the bees stinging me, then go off and sleep for three months. Anyone that comes near me, I just tear the face off. And then I go home and shred on guitar, just like Ursaring – if you don’t know what I mean, have a look at his animation in Pokémon Crystal. The Bear can play.
A Fire and Rock type, eh? Well, it’s just begging to be messed up by Surf, Hydro Pump, Earthquake, Magnitude… almost any move worth using, really. Still, barring starters and legendaries, Fire Pokémon have become enough of a minority group to render any comments said against them as racist, so I best watch my words. I’d rather a more elegant Fire-type, like Ninetales or even Houndoom to an extent. Or, I’ll take some wretched beast like Charizard or Ho-oh. I think Magcargo’s look is just a little too… how can I say this… challenging.
Check it out, it’s a new Ice type! It’s a big lump of fluffy wool, one that looks like it doesn’t take any messing. That looks like quite a hump on its back, though. Piloswine, the perfect Pokémon for you and Quasimodo. Poor old Quasi doesn’t train Pokémon anymore, as it happens, he’s retired. But he’s doing OK, because they gave him a lump sum and ten years’ back pay. Piloswine doesn’t look like it’ll ever get the chance to retire – as a woolly mammoth, he’s been around for gillions of years and he still has to put in a performance in battles, It’s Ground type at least, so electricity won’t bother it. Just as well really, could you imagine how frizzy Piloswine’s fur would get after an Electric attack? He’d be the scruffiest swine in town. With an immunity to electricity, Piloswine can do itself up to be Belle of the Pokémon Ball with confidence. Jesus, what am I talking about?
Yeah, if it looks useless in battle, then it probably is. Still, if Misty caught one and uses one, then it’s best we say nowt on the subject. She’s not exactly the kind of person to contradict, is she? You just can’t beat those fiery gingers, especially when they have tongues like sailors. But if you’re going to use the ill-advised Water and Rock-type pairing, then just use Kabutops instead. There’s a reason why knife-crime is on the up, while the coral reefs are being destroyed.
Remoraid looks for all the world like Magikarp’s brother, doesn’t he? Or do most fishes look the same? Is that racism against fish? Fishism? Well, we looked at the more subtle Octillery to see if it would surpass the overt Gyarados. And things were actually looking good for the red eight-legger, especially with some beefy attack stats. But now it’s in competition with a Shiny Red Gyarados… tough gauntlet, but I’d stick with the Octazooka on this one. Nothing beats understated efficiency, does it?
Yes, it’s a Santa Claus Pokémon. Smiles all round 🙂 Stick it alongside Sudowoodo the Christmas tree and Stantler the reindeer and you’ve got yourself a Christmas themed team. Pick a bird that isn’t Doduo for the Christmas turkey, and maybe Cryogonal for snow? Round it off with, I don’t know, Blissey for Christmas cheer or Kangaskhan for family and children. And then send the team into the climactic battle, Delibird first! And… well, as it turns out, Delibird can’t battle very well. But you wouldn’t deride Father Christmas himself for having poor fighting ability, would you?
If there’s one thing, and one thing only, that made me regret buying Pokémon Gold, it’s that I had to give up on catching Skarmory in favour of this fella. Has there ever been such an inbalance between two version exclusive Pokémon? I like Mantine for the cuteness factor, but I’m a big strong man who eats loadsa vitamins and watches loadsa action films, so I can’t exactly admit that in public. Get this swapped for the metal bird as soon as you can. Well, that’s useless advice since it isn’t the year 2000 anymore and Skarmories are ten-a-penny these days, but still. And yes, that is a little Remoraid swimming under Mantine’s fin. How very Finding Nemo.
A physically resistant man of war. This guy is Superman’s pet, he’s Ivan Drago’s twin, he’s Arnie during his weight-lifting days. That’s just his body, and on top of that, he’s armed with all of the weaponry from Commando AND the script from Predator. It’s Steel- and Flying-type, giving it great potential use for Al Qaeda terrorist attacks – and you’ll need some heavy anti-air and artillery to shoot this fighter down. It doesn’t react well to Flamethrowers, but not many creatures on Earth do – use Octillery for that. In fact, when you mount your coup against the Johto regime, Octillery can be used as the amphibious tanks, Skarmory for air supremacy, Blissey to heal the troops and Wobbuffet as cannon fodder.
To Be Continued!