June 10, 2016

20 for 20: My Favorite Pokemon

It wasn't easy picking my top 20 Pokemon, you know. I could have made an entire list out of generation two Pokemon alone! In the end, I three main factors determined my picks:

1. Nostalgia
2. Design
3. Usage
I added a few Pokemon on the list that served me well in battle, but my list mostly consists of designs I've always liked from older generations that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. So then, let's begin!

20. Litwick, the "spoopy candle" Pokemon

I don't actually have any personal attachment to Litwick. In fact, I only really played through the early bits of Black & White before I got bored. But, man, do I love this little guy. Just look at him. He's adorable! I was excited that they finally got around to making a ghost/fire Pokemon, but the candle motif is just perfect. Why didn't they think of a haunted candle sooner? Plus, there's the horrifying Pokedex entry about how it saps the life force of other living beings as fuel for its light.

19. Golett, the "can't touch this" Pokemon

I'm really not a fan of Golett's design at all. I mean, why does he have one square eye and one L-shaped eye? What is the point of that!? It upsets me!

The real reason I have Golett on my list is because of the supreme victory he helped me achieve in Pokemon Y. I caught one of these guys on my way to the third gym, which specialized in fighting types. He proceeded to absolutely annihilate every trainer at the gym and the gym leader alone without taking a single hit. His ghost typing completely negated fighting and normal type attacks, and took half damage from rock moves just in case Korrina tried to use rock tomb on me (she didn't even get that far).

18. Xerneas, the "sword leg" Pokemon

I don't know if you've noticed this, but Xerneas has swords for legs. Take another look. Those are not paws or hooves, those are swords. Leg swords. While Yveltal has a pretty good design, Xerneas is absolutely the best looking legendary since generation two. Plus, he has swords for legs.

17. Duskull, the "gen 3 nostalgia" Pokemon

I really got into super hype mode for new Pokemon games as a kid. I remember when gen 3 was coming out, the first new monsters revealed were Kecleon, Wailmer, and Azurill. They were cool and all, but shortly after then came Duskull. That's when I entered insane hype mode. Duskull is the most ghostly ghost Pokemon to ever exist. I love his wisps, his skull face, and his one glowing eye. He puts other pure-ghost Pokemon to shame!

16. Sableye, the "weaknessless" Pokemon

Being a dark/ghost type, Sableye was, for several generations, without weaknesses. Until generation four, he was the only Pokemon with this distinction. Even so, unless you're fighting a fairy (which is pretty unlikely considering there are only 37 of them out of many hundreds) then Sableye is still not going to be taking extra damage under normal circumstances. Tynamo and his evolutionary line are now the only Pokemon with no weakness, but unlike them Sableye is actually obtainable without pulling your hair out. 

Also, he's based on the Hopkinsville Goblin which is a pretty damn cool idea.

15. Shuckle, the "one punch" Pokemon

I always liked Shuckle when I was a kid because he looked like a goofy turtle. Actually, Shuckle more like an endolith that lives in the pores of rocks. Shuckle has the highest special defense of any Pokemon, and ties a couple of mega Pokemon (Aggron and Steelix) for highest defense. That was pretty cool on its own, but then gen 4 happened. 

In generation 4, Shuckle could learn "power trick" which switches its attack and defense stats, giving it an attack of 230 which is the highest of all Pokemon. This allows him to do the most damage in a single attack. We're talking in the hundreds of millions here. And if that weren't enough to make Shuckle a total badass, he can also create rare candies in his body. Yep, in gen 2 if he holds a berry long enough it'll turn into juice, and then a rare candy.

14. Wooper, the "doofy" Pokemon

Yes, if I had to describe Wooper in one word it would be "doofy". Just look at that doofy face and doofy antenna ears. I know he's based on one of those wacky newt things, but I like to imagine Wooper being used as tv antennas. The signal goes out and you just plop a Wooper on top of the tv. And its name is Wooper. Doesn't get any doofier.

Also, his water/ground typing makes him one of the few water Pokemon immune to electricity. And even though he has 4x weakness to grass, it's his only weakness. 

13. Hoothoot, the "creator's favorite" Pokemon

Apparently, there are some among us that don't like Hoothoot. Well, did you know that Hoothoot is Ken Sugimori's favorite Pokemon? You mean to insult the man who has created so many memorable monsters? You want to insult the father of Pokemon? For shame!

Hoothoot is round owl that stands on one foot and has clocks for eyes. Hoothoot is awesome. It's also one of the first, finalized gen 2 Pokemon I can remember seeing.

12. Mareep, the "empathy test" Pokemon

Do androids dream of Mareep? 

I always liked the entire Mareep evolutionary family. I almost included Ampharos on my list instead, until I took another look at this cuddly guy. I just want to hug it! Sure, it eventually evolves into a total badass, but Mareep are pretty common and I just imagine fields full of these adorable little guys running around and being sheepy. 

11. Scizor, the "give him the clamps" Pokemon 

When I was a kid, Scyther was basically the coolest. Nothing could possibly top his coolness. Nothing except, perhaps, if they gave him a red metal evolution with clamps for hands. Scizor is like when you soup up your already awesome car. Give it a red paint job, a new chrome trim, and some spoilers.

Unfortunately, I never had a Scizor as a kid because every time I'd try to trade a Scyther to evolve it, they'd want to keep the Scizor. 

And not only can he clamp, but he's a pretty good puncher too.

10. Fletchinder, the "useful starter bird" Pokemon

Fletchinder is my favorite starter bird. I think that's mostly because of its fire typing, which makes it more versatile than all the other flying/normal birds. I loved my little Fletchling, but when he evolved I got a lot of use out of him. Then there's the fact that Flethinder here acutally has a good design. It doesn't look too much like a generic bird but it also doesn't look silly. Great design and good typing make this one of my favorite early-game Pokemon.

9. Houndoom, the "hellhound" Pokemon

I always liked Houndour, but Houndoom is just straight up great design. They really nailed the "devil dog" aesthetic here. I want to ride one of these guys into the apocalypse! Man's best friend? More like man's worst nightmare, am I right?

8. Smeargle the "blank canvas" Pokemon

Smeargle is a bipedal man-dog that paints with its freakishly long tail. Although it's a normal type, it's really anything but normal because it can learn any move in the game. Every ten levels, Smeargle learns sketch. Using sketch will replace it with whatever move the opponent just used against Smeargle, with the only exception being chatter for some reason. Smeargle truly is a blank canvas for you to craft your perfect Pokemon. 

Plus, this guy is just plain adorable from his goofy artist had to his derpy tongue hanging out. And, man, if you captured a bunch of these guys you'd have your own painting business in no time!

7. Lickitung the "lady pleaser" Pokemon

If you asked me what about Lickitung is so appealing, I don't think I'd have an answer. He was an early favorite of mine for... whatever reason. I like his weird design that looks like some kind of unholy union of a dinosaur with a lizard and a baby. Mabye he can be the next mascot for Mountain Dew Kickstart? I think it's probably the weird dexterous tongue that really puts him over the edge for me. That thing is six feet long! How does it even fit in Lickitung's body? Do its entire insides consist of a rolled-up tongue? 

6. Mewtwo, the "psychic stalker" Pokemon

Mewtwo is one of the only original Pokemon whose appearance has changed for the better. His original artwork made him look like some kind of weird big-headed cat monster, but now he's just a total badass alien looking dude. He's sleek, he's intimidating, and he means business. Unfortunately, I don't think I've ever caught a Mewtwo, but I don't have to have trained one to love it. What really puts him so high on my list are his appearances outside the Pokemon games. He was the star of the first movie, which was mindblowingly cool as a kid, and was one of my favorite characters in Super Smash Bros Melee. Even though I've seen people bitching about him in Smash 4, I love him in that game too. Mewtwo is one cool dude, and probably one of the best examples of Pokemon design. 

And lets not forget he can threaten people telepathically.

5. Weezing, the "please kill me" Pokemon

Why do I like this horrific nightmare abomination? I have no idea. But I do know that when I was a kid all I wanted was a Weezing trading card. I can't help but feel sorry for him, though. It's like Koffing evolves and then grows a conjoined twin on his head. The two of them look totally miserable. They sound totally miserable, like they're dying slowly and painfully of some horrendous disease. Maybe I always wanted to befriend one to assure it that everything was going to be okay. Or, you know, James had one and James was awesome.

Why do I exist!?

4. Elekid, the "childhood" Pokemon

I liked Elekid so much when I was a kid, that one year for Halloween I made my own Elekid Pokemon card costume. 

3. Lugia, the "come at me, bro" Pokemon

Lugia is my favorite legendary Pokemon and the star of my favorite Pokemon movie. I think Lugia's design can best be described as "simple yet interesting". He's some kind of bird thing but looks like he could just stroll down the street and fuck you up if he wanted. His best feature are his weird "feather" fingers that always make it look like he's screaming "COME AT ME, BRO!" And with a single flap of its weird finger wings, it could bring about cataclysmic storms. Not to mention I have EXTREME NOSTALGIA for Pokemon Silver, which had Lugia on its cover.

2. Inkay, the "fuck you" Pokemon

I like Inkay's design well enough. He's an adorable little floating squid! But it's Inkay's "fuck you" attitude that makes him one of my favorites. Let me tell you a little something about this guy. First of all, it has an ability called "contrary" which switches the effects of stat-altering moves. That means when the opponent tries to lower your stats, it will raise them instead (you can also lower your own stats, but that's almost always easily avoided). But that's not all! Inkay can also learn a move called "topsy-turvy" which reverses all of the target's stat changes. So if the opponent has been buffing their attack or defense, "topsy-turvy" will plunge them into the negatives. 

My strategy with Inkay was to have it know "topsy-turvy" and three damage-dealing moves, then I just sat back and watched the magic happen as my opponents unintentionally raised my stats while I lowered theirs and ripped them a new asshole with "psybeam".

1. Cyndaquil, the "favorite" Pokemon

Yep, my very favorite Pokemon is Cyndaquil. I was going to go with Typhlosion, but then I gave it some more thought. Sure, I ended up with an awesome Typhlosion in the end, but Cyndaquil is where it all started. This little guy was basically my first impression of Pokemon Silver, and the two of us grew together during out fantastic journey through two regions. I even used to have a little plush Cyndaquil that went everywhere with me. Oh how I wish I could find it again!


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