Can you believe it’s Pokémon‘s 20th anniversary? When I really think about it, it’s almost surreal that this franchise based around enslaving fantasy monsters to do battle with other fantasy monsters has been going on for that long. I’ve grown up with it since almost the beginning; the first videogame I ever owned was a copy of Pokémon Yellow and I watched the original series of the anime almost religiously. It’s just weird to see something that I loved as a child still be around and relevant today. It’s even weirder to see how many Pokémon actually exist now.
I remember when the 3rd Generation of games were coming out and I was worried about remembering all of these creatures. There’s now over 700 of the bloody things and I reckon if you showed me a picture of any of them, I could name them easily. I may not remember basic maths but I sure can tell the difference between a Magikarp and a Feebas.
With this many Pokémon, it’s not that hard for a fan to list off a few of their personal favourites. I, however, would like to share thirty of my favourite Pokémon – five from each of the six generations. Let’s not waste anymore time and dive right in (hope you’ve got the right HM).
What better place to start than with the very first Pokémon in the PokéDex? When it comes to choosing a Kanto starter, most people seem to gravitate towards either Charmander or Squirtle. And while they are both awesome Pokémon, I can’t help but find myself picking Bulbasaur.
Bulbasaur very much acts as ‘easy mode’ for the first generation, since it has an advantage over the first two Gym Leaders. This makes him perfect for beginners; a way of easing in new players and giving them enough time to understand the mechanics and build a decent team for future and more difficult challenges. Plus, for a blue dinosaur-looking thing with a bulb on its back, it’s pretty damn cute.
I think my affection for Bulbasaur also comes from pity. While there was a Pokémon Green in Japan, we only got Pokémon Red & Blue. Bulbasaur (well, technically Venusaur) never got to enjoy being cover-star material until the GBA remakes. Whereas Charmander and Squirtle got to show off their final evolutions off and convince kids to pick them, Bulbasaur wasn’t given the chance. Maybe that’s why he rarely got picked? I’m sure there are other reasons but Bulbasaur will always hold a special spot in my heart.
If you were to ask me what my least favourite Pokémon types were, I reckon Bug would be one of them. I’ve honestly never found them useful in the long-term – they’re fine for early game stuff but when you can eventually catch ghosts and dragons, the itty bitty bugs start to look less appealing. Though that’s not to say I automatically dislike any and all Bug types. Case in point – Butterfree.
It’s kind of funny looking back since, as a child, I hated bugs (the real-life ones). Didn’t matter what they were, even something as harmless as a worm would freak me out and send me running like a Zubat out of Hell. But I absolutely loved Butterfree. Maybe it’s because it looks so adorable despite retaining relatively realistic looking features like the eyes. I remember my first run through Pokémon Yellow and spending ages training up a Caterpie in Viridian Forest, convinced that Butterfree was my best shot at taking out Brock. And I was right. Butterfree took Brock down all by itself and I was so pleased.
I think the anime may have helped as well. I pretty much wanted every Pokémon Ash had and I always saw Butterfree as one of his best. It may not be something a lot of trainers use for endgame battles but you can always count on Butterfree to have your back at the start of your journey.
And no, I’m still not over Ash releasing his Butterfree.
Obvious choice is obvious. I can imagine a lot of people groaning at such a cliché pick but, I’m sorry. There’s a reason Pikachu is the mascot for the entire series and why it keeps appearing in every game.
For starters, it’s cute. Look at that face. Look at it! Don’t tell me you don’t want to pet that thing because if you do, you’re a liar! The voice certainly helps too. Ikue Otani has been voicing the character since the beginning and has not lost her touch. Considering that her lines consist entirely of saying the character’s name over and over again, she can run quite the gambit of emotions.
Maybe that’s why Pikachu is so popular – it’s allowed to display a lot more emotions thanks to the extended media. We’ve been allowed to see Pikachu happy, sad, angry and scared; it has more personality than many of the other 700-odd Pokémon.
But aside from being cute, Pikachu has also demonstrated how powerful it can be, mostly thanks to the anime. While the consistency of its strength has always been a point of contention, let’s not forget that this little electric mouse has taken on creatures much larger than itself and has managed to come out on top. Hell, in the Subspace Emissary mode in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it one-shotted Metroid baddie Ridley – a feat even badass Samus Aran struggles to do. And with the upcoming Pokkén Tournament, we’ll get to witness it lay the smackdown on the likes of Suicune and Mewtwo in lucha libre gear (the perfect mix of adorableness and badass-ness).
While it’s obviously hard to imagine any other Pokémon acting as the face of the franchise, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I initially had this one’s evolution, Rhydon, on the list but after a quick bit of consideration, I backpedalled and chose Rhyhorn instead. Why? Well, Rhydon is certainly awesome-looking (it’s horn is a drill!) and arguably a lot stronger, but Rhyhorn is one of those Pokémon that not only looks cool but a little bit cute as well.
I’m not the only one that sees that, am I? Rhyhorn seems like the kind of Pokémon that can be fierce in the heat of battle, capable of crushing any opponent it encounters yet it could also be a cuddly critter that rolls on its side so you can give it a belly rub. Maybe having Rhyhorn be one of the few Pokémon you could ride on the field in X & Y helped; in that game, your mum has a pet Rhyhorn that lazily sits outside your house and, for some reason, I find that rather adorable.
Most Pokémon either serve better as pets or for battles. Rhyhorn is lucky enough to work as both, at least in my eyes.
Lapras, to me, always felt like on of those special ‘event’ kind of Pokémon. Either it was super rare to find or you had to be given it by a specific NPC, like in the original games. You could never find Lapras until you go into Silph Co. and some guy just gives it you. Suddenly, you have this large, blue Loch Ness monster looking thing in your party and, for some people, it’s potentially your first Ice type.
While I’ve not always used a Lapras, I’ve found it to be consistently dependable. I don’t know how well it stands in the competitive scene but I’ve always viewed it as a pretty powerful Pokémon; a perfect choice to fill in the Water slot on a team. You get given one pretty early on in X & Y and it was one of my go-to team members for important battles, including the Elite 4.
And, much like Rhyhorn, not only is it perfectly suited for battles, it’s so damn cute too, though it also possesses a slight regal elegance to it. I remember Ash’s Lapras being one of the cutest things ever in the anime and I think that alone was enough to convince people that they should get a Lapras.
If the Loch Ness monster really does exist, I really hope it’s as cute as Lapras is.
Oh look, another super cute Pokémon on this list. I’m starting to notice a trend here. Regardless, Cyndaquil has been, and always will be, one of my top favourites. When it comes to picking a Johto starter, there really is no competition.
I mean, just look at how precious it is. I think the whole ‘eyes always shut’ thing helps immensely. I’ve also always loved the fire quills that emerge from its back because they show that Cyndaquil isn’t as defenceless as it looks. The anime is further proof of that. I recently re-watched the third movie and Cyndaquil there almost effortlessly took out a Mankey and it didn’t even hesitate to take on the dream Entei.
The cherry on top, though, is its evolutions. While it does lose the cute factor it had, there’s something particularly rewarding seeing it become Typhlosion, a far more intimidating creature. Like, it’s grown up from being this tiny, almost fragile fire-hedgehog thing to becoming something that can apparently burn anything it touches if it’s angry enough. It’s almost like character progression, and nothing makes me prouder than seeing a Pokémon I’ve trained with since the beginning becoming a well-deserved powerhouse.
With most Pokémon, if you were to show them to somebody with little to no knowledge of the series, they’d probably be able to at least figure out what animal they’re based of. Ampahros is not one of those Pokémon. Seriously, what is it meant to be exactly? A sheep? I don’t know but who cares; I like it.
Electric types are easily one of my favourite types in the series and I immediately developed a love for the Mareep line. It’s an electric sheep! What’s not to love? But as cute as Mareep is, the real reason you should get one is so it can become Ampharos. The moment this Pokémon becomes available, I just have to have it on my team as soon as possible. I’ve always viewed it as one of the strongest Electric types (though competitive players may disagree with me).
Recently, the games gave another reason to love Ampharos – it’s Mega Evolution, where it not only gets Dragon as a secondary type (and everybody loves dragons) but it, for whatever reason, gets a luscious mane. Seriously, look at it – it’s the epitome of fabulous. If that doesn’t make Ampharos one of your favourites, then I don’t know what will.
I know I said earlier that Bug types were probably my least favourite, but Game Freak just seem to enjoy making really cool exceptions, like Scizor. And they did it by just adding a secondary Steel typing.
There seems to be a bit of a debate as to whether Scizor or it’s previous evolution, Scyther, is cooler and while I do like Scyther from a design standpoint, I have to go with the far more sleeker model. Everything about its design just works. The bright red colouring, the claws; it really just evokes that ‘cool’ feeling and you can believe, just by looking at it, that this thing is powerful. Even its name works – it’s just the word ‘scissor’ spelled with a ‘z’ but you don’t care because it sounds cool.
Oh, and when it Mega Evolves, it not only gets a pretty neat black star on its face that makes it look like a Kamen Rider or something, but its claws become jagged and vaguely resemble chainsaws. The only thing that could make it any cooler is if they WERE chainsaws.
I probably can’t give you a proper explanation as to why I like Hitmontop so much. There’s ultimately nothing that special about it, aside from being a third alternative to Gen 1’s Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan – something that you could argue as being completely pointless. It also seems to be pretty hard to get; in every game, you have to evolve a Tyrogue to at least Level 20, with its Attack and Defense stats being the same. Almost sounds like too much effort for just another Fighting type. I’ve never used a Hitmontop in any of the games so I can’t even comment on how well it performs, yet it remains one of my favourites.
I think the reason is just nostalgia, because I vividly remember coming across a picture of Hitmontop as a kid and falling in love with it almost instantly. Maybe I just loved the image of a Pokémon that fought by spinning on its head, or maybe I just liked how it looked. I honestly couldn’t tell you.
Whatever the reason, I don’t think Hitmontop will ever stop being a favourite of mine. It got into my head and it’s staying there, with no intention of moving. Not that I mind, of course. Though I’m still miffed it didn’t get into Pokkén Tournament.
When it comes to choosing which version of the latest Pokémon game, it always boils down to which Legendary on the front of the box is cooler (for me, at least). So, when Gold & Silver came out, there was no competition. I mean, what were the options? White dragon-looking thing or majestic rainbow phoenix.
Ho-oh is possibly one of my favourite Legendaries. Just look at it. If that does not scream ‘power’ then I don’t know what does. Again, the only word I can use to describe it is ‘majestic.’ It looks like the kind of Pokémon that most people could only dream of encountering. While mystical birds weren’t exactly something new by this point in the series, Ho-oh felt like it was something far greater than our tiny minds could comprehend. I don’t want to knock Kanto’s Legendary Bird trio but when you put them next to Ho-oh, they seem almost poultry – I mean, paltry.
Not to mention Ho-oh’s signature move, Sacred Fire, is just glorious. Even the name of the attack is awesome. It simply baffles me that Ho-oh never got its own movie and was relegated to a very brief cameo in the anime. Maybe it’s too awesome? Yeah, I’m going to go with that.
I remember when I first got my copy of Pokémon Ruby. I already knew which starter I was going to pick, thanks in part to a guide book I happened to obtain that listed all the available Pokémon. When I realised that the Water starter, Mudkip, would eventually become a part-Ground type, thus eliminating its weakness to Electric attacks, I knew that I had to use it. I then played the game and, by the end of it, Swampert was my number one Mon.
I’m sure everyone has one; that one Pokémon that you never want to take out of your team; the one that sticks with you from beginning to end and ends up being ridiculously overlevelled because you love it so much. Swampert was that for me. Even when I got Emerald and Omega Ruby, I didn’t want to try out either of the other starters just to mix things up a bit. I wanted Swampert, especially when I saw his absolute beast of a Mega Evolution.
Honestly, if Swampert was in every game, I’d never want to use anything else. It’s just that good in my eyes, which is why I’m especially mad that it’s not in Pokkén Tournament either (seriously, both Sceptile and Blaziken got in but not the best Hoenn starter?!)
I like whales. I like Pokémon. So, a whale Pokémon? Of course I’m going to love it. What’s not to love about Wailord? Look how lovely it is. I hesitate to call it cute but there is something about its admittedly very simple design that just seems very inviting. A bit like Lapras minus the grace.
Plus, the thing is ridiculously huge. Seriously, I remember checking its PokéDex entry in Ruby and being gobsmacked when I saw the size comparison section. Your character’s sprite is barely visible next to the bloody thing. And for those of you that like numbers, it’s official height is registered at 47’07″/14.5m. It’s so big that in the GameCube games, they had to shrink its model down so that it could fit on screen. Am I the only one that finds that hilarious?
When you think about it, Wailord appeals to me on very basic levels. It’s a Water type, it’s a whale and it’s blue. I don’t see any other reason to justify why I like this thing. Not that you’re listening; you’re probably laughing to yourself because now you’ve been reminded of the whole ‘Wailord/Skitty’ thing. And if you don’t know what that means, look it up. I dare you.
The Trapinch family is weird. It starts off as an orange, big-mouthed sand ant thingy, then it evolves into a dragonfly, then a big, green… dragon, I guess? Flygon doesn’t exactly look like much of one, so how come I put this one on the list as opposed to, say, Salamence?
Again, it all boils down to design. Salamence may look like a ‘proper’ dragon, but there’s something quite charming about Flygon. Despite its size, it almost looks harmless. I could imagine even little kids owning one as a pet or something. Plus, it’s got a unique typing in Ground/Dragon (well, until Gen 4).
And you can get Flygon relatively early. Once you got to the desert, all you had to do was catch a Trapinch (a feat that’s pretty easy) and then just go from there. The league’s still a way off so by maybe even the sixth gym, you’ve got a mighty dragon already on the team, whereas Salamence you wouldn’t encounter until after the eight gym, and by that point, you’ve probably got a set team already.
Salamence is awesome, but by the time the opportunity to obtain one arose, I already had a worthy dragon on my side.
When it comes to picking between the two fossils in a Pokémon game, it usually devolves into which one you like the name of more, unless you already know what the Pokémon is. In Gen 3’s case, I picked the fossil that would become Anorith and, eventually evolve into Armaldo.
You have to remember, when I first played Pokémon Ruby, I was roughly ten years old; an age where you don’t have to justify why you like things – you just do. This is the case with Armaldo. I just liked it. I don’t think I even used it that much. I think I just thought it looked cool and it had a cool name. Like, it’s called Armaldo. It has armour, and it looks like an armadillo and armadillos are cool. At least, I think it looks like an armadillo… sort of. Maybe. Not really.
Still, I’d love to see this thing get a super edgy Mega Evolution, where they give it even more spikes and larger claws. If not, well, I’d still pick it over Cradily.
Time for another Legendary. Even though blue is my favourite colour, I somehow ended up picking Ruby over Sapphire, and I think Groudon was the key reason. From first glances, Kyogre kind of looked a bit ‘eh,’ at least as a kid. It didn’t seem all that impressive, especially when you put it next to Groudon; this giant, rock dinosaur. It just looked hardcore; the kind of Pokémon you just had to get so you could show it off to your friends and then utterly annihilate them during battles.
I even remember the first time I encountered Groudon; it was one of the most stress inducing moments of my childhood. Desperately trying to capture it without killing it or having my entire team knocked out. My faithful Swampert was my only means of weakening it but also the fastest way I could knock it out. It didn’t help that Groudon knew Rest and kept bloody healing itself. Finally catching it and taking it to the league was just immensely satisfying.
I even really dig its Primal Form. Yeah, it doesn’t change much in terms of overall design but I certainly like the whole ‘demonic’ vibe it gets thanks to its glowing power lines. And that Precipice Blades move is really cool too. It’s just such a shame that, despite being the superior Legendary, it can easily get wiped out by Kyogre. You win this round, Sapphire fans!
Bidoof is one of those Pokémon that I actually like in an un-ironical sense. Back when Diamond & Platinum first came out, I thought Bidoof was a simple jumping point; the kind of Pokémon you only really use at the beginning to keep your team filled until later on when stronger Pokémon become available, but I found myself getting a little bit attached to it. It was like Rattata but a lot cuter.
Its evolution, Bibarel, helped too. Becoming part-Water helped but I remember getting a bit of use out of it during the early stages. It was dependable, whether I intentionally sent it out into battle or needed it to serve as a temporary meat-shield.
That’s not to say I don’t like Bidoof’s meme status. Overused? Of course it is; it’s a meme. But, for whatever reason, seeing Bidoof randomly pop up with some goofy or ridiculous image to accompany it always gets a chuckle out of me. I can only hope that Game Freak acknowledges it someday and creates a Mega Bibarel just to make its dumb Internet status official.
To be honest, I’ve always found Gen 4 the weakest in terms of Pokémon designs, but that’s not to say they didn’t have a few winners. Luxray being one of them. For starters, it’s Electric. It already has brownie points. It’s also a Pokémon that you can get relatively early in the game but still be strong enough for the endgame.
I like the whole evolution line, really. On one end there’s the teeny and adorable Shinx, then on the other end is the bad-ass lion Luxray. It’s a traditional progression seen in a lot of other evolution lines but, hey, it works.
I’ve always liked the blend of blue and black in terms of design and Luxray rests on that thin border between genuinely cool-looking and try-hard edgy. It actually doesn’t even need a Mega Evolution. Imagine how jaggy it would look. It’d make Mega Manectric look sensible.
Earlier, I mentioned how Flygon used to be unique because of its Ground/Dragon type. Well, that changed when Garchomp arrived on the scene. And annoyingly, it did it better. I mean, have you seen this thing? True, it’s more hammerhead shark than dragon but hammerheads are cool too so it’s fine.
Every Trainer wants a Garchomp on their team. It’s just one of those. And if you didn’t want one, you sure as hell did when you faced Sinnoh Champion (and everyone’s waifu) Cynthia and she set hers on you. That thing was overpowered like nothing else; there’s a reason the thing is banned in competitive play (last I checked).
And then they gave it a God damn Mega Evolution to make it even stronger. Of all the Pokémon that needed a strength buff, Garchomp was not one of them. But who cares? It looks edgier than ever now thanks to its scythe arms. Lucario may be Gen 4’s mascot but I think Garchomp is what best sums up that generation of games.
I think my biggest problem with Gen 4 is that it introduced a bunch of evolutions for pre-existing Pokémon that were just unnecessary. Plus, they didn’t even look that good. I mean, Lickilicky? Really? And Probopass? Who was actually asking for Nosepass to get an evolution? That being said, I think Magnezone is an exception to that.
I only really started liking it about a year or two ago. Reason number one is because I used one during my run of Pokémon Y. Not only was it a powerful Electric type for my team, but because of the addition of the Fairy type, Magnezone’s Steel typing gave it the edge I needed. The more I think about it, Magnezone might be the only Steel type I’ve ever properly used. I had this bad boy taking on the Elite 4; it was that good.
Reason number two is because of its voice in the anime. I know that seems like a really silly reason to like a Pokémon but, seriously, go watch Giratina and the Sky Warrior and listen to how crazy that thing sounds. It’s amazing.
Speaking of Giratina, I don’t think Game Freak will ever be able to top themselves in terms of pure edginess when it comes to Pokémon designs. Everything about it screams try-hard teenage angst (it’s listed as the Renegade Pokémon!) and I kind of love it for it, even though that was never the intention. But I can’t be the only one who thinks it looks like something a 15-year old Goth would draw as cover art for their band, am I?
Aside from also being the first Ghost/Dragon type, it brought with it a very interesting moment in Platinum where you enter it’s home – the Distortion World. A purple-y, almost hellish landscape that defies all laws of physics. At the time, I remember it blowing my mind somewhat as I traversed up the walls, searching for this demonic beast from someone’s nightmares. That’s something I like as well; it just looks creepy. It’s probably the only Pokémon that you could argue is legitimately scary. I know it’s supposed to represent anti-matter as part of the space/time trio, but I’ve always liked to view it as the Pokémon equivalent of Satan.
That’s probably why I didn’t like how it was portrayed in its own movie, funnily enough. They tried to make it too cute, as hard as that sounds to believe. It’s supposed to be some Lovecraftian horror; not some misunderstood creature that just needs a hug.
At the risk of sounding like a dickish hipster, I just need to get something off my chest. I liked Oshawott BEFORE it was cool to like Oshawott. Back when the Gen 5 starters were first revealed, I remember seeing so much hate surrounding Oshawott. I saw many comments about how ugly and stupid it looked, and I was left baffled. Ugly? Oshawott is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen in my life! I took to it immediately and could only grind my teeth in irritation at all the undeserved hate it got.
Fast forward a few years and, suddenly, Oshawott seems to be one of the most popular Pokémon in the franchise. More and more people were coming out and saying “Oh yeah, I love Oshawott” and I’m there screaming “Where the hell were you earlier then?!”
Not only does it get two pretty bitching evolutions, Dewott and Samurott (samurai otter, people!), I think Oshawott’s portrayal in other media, like the anime, must have helped a tonne. One of the spin-off games, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond, had Oshawott acting as a private detective and using its shell like a notepad. It was both adorable and hilarious. What wasn’t so hilarious, though, was Oshawott acting like an utter bro and attempting to sacrifice itself to save its friends at the end of the game. It survived in the end but… sorry, I’m getting teary-eyed thinking about it.
My point: Oshawott is awesome and, despite what I wrote earlier, the world is a better place with it being almost globally loved.
Again, we have a Pokémon that appeals to me at the most basic level. It is a literal electric zebra. Electric. Zebra. I’m sorry, I think that’s really cool. Maybe it’s because a zebra-based Pokémon hadn’t been done before. We’ve had fire horses but no zebras. I guess it has some kind of exotic flair to it or something.
That, and I did use one on my team during my adventure in Unova. Like I said, I love Electric types and Blitzle was my go to for this run. It especially helped when it evolved into Zebstrika. It sacrificed cuteness for coolness and it learnt Flame Charge, a Fire attack that raised its speed with every use. It made it a lot more versatile and was guaranteed to always get the first hit in.
This one had my back all the way to the league; even if there were other, arguably stronger Electric types available, I’d always pick Blitzle.
I don’t think I’ve ever realised this till now but I have a strange affinity with Ground types. Maybe it’s because you can always rely on them to be major powerhouses. Case in point: Krookodile.
I’ve mentioned before about the ‘traditional progression’ of evolutions, and Krookodile’s another perfect example of that. Starts out as a small, baby crocodile and then eventually becomes this ferocious-looking beast that you do not want to run into in the middle of a desert. Or in the middle of anywhere, really. Can you imagine if a swarm of these showed up in the streets?
Much like Zebstrika, Krookodile was one of my team mainstays in Gen 5. It was just so strong and, again like Zebstrika, versatile because of it’s part Dark type. Run into any Psychic types? Send out Krookodile and wreck them.
There’s always been something satisfying about training these large, intimidating creatures. Probably because you’re meant to be playing as a ten-year old and the image of a kid controlling monsters that can literally shake the earth is both funny and amazing. Imagine coming back home to your mum with something like Krookodile casually trailing behind you. I want to see that, please.
Let me be honest here. I don’t like spiders. At all. Granted, I’m not arachnophobic (thankfully) and I can tolerate really small ones. It’s the really big ones that only exist in your nightmares and Australia that freak me out. That being said, if all of the spiders in the world were replaced with Joltiks, I reckon people/spider relations would improve immensely.
I mean, look at it! Are you going to sit there and tell me that’s not the cutest frigging thing in the history of ever? No, you’re not. It’s so fuzzy and tiny. It’s only 0’04” tall. That’s small. Like, really, REALLY small. I’d love to know what it feels like to touch one of these. Hell, I don’t think I’d mind seeing one of these things crawl up my arm, and I HATE that sensation.
Even it’s evolution looks kind of cute, in an ugly sort of way. I think those big, blue eyes help. Granted, I wouldn’t want a random Galvantula showing up in my house, but it looks bizarrely innocent and harmless. Imagine having one as a pet and feeding it leftovers under the table.
I’m sure if it was more realistic-looking, I’d want it as far away from me as possible, but it’s not. It’s a cartoony electric spider and that makes it okay.
Is this possibly the most patriotic Pokémon ever? I certainly think so. It’s just a bad-ass looking Pokémon; arguably one of the best designs for a Flying type. There’s just something inherently appealing about commanding this super large eagle to smite your enemies.
I think Game Freak knew this one would be popular because you don’t even have to evolve a Rufflet (which is incredibly cute) to get it; you can catch Braviary’s in the wild (in Pokémon White at least). This is a good thing considering that you have to get Rufflet up to level 54 to get it to evolve, which runs the risk of taking so long that you eventually stop caring.
Plus, it’s PokéDex entry states that it’s one of the most noble creatures in the series – “They fight for their friends without any thought about danger to themselves.” Hell, it’s called the Valiant Pokémon. Ike would be proud (the Fire Emblem character; not the president). That being said, though, if Braviarys existed, maybe they could actually inspire people to be better. Eagles are great and all, but when was the last time you saw an eagle protecting its brethren?
I might have other favourite Flying types, but if I ever had to go on a dangerous journey or something, I’d want a Braviary to have my back.
I remember being quite excited when I saw Talonflame for the first time. Ever since Pidgey, every generation has had a Flying type that you can get really early and eventually evolve into a decently strong Pokémon that you can also use as your Fly user. But Talonflame was different, and it was all because of its dual typing.
It’s first form, Fletchling, wasn’t anything spectacular but once it evolved into Fletchinder, it became Fire/Flying. Wait, what?! A Fire/Flying type this early in the game? In Generation 1, if you didn’t pick Charmander as your starter, the only time you could catch a Pokémon with that typing was until Moltres, a frigging Legendary that you only encounter in Victory Road – right before the Elite Four. But in X & Y, that’s freely available to you right off the bat.
Aside from being a surprising twist on a common trend, Talonflame was also super useful, rocking impressive strength and speed. I think I wrecked the Grass type Gym with Talonflame alone. And if I didn’t, I reckon I could’ve easily done it anyway.
Remember when I said I like Wailord purely because I like whales? It’s kind of the same thing with Pangoro. Pandas are cool, aren’t they? But, unlike Wailord, I actually used Pangoro quite a bit. It was a Fighting/Dark type so already there’s the appeal of trying him out, and while Scraggy and Scrafty did it first, I never found them all that interesting or had any desire to use them.
Plus, after evolving from Pancham, he was just burly. That size isn’t for show and taking down the Ice Gym by having a gangster panda punching the living daylights out of every Pokémon in there was very entertaining. Oh, did I not mention that Pangoro’s design was based on Japanese delinquents? Because that’s both pretty cool and pretty funny, in my opinion.
I think I favourite aspect of Pangoro, though, is how unlike a panda it actually is. Have you seen a panda? They are lazy and adorable. Pangoro, on the other hand, looks like it would tear your arms off if you so much as looked at it funny. Maybe it’s a good thing Pokémon aren’t real? … Nah, screw it, I’ll take the risk if there’s a chance I can go up the high street with one of these things by my side.
I feel like I should hate the very concept of Honedge. Someone at Game Freak essentially said “We need new Pokémon” and someone else said “What about a Pokémon… that’s a sword!” To which everybody cheered and gave that person a raise or something. Because’s that all this Pokémon and its evolutions are – literal swords. But once you remember that Game Freak have being making ridiculously simple Pokémon since the first games (like ‘rat’ and ‘bird’ and ‘slightly bigger bird’), they don’t seem so bad.
Plus, whereas Honedge went from being one sword to being two swords when it evolved into Doublade, it’s final evolution, Aegislash, is both an understandable evolution (design-wise) and a nice change of pace. Rather than just becoming three swords, it instead gains a shield, which it can actually use to protect itself. Also, considering Kalos’ European inspirations, having a Pokémon that somewhat resembles a knight is appropriately thematic.
And let’s be honest here, Honedge’s existence led to all that cool fan-art of Trainers and other Pokémon wielding them as weapons (even though the PokéDex says that that’s a terrible idea).
Not sure how a dinosaur can be considered a Dragon type but, really, who cares? Tyrantrum just looks awesome. How could anyone not want it? What’s the alternative? Aurorus? Sure, it has a certain graceful appeal about it but, come on, everybody loves a T-Rex.
It’s especially gratifying considering its base form, Tyrunt, is so tiny. You look at it and think “If I stick with this one, it just might become really powerful,” and it does. Now, you have a humongous dino that looks like it could rip apart anything. And it manages to look rough and jagged without becoming too ‘edgy,’ if you know what I mean.
I was determined to get a Tyrantrum once I saw its image, and when I did, I was not disappointed. I remember storming Team Flare’s hidden base with this thing at the helm and it destroyed every sorry grunt that got in the way.
Jurassic World told us that people are bored of dinosaurs. Tyrantrum is proof of how wrong that statement is.
If you don’t like Hawlucha, I simply have to ask “How?” How can anybody look at Hawlucha and think “No, I don’t like it.” I mean… just look at it! It’s a Mexican wrestler bird! How is that not the coolest thing ever? Yeah, it seems relatively small but it’s the perfect size. It gives it the allusion that it isn’t all that strong, but then it actually fights and you realise you were wrong to underestimate it. It’s the underdog (or underbird, I guess?) and everybody loves an underdog. It’s so cool that it doesn’t even need to evolve.
Plus it has the honour of not only being the first Fighting/Flying type, but the first (and so far only) user of a dual type move. Flying Press dealt both Fighting and Flying damage, making it an extremely versatile move; one that I don’t think anyone would ever make Hawlucha forget.
Even its Shiny form is pretty cool. For me, most of the Shiny variants look worse than their normal designs, but Hawlucha’s has this perfect blend of purple and red. It’s essentially a dark variant; if Hawlucha was an actual wrestler, the Shiny version is what it would look like if it ever turned heel. I think Bandai Namco missed a trick not putting it into Pokkén Tournament (seriously, Hawlucha is PERFECT for that game).
But the best thing about Hawlucha is that it can learn Fly. You can use Hawlucha to fly to other towns. But it’s not that big; how is anybody supposed to ride this thing? Well, there’s really only one conclusion. Hawlucha grabs you, jumps super high into the air and body slams you into your destination. Such a beautiful image befitting a beautiful Pokémon.