About a couple of years ago, I wrote a list about thirty of my favourite Pokémon, but that was before the then upcoming seventh generation of games had come out – Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. These two games introduced a bunch of brand new catch-able creatures so, with the updated releases, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, still fresh in my memory, I figured I would follow up on that previous list and share a small sample of my favourite additions to the ever growing world of Pokémon.
Quick disclaimer – I’m only including brand new Pokémon so no Alolan forms.
Gen 7 probably has the strongest line-up of starter Pokémon than any other generation. I found myself torn between all three of them for ages, which is unusual for me. But once I saw their final evolutions, I knew I had to pick Litten just so I could see it become Incineroar.
It’s weird because I think Decidueye and Primarina have more appealing visual designs but something about Incineroar really grabbed me (it has a belt made of fire!). I think it boiled down to the whole wrestling motif it had. I’m not a huge fan of the sport myself but I really liked the idea of having a Pokémon based off of a heel (the wrestling equivalent of a villain). Having it be part Dark was a clever choice too (though, ironically, I’d have been OK with it being another Fire starter that became part Fighting).
The key factors, however, were its unique moves. Darkest Lariat I found to be very reliable (as well as funny to watch since Incineroar just spins with its arms out like it’s T-posing) and it’s Z-Move, Malicious Moonsault, is glorious to see every time. It summons a literal wrestling ring, bounces off the top rope and slams down on top of its opponent, causing a massive explosion. Like, damn, if WWE had this kind of shit happening, I’d watch the hell out of it. How Decidueye got into Pokkén Tournament DX over Incineroar will forever remain a mystery to me.
Every generation of Pokémon games has a basic Flying type that you can get very early on to help you through the first few challenges. Sometimes they’re worth keeping around once they reach their final evolution (like Talonflame), sometimes they’re not (like Unfezant). Pikipek’s final evolution, Toucannon, easily sits in the former group.
I don’t think I ever intended to use Pikipek a lot; it just sort of happened and before I knew it, I had a Toucannon as part of my final team. I’m sure there’s some expert player out there who’ll disagree with me but I found it to be a relatively useful Pokémon, if only for its unique Beak Blast attack that could burn opponents if it was attacked while charging. Plus, a toucan that can heat up its beak is the kind of silliness/coolness I love about this series.
On top of that, I love how grumpy it looks. Like, all the time. It’s like it’s perpetually done with everyone’s shit. And according to the Ultra Moon Pokédex, Toucannons are brought to weddings as good luck charms. Really? These angry-looking assholes? Now there’s a sight I want to see.
I think Mudsdale was one of the few Pokémon that got announced that I instantly knew I wanted on my team. And, fortunately, it earned its spot even as a Mudsdale. Once it evolved and became a hard-hitting tank, I don’t think I ever took it out of my party.
I mentioned before in my previous list that sometimes the simpler designs work best and Mudsdale is proof of that. It’s not anything flashy but you know what you’re getting with it. Plus, despite its size, there’s something gentle about it. Look at those eyes; it looks so sweet and harmless. Don’t you just want to rub its sides and feed it Poké Beans?
I think that its inclusion as a Ride Pokémon helped too; it somehow helps you get attached to it, even if that particular Mudsdale isn’t one you can use in battle. I remember wanting to be able to ride Mudsdale when it got announced so you know I was chuffed when I unlocked it. With an appealing design and guaranteed usefulness in battle, Mudsdale just works.
Mimikyu is easily the cleverest idea for a Pokémon in recent memory. Pikachu is one of the most popular Pokémon in both the world of the games and real life, so having a Pokémon that’s so desperate to be loved disguise itself as Pikachu is a stroke of genius. And it actually succeeded in a meta sense.
Shortly after Mimikyu’s announcement, fans everywhere disregarded it’s supposedly nightmarish appearance that’s said to kill anyone that sees it and took it in for what it was – a sad, lonely creature that just wanted attention. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the thing, (seriously, go read some of its Pokédex entries; they’re so depressing when they’re not horrifying) and while the scribbled Pikachu face is a little disconcerting, it still manages to be really cute.
Aside from that, it’s also got a unique dual typing of Ghost and Fairy, making it quite versatile in battle and only leaving it weak against Ghost attacks. It’s Disguise ability is useful too since it pretty much blocks the first attack against it. And it’s unique Z-Move, Let’s Snuggle Forever, manages to be creepy, cool and a little funny all at the same time. What else can I say? It’s almost a perfect Pokémon.
I initially planned to not include any of the Ultra Beasts on this list since I like to not consider them as Pokémon (even though the games treat them as such) but I figured I might not get another chance to write about them so screw it, here’s my favourite of the bunch – Buzzwole.
The Ultra Beasts as a whole are a fantastic concept and addition to the series, with their bizarre designs and interesting typing. If I had to pick one of them, though, Buzzwole easily comes out on top because I just find the damn thing hilarious. Look at it; it’s design is so over-the-top and ridiculous with its bulging, muscular frame juxtaposed with the mosquito head and the spindly legs it stands on. Even the name is hilariously appropriate.
It’s great because, at first, it’s quite intimidating in its design, especially with its almost blood-red colouring. Its initial code name as UB-02 Absorption alone made it rather threatening, implying that its mosquito-like appearance isn’t just for show. Maybe it gets its impressive build by draining other people and Pokémon? Then you get its official name and the revelation that it likes to go around posing and showing off its body. I should be annoyed with that but, for some reason, it’s funny enough for me to let this complete turnaround slide and consider Buzzwole to be my favourite Ultra Beast in the game.