It's that time again folks! More Pokemon lists to celebrate Pokemon's 20th anniversary, as we want to do. The lists have been great to read over and on this weekend I have with much more free time to finally start on my own list (plus I just beat Kirby Planet Robobot, to super date this post). I've been a die-hard fan of Pokemon since the very beginning, way back in the surprisingly far back year of 1996. I've played just about every main entry in the Pokemon series and have almost never hated it, so what better time to gush about my favorite 'mons then now during the 20th?
Because I loved SrChurro's particular format so much, lets start with context on the games I played.
10) Alpha Sapphire
For once I'm personally torn on which version of the 7th generation I'll get. Once the 3rd generation came out, I judged my decision from then on with nothing more than the cover legendary to go on (I got Silver just because I thought I'd have a trade valuable pool of Pokemon because I figured everyone would get Gold). So I liked Kyogre, Dialga, Zekrom, and Xerneas, but while I love the design of Solgaleo and I love Steel-types, everything but his design holds up while everything else like his Psychic secondary typing and ability just sound either boring or a missed opportunity. Meanwhile, Lunalala seems ok but gets its own version of Multiscale (halves damage while at full HP), is part Ghost, and Moongeist Beam looks awesome.
My favorites consist heavily on they're battle design; how they fit on a team when it comes to a battle because honestly that's what I love most about Pokemon: pitting a team of six unique monsters with any number of unique strategies against another six monsters. Still, while I'm heavily a battle-oriented trainer, that doesn't make me immune to the charms of certain design quirks and charms. So in order of their weight in my decision making process, my criteria are...
1) Fun factor and battle strategy: Not so much competitive viability but is it fun to battle with and still expect an exciting fight?
2) Design factor: I hover more on the cool side than anything but there are cute designs I like too.
3) Nostalgia and memories: Pokemon from gen 6 might have it tough but I didn't have some fun times with them!
To spoil the list a bit, my favorite type is definitely Steel, as that type tends to have automatic access to tons of cool design ideas. Water was my original favorite before gen 3 made Steel super prolific. Bug and Grass bring up the rear as recent late generation favorites as I realized Bug-types are very diverse in typing and design while I tend to love more offensive Grass-types that break the mold of the usual defensive, status spreading Grass-type.
My introduction paragraphs ran longer than expected! Let's just get to it!
When Aggron got a mega evolution, I found some form of hope. If a Pokemon with as much unfulfilled potential as Aggron could get a new lease on life, maybe Empoleon can too? As the perfect combination of two of my favorite types put into one badass looking Emperor Penguin with fucking real-ass sword wings, I really wanted a mega for this guy. His typing is cool but a paradox: Water-types are great for keeping tougher Rock, Ground, and Fire-types in check but being part Steel is a liability for that.
Well, Empoleon didn't get his mega, so that still leaves him a weird position when it comes to competing against other Water or Steel-types to fight, but I still love ya Empoleon! You and your sword wings!
Ferrothorn is the posterchild for defense. This thing is practically just a living spiked ball that looks ready to push your shit in. Practically nothing else has its unique ability, Spiked Barbs. Sure Rough Skin is a thing and Garchomp loves it but for something you want to wall with the ultimate in physical attack punishment, Ferrothorn is like punching a metal rebar with your bare hand: it's gonna hurt you more than it'll hurt me.
Ah Metagross! You were such a beast in gen 3! Then time kept on marching forward while you were kind of slow on the uptake. I mean, you're a metal spider/super computer, so who can expect you to be super fast? But your thing back then was Agility before Meteor Mash or Earthquake and of course there was Bullet Punch! What an awesome name.
While Metagross lost its luster throughout the ages, it reclaimed its glory with its new mega form. Now the original Steel/Psychic-type is free to rain a punishing rain of metal punches once again on the unsuspecting populace!
I just like to imagine this this metal spider is fearsome enough to lift those huge claws/legs up to double as fists.
Rotom is just the most fun in typing ever. Ghost-types are fun because you extend the fun of paranormal existence to all sorts of things like fire or machines, and that's what Rotom is! An electric ghost! Or maybe more like an electronic ghost because Rotom's entire thing is possessing all sorts of random home appliances in order to give a new meaning to a haunted house. Unfortunately, Rotom loses its Ghost typing when it crosses over into a piece of machinery to gain its elemental affinity, though before gen 6 that didn't used to be the case. So crossing into gen 6, Rotom's possessed forms lost Ghost-typing but gained STAB on moves like Hydro Pump when its a washing machine or Overheat when its a toaster oven.
Listen to me! This thing is wild! But I prefer it staying Ghost/Electric for being a Ghost's sake.
If there's one thing I always love, it's a good ninja character. Accelgor has got the Strider Hiryu look down with the hidden face, scarf muffler, and crossed arms pose. He's also got tons of speed, true to his ninja motif. While he doesn't have a ton of offensive presence, not only is he a ninja but he has a really cool move that doesn't have a ton of distribution, Acid Spray.
When I first saw Leaf Blade, I thought it was such a cool sounding move. Turning a leaf into a sword sounds like an awesome idea for creatures of the forest. And the original Pokemon to make Leaf Blade cool was Sceptile. Offensive Grass-types are super weird to see since most Grass-types are content with just launching Leech Seed and using Substitute to slowly drain your opponents into a long and painful death. But Sceptile gets Leaf Blade! An awesome, 90 base power Grass-type attack with the added bonus of high crit! 90 is really good for most moves but to have high crit too makes Leaf Blade really appealing.
Sceptile languished in obscurity for awhile since Leaf Blade + Swords Dance with high base speed was basically all he had going for it. But now with a mega form making him a really unique Grass/Dragon and really good boosts to his sweeper role, I love Mega Sceptile for something you don't see everyday: mixed sweeper. Leaf Blade is good and works with Swords Dance but Sceptile is actually better known for its special attack. So when your opponent gets complacent and sends out a physical wall to stop your Leaf Blade, just let loose that Leaf Storm for a surprise 130 base power special attack they'll never be prepared for. Mix attackers are always a great addition, and Sceptile is doing that in style with katanas and swords made of leaves!
I am continually let down by Shiftry's incredible mediocrity. He's a tengu demon made of leaves and bark and is secretly one of my favorites by design alone seeing as how he can't do anything well in a battle. He was one of the first dual type Dark Pokemon to stick out in my mind but Shiftry has nothing going for it asides from a cool, edgelord kind of look if edgelords were made of leaves. Not to mention Shiftry looks like what his lore states it can do: generate humongous gale force winds.
While I love Hariyama as a bulky Fighting-type, I have fond memories of catching Makuhita early on during my time in gen 3. This smiling little dumbass belies an incredible ability to take hits and punch bad guys with impressive skill. The fact that I got him early on and he continues to serve me well as a Hariyama in trainer battles is a testament to how well Makuhita works. The hardest working Pokemon in the game ladies and gentlemen!
Everyone fucking loves Scizor and its not hard to see why. Crimson red palette, fierce looking pincer claws, vague ninja details, plus he's part Steel-type! He also learns Bullet Punch, which we all know, only cool Pokemon learn Bullet Punch.
Mareep is painfully simple but effective: an electric sheep. I also like (Mega) Ampharos which is some sort of electric ram after shedding all its wool but Mareep continues to be warm, fluffy, and electrified.
But let's be real, Mega Ampharos is pretty amazing. And Mareep is the cute predecessor to that powerhouse.
I already said, I love me some ninja design, and while ninjas before took light cues, Greninja is straight up just a ninja if ninjas were frogs. Using its whole tongue as a ninja muffler is a bit weird, but who am I to judge a ninja?
Greninja belongs to a generation of starters who were actually good, but Greninja is a league apart from Chesnaught and Delphox due to his hidden Protean ability. With the ability to change type to automatically get an attack bonus with your move, combined with great speed and decent special attack to go with Protean, I love using Greninja as a lead scout to just put a serious dent in the lead while also pivoting to someone better at the same time.
The original favorite back in the day with Pokemon Red. How could I say no to a tortoise with water cannons in its shell. I picked Red because I liked the color, but I picked Blastoise because its packing heat in its shell. So if Blastoise has two shoulder mounted water cannons, how do you improve on that? You go all in and merge the shoulder mounted ones into one giant, howitzer-like mega cannon on its back! He even gains wrist-mounted mini cannons to help in fine aim! Finally, Mega Blastoise gets Mega Launcher, an ability only shared with Clawitzer and giving Mega Blastoise some crazy coverage as it boosts several moves that only exist in its movepool to be boosted by 50%: Aura Sphere, Dark Pulse, and Dragon Pulse. Along with Hydro Pump, its hard to switch in on a Mega Blastoise that's primed to fire.
Continuing my love of creative designs with creative typing, Trevenant is one of my favorite wall and stall Pokemon, proving that its really hard to kill the undead, even if its just an undead tree.
The cycle is simple: give Trevenant a Sitrus Berry and make sure it has Harvest. Use Leech Seed, Will o Wisp, then choose either Phantom Strike or Horn Leech. Repeat until you think they're going to switch out because with Leech Seed and a constantly recycled Sitrus Berry thanks to Harvest, you're going to be difficult to kill until they outright bring in a Fire-type or something. Big old troll smile is optional.
The Eevees look like they all make great pets but Espeon looks like a classy cat. Just let it sleep on your lap while watching TV on the couch.
Then when it gets hungry it fucking levitates its bag of Kibbles into a dish by itself because it knows its better than you, fuck you Espeon, I still love you like a pet cat.
Oh yeah, Magic Bounce as an ability is pretty awesome.
Basically the most efficient paraflinch strategy in the world. No speed necessary! Just use Thunder Wave because of course Togekiss can learn Thunder Wave, then spam Air Slash constantly with a 60% chance of flinch, not counting the 50% chance of full paralysis taking effect. Its fun, really!
Every Pokemon game throws crap Pokemon at you in the beginning and you learn to kind of hate them for their banal existance. Rattatta, Hootoot, and Patrat are all some of the shitty Pokemon you encounter near the beginning. But the Starly family is incredible. It singlehandedly redeems the entire concept of starting bird Pokemon thanks to one move Staraptor can learn: Close Combat.
This is a bird-of-prey capable of tearing into Rock and Steel-type Pokemon by using Close Combat, an attack that is usually the imagined concept of a furious flurry of fists that simply destroy anything in front of it. Staraptor doesn't even have fists but it can annihilate mountains and buildings.
Continuing the trend of awesome birds who turn the trend on its ear is Skarmory. While most Flying-types are afraid of Rock-types, Skarmory is a bird made of sharp metal plates. Skarmory has one of the toughest defense stats around and was known for being a terrifying pair with Blissey to cover both ends of defense. And what's wrong with a flying death bird made of razor sharp swords? Cause that's what Skamory basically is: a sword that's a bird.
One of my favorite legendaries because of its mythical gimmick. A deadly orca who shows enemies on dry land who's boss by flooding the land with a massive downpour of rain. Kyogre is just a living disaster by bringing down flood rain, changing the weather to suit thunderstorms, and concentrating its energy to shoot beams of frozen energy.
It's too bad Primal Kyogre isn't as powered up as Primal Groudon, but Kyogre is still my favorite of the weather trio and quite possibly all cover legendaries.
Vaporeon is one of my favorite of the Eevee forms, back when I loved Water-types with a reckless abandon. But be real, Vaporeon would make an awesome pet. It has no trouble living on land but will be so fun to bring to a swimming pool or the beach! I don't know what about Vaporeon equates to fat loads of HP though, because with modest special defense, it has so much HP it can sponge just about any hit. If its raining you can use Rest and just recover all the hard work your opponent pulled on you.
Fuck Vaporeon would be a fun dog pet thing.
Quite possibly my favorite Pokemon of all. So much of a favorite of mine that I loved it despite a stupid 4x weakness to Ground and Fighting-type attacks. But it works out in the end because Aggron's defense is so unnecessarily high that he can kind of survive them. But with the advent of Mega Aggron, pure Steel-type, and Filter, Mega Aggron fills in all the gaps that makes quality of life improvements needed for Aggron. But let's not forget that base Aggron can have both Rock Head to negate recoil damage and Head Smash, the strongest Rock-type move in the game outside of Rock Wrecker, a Rock-type Hyper Beam.
I guess its just the fact that this thing is such an unnecessarily tough combination of Steel/Rock, making me imagine this thing weighs a ton and has an unbelievably tough hide to pierce. Even though it has debilitating weaknesses, the designers decided it'd be enough to offset it with a crazy 200 base defense stat that only gets higher when he mega evolves and becomes leaner by shedding its Rock-type. This thing is an armored rhino/dinosaur and I love making teams to support all the shortcomings Aggron has just to justify having him as my star player.