Say ‘Alola’ to these new Pokemon!
A new generation, a new entry in Pokémon. Whether you like the new Pokémon or have jumped off the ship clear into Digimon town, a new game means new choices for favorite ‘Mon. And considering the incredible success of Sun and Moon and the positive press for the design of the Alola region, I’d say even the most jaded fan has a pick for favorite new Pokémon.
I asked both staff and community what their favorite Alolan Pokémon was. As long as it was brand new to the 7th generation (because Alola is also home to older Pokémon), your favorites were considered. For my part, my favorite new Pokémon was Dhelmise.
This ghostly anchor isn’t an anchor at all, actually. It’s haunted seaweed that’s taken over a perfectly normal anchor to be used as a deadly weapon. Which is why it’s so enjoyable that this grass/ghost Pokémon left so many people wondering why it’s not a steel type. The Pokémon is haunted seaweed and it’s just using an anchor to fight, kind of like how I’d be a normal type, even if I used a fork to keep you away from taking my chicken nuggets.
Goofierbrute’s favorite new Pokémon is Bewear.
“While not all of the new mon are winners, the one that I find the most interesting is Bewear. Not because it has a complex design, but because of how simple it is. It’s not a floating ball of gas, or a haunted sandcastle. It looks like one of those mascots you see outside a convenience store handing out leaflets. It looks big and fluffy and adorable, but the fact that the Pokédex straight up says “this Pokémon will love you death” while a bit scary, is also kind of funny.
Does that look like the face of a murderer? Likewise, does it also look like the face of mercy?”
Dinosir’s pick is more or less Rowlet.
“I haven’t seen all the new mons yet so I will obtain but It’s going to be hard to top Rowlet and his evos. I mean he’s a flipping adorable owl and his final evolution is super awesome.”
Zalno loves Mimikyu!
“Mimikyu is probably going to be the star of Gen VII for a lot of people. He’s certainly my favorite from this generation!
First off, I love the visual design of this creature. It perfectly encapsulates the Pikachu knock-off trend we’ve had since Ruby/Sapphire, with some Pokémon trying to copy Pikachu and ride on its coat-tails. Except with Mimikyu, it’s more endearing than obnoxious.
Second, its backstory is one of the more sympathetic ones I’ve seen in Pokémon. It’s a lonely little thing. The reason he tries to mimic Pikachu isn’t to be popular or anything. He just wants some friends. I couldn’t help but give my Mimikyu lots of love in Pokémon Refresh.
Finally, this thing is an absolute monster in battle! Not only does it have some pretty solid stats and a pretty sweet type combination, but its Disguise ability lets it take one free hit. Give it a Red Card or a Focus Sash and teach it Substitute and you’ve got something that can take a beating. Plus, it has access to a pretty good move pool, including Play Rough, Shadow Sneak, Wood Hammer, Leech Life (which does 80 damage now!), and several other good moves.
In a generation that’s packed with really good Pokémon this time around, Mimikyu is probably one of the best ones in my book.”
SrChurros likes a lot, but Grubbin is his choice.
“I’m stuck at the early game, thanks to college eating up my and my gf’s free time. So far, Grubbin is my favorite Gen 7 monster, tied with Rowlet. Araquanid was a nice surprise too!”
Isuma chooses the strong and loyal Lycanroc, Midday form.
“I’m torn between Alolan Raichu and Lycanroc Midday form. But I guess I’ll go with Lycanroc: I always wanted a wolf Pokémon and the wait was totally worth it! It is loyal, (it’s even in its entry on the Pokédex!) it looks cool, it is fast and strong, with rock spikes coming out of its fur, I mean come on! Look at it!”
Gamemaniac is moved by the Sandygast family.
“Because of course. I really like Pallosand and Sandygeist visually, they’re pretty fun designs being living piles of sand with mouths and one is shaped like a fancy sand castle which is also nice. Of course being Ghost types their origins are fucked up: born when Pokémon who held grudges die and their blood leaks into the sand, mind controlling people, and sucking out their life force with its mouth. Just terrifying and I love ittt.”
Inquisitive Ravenclaw’s Grubbin was taken, so he went with Tsareena.
“Vikavolt and Tsareena. Since its pre-evolved form Grubbin was already mentioned I’ll go with the latter.
She looks cool, packs a punch (er, kick), and reminds me of Bayonetta. Plus, THOSE LEGS~”
Agent9 understands my preference for competitive play with Oranguru.
“Oranguru, because you can run some sick combos in doubles provided they don’t 1 shot it (which is usually the case).
You can double up on precipice blades, or a move like swords dance/Dragons dance. I actually wonder if you could run a Z move with instruct? I would probably run instruct into Z splash or something. I doubt it would work but getting off 2 dragons dances would be pretty sweet, or even shell smash skill link Cloyster. That would kill most anything.”
Robosquid also likes Mimikyu!
“Definitely, Mimikyu, I’ve already been a sucker for fairy types but Mimikyu just takes the cake in utility and being absolutely adorable.
I love my tiny sheet monster.”
Sailor Zebes is on board for Vikavolt.
“Hope I’m not too late for this!
I’d like to join the Vikavolt fan club.
Normally I’m not a huge fan of Bug Pokémon, but he’s an exception. Grubbin and Charjabug are pretty cute, and Vikavolt himself is pretty cool. And my Charjabug ended up stronger than I expected and ended up carrying me through plenty of fights.
Also, he has the cutest Pokémon cry.”
Hypno Coffin relates to Pyukumuku.
“OOOOOOOOOOOOO it has to be a new one. Hmm, probably Pyukumuku. I love the simple design, and its potential ability is just like me!
Innards Out – I have little to no filter on Dtoid, so all of my weird thoughts and creations just kind of come out, for better or for worse.”
Hlarge4 confirms that the entire Grubbin line is a beloved Pokémon family.
“I love Grubbin and his second form. The first looks like a plush, the second a cute collectible.”
ScionVyse knows a god when he sees Silvally.
“Whoops, new Pokémon. Since Inquisitive Ravenclaw took Tsareena, my favourite new Pokémon is probably Silvally. It just looks so cool and the lore behind it is so interesting. Artificially recreating God to fight interdimensional creatures? How many Pokémon have backstories so completely JRPG?”
Fuzunga sees the appeal of Crabomidable.
“I’m partial to this goofy yeti crab. Just look at his dopey face and wacky arms! Crabominable doesn’t really look much like Crabrawler, either, which makes him even more unexpectedly lovable.
And this Pokedex entry: “It just throws punches indiscriminately. In times of desperation, it can lop off its own pincers and fire them like rockets.” How can you not love this guy?”
LaTerry is a dragon aficionado with Kommo-o
“This is super hard, I’ve been going through my Pokedex to try and narrow it down, but in the end I’m going to be a bit predictable and say Kommo-o. It’s a freaking Hawaiian dragon thing that can hurt you by rattling it’s scales together and then it’ll punch you out. Fighting type is usually my least favorite type, but when combined with a type that I really like it really works well.”
Kevin “Qalamari” McClusky’s pick was middle child Torracat.
“I haven’t finished the game or even caught my Legendary yet, but I’ve quite enjoyed taking my time with Sun. My favorite new Pokémon so far has been Torracat. Usually, the intermediate versions of the starters are awkward looking abominations that you can’t wait to evolve into their final forms. For me at least, that’s not the case in Alola. Dartrix, Brionne, and especially Torracat have great designs, and I was honestly torn on whether to evolve mine into Incineroar.
I don’t usually give a damn about the affection minigames, but the way Torracat leans into your hand when you’re petting it took me back to those early days of Nintendogs. And I was honestly shocked when I touched the bell around its neck and saw my hand get burned. There’s a lot of little animations like that; petting a Grimer or Muk means your hand will get glop on it. In more than one sense of the phrase, it’s a nice touch.”
Shadeoflight is sold on Wishiwashi
“Pop quiz: which Pokémon has the lowest base stats of all? Magikarp?
A common misconception, but no.
Sunkern? Good guess. Up until the current Gen, this used to be the correct answer.
Nowadays, though, the weakest Pokémon of all is Wishiwashi, the Small Fry Pokémon. So why is a Wishiwashi nicknamed ‘Legion’ one of the most distinguished members of my team?
That’s because Wishiwashi has an ability, Schooling, that makes him a force to be reckoned with. Schooling activates after level 20, and it gives Wishiwashi what is essentially an evolution. A giant killer fish is formed from a school of hundreds if not thousands of Wishiwashi, none of whom give a single fuck about the “only six Pokémon on a team” rule.
In School form, Wishiwashi skyrockets (torpedoes?) from the weakest Pokémon of all to the top of the food chain. In fact, he becomes the second-strongest non-Mega non-Legendary Pokémon. That’s right, he becomes stronger than Gyarados. The only regular Pokémon with higher stats than School Wishiwashi is Slaking, who you might remember spends half his turns doing nothing.
Wishiwashi represents by far the most significant form change of any Pokémon to date and this unique feature is the single reason why the Small Fry is a viable party member despite never evolving. Just make sure you keep his health above 25%, or you’re back to the single sardine.”
Chris Carter likes Tapu Koko.
“I’m a sucker for legendaries.
In each generation, I try to include at least one of them in my team. But given the sheer amount of Ultra Beasts and legendaries in Sun and Moon, it was a tough choice — that is, until I messed around with Tapu Koko some more.
You see, Koko is the first legendary in the game that you pick up, directly after you beat the game. But oh no, Game Freak doesn’t give you a breather at any point once the credits start rolling. Instead, you have to go directly into the Tapu Koko fight, right after you’ve used up nearly all of your items conquering the Alolan League, and try your luck. It’s widely known that you can always just go back and fight him again, but at the time, pre-launch in my review bubble, I had no idea, so I was in for the fight of my life. 40 Ultra Balls later, and he was mine.
And he’s a beast! Not only does he have some of the best lightning abilities in the game (a type I’m generally not too fond of outside of Zapdos), but he’s also highly integrated into the story from the very start, making it a nice full circle kind of thing when you finally nab him. There’s three more “Tapus” to find, but still he remains in my crew, ready to fry anything that moves.”
And former Destructoid mascot and alleged underwear model Jonathan Holmes made perhaps the strongest pick of all.
“The Alolan forms brought to us by Pokémon Sun and Moon have not been relegated to just the Pokémon themselves. The games also feature multiple new Alolan human forms as well, like Tan Daddy Professor Oak and Gaycation Holiday Red and Blue. As much as I love those three, my favorite of them all are the cheerfully morbid elders citizens who are even more focused on their rapidly declining health as they are on their love of Pokémon. It would be one thing if it were just one or two older folks making a few passing remarks about their age, but this group of chatty seniors are downright obsessed with death and loss. Many social theorists say that most people past a certain age are constantly trying to distract themselves from the pure futility of their own existence, and Pokémon Sun and Moon are unafraid to take the truth on headfirst.
Being a middle-aged man myself, Game Freak’s shout-out to us useless old folks not only feels generous, but it’s also deeply respectful to the kids and young adults who make up the bulk of the Pokémon fanbase, showing confidence that people aged 10-35 are also mature enough to hang with the terminal crowd. The truth is, if you’re never too old to enjoy the whimsical world of Pokémon, then you’re also never to young to start planning your own funeral. Better yet, why not do both at the same time? Maybe in the next game, you’ll be able to bury your dead relatives in Poké Ball-shaped coffins! That may sound crass, but if Nokia Cell phone shaped coffins can make it big in Africa, I see no reason why I shouldn’t volunteer to take my final walk under the tall grass in a Love Ball-shaped sarcophagus.”