With all that silly real-life exposition out of the way, let’s get into the meat of the more interesting video game news of the day. As if to celebrate my newfound (but short-living) freedom, a brand new Pokémon was unveiled at Gamescon 2016, so let’s check it out! Once again, it’ll all be under the cut for people looking to avoid any sort of spoilers.
Say hello to Turtonator, a Fire/Dragon-type Pokémon whose name I can only assume is a combination of Turtle and Detonator. Even though it would honestly be way funnier if it was a combination of Turtle and Terminator.
Totally naming my Turtonator “Arnold” if I ever decide to use one. He’ll always be back.
Anyway, dumb jokes aside, let’s take a closer look at Turtonator and what he’ll be packing for Sun and Moon. Like I said before he’s got a really solid Fire/Dragon-typing, much like Mega Charizard X and Unova’s white legendary Reshiram. On top of that he’s got the ability Shell Armor, which makes it so critical hits will never hit. Sorry Kingdra, your sniper ability won’t be helping you much against this fellow dragon.
According to the Pokémon website’s official description, “Because Turtonator lives on volcanoes, feeding on sulfur and other materials found near volcanic craters, its shell has a layer of explosive material—mostly sulfur. When something strikes this Pokémon, sparks fly from the horns on its shell, igniting an explosion! In areas around volcanic craters, this Pokémon camouflages itself as a rock and waits for prey. At the moment when its prey steps onto the back of its shell, Turtonator strikes its shell with its own tail, triggering an explosion! The explosive blasts triggered from Turtonator’s back are released through an orifice located on the middle front of the Pokémon’s body. This is Turtonator’s weak point. Attacks landing on its stomach will cause it a great deal of damage.”
Probably the most interesting thing about Turtonator – besides the fact that it’s literally just a living land mine – is it’s brand new attack: Shell Trap. While the typing of the attack is unknown as of me writing this, it does involve a cool idea that could very easily play into some competitive battling mind games. Shell Trap (potentially with increased priority?) sets up at the beginning of the turn in a battle, and if Turtonator is hit by a physical attack during this turn there will be an explosion that deals “much greater damage” to the opponent. What the metrics are for “much greater damage” is currently unknown, but I get the feeling it could be something like Innards Out, but dealing damage in some greater proportion to the attack that was dealt rather than equal damage to the fainting blow.
While Shell Trap could potentially be a very predictable attack as far as when it’s used, I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. In fact, I could see it being an incredibly useful thing in certain circumstances. For instance, a really cool and fairly popular battling item in Pokémon is the Assault Vest, which raises the holder’s Special Defense stat if it has all four of its usable moves be attacking moves. Personally I like using an Assault Vest Clefable with a wide range of coverage attacks, but there are probably even more viable uses than just that. With the introduction of Shell Trap, you could send Turtonator in on an obviously Assault Vest wearing Pokémon, and if the move does get increased priority scare out the opponent’s monster since they have no non-attacking moves to avoid triggering the trap that would deal massive damage.
Probably not the only way it will be useful, and Clefable would probably be an awful example to use in this case since Special Attacks don’t seem to trigger Shell Trap… But still, you get the point.
Now, with all this said… Turtonator kind of skeeves me out. I honestly don’t know what it is about it, but looking at the turtle just gives me some weirdly uncomfortable vibes. It’s probably some mix of the generally sinister Kappa look, the fact that it’s a land mine with a big hole in its chest, and the nose. There’s something about the nose for me… Kind of reminds me of something out of the 80’s cartoon the Snorks, and for some reason it just makes me feel weird.
Maybe I’m just weird.
Anyway though, that’s about that for Turtonator. While the reveal wasn’t as huge as some of the others we’ve had, I think it’s nice when we get a single Pokémon at a time. Like with Salandit, it gives me the chance to focus solely on that Pokémon and draw as many ideas out of it as possible, something that seems to get a bit muddled when there’s a bunch of Pokémon to see all at once. According to Serebii, the Normal-type Z-Move was also seen at Gamescon called “Hyper Sprint Attack”, but we don’t have footage of it to really look at right now.
How do you feel about Turtonator? Does he weird you out too? Or do you like his design? What do you think about his potential competitive viability among the cast of already interesting competitive Pokémon we’ve been getting? Let me know in the comments below!