A game series like Pokémon, in which there are over 700 individual characters to choose from when pulling a team together, really lends itself to choosing favorites. Everyone who has ever played a Pokémon game undoubtedly has a favorite monster, be it for their competitive viability, the strength of the character building and lore around them or simply the nostalgia factor.
Personally, my absolute favorite Pokémon of all time is the Hoenn native Psychic-type Gardevoir for a combination of all three. A powerful and feared hyper voice using Mega Evolution with a newly adopted Fairy-typing, a wonderful design alongside descriptors about emotional closeness with the its trainer and a consistent reminder of my childhood days visiting my Grandparent’s house in Florida, playing Pokémon Sapphire and catching a Ralts on Route 102 that would stick with me for the entire journey. I always taught my Gardevoir the move Shock Wave in those days. Not entirely sure why, but I did.
While I don’t know exactly how many Pokémon will be added to the National Pokédex in Generation 7 (As I’m still avoiding the data mining spoilers), I’m going to assume that the total number of monsters will probably top 800 by the time we’ve counted through all of them, from Rowlet to the mysterious Crystalline Prism creature we were shown not too long ago and beyond. That adds a lot of new favorite Pokémon for both series veterans and newcomers to choose from.
In that same vein, I’ve seen many people putting together videos and lists of what Pokémon they’ll be using during their initial journey through the Alola Region. I did the same kind of forward thinking when X and Y were on the horizon, and I’ve honestly been doing the same thing while Pokémon have been unveiled over the last couple of months, so I figure why not talk about them here?
I actually do team building quite often, both for casual gameplay runs and for competitive team planning, something I started to do a lot more in Alpha Sapphire. Typically, I try to follow some personal rules when doing so for either kind of play:
- All members of the team will typically be entirely different typings, no overlap whatsoever is preferred for the sake of variety and diversification of moves/abilities.
- On occasion, teams may deviate from this rule if the typing diversity in a region isn’t phenomenal when using dual-typings or if there are some Pokémon I can’t avoid using that happen to be the same type.
- Usually the exceptions to this rule will only apply once. Mono-type teams tend to be avoided at all costs unless the team is being built specifically for a competition with that rule in place.
- The make-up of my teams tend to vary based on region. So, more often than not a play through of Black and White will have a Unova team consisting entirely of Generation 5 Pokémon, a play through of Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald or the remakes will have a Hoenn team consisting entirely of Generation 3 Pokémon and so on.
- Rare exceptions do exist for this rule as well, such as in X and Y where I considered Mega Evolutions to be Generation 6 Pokémon. Thus, Mawile was on my initial team despite originating from Hoenn.
- Movesets, abilities and items used on each team member are usually decided on with single battles in mind, both for casual play and competitive building. There are a few Pokémon I’ve built competitively that specifically exist to team up with another, however.
- While Pokémon can usually be either male or female (besides those with no gender or only one gender option), I tend to specifically pick a gender for a Pokémon that feels right to me and stick with it. Thus, some I might refer to as he or she depending on how I personally picture that monster.
- No legendaries. As much as I love legendary Pokémon in their own rights, I’m not a fan of mixing them into my team compositions. Never really have been, it always seemed kind of cheap to me. Sorry Lunala.
These rules are more my own attempts to make my life harder on myself, honestly. Just choosing any Pokémon willy-nilly would be too easy, so it’s more fun to set up rules for myself as a way of encouraging more critical thought as far as building things ahead of time goes.
With that said, and without further adieu, I introduce the six Pokémon that will be accompanying me during my first adventure in Pokémon Moon. Under this read more, naturally. Could be some spoiler-y stuff for people avoiding any and all information, and this post is already taking up a lot of space.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the full spread of starter Pokémon for a region and felt actually conflicted about my usual Fire-Types first policy. Only Hoenn has ever made me struggle to decide, as Blaziken, Swampert and Sceptile are all really amazing final evolutions and evolutionary lines as a whole.
When we first got to see Rowlet, Litten and Popplio, I had the same indecisive thoughts. All three are really cute… But one has stood out to me personally since the very beginning.
That’s right, as anyone who has been following my ramblings about Sun and Moon for any extended period of time can tell you, I fell in love with Rowlet since the first time I saw his round little body, dope ass bow tie and absolutely adorable habit of literally turning his head around 180 degrees to look at his trainer for instructions. Then, when all three starters got equally solid middle stage evolutions, Dartrix continued to stand out thanks to his calm, butler demeanor juxtaposing the absolutely goofy way his eyes bug out when surprised. The final release of second stage evolutions only solidified my love, as the surprise turn of an additional Ghost-typing to create a Grass/Ghost-type reminiscent of Gourgeist and an absolutely incredible archer design made my heart honestly flutter with joy.
Also, seriously, he can pull the cords of his sweater to cover his face when sleeping. I have endless bundles of love to give to Decidueye, and I’m really looking forward to getting the chance. Sorry Incineroar and Primarina, you guys are both great, but giant hands wrestling and exploding bubbles will have to wait for another day.
Decidueye also has a great signature move, Spirit Shackle, which acts as a damaging Ghost-type version of Mean Look. This and the signature Z-Move he has that we were shown just yesterday, Sinister Arrow Raid, build Decidueye up to be a really great sounding Ghost-type already. Now we just have to hope he gets a good Grass-type STAB attack as well.
Just to add a little observation to my team choices as a whole, I seem to have a lot of physical attacking favorites in this Generation, which is pretty funny to me. I usually love Pokémon with a special attacking emphasis more, so it’ll be nice to be a little different this time around.
Rockruff was another Pokémon that I knew I wanted since it was first shown. I’m a real sucker for canines both in real life and in Pokémon, as monsters like Arcanine and Stoutland have long been high up on my list of favorites. We were constantly teased with the fact that Rockruff was going to have some special secret power as well, which I’m assuming turned out to be referring to either Z-Moves or the divergent evolutions mechanic based on game version.
The idea of Rockruff evolving into different forms based on being in Sun or in Moon is interesting in concept, without a doubt. My only problem with the whole thing is that the evolutions themselves are very lopsided as far as which is cooler. As I’ve talked about before, Midday Lycanroc is amazing, a stoic Rock-type wolf with a cool new priority Rock-type attack. Midnight Lycanroc, on the other hand… Looks like an over-the-top evil caricature of the other form. Seriously, it looks like it should be half Dark-type for diversity sake at least, even if Rock/Dark would be kind of a lousy typing as far as weaknesses go.
But I digress.
Midday Lycanroc is amazing and I love him and I want to just play fetch with the little wolf all day long. I’ll have to do some finagling with my sister to be able to evolve my Rockruff in her copy of Pokémon Sun since I’ll be playing Moon version, but still. It will all be worth it, and I’m seriously looking forward to using Lycanroc almost more than any other Pokémon on my proposed team – and that’s saying something.
Mimikyu is the exception to my “No repeated typings” rule for this team. To be fair, we didn’t know Decidueye was also going to be a Ghost-type until not too long ago, so there was no overlap back when he was Grass/Flying.
However, the change doesn’t honestly make a difference in much of anything as far as my decisions go. I absolutely adore Mimikyu, and have since she was first unveiled. She’s got a design that is cuter than I can put into words, with a hand-made costume resembling Pikachu made from a sheet, a stick and some crayon. The face drawing reminds me a lot of some of the witch designs out of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, an anime that pretty much tops my list of favorites. Probably going to draw my name from that source, though I haven’t determined exactly what it will be yet. At the same time, Mimikyu has a heartwarming backstory about being lonely and looking for love from trainers, despite the fact that everyone believe you’ll be cursed if you remove the sheet… Really, I could gush all about Mimikyu all day. This Pokémon really pulls at my heartstrings.
Plus, the Pokémon is already so popular that there’s an official song about her out there. So that’s something.
On top of all that, I can imagine Mimikyu will actually be fairly useful in battle. While small in stature, indicating a possible weaker stat distribution, Ghost/Fairy seems like a solid typing with good STAB moves. The way it uses claws to attack makes me think it will be a mostly physical attacker, and thus able to utilize moves like Shadow Claw, Shadow Sneak, Play Rough and more. The ability disguise, which acts like an instant substitute when Mimikyu comes into battle, can also potentially help her be a one-turn fodder to automatically take a hit or will allow for a set-up move like Swords Dance. Seriously, if Mimikyu gets Swords Dance and Shadow Sneak, things will all go well.
Lurantis was first brought to the attention of the world on August 1st, when there was a huge dump of Sun and Moon news all at once. Since that day also gave us our first introduction to Alolan Forms, the Island Challenges, Rideable Pokémon and Z-Moves, I feel like this new Grass-type and her pre-evolution Formantis fell by the wayside.
One of my favorite Grass-type Pokémon of all time is Generation 5’s Leavanny, and Lurantis honestly emanates the same kind of emotional attractions to me. Hell, even her official description talks about how she carefully grooms herself to keep up a standing position as “the most gorgeous of all Grass-type Pokémon” thanks to brilliant coloration and elegant movements. Personally, I love the way her legs look like striped pants, the bow on her back that looks like butterfly wings and the sickle arms – especially the one that it’s covering its mouth with. I like to think that’s intentional, like a nervous habit of some sort.
At the same time, Lurantis is one of the recipients of the love Grass-type Pokémon seem to be getting in this generation. There are quite a few getting introduced, and new moves are being introduced for a lot of them at the same time. Rowlet’s Leafage, Tsareena’s Trop Kick and Lurantis’s Solar Blade to name a few. With Solar Blade acting as a physical variant of Solar Beam, Lurantis will clearly be a physical attacker, and one with a lot of power I’d assume. Leaf Guard also opens her up to being good on a Sunny Day team, and if there’s anything I love it’s silly weather gimmick teams.
… Okay, so this is the second repeated type in a list that I prefaced with a rule saying I would be avoiding repeated typings as much as possible. A lot of my choices for this game are more emotion-driven than anything, alright? Sue me.
If it helps, I do have some backup choices. Oranguru and Cosmog are pretty solid looking replacements to fit a Psychic-typing I don’t have, Type: Null and Silvalli could be fun to try thanks to the changeable typing if I want to emulate my main man Gladion, Salandit is pretty unique with a Fire/Poison-typing and (spoiler alert for the rest of this list) since I don’t have an Alolan Form on my team, Sandslash and Marowak seem like they could be fun. Though, with Marowak I would have three Ghost-type Pokémon on my team so… Maybe not him.
Whether you’re a fan of tiny, cute Pokémon or battle-ready behemoths, Wishiwashi is the choice for you. He’s the choice for me as well, for pretty much both reasons!
I love the thought of a 0.2 meter tall fish swimming around, looking scared of his own shadow and needing protection. Then, during battle, that 0.2 meter fish sends out an SOS signal with glowing eyes and calls together a literal mob of fish that gang up and create a literal submarine so terrifying that even the OG monster king of the sea Gyarados runs in fear. I’d be hard-pressed to find a Pokémon with a cooler bit of lore then that in Alola, and so far the region had some really great Pokémon.
Also, Wishiwashi’s School Form is god damn ginormous. There are only seven Pokémon that are bigger: The Onix line (including Mega Steelix), Primal Kyogre, Mega Rayquaza, Alolan Exeggutor and Wailord. Seriously, this thing is bigger than Origin Form Giratina, Primal Groudon, Regigigas, Arceus and way more. More than 700 Pokémon actually. Check out this height chart, I didn’t believe it the first time I looked.
If none of that convinces you to consider Wishiwashi one of the coolest new Pokémon, if not one of the coolest Pokémon ever in my opinion… I don’t really know what to tell you. Maybe you’re turned off by the fact that the Schooling ability reverts Wishiwashi back to a weaker form when it gets hurt enough, similar to Archeop’s Defeatist ability. I can understand that. It’s definitely not the most appealing thought, but I’m hopeful Wishiwashi will be defensive enough to keep its power for a long time. Plus, I’m sure it will have access to Aqua Ring for healing.
Wishiwashi will probably be a Totem Pokémon as well, and the scenes with it in promotional videos have been just the most ridiculously cool looking thing, so if nothing else I’ll be looking forward to that.
Rounding up my team of lovelies comes a real heavyweight in the Alola region. In the left corner, weighing in at 15.6 pounds and standing at an intimidating 2 meters, we have the brawler from the brine, the krill killer, able to stand against the toughest of the tough Fighting-type Kommo-o this side of Melemele Island. That’s right, it’s Crabrawler!
Over dramatizations aside, Crabrawler is another Pokémon that I fell in love with the first time he got introduced. While I don’t think I’ve used this many mono-typings on a team since the Johto days of Typhlosion, Espeon and Hitmontop, there’s enough cool variety coming out of Alola that I can’t really say I’m complaining.
Sure, some people might say “Well Jason, why not just use Kommo-o? You don’t have a Dragon-type either, so it could fit both!” Well, first, I’d like to say thank you for being concerned. I appreciate it, really I do. Second, while Kommo-o is one of the coolest Pokémon designs I’ve ever seen with some probably whacky levels of power, there’s just a certain principled part of me that can’t bring myself to use him. I don’t tend to use pseudo-legendary Pokémon all that often (except Dragonite and Hydreigon, I’d say), and the hype is so strong around this particular dragon that I can’t imagine we won’t be seeing him everywhere. Sometimes, I just have to be a hipster, yo.
Besides that, Crabrawler has some awesome things going for him. Iron Fist is a great ability for a Fighting-type that I can only assume will be able to learn things like the elemental punches. Hyper Cutter is also really good considering you can negate any and all attack lowering moves and abilities. If moves and statistics aren’t really your cup of tea, his description is also far too adorable to ignore. His one goal in life is to climb up to a point as high as possible to achieve social status, so more often than not you’ll find the little crab clinging to the top of it’s trainer’s head. Seriously how could you not love that!
Oh, and he can split trees in half with a single punch. So you know he won’t take crap from anyone.
With the games set to drop on Friday (which will not come soon enough, I have to say), I’m looking forward to seeing if any surprises pop out that will make me reconsider my team choices in any way. Hell, given that Thanksgiving break will be the first week the game is available to play, I wouldn’t be surprised if I manage to find everything available before having to go back to school.
The sheer amount of content could put a wrench in that plan, however. Only time will tell.
Let me know what you think of my proposed team below. Does your list look pretty similar? Or are you more of a Turtonator, Primarina and Tsareena core kind of person?
Next up on the timeline, look forward to a little something about the midnight release I’ll be going to on Thursday/Friday. After all,I’m sure I’ll be talking a bit about that.
Featured image courtesy of Serebii.net
All Pokémon images courtesy of Serebii.net