Evolutions for?... Part 1-1: Single Stagers
by, 9th December 2012 at 05:56 AM (309 Views)
As most of the unavaible Pokémon has been released on DW with the exception of legendaries, I thought this would be a decent time to do this.
When discussing future evolutions for Pokémon, a common excuse for certain Pokémon is that “they are gimmick Pokémon”, “they are introduced to teach certain aspects of game”, “they have specific game mechanics” etc. Since they are “gimmicks”, they don't need evolutions, or in more extreme cases, don't even deserve to Pokémon. As I symphatise with these critters, I wanted to make a large blog. However, as I also wanted to be entertaining, I decided to appeal to most common denominator, and attempted to steal common fandom jokes, particularly those of Smogon.
I hope you end up having a good time reading this epic.
First circle of Hell- The (Obvious) Joke Pokémon
As a series for little kids, Pokémon is infamous its joke characters in all parts of the franchise, be it NPCs or its titular creatures. While there has been joke characters who gained marketable pre-evolutions or if they are lucky enough, evolutions who reach the jokes to their logical conclusions(such as Aipom, Lickitung, Tangela and Nosepass); these Pokémon are solely created to be jokes and thus are meant to suck because of it. This list will not include less obvious jokes, such as Qwilfish, Chimecho(for the Part 2), Dunsparce, Stunfisk, Girafarig and Stantler, as they are more close to their "saved" cousins(maybe not Dunsparce but whatever).
Aah Farfetch'd, quite possibly one of the few amalgation of everything 90's despite being something created to be generically cool looking. From his sexy unibrow to onion swordstick to his Akira Toriyama-esque old early 90s anime eyes to his spiky shonen rival hair to being a duck to his wing salute to being owned by a sarcastic thief in the animé, Farfetch'd is the only Pokémon Lewis Lowhaug's 90s Kids persona need as a sidekick. If you want to read a more serious article about Farfetch'd, please read Bikini Miltank's old article about him. It is the most perfect article about this little fella.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Due to nature of his joke, and his status as the first in-game trade, he can be thought as the Pokémon created to teach the nature of trading. In addition to this, he is both in Field and Flying Egg Groups, which gives it significance as an important link in chain breeding.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Despite his interesting DW ability and large movepool compared to most Flying-types, it is completely unsalvagable.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As it is meant to suck, none.
Aside from being totally adorable, Unown still stand as the most enigmatic Pokémon ever created. Mostly because their entire reason of existence is to be enigmatic. Just as Big the Cat is the king of cameos in Sonic universe, Unown are the lords puzzle sidequests in Pokémon universe. As a standalone Pokémon, Unown is worthless; but with others of its kind, they become Munna/Musharna with Fennel's machine. Together they have the power of Gods, literally as Arceus requires them to have another literal newly hatched God in Sinjoh Ruins event. Which may or may not mean Arceus has the cutest harem of husbands, if Arceus is the wife in this equation.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Yes, several in fact.
1-Almost all of their appearances in games require solving a puzzle sidequest. Not to mention that the act of catching them all is more or less a puzzle sidequest on its own.
2-In Generation II, their debut, their entire movepool and their formes were dictated IV values. This has been changed to PIDs in Gen III and a completely different value in later generations. As such, it can be said that Unown are created to introduce the IVs to players and showcase Gameboy's capabilities.
3-They exist as a part of the common RPG cliché "unsolvable myth for sake of creating a sense of curiosty".
4-They are used as an additional cipher alphabet for Pokémon series and fans.
There might be even more that I haven't thought about yet.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Its stats are fairly bad, though their attacking stats are roughly the same Emolga's and they have a nice ability in Levitate. And it is still the only Pokémon who can use Choice items without switching out throught the entire game. But seriously, no.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Swarming bees require queen bees to propagate their species, as the workers cannot breed due to how they are fed. Unown don't have genitals.
Before Shaymin, there was Delibird as the physical represantation of gratitude. These ripoffs of the Saint Nicholas try to enjoy the same familiarity the color scheme Coca-Cola bestowed upon Santa, but miserably fail. There is no wonder why Create-A-Pokémon artists use Delibird as the prey of all CAP projects. Delibird is one of the most shameless Christmas tie-ins, and he is actually bad it. He is so bad at it that it is not even the go to Pokémon for New Year's merchandising anymore. Darmanitan line as usurped his main gimmick in Japan, as they are based on an actual New Year's Eve celebration that is actually relevant to their culture.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Not much anymore.
1-His main gimmick as the celebratory Pokémon for Christmas still stands, but barely.
2-His gimmick as the only Pokémon with Hustle that has a priority move no longer stands, thanks to Rattata family and Nidoran families(with the exceptions of their final evolutions).
3-His gimmick as having a present giving based attack no longer stands either thanks to introduction of Bestow.
4-His most important gimmick as the Pokémon with the only move that gives opponents health back also no longer stands as Heal Pulse exists now, making it even more worthless.
5-He still has a decent gimmick as a chain breeding link thanks to being in both Water 1 and Field groups.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? It is most certainly not, especially in this generation.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As he is given another ability that stops it from sleeping, meaning the creators are obviously using him to make jokes about the commercial aspects of Christmas, which is the main part they are familiar with.
Plusle and Minun's odd looking immigrant cousin also appears in our list. Spinda, the lord of spinning and metaphors for alcoholic people has a well distrubed stat spread, totaling in 360, representing 360 degress of the circle. In addition to this, he has a great STAB in Thrash which is greatly helped by Own Tempo and a great ability in Contrary which is helped greatly Superpower, which is literally solely given to it just to make this ability not completely worthless. He also has a great signature move in Teeter Dance, which is essentially his answer to Delibird's Present. Unfortuantely for him, if he makes a sexual intercouse with a Cacnea or Cacturne he will lose this specialty. Or Mr. Mime in the later generation. Until Liligant and Meloetta came about and helped him greatly, by obtaining his signature move and removing his well known gimmick, just so that he won't get further delusions of grandeur.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? A fair amount actually.
1-As mentioned above, he was one of the few Pokémon that could learn Teeter Dance, though again as said above, this is no longer the case.
2-His main reason of creation is to showcase the newly introduce PIDs to players, and showcase Gameboy Advance's capabilities.
3-He is within Field and Human-Like groups, making it an important link in chain breeding.
4-He is currently the only Contrary Pokémon with Superpower.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Surprisingly yes, as it makes a decent suicide Trick Room user, especially in low tier 3-on-3 single battles. Outside of that, no.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? It is fairly hard given the nature of its stat total. If it gets an evolution who gets something that allows him to rotate his stat values or gives rotating boosts to its stats, then it might work.
Luvdisc is a Pokémon that allows us to appreciate Sigmund Freud's studies a bit more, as it looks like a pair of breasts, testicles and butts at the same time. While it is one of the few Pokémon with Sweet Kiss, that is the not the reason it is well known. It is well known for it's tendecy to carry Heart Scales, as it is only way to obtain them in its region. As such Luvdisc is important for solidiying a common RPG element for our series, loot grinding.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks?Two.
1-Before Floatzel, it was the fastest Swift Swim user.
2-As it was the only way obtaining Heart Scales in RSE, it teached newcomers about item looting in the series, which was only standardized in Gen III despite being introduced in Gen II. This is also now gone, as held items has become a more complex part of grinding in the series and Heart Scales can be obtained through various other ways.
It also has a in-series gimmick in form of being a symbol of love, making it perfect for sappy love stories, or interesting semi-deconstructions of the concept if Random Doom is anything to go by.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? NO.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? It was very fun to see how people thought Alomomola to be the Luvdisc evolution, I must say.
Second circle of Hell- The Pikaclones
As a series grows older and older, it tries to regain the spark that made them great eventually. The Pikaclones are the worst offenders of this. Being early route Electric Pokémon who will eventually be replaced by better Electric-types, they can be thought to be actually relatively decent in terms of copying Pikachu-line's creation purpose. As they are early route Pokémon however, they are doomed to be inferior to others. However, most of them also suffer from an important issue, none of them are strong enough to compete against the actual early route Electric-types. It doesn't help that all of them are available either before them, more easily than them or both; making the whole ordeal worthless in the first place. Plusle and Minun can not compete with Manectric whose pre-evolution is in the same area as them, Pachirisu cannot compete with Luxray whose pre-evolution is more easily AND EARLY accessible than it, same goes for Emolga against Zebstrika. This actually compeletely kills the entire reason Pikachu existed in Viridian Forest, making the Pikaclones forever worthless.
Unless you are one of the investers, in which case you probably already love whoring out Emolga.
Plusle and Minun
The dropped out Smash Bros. Brawl player characters are one of the many red vs. blue Pokémon of R/S. Having same base stat schtick as Latios and Latias, Plusle and Minun are one of the most recognizable gimmick Pokémon of the series. Introduced to introduce double battles, Plusle and Minun's abilities allow them to have 150 and 148 base Special Attack when their Sp. Attack stats are maxed out, same as Pikachu with Light Ball and Raichu with Life Orb. Or when they are paired with Klinklang-line Pokémon, Ampharos or Manectric. Or if they use Entrainment on a Pokémon. Plusle and Minun's gimmick was one of the most basic ones, but it was also one of the worthless ones. So much so that, now the Pokémon who are initially touted as being useful only when they are together don't even need each other anymore thanks to new mechanics of their abilities. It is a rather awkward way to not admit defeat, decimating a core marketing gimmick to keep it going. I am not sure how that was intended to work in the first place.
Of course, Plus and Minus are not only worthless abilities on the previous owners, but also in their new owners as well. Klinklang doesn't have a strong Sp. Attack nor movepool to pull it of decently(it does have actual bulk to keep the gimmick going however), Manectric much prefers Lightningrod over Minus in doubles as it can be further stacked up. Only Ampharos really enjoys this development, and Choice Scarf Entrainment Minun/Plusle might be an interesting gimmick in doubles when combined with actually strong Special sweepers.
Do these Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? As the Pikaclones of the Gen III, they were created the introduce the double battles. They spend their current days to spam Entrainment on others as a pseudo Kinesis. They are also one of the few Pokémon with Nasty Plot/Baton Pass combination.
In terms of marketing, they are fairly worthless. They didn't get merch as aggressively as it should be to make them actually relevant, and any attempt to make them recurring in series, manga, games and animé, were all half hearted. Their roles as supporting Pokémon is hampered by their shallow movepools, and their supposed team nature started to shackle in Gen IV when Minun gained all of Plusle's exclusive moves and completely shattered in Gen V with new mechanics of their abilities. Even with their abilities, their base total only tops at around 470, same as other gimmick Pokémon, just fully evolved ones.
Are these Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Outside of Choice Scarf Entrainment, no.
Do these Pokémon have any hope in evolution? They are pretty much of a husk of what was intended nowadays.
Pachirisu is interesting, as unlike other Pikaclones, he doesn't have any obvious gimmicks. While it was one of the few Pokémon to learn Super Fang and one of the few fully evolved Pokémon Pickup, it doesn't have anything that particularly stands out. It's design gimmick, its ability to store electricity in its tail was only accounted for in Gen V. It also suffers stiff competition from Luxray, who is literally available in the second route and was more or less intended to be high tier Pokémon stats and ability-wise, even if its movepool betrays it a lot. It was better marketed than Plusle and Minun, but its marketing was still not aggressive enough to make it an important player of Gen IV. Ultimately, while Pachirisu has more than one below average stat, a rarity amongst these critters, it is ultimately fairly worthless. Annoying, but worthless.
Do these Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Nothing specific to it.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? It actually has stats to be incredibly annoying with Light Screen. But seriously, no.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Not much.
Would this Pokémon outclass its inspiration if it were to get an evolution? A dual screener with good double defensive stats, reliable recovery, good support movepool and scouting abilities, decent typing, good ability and decent speed would immediately become one of the higher tier Pokémon. However, it would not actually outclass Pikachu as it would become a good Pokémon by being the polar opposite of what Pikachu stands for.
"And then this picture (Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte), which I always thought this painting was sort of like making a movie", explained Hughes."A pointillist style, which at very very close to it, you don't have any idea what you've made until you step back from it. I used it in this context to see that he's (Cameron) looking at that little girl. Again, it's a mother and child. The closer he looks at the child, the less he sees. Of course, with this style of painting. Or any style of painting really. But the more he looks at, there's nothing there. I think he fears that the more you look at him the less you see. There isn't anything there. That's him."
John Hughes' commentary on museum scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off works finely for describing Emolga as well.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It is only available by rustling grass, as such it can be said that it is created to showcase this game mechanic, but that would be a lie as Audino exists and can be found earlier than it. It can also be said to be a way for players to get Cheri Berries as Berry patches don't exist in Unova, however Zebstrika and Blitzle both have %50 chance of having it. As such Emolga has no real game gimmicks that is exclusive to it.
In terms of merchandising, it is probably the most succesful of the Pikaclones, as it appears on every spin-off, is part of one of them most popular gym leaders' team in main series and has gained lots of episodes devoted to it in the animé. It is so successful that none of the main characters in most of manga series had to encounter it beyond Elesa. Which is kind of sad because it is the Pikaclone who deviates least from its real-life counterpart, which is a Japanese mammal even if Unova is based on New York and there are flying squirrels endemic to Americas.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Surprisingly yes, thanks to its below average attacking stats, decent abilties, great offensive and defensive typing, ability to Baton Pass Agility and ridiculously high speed. It just happens to be that anything it can do is done much, much better by other Pokémon.
Would this Pokémon outclass its inspiration if it were to get an evolution? Yes and no. While Emolga is meant to do everything Pikachu can do, its lack of any good buffing move and shallow movepool would make it somewhat bad compared Pikachu-line Pokémon. Motor Drive is also a mixed blessing, as it doesn't increase a stat Emolga doesn't excel already.
Third circle of Hell- The (Less Obvious) Joke Pokémon
One of the earliest designed Gen II Pokémon, Girafarig is the ultimate visual pun. It has appeared in every region since its debut, and has been one of the most showcased Pokémon in the entire franchise. However, despite the fact that Lucian uses one, it is not one of the ultimate Pokémon. In fact, despite being one of the well showcased Pokémon, it is neither popular enough to get recognition or powerful enough to be anything remotely threatening.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Before Meloetta, it was the only Normal/Psychic Pokémon. Now it has no gimmick.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Nope. All of its stats are below average.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? A better question would be "why haven't this Pokémon got an evolution yet?" It has appeared in the first Johto movie, it has appeared under ownership of Lyra in the animé, it is within Lucian's team, it is in every region... just why this thing sucks so bad?
Dusnparce is one of the most well known Pokémon in the cross generation Pokémon discussions. Probably because it is in its nature. It is based on Tsuchinoko, a Japanese cryptid that is well known for sightings in Western Japan, including Kansai(which is where Johto based on). Much like a real world crytid, catching Dunsparce is a rare occurance that can only be done in certain specific locations or with certain techniques. However, much like the myth of Tsuchinoko, Dunsparce's most interesting ability is the fact that it exists.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? As it is based on a cryptid, all of his appearances are limited to specific areas and generally require certain techiniques or their apperances are odd(for example, in Three Isle Port it is only available in levels divisble by 5).
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Thanks to it's 100 Base HP and large movepool it used to be one of the most annoying Serene Grace users in lower tiers. Current metagame shift made it much less useful however, and getting Coil didn't increase its usefulness enough to make it relevant again.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? The reason Dunsparce exists is to parody how Japanese people make fuss about a creature that is unlikely to exist and very bland and unimportant. As such, getting an evolution would kill the joke. It does however require various to boost keep it somewhat important to keep the joke.
Qwilfish is often ridiculed because of its ridiculous appearance, its rarity and its lack of presence which causes most people to forget that it exists. However, despite these and its shallow movepool, thanks to its ablities, great typing which gives it perfect coverage just by its STABs and below average stats, and again, thanks to its shallow movepool which gives it everything it needs to be efficient makes Qwilfish one of the single most threating Pokémon ever created under rain. So much so that, in the later days of Gen IV, Qwilfish usage skyrocketed, as people only then realized just how good it is. This living naval mine however faced a big issue in Gen IV, the nerfing of Explosion, which caused it lose its former glory. Not to mention, many of the often overlooked Pokémon gained popularity thanks to introduction of Drizzle and new mechanics, and many new Pokémon which resisted Qwilfish's STAB moves were created and became top tier. Not to mention, Qwilfish under rain was so good, it had to be banned. Qwilfish was cast out of heavens and had to retreat to depths of RU. But then a new ray of hope came to it, in form its DW ability Intimidate. With its old abilities and its new toy, Qwilfish returns to wreak havoc in every tier that isn't NU, waiting for the days he would be allowed to sacrifice itself to cause massive damage on opposing Pokémon.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Aside from being rare and only available in certain areas with certain techiniques, not much. It does have a crosseyed and angry look though, most likely to parody the general elitist trainers who will likely not appreciate it.
Another interesting thing is that it requires cross-generational trade to gain its currently strongest asset, Swords Dance, as it can't learn it through TM(at least for now).
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Qwilfish is one of the most useful Pokémon in any metagame it is in, given that you play to its strengths. If it regains Explosion in its full power, it will continue to be devastating. If it doesn't, it will likely continue to degrade as more threats it can't face are created and its gimmicks will not be as strong as they are now.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Rather low, as it is meant to be actually somewhat good only in hindsight to mock elitists. Getting a standard powerful evolution would kind of kill the joke.
Stantler's joke is fairly... puntastic. It's name comes from Shishi-odoshi, which is a traditional device used to scare away birds and deers from gardens by creating sounds. As such, Stantler is the reverse-engineered version of it, a deer that scares humans from its terriority. It is also a reindeer with jingle bells on its eye shaped antlers, making it perfect for Christmas merch.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Not really.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? While it actually has usable abilities and a usable movepool, its stats are far too abysmal for it to be used seriously.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Its reason of existence is barely a reason of existence.
Stunfisk is the ultimate troll. Having an exclamation mark on its back, signifying that it is an Electric-type, gaining a masochistic expression when shocking others, having Limber despite being a Ground-type, Stunfisk is obviously created to ridicule people who wanted GameFreak to be not lazy and make interesting typing combinations. After all, why think of interesting combinations when you can reuse same gimmicks over and over again, helping Inafune's thesis about Japanese games and other people's thesis about Nintendo games? Despite these however, Stunfisk is actually good for lower tiers, thanks to its large movepool(especially when compared to other Unova Pokémon) and unique typing. And all of its abilities and Dex entries make sense given what animals it is designed after.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It has a unique typing. That's about it really.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Very much so, but it is not too reliable. It has strong niches that it can use very well, but it is obviously not the best thing ever.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Given it is meant to ridicule people who desired unique typing combinations, there isn't much.
Fourth circle of Hell- Pure-Bred Gimmick Pokémon
As opposed to their joke cousins, these gimmick Pokémon are purely created to explore deep metagame effects, and to experience what tactics work or teach the said tactics to players. Most of these Pokémon are very much personifications of certain gameplay aspects, be it for Pokémon games or RPGs in general. As such, most of these Pokémon can be strong in right hands, but as they are personifications of certain mechanics, they are often given low stats to keep them outright broken. This disallows them to reach their proper potentials, but it is also a leash to keep them balanced. While some of them maanged to succeed with these limitations in the past, nowadays they are mostly pretty useless, be it because their gimmicks are terrible or their stats have started to become too limiting.
That is all.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? As of Gen V, it is the only Pokémon with Imposter ability, making the most perfect Revenge Killer in the entire metagame.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Ditto is as strong as the Pokémon it copies. The more ridiculously overpowered the Pokémon is, the better for Ditto to murder it and rest of its team.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? None due to its very nature, but it would appreciate being able to use its signature items after transformation a lot. It would also appreciate being able to copy the oppenents items' power as it was initially thought to be the case for Gen V mechanics.
The ultimate wall. Until Bastiodon, Probopass and Evoilite came of course. While Shuckle is one of the most popular gimmick Pokémon, at least for European and American fandoms, has gained many new tactics in each generation, and still stands as one of the bulkiest Pokémon ever created, as the metagame changed, its faults have started to become more noticable in every metagame that doesn't have evasion allowed. As years pass, Shuckle becomes more and more worthless. Within next three or so generations, it will stop being a powerhouse.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It is the strongest mixed wall in the metagame. However, in terms Physical Defence it is outmatched by Eviolite Onix and in Special Defence department it is outmatched by Eviolite Chansey. With Power Trick it becomes the Pokémon with highest base Attack.
In Generation II, you could eventually get Rare Candies. In later generations, you can get Berry Juice as a wild held item, though in Black & White it can be won in Royal Unova.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? It is, however it suffers from a lot of problems. Unless of course you allow Double Team.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As it already has BST of a fully-evolved Pokémon, it is unlikely. However, it most certainly needs a standard recovery move.
The ultimate jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Smeargle's Base Stat Total makes Bidoof blush. However its' ability to learn all moves ever created still makes it an important part of the game, just not as important anymore.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? One of the most famous and archetypal ones.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? It is, but in higher tiers it can only Baton Pass.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? It has recently gained Moody, which combined his original gimmick, makes it a dangerous foe in metagames Moody is allowed.
The original Pokémon without any weaknesses. Until Spiritomb and Eelektross-line came of course.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? While it lost its original capability, it stays as the only Pokémon with Stall ability and it gained Prankster which allowed it to become a devastating force.
Much like its counterpart Mawile, it generally appears in post-game or near end of game dungeons.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? For this generation, thanks to Prankster, it is. But eventually it will lose its niche.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? That is an odd question. While it has appeared as a part of Pokémon Sunday in the past, that was only major focus it got. It is rather hard to give an answer, but it doesn't seem to be unlikely.
The original Pokémon with most resistances. Until Klinklang and his pre-evolutions came of course.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It lost its original gimmick, however it is a strong user of Sheer Force.
Much like its counterpart Sableye, it generally appears in post-game or near end of game dungeons.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? For this generation, it is. But much like Sableye it is likely to lose this status.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Mawile is pretty weird as while it is ungodly popular and is techinically a last route Pokémon, it never gets any recognition in spin-off media or merchandising. But in terms of its gimmicks, there is no reason for it to not evolve.
To be continued.
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