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Trainer Yusuf

Evolutions for?... Part 2-3: The Search for Gimmick

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"It's all right, we told you what to dream."-Secondary gimmicks and Pokémon specifically created for marketing


This where we discuss Pokémon that gimmicks that are not strong enough to be a part of their concept or give them notoriety and Pokémon created only to be cashed in. Most of these Pokémon gain their gimmicks over years, but the Pokémon who are made important by the gimmicks they gained later on will be discussed later.

Meowth


Based on Tajiri's own pet cat, much like most other Pokémon, the only reason Meowth is well known is because of the anime. Well, that and it is literally mathemetically anti-Pikachu. Because of this, Meowth gained many boosts, from Nasty Plot to Techinician. In fact, it has recently became the only way Persian could gain Pay Day, even though Persian could obtain the move in previous generations.

Persian


A Pokémon that was previously OU in RBY-era due to critical hit mechanics, Persian doesn't really have much to offer. Most people might defend it as it was the only way to obtain money outside of limited battles and limited amount of item loots in RBY-era thanks to Pay Day, but the sad reality is, Pay Day was a largely accessible TM in that era as well.
Do these Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Outside of Pay Day, no.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Techinican and Nasty Plot gave it some reason to be used in previous generation, but currently no.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Thanks to iconic nature of its pre-evolution, and its early route Pokémon nature, Persian is more likely to be ignored in favor of a side evolution than gain an evolution.

Granbull


Ursaring with a vagoo. Outside of prefering punching and biting over slashes and major blows, Granbull is literally the same as Ursaring, just with a larger movepool and worser stats.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It has a joke in that despite its intimidating look, it is really insecure and scared, hence why it gets Quick Feet and more importantly, Rattled. It is also a personification of biting moves. Actually, I lied. It couldn't even learn any biting moves outside of Bite without breeding. Granbull's Japanese name is the same as English one so there isn't much pun there(outside of the reason of it being bluish purple might be because “buru” can be the Japanese spelling of both blue and bull). Granbull probably only existed to appeal female fans who wanted something ugly cute yet powerful. That obviously failed.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Barely. Intimidate gives it more help towards Physical Defense, and its Normal-typing helps it defensively, and offensively, thanks to its STAB Return. To top this, as a female appeal Pokémon, it gains a disgusting amount of support and gimmick moves. In addition to this, it still has a large 120 Base Attack. While it has a very small niche in its tier, it is somewhat usable. It is a complete joke in any other standard play however.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Mostly? It's fellow collegue fairy Togetic gained a fairly nice evolution, but its other collegues gained pre-evolutions and not much else.

Pre-evolutionary corner: Snubbull


One of the first Gen II Pokémon showcased, Snubbull has the same reasons of existance as its evolution. It is a homage to bulldogs' tendecy to be affectionate and be dangerous when they get angry, and how women like them and find them cute despite their debatable adorableness.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Same joke as Granbull. It was a rare Pokémon in its debut games, and it and its evolution has continued to have unique ways to be encountered, just nothing specific for them.

Skitty and Delcatty


Much like its cousin Snubbull, Skitty is an early route Pokémon. Much like Snubbull, it was introduced before release of its debut. Much like Snubbull, it gained its gimmicks after its debut. Unlike Snubbull, it legimately sucks.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? So far they are the only Pokémon with Normalize ability. This gives all of their moves STAB bonus, thus making Delcatty's BST somewhere near Wormadam and Mothim's in practice. They also had their signature move, Assist. Skitty is also the inspiration of the Fluffy Tail(Eneco's/Skitty's Tail in Japan). Delcatty also has a unique 1 HP, 1 Speed EV yield.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? You can paralyze Ground-types, Lightningrod, Motor Drive and Volt Absorb Pokémon with Thunder Wave. But seriously, use a Liepard.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? The fact that it was a VERY early route Pokémon in its debut(Snubbull is more like mid-route) doesn't look good on these two. But the thing is, Delcatty sucks more than your common Raticate.

Minccinno and Cincinno


You all saw it coming. Originally thought to be the next early route rodent until Patrat was revealed, Mincinno is, again, one of the most shameless attempts to be cashed in, with Cincinno continuing the trend of useful marketable Pokémon.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Mincinno is the Pokémon used for Poké Toy, Poké Doll's Unova counterpart. In addition to this, it is used for many tutorials of the game and Prof. Juniper's Pokémon.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Absolutely yes. Cincinno is usable in all tiers up to UU thanks to its great movepool, okay stats, and fantastic abilities. It would obviously want more options for both of its usable abilities, but otherwise it is a fantastic Pokémon thanks to changes made for multi-hit moves to make them OP.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? It can go either way, really.

“You gotta have real need”- Quest Pokémon


While many gimmick Pokémon require you to do side quests, there are some Pokémon who are similar to gimmick Pokémon in terms of niches and usage, but are made to be competitively viable. Most of them are treated as this so that you have a good Pokémon early game if you play your cards right or pause your journey to gain them, especially since you will most likely be able to obtain post-main game. They also help to artificially enlargen the world so that they won't create much Pokémon or make more cities and large routes to increase the livelihood of the region. Fossil Pokémon will get their own subdivison later.

Magikarp


Magikarp is probably the most archetypal of the Pokémon here. It is literally created to be a horrible Pokémon that is actually an exceptionally hardy creature, just not in battles.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? I don't think I need to tell you now. Eveything related to Magikarp has become memes on their own. However, there is one thing I can tell that is not rephrased a lot. Magikarp was actually once a requirement to obtain Gyarados in the Red/Blue era. This only started to change in Yellow, where you could catch a Gyarados in Fuchsia City with Super Rod. After this, Gyrados never became a rare sighting in the wild, in fact, it became as common as Magikarp. This completely ignored the concept of Magikarp and betrayed its reason of existance. While this was eventually readressed in Black and White, Black 2 and White 2 returned back the status quo to its place in current generations.

Gyarados


Insert your own reference here. I am not going to do it.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks?See above.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Gyarados is an archetypal example of generational degeneration. While it was one of the most feared Pokémon in past, it is slowly becoming more and more weak, as the environment around it becomes harsher. As it is an iconic Pokémon, Gyrados is constantly getting new elements to become a top tier Pokémon, but only time will tell how long it will manage to keep this.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? It's high 540 BST and iconic nature disallows it from getting an evolution. Of course, if it ever got one, it would also mean that Magikarp failed to succeed upon evolving, which would also ignore its entire design, but that has been betrayed a long time ago regardless.

Exeggcute and Exeggutor


Probably one of the most archetypical of sidequest Pokémon, Exeggutor was the prime competitive Grass-type of RBY, and continues on to be a strong force whenever and wherever it's current location is, and not much elsewhere.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Exeggcute was one of the few Safari Zone only Pokémon. It continued to be only obtained through specific methods. They also have their signature move Barrage and Exeggutor is one of the only Pokémon to learn Egg Toss.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Due to power creep of the current generations, Exeggutor has been going downhill much like other original Pokémon. It still has its toys to play around with, even if there are many better choices.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As it has a very high 520 BST, it has little to no hope in obtaining an evolution.

Pineco and Forretress


One of the few Pokémon that are only avaible through Headbutt trees, so that the game mechanic could have some reason of existance, Forretress is what exactly it sounds like, a fortress with cannons. It just happens to be shaped as a steel chestnut carved by a bagworm larvae.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Pineco is one of the few Pokémon available only through Headbutt trees.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? While Forretress has still been hit by the major power creep and offense oriented growth of the series much like other defensive Pokémon, it's niche as a sturdy Pokémon with decent Attack and ability to both set up and remove all entry hazards keeps it a great utility Pokémon.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? Surprisingly, yes. Forretress' current form is not even the last metamorphosis stage of a bagworm, and its BST is still low enough to increase the possibiliy of one.

Pre-evolutionary corner: Feebas


One of the most frustrating Pokémon to catch, Feebas has one of the most interesting ways to be obtained.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Feebas showcases two different game mechanics, one is the tiling of the routes. Different from the other wild Pokémon, Feebas can only obtained by specific spots on the routes it can be find(except for Gen V), showcasing that the game is capable of changing the encounter rates for individual spots. Its second mechanic is the method of its evolution. To showcase the new Contest side quest, Feebas takes the concept of “it gets hotter when it passes puberty”(even if other media might try to convince you it is a metaphor for “inner beauty” it really isn't). To evolve Feebas, you must maximize its Beauty and level it up. Sounds easy right? NO. In order to gain a high Beauty stat, you need to feed it incredibly high leveled Poffins and Pokéblocks, which is difficult to do with standard berries and for Pokéblocks, solo. In order to ease the method, you can use natures that boost the Beauty gain, but this means you won't get to use competitively viable natures for Milotic. Unless you have it on HG/SS where Daisy can maximize its Beauty with massages or by grooming by Haircut brothers' and on Gen V games where you can trade it with Prism Scale to evolve it. Or, you know, just catch a Milotic in Gen V. Surprisingly, Feebas' original evolution method still exists on Gen V.

Milotic


The so called beauty queen of the sea, Milotic is essentially a female take on Gyarados.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? See Feebas. It is also the only Cute Charm Pokémon that isn't a Normal-type and was the only Pokémon to have Marvel Scale until Hidden Ability Dratini and Dragonair.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution?Sort of? As the concept of “bulky Water” doesn't exist anymore, Milotic stays as a rather mediocre Pokémon. While it gained Scald and Dragon Tail, its previous issues continue on this generation and it still didn't gained much to help its ability to stall(when it is going to learn Calm Mind oh my God).
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? See Gyarados.

Pre-evolutionary corner: Clamperl


Clamperl is not a quest Pokémon on its own, at least not in its debut, as it is common enough in the underwater routes which you must traverse in order to actually finish the game. It's evolutionary items, DeepSeaTooth and DeepSeaScale, however, are.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Clamperl was theoritically meant to be usable without its evolution much like other trade based evolutions, thanks to its evolutionary items(spoiler alert; it is only good for Trick Room and trolling beginners. It can't even properly utilize DeepSeaScale. It can be incredibly dangerous if you manage to pull off SHELL SMASH though... which is probably what you will do in-game if you are too cool to use Huntail or Gorebyss). Speaking of Shell Smash, Gorebyss and Huntail can't obviously learn SHELL SMASH on their own. It is also one of the few Pokémon accessible through Underwater routes and one of the Pokémon to be farmed for Big Pearls. It is also the only Pokémon that evolves into a Pokémon in the debut generation with an item introduces in its debut generation, and it is the only Pokémon that can evolve by holding one of two different trade items.

Huntail


Evolving from the DeepSeaTooth, Huntail is decidedly a more offense oriented and masculine Pokémon than its counterpart Gorebyss... until you notice Gorebyss' Special Attack. In spite of DeepSeaTooth increasing Clamperl's Special Attack, Huntail has a higher Attack than its Special Attack. Even though it is an eel that evolves from a bivalve, it incorprotes shells to the design of its fins. It also has its counterpart's face on its ass.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It evolves with the help of the DeepSeaTooth, which is obtained through the Scanner sidequest in the Abondoned Ship. It can also use Shell Smash+ Baton Pass.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Thanks to its decent offensive and defensive stats, decent abilities, decent typing, and decent movepool, it is a decent Pokémon... as a Shell Smash Sweeper/Passer. Biggest issues with Huntail are its average offensive stats, horrible HP and average movepool. Its average stats are not skyrocketed with Shell Smash, its movepool lacks powerful physical moves(except Sucker Punxh and Super Fang), and its horrible HP damages its great Defense and its below average Special Defense. Because of these, it fails to distinguish itself from other Shell Smashers(especially since the ongoing power creep ruined the concept of “Mixed Sweeper”) and any other Water-type in general. It is far better in this generation, but it still lacks any extra flair to make it super special awesome.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? See Glalie/Froslass and Escavalier/Accelgor.

Gorebyss


Evolving from the DeepSeaScale, Gorebyss is a decidedly a more defense oriented and feminine Pokémon than its counterpart Huntail... until you realize they have the same Defenses, except Gorebyss has access to Agility, Captivate and Amnesia as oppossed to Scary Face, Brine and Screech. Which is rather interesting considering DeepSeaScale increases Clamperl's Special Defense. Much like Huntail, it incorporates shells as fins, but it doesn't have Huntail's face on it.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? It evolves with the help of the DeepSeaScale which is obtained through the Scanner sidequest in the Abondoned Ship. It can also use Shell Smash+ Baton Pass.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Thanks to its decent offensive and defensive stats, decent abilities, decent typing, and decent movepool, it is a decent Pokémon... as a Shell Smash Sweeper/Passer. It survives better than its counterpart as it has a higher Special Attack and a better movepool to help it, has access to Hydration which is superior to Water Veil and is one of the few Special Attack oriented Shell Smashers.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution?See Glalie/Froslass and Escavalier/Accelgor.

Hippopotas


Hippopotas is a weird side quest Pokémon, because its debut side quest requires obtaining another common sidequest Pokémon. It is also weird in that its evolution can be found post-game, thus removing the requirement for the side quest to obtain it.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? In its debut generation Hippopotas could only be caught in Maniac Tunnel, which is also required to obtain other Unown forms and TM28 Dig. It continues this tradition in later games as it can be only caught by specific methods in them. It and its evolution also have distinct gender specific colors and is the only Pokémon to obtain Slack Off as an Egg move.

Evolutionary corner: Hippowdon


Evolution of Hippopotas, Hippowdon is a large, muscular Pokémon who looks even more badass, but blander when its female.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Outside of not requiring sidequests(except Black 2/White 2) to be obtained, its gimmicks are the same as Hippopotas.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Hippowdon has a relatively shallow movepool, poor speed, and below average Special Defense, but on physical side, it is quite good. Its movepool helps it a lot in terms in stalling with many helpful options such as Toxic, Yawn, Slack Off, and it can use DW ability Sand Force effectively for certain sets. While it always been a Pokémon with obvious shortcomings, its capabilities surpass its faults, but as the metagame becomes more and more offensive, it will not manage to keep up with others because of its obvious issues.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As it has a very high 525 BST, it has very little hope in evolution.

Skorupi and Drapion


The famed evolution of Gligar(before we found about Gliscor anyways) Drapion was one of the first Pokémon from Gen IV introduced aound the time Diamond and Pearl was actually being released. Showcasing the Elemental Fangs, Drapion immediately came across as a strong competitve Pokémon... and then we found about Elemental Fangs' Base Power.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Skorupi and Drapion were only accessible through Great Marsh(Drapion being post-game). They also have a unique Egg group combination (Water 3 and Bug) and Skorupi changes its Bug-typing after evolution. It can also learn all biting related moves except Super Fang and Hyper Fang and learns many double effect moves(Cross Poison and Elemental Fangs).
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Drapion was an outclassed but solid Pokémon in the previous generation. Even if its stats were somewhat mediocre, it had a great defensive typing and a decent movepool. However, eventually with the power creep Drapion's shortcomings became more apparent and it lost both its power and versality. Even if it were to get a large power boost through its movepool, it would require a miracle to become a top dog... in addition to a less offense oriented metagame. It is still a solid Pokémon wherever and whenever it currently is, much like Exeggutor.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As it has a high 500 BST, only chance it has is an anti-thesis evolution much like Scyther->Scizor and Porygon2->Porygon-Z.

Croagunk and Toxicroak


As Shroomish 2.0, Croagunk aspires to monopolize upon its odd facial structure to sell toys and thanks to the marketing campaign of the animé and its increased importance in Platinum, it seems to have succeeded. On the other hand, Toxicroak aims to capitilize upon its French moustache and constant bird flipping hands.
Does this Pokémon have inherent game gimmicks? Croagunk and Toxicroak were originally only accessible through Great Marsh(Toxicroak being post game), but Croagunk's increased popularity allowed it to appear in Route 212 as well, with a nice encounter rate, thus removing their nature as quest Pokémon. Even though Croagunk became a Swarm Pokémon in Black and White, it and its evolution later became uncommon Pokémon. They also have a unique typing and Toxicroak has the highest Attack of all Poison-types.
Is this Pokémon salvagable for metagame without an evolution? Thanks to its decent stats, good typing and good ability, Toxicroak has always been a good Pokémon whose usefulness increased with the recent boost happened to its fellow ambiphian Politoed. Even though it might not survive the power creep, as long as its ridiculously large movepool gets boosts, it will continue the struggle.
Does this Pokémon have any hope in evolution? As Croagunk was intended to be an iconic Pokémon and succeeded being a cash cow, Toxicroak has only a slighlty higher chance than Persian.

Due to picture limit, Zorua-line and Larvesta-line will be delayed to the next part, and everything else will be later. Personally, I will be looking forward to continue being unfunny again and slacking off doing stuff I should probably prioritize instead.

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Comments

  1. Bubble Frog's Avatar
    Fun read, it should be noted Croagunk was never planned as a mascot. It just sorta slipped into that role and became surprisingly popular, like Piplup.
  2. Trainer Yusuf's Avatar
    @Gotpika: Croagunk was the mascot of Pastoria City before the animé.

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