Grass types of Generation 3 (Part 1) - winstein's Review
by, 24th December 2010 at 04:43 PM (5768 Views)
I had some tasks settled, so I guess another review needs covering now, huh? Anyway, it’s Generation 3 time, and while it’s not exactly the Golden Age of Grass-type, I feel it’s so because the variety that it had at that time and their overall awesome factor feels like it. Let’s get started, shall we?
Treecko, Grovyle and Sceptile
Of the Grass starters as of now, they are probably the coolest of them all: slender, monstrous and have an attitude. There’s something about real life geckos that make them awesome animals, I must say. I think it’s their eyes, the tail, and their ability to climb on walls and ceilings. For the three of them, I think their tails are their most awesome aspect, especially Sceptile’s fern tail. Also, be sure to check the "Origin of Species" article when you are done. I didn’t know that they were partly inspired by the leaf-tailed gecko, which I didn’t know existed. One thing that’s odd about the evolutionary line is that Grovyle is the only member to have two digits on all his limbs, while the other two has three. Wonder what Grovyle feels when he loses a finger and toe on each of his hands and feet respectively, and then got it back?
There is a characteristic Sceptile has that few Grass-types possess: he is not of the Plant Egg Group. Instead, he is part of the Monster and Dragon Egg Group, which is probably an odd choice, considering his reptilian look, and many reptiles are in the Ground Egg Group. This would mean they are more of dinosaurs, since they are often in the Monster Group. Also, due to Sceptile’s draconian heritage, he can learn Dragon moves, with the notable exception of Dragon Dance and Draco Meteor. Because of this, some fans of the gecko wished he is part-Dragon.
For their plant characteristics, Treecko doesn’t have much, besides the green hue. Grovyle has leaves on his arms and tail, therefore allowing him to use his then signature Leaf Blade. In case you weren’t around at that time, every Generation 3 starter Pokémon from the second stage onwards has a signature move. For Grovyle and Sceptile, it’s Leaf Blade. Leaf Blade was one of the better Grass moves, since many Grass attacks had surprisingly low Base Power at that time. The cool thing is that of all the starters, they appreciate the move from the time they learnt it, as the other starters have better versions of their signature moves. Anyway, back to Sceptile. Besides the leafy arms, he has some nodules on his back, and the best distinguishing feature of them all: his palm-tree-like tail. I find the tail very funny, if only because it looks like extra load on him that makes it ironic with his agile nature.
In Generation 3, it is the Grass starter’s turn to become the fast Pokémon, and it will not be the last. This is a very worthwhile advantage itself, as not many Pokémon matches (or beat) Sceptile’s speed, giving Sceptile more than enough matchups to move first. Due to Sceptile’s overall bias to the offensive side (his defences are the lesser), he is often seen as a sweeper, and rightfully so. However, that naturally high Speed allows him to be an effective user of the SubSeed combo (Substitute + Leech Seed), but there’s one thing you have to remember for this: Sceptile is not of the Plant Egg Group, so you need a Monster Pokémon that can learn Leech Seed, like Venusaur or Meganium and pass it through breeding (no Dragon learns Leech Seed, though).
Sceptile’s sweeper role is, I would say, a bit odd. Sceptile has a higher Special Attack, but has considerably less options for coverage there, and for his physical Attack, while average, is home of some of his best moves, due to a much better type coverage, with Leaf Blade, Earthquake, Crunch, Quick Attack and many more as the moves he could learn, to use with Swords Dance if you want to. This doesn’t apply to Generation 3 for the most part, because Attack stats were then determined by types. Speaking of Special Attacks, one thing that Sceptile appreciates is Leaf Storm, thanks to the high Base Power the move had. Generation 5 granted this awesome gecko an alternate ability Unburden, which seems redundant on him, but it did fit his agile nature. Good thing he gets Acrobat to use it with! Actually, I heard of someone who wanted him to possess Perversity, but I don’t. I will detail about this ability and reason in the future, but let’s just say the reason is similar to the Blaziken and Infernape comparison in Generation 4.
Ash’s Hoenn starter was a Treecko, but that’s the only starter he had, unlike the other two regions. However, unlike the Grass starters he had so far, Treecko reached his final evolution, and more importantly, his personality is probably the most well-received of them all. The first thing that established his awesomeness is his little piece of twig in his mouth, and he had no intention of taking that thing off. Another thing is that he is also one of Ash’s best fighters, who had the privilege to defeat Tobias’s powerful ace Pokémon Darkrai. Sorry to say, but I cannot say anymore, because I wasn’t exposed to the Hoenn era of the anime.
Still, I can say that this is the best Grass starter they have up to now, because not only is he awesome in looks, but also has an attitude, as shown in the anime. I understand not everyone believes in their awesomeness, but hey, nothing in this world is universally agreed on. Anyway, bottom line: I like this family, but not as much as the next guy.
10 leaves out of 10!
Lotad, Lombre and Ludicolo
Of all the plant types, aquatic plants surprisingly have less variety. However, as of now, this family is the only one to possess this characteristic, which is all the surprising, since aquatic plants are as diverse as land plants. In fact, I believe that aquatic plants deserve more variety in Pokémon. With that out of the way, I will move on.
Their duck beaks and lotus leaves make them look like Kappas, an imp-like creature with a container on their head and has an appearance of a duck, especially Lombre. The other two? Not as much. For Lotad, he/she’s looks like a frog with a lotus leaf, and Ludicolo looks somewhat like a Mexican, what with the poncho-like hide and the sombrero lotus pad. Indeed, Lotad gives a new meaning to the term “duckweed”. I know resemblances to Ludicolo being a pineapple are being said, but come to think of it, he/she doesn’t really look like a pineapple, apart from that yellow colour.
Lombre is, while known as a "Jolly" Pokémon, doesn’t really look like it, and like the name, looks rather sombre. But from what I checked, this description isn’t really accurate. Ludicolo is actually the most upbeat of the three by nature, and looks like it could break into a dance. Luckily, he/she can do just that in battle with Teeter Dance and has Own Tempo for some control, but unfortunately, no Petal Dance. After all, they are Miror B.’s main Pokémon for a reason.
Lotad and Lombre have somewhat different level up moves, despite coming from the same evolution, implying that they have more difference than meets the eye. Some moves exclusive to Lombre are of a trickster in nature, in which he/she can learn Fake Out, Uproar and Fury Swipes. Also, because Lombre is the only one who can learn Hydro Pump, you have to remember this as well. Speaking of that, Lombre has the rare distinction of being one of the few Pokémon to evolve using the Water Stone. The Pokémon here is also owned by a main character, and that is Brock. This Lotad is rather clueless, but still quite useful, especially as a table for food. Fast forward to the time this one’s a Ludicolo, and like a regular Ludicolo, he’s upbeat and more of an entertainer, and was left at home for the siblings.
They are essentially a Rain player in competitive battling, and their abilities reflect this. You can either go for the offensive route and get Ludicolo Swift Swim, or get the more defensive one with Rain Dish. If the Swift Swim route is chosen, you can either go for the Physical route or the Special route. For the Special route, you can use the best Special attacks that Ludicolo learns, which are Surf/Hydro Pump, Ice Beam and Energy Ball/Grass Knot, which will provide perfect neutral coverage (unless the opponent carries Herbivore Azumarill for some reason). Because Ludicolo’s Special Attack is higher, this is a decent option. Similarly, for the Physical route, Ludicolo can use Waterfall, Seed Bomb and Ice Punch for the same perfect neutral coverage, but this time, Swords Dance is needed for that power boost (Remember, Grass Pokémon usually learn Swords Dance!). As for the defensive Rain Dish, one could apply the SubSeed and stall in the rain, which will return around 25% to Ludicolo if Leech Seed is set and a turn is up (when Leftovers and Rain Dish activates), making him/her hard to take down. Because of his/her decent defensive prowess, he/she can even stall the almighty Kyogre!
I really like this Pokémon, because asides the type combination, they are one of the many Pokémon in Generation 3 that are awesome, from a young “duckweed” with six legs to a sorrow kappa to a fun and fancy pineapple dancer (I said it). Blue and green also go well together, and so does yellow (in the case of Ludicolo). Ludicolo's face seems very funny on his/her body, like as if it is implanted on it, and I like his/her resemblance with the Ducks of Disney.
10 lilypads out of 10!
Shroomish and Breloom
(Jumping party, no?)
It’s another mushroom Pokémon, and they are more "mushroomy" than Paras and Parasect, because they have real caps (no, not talking about Capsule Monsters)! Generation 3 is known as the Generation with evolutionary lines with distinguished looks, and this family is one of the best examples in this respect.
One of the odd things about this family is how unrelated they look between them. Shroomish looks very pudgy and grumpy, while Breloom looks more athletic and has more innocent eyes than his/her pre-evolution has. In fact, they are slightly different in-game. Shroomish’s stat spread is on the defensive, while Breloom is more offensive. Breloom also can naturally learn Fighting moves, which Shroomish cannot do. Their natures are also quite different too, as Shroomish harm threats indirectly, while Breloom do this directly. In fact, Shroomish only has Quick Feet and Breloom has Technician, two completely unrelated abilities. You might think it's obvious that because the abilities are different, they are obviously unrelated, but take Gligar and Gliscor for example: the former has Immunity and the latter has Poison Heal, which are related because they are Poison-based. However, Quick Feet is Status-based and Technician is Power-based, so they are unrelated.
Amazingly, both are considered fairies (in the Fairy Egg Group), and I think they do look like some mythical creatures too. Shroomish could be the grumpy gnome, and Breloom can be the brave knight. Of course, mushrooms also have some fairy charm on it, and are associated with fairy tales, which Shroomish’s spotted caps do make the resemblance obvious. Let’s not forget that Shroomish has the ability to learn moves that uses hands, like Drain Punch and Focus Punch, which is another Pokémon characteristic: learning moves that seems impossible realistically.
In an anime appearance, a group of Shroomish lived in a mansion but evacuated because the mansion was cleared, but luckily, the man who used to live there agreed to plant a forest for those Shroomish. In another episode, Team Rocket angered a group of Shroomish for food theft, in which they all immediately evolved into Breloom. Because Brelooms are powerful, they are naturally a formidable force to reckon with, in which the main characters had to get away from them all. In the end, it’s a battle between May’s just-evolved Combusken and a Breloom, and knocked each other out. After the two united to blast Team Rocket off again, the mayhem’s basically settled.
Like Paras and Parasect, this family is blessed with Spore, a very powerful move that guarantees a sleep. However, only Shroomish can learn this by level up. Breloom lacks this ability, so if one wants a Breloom with this move, they have to either level up a Shroomish at that level or breed one Shroomish with this move. But more difficulties arise: this family has the newly-introduced Fluctuating Experience Group. Doesn’t sound that bad, does it? The thing about this Experience Group is levelling up takes longer than usual at a later level, and Spore is a high level move, so good luck withholding the evolution of Shroomish just for this move! This is indeed a rewarding prospect, because Breloom is very powerful, and the move makes him/her more deadly. In fact, being able to send an opponent to sleep allows Breloom can do something for free, as the opponent will likely switch or sleep for a while. This is why this combination is very compatible with Focus Punch, as a sleeping opponent usually cannot retaliate. However, one can also use Substitute to be safe. Remember that Breloom is very powerful (high Attack stat), like a kangaroo is.
In Generation 4, like Paras and Parasect, Breloom has a much better secondary ability, which is Poison Heal. It aids his/her survivability, as he/she can hold a Toxic Orb and purposefully become poisoned, so that the "shroom-garoo" can recover faster than a Leftovers user can. With this, he/she can be annoying with SubSeed (because not much net loss in recovery between Poison and Seed for each Substitute), and is not worried about being burnt or slept, making the "shroom-garoo" even better. Remember another thing: Seed Bomb is a blessing as Breloom gets a real Physical Grass move to use. But Generation 5 did introduce something that makes Breloom even better: the ability Technician. This ability is quite useful on our “shroom-garoo” friend, as he/she already has Mach Punch, with makes it as powerful as Scizor’s famous Bullet Punch, except it’s a better offensive type. Even better is that Bullet Seed becomes more worthwhile using, as it will more often than not be more powerful than Seed Bomb.
As mushrooms, they have reason to be liked. Shroomish’s grumpiness makes him a target for cuteness, and Breloom is just very sleek, and the cap of his also looks like an Eastern straw hat that lone warriors wear, which makes it all the more intriguing. Let’s not forget Breloom’s great reputation in competitive battling as a formidable offensive threat!
10 caps out of 10!
Roselia have rose hands. That’s what I think when I first saw him/her. In my thought, he/she must have a hard time doing anything that requires hands because of those irregular hands, which doesn’t look like it can hold anything, but I guess they don’t need hands to live, when they are not human, that is. This reminds me of a Gandhi quote “The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose”, and this makes for a nice visual pun. Funnily, Roselia is also a Poison-type, with invisible distinguishing poisonous characteristics.
Like any Pokémon with flowers, fragrance has always been a defining niche. Yes, Roselia’s flowers are said to be fragrant, and a healthy Roselia’s flowers have more pleasant effects. They also need clean water for the best effect on the roses’ colours. Roselia’s leafy “garment” and spiky head looking like spiky hair really makes him/her look human. One thing I wonder is what’s under Roselia’s flower hands. Maybe there are thorns underneath them.
As the standalone Grass-type, he/she didn’t have a magnificent Base Stat Total, so he/she would probably be labelled by the competitive public by a demeaning adjective. However, this is not to say I share the same view as them, because I love all Pokémon. Anyway, Roselia has good Special Attack and decent Special Defence, which are decent characteristics for him/her because the specialisation is at least something. Also, having the ability to learn Sleep Powder is always a plus.
In Generation 4, though, Roselia got something no other Pokémon had as of now: a pre-evolution and an evolution in the same Generation. Yes, it’s a very different novelty they had at that time, but in my opinion, those are the best things that happen to him/her, as Roserade (evolution) is more useful and elegant, and Budew is very cute. Generation 5 did make him/her able to use the Evolution Stone, a great item that raises his/her Defences, meaning that he/she could be a bulkier Toxic Spikes user as well as a Seed staller, since he/she cannot be poisoned and can heal too, thanks to Synthesis and Leech Seed.
Usually, middle evolutions are the least cared about, but he/she had his/her share of spotlight since he/she wasn’t one at that time, but like I said, because Roselia becomes one, it would be less likely he/she would be cared for, but never forget: Roselia is the only one capable of learning the better level up moves, since Budew and Roserade have few level up moves themselves, and not to mention he/she is the basis of the other two Pokémon, so at least give Roselia some credit while you are at it.
While I can see some merits of Roselia’s designs, I would have to admit that he/she looks a bit bland, with the flowers being the saving grace. I think this is why I am not really impressed with Roselia.
7 roses out of 10!
(One point for having great evolution relatives)
Alright, with this done, the uncovered Pokémon are Shiftry’s family, Cacturne’s family, Cradily’s family and Tropius, so you can expect to see them covered next time. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!
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