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Grass types of Generation 5 (Part 1) - winstein's Review

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And now we reach the last Generation for now. This Generation introduces the most Grass-types as of now, and also the most of any time in this Generation. With a diverse and interesting selection of Pokemon, it’s no doubt that any Grass-type fan is happy because there are more favourites to choose from. Let’s dig into the pure Grass-types of Gen 5!

Snivy, Servine & Serperior

“Snivy, Servine And Serperior, they are snakes that feed off the sun, they can kill you fast
and are pretty resistant, snakes are common, they can be outside,
now I hope you can sleep tonight” ~ Serperior

Behold, the most popular starter this Generation: Snivy! When Generation 5’s starters were first revealed, Snivy caught the hearts of millions of fans because he has the best first impression of them all. Snivy’s best characteristic is his smile, which had caused the fan nickname “Smugleaf” to become hugely popular that those fans wished that’s his real English name. The now-official name actually makes more sense because Tsutarja means “ivy snake”. Interestingly, Snivy was designed to be the cool starter, and they succeed in that. I must admit that this is the best-looking starter among the Grass-types.

The designers decided to continue the tradition of reptile Grass-starters by making this one a snake, another reptile that’s not been a starter before. I heard that Snivy wasn’t planned to have limbs, and his final version was given those parts, which, according to designers, are done to make him look friendly. It’s also a brilliant decision, because snakes were said to once have limbs, but the changing times meant that their limbs are beginning to become vestigial or underdeveloped. In the line, Snivy has the most pronounced limbs, while Serperior doesn’t have legs and what look like arms didn’t look developed. In addition to this, there are such things as skinks, which are lizards that have tiny limbs and can slither too, so one could say that Snivy and Servine are based on them.

One of this family’s common characteristics is their neck collar. These collars make them look like nobles, and in fact, Serperior’s species is the Royal Pokémon, and one look at it will tell us why. These collars can grow whips too! Serperior’s skin looks like the fashion of French royalty, and its mannerism of being prideful also exudes this. Its skin is white, which was a fashion trend in the past for royalty. The PokéDex entries for these Pokémon highlight on their dexterity, in which Snivy is said to be fast under sun (no Chlorophyll, I’m afraid), and Servine having the ability to avoid attacks by slithering through overgrown plant. Serperior is shown to have the intimidation factor, due to both its size and the ability of a powerful glare. They also have a very exclusive ability called Antagonist, a Hidden Ability, and it suits their pompous and ostentatious nature.

Because Snivy is the most popular starter, you can bet that in other forms of media, this trend followed suit. In the anime, Trip, the photographer and rival of Ash chose it over Tepig and Oshawott (who had a bitter reaction and a comically petrified one respectively), Ash caught one Snivy in the wild and Monta from the Pokémon Master Black and White manga chose this starter. I wish that Ash’s Snivy is an Antagonist variety because it might have a chance of becoming an event Pokémon, and because that is a female Pokémon, it means legal Antagonist Snivies!

Snivy’s family has a very strange Base Stat distribution, with the best stats being the Defences and Speed. They also have a fairly nice Support movepool, so this stat spread is actually decent. Because of the good defences and Speed, Torment is a useful move to use because a defensive Pokémon would appreciate not being able to be hit by the same super effective move twice in a row. These Pokémon has four different stat-boosting moves, which are Swords Dance, Growth, Calm Mind and the rare Coil Around, a snake-based move. The problem is that Serperior doesn’t have a lot of offensive coverage. Serperior can also use the move Dragon Tail, a decent move that removes the opponent from battle. Unlike Grass-types that needs Stun Spore for paralysis, Serperior has the superior Glare, which is quite accurate and can even hit Ground-types and Electric absorbers. Serperior is well-known in competitive battling for the ability Antagonist, which is very good in conjunction with the move Leaf Storm, because every use of this move will increase Serperior’s Special Attack, and Serperior is fast enough to be dangerous with the move.

In terms of aspired moves, I hope this family gets better offensive coverage, since they don’t have much of it. I would like Serperior to acquire Dark Pulse and Dragon Pulse, because both of these moves give Ghost and Dragon Pokémon trouble, and Serperior is faster than all of them. Switcheroo is an interesting choice, as both Arbok and Seviper can learn it as well through breeding, and I believe that it makes Serperior more dangerous. Baton Pass will likely be a nice addition with all his stat-boosting moves and Speed (and can Taunt too). Hypnosis seems like a fine choice too, because I can see this family using this move with their glare. It’s probably too good to be true, but I would love Draco Meteor to be part of their movepool, only for its compatibility with Antagonist.

Before I forget, I would like to bring up a historical opinion on how disappointed some fans are when they found out that Serperior doesn’t have a secondary typing, especially Dragon. Serperior would very much benefit from many secondary types, like Fire, Poison, Steel and Dragon for (Draco Meteor, but will probably make him too good). Oh well, what’s done is done.

This family is the best thing that happens to Grass starters, because it makes them awesome again, especially when Fire starters were so awesome it overshadows the Grass starters for at least two Gens. Again, I like this family because it convinced me that snakes are awesome animals, and they also happen to possess a Base Stat distribution I actually wished for. So, it’s a no brainer that this family gets a perfect score, for their awesome design and attitude.

10 leaves out of 10!

Pansage & Simisage

“With the fifth generation being so extremely abundant with grass types, it's nice to have something
that gives the Pokemon a little extra edge. With their bright colors, plant and tree patterns,
and Tarzan-esque jungle monkey appearances, the grass monkeys have it.” ~ EyeKanFly

Pansage & Simisage are one of the three elemental monkey families, with the others being Pansear & Simisear the Fire monkeys and Panpour & Simipour the Water monkeys. I believe that these monkeys are created because the developers wanted the games to be more accessible, so they created these Pokémon to make the first gym easy to pass, and not to mention they are extra members in the party of a different type. Bonus points are granted to them for being based on the three wise monkeys, and the Grass monkeys are the “speak no evil” members.

Pansage’s first revelation is rather odd. This variation is plumper, and was first revealed as a toy along with Axew, who are incidentally Pokémon we see in the new anime. One day, Pansage was finally announced in an episode of Pokémon Sunday, and we got to see that this monkey is skinny, like the one we see now. It wasn’t revealed that Pansage was one of the three elemental monkeys until the boxart of the game was leaked, showcasing all three monkeys, which incidentally caused some to think of the others as rip-offs. This was proven to be false when we saw the other two monkeys having a different look from Pansage. Their evolutions are equally wild in appearance, and in my opinion, Simisage is the best one of them all in terms of looks.

Pansage’s head leaves have a remedying effect for exhaustion, and even though this isn’t actually seen elsewhere, it’s stated in the Dex. Simisage, on the other hand, has rather bitter leaves, but I believe that the effect is better, because the bitter they taste, the better the effect! This must mean that some of the bitter herbs in-game is from Simisage, judging from that. Simisage is also stated to be a primitive and violent monkey.

In the games, Pansage is a pseudo-starter Pokémon. Like starter Pokémon, players can choose which monkey to get early as a gift based on the starter the players chose (get Pansage by choosing Tepig), has a very biased gender ratio of 7 males to 1 female, and rare abilities only found on starters. Unlike starter Pokémon, the other monkeys can be captured in the wild regardless of your starter of choice, even though they are rare (you have to find them in rustling grass). Pansage is known in the anime because Cilan owns one, and he is Ash’s travelling companion as well. We are yet to see Simisage in action, though.

Of all the elemental monkeys, Simisage is the least privileged monkey, because he has the least movepool specialties. It’s true that he’s the Grass monkey, and thus he would only have Grass-type moves, but Grass Knot is shared among the monkeys, which makes him less special, despite being able to learn some good moves like Leech Seed and Leaf Storm. This is a good time to reveal that not every Grass-type this Generation learns Swords Dance, and this family is the first one of them. It’s too bad, because this would be one of the main differentiating factors Simisage has over the other monkeys. Did I mention that Simisage is the only one that learns Flash?

Simisage does have a very nice Speed of 101, and the ability to learn Nasty Plot like the other monkey Pokémon, but still, the problem lies in the fact that other Grass-types are able to do better than Simisage, like Sceptile for SubSeeding and sweeping. Actually, of all the monkeys, only Simipour isn’t really outperformed. Sigh...

In terms of new moves, I would love to see Simisage learn Spikes. The fact that his tail is spiky is too good to pass up this opportunity, since that move is quite useful, especially on a fast Pokémon. It would also nice to see Simisage get Growth and Swords Dance, because this would make Simisage stand out from the other monkeys in a way. Power Whip would also be a nice move as an attacking move too. I may be asking for too much but I would love Simisage to learn Nature Power for the Earthquake effect.

In my opinion, these Grass monkeys are not my most favourite Pokémon, but they are certainly very interesting because Simisage is a very awesome Pokémon with his overhanging grass hair that resembles the stereotypes of Elvis and the Bōsōzoku biker. And of course, who doesn’t love his awesome hand gesture of approval?

8 leaves out of 10!

Cottonee & Whimsicott

“She's cute, she's fluffy, she's mysterious, she's excellent competitively, what's not to love about this thing?” ~ Envoy

Cottonee and Whimsicott are the cotton Pokémon, and they also look like sheep, because sheep have wool, and cotton looks like their wool. Likewise, cotton was thought to require sheep to grow in the olden days, and was also thought to be plant sheep, which is known as the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary. Visually, Cottonee’s “ears” and Whimsicott’s green horns make them look like sheep. Unlike that legend, these Pokémon aren’t really bound to roots and are active at moving around.

Following the footsteps of Vileplume & Victreebel’s family and Ludicolo & Shiftry’s family, these Pokémon are one of the version exclusive Grass-types of the Generation (obtained in Black) along with Petilil & Lilligant, and shares many characteristics with them. Evolves to final stage with evolution stone? Sun Stone Check. Final stage has a Base Stat Total of 480? Check. Has a weather-based ability? You bet. Cannot be caught in one version? Check.

Cottonee’s escape method is interesting, because by leaving a trail of cotton, it will fool the enemy long enough to flee. Cottonee’s cotton body will get heavy if they are exposed to water, reminding me of a story where the donkey foolishly soak the cotton load in the river (and was washed away). Whimsicott, despite the size, can squeeze through any gap, which is something I got to see, so visual demonstration is needed. Both of them, like Jumpluff’s family, are able to ride the wind due to how light they are.

Whimsicott is a mischievous prankster that likes to play pranks, like elves, and its Japanese name even has “elf” in it! By elves, I mean the tiny, playful ones and not those tall and elegant ones like in Lord of the Rings. Similarities to the Saci (a Brazilian mythical being) is new to me, which the ‘pedia mentioned. Even the Curupira, another Brazilian mythical being, which Celebi is (supposedly) based on, was new to me! Similarly, Whimsicott’s role in competitive battling is an annoyer, judging from both the abilities and movepool. From the movepool, we can see a lot of great and useful support moves, including, but not limited to Encore, Stun Spore, Taunt and Leech Seed. For some reason, Whimsicott can also learn Trick Room, which further proves that he/she’s an elf in nature. If Whimsicott has a decent Sleep move, you can say that Whimsicott will be much more dangerous than he/she already is. The only Sleep move he/she gets is...GrassWhistle.

Slip Through is an interesting ability that ignores Reflect, Light Screen and Safeguard, especially the last one since ignoring barriers are what he/she wants. Chlorophyll likely renders Jumpluff harder to justify because Whimsicott has higher Speed and a better support movepool. What makes Whimsicott a success is also Whimsicott’s Natural Ability: Mischievous Heart. This ability increases the priority of support moves, essentially allowing them to go first. Of all the users to this ability, Whimsicott is the fastest. Whimsicott’s ability easily renders set-up moves useless, because he/she can easily stall the opponent if they used them when Whimsicott enters the field. So, Conkeldurr using Bulk Up or Salamence using Dragon Dance at his/her entrance might as well get out or get stalled, because they cannot escape their own trap.

I honestly do not have much aspiration on Whimsicott getting a new move, because Whimsicott is already a very good Pokémon, but if I can make one request, I would like to ask for Nasty Plot, because of his/her mischievous nature. Whirlwind would be a nice addition too, although it’s likely not crucial to go before Counter/Mirror Coat. Baton Pass will probably make him/her too good, though.

All in all, these Pokémon are very good Grass-types, because their nature in the universe are rather cute and fairy-like and in competitive battling, he/she is very good. Their cotton bodies make them quite huggable in the same way plush dolls are very good for hugging...unless they escape your grasp, that is.

10 cotton clumps out of 10!

Petilil & Lilligant

“You know, *squee* I really want to hug Doredia... There's this aura of cuteness around her.” ~ A-a-axew!

First, we have Vileplume and Victreebel, and they are based on carnivorous plants. Ludicolo and Shiftry’s the next in line, and both are based on Japanese mythical creatures. Now we have Whimsicott and Lilligant, who are both based on European mythical beings: Whimsicott is an elf, and Lilligant is a nymph. Lilligant’s family is the other version-exclusive Grass-type, and is only obtainable in Pokémon White. However, the version exclusiveness of these Pokémon is questionable, because there is an in-game trade that averts this tradition.

Petilil is a little bulb, but surprisingly, the species on the ‘pedia states that she is the Stump Pokémon, so the English version better have a better wording of this species. The leaves on Petilil is said to be bitter like Simisage’s, but like herbs, they have a revitalising effect. I am guessing that Petilil is the stage where the plant stocks up on nutrients to grow, since Petilil prefers places with moist soil. Anyway, like Cottonee, through exposure to the Sun Stone, Petilil evolves!

The reason I think Lilligant is based on a nymph is that some of her characteristics matches them. Lilligant looks like a young maiden, likes to dance, female-only and are in tune with nature, so those are my reasons. It would be awesome if she’s based on one. Anyway, as a dancer, Lilligant can learn Dance moves like Swords Dance, Petal Dance, Teeter Dance and most importantly, Butterfly Dance (boosts Special Attack, Special Defence and Speed!), but no Dragon Dance, unfortunately.

Due to the elegance of Lilligant, she’s popular among celebrities, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns up in Contests. The flower on Lilligant is hard to maintain, due to it needing tender care, but it wilts if Lilligant felt neglect from the trainer. The flower has a crown in the middle, an interesting fashion choice that makes her look like a queen.

Both Petilil and Lilligant are female-only plants, therefore it makes fan art of them more attractive, because females are prime targets for fan art. One disadvantage of being a female-only species is that any useful move that Lilligant learns cannot be passed on to other Pokémon, which is a pity, because I would like to see other Plant Pokémon get Butterfly Dance too.

Competitive battling-wise, Lilligant is a decent Pokémon. As I have mentioned before, Lilligant has Butterfly Dance, and is a decent user of this move, because she also possess Petal Dance, which is buffed this Generation to be stronger. Unfortunately, Hidden Power is the only secondary coverage you will get, meaning that her offensive movepool is quite limited. Own Tempo is a nice ability for Lilligant, because with it, she will not suffer from one of Petal Dance’s flaws: confusion, so using this move is safer because you can proceed to use it again. It’s also important to note that Lilligant can learn Sleep Powder, which is, as always, a great move.

Lilligant’s other Natural Ability is Chlorophyll, which is a godsend, because her normal Speed is good, and is great when doubled, so she is a great supporter in the Sun. Yes, Lilligant may lack an offensive movepool, but she makes up for it with a very good Support movepool, including Sleep Powder, Charm and Aromatherapy. Lilligant is especially a better supporter in Doubles or Triples, because some of those support moves work better there like Helping Hand, After You and Befriend. Leaf Guard is a decent ability, but other abilities seem more attractive.

When it comes to new moves, Lilligant should have Earth Power and Weather Ball in her movepool to aid her offensive coverage. Healing Wave and Reflect would be nice as another extra support options. I would like her to be able to learn Rain Dance and Dragon Dance (and Fire Dance if able), but only for aesthetic reasons.

Petilil is a little bit on the simple side in looks, but Lilligant is really chic and she gives Grass-types a good name. In terms of designs, GameFreak outdid themselves when it comes to version exclusive Grass-types, because they come off as being very special and making each version of the game quite special in their way, and most important of all, both families are lovable!

10 flowers out of 10!


“Maractus is an interesting Pokémon that I believe to be based off of a barrel cactus. Despite being a lackluster battler,
Maractus has an honorable design, true-to-life abilities, and clever trivia, which make it a great Pokémon.” ~ Ghost

Finally, we reach the last pure Grass-type to be reviewed: Maractus, who so happens to be the standalone Grass-type this Generation. The name of this cactus Pokémon is a portmanteau of the words “maracas” and “cactus”, so you can call Maractus the maracas cactus. Actually, the Japanese name for this Pokémon is quite similar, which is Marakacchi, and it’s from the term maracas and Mariachi, a genre of music from Mexico. Mexican cactus indeed.

Maractus’ protruding ear-like cacti make it look like a rabbit, and I heard that it’s based on the bunny ears cactus. It also looks like a dancer, with the maracas-like “ears” and the festively decorated body. Indeed, this Pokémon is able to dance with rhythm, and it does that for its survival, because birds like to target its seeds on its flowers. Personally, I think Maractus needs a sombrero and he/she’s all set for a dance with Ludicolo! For some reason, despite Maractus being a dancer, Swords Dance isn’t part of Maractus’s movepool (If Lilligant can get it, why can’t he/she?), which makes Maractus another Grass-type that doesn’t get this move.

Pokémon Black and White has a desert area, so I can see why this Pokémon is included in the game where old Pokémon are not to be included. We already have Cacnea and Cacturne as cactus-based Pokémon, so Maractus is bound to be similar to them, right? Not really. To me, they are very different, but I can see some people thinking they are the same because they are both cacti. Cacturne is clearly a scarecrow-based Pokémon, and Maractus is very dancer-like. Also, unlike Cacnea and Cacturne, Maractus can actually sprout flowers like other cacti. Oh, and Maractus is vulnerable to Sandstorm damage.

It appears that Maractus has water-absorbing abilities, as we can see Water Absorb and Storm Drain as the two abilities that Maractus gets. The cacti’s body is well-suited for the desert environment, because it’s very dry there, and as such, they absorb water quite easily through fast-developing roots and body. Maractus also has thorns, but unlike Cacturne, Maractus cannot naturally learn Spikes. As I have mentioned very early, Cacturne is practically the only source of Spikes for Plant Pokémon, so Maractus needs Cacnea or Cacturne for Spikes.

Maractus’ Base Stats makes him/her seem like an offensive Pokémon, and he/she has a diverse Grass-type movepool. We can see Petal Dance, Wood Hammer, Leech Seed, Giga Drain, Ingrain, Synthesis and Growth, and the rare Cotton Guard (3 extra stages of Defence). Maractus also has Acupressure, which is always a nice move for stat-boosting, as well as After You, although Maractus is not very fast unless he/she has Chlorophyll as an ability. Speaking of Chlorophyll, Maractus is the only one with Spikes and this ability, making Maractus a decent Spiker in the sun. You can also use Sucker Punch to get the first hit if you need to.

In terms of new moves, I would like to see Maractus eventually get Swords Dance, because it’s his/her nature to dance. Another move I would like to see him/her get is Weather Ball, and it would be immensely helpful for his/her type coverage too. Earth Power or Nature Power will be a very nice move for this Pokémon too, because I can imagine this cactus shaking the floor by dancing.

Because Maractus doesn’t have Hyper Beam or Giga Impact in his/her movepool, it likely means that there’s hope for a Maractus evolution in the future. Anyway, as for the Pokémon itself, Maractus is mildly interesting, because it is a fancily decorated Pokémon, despite being on the simple side. To me, Maractus is an alright Pokémon.

7 spikes out of 10!

All I can say is that many of these Grass-types are very fascinating, so it’s nice that GameFreak gave the Grass-types a treatment this time around. With that, we’re done with this Generation’s Grass-types for now, so next time we’ll cover the other half of the Grass-types, ones with dual types. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.

Thanks for reading!

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Reviews , Grass Entries


  1. winstein's Avatar
    I had trouble keeping up with the 25000 character limit again. Also, I hope you don't mind me referring to the Pokemon by the English names!

    Thanks for reading.
  2. GengarEatBanana's Avatar
    Great job, keep it up.
  3. Ranger Jack Walker's Avatar
    Its a shame that Serperior's offensive movepool is so shallow. Leaf Storm and Hidden Power being your only good offensive moves means its best that this guy stick to subseeding.
  4. Owain's Avatar
    i loved those winstein! i Fully agree with you on your review of the Snivy Family.
    and i was the one who gave the Saci info to Bulbapedia XD, i live in Brazil and i observed a lot of connections between those two
  5. Envoy's Avatar

    Another one bites the dust, and another one gone, and another one gone, another one bites the dust.

    Seriously though, these are awesome. I agree with Jack that it's a hame Serperior's offensive movepool is utter crap. Oh well, maybe in the third version.

    Just one more part left for the Grass types, right?
  6. Fleeg's Avatar
    I like this one. I agree on the Snivy family, and I'm totally in love with Maractus. Sadly, like you said, it can't battle for crap. Still yet, I could use it for contest quite effectively.

    Good job.
  7. winstein's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    @ Envoy - If you are talking about reviewing about the Pokemon, then yes; If you are talking about the type itself, then it's not done, as there will be some extra stuff that will be talked about. I won't tell what are the extra articles for now, but there will be relating to the Grass-type and Poison-type.

    Thanks for reading.
  8. Envoy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by winstein
    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    @ Envoy - If you are talking about reviewing about the Pokemon, then yes; If you are talking about the type itself, then it's not done, as there will be some extra stuff that will be talked about. I won't tell what are the extra articles for now, but there will be relating to the Grass-type and Poison-type.

    Thanks for reading.
    Awesome. These reviews are pretty much the only reason I come to these forums anymore.
  9. Karamazov's Avatar
    I loved it! Especially the Lilligant and Simisage entries. Now I'll concider adding some of these Pokemon to my roster.
  10. Eye_Kan_Fly's Avatar
    I finally finished my review in which I implement my quote (four months later...)! After exploring all the design and aesthetic features for the monkeys it was very cool to revisit this and read all about their usefulness in battle.


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