Poison types of Generation 1 (Part 2) - winstein's Review
by, 30th November 2010 at 02:58 PM (764 Views)
So...the Poison-types. If there's one thing that's popular in Generation 1, it's the Poison-types. It still remains a mystery to me as to why it boasts such a huge variety of Pokemon, but if I were to speculate, it would be that the designers love Poison-types that gave them the variety. Not that it's a bad thing, but I guess this means we will not get many Poison-types in the near future (in terms of Generations). Time to continue, little by little, with the Poison-types then!
Weedle, Kakuna and Beedrill
Meet one of the first bugs you will encounter in your first journey through Kanto. Weedle was notorious for knowing only Poison Sting as an attack, meaning that players were darned by their annoying Poison-inducing attacks through Viridian Forest. When meeting Kakuna, they were darned by the bug's repetitive use of Harden, dragging the battle's length.
Weedle, unlike the other two members of the evolutionary line, doesn't look harmful (except for the needle on its head), due to its cuter appearance. However, back in Generation 2 and 3, If you have a Steel-type Pokemon, Weedle can't really do the damage, so a Level 100 Weedle can't even do anything to say, a Level 5 Steelix or Beldum. Bug Bite was a late addition when Platinum expanded some bugs' movepool slightly, though, meaning that now Weedle can at least do some damage to Steels (and by extension, Kakuna). It is worth noting that Twineedle, an attack exclusive to Beedrill (before Generation 5), was a non-Poison move that can Poison, meaning that in Generation 2, that was the only way to Poison Steel-type Pokemon, but it was fixed in the next Generation, removing the move of whatever novelty it had.
Although the name Beedrill suggests the Pokemon to be based on a bee, the life cycle and the behaviour meant that they are more of wasps or hornets, because there's no definite hierarchy in their lives. Those same insects are also poisonous, so it's best to avoid any one of them at all costs. Also, their stingers doesn't look or act like drills, but "drill" probably sounds better as a name than, say, "needle". I don't think anyone will think the name "Waspneedle" to be cooler, if not as cool as Beedrill (I may be wrong, so don't take my word for it!). Wasps are known to cause irritable stings, and Beedrill's spiky hands and stinger do make them seem deadly. So, even though they may not be preferred competitive Pokemon, they are still Pokemon you don't want to mess with, because their strength lies in the huge numbers there is in the Swarm. Speaking of Swarm, this was the only ability that they can have, until Generation 5, where they acquired Sniper as a Dream World ability.
Beedrill was meant to be an early bug and a short term Pokemon (levels up to final evolution at an early level of at least 10), so it is natural that he/she isn't meant to compete with the big names of competitive battling and succeed. Even their Base Stat isn't very impressive either, due to the relatively low numbers compared to those big names. As such, Beedrill didn't have an interesting career in competitive battling. One quirk about Beedrill is that he/she could learn Toxic Spikes, a move that would not be normally learnt by many Pokemon, and as such, Beedrill was lucky to have a good move. In Generation 5, Beedrill's Dream World ability Sniper did complement well with Focus Energy, because that meant that Beedrill has a greater chance of inflicting major stings on the opponent.
While Beedrill's role in the anime is often relegated to swarm attacks (correct me if I'm incorrect), Ash had encountered two members of this family to be caught. The first time was in hie earliest days of Kanto, where he failed to capture a Weedle due to a minor distraction, and that cost him the episode's mayhem: a Beedrill swarm took away Ash's Metapod and was found in a group of Kakuna. In the end, Ash's Metapod evolved into Butterfree and made all the Beedrills sleep. Ash encountered a Beedrill in Johto's Bug-catching contest and (successfully) caught a Beedrill, which he gave away to Casey because she wants that Pokemon. In another point of view in the anime, Jimmy (essentially the anime's Ethan) uses one, who seemed to have the battling style of speed in the anime. I never watched Jimmy's episodes, so I can't say much on this one.
Sadly, there isn't much to say about Beedrill, due to the relative shallow background he/she has, in terms of anything. However, Beedrill will forever be in the memories of the old fans, due to their early appearance and nostalgic love.
4 toxins out of 10!
Venonat and Venomoth
Like the previous Pokemon, these two are also bugs. I actually kind of like this Pokemon, because they are purple, and purple is my favourite colour. The colour also matches their nocturnal nature, since their dark colour matches the night. As a moth-based Pokemon, Venomoth doesn't have any bright colours to attract attention, but their eyes remain their best feature, because they are bug-like. When I think of moths, I think of how their wings can be shed, and this, I believe, is the reason Venomoth can release dust. As for Venonat? I though his/her fur is sheddable, so the fur acts like powder. Even though Venonat has "gnat" in the name, I don't really see any form of semblance to a gnat. Then again, I never seen a gnat in close detail.
Anyway, Venonat has a furry hide and a pair of antennae, which, combined with their compound eyes, make them look more like a cute alien than a bug. In fact, Venonat reminds me of the Gremlins. Oddly, Venonat eats small bugs, which is something you don't hear everyday, and since Venonat's 1 metre tall, one could guess they can eat bugs smaller than that. The only bug I can think of that will fit the description is...a certain electric spider (if you know what I mean). A shocking meal indeed! Of course, there's Caterpie and such, but my point is: the spider is small enough to be a meal in a mouthful. Another trait that Venonat has is his/her compound eyes, which he/she uses for scouting for food or even shooting beams. Venomoth, on the other hand, have abilities related to releasing powders from its wings, and is said to be dangerous due to the venomous effects it has.
Venomoth is one of Koga's Pokemon, but he never used it in the original games. It was a Pokemon Yellow addition, actually, due to having the need to reflect the anime's continuity. Some Poison-types are also associated with ninjutsu, usually because of their disruptive abilities like the inability for the opponent to hit them or disabling the opponent. This pair is one of the few Pokemon to be able to represent that, because their powder attacks are their strengths. Tracey is a proud owner of Venonat. Why proud? Because he is one of his useful Pokemon by aiding his sketching endeavours.
In the past, Venomoth wasn't able to make use of the good Special Attack, because Bug and Poison were Physical types. However, Venomoth got Psychic and Mega/Giga Drain, so it wasn't wasted. Still, Venomoth's abilities then was limited. Fortunately, unlike Beedrill, Venomoth is actually a better competitive Pokemon. In Generation 4, there are a few qualities that make Venomoth a notable battler. He/she has a good Special Attack, and with a good amount of moves to use it with, like Bug Buzz and Sludge Bomb, Venomoth can at least dish out some damage. Another quality is the ability Tinted Lens. A not very effective move gets doubled power, which is great with Bug Buzz, because that meant less Pokemon can actually resist the move. Venomoth also can apply a Baton Pass set, since the bug can learn Agility too. Last but not least, Venomoth is one of the few Pokemon to learn Butterfly Dance, a great boosting move, due to a boost on offence and survivability. With a combination of Sleep Powder and Butterfly Dance, Venomoth is guaranteed a free use of that move. Remember that Venomoth can learn Baton Pass, so this bug can effectively pass the treasured boosts to another teammate in need. Some of the things that Venomoth can do is to give his/her ability Tinted Lens to another teammate (deadlier if a Dragon gets it), Toxic Spikes, which makes a great combo with Tinted Lens and Venom Shock. Miracle Skin can be useful for the moth, because being able to avoid Sleep or even Paralysis is a pretty useful characteristic to possess.
Venonat has a completely different ability, though. Compound Eyes is a very good ability, because, admit it, Accuracy bonuses are always useful. Venonat happens to have moves that appreciate this boost, particularly Sleep Powder and Stun Spore. However, Venonat's relatively lower stats doesn't allow him/her to use the strategy in Standard Play, but in Little Play, they are better, because the matchups are fairer.
Although I have a lot of positive things to say about them, they are not really my favourite Pokemon. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to say about this pair, so you can always tell me more about this pair in the comments because I didn't find much to say about them.
7 toxins out of 10!
(Extra point assuming it's my favourite)
Tentacool and Tentacruel
Tentacruel's nickname is the "gangster of the sea", conceived in the anime. Even though I had made it my standard to use Yellow's sprite for all Generation 1's Pokemon, I decided to make it an exception in this case (taking Pokemon Red and Blue's sprite), to demonstrate why it's appropriate for that nickname. In Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh, they are indeed a common Pokemon to meet up with if the player surfs on the water surface. They can be annoying, though, because they can have Poison Sting and Supersonic.
Even though Tentecool is said to be transparent, I never really felt that way. Of course, this is because Pokemon often have colours that match their type, but it did have Clear Body as an ability. They also absorb sunlight to fire off beams, which I persume are Ice-type, because they cannot learn Solarbeam, which should work as it is described. The orbs on their head seems to be their way of letting of their soundwaves, so like sirens, they can confuse or even let out Screeches to disrupt any enemies. Also, let's not forget Tentacruel's tentacles. There are 80 of them in total, and they seems to have some form of elasticity, because it can be elongated, and not to mention it can be used for stinging. Of course, some perverted minds will look at their tentacles in their own twisted way...
In the anime, we meet Tentacool and Tentacruel for the first time when their habitat was disturbed by a building's development. However, one of the Tentacruels grew to an enormous size, courtesy of Team Rocket's secret sauce, and this is perhaps the only time a Tentacruel demonstrated some form of psychic powers: it communicated to humans, using Meowth as the translator by holding him and controlling the words from Meowth's mouth. In their recent appearance in the anime, it is shown to be a bad idea to steal what they have, no matter how tiny, as Team Rocket had learnt, because after their bottle cap was stolen, the angry Tentacruels went on a rampage, poisoning some baby Pokemon on a ship until the bottle cap was thrown back into the sea. In other words, don't mess with Tentacruel, or they will make you pay.
Despite their common occurance in the seas, they level up at the same pace as the legendaries and pseudo-legendaries, which means they need quite a lot of experience to level up. But surprisingly, Tentacruel is a fast Pokemon, and because of that, they have an edge for average fans because some loves the quantity of the Base Speed. Still, they are one of the better Pokemon out there. I mentioned how Wrap was a very good move in Generation 1 (in Victreebel's review), and because Tentacruel got this move, it is indeed a blessing. They also possess Swords Dance, which is an oddity, but a grateful oddity at that. Swords Dance was a useful move when the Physical and Special moves were still assigned to types, due to them being able to learn Sludge Bomb. However, after the Physical and Special split, their offensive movepool is biased to the Special side, which meant that they don't need Swords Dance to be useful. In Generation 3, Liquid Ooze was one of their abilities, and was actually their more preferred one. The reason is, health-sapping effects are usually more annoying, and they are able to backfire that attempt. However, since their HP is average, the impact is not as strong as opposed to...a Liquid Ooze user with higher HP, in terms of Leech Seed.
Tentacruel's competitive battling potential wasn't fully realised until Generation 4, becuase in that Generation, they learnt Toxic Spikes. Combined with Rapid Spin, an egg move they learnt much earlier, and you have a Pokemon with a niche. In case you don't know, Tentacruel can do these all at once: Absorb Toxic Spikes, set up Toxic Spikes and use Rapid Spin to spin away hazards. Let's not forget that Tentacruel possesses excellent Special Defence and a great defensive typing. Generation 5 made Tentacruel a little better, because now Tentacruel learns two new moves to take advantage of the Toxic Spikes: Venom Shock and Evil Eye. Venom Shock is more useful, actually, because the high-powered Poison attack can really do some damage. Evil Eye is for those Ghosts who will attempt to Spin Block, but levitating Ghosts and Gengar are not exactly worried either way, because they resist Poison and will not be Poisoned to boost the power of Evil Eye.
With their unfriendly demanour and general annoyance factor, it is one of the Pokemon that everybody don't want to meet, because they can be deadly. But that unfriendly demanour is also why some people like them: they can't compromise. Now, for something personal: I once met a shiny Tentacool, but I KO'd it before it was captured, so too bad...
8 toxins out of 10!
Grimer and Muk
These living sludge was one of the more controversial and talked about Pokemon, both positive and negative, due to their nature and appearance. Citing from what other sites say, IGN's positives mentions the awesome concept of a sludge that can also battle, and their general usefulness in Pokemon Red and Blue. Their negatives, however, lie in the fact that they are disgusting, realistically speaking. GamesRadar compared them to Hedorah from Godzilla, but also believes that their poison body is harmful to the environment. But then, Loredana Lipperini (author of Generazione Pókemon) did mention the positive of this, which is the fact their taste for industrial waste, which is beneficial for the environment. About the last one, I also commented on this benefit in response to another topic.
Also, Grimer is one of the only two Pokemon to retain weight between evolutions (the other is Gastly), and it make sense too. Sure, it's true that Grimer is smaller than Muk, but Muk is more liquid, which shows a simple principle of density (for the same weight, if something has more mass, it is less dense). Despite to the lack of differentiation in evolutions, Muk isn't really cited as "uninteresting" or "uncreative" in evolution, because Generation 1 Pokemon are generally immune to that insult.
Grimer and Muk's PokeDex entries "praises" on how repulsive the stench of the Pokemon is (like disabling plant growth on wherever he/she passes), and it seems to have some odd reproduction method too, becuase Grimer seems to drop off bits of sludge which will become more Grimers. What's even more bizarre is that Grimer seems to be sludge that comes to life by the moon's X-ray. If Moon Stones can exude X-rays, then it's not a good idea to put one next to a pool of sludge then! Both Pokemon do, however, have two notable Ghost-type moves: Shadow Sneak and Shadow Punch. Coming from an Egg Group with Ghost Pokemon, it is appropriate (they are Egg Moves, by the way), due to the usage of some bodily sludge to sneak up on the opponent to imitate shadows. Let's not forget their suicide moves Explosion and Memento, which, when I think about it, are funny move for them, because they can unleash a great stink bomb that will harm the opponent. It will be nice if both of the moves can also poison the foe, because that would make them very useful on Muk, not to mention making more sense.
Muk was one of Ash's Pokemon, and it seems that he/she takes a liking to Professor Oak by smothering the poor senior professor due to affection. Before the capture, that Muk was the leader of a group of Grimers that interfered with a power plant (causing a power failure), and so Ash went to capture Muk with help from some fellow Pokemon. Ash never really kept the Pokemon for long, due to the smell, so it goes to Professor Oak. Despite this, future episodes didn't play on Muk's body odour, so one can guess that either Muk had less stench than before, or Professor Oak gave him/her a good cleaning.
Competitive battling wise, Muk is a decent Pokemon. Possessing a huge Attack and Special Defence, Muk can use Curse effectively. One of the more intriguing aspects of Muk as a Curse user is that he/she isn't affected by Trick, which would otherwise be a bane to any Curse user, thanks to the ability Sticky Hold. Speaking of that, Sticky Hold is a nice ability for Muk, because Muk can at least use the item Black Sludge for some recovery. It seems strange for me to say this, but let me explain: if a Tricker obtains the Black Sludge, what seems like a disadvantage to them is also an advantage, because they can use Trick on another Pokemon who don't like that item. Muk did get Underhanded as a Dream World ability, which is great for their offensive capabilities, because the extra Poisoning chance of some Pokemon meant extra damage dealt, which may turn an almost OHKO into a OHKO on non-Poison and non-Steel Pokemon.
Muk had been blessed with some useful Special attacks, but the problem is that his/her Special Attack is subpar. But then, they obtained a new move called Acid Bomb (in Generation 5), which sharply reduces Special Defence and it's an attack. Also, one must not forget that they have an exclusive evasion-boosting move Minimise. It didn't have anything over Double Team in the past (essentially boosting a weak attack Stomp on them), but now that the move greatly boosts evasion, any Minimise Pokemon are grateful to be able to shrink, and Grimer and Muk are included.
Still, Grimer and Muk are disgusting enough to gain some popularity, and this is one of the charms of Pokemon: it didn't need to confine itself within the standards of some other RPGs that need heroes with good looks to be awesome, and their gross factor is one of the things that (some) kids enjoyed, so it's great that there's a Pokemon to cater for that crowd. I agree with Satoshi Tajiri (I think that's him): Pokemon is indeed for everybody. Before I am done, I would like to comment that I just thought of The Ooze when doing this Pokemon. Anyone else thinks so?
10 toxins out of 10!
We aren't done with the Poison-types this generation yet, so the next Poison-type Review will also be in Generation 1, so watch out for that! As a teaser, I will be covering the Nidos on the next one. I was busy a few days ago, but I managed to slip this review within the time frame. Also, I will be busy in a few days, so that means the next entry will not be available soon, so sorry about that! In the meantime, you can provide feedback that might make future review better. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading.
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