Upgrading the Poison-type
by, 2nd March 2011 at 05:14 AM (1576 Views)
I found writing this article challenging, so if you can, you can post in the comments in what you think can be done to the Poison-type to give them a boost. I also apologise for this article being fully text-based and picture-less. Here's the index of the list for reference:
- In-game Notability
- Choice of Pokémon
- Battle Capability
- Weather Condition
- Type Chart Change
- Past Upgrades
One of Poison-type’s problems is that it lacks Gym Leaders and Elite 4 members. Even the Dark-type has Elite 4 members, despite the lack of a Gym! If you noticed, the only ones so far to master the Poison-type are from Kanto, and most of them are even from the same family! That’s how obscure it is. One problem here is the amount of Poison-types introduced in the later Generations. Generation 1 has an abundant supply of them, with over 30 of them! All subsequent Generations introduced less than 10 each, and relied on Generation 1’s abundant roster to fill the variety of Poison-types in the PokéDex, which the antagonist teams would usually use depending on the region. However, in Generation 5, due to being independent from previous Pokémon, there cannot be borrowed Poison-types, resulting in only 7 different species. Even the Ice-type has its own Gym, and it has the same number of families to use (not counting Kyurem because that’s a Legendary)! I guess it’s for the greater good, because there are actually people complaining about Johto’s Pokémon choices by Gym Leaders (Although there’s no excuse for a lack of Poison-type Gym in Sinnoh). Still, I didn’t hear of anyone complaining that Poison-types didn’t get the celebrity trainer treatment, which is proof that it’s not popular compared to the cries of the lack of a Dark-type gym.
In order to promote the Poison-type, I would propose putting an Elite 4 member that has the Poison-type. With this, the player will need to think of ways to overcome this team, and would likely resort in Psychic and Ground attacks to do this, making those two types important. However, one quirk about this type is that there are Pokémon that are immune to either one of those types, which will make the rematch more interesting. Gengar, Crobat and Weezing could be the Ground evaders, while Skuntank and Drapion are your Psychic averters. This way, the team will be not only interesting the second time around, but more challenging because the players need strong moves or better strategy.
If a Gym were to have this type, then it has to showcase all or most of the Poison-types introduced that Generation, like what later Gyms usually do. For example, Brycen used the three fully-evolved Ice-types in the Generation, Candice used four of the Ice-types the Generation got, and Lisa and Tate used two or three of the Psychic-types that Generation (Although there’s no excuse for a lack of Poison-type Gym in Sinnoh).
As long as the Poison-type were to be chosen as one of the next gyms, then we may have finally seen that the designers finally decided to put the Poison-type in the limelight again.
Choice of Pokémon
Yes, it’s true that Generation 1 was the Generation of the Poison-types, but I am talking about the later Generations. You see, Generation 2 introduced only 4 Poison-types, spanning across three families, of which one is a veteran. Generation 3 introduced only 5 of them, and despite all of them being available through normal play (especially Sapphire), it’s fewer than the Poison-types taken from previous Generations. Generation 4, on the other hand, gave us more Poison-types and they are all available in normal play, which is good as at least it has some notability. In Generation 5, we have only 3 Poison-type families, and that is actually very little. Even worse is that two of these families have Poison as a secondary type, meaning that there’s only one truly Poison-type family (Trubbish line). At least it’s better than Generation 2, who only has Crobat with Poison as a primary type. That’s how unpopular Poison-types had become since the 1st Generation. What I am saying is that there is a need for more Poison-types. To achieve this is easy: just introduce at least 4 families with the Poison-type.
Generation 1 gave us five new types for Legendaries (Ice, Electric, Fire, Flying, Psychic), 2 gave us two (Water, Grass), 3 gave four (Rock, Steel, Ground, Dragon), 4 has three (Ghost, Dark, Normal) and 5 has two (Fighting, Bug). Through careful observation, one can see that there is yet to be a Poison-type Legendary. Any time a Poison-type Legendary exists, there will definitely be an overall positive among fans, because this will be something we never see before (And no, Arceus doesn’t count in this context). Even when one of the new Pokémon winds up as the pseudo-legendary Poison-type, there will still be a positive reaction, considering how good the Poison-type is as a defensive type.
What kind of Legendary Pokémon can a Poison-type be? Perhaps it can be based on a mythical creature like a basilisk or medusa, who both possess deadly qualities that are worthy of being Poison-types. Perhaps if it’s benevolent, it will provide an interesting twist, considering the hostile nature of many existing Poison-types. Maybe you can suggest a worthy Legendary Poison-type? Really, I am not exactly sure what Pokémon can be a worthy Poison-type legendary; just put one in the next game and I will see if it’s worthy or not (though it will usually be). In anyway, a box mascot will do wonders to the Poison-type, because, well, mascots are some of the more well-known and talked about Pokémon.
In this context based on the points I just explained, upgrading the Poison-type involves using this type on a category of Pokémon that is well-known, which includes Legendary Pokémon, pseudo-Legendary or even version exclusiveness. Speaking of version exclusives, the only time we got to see this is Kanto, where the Oddish line and Bellsprout line were not to be found in one of the games...Well, there’s also Seviper, too. However, my point is to give Poison another chance at this, like the treatment the Grass-types received three times, and they are all awesome!
Another way to do this is to base this Poison-type on something very popular and awesome. For example, a petroleum-based Pokémon will be interesting, because it will involve explosives and overall fiery factor. We can also have a basilisk-based Pokémon, best with the Dragon-type, since Dragons require little effort to be awesome. The idea of a Pokémon being able to spread diseases itself will be quite an interesting Poison-type, and if it receives the Pokérus (basically a beneficial disease) more often, I can see them being one of the more attractive Pokémon to pursue.
So, the basic idea here is that if the Poison-type is able to stand out among the crowd by being cool and awesome, especially when it’s a Legendary. Generation 5 was lacklustre when it comes to the reception the Poison-type had, because the mushrooms were not favourably received, as with the rubbish bags for the most part. The centipedes are attractive mainly for their Bug-type. So, here’s hoping for more awesome Poison-type that give their designs a good name!
In competitive battling, it’s true that Poison is one of the better defensive types thanks to only two weaknesses and four resistances, but one of these weaknesses is Ground, which goes to some way to make it unpopular. Within the Generations, the Poison-type is unpopular in competitive battling, according the Smogon’s tier list. In fact, the most enduringly popular Poison-type Pokémon is Gengar, who is a classic because of its Ghost-type. There were some other great ones like Nidoking, Weezing, Roserade and Tentacruel, which are Pokémon that shines in later Generations.
Now, I am not denying the battle capability of other Poison-types, because there are some diamonds in the rough. For example, Nidoqueen’s more defensive spread allows her to perform some support in Hail by placing Toxic Spikes and absorbing them, not to mention resisting Rock and Fighting. There’s also Crobat, who is fast, has decent offences and is not that frail, allowing it to perform one of the roles it can do. Even the new ones are quite good too: Scolipede is a decent attacker with the ability to leave Spikes lying around, and Amoonguss is a pretty sturdy tank with guaranteed Sleep. Some other notable ones include Venusaur, Victreebel and Toxicroak.
In terms of Team Building, one of the reasons to use the Poison-type is to absorb Toxic Spikes, which other Pokémon hated except for Flying-types, Levitators, Air Balloons users, Immunity users, Steel-types and certainly Poison-types. If you put Gravity into the equation, the first three are excluded. Now, this is the problem: you can see that Steel-types are on the list, and as such, it’s easy to avoid that hazard since they are very valuable in teams. However, you may have noticed that Steel-types don’t automatically remove the hazards, so an offensive Pokémon don’t worry about being hampered in survivability, while a defensive Pokémon isn’t fazed when it comes to staying power. Of course, teams cannot just contain Steel-types, you know; other types might have to be considered as well. Well, here’s the thing: there are only eight Pokémon that are able to avoid Toxic Spikes and use Rapid Spin. Two of them are Poison-type, four of them avoid the ground in some way and two of them are Steel-types. The last part is especially a crucial point, because both Forretress and Excadrill are incredibly useful in battles and are thus commonly used. This means that you don’t need a Poison-type to get those Spikes out of the field. One could argue that a Poison-type can save a turn by getting the Toxic Spikes off, but Spikes and Stealth Rock are more common entry hazards that Spinning seems like the feasible option.
This section will be split into four different categories: Poison-type Pokémon, Moves, Weather Condition and Type Change.
One of the ways that the Poison-type can be improved as an offensive type is to introduce an ability that allows it to hit Steel-types with Poison attacks on the get-go, which will discourage them from blocking the attack if they don’t already resist the type, leaving only Rock, Ground, Poison and Ghost as the types, similar to what Scrappy is doing now. This ability would preferably be on a Poison-type, because they got STAB with it, of course. Another is to introduce a move that will hit Steel-types, which I will explain in the next section.
The best way for the Poison-type to be noticed is to make a Pokémon who capitalises the advantages of the Poison-type. Some of these advantages include: Absorbing Toxic Spikes, resists Fighting and Poison, and having less weaknesses. It can either be offensive or defensive. On the offense, it can be a bulky attacker with a broad type coverage and preferably with good Speed, since none of the Priority moves at the moment are super-effective. A type combination of an offensive type will be a good choice, like Fire, Water and Dragon. One good example of this is probably Crobat, whose Brave Birds can hurt. On the defence, it must have as few weaknesses as possible preferably keeping the Fighting resistance and mitigating one of its other weaknesses. And then, there must be support moves that the Pokémon can use well, like Light Screen and Reflect. A great example to this is Amoonguss, who is quite defensive and pack some great support moves, especially Spore and Clear Smog. It would be even better if there is a Poison-type pseudo-legendary!
There’s also giving useful moves to existing Poison-types. For example, we have a Weezing that got Stockpile, which is a great move for him/her, which makes him/her much better defensively because he/she can now boost his/her defences. Arbok is another example, as the snake has Coil Around, a useful move for attack-boosting. Some of the crazy things I can think of is to give Superpower and/or Flare Blitz to Garbodor and Heat Wave to Swalot. Right now, I don’t have a lot of brilliant ideas here that may impress (Actually I do, but it may not benefit the Pokémon the Poison-type way).
These are some of my educated guesses on how to make the Poison-type Pokémon better. Maybe it doesn't sound quite impressive, but sometimes simple solutions can be the answer.
Foul Odour (Status)
Stats: 90% Accuracy
PP: 25 + (5 * PP Up)
Effect: Causes both normal Poison and confusion
Distribution: Pokémon with bad breath, like Koffing and Trubbish
Description: This is a fun effect, which not only does normal Poison, but also confuses, which discourages the opponent from solving their little problem. This may rack up some damage to the opponent, as long as they attack themselves and lose their turn. However, normal Poison is slower, and it can be recovered off since it will never get worse. Still, a move with two effects can be a good thing because it’s efficient.
Acid Bath (Status)
PP: 40 + (8 * PP Up)
Effect: Basically it’s a Poison-type clone for Foresight and Miracle Eye, except it allows Poison-types to hit Steel-type Pokémon.
Distribution: Pokémon that can spew acid, like Cradily and Muk
Description: May not be the most practical move to use, but at least it will not make Poison attacks completely useless.
Dispel Acid (Physical)
Stats: 20 Base Power; 100% Accuracy
PP: 40 + (8 * PP Up)
Effect: Removes tangible field effects except Toxic Spikes
Distribution: Pokémon that can spew acid, like Garbodor and Swalot
Description: This is basically like Rapid Spin, except it is Poison-type, meaning that the Steel-type will be the “Spin” Blocker. The user will basically dissolve the hazards, making them disappear, but only Toxic Spikes will not be affected, because it will make the Poison-type useful especially for the role of removing hazards.
Heavy Toxic (Status)
Stats: 90% Accuracy
PP: 10 + 2 * PP Up
Effect: Causes Toxic Poison. Has a -3 Priority, but will start with the counter at 2instead of 1.
Distribution: Many Poison-types, like Muk’s family, Swalot’s family and Garbodor’s family
Description: This is basically a stronger version of Toxic, but its distribution will be limited. The lower priority is for balance purposes. The thing here you will see is that the counter starts at 2, meaning that the Pokémon will lose 1/8 of their HP after that, and after 3 turns, that amounts to 9/16 of full HP, which is more than the amount of damage leaked by normal Poison and Toxic Poison for the same duration (doing only 6/16 of full HP). This would make the Pokémon who possesses it more deadly, since the buildup damage can be devastating. However, the victim who returns to the field will have normal Toxic. This idea is conceptualised after, well, this comment by this person.
Love Serum (Special)
Stats: 20 Base Power; 100% Accuracy
PP: 20 + (4 * PP Up)
Effect: Inflicts infatuation on Pokémon with gender
Distribution: Pokémon that are typically able to learn scent-based moves like Gloom and Roselia.
Description: Again, the idea is conceptualised after that same post from the same person. Anyway, regardless of gender, the Pokémon with gender is still infatuated, which will be an interesting move and a more useful one at that, since it can work on more Pokémon. Infatuation can be a useful status condition, but it’s not widely used because getting it to work is difficult, since you need to make sure the opponent is of the opposite gender, which is not a 100% guarantee.
Intense Acid (Special)
Stats: 50 Base Power; 95% Accuracy
PP: 10 + (2 * PP Up)
Effect: Able to hit Steel-types, doubles Base Power against Steel-types. 40% chance of Burn.
Distribution: Pokémon that can spew acid, like Cradily and Eelektross
Description: This is an offensive move that discourages Steel-types from blocking Poison-types, as it is not only able to inflict a burn on them (which most of them hate), but will hit them for extra damage. In essence, this is my idea for an anti-Steel Poison-type attack, because Steels will be hit will a strong attack and the Burn chance will definitely come in handy.
Firstly, I have to point out that a team consisting of only Poison-types is actually feasible in competitive battling, since there are Pokémon in the team that is able to avoid their main weaknesses Psychic (Drapion and Skuntank) and Ground (Weezing, Crobat and Gengar). That’s not even mentioning that there are great offensive Poison-types, like Gengar, Nidoking and Toxicroak (great against Rain).
A weather condition can be an interesting prospect in upgrading the Poison-type. It can be called Acid Rain, named after the infamous glitch found in Platinum. Unlike that glitch, Acid Rain hurts all types except Poison-types, Magic Guard Pokémon and Overcoat Pokémon. Steel-types will be damaged with 1/8 of their HP a turn, unlike other types who only have 1/16 removed. This will thus be a discouragement for Steel-types to rain on the Poison-type’s parade. It would be interesting, though, if there is a Pokémon who is able to make this constant weather running, because it will encourage a playstyle similar to Hail stall.
This would be a welcomed addition to certain Pokémon who would have scored KOs if they can get the extra damage in, especially against Steel-types, but it does worry me that Dragons will be better than they already are, as they only need less damage to remove the Steel-types, who would otherwise resist their powerful attacks. If the weather exists, we have to have another type to resists Dragon, or else the Dragon-types will become even better. So basically, what I am saying is that the weather may not only be beneficial to the Poison-types, but offensive Dragons will appreciate this change as well. Just as I have said that the mono-Poison team is great, this weather condition will make them even better.
I am quite confident that this weather may make an impact that will put favours on the Poison-type, because with Steel-types having to be wary about their entrance, Poison-types will have some room for error.
Type Chart Change
Ah yes, type chart change, the most popular way to upgrade the Poison-type according to many. This one is probably the least agreeable section of them all, so I am going to do my best here and be neutral, since I am not incredibly keen with this change. Usually, these opinions will benefit Poison as an offensive type.
One of the popular suggestions opines that Water should be weak to the Poison-type. Some believes that it eliminates two birds with one stone, and I agree with this, because Water is given an extra weakness in addition to Electric and Grass, while it gives Poison-type a better chance at being offensive. The reasons being Poison pollutes Water, rendering it tainted, and the fact that it basically endangers the lives of the water-dwellers. However, one opposing reason states that Water dilutes Poison, making it less effective. I guess in the end, this balances out to be neutral? Your call.
The next popular suggestion is to return the Bug’s weakness to Poison. You see, the Bug-type was weak to Poison in the 1st Generation, which was changed in the 2nd Generation. However, once again, most opinions are basically to boost the Poison-type’s offensive capability, but some doesn’t like the idea of giving Bug another weakness. Another type change suggestion was to make the attacks super-effective against Dragon. One person stated that “Mystical creatures always have this sense of purity. While strong, many times they are shown affected by human destruction as a ruined wonder. So the corrupting and decaying sense of Poison would make sense to affect the magical Dragon type, showing how creatures of such beauty and power can degenerate and break.”, but I would like to think that it may have some balance behind it. Also, I found the idea of having the Normal-type being weak to Poison ridiculous, because Normal is supposed to be an ordinary type, as in the default type. Of course, this suggestion is usually condemned.
If it’s my call, I would go for the Dragon-weak-to-Poison deal, because it’s the one I support the most, but all in all, Type Matchup-changing is the least necessary change to upgrade the Poison-type, in my humble opinion.
What better way to end this article with the changes that improves the Poison-type? Here, see that GameFreak actually cared for the Poison-types that they gave them some buffs.
Toxic Spikes - Introduced in Generation 4, This entry hazard is normally distributed to Poison-types, and what is great about this entry hazard is that the player doesn't need to waste a few turns poisoning the target, and grounded Natural Cure users are basically not able to completely avoid it like Blissey. This makes Poison-types useful in a way, because they can remove it by switching in, which, in a way, makes them handy to have.
Black Sludge - Introduced in Generation 4, this handy item heals Poison-types in the same way Leftovers does, but any other Pokémon will lose their health. It makes a great combo with Trick/Switcheroo, which Gengar and Arbok can use among others, to not only remove the opponent of a useful item, but give them something unwanted in return. Do remember that tricking the opponent into receiving it by Trick actually benefits them: they can Trick the item on something else that doesn't like it, but if your team is all Poison-types...
Poison/Dark Pokémon - Introduced in Generation 4, Skuntank's family and Drapion have this combination. Psychic is one of Poison's weaknesses, and as such, these Pokémon provides a nice twist, as they are actually more threatening to the Psychic-type rather than helpless. This is helped by the fact that they can learn Pursuit, a move that discourages escaping for survival.
Venoshock - Introduced in Generation 5, the power doubles if the target is Poisoned. While its Base Power isn't quite high, the fact that it is high when doubled makes this one worth looking. It can be a great combination with Toxic Spikes users like Roserade and Tentacruel, as they are more Specially-inclined.
Clear Smog - Introduced in Generation 5, this basically works like Haze in that it removes the opponent's boosts and reductions, but because it's an attack and it never fails to hit, it will go around Taunt, although it would work against Steel-types. Still, Amoonguss is made better thanks to this move.
Acid Spray - Introduced in Generation 5, it sharply reduces Special Defence after each attack. This is similar to how Rock Smash works, in that it gets indirectly stronger after each use, but unlike that move, the reduction is stronger and it always works. It provides some utility to some Pokémon that would appreciate being able to take advantage of their Special movepool, like Eelektross, Swalot and Garbodor.
There's also the fact that Generation 4 gave plenty of Poison-types in relation to the PokéDex size, but that's somewhat mentioned already. So far, I am not aware on the buffs the Poison-type received in Generation 2 and 3, so you can enlighten me on this one.
The more I wrote this article, the less I found what the Poison-type needed as an improvement, because part of me is telling that the Poison-type is as good as it is. However, with that said, I hope my points come across as interesting and meaningful, because I truly felt that I am lacking something crucial the Poison-type needs. Once again, you may give your comments (though feedback would be great!). Next time, we will finally be looking at Poison-type trainers! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
Thanks for reading.
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