20th February 2013, 02:15 PM
Physical Traits and Elemental Affinities
Pokemon types can be divided into two categories: Elemental Affinities, which include Fire, Electric, Psychic, Ice, Poison, Steel, Ground, Dark, and Fighting, and Physical Traits, which include Water, Grass, Rock, Dragon, Ghost, Bug, Normal, and Flying. Elemental Affinities reflect a Pokemon’s abilities in battle more than a Pokemon’s physical characteristics. Physical Traits are often types that define a Pokemon’s appearance, for example, most Dragon-types are dragons, most Bug-types are insects, most Water-types are aquatic animals, and so on.
If a Pokemon’s type is a pure Elemental Affinity, it will appear as an animal that possesses those powers, such as Pikachu being a mouse that wields electricity. If it is a dual-type with both types being Elemental Affinities, such as Magnemite, one Elemental Affinity will become a psuedo-Physical Trait, in this case Magnemite’s Steel typing. If a Pokemon is a dual type with an Elemental Affinity and a Physical Trait, it will resemble the Physical Trait with control over the Elemental Affinity. For example, Heracross is an insect, but it has hand-to-hand combat skills and incredible strength. If a Pokemon is purely of an Physical Trait type, then it will resemble that trait, for example, Magikarp is a simple fish. If a Pokemon has 2 Physical Trait types, though, one of two things can happen. The Pokemon could either be a combination of the Physical Traits, such as Shedinja is the possesed shell of an insect, or one Physical Trait could become a psuedo-Elemental Affinity, such as Lombre’s Grass-type is a Physical Trait but its Water typing has become more of an Elemental Affinity.
As well, the Normal type is an exception to the above rules. When a Pokemon is a pure Normal-type, Normal is a Physical Trait. However, when Normal is combined with another type, then Normal remains technically a Physical Trait, but if paired with an Elemental Affinity, such as Flying, then the Normal typing is somehow cancelled out and the Pokemon does not appear to be a Normal-type. However, another exception is made with Girafarig, where the Normal typing is clearly present and takes dominance over Psychic. This has led to some ambiguity over the classification of Psychic-types. In most Pokemon, Psychic is an Elemental Affinity. This messes up the rules for dual-typed Normal-types, but I digress. If the Normal type is paired with a Physical Trait, which is rare, then the Physical Trait becomes a psuedo-Elemental Affinity, as expected, but the other typing is greatly suppressed, limited to only a few aspects (Sawsbuck) or even simply habitat and moveset (Bibarel).
As well, it is possible that some types tend to change classifications in dual-types more than others. Steel in particular tends to become a psuedo-Physical Trait. This blurs the line between Physical Trait and Elemental Affinity somewhat. Some argue that Steel should be a Physical Trait rather than an Elemental Affinity. A Steel-type is commonly identified by the Pokemon being covered in metal armor. However, this could be seen as similar to how most Fire-types are either orange or red, or have a flame on their bodies. If a dual-typed Steel-type lacked actual steel on their bodies, and instead had, let’s say, stone, they would still be recognizable, whereas if Crustle was a Flying-type as opposed to a Bug-type, as ludicrous as that might look, it probably wouldn’t look much like a Crustle, apart from the rock on its back. But if Charizard had, say, the characteristics of an Ice-type, it would still look like a Charizard, as multiple pieces of fanart have proven.
Last edited by Winterdaze; 25th February 2013 at 11:54 PM.
20th February 2013, 04:55 PM
Keeper of Time
re: Physical Traits and Elemental Affinities
At first, you mentioned Flying being a Physical trait. Then you write "However, when Normal is combined with another type, then Normal remains technically a Physical Trait, but if paired with an Elemental Affinity, such as Flying", and later on "If the Normal type is paired with a Physical Trait, which is rare". My question: what is Flying?
On the subject of "elemental affinities" and "physical traits", I only believe Flying and Bug to be "physical traits" (I guess Ghost could be one too, and maybe Dragon as well.). The Flying-type is more like an ability, it is telling us that the Pokemon can fly, and Bug is more of a classification and it's telling us that the Pokemon is a bug (even though there's a lot of Bug-types that aren't based on "true bugs", but I guess it's used for arthropods in general here. Maybe it should've been the Arthropod-type?). I guess the Dragon-type could be some sort of classification too, but a "dragon" can be so many things so I really don't know.
I believe everything else is applied more like elements.
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20th February 2013, 11:08 PM
Re: Physical Traits and Elemental Affinities
I disagree with everything. In some pokemon, their type informs their form and environment (ex: Slugma, a pure fire type, is made of magma and lives in volcanic areas), while in others it doesn't (ex: Darumaka, another pure fire type, has no fire on its body and lives in deserts, nowhere near fire). There aren't rules, its just whatever Pokemon the creators come up with.
Official Claimer of the Pokemon Pumpkaboo | Official Claimer of the Move Trick- Or -Treat | Official Claimer of the Items Silph Scope and Odd Keystone.If you like comedy, check out my fanfic "You Win Some, You Lose Some" (CHAPTER THREE UP!) | For some supplementary art, visit NG's Sketches 'n Stuff!