Characters: Pokémon: Generation I - Bulbasaur to Tentacruel
The character sheet for the first generation's Pokémon
got so big that it had to be split. This page has the tropes for Pokémon numbered 1 to 73 in the Kanto and National Pokédex, as well as their evolutionary relatives. For the rest, go here
Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur (Fushigidane, Fushigisou, and Fushigibana)
A teal, toad-like creature which has a bulb planted on its back, its evolution pretty much consists of bodily growth and the bulb flowering and eventually turning into a large plant. This family is the first in many aspects: The first Pokémon in the National Pokédex order, the first Grass-type
and Dual-typed ones too, and, as a starter in the Kanto-based games
, the first Pokémon of roughly one third of the first Pokémon players. In battle, it is more of a utility Pokémon, as its offensive options are somewhat limited. Still, as a Starter Pokémon, it is quite well-rounded
and can be used offensively without much problem. It gained a Mega Evolution in Gen VI.
- Badass: Venusaur. One of the few outright manly Grass-types, and by far the most useful (in-game and competitively) of the Kanto starters.
- Boring but Practical: As noted below, Bulbasaur is by far the best choice when it comes to effectiveness against the Gym Leaders especially in the beginning, but he's also the least popular of the three starters. Poor guy.
- Cartoon Creature: Are they toads? Lizards? Dinosaurs? The most popular guess is mammal-like reptiles of the Permian period, but as Bulbasaur's Japanese name translates into "isn't it strange", some ambiguity was probably intended.
- Character Select Forcing
- Bulbasaur almost made Pokémon Red and Blue ridiculously easy thanks to its favorable match-ups against a large number of gyms. In order, it is: super effective against Brock and Misty, resistant to Surge and Erika, and then super effective against the last gym leader, with only Sabrina and Blaine standing much of a chance against it, but by that point, you should either have another Pokémon that can take them out or have leveled Venusaur up to such ridiculous levels that the type disadvantage doesn't matter.
- Also in Gen 1, the Bulbasaur line had access to Leech Seed (which combined with Toxic was deadly in gen 1) and Razor Leaf, which always dealt critical hits back then.
- Energy Ball: Gained in Diamond and Pearl
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: In name only.
- For Massive Damage: Anything weak to psychic qualified in Red and Blue, this weakness being the sole thing that kept Venusaur from being viable against other player's teams. It also had a four times weakness to bug attacks, meaning the normally wimpy Pin Missile, Leech Life, and Twineedle hurt a lot. Not anymore though, as it only takes neutral damage to bug type attacks and it can make use of its decent attack stat to off most psychic types who tend to be too frail to switch in on it.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Kevlard: Its Mega Evolution gets Thick Fat as an ability, letting it withstand fire and ice attacks.
- Mighty Glacier: Speed is not the forte of this line. Its Mega Evolution emphasizes this by giving it Thick Fat, leaving only flying and psychic as a weakness, and beefing up its defenses.
- In the sun using Chlorophyll (its Hidden Ability), however...
- No Sell: To powder-based moves as of Gen VI.
- Petal Power: Learns Petal Dance and Petal Blizzard.
- Planimal: Moreso than anything else released in Red and Blue.
- Poisonous Pokémon: It has never had a large number of Poison moves to choose from though. Bulbasaur is unique in that it is the only bottom form starter from the main games with dual types.
- The Power of the Sun: The most famous user of Solar Beam thanks to adaptations and being the first Grass-type of many players. It can also heal itself with Synthesis.
- Rated M for Manly: Venusaur. Just look at it, and then compare it to the rest of the Grass Pokémon.
- Real Men Wear Pink: The pink flower growing from its back doesn't detract a thing from its manliness, nor does the second flower its Mega Evolution gets on its head.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bulbasaur.
- Secret Art: Frenzy Plant was exclusive to Venusaur before XD, and nowadays it is the Secret Art of the fully evolved Grass starters. Grass Pledge, too, as it is a Grass Starter.
- Standard Status Effects: Sleep Powder and Poison Powder.
- Super Mode: Gen VI gave it a Mega Evolution. Mega Venusaur becomes even more of a Mighty Glacier, gaining boosted Defense and Special Defense, in addition to gaining the Thick Fat Ability, negating its Grass-type weaknesses to Fire and Ice.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- The Hidden Ability from Gen V, Chlorophyll, doubles Venusaur's speed when under sunlight. That in addition to Growth makes Venusaur one hell of a Lightning Bruiser.
- Its Mega Evolution in Generation VI has Thick Fat as its ability, which halves damage from Fire and Ice attacks. Venusaur just rid itself of two of its type weaknesses, and has a defensive boost to 123 Defense and 120 Special Defense. Hope you have Flying or Psychic attacks!
- Turns Red: Overgrow boosts Grass attacks when health becomes low.
- Whip It Good: This line heavily relies on Vine Whip in the anime and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. With that in mind, it was a little surprising that it could only learn Power Whip through breeding in Diamond and Pearl.
Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard (Hitokage, Lizardo, and Lizardon)
A bipedal, orange, lizard-like creature with a flame on the tip of its tail, it first evolves into a more feral version of itself with red coloring and a horn on the top of its head, then regains its original color at the next stage as it becomes a two-horned winged dragon. The first Fire-type
and single type in National Dex order, as well as the first change of type upon evolution. It's the second starter for the Kanto
region and definitely the fan favorite. An offensive-oriented fighter, it has some crippling weaknesses due to its typing
, but it may be able to take down an opponent before they can exploit its weaknesses
. It gains two Mega Evolutions in Gen VI, Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y. The former focuses on Charizard's draconic aspects and gives it the Dragon type along with a brand-new color scheme, higher Attack stat, and an ability that powers up its contact moves. The latter focuses more on its Flying-type aspects and gives it a more aerodynamic design, a higher Special Attack, and the Drought ability
- Achilles' Heel: Rock-type attacks in general, especially Stealth Rock.
- Partially reduced by Mega Charizard X, who loses the double weakness. Stealth Rock is still a problem due to activating before the Mega Evolution can take place, but this can always be mitigated by leading with Charizard or switching out to him on the first turn (which may or may not be a viable strategy depending on the battle).
- Actually, as it turns out, when a Pokémon Mega Evolves, it stays that way for the rest of the battle, even when it switches out, so there is still a point to it (after all, the whole point of Stealth Rock is hindering the target's ability to switch out).
- Awesome but Impractical
- Despite its popularity, Charizard never really stood out competitively, and in Gen IV onwards Stealth Rock made it extremely difficult to use. It fits this trope to a T in Generation V: Charizard's Hidden Ability Solar Power boosts its Special Attack to ridiculous proportions (higher than Reshiram), but hampers its already-low survivability by making it lose 1/8 of its health each turn.
- Also fits this trope very well in the TCG. Usually has extremely powerful attacks (in the 100-200 base damage range) that require tons of Energy and/or have crippling drawbacks; the Base Set Charizard was infamous for this. note Not to mention that its cards, despite this, usually fetch ridiculously high prices on the secondary market.
- Badass: Charizard, mostly in the anime where he is one of the biggest badasses of the cast. It's also often viewed as one of the most badass Pokémon in general, despite how its default form isn't a very powerful or useful Mon competitively. However, Charizard's Mega Forms look like they'll finally let it live up to its reputation.
- Blood Knight
- Blow You Away: Charizard, as a part Flying-type, has some wind-based attacks.
- Breakout Character: Charizard; by way of Popularity Power, it became one of the most-recognized characters in the franchise (in the West) and is prominently featured in many pieces of Pokémon media and marketing. Notably, it was the second Pokémon revealed to have two Mega Evolutions, the first being Mewtwo.
- Cast from Hit Points: When it has Solar Power and the sun is out, it gets a major increase to Special Attack, but it loses 1/8 of its health each turn.
- Confusion Fu: Charizard actually has a pretty decent movepool, getting Ground, Rock, Steel, and Dragon type attacks on top of its Fire and Flying STAB attacks. There is also the fact it has TWO Mega Evolutions, which makes predicting it even trickier given one is special-oriented with a Weather Manipulation ability and the other has its Attack stat augmented so it can use its physical movepool.
- Useless Useful Attacks: But the majority of said attacks are Physical and work off Charizard's much weaker Attack stat. Mega Charizard X can make much better use of them thanks to its higher Attack and its ability.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Doesn't do anything many others can do outside the sun. Unfortunately, if it tries Sunny Day on its own it's a target for one turn/setup bait, if it gets others to help, it has to deal with Stealth Rocks, and weather is easily countered by the very presence of some mons. Mega Charizard Y just cuts the knot by getting Drought. Mega Charizard X cuts the knot by going in the complete opposite direction.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Charizard's Mega X and Shiny palettes are pretty dark and sinister-looking, but it's the same old loyal non-malevolent Blood Knight Charizard nonetheless.
- Evolution Gives You Wings: Gains wings upon evolution to Charizard.
- Extra Ore Dinary: Despite not being part-Steel, this line learns Metal Claw naturally to help in dealing with Rock-types (an addition to the remakes made to help against the first gym leader, whose Rock Pokémon resisted Fire). Charizard, on top of that, is the only Pokémon that can learn Metal Claw, Iron Tail, and Steel Wing, all attacks involving an impact with a metallified body part.
- Fiery Salamander: To the point Charmander was initially considered for the trope image.
- Flight: Flying-type that can learn Fly as Charizard.
- Flying Firepower: Applies to Charizard
- For Massive Damage: Rock-type attacks for Charizard. Which is really its greatest problem. Which finally seems to be getting remedied by its Mega Formes and Defog.
- Kryptonite Is Everywhere: It doesn't help that Stealth Rock is used by everyone who has basic knowledge of the metagame.
- Fragile Speedster: Normally it has decent Speed, but subpar defenses. Most notable in Gen I, where its Special Stat used especially for its Fire attacks is not as great as its modern Sp. Attack.
- Giant Flyer: Charizard is 1.7 meters tall and weighs over 90 kg.
- Glass Cannon: With Solar Power, once it gets going, it's capable of wiping out entire teams if it isn't stopped in its tracks. Granted, getting to this stage is quite difficult, but it is so rewarding to see the big guy kick so much ass. Mega Charizard Y doesn't remove much glass (except in terms of Special Defense, which is actually quite beefy) but notches up the cannon.
- Lightning Bruiser: Mega Charizard X keeps its Speed stat, but has much higher offenses and Defense (with some physical attacks being boosted even further by Tough Claws). The fact that it doesn't have a typing that makes it die at the mere sight of rocks also helps. Really, Fire and Dragon is great on both offense and defense; the number of Pokemon that can shrug off attacks of both types can be counted on one hand (Heatran, Carbink, Azumarill, end list) and its Fire and Dragon types cancel most of each other's weaknesses (Fire removes the Dragon weaknesses to Ice and Fairy, and Dragon eliminates Fire's water weakness). And this is before Dragon Dance.
- Honor Before Reason: According to its description in Super Smash Bros. (and, for that matter, the official Pokédex), Charizard will never spit flames at a weaker foe unless directly ordered to do so by its Trainer. Apparently, Playing with Fire is only extended for equals.
- Using Charizard competitively also applied... until Gen 6, where it got mega-evolutions and Stealth Rock got indirectly nerfed. It certainly looks much more viable now.
- Incendiary Exponent: Fire-type, and the tail-tip being alight is a vital sign.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Charizard is the only dragon-based starter Pokémon, and is also the Breakout Character out of all eighteen starters so far.
- So much so that the fans clamored for quite some time about Charizard getting some sort of Dragon-type alternate form. Their wish was finally granted with Mega Charizard X.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Forms a trio of sorts with the other two dragon-based Pokémon in the Dex that have Flying rather than Dragon as a secondary type, with Gyarados (Water) and Thundurus Therian Forme (Lightning).
- Nerf: Zigzagged Pre-emptively in Gen VI. Mega Charizard Y gets Drought? Groudon's ability? Sweet! Too bad auto-weather abilities were nerfed at the same time... It's not all bad though; with 159 Special Attack and automatic-boosted Fire attacks, it still hits like a thermonuclear weapon. And now that there's an easy way to remove Stealth Rock...
- No Sell: Charizard is immune to Ground-type attacks, due to being a Flying-type.
- Mega Charizard X loses this, however.
- Nonindicative Name: Charmander is a reptile and not an amphibian (as real-life salamanders are), Charmeleon looks more like a dinosaur than any chameleon out there, and Charizard resembles a dragon rather than a lizard. Charmander's name more likely refers to the mythical salamander, which was a reptile that lived within flames.
- Non-Malicious Monster: This evolutionary line was said to occasionally cause forest fires by accident.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Charizard is one of the best-known dragon-based Pokémon. It took 17 years for it to gain the Dragon type, though, in its Mega Charizard X form.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Charizard never had anything to make it stand out competitively before Gen V, other than its gimmicky "Bellyzard" set. In Gen V, Solar Power makes it hit like a nuke in the sun, but fellow Fire-type nukes Volcarona and Chandelure are seen as much more stable and easier to use, especially considering that they don't have to rely on easily counterable weather.
- Its Mega evolutions give it more options to distinguish itself.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type.
- Poor, Predictable Rock: If you see a Charizard in Team Preview, it's probably going to be running Solar Power and attempt to sweep.
- Seems to be completely averted come Gen VI, in which it gets two different Mega Evolutions, which differ from each other in both typing and playstyle (to an extent; they're both sweepers, but with opposing styles of attack).
- The Power of the Sun:
- Gen IV allowed them to learn Solar Beam. This gives it good synergy with sun teams and the abilities in both subsequent generations.
- Solar Power, its Hidden Ability, makes it hit like a nuke.
- Mega Charizard Y gets Drought as its ability.
- Powerup Full Color Change: Mega Evolving to Mega Charizard X causes its skin to turn black and its flames to become blue.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The best Pokémon to be seen as this. It helps that the one most well-known in the anime constantly displays such behavior.
- Rated M for Manly: Charizard, the Badass, battle-loving fire-breathing note dragon.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Charizard is black with blood-red wings and eyes in its Shiny form. Mega Charizard X also does the same, but with blue instead.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Charmander.
- Secret Art: Blast Burn was exclusive to Charizard before XD, and nowadays it is the Secret Art of the fully evolved Fire starters. Fire Pledge too, as it is a Fire Starter.
- Super Mode: Gained two Mega Evolutions in Gen VI. Mega Charizard X is Fire/Dragon, has higher Attack, and Tough Claws, an ability that increases the power of Physical contact attacks. Mega Charizard Y gains the Drought Ability, as well as a heavily boosted Special Attack (presumably to make up for the loss of Solar Power).
- Technicolor Fire: Mega Charizard X has blue flames emitting from its mouth and tail.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Mega Charizard X is Fire/Dragon, reducing its crippling weakness to Rock-type moves; much better Attack to take advantage of its Physical movepool; and an ability that increases the power of Physical contact moves even further.
- Mega Charizard Y has Drought, and a big boost in Special Attack, which might give it a niche as an opening Pokemon.
- Defog becoming a more efficient Rapid Spin, as mentioned before, has become a great boon for Charizard.
- Turns Red: Blaze boosts Fire attacks when health becomes low.
- Undying Loyalty: Charmander. For Charmeleon and Charizard, though... well, you have to earn their respect first, let alone their loyalty.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: Charizard grows wings.
- Weather Control Creature: Mega Charizard Y gains the Drought Ability, boosting its Fire attacks and allowing it to abuse Solar Beam.
- Whole Palette Reference: Mega Charizard X is one to Zekrom. Despite being completely unrelated, they are both black dragons with neon-blue accents (including on the tips of their crests) and red eyes.
- Your Size May Vary: Officially, a Charizard is about as tall as an average adult human, standing at around 5'07" (1.7m) in height - but aside from the main games, you'd be hard-pressed to find a human-sized Charizard in any other form of Pokémon media, be it the anime, various manga, or fanart. Charizard are more usually shown to be around 8 to 25 feet tall, depending mostly on how awesome/badass the writer or artist feels like portraying it. Keep in mind that Venusaur is actually supposed to be the largest out of the Kanto starter trio.
Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise (Zenigame, Kameil, and Kamex)
A light blue bipedal turtle with a light brown shell, it first evolves into a navy-blue version of itself with feathery ears and tail, and then into a massive, dark blue tortoise with two high-pressure water cannons jutting out of its back. The first Water-types
(of many), and the first pure-typed line, these guys are defense-based fighters
, but, as a starter, they are quite well-rounded and can play both styles
, especially after Generation I
, when they started to get support moves. It gains a Mega Evolution in Gen VI.
- Arm Cannon: Mega Blastoise gets them, one on each arm.
- Backpack Cannon: Blastoise carries twin water cannons on its back.
- Its Mega Evolution exchanges those for a single, larger one.
- Badass: Blastoise. Its Mega Evolution takes it a step further.
- BFG: The cannon it gets in its Mega Evolution is almost as long as Blastoise's body.
- Boring but Practical: A given considering that this is the role of pretty much most water Pokémon, and amongst the three starters. Venusaur is a Jack of All Stats with multitudes of useful moves that can be a sweeper (especially with its Hidden Ability), and a Supporter. Charizard is an offensive beast in terms of both physical and special attack, and has a good offensive movepool (Not to mention an ability that INCREASES its offensive power when its HP is low, and a Hidden Ability that makes it even MORE so). Blastoise, on the other hand, is a Stone Wall, and its stats, combined with its limited movepool, make it hard to sweep. On the other hand, Blastoise has several support moves, notably Rapid Spin, and a priority move. This turns Blastoise into a capable Anti Lead and an all around useful teammate.
- Mega-Blastoise, meanwhile, has much less presence than powerhouses like Mega-Lucario and Mega-Mawile, but has a useful niche in being one of the few Rapid Spinners that can beat Ghost-typesnote .
- Healing Factor: Its Hidden Ability, Rain Dish, serves this purpose during rain.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: According to the Pokédex, the water jets from Blastoise's cannons are accurate enough to hit empty cans from over 160 feet away.
- Taken way beyond that with Mega Blastoise, with its much larger cannon apparently possessing a range of six miles.
- Informed Species: Unlike the other two, Blastoise is listed as "Shellfish Pokémon". "Blind Idiot" Translation is to blame, as in Japanese it's only "Shell".
- Kamehame Hadouken: As of Gen VI, they can learn Aura Sphere as an Egg Move and Mega Blastoise's ability boosts it further, making it a literal Kamehameha ("Turtle Destruction Wave").
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- Kill It with Ice: Like most Water-types, they can use Ice attacks to cover one of their weaknesses.
- Mighty Glacier: Quite similar to the Bulbasaur line in this regard.
- Stone Wall: Its defenses are higher than its offenses, though it can learn several powerful offensive moves such as Water Spout.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Squirtle's curly tail resembles a cartoonized squirrel's, and the portmanteau of squirrel and turtle lends itself to the Punny Name of "squirt". Considering this pun is absent in the Japanese name, it's unclear whether this was by design or serendipity.
- One Of These Is Not Like The Others: In contrast to the other two starters whose progression is fairly linear. While Wartortle is basically a bigger Squirtle with furry ears and fangs and a more exaggerated swirly tail, Blastoise looks the least like its pre-evolutions beyond being a turtle. Its plastron pattern is completely different, it gains a yellow muzzle to its mouth, the furry ears become small and pointed, and the increasingly wavy tail shrinks into a stub.
- Rated M for Manly: Blastoise. It has cannons on its shell.
- Mega Blastoise has cannons on its arms and an even bigger one on its back.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Squirtle.
- Secret Art: Hydro Cannon was exclusive to Blastoise before XD, and nowadays it is the Secret Art of the fully evolved Water starters. Water Pledge, too, as it is a Water Starter.
- Super Mode: Gained a Mega Evolution in Gen VI. Mega Blastoise gains the new Ability Mega Launcher, which boosts the power of the attacks Water Pulse, Dark Pulse, Dragon Pulse, and Aura Sphere (all of which it is now capable of learning).
- Took a Level in Badass: Vanilla Blastoise is a passable but mediocre wall and okay Rapid Spin user who still never sees any significant use because there are plenty of things that do both of its jobs far better while offering other uses as well. This all changed once it received a Mega; not only is it bulkier, but it got a 20-point base Attack boost and a monstrous 50-point Special Attack boost, allowing it to do its old jobs even better while now having a hell of a lot of offensive muscle as well.
- Time Abyss: Wartortle is said to live 10,000 years. How long Blastoise lives is not mentioned.
- Turns Red: Torrent boosts Water attacks when health becomes low.
- Turtle Power: One that keeps on growing. Its cannons can punch through thick steel.
- Weaponized Animal: Blastoise's cannons.
Caterpie, Metapod (Trancell), and Butterfree
A green caterpillar with red antennae and an eye-like pattern, its evolution goes along as metamorphosis, first becoming a green chrysalis, then a purple-bodied, blue-winged butterfly. First Bug-types in the Pokédex, and first common Mons, are used fairly commonly early in-game, before being ditched. It is mostly used as a status inducer, but, like most butterfly and moth Pokémon, also learns Psychic attacks, and thus is a good alternative to a proper Psychic Pokémon until one can be obtained.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: First Bug-types in the Dex. Plus, Butterfree is 3'07".
- Blow You Away: Butterfree; Whirlwind is even called this in Japanese.
- Com Mons: The early areas of Kanto and Johto are filled with them.
- Crutch Character: Fully evolved at level 10. Outclassed when your starter or anything else evolves. Also subverted; the Standard Status Effects attacks that Butterfree has are useful for quite some time.
- Magikarp Power: Caterpie and Metapod are fairly useless by themselves.
- Joke Character: For a fully evolved Pokémon, Butterfree's Base Stat Total (a not-so-whopping 385) is absolutely horrible.
- Lethal Joke Character: It also has the most accurate sleep attack outside of Spore, and a movepool that is most useful for fighting - believe it or not - BRUNO of the ELITE FOUR!
- Flight: Butterfree.
- No Sell: Butterfree against Ground-type attacks. Caterpie is immune to Standard Status Effects when hit by a move that has a secondary effect,
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Venomoth is a Pokémon that does everything Butterfree does, but (somewhat) better.
- Averted in the Gen V metagame, where Venomoth has been Kicked Upstairs to higher tiers. Butterfree still has some competition, but with Venomoth no longer among them, Butterfree has a better chance to shine now. Namely, it ties with Masquerain and Mothim as the best Quiver Dance users of the NU Tier, Butterfree standing out thanks to its ability to throw around Sleep Powder reliably, potentially giving itself opportunities to set up Quiver Dance.
- Psychic Powers: Butterfree, for some reason.
- Standard Status Effects: Poison Powder, Stun Spore, and Sleep Powder. Other Pokémon get them as well, but Butterfree's one of the more common abusers due to Compoundeyes making them far more reliable than when used by other Pokemon.
- Took a Level in Badass
- In Gen III, we have Compound Eyes, which raises accuracy by a third. In other words, Stun Spore, Poison Powder, and Sleep Powder now hit 97.5% of the time.
- Gen V clearly attempted to do this by giving it Tinted Lens and Quiver Dance. However, since Venomoth already had Tinted Lens and also gained Quiver Dance in Gen V, combining Compoundeyes with its status-inducing moves is still really the only thing Butterfree can do that Venomoth can't do far better. Even after Venomoth was Kicked Upstairs, Mothim is a more powerful user of Tinted Lens, with Compoundeyes remaining Butterfree's best method of standing out.
- In a sense, played straight in the metagame by Venomoth being Kicked Upstairs into higher tiers. Butterfree didn't get any better itself, but it gets more chances to shine now that it's no longer concerned with competing with its cloth-munching cousin.
- A bit of a mixed bag in Gen VI. On the unfortunate side, Gen VI introduced Vivillion, which is basically Butterfree's Bad Ass older brother, boasting higher Speed and HP (albeit with less Special Defense), Butterfree's coveted Sleep Powder/Compoundeyes combo, and a Compoundeyes-improved, STAB-boosted Hurricane, promising to overshadow the poor butterfly all over again. On the other hand, Butterfree gained a 10 point boost to its Special Attack stat, putting it much closer to Mothim, and since Butterfree's faster than it's Gen IV counterpart, it may still have a future with Tinted Lens.
Weedle, Kakuna, and Beedrill (Beedle, Cocoon, and Spear)
A yellowish worm with a poisonous stinger on the top of its head, it also experiences a metamorphosis, first turning into an immobile yellow nymph, then into a giant hornet with 2 additional stingers as hands. Has many things in common with the Caterpie line and is always found at the same locations (but encounter rates tend to change with versions). Beedrill itself is a physically based Pokémon, also able to learn stat boosting moves and pass them to other teammates. However, those moves are not obtainable at low levels, and thus its usefulness is reduced in comparison to Butterfree.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Beedrill is a 3 feet tall hornet.
- Cherry Tapping: Gen VI gave it the move Fell Stinger, an attack with a paltry 30 base power. However, if Beedrill successfully KOs an opponent with it, it gains a serious boost to its Attack.
- Com Mons: Shares its habitat with the Caterpie family in every game they appear.
- Crutch Character: Same as the Caterpie family. However, Beedrill is quite a bit less versatile than Butterfree, and has fewer attacks to take advantage of in its usable time-span.
- Magikarp Power: Again, Weedle and Kakuna are pretty much useless, apart from Poisoning opponents.
- Joke Character: Like Butterfree, Beedrill's base stat total isn't very high for being fully evolved.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: Beedrill
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Kakuna's Japanese name is Cocoon.
- Expy: Weedle is a Wiggler, but with a stinger instead of a flower.
- Flight: Beedrill. Well, at least their Pokédex entry says they're capable of this.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Very fragile, but can hurt.
- Min-Maxing: Swords Dance, Agility, and Baton Pass to something more effective is also a viable strategy, but...
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Scyther does everything Beedrill does, but better. And also evolves into one of the best Pokémon in the game, that also does everything that Beedrill does, better. Beedrill also had access to the only 2 attacks (that weren't so hilariously weak as to be completely and utterly useless) that could score a Super Effective hit on Psychics - too bad those attacks would often do less damage than the widespread (back then) Hyper Beam, and Scyther, again, could do that better without also being hit by super effective damage from Psychics.
- Poisonous Insect: Poison-type bee.
- Secret Art: Twinnedle for Beedrill, although it is no longer exclusive to it as of Black and White.
- They Call Him Sword: Beedrill's Japanese name is simply "Spear".
- This Is a Drill: Despite not being able to learn any drill based moves (at least until Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, in which it can get Drill Run from a move tutor).
- Took a Level in Badass: Slightly in Gen VI. Beedrill gained a 10 point boost to its Attack and the new move Fell Stinger, and the introduction of Fairy types has made its Poison typing more useful.
- Trap Master: The only real niche it can call its own is its ability to throw around Toxic Spikes and U-Turn back out of the battlefield. The only other Pokemon that can do this is Venomoth, and it's 1.) Tucked away in higher tiers, and 2.) Prefers using special attacks anyway.
Pidgey, Pidgeotto, and Pidgeot (Poppo, Pigeon, and Pigeot)
A brown bird with a cream-colored belly and elements of both pigeons and birds of prey, still in the chick stage, that evolves into a quite large, more mature version of itself with a small red crest of feathers, and then into a human-sized version of itself with the crest now going all the way down its back. The first Normal-types in the Dex, and also often one of the first Pokémon caught by anybody in the Kanto and Johto games. Their stats are fairly balanced and not weak in any particular regard, but, sadly, they are not very strong in any particular regard either (except, perhaps, speed as of Generation VI); as a result, they tend to be overshadowed by more specialized Pokémon of the same typing. Still, it tends to be a staple of in-game teams, since somebody
has to be on Fly detail.
- Big, Badass Bird of Prey: Pidgeotto, and especially Pidgeot, which is well-known for hunting Magikarp.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type with moves like Gust and Hurricane.
- Razor Wind: Also has moves like Air Cutter and Air Slash at its disposal.
- Com Mons: Found in almost all of the routes of Kanto and Johto.
- Confusion Fu: Not in its moveset, but in the fact that, thanks to its stats and the tricks it does have at its disposal, it can play a number of different roles at least reasonably well, as opposed to its Always Someone Better brethren, who tend to be more specialized. If Staraptor or Chatot show up in Team Preview, it's typically pretty clear what they'll try to do; with Pidgeot, it's not so obvious what it has.
- Drunken Master: Its Tangled Feet Ability, which makes it more evasive if it happens to be confused.
- Flight: A common Fly slave.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Most of its Dex entries say that Pidgeot can fly as fast as mach 2. In game, however, up until Generation VI, its base speed was only slightly above average - infamously, it was lower than that of Miltank, a cow. (Skarmory and Dragonite suffer from similar exaggeration issues.) After the Gen VI 10 speed boost, it's now able to outspeed all Normal/Flying birds except for Swellow, but still it's far from "mach 2"
- Giant Flyer: Pidgeot is a flying bird, complete with a compact build, as tall as an emu.
- Heal Thyself: Naturally learns Roost.
- Jack of All Stats: Pidgeot has quite well-rounded stats - too well-rounded, in fact, leading to...
- Master of None: Its typing is not good for defense, and it's overshadowed in the offensive department by other Com Mons of its ilk.
- Fragile Speedster: Its speed buff in Gen VI bumped it over the base 100 mark, putting it just within the realm of being competitively fast.
- Nonindicative Name: Have relatively little in common with pigeons, more strongly resembling finches.
- Non-Elemental: First Normal-types in the Pokédex.
- No Sell: To Ghost and Ground attacks.
- In addition, its Keen Eye and Big Pecks Abilities protect it from Accuracy-reducing effects and Defense-reducing effects, respectively.
- Off Model: Pidgeot's sprites in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal had a far shorter crest than in the normal design, despite having the signature long crest in Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. Because the back sprites for the first- and second-gen Pokémon were revamped and carried over to the 3rd-gen games, despite the front sprites in that generation being fixed.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Fearow and Dodrio had Drill Peck and better stats in the first 2 gens, Swellow was much better in the 3rd, and Staraptor just nailed the coffin for poor Pidgeot. Although the 4th gen did give Pidgeot a much stronger Flying STAB move than Drill Peck in Brave Bird, 5th gen struck back by giving Fearow Drill Run, which allows Fearow to handle grounded Steels, something most physical based Normal/Flying Pokémon have hassles with. (Plus, Staraptor also gets Brave Bird and Close Combat, letting it both hit hard with STAB and pulverize Rock and Steel-type Pokémon.) Though it does learn Hurricane by level-up as of Gen V, letting it use its Special Attack stat for offense (something that Fearow and Staraptor can't do very well at all), but even then, Swanna is miles better at abusing Hurricane, and Chatot is also a much better special attacker.
- Secret Art: Feather Dance, but it could be bred into other Pokémon in its debut, and as of Gen IV was no longer exclusive via level up. Gust, in a way, too, as nothing else could learn it until Yellow (but nowadays it is a common move).
- Spell My Name with an S: Pidgeot's Japanese name has been officially Romanized as "Pigeot" and "Pijotto".
- Took a Level in Badass: A minor one in Gen VI, as Pidgeot gained a buff to its Speed, and it gained a newly improved Defog, enabling it to reliably use Hurricane without relying on the rain while at the same time removing those pesky entry hazards.
- Useless Useful Spell: One of Pidgeot's major problems, in that none of its Abilities are particularly useful in the metagame, as Accuracy-reducing moves are usually banned, and moves that induce Confusion or reduce Defense are rarely used. That said, the Abilities are useful in-game, especially considering it's among the ranks of Com Mons, as these tricks are frequently tried by the AI, especially in the early game.
- You Cannot Research Breathing: Cannot learn Peck, since having both that and Gust for its low-level Flying move would have been redundant prior to gen IV.
Rattata and Raticate (Koratta and Ratta)
A purple rat with a cream-colored belly that evolves into a brown-backed, cream-bellied nutria/musk rat. The first line in National Dex order made up of two rather than three stages, they are one of the most common species in Kanto and especially Johto, being found in pretty much all Routes and a few caves. In battle, they are rather fast (though not absurdly so), but statistically unremarkable otherwise from the get-go. However, they learn strong moves early on, and tricky moves later, that, combined with their traits, makes them competent, if unconventional, fighters.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Super Fang halves the current HP of the target. No exceptions. Well, except Ghosts.
- Boring but Practical: Super Fang, halving the HP of any non-Ghost instantly. Even Stone Walls are going to be nervous.
- Cherry Tapping: See Lethal Joke Character below.
- Com Mons: Found everywhere in Johto and Kanto. Especially Johto.
- Combat Pragmatist: They get several Dark-type moves.
- Crutch Character: Hyper Fang is twice as strong as most attacks you are using by the point you get it, and Raticate has the Speed and Attack to use it effectively, only being hampered by slightly low Accuracy. It gets overshadowed later when other things also get strong moves, but it may even step into being a Disc One Nuke if you play with its additional tricks.
- Fragile Speedster: Not very strong, quite fast... until it gets the fang attacks and becomes a Glass Cannon.
- Lethal Joke Character: The F.E.A.R. (Focus Sash, Endeavour, Quick Attack, Rattata note ) strategy has led to low-level Rattatas being quite deadly. It Only Works Once, though, and the common Sandstorm and entry hazards render it unusable. (Plus, Aron has provided Rattata with some stiff competition as of Gen V.)
- No Sell: To Ghost-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: The first pure Normal-type in the Pokédex.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Super Fang becoming a tutor move (as well as learned by the more sturdy Bibarel) hurt Raticate. Hyper Fang also gets overshadowed by Strength or Return, learnable by most other Normal-types.
- The Power Creep of the most recent generations has also hurt Raticate's reputation as a speedy Pokémon, as its base Speed is only about 97 - which means that Hydreigon is faster than it. Ouch.
- Playing with Fire: Flame Wheel can be bred on to them.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Raticate weighs over 40 lbs/18 kg.
- Secret Art: Super Fang and Hyper Fang, although no longer exclusive as of Gen IV.
- Technicolor Eyes: Rattata.
- You Dirty Rat: In comparison to the Pikachu family.
Spearow and Fearow (Onisuzume and Onidrill)
An alternative if you don't want to use Pidgey. Unlike Pidgey, however, they are pretty mean and scrappy birds. Spearow is supposed to resemble a sparrow, with a bit of crow mixed in; it has short wings and a short beak. Fearow, on the other hand, has longer wings and a longer beak, and it looks more like a vulture or a crane.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type with moves like Razor Wind and Whirlwind.
- Com Mons: Spearow is common, though not as much as Pidgey.
- Crutch Character: Useful early on since Spearow learns a Flying-type move before Pidgey, making it useful against all the Bug-types you'll meet in the first few areas of the game.
- Feathered Fiend: They are very dangerous birds indeed.
- Flight: Another potential Fly slave.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Good Speed and Attack, but low defenses.
- No Sell: To Ghost and Ground-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Dodrio is essentially Fearow with better stats.
- Except that Dodrio lost its only means of hitting Rock- and Steel-types in the Physical/Special split, and hasn't gained a new one. As seen in Took a Level in Badass below, Fearow now has something to make those Flying-Type-hindering mineral piles nervous.
- This Is a Drill: It learns Drill Peck and Drill Run (and the latter coupled with its Hidden Ability... hoo boy). Fearow's Japanese name is even Onidrill.
- Took a Level in Badass: Its Hidden Ability is Sniper, which triples the power of critical hits instead of doubling them. Better? It learns Drill Run, which has an increased critical ratio. Not to mention that Drill Run is a Ground-type move. Rock-, Electric-, and Steel-type Pokémon, prepare to cower in Fearow.
Ekans (Arbo) and Arbok
Effectively purple snakes, Ekans resembles a rattlesnake while Arbok is a cobra. A pure Poison-type with a fierce reputation, the first version exclusive monsters in National Dex order, only widely available in the Red
version, while Green
, and Yellow
players had to trade for it. This often carries over to later games, where it's still found in only one version or another.
- Action Initiative: Can learn Sucker Punch.
- Cast of Snowflakes: In-game, no two Arbok are supposed to have the same markings.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Arbok knows the three elemental fang moves naturally, though you need the Move Relearner to make use of them.
- Glass Cannon: Its best stat is Attack, with Speed and Special Defense being close seconds. Everything else is below average.
- Mon Bites Mon: Learns several biting attacks. In addition to the usual Bite and Crunch, Arbok can use the three elemental fangs, and it can be bred to have Poison Fang.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The probable reason why roughly one third of Team Rocket's grunts have one.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Ekans is snake backwards. Arbok is kobra backwards.
- Secret Art: Glare, but only in Generation I.
- Super Spit: Using Stockpile and Spit Up. They also learn moves such as Acid, Gastro Acid, and Acid Spray.
- Took a Level in Badass: A minor one, but Gen V's new boosting move Coil gave it a way to stand out in the lower tiers. In addition to the obviously helpful Attack increase, it also gives a Defense buff that, combined with its Intimidate ability, actually gives it some tanking ability, as well as an Accuracy boost that gives Arbok's most powerful attack, Gunk Shot, enough reliability to actually be usable.
Pichu, Pikachu, and RaichuPichu debuts in Gen II
A yellow mouse-like creature with ruby-red cheeks, brown stripes on its back and a tail that resembles a thunderbolt. It's cute, but it can appeal to both boys and girls, making it the perfect mascot
for the entire franchise. Practically half of all merchandise has this guy's mug on it. It also gained a baby form in Pichu (which is also heavily promoted), and a few signature items and moves (mainly Volt Tackle). Raichu is its stronger form, but it isn't given as much exposure as its younger forms. Which isn't to say that it's bad per se; it's still a very good Pokémon to take well beyond the beginning of the game. It's one of your best bets when facing Misty.
- Badass Adorable: With a Light Ball, Pikachu is a surprisingly deadly force, and with the right items Raichu can be devastating. And it's so cuuuute! Raichu is also this trope, but with more emphasis on the "badass" aspect.
- Breakout Character: Originally meant to play second fiddle to Clefairy, became the series mascot.
- Crutch Character: In RBY (and their remakes) and X & Y, Pikachu can be found in the wild very early on. They'll likely be the first wild Electric-type a trainer will encounter, but will likely be outclassed by midgame. But if they have a Light Ball, then things are different.
- Disc One Nuke: Get lucky enough to catch a Pikachu that holds a Light Ballnote , and you've got a very powerful attacker early on.
- Fountain of Expies: There is at least one Electric Rodent Pikaclone in every generation.
- The one exception was Generation II, which only gave Pichu, which, being a pre-evolution, didn't really count. Generation II did still have an expy though, in the form of cute water-based rodent Marill.
- Gen VI is notable for giving the entire batch of "Pikaclones" their own Secret Art in the form of Nuzzle.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Pichu are said to be unable to handle their electricity, often shocking themselves. In the main games, this isn't the case.
- It's a different story in Super Smash Bros., where over half of Pichu's attacks involve electricity and cause damage. This is part of the reason it's ranked so low on the tier list, as it's difficult to KO opponents without causing too much damage to itself.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: A Pikachu with a Light Ball strikes really hard, but dies very easily. (If only it was just a bit faster, it could probably be considered a legitimate threat...) Raichu needs Choice Band/Specs to hit as hard, is slightly faster (especially after the 10 speed boost it received in Gen VI), and may be able to take a single attack.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Pichu was basically designed to be this. Pikachu too, especially when Pichu isn't around.
- Making a Splash: Will be able to learn Surf in every generation, one way or another. It's always an unconventional method, though, because the HM won't work.
- No Sell: To paralysis as of Generation VI.
- Not Quite Flight: You can obtain a Pikachu with FLY from a Pokéwalker course. According to the card game, it flies via Balloonacy.
- Pokémon Speak: Pikachu is featured in the trope image.
- Notable because it's the only Pokémon to have its actual spoken name as a audio cry in the main series games (Yellow only), although all games afterwards reverted to its original 8-bit cry.
- NPC Pikachu in the games does this through their speech bubbles.
- Also does this in Pokémon Adventures, but only in a very few occasions.
- This seems to be Pikachu's default cry in X and Y.
- Power Incontinence: Pichu shocks itself because of youth and inexperience. This carries over into Super Smash Bros. Melee, where it cripples it so much it's the weakest character in the game.
- Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage: In HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can obtain a special Pichu with three spikes on one of its ears (Spiky-Eared Pichu). Too bad it can't evolve or be traded to any other game, not even Black and White, which came after these games.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: THE. WHOLE. FREAKING. LINE. Pichu is an already cute Pokémon, made even more marketable. Even Raichu has not lost everything here.
- Secret Art: Volt Tackle, from Generation III onwards.
- Series Mascot: Pikachu usurped Clefairy's intended role due to better reception.
- Shock and Awe: Electric-type.
- Shout-Out: Volt Tackle was based on Pulseman'snote Voltteccer attack, which in turn was based on Tekkaman.
- Third Option Adaptation: Former Trope Namer in regards to the anime.
- Took a Level in Badass: Gen II gives Pikachu the unique Light Ball item which DOUBLES Pikachu's special attack stat, taking it from "decent" to "devastating with same type attack bonus." This does mean that you can't evolve Pikachu, however.
- Tsundere: Pikachu as a whole seem to have a knack for being Type 2 in various different continuities.
Sandshrew and Sandslash (Sand and Sandpan)
Sandshrew and Sandslash don't really resemble shrews as much as they do armadillos or pangolins. They're the creatures you'll find in place of Ekans and Arbok if you have the Blue
versions in the original set of games.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Ground-type.
- Everything Is Better With Spinning: Learns Rapid Spin.
- Mighty Glacier: Sandslash is slow, but it has high Defense and good Attack.
- No Sell: To Electric-type attacks.
- Nonindicative Name: As mentioned above, albeit only in the English releases.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Generation 1 was the only time Sandslash had to shine as an effective ground type, after which it was eclipsed entirely by Donphan, Marowak (in Generation 2), and other faster, sturdier, or more versatile monsters. Generation V brought it Sand Rush, and its long lost cousin Excadrill, which has the colossal attack and slightly better speed to use the ability far more effectively than Sandslash ever could hope to.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: In B2W2, according to Marriland, Sandslash is recommended for Elesa, complete with Rock Tomb for Emolga and Dig for Flaaffy and Zebstrika.
- ... unless you're playing Hard Mode, in which her Energy Ball wielding Joltik scares it away, unless it can take it out in one hit. Its level up move pool improvements make it far more usable in game as a whole, however.
- Picky Eater: Sandshrew.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Sandshrew.
- Spikes of Doom: Sandslash.
Nidoran, Nidorino/a, and Nidoking/queen
One of the most notable things about these guys is that the males and females are different species. This is because the first generation of games (Red
) didn't assign sexes for Pokémon yet. They vaguely resemble rabbits at first, but they grow to be reptilian upon evolution. Both Nidoqueen and Nidoking are very dependable Pokémon. Nidoqueen is more defensive while Nidoking is more offensive, but both are extremely well-rounded.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Nidoking and Nidoqueen will be happy to demonstrate if you ask for proof.
- Badass: In both forms. On the competitive side, they have all-around high stats, amazing movepools, and are immune to Toxic Spikes, Toxic, and Thunder Wave. On the design side, they're dinosaurs covered in spiky armored plates that can use a plethora of Breath Weapons.
- Cartoon Creature: Bulbapedia describes Nidoking and Nidoqueen as "sharing traits of rhinoceroses, gorillas, rabbits, and porcupines." Lord knows what species Game Freak was really thinking of when they made these things, if any.
- Considering Nidoking and Nidoqueen also strongly resemble Baragon, it's likely a Shout-Out of sorts.
- Confusion Fu: Poison, Ground, Fire, Fighting, Water, Bug, Ice, Electric, Rock, and Dragon. There is nothing they cannot hit for at least neutral damage, and they have the bulk to put some force behind it, be it a Physical or Special attack.
- Crutch Character: In game, the Nidoran family's purpose is to add balance to your team by fitting multiple roles. They have a very wide movepool, but no outstanding stats.
- Disc One Nuke: In the games that put you in Kanto or Johto, you can find a Nidoran and get it evolved into Nidoking before you challenge the third gym, and in both regions the Leader will be at a major disadvantage (it's immune to Surge's Electric-types and resists Miltank's Rollout). It will continue to pull its weight for some time, but later on its mediocre stats and heavy weaknesses to Water and Psychic will really start to hurt.
- It is also a major one in Pokémon Black and White. If you have access to the Dream World, you could get a Nidoran of either gender with its Hidden Ability (Hustle). However, since the Pokémon of Generation V tend to evolve far later than earlier Pokémon, this means that earlier Pokémon level up way earlier, with both Nidorans evolving at level 16 and then having the option to evolve them further with a Moon Stone. This means you can get a third stage Pokémon with a wide movepool and an extremely effective ability (Sheer Force) before your starters have evolved. Astonishing.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Nidoking and Nidoqueen.
- Jack of All Stats: The primary strength of Nidoking and Nidoqueen is that they have overall balanced stats (Nidoking leaning towards offense and Nidoqueen to defense) and an amazing movepool to prepare for any enemy. The failing of both is their average Speed, but at base 85, Nidoking is still quite speedier than your average Mighty Glacier.
- Lunacy: First in the National Dex to require the Moon Stone for evolution.
- Master of None: Prior to Generation V, when it didn't have Sheer Force to give them that extra "oomph."
- No Sell: To Electric-type attacks.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Sure, they're balanced, but no base stat over 100 means they are So Okay, It's Average, with far better choices in general. However, their Hidden Ability is Sheer Force, which, coupled with the huge array of moves with secondary effects they learn, makes Nidoking a feasible threat (Nidoqueen, being more defensive statistically, understandably doesn't benefit as much, even with basically identical movesets between the two).
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Inverted normally, straight in their shiny versions (Although Nidoqueen is mostly green).
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Rated M for Manly: Nidoking.
- Rhino Rampage: According to the Pokédex, once Nidoking starts his rampage, nothing can stop him.
- Shout-Out: Both Nidoking and Nidoqueen look like Baragon, a giant monster from the Godzilla films that is quite popular in Japan.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Gen V their Hidden Ability is Sheer Force. Not only does this power up their attacks that have secondary effects (and they learn many such attacks), but it cancels out the Cast from Hit Points effect of Life Orb. The short of it, almost all their attacks receive a 50% power boost, before factoring in typings.
Cleffa, Clefairy, and Clefable (Py, Pippi, and Pixy* )Cleffa debuts in Gen II
These pink cute Pokémon can be thought of as a Distaff Counterpart
to Pikachu's family. Their stats don't seem remarkable, but they learn a fantastic number of moves, plus later games introduced an ability that prevents damage from anything other than direct attacks. Their Metronome technique makes them very unpredictable in battle. This family is thought to come from space, as they're found on mountains with a history behind them (Mt. Moon and Mt. Coronet).
- Blush Sticker: Cleffa and Clefairy. Clefable loses them though.
- Confusion Fu: Like the Nidos, massive movepool, and all around decent stats that allows them to run both defense or offense with ease. Their main move, Metronome, also counts.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Its typing retcon can lead to this when trying to fight it. After all, being a Fairy-type, it's now resistant to the one attack type it was weak to in previous gens.
- Epileptic Trees: In-universe, it's widely believed that they came from the moon.
- InnocentAlien: They are shown to be rather peaceful, although according to the anime they're kleptomaniacs.
- Jack of All Stats: Slighty slow, but good balance.
- Lunacy: Learns Moonlight and evolves with a Moon Stone.
- No Sell:
- Back when it was a Normal type, its typing also made it immune to Ghost-type attacks. Now it's a pure Fairy type and thus immune to Dragon attacks instead.
- Magic Guard works as this for indirect damage: It just doesn't work. Life Orb? The only penalty is not using Leftovers. Sandstorm? Not a problem (for them, anyways.) Stealth Rock? Nope. Toxic? Great, now they don't even have to worry about Paralysis or Sleep. Leech Seed? Enjoy your fat load of nothing.
- Its Hidden Ability Unaware lets it No Sell the opponent's Status Buffs.
- Non-Elemental: Used to be Normal-type.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: To Blissey until Generation 6. Clefable became Fairy-type while Blissey didn't, which effectively gave them different roles. More recently, however, Sylveon and especially Togekiss look to be giving it competition, though Clefable stands out by having the abilities Magic Guard and Unaware.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Depending on who you ask, even more so than Pikachu.
- Secret Art
- In Generation I, it was the only Pokémon to learn Metronome by level up (aside from Mew).
- It had a unique ability in Gen IV, being the only line with Magic Guard.
- Shrinking Violet: All members of the Clef-line are rarely seen, but Clefable is particularly reclusive.
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Thanks to its new Fairy-type and the weather nerf, Unaware Clefable is now being used as a counter to dragons like Garchomp. Its ability allows it to ignore any Dragon Dance or Swords Dance boosts and, thanks to being able to withstand even an unboosted Earthquake without losing half of its health, can wear down most dragons with Moonblast while healing itself more reliably with Moonlight.
- What Could Have Been: As noted in the Pikachu section, Clefairy was originally planned to be the mascot of the Pokémon franchise.
- Wings Do Nothing: They're only there for appearance, apparently. They can't fly, nor even learn Wing-associated attacks.
Vulpix and Ninetales (Rokon and Kyukon)
If you didn't pick Charmander, you're in luck, because there's Vulpix... if you're playing the Blue
version that is, as they're only found on those versions (Red
players get Growlithe instead). Vulpix resembles an adorable six-tailed red fox, while Ninetales is a large golden fox with... nine tails
- Disproportionate Retribution: Touch one of Ninetales's, well, tails, and prepare to be cursed for one thousand years.
- Fantastic Foxes: The line is based in part on mythological kitsune, Japanese trickster fox spirits. Reflected in the Ghost-type moves Vulpix and Ninetales can learn.
- Fusion Dance
- According to an in-universe legend mentioned in a pokedex entry, nine saints were united and reincarnated as Ninetales.
- Another Pokédex entry says that nine wizards possessing sacred powers merged into one. Whether this is a retcon, a mistranslation, or a separate legend is not clear.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom/Hypnotic Eyes/Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ninetales can control minds with its red eyes. They glow when it does this.
- Kitsune: Both are based off this.
- Light Is Not Good: Both are cute and Ninetales is light colored, but Vulpix is deceptive if nothing else and Ninetales is an extremely vindictive Mon with the potentially Nightmare Fuel inducing power of controlling minds.
- Mind Manipulation: Learns Confuse Ray.
- Multiple-Tailed Beast
- Nerf: Was a Lightning Bruiser on the Special Side in Generation I. However, the Special Split cut Ninetales' ability to Fire Blast your team dead.
- No Ontological Inertia: Possibly. Both Ninetales's curse and its life span last 1,000 years.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: In previous gens, Ninetales was never really anything spectacular, possessing only passable Special bulk and access to Energy Ball, Dark Pulse and Extrasensory. Even in Gen 5, where it gained an ability that could potentially change the entire metagame, its type weakness to its new rival, Politoed, whose slower speed let Drizzle overtake Drought, as well as the obvious weaknesses to Earthquake and Stealth Rock, two huge staples of the metagame. With the nerf to weather abilities and the presence of Mega Charizard Y in Gen 6, the poor Kitsune ended up falling right back into the low tiers in no time.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type.
- Really 700 Years Old: Ninetales lives for 1,000 years.
- Soul Power: They learn quite a lot of Ghost-type moves.
- Speedy Stone Wall: Ninetales is fast, and can fend off Special attacks, but its attacks are rather lacking.
- Took a Level in Badass: Getting Drought as an ability really gave a boost to their usefulness. Said ability was previously only known by Groudon.
Igglybuff, Jigglypuff, and Wigglytuff (Pupurin, Purin, and Pukurin)Igglybuff debuts in Gen II
Another family of pink Pokémon. These Pokémon have balloon-like bodies, huge eyes, and a tuff of hair on their heads. Originally all pure Normal-Type, they have gained the Fairy-type in Generation VI
. They have a high HP stat, and can learn a large number of moves, but their other stats are very average. Their talents include sleep-inducing singing. Jigglypuff is particularly notable for being the only Pokémon besides Pikachu to be a playable character in all three Super Smash Bros.
Zubat, Golbat, and CrobatCrobat debuts in Gen II
The bane of trainers everywhere. These bats are found in almost every cave for almost four generations of games. What makes them so annoying is their speed (where your chances of running away is determined by speed stats) and their ability to confuse or poison you. Crobat is excused from this hatred for not being available in the wildnote
. Because they are so common and annoying, trainers often don't want to do anything with them. But if they're patient enough to catch and befriend one, they'll have a strong ally on their side. It has one of the fastest speeds in the game.
- Bat out of Hell: Golbat and Crobat are person-sized vampire bats, and even Zubat is quite larger than most real bats, as well as being poisonous and generally annoying.
- Blow You Away: Flying-type with moves like Whirlwind.
- Com Mons: Every cave in Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh is filled with Zubat. Except those filled with Golbat. Despite that, Crobat is actually a pretty good Pokémon, with stats on par with the evolved starters.
- Combos: It gets Defog and Hypnosis by breeding (Defog is also an HM in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum). Defog's evasion-lowering effect makes Hypnosis more accurate. In Generation 6, Defog has the bonus effect of clearing all entry hazards on the field, including ones on your side (not just your opponents').
- Crippling Overspecialization: In-universe, Crobat's four wings make it very good at flying, but also very bad at walking and stopping to rest.
- Eyeless Face: Zubat, but this makes some sense, as it is a blind bat that depends on echolocation.
- Flight: Flying-type and possible Fly slave.
- Giant Flyer: Crobat is six feet tall. Even with the dubious height calculations of the Pokédex, that's big.
- Goddamned Bats: They provide the page picture for a reason — until Generation V, (and even there, you'll find them in Castelia Sewers) every cave in the world was infested with them, they were probably faster than your Pokémon and thus you can't flee, they use Leech Life to heal themselves so they're harder to kill, use Astonish and Bite to flinch you, and can use Supersonic to inflict Confusion. The game itself even warns you to be wary of them when you first get to Mt. Moon. And then in the late-game areas, instead of Zubat you meet Golbat, which have all the same annoyances with higher speed and Confuse Ray over Supersonic which is always successful.
- Gradual Grinder: Expected for a Poison-type, and Crobat is capable of learning a lot of disrupting moves like Taunt, Supersonic, Confuse Ray, Hypnosis, Super Fang, Defog, Haze, Mean Look, and Torment. Its offensive stats are alright, but its lacking offensive movepool makes this a good option.
- Jack of All Stats: Pretty well-balanced stats, except for Speed, with Crobat's being in the top 10 (not counting Mega Evolutions) in the game. Crobat also is one of two Pokémon with the highest base stat totals of its type that isn't a Legendary or Mega Evolved (Tyranitar is the other). Granted, Poison doesn't have a dedicated Legendary (no, Arceus does not count)...
- Magikarp Power: Zubat is much, much weaker than its evolved forms.
- Disc One Nuke: Crobat is roughly as strong as the evolved starters, and due to how happiness works, can be obtained one level after evolving into the already respectable Golbat with just a little tender loving care. Also, in Platinum, wild Golbat are capturable (but rare) before the first gym, and theoretically one could get a Crobat under level 10.
- No Sell: To Ground-type attacks.
- Overly-Long Tongue: Golbat in its Red and Blue sprite.◊
- Perpetual Frowner: Crobat.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- The Power of Friendship: Arguably the first time it's applied as a game element in the series; it's the only way to evolve Golbat into Crobat.
- Signature Move: Infamous spammers of Leech Life and Supersonic (or Confuse Ray in the case of Golbat) in the wild.
- Status Buff Dispel: Naturally learns Haze and can be bred to know Whirlwind.
- Took a Level in Badass: Twice. First, in Gold and Silver, an annoying but otherwise forgettable Pokémon received a much stronger and much, much faster evolution, and in the same generation where the Psychic-type was heavily nerfed. Many years later in X and Y, it now has the ability to pass through Substitutes (through the Infiltrator ability) and the ability to clear Stealth Rock guaranteed with a newly-buffed Defog, which still lowers evasion and effectively makes Crobat the fastest sleep inducer in the game alongside Hypnosis. Due to Fairy-types, it also has a reason to run Poison-type attacks.
- The Stoic: Crobat, at least in Pokémon-Amie. Its facial expressions don't change at all. Its mouth doesn't even move when it eats.
- Useless Useful Spell: Can be bred to know Curse, which is a Speed-lowering move on one of the fastest Pokémon in the game.
Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, and Bellossom (Nazonokusa, Kusaihana, Ruffresia, and Kireihana)Bellossom debuts in Gen II
One of the archetypal Grass-type families, Oddish and its evolved forms are a good choice if you didn't start with Bulbasaur. Oddish resembles a radish that's blue in color and it walks on two feet. As it matures into a Gloom, it gains arms and becomes very smelly, much like a rafflesia. Finally can evolve into either a Vileplume, or a Bellossom... if you have one of the appropriate stones, that is. Bellossom is somewhat unique in that it shrinks in size and loses its Poison typing upon evolution, as well as losing its legs, which are replaced by a leaf-dress of sorts. In their debut generation they were exclusive to Red
- Com Mons: In Hoenn, where they are much more common than in Kanto or Johto.
- Dance Battler: Bellossom.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Bellossom has a 50% chance of being male.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Gloom's Japanese name is Kusaihana, which literally translates to "smelly flower". Also, Bellossom's Japanese name is Kireihana, which literally translates to "beautiful flower".
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Hula and Luaus: Bellossom.
- Meaningful Name: A Rafflesia (Vileplume's name in the Japanese version) is the largest flower in the world and produces a highly foul odor, and the flower on its head highly resembles one. This may also go to explain why Gloom smells so bad.
- To be more specific, the rare rain forest flower Vileplume is based on uses that smell to attract insects, and said smell resembles what would come from rotting meat. That's why one of its nicknames is "Stinking Corpse Lily". Taking that into consideration really makes you understand how bad Gloom probably smells.
- Mighty Glacier: Both Vileplume and Bellossom have decent physical stats and good special stats, but their speed stat is rather lacking.
- Glacier Waif: Bellossom looks too frail and tiny to come off as tough compared to Vileplume.
- Stone Wall: Due to the increase to its Defense stat (Thus sandwiching it between both its special stats), Bellossom leans on this.
- No Sell: To powder-based moves as of Gen VI.
- Petal Power: Learns Petal Dance.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: As noted above, Bellossom is the smallest form of the family, yet its stats are on par with the alternative evolution Vileplume.
- Plant Pokémon: Oddish and Gloom are weed Pokédmon. Vileplume and Bellossom are flower Pokémon.
- Poisonous Pokémon: As noted above, Bellossom is the only one that isn't this.
- Real Pokémon Wear Grass Skirts: Bellossom has an even chance of being male.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Oddish.
- Secret Art: Petal Dance, but only in Generation I.
Paras and Parasect
Paras and Parasect are an interesting
family. It's a cicada-like insect that's in a symbiotic [read:parasitic] relationship with a mushroom that only grows on the bug. Thus, it is capable of using both Bug and Grass type moves. This comes with a cost, though: Upon evolution, the mushroom takes over the insect's brain and it seems that it's the mushroom that is in control of the creature. It's considered a great Pokémon to catch other Pokémon with though, since it has access to Spore, one of the best sleep-inducing moves in the game, and False Swipe, which will never reduce a target's health below one. Just keep it away from heat.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bug-type.
- Blank White Eyes: Parasect, as a result of losing its mind to the mushroom.
- Body Horror: Upon evolving, the mushrooms on Paras's back completely take over Parasect and turn it into a warped zombie of its former self. Yeesh.
- For Massive Damage: Fire-type attacks will do HUGE damage (see Kill It with Fire entry below), as well as flying-type attacks. In the first generation games, Poison also does 4x damage, as it and Bug were weak to each other in those games.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Healing Factor: In the rain, if it has Dry Skin.
- Kill It with Fire: Noteworthy that it can have a 5x weakness against fire moves if it has Dry Skin.
- Mighty Glacier: It has decent Attack, and okay defenses on both the physical and special ends (though it's undermined somewhat by its low HP), but very low Speed.
- No Sell: Water attacks, thanks to Dry Skin. They're also immune to powder-based moves as of Gen VI.
- Power-Up Letdown: Unless you plan on using Parasect in a sun team, there's not much reason to use Damp over Dry Skin, especially considering Fire attacks toast the thing with or without it.
- Puppeteer Parasite: The mushrooms on Paras's back are influencing its thoughts.
- Secret Art: Spore, of them and the other two mushroom-based families - in fact, the move's Japanese name is Mushroom Spore.
- There's also Effect Spore, which is a unique ability. Again, only the Paras line and the other two mushroom-based families get it naturally (though Vileplume has it as its Hidden Ability.)
- Took a Level in Badass: Dry Skin gave it viability in Rain Dance teams.
Venonat and Venomoth (Kongpang and Morphon)
A furry bug-like creature that evolves into a moth with poisonous scales. It's kinda unremarkable, apart from the fact that it is a far better choice as a Bug Pokémon than Beedrill or Butterfree, except that it comes far
later than both of them.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bug-type.
- Blow You Away: Venomoth, despite not being a Flying type.
- Flight: Venomoth, in just the same way as Beedrill.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: It has good Speed and Special Attack, while the rest of its stats are average.
- Macabre Moth Motif: Venomoth is said to scatter poisonous powder when it flaps its wings while hunting at night.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Psychic Powers: They learn the 3 main offensive Psychic moves via level up.
- Standard Status Effects: Like Butterfree, they learn the 3 powder moves.
- Took a Level in Badass: Venomoth seems to have simply gotten better and better as time's gone by:
- Generation 2 brought it Poison STAB (Sludge Bomb).
- Generation 3 brought it a cool ability called Shield Dust which prevents the enemy's added effects of moves (like Flamethrower's burn).
- Generation 4 gave it the physical/special split, giving it good special STAB (Bug Buzz+Sludge Bomb), and more importantly Tinted Lens, a new ability that doubles the damage of any of Venomoth's attacks that the foe resists (ie, x.5 damage becomes x1, x.25 becomes .5), meaning it has fewer safe switch-ins.
- Generation 5 gives it Quiver Dance, a new boosting move that increases Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by one stage. And it can Baton Pass it. Venomoth is making quite a fuss in the lower tiers, and for good reason!
- Kicked Upstairs: In fact, it's gotten so good, it got bumped out of the lower tiers entirely, making it up to UU. It's not quite one of the popular mons yet, but it's doing way better than most Bug-Types, especially among the ones introduced in earlier gens. Heck, this could also count as a level in badass being taken for the several other Bug-Types that no longer have to compete with it.
- Generation 6 introduced Fairy types, making its Poison typing more useful.
Diglett (Digda) and Dugtrio
Based on Whack-a-Moles, these are probably tied with Voltorb and Magnemite for the Pokémon with the simplest design. Diglett appears to be only a half-buried brown nub with a bright red nose. Dugtrio appears to be no different, except that it's three of them. What's also unusual about this Ground type (mostly populated by tanks) is that it's also lighting-fast, but can't take a hit well. It's also got the ability to trap land-based opponents.
- Bigger on the Inside: Fanart frequently depicts the tiny, adorable Diglett/Dugtrio as being a surface appendage for a massive subterranean abomination.
- Crutch Character: Can't defeat Lt. Surge because his Raichu is mopping the floor with your Squirtle? Don't worry; just go to the nearby Diglett's Cave and catch a Diglett (or a Dugtrio should one happen to crop up), then proceed to destroy Surge with a well-placed Dig.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: They really go out of their way to ensure that Diglett and Dugtrio is never seen leaving the ground, to the point of giving them special animations for when any other Pokémon uses a non-animated hop (Pokéathlon, Poké Transfer) or just appear in mid-air (When sent into battle in Black and White) anyways.
- Disc One Nuke: If you're very patient in the Kanto games, you can find a Level 29-31 Dugtrio in Diglet's Cave, at a time when your other Pokémon may be only Level 20-ish.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Ground-type.
- Fragile Speedster: In its own right, and especially by the standards of its type.
- Notably, Diglett has the second-worst base HP in the game, only being outdone by Shedinja. Dugtrio isn't much better.
- Multiple Head Case: Dugtrio.
- No Sell: Electricity.
- Riddle for the Ages: We will likely never see what the rest of Diglett or Dugtrio's body looks like.
- Secret Art: Despite being a widespread move, prior to Generation III, they are the only ones to learn Dig naturally.
- Starfish Alien: Diglett and Dugtrio may be this. We just aren't sure. Given that Dugtrio has three heads from a one-headed Diglett, it's not out of the field of possibility.
- The Unseen: Their lower bodies will never be seen, only implied. They seem to have claws and feet at least.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Again, Arena Trap.
Meowth (Nyarth) and Persian
These Pokémon are probably some of the most recognized Pokémon in the franchise after Pikachu, due to one individual being a main antagonist in the anime and because that particular one is unique in that it can speak human languages, something very few other Pokémon can do (and most of those use telepathy). It's only natural to have a cat Pokémon as an antagonist when your protagonist is a mouse. These cats are based on Maneki Neko
, a lucky cat that's supposed to grant its owner wealth. Persian has a regal air to it and is quite fast, but nothing note-worthy about it otherwise. In their debut they could only be found in the Blue
- Badass Normal: This housecat made it to Overused in the days of the Red/Blue/Yellow games because of the fact that, due to the critical hit rate being based on speed, Slash always yielded one.
- Combat Pragmatist: Their natural movepool is not one made up of orthodox moves.
- Confusion Fu: They've got a massive movepool. That's par for the course for Normal-types, but Meowth and Persian still get more options than most.
- Critical Hit Class: Back in Generation 1, Slash got a critical hit depending on speed, and Persian was already pretty fast, so pretty much all of the time Slash was a critical hit.
- Fragile Speedster: High Speed, but it's not going to take many hits.
- Item Caddy: Meowth can have the Pickup ability.
- Maneki Neko: Based on these.
- Nerf: Though it wasn't hit directly by anything, Persian's main strategy in Generation I was "Crit Slash, Crit Slash, Hyper Beam when on low health," which obviously didn't work after revision of critical hits and the removal of Hyper Beam's "doesn't need to charge if it gets a kill" feature. Tell a modern-day battler that Persian was once one of the most feared Pokémon of Gen I, and you'll probably get a funny look.
- No Sell: To Ghost-type attacks.
- Non-Elemental: Normal-type.
- Panthera Awesome: Persian, a housecat.
- Secret Art: Pay Day for Meowth; the attack has actually been steadingly limited to Meowth and only Meowth over the gens (even vanishing from Persian's learnset in Gen IV). However, in Gen V, Purrloin has this as an egg move; in Gen III, you can get a Skitty with this through Pokémon Box; and in Gen I, it was a TM.
- Weak, but Skilled: Their attacking stats are average at best, and their defenses are lacking, but their ability, speed, and movepool make them stand out, specially in Gen I.
Psyduck (Koduck) and Golduck
One of the most recognizable Pokémon, Psyduck is an eternally confused yellow duck-thing (some call it a platypus, though). It's got a headache that can somehow enable it to tap into mysterious psychic powers. Golduck is less silly though.
- Action Initiative: Golduck has access to Aqua Jet, though it needs the move relearner to get at it.
- Confusion Fu: Has a decent array of both physical and special attacks to work with, and its attacking stats are close enough together that it can use either effectively (it even gets both Calm Mind and Hone Claws to boost whichever attacking stat you end up going with).
- Everything's Better With Platypi: They draw some inspiration from a platypus.
- Jack of All Stats: All of Golduck's stats are around 80 except for its Special Attack, which is 95.
- Fragile Speedster: With its Hidden Ability of Swift Swim active. Granted, it's not all that fragile, but it isn't particularly sturdy either.
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Water is the most widespread type of all, so there will always be a better alternative to these guys.
- Non-Indicative Name: Switching around the first part of their names may seem a little more fitting.
- Psychic Powers: Despite not being Psychic-type at all.
- Taking You with Me: Defied with its Damp Ability, which prevents moves like Explosion and the Aftermath Ability from working.
- Useless Useful Spell: Gets the Soak move, which changes the target into a Water-type. Unfortunately, despite its otherwise impressive movepool, it doesn't get any Electric- or Grass-type attacks to abuse this with.
- Weather Control Creatures: It's under a different namenote , but one of their abilities is essentially Rayquaza's Air Lock.
- Youkai: Golduck is based on the Kappa.
Mankey and Primeape (Okorizaru)
Mankey and Primeape resemble puff-balls as much as they resemble monkeys and apes. They're fighting-types that always seem to be angry at something. In the Yellow
version, this is the guy you want to use to fight against Brock, since Pikachu really cannot do squat against him. They were exclusive to the Red
version in their debut generation.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Primeape's main fighting style.
- Confusion Fu: They can learn moves of every single type, and damage-dealing moves from 14 of them.
- Cross-Popping Veins: Primeape
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: They're pig monkeys.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Primeape is the fourth-fastest Fighting type (among the Fighting-types, only Mienshao, the Musketeers, Infernape, and Pirouette Forme Meloetta are faster,) but it can only take one hit... if said hit is absurdly weak and/or comes from a type that Primeape resists. And like most Fighting types it has high powered moves coming from a high attack.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Mankey and Primeape spend most of their lives in perpetual fury, going aggro on anything that even looks at them sideways.
- Name's the Same: Mankey is also the name of the orangutan enemies in Donkey Kong Country.
- No Sell: To sleep-inducing effects with its Vital Spirit Ability.
- Status Buff: Two of its abilities. Anger Point maxes out its Attack if it gets hit by a critical attack, and Defiant increases its Attack by two stages if one of its stats gets reduced by the opponent, including Attack - a great way to turn Intimidate users's strategy on its head.
- Unstoppable Rage: Hoo boy. Mankey is very prone to this, and this is pretty much Primeape's default mood. You can still get a Calm-natured Mankey. Once it's gotten riled up at something, Primape will never stop chasing the offending party until it has caught up and beaten the everloving crap out of it.
Growlithe and Arcanine (Gardie and Windie)
These Fire-type dog-like Pokémon are based on Shisa. They vaguely resemble lions and tigers along with their more canine features. Arcanine has one of the highest stats for a non-legendary and access to a wide variety of moves, making it one of the best choices as far as Fire-types are concerned. They were exclusive to the Red
version in their debut generation.
- Badass: In both forms, but especially the latter.
- Canis Major: Arcanine is 6'03" and weighs 341 lbs/155 kgs.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite all the Pokédex entries rambling on about how it's probably the fastest Pokémon in existence, it's really not that hard to find something with a higher base Speed stat than Arcanine. Even its direct counterpart, Ninetales, is faster than it. It's worth noting, however, that Extreme Speed was its Secret Art in Gen II, so it held SOME merit.
- Heroic Dog: Growlithe is faithful and loyal to its trainer, barking at anyone who approaches the trainer unexpectedly.
- Honor Before Reason: Its Hidden Ability is Justified, which boosts its Attack if hit by a Dark-type move. However, it doesn't innately resist Dark, so it's somewhat risky to take advantage of.
- Jack of All Stats: No stats are particularly weak or strong aside from Arcanine's Attack.
- Magikarp Power: Growlithe's weaker than Farfetch'd, but when you evolve it, Arcanine's got the highest base stat total of all non-(pseudo)-legendaries with a useful ability.note
- Master of None: Highest base stats total of any non-(pseudo)-legendary without a negative ability, but its stats are too balanced to really abuse, with speed falling just short of the key 100 (it is 95, forcing a scarf, using Agility, or using Extremespeed to sweep).
- No Sell: Fire-type attacks if its Ability is Flash Fire.
- Playing with Fire: Fire-type.
- Precious Puppies: Growlithe.
- Secret Art: ExtremeSpeed for Arcanine, on Gen II only.
- Took a Level in Badass: It seems like every generation makes sure to give Arcanine some handy new moves to move it up another level.
- Undying Loyalty: Growlithe, to its Trainer. It won't even move until it's been given a command by its Trainer.
Poliwag, Poliwhirl, Poliwrath, and Politoed (Nyoromo, Nyorozo, Nyorobon, and Nyorotono)Politoed debuts in Gen II
These water Pokémon are based on tadpoles and frogs. They also happen to be Satoshi Tajiri's favorite Pokémon, and as such, they get plenty of showcasing. They're blue in color and have swirling bellies that can make their opponents sleepy by simply undualating it. Politoed is very different in that it's a fully mature green frog
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: The player needs a King's Rock (shaped like a crown) for evolving Poliwhirl into Politoed.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Poliwrath, as a Fighting-type.
- Frogs and Toads: They're tadpoles, except for Politoed which is a frog.
- Hypnotic Intestines: The swirl pattern they show is perfect for making opponents fall asleep.
- Jack of All Stats: Poliwrath on the physical side, and Politoed on the special side.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Politoed can learn Hyper Voice.
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- Socialization Bonus: Politoed needs to be traded (while holding a King's Rock) to evolve.
- Took a Level in Badass: Poliwrath and especially Politoed got excellent Hidden Abilities. Poliwrath got Swift Swim, which turned it into a Lightning Bruiser in the rain, while Politoed got Drizzle, which wound up being so useful that it not only shot it up from NU trash to the higher levels of OU, but almost singlehandedly changed the meta.
- Weather Control Creature: Politoed can now have Kyogre's Drizzle ability.
- Nerf: ...which, as of Generation VI, is no longer permanent but works exactly like an instant Rain Dance. Given the infamous "weather wars" of Generation V, it was needed. As a matter of fact, it was primarily Politoed and the popularity of rain-based teams that got weather abilities nerfed, as permanent rain made teams with lots of Swift Swim, Dry Skin, Hydration, and Rain Dish users brutally effective to the point where you had to have a weather blocker on your team at all times if you didn't want to get stalled to death or wrecked by a bunch of Lightning Bruisers.
Abra, Kadabra, and Alakazam (Casey, Yungerer, and Foodin)
The first psychic type you might encounter, Abra and its kin were one of the best Pokémon in the game in the days of Red
, and Yellow
, mainly due to how broken Psychic Pokémon were at the time. Abra was notable for teleporting away as soon as it appeared, so you only had one chance to catch it before it ran. Once caught though, it's lightning fast and hits very hard with its special attacks. It's been available from Gens I-IV. In Gen VI, it gained a Mega Evolution.
- Badass Mustache: Grows one as it evolves.
- Baleful Polymorph/Was Once a Man: According to the Pokédex, a boy with psychic powers transformed into the first Kadabra.
- Cartoon Creature: It's hard to figure out exactly what these Pokémon are based on. Bulbapedia claims they're a mix of goats and foxes along with humanoid traits, but... still.
- Combos: Naturally learns both Trick and Disable, allowing it to force a Choice item onto its opponent and then using Disable, which forces the Pokémon to use Struggle. It doesn't have any other way to keep its doomed opponents from escaping, so it's especially potent (and somewhat cruel) when used on the opponent Trainer's last Pokémon.
- Disc One Nuke: In-game Alakazam was second only to Mewtwo in the first gen, and could be captured before the second badge.
- Metal Slime: But good luck catching an Abra!
- Magikarp Power: And good luck evolving it, as it lacks damaging moves. However, with some TMs, Abra becomes a dangerous creature itself, as it already has respectable Special Attack and Speed.
- Evil Counterpart: They have one in the Gastly-Haunter-Gengar family, to the point Alakazam and Gengar are depicted as borderline Arch Enemies. Alakazam's Psychic typing gives it a simultaneous weakness and advantage against the Ghost/Poison type Gengar. The Abra family's Pokédex entries emphasize it is intelligent but benign, the Gastly family uses their powers to prey on the weak. Their parallels are referenced throughout the series in various ways.
- The anime has Ash recruiting a Haunter to battle Sabrina's Kadabra, and another episode has an ancient Alakazam and an ancient Gengar awakened to do battle.
- Compared to Alakazam, Gengar trades a few points of Special Attack and Speed for (slightly) less horrible HP and physical stats.
- Their original cards in the Pokémon TCG—Alakazam's Pokémon Power lets it move damage counters around on the player's Pokémon, Gengar's Pokémon Power moves around damage counters on the opponent's Pokémon. Both had one attack requiring three Psychic energy, which did 30 damage with an additional effect, and they both had 80 HP.
- In Generation VI, they both got a Mega Evolution and retain their similar stat distribution through them, and Alakazam got a slight buff to its Special Defense to match Gengar's 500 Base Stat total.
- Eyes Always Shut: Abra. The only glimpse of an Abra eye is the Gold sprite, where its left eye is half-open.
- Foil: Alakazam to Machamp. Both have similar stats and methods of evolving (trade), but opposing types and ways of fighting.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Abra supposedly teleports while sleeping, but putting it to sleep is the most effective way to catch one.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: Incredible speed and special attack, pathetic HP and defense. The Special defense is passable (especially after it gained a buff in Gen VI), but the low HP shoots down that.
- Heal Thyself: Can learn Recover.
- Heavy Sleeper: Abra spends most of the day asleep, and can teleport away from danger even if sleeping.
- Intelligent Gerbil: Alakazam has an IQ that exceeds 5,000, making it the smartest Pokémon in existence.
- Improbably High IQ: Not the first (or last) time that the Pokedex is hilariously inaccurate, but given the way the IQ scale worksnote , Alakazam's stated intelligence just breaks it into tiny whimpering pieces.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Mega Alakazam is in this stance.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kadabra is based on Uri Geller (its Japanese name is even a corruption of his name), a man who claimed to be able to bend spoons with his mind. Geller was not impressed, and sued Nintendo over it (he lost).
- The same is true for the other Mon in this line, their namesakes however never sued on account of being dead.
- No Sell: Any variant of indirect damage, due to its Hidden Ability Magic Guard. Including Life Orb recoil.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Not getting anything meaningfully new over the generations, as well as Psychic receiving gradual nerfs, meant Alakazam was to be overshadowed not only by its foil, Machamp, but by other Psychic types like Espeon and Reuniclus.
- Psychic Powers: Yeah, this is a given.
- Punny Name: Abracadabra and Alakazam are stock magic phrases, which fits this line of Squishy Wizards
- Secret Art: Kinesis for Kadabra and Alakazam.
- Socialization Bonus: Needs to be traded to evolve fully.
- Super Mode: Gained a Mega Evolution in Gen VI.
- Squishy Wizard: One of the best examples in Pokemon, with very high Special Attack and decent Special Defence, but low HP, physical attack, and defence.
- Synchronization: The Synchronize ability inflicts the opponent with the same status that this Pokémon gets. Mega Alakazam has Trace.
- Teleport Spam: Abra, especially in Spinoffs, although this is more of a case of When All You Have Is a Hammer.
- Theme Naming: Even the pre-production names of Abra and Kadabra (Hocus and Pocus, respectively) have a theme.
Machop, Machoke, and Machamp (Wanriky, Goriky, and Kairiky)
In the same way that the Abra kin represents brains, the Machop line represents brawn. These Pokémon are fantastically strong and use their muscles very effectively when it comes to manual labour. In order to get the four-armed Machamp, you need to trade it into another game.
- Always Accurate Attack: Any move, if it has No Guard. Even if you're using Fly, Dig, or Dive. Machamp used Dynamic Punch!
- Badass: The whole family, but especially No Guard Machamp with Dynamic Punch.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: With four fists!
- Bicep-Polishing Gesture: Machoke; on some sprites, Machop, too.
- Expy: Machamp, to Goro.
- Foil: Machamp to Alakazam, as mentioned above.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Their male-female ratio is 3:1, yeah, but females don't even get any visible difference.
- Mighty Glacier: They're not that fast, but their defenses are solid.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Machamp.
- Name's the Same: Both Machamp and Dragonite are called "GUAIL" in Pokemon Vietnamese Crystal.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: In early games, despite being a physical counterpart to the Abra line, due to Psychic (its prime weakness) being overpowered. Between nerfs to Psychic, an expanding of its movepool, and a new ability that's Difficult, But Awesome, this has gone away.
- This has happened again to Machamp, this time with Conkeldurr being the overshadower, due to Conkeldurr's better bulk and movepool (namely with its access to Mach Punch and Drain Punch).
- Pec Flex: Machoke in its Crystal sprites.
- Power Limiter: According to the Dex, their belts.
- Rated M for Manly: And HOW !
- Secret Art: The only ones to learn Submission naturally in Generation I.
- Smarter Than You Look: It's said that Machop is actually quite intelligent. Whether or not this applies to its evolutions is unknown.
- Socialization Bonus: Needs to be traded in order to evolve.
- Super Strength: As expected from the Superpower Pokémon.
- Machop can hold a sumo wrestler aloft on one finger, Machoke can lift dump trucks without effort, and Machamp can punch a man with enough force to send him flying away. Ridiculous strength much?
- Wrestler in All of Us: Machoke and Machamp even have a sumo belt.
Bellsprout, Weepinbell, and Victreebel (Madatsubomi, Utsudon, and Utsubot)
This family of carnivorus plants were exclusive to the Green
versions of the original games, in place of the Oddish family. Much like them, they're Grass/Poison-types. You would need a Leaf Stone to get a Victreebel though.
- Big Eater: It can digest pretty much everything it can swallow, except for itself.
- Comes into play with its Hidden Ability of Gluttony, causing it to eat health- or stat-boosting berries at half health instead of a third remaining health, as is normal.
- Character Name Limits: Victreebel is missing the second "l" that Weepinbell had room for.
- Glass Cannon: In both the physical and special sides.
- Fragile Speedster: With Chlorophyll active. It helps that Growth can double both of its attacking stats when the sun is out.
- Green Thumb: Grass-type.
- Hidden Elf Village: Apparently, they live in huge colonies in jungles.
- Man-Eating Plant: It's implied that Victreebels have eaten any and all explorers who stumble upon their secret society in the jungles.
- No Sell: To powder-based moves as of Gen VI.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Power Nullifier: Bellsprout and Weepinbell naturally learn Gastro Acid, allowing them to remove a target's Ability.
- Power Of The Sun: Gets the Chlorophyll Ability, giving it a doubled Speed when the sun is out. In addition, it can learn Growth, Synthesis, Solarbeam, and Weather Ball; the first gets a doubled effect in the sun, the seecond does additional healing in the sun, the third loses the usual charge-up turn when used in the sun, and the last becomes a Fire attack with a 100 base power when used in the sun.
- Super Spit: Victreebel learns the Stockpile/Swallow/Spit Up trio naturally.
Tentacool and Tentacruel (Menokurage and Dokukurage)
Whenever you go surfing on the seas of Kanto, Jotho, Hoenn, and Sinnoh, you're bound to encounter these Jellyfish Pokémon. Lots of them.
Luckily for you, you could handle these guys in the same way one handles Zubats: Electric and Psychic moves will normally do the job.
- Combat Tentacles: They can trap the opponent with Wrap.
- Com Mons: But, like Crobat, Tentacruel is a respectable fighter.
- Electric Jellyfish: Averted. Not only are they not part Electric type, but they can't learn any Electric moves outside of (possibly) Hidden Power.
- Healing Factor: In the rain, if it has its Hidden Ability of Rain Dish.
- In addition, it can be bred to know Aqua Ring.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Liquid Ooze variant can inflict this on users of Life Drain moves, as it causes them to drain the user's health instead of restore it.
- Making a Splash: Water-type.
- No Sell: To moves that attempt to reduce its stats, thanks to its Clear Body Ability.
- Poisonous Pokémon: Poison-type.
- Speedy Stone Wall: Tentacruel can fend off any Special Attack, and is also quick at a speed of 100, but its attack stats aren't anything to write home about. Its physical Defense isn't great either, but at least it naturally learns Barrier to help deal with that.
- Tentacle Rope
- Took a Level in Badass: Tentacruel didn't see much competitive use until Generation IV, when it was discovered that it made an excellent support Pokémon.
- Took another in Gen V, being one of many pokemon that could take advantage of Politoad's drizzle ability.
- Trap Master: Naturally learns Toxic Spikes, and can be bred to know Rapid Spin.