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Characters / Pokémon: Recurring Archetypes

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With so many Pokémon in the franchise, it is perhaps inevitable that some evolutionary lines serve similar roles between generations. Pokémon that serve these recurring roles often share typing, stats, location, design elements, and role in the story/lore, usually some combination of any of the five.

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The Early Game Archetypes

In the early game, players are eased into the adventure with these archetypes. You'll find most of these monsters in fields and forests.

Trainers learn basics of the games' mechanics through them such as Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors, high catch rates that only require the default balls, level-up evolution etc.

While weaker in stats overall, they are many players' first companions and meant to be very appealing. People may keep them around for sentimental reasons later in the game despite more powerful options becoming available.

    The Starter Trio 
The first Pokémon you receive in the game. Usually given to you by the local Pokémon professor, they always come in three different types: Grass, Fire, or Water. Your primary rival gets one you don't choose, and the contrast between your starter and the rival's starter teaches a basic Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors relationship between them. Since abilities were introduced, starters get one of three abilities that are type variants of each other: Overgrow, Blaze, and Torrent, which boosts the power of their primary type when their HP gets low.

Storywise, the starters are intended to play The Hero role among your party for your first play through. In gameplay, they are the first customization option on your RPG experience: a choice of build, stats, or Difficulty Levels depending on the game. In the Super Smash Bros. series, the concept of the starter trio along with the player character is represented by the "Pokémon Trainer" fighter (based on Red/Leaf from FireRed and LeafGreen), who stands in the background while the player interchangeably controls Kanto's starter trio in different stages of evolution.

Pokémon of this archetype:
Grass-type Starters: Bulbasaur line, Chikorita line, Treecko line, Turtwig line, Snivy line, Chespin line, Rowlet line, Grookey line
Fire-type Starters: Charmander line, Cyndaquil line, Torchic line, Chimchar line, Tepig line, Fennekin line, Litten line, Scorbunny line
Water-type Starters: Squirtle line, Totodile line, Mudkip line, Piplup line, Oshawott line, Froakie line, Popplio line, Sobble line

Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype:
Starters of different types: Pikachu, Eevee
Non-starter Grass/Water/Fire Trios: The Elemental Monkeysnote 

  • Breakout Character: Being a Starter Mon vastly increases a Pokémon's chance of gaining widespread popularity and recognition. In particular, all three Kanto starter lines (especially Charizard), Blaziken and Greninja have become major icons of the franchise.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Strongly averted. You could release them forever as soon as you catch your first Com Mon, or trade them at any point in time. Still, the game reminds you of your starter choice through The Rival, and sometimes other characters.
  • Critical Status Buff: Their default ability is either Overgrow, Blaze, or Torrent, which increases the power of Grass/Fire/Water moves respectively by 1.5 when they are at one-third of their health.
  • Difficulty Levels: A stand in for difficulty settings in most games. Your choice can determine the ease of the first few boss battles while your other Com Mons are still only doing Scratch Damage.
    • For example in Red and Blue, Bulbasaur is Easy Mode for being super effective on gyms 1 and 2, and defensively strong on gyms 2 and 3. Squirtle is Medium Mode for being super effective on gym 1, mutually not very effective on gym 2, and defensively weak to gym 3. Charmander is Hard Mode for being both not very effective and defensively weak to gyms 1 and 2, and being neutral on gym 3.
    • In Yellow, you start with a Pikachu while the rival has an Eevee. What the Eevee evolves into depends on your performance in your first two rival battles. If you win both, it becomes a Jolteon for mutual disadvantage. If you win one, it becomes Flareon, which is neutral. If you lose both, it becomes Vaporeon, giving you an offensive advantage.
    • This is intentionally averted in Gen V. In Black and White, the first gym pits you against whichever Elemental Monkey you have a disadvantage against. In Black 2 and White 2, the first gym is Normal-type, meaning everything is neutral.
  • Eastern Zodiac: Counting the Cyndaquil line of rodent-like field mammals as the Rat, and Fennekin line of foxes (canids) as the Dog, the first 8 Fire-type starters fill in the eastern zodiac signs nicely. It is yet to be seen if Gens 9-12 will complete the set.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Applies to the whole game, but the starter trio adheres to one of the simplest RPS trios of types. Grass beats Water, which beats Fire, which beats Grass.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: As your first choice in your RPG experience, they sometimes mirror a classic jobs system. Gen VI does this most explicitly with Chesnaught, Delphox, and Greninja in that order by number.
  • Green Thumb: The first numerical starter line in each Pokédex is that of the Grass-type starter.
  • The Hero: The closest monsters to being main characters. They get a lot of facetime in the marketing and their designs give them pretty strong "canon" personalities. They're also heavily associated with the human lead characters.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: All of them have reasonably balanced stats compared to other Pokémon in the Dex, neither too high nor too low. There's quite a bit of variation, but you won't see a starter with extremely high Attack comparable to Haxorus or extremely low Speed comparable to Snorlax.
  • Making a Splash: The third numerical starter line in each Pokédex is that of the Water-type starter.
  • Playing with Fire: The second numerical starter line in each Pokédex is that of the Fire-type starter.
  • Secret Art: Two sets of them, both of which have one for each type. These moves must be taught by a designated tutor somewhere in each game.
    • The first set, introduced in Gen III, consists of Frenzy Plant, Blast Burn, and Hydro Cannon. These moves have the same effect as Hyper Beam: 150 power, 90% accuracy, and causes a recharge on the following turn.
    • The second set, introduced in Gen V, are the Pledge moves: Fire Pledge, Water Pledge, and Grass Pledge. While the moves are rather standard on their own, if two starters use different Pledge moves in doubles, the two will unleash a powerful Combination Attack with a secondary Field Power Effect on the opponent's side. The "secret" part is later downplayed slightly, as they are shared as of Gen VII with the Elemental Monkeys while Grass Pledge alone can be taught to Silvally.
  • Starter Mon: They're always the first Pokémon you receive, and a handy partner to keep throughout the game.

    The Common Rodent 
A Normal-type, two-stage mon that can be found everywhere in their region, from early-game to late-game. They are generally designed to be unremarkable, having low stats even upon evolution and often serving as team members on the early-game opponent trainers such as Youngsters and Lasses.

Note that while the archetype is commonly called a "rodent" and most often are rodents, some Pokémon of this archetype are based on animals not scientifically classified as rodents, such as rabbits, raccoons, badgers, and mongooses.

Pokémon of this archetype: Rattata line, Zigzagoon line, Bidoof line, Patrat line, Bunnelby line, Yungoos line, Skwovet line

Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Sentret linenote 

  • Boring, but Practical: In the games with HMs, they tend to serve the purpose of the team's "HM slave".
  • Com Mons: Found everywhere on land routes.
  • The Goomba: Other than being an HM Slave in the relevant generations, their primary purpose is to give an easy common opponent both as Wild Pokémon and on opponent trainers on routes.
  • Non-Elemental: They are always Normal-type, though some second forms like Bibarel and Diggersby also gain secondary typings.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The rodents of this archetype tend to be much larger than their real-life counterparts. The Zigzagoon, Bidoof, and Bunnelby lines are notable exceptions; the Zigzagoon line being precious puppies, and Bidoof line being beavers which are quite large relative to other rodents, and Bunnelby line are rabbits.
  • Utility Party Member: A number of them tend to learn several Hidden Machine moves, which makes them surprisingly good at map utility. The Bidoof line in particular is capable of learning almost all of Gen IV's HMs.


    The Common Bird 
A three-stage Flying-type, these Pokémon can be found everywhere in their regions alongside their fellow rodents. While they also often appear on the early-game opponents, their three-stage evolution, stats, and useful typing can be useful throughout the game. If nothing else, they can be useful as HM mounts to ferry you between towns.

Pokémon of this archetype: Pidgey line, Starly line, Pidove line, Fletchling line, Pikipek line, Rookidee line

Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Spearow line, Hoothoot line, Taillow line, Wingull linenote 

  • Blow You Away: They are always Flying-types, fitting of birds.
  • Com Mons: Like the common rodents, they are ubiquitous on land routes.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Most regions are well-known for their "Pidgey clones", but surprisingly, Generations II and III didn't introduce new ones. In Johto, Pidgey reprises its role as the Common Bird as it does in nearby Kanto. Hoenn had no real Pidgey clone at all, with the closest thing, Taillow, not being especially common and only having a two-stage evolution. Starly in Generation IV was the first real Common Bird to play all of Pidgey's characteristics straight, and every succeeding generation has followed its lead.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Rookiedee is the only one to be pure-Flying type instead of being part-Normal type.
  • Mascot Mook: In Generations 1-6 Ash always had one in his lineup, boosting the popularity of the archetype above its counterpart Com Mon. Corviknight is also omnipresent as a taxi service in Gen 8. The only exception is Pikipek's line who never got a ton of spotlight in its day, despite being the only one that's the ace of an Elite Four member.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: With the exceptions of Unfezant (a pheasant), Toucannon (a toucan) and Corviknight (a nondescript corvid), all the regional early birds end up as raptorial avians upon reaching their final forms—Pidgeot is a Mix-and-Match Critter resembling a cross between a finch and an eagle; Staraptor is called "Mukuhawk" in the Japanese version and resembles a hawk; Talonflame is a peregrine falcon in all but name.
  • Non-Elemental: They are usually Normal-type alongside their Flying type, though later evolutions of the archetype may be typed as something else. Only Rookidee doesn't start out as a Normal-type, though it gains the Steel type upon its final evolution. Wingull, which only has elements of this trope, is a Water/Flying-type.
  • Warp Whistle: They're commonly used as Fly mounts to quickly travel between towns. Even though HMs have been eliminated since Gen VII, the idea of using the Common Bird as a Fly mount is referenced in Sword and Shield, where a Corviknight taxi service serves as the game's fast travel option.

    The Common Dark-type 
A later addition to the early Com Mons. A Dark-type, two-stage mon as a third wheel to the rodent and bird above. While they aren't that remarkable, some have special utility in their final form. This archetype sometimes overlaps with the cat below. They usually appear in odd numbered generations.

Pokémon of this archetype: Poochyena line, Purrloin line, Alolan-Rattata line, Nickit line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Galarian-Zigzagoon line

  • Com Mons: Found everywhere on land routes. Poochyena plays with this, though; in Ruby and Sapphire it served a Sentret-like role in being a less common, early game exclusive counterpart to the "rodent", Zigzagoon, but in Emerald, it essentially swapped roles with Zigzagoon, being the common one while Zigzagoon was made less so (though still available even in mid-late game routes).
  • Combat Pragmatist: Their Dark-typing makes them edgier than their more docile Normal-type counterparts.
  • Dark Is Evil: Tend to be the preferred mons for the local evil teams and "ruffian" trainers like Punks, Street Thugs, and Delinquents.

    The Early Bug 
A three-stage Bug-type found exclusively in early routes (at least in their debut games), also associated with "early forests" such as Viridian Forest and Santalune Forest. They mainly exist to teach the mechanic of evolution early in the game, as they often evolve earlier than practically all other Pokémon, often evolving into their second stage or even reaching their final stage around level 10. Earlier members of the archetype can be useful in the early game thanks to their early high stats and status effects, but they are generally outclassed anywhere later than the early game. Some that reach their final form at higher levels can be more powerful, especially those from later generations.

In the first five Generations this archetype tended to come in two flavors. The original more docile version, usually part Flying-Type, and the sharper intimidating version almost always Poison-type. From Gen VI on you only see one or the other per game.

Pokémon of the docile archetype: Caterpie line, Wurmple line (ending in Beautifly), Sewaddle line, Scatterbug line, Blipbug line
Pokémon of the intimidating archetype: Weedle line, Wurmple line (ending in Dustox), Venipede line, Grubbin line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Ledyba line, Spinarak line, Kricketot linenote 

  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're always Bug-types. In their final stage they're normally only medium-sized by Pokémon standards, but some like Scolipede can reach large sizes.
  • Crutch Character: The earlier members of the archetype plus the Scatterbug line are able to evolve into their final form earlier than other mons - some as early as level 10 - at the expense of having weaker base stats in their final form. This can help players overcome early challenges such as the Early-Bird Boss more easily, but are eventually overshadowed by other Pokémon once they reach their final forms.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: While Ledyba and Spinarak have the docile and intimidating part of the archetype in the Johto games, they only have two stage lines with no larval, pupal, and adult stage, just a regular younger form and bigger form-type evolution.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Starting with Generation V, members of this archetype have started to avert the early-evolving Crutch Character aspects pioneered by Caterpie and Weedle by evolving at higher levels with appropriate stats while still retaining the three-stage evolution reflecting real-life complete Metamorphosis. The Scatterbug line is one exception, being a delibrate throwback to Caterpie, while the Blipbug line is a sort of compromise between the original intentions with the Early Bug and later designs, reaching its second form at level 10 while reaching its final form at level 30, again with appropriate stats.
  • Metamorphosis: While most Pokémon go through this as part of their Evolution Powerup, the Early Bug uses real-life complete metamorphosis (from larva, to pupa, to imago) to illustrate the evolution mechanic early on for newer players. This applies even to ones that are based on arthropods that in real life don't go through a pupal stage, in which case they enter a stage that resembles a pupa in some way (namely with the body becoming more compact and less mobile in some way).
  • Psychic Powers: Following Butterfree, they usually learn low-level Psychic-type moves like Confusion and Psybeam. The Blipbug line takes it further by becoming a Psychic-type upon evolution.
  • Standard Status Effects: They have a tendency to learn the "powder" moves usually used by Grass-types such as Stun Spore, Sleep Powder, and Poison Powder.

    The Early Cat 
A two-stage cat line that tends to be very common in the early game. Often of the Normal-type, though they tend to learn several Dark-type moves as well (with the Purrloin and Alolan Meowth lines outright being Dark-type). They often have have large, varied movepools, but lackluster stats in everything except for Speed.

Pokémon of this archetype: Meowth line, Skitty line, Glameow line, Purrloin line, Litleo line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Shinx linenote , Espurr linenote , Galarian Meowth linenote 

  • Cats Are Mean: Often portrayed as antagonistic, or being used by antagonists. They're commonly seen on the teams of their respective region's evil team grunts. Averted if properly used by the trainers.
  • Combat Pragmatist: They often learn several Dark-type moves, which serves to emphasize their sneaky, pragmatic natures. The Purrloin and Alolan Meowth lines take it a step further by outright being Dark-type.
  • Com Mons: Like many other early game archetypes, most of them are everywhere on early land routes. Skitty is an exception; they're very rare in every game they appear in.
  • Confusion Fu: They tend to learn lots of different moves from different types, with tons of utility moves as well. Unfortunately, they don't usually have the stats to back this up.
  • Cute Kitten: The first stages tend to be absolutely adorable. The Skitty line is this throughout its entire evolutionary line.
  • Fragile Speedster: Their best stat is almost always Speed, while their defenses tend to be rather lacking.
  • Panthera Awesome: Some of the fully-evolved cats look like big cats. Pyroar stands out, but Liepard isn't behind either.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Often a favorite among evil teams, if not the Elite Four members.
  • Underground Monkey: Meowth has a whopping three variants, all of which fill the archetype in their respective regions.

    The Early Plants 
Pokémon based on plants that appear in early sections of the games. These usually have a three-stage evolutionary line, with the final stage requiring something special (such as an evolution stone being used on the Pokémon) in order to be achieved.

Pokémon of this archetype: Oddish line, Bellsprout line, Lotad line, Seedot line, Bounsweet line
Pokémon that have elements of this archetype: Hoppip line, Cottonee line, Budew line, Petilil line, Gossifleur line

  • Green Thumb: They're always Grass-types.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: Steenee requires levelling up while knowing Stomp in order to evolve into Tsareena.
  • Planimal: Being Grass-types, this comes with the territory.
  • Power of the Sun: Nearly all of them have at least one ability that works under Sunny Day conditions, and several need a Sun Stone to reach their final evolution.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The Oddish and Bellsprout lines in Gen 1 are rafflesias and pitcher plants, respectively.
  • Standard Status Effects: A lot of them make use of the "powder" moves, such as Sleep Powder and Poison Powder.

    The Mushroom 
An archetype that has strangely appeared in every odd-numbered generation thus far, these Pokémon are all based on mushrooms. They are Grass-types found rather early on and usually evolve in the 20's, but what makes this archetype particularly unique is the move Spore, which is exclusive to this archetype and is the only perfect-accuracy move that causes Sleep.

Pokémon of this archetype: Paras line, Shroomish line, Foongus line, Morelull line

  • Forced Sleep: While far from the only Pokémon move to cause this, the Spore move unique to this archetype takes this further by being the only 100% accuracy move that immediately causes sleep when it hits.note 
  • Green Thumb: They are always Grass-type.
  • Mushroom Man: They share a common basis in mushrooms.
  • Secret Art: Spore, which is fittingly called Mushroom Spore in Japanese, is exclusive to this archetype.
  • Standard Status Effects: In addition to their sleep-inducing Spore move, they also share the Effect Spore ability, allowing contacting moves a 30% chance of triggering poison, paralysis, or sleep on the opponent. Notably, Effect Spore is only found on this archetype as a normal ability, with other Pokémon only receiving it as a hidden ability.

The General Game Archetypes

Once you get past the first gym or two the adventure opens up. As you explore more dungeons, caves, lakes, and buildings the Pokémon diversify even more. Here the archetypes are a bit looser, but there are still some identifiable trends.

    The Pikaclone 
Thanks to Pikachu's role as a Series Mascot, the idea behind it expanded to a whole spiritual line of Pokémon sharing many of its elements: the Electric-type, a rodent-based design, and noticeable Blush Stickers on their cheeks. While Pikachu has an evolutionary line, Pikaclones never evolve.

Pokémon of this archetype: Pikachu line, Plusle and Minun, Pachirisu, Emolga, Dedenne, Togedemaru, Morpeko
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Marill line,note  Mimikyunote 

  • Blush Sticker: Which aren't just there to make them look cute; the Pokédex explains them as being "electric sacs" with which they use their attacks.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Despite also having Togedemaru in Generation VII, Mimikyu serves as this for the Pikaclone archetype, disguising itself as a Pikachu in an attempt to be loved.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The archetype is a series staple, but Generation II didn't exactly follow it to the letter. The closest things it had to Pikaclones were Pichu, a pre-evolution for Pikachu, and the Marill line, which had some similarities to Pikachu such as a rodent design, zig-zagging tail, two-stage evolution, and placement in the Fairy egg group, but otherwise the similarities ended there. The archetype wasn't well and truly established until Generation III, where Plusle and Minun established the obligatory non-evolving electric rodent for each generation from then on.
  • Mascot's Name Goes Unchanged: They usually keep their Japanese names in most regions, which gives each of their names a uniquely Japanese feel among other localized names.
  • Popularity Power: Is it any wonder that the most popular Pokémon spawned an entire archetype of its own?
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: With their soft, friendly designs and Blush Stickers, all of them are very cute. Because of this, all but one of them are in the Fairy egg group which includes generally adorable Pokémon, and even then, the one exception, Emolga, isn't any less adorable than the others.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: They are quite big compared to their real-life inspirations.
  • Secret Art: In Generations VI and VII, Nuzzle, a weak Electric-type physical move that guarantees Paralysis, was this to the archetype. Generation VIII broke with this, not only denying the Galarian Pikaclone Morpeko the move, but instead giving it to the Yamper and Toxel lines.
  • Shock and Awe: They're always Electric-type.

    The Three-Stage Rock-type 
A Rock-type Pokémon that can be found in an early cave such as Mt. Moon. Because of their three-stage evolution and high physical-oriented stats, they can seem like team members to keep throughout the game. However, due to the Rock type's high amount of weaknesses and their special-oriented flaws, they tend to be hard-to-use at best from mid-game and on.

Pokémon of this archetype: Geodude line, Aron line, Roggenrola line, Rolycoly line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Rhyhorn linenote 

  • Achilles' Heel: A crippling flaw that tends to keep them out of the late game, they usually have a secondary typing that magnifies at least one of the Rock type's weaknesses into a double weakness. Roggenrola averts this by being pure Rock type.
  • Crutch Character: They can be found early on and have both decent stats and powerful moves for that point in the game, but later on they tend to plateau due to their low Special Defense, low Speed, and more common weaknesses.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: They're always Rock-type, usually also having a secondary typing to go with it.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The Rolycoly line balances between being a Stone Wall and a Mighty Glacier. While it has the highest defensive stats of this archetype, and possesses the traditionally low Speed, it foregoes the high Attack of others in favor of an equally medicore Atttack and Special Attack. It also has a surprisingly high Special Defense for the standards of this archetype, although it's still susceptible to its two double weaknesses.
  • Mighty Glacier: Speed is almost always their lowest stat, even more than their Special Attack, but compensate this with their high Attack and even higher Defense.
  • Socialization Bonus: Two of the four (Geodude and Roggenrola) can't reach their final evolutionary stage without being traded with someone else.
  • Weak to Magic: Special Defense tends to be one of their lowest stats, which isn't helped by their greatest weaknesses frequently (and before the Special split exclusively) skewing towards the Special side.

    The Humanoid Psychic-type 
A three-stage Psychic-type line most notable for being among the most human-looking Pokémon. Being Psychic-types they naturally have great special-oriented stats offset by poor physical stats with HP and Speed being hit-or-miss. They often take time to train up but when fully evolved make very good partners well into the late game.
Pokémon of this archetype: Abra line, Ralts line, Gothita line, Hatenna line

Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Drowzee line,note  Mime Jr. line,note  Smoochum line,note  Solosis linenote 

  • Confusion Fu: Most have access to moves from a wide array of types that can play off their amazing Special Attack.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Due to their highly feminine appearences, the Ralts, Gothita, and Hatenna lines are very cute in all three of their stages. Adding to this, the Gothita line has a 3 females to 1 male ratio, while Hatenna is entirely female.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Pokémon of this archetype are well-known for having very feminine appearances, but the originator of the archetype, the Abra line, is very masculine in appearance and even has a 3 males to 1 female gender ratio. The Ralts line eventually codified the feminine looks for the archetype, and later archetype members have added on to this by being either mostly or entirely female.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Gothita line's Yandere vibes and Hatenna line's Ax-Crazy attitude make them both serve as one for the protective and compassionate Ralts line.
  • Magikarp Power: They start out very underwhelming and take a while to reach their final forms, but once they do they get a massive increase in power. Up to Eleven with the Ralts line, where Ralts has lower stats than the Trope Namer and Kirlia is the weakest of all non-cocoon evolved Pokémon, yet both Gardevoir and Gallade are strong Pokémon both capable of Mega Evolution.
  • Psychic Powers: Very potent powers at that.
  • Super Mode: Alakazam, Gardevoir, and Gallade are all capable of Mega Evolution, while Hatterene has a Gigantamax form.
  • Sixth Ranger: The Solosis line fits the mold of a three-stage Psychic-type, but are instead based on embryos, of all things.
  • Trope Codifier: The Ralts line established the feminine characteristics of this archetype.

    The Two-Stage Canine 
Two-stage, canine-based Pokémon that tend to be found in the early-to-mid game. Their evolutions are quite powerful, and as such are often used by more powerful trainers, such as Ace Trainers. After the breakout popularity of the Lucario line, Pokémon of this archetype from Gen IV onwards tend to receive Wolverine Publicity in spinoff material and merchandise.

Pokémon of this archetype: Growlithe line, Vulpix line, Houndour line, Electrike line, Riolu line, Zorua line, Rockruff line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Snubbull line,note  Poochyena line,note  Swirlix line,note  Yamper line,note  Nickit linenote 

    The Two-Stage Ursine 
Small, adorable bear cub-like Pokémon that evolve into big, ferocious adult bear Pokémon. Their stats are usually oriented toward the physical side.

Pokémon of this archetype: Teddiursa line, Cubchoo line, Pancham line, Stufful line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Munchlax line,note  Kubfu linenote 

  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The Pancham and Stufful lines are half-Fighting-type. Ursaring, Beartic, and Snorlax can learn a variety of Fighting-type moves. Kubfu starts out as a pure Fighting-type, but gains either a secondary Water or Dark typing as Urshifu.
  • Bears Are Bad News: They're adorable as babies, but intimidating and powerful as adults.
  • Kryptonite Factor: All of them share a weakness to Fighting-type moves, the only exception being the Kubfu line, which itself can gain a weakness to Fighting-type moves if it evolves into Single Strike Style Urshifu.
  • Magically Inept Fighter: They've got high Attack and Defense stats, with paltry Special Attack stats.
  • Mighty Glacier: They tend to be slow and bulky, with strong Attack stats.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The pre-evolutions are small, playful and cute. Not so much when they grow up (aside from Snorlax and Bewear).

    The Two-Stage Equine 
Cute ponies that evolve into powerful steeds. They tend to focus on speed and attack power at the cost of other stats.

Pokémon of this archetype: Ponyta line, Blitzle line, Mudbray line, Galarian Ponyta line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Skiddo linenote 

    The Two-Stage Crustacean 
Two-stage crustacean-like Pokémon that can be found using a fishing rod (at least a Good Rod if it exists in the region). They have a low speed stat but high offensive power and share the Secret Art Crabhammer.

Pokémon of this archetype: Krabby line, Corpfish line, Clauncher line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Crabrawler linenote 

  • Giant Enemy Crab: They are certainly larger than the creatures they are based on, especially Gigantamax Kingler.
  • Making a Splash: As they are often found fishing in water, they can learn Water type moves.
  • Power Pincers: Typical for a crustacean-like creature.
  • Secret Art: Crabhammer, a move used by Pokémon with pincers.

    The Two-Stage Blob 
Two-stage, amorphous Poison-type Pokémon. They tend to appear in odd-numbered generations and embody something thematically related to poison, such as pollution or acid. They don't always get along; Muk and Garbodor, in particular, are natural enemies.

Pokémon of this archetype: Grimer line, Koffing line, Gulpin line, Trubbish line

  • Blob Monster: They all tend to be somewhat shapeless, and the Grimer and Gulpin lines in particular are living blobs of sludge.
  • Green Is Gross: Alolan Grimer, Alolan Muk, Gulpin, Trubbish, and Garbodor are green, while Galarian Weezing produces clouds of pale green gas.
  • Land, Sea, Sky: The Grimer, Koffing and Trubbish lines are based on liquid, gaseous, and solid waste respectively, forming a take on this trope focused on pollution.
  • Muck Monster: Grimer, Koffing and Trubbish are all formed from living pollution.
  • Poisonous Person: They're all pure Poison-types, except for Alolan Grimer and Muk which gain secondary Dark typing.
  • Technicolor Toxin: All of them are primarily purple or green.

    The Multiplying Metal Object 
A Pokémon that evolves by apparently merging with other members of its kind, rather than simply metamorphosing on its own. They tend to be three stage evolutions, part Steel-type, and quite powerful by their final form.

Pokémon of this archetype: Magnemite line, Beldum line, Klink line, Honedge line
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Alolan Diglett line, Meltan line

  • Animate Inanimate Object: Metal objects like magnets, gears, and swords have all been used here.
  • Boss Battle: Many of them are the Signature Mon of a master level trainer. Metagross with Champion Steven, Klinklang with Plasma Boss Colress (who also has Magnezone and Metagross in his party), Aegislash and Alolan Dugtrio with Elite Four members Wikstrom and Molayne, respectively.
  • Cyclops: A good deal of them have at least one form where they only have one eye.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: All members of this archetype are Steel-types. Diglett is pure Ground but got a Steel regional form, though it’s still only a two stage evolution.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Their Pokédex entries state that they evolve by fusing with other members of their kind, but in-game, a singular one of these Pokémon can evolve all by itself.

    The Three-Stage Ghost-Type 
A Ghost-Type with a family of three evolutions. They usually have a high Special Attack Stat.
Pokémon of this archetype: Gastly line, Litwick line, Honedge line

    The Unrelated Related Duo 

While many Pokémon mirror each other (foils, rivals, version exclusive counterparts etc.) these go one step further. These pairs are so closely related that they may even be categorized together. The games consistently make a point to pair them in their appearances. Notably, Gen III introduced a lot of these alongside double battles.

The Thematic Duo

They look alike, have similar names, and may even have similar stats and types. Despite having all the hallmarks of being an evolutionary family they are not directly linked in gameplay.

Pokémon of this archetype: Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan (before receiving a shared preevolution in Gen II), Plusle and Minun, Lunatone and Solrock, Throh and Sawk, Oranguru and Passimian
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Scyther and Scizor,note  Pinsir and Heracrossnote 

  • Birds of a Feather: Often partners, or friendly rivals.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan were unrelated in Gen I. In Gen II they got a baby form and a third member. No other pairs have ever been retroactively linked like this.
    • Pinsir and Scyther were just version exclusive counterparts in Gen I. Both received evolutions in Gen II's betas. But somewhere in development it was decided to separate Pinsir and Heracross into a cross-gen thematic duo, while Scyther still evolved into Scizor. Down the road this also had the weird effect of giving us Mega Pinsir, Heracross, and Scizor, but no Mega Scyther.
    • Scyther and Scizor. Unlike the other examples, the thematic duo here is formed from a Pokémon and its immediate evolution. Notably, Scyther is the only Pokémon that doesn't change base stat total upon evolving. Scyther and Scizor are equally powerful, just differently balanced (like all other thematic duo pairs). This makes the fact that only one can Mega even more glaring.
  • Foil:
    • The original Hitmons split fighting techniques between kicking and punching.
    • Scyther cuts while Scizor crushes.
    • Pinsir and Heracross are Japanese Beetle Brothers.
    • The Pikaclones are positive and negative electrical charges.
    • Lunatone and Solrock represent the moon and sun respectively.
    • Throh and Sawk split fighting techniques between grappling and striking, or judo and karate.
    • Oranguru and Passimian represent the mind and body. They may also stand in for coaches versus players.

The Gendered Duo

Two complementary single-gender species. These Pokémon take sexual dimorphism to the point of literally being different creatures. Despite being separate evolutionary lines, some produce eggs that hatch into either.

Pokémon of this archetype: Nidoran male and female lines, Volbeat and Illumise, Latios and Latias, Hatenna and Impidimp lines
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Tauros and Miltank,note Darkrai and Cresselianote 

  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Male and female counterparts that aren't even considered to be the same Pokémon.
  • Olympus Mons: Twice over. Odd considering legendaries can't breed (in daycare conditions at least) anyway. As with other legendary archetypes below, this may be inspired by the more feminine Mew and masculine Mewtwo pair in Gen I
  • One-Gender Race: Technically these are pairs of one gender races..
  • Pale Females, Dark Males: The male counterparts tend to have darker or more saturated colors.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Played straight with Lati@s. Inverted on two occasions. Nidoran female is blue, while the male is a pinkish purple. Volbeat is a red male to Illumise's blue female.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Miltank, Cresselia and the Hatenna line as a whole are all pinker than their male counterparts.

The Natural Enemy Duo

Pokémon that are direct rivals to each other, possibly as a predator/prey relationship.

Pokémon of this archetype: Zangoose and Seviper, Durant and Heatmor, Yungoos and Alolan-Rattata lines

  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: If you stuck a Zangoose and a Seviper together in a Daycare, they'd be more likely to copulate than kill each other — they share an egg group. (The same goes for Yungoos and Rattata, though this trope is averted for Durant and Heatmor, who have completely different egg groups.)
  • Hollywood Evolution: Oddly averted. It's implied that some of their attributes are driven by survival needs in a relatively realistic manner.
    • Zangoose developed poison immunity from generations of fighting Seviper.
    • Durant evolved a steel shell to protect from being eaten, but this ironically actually made it more vulnerable to Heatmor's fire.
    • Yungoos is an invasive species introduced to quell the Rattata population, but they became nocturnal and took on Alolan forms to avoid them. In their evolved forms Gumshoos is a detective where Raticate is a mob boss.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: The Pokémon series stresses the personhood of each monster making a point that battles are purely for sport, and being coy about whether even humans eat them. These pairs are straight up about them attacking and eating each other in a more animalistic way.

    The Fossil Duo 
A duo of Pokémon that can be obtained via Fossil Revival. Usually, you are given the choice between one of the two fossils to obtain and later revive, though there may be a way to obtain the other, particularly post-game. Fossil Pokémon specific to this archetype are always Rock-type, and they generally evolve around level 40.

Pokémon of this archetype: Omanyte and Kabuto lines, Lileep and Anorith lines, Cranidos and Shieldon lines, Tirtouga and Archen lines, Tyrunt and Amaura lines
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Aerodactyl,note  Dracozolt, Dracovish, Arctozolt, and Arctovishnote 

  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: The Dracozolt, Dracovish, Arctozolt, and Arctovish Pokémon are Mix-and-Match Critters that Came Back Wrong as a result of a faulty Fossil Revival process.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The Pokémon that play the archetype straight are always Rock-type. The Galarian fossils notably break the trend of fossils always being Rock-type.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first two Fossil Duos were comprised of Seldom-Seen Species before moving on to more standard Stock Dinosaurs (barring some exceptions).
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Unsurprisingly for Pokémon based on prehistoric creatures, a number of them are based on dinosaurs, the Tyrunt line in particular being based on Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Fossil Revival: The means by which you receive them. You must acquire its fossil from somewhere, then bring it to a scientist specializing in reviving from fossils.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: The Galarian fossils break several conventions of previous fossil mons. They are not Rock type, there are four of them and none of them evolve unlike the fossil mons from every previous generation (except for Gen I), and they don’t have the typical gender ratio of 7 males to 1 female that all previous fossil mons have since they don’t have a gender at all, presumably because they’re combinations of body parts from completely different species.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Dracozolt, Dracovish, Arctozolt, and Arctovish Pokémon, which are formed through a combination of two different fossils, one for the body and one for the head.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: In most cases, you are given the choice of only one of the fossils, though later on you may find the opportunity to get the other.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The majority of Fossil Mons, surprisingly:
    • Ammonites, sea scorpions, crinoids, and Anomalocarisnote  aren't particularly well know outside of die hard paleontology enthusiasts.
    • The Shieldon and Amaura lines are based off Chasmosaurus and Amargasaurus respectively, both of which are very obscure compared to the more popular Triceratops and Brachiosaurus.
  • Sixth Ranger:
    • Aerodactyl, due to not being a member of a duo, having no evolutions (though it does have a Mega Evolution), and not even being revived from a fossil. Instead, Aerodactyl is revived from Old Amber, an item that existed alongside the fossils used to revive Omanyte and Kabuto, and available regardless of which fossil was picked earlier in the game. It otherwise fits the archetype, being a prehistoric, partial Rock-type Pokémon revived from an item, with its status being a case of Early Installment Weirdness.
    • The Dracozolt, Dracovish, Arctozolt, and Arctovish Pokémon, due to not being part of a duo, having no evolutions, lacking the Rock-type, and not being true prehistoric creatures. Instead, each of these Pokémon is created through a combination of two different fossils, one for the body and one for the head. The combination of fossils determines the Pokémon's types, none of which are Rock-type. And none of these Pokémon ever actually existed in nature, instead being chimerae artifically created from different parts of Pokémon that did exist.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Naturally, severally Fossil Mons are based off popular dinosaurs, namely a non-specific pterosaur, Pachycephalosaurus, Archelon, Archaeopteryx, and Tyrannosaurus rex.note 

The Late, Legendary, and Mythical Archetypes

The monsters that let you know you're coming to the end. Like starters, they are also "main characters" who serve more traditional roles in the story like the Sword of Plot Advancement, the Signature Mon of the Big Bad, the Final Boss, or a Bonus Boss who gives you a Purposely Overpowered reward by catching them.

Because Gen I had very few legendary mons, their various attributes served as prototypes for ideas that became separate archetypes down the road.

    The Pseudo-Legendary 
Pokémon that are rare and/or only found late in the game, they are, when fully evolved, the strongest among non-Legendary Pokémon in stats. Their final base stat totals are always 600, which put them above the minor legendaries such as Zapdos and Entei. They are almost always Dragon-type.

Pokémon of this archetype: Dratini line, Larvitar line, Bagon line, Beldum line, Gible line, Deino line, Goomy line, Jangmo-o line, Dreepy line

  • Achilles' Heel: Most fully-evolved pseudo-legendaries have a defining double weakness, in order to keep them more balanced with weaker Pokemon.
    • The most common double weakness is Ice-type attacks, which is shared Dragonite, Salamence, and Garchomp, all of whom are dragons that possess an additional typing weak to that type.
    • Kommo-o and Hydreigon both possess two of the three types that are weak to Fairy-type attacks, making them both doubly weak to them.note 
    • Tyranitar is doubly weak to Fighting-type moves.
    • Metagross, Goodra, and Dragapult all avert this, as Goodra has only one type, and the other two's typing doesn't result in stacked weaknesses (although Dragapult is weak to both of its own types).
  • Boss Battle: They're either the Signature Mon or at least a team member of endgame bosses such as the Elite Four or the Champion.
  • Foil: The Pseudo-Legendary can be considered the Est to the Early Bug's Jagen. Both archetypes are three-stage Pokémon, but while the Early Bug is very easy to evolve but gets outclassed later than the early game, the Pseudo-Legendary is difficult to evolve, but is highly rewarding to use in the late game. The contrast is best shown off by the Larvitar and Bagon lines, both of which have clear larval, pupal, and imago stages like the Early Bug.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: They are designed to be the strongest among non-Legendary Pokémon, their fully evolved forms having stats that rival even Legendaries themselves.
  • Late Character Syndrome:
    • With few exceptions, pseudo-legendaries in their debut generation tend to suffer from this, as they are only available when you've explored most of the region. The fact that their initial forms have low stats, they fully evolve at very high levels (usually around those of the initial fights with the Elite Four and Champion), and that they require a lot of experience to level up also does them no favors. Put in the effort to grind them up though, and you'll be very happy you did so.
    • This is sometimes averted by pseudo-legendaries that appear after their debut generation, particularly later on in the series, as they may appear much earlier on than that generation's debuting pseudo-legendary.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • They tend to have low stats for the point in the game they are found, usually a base stat total of 300 (with Dreepy's being even lower at 270). When they fully evolve, they rival actual legendaries.
    • Most of them also evolve later than the vast majority of other Pokémon. For reference, among Pokémon with a three stage evolution line that evolve only through level, the average level of the first evolution is 23, and the average level of the second evolution is 36. For the pseudo-legendary lines, those averages are instead 34 and 52, respectively. The Deino line is particularly egregious about this. Not only does its first evolution come at level 50 (which it shares with the Dreepy line), but its second evolution comes at level 64, which is higher than all other Pokémon (beating out even the Dreepy line by 4 levels). By the time the Deino line reaches its first evolution, over half of the other pseudo-legendary lines will have reached their second (Bagon and Goomy lines at the same level, Gible line at level 48, and Beldum and Jangmo-o lines at level 45).
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The vast majority of them are Dragon-types. Only the Larvitar and Beldum lines avert this.
  • Rated M for Manly: Their final evolutions are typically large, imposing creatures that could tear you apart. Averted with Dragonite and Goodra, however.

    The Minor Legendary Team 
A group of legendaries designed around a single theme. Often referred to as legendary trios, they have since grown to include fourth rangers or just been a larger group to start with. Compared to the "mascot" Legendary teams, they are considerably less powerful, though still powerful among Pokémon, and therefore allowed in Battle facilities.

Pokémon of this archetype: Legendary Birdsnote (and their Galarian forms), Legendary Beastsnote , Eon Duonote , Legendary Titansnote , Lake Guardiansnote , Forces of Naturenote  and the Swords of Justicenote , Guardian Deitiesnote 

  • Infinity -1 Sword: They are not Purposefully Overpowered like mascot Legendaries and even surpassed by fully evolved Pseudo-Legendaries in raw stats, but they are still quite powerful and are generally available far before the mascot Legendaries.
  • Olympus Mons: Albeit at the lower end of the scale when it comes to legendaries.
  • Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious: Whereas most people assume all legendaries are meant to be like gods, it's more common for minor legendaries to be akin to cryptids and in-universe urban legends—the Legendary Birds in particular are clearly presented in the games as only being exceptionally rare and powerful and not truly godlike. Latios and Latias even moreso, as the Pokedex claims that they travel in groups.
  • Power Trio: How they were introduced, though they've moved away from being strictly three members over time.
  • Sequel Escalation: The original bird trio were essentially extremely rare and powerful animals. In every generation since they have become more integral to the legends and lore of their respective regions, some outright being called deities.

    The Version Mascots 
The Pokémon that appear on the cover art. Since the games come in pairs, the mascots tend to represent some sort of duality. When the enhanced version comes out, the duo is revealed to be a trio whose third member may represent balance.

This archetype is never exactly the same from game to game though its purest form was defined in Gens III and Gen IV.

Pokémon of this archetype: Charizard, Venusaur, and Blastoise (and Pikachu, and Eevee); Tower Duonote ; Suicune; Weather Trio note ; Creation Trio note ; Tao Trio note ; Aura Trio note ; Light Trio note ; Zacian, Zamazenta, Urshifu, and Calyrex
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Mew Duonote ; Eternatusnote 

  • Climax Boss: They usually are faced at the end of the "villainous team" plot. The mascots who play this straight are those from Ruby and Sapphire, Gen IV, the Gen II remakes, Gen VI and Gen VII. Others zig-zag the trope: Rayquaza in Emerald is awakened by the player in the main story but can only be fought (and caught) in the post-game; the Gen V mascots are fought before the last boss(es) of said plot; the Gen VIII mascots are the Climax Boss of the post-game plot, and before then they play a role similar to Rayquaza.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Kanto games are the only ones to use starters as version mascots.
    • The Kanto games also had two enhanced versions. Blue was the original third version in Japan. Yellow was actually a fourth version despite codifying the idea of a third version worldwide.
    • Kanto doubled down on starter mascots again in the Let's Go series with Pikachu and Eevee.
  • Interface Spoiler: While they’re pitched as a duo of mascots, it’s immediately obvious that most are actually part of a trio when you just look at the Pokédex. It’s no surprise when Blastoise becomes the mascot of a Blue Version any more than Rayquaza getting an Emerald Version. It was surprising that Zygarde never got a "Z Version" however.
  • Foil: The paired mascots are direct counterparts in abilities, design, or lore.
    • Charizard's fire contrasts with Venusaur's grass or Blastoise's water.
    • Ho-oh is a rainbow colored bird of the heavens, while Lugia is a monochrome bird of the depths.
    • Groudon is a red behemoth of the land, Kyogre a blue leviathan of the seas. Rayquaza represents ziz of the skies.
    • Dialga is the hard edged master of time, and Palkia the smooth master of space. Giratina represents antimatter and chaos.
    • Reshiram is a white dragon of truth, and Zekrom a black dragon of ideals. Kyurem is the empty husk left behind when the two split apart. It can Fusion Dance with either of the others to approximate its orginal form, but all three still have never recombined together.
    • Xerneas represents life, while Yveltal represents death. Zygarde represents the delicate balance of nature whose cells can scatter and combine as needed.
    • Solgaleo represents the sun, where Lunala represents the moon. Necrozma is a prism that feeds on their light.
    • Zacian is the sword, Zamazenta is the shield, Urshifu is the armor and Calyrex the crown. Together they make a full set of regalia. Eternatus could be said to represent a cannon, or a dragon to be slain.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: There’s always a reddish-warm colored one and a bluish-cool colored one. The third member is usually green or yellow to complete Chromatic Arrangement. Usually the cool colored one comes first in Pokédex order, regardless of how the games were named.
    • Note in Gen I, Venusaur was Charizard’s first cool colored mascot counterpart in the Japan only Red and Green Versions. This tied in with the tradition of the Grass starter coming first in dex order.
    • In Gen V this is downplayed to eye color. Reshiram is a blue-eyed white dragon, Zekrom is a red-eyed black dragon, Kyurem is a yellow-eyed gray dragon. In the sequels Black Kyurem is associated with blue lightning, and White Kyrurem is associated with red fire.
    • Zig-Zagged in Gen VIII. Zacian has mainly blue fur and a more pastel palette, while Zamazenta is mainly red and more saturated, but Zacian wields a sword and has higher Attack and Speed stats while Zamazenta holds a shield and its peak stats are Defense and Special Defense. Note that they are both Primary Color Champions, especially in their powered-up forms.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The starters of course are the original sword of plot beginnings. In later games you may be forced to battle or catch the mascot legendary to progress. This happens typically during the showdown with the boss of the evil team, or as a rite of passage before facing the Elite Four.
  • Unbuilt Trope: That keeps building and subverting itself. The straightest examples are in Gen III and Gen IV.
    • The idea of duality in plot relevant legendaries may have stemmed from Mew and Mewtwo, representing nature vs technology as the ancestor of natural born Pokémon, and a man-made clone/genetic experiment. Mewtwo is also associated with Giovanni the way some team bosses are associated with a mascot legendary, even if Team Rocket isn't obsessed with catching it. In some continuities he’s partially responsible for creating it. Of course Mewtwo and Mew obviously aren't the mascots of any game.
    • Ho-oh and Lugia still weren't pursued by the evil team, but they share Mewtwo's stat total and appear as proper mascots. They were a true duo, but still ended up getting an enhanced third version. Suicune was thrown in as the new mascot as the most popular of the Legendary Beasts.
    • Groudon and Kyogre were both pursued by separate evil teams in the same Generation. This was the first time the duality of the mascots was balanced by a third member, Rayquaza, who also got to be the mascot of the third game.
    • Gen IV only had one evil team that was after either mascot, and gave the third member a unique Forme Change in their enhanced game. Otherwise it echoed Gen III closely.
    • Gen V skipped doing a ‘’Gray Version’’ for Kyurem, and instead introduced the idea of the third member doing a Fusion Dance with the duo. This resulted in the first paired enhanced versions instead of just a single third version.
    • Gen VI skipped any sort of enhanced version for Zygarde, who ended up becoming just a sidequest in Gen VII.
    • Gen VII did a lot with legendaries, and the newly christened Ultra Beasts. For the duo it introduced the idea of the mascots coming from a branched evolution line. For the third member it reprised both the Fusion Dance with other mascots for paired enhanced versions (Necrozma's Dusk Mane and Dawn Wings modes), as well as giving the third member a unique super mode (Ultra Necrozma).
    • Gen VIII looked like it would reprise Necrozma with Eternatus. However instead of a new enhanced version, the original versions were enhanced with DLC. The DLC mascots Urshifu and Calyrex don't have much to do with the original duo. Interestingly it is the first time since Gen I that there are four distinct mascots in a single generation.
      • Urshifu in itself has mascot-like duality in two forms that evolve from Kubfu. This has echoes of Solgaleo and Lunala both evolving from the Cosmog line in Gen VII.
      • Calyrex has Fusion Dance style duality by combining with Glastrier or Spectrier, much like Kyurem and Necrozma.

The Third Legendary

A sub-group of the Version Mascot, they generally are the secret third member of the group composed of the paired versions' mascots. Since each pair tends to incorporate a theme of duality, the Third Legendary often symbolizes balance between the two. They become the focus of each generation's Updated Re Release; again, their role has been largely codified in Gen III and IV.

Pokémon of this archetype: Rayquaza, Giratina, Kyurem, Necrozma
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Suicune, Zygarde, Eternatus

  • Anti-Villain: The case for "evil" Third Legendaries: Kyurem has been enslaved by the human Big Bad, Necrozma was driven mad by being forcibly exploited by humans and Eternatus arguably runs on Blue-and-Orange Morality and may just be trying to feed itself.
  • Bonus Boss: In the original paired versions, with the exception of Eternatus.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Eternatus isn't technically the third member of a group alongside Zacian and Zamazenta, but it's their arch-enemy. Its story is also resolved in the paired versions rather than in an Updated Re Release, and it's the Climax Boss of said versions' Legendary Pokémon plot instead of the respective Warrior Pokémon.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Suicune is the first case of a Legendary Pokémon being used as the mascot of an Updated Re Release, but it belongs to an entirely different group than Lugia and Ho-Oh, isn't the focus of the story of Crystal (though it is the focus of a sub-plot) and it doesn't have a Super Mode nor Dragon typing.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Giratina, Zygarde (who's The Worm That Walks), Necrozma and Eternatus definitely qualify.
  • Fusion Dance: Kyurem and Necrozma can do this with either of the respective paired versions' mascots. Zygarde is also this in the lore when switching between forms (it gains or loses the autonomous cells and cores which make up its being).
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Excepting Suicune, they all are part-Dragon type (Necrozma only in its Ultra form).
  • Secret Character: In the paired versions, they are found as Bonus Bosses with little to no explanation or plot relevance (once again, excepting Eternatus). This allows them to be the focus of publicity for the Updated Re Release.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: They become more and more villainous with each passing generation. Rayquaza is firmly heroic and quells the fight between Groudon and Kyogre, Giratina acts on its own to stop the human Big Bad but unvoluntarily threatens reality, Kyurem is enslaved by the Big Bad, Necrozma was originally benevolent but was driven mad by torture, and Eternatus is a perfectly sane Walking Wasteland. Those who are exceptions are Suicune (who isn't connected to the main plot) and Zygarde (who is heroic, and never was the focus of a game).
  • Super Mode: Starting from Gen IV they all have one (or more), generally with higher stats, doubling as One-Winged Angel for hostile Pokémon:
    • Giratina gains its Origin Forme in the Distortion World or when holding a Griseous Orb;
    • Kyurem can do a Fusion Dance with either Reshiram or Zekrom, becoming respectively White and Black Kyurem;
    • Rayquaza gains a Mega Evolution in the Gen III remakes;
    • Zygarde has a 10% and a 50% Forme. A Zygarde of either Forme with the ability Power Construct turns into the Complete Forme when under 50% HP in battlenote ;
    • Necrozma has a Fusion Dance process similar to Kyurem, becoming Dusk Mane or Dawn Wings Necrozma; it can become Ultra Necrozma from either of these forms;
    • Eternatus becomes Eternamax Eternatusnote .
  • Undead Abomination: Giratina (a Dracolich), Kyurem (said to be the husk of the dragon who split into Zekrom and Reshiram), Necrozma and Eternatus (whose names include Greek words for "death"/"dead") are all associated with the concept of death.

    The Hostile Legendary 
An extremely rare Pokémon that doesn't play well with humans. Going after them isn't just difficult but actually dangerous. Some are distrustful of mankind because they're hyper in tune with nature. Others are hostile because they themselves have been corrupted by science, or are alien in origin.

Pokémon of this archetype: Mewtwo, Deoxys, Darkrai, Genesect, Type: Null, Zeraora, Zarude, Spectrier, Glastrier

  • Anti-Villain: Unlike the fairies who are often to be protected, and the mascots that are just forces of nature, the hostile legendary is framed as an outright antagonist in the anime movies. Some may undergo a Heel–Face Turn by the end.
  • Artificial Human: Mewtwo, Deoxys, Genesect, and Type: Null were all created/altered by humans in some way.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In keeping with the anime's philosophy that no Pokémon is inherently evil. Whether they come around at the midpoint, the climax, or the epilogue, they do reach an understanding with the heroes eventually. In the games however, it depends on the mon and often requries the player to catch them first. Type:Null takes this further by evolving into Silvally via friendship.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Many of them lash out after being scorned by humans.
  • Poor Communication Kills: They might just be scary looking customers that can't explain their actions. In which case they're not hostile because they hate humans, but because humans hate them.
  • Rated M for Manly: In contrast to the Mythical Fairy, they tend to have badass and intimidating designs.
  • Ultimate Lifeform: An interesting sub-archetype that crops up every odd numbered generation:
    • Scientists cloned Mewtwo from the DNA of Mew to create the strongest Pokémon, and its two Mega Evolutions grant it the highest Attack and Special Attack of all Pokémon.
    • Deoxys can freely change its form to specialize in either offense, defense, or speed, near maximizing their respective stats.
    • Genesect was already an apex prehistoric predator before being revived and further enhanced by Team Plasma to act as a living superweapon.
    • Type: Null is a chimeric Pokémon modeled after Arceus to adapt to any confrontation and combat Ultra Beasts.

    The Mythical Fairy 
A diminutive cute fairy-like Pokémon, typically with perfectly balanced stats and a massive movepool. Their most distinguishing feature in most games is the inability to actually encounter them. Most are locked behind real life in person giveaway events, limited time online promotions, or just never released to the public period.

Pokémon of this archetype: Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Manaphy and Shaymin, Victini
Pokémon that only have elements of this archetype: Lake Guardians,note  Phione and Arceus,note  Meloetta,note  Diancie and Hoopa, Magearna and Marshadow,note  Calyrexnote 

  • Badass Adorable: Despite their small size, they're relatively balanced powerhouses.
  • Cute Critters Act Childlike: In the anime, they tend to be portrayed as cheerful and playful, just wanting to have fun.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: In the straightest examples they have perfectly balanced stats (100 in each) for a base stat total of 600. Looser examples play with strengths and weaknesses, but still add up to 600.
  • Living MacGuffin: Their role in a lot of the anime movies, if not outright being a Damsel in Distress.
  • Master of All: Mew is said to be the ancestor of all Pokémon and has the genetic code to be able to use every teachable move in the game. Other mythical fairies have large move pools but are more limited to their type specialities. Arceus is not a fairy, but reprises Mew's role as the originator as the Top God of Pokémon. It can learn all teachable moves (except those that explicitly use hands since its a quadruped) and can also change its type.
  • Psychic Powers: The vast majority have the Psychic-type, with only Gen IV and Gen VII being the odd ones out (discounting Arceus holding the Mind Plate for Gen IV).
  • Wolverine Publicity: Being tiny and adorable, they've been at the forefront of movies, marketing, and merchandise many times.


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