Today’s Pokémon comes straight from Roswell, New Mexico, where they don’t know what to do with him either. Meet Elgyem, the… well, the LGM (Little Green Man) Pokémon.
Elgyem’s problem is that he’s the second “cute alien” Pokémon – the first, of course, being Clefairy. The good news for him is that, in aesthetic terms at least, Clefairy puts a lot of emphasis on “cute” while Elgyem puts more emphasis on “alien,” and also has psychic powers. Still, they’re both Pokémon that supposedly arrived from space, are probably more intelligent than most other species, and may have some kind of secret agenda. Based on what we’ve seen in the TV show, Clefairy and Clefable are concealing surprisingly advanced technological aptitude and may well have come to Earth in the first place under their own power; one assumes Elgyem have similar abilities since their origin story references Roswell – they’re supposed to have appeared in the desert roughly 50 years ago and no-knows where from. This is fun but I’m not sure there’s anything to be done with it that couldn’t have been done with Clefairy. I will say in Elgyem’s favour however that I think his design is, artistically speaking, very well put together; he’s cute but still manages to pull off feeling mysterious, and he’s colourful without being gaudy. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Elgyem’s evolved form, Beheeyem… I’m left confused as to what the aim of this design was; I would assume he’s meant to be sinister but he just comes across as awkward. Maybe it’s the way that the more angular shape of his head makes it look like a silly hat, or maybe it’s the way his eyes join up in the middle so they look like goggles (I think Beheeyem is meant to have weird eyes since I understand his name is supposed to be a play on BEM – Bug-Eyed Monster – but I don’t think much of the way it’s been done), or maybe it’s the way those “buttons” on his front give his body the appearance of a waistcoat. In short, he looks “dressed up.” Overall he gives such a bizarre (and not in a good way) impression that I almost wish Elgyem hadn’t evolved at all. To be fair, a point in Beheeyem’s favour is that his ability to alter memories is a good fit for his “alien conspiracy” backstory and certainly would contribute very nicely to his sinister air, if he actually had one.
Beheeyem’s move options are a bit generic for a Psychic Pokémon. Like most Psychic-types he has many support techniques like Light Screen, Reflect and Thunder Wave, and learns a few strong special attacks that are common choices for Psychic Pokémon (Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, Energy Ball – and, of course, Psychic). His stat distribution is somewhat more interesting. He’s not a traditional sweeper/glass cannon Psychic-type like Alakazam or a latter-day tank-style one like Bronzong; he’s more like an artillery piece – neither fast nor tough (he’s not especially weak defensively but you shouldn’t rely on him to take hits) but very powerful, making him a little more like Exeggutor. This fighting style is problematic for a lot of Pokémon, such as Camerupt, because being slow forces you to take a lot of hits in order to get off your own attacks but Beheeyem knows a way to make it work: Trick Room. I’ve probably mentioned Trick Room before but in case anyone’s not familiar with it: Trick Room creates a zone of distorted space in which, effectively, slow is fast and fast is slow – slow Pokémon like Beheeyem move first in battle, for five turns. In that time, Beheeyem can blast away with powerful special attacks to his heart’s content.
Unfortunately for Beheeyem, Black and White also introduced Reuniclus (I’ll probably talk about him within the next couple of weeks), whose specialty is doing exactly the same thing and being much better at it. In fact, the vast majority of Pokémon that learn Trick Room are Psychic-types, so it’s not even easy for Beheeyem to stand out as a supporter by setting it up for the rest of your team; Pokémon like Slowbro, Musharna and Gothitelle have a major defensive edge on Beheeyem and their other support options are just as good. Beheeyem’s only claims not to be a totally generic Psychic-type are his abilities (two of them, anyway – Synchronize is typical and not especially useful). Beheeyem with the Telepathy ability automatically dodge any attacks coming from allies, which gives them something of a niche in double battles, where a lot of powerful attacks (most notably Surf and Earthquake) hit both opponents at once at the cost of also hitting the user’s partner. Unfortunately this is useless in a single battle and even in a double battle Beheeyem’s best strategy is probably going to be setting up Trick Room, so he’s still going to be in Reuniclus’ shadow. The other ability is Analytic, Beheeyem’s “hidden ability” (so, as so often, you can’t actually get a Beheeyem with this trait yet since Elgyem don’t appear in the Dream World), which increases the power of all his attacks by 30% when he moves after his opponent. Not “when he’s slower,” “when he moves after,” so you can’t use this in conjunction with Trick Room, sadly, which would actually be interesting. It’ll give his attacks one hell of a kick but Beheeyem honestly doesn’t have the defences or the resistances to survive consistently going second, making this interesting but of dubious utility.
I’m really very disappointed with Beheeyem. Elgyem is a very nicely-done Pokémon that shares common ground with existing “space” Pokémon like Clefairy and Deoxys but manages to have his own distinct feel. His evolved form then wrecks that with a stilted artistic design and an uninteresting, often ineffective skill set. I have little else to say about Elgyem and Beheeyem; they’re just more Psychic Pokémon, and honestly we had enough already – there are quite a lot of them.
I hereby deny this Pokémon’s right to exist! Let it be deported at once and shipped back to whatever depressing planet it came from!