I don’t know if you’ve been following the VGC world championships, but if not (or still if so, I suppose), there’s a guy named Se Jun Park who just won the video game Masters’ division with a surprisingly effective Pachirisu on his team. While it is admittedly still a rather redundant Pikachu clone, does the fact that it’s actually somewhat competitively useful make you feel any better about Pachirisu?
Well, that was really quite spectacular.
See, this is the thing that’s quite nice about Pokémon. In a lot of games that have… shall we say ‘issues’ with balance, the inferior option is completely and unarguably inferior all the time. Pokémon just has so damn many attacks and abilities that practically everything has some skill or combination of skills that nothing else can imitate. Se Jun Park has found Pachirisu’s: only a bare handful of Pokémon can learn Follow Me, which is an incredibly easy attack to screw up but very dangerous if you’re good with it, and of those, Pachirisu is the only one who can actually restore health while using it (via Volt Absorb). Super Fang also means that her nonexistent attack scores don’t really matter, while her defences are actually pretty solid – not great, but she only has one weakness anyway. Stick a couple of powerful Electric-weak, Ground-immune Pokémon on the team – Gyarados and Talonflame – to force your opponent to bring out powerful Discharges and Thunderbolts while messing up their Earthquakes, and you’re all set. I mean, she’s still useless in singles – it’s just not the same game, and you’d never pull off that kind of $#!t without the right partners – but hey, it’s something Pachirisu’s good at! This calls for celebration!