Design-wise, you’ve always seemed quite fond of magcargo. More than once you’ve praised it for having a unique and interesting design that diverges from the standard “animal on fire.” But I think we can all agree that in terms of usage, magcargo is absolute trash. Gen 2 screwed it over terribly with horrible typing and quite unimpressive stats, and the later generations did nothing at all to help it. So, if you were in charge, what exactly would you do to save magcargo?
Oh, Magcargo. I’m fond of him because the idea of a snail made of lava with a shell made of cooling rock just makes sense on a level that, say, a lizard with a fiery tail or a horse with a fiery mane doesn’t – it takes a snail’s pliable body and rigid shell, and applies that to the Fire element in a way that recalls the formation of a crust of solid rock on the surface of a lava flow. But yeah, Magcargo is terrible in so many ways. Double weaknesses to Ground and Water make it impossible for Magcargo to be a top-notch defensive Pokémon, and awful speed and average special attack make it impossible for him to be anything else. I think it would be thematically appropriate, and helpful, for Magcargo to have an ability that absorbs Water attacks and turns them into a physical defence bonus to represent the hardening of his lava skin into rock (instead of f#$%ing immunity to freezing, which is what he’s got now). That just makes Magcargo less obviously awful though. Without evolving to jack up those depressing stats there’s only so much we can do; at the moment he’s so slow even Shell Smash doesn’t make him a very good attacker. The nonexistence of special Rock attacks is also a big stumbling block. But Magcargo actually gets Yawn, Recover, Reflect and Light Screen, Will’o’Wisp, Stealth Rock… given halfway decent HP and special defence, and a strong ability, it seems like there would be plenty there for a more tanky-supporty role.