uh oh so [SWSH spoilers fwiw)
galarian ponyta just got Officially Announced and it’s described as having been “exposed to the overflowing life energy of the forest over many generations, and this is why their appearance became unique in this region”
it’s a psychic type
does this do anything to or for your Fairy-is-life-energy theories? or does it still also just kinda feed into “typing is nonsense”?
While we’re here, this will also serve as my answer to the question from another reader who gives their name simply as “Getting Shield!!!”:
Galarian Ponyta, thoughts?
So… I think it’s fine. Unicorns are an emblem of Scotland, so it certainly fits Galar as a Pokémon inspired by the culture and history of Great Britain. It’s quite pretty. It’s a point in favour of a prediction made by my esteemed PokéJungle colleague Jon that suggests we can guess which Pokémon are getting Galarian forms on the basis of new egg moves given out in Ultra Sun and Moon, so that’s quite nice if you’re interested in the prediction game. Psychic is a weird type to choose, in my opinion, for something as obviously “fairytale” as a unicorn – back in the X and Y era, Jim the Editor and I actually thought it was a bit weird that the base Kantonian Ponyta and Rapidash hadn’t been promoted to Fire/Fairy, because it would have made perfect sense and produced an interesting unique dual-type. But that brings us to…
…the life energy thing. This is an interesting one, because (in my opinion) which type is most closely connected with an abstract “life force” has changed a lot over time. For a long time I would have said it was Dragon, and frankly I kind of preferred it that way, because back then my life at least somewhat made sense; in generation VI it’s pretty clearly Fairy because of Xerneas. In generation VII, though… well, in generation VII (and presumably now in VIII as well) I think there’s an argument that it’s Psychic, because of Tapu Lele. All four Tapu are Fairy-types, but Tapu Lele, the Tapu of Life, is Fairy/Psychic. In my review of the four Tapu, I also made the (admittedly tenuous) suggestion that we can find another reason to view Psychic as “the life type” in Mew’s unique Z-move: Genesis Supernova, which represents Mew’s supposed status as the ancestor of all Pokémon, is the only thing that can create a terrain effect outside of the standard Terrain moves or the Surge abilities of the Tapu, and creates the same terrain effect as the Tapu of Life. So… where do we actually go from here? I can’t answer for Game Freak, and there might well be a bunch of stuff in Sword and Shield that will change my mind anyway, but at the moment I would like to view it like this: Dragon, Psychic and Fairy Pokémon all have an innate connection to life force and all have some ability to manipulate it, but they all do so in different ways, and none of them have a complete understanding of what life is or how it works. Maybe Psychic Pokémon understand life through the lens of genetics, as a self-propagating pattern; Fairy Pokémon understand it through the lens of the soul, as the animating force of individual beings; and Dragon Pokémon understand it through the lens of something like Gaia theory, as a force of nature that unites and permeates the entire world.
I mean… that’s clearly a shot in the dark, right? But it would make sense to me if it worked that way.