James Crooks [Patreon cultist] asks:

Now that you’re at the end of the Alolan Pokédex, can you tell us your favourite Pokémon, least favourite and one that you liked more after reviewing?

Tricky.

Spending more time on each Pokémon and each review tends to make me appreciate almost all of them more, because I come to see the references and the meaning in each design, and my feelings about the Pokémon itself come to be bound up with anything interesting I’ve learned during the process I generously call my “research.”  The exception, of course, is when there seems to be simply nothing to find, but I think those are rare in Alola.  And in another direction, over the course of doing the Alola reviews I’ve started trying to incorporate the anime’s portrayals of each Pokémon a bit more, so even if a design is ‘meh,’ I can develop some positive feeling towards it if that Pokémon’s episode is a good one.  I just put out my Zeraora article, and Zeraora’s frankly not a very interesting Pokémon, but it’s one of the stars of the 21st movie, The Power of Us, which I am not going to stop talking about because I think it’s easily the best one (aside from Detective Pikachu), and there is a certain degree of affection that just… well, rubs off on Zeraora.  Having said all that, of course there are winners and losers.  With some designs, I feel “rewarded” for the extra work I do in trying to break them down, because I feel like I’ve solved a puzzle that the designers have left for me; other times it just seems like there’s not much to find.  So there are Pokémon for whom my opinion of them, or at least my affection towards them, increased a lot as I reviewed them, and I don’t know if I can pick just one, but some good examples are Celesteela, Oranguru, Tsareena and Minior.

My favourite Pokémon of generation VII is a tough one, because there are a lot that I’m generally well-disposed to, but few that really stick out to me as brilliant.  It may actually be just one of the Pokémon I’m attached to because I used them on my first playthrough of Moon, probably Golisopod, Salazzle, or my starter, Decidueye.  Other than that… well, actually Dhelmise sticks out to me as a really weird and creative design that speaks to me on a kind of “what even is this?” level, and Wishiwashi has an interesting concept that creates a great moment in the game’s story.  As for least favourite… I’m sure I’m being very predictable here, but I’m still very down on Togedemaru, and to a lesser extent Gumshoos, for not doing enough to break free of Game Freak’s persistent habit of template-based Pokémon design (as Talonflame and arguably Diggersby did in generation VI, and as I think Toucannon more or less does in generation VII).

Anonymous asks:

What would be your dream competitive pokemon team and why? Also what would be your ideal pleasure pokemon team ( just for fun)

[Disclaimer: this blog should not be your first port of call for competitive Pokémon advice, as I am a horrendous battler]

I’ve always said that, if there’s one Pokémon I’d want with me in a fight more than any other, it’s Starmie.  Of course, Starmie doesn’t like Pursuit, so I need something to murder Dark-types, something like Breloom.  I love Poison Heal Breloom, and Poison Heal Breloom loves me.  I want a Porygon 2 in there, because Porygon 2 with an Eviolite pretty much counters everything, right?  Let’s throw in a Dragon Dance Gyarados to ‘drop the hammer,’ as it were, and… what’s missing?  Stealth Rock!  Need something with Stealth Rock.  Let’s use Bronzong for that.

Oh, and it just doesn’t look right if you don’t have a Dragonite.  Bitches love Dragonite.

If I want a team just for fun, it’s going to be all Grass-types.  This is because Grass-types are the best.

Vileplume gets in because Vileplume is my favourite Pokémon and can Stun Spore things like nobody’s business.  Next is Whimsicott because Whimsicott is ridiculous and fun and a huge pain for your enemies.  Ludicolo is important so I don’t get completely squashed by Fire- and Ice-types (yeah, like he’s really going to help) and Cradily is bizarre and awesome.  Exeggutor is too slow to do much of anything, but packs a hell of a punch.  I want to finish by sticking Virizion in there, because I need someone to clean up with Swords Dance, right?