Anonymous asks:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how hot is Arcanine?

Well, almost all Fire Pokémon are explicitly described by the Pokédex as having a very high body temperature or extremely hot fire attacks.  Even if it doesn’t give us an exact temperature (and we shouldn’t necessarily believe these anyway; the 10000 ºC quoted for Magcargo’s resting body temperature is hot enough to vaporise steel), it likes to wax lyrical about the intensity of the fire produced by many Pokémon, telling us in Emboar’s case, for instance, that “a flaring beard of fire is proof that it is fired up,” and “it can throw a fire punch by setting its fists on fire with its fiery chin,” and “fiery fires fire flaring fire fiery flares fire” (okay I made that last one up but you get the idea).  

Growlithe and Arcanine are just about the only Fire Pokémon whose Pokédex entries contain no reference to their fire abilities at all, focusing instead on their loyalty, speed, and regal appearance.  Also, while Arcanine’s special attack is high, it’s not that high; it’s actually about average for a fully evolved Fire Pokémon, and two of Arcanine’s three possible abilities (Flash Fire, Intimidate and Justified) are not Fire-related.  So I think it’s likely that Arcanine is actually on the low side by the standards of Fire Pokémon – maybe a 3 or 4, with Growlithe likely being 1.  Of course, if you were to compare them to all Pokémon (of which Fire-types comprise only 8% of the known species) you’d probably still be looking at a 9.

vikingboybilly asks:

The rotomdex is freaky! It’s too drastic of a change! Please beg gamefreak to keep everything exactly the same, waaaah.

I like the Rotomdex!  I think it raises a lot of interesting questions.  The developers of the Pokédex have apparently chosen, instead of going to all the trouble and expense of programming an AI, to just enlist a Pokémon to do it.  Unlike all the stuff we’ve seen Rotom inhabit before, this next-generation Pokédex is actually designed to have a Rotom in it.  Does it still work without one?  The trailer seems to imply that it either doesn’t work at all, or operates at diminished capacity.  What does that say about what Rotom does while inside an appliance?  Can it increase the efficiency of other machines?  Does a fridge with a Rotom in it keep things cool more effectively than a normal fridge?  If the Pokédex isn’t complete without a Rotom, how do they sustain production?  Do they have to breed Rotom, or are they simply not able to make many of these things?  Can Rotom battle in this shape, and if so, what abilities does it confer?  And apparently the Pokédex allows Rotom to talk – that’s a pretty neat perk.  What will its thoughts be on the whole thing?  Does Rotom actually know everything in the Pokédex, or can it just display that information for the player?  Lots to play with there.

Anonymous asks:

What would you do to fix darmanitan’s zen mode ability in a way that’s thematically appropriate?

Hmm. Well, the problems with Zen Mode as I see it are:

1) you’re forced to train one Pokémon to fill two roles, and wind up splitting EVs, nature and move sets so you get this messy hybrid (I think Game Freak did anticipate this and tried to deal with it by giving the two forms extremely high base stats in the areas they specialise in – the problem is you’re better off just piling EVs and a nature bonus on top of the high stats enjoyed by the basic form and pushing his attack into the goddamn stratosphere), and 2) Zen Darmanitan is a tank who inherently starts with less than 50% health, which compromises his usefulness. Well, and 3) the alternative, Sheer Force, is such a hugely powerful ability for a Pokémon with a stat spread as extremely specialised towards physical damage as Darmanitan’s, but there’s not much we can do about that.

Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”


Do we need another low level grass type attack when we’ve had absorb, vine whip, and razor leaf since gen 1? Has GameFreak decided that Rowlett is incapable of any of those moves (I honestly see razor leaf as a fitting move), or did they just want a non-physical vine whip?

Well, clearly they want a starting move for Rowlet, something it can have at level 5 (just like all the starters had in generation VI), and just as clearly Razor Leaf is too strong for that.  It could easily learn Razor Leaf later on.  Is Vine Whip appropriate for Rowlet?  Eh.  Doesn’t strike me as a great match.  We’ve never had a bird-like Grass-type before, so new moves that go along with that strike me as nothing more than we should expect.

vikingboybilly asks:

Timburr should learn wood hammer.

Should he, though?  By the time Timburr reaches a level where a move as powerful as Wood Hammer becomes remotely reasonable, he’s not Timburr anymore.  It makes sense for Timburr, sure, but in practice what we’re actually saying is “let’s give Conkeldurr Wood Hammer,” and… I don’t think there’s any good reason for that?

EDIT: Pansexualkiba adds: There are some Pokemon who have access to moves in their base form that their evolutions can’t get, though! Like, for example, Riolu and Force Palm or Nidorina and Poison Fang.
To which I would answer: absolutely true, but so what?  Those are moves that still make perfect sense for Lucario and Nidoqueen.
Conkeldurr getting Wood Hammer would hardly be the stupidest thing we’ve ever seen in terms of move compatibility, but I think that not giving it to him is perfectly understandable.

Anonymous asks:

The problem with cherrim’s flower gift ability is that it boosts the wrong stats. Imagine if cherrim had its special attack and speed state boosted in the sun! Not necessarily doubled, perhaps just buffed by 1.5. Cherrim doesn’t exactly have the best special movepool, but it does have STAB grass attacks + weather ball, which would make it a pretty competent sun sweeper.

Mmm, sure, sounds fun.  I mean, the problem with reliance on weather as a general thing is that Tyranitar still exists and can say “nope” to you at will, especially if you have as much riding on the weather as Cherrim does.  Also Cherrim’s starting attributes are poor enough that something like Chlorophyll Venusaur (who’s tough enough for Growth to be viable some of the time) might still outclass her.  But yeah, Grass + Fire has always been great, and this would probably make Cherrim suck less, though I wonder if it actually decreases her flexibility in doubles, since much of the point of Flower Gift is that it applies to your whole team, and you now have fewer partners who are eligible for the damage boost.  Then again, everyone likes speed.

vikingboybilly asks:

Do you find it odd that Carnivine, a venus flytrap, is poorly matched against bug type pokemon? What would you do to fix that (besides ignoring it)?

Hmm.  It hadn’t occurred to me, but yes, that is unfortunate.  Well, I’ve talked before about improving Carnivine by changing its type to Grass/Poison, among other things, which would help, but looking at it from this particular perspective… at the moment Carnivine has an ability, Levitate, which is great but actually not particularly helpful to a Grass-type.  You could replace that with a unique ability – “Flytrap,” “Flycatcher,” something like that – which absorbs Bug attacks for healing (in the manner of Water Absorb) or an attack boost (in the manner of Sap Sipper).  I think that would get the point across nicely.

Anonymous asks:

What are your feelings in the whole Pika close thing? Like that fact that they keep making them, and do any of them really stick out to you?

Urrrrrrrgh.  Eh.  I don’t know.  Like, it used to really annoy me, because I’ve been sick of them essentially reusing the same concept since generation III, but I’ve kinda moved past that now, not because I’ve come to think it’s any less dumb, more because I can’t be bothered getting annoyed about it anymore.  Clearly they’re going to keep doing it, so maybe it’s a more productive use of my time trying to figure out why on earth it’s so bloody important to them that every generation have a small cute rodent or lagomorph with electrical powers, and try to look at them in isolation with a view to what is neat about each of them.  I liked that they tried to do something different with Emolga, I suppose, by going with a flying squirrel.  That was somewhat redemptive.  I think they must do it, more than anything else, because they want someone to “carry the torch,” as it were, to say “no matter how much things change, this is still Pokémon.”  And this is hardly the only or best way they have of doing that, but clearly it matters to them a great deal.

Anonymous asks:

Long time reader of the blog, I went back and reread some of your black and white reviews and noticed something. In your Genesect review, you showed the picture of a lot of robotic pokemon and said in the picture that all of them, bar Magnezone, are done better than Genesect. Which leads me to what I wanted to ask, are you not a fan of Magnezone? If so, why is that? Is it purely from a design standpoint, or is it something mechanical, or just personal hatred that I’m not getting?

You know, I honestly don’t remember what exactly was going through my mind when I wrote that particular caption.  It was some years ago, after all.  I do prefer Magneton’s design to Magnezone’s by quite a lot, not even so much because Magnezone is awful, but because Magneton is sort of fine without it.  Magnemite evolving to Magneton makes sense and is kind of neat; they’re magnets, they attract each other, so they evolve by moving together and coordinating.  And then… they turn into a flying saucer?  Why?  I mean, it’s not even a horrible idea, and Magneton was already associated with cosmic phenomena, albeit loosely, but… why?

Also I was a great deal snarkier back then.

Anonymous asks:

Do you consider bronzong to step on claydol’s toes?

Hmm.  Interesting question.  

They’re definitely very similar aesthetically, as artefact Pokémon with mystical powers that move by levitating and are pretty much inscrutable.  I think there are some important differences, though, particularly Claydol being vaguely humanoid, and Bronzong having a very particular cultural inspiration (Japanese Iron Age ritual bells that were used, among other things, to pray for rain – this is why Bronzong can remember Rain Dance and Sunny Day via Heart Scales).  They’re both very closely tied up with the ancient civilisations of the Pokémon world, but in different ways; Bronzong was actually worshipped for its specific powers, whereas it’s sort of unclear whether Claydol were ever actually alive in ancient times, or just came to life somehow afterwards (perhaps even relatively recently).  You can do very different things with them, I think.