Regular Bidoof asks:

What are some of your favorite underrated/overlooked pokemon?

Well, I suppose it depends on what we mean by underrated or overlooked… some Pokémon are “overlooked” in that they’ve never been competitively viable, but nonetheless have a sort of cult following, like Dunsparce, whom your mega-evolved counterpart asked about recently, and if allowed, Dunsparce would definitely go on my list.  Pokémon that are genuinely overlooked in that they have no fans whatsoever, I mostly kind of think deserve it, like Qwilfish.  For some reason I’m very fond of Delibird, who is legitimately terrible, but I don’t know whether there’s a fan following for Delibird.  Carbink may not qualify as overlooked because of its link to Diancie, but I do have a weird soft spot for Carbink because I have a pet theory that it’s the oldest of all Pokémon (I reject Mew’s claim on the position, in what I realise is a conflict with established lore).  Druddigon is, frankly, my spirit Pokémon, because I too aspire to live in a dark cave and hate everybody, and Druddigon has definitely never had the competitive spotlight and I don’t think has ever been especially popular, so I think “overlooked” is justifiable here.  And lastly, my favourite Pokémon is Vileplume, who… isn’t really overlooked or underrated, I don’t think, but has never been, like, top-tier super popular either.

hugh_donnetono asks:

So Grass is your favorite type, and Vileplume is your favorite Pokemon, right? Why?

To be honest, some of it is probably buried so deep in things that I decided I liked as a 10-year-old that it’s unrecoverable.  In fact, part of it is probably that my first Pokémon game was Blue, and Oddish is exclusive to Red, and kids want what they can’t have.  I suppose I like Grass-types because I like plants; I grew up with a big garden, and in New Zealand we’re taught to take pride in our unspoiled, primordial forests (which, no matter what Tourism New Zealand or The Lord of the Rings try to tell you, are in decline).  Plants are interesting scientifically and historically too.  There’s much more to them than just pieces of scenery; plants have incredibly varied and sophisticated ways of life, chemicals derived from plants inspired many important modern medicines, and the cultivation of plants in ancient times paved the way for stable food incomes and the growth of complex civilisations.  And I consider Vileplume the archetypal Grass Pokémon: beautiful, gentle, calm, but you must always look and never, ever touch, because plants are inventive in how they defend themselves, and you might never see it coming.

Ty asks:

Glad the Mr. Mime question got the ball rolling! I just have one more for the time being regarding your favorite Vileplume. With Alola forms in mind, if you could pick any region where Oddish’s evolutionary family had a regional variation, which region would it be, and what would make the Oddishes, Glooms, Vileplumes, and Bellossoms different there?

Yeah I think when I moved to WordPress people… forgot(?) for a while, I guess, that they could do this?  So thanks for that!  Anyway, Vileplume.  I wasn’t sure how to begin going about this, but I did some reading and learned about a property of the Rafflesia genus of flowers (which Vileplume is based on) that I hadn’t previously known about.  Continue reading “Ty asks:”

Anonymous asks:

If you were an elite four member what would your type speciality and team be?

Definitely Grass – we haven’t had one of those yet (putting Grass in the company of… Normal, Electric and Fairy, I think), because Grass Pokémon Don’t Get Nice Things.  Elite Four members generally get five Pokémon, so probably Whimsicott as a lead (with nasty things like Stun Spore and U-Turn), followed up with Breloom, Torterra (I think I’m allowed a starter, since Flint uses Infernape in Diamond/Pearl) and Ludicolo, then Vileplume as my strongest Pokémon.

nasat asks:

A few days ago I finally evolved a Gloom into Vileplume on Pokémon Go. I can’t help but wonder if you’ve acquired one yet, and how the “catching them all” is going on that front?

I kinda fell out of the habit of doing anything with it regularly.  There was a period of a couple of weeks back in October when one particular patch was incompatible with my phone for some reason, and I couldn’t play.  By the time it was fixed I’d sort of lost interest.

Anonymous asks:

Why do you think gen-specific Pokemon pairs get unequal treatment by Game Freak? (Eg, Vileplume got a new evolution in Gen 2, while Victreebel got nothing, and Whimsicott was already better than Lilligant even before becoming Fairy-type in Gen 6.)

I suppose because those pairings don’t serve any gameplay purpose beyond the games in which they were originally introduced.  Oddish and Bellsprout were no longer version-exclusive in generation II, so why continue to act as if they were?  If anything, I think it would be pointlessly restrictive for future games to demand that those pairs of Pokémon continue to mirror each other.  If you have an idea for an alternate evolution for Gloom that you think is a good one, why declare it invalid because you don’t have an idea for Weepinbell?  As for Whimsicott getting a buff that Lilligant missed out on by becoming a Fairy-type – well, you’ve hit the nail on the head.  Whimsicott was already better than Lilligant, so clearly they didn’t care in the first place.  Why would they care more in generation VI, when Whimsicott’s special relationship with Lilligant was no longer relevant, than they had in V?