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When details about the then-new Pokémon Black and White versions emerged, we learned that no so-called "old" Pokémon would be present within the main game, with only the new Unova Pokémon present around the region and on the pages in the Pokédex you receive. The reasoning behind this was mostly to give new players a chance to get into the Pokémon series, replacing the older (mostly Kanto-based) Pokémon with new designs. This caused a little controversy among long-time fans, as they wouldn't be able to meet their old favorites this time around. Many also state that the Unova Pokémon are outright bad when it comes to designs and whatnot, saying that they aren't half as good as the old guys. But is this really true? Do we give these new guys enough credit? In my opinion, no. I'm going to take a look at the old and the new, from my perspective, to see which group of Pokémon is the best. Is the old saying, "things were better in the past", really true?
Oh my, these two are some of the Pokémon world's living technological wonders. Gadgets with a mind of their own. And they do have some real similarities. We have Magnemite, which is composed of screws, a metal ball cyclops, and two magnets, and Klink, a Pokémon made out of two cogs with eyes. Other than them both being machine-like, they also store and utilize electricity for their attacks. But which one of these gizmos is the better one?
Klink is, quite frankly, boring as hell. Let's just take a look at its evolution line. Klink starts out as just two cogs joined together, with some different kinds of eyes or expressions. And that's it; not much if you ask me. Ok, so it evolves. Now it's a Klang, and what changes? Oh, they added a new and bigger cogwheel on the back. Well, that's kinda neat, I guess...? People tend to say bigger is better, but I don't know. Also, one of the the faces from the small cogs disappears and is replaced with a green dot. Very well, nothing really changes, the design is still pretty dull. Ok, let's go to the final stage. Now Klang evolves into Klingklang; yeah, the name just screams "creativity", but there have to be some new cool details added, right? So, a new small cogwheel with a red dot instead (variation is good, kudos) and a big ring with some protective tines are added. Well, it's always good to protect yourself, but is that it? Come on now, Game Freak, it could look a little more badass. Oh well, at least its stats are pretty decent, but did they give it a huge movepool to take advantage of them with? No? Well, that is certainly... disappointing to say the least. At least it goes with the design of the Pokémon.
Oh Magnemite, in my opinion, you're a pretty cool Pokémon. And you're powerful for your size as well; not as weak as your counterpart. A metallic ball with one eye and two magnets is a really cool design, and the screws that it can move on its own is a neat touch. However, when you evolve, there is no big difference. Instead of one, you become three. Hey, you still look cool though, and you got two new friends, so I guess it's not too bad after all if you look at it that way. But wait, it's not over yet. Here comes one of my personal favorites of all time: Magnezone. Magnezone takes the magnetic design to a new level, as it emulates a magnetic field. That is pretty badass in itself. And the UFO design is really great as well, merging two of the Magnemites into the bigger body and adding a new antenna. Good job Game Freak. Magnezone is no slouch in battle either, as a huge Special Attack stat and a great typing with good STAB moves and abilities makes it a force to be reckoned with. It's safe to say this UFO is better than the set of cogwheels with a dumb expression. Why do you look so damn surprised Klink?
The winner is: Magnemite
Drowzee and Munna: different in many ways, but oh so similar. They are both based of on the tapir, a mammal that thrives in water. Apparently they also have psychic powers, who knew? You better watch out when you're at the zoo. I kid, of course, but these two tapirs do sport great psychic powers, even going so far as to eat your dreams; that's indeed what their main design is based on, dream eating.
Drowzee, in comparison to Munna, is bipedal and yellow. And not so cute. Drowzee, and of course Hypno, are like the poster boys of Hypnosis. Drowzee puts its opponents to sleep by waving its arms in a specific way, while Hypno uses the classic pendulum. Hypnotists indeed. However, when you look a little deeper into Drowzee, it is kinda creepy. Apparently, if your nose gets itchy when you sleep, then there's a high possibility that a Drowzee is standing above you eating your dreams through your nostrils. Standing above me when I sleep? What a creeper. It also rarely eats adults' dreams, and rather goes after childrens' dreams because they taste better. I don't like the sound of this Drowzee... Unfortunately, it does get worse than this. Hypno is apparently even prone to kidnapping the kids it hypnotizes... Really, Sleeper 97? Ok, I've had enough, let's just move on. Drowzee's and Hypno's stats are fairly... mediocre. The only two stats that stand out are their HP and Special Defense, meaning they are great at taking special moves but that's it. Neither can hit hard particularly hard with either physical or special moves without any boosts, and their physical defense is pitiful. Their low Speed stat won't allow them to sweep outside of Trick Room either. They have interesting support moves though, but that's all there is to them; they can only support their teams. A cool design, although a kinda disappointing competitive Pokémon. And a creeper on top of that.
I think we need to brighten up this atmosphere. Enter Munna. A bright pink, cute little Pokémon with flower patterns all over its body. This cute little thing can eat my dreams any day (I don't have any use for them anyways). Munna's dream eating is not a selfish act for requiring food, either. It actually helps those who have nightmares by eating their bad dreams. How sweet. This innocence carries over when it evolves as well, luckily. Musharna is used when utilizing the Pokémon Dream World, as it create objects from within the dreams it eats. A pretty neat ability there. In a competitive sense, Musharna is no slouch. While it is rather "outclassed" in its field by Pokémon in the higher tiers, it is a great Pokémon down in the NU tier. Musharna is one of the bulkiest Pokémon available downstairs, with 116 / 85 / 95 defenses, allowing it to perform its roles comfortably; Musharna usually dons the role of team supporter or a bulky Calm Mind sweeper. Musharna isn't weak, either. A base 107 Special Attack allows it to hit hard after a few boosts from Calm Mind. It's not hard to see why Musharna is a top tier Pokémon with that bulk and power, being hard as hell to take down without a powerful Dark-type at your disposal.
So, who comes out as the winner in this bout? It should be obvious. Munna and its evolution are the clear winners in my eyes, proving that the old Pokémon aren't always better. Both in the competitive sense, as well as the design sense, Munna is the real winner here. I definitely prefer the cute looks of both Munna and Musharna over the Pokémon that gives a certain bear and Slenderman a run for their money.
The winner is: Munna
Oh, now we have come to two personal favorites of mine. Two little duckies; one yellow, one blue. But that's about it when it comes to similarities; they are both ducks, and that's all. Something that will come to disappear upon evolution, however.
Psyduck is no regular duck. First of all, it doesn't have wings, instead having arms with hands shaped like its feet. It doesn't have any feathers on its body either, and it sports a regular tail instead of a duck tail, almost akin to a platypus rather than a duck; but nonetheless, Psyduck is indeed a duck. Now onto what Psyduck is about; it's a dumbass with a headache. No, that's all there is to it. Well, a headache that can result in mysterious and powerful psychic powers. This power awakens when Psyduck's headache stimulates its brain cells, which it rarely uses by the way. The only downside to this is that it can't remember using this power at all, as it enters a state much like sleeping when it happens; poor little guy. Luckily, this all changes when it evolves to Golduck. Ah Golduck, such a cool Pokémon, now sporting a much more slender body, making it a better swimmer, and claws. Golduck can now also control that mysterious power by using the red orb on its forehead. Does this all translate to its fighting prowess on the competitive side? Kinda, but not as much as I'd personally want since it's such a cool Pokémon. Golduck has very balanced stats, but they are all pretty mediocre and there are Pokémon that tend to outclass it in some roles, even in NU. It has relatively good mixed offensive stats and good Speed, but they are nothing compared to that of, for example, Gorebyss and Huntail after a Shell Smash. It's still faster and more powerful than Ludicolo, but it lacks that great typing and defenses that Ludicolo possesses; Golduck also has a much more extensive movepool than most Water-types, but that's not enough. So, Golduck is often overlooked when it comes to rain sweeping and such, but it can utilize a unique Substitute + Calm Mind set that no other Water-type Pokémon in NU can. All in all, Golduck is a solid Pokémon, but is outshined by other Water-types. I still like him though. Oh, and did I mention that it's a cool Pokémon?
Oh Ducklett. I do like you as a Pokémon, and your style, stealing Ash's stupid hat and beating up his lame Pikachu, but what's your purpose in the Pokémon world? What is it that's so special about just you? As far as I know, nothing. You're just a plain, blue duck. And you're weaker than your counterpart too... Oh well, let's look at your evolution. Swanna. Swanna... Oh come on now, you go from a plain, blue duck to a plain, white swan. Game Freak wasn't exactly wasteful with the creativity when it comes to some of these Unova Pokémon, huh? Fortunately, Swanna isn't as pale in battle. Swanna thrives in a certain weather condition and that is rain. In rain, Swanna can boost its Surf's power, as it lacks Hydro Pump, unlike Golduck, while Hurricane becomes 100% accurate, giving it another devastating STAB move. On top of that, Swanna isn't troubled by status in the rain thanks to Hydration, while it has Roost to recover off damage. Swanna is also faster than the majority of the tier, sitting at an unusual 98 base Speed. However, Swanna's offensive stats are just average. While its Attack stat is higher than Golduck's, Swanna's Special Attack is not as high. If they were slightly higher, Swanna would be much deadlier. However, if we combine Golduck's and Swanna's competitive abilities and aesthetic traits, I have a clear winner in my mind; although I like both Pokémon, one stands out as the better duck as it is so unique in its style. The Gangnam Style.
The winner is: Psyduck
When you see these two paired up together, some of you might think "Whaaaaat, u curazy stupid writer?" Ok, maybe not, but still. Something must be wrong if I pair these two up, an electric ball and a poisonous mushroom, no? Well, it's no mistake. These two share something. Something evil. The ability to happily fool every trainer on its quest. Every player that walks by the sprite of a Poké Ball in a new game thinks "Oh, a shiny new item." Well, that's not the case every time. Beneath the facade lie two of the biggest trolls in the Pokémon world: Electrode and Amoonguss.
Ah, Electrode. They say smiles can be contagious; however, I doubt that Electrode's smile has ever been carried over. This Pokémon just seems to like being annoying, like it was its whole being. In the games, it lurks in the shadows in different power plants, just waiting for unsuspecting trainers to walk up to it, touch it, and then unwillingly battle it. On top of that, Electrode's ridiculous Speed stat makes it hard to run away from if your Pokémon are slow, while it happily blows itself up along with your Pokémon. When it comes to the design of Electrode itself, I don't really know what to say; it's just a ball with a face. When it comes to competitive battling, Electrode isn't any less annoying than it is in-game. While it is hardly used in the top tiers, it gets its time to shine in NU. There, it uses its high Speed and Taunt to stop other Pokémon from setting up stuff like Stealth Rock and Spikes, while preventing the opponent from putting it to sleep, etc. It can then proceed to paralyze the opponent with Thunder Wave or set up rain for its teammates. While players who lead with Pokémon such as Golurk or Golem can predict Taunt and use Earthquake for an easy KO, BW introduced Air Balloon, allowing it to escape these types of moves as well. An annoyance indeed. However, Electrode isn't exactly powerful. Its best offensive stat is its Special Attack, which lies at a mediocre base 80; not much of a threat if you ask me.
Amoonguss doesn't exactly resemble a Poké Ball, but its hat has the same pattern, which is apparently enough to fool the heroes in Black and White (2). Thankfully, Amoonguss isn't as obnoxious as Electrode is with its smile; however, its facial expression seem to entail something else. Amoonguss looks down on you, judges you. It thinks to itself about how stupid you are for falling for such a cheap thing. Just look at its eyes. But never mind that. There isn't much to say about Amooguss's design either, as it is a rather plain mushroom with, as I mentioned before, Poké Ball patterns on its hat and arms. However, in my opinion, it is better than Electrode's. When it comes to competitive usefulness, Amoonguss is a great Pokémon. While it currently resides in NU, it is one of those Pokémon that sees usage in every tier bar Ubers, and for good reasons. Amoonguss has access to the rare, 100% accurate sleep inducing move Spore, which only 3 other fully-evolved Pokémon have access to. This makes Amoonguss a great team supporter, as it can put an opponent to sleep at every attempt. However, Spore is not the only thing that makes it so great. Amoonguss sports great bulk with 114 / 70 / 80 defenses, which makes it hard to OHKO without extremely powerful, super effective moves. To add to Amoonguss's sturdy structure, it also has the amazing ability Regenerator. Yes, Amoonguss is that good. Amoonguss also has good offensive stats and access to Giga Drain and Clear Smog, which makes it even better. The only downside to it is its low, low Speed stat. Amoonguss faces stiff competition upstairs, mainly from Breloom in OU and Tangrowth in RU, but it is on the rise.
It should be obvious by now which one of these sneaky Pokémon stands out as the better creature. Electrode can sit there and smile to itself, exploding in rage if it wants to, because Amooguss is clearly the winner here. Between the two, I also relate more to Amoonguss's tired look than Electrode's stupid grin.
The winner is: Amoonguss
Ah, so it has come down to the final battle. Too bad these two aren't any fighters... Anyways. Chansey and Audino. These two are two of the kindest Pokémon in the universe. Chansey came first, bringing joy and happiness to trainers all around, healing itself and its teammates with its Softboiled. 15 years later, a new kindhearted Pokémon showed up: Audino. Audino is very similar to Chansey. Much like Chansey, Audino takes care of its allies, even going so far as to healing its opponents in battle, but it doesn't bring happiness like Chansey does. They are also pink.
Chansey, the second hand to Nurse Joy for many years. It's shaped like an egg, it carries an egg, and is so pure of heart and sweet that it will give you diabetes just by touching it. It shares its eggs with those who are injured, and won't give any to those with evil in their hearts. Aww, so cute. But Chansey isn't always this cute and nice when encountered. No, quite the opposite. Anyone who has played Pokémon Red and Blue knows what I'm talking about. Chansey is one of those Pokémon where your Poké Balls can miss if you try to catch it. To those who haven't tried this yet, all I can say is that it is annoying. Really annoying, especially in the Safari Zone. Oh the frustration. Now, let's take a look at Audino. To be honest, I have barely any idea what Audino is supposed to be. Some sources seem to think it's based on rabbits, but I don't know. What I do know is that the feelers on Audino's ears act like stethoscopes, which is rather fitting to its healing role. But unlike Chansey, Audino isn't as cute-looking. It looks kinda weird in comparison, at least to me. The fact that Audino can be male as well adds to that creepy feeling I get from it. Its tail is cuter though. Oh well. When looking at the competitive side, Chansey and Audino are pretty similar. They are used to support their team with moves such as Wish and Heal Bell. But in terms of effectiveness, Chansey and Audino are worlds apart. Chansey, and its evolution Blissey, have always been at the top. Audino, not nearly as good. Chansey and Audino both sport good bulk, but Chansey's is just superior in every respect. Even though Audino has a higher base Defense stat, Chansey's gigantic HP stat and Eviolite makes it better at taking physical hits as well, not just special ones. Audino can at least feel proud that it is stronger than Chansey, but those base 60 stats won't do much in battle. Their movepools are pretty similar as well, but they can barely make use of the whole thing; only the support moves are even remotely viable options.
By looking at these facts, I'd rather have Chansey's happy smile and superior abilities beside me on the battlefield (instead of the creepy feeling Audino tends to give me), giving me that Ubercharge while I scream, "I AM BULLETPROOF!". Ah, video game references...
The winner is: Chansey
It seems that the old prevailed this time. The plain designs of some of the new Pokémon seem to have caused most of the losses, as most of them aren't exactly weak competitively. But did we uncover the whole truth with just these five pairs of Pokémon? I doubt it, and I plan to bring that up to test. Maybe the Unova Pokémon will walk in stride next time, tying up the score with these classics. We'll just have to find out, but until then, see ya around!
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