Judge A Pokémon Express: Polteageist and Cramorant

By A Cake Wearing A Hat, Blitzamirin, Estronic, GatoDelFuego, Kalalokki, lyd, Max. Optimizer, Pikachu315111, Rabia, Ryota Mitarai, yogi, and {Pokemon_Vigilante}. Released: 2019/09/14.
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Kalalokki

Kalalokki

Welcome to another edition of Judge A Pokémon Express! Besides some news about abilities, moves, and mechanics surrounding Dynamaxing that was released during Pokémon 2019 World Championships, there hasn't been much in terms of new Pokémon shown. But September 5th we had a Nintendo Direct that showcased some new features in camping and cooking, player customization, and of course some fresh new Pokémon for us panelists to dig our claws in to: the Ghost-type Black Tea Pokémon Polteageist and the Water / Flying type Gulp Pokémon, Cramorant!

Lyd

lyd

I expect to be one of the few here with this opinion, but I adore Polteageist!! The pun in its name is pretty sharp, and the design is just what it needs to be: simple and effective, with a very good color scheme. While the "ghost possessing some random object" cliché might be a bit overused by Game Freak at this point, I'll still say Polteageist is a fine addition, considering it resides in Pokémon's version of Great Britain after all. I should also point out that Polteageist looks like it came straight out of Luigi's Mansion, and that's most definitely a good thing! Its body resembles quite a bit that of the Greenies, Hiders, and Slammers of the second game in the series, and coincidentally the upcoming installment seems to take place in a haunted hotel, quite the fitting place to find a Polteageist. Could we possibly see a cameo? That aside I'm just happy to see most of these new Pokémon, Polteageist included. Sword and Shield most definitely won't be what most of us anticipated, but at least in the new Pokémon department they seem to be doing fine!

Estronic

Estronic

It's almost sinful to not include anything tea-related in anything with British influence, so I guess Game Freak wanted to get Polteageist out of the way so we wouldn't be holding our breaths. Despite the fact that a certain piece of fanart of this Pokémon, posted practically half an hour after its reveal, has been engraved deeply into my brain, I find Polteageist as a fun addition to Pokémon. Its design is simple but effective, and its background information is quite interesting. Apparently, its actual body is made of black tea, and it can reproduce even more of its kind by being poured into other tea. Does this mean its drinkable, or would that be morally unacceptable? I think that's a topic for another day. Anyways, the one thing that bugs me about Polteageist, and really any Pokémon that falls into this category, is its teapot. Are ALL Polteageist's teapots the same color, style, and broken in the same way? Is that like its genetics doing that? Hmm, as usual, I believe I'm thinking about this too hard.

Max. Optimizer

Max. Optimizer

Since Polteageist is a clear reference to the "poltergeist", a troublesome and annoying type of ghost that takes great pleasure in making noise and playing pranks to scare people, it hence becomes already clear that this Pokémon will certainly not be everybody's cup of tea. Surely enough, a lot of people have already ended up being unironically annoyed by this Pokémon ever since its reveal and are accusing Game Freak of running out of ideas. In this case, however, these same people risk becoming the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, since most, if not all them, would not even be able to fill the Pokédex to the brim with over 800 unique Pokémon and counting. While Polteageist is also obviously a reference to the British tea time tradition, I can personally also see Mrs. Potts, the character from "The Beauty and the Beast", and the Mad Tea Party from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", the magnum opus by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, also known under his pen name of "Lewis Carroll", having served as some sort of inspiration for this Pokémon. I am not going to lie, I was actually fairly surprised to learn that Polteageist is a mono-Ghost-type Pokémon, as opposed to it having a Ghost / Water dual typing, considering the fact that its body is a liquid. I am nonetheless genuinely looking forward to seeing how it will be able to make clever use of its Weak Armor ability when being put in hot water during battles.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

A Cake Wearing A Hat

Finally, we now finally have a drinkable Pokémon for trainers undergoing the liquid food diet. Why would anyone want to drink a Pokémon, you say? I dunno. Ask the Brits. On a side note, though, Polteageist is simultaneously the best and worst pun of all time, and I both love it and hate it.

GatoDelFuego

GatoDelFuego

Polteageist: now this thing is alright. We've had a few possessed object type Ghost Pokémon over the years, but Polteageist feels totally new and fresh. Great color choices—the blend of purple to brown through the cracked pot is excellent. I'm a big fan of the constant 9.9 eyes and sassy lean on its elbow on top of the pot. Darling, do spill the beans. Scorbunny was wearing WHAT at the ball last night? Scandalous, indeed. This checks every box I want to see in a new Pokémon design. Let's keep it up!

Rabia

Rabia

Well, I guess it made sense to include a very British Pokémon after what Generation 7 provided us with thematically. To me, Polteageist gives off vibes of Chandelure. It's another Ghost-type Pokémon based off of something one may find in their home, although this little one looks like it would be the Litwick of its evolutionary line. Design-wise, there really isn't anything about this Pokémon that gets me excited; there isn't really a whole lot you can do with a ghost stuck in a teapot, I guess. I think the colors chosen are really cool, but the design overall doesn't do it for me. What confuses me the most though are the holes in the teapot... why wouldn't the Pokémon pick a better host?

Kalalokki'

Kalalokki

Alright, I think we've hit peak British at this point, until we get a biscuit or fish and chips Pokémon revealed that is. I can't even be mad about its name, it's a pun that flows really well (Get it? Because tea is a liquid) for once. Design wise it's cute and all, but it's with its flavor information (HAHA, GET IT!?) that things start to get weird. If you're deemed trustworthy enough, Polteageist will allow you to sample some of its tea. Isn't the tea just its body? Is it encouraging us to drink itself? Even if this is supposed to be some rare delicacy, it even comes with the side chance of indigestion and a bad stomach! Drinking a Pokémon is just a step too much for me, but I won't make waves about it (OK, I'll stop now).

yogi

yogi

Spiffing day old chap, fancy a cup of tea? Oh golly we seem to be in a spot of bother, there's a rather odd folk in our teapot. Ok so, I personally really like this design. I don't drink tea irl but I'm loving all the British-themed, even though rather stereotypical, Pokémon being show off. I like the conceptualization of these two things together, and it's nice to see them doing it in an interesting way. Not all Brits drink tea, though, just thought I'd clear that up.

Ryota Mitarai

Ryota Mitarai

If they thought mixing Aladdin and the UK would end up in a spectacular design, then they thought wrong. It's not like Polteageist is such a bad Pokémon, but I just really dislike the ghost inside it. For me, if you were to just leave the teapot, it'd end being better. I don't know, maybe the eyes or that purple (I really like dark purple but dislike light purple) are making me dislike it. In terms of other information revealed to the public, these things look very annoying, since they spread so fast and cause problems to people in hotels, kind of like cockroaches. It sounds weird that humanity has to develop sprays for black tea (that's how I imagine they fight off these things but who knows), but hey, anything is possible in the Pokémon world!

Vigilante

{Pokemon_Vigilante}

We all know where this is going to go, don't we? I can't be the only one who thought of it, but in case you haven't, I'll be glad to put it out there for all to read. (Feel free to sing it as you read it, it makes it more fun!)

I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Here is my handle, and here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up, then I shout!
So tip me over, and Polteageist comes out!

Polteageist truly has the coolest play on words for a name that Game Freak has done in all the games to this point! There is no reason to think that Polteageist is not a perfect work of art as is. Just looking at this Pokémon brings back all the memories of my childhood watching Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast! Maybe we'll get lucky and there is a cup and saucer Pokémon matching set yet to come. I'm sure it would leave us all asking, "What kind of Sorcertea is this?" I'm sure that would crack Cupotea up so badly that he'd have to be swept up off the floor...

Pikachu315111

Pikachu315111

When Alcremie was revealed I assumed it was the "food/object" based Pokémon for Gen 8; the "out there" design not based on an animal or mythical creature. Little did I know they had at least one more and, as other panelists have pointed out, it's appropriately themed. At first glance if you told me Polteageist was a Yokai from Yokai Watch! I would believe you. While Pokémon has experimented with the designs of their food/object-based Pokémon, this one feels out of place played straight: it's a ghost in a broken tea pot. You need to read its description to learn the twist: the ghost doesn't possess the broken tea pot, it possesses the black tea... that it'll let you drink... and they multiply by possessing more tea. Well, that's some nightmare fuel for you, but it's a Ghost-type so what else were you expecting (surprised it's not part Water-type, being made of tea; does it replace the liquid with ectoplasm? Yuck)? Weak Armor is an interesting ability for it, possibly hinting it'll start out slow and bulky but can became a fragile late-game sweeper? Would be neat if the tea pot also got more broke or cracked with every hit, but that probably would have required a signature ability. Also would be neat if they had more than one tea pot design, but with Alcremie having revealed its variant form gimmick, that probably leaves this little ghoul high and dry.

Blitzamirin

Blitzamirin

Where do I begin? I'm normally a big fan of objectmons: Chandelure, Aegislash, Palossand, Klefki, and countless others I consider to be unique and interesting takes on inanimate objects, but then there's Polteageist. This is just a purple blob with eyes that lives inside a regular, broken teapot. I can't help but draw a parallel to the CAP Pokémon Crucibelle, which I believe executed this type of concept better: the lid of the vase looks like a monster, the base comes alive with the transition from regular forme to its Mega, and the actual body of the Pokémon has features such as drooping goop acting like makeshift hair. Unlike Crucibelle, this... is just a purple blob with eyes that lives inside a regular, broken teapot. Polteageist lacks a lot in the design aspect, but to make matters worse, it has the ability Weak Armor, which means if you hit it, it breaks. It doesn't even make for a good container! And they're even regarded as pests in the Galar region! So, what good is this Pokémon for? The name pun is admittedly pretty cute, its existence was hinted at 5 years ago, and if the ridiculous creations of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends can be willed into existence, so can Polteageist.

Estronic

Estronic

Now this is certainly interesting. To me, Cramorant's design is almost like an extremely polished revision of a drawing of an actual bird made by an 8-year-old. That's not a bad thing, however, as that is what I think it will be a favorite of many. Its eyes scare me stare into my soul, though, especially for being a bold color that stands out from the rest of its palette. Still, I will welcome it with open arms, as many people will. Now, since I don't have much to say now, I guess I can talk about its ability. Gulp Missile, exclusive to Cramorant, allows it to counterattack if the foe attacks it after it uses Surf or Dive. It's actually funny with context, as it shoots out a fish from its mouth in order to do this. Wait, it's not actually a fish because this is Pokémon, but it's not a recognizable Pokémon currently out of all of them. Perhaps it's another Slowbro + Shellder situation? Meh, it's not worth looking into.

Max. Optimizer

Max. Optimizer

What makes this Flying / Water dual type stand out from Pelipper and Swanna is its new ability "Gulp Missile", allowing it to shoot a currently unnamed fish Pokémon it caught while using Surf or Dive at its foes if they dare attack it while gulping. I am currently inclined to believe that this specific gimmick will only remain just that, a gimmick, and that it will most likely not hold much weight in a competitive environment. I will however gladly stand corrected and gulp down my own words in case it turns out that I was wrong. While on the topic of "gulping," I am also inclined to believe that Cramorant, much like Pelipper, will have the moves Stockpile, Swallow and Spit Up in its movepool. We have already seen in the past that Pokémon, specifically Water-type Pokémon, are known for engaging in a symbiosis with other Pokémon. Let us for example take the cases of Slowpoke and Shellder that can coexist as Slowbro or Slowking or the situation of Mantine and Remoraid. While in the latter case Remoraid has not been shown on at Mantine's side anymore ever since the Generation 4 sprites, the fact that Mantyke only evolves when your team features a Remoraid is still a reminder of said symbiosis. Some specific wicked tongues might even say that the gulping Cramorant reminds them of Game Freak, who might have swallowed more than they can chew by simultaneously working on the Generation 8 games and Town.

A Cake Wearing A Hat

A Cake Wearing A Hat

I am incapable of thinking as this Pokémon as anything other than the bird from Up. They had to have taken it from that, right? The Up bird isn't based on a real bird or anything, is it? In terms of its actual design, though, I find its eyes extremely unsettling. They look like two green compact discs that are staring right at me no matter where I turn. Its gaze makes me feel like I am a target; like I will be the next one to be pelted by whatever that weird fish is.

I hope that this thing will actually have something to differentiate itself from the other waterfowl aside from Gulp Missile, or at least, I hope Gulp Missile is actually good. Since it's one of the only Pokémon they've revealed to us so far, I can hope that it's actually remarkable in some form.

GatoDelFuego

GatoDelFuego

ok, it's...a...bird. A boring bird. Not just a boring Pokémon bird, but a Pokémon bird design that's already been seen everywhere else. Pelipper, Swanna, Psyduck, those birds on the wire from that Pixar pre-movie sketch... this design is completely tired. It just looks too dumb to be taken seriously, and I'm not a fan of "ironically bad" looks in designs. We can do so much better than this!

Rabia

Rabia

I think this Pokémon design is really overdone. We've already seen Pelipper in Generation 3 and Swanna in Generation 5, so I'm not sure why we're revisiting the water bird theme again. I think we could at the very least get a really cute first stage Pokémon out of this Pelipper + Swanna spawn, so maybe all hope isn't lost. The eyes on this Pokémon are particularly disturbing though; Cramorant has seen some... awful things. Based off of the trailer, Cramorant seems like it'll be a fast special attacker; this is mostly because of its ability Gulp Missile, whose animation makes me think of moves like Bubble Beam and Energy Ball for some reason, and it just looks fast to me.

Kalalokki'

Kalalokki

So we get a derpy mix between a Swanna and a Pelipper that's too dumb to eat things properly. Kinda surprised Pelipper didn't already have some sort of fish companion in its mouth, but I guess times were different in Gen 3. Its ability Gulp Missile sounds really fun though, the thwack of the fish hitting Sudowoodo's face in the reveal video is just great. I hope that the fish doesn't turn out to be a Pokémon by itself and is more like the so-called Shellder biting Slowbro's tail. The question is going to be just how strong the retaliation attack is, if it'll be worth it or if it will hit as hard as the sound it makes: like a wet paper towel.

yogi

yogi

Another Flying / Water Pokémon with what's probably a reskinned Iron Barbs or Aftermath. Next.

Ryota Mitarai

Ryota Mitarai

Here, we've got a bird as a reference to Up that's also taken a little bit too much coffee and is now also paranoid as hell. I mean, you could imagine this situation: you look at its eyes, and it looks back at your eyes. Then you look at its fish, and now you can't see anything because Cramorant thought you wanted it and made sure you can't have it. But hey, that thing can fire fish off its mouth! Isn't that something you have always wanted? I mean, there's always this one dude you know you would slap in the face with a fish, but now you also have the opportunity to shoot them with the fish instead. Too bad you can only use it on Pokémon, but damn, it'd have been very funny if I could shoot NPCs with fish, y'know, giving me the opportunity of becoming a prankster instead of being the goody two-shoes that saves the whole region from Pokémon gods.

Vigilante

{Pokemon_Vigilante}

There surely doesn't seem to be anything witty about this bird! It looks like a pirate parrot reject Game Freak found and figured they could use to fill a slot in the Dex. In light of that fact, it's obvious that the lights are not all on upstairs, if you catch my breeze. I suppose it could be a play on a Blue-footed Booby bird too, to which end, the vacant expression is all but explained. It also would fit in with the color scheme. There's likely no love for this Pokémon, unless you're waiting to see it jump on a pirate's shoulder and shout at you, "Are you ready, kids?". I'm basically at a loss for words on this whiff by Game Freak, but I'm sure someone out there would be happy to have this dodo, if for no other reason than to say they caught it.

Pikachu315111

Pikachu315111

I'm going to start things a little unorthodox by talking about its name. Not its English name, its Japanese name: U'u. No, I didn't mistype, that is its Japanese name. It's the combination of the Japanese onomatopoeia for chocking (fair enough) and the Japanese name for the bird it's based on, the cormorant, which just translates to "u". So, to say this Pokémon's name in Japanese, you have to sound like you're choking. Uegh uegh! A completely wacky name, but it's definitely an accurate name for it because just look at it. Poor soul probably choked so many times on the fish it catches (BTW new Pokémon?) that it's suffering brain damage from oxygen deprivation. Speaking of which, I can't believe it choking on a fish (or Pikachu if the leaks are true...) is considered a separate form solely for the purpose of its ability. It has so much derpy charm I can't help but like it... but sadly that's where I have to stop. Liking it but not loving it. Flying / Water typing isn't doing it any favors, and having to do a specific move before you can use Gulp Missile pushes its ability from being a niche to a potential waste (Cramorant would have to be very fast and Gulp Missile do a considerable chunk of damage to counteract all that). But as long as it remembers to flap its wings while flying in the Wild Area it'll probably fare better than its fellow Water / Flying seabird, Wingull.

Blitzamirin

Blitzamirin

At first, I was pretty indifferent towards Cramorant, but I've grown to like it because it exudes derp. It's like a winged Psyduck with an appetite that makes Snorlax run laps around it. That said, its type combination is incredibly overdone between Gyarados, Mantine, Pelipper, and Swanna, which means it's probably going to rely on Gulp Missile to stand out. Speaking of Gulp Missile, let's not forget our fish friend here and dedicate a section to it. To get the obvious out of the way, the poor thing is snatched by Cramorant that don't know any better, and that much is clear: it's ugly, has that "I'm dead inside" smile, and probably has an unpleasant, crunchy texture. One can also assume it's pitifully weak... or if it's another Magikarp-esque situation where it becomes a barracuda monster that eventually turns the tables on its predator—you thought Cramorant's feather apron was for its own use? Think again! The potential is certainly there, so let's hope that this thing doesn't turn into another baby Kangaskhan situation.


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Kalalokki

Kalalokki

That was all from us panelists in this edition, we hope our insights and speculations have sparked some ideas or thoughts of your own! At the time of writing this, the official Sword & Shield site has also released a cryptic teaser of a new Fighting-type Pokémon, hiding it behind corrupted pixels and a partial Japanese name in (ナ イ ト nite). Hopefully we'll be able to cover it in a new edition soon enough, but until then, later days!

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