Pokémon Movepool Oddities & Explanations

Eh, when I say 'devious', it's more either 'mob boss' or 'feints mercy to get more prey' territory. That seems a bit much for Chatot...
Yeah I get that, but in a Pokémon world where there aren't enough random piles of berries to sustain every wild Pokémon I could totally see a Chatot mimicking specific cries to hunt smaller Bug Pokémon and such.
 
This isn't exactly a movepool oddity, but one thing I noticed is that most of the Pokemon with Moxie also have Intimidate as an alternate ability. Namely Salamence, Gyarados, Mightyena, Scrafty, and Krookodile have both Moxie and Intimidate as options. Only Pinsir, Honchkrow, and Pyroar have Moxie but not Intimidate.
Heracross gets Moxie but not Intimidate as well. Interestingly, you could probably make the case for Pinsir, Honchkrow and Pyroar being "intimidating" in their own way.
 
Heracross gets Moxie but not Intimidate as well. Interestingly, you could probably make the case for Pinsir, Honchkrow and Pyroar being "intimidating" in their own way.
Oops, I skipped over Heracross when looking through the Pokemon with Moxie. Bulbapedia says that the Japanese name for Moxie translates to "Overconfident," and I guess you could argue that when something is Intimidating and they know it, they might feel pretty powerful and somewhat overconfident.
 
...Night Head...

you know the animation for Night Shade, for gens 3-5 changed from "weird wobbly screen" to "projects a larger version of your sprite"
Maybe this was the thought process and only gens 3-5 were able to like show it off? It's not any specific reference or phenomenon, it's just like...the idea ofs eeing a spooky head. at night. Represented by the trio of Pokemon who are basically just giant spooky heads.
If you take that idea it also kinda explains Xatu & Ariados: they have facial elements on their body. It's actually a surprisingly recurring bit once you're looking for it: Duskull & Shuppet are basicalyl floating heads (and also spooky); you could extend that to the Litwick line too since their bodies are also their heads. a scary head woudl show up in a nightmare and Darkrai can also just pahse in & out like a ghost anyway. Blacephalon's just a head joke. Cursola may as well be a head.
Obviously there's some that just get it because they want a weird move, and some who dont fit at all and...well...Chatot. Which.... I guess doesn't really help anything....



Course at this point Night Shade is now "weird ghost energy", animation wise. Kind of seems like there wasn't anything written down for this....
Carddass (Those set of cards drawn by Sugimori depicting Pokemon using attacks) for Gastly is just it.....s-sitting there? And the background's a little pixely? Not actually doing anything. But Haunter does the same thing for Hypnosis.
The anime just kind of shrugged and had Gengar shoot eyebeams and just stuck with that for 20 years
The various mangas have done things ranging from ghost beams, vauge spectral energy, getting REALLY bright, giving yo ua headache in pain and just Haunter scaring people (How I Became A Pokemon Card)
I think that's a totally valid interpretation and we might be... both right?

My thing is, and I usually dislike when people do this line of argument but I feel it fits here, is if it were truly just making a larger mirage of your head for intimidation / unnerving purposes, Stantler should really learn it. I think it works to highlight this because Stantler is a Gen II Pokémon and Night Shade is the gen where they gave this move to a wide variety of types, and particularly because Hoothoot learns Night Shade yet Stantler doesn't. Hoothoot and Stantler have fundamentally similar design concepts and their movepools reflect this, as both learn Hypnosis, Dream Eater, and Nightmare. In fact, they're the only non-occult (Ghost- or Psychic-Type Pokémon) to hold this distinction, besides Persian who does so via breeding with Stantler itself. Not only that but their movepools are very similar -- Hoothoot learns Hypnosis at level 16 while Stantler learns it at level 15, and both Stantler and Noctowl learn Take Down as one of their last attacking moves (for some reason the Hoothoot family learns Confusion really late but that's it).

The distinction between their movesets is that Stantler learns Confuse Ray, while Hoothoot learns Night Shade. Confuse Ray is used by morphing the world around the two combatants, which is what Stantler's dex entries state that it does.

"The curved antlers subtly change the flow of air to create a strange space where reality is distorted." - Gold.

By contrast, it's implied that Night Shade is a more direct telepathic hit that does not distort space, as Stantler does not learn it. I'd argue this is consolidated by the Noctowl family's later addition of Extrasensory, a move with an extremely heavy association with telepathy in its own right. The Pokémon who learn Extrasensory are things like Ninetales (kitsune are telepathic), the legendary beasts (telepathic in movies), the legendary birds, the Lake Guardians, Reshiram and Landorus / Tornadus (but not Thundurus). If Noctowl can learn Extrasensory, it is telepathic in its own right, and that could go further to prove this distinction between Night Shade and Confuse Ray. After all, Stantler can only learn Extrasensory via breeding with a Pokémon that already has telepathy, similar to it learning Disable via breeding.

This feels like a maths problem, but I'd basically argue that this is a proof that there is a distinction between Confuse Ray and Night Shade, and that the surrounding material argues that Confuse Ray distorts space around the opponents where Night Shade does not, and is therefore still a telepathic hit. Noctowl has never learned Confuse Ray, besides, and that's relevant because it demonstrates that it doesn't have spacial distorting capabilities, and so its Hypnosis capabilities have to be telepathic. The animation in gens 3-5 can be chalked up to what is a valid use of doing this, which is making the user seem more intimidating or dangerous than it really is. That would certainly explain Pokémon like Ariados learning it, as a reference to arachnophobia, but it's not the only way that the power could be used, keeping the explanation relevant to other Pokémon that learn it like Noctowl, Deoxys, Sableye, Jellicent, and Cofagrigus.

But I mean, this information is entirely just not given to us. I think the simplest explanation is that it was never documented how exactly this move works, as you said yourself lol. I just feel that the name coincidence combined with all of this working out really does argue that it is telepathy-based.
 
On the note of abilities, why do Honedge/Doublade get only No Guard? They don't benefit from it*, and yet they're the only No Guard pokes without a second ability other than Mega-Pidge. It doesn't even feel like an intentional nerf, more like GF just forgot to give them a hidden ability.

*Metal Sound, Fury Cutter, Cut, Toxic, Swagger and Rock Slide are the only moves they get at less than 100% accuracy, and most of those are unusable AND 90%. They don't even get Will-o-wisp.
 
On the note of abilities, why do Honedge/Doublade get only No Guard? They don't benefit from it*, and yet they're the only No Guard pokes without a second ability other than Mega-Pidge. It doesn't even feel like an intentional nerf, more like GF just forgot to give them a hidden ability.

*Metal Sound, Fury Cutter, Cut, Toxic, Swagger and Rock Slide are the only moves they get at less than 100% accuracy, and most of those are unusable AND 90%. They don't even get Will-o-wisp.
I don't think they forgot to give them a Hidden Ability, they just opted not to give them one at all because of Aegislash only having one, signature ability.

As for why they chose No Guard, my guess is because it's supposed to reference how they don't have a shield...and then when it evolves, it gets one. Not a good reason, but a reason.
 
What's this about Confuse Ray distorting space? I'm pretty sure it's just disorienting light.
Hm, you're right but Stantler still creates that light through distorting space, I think. It has no other light source. The ultimate point is that Confuse Ray affects the world around the combat, where Night Shade doesn't.
 

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Perhaps a better question is what the heck is Night Shade?
While the manga that you found was an interesting I don't think it would be what GF were thinking.

I'm more willing to bet GF were maybe more thinking about something like the Rokurokubi, the Nukekubi variant specifically. They are heads which detach and fly around at night causing mischief (hence Night Head). I think the idea is that the Pokemon creatures an illusion of its head either growing big or flung toward the target.

How does this relate to Chatot? Well, Chatot's head looks very distinct from its body, so if it could disorient you and than just fly forward menacingly it could look like the head is growing bigger & coming towards you. It's a stretch, but being its an Egg Move I feel that works as its not a natural skill but one developed through other means.

Why was it translated as Night Shade in the US? Probably not understanding the context of the attack (or they did but didn't think that interpretation would translate well for Western audiences), being its a Ghost-type, has to do with night, and is an illusion of some kind, they instead kept "night" and swapped it out for another ghostly being, a shade (and of course there's the fun pun too). It still works in context, seeing a shade which is a shadowy figure of a person you knew is supposed to be a frightening sight.

Not sure why the anime went with black laser beams, maybe the animators didn't understand the context either or didn't know how to present it so went with something easier to animate.

As for why they chose No Guard, my guess is because it's supposed to reference how they don't have a shield...and then when it evolves, it gets one. Not a good reason, but a reason.
On the contrary, I think that's a pretty good explanation.

Hm, you're right but Stantler still creates that light through distorting space, I think. It has no other light source. The ultimate point is that Confuse Ray affects the world around the combat, where Night Shade doesn't.
"Distorting space" is meant to be taken figuratively. It's not distorting space like Palkia can, it's using its antlers to cause an illusion which makes it look like space is distorting. And if it can do that, it can surely create illusion of lights.

Also, how many Pokemon learn Flash for no reason other than to make it available with most Pokemon back when it was a HM? Seems like many Pokemon are able to generate light likely my just manipulating their elemental energy.
 
Rhydon: can learn all manner of elemental moves, from Thunderbolt to Fire Blast to Surf to Ice Beam, Icy Wind, Avalanche, and Blizzard. Can correspondingly learn Fire Fang, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, as well as Fire Punch and Thunderpunch... but it couldn't learn Ice Punch till Gen IV. Wonder why not?

EDIT: Looking down the list of who learns it, there's a few other gaps: Chansey and Tyranitar also acquired Ice Punch in Gen IV, Politoed and Delibird only gained it in Gen V, and Deoxys-S could learn it in Gen III but not in IV before regaining it.
 
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Rhydon: can learn all manner of elemental moves, from Thunderbolt to Fire Blast to Surf to Ice Beam, Icy Wind, Avalanche, and Blizzard. Can correspondingly learn Fire Fang, Thunder Fang, Ice Fang, as well as Fire Punch and Thunderpunch... but it couldn't learn Ice Punch till Gen IV. Wonder why not?
I would avoid bothering with gen 1 pokemon TM shenenigans: lot of gen 1 and 2 pokemon learned a large amount of TMs for gameplay reasoning which had nothing to do with lore and were just left there over time.
 
I would avoid bothering with gen 1 pokemon TM shenenigans: lot of gen 1 and 2 pokemon learned a large amount of TMs for gameplay reasoning which had nothing to do with lore and were just left there over time.
Like how Blissey can use Flamethrower, and how Tauros can use Flamethrower, and how Dunsparce can use Flamethrower and so on and so forth. A lot of early Pokemon have access to moves that make little to no sense for really no reason.
 
I would avoid bothering with gen 1 pokemon TM shenenigans: lot of gen 1 and 2 pokemon learned a large amount of TMs for gameplay reasoning which had nothing to do with lore and were just left there over time.
I think it's less "why does it learn all these moves" and more "why doesn't it learn Ice Punch until gen 4, when it learns the other ice moves"

The a nswer to which is probably just "continual oversight". Guessing it got added in gen 4 since that was when they were implementing the physical/special split and the fangs, someone finally saw the odd gap and went "oh! whoops"
 
I think it's less "why does it learn all these moves" and more "why doesn't it learn Ice Punch until gen 4, when it learns the other ice moves"

The a nswer to which is probably just "continual oversight". Guessing it got added in gen 4 since that was when they were implementing the physical/special split and the fangs, someone finally saw the odd gap and went "oh! whoops"
I think the main reasoning is something like this: in gen 3 when they started actually thinking movesets over, they didn't feel the need to fix old ones (still haven't cause they don't want to "remove" moves from learnsets most of the time unless really necessary).
However when pyhs/special split happened in gen 4 they were like "well, this shit already learns a bunch of elemental stuff, might as well actually give it the elemental punches since it can actually use its high attack"
 
I think the main reasoning is something like this: in gen 3 when they started actually thinking movesets over, they didn't feel the need to fix old ones (still haven't cause they don't want to "remove" moves from learnsets most of the time unless really necessary).
However when pyhs/special split happened in gen 4 they were like "well, this shit already learns a bunch of elemental stuff, might as well actually give it the elemental punches since it can actually use its high attack"
Are we still talking about Chansey?

EDIT: Huh, not only did it not receive Ice Punch until Gen 4, it didn't get any of the elemental punches until Gen 4.
 
I would avoid bothering with gen 1 pokemon TM shenenigans: lot of gen 1 and 2 pokemon learned a large amount of TMs for gameplay reasoning which had nothing to do with lore and were just left there over time.
Yep, I just caught a Shellder in Yellow and taught it Teleport so I'm not arguing

I think it's less "why does it learn all these moves" and more "why doesn't it learn Ice Punch until gen 4, when it learns the other ice moves"

The a nswer to which is probably just "continual oversight". Guessing it got added in gen 4 since that was when they were implementing the physical/special split and the fangs, someone finally saw the odd gap and went "oh! whoops"
This is probably the most likely explanation tbh, much as with Delibird and Politoed receiving it in Gen V.
 
Rhydon: can learn all manner of elemental moves, from Thunderbolt to Fire Blast to Surf to Ice Beam, Icy Wind, Avalanche, and Blizzard.
It probably has to do with the fact that Rhydon is "monster/beast" type Pokemon.

In many literature/media, monsters can breathe fire/use elemental attacks.
others: aggron, Taurus, nidoking...and so on

In general, the type of animal of Pokemon is determines its moves
 
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It probably has to do with the fact that Rhydon is "monster/beast" type Pokemon.

In many literature/media, monsters can breathe fire/use elemental attacks.
others: aggron, Taurus, nidoking...and so on

In general, the type of animal of Pokemon is determines its moves
That wasn't what I was questioning.
 
Shellder getting Teleport is fascinating and somewhat hilarious to me. I imagine it just shutting its shell and magically dipping out of there.
I can literally rationalise any other Pokemon. Even Arcanine. I imagine it running in a circle at top speed until it travels back in time like Superman and zips you to the place you want. Everything else that gets it in Gen I can use various other psychokinetic moves. But Shellder getting it is just so bizarre.
 

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