Pokémon Movepool Oddities & Explanations

Karxrida

Corruption of Shadows
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Slack Off: Snorlax. Also considering tapirs connection with sleep maybe also the Drowzee and the Munna family (at the very least the Munna family as they're whole gimmick is about dreaming. You can argue against Drowzee family as they're about putting other's to sleep but I'd think they'd be able to do it to themselves). Not sure why the Chimchar family gets it, are chimps known to be lazy? If so why are the other monkey's exclusive or am I missing something? Is it a reference to Sun Wukong?
One explanation I've gotten was that Snorlax doesn't take short breaks to relax, it takes long naps. That's the best I got.

Soft-Boiled: Well the Chansey family aren't the only Pokemon with an egg, how about Exeggcute. :P Actually Togepi (and for some reason Clefairy) was able to learn it via Move Tutor in Gen III, odd but I don't think there would be a problem with Togepi getting it again.
This might have something to do with its Japanese name being Egg Lay, but then you get into the Fridge Logic of how all Pokemon lay eggs. This one can probably just be chalked down to arbitrariness.

Tri Attack: There's an entire Body Style you'd think all the Pokemon in there would be able to learn. Out of the ones who don't I'd think Exeggcute family, Weezing, and Probopass would like to have it as at least an option.
Weezing only has 2 heads while Probopass has one (the two mini things aren't heads). Exeggcute has 5 or whatever, but Exeggutor definitely would qualify with its 3.

Aura Sphere: Oh boy, this is a complicated on ain't it? Theoretically Lucario's signature move, even in Gen IV Togekiss and several Legendaries got it. I get the Legendaries but Togekiss? Then the Mienfoo family gets it (I suppose because its spiritual?). At least Clawitzer and Squirtle getting it makes sense because of Mega Launcher. Sticking with the Mienfoo idea you need high spiritual sense, I guess the Meditite family could learn it. Others possible candidates: Alakazam, Slowpoke family, Lugia, Ho-Oh?, Absol, Infernape? (pushing it here, but hey it can use it), Cresselia?, & Musharna (what's with me and Musharna today...). Oddly couldn't think of any Ghost- or Fairy-types, at least not in "being spiritual" sense.
This one is weird. Its Japanese name is Wave Bullet, which doesn't explain anything unless there's some sort of Japanese culture inference like Fire Blast's specific shape. It might have to do with the concept of Chi attacks or whatnot, and technically everything that gets Focus Blast should be able to get it. This doesn't really have a good answer.
 
Aura Sphere: Oh boy, this is a complicated on ain't it? Theoretically Lucario's signature move, even in Gen IV Togekiss and several Legendaries got it. I get the Legendaries but Togekiss? Then the Mienfoo family gets it (I suppose because its spiritual?). At least Clawitzer and Squirtle getting it makes sense because of Mega Launcher. Sticking with the Mienfoo idea you need high spiritual sense, I guess the Meditite family could learn it. Others possible candidates: Alakazam, Slowpoke family, Lugia, Ho-Oh?, Absol, Infernape? (pushing it here, but hey it can use it), Cresselia?, & Musharna (what's with me and Musharna today...). Oddly couldn't think of any Ghost- or Fairy-types, at least not in "being spiritual" sense.
I think that Aura Sphere is actually more along the lines of the Aura power mentioned in the anime and movies. Some species of pokemon just have the ability to read Aura, and they can learn Aura Sphere because of that.

In the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, it is shown that Lucario and Mew both have abilities relating to Aura. It would, therefore, also make sense that Mewtwo, which was made from Mew's DNA, could also learn Aura Sphere. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina are all legendary pokemon, and powerful ones at that, so them being able to manipulate Aura seems like something that isn't a stretch. I don't really have an answer for Togekiss, while Clawitzer and Blastoise obviously were just given that thrown in because of Mega Launcher. With Mienfoo and Mienshao, they probably just happen to have the same Aura capabilities as Lucario.

Also, an interesting thing is that the pokemon given it all seem to have some other move or ability that Aura could be used for. Detect's flavor text indicates that it allows the user to evade all incoming attacks, which the mind-reading and telepathy abilities that Aura users have would help for, and Lucario, Mew, Mewtwo, Mienfoo, and Mienshao all get that. Aura is supposed to also help with sensory perception, which would indicate why Togekiss has Serene Grace and Super Luck, two abilities that could be because of Togekiss's extra perceptiveness due to aura abilities. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina all have Telepathy as their hidden abilities, which is one capability of Aura. Squirtle gets Counter, Endure, and other moves whose effectiveness might be because of Aura capabilities. Clawitzer gets Mega Launcher, which is an ability that strengthens all pulse and aura moves. This could itself be caused by Aura as some of the moves even mention Aura in their descriptions.
 
One thing you gotta remember is that a lot of the Gen 1 mons have weird movepools because flavour wasn't really that much of a thing at that point. Some moves needed wider distribution so they just slapped em on a lot of mons and that's it really.
See: Chansey and Tauros.

As for a real movepool oddity concerning the blobs: You know how they have that freaking ridiculous special movepool (including Dazzling Gleam)? Every attacking move the Happiny line learns by level-up is physical. The last move they get naturally is Double-Edge, but if you have a Heart Scale handy, your young blob can get a 120 BP STAB the moment she evolves to Chansey. Off five base attack.

For a maternal archetype whose eggs can make anyone happy, she sure is aggressive, isn't she? (Then again, see Sylveon, who's supposed to be all about stopping fights yet is perfectly capable of holding her own in one.)
 
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Pikachu315111

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One explanation I've gotten was that Snorlax doesn't take short breaks to relax, it takes long naps. That's the best I got.

Weezing only has 2 heads while Probopass has one (the two mini things aren't heads). Exeggcute has 5 or whatever, but Exeggutor definitely would qualify with its 3.

This one is weird. Its Japanese name is Wave Bullet, which doesn't explain anything unless there's some sort of Japanese culture inference like Fire Blast's specific shape. It might have to do with the concept of Chi attacks or whatnot, and technically everything that gets Focus Blast should be able to get it. This doesn't really have a good answer.
Nap Time: Good point, but maybe Munchlax can get it since its less extreme with its sleeping since it prefers to eat more. What better way to eat more than by taking quick naps? We've talked plenty of times about pre-evolutions learning moves that their evolutions can't logically get (and logically maybe if it learns doing Slack Off at a young age it can bring that behavior to when its a Snorlax).

Triple Header: Doduo has 2 heads (though it hasn't been able to learn it since Gen IV, but you can still technically get a legal one that knows it by transferring it up from Gen III), the Porygon family & Genesect has one, Spearow gets it as an Egg Move and it only has one head, and finally Hydreigon's left and right heads have no brains so it pretty much only has one (functional) head. Also sometimes Weezing's third section does grow into a head but its rare (and obviously never happens in-game, but still since that third sphere can become a head I can see it using that to form the Tri Attack).

This one is weird. Its Japanese name is Wave Bullet, which doesn't explain anything unless there's some sort of Japanese culture inference like Fire Blast's specific shape. It might have to do with the concept of Chi attacks or whatnot, and technically everything that gets Focus Blast should be able to get it. This doesn't really have a good answer.
While it does seem to have something to do with Chi blasts, it's actually sort of treated like The Force from Star Wars which in that context the limited availability makes sense as not everyone in the Star Wars universe is a Force sensitive (and even if you are that still doesn't mean you can use the Force, you can just sense when something is amiss).

I think that Aura Sphere is actually more along the lines of the Aura power mentioned in the anime and movies. Some species of pokemon just have the ability to read Aura, and they can learn Aura Sphere because of that.

In the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, it is shown that Lucario and Mew both have abilities relating to Aura. It would, therefore, also make sense that Mewtwo, which was made from Mew's DNA, could also learn Aura Sphere. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina are all legendary pokemon, and powerful ones at that, so them being able to manipulate Aura seems like something that isn't a stretch. I don't really have an answer for Togekiss, while Clawitzer and Blastoise obviously were just given that thrown in because of Mega Launcher. With Mienfoo and Mienshao, they probably just happen to have the same Aura capabilities as Lucario.

Also, an interesting thing is that the pokemon given it all seem to have some other move or ability that Aura could be used for. Detect's flavor text indicates that it allows the user to evade all incoming attacks, which the mind-reading and telepathy abilities that Aura users have would help for, and Lucario, Mew, Mewtwo, Mienfoo, and Mienshao all get that. Aura is supposed to also help with sensory perception, which would indicate why Togekiss has Serene Grace and Super Luck, two abilities that could be because of Togekiss's extra perceptiveness due to aura abilities. Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina all have Telepathy as their hidden abilities, which is one capability of Aura. Squirtle gets Counter, Endure, and other moves whose effectiveness might be because of Aura capabilities. Clawitzer gets Mega Launcher, which is an ability that strengthens all pulse and aura moves. This could itself be caused by Aura as some of the moves even mention Aura in their descriptions.
Well that criteria expends what Pokemon can learn it much wider as a lot of Pokemon can get such moves and Abilities.

See: Chansey and Tauros.

As for a real movepool oddity concerning the blobs: You know how they have that freaking ridiculous special movepool (including Dazzling Gleam)? Every attacking move the Happiny line learns by level-up is physical. The last move they get naturally is Double-Edge, but if you have a Heart Scale handy, your young blob can get a 120 BP STAB the moment she evolves to Chansey. Off five base attack.

For a maternal archetype whose eggs can make anyone happy, she sure is aggressive, isn't she? (Then again, see Sylveon, who's supposed to be all about stopping fights yet is perfectly capable of holding her own in one.)
Sometimes you need tough love. And with Chansey's low attack that means it can be fierce yet not worry about hurting the person/Pokemon it's trying to take care of. Then it'll heal them afterwards.




And it just says Sylveon can use its feelers to calm fights, it doesn't say anything about it not being vicious. What better way to defeat a tough opponent then by calming it down and attacking it when it's not expecting it? ;)
 
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Well that criteria expends what Pokemon can learn it much wider as a lot of Pokemon can get such moves and Abilities.
I was saying that all the pokemon that get it seem to be those that can use the Aura ability (like how you explained in the bit comparing it to the force from Star Wars), and then pointed out that common thread that all the pokemon that get it can do.
 

Pikachu315111

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I was saying that all the pokemon that get it seem to be those that can use the Aura ability (like how you explained in the bit comparing it to the force from Star Wars), and then pointed out that common thread that all the pokemon that get it can do.
I know, but going by just the examples you provided the following Pokemon can get it:

Detect: Hitmoncha, Zapdos, Yanma family, Hitmontop, Treecko family, Sableye, Meditite family, Zangoose, Absol, Azelf, Patrat family, Pidove family, Hawlucha, Cubone, Eevee, Makuhita, Starly, Oshawott, Timburr, Scraggy, Zorua.
Serene Grace: Chansey family, Dunsparce, Jirachi, Shaymin, Deerling family, Meloetta.
Super Luck: Murkrow family, Absol, Pidove family.
Telepathy: Wobbuffet family (lol), Ralts family, Meditite family, Munna family, Elgyem family, Noibat family.

Now I'm not saying you're wrong, but there has to be something additional for a Pokemon to get Aura Sphere that you can't define within the game's mechanics. Yes Aura possibly helps these Pokemon use these moves and Abilites, but at the same time it could just mean Pokemon with these moves and Abilities just have the additional senses needed to use these moves. It's why I went with Pokemon who look like they can be "spiritual" as its shown in the games and movies that Pokemon with Aura Storm has some additional mysticism and/or wisdom about them that has taught them to bend the aura energy.
Just as I compared Aura to The Force from Star Wars when commenting on Karxrida pointing out if all that was needed was the ability to concentrate chi than all Pokemon who got Focus Blast would get it, I can relate this discussion to the elemental Bending that is done in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Just as you tried breaking down things into components to reason why these Pokemon got Aura Sphere it can be compared to how in Avatar bending was broken down into 4 types. There's the Earth, Water, Fire, and Air (or was) kingdoms and a bender that came from those kingdoms was a bender of that element. BUT just because you were from those kingdoms does not mean you are a bender, once again some people just had that special ability. They broke it down to their components but even then obviously not everyone gets the gift.

Now if I were to be a bit more generous with my list this would be the Pokemon I would say seem would have the capability of learning Aura Sphere: Ninetales, Alakazam, Slowpoke family, Gengar, Legendary Beasts, Lugia, Ho-Oh, Gardevoir, Medicham, Absol, Eon Duo, Infernape, Spiritomb, Lake Guardians, Lunar Duo, Shaymin, Arceus, Musharna, Darmanitan, Sigilyth, Gothitelle, Reuniclus, Tao Trio, Keldeo, Meloetta, Florges, Aegislash, Malamar, Sylveon, Mortality Duo, Zygarde, Diancie, and Hoopa. Of course if they want to keep the move exclusive to a special few even this list is too big which is why I cut it down as I did in my original post.
 
I think I preferred when we explained the reasoning behind Pokémon getting certain moves, rather than asking ourselves why Pokémon don't get certain moves >.<

And on that note, I move (pun not intended) onto another move that I would like to explain: Memento.

This one is particularly curious, given its battle effects. It sharply lowers both the opposing Pokémon's attacking stats in return for making the user faint. And the kind of Pokémon that can learn this sacrificial move through level up? Grimer, Hoppip, Latios and Stunky, among others. Quite an assortment of characters, especially in Hoppip's case. However, if we look into the definition of Memento as a word, it is defined as 'an object kept as a reminder of a person (or in this case, Pokémon) or event.'

And when we look into it further, we can see that each of the Pokémon that learn this move by level up do indeed 'leave' something behind.

For example, Grimer loses bits of its body as it moves, resulting in more Grimer being spawned. Koffing and Stunky leave horrid gases behind (which last for quite a while) when they unleash their abilities and the Hoppip family, Jumpluff in particular, leave behind cotton spores as they travel. In Spiritomb's case, the object associated as a 'memento' might well be the Odd Keystone, and with Latios, the Soul Dew. In fact, in its movie, it's implied that the Soul Dew contains the soul of a deceased Latios.

And finally, with Uxie and Litwick. Well, with Uxie, its abilities include wiping the memory of those who see its eyes, so in a way, the Pokémon itself is a memento of that event, as it is the only one that knows what had happened. Lastly, with Litwick, it is stated that it leeches off the life force of those who stay in its presence for too long, and Lampent goes as far as to outright steal people's spirits. The object they left behind? The emptied husk of the creature they stole the spirit from. Boy do GameFreak get dark sometimes.

I must admit, I really do like exploring moves into greater depth like this. It gives you that sense of 'ohhhhh' when you do some research; I'm going to continue to do more.
 
I think Grimer and Stunk get Memento because they stink up the opposing Pokemon after they faint. Uxie and Latios have mystical powers. I think Hopip is the big mystery here. But since Cottonee also gets it as an egg move, maybe it has to do with spores landing on the opponent's body. Still a really random choice.

Also, Memento's Japanese name can be called "parting gift" or "after effect".
 

Pikachu315111

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Adding onto the Memento discussion, here's my speculation for the Pokemon who get it as an Egg Move:

Diglett: They'll leave the field churned up making it difficult to battle on.
Misdreavus: Most likely a spell they chanted. It's fainting animation in some 3D games also showed the pearls around its neck falling off.
Slugma: Globules of lava.
Ralts: They can sense emotions so probably has a way to change them if pushed.
Duskull: A glare from them is very unsettling. They also can leave cloaks of darkness.
Shellos: Slime.
Drifloon: When a balloon pops they leave behind pieces of itself.
Yamask: Its mask. For Cofragigus I guess parts of its coffin.
Zorua: I suppose it could maybe leave behind an illusion, at the very least Zoroark can.


And something from its trivia, Memento is the only stat lowering move not reflect by Magic Bounce probably because the Pokemon is just leaving something behind on the field that affects the target and not aimed at the target directly. It could maybe also be a reference to the phrase that inspired Memento, the Latin phrase "memento mori". It means "remember that you will die" and it could be that instead of what the Pokemon leaving behind affect the target its rather that the target sees what's left of its ex-opponent and it shakes them since they essentially saw a suicide.

And now back to my little project:

Drain Punch: So any clue why Seismitoad learns it naturally? I mean its also a bit odd the Mienfoo family gets it too but at least they're Fighting-types, but Seismitoad kind of stands out more.

Final Gambit: LOL Shuckle getting it. And I already mentioned Shedinja getting it earlier.

Jump Kick: Odd Blaziken and (Mega) Lopunny doesn't learn it despite having a kicking theme. Also considering the reason why Stantler and the Deerling family get it I know there are other quadrupeds that can kick like horses (Ponyta family) and zebra (Blitzle family)(and donkeys when/if they make a donkey Pokemon).
FUN FACT: So Hi Jump Kick sounds like just an upgraded version of Jump Kick, right? Well actually, no. It may look that way bit their Japanese name explain it all. Jump Kick in Japan is Dropkick, so its accurate. But Hi Jump Kick? Its Japanese name is Jumping KNEE Kick, instead of the Pokemon's foot it uses its knee thus explaining doing more damage but also causing more missing damage.

Sacred Sword: So now that its no longer the signature move of the Swords of Justice, Gallade has no reason not to learn it. Unlike Scyther and Kabutops, Gallade does fight like a swordsman.

Vacuum Wave: Scyther gets it... Makes sense to me (yes, it's probably so Scizor gets it, but its a level up move so why not just have it so Scizor learns it via level up?)!

(Onto Flying-types)

Peck: Falling in the same vein as Tackle, Pound, and Bite, not all bird Pokemon learn Peck. Like I'd understand if a Special focused Flying-type would prefer Gust over Peck as a starting move, but that's not the case sometimes.

Roost: So the Pokemon needs feathers to use this move according to the question. Yet several obviously featherless reptile and bug Pokemon learn it. So is the feather part just a misnomer like Brave Bird (which I skipped since we talked about that already)?

(Well that was quick, Poison-types next)

Coil: There's a few notable missing Pokemon like the Onix family (and the Dratini family though then we get into the problem with Dragonite not being a serpent). Would Gyarados also count?

Poison Tail: Why does Skorupi and Gligar need to learn it by Egg Move? THEY'RE BASED ON SCORPIONS! Yet somehow the Venipede and Skrelp family gets it via Level Up yet the animals they're based on don't have a poisonous sting (though centipedes "tail" (which are actually its back two legs) do have stingers only their bite is venomous).

(Getting through these quick now, last one for Ground-types)

Bone Rush: So apparently Lucario gets it because it can make an bone out of energy. So why can't it do Bone Club and Bonemerang the same way?
 
And something from its trivia, Memento is the only stat lowering move not reflect by Magic Bounce probably because the Pokemon is just leaving something behind on the field that affects the target and not aimed at the target directly. It could maybe also be a reference to the phrase that inspired Memento, the Latin phrase "memento mori". It means "remember that you will die" and it could be that instead of what the Pokemon leaving behind affect the target its rather that the target sees what's left of its ex-opponent and it shakes them since they essentially saw a suicide.
Can confirm that the German Name for Memento is "Memento-Mori" so that seems plausible (looking at other languages can help you folks out here more often than not; Especially looking at the Japanese langauge obviously with good old "God Bird = Sky Attack" for example
 
TIL Volcarona gets Magnet Rise. I'm assuming this has something to do with electric particles coming from the sun or something like that.
 
TIL Volcarona gets Magnet Rise. I'm assuming this has something to do with electric particles coming from the sun or something like that.
Maybe it's just a way to "simulate" it fluttering over the ground with its wings. The magnetic part of it makes little sense, of course, but maybe they didn't want to make a Magnet Rise clone named "Flutter" just for Volcarona.

Although all the non-Flying bugs that can actually fly (Beedrill, Venomoth, Dustox...) should get it as well.
 
I'm not sure if this has been pointed out before, but every single one of Drowzee's Dex entries talks about it eating people's dreams.

It doesn't learn Dream Eater naturally; only by TM.
Maybe it always has been eating dreams; the TM for Dream Eater merely allows it to regain health from doing so.

Wild Drowsee rarely see themselves in battle, so I doubt they would see much need in healing themselves whilst eating dreams.
 

Pikachu315111

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Sorry for not having gone through the type lists, upon getting to the Elemental Moves I find there isn't that many oddities or oddities that haven't been mentioned. To make up for it, here's a new oddity that has to do with an Ability:

Skiddo/Gogoat has a the Signature Ability Grass Pelt that increases with Defense by 50% (giving Gogoat a respectable 93 base Defense) when Grassy Terrain is in effect. Not a bad gimmick, at least it wouldn't be had Skiddo/Gogoat been able to learn Grassy Terrain...
 
Skiddo/Gogoat has a the Signature Ability Grass Pelt that increases with Defense by 50% (giving Gogoat a respectable 93 base Defense) when Grassy Terrain is in effect. Not a bad gimmick, at least it wouldn't be had Skiddo/Gogoat been able to learn Grassy Terrain...
Yet another Doubles-exclusive ability. Grass Pelt, Flower Veil, Telepathy, Plus/Minus...what is it with GameFreak making abilities that require specific circumstances that would be difficult to use effectively save for that one specific circumstance? (Well, Telepathy is nice, but the others...)
 

Pikachu315111

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Yet another Doubles-exclusive ability. Grass Pelt, Flower Veil, Telepathy, Plus/Minus...what is it with GameFreak making abilities that require specific circumstances that would be difficult to use effectively save for that one specific circumstance? (Well, Telepathy is nice, but the others...)
There's also specific Abilities for Singles as well that depends on something your opponent does and/or random chance (like Abilities which involve needing a certain status ailment (especially attraction and flinching) or getting a Critical Hit). Most of the time those Pokemon also might as well not have an Ability. At least the Pokemon with Abilities that are meant to help in Doubles know that in a Double/Triple Battle their Ability will be working while the Pokemon I just mentioned STILL will have to wait for a very situational thing to happen.

It's great when a Pokemon has an Ability it can use most of the time, but not all Pokemon can have that privilege. Some Pokemon just has to work with what they got, and who knows maybe they'll be able to find a niche somewhere they can use their Ability or their stats/type is so good they don't need to worry about having a lackluster Ability.
 
Sad but true.

On the subject of abilities, one of my favorite ability sets has to be the Paras line. One of three families to receive Effect Spore, they also have Dry Skin. They are also the only non-Water types to receive Damp.

Those two abilities are quite far apart thematically.
 

Pikachu315111

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Sad but true.

On the subject of abilities, one of my favorite ability sets has to be the Paras line. One of three families to receive Effect Spore, they also have Dry Skin. They are also the only non-Water types to receive Damp.

Those two abilities are quite far apart thematically.
Though makes sense being their mushrooms. Mushrooms release spores and grow in damp places (though they'll dry out in the sun or exposed to any source of heat), so the Paras family having these Abilities make them a prime host for the mushrooms. Actually there might be a reason for the two abilities being so far apart. Effect Spore and Dry Skin seem to specifically referring to the mushrooms growing on their back, but Damp seems to be an Ability that the Paras family has itself. Usually only good for growing mushrooms, they seemed to have learned to expand their moisture ability that it now defuses explosion moves.
 
Here's another oddity that I haven't seen brought up yet.

Look at Klinklang. It is based on interlocking gears that turn, sometimes at very high speeds. It can't learn Rapid Spin.

In fact, Klinklang's movepool is pretty bare, consisting of Shift Gear, Gear Grind, Electric attacks, and... Trick Room. Yes, Klinklang gets Trick Room. A Pokemon that not only has no clear magical abilities, but is based on technology and engineering, is capable of, in a sense, reversing the flow of time. You could make the argument that it spins fast enough to distort time itself, but to do that, it would have to spin faster than the speed of light which, given our current understanding of the universe, is simply not allowed.
 
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Pikachu315111

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Here's another oddity that I haven't seen brought up yet.

Look at Klinklang. It is based on interlocking gears that turn, sometimes at very high speeds. It doesn't get Rapid Spin.

In fact, Klinklang's movepool is pretty bare, consisting of Shift Gear, Gear Grind, Electric attacks, and... Trick Room. Yes, Klinklang gets Trick Room. A Pokemon that not only has no clear magical abilities, but is based on technology and engineering, is capable of, in a sense, reversing the flow of time. You could make the argument that it spins fast enough to distort time itself, but to do that, it would have to spin faster than the speed of light which, given our current understanding of the universe, is simply not allowed.
You don't call an animated, floating group of gears magical/mystical in some way? Also I wouldn't call the Porygon family anymore magical/mystical than Klinklank and they're able to learn Trick Room (Porygon-Z even learns it via Level-up!). Maybe Klinklank is able to manipulate the invisible "gears of time" and spins them in a way to cause the turn order reversal.
 

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