Research The Most Buffed Pokémon Between Games: A Personal Research Project/Hobby

Hello again, everyone. In my many moths that have passed with me being off of the Forums, I've been thinking a lot about one of my older hobbies while playing through some of my older Pokémon games again. I've been thinking about and studying the viability of Pokémon in playthroughs. There's already many Tier Lists regarding this topic in OI, but as someone who's really into this, I wanted to take it a step further. I originally wanted to make a thread where we all talk about what we think are the best and worst Pokémon ever in certain games, as a homage to a much older thread I used for team building in some of my most recent playthroughs.

At the time, I was also doing some research regarding Pokémon that appeared in multiple games and changed drastically through them. Upon doing research on Charmander of all things in FRLG (I had a copy of FireRed I wanted to run through and planned on picking it), I thought about how much better it was compared to the Gen 1 games, and how Pikachu and Eevee in Let's Go did some things very similar to what Charmander did back then.

So that got me thinking. In the entirety of the main series, which Pokémon have improved the most between specific game releases? I guess all that's left now is the fun part. The friendly discussion. To whoever wants to join the discussion, if you wish to nominate a Pokémon for being mentioned in this thread, describe the Pokémon using this format I've made. Any and all ideas are much appreciated.

-Pokémon Name (Game it was bad in > Game it got buffed in)
- How to obtain in game it was buffed in (preferably pre Elite 4)
-How exactly it was improved

Happy discussions and thanks in advance for the help with this project! That FireRed game I mentioned will actually be using the data from this post, if you're looking for a place to get started.
 
I want to get some of my nominations out of the way early, so you guys can have something to go off of. (Edit: Double-tasking so I'll only do one right now, more coming soon)

1. Charmander (RB > FRLG)
-Obtained as a starter Pokémon
-Charmander got a lot of buffs it received in Gen 2 carried over to its next in-game appearances as wells a few extra buffs. For starters, it can actually use Fly as Charizard now. It could in Yellow, apparently, but that doesn't change RB and Green if you're in Japan. It also has much better Special Attack and faster access to better moves via level-up and TM, including the well known Level 13 Metal Claw they added so it could singlehandedly beat Brock. One thing I almost forgot to mention is that many Pokémon that got buffed going into Gen 3 loved many of the system changes added in the games from Ruby and Sapphire onward. Natures were added, and Soft-Resets make getting certain Natures on gift Pokémon much easier. FRLG also introduced Move Tutors. This is a trend that can be applied to any Gen 3 gift nominations.

FRLG Charmander is great. Try it out some time. It now has the moves to beat many opponents it couldn't handle previously, while also being stronger overall. Just the kind of thing I'm looking for.
 
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Neat idea.

Reserving Aerodactyl and Magnemite.
Those are excellent choices. If I had to take a guess, it would be for XY for Aerodactyl and B2W2 for Magnemite. Both are great Pokémon in their own right, with Magnemite being one of my personal favorite of all time. You can go over your choices whenever you like. That applies to everyone. Hopefully, we can have more people join this discussionas time goes on. I have a ton of nominations myself, but wanted to refrain from revealing them because I might be stealing other peoples' ideas.
 

Vinc2612

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The first one that came to my mind is Azumarill.
From being one of the worst Pokémon in GSC, it gained a new toy each generation up to the 6th: Huge Power in RSE, the physical special split in DPP, Sap Sipper in BW (not as good as Huge Power in solo, but in VGC, this and its low speed made it the best Perish Song user), then the fairy typing in XY.
 
The first one that came to my mind is Azumarill.
From being one of the worst Pokémon in GSC, it gained a new toy each generation up to the 6th: Huge Power in RSE, the physical special split in DPP, Sap Sipper in BW (not as good as Huge Power in solo, but in VGC, this and its low speed made it the best Perish Song user), then the fairy typing in XY.
In terms of competitive play, Azumarill is without a doubt one of the most improved. For this thread, I was thinking more about casual, in-game playthroughs. That being said, many of Azumarill's competitive buffs help it out in-game as well, much like the Charmander line. We can treat this as a reservation for Azumarill, but what game it is for remains a mystery.
 

Codraroll

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If so, maybe Roselia's buff between generations 3 and 4 should be mentioned. Its pre-evolution made it available a lot earlier than the mid-game it was relegated to in Hoenn, and Roserade has the stats to kick some buttocks Roselia could only prod.

Of course, Gen IV in general turned a lot of Pokémon from "lol why are you using this" to "Holy crap, this thing rocks!". Other special mentions go to Togetic, Piloswine and Gligar.
 
Interesting idea.

Some that came to my mind that haven't been mentioned so far:

Magmar (RBY->GSC). Thunder Punch and not being available only super late really helped it out.
Electabuzz (RBY -> C) Same as Magmar, though it needs to be hatched.
Crawdaunt (RSE->ORAS). Azumarill treatment of physical dual STAB and a significant buff to Knock Off. Will have to go out of your way for Aqua Jet or Adaptability though.
Lucario (DPP->XY). Mainly availability, though a broken ass mega evolution did its thing to help.
 
Scyther (RBY --> HGSS)

--->

horrifying sprite o_o

Scyther had it pretty rough in the early gens. The poor bug-dinosaur monster was only made available in the Safari Zone well into the midgame, and even then, it was a rare sight and hard to catch on top of that. Scyther didn't even have STAB until Yellow when it gained Wing Attack...at level 50, and it was a 35 base power attack. A fast Slash was the only real reason to use this, but Charizard, Dugtrio, and even Persian perform that strategy way better. Both Charizard and Dugtrio have Dig to take care of Slash resists with Dugtrio getting STAB from it, while Charizard has powerful Fire STAB for good coverage. Meanwhile, Persian gains STAB from Slash, and has access to Bubble Beam to take care of the many Rock/Grounds that resist Slash. Scyther has none of these tools, making it an unremarkable pick in RBY.

However, Scyther did get progressively better throughout the subsequent generations with a buffed Wing Attack and gaining an actual Bug-type STAB in Gen 2 with Fury Cutter, but it was HGSS that gave Scyther everything it needed to succeed. With the plethora of low-base power moves Scyther has access to, its new Technician ability is a major boon for it, boosting moves like Aerial Ace/Wing Attack, Fury Cutter, Rock Smash, and Quick Attack to pretty-high levels. Other new moves for it include X-Scissor and Night Slash. Like in GSC, it's also available pretty early in the game during the Bug-Catching Contest, although it's rare and forces you to play on certain days of the week.

Overall, Scyther went from being pretty bad in the early gens to being one of the best playthrough Pokemon in HGSS.
 
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Dugtrio is pure Ground. It doesn't have STAB on Slash. (although its high speed in gen 1 made is crit frequently)
They were referring to Dig, not Slash. Slash is Normal-Type, but you probably knew that. If anything, I think Diglett and Dugtrio in FRLG might be some of the most NERFED Pokémon we've ever had. Dig lost 40 of its BP, Levitate exists on key targets like the Gastly and Koffing lines, Slash lost its high critical hit niche, and any reasons it's great in Gen 3 OU don't mean anything for in-game playthroughs. It also doesn't appreciate stat experience being replaced with EVs in a playthrough setting whereas many other FRLG Pokémon enjoyed the change. It can still crush Surge, no surprise, and it is still fast and has most of the offensive moves it had in RBY, but it can't quite sweep through entire teams like it could before. The only noteworthy buffs it got were Aerial Ace and Arena Trap being great for the endgame roaming Legendary Pokémon if Roar isn't taken into account.

If so, maybe Roselia's buff between generations 3 and 4 should be mentioned. Its pre-evolution made it available a lot earlier than the mid-game it was relegated to in Hoenn, and Roserade has the stats to kick some buttocks Roselia could only prod.

Of course, Gen IV in general turned a lot of Pokémon from "lol why are you using this" to "Holy crap, this thing rocks!". Other special mentions go to Togetic, Piloswine and Gligar.
Roselia from RS to DP is without a doubt a massive buff in its own right. I actually had that one on my list. Budew being a thing that you can get in the wild makes it much more avaliable in Sinnoh than in Hoenn, and the new evolution into Roserade is miles better than an unveiled Roselia in terms of, well, everything. In other buffs, it also loved the much wider movepool it got, especially with the physical special split, and it conveniently has much better Trainer matchups in the Sinnoh games than those of the Hoenn games. I'm using a Roserade on my 100% Pearl playthrough and it's without a doubt one of those Pokémon I underestimated. (The same goes for an awesome Scizor I'm using in a similar SoulSilver playthrough.)

Scyther (RBY --> HGSS)

--->

horrifying sprite o_o

Scyther had it pretty rough in the early gens. The poor bug-dinosaur monster was only made available in the Safari Zone well into the midgame, and even then, it was a rare sight and hard to catch on top of that. Scyther didn't even have STAB until Yellow when it gained Wing Attack...at level 50, and it was a 35 base power attack. A fast Slash was the only real reason to use this, but Charizard, Dugtrio, and even Persian perform that strategy way better. Both Charizard and Dugtrio have Dig to take care of Slash resists with Dugtrio getting STAB from it, while Charizard has powerful Fire STAB for good coverage. Meanwhile, Persian gains STAB from Slash, and has access to Bubble Beam to take care of the many Rock/Grounds that resist Slash. Scyther has none of these tools, making it an unremarkable pick in RBY.

However, Scyther did get progressively better throughout the subsequent generations with a buffed Wing Attack and gaining an actual Bug-type STAB in Gen 2 with Fury Cutter, but it was HGSS that gave Scyther everything it needed to succeed. With the plethora of low-base power moves Scyther has access to, its new Technician ability is a major boon for it, boosting moves like Aerial Ace/Wing Attack, Fury Cutter, Rock Smash, and Quick Attack to pretty-high levels. Other new moves for it include X-Scissor and Night Slash. Like in GSC, it's also available pretty early in the game during the Bug-Catching Contest, although it's rare and forces you to play on certain days of the week.

Overall, Scyther went from being pretty bad in the early gens to being one of the best playthrough Pokemon in HGSS.
Again, I love Scyther and Scizor alike in these games, as another Pokémon I vastly underestimated. (Technician False Swipe is an absolute godsend in these playthroughs for all the encounters I have to catch.) Even without Technician, it still benefits from a much wider movepool, the Bug Catching Contest being on three days of the week now instead of just one, and the Metal Coat being much easier to obtain and trading being easier. (If you're like me, you just traded over a Metal Coat from another Gen 4 game.) The addition of U-Turn via Bugsy's TM gift is a huge benefit, giving Scyther a stupidly good Bug-Type STAB it would have killed for in Gen 2 as soon as you catch it that's even more busted in "Shift mode". (Or is it Set mode?)

Also one more thing, apparently my Scizor has severe claustrophobia I found when talking to it one day, fitting sense it grew up in the wide open space of National Park. :3
 
Sneasel immediately comes to mind.

Gen 2: In GS it's in the final area of the game and while its stats honestly arent bad at all, it cannot use either of its stabs because they're both Special and Sneasel has 35 base special attack. Crystal did at least move it to Ice Path, but it's still not a great Pokemon. It did have a few saving graces in its TM movepool, like physical Shadow Ball, but it still felt very halfhearted.
Gen 3: Didn't help at all. Wasn't in RSE, post-game in FRLG. It barely had any movepool changes and its here where we have to look at how its normal movepool just kind of sucks. A lot of weak attacks and things like Slash (which, not terrible I suppose) at level 50 and its "ultiamte" attack being metal Claw at SIXTY FIVE. At least it got Brick Break???

Then suddenly gen 4 happens:
-Physical/Special split finally let it use all those fancy Dark Type attacks, including new stronger ones like Night Slash, and Ice stab
-Ice Shard in particular is a great new move in its tool kit
-An evolution! +25 attack and +10 speed? Very appreciated. The minimal bulk increase wasn't terrible either
And unlike a lot of other cross gen evolutions in that generation, you could actually get it before beating the game! I mean it was still around gym 7 and Weavile's eovlution item was tucked away in victory road but you know! Still! It went from a niche thing you will probably never use, to pretty good
 
Sneasel immediately comes to mind.

Gen 2: In GS it's in the final area of the game and while its stats honestly arent bad at all, it cannot use either of its stabs because they're both Special and Sneasel has 35 base special attack. Crystal did at least move it to Ice Path, but it's still not a great Pokemon. It did have a few saving graces in its TM movepool, like physical Shadow Ball, but it still felt very halfhearted.
Gen 3: Didn't help at all. Wasn't in RSE, post-game in FRLG. It barely had any movepool changes and its here where we have to look at how its normal movepool just kind of sucks. A lot of weak attacks and things like Slash (which, not terrible I suppose) at level 50 and its "ultiamte" attack being metal Claw at SIXTY FIVE. At least it got Brick Break???

Then suddenly gen 4 happens:
-Physical/Special split finally let it use all those fancy Dark Type attacks, including new stronger ones like Night Slash, and Ice stab
-Ice Shard in particular is a great new move in its tool kit
-An evolution! +25 attack and +10 speed? Very appreciated. The minimal bulk increase wasn't terrible either
And unlike a lot of other cross gen evolutions in that generation, you could actually get it before beating the game! I mean it was still around gym 7 and Weavile's eovlution item was tucked away in victory road but you know! Still! It went from a niche thing you will probably never use, to pretty good
How did Sneasel pass up my mind? That thing was barely usable in Gens 2 and 3. Along with many of its other Sinnoh Evolution pals. IN my opinion it's even better in Platinum because of Move Tutors. Being the best check in Sinnoh to Cynthia's infamous Garchomp doesn't hurt at all, and it also does pretty well against Bertha and Lucian in particular. Anything else I'm missing?
 
Koffing/Weezing would be a good candidate.

In RBY the only STAB available to the line were Smog (20/70%) and Sludge (65/100%), and the only viable TMs it could learn were Thunderbolt/Thunder and Fire Blast, moves you'd usually want to save for other Pokemon. With most of the Grass Pokemon in RBY being also part Poison, and it only being available in the Pokemon Mansion, at best late-mid game if you go straight to Cinnabar after Koga, it was really not worth a spot on the team. The best you could hope for it was to spread a bit of poison through Toxic and then Explode when its health got low.

Fast forward to B2W2 and things are starting to look up for the ball of gas. Levitate has effectively given the line only one weakness, and new Poison moves (Clear Smog, Sludge Bomb, Venoshock) give it STAB options. It's noteworthy that Venoshock is available right after you beat the second gym, which is right after the area where you can catch Koffing (Virbank Complex). Weezing's moveset has also expanded to include Destiny Bond, Memento, Will-O-Wisp, Swagger, Rain Dance, and Sunny Day giving it great utility options other than Toxic and Explosion. For coverage, Weezing now learns Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, Gyro Ball, Flamethrower as well as the aforementioned Fire Blast and Thunderbolt/Thunder, which because of the change to unlimited TM usage, don't force the player to abandon it for more viable mons. In terms of items, Weezing greatly benefits from Black Sludge which was introduced in Gen IV.

B2W2 Koffing/Weezing isn't perfect, but it is certainly a better Pokemon than it was in Gen I.
 

Pikachu315111

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Hmm, I think a good way to go about this may not be Pokemon-by-Pokemon but to look at the Moves and Abilities added which really pushed up some Pokemon. For example, I looked up Shell Smash and immediately found a candidate:

Cloyster ("Bad": Gen III, Got Good: Gen V)

Obtain Method: In games where you can obtain it it's usually fishable (with Good and/or Super Rod) in many water spots.
Overview: While Cloyster was never really a bad Pokemon, I think it was one easily overshadowed due to its focus being on hyper Defense. Sure nothing could take a physical attack like a champ, but what else you got? HP was on the low side, offense stats were decent but nothing to write home about, Special Defense was pitiful, and Speed was on the low average side. Due to its availability you could get one easily and get you through the main game just fine (if you figured out you needed a Water Stone to evolve it).
Now you would think it would receive it's first big break in Gen IV when it was given its own Signature Ability: Skill Link. Skill Link allowed those multi-hitting moves to hit their max amount, and in Gen III the Shellder family got a nifty multi-hitting Ice-type move! Well, here's the problem with that: at that time Icicle Spear only had 10 Power. Now it started getting Rock Blast via breeding in HGSS which was 25 Power though it had an Accuracy of 80. So at this time you'd still probably want to go with a Special-oriented Cloyster if you even wanted to use one.
Then Gen V changed everything. Icicle Spear was bumped to 25 Power! Rock Blast's Accuracy was increased to a respectable 90%! And then came the move which changed everything: Shell Smash. By lowing its ridiculous high Defense and already low Special Defense by 1 stage it got a TWO stage boost in Attack, Special Attack, & Speed! Suddenly this black pearl was launching itself out of its shell hitting hard with a 125 Power Ice move (which got STAB) and Rock move. Plus it also got utility moves like Spikes, Toxic Spikes, & Rapid Spin (infact if you gave it a Water-type move you were probably playing it wrong, even though I think they should change Spike Cannon into a Water-type version of Icicle Spear).
 
I'll cover Koffing first an then Shellder (I'm using the base forms to describe these Pokemon).

Koffing: B2W2 is probably its best outing in the series when it comes to ingame playthroughs, with HGSS being at a close second place.. Its movepool definitely helps it in comparison to other Poison-Types who typically lack offensive utility in these games, and have wide coverage is essential for ingame playthroughs. Levitate is great from Gen 3 onward on any Poison-Type, and unlike Gengar, the other Poison Levitate user (rip Gen 7), it can actually take a few hits from time to time, and is actually available in Unova. I wouldn't say it's buffed to the same level my nominations for B2W2 were, but it's definitely better in that game than in most.

Shellder: Competitively, everything you say for Cloyster makes sense, and this logic can even be applied to Little Cup if you really wanted to do that. However, this gives me an opportunity to restate something I didn't do a very good job on emphasizing. Many of these buffs were designed for competitive play, but we're specifically looking for things that can use buff they've gotten over time for ingame playthroughs, as well as individual buffs the Pokémon got for the sole purpose of the playthrough, such as Charmander getting Metal Claw fro Brock, or Lapras being 10 levels higher when you get in in FRLG than in RBY and also you can Soft-Reset for Natures on gift Pokémon. Get the picture? That being said, I still like your unique take on this, and am still considering Shellder for a B2W2 nomination if one can get it pre Elite 4 so it can absolutely cream things with this set.

Case in point, remakes are a great place to look for individual buffs. You could try the following games for this: (RBY > FRLG), (GSC > HGSS), (RSE > ORAS), and any older Kanto games into Let's Go. Some of my nominations for these include Charmander, Lapras (even though it was already decent, it was slow to raise), Gastly in HGSS, the red Gyarados, the Hoenn starters in ORAS, and most importantly, FEEBAS.

While we're on the subject, any FRLG nominations are still very much appreciated for my team building, but any other game is okay as well. For my "most buffed team" for FireRed, I only have Charmander and Lapras down so far. Thanks to all participants in this thread by the way. The discussion is both fun and means a lot to me. :)
 
If we wanna talk about FRLG Pokemon specifically, I'd like to bring up Cubone, then.

->
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Cubone is sorely outclassed by the other Ground-types in its debut generation. Sandshrew has better overall stats than it, Nidoking and Nidoqueen can be acquired super early thanks to Mt. Moon and have insane movepools, Geodude offers a Normal- and Flying-resist and Rock-type STAB, and Diglett is fast and can learn Dig and Earthquake without the TMs while also having Slash access for good neutral coverage. To make matters worse, all of the listed Pokemon are available at an earlier time than Cubone. On a positive note, Cubone does have access to Bone Club upon capture which lets it grind fairly easily in the Pokemon Tower against Gastly and Haunter without the initial need for Dig. However, just about any of the aforementioned Ground-types can grind there just as easily.

GSC does give Cubone a pretty major boost that finally distinguishes itself from other Ground-types. It received the Thick Club item which doubles its Attack stat. With this, it not only becomes the hardest-hitting Ground-type, but arguably one of the hardest-hitting Pokemon in the entire game. However, a huge issue for Cubone in these games is its poor availability. In GS, Cubone can only be found at Rock Tunnel which is extremely late-game. Crystal improved this by having Cubone be available as a prize in the Goldenrod Game Corner, but it doesn't come with the Thick Club, so the negatives that plagued Cubone in RBY still remain. At the very least, Cubone is available at an earlier time in Crystal than it is in RBY, but Geodude, Onix, and Sandshrew are available even earlier than it once again.

It was FRLG that finally gave Cubone the top-tier status it needed. With the combination of a decent mid-game availability AND access to Thick Club, Cubone is without a doubt one of FRLG's best Pokemon, being able to OHKO or 2HKO most of the game. It still has an issue with low Speed, but Rock Tomb mitigates this with its Speed-dropping capability while also providing good coverage against Flying-types and Levitate mons.
 
I would like to nominate Primeape.

In its debut, and then only in Y, the only STAB it got via level up was Low Kick (due to Karate Chop being Normal) and Submission via TM. For coverage, Primeape gets Dig, Rock Slide, and Thunder/Thunderbolt, basically forcing you to run Body Slam/Mega Punch(or Kick)/Strength. It has great Attack and Speed for its generation, and is available in the mid-game in its pre-evolution, but those are the only upsides.

In FRLG Mankey is available on Route 22, right outside Viridian, making it one of the first Pokemon types available, and much faster than its main competitor, Machop. While Primeape's level-up movepool only consists of Normal and Fighting moves, Low Kick and Karate Chop (retconned as Fighting type) give it good early STAB and help to make mincemeat of the plethora of Normal and Rock-type Pokemon that plague the early game, including Brock. Via TM and Move Tutors, Primeape expands its coverage and utility with Dig, Earthquake, Bulk Up, Rock Slide/Tomb, Aerial Ace, and Thief. You can still run Thunder/Thunderbolt as well as Overheat if you want to run a gimmicky special move on it. TM/HMs also give Primeape access to arguably better STAB in Rock Smash, Brick Break and Focus Punch. Ability-wise, Vital Spirit isn't the most useful in-game unless you are going up against Pokemon that like to spam sleep, but it doesn't hinder Primeape either. Primeape doesn't necessarily benefit from any held items more than any other Pokemon, but with the early availability of Thief, you can at least steal a BlackBelt for it on Route 15, an item you could not get at all otherwise.
 
Hmm. Two FRLG nominations? I appreciate it. (But seriously, you can nominate for whatever game or games you want to. Heck, do the GameCube games for all I care. Cough cough Espeon)

Mankey was a Pokémon I knew was better in FRLG than any other game it is in, but I wasn't sure if it was buffed enough to make the full roster of six. We now have four options, and I must say, it seems a lot better than I expected after reading dodiabla's analysis. I was worried that Manley would have little usage for any important Kanto matchups since I planned initially on using Charmander's Metal Claw against Brock's Pokemon and Fighting STAB finds little use outside of that that and maybe some of Team Rocket. What really got me interest, though, was that movepool. I knew about better STAB and Bulk Up already, but the coverage is awesome (and Thief would even help for catching Cubone with Thick Club if need be.) Consider Primeape as a candidate for the team. I'll make an announcement once we reach six team members.

And now we have Cubone. I've actually been doing research on it and more specifically Marowak on Pokémon Showdown lately for the Gen 2 OU metagame. The biggest nerfed to Ground-Types in FRLG is the addition of Levitate and the nasty nerfed that Dig got from 100 to 60 power in Gen 2. Shockingly enough, this actually HELPS Cubone since it's Ground-Type competition got nerfed more than it did, even without Thick Club. And speaking of Thick Club, holy crap that item is great. The Cubone line can utilize that to the fullest with access to more physical moves than you'd expect and, if you really wanted to, reaching over 1,000 Attack after multiple Swords Dances if it has the TM for it learned, which wasn't possible even in Ruby and Sapphire, let alone Gens 1 and 2. That attack multiplier, the addition of more moves and Natures, higher bulk on the special side, and nerfed competition all add up to make Cubone a star in this game, even if it's one of the few viable Ground-Types you get AFTER Lt. Surge.

Current FireRed "Most Buffed" Theme Team: Charizard, Primeape, Marowak, Lapras, +2

(I might do this for the Let's Go games too now that I think about, because of how buffed Pikachu got and I need an excuse to play that game. Eevee doesn't count because there's sadly no such thing as Pokémon Brown.)
 

Karxrida

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Aerodactyl (RBY -> XY)

1571703320466.png


(The 3D model's picture is way too big so enjoy the FRLG sprite.)

RBY
Aerodactyl has a few nice things going for it at a quick glance. 105 Attack is pretty good, 130 Speed was (and still is) nearly unparalleled while also giving a really high crit chance thanks to Gen I weirdness, and Rock/Flying is a unique typing at this time. Its Defense and Special are both sub-par but it's strong and fast enough to not strictly need them. Though there are a couple major issues here.

First of all, Aerodactyl comes fairly late (Cinnabar Island), underleveled (Lv 30), and is in the Slow EXP Group. This could theoretically be circumvented with some early island hopping, but then you have to deal with its totally shit movepool. Its only STABs are Wing Attack and Fly, which are functionally identical in power due to Wing Attack only having 35 BP in Gen I. Making things worse are its only coverage moves being Fire Blast and Normal moves, and there are much better Normal abusers that also have actually usable movepools (e.g. Slash Charizard, which can guarantee crits).

Due to this lack of coverage, Aerodactyl struggles to do much in important battles it would theoretically be decent in if it had Rock STAB--such as Loreli and Lance--and doesn't do much besides the fact.

GSC
Aerodactyl actually has usable STABs now! Wing Attack got buffed to its modern BP of 60 and Ancient Power now exists. Too bad it's only available in Kanto by trading a Chansey away. Might have been decent if it could be obtained in Johto.

FRLG
Aerodactyl got another new STAB in Rock Slide (available via a Move Tutor in the Rock Tunnel), which is infinitely better than Ancient Power thanks to higher BP, PP, and the flinch effect activating way more often than Ancient Power's stat boosts. While Aero doesn't really benefit heavily from the inclusion of Abilities, the fact that it's a gift Pokémon means that you can now easily soft reset for a good Nature (i.e. Adamant for a free Attack boost). Still coming a bit underleveled is a tad annoying, but Aerodactyl has high enough stats to pull its weight with its new boons.

Or not because you get it at Level 5.

Yeah, for some stupid reason Game Freak decided to lower the levels of the Fossil Pokémon you revive, making them worthless unless you're willing to stop and grind them up to be usable. How many Parasect were they smoking?

XY
Okay now here we go.

So Aerodactyl is a beast in this game. First of all, you can get it before the second Gym just by wasting a little time smashing up some rocks in Glittering Cave until you find an Old Amber and immediately reviving it. X and Y are super easy already, and the games allowing you to get a Pokémon with 515 BST this early isn't helping. Second of all, you get Aerodactylite free by talking to a scientist in the Fossil Lab, which powers up Aerodactyl even more later down the line. Finally, you can easily get a bunch of TMs like Aerial Ace and Bulldoze to pump up Aerodactyl's movepool and allow it to cut through everything like a lightsaber through butter.

Aerodactyl's had a very rough history for in-game, but it eventually got to shine like it deserves thanks to stupid balancing decisions.
 
Aerodactyl (RBY -> XY)

View attachment 202193

(The 3D model's picture is way too big so enjoy the FRLG sprite.)

RBY
Aerodactyl has a few nice things going for it at a quick glance. 105 Attack is pretty good, 130 Speed was (and still is) nearly unparalleled while also giving a really high crit chance thanks to Gen I weirdness, and Rock/Flying is a unique typing at this time. Its Defense and Special are both sub-par but it's strong and fast enough to not strictly need them. Though there are a couple major issues here.

First of all, Aerodactyl comes fairly late (Cinnabar Island), underleveled (Lv 30), and is in the Slow EXP Group. This could theoretically be circumvented with some early island hopping, but then you have to deal with its totally shit movepool. Its only STABs are Wing Attack and Fly, which are functionally identical in power due to Wing Attack only having 35 BP in Gen I. Making things worse are its only coverage moves being Fire Blast and Normal moves, and there are much better Normal abusers that also have actually usable movepools (e.g. Slash Charizard, which can guarantee crits).

Due to this lack of coverage, Aerodactyl struggles to do much in important battles it would theoretically be decent in if it had Rock STAB--such as Loreli and Lance--and doesn't do much besides the fact.

GSC
Aerodactyl actually has usable STABs now! Wing Attack got buffed to its modern BP of 60 and Ancient Power now exists. Too bad it's only available in Kanto by trading a Chansey away. Might have been decent if it could be obtained in Johto.

FRLG
Aerodactyl got another new STAB in Rock Slide (available via a Move Tutor in the Rock Tunnel), which is infinitely better than Ancient Power thanks to higher BP, PP, and the flinch effect activating way more often than Ancient Power's stat boosts. While Aero doesn't really benefit heavily from the inclusion of Abilities, the fact that it's a gift Pokémon means that you can now easily soft reset for a good Nature (i.e. Adamant for a free Attack boost). Still coming a bit underleveled is a tad annoying, but Aerodactyl has high enough stats to pull its weight with its new boons.

Or not because you get it at Level 5.

Yeah, for some stupid reason Game Freak decided to lower the levels of the Fossil Pokémon you revive, making them worthless unless you're willing to stop and grind them up to be usable. How many Parasect were they smoking?

XY
Okay now here we go.

So Aerodactyl is a beast in this game. First of all, you can get it before the second Gym just by wasting a little time smashing up some rocks in Glittering Cave until you find an Old Amber and immediately reviving it. X and Y are super easy already, and the games allowing you to get a Pokémon with 515 BST this early isn't helping. Second of all, you get Aerodactylite free by talking to a scientist in the Fossil Lab, which powers up Aerodactyl even more later down the line. Finally, you can easily get a bunch of TMs like Aerial Ace and Bulldoze to pump up Aerodactyl's movepool and allow it to cut through everything like a lightsaber through butter.

Aerodactyl's had a very rough history for in-game, but it eventually got to shine like it deserves thanks to stupid balancing decisions.
XY Aerodactyl is an absolute terror, and is honestly capable of beating the entire game on its own WITHOUT the Exp. Share. It also can benefit heavily from the new Super Training feature, and with the right moves before each battle, it can potentially have super effective matchups on EVERY SINGLE IMPORTANT POKÉMON IN ALL OF KALOS. There's aren't many Pokémon that can pull that off, and Aerodactyl does this with a bang. Mega Aerodactyl is even more powerful with those massive Attack and Speed stats and new Ability. This is without a doubt a far cry from any of Aerodactyl's other ingame appearences, and is definitely one of the most buffed Pokémon over mutiple generations by a long shot. Wide coverage, incredible power, early avalibility it would have killed for in older games...this thing is amazing. I'm surprised I haven't used it before. I do plan on using one in my next run of XY, however.

Edit: I appreciate all of these nominations. I just want to get that across to all of you. And for the record, I'll always take sprites over models. Retro for the win, you know?
 
I really hate to double post here especially on my own thread (unless someone posts while I'm typing this), but I wanted to add one of my own nominations in. Honestly, I am shocked this wasn't one of the first ones brought up. Everyone's favorite Magikarp clone from Hoenn. The one and only Feebas. I hinted at this earlier, but wanted to add my own nomination for a change and see what you guys think. These changes should be pretty well known to any diehard Milotic fan.

Feebas (RSE & DPP > ORAS)

1. Obtaining it is far easier in ORAS than in any other game. In RSE and even in DPP, you had to fish in very specific spots in very specific areas of the Hoenn and Sinnoh regions respectively. In the Hoenn remakes, that's no longer the case, as the developers knew how hard it was to find, which was one of the problems with the fan favorite evolution Milotic when it came to getting one in your game. Literally all you have to do is fish under the bridge while surfing on Route 119. Easy as that.
2. Super Training returns from the Aerodactyl summary and is an ever bigger benefit to Feebas and Milotic than the pterosaur. The player now has much more freedom to train the Pokémon in specific stats, further adding on to the theme the developers wanted regarding "ease of use" compared to the original games and DPP. This is especially important given how many viable Water-Types Feebas faces competition from in Hoenn, a few of which even have Mega Evolutions...why doesn't Milotic have one again? We know why Flygon didn't (artist's block), but...why not Milotic?
3. The Exp. Share helps raising weaker Pokémon like Feebas pre-evolution a lot, because you can train them up without sending them into battle. That is, if you like the Exp. Share. Many people including myself think it's a little OP.
4. Don't want to use the Contest Halls in Hoenn to evolve your more easily caught Feebas? Don't worry. The Prism Scale method also works in ORAS. (At least I think, if not you can still trade Feebas over to an XY save and trade evolve it that way.) I also have yet to confirm this, but I'm pretty sure Feebas doesn't have to be a specific Nature or anything anymore as well. Didn't it have to be, like +SpAtk or something?
 
I think a very interesting example of a Pokémon's in-game viability being buffed between games is Golbat/Crobat

:rb/golbat:

Golbat in RBY is honestly pretty terrible. No useful STAB, mediocre stats all around, complemented by a pretty weak moveset whose most relevant moves consist on Mega Drain and a bunch of Normal-Type moves most other Pokémon can already learn. Its availability was good, appearing right after the first Gym, but that doesn't matter much when the Pokémon itself is just so terrible.

:gs/crobat:

In GSC however, it got a pretty obvious buff: a brand new evolution, that granted it a much needed improvement in his stats. Its offenses and defenses are now decent, and its speed is absurdly high. On top of that, Crobat can now learn Fly, giving the Zubat family a much needed decent STAB move. No Sludge Bomb tho, which is a bit sad.

Even its availability got a little bit better, with Zubat now appearing in the first few routes. That said, Zubat is still a pain to train until it gets into its evolutions, so a lot of people preffer to catch a wild Golbat in one of the mid-game routes with a Friend Ball so that it can evolve into Crobat immediately.

:rs/crobat:

In RSE, Crobat got a pretty straightfoward, but still very useful buff: it can now learn Sludge Bomb! And the Sludge Bomb TM comes after the 5th Gym, which is not that late in the game. So now Crobat doesn't need to use Fly/Wing Attack as its best STAB move anymore!

And on top of that, the game also gives you a Soothe Bell pretty early, which helps a lot with evolving Golbat, specially compared to Gen 2 where happiness evolutions were... kinda painful to get.

That said, unfortunely Golbat can't evolve during FRLG's main game, with the Sludge Bomb TM also being post-game only. Its buffs were pretty much nullified here. At least it can still use the buffed Wing Attack, which is... neat, I guess?

:dp/crobat:

Gen 4's buffs to the Zubat family's buffs were a little less drastic, but still useful nonethless. Zubat and Golbat can now learn Fly too, on top of Wing Attack coming much earlier, alongside the Pluck TM, so the family's Flying moves got a pretty significant buff, and Zubat is now much more usable in the early game. The Poison moves on the other hand got a little nerfed with the Pysical/Special split, but Golbat's Sp. Atk is not too bad for Sludge Bomb, and Cross Poison is still decent.

It has also got some interesting coverage moves now! It now learns a bunch of Dark moves, on top of Bite becoming physical, and it also got some new Bug moves, such as X-Scissor and U-Turn.

DPPt retained Zubat's early availability from the previous games, but also gave us an early Golbat of all things! It's pretty rare in the first cave, and it's not THAT necessary thanks to Zubat's improved performance, but it's still cool nonethless.

:bw/crobat:

From Gen 5 onward the Zubat family didn't get many buffs besides a few new moves, so its most significant buffs were come from Gen 2 up to Gen 4, but it still is a pretty interesting case of a family of Pokémon that were horrendous in the first game, and gradatively got each of its members more and more useful with each new gen.
 
Sneasel line (GSC to DPPt)

:gs/sneasel: :rs/sneasel:

GSC and RSE

Although Sneasel does possess high Speed and decent Attack stat, it's all ruined by the fact that Dark- and Ice-type attacks were categorized as Special, which it wouldn't be hitting hard anytime soon by using these types with its measly 35 Special Attack stat. It doesn't help that it has lackluster physical coverage, which is further hampered by the fact that Sneasel is rare in those games, and it's only available in the post-game in GS and Leaf Green. Needless to say, having a Sneasel in those games isn't worth the effort. It retains all its flaws in RSE, so I combine those two into one.

:dp/sneasel: :dp/weavile:

DPPt

Generation 4 is where Sneasel truly shines. Not only did Sneasel greatly benefits from the physical/special split to take advantage of its STAB, but it can also now evolve into a Weavile, which saw a significant boost to its Attack as well as being slightly faster. However, their level-up movepool leaves a lot to be desired, with Weavile unable to learn any Ice-type physical move through level up. Fortunately, they can learn Ice Punch from either as an egg move or a Move Tutor in Platinum, which can be accessed before beating the champion, unlike later titles.

Not much else changed for the Sneasel line after Gen 4, though it does gain Low Kick in Gen 5, Icicle Crash as an egg move and Knock Off received a buff in Gen 6. Those are more relevant to link battle and battle facility, especially Knock Off since there aren't many opponents holding an item in the main campaign.
 
I'll do Kangaskhan (RBY -> HGSS) next.

--->


Kangaskhan's an awesome Pokemon, and I even used one in my most recent Red playthrough when it launched on the 3DS Virtual Console years ago. As a Normal-type, her movepool is pretty vast with Earthquake, Blizzard, Fire Blast, and even Surf. Of course, she gets STAB on Body Slam, Strength, and Hyper Beam, as well.

However, the biggest issues for RBY Kangaskhan are her availability and being completely outclassed by Tauros, who is available at the exact same time and has better overall stats with the big one being a much better Special stat of 70, letting it abuse Blizzard much more effectively. GSC did give Kangaskhan a much-needed buff to her Special Defense (40 -> 80), and the ease-of-capture is a lot higher now considering she's not in a Safari Zone, but Tauros is once again a much better choice for its astronomically-better availability with it being available in Routes 38 and 39 while Kangaskhan's found in Kanto's Rock Tunnel well after the E4. The new downside of Tauros is that it no longer has a serviceable Special Attack (70 -> 40), but the newly-introduced Return, which Tauros will most likely have at max power by the time you get to Kangaskhan's location, more than makes up for it. FRLG is essentially the same story as RBY.

HGSS, however, changed everything in terms of availability for Kangaskhan, and it's all thanks to what was considered one of the most accurate pedometers at the time of its release: the Pokewalker. When you achieve 3,000 Watts on the device, you have a shot at encountering a Kangaskhan (although Doduo is more common) which you can then bring over to your HGSS save file immediately after the catching tutorial. All you need is to capture a Pokemon, deposit it to the PC, and swap it out for Kangaskhan, and now you have a powerhouse that comes at Level 8, which is typically around the same level as your starter at this point. At level 8, she comes with the incredibly-useful STAB Fake Out as well as a powerful-at-the-time STAB Comet Punch, and it just gets better and better from there as you level up and find TMs thanks to the aforementioned colorful movepool that Kangaskhan possesses. These include, but are not limited to:

-STAB on Headbutt, Mega Punch at level 19, Strength, and the coveted Return
-Crunch at Level 31 for Ghost-types (if you don't have Scrappy).
-Outrage at level 37 which can be useful for Claire and Lance later in the game
-Drain Punch for Rock-, opposing Normal-, and Steel-types
-Sucker Punch at level 46 for an extra priority attack which combos well with Fake Out against faster Pokemon.

Speaking of Scrappy, Kangaskhan benefits from it extremely well, letting it hit Morty's Ghost-types with her Normal STAB moves, something Tauros can't do. With this trait, she's not as reliant on coverage against Ghost-types as other Normal- and Fighting-types are, letting Kangaskhan utilize more of its great movepool to aid herself and her team.

Overall, Kangaskhan in HGSS is pretty great and fairly customizable.
 
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