Unpopular opinions

I think this whole designing issue is coming from the fact that, as of gen 5, Game Freak has been basing the starters around a specific theme. I can't really pinpoint gen 5 atm, but gen 6 seems to be rpg classes, gen 7...looks like more rpg classes, though you could make the argument that they're all based on circus performers. In fact, this was the theory I saw the most on Tumblr when the starters were first released. A lot of fanart for the starters final evolutions follow this concept. Rowlet was the ringmaster, Litten is the lion or tiger that jumps through flaming hoops, and Popplio is the seal. There's even an official picture of Popplio playing with a bubble like it's a ball and doing tricks. Though even if Primarina is not what most people expected, its still a performer in some sense. Incineroar is a wrestler, also a performer. Decidueye is the furthest from the concept, but archery is a sport, and I'm sure there are people who look to it for entertainment.

Having a theme amongst the starters seems to be something that the fans generally like, which is why I think Game Freak continued it. They dipped their toes in the concept before (like how in gen 1, all the starters are reptiles) but gen 5 is when they started taking it the extra mile. I personally like it as well, and I can see them continuing to do this into gen 8.
 
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Sinnoh's starters were arguably based around Indian, Chinese, and Greek mythology, as they are based on the World Turtle, Sun Wukong, and Poseidon, respectively. It might be a bit of a stretch, but themes have been running in Pokémon's starters since 2006.
 
I don't know, this is all sounding like the "painting the target around the hole" fallacy. The only confirmed stater theme was the Kalos trio (due to the developers admitting it). The rest of these sound more like bending evidence to fit a theory.

It's Gamefreak, they do what they want.
 
Gen V starters were based off of different cultures, more or less. Serperior was to have a European feel to it, more specifically French (Ken Sugimori mentions the anime The Rose of Versailles as inspiration here). Emboar is meant to represent Chinese culture, even coming from the same myth that Infernape came from. And of course Samurott is meant to be Japanese, being a samurai.
 

Karxrida

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Sinnoh's starters were arguably based around Indian, Chinese, and Greek mythology, as they are based on the World Turtle, Sun Wukong, and Poseidon, respectively. It might be a bit of a stretch, but themes have been running in Pokémon's starters since 2006.
Empoleon is clearly supposed to be Napoleon. They even have the same height.
 
Yeah, pokemon often do have several inspirations. Why they thought to make a napoleon trident penguin, I don't know. I think you could argue the gen 4 starters have a theme, but it is a pretty loose argument. I can see it, actually more so than gen 6, but they straight up told us gen 6 starters were a themed set, so yeah.
 
I personally find Incineroar to be my favorite out of the final evolutions of the starters. It has so much personality compared to Primarina and Decidueye, and I love how silly the thing is.
 
I personally find Incineroar to be my favorite out of the final evolutions of the starters. It has so much personality compared to Primarina and Decidueye, and I love how silly the thing is.
The only thing that holds it back for me is its hands. They look ridiculous. He strongly resembles Tony the Tiger.
 

Gurpreet Patel (Sent you a Friend Request)

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...am I the only one who really hated Talonflame and Gale Wings, and am happy because of the nerf?

Imagine this. Against an opposing Landorus-T that spams Earthquake for some reason, you manage to get to +6 with a Swords Dance Virizion. Since the Virizion has max Speed, it outruns all of your opponent's remaining Pokémon. Then they send out Talonflame.

Talonflame is running a specially defensive spread, so Virizion should be able to outspeed it easily and nail it with Stone Edge. But no. The bird goes first anyway for no other reason than "it has Gale Wings lol", using Brave Bird on the Virizion and OHKO'ing it. That just seems so unfair to me.

In Battle Spot Singles, Talonflame plays a different role in the form of "use a Choice Band and spam Brave Bird". How mindless. Whenever I try to use a Pokémon I like... it's just too frail, or has a weakness to Flying, and either of those make it practically unusable. I'm really glad that I don't have to worry about priority ruining my hard-earned boosts as much anymore.
 
...am I the only one who really hated Talonflame and Gale Wings, and am happy because of the nerf?

Imagine this. Against an opposing Landorus-T that spams Earthquake for some reason, you manage to get to +6 with a Swords Dance Virizion. Since the Virizion has max Speed, it outruns all of your opponent's remaining Pokémon. Then they send out Talonflame.

Talonflame is running a specially defensive spread, so Virizion should be able to outspeed it easily and nail it with Stone Edge. But no. The bird goes first anyway for no other reason than "it has Gale Wings lol", using Brave Bird on the Virizion and OHKO'ing it. That just seems so unfair to me.

In Battle Spot Singles, Talonflame plays a different role in the form of "use a Choice Band and spam Brave Bird". How mindless. Whenever I try to use a Pokémon I like... it's just too frail, or has a weakness to Flying, and either of those make it practically unusable. I'm really glad that I don't have to worry about priority ruining my hard-earned boosts as much anymore.
Dude I haven't seen a single dude use CB bravest bird in ages, it's all about bulky Talonflame, this thing is a God of utility and defensive role compression.

On John Cena the Tiger, yep this thing got personality to spare, it is the starter with more poses and animation on his face, it's extremely charming.
 
...am I the only one who really hated Talonflame and Gale Wings, and am happy because of the nerf?

Imagine this. Against an opposing Landorus-T that spams Earthquake for some reason, you manage to get to +6 with a Swords Dance Virizion. Since the Virizion has max Speed, it outruns all of your opponent's remaining Pokémon. Then they send out Talonflame.

Talonflame is running a specially defensive spread, so Virizion should be able to outspeed it easily and nail it with Stone Edge. But no. The bird goes first anyway for no other reason than "it has Gale Wings lol", using Brave Bird on the Virizion and OHKO'ing it. That just seems so unfair to me.

In Battle Spot Singles, Talonflame plays a different role in the form of "use a Choice Band and spam Brave Bird". How mindless. Whenever I try to use a Pokémon I like... it's just too frail, or has a weakness to Flying, and either of those make it practically unusable. I'm really glad that I don't have to worry about priority ruining my hard-earned boosts as much anymore.
You're absolutely not. I'm thrilled to see that bird's wings get clipped for good. I've rarely had significant problems with Talonflame but... my gosh, base 120 STAB priority was just stupid.
 
You're absolutely not. I'm thrilled to see that bird's wings get clipped for good. I've rarely had significant problems with Talonflame but... my gosh, base 120 STAB priority was just stupid.
Gr I is triggered.


Does anyone think Unown's true power will be unleashed this gen, because I sure do.
 
...am I the only one who really hated Talonflame and Gale Wings, and am happy because of the nerf?

Imagine this. Against an opposing Landorus-T that spams Earthquake for some reason, you manage to get to +6 with a Swords Dance Virizion. Since the Virizion has max Speed, it outruns all of your opponent's remaining Pokémon. Then they send out Talonflame.

Talonflame is running a specially defensive spread, so Virizion should be able to outspeed it easily and nail it with Stone Edge. But no. The bird goes first anyway for no other reason than "it has Gale Wings lol", using Brave Bird on the Virizion and OHKO'ing it. That just seems so unfair to me.

In Battle Spot Singles, Talonflame plays a different role in the form of "use a Choice Band and spam Brave Bird". How mindless. Whenever I try to use a Pokémon I like... it's just too frail, or has a weakness to Flying, and either of those make it practically unusable. I'm really glad that I don't have to worry about priority ruining my hard-earned boosts as much anymore.
I told my one friend about the nerf and all she had to say was "Oh thank god". She's a doubles player (mostly using Trick Room) and Talonflame is one of those mons that really wrecks a team.

On the other hand, due to a general lack of Stealth Rock in Doubles, Talonflame still has a niche of being a good supporter what with being able to get a good Tailwind out after the first turn Fake Out spam.
 
I'm pretty happy with all the ability nerfs this gen to be honest. The only thing that kinda stung for me was seeing Pixilate go from 1.3 to 1.2 since I used it so much, but I kinda realise it had to be done.
 

Codraroll

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I usually have only bad things to say about Vanillite and its evolutionary relatives, but today I realized I might reconsider that opinion:

Vanillite, Vanillish and Vanilluxe represents one of the only instances of Game Freak actually trying with Ice-type Pokémon. Trying and falling short, for the most part, but the core idea is miles better than what Ice usually gets. Let me write an essay list the reasons why:

First of all, some trivia: Can you list all the three-stage evolutionary families that begin and/or end with a Pokémon that is at least part Ice-type? For most Pokémon types, that would be a daunting task, but for Ice, it's easy: Swinub line, Spheal line, Vanillite line, that's it. As far as I'm able to tell, Ice is the typing with the fewest three-stage lines. All the others have at least five lines which fit the criterium above. Even Fairy, which was introduced last generation, has six full three-stage lines where all three members have the typing, plus one where only one member is Fairy (Primarina's line). Ice has been around since Gen I, but its Pokémon are mostly single- or two-stage. Vanillite and its family is a honest exception, and also among the first evolutionary lines to be pure Ice from start to finish (the first was Snorunt's line, although arguably Froslass messed that up).

Second, its availability: Surely, we've all noticed by now that Ice-types are almost always introduced late in the game. It is as if Game Freak is restricting Ice-types to ice/snow areas only, and those are always late. We did some digging around this on IRC a few months back, and concluded that the Ice-type is usually the last type of Pokémon a player will ever encounter - that or Dragon, which was originally designed to be a late-game type. Interestingly, there has been an Ice-type specialist in every Pokémon region up to and including Gen VI. Here is when they appear: Elite Four (RBY), 7th Gym (GSC), Elite Four (RSE), 7th Gym (DPPt), 7th Gym (BW), and 8th Gym (XY).

Our aforementioned IRC data dig found out that the earliest available Ice-type in any game is Cloyster in RBY. You can fish Shellder with the Super Rod, and evolve it with a Water Stone, before you take on the 4th Gym. Unless you jump through similar hoops (backtracking to find Lapras in Union Cave on a Friday in GSC), you'll have to wait until after the 6th Gym to find any Ice-types in Pokémon games...

...with the exception of Vanilite. This little fellow is presented to you, readily available, before you take on the fifth Gym in BW. You don't even have to look for it specifically, it's actually a little hard to avoid since a visit to Cold Storage is mandatory and Vanillite is the most common encounter there. Cold Storage remains one of the only locations in Pokémon where Ice-types are available outside a late-game snow/ice area.

Third, Vanilluxe's stat spread: It remains one of the few Ice-types whose offensive stats are higher than the defensive ones on both sides of the spectrum, and Special Attack is its highest stat. With that, Vanilluxe is not only an offensively-oriented Ice type, which is a rarity in itself, but an Ice type oriented towards Special offence. Its Speed isn't half-bad either. Vanilluxe isn't unique in this regard (Jynx does the same), but it belongs to a very small minority, in a typing dominated by stat spreads fitting for glaciers or icebergs: Slow and tough, with high Defense, low speed and mediocre offense.

Interestingly, Vanilluxe has great synergy with Ice's type chart as well: Practically no resistances on the defensive side, but hits a lot of things hard on the offensive side. Ice's most powerful and reliable moves, Ice Beam and Blizzard, are both on the Special side of the spectrum. Ice as a typing seems to have been built for Special sweepers, but no Ice-type Pokémon have the stats to take advantage of it. Vanilluxe doesn't do it perfectly, but it's among the closest we have. The designers managed to sneak Ice Body, decidedly a defensive ability, on it, but in Gen VII Vanilluxe gets Snow Warning, which is much better suited for an offensive build.


All in all, Ice types are plagued by poor design choices, but Vanillite and its relatives should be commended for managing to avoid them for the most part. It is not built to be defensive, a job the Ice-type can't do anyway, no matter how high stats, great Abilities and good boosting moves they keep receiving. The Vanillite family sticks to what the Ice-type should do, which is hitting hard with the fantastic spammability of Special Ice STAB. Vanillite was not a late-game Pokémon in its inception, it made it possible to actually catch and use an Ice Pokémon for a playthrough of Black and White (a trick that has not been repeated since, sadly).

They haven't avoided every pratfall, though: Vanilluxe's movepool is as barren as the Antarctic interior. Overwhelmingly Ice and Normal attacking moves, with only Flash Cannon and Signal Beam for coverage. Vanillite's early availability was offset by late evolution, with sky-high evolutionary levels compared to their BST.

And I still dislike their design. But I've come to appreciate what Vanillite, Vanillish and Vanilluxe actually do, since they do it so much better than the vast majority of their Ice-type brethren.
 
They haven't avoided every pratfall, though: Vanilluxe's movepool is as barren as the Antarctic interior. Overwhelmingly Ice and Normal attacking moves, with only Flash Cannon and Signal Beam for coverage.
Most of the coverage issues were patched up in Gen VI by getting Freeze-Dry, although it still wishes it got a move to deal with Fire and Steel-types (just Water Pulse and HP Ground).

I think they get far more hate than they deserve. It's not that I like them (I find them to be quite forgettable), but that I don't mind their existence.
 
I usually have only bad things to say about Vanillite and its evolutionary relatives, but today I realized I might reconsider that opinion:

Vanillite, Vanillish and Vanilluxe represents one of the only instances of Game Freak actually trying with Ice-type Pokémon. Trying and falling short, for the most part, but the core idea is miles better than what Ice usually gets. Let me write an essay list the reasons why:

First of all, some trivia: Can you list all the three-stage evolutionary families that begin and/or end with a Pokémon that is at least part Ice-type? For most Pokémon types, that would be a daunting task, but for Ice, it's easy: Swinub line, Spheal line, Vanillite line, that's it. As far as I'm able to tell, Ice is the typing with the fewest three-stage lines. All the others have at least five lines which fit the criterium above. Even Fairy, which was introduced last generation, has six full three-stage lines where all three members have the typing, plus one where only one member is Fairy (Primarina's line). Ice has been around since Gen I, but its Pokémon are mostly single- or two-stage. Vanillite and its family is a honest exception, and also among the first evolutionary lines to be pure Ice from start to finish (the first was Snorunt's line, although arguably Froslass messed that up).

Second, its availability: Surely, we've all noticed by now that Ice-types are almost always introduced late in the game. It is as if Game Freak is restricting Ice-types to ice/snow areas only, and those are always late. We did some digging around this on IRC a few months back, and concluded that the Ice-type is usually the last type of Pokémon a player will ever encounter - that or Dragon, which was originally designed to be a late-game type. Interestingly, there has been an Ice-type specialist in every Pokémon region up to and including Gen VI. Here is when they appear: Elite Four (RBY), 7th Gym (GSC), Elite Four (RSE), 7th Gym (DPPt), 7th Gym (BW), and 8th Gym (XY).

Our aforementioned IRC data dig found out that the earliest available Ice-type in any game is Cloyster in RBY. You can fish Shellder with the Super Rod, and evolve it with a Water Stone, before you take on the 4th Gym. Unless you jump through similar hoops (backtracking to find Lapras in Union Cave on a Friday in GSC), you'll have to wait until after the 6th Gym to find any Ice-types in Pokémon games...

...with the exception of Vanilite. This little fellow is presented to you, readily available, before you take on the fifth Gym in BW. You don't even have to look for it specifically, it's actually a little hard to avoid since a visit to Cold Storage is mandatory and Vanillite is the most common encounter there. Cold Storage remains one of the only locations in Pokémon where Ice-types are available outside a late-game snow/ice area.

Third, Vanilluxe's stat spread: It remains one of the few Ice-types whose offensive stats are higher than the defensive ones on both sides of the spectrum, and Special Attack is its highest stat. With that, Vanilluxe is not only an offensively-oriented Ice type, which is a rarity in itself, but an Ice type oriented towards Special offence. Its Speed isn't half-bad either. Vanilluxe isn't unique in this regard (Jynx does the same), but it belongs to a very small minority, in a typing dominated by stat spreads fitting for glaciers or icebergs: Slow and tough, with high Defense, low speed and mediocre offense.

Interestingly, Vanilluxe has great synergy with Ice's type chart as well: Practically no resistances on the defensive side, but hits a lot of things hard on the offensive side. Ice's most powerful and reliable moves, Ice Beam and Blizzard, are both on the Special side of the spectrum. Ice as a typing seems to have been built for Special sweepers, but no Ice-type Pokémon have the stats to take advantage of it. Vanilluxe doesn't do it perfectly, but it's among the closest we have. The designers managed to sneak Ice Body, decidedly a defensive ability, on it, but in Gen VII Vanilluxe gets Snow Warning, which is much better suited for an offensive build.


All in all, Ice types are plagued by poor design choices, but Vanillite and its relatives should be commended for managing to avoid them for the most part. It is not built to be defensive, a job the Ice-type can't do anyway, no matter how high stats, great Abilities and good boosting moves they keep receiving. The Vanillite family sticks to what the Ice-type should do, which is hitting hard with the fantastic spammability of Special Ice STAB. Vanillite was not a late-game Pokémon in its inception, it made it possible to actually catch and use an Ice Pokémon for a playthrough of Black and White (a trick that has not been repeated since, sadly).

They haven't avoided every pratfall, though: Vanilluxe's movepool is as barren as the Antarctic interior. Overwhelmingly Ice and Normal attacking moves, with only Flash Cannon and Signal Beam for coverage. Vanillite's early availability was offset by late evolution, with sky-high evolutionary levels compared to their BST.

And I still dislike their design. But I've come to appreciate what Vanillite, Vanillish and Vanilluxe actually do, since they do it so much better than the vast majority of their Ice-type brethren.
If you search my post you would see that I pretty much said everything you typed about the vanilluxe line and ice type availability at least twice.

As someone who replays his games a lot vanillite is a godsend type chart wise and holds relevance for 2 gyms straight.

Cloyster is cool and all, but the evolutionary stones and movepool post evolution really drags him down on ingame runs.

It's funny that Vanilluxe comes as the only true midgame ice type the franchise has given us.
 

Codraroll

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It's funny that Vanilluxe comes as the only true midgame ice type the franchise has given us.
Well, almost. I forgot Amaura, which is available pre Gym 2 in XY. But since Gym 2 in XY is so late, Amaura comes at almost the same level (20) as Vanillite (20-23 in normal grass, 24-27 in tall grass). Then again, the level curve of XY goes much higher than BW's, so Amaura truly comes a lot earlier than even Vanillite. But it is not a normal encounter, you can only get one (unless you backtrack and breed it), and its availability comes at the cost of another Pokémon. And Aurorus does have overall lower stats than Vanilluxe, since its base HP is almost twice as high. It's another failed attempt of making a slow, bulky Ice type, in other words.
 
Even though Ice-types tend to sit like a glacier and do little back, Vanilluxe seems to represent the closest thing to the howling blizzard (the offensive force) Cod mentioned a while back. Also, the weird inanimate designs are some of my favorites in the franchise.

Anyway, Snow Warning and Blizzard work quite well together, even during Alola's story, assuming the icicle is available before Mount Lanakila.
 
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