New Type Combos: A Gen VII Wishlist

By Eevee General and Aragorn the King. Art by Bummer.
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Pokémon come in all varieties, from species as simple as Little Bird and Mouse to more unique ones such as Ogre Darner, Hoodlum, and Despot. Their stats set them further apart, defining their roles as physical, defensive, or even frail. They can learn wild assortments of moves and abilities, strengthening those roles or redefining them entirely. However, one of the biggest indicators of a Pokémon's strategical success, for better or for worse, is its typing. Whether it's mono-typed or sports some dual combination of the 18 types that Game Freak has given us so far, a Pokémon's typing often determines its competitive value before anything else gets taken into consideration.

So how does Game Freak assign types to new Pokémon? Do they spin a roulette? Do they draw colored marbles out of a hat? And why do they keep repeating tired combinations when a new, exciting blend is just waiting to be explored? We may never know the answers to these questions, but there's one question we can explore.

What if Game Freak gave us the keys to the workshop for a day and let us design five original type combinations?

We'll take those keys, and gladly, but we won't go nuts for the sake of being original. Instead, we'll examine how the new combinations would play out in a competitive setting with a focus on how they'll fit into the current OU metagame. To do so, we'll address potential offensive and defensive merits, come up with a few useful abilities, and estimate its probable role in the metagame. Take notes, Game Freak!

Electric / Fighting

Both Electric- and Fighting-types are relatively unexplored in Pokémon. Of the 50 Electric-type Pokémon in the game, 27 of them are pure Electric. With Fighting, the ratio is 20:51, which is not much better. One particular Pokémon has hijacked most of the unique Electric combinations, hoarding all of Electric / Ghost, Electric / Fire, Electric / Grass, and Electric / Ice to itself. Yes, we're talking about Rotom!

What if Game Freak gave Rotom a new Electric / Fighting forme next generation? Combined, Electric and Fighting hit Dark, Flying, Ice, Normal, Rock, Steel, and Water for super effective damage. It fails to hit Shedinja and the Golett line for any damage, and it naturally scores a lot of ineffective hits on Grass-type Pokémon due to their frequent mixing with Poison, but, besides that, it hits almost as many Pokémon for super effective damage as it does for neutral damage. Defensively, it takes half damage from Electric, Bug, Dark, Rock, and Steel, but it's weak to Ground, Psychic, and Fairy and has no immunity.

In terms of abilities, all Rotom formes carry Levitate, which this one doesn't mind in the slightest. We can cross Ground off of its list of weaknesses now, leaving it just two: Psychic and Fairy.

Now we need to theorymon a role for it. Thanks to the Rotom forme's good all-around bulk, it can switch into some of OU's toughest threats such as Tyranitar, Bisharp, Excadrill, Landorus-T, Scizor, Magnezone, and Thundurus with little fear, and, in nearly every instance, threaten them back with a super effective STAB move. (Assuming it would follow the pattern of other Rotom formes, it will learn a special Fighting-type move. We've chosen Aura Sphere.) It also has Volt Switch, which it can spam often to gain momentum for the team, and Shadow Ball, which pairs excellently with Fighting. Volt Switch and Shadow Ball also prevent certain Fairy- and Psychic-types (the types it's weak to) such as Azumarill, Gardevoir, and Togekiss from coming in for free. Because the other Rotom formes also know Will-O-Wisp, this forme also gains a valuable support move. Add its resistances to Stealth Rock and Knock Off, immunity to all other entry hazards, and neutrality to all forms of priority to that, and this little Plasma Pokémon is ready to rumble.

Fairy / Ghost

Fairy is the least explored of the types with nine currently missing combinations. However, it's the newest type to the scene. Game Freak did retype certain Pokémon upon the discovery of Fairy, and one could argue that they missed a golden opportunity to make a Fairy / Ghost type Pokémon, but we'll give them a pass for it and attempt to build a new one from scratch.

The two types together get a lot of important super effective hits. Dark, Dragon, Fighting, Ghost, and Psychic all take double damage from this combination. There are no single-typed Pokémon that resist both, and no Pokémon is immune to them. In fact, as of right now, it has almost perfect coverage, as the only dual-typed Pokémon that resists both are Litleo and Pyroar, and it lands a whopping 551 neutral hits against all other Pokémon. This translates into a highly spammable STAB combination, but the fun doesn't stop there. Fairy / Ghost has only two weaknesses to opposing Ghost- and Steel-types. It has a 4x resistance to Bug and three immunities: Normal, Fighting, and Dragon.

A Fairy / Ghost amalgam just screams for an ability such as Prankster, so if this Pokémon is able to learn Will-O-Wisp or Taunt, it will prove itself as a definitive supporter for its team or even for itself. Depending on its design, Sweet Veil or Aroma Veil could also provide competitive value, granting it with a sleep or a Taunt and Encore immunity, respectfully. Another ghoulish ability that shares some crossover with Fairies is Infiltrator, which ignores Substitute, Light Screen, and Reflect, letting it burn or attack targets with ease.

To expand on the trickster flavor that Fairy- and Ghost-types elicit, we imagine a lithe and zippy little special attacker with a grabbag of support moves and good STAB moves so it can disable targets, set up, and start attacking. Shadow Ball is a must. Moonblast and Moonlight are high on our wishlist as well. Nasty Plot, Encore, Trick-or-Treat, and Destiny Bond get thrown in there too. Dragons, especially Latios and Latias, would be wary of using their STAB moves, only to get locked into it by Encore and give the Fairy / Ghost Pokémon a free turn to set up with Nasty Plot. In fact, just about any attacker that carries a Normal-, Fighting-, or Dragon-type move would be liable to give it a free turn. Even fellow Prankster user Sableye isn't safe as long as this Pokémon outspeeds it with Taunt, and if Sableye Mega Evolves and hopes to bounce the status back, it still must be wary of Moonblast. Physical Steel-types hoping to steamroll it with their attacks have to contend with Will-O-Wisp. And if you think your Pokémon is safe behind a Substitute, think again, because it could be packing Infiltrator instead. Overall, this is one trick-or-treater that you don't want ringing your doorbell.

Ghost / Normal

Ghost is certainly an interesting type, boasting two immunities and two resistances, as well as being the rarest of all 18 types. Nevertheless, it has still found a way to be paired with all but five of the other 17 types. Pokémon of all five of these theoretical typings definitely have the potential to shine in OU, with Ghost / Fairy and Ghost / Normal being our votes for the top contenders.

The coverage of a Pokémon of the Ghost / Normal typing, coming just from its STAB moves, would be profound; of all the fully evolved Pokémon, only two Pokémon — Bisharp and Tyranitar — resist both of its STAB moves. Now, don't get us wrong; Bisharp and Tyranitar are great Pokémon in OU, and both would be roadblocks to it, but with there being only two of such Pokémon, both of which are easily removable by a Fighting-type coverage move, it's clear that, with the proper tools, a Pokémon of this typing would be a huge offensive threat.

Defensively, this typing also has merit, possessing an astronomical three immunities, all to relatively common types: Ghost, Fighting, and Normal. It's important to note that, because of its specialized typing, this theoretical Pokémon would be both the only Normal-type immune to Fighting and the only Ghost-type immune to Ghost. In addition to these resistances, this typing also boasts two more resistances — Poison and Bug — as well as only one weakness: Dark.

The abilities of Ghost-types all tend to be in the same "pool," if you will, and it's unlikely that a Pokémon of this typing would be an exception. Prankster is a very common ability for Ghost-types, but, while it could be useful for this Pokémon, it wouldn't be the most useful for our projected speedy offensive nuke. A second possible ability is Insomnia, which could allow this Pokémon to switch safely into Spore, Sleep Powder, and Hypnosis. Infiltrator is certainly a more beneficial possibility, allowing for this Pokémon to blast through Light Screen as well as Substitute.

In the OU metagame, we feel that the best thing that could come of this Pokémon is the added pressure on Gengar — both in teambuilding and in a match. First of all, Gengar is currently the only viable fast and offensive Ghost-type, making it almost default on teams that desire such a Pokémon. An alternative with a Ghost / Normal typing could thus provide much needed competition. However, what's more important when considering this typing's relationship to Gengar is the fact that it totally walls Gengar; it's immune to both Shadow Ball and Focus Blast and it resists Sludge Wave. Even if this Pokémon isn't faster than Gengar, which it actually is likely to be, it would still put immense pressure throughout the match on the OU wallbreaker. Not considering Gengar, this Pokémon probably wouldn't be switching into much; it's much more likely to act as a hit-and-run Pokémon, using its phenomenal coverage coming from just its STAB moves to crush almost everything in its path. A Fighting move, such as Aura Sphere, would be a great boon to it, allowing it to wallbreak much more safely and effectively.

Psychic / Electric

Psychic and Electric are both relatively explored types, with Psychic having been paired with all but four of the other types and Electric having been paired with all but five. However, their paths have unfortunately never crossed, and that's what matters here.

Offensively, the typing is certainly something to brag about, hitting almost one-third of all Pokémon for super effective damage and almost all of the other two-thirds for neutral damage. Only seven Pokémon viable in OU resist its STAB combination — Hydreigon, Latios, Latias, Ferrothorn, Celebi, Magnezone, and Excadrill — all of which, barring Excadrill, can be used as Volt Switch bait to gain momentum.

Defensively, the typing is also pretty solid, resisting five types varying in commonality: Steel, Psychic, Electric, Flying and Fighting. However, it also carries four weaknesses to types similarly varying in commonality: Bug, Dark, Ghost, and Ground.

As for abilities, the obvious choice is Levitate, which is both a very common choice for Psychic-types, being already seen on 15 of them, as well as a great choice for an Electric-type, removing its most common weakness — Ground. However, it certainly is not the only feasible or viable choice. Magic Guard is an ability almost uniquely seen on Psychic-types, and any Pokémon with it certainly benefits from it. By contrast, many Electric-types boast immunities to Electric-type moves, either through Volt Absorb or Lightning Rod, and this Pokémon could easily be similar.

Both this Pokémon's defensive and offensive qualities would allow it to find use in the OverUsed metagame. One of its main defensive uses would certainly be as a Mega Metagross check, as its typing allows it to resist Zen Headbutt, Meteor Mash, and Hammer Arm, and it's likely to be light and bulky enough not to be hampered by Grass Knot. Earthquake would still be trouble, but if this Pokémon packs Levitate then that would not be an issue either. This Pokémon also resists Flying, and given its likely high Speed, it will be able to act as a great check to Mega Pinsir and possibly Talonflame, depending on its Speed. Perhaps its most useful offensive quality is the fact that it's an Electric-type that easily beats Mega Venusaur and Amoonguss. It will likely use Volt Switch often, given the existence of seven Pokémon that can easily switch into its STAB moves, but this dependence could even be taken away if it gets Shadow Ball and Focus Blast like most Psychic-types do.

Ground / Fairy

Ground is known as one of the best attacking types; when coupled with another one of the best attacking types as well as arguably the best defensive type, Fairy, only good things can come.

Only four viable Pokémon in OU resist both of this hypothetical Pokémon's STAB moves: Mega Charizard Y, Talonflame, Rotom-H, and Skarmory. Additionally, the former two are easily worn down thanks to Stealth Rock damage, and Rotom-H lacks recovery, leaving Skarmory as the only guaranteed switch-in to this hypothetical juggernaut.

Defensively, the typing isn't as stellar, but it's still pretty good. While it is burdened to carry weaknesses to the common Steel-, Ice-, Water-, and Grass-type, it also resists Fighting, Bug, Dark, and Rock, and it is immune to Electric and Dragon. Ground- and Fairy-types are also known for their bulk, so, regardless of this Pokémon's offensive stats, it will probably be able to take a hit or two.

Based off of its incredible offensive typing, it's likely that this Pokémon will adopt an offensive role. It will likely also be bulky, but its primary goal will be to deal out as much damage as possible, and its ability should be able to help it out in this regard. Pixilate is certainly a possibility; however, with Mega Gardevoir and Mega Altaria so prominent, it isn't as original as it should be. Magic Bounce is a possibility, allowing it to better handle Mega Sableye, but given Mega Sableye and Mega Diancie's prominence it also isn't as unique as it could be. Perhaps a more defensive spin could be taken, with Oblivious or Aroma Veil as possibilities to prevent foes from Taunting it, guaranteeing its ability to set Stealth Rock, or Filter or Solid Rock to allow it to better handle coverage moves it is weak to.

This Pokémon will likely be a fearsome wallbreaker with some bulk. Thanks to its Ground / Fairy typing and potential ability in Aroma Veil or Oblivious , this Pokémon would also be a great Stealth Rock setter, hitting Magic Bounce users such as Mega Diancie and Mega Sableye for super effective damage with its STAB moves while also being immune to Taunt. Its typing also gives it opportunities to switch into many common Pokémon in OU, such as Thundurus, Manectric, Raikou, and Tyranitar, providing easy ways to gain momentum for your team. Most Ground- and Fairy-types lack Speed, so it would be uncharacteristic to make this Pokémon super speedy, but we haven't ruled out the possibility. However, a super fast, super bulky, and powerful Pokémon whose STABs moves are only resisted by four Pokémon may be too much for the tier, making us probably have to choose between bulk and Speed.


Now that we've toyed around with innovative type combinations and run amok in Game Freak's workshop, we have to begrudgingly return the keys and say goodbye to the Pokémon that never were. As fun as the theorymon session was, it does shed light on the untapped potential that Game Freak seems to be missing. Generation after the next we see the same uninspiring dual-types such as Bug / Steel, Water / Ground, Normal / Flying, and the infamous Fire / Fighting. And while they're not bad types, necessarily, they are missed opportunities when Game Freak could have decided to try something new and seen how it was received by the players. Sure, their focus isn't so much on the competitive value of a Pokémon as it is on its marketability or "nostalgia quota." But, and we hope you're listening, we implore you designers to stop the conveyor belt of repeats and put a new combination on the assembly line. You've taken great strides with developing creative installments in the series itself and adapted the games to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology, so why not take more risks with the Pokémon themselves and free up some of those cool type fusions you keep holding hostage? And don't worry about their strategic importance when you do it; that's for us to figure out. Just move your mouse a few lines north the next time you're putting together a Grass / Poison type and ignite a Fire instead.

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