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Top 50 Pokémon: Rainbow Rocket blasts off again!

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
x5FFtfO.png

Hello, Poké-fans! I’m your host, Anna, coming at you live from what appears to be an enormous, high-tech castle of some sort, where I’ve been abducted – sorry, “chosen” – to bring you the event of the century: the Team Rainbow Rocket Pokémon tournament. This tournament was organized by the big man himself, Giovanni!

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My evil schemes can be bound by neither time nor space, Anna.

Well! Isn’t that something, folks? Now, I’ve been informed that this is a single-elimination, three-round tournament, which suggests that we’ll see eight competitors, but aside from that, I’m in the dark, so we’ll learn together.

Hang on a second. Someone seems to be stumbling through a portal to my left. Uh, sir? Are you all right?

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Uh, hi, yeah, I’m Ken and I was just, uhhhhh… persuaded?... by some nice Team GO Rocket grunts and their very large Houndoom to provide, I think they said color commentary on some sort of tournament? I have no idea what’s going on and am definitely getting the feeling I’m *not* in Kansas anymore, but I’ll try to keep up. So, uh, back to you, Anna was it?

Well then, thanks Ken, glad to have some company in the booth. What’s this? I’m hearing some commotion from the grunts in the audience. It sounds like we’re about to meet our first contestant!

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If I’m not mistaken, this is none other than Archie, former leader of Team Aqua! Archie is well-known for the gaffe where he tried to control the legendary Kyogre using the Red Orb, resulting in an ecological disaster of apocalyptic proportions. Today, he’s sporting a skin-tight swimsuit with some sort of cape (or maybe it’s a skirt?) and an enormous golden anchor about his neck, making it unclear whether he intends to sink or swim. But I suppose we’ll find that out soon, since we’re about to learn who he’s brought to today’s tournament. Ready, everyone? Say it with me!

Who’s! That! Pokémon?!
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
We received votes for 248 different mons from 411 votes across 17 voters. Of those 248, 88 were beloved by at least two of our voters. Honorable mention goes out to Wooloo, the only mon to receive 3 votes without making it onto the list.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him + RT/artee)
No, it had votes at 16, 17, and 25, which added to 50 points. Lowest ranks on the top 50 is a tie at 52 points. Very close!
Being the person who placed Wooloo the highest on my list, I'm glad I can rest easy knowing it's not my fault our precious sheep didn't place.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I didn’t vote on the grounds of not being able to narrow a list to a mere 25…

But if Hawlucha doesn’t crack the top two, I’ll admit it’s my fault
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
GT2tOhO.png


49th (tie)
#145 Zapdos
Electric Pokémon
Electric / Flying


Score: 52 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 5th (Daikaiju)​

Pokédex said:
Zapdos is a legendary bird Pokémon that has the ability to control electricity. It usually lives in thunderclouds. The Pokémon gains power if it is stricken by lightning bolts.

Oh! It’s Zapdos! This is an amazing start for our water-themed challenger, even if it’s a little off-brand. Zapdos has experienced varying degrees of popularity in the competitive scene across the years, peaking in 2018, where it was most commonly used as bulky Tailwind support. Of course, with its phenomenal typing and well-rounded stats, you can also build Zapdos as an all-out attacker. Two of Zapdos’s strongest same-type moves, Thunder and Hurricane, are inaccurate outside of rain, so an offense-oriented Zapdos will do best partnered with Pelipper or Politoed.

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Does seeing a legendary Pokémon so soon surprise you? This is the power of Rainbow Rocket! Anything we desire will be ours.

GOCorner.png
Oh hey, Zapdos is super well-known where I’m from as it’s the mascot of Team Instinct. As one of the first wave of Legendary Raids, it’s a long-time staple in PvE for electric damage, and while a few newer ‘mons have since outclassed it, if you have one with the limited-availability fast move Thunder Shock it’s still viable. Weird fun fact - the shiny is so similar, regular Zapdos actually had the shiny appearance by mistake and a new slightly darker palette had to be made when the shiny debuted.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Of course, with its phenomenal typing
Requesting art of Zapdos wearing tiny glasses and hunched over a typewriter. Why hunched? Well, he obviously types by hunting and pecking.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Good bird. I'm partial to Articuno, though I don't think I included any of the Legendary Birds in my list. I don't even know if I ever even caught any of them in original Pokemon...
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
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49th (tie)
#195 Quagsire
Water Fish Pokémon
Water / Ground


Score: 52 - Votes: 3 - Highest vote: 11th (Mogri)​

Pokédex said:
Quagsire hunts for food by leaving its mouth wide open in water and waiting for its prey to blunder in unaware. Because the Pokémon does not move, it does not get very hungry.

It’s Quagsire! This is a bit more fitting for the former leader of Team Aqua. Quagsire is a bulky attacker with stats weighted toward the physical side. It can threaten big damage with Liquidation and Earthquake, or if you prefer to build it more defensively, you can swap Liquidation for Scald to give a chance to burn. With good HP and Defense, Quagsire will often run Recover and Toxic, allowing it to stall for a victory, but you can also use Curse instead of Toxic to allow it to set up. Quagsire suffers from low Speed and Sp. Defense and double weakness to Grass-type moves, so it’s unlikely to sweep, but it can make for a good anti-sweeper using Unaware to ignore an opponent’s stat boosts, or it can use Water Absorb for a nasty surprise switch-in.

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Leave it to Archie to bring in something substandard but thematic. Oh well, we all have our villainous foibles.

GOCorner.png
Ah, Quagsire is one of the famous “mud bois”; though not as commonly seen as the likes of Swampert and Whiscash, it can still be quite effective. Obviously they’re all water/ground types, and in GO they all sport the fast move Mud Shot, which has great energy generation to power up charge moves quickly. In Quagsire’s case this means not only Earthquake, but also some poison type coverage from Sludge Bomb or even Acid Spray, which drops its opponent’s defense!

Mogri said:
My favorite dopey boy.
 
Last edited:

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Whoops, I posted 'em out of order! It ordinarily wouldn't matter, because they're tied, but the writeup for one references the other, and I didn't want to rewrite both. If you saw the earlier post, then go ahead and scroll up.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
When you’re dealing with Rainbow Rocket, this sort of little space time anomaly is bound to crop up from time to time...
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
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49th (tie)
#674 Pancham
Playful Pokémon
Fighting


Score: 52 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 6th (Rascally Badger)​

Pokédex said:
It's desperate to intimidate its opponents. Be nice and pretend to be scared if you catch it glaring at you intensely.

This is an unconventional choice – it’s Pancham! While frailer than Quagsire, Pancham is faster and nearly as strong. Never underestimate a Pokémon that hasn’t fully evolved, since it might be holding an Eviolite, increasing its defenses by 50%. With an Eviolite, Pancham can rival Quagsire on the defensive side as well, and Drain Punch combined with Swords Dance gives it a way to stay in the game far longer than you might expect.

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I always tell my grunts to evolve their Koffing and Ekans, but so few of them ever do. Good help is hard to find.

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Aw, what a cutie! Pancham is still pretty uncommon in GO, as usually it can only be acquired from eggs dropped by Team GO Rocket Leaders in battle, and even then it’s a rare chance. Its evolution Pangoro has a lot of cool factor, though it’s overshadowed in GBL by fellow Dark/Fighting type Scrafty, since it lacks the great Fighting fast move Counter.
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
I chose my list entirely based on anesthetics and personal preferences; there was no consideration of utility.

I like Pancham largely due to his evolution requirements. He's a cute little panda, but if you let him hang around with bad influences he goes down a dark path.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I like Pancham largely due to his evolution requirements. He's a cute little panda, but if you let him hang around with bad influences he goes down a dark path.
Ah, they actually managed to do that in GO as well; in order to evolve it you have to catch 30 dark types with Pancham set as your buddy.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I chose my list entirely based on anesthetics and personal preferences; there was no consideration of utility.
Same. I'm a terrible Pokemon strategist. I barely know the basic weaknesses. All my choices are based on how cute or endearing I find the design. With sometimes a nod to the fact that I might need a particular type in my party at some times.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Same. I'm a terrible Pokemon strategist. I barely know the basic weaknesses. All my choices are based on how cute or endearing I find the design. With sometimes a nod to the fact that I might need a particular type in my party at some times.
Pokémon is many things to many people, and it's impossible to capture all of those angles in our writeups. Hopefully, the competitive angle is at least interesting to read about, and I strongly encourage discussion of the other aspects -- I didn't know about Pancham's evolution requirement!
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
My votes were 95% "fun to look at/say/pet" and 5% "bites things good". I will provide vital commentary by that metric.

Zapdos: Too pointy.
Quagsire: Too wet/squinty.
Pancham: A good dog, but it's unforgivable that he doesn't evolve into "Panchamp".
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Pokémon is many things to many people, and it's impossible to capture all of those angles in our writeups. Hopefully, the competitive angle is at least interesting to read about, and I strongly encourage discussion of the other aspects -- I didn't know about Pancham's evolution requirement!
Happy to learn how pros use their pokemon. It's something I know nothing about. But, I also won't be taking much of it into practice.
My votes were 95% "fun to look at/say/pet" and 5% "bites things good". I will provide vital commentary by that metric.

Zapdos: Too pointy.
Quagsire: Too wet/squinty.
Pancham: A good dog, but it's unforgivable that he doesn't evolve into "Panchamp".
Now, this? This is the good stuff!
 
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