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Top 50 Pokémon: Rainbow Rocket blasts off again!

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Also you have to ensure you're properly grounded.
Which is tough since it's also a Flying type.

My votes were 95% "fun to look at/say/pet" and 5% "bites things good".
My choices were (unevenly) split between "cute" and "rad" along with a scant few that I sort of considered both and one that I ultimately decided was more pretty* than anything else.

*But not in the "I was designed to appeal to furries" way.

Zapdos: Too pointy.
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I haven't played since red/Blue and don't really care about strategy that much. I'm more about aesthetic choices, cultural trivia and general goofiness.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
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49th (tie)
#038 Ninetales
Fox Pokémon
Fire
First Discovered: Kanto Region (Gen I, Red/Green/Blue)


Score: 52 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 7th (Issun)​

Pokédex said:
Legend has it that Ninetales came into being when nine wizards possessing sacred powers merged into one. This Pokémon is highly intelligent—it can understand human speech.

Oh, it’s Ninetales! Ninetales has been around since Kanto, of course, but it gained new relevance in Kalos with the addition of the Drought hidden ability, allowing it to create sunny weather when it switches in. It’s outshone by its Alolan cousin in modern competitive formats thanks to the latter’s Snow Warning ability combined with Aurora Veil, allowing it to halve all incoming damage for its team, but even the fiery original flavor has made it onto some VGC teams over the years. It faces some competition for that slot with Torkoal, which is by far the preferred Drought choice in formats where Groudon isn’t an option. When it’s not running Drought, Ninetales has Flash Fire, allowing it to absorb opponents’ Fire-type moves to boost its own.

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I don’t get it. How is this supposed to fit Archie's theme?

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Back when we only had Pokemon from Kanto in GO, Ninetails was a useful Fire attacker. There are much stronger Fire types now, but it gained new relevance in Battle League when it learned the spammy charge move Weather Ball, which paired with powerful closers like Overheat or curve-ball Grass type Solar Beam can make it a force to consider in some cup formats. … Also, everyone on Earth misspells its name “Ninetails”. I mean, look, there’s nine tails right there! Does that happen here too? Where the heck are we anyway?
 
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JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Nice and fluffy for hugs and pets, but entirely too many tails.

Also, everyone on Earth misspells its name “Ninetails”
What do you mean, that's not misspell--
*checks*
*checks again*
Well I'll be damned.
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Nice and fluffy for hugs and pets, but entirely too many tails.


What do you mean, that's not misspell--
*checks*
*checks again*
Well I'll be damned.

The best part is that Kirin also spelled it "Ninetails" earlier in that paragraph. I can't be sure whether that was intentional.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
The best part is that Kirin also spelled it "Ninetails" earlier in that paragraph. I can't be sure whether that was intentional.
I'll never tell.

... but I also noticed it's totally spelled wrong every time it appears in the vote tally spreadsheet.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
Oops, didn't realize this started already.

I had Quagsire at #21. Pretty silly now, but back when GSC came out, Quagsire (and Wooper) kind of blew my young mind — a water type that was immune to electric?? It made a very strong impression, and since it's actually pretty dang good, and it's been a mainstay in the Johto games for me ever since. But I wouldn't like it half as much if not for the dopey expression it has. The true dopefish.

Pancham didn't make it to my final list, but it was on my longlist, and survived a couple culls before losing out. It's a great design with tons of personality, and who doesn't like pandas? A standout in its generation, for sure. The only thing bad I can say about it is that it evolves into Pangoro, which is a markedly less endearing design — very self-seriously "cool".

Ninetales was under consideration but also didn't make it onto my submission. It's always fallen by the wayside for me: when I play a Kanto game, I tend to use choose a different fire type for my team. Still, I can see why it'd be someone else's choice. It's a nice, striking design.
 

Mogri

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


48th
#213 Shuckle
Mold Pokémon
Bug / Rock
First Discovered: Johto Region (Gen II, Gold/Silver)


Score: 54 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 3rd (conchobhar)​

Pokédex said:
The Berries it stores in its vase-like shell decompose and become a gooey liquid.

Oh, it’s Shuckle! Famous for its absolutely absurd Defense and Sp. Defense and rock-bottom other stats, any Shuckle build has to struggle with Shuckle’s total lack of offense. That often means Toxic stall, but there is no end to the possibilities with this oddball. In doubles formats, for example, you can have Shuckle’s partner set up Trick Room while Shuckle uses Power Trick to swap its defensive and offensive stats. On the following round, Shuckle will act first thanks to Trick Room and the lowest possible Speed stat in the game, and it can use its monstrous defensive stats to wreak havoc on the enemy team. (Of course, keeping Shuckle alive at that point is an exercise left to the reader.)

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The mere presence of Shuckle on this team suggests underhanded tactics, so naturally I can’t help but approve.

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Where I come from, we don’t have all this fancy Trick stuff, so our friend Shuckle here is pretty much relegated to meme status. It is a bit famous though as the *only* three-star raid that can’t be defeated by a solo trainer, as its insane defense stat will run out the raid timer before you can beat it - as they say, “Don’t F***le With Shuckle!”. Also the blue shiny is great, I named mine “Shuckleberry”.

Mogri said:
Probably the trolliest mon in the dex.
 
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JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Shuckle gets high points on the "fun to say" ranking, but has entirely too many holes. What comes out of those other holes? Nothing good, that's what.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Shuckle is a mold? I had no idea. I just thought he was a weird rock worm or something like that.
 

RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him + RT/artee)
well shucks. this Pokemon's stats sure make a hole in my strategy
 

Mogri

Round and round I go
(he)
Staff member
Moderator
Shuckle is a mold? I had no idea. I just thought he was a weird rock worm or something like that.
Now that you mention it, I'm not clear on whether that means "fungus" or "casting mold" -- but here's what I found:

Shuckle seems to be based on an endolith, an organism that lives inside porous rocks or animal shells. Given its category, the Mold Pokémon, Shuckle may be based on a fungus or mold variety of endolith. Its category could also allude to fungi such as cedar-apple rust, which bears a strong resemblance to Shuckle, or fungi-like slime molds.

Given its Bug typing, Shuckle may also draw inspiration from scale insects—small, shelled parasites that produce a sweet fluid called honeydew that attracts other insects. In particular, it may be based on the barnacle scale, with characteristics of actual barnacles. This species is part of the Coccidae family, also known as "tortoise scales", which may explain Shuckle's resemblance to a turtle or a tortoise. It could also be seen as a reference to the food fermentation process, with its Rock type alluding to the pottery used to store and ferment aliments in some cultures, and its Pokémon category referring to some fungi used in cultured foods.

Shuckle may also have been based on certain varieties of mollusk, as it shares some characteristics with them, including the shell, the muscular but limp-seeming feet, the use of acids to receive food or to break down obstacles, the liking for fermented foods, and living close to the water. Its worm-like aspect may also take inspiration from a nematode.

Shuckle may be a combination of shuck (husk) or shackle and barnacle or turtle.

Tsubotsubo may be derived from 壺 tsubo (jar) and 富士壺 fujitsubo (acorn barnacle).

The cedar-apple rust does indeed have tentacular appendages reminiscent of Shuckle. I think we're looking at some combination of creatures here, since the Rock half and the Bug half don't seem to share a common thread.
 
i have a feeling that the theme of this list for me will be "pokemon i like but cannot recall because i have so little experience with pokemon games". Quagsire was there, and this is another. Would probably be a favorite just on that entry, but i know nothing about it lol.
 
Except for my #1, my list was a random hodgepodge, and Ninetales was on there solely because I really like Okami.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
2rXk8Ww.png


44th (tie)
#114 Tangela
Vine Pokémon
Grass

First Discovered: Kanto Region (Gen I, Red/Green/Blue)

Score: 59 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 1st (Peklo)​

Pokédex said:
Hidden beneath a tangle of vines that grows nonstop even if the vines are torn off, this Pokémon's true appearance remains a mystery.

Archie’s final team member is the Vine Pokémon, Tangela. While Tangrowth might be the more competitive choice, Tangela has nearly identical defensive stats. Given that Tangela can use Eviolite, this gives it a niche as a physical wall. Tangela also has access to the Chlorophyll ability, which doubles its Speed in sunny weather, and Leaf Guard, which prevents Tangela from receiving status effects in the sun. All of this adds up to the makings of a strategy on Archie’s part, but we’ll have to see how that plays out in the tournament. He might well just go with the always-useful Regenerator instead, which recovers a third of Tangela’s HP when it switches out.

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I used a Tangela as an office plant for about six months. It disappeared. Never did find out what happened, but I sacked anyone who could have possibly been responsible.

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While Tangrowth (especially in its GO Rocket tainted Shadow form) is up there among the useful grass-type attackers for raids, I can’t say I’ve seen people using Tangela much. It has some decent moves that you might think would have potential in lower-CP league battles, but its mono-grass weaknesses keep it from excelling. Cute little bugger though. I hear someone had a favorite one named “Terry”.
 
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RT-55J

definitely not a robot
(He/Him + RT/artee)
a pokemon that is both entirely tubes, and an orb. truly a marvel of nature.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
We’ve just finished seeing Archie’s team of six. It’s time to meet our next challenger!

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No points for guessing it would be Maxie, the former leader of Team Magma. We can’t dunk on Archie without also mentioning that Maxie made the exact same mistake. At least Team Magma had a slightly more sensible end goal: with 75% of the planet already covered in water, we have to wonder why Team Aqua thought that wasn’t enough. Meanwhile, Team Magma only wanted to create more real estate, and in this economy? Can’t say I blame him, folks. Now, let’s see what he’s brought!

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44th (tie)
#212 Scizor
Pincer Pokémon
Bug / Steel

First Discovered: Johto Region (Gen II, Gold/Silver)

Score: 59 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 4th (Beta Metroid)

Pokédex said:
It uses its wings to adjust its body temperature. Otherwise, its metal body would become too hot and melt in the heat of battle.


It’s no surprise to see Scizor show up in a tournament like this. Scizor enjoyed a competitive presence in championships from its introduction up until 2018, whereupon its double weakness to Fire proved too much of a liability in formats where Incineroar reigned supreme. That’s not a concern for this tournament, where no Pokémon will appear on more than one team, so Scizor remains a threat with Bullet Punch boosted by Scizor’s Steel typing and Technician ability to become as strong as Take Down, except that Bullet Punch acts first. Many trainers opt for a bulkier Scizor with Roost and Swords Dance. If Maxie can remove his opponents’ Fire-type Pokémon before bringing it in, Scizor could very conceivably set up and sweep through the remainder of the team.

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A solid choice! I expect great things from Maxie.

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Scizor was an early source of good bug and steel damage back when we didn’t have many of those types around. We just got its Mega form, making it one of the most powerful bugs again. And uh, don’t tell Giovanni I said this, but it’s also pretty useful in battles against Go Rocket members, since it has moves like X-Scissors and Night Slash that come out super fast and can almost lock them down because they flinch when hit by charge moves.
 
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JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Scizor was my SO's partner Pokemon in Pokemon Go for like a year or two, so he loses points both for all of his photobombing and his stubborn refusal to acknowledge my living room floor as a flat, open space.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
Shuckle is so so so good. Instantly memorable due to its unique introduction in the games (in GSC, a guy gives you his Shuckle to keep it safe, after his other mons got stolen), it lives up to that promise thanks to its oddball concept as a combination turtle-mollusk-fungus and its goofy-looking design. That its stats give it wonderful trolling potential is the icing on the cake. Mogri mentioned the common Trick Room strategy, but I'm a wall/stall guy at heart, and Shuckle does better there.

Back on 2.0, @Tegan made a post showing off a truly evil Shuckle she made: knowing the moves Infestation, Shell Break, Toxic and Rest, with the Contrary ability. I saw it and I knew I needed to use it for myself. It does not disappoint.

The crux of the strategy is that Shell Break normally it lowers defence/special defence by two stages, but with Contrary, it instead raises them by two stages — allowing Shuckle to boost its already high defences to truly absurd levels. Infestation prevents opponents from switching out, so it's used to create an opportunity to set-up, and after Shuckle is sitting pretty at +6 Def/SpD, it can simply inflict Toxic and wait opponents out (topping up with Rest if need be — it's so sturdy the turns spent asleep is not really an issue). It takes a bit of luck to set up, but it's very effective once it gets going, and very, very good at pissing off your opponent (the true goal of any wall/stall strategy).

Scizor was another mon who made it onto my initial longlist but got whittled away. So I'm glad to see that it did make the list anyway! It was one of my favourite mons back in the day, and while I don't have the same affection for it now, I still think it is very cool.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
E4tyX5l.png


44th (tie)
#479 Rotom
Plasma Pokémon
Electric / Ghost

First Discovered: Sinnoh Region (Gen IV, Diamond/Pearl)

Score: 59 - Votes: 2 - Highest vote: 3rd (Torzelbaum)​

Pokédex said:
Research continues on this Pokémon, which could be the power source of a unique motor.

Oh! It’s Rotom! The advantage Rotom has in this tournament is unpredictability: Maxie could bring its basic Ghost form, but he’s more likely to have it possess an appliance, replacing its Ghost typing with Fire, Water, Ice, Flying, or Grass. Historically, the Water-type Wash form has been the most popular followed closely by the Grass-type Mow, but Maxie has never been able to resist a Fire-type Pokémon, and the Heat form has seen a surge in popularity in this year’s championships compared to its cousins. All Rotoms come with the Levitate ability, negating what could otherwise be their primary weakness, and each of the forms has its own move that the others can’t move, such as Hydro Pump for the Wash form.

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₽1000 says he uses the oven.

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Over in GO, Rotom is super rare! Only two forms, Wash and Mow, have ever been seen, and only at special events. In fact, the latter was only released at in-person events in Berlin, Seattle, and Sapporo this year. It may see use in certain restricted GBL cup formats, but mostly it’s just known for high trade value due to its scarcity. Man, if I could catch it in Heat form after the tournament and take it back I’d be a celebrity! …..Challenging Maxie is probably a bad idea though, huh.

Mogri said:
What if your household appliances were haunted? Great concept.
 
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