SOME NEW FACES (AND SOME OLD ONES)
Well, another Pokémon Sun and Moon trailer dumped a load of info in our laps a few days ago. We actually hadn’t talked about two older trailers yet and we do want to address at least part of those. We’re once again splitting the article in two, with one this part talking about the Pokémon and the second part talking about some mechanics we’ve seen and the recently revealed Team Skull.
That being said, we’re not talking about all Pokémon from the last few trailers. We’ll mention those that stood out to us from the older trailers and focus on the new Pokémon in the most recent trailer, the CoroCoro magazine leak and the Alolan forms.
If you want to skip right to the gameplay features, you can find part 2 here. If not, let’s talk Pokémon!
Two Pokémon in the older trailers that stood out to us were Comfey, a fairy-type with an interesting ability, and Oricorio, who’s typing is a bit more complicated.
Comfey would be a cute, though unremarkable fairy-type if not for its ability of Triage. This gives complete priority to any move that restores HP, like rest, synthesis or recover. This could make Comfey a really, really annoying Pokémon to stall your opponents to death with in competitive play.
Oricorio has 4 different forms, with one found on each island, and can be either Flying/Fire, Flying/Electric, Flying/Ghost or Flying/Psychic. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but at least it’s a gimmick with impact on the gameplay and the designs neatly represent the style of dancing that inspired them.
Speaking of which, Oricorio’s ability is pretty cool too. Dancer can copy the effects of any dance-based move used by an opponent. If your opponent uses quiver dance or swords dance to boost their stats, you get the same increase.
In the newest trailer we were introduced to three new Pokémon, namely, Morelull (Grass/Fairy), Pyukumuku (Water) and Wishiwashi (Water).
Morelull is, as far as we can see, an incredibly boring Pokémon with nothing too remarkable.
Pyukumuku’s not great either, but it has an ability that’s worth talking about. Innards Out is much like Aftermath in that it does damage when a Pokémon with that ability faints, but Innards Out does damage based on how much HP it had before it fainted. This could make it a dangerous opponent to take out in a single hit.
CoroCoro magazine actually introduced us to Wishiwashi, but the trailer showed its ability Schooling in action. The first ability to be based on a Pokémon’s level, once Wishiwashi reaches a certain level it can take on its more powerful ‘School form’. The trailer shows this happening at level 50, but it’s not clear if that is indicative of the minimum required level. If Wishiwashi lose too much HP, it returns to its weaker form.
Wishiwashi will probably be tricky to raise, but it’s a cool concept and this might have earned it a spot on our team, once the games come out.
CoroCoro magazine also introduced the Pre-evolution of Bewear, currently named Nuikoguma, and a ground/ghost-type named Sunaba which evolves into a Pokémon of the same type named Shirodesuna. We don’t know too much about them yet, but hopefully we’ll learn more in future trailers.
The big news in the trailers were the Alolan forms, though. Rumors were going around that we’d been seeing old Pokémon with something new, but we hadn’t realized it would be quite like this.
First up are Sandshrew and Sandslash, who have become Steel/Ice types with the Snow Cloak ability.
The bad news here is that Sandslash is intended to be a Tank, rather than a sweeper and this new typing is not great for that. However, they look really great and there’s a chance that their stats will have been changed too. We’ll have to wait and see.
Next up are Vulpix (Now an Ice type) and Ninetales (An Ice/Fairy type).
Again, we love the design here. Vulpix looks very cute in white and Nintetales looks more majestic than ever. Sadly, this isn’t all good news either. The only reason anyone had to have a Ninetales on their team was its Drought ability. Instead of giving it the ice equivalent of Snow Warning, Vulpix and Ninetales go the far less useful Snow Cloak.
Again, maybe the stats will change too, but if it can’t function as a weather summoner, it sort of loses its main use.
And then there’s Exeggutor. This one we just plain don’t get. The design made us smile, although we don’t get what was particularly draconic about a palm tree, but why make it a dragon/grass type? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!
Not only is this typing useless, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. If there is an Alolan form for Exeggcute, it wasn’t revealed in this trailer. If there’s not, a Grass/Psychic type now evolves into a Grass/Dragon type for some reason. Sure, type changes between evolutions happen, but this one just seems really random.
CoroCoro had already leaked the fact that Meowth and Marowak were getting Alolan forms, but the trailers surprised us with an Alolan version of Raichu. This is probably the most attention Gamefreak has paid Pikachu’s underappreciated evolution in decades.
Meowth has gone from a Normal-type to a Dark-type, but its design is actually sort of lame. It just looks like someone spray-painted a Meowth grey and told it to look sassy. It retains its abilities of Pickup and Technician.
Marowak, on the other hand, looks amazing. It’s gone from a Ground-type to a Ghost/Fire-type and looks exactly like the avenging spirit it was meant to be. It retains its ability Lightningrod, but also gets a new one in Cursed Body. We doubt this will suddenly make it a great Pokémon, but it’s still a cool change.
Raichu keeps its Electric typing, but also gets Psychic typing with its Alolan form and looks kind of like it spent way too long out in the sun. It does look cute riding its tail though. So the design and typing are fine, but what about its new ability Surge Surfer?
…Well, fuck. It can never be all sunshine and rainbows for Raichu, can it? Surge Surfer doubles speed if Electric Terrain is in effect. Not only is Electric Terrain pretty useless in and of itself and summoning it is pretty much a waste of a turn, did Raichu really need a speed boost? Its already pretty damned fast and could probably have benefitted more from something that raised its special attack or Levitate.
We love the concept of the Alolan forms. It’s a great way to breathe some new life in old Pokémon we’d probably never have considered for our team otherwise. However, it’s not without its possible downsides.
The size of the generation has many people concerned after how small the sixth generation was and how many Pokémon of that generation were revealed before launch. There weren’t many new Pokémon left to discover. Some blamed this on the fact that this was the generation that introduced Mega Evolution, which took time out of designing actual new Pokémon.
Could Alolan forms do the same thing for this generation? Possibly. Keep in mind that, at time of writing, around 36 new Pokémon have been revealed. If it’s a generation of 100 – 151 Pokémon, that leaves plenty to discover. If it’s as small as the 6th generation was, we’ve already seen about half of this generation.
It does raise the question of whether we’d rather see new forms of old Pokémon or entirely new ones from this generation. Much as we like the idea of Alolan forms, we are leaning a bit towards entirely new Pokémon.
Naturally the Alolan forms don’t have to limit the number of entirely new Pokémon…but we’re a bit worried.
Another concern we have is displayed best in the latest Japanese trailer seen below.
It shows an evolution animation, followed by the introduction of Marowak’s and Raichu’s Alolan forms. The problem? The Pokémon shown to be evolving are a regular Cubone and Pikachu and in the trailer that introduced Alolan Exeggutor, it was a regular Exeggcute.
This could mean one of two things. In the best case scenario, they showed the standard Pokémon evolving because they didn’t want to show off their Alolan forms yet. It should be noted that the trailer cut to the Alolan Marowak and Raichu being sent out and didn’t show Cubone and Pikachu actually evolving into them.
In the worst case scenario, this means some Pokémon simply don’t get an Alolan form, even when they evolve into Pokémon who do have one. That would be both incredibly lame and impressively lazy. The fact that complete evolution lines with Alolan forms exist, like Vulpix and Ninetales, could mean that this is not the case, though.
We honestly hope were worried about nothing on both accounts, but who knows? Anyway, that’s it for the Pokémon. How you like the new guys and the new forms of the old guys? Let us know in the comments!
Remember, part 2 talks mostly about new features and the recently revealed Team Skull, so click here if you want to read that.