Pokémon Sun and Moon: Starter Evolutions!


Let us briefly sum up the emotional rollercoaster we went on while we watched the trailer:

Yay-Shit-Yay-Shit-Yaaaaay-shit-yay-aw, son of a Bibarrel!

To say we’re conflicted is putting it mildly. This is a pretty great trailer, telling us a lot without spoiling it completely and even giving us a date for the upcoming demo. That being said, there’s also some things we found to be a bit disappointing.

We love the designs for our starter evolutions, that really isn’t the problem. The middle stage of the starter evolutions is typically the awkward stage. Often at least one of them looks a little stupid in the first evolution. Naturally, people are divided on the designs for these evolutions as well, but we actually think they all still look pretty great.

Let’s start off with Rowlet, which evolves into Dartrix. It keeps its grass/flying typing and, of course, the ability Overgrow. Some people have complained that the odd hair tuft/feather makes Dartrix look emo, but we kind of love this design. It makes him look like a prissy teenager and it adds a lot of character.


“Ladies. don’t touch the hair.” – Dartrix, 2016

Its official description actually more or less confirms this, as it talks about how it’s obsessed with its appearance and a bit snobbish. As we’ve seen it use mainly physical moves, we suspect this will be the physical attacker of the starter trio.

Next is Litten which, thank Arceus, has an evolved form that’s still on all fours. People have been very much against Litten evolving into something that would stand on two feet, so we’re still good for now. Torracat keeps the pure fire typing and Blaze ability. It’s design is probably the most predictable of the three, though some may have expected a more lean design. We kinda like the bell-like flame sac at its neck.


Please don’t become Fire/Fighting, please don’t become Fire/Fighting, please don’t become Fire/Fighting!

Worryingly, there’s a reason for Torracat’s slightly bulky design. It’s official description mentions it being incredibly strong, which might suggest it gains the fighting type in its final evolution. Suffice to say that this would not be a move the fans would welcome. However, there is still hope. The Litten line has mainly been shown using special attacks so far, so it might still be the special sweeper of the starter trio, which makes a secondary fighting type unlikely.

Remember, Gamefreak are not above trolling us. For X and Y they showed Fennekin using a punch-like move too, before it was revealed it evolved into a Fire/Psychic-type.

Lastly, we of course come to Popplio’s evolution. Brionne keeps the water typing and Torrent ability and gains…eh…a dress. Design wise, it seems to have gone from an acrobat to a dancer, which it’s official description confirms. It’s certainly still the weird one of the trio, but it looks pretty cute.


If it doesn’t get Fairy-type in it’s final evolution, we’ll be very surprised.

Brionne’s role is a little harder to guess. Considering the Rowlet and Litten lines seem more like they’ll be sweepers, there’s a good chance the Popplio line will end up as bulky special attackers, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The question remains, though, what about the secret the starter supposedly share with Rockruff? We’ve recently learned that Rockruff’s evolution has two forms, with the midday form being exclusive to Sun, while the midnight form is exclusive to Moon.

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Giving the final evolutions of the starters a separate form for each game feels a bit unfair, so we hope that’s not what they share with Rockruff. However, it could still be that the starters evolve differently depending on whether it’s night or day. We’ll have to wait and see.

We also saw more of the new feature, Pokémon Refresh. It’s basically an extended version of Pokémon Amii, meaning you can still pet and feed your Pokémon, but you can now even cure status conditions like poison or paralysis through this feature. It’s got a bit more of a focus on actually caring for your Pokémon by brushing and cleaning them.

Some Pokémon even have specific animations if you try to pet them somewhere they don’t like. Don’t touch Dartrix’s hair or Litten’s flame sac, for example.

Dartrix Shock.png

How dare you?!

Another new feature is the festival plaza. You can interact with other players here through Wi-Fi or play mini games, both of which earn you festival coins. Among other things, these coins can be used to enter your Pokémon in courses that will boost their EV’s.

It seems like an interesting addition, but we’re more excited about the new Poké Pelago. We’ve all felt a bit bad about leaving Pokémon in the box for ages when we no longer needed them. Well, now there’s something they can do.

The Poké Pelago allows you to do special things with the Pokémon in your box on a number of islands. Some will be available right away, but others will be locked until you’ve developed the right island or facilities. So far, we know you can attract wild Pokémon, send your boxed Pokémon to find items like evolution stones and even level up.

Poké Pelago.png

Actually, screw our Pokémon, can we vacation here?

It seems like a really cool feature and we can’t wait to explore the possibilities.

The trailer also showed off the new animation for mega evolutions, though we doubt this means we’ll get new ones. The Alolan forms are really taking centre stage for these games, so they probably won’t want to throw new mega evolutions at us as well. It even says we’ll ‘relive’ mega evolution, so temper your expectations there.

Finally, the part of the trailer we both loved and freaking hated. On October 18th, the demo for Sun and Moon will be released and there’s a special Pokémon in it which can be transferred to the actual games later.




We’ve already mentioned how we hate everything about Ash-Greninja from the very concept  to the design and the fact that nobody would shut up about it. Well, it’s in the game now, and somehow still called Ash-Greninja in a universe where Ash does not exist.

It’s ability, Battle Bond, means Greninja can only access this form after beating an opponent’s Pokémon. It’s currently not entirely clear what changes this form will bring to Greninja in terms of stats or ability, though we expect a boost in special attack and speed.

Much as we hate Ash-Greninja, the rest of the trailer was pretty great and we can’t wait to give the demo a try. What do you guy think of the starter evolutions? Are you as annoyed as we are about Ash-Greninja? Let us know in the comments!

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