Which Pokemon is the best?


You can’t all say Stunfisk

We’re just a few short days away from the launch of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the last two mainline Pokémon games to appear on a dedicated handheld console. Yes this Friday millions of people around the world will be popping in one of the two games and starting what I can only imagine is a 25-hour tutorial where everybody in Alola treats you like a coma patient who just awoke to find out Pokémon are real and ready to battle for your amusement like the sicko you are.

Over the course of however many generations there have been, we’ve been introduced to more than 700 different Pokémon. Some are good, some bad, one is just a set of keys that made it past quality control somehow. Though I guess Klefki is better than the minstrel show Pokémon. Of course, better than both of those and every other little dogfighter in the series is Delibird.

The Santa Claus Pokémon, I remember when I first caught her on route 217 of Pokémon Platinum. I was nearing the point I would stop playing to move onto another game, but when I saw this bearded bird threw out presents, I kept at it for another few hours. Maybe it was the fact it was the dead of summer and I needed any reason to think cool, but I wanted this little reminder of Christmas in my party.

Was she a liability? Yes, she was. Against the final four, she was utterly useless but I didn’t care. I had five other Pokémon that could carry the weight. She was there just for me and all the sweet TMs I could teach her. So feel free to skip the rest of this dumb list with their dumb answers to “Which Pokémon is the best?” because none of them, and I mean none of them, can hold a candle to Delibird. Not even the Pokémon that is a candle.

Peter Glagowski

I’m definitely approaching this from a way too analytical viewpoint, but if we’re going to name a creature as the absolute best Pokémon, wouldn’t Arceus be it? It is literally the god of creation within that series, so how could anything be stronger? Arceus can also change its type based on Z-Crystals, so it can have the upper hand in practically any given situation. What more could you ask for?

Chris Carter

I feel like I’ve said this a lot over the years, but Zapdos is probably the best Pokémon in existence. He’s always been the best from the start, and he’s still relevant today with his new appearance in Pokémon Go.

He’s pretty much got it all — a good kit, an actual reason to be hanging around a place where you catch him (a power plant makes so much more sense than a random cave), silly looking drumstick legs, and eyeliner. The combo of flight and paralysis also makes for a nice way to play mind games with your opponent!

ShadeOfLight

I don’t understand how this can happen. This is the easiest question CJ has ever asked, and yet we still get a bunch of wrong answers. CJ even managed to give a blatantly wrong answer to his own question. I mean Delibird, of all things? Just…why?

No, the best Pokémon ever is Crystal clear and has been since Red & Blue.

Eevee is the most adorable thing ever conceived. I mean, look at him. The large ears, bushy collar, and a face that screams “pet me!”; it doesn’t get much cuter. Foxes are adorable, to begin with, but Eevee just gives it that bit of extra d’awww. If Eevee existed in real life, we would have achieved world peace by now. 

But cuteness isn’t the only thing that makes Eevee the greatest pocket monster. He’s also utterly unique for having the most evolutions out of the entire pokéline-up. Eight in total, each with their own strengths, and each cooler than the last. You could make an entire team out of just Eeveelutions, and it wouldn’t be half bad. Vapereon, Espeon, Sylveon, even Leafeon: I love everything that Eevee has to offer. 

Combining versatility with totes adorbsiness, Eevee has been the Pokémon to beat for over 20 years, and he’s not giving up the title anytime soon.

Darren Nakamura

Shade is correct. It’s Eevee.

Marcel Hoang

I take Pokémon very seriously. I could list Pokémon which are my favorite like Aggron or Pokémon who are the strongest or have the easiest time in battle like Tapu Koko. But with a question which Pokémon is the best, I decided to put the statement to a more utilitarian thought. Celebi is the best.

Why?

It can travel through time.

Time travel breaks the rules of convention. Biff didn’t take over the city in Back To The Future through smart asset management and daring real estate sales. He stole a time machine. It helps that Pokémon are judged either to be cool or cute and Celebi falls in line with the classic spritely legendary design. But that’s beside the point. Celebi can time travel so it can do whatever the hell it wants. Hell, it can prevent the birth of the Pokémon it’s battling. Grass/Psychic isn’t a great typing but the cover Pokémon is Delibird so we’re obviously not worried about battle mechanics.

Chris Moyse

When first asked who was the best Pokémon, I immediately leapt to one true answer: Gardevoir. Then I became torn when I remembered how much I love Jigglypuff’s habit of singing you to sleep, then drawing on your face, actions which I am likely to do to you myself.

But in the end, when it comes to the Pokémon that I connect with best, let’s face it, it’s Gothitelle. We have similar social demeanor, same facial expression, fondness for black attire, dead eyes, psychic abilities, the works. Besides, in her Pokédex entry, it is said that she can warp the very space around her, ultimately distorting the whole of reality in the process. If that isn’t an accurate description of me on a lazy Sunday, nothing is.

Is Gothitelle best Pokémon? Ehh, perhaps not, but I gotta fly the flag for my favourite gloomy gal.

Rich Meister

If you told me years ago that when asked this question I would choose a Pokemon numbered at 701 in the Pokedex, I’d call you a crazy person, but somehow between creating a living trash bag and an ice cream cone, the perfect Pokemon was born.

The clear answer is Hawlucha. He’s a fucking bird and a luchador. Sure, Pikachu put on a luchador mask once and it was adorable, but only Hawlucha understands that Lucha Libre life. This flying fighting type has pinned my cold heart.

Bass

Pokémon Black and White were, as cool kids already know, pretty h*cking sweet. Exploring a Pokémon region that was fresh and mysterious, without being able to rely on the usual crutches like Alakazam and Gengar, felt to me like what the series had needed for a while.

In my journey to find a new team of critters, without any idea of what the future held, I took a gamble with the little sand crocodile Sandile. Lemme tell you, what a beast it turns out to become! Look at these sick shades! Look at that attitude! And with Moxie, it packs quite a punch too.

And since newer games haven’t tried the whole “lots of new monsters to collect” concept yet, Krookodile was added to my pile of crutches. The end.

Jonathan Holmes

Pichu won’t beat you most of the time, but when Pichu beats you, you’ll lose your mind.

Salvador G-Rodiles

You know a Pokémon is destined to be great when its name begins with a term that’s used to describe an extreme level of manliness. Whether you refer to it as Garchomp or Gaburias, its title shows that it has one heck of a bite.

Considering that it’s a hammerhead shark fused with a dragon, I fell in love with its design from the moment I encountered it in Pearl. Other than that, there’s something nice about using a creature with a face that’s likely a shout-out to the fighter planes with shark-faced nose art.

 

Josh Tolentino

I can’t believe everyone forgot Jibanyan!

Dennis Carden

If someone travelled back in time and told a childhood version of myself that by the time I hit my early 20’s, one of my favourite Pokémon will be what looks like a terrible Pikachu cosplay with a face that was clearly scribbled in with a couple of Crayolas, I would probably have responded with a confused expression and a somewhat-justified “…what?”

Yet here we are.

Mimikyu is easily the most pleasant surprise to come out of Pokémon Sun and Moon. It is perhaps the most adorably creepy Pokémon to ever be conjured up by the minds at Game Freak, and its backstory is so tragically sweet that it just makes me want to snuggle it forever. It is essentially a small ghost that fashioned itself a crude Pikachu outfit out of a desire to make friends with other Pokémon. In its own sad and pitiable way, that’s adorable.

To put it simply, Mimikyu is a Mimikyutie. Yes, that pun was terrible. No, I will not apologize for it. Please don’t judge me.

To go alongside its sheer cuteness, it’s a surprisingly formidable Pokémon in battle. This is thanks to its excellent typing and its unique ability, Disguise, which allows it to take one free hit (although status conditions and stat drops still count). Because of this ability, Mimikyu has found itself a near-permanent place in my party and has helped me out in far too many situations to count.

Mimikyu a Pokémon that’s both great in-game and is pretty damn cute. What’s not to love about it?

Pixie The Fairy

The best pokémon is Farfetch’d. It wields an onion leek like a sword, but only as needed as it knows the blade is not a toy. It only uses the weapon if it means to strike.

It wanders the land with its loyal, obedient Pokémon trainer, dispensing justice upon evildoers and returning peace to the villages it happens upon. Some see this majestic creature as a knight, but in truth, it is a noble samurai that only seeks to better understand the Way.

Its journey is endless and its companion, the trainer, seems to have a low attention span, stopping to make poffins, oogling at the nurse in each PokéCenter, watching pageants and dragging the Farfetch’d into countless misadventures.

But the Farfetch’d is a patient creature. It knows the mastery of its art is an endless endeavor and there is more than one way to the top of a mountain, even if the trainer insists there is only one route.

Patrick Hancock

Man, it’s really hard just to pick one of these guys. I mean, there’s all the Gen 1 starters, Vulpix, Ludicolo, Gloom, Ampharos…the list of really cool Pokémon is way too long.

So I pick Ditto.

Ditto is the best because he can be whatever you want him to be! Even without transforming, he’s an adorable pink wibble wobble. He’s what I call “cute goo,” unlike Muk and Grimer who are “not cute goo.” I’ve always had an affinity for Pokémon with unique abilities (and yes, I’m aware Mew gets Transform). Ditto, Smeargle and Chatot are definitely some of my favorites for this reason alone. But Ditto was the first; he immediately caught my attention and I love the somewhat random aspect of having him on the team — what will the opponent have and will it be worth it to transform into it? The answer is almost always no, but that’s okay! I still love you Ditto.

Nick Valdez

nice

Wes Tacos

As a kid I never really got into Pokémon outside of finding a stray card in the gutter on my street. I don’t even remember which Pocket Monster I found, only that I had finally obtained my first card. I put it in my wallet, and never looked at it again.

Pokémon are cool enough. They range from cute to fierce and have some pretty interesting evolutions that really help to sell the idea of catching them all. The problem is, as the generations went on the good designs got taken up, resulting in some later Pokémon being a bit derivative at best, absolutely stupid at worst. While the series definitely hit a nadir with the one that’s basically a key ring, the one I can’t get out of my head is Chandelure. 

…it’s a chandelier. It’s a ghost-type Pokémon that, uh, haunts dinner parties? Flickers when you least expect it? Has really sharp edges so when you try to light the candles you get a little cut on the tip of your finger and it makes it uncomfortable to type? Dude, I have no clue. It’s such a dumb and silly design that I can’t help but actually kinda like it, if for nothing else than its sheer audacity to be a chandelier. 

…it’s a chandelier.

*****

Now, because there are just so many Pokémon to choose from, we opened up this up once more to the Destructoid Community to see if they could come up with the right answer of Delibird. None of them did, but I guess these answers aren’t that bad.

 

Pumpkin Spice Fuzunga: I like Inkay, the “fuck you” Pokemon. There are plenty of other Pokemon I could pick in terms of design, although I do like Inkay’s, but I pick him because of his usage in battle.

Let me tell you a little something about this guy. First of all, it has an unique ability called “contrary” which switches the effects of stat-altering moves. That means when the opponent tries to lower your stats, it will raise them instead. But that’s not all! Inkay can also learn a move called “topsy-turvy” which reverses all of the target’s stat changes.

So if the opponent has been buffing their attack or defense, “topsy-turvy” will plunge them into the negatives. My strategy with Inkay was to have it know “topsy-turvy” and three damage-dealing moves, then I just sat back and watched the magic happen as my opponents unintentionally raised my stats while I lowered theirs and ripped them a new one with psybeam.

Gortexfogg:The greatest has to be magikarp because he entirely fails at being a Pokémon. He is just a fish, a simple carp. It is that irony that sets him apart as the greatest.

lordxmugen: NOCTOWL!! While its still a tie for me between Noctowl and Decidueye, I’m gonna go with the owl because Johto generation is still the best gen in the series. I mean its based on one of my favorite birds (owls) and its also a psychic type, which is just super freaking strong! I mean just look at this majestic beast!! And its shiny is a literal GOLDEN BIRD! GOLD!!

GoofierBrute: I’m going to say Jolteon.

Yeah, it’s been outclassed by Umbreon and Slyveon, and there are better Electric types out there (though not that many), but in the early years of Pokemon Blue, me and buddy Spiny (which is what I named my Jolteon) ripped everyone to shreds during those early years, and was a life saver against those Psychic types, who were the real OP Pokemon in Gen 1, thanks to its Pin Missle attack.

Dephoenix: How has no one said the obvious answer yet? Ditto. It’s ALL of the Pokémon. It is therefore the best and worst Pokémon simultaneously. Seriously, why has it taken this long for someone to point this out?

LaTurkey: My favorite is and has always been Charizard, but I feel like that’s cheating and/or a cop out. Instead, I’ll go for the best non legendary Dragon Type Pokemon Hydreigon. It’s a three headed dragon that can’t control itself, and if it’s possible to catch a Dieno in any Pokémon game I always make sure to do so. And yes, I am aware that all a Sylveon has to do is glance in Hydreigon’s direction to kill it. I am aware.

[Tyrant] Rico Penguin: The correct answer is Haunter. I don’t make the rules, I just live by them.

Samhain: It’s a tough choice between Arcanine and Gengar for me but I’ll go Gengar because I like his whole evolutionary line.

Avoclefo:Spoink, baby.

When Spoink bounces, her heart beats. When Spoink stops bouncing, her heart stops beating and she dies. Death is looming at every second of the day, and Spoink can never take a break if she wants to survive. Yet despite this, Spoink’s main concern is whether or not she can find something round to put on her head. Apparently pearls help power up her psychic moves, which is why she constantly searches for a bigger one. Somehow this is her main concern. Spoink marches to her own tempo. She’s just as positive and resolute as she is adorable. She deals with the constant, inescapable suffering by focusing on what makes her happy. She knows what’s at stake, yet she still pushes forward with a smile.

Spoink is the epitome of Pokémon.

D-Volt: The greatest Pokémon (and my personal favorite) is Dunsparce. Sure, Dunsparce isn’t the strongest Pokémon. Anything he can do there are lots of other Pokémon that can do better. And he’s pretty often disrespected (So much so that in the Pokémon episode The Dunsparce Deception Misty mistakenly calls one a Bug type when they are in fact Normal types). But Dunsparce lives life the way he wants to: Eating, sleeping, and bringing joy to the faces of young children. I admire that.

I wear a Dunsparce pin I bought at the Hiroshima Pokémon Center on my backpack everyday to remind me to take life at my own pace and not to worry about not standing out.

Agni:Im not going to say Gardevoir this time, because my actual favorite Pokémon is (and has been ever since) Muk.

maycausecancer: Koffing. Despite being a giant ball that shoots toxic gas, he’s so happy.
I can’t help but but smile when I look at him. All problems float away when looking at his shit eating grin. Just don’t evolve it. It becomes a creepy, horrible, sad, abomination when you do.

RocketKnight: Bidoof is the best because bidoof has a big bushy body and a face that could chew off other Pokemon faces and has been lighting up my world for the past ten years since it was first in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl which are the best Pokémon games so therefore bidoof is the best and the only other good one is bibarel because it is like a bidoof on PCP that would try to chew its own face off if it could but back to the point and that point is that bidoof has a big body which would comfort me when I needed it the most and would fight off Mike from trying to touch my parts which he has tried to do at least five times now goddammit stop it Mike.

Agent9: Ampheros in my book. Barring the obvious favorites I love the general design of Ampheros. He went from a sheep to a weird kangaroo dragon and I love it. His mega for is also fantastic, or perhaps fabulous is the word.

I do play competitively but I’ll still run Ampheros (spoilers he sucks competitively), simply because he looks so damn awesome and has my favorite electric move, zap cannon.

*****

Those are some nice, second place answers. Better luck next time Destructoid community and staff but there is no Pokémon better than Delibird, no matter what former staff members say!


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