Hello Internet! The new Pokemon games Sun and Moon came out a while ago, and I got Pokemon Moon. It’s a blast to play, and the game is so beautiful. I could write a whole post about the graphics, but that’s not what I’m here for. Instead, this is a post about new Pokemon that I very much love, both design and competitive wise.
As a side note, there were many mechanic changes to the new generation, such as new Alola forms, stat changes, new abilities, new type combos, and Z-moves. Some I like, such as Alolan Ninetales, Raichu, and Marowak, a viable Electric/Fairy type (two of my favorite types) and terrains (Electric, Grassy, Misty, and Psychic) gaining immense viability thanks to the Tapus. And some just stink, like Thunder Wave’s decreased accuracy, burns taking away 1/16 health (so Scald just got merged), and Gale Wings getting nerfed. I was actually thinking of doing a whole post complaining about the nerfs. Ugh.
So without further ado, here are my favorite gen 7 Pokemon!
Primarina– When I first saw the starters, I immediately wanted Rowlet, as many others did. I thought Popplio looked sweet, but I hated Litten because I’m allergic to cats. But Rowlet was absolutely adorable. When their middle evolutions were released, I hated Brionne and still like Rowlet’s line. I was so sure that I wanted Rowlet…until the final evolutions were released. Decidueye is fantastic, and if Primarina wasn’t as pretty I definitely would have chosen Rowlet. But Primarina is so, so gorgeous. It has a beautiful color scheme and a mermaid foundation. The starfish in its hair is a subtle but nice touch. I have never really like seals or sea lions, but Primarina has changed my opinion.Primarina also takes inspiration from opera singers, as shown by its signature move Sparkling Aria, its hidden ability Liquid Voice, and its Z-move Oceanic Operetta.
From a competitive standpoint, Primarina has a great Water/Fairy typing, which is excellent offensively and defensively, as shown by Azumarill. This lets it check Mega Charizard X, Manaphy lacking Energy Ball (and AV variants can take an +3 Energy Ball), and even Pheromosa. It has a high 126 Special Attack and excellent 116 Special Defense. It also has a wide movepool that can rival Manaphy’s, with Energy Ball, Psychic, and Ice Beam; Energy Ball hits opposing Waters, Psychic hits the ever so annoying Mega Venusaur and Toxapex, and Ice Beam hits Grass types. With a Choice Specs equipped, it can become a fearsome wallbreaker which nothing can counter except for highly defensive Pokemon (think Mega Venusaur, Toxapex, Chansey). With an Assault Vest, it is weaker, but can deal with very powerful special attackers like Tapu Lele, Manaphy, and Scarf Pheromosa.
I know that you Rowlet and Litten fans are raring up to argue for your starter, and I’m okay with that. I don’t want a useless argument about which starter is the best. However, I will explain why Primarina is the best of the bunch (competitively. I think Decidueye looks cooler)This does not mean I will compare them 1v1, because that is a terrible way of comparing Pokemon.
- Let’s be honest, Decidueye is weak without a boosting item (100 ish attacking stats are not going to get you very far without serious benefits, as seen with Latias losing popularity) and even with one there are better Grass type attackers like Breloom and Serperior. Primarina has comparable Special Attack to Keldeo and Latios.
- So, Decidueye is confined to a defensive role, and it’s not bad at it, with Roost, the ability to check Water types, and 2 immunities, and it has a favorable matchup against all of the Tapus, Keldeo, and Breloom. However, Grass/Ghost is a pretty bad defensive typing, being weak to Fire, Dark, Flying, and so on. All of these are very common. Furthermore, it has very low Defense, which lets a powerful Knock Off easily OHKO it. And for a defensive Pokemon, Decidueye is slow, which forces it to take a blow before moving.
- To be honest though, Decidueye is really good. I used it on a Magearna team and although it doesn’t warrant an entry on this list, Decidueye puts in a lot of work. So…it’s a tie. Primarina=Decidueye.
- Once again, Incineroar is pretty weak. 115 Attack is good, but it’s just not enough. Yes, slapping a Choice Band or a Life Orb will help significantly with the damage output, but that leads me to my next point…
- Fire/Dark is an awful defensive typing. Weak to Stealth Rock, weak to Ground, weak to Water. And Incineroar’s defenses are nothing to write home about. It is also incredibly slow, and Choice Scarf will not help anything with just 60 Speed, especially because (a) that heavily cripples Incineroar’s damage output and (b) anything above 115 Speed can outspeed it, and that includes Tapu Koko, which can revenge kill.
Both of the issues I just covered go through the (a) poor damage output and (b) bad typing. Primarina does not suffer from either of these.
Sadly, Primarina is not perfect. To start, its Defense is pretty bad, so very powerful physical moves can deal heavy damage. Next, Primarina is sloooooowwww. 61 Speed, while it is just above the common base 60s like Incineroar and Magnezone, is still very low. Finally, Assault Vest Primarina is worn down extremely quickly by hazards and status, as well as having no recovery. All in all, I am so, so happy that we have another usable starter, and a beautiful one at that.
Pikipek– It’s a chibi… woodpecker? I’m not sure what this is. Here’s something that I adore the design of more than anything. Pikipek is by far the most adorable early-game bird, followed somewhat closely by Fletchling. It has a head that is literally the same size as its body, and its little wings, adorable cry, and sweet color scheme made me fall in love with this little bird. Seriously, Google it.
Pikipek also shows a lot of promise in LC. With Fletchling’s nerf, there’s been less competition for an offensive Flying type, and Pikipek, along with its comrades Rufflet and Doduo have risen into the spotlight. While Doduo has really been buffed thanks to its getting Jump Kick and Swords Dance, Pikipek has a wide movepool including Bullet Seed (and Skill Link to match!), Brave Bird, Flame Charge, Swords Dance, and even Brick Break, so there are few things that can completely wall it, if any. Pikipek is also fast, so it makes a good late-game cleaner. Too bad Toucannon isn’t worth using in OU.
Tsareena- Tsareena is an interesting case. Firstly, it is a physical Grass type. Secondly, it has access to a variety of strange coverage. Lastly, it has Rapid Spin. With the latter, Tsareena becomes an excellent utility attacker. But first, Tsareena has a gorgeous design. I was wondering when pink and green would come together in a Pokemon, and Tsareena can execute that perfectly. Its design is very reminiscent of Lilligant and Roserade to an extent. Tsareena has the same “dress” thing as Lilligant, and a crown. Its name has “tsar” in it, which is a Russian monarch, and I think that really fits its royal nature.
Competitively, Tsareena will likely be UU or RU material, but I really do hope it will have a niche in OU. It can take down most hazard setters bar Skarmory and/or Landorus-T. In terms of non-Pokebank OU, Tsareena can do well. Its cool move Trop Kick has a decent 70 BP and a 100% chance to lower Attack, allowing it to stop physical Ground types. Also, Tsareena has odd coverage moves in High Jump Kick and Play Rough, which is interesting. Why, GF, did you not make this thing Grass/Fighting or Grass/Fairy?! It even looks like one! Heck, a Fighting/Fairy typing would be excellent, as other than the bits of green, I don’t see much grass in its design. Anyhow, High Jump Kick can hit Excadrill and other Steels, while Play Rough can hit the common Mega Sableye. Finally, it has access to the rare Rapid Spin, which lets it provide hazard control for offensive teams. I love using Choice Scarf Tsareena, as it is splashable on any team lacking a utility Grass type. Finally, Tsareena has a signature ability in Queenly Majesty that lets it ignore priority. If it learns Blaze Kick by some miracle, I think I hear Mega Scizor crying.
Let me start by saying I hate this Pokemon. It has a cool concept, but it’s ugly and it’s a pain to take down. I mean, if you’re going to design Alomomola and Tentacruel’s child, make it at least a bit nicer looking.
That being said, Toxapex is absolutely top-tier, even with Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele running around. It’s a reverse of Alomomola in a way, with sky-high defenses but low HP. It has a beautiful movepool, including RECOVER, Scald, Toxic Spikes, Haze…I really do think they copied the movepool at least partially from Tentacruel. It has Regenerator as an ability, which is EVEN MORE STUPIDLY BROKEN. On top of all that, Water/Poison isn’t the best typing, but you’d be surprised at how well Toxapex pulls it off. It can check Mega Charizard X, Genesect, and even Pheromosa. And it eats Corsolas for breakfast. So says the Pokedex entry.
There is a way of taking down this monster. Toxapex is well known for its great defensive capabilities; however, its poor Special Attack means it cannot pressure switch-ins, and due to this, it can be used as setup fodder if it doesn’t pack Haze. Its Speed is also a downside, as it can easily be overwhelmed by multiple physical attackers without being given the option to heal before the next hit. And if you have Xurkitree, Tapu Koko, or Tapu Lele, then Toxapex won’t have a fun time. And let’s face it; unless you are using a super-stall team, one of those Pokemon should be on your team.
At last, a good Electric/Fairy type. Tapu Koko will likely invalidate many existing Electric types, like Thundurus and Mega Manectric. Tapu Koko’s design is not much to talk about; it looks overly complicated and not much like a rooster, which is what it’s based off of. Competitively wise, though, it might actually be banned. At first glance, its stats are not much to write home about. 95 Special Attack is pretty bad, no matter how you look at it. It has a decent 115 Attack stat, but few physical moves to utilize it. However, a combination of its very high 130 Speed stat and its ability to set Electric Terrain allow Tapu Koko to be a speedy, powerful threat. For instance;
252 SpA Life Orb Tapu Koko Thunderbolt vs. 248 HP / 92 SpD Toxapex: 320-377 (105.6 – 124.4%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 SpA Manectric-Mega Thunderbolt vs. 248 HP / 92 SpD Toxapex: 210-248 (69.3 – 81.8%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 SpA Life Orb Thundurus Thunderbolt vs. 248 HP / 92 SpD Toxapex: 257-304 (84.8 – 100.3%) — 75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
Not bad for something with 95 Special Attack. However, while Tapu Koko certainly isn’t lacking in offensive options, without the power boost from Electric Terrain, these coverage moves can be quite weak coming off of its 95 base Special Attack or its uninvested 115 Attack, especially if using a Magnet, preventing it from breaking through Pokémon such as specially defensive Excadrill, Hippowdon if not running Grass Knot, Ferrothorn if lacking Hidden Power Fire, and Alola Marowak. On top of this, Tapu Koko is a bit on the fragile side, is prone to being worn down from hazards and residual damage, and shouldn’t be expected to switch in to many attacks, even resisted ones. Opposing Electric-types can even take advantage of the Electric Terrain to put massive dents in your team, possibly even chunking Tapu Koko due to its low defenses. Tapu Koko is an excellent option, however, and if you aren’t using Xurkitree or Vikavolt, you should be using this thing.
Yeah, this thing is a lot better looking than Tapu Koko. Tapu Lele’s concept is based off of a butterfly (Koko is a rooster, Fini is a fish, and Bulu is a bull) and lele is a shorted version of the Hawaiian word for butterfly. Its pigtails, if you will, resemble a butterfly’s proboscis, and it appears to be a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis. The pink looks nice on it (though Mega Diancie looks better :D) and goes well with black.
Tapu Lele is a monster in Singles and Doubles alike. With a massive 130 Special Attack stat, a wide movepool, and a good offensive typing, it can deal heavy damage on anything that is neutral to it. Furthermore, Psychic Terrain boosts its Psychic type moves to terrifying levels, so only very bulky Steel or Dark types can switch in, and the latter is weak to Moonblast! 95 Speed is also pretty good in today’s meta; I see Game Freak trying to slow down the metagame. Psychic Terrain also lets it be immune to priority, so suck on that, Mega Scizor and Azumarill! In Doubles, Tapu Lele has a pretty high chance of being banned, thanks to it giving support to SO MANY THINGS…but that’s a story for another day.
Though Tapu Lele doesn’t have many flaws, but its biggest flaws are Psychic Terrain affecting its own team, preventing priority-using teammates from using their attacks, which can badly affect sweepers such as Belly Drum Azumarill and Swords Dance Mega Scizor. On top of this, Tapu Lele’s most common sets utilize Choice items, meaning that it can often lock itself into an undesirable which opens up many opportunities for Pokémon that resist the move Tapu Lele locks into to switch in and either damage it or trap it. Finally, even with Choice Scarf, Tapu Lele fails to outspeed stuff above 100 Speed. Despite this, Tapu Lele will likely send other Psychic types like Mega Gardevoir, Mega Alakazam, and Latias into relative obscurity.
This thing is EVERYWHERE. It is also the most likely thing from gen 7 to be banned, along with OP stuff like Tapu Lele, Marshadow, and potentially Magearna. But seriously, Pheromosa is the best Ultra Beast by a long shot. Let’s see; Nihilego is utter crap, Buzzwole can’t do anything Pheromosa can’t, Xurkitree is great but is slow and frail, Kartana is just below an important Speed tier, Celesteela…well, Celesteela is good competition, and Guzzlord is absolutely terrible. But first, the design. Pheromosa is the Ultra Beast of Beauty, and it certainly looks it. While few Bug types besides butterfly-based Pokemon are pretty, Pheromosa is very…ethereal. It is pure white, with veil-like wings? Antennae? I don’t know. It also has a slender, catwalk-perfect body that has a bit of “bug” in it, but not too much as to be ugly. Its eyes resemble a bugs’, but are also quite beautiful. The touches of gold are also really nice, as white/gold is a gorgeous combination. I would like to see more gold, though. I didn’t think a cockroach-based Pokemon would be so pretty, but there you go.
It’s odd that this thing is so fast, because its body, while nice-looking, is not very suited for running (especially with the high-heeled feet). But lo and behold, Pheromosa has a Speed stat of 151, outrunning Mega Alakazam and Mega Aerodactyl by 1 lousy point. And then you have dual 137 offenses, which makes this thing THE ultimate cleaner. It has the movepool to do anything it wants, be it clean with Choice Scarf, wallbreak with a Life Orb or Z-move, or even use Quiver Dance to set up, though with Pheromosa’s microscopic bulk, this isn’t recommended. While any priority can take it out, priority users besides Genesect and Scizor are in short supply now, as Tapu Lele shuts most of them down. Thankfully, Alola Marowak, Aegislash, and Toxapex can wall it, but even with these, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that doesn’t get massacred by this thing once its checks are weakened.
*sigh* Electric type is my favorite type, no question. I wish that there were an Electric type who’s design really worked with me. With Xurkitree…what the actual crap is this. The other Ultra Beasts, like Pheromosa, Buzzwole, and Guzzlord actually look great, and even Nihilego looks ethereal and mysterious. But this thing looks like something you’d find in an abandoned computer lab that’s been hit by magic. That’s not a good thing. It looks like a bunch of sentient wires. That’s not a good thing either. And yet its design still looks kind of cool. That is a good thing.
Design complaints/compliments aside, Xurkitree is evidence of the almighty power curve. Remember when 90 Special Attack wasn’t bad? Try 173. Behold, the most powerful Electric type in the game. Aside from this massive Special Attack stat, everything else is…frankly, crap. None of its other stats are above 90. That’s a bad bad bad thing. It has a tiny movepool (though it has what it needs). That’s not a very good thing, though it can be circumvented. However, Xurkitree makes a good cleaner and pivot with high-powered Thunderbolts and Volt Switches with the aid of a Choice Scarf. In addition, it can even use the terrifying move Tail Glow, previously exclusive to Manaphy (and Volbeat, but we can disregard that little tidbit) and nuke Chansey off the map. After a boost, something will die. But it is hard to set up with such horrible bulk and Speed. Oh well. Choice Scarf remains my favorite set.
Hmm, Skarmory was such a good Pokemon, remember? It was good in ORAS thanks to its ability to check Mega Diancie and other Fairies. Sure, it had very little offensive presence and somewhat low Special Defense, but it can pull its weight with its good typing, movepool, and Defense. Then came Skarmory 2.0: Floating Triangle Edition. It trades hazards, Whirlwind, recovery, and 140 Defense for significantly higher offenses and Special Defense, Leech Seed, Heavy Slam, Flamethrower, and so many more. It can even be a cleaner with its good coverage and Autotomize. While the loss of recovery stinks, Celesteela has Leech Seed (taking a hint from Ferrothorn) and a wide offensive and supportive movepool. This thing will probably not be banned, but you can expect it to reign high and mighty in OU as one of the best defensive Pokemon there is. See you in another lifetime, Skarmory.
Not much can really take down Celesteela, unfortunately. Except its potential to be exploited by Electric-types such as Tapu Koko and Xurtikree, not too much can reliably shut down Celesteela, though it is far from unbeatable. Its lack of proper recovery hurts it, as it can struggle to heal after taking hits from the likes of Landorus and Genesect. Magnezone can also trap Celesteela and deal a huge amount of damage to it with Thunderbolt and Volt Switch. Also, Pokémon Celesteela likes to switch into such as Clefable, Landorus, Landorus-T, and Mega Alakazam all tend to run Knock Off from time to time, which means they can shut down and cripple Celesteela easily. Despite all this, Celesteela will be a nice blanket check to Fairy and Psychic types that OU really enjoys.
I have a fondness of cute Mythical Pokemon. Mew never really appealed to me and I despise Manaphy, but Celebi, Jirachi, Victini, Meloetta, and Diancie are some of my favorite Pokemon. Hey, I’m a girl. When Magearna was first announced, I hated it. It looked like a Pokeball, a Klink, and a Diancie got trapped in a whirring blender. But after the movie, it really grew on me. Magearna is really, really cute. It looks like a robot bunny in a way, and reminds me a bit of Wall-E (who else cried at the end?) in that it offers plants to those it likes, it’s friendly, and it “dies” and loses its memory temporarily.
Though Magearna’s Shift Gear set is really popular, I personally like the tried-and-true Choice Specs set, which hits really hard and works as a great slow pivot. It has a lot of really great moves, including Aura Sphere, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Fleur Cannon, and Volt Switch. Fleur Cannon is an awesome Draco Meteor clone, being Fairy type instead of Dragon and hitting REALLY hard. Magearna is powerful at 130 Special Attack and bulky with dual 115 defenses, though recovery would be nice. Magearna has a small chance of being suspected, though this might change in the future; I would recommend using it as much as you can while it’s here.
I’ve heard all of the hype for the potential Pokemon Eclipse and Marshadow’s “true form” being the mascot. Humph. Leave the little guy alone. Marshadow is a hidden Mythical Pokemon found in hacking, and oh boy, is it broken. Gen 7 has been a very slow generation all in all, with few things being above 100 Speed (only Tapu Koko and Pheromosa off of the top of my head) since Game Freak seems to be terrified of the speed demons created by their hands; namely, Mega Gengar, Talonflame, and Greninja. They have also been very careful with their Pokemon, making absolutely sure one thing is not too broken. Even Pheromosa and Toxapex have their flaws. But Game Freak finally sighed and decided to create the ultimate gen 7 Pokemon. One that can rip apart Solgaleo and Lunala, one that fears no wall, one that strikes fear into any OU player. Behold, this epic burnt marshmallow.
Before we go on, I would like to mention that this is an extremely long section, as Marshadow is indisputably the best gen 7 Pokemon and I would like some time to discuss it. If you don’t like reading walls of text, feel free to skip to the end. But since you have presumably read this article up to here, I would suggest continuing to read.
Let’s start with its stats. Marshadow has a nice Attack stat of 125, decently sturdy defenses of 90/80/90, a usable Special Attack stat of 90, and a terrifying 125 Speed stat, one that rivals Darkrai and outspeeds Dugtrio and Greninja. This is perhaps the best 600 BST distribution I have ever seen, seeing that most of the others are lazy sextuple 100s or some distribution that actually hurts the Pokemon itself a lot (see: Diancie).
Marshadow has a unique Ghost/Fighting typing, and all the STABs it could hope for. Ghost/Fighting is completely unresisted at the time of writing. It also has Shadow Sneak, which is excellent priority (I’ll explain why later), Close Combat, and its signature move Spectral Thief, which has 90 BP, breaks Subs, and steals the opponent’s positive stat boosts. Imagine that you have an Azumarill against this Pokemon. The Azumarill has used Belly Drum on the previous turn, and uses Aqua Jet now. Marshadow is knocked down to its Focus Sash (yes, I know, no Marshadow will ever use Focus Sash) and uses Spectral Thief. It steals the stat boost, and Azumarill now has neutral Attack. Then Marshadow KOs with Shadow Sneak and proceeds to sweep. Ouch.
Let’s go the extra mile. I’m going to go through all of the A- to S rank Pokemon of ORAS and watch them all crumble to the burnt marshmallow’s might (except for some Steel and Dark types for obvious reasons).I’m assuming defensive sets for most of these. The exceptions here are Mega Pinsir, Mega Lopunny, and Talonflame; all three can take out Marshy with priority. Also, I’m using a Choice Band set. Also it says Scizor, but I adjusted the stats, typing, and moves to match Marshadow’s. Shadow Punch, since it has 60 BP, has the same BP as Spectral Thief after Technician so Shadow Punch=Spectral Thief. Finally, even though it is a physical attacker, I have Hidden Power Ice to hit Landorus-T and Gliscor.
WARNING: Wall of Calcs
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Shadow Punch vs. 252 HP / 184+ Def Clefable: 204-240 (51.7 – 60.9%) — 94.1% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery
0 SpA Technician Scizor Hidden Power Ice vs. 248 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 288-340 (75.5 – 89.2%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Diancie: 262-310 (108.7 – 128.6%) — guaranteed OHKO
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Keldeo: 313-369 (96.9 – 114.2%) — guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Rotom-W: 196-232 (64.4 – 76.3%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Leftovers recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 44 Def Scizor-Mega: 207-244 (60.3 – 71.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Shadow Sneak vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Tornadus-T: 172-204 (57.5 – 68.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Shadow Punch vs. 184 HP / 0 Def Azumarill: 258-304 (66.6 – 78.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock and Sitrus Berry recovery
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Mega Charizard X: 262-309 (88.2 – 104%) — guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
0 SpA Technician Scizor Hidden Power Ice vs. 252 HP / 4 SpD Garchomp: 272-320 (64.7 – 76.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Manaphy: 286-337 (83.8 – 98.8%) — 75% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Shadow Punch vs. 252 HP / 112 Def Mega Sableye: 160-190 (52.6 – 62.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Shadow Punch vs. 4 HP / 0 Def Thundurus: 288-339 (96 – 113%) — guaranteed OHKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Technician Scizor Shadow Punch vs. 136 HP / 0 Def Mega Heracross: 190-225 (56.7 – 67.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 236+ Def Skarmory: 163-193 (48.9 – 57.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
252 Atk Choice Band Scizor Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 212+ Def Tangrowth: 181-214 (44.8 – 52.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Stealth Rock
Get this thing out of OU pronto.
Thanks for reading! I know, this is one of my longer articles, but it might be more popular since it’s not so specific. I didn’t put the cover legendaries because I haven’t played Sun/Moon Ubers. Still, I’m looking forward to when the metagame settles down. Until next time, see ya.