Jake isn’t only pokemaniac here at Hardcore Gamer, and with the release of X & Y right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the past Pokemon generations in a somewhat different way; by picking my favorite battlers each generation has to offer.
The battling scene in Pokemon is actually fairly robust, as you can see from the popularity of the Pokemon tournaments that occur across the country and the world. There is a whole other deeper level to the battling scene that goes beyond just leveling up a pokemon to beat the elite four and the champion. It goes beyond just looking at typing, though that certainly is a factor. Pro pokemon battlers look at many things when building their perfect team, like breeding for a specific nature, abilities and sometimes moves. They also “train” (read: grind) their specifically bred Pokemon by battling the same wild Pokemon over and over again to build up the proper effort values, with a hold item like the macho brace to help them build up faster (while hoping that one of their pokemon manages to “catch” the pokerus virus). If you’ve ever hopped into the wifi battles unprepared you know just how intense facing these focus built teams can get, and if you ever want to have a go at trying to topple world champions give the download battles at the PWT a try.
In homage to this robust community, I chose to highlight it in a way that looks back at the beginnings of where the madness began for many Pokemaniacs. There may by “better” pokemon to highlight, but I picked out one from each generation that stand out to me, maybe because of their design, maybe because of their ability or a combination of characteristics that I feel help them stand out to me. No legendaries because they’re generally a cut above (not all, but excluding them seems fair), and all must be considered in the Overused tier for the current generation because that’s where the majority of the action is.
So without further ado here they are:
Take a look at Dragonite and you wouldn’t be particularly intimidated by it. It’s not Gyrados with an overly aggressive design, but seasoned trainers know Dragonite is a pokemon to fear. One word: Multiscale. Ugh. This one ability has greatly enhanced Dragonite’s status in the battling sphere, making it one tough pokemon to counter if you aren’t using entry hazards. Multiscale, in case you don’t know, is an ablility Dragonite inherited in the Black/White generation that halves the damage Dragonite receives if its health is full. This gives Dragonite significant bulk even against super effective moves, and makes a one hit KO an almost impossibility. This can easily spell doom for an unprepared team, as Dragonite can throw out a Dragon Dance with impunity and proceed to decimate your team. Hailing from the very first Red/Blue generation, Dragonite still has major bite left and can easily lay the smackdown on these newfangled newcomers.
Introduced in the Gold/Silver era, Tyranitar is a beast. Not only does it have good physical bulk, and great attack, but it is also the perfect lead for a sandstorm team. Sandstream is the main reason why Tyranitar is so useful, as it boosts not just Tyranitar’s special defense, but also any other rock types that you might happen to use (ie. Rhyperior). That’s not the only use for sandstorm, however, as it can be helpful to wear down an otherwise tough pokemon, or nick that last hp off of a focus sash user. It can also set up an Excadrill that is running Sand Rush (an ability that doubles its speed in a sandstorm) turning it into an Uber tiered team destroyer. Tyranitar’s design is also great, looking every bit the aggressive mountain destroyer its pokedex entry says it is. So with Tyranitar being no slouch, and the excellent sandstream support it brings to the table, Tyranitar can still be quite the threat in more than one way.
When it came to the Ruby/Sapphire generation, could I have picked Salamence? Yes, but when battling, my team has a lot more problems dealing with a Metagross than with a Salamence. Metagross is bulky enough to absorb hits, and strong enough to dish out major damage at the same time. Just looking at Metagross tells you you’re in for a fight even if you’ve never encountered one before. It looks every bit the part and is a force to be reckoned with. The steel/psychic typing gives Metagross eight resistances and only two weaknesses. Metagross may not be fast, but with bullet punch as a priority move, and access to the move agility it can certainly catch the unprepared trainer off guard. When building your team Metagross is something to keep in mind, not just to use, but also to counter, because you’re almost guaranteed to face one.
Here it is. The land shark that emerged in the Diamond/Pearl generation. Garchomp is such a big threat that most teams have a ready strategy to deal with one. If they don’t then a Garchomp led sweep is almost all but assured. Garchomp is fast, hits hard and has a typing that is more beneficial than hindering. Yes it has a 4x weakness to ice, but so do a good amount of its dragon brethren. It’s been given access to rough skin, which when combined with its fairly decent bulk can hamper physical attackers that aren’t throwing ice or dragon moves its way. Move tutor makes teaching it Outrage much easier, which is generally the go to attack for Garchomp. Not only is Garchomp strong, but the design is top notch. You can just tell from looking at it that it’s here to mess up your day.
Most people know that bug type isn’t exactly the go to type when looking for a good battle pokemon. Scizor and Yanmega aside (and Shedninja if you or your opponent is being gimmicky), there hasn’t been a whole lot of action for the bug type. That is until Volcarona arrived on the scene in the Black/White generation. With a beastly special attack stat, good special defense, and access to quiver dance, look out because Volcarona can and will decimate your entire team off just one quiver dance boost. And woe to the player that it can set up multiple quiver dances on. The design is ok, but the threat that it poses more than makes up for the fact that it’s just a chubby looking fire moth. Underestimate Volcarona at your own peril, this bug is more than equipped to be able to hold its own amongst even the strongest of threats.
And there you have it, my personal picks from each generation. They may not necessarily represent the best of the best, but they aren’t slouches either. With X & Y just on the horizon and bringing the fairy type in tow and mega evolutions mixing up things even further battling looks like it’s only going to become even more fun with the new generation to come. Pokemaniacs have a lot to look forward too.