(Introductionary bit to explain what’s going on if you didn’t catch part 1)
Humans have an obsession with lists. They have wishlists, shopping lists and criminal offenders lists. In a world of chaos and unpredictability, lists offer us a way to rationalise our environment onto a piece of neat paper.
In modern and digital times, lists still exist. They express someone’s opinion with cute little numbers. These lists may be personal or perhaps, financially influenced. Someone’s list of favourite Video Games may be sincere, but a list of “favourite PC hardware” is vulnerable to external influence.
You’ll be pleased to learn that my personal Pokemon list hasn’t been paid off. If I had hypothetical billions of followers, I wouldn’t be sure what the benefit would be.
The criteria of this list is:
The Pokemon still has an evolution to go
The Pokemon’s next stage evolution looks worse (in my opinion)
The final evolution of the chain is not redeeming
The number at which the Pokemon appears will be based on the personal appeal I have towards the design and how much the design is “ruined” by its evolution.
So with the rules of the list explained, shall we resume?
I have a sort of love-slightcreepedout relationship towards Electabuzz. On one hand, it’s a bad arse fanged electrical beast that is fuzzy. On the other hand, it is dangerously close to appearing like The Honey Monster who was one supernatural beings that tormented my unconscious childhood. I suppose that’s why my attempt at drawing this Pokemon resulted in what looks like a sinister child’s drawing. Evidently I never gotten over this experience. I’ll shove a picture of the Honey Monster below for control and contrast. Don’t worry, it’s surprisingly relevant to this list.
I have always been unnerved by people in mascot suites where I cannot see the actor’s face. There’s something primitively terrifying about it. It is made worse by your peers actually loving them. I found clowns fine in honesty. I hated clowns, but they didn’t install fear. 6ft walking carpets with creepy smilies did disturb me. There is one “mascot suite” character that tormented me more than Honeybuzz; Mr Blobby. I dare not show you a picture, just in case “That who holds an image of a Mister Blobby becomes itself a Mister Blobby”. Now to make this intersection relevant to the blogpost. This is Electabuzz’s evolution and I think I know why I hate it so much:
Electivire resembles much more strongly what I fear the most. It is not helped that it looks ugly. As an independant Pokemon, its design might not have bothered me as much. As it is the evolution of Electabuzz (which I do rather like), I am very disappointed. Magmar would be on this list as Magmortar I also hate, but Magmar I am not keen on anyway. I dislike its bobbly horns. Electabuzz has these as well, but they’re less distinct. Electabuzz’s fuzzy catlike tail has turned into two LED things. Electivire has a weird nose. The worst is that it has a pattern for a EU and USA socket on its back. I am not keen on artificial objects being motifs on organic looking Pokemon. Electivire is an ugly disappointment in my opinion. Hey, at least I can run Electabuzz competitively with Eviolite. (Rest. Power-Up Punch. Wild Charge. Barrier with Static as an Ability. EV train it to be durable). It works as a semi decent Support Tank in doubles.
I wish I could explain why I love Croagunk’s design. I would say it looking like an animal, a frog to be exactly could help. Then again, I find Croagunk’s evolution and Seismictoad’s evolution line hideous. I suppose it’s a simple design with little extras that complement each other. The proportions are nice. I also like the idea of it being a Poison type frog. This frog has no Water typing! In the Anime, I liked the character of Brock’s croagunk. I found the way it incapacitated Brock, when Brock was being a pervert interesting. I wasn’t sure if Croagunk did it because Croagunk was ashamed or putting Brock in his place. Or perhaps Croagunk would get jealous. I think Croagunk is a Pokemon design that stands up by itself without needing an evolution to develop the idea. Which is why I hate its evolution form.
Besides ugly, I would describe Toxicroak as a deformed Kyogre inflatable. There is something very unsettling and creepy about its appearance. Sometimes creepy Pokemon can look awesome. No… this one looks just horrid. Oh well… perhaps I can investigate how viable Eviolite Toxicroak is. Its x4 weakness to Psychic would be a problem.
Perhaps one of the most popular Pokemon ever. Who wouldn’t like a giant praying mantis with scythes for arms? In generation 1, the majority of the bugs were underwhelming in appearance (even you mister triple stab wasp). Then came along the creepy looking Pinsir (whose MegaEvolution looks friccing awesome) and Pinsir in the Safari Zone (each were a version exclusive). However, generation 2 arrived. This added the steel type and the method to evolve via trade with held item. This gave us Scizor.
Scizor to me was initially cool. You acquired it via a difficult way. It was an evolution of a preexisting Pokemon. It had a new typing. It could learn False Swipe that made it great for Pokedex filling. But over many years, the novelty wore off. Now, when I look at Scizor, I see a not-so-good looking Scyther. I blame this one it having scissors for hands instead of scythes. Sorry, but scythe > scissors in terms of coolness. At least they share similar base stat totals. Meaning I could run Scyther in competitive battling. It just means I cannot use the Mega option (which kinda makes Scizor’s design worse).
I don’t like how extreme MegaScizors’ angular appearance gets. Its insectoid legs turn into pins. I gets a very weird black crown. If its claws turned into Chainsaws, that may redeem the design in my eyes. However, Gamefreak didn’t take this opportunity and decided to give Scizor serrated clamps. It feels like Deoxys, Bisharp and Scizor were fused together. Might look cool as a stand alone Pokemon (like how Tropius looks like a corrupted Megaranium), but as a Mega Evolution, I dislike it.
It was close between my #1 and #2. However, Slugma didn’t quite make #1 because I find Magcargo not criminal in design. I merely adore Slugma’s design so much, that I would find it hard to like any alternative evolution designs. I like Slugma because I have always been interested in blob creatures. For example, my favourite Goosebump books when I was a child were the Monster Blood books. I can’t explain this liking. I like Muk as well. I thought the concept of Slugma was a cool one too. Slugma is effectively sentient magma or lava, in the form of a mollusk. I think what’s even cooler is that Slugma’s form looks reminiscent of those awesome sea slugs.
Just awesome. I also have a personal reason why I like Slugma. I have a friend who used to stay at my house with his family every summer. One year, I stayed at his house. Out of boredom, we started making Pokemon out of paper and sellotape. I enjoyed this so much, that after I went back home, I kept making Pokemon. In the time between the next time we’d meet, I made a Slugma. I was really proud how it turned out. Its design lent itself so well to sculpture. I was proud at my ingenuity of creating the texture of its skin by heavily crinkling sheets of paper.
Why don’t I like Magcargo as much as Slugma? I don’t like the shell. That’s it.
I’m really annoyed at Magcargo in the games. It has three weaknesses: It takes 4x damage from Ground attacks (Magcargo is Fire and Rock), it is very slow (at least in Trickroom Teams this is a good thing) and its Special Attack and Attack base stats are equal. It’s not necessarily bad to have equal base stats in both Attack stats, but when you takes 4x damage from a popular attack type and dead slow outside of a Trickroom, it’s not great. Magcargo does have good base Defence, but has terrible base HP. Magcargo is one of those Pokemon I want to use, but can’t seem to make work. Given Magcargo has troubles, I can’t exactly run Slugma with Eviolite.
Coincidentally topical. My #1 Pokemon-That-Still-Needs-To-Evolve-But-Wished-They-Didn’t is a Hoenn starter evolution stage. This is the evolution of Treecko, and it evolves into Sceptile. If you ignore Electabuzz (because I wish both its final and first stage of evolutions didn’t exist), Grovyle is 1 of 2 “mid stage” evolution forms on my list. The rest are first stage or “basic”. What I love about Grovyle is that it’s a friccing Ninja Tree Frog. No other Pokemon looks this bad arse, and it’s ruined by Sceptile.
This agile green death evolves into a bulky smug thing with yellow back blobs and a pinetree tail. I think Sceptile is far over designed. It’s also a strange development. It’s as shocking as Vigoroth evolving into Slaking (an honourable mention). For a final stage evolution for a starter it’s fitting. It looks like a final form. I just wish I didn’t have to lose such a cool looking Pokemon just to get its final form. I wrote this list before the Mega Sceptile announcement. In my opinion, Mega Sceptile helps. As I stated at the beginning, one factors for my list is if the final evolution redeems the whole thing or not. I include Mega Evolutions in this. However, I ignored Megaevolution in every other aspect. That’s for another day and list. A list of my top 10 least favourite Mega Evolution designs (spoiler, MegaManectric and MegaHeracross will be on it).
Why does MegaSceptile dampen the blow of the sacrilegious Grovyle -> Sceptile?
The MegaEvolution is a logical MegaEvolution. It doesn’t ruin the aspects that make Sceptile Sceptile whilst “improving” the Pokemon. By the design being even more over designed, it helps it look normal. It’s as though the norm is now “lots of stripes, balls and spikes and stuff”. That magically makes it look less awful. I love the gradient on Mega Sceptile’s balls going from yellow, through to orange and finishing on red. I think the red arrow end on the tail is cool. I also love the fact MegaSceptile is infact now part Dragon type. I think this helps me like the design. MegaSceptile is no longer an overgrown tree frog. MegaSceptile is a Forest Dragon. (I love how Game Freak is using Mega Evolution to get weird and sometimes OP type combinations out of the way. Mega Evolution has given us Dragon/Fire, Dragon/Electric and now Dragon/Grass)
There we have it. That is my list. Since the topic of the list is my own personal thoughts and feelings and it discussing the design, some of my justifications of my dislike will be weak. That’s just the nature of personal thoughts on art and creativity. Sometimes it’s an interesting explanation as to why, and sometimes it’s just “I don’t like it”. Half the images in the two blogposts are my own. I’m sure you can tell which are my own and which are taken from Google Images. I would have produced my own images of the other Pokemon I referenced, but I realised it’d be hard to produce a nice image of Pokemon I wish didn’t exist. I mean, Electabuzz’s drawing was a challenge, and I blame that to do with my baggage phobia of underpaid actors in fuzzy suites.