How do your favorite childhood Pokemon stand up in competitive battling today?
The first two Pokemon games came out 18 years ago. That’s bound to make you feel old. On the positive end, it might make you happy to know that many of your childhood favorites can still bruise it out with the best in today’s competitive Pokemon metagame.
Here’s a list of some of your favorite Pokemon from the first generation, and how they fit into competitive battle in the latest Pokemon games, Pokemon X & Y.
Even today, when casually talking about Pokemon with your friends, an inevitable question is: “which starter did you pick?” And I think it goes without saying that for many of us, that Pokemon was Charmander, who eventually evolves into Charizard, the flame Pokemon.
For many years, Charizard was considered to be a very weak competitive Pokemon, because he takes four times extra damage from rock-type attacks. However, in X & Y Charizard has made a triumphant return to the top of the tier list, thanks to the two mega forms he gained, allowing him to evolve mid-battle into Mega Charizard X or Mega Charizard Y.
Mega Charizard X fixes its weakness to rock-type attacks by changing his type to a fire/dragon mix, and Mega Charizard Y deals with his weakness in an entirely different manner- by having ferocious damage potential via an extremely high special attack stat. Mega Charizard Y can simply decimate the enemy before they can take advantage of his weaknesses.
Verdict: One of the best offensive Pokemon available, Charizard is back and he’s burning down the house.
My personal favorite growing up, Blastoise also gained a mega form this generation. Mega Blastoise hits pretty hard with water-type attacks, but its real strength is in his general ability to take hits and support the team by removing field hazards. Mega Blastoise does not have the potential to sweep teams the way Charizard does, but he can prove to be a strong and dominant tank that can take hits as well as dish them out.
Verdict: He’s okay, I guess. Mega Blastoise gets a big minus from me because in X & Y he still shoots water attacks out his mouth, despite being mounted with three large cannons.
Probably the least favorite starter, Bulbasaur’s final form can also mega evolve, and if Charizard represents pure offense and Blastoise is a balanced, well rounded character, then you can probably guess that the walking plant is all about defense.
Mega Venusaur has an ability called Thick Fat that lets it take less damage from fire and ice-type attacks, further boosting its defensive capabilities. Venusaur’s job is to get on the field and just stay there, taking negligible damage and healing up to stall out the enemy.
Verdict: The same way plants soak in sunlight, Venusaur exists to absorb hits, although he’s not the best at dishing them out. You could hit a tree all day and not hurt it at all, but that tree also wouldn’t be able to hurt you.
The mascot of the series and a Pokemon that even my mother knows by name, Game Freak didn’t want to make Pikachu entirely useless despite it being a Pokemon that has not yet fully evolved. In view of this, an item called the ‘Light Ball’, that only Pikachu can use, was introduced into the game. While holding the Light Ball, Pikachu’s offensive power doubles, and it can unleash some pretty devastating thunderbolt attacks.
Having said that, it still has paper-thin defenses so it’ll probably go down in a single hit. Bummer.
Verdict: There are better options out there. Much better options. But if you want to completely defeat and humiliate the enemy, getting beaten by a Pikachu is about as humiliating as it gets.
He’s banned. I don’t think I really have to say much more than that, but I will anyway. Mewtwo is so powerful that even 18 years later he’s still bringing the pain. You can’t use him in standard online battles or at official tournaments. Yes, he’s that good.
As if he wasn’t already broken enough, Mewtwo gained two additional mega forms with the sixth Pokemon generation. Few other Pokemon come close to his power.
Verdict: > Who could forget Mewtwo’s famous quote from the first Pokemon movie:
“The circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”
I would argue that the circumstances of one’s birth are very relevant, especially if you’re born to never be used competitively and to simply look down from your throne at the puny Pokemon fighting their cute little battles.
While allowed at official tournaments, Gengar has been declared as being too strong for many hardcore online players, and has been banned from use in many circles. Another Pokemon that got a mega form, Mega Gengar gains offensive stats that rival Mewtwo’s, and has the speed to ensure that he will nearly always hit you first with an incredibly powerful attack.
The worst part is that Mega Gengar’s ability, Shadow Tag, prevents enemy pokemon from switching out of battle. If Mega Gengar comes in at you, you have no choice but to stand your ground and fight it out with the grinning apparition.
Remember the original opening of the first two Pokemon games, where Gengar was fighting that Nidorino? Let’s just say that if that was a real battle, the Nidorino would lose a hundred times over.
These are just a few of the Pokemon from the original 151 that are still considered strong, even though there’s now a whopping total of 719 Pokemon in the known Pokemon universe.
Pokemon is just as fun as it has ever been. Why not relive your childhood and give the current one a try?
Pokemon X & Y: The game you dreamed of as a kid arrives after you’re no longer one
Fifteen years is a long time for a videogame series, but Pokemon seems to have withstood the test of time nicely. The latest version of the games - Pokemon