Pokemon GO has been grabbing the attention of a lot of folks lately, but my heart is still set on the heavens. Sun and Moon are due out in November, and in the past week a whole slew of new stuff has been revealed. So let's talk about the latest info, from new Pokemon to new features!
First off, if you haven't seen the newest trailers, I'll post them here. This first one is
the Japanese-exclusive trailer from a few days ago:
This second one is the reveal trailer for six new Pokemon:
Now that you've seen the trailers, let's talk about the new Pokemon and the news that came with them!
This creepy little lizard is a Poison/Fire Pokemon - a typing that I enjoy because it is unique, but one I don't enjoy because ground is a pretty awful type to be four times weak to. These two typings don't exactly help each other out, but maybe that's the point. Salandit's Pokedex entry on the website specifies that this Pokemon isn't strong - instead, it is cunning. The sickly-sweet smell of its toxic fumes can make people dizzy, and mixed in are pheromones so strong that even human beings can be manipulated by these creatures. Salandit has the new ability Corrosion, which allows it to inflict the Poisoned and Badly Poisoned status conditions even on Poison and Steel type Pokemon.
I love Salandit's design - the little bugger looks crafty and creepy, exactly what you'd expect given its description and abilities. The fiery lizard hand design on the tail is fantastic. I'm excited to see if this little critter evolves into something absolutely terrifying, and while I don't see myself using a Salandit in my first playthrough, I'm excited that GameFreak is really pushing their designs this time around to make some critters that are more unique.
The illegitimate child of Hoppip and Cherubi. Not really. But seriously, I'm not a big fan of how similar this thing's design is to existing Pokemon.
The Pokedex describes Bounsweet as having a wonderful scent that has a calming effect on humans. Not so for Pokemon, who think this critter smells so delicious it is often swallowed whole. No one ever helps it escape, because when it flees from danger it looks like it is simply skipping happily. And when it tries to defend itself, it just gets dizzy because its only protection comes from spinning its little leaf cap around.
This thing is cute, don't get me wrong. But this whole idea of it being perpetual prey certainly doesn't make it appealing as a potential team member. Maybe, like Magikarp, it's gonna evolve into something crazy. But right now it just seems like some poor, naive, defenseless thing that Salandit is going to eat.
"A heffalump or woozle - is very - confusel - a heffalump or woozle is very sly." Anyone else getting that vibe? Just me? Okay.
Bewear is a Normal/Fighting type bear Pokemon. The typing isn't too bad - you get a fighting weakness in exchange for a ghost immunity, plus STAB on normal type moves. Could definitely be worse. Bewear has a new ability called Fluffy that reduces the damage from moves that make contact by 50%, but also makes the Pokemon weak to fire. I'm not a fan of this ability - not necessarily because of the weakness, but because of the fact that the Fur Coat ability already exists and does the same thing but better. It halves the damage of all physical moves - not just the ones that make contact - and it doesn't add a fire weakness. Why make Fluffy when Fur Coat is there? I don't know.
According to the Pokedex (you can find the Pokedex entries of any new Pokemon on the official website, in case you didn't know), Bewear is incredibly strong and loves to practice giving big bear hugs. These hugs can snap virtually anything in half, and unfortunately hugs are also how Bewear shows its affection for its trainer. So be sure to teach the little guy not to hug you so hard that you die. These critters may look cutesy, but they are the Alola equivalent of bears in our world and so signs are often posted warning people to watch out for their territory.
I like Bewear's design and I think that ultimately it looks like a neat Pokemon. I just wish that they would have slapped Fur Coat onto it instead of making up a worse version of that ability just for this thing. Maybe they thought Fur Coat was too broken?
The Pokemon whose name and design consists of three puns. Can you figure them all out?
You can't set a Pokemon game in Hawaii without a lei Pokemon, and you can't have Pokemon with flowers without making it a Fairy type instead of a Grass type (I'm looking at you, Flabebe). Comfey's Pokedex description is pretty typical - it smells good, people like it, it treats people at hospitals, and it defends itself by throwing flowers as a distraction and then running away or capitalizing on the opening.
Where Comfey really shines is the new ability it brings to the table - Triage. With this ability, any healing moves Comfey uses get top priority in battle. If you're not familiar with the term "priority," that's the game mechanic that makes moves like Quick Attack or Aqua Jet go before other moves in battle. Different moves have different levels of priority, with something like Extremespeed having more priority than Shadow Sneak and Protect having even more priority than that. Now the description of Triage on the website specifically says "top priority," which suggests that healing moves used by Comfey might precede moves that could potentially stop it from healing such as Fake Out. I imagine that if Triage works this way (heck, even if it doesn't precede Fake Out), people will really want to consider Comfey as a cleric in their doubles matches. Fairies make good clerics already with their great defensive typing, so throw on some moves like Wish and Aromatherapy and you've got a grade-A healer on your hands. Depending on Comfey's stats, it could threaten the spots of Pokemon like Florges and Aromatisse when it comes to the cleric role.
In case you wanted a horse Pokemon that isn't a pretty pegasus, here ya go.
Mudsdale is a mighty steed that doesn't run fast, but it's quite strong. A pure Ground type Pokemon, Mudsdale's heavy clomping can pierce holes even into asphault, so they aren't allowed to run on Alola's public roads. These things are slow, but they can haul like nobody's business, carrying loads of up to 10 tons for days at a time. Its hooves, as you can see, are coated in a claylike structure that gives it incredible power. It can kick a car to pieces with ease, and this horse is so tough that it doesn't even cry out when it gets hurt.
That toughness is represented by one of Mudsdale's two potential abilities, a new ability called Stamina. When Mudsdale gets hit with an attack, its defense goes up by one stage. Talk about a great ability! The more you hit this thing with physical attacks, the harder it is to beat. You'll have to blow away Mudsdale in one blow or hit it on the special side. If it gets Amnesia (a move that increases Special Defense by two stages), defeating Mudsdale is going to be a serious problem. I can already see folks slapping an Assault Vest on this thing and using it as a bulky Wallbreaker in competitive. Assuming its physical power is what the Pokedex description suggests.
What's with all the weak Pokemon in this update? This one even has "wimp" in the name!
Wimpod is a Bug/Water type Pokemon that the Pokedex describes as quite cowardly. They're quite wary of sudden movements and will dart away immediately if approached. They also release a toxic fluid that warns others of their kind to stay the heck away. Despite this, they're actually quite curious and will approach you if you stand still. These guys are what we call "cleaners" in nature, eating pretty much anything they find on the ground and storing away what they can't eat. This includes garbage, which they take away to help keep the environment clean. Again we see a sort of ecological focus with the Pokedex that hasn't always been present in the past, making me think that Sun and Moon will focus a lot on the roles of Pokemon in the environment as a story mechanic.
Wimpod has a new ability called Wimp Out. This ability causes it to retreat from battle either by running away or switching out when its HP drops below 50%. This is an ability that could definitely be used strategically IF you get to choose the new Pokemon that gets brought in when Wimpod switches out. If it happens randomly...well, that won't be very fun. But if you get to pick, you could switch in Wimpod to take a big hit, then it's ability would allow you to safely switch in a Pokemon better for the situation. Wimpod could soak damage for your other Pokemon so that you don't have to put particularly fragile ones at risk.
Wimpod definitely seems like the kind of Pokemon that's going to evolve, and I'm really hoping that its evolution stays Bug/Water. The typing is really good - Bug protects Water from Grass type attacks and Water protects Bug from Fire type attacks. Not to mention, while Water doesn't resist Rock, having STAB water moves will definitely make Rock Pokemon think twice about switching in against Wimpod and its evolved form. I hope that the evolution doesn't get any braver - it'd be really awesome if Wimpod turned into this massive, scary bug creature that's still super cowardly and is a total gentle giant. Somehow, though, I don't expect that.
PSA - this Pokemon's name is pronounced "mimic you," not only for the literal meaning of that phrase but also to play off of Pikachu, which this thing is obviously trying to copy.
Mimikyu is my favorite design so far. I love this thing. It is Ghost/Fairy, which is an incredible offensive typing and not too shabby defensively either - fairy protects ghost from dark and ghost protects fairy from poison, making this Pokemon's only weaknesses Ghost and Steel. Throw in immunities to Normal, Fighting, and Dragon and this harmless-looking thing could be more than meets the eye on the battlefield.
Mimikyu likes the dark and is harmed by sunlight, so it hides underneath a cloth - at least, that's why it does it according to rumors. The people of Alola believe that seeing its true form will strike you with a disease. Mimikyu decorated the cloth to look like a Pikachu because of the popularity of Pikachu merchandise in the Alola region 20 years ago (I see what you did there, GameFreak) that way it won't be lonely.
GUYS. MIMIKYU IS LONELY. WE HAVE TO LOVE IT FOREVER SO IT WON'T BE SAD.
Mimikyu has the Disguise ability, yet another new ability. This one works kind of like the move Substitute, allowing Mimikyu's cloth disguise to take the damage from an attack instead of it. However, after that the disguise goes away and Mimikyu enters a new form. It seems like this will allow us to eventually see what Mimikyu really looks like, which I am super excited about. If this is a legitimate Forme change, Mimikyu will probably get a new ability to replace Disguise, possibly one that plays off of its weakness to sunlight. The cool thing about Disguise is that it will allow Mimikyu to switch into combat safely against opponents, as the Disguise will absorb the attack so that Mimikyu won't actually take any damage when switching in.
In addition to the new Pokemon that have been announced, we've learned about some new features coming up in Sun and Moon as well. The Japanese-exclusive trailer released last week revealed a minor detail that I am particularly excited about: you don't have to wear hats if you don't want to! I know that hat-wearing isn't a big deal in the long run, but as someone who hates how most hats look I am very excited to be able to have my character running around without one. Another minor feature is that Pokemon riding has been expanded - previously we had Rhyhorn, Gogoat, Lapras, Sharpedo, and Mamoswine all as potential Pokemon to be ridden. So far we've seen some new additions like Stoutland and Tauros, plus the addition of riding gear and of saddles for riding. While I wasn't super into the riding feature in X and Y or ORAS, maybe the newest entries will make the mechanic more satisfying and interesting. And hey, if Pokemon riding somehow eliminates some HMs along the way...
A bigger reveal from that trailer was what people are calling "synergy moves." Because they've only been shown off really in the Japanese trailer, it's hard to address these in detail. But it appears that the player character can use the bracelet seen in the character art and trailers to activate particularly powerful moves in his/her Pokemon. This has been shown to be possible with Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio, and is rumored to be possible with Rockruff (who has something "special" in common with the starter Pokemon). There's no telling how powerful these moves are, what has to happen to unlock them, and what (if any) limitations there are on their usage. There's a lot of speculation about synergy moves but not much known about them.
My hope is that synergy moves are a one-off thing. Just like how only one Pokemon could be Mega Evolved in a single battle, I think you'll get one synergy move per battle. This'll make timing that move really important, and predicting the opponent's synergy move (so you can switch to the right Pokemon to take the hit or use Protect to stop it completely) will be super important. Speaking of Mega Evolution, there's a lot of speculation as to what synergy moves mean for Megas. Can Pokemon who use synergy moves not Mega Evolve? Or maybe synergy moves are only for not-fully-evolved Pokemon and Mega Evolution is for final forms. Personally, I think Mega Evolution is just plain gone. Either for story purposes the Pokemon company wants to keep Mega Evolution in the 6th generation, or for game balancing purposes they decided that Mega Evolution was just too ridiculous. Either way, I don't expect us to see any Megas in Alola.
The newest trailer mentions two new features: online competitions and hyper training. The Pokemon website explains that the online competitions are going to be a feature of the Pokemon Global Link, an online service that allows players around the world to connect and play Pokemon. With Sun and Moons release, Global Link services will cease for XY ORAS, but will be updated with new features. One of these features is the "friendly competition," an online competition that you can host just with your friends or with strangers as well. This allows you to set the rules of the competition, and you can even create these friendly competitions "live," creating a QR code that everyone you're hanging out with can scan to play with the same rules together. This definitely adds another layer to online battling and networking and should be a cool feature, particularly if you're interested in hosting your own competitions.
Hyper training is an in-game feature that apparently uses something called Bottle Caps to help your Level 100 Pokemon reach their fullest potential. According to the website, normally when you level up your base stats increase, but even at level 100 each Pokemon's "individual strengths" affect those stats. Hyper training is a way for you to increase the "individual strengths" of your level one hundred Pokemon and help it reach its maximum potential.
At this point, I'm going to get a bit technical to talk about what exactly I think this means. Pokemon have two hidden values when it comes to stats - Individual Values (IVs) and Effort Values (EVs). Effort Values are gained whenever you defeat a Pokemon, and have to do with that Pokemon's stats. If you defeat a fast Pokemon, your Pokemon gets a little faster. If you defeat a defensive Pokemon, you'll get some defense. Effort Values are best optimized by training your Pokemon a lot in specific stats, but you can only get so many EVs in one thing. Generally speaking, you can maximize your EVs in the Pokemon's two most important stats and dump a couple little extras into something else. EVs are also increased through super training, and you can use the reset bags to erase all of your EVs if you want to start from scratch.
Now Individual Values are basically your Pokemon's genetics. It is born with specific IVs, and once it has those IVs they cannot be changed. You get better IVs by breeding together two Pokemon with different good IVs, eventually passing down the good genes until you get lucky enough to breed a Pokemon with all 6 perfect IVs. Having good IVs is an important aspect of competitive battling (though it's totally unimportant for regular play), but getting them is very time consuming and it's not something that is particularly accessible for players unmotivated to spend hours and hours performing eugenics experiments on their Pokemon.
But here's the thing. Hyper training says that you can increase the "individual strengths" of the Pokemon at level 100. See that phrase "individual strengths?" Sounds a lot like IVs to me. Hyper training may very well be the solution for folks who have no desire to get into the breeding aspects of the game. Just get your Pokemon to level 100 and BAM, hyper train its IVs to perfection.
Of course, the hyper training requires an item called a Bottle Cap to accomplish, and by the sounds of it these things are kinda rare. For example, capturing Magearna is a way to get a Bottle Cap. If the item is rare enough that you have to catch a legendary to get it, it may be difficult to hyper train very many Pokemon. Unless you just need one bottle cap to train as many as you want, but based on the way the hyper training description on the website is phrased, it sounds like you might need more than one.
That's all the latest about Sun and Moon since my last update. If you didn't see my "last update," be sure to check out my Creator profile or to visit my blog Adventure Rules at ianshepard.wordpress.com. You can also find other content there including guides, reviews, and a bunch of posts about how I haven't posted because I just got a new job and moved away. Thanks for taking the time to read, and feel free to comment with your own thoughts on the latest Pokemon news!