Welcome to the Powet Top 5, where we explore the top (and bottom) 5 items we think are relevant to any of a variety of topics that span the imagination. Sit back, read, and respond.
Pokemon! There are over 150, as the Pokérap tells us. It’s been a long time since that original set over 15 years ago. These days there are 648. Here I find myself tasked with distilling this list down to 5. Naturally with such a huge sample, everyone will have their preference. Narrowing it down a team of 6 is hard enough! If I wanted to be fair I could pick a Pokémon from each generation and fill out the list, but I’m hardly fair. I’m a biased human who remembers the best of times from my day and resents all this new stuff, so as far as my list is concerned there might as well be 150! Despite my love of the games and all the time I put into them over the years it seems my choices are highly influenced by what I saw in the anime, which was a great show up until Tracey showed up and then it was lame. With that, here are my Top 5 Pokémon. Feel free to share your own.
Sudowoodo isn’t a particularly great Pokemon. In fact Sudowoodo is kind of useless and looks like a tree but is made out of rock. I mainly picked Sudowoodo because I had this funny picture where it looks like Brock is licking his own giant penis that is actually Sudowoodo. I also have a video clip of that which I recorded from Kids WB back when Sudowoodo was relevant. That’s pretty much all I have to say about Sudowoodo…
Caterpie is special for a lot of reasons. Caterpie is Ash’s first Pokémon. Well, aside from Pikachu. Caterpie is the first Pokémon Ash catches actually, which may be the case for players of the game if you happened to have started with Pokémon Blue as Caterpie are common in the first grassy area. Caterpie’s counterpart in Pokémon Red is Weedle. In the anime, like in the game, Caterpie’s life and usefulness are short lived as Caterpie quickly evolves into Metapod and then shortly after, Butterfree. It’s uncommon for Pokémon to evolve so quickly but Caterpie is meant to be a way to teach the players about Pokémon evolution, and Caterpie does a great job of that. Not only does Caterpie get improved stats in evolving but until Caterpie becomes Metapod and then Butterfree no good moves can be learned.
This makes for some interesting challenges in trying to use Caterpie in it’s unevolved state. You’ll basically have to contend with using String Shot, which slows down the target, and Tackle, the most basic of attacks. In generations IV and V Caterpie is also able to learn Bug Bite at level 15. I brought a Caterpie along with me in Pokémon Blue and ultimately leveled it up to level 78, which was not a simple task. Sadly that save state was deleted just yesterday…
One great thing about Caterpie is this wonderful clip of Misty reluctantly touching him, and the resulting “String Shot” when she gets close…
Psyayaye! Psyduck is … well a duck. Misty catches a Psyduck entirely by accident in one episode when she accidentally drops a Pokéball and Psyduck gets caught in it. Psyduck’s shtick is to always have a headache, and of course to always come out when Misty attempts to call another Pokémon. This is frustrating for Misty, but thoroughly enjoyable for the audience. Psyduck gained great popularity online when it was used as an avatar for our very own Crazy on message boards so old that people didn’t even call them avatars back then!
In the game Psyduck is somewhat effective, with a bizarre mix of water and psychic moves. Psyduck evolves into Golduck, a much larger, stronger and much less cute version of Psyduck, but isn’t that the story of most Pokémon? With that, here’s a picture of Psyduck I drew back in the day…
Jigglypuff is another star of the Pokémon anime. Jigglypuff enjoys singing, and has a beautiful voice, but when Pokémon or people hear Jigglypuff’s song, they fall asleep. Jigglypuff gets very upset when this happens, and so out comes the magic marker and everyone who dared fall asleep gets their face drawn on. Jigglypuff shows up quite frequently throughout the series, following Ash and the gang around but never actually being caught by anyone.
Jigglypuff is pretty decent in the games, as Sleep is a useful move to have early on when dealing with random encounters. Jigglypuff will evolve into Wigglytuff with a Moon Stone, though this comes at the cost of much cuteness. Jigglypuff has a baby state, Igglybuff, retconned in with the second generation of games. Jigglypuff is also featured in many other games such as Pokémon snap and is featured most prominently as a playable character in all three versions of Super Smash Bros. Jigglypuff’s signature move in these games is once again singing.
Jigglypuff’s Song is also a track on the Pokémon The 3rd Movie soundtrack, as well as on “Totally Pokémon”.
That’s right, my favourite Pokémon is the king of carp, Magikarp! Magikarp is known for it’s uselessness in all incarnations. In the anime James is sold a Magikarp by a shifty man who convinces him that it will make him rich. The logic being that each Magikarp has 1000 eggs, so in three generations James could have a billion Magikarp to sell for $100 each.
James is impressed with Magikarp’s solid gold Pokéball, but quickly learns it’s only gold plated. This joke was from a time when we didn’t have a ton of Pokéball colours, there were only the red and white varieties.
James soon realises that Magikarp isn’t terribly useful and is unable to do much but splash around. This idea is parodied in this great Newgrounds movie. Team Rocket eventually get a Magikarp submarine to cruise around in style.
Magikarp in the game exists only as something to evolve into Gyarados. Players aren’t really intended to use Magikarp for anything, as they only have Splash attack to start with. Eventually at level 15 Magikarp learns Tackle, but even that is a weak move that does little damage with Magikarp’s horrible stats. Using Magikarp usefully is a huge challenge and will generally require fighting enemies of a much lower level. In later games Magikarp gets some slightly less horrible moves. Starting with generation II Magikarp gets Flail which does more damage depending on how hurt Magikarp is. This can work out well for a short time, though to be effective in battle Magikarp will need to be nearly killed before being useful. A special event Magikarp had Bubble and Reversal but was only available at the New York City Pokémon Center. In generations IV and V it’s possible to get a Magikarp with Bounce, a Flying type move that is considerably more powerful than Tackle. In generation IV a Magikarp with bounce can be obtained from the Pokéwalker but if you have a Magikarp you’re attached to that you’d like to teach it to you can get it taught by a Move Tutor in exchange for Battle Points. In generation V a bouncing Magikarp can be caught in the Dream World. My favourite Generation IV Pokémon is my level 56 Shiny Magikarp with Bounce.
Magikarp’s Shiny variant is a gold Magikarp. Because of the way generation II determined Shiny Pokémon based on individual values for stats there is an increased chance of inheriting being Shiny from a parent Shiny. Because you get a Red Gyarados in Pokémon Silver, Gold and Crystal you can just breed that a bunch of times until you get a Gold Magikarp! The odds are actually 1 in 64, but Magikarp eggs are laid and hatched so quickly that this is pretty feasible.
As my final tribute to Magikarp, here’s a really old sketch of one I did over a decade ago.
No doubt you have your own favourites. Please leave a comment letting us know of who your top 5 Pokémon are!