Monday, December 27, 2010

Scarecrow's Competitive Battling Spotlights: A look into the new Generation's Metagame

 With the introduction of over 150 new Pokemon for the fifth generation games, as well as a similar amount of new abilities, moves, and some altercations to a few old abilities and moves, it is certain that a lot will change from the competitive perspective. As an avid competitive battler (though not particularly an expert), it is with great excitement that I begin a new series of competitively particular posts, Competitive Battling Spotlights, that will reveal and analyze a number of features in the brand new metagame, as well as a few old ones that still stand. Furthermore, I will often times compare a new feature with a similar old one, as in the case of two similar Pokemon.

These posts will contain full information on anything ranging from:
1) New Pokemon and their influence in the new metagame. 
2) Old Pokemon and their influence in the new metagame. 
3) New Moves, who gets them, and their effectiveness in the new metagame. 
4) New Abilities, who gets them, and their effectiveness. 
5) Changes in old Moves/Abilities in the 5th Generation. 
6) Full team analyses of teams specifically made by me. 
7) Anything else that relates to the world of competitive battling in Pokemon Black and White.

Lastly, I would like to specify a couple of things. First, although I will be posting CBS (Competitive Battling Spotlight) frequently, I will continue to post articles of different Pokemon-related subjects as well (eg: an article about my favorite 3rd gen. Pokemon). Second, in these competitive battling-specific posts, any time I refer to "the metagame" I am referring to the "standard", OU (Overused) metagame at large unless otherwise stated. I typically follow the site Smogon, and therefore recognize their tiering system, but I understand certain other sites (Pokemon Online, for example) may have slightly different tiers at the moment. For this, I apologize for any confusion that may occur in my discussion of the "metagame". 

If anybody reading this has absolutely NO idea what competitive battling is, or is completely confused about some particular aspect of it, feel free to email, comment, or message me, and I will be happy to help in your understanding of the system and how it works.

Happy Holidyays! Happy competitive discussion!! 


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A New Beginning: The Starters of Unova 
 While it's possible I am a little late in doing this, I would like to take some time in analyzing the three new starters of Generation 5, Snivy, Oshawott and Tepig, as well as their evolutions. While I'd say we've all come a long way in speculating since their introduction in the form of silhouettes all those months ago,  I think it's safe to say these little guys have actually grown on me. 
 My first thoughts about the three were the unexpectedness of them all. Surely we never know what to expect at the beginning of each Generation of Pokemon, but I felt a bit differently about these than I had about any other rudimentary trio in the past. They were new, they were fresh, but something about them all seemed as if they had been done before. Maybe that's what you get when you're five Generations and over 600 Pokemon in. 

The Grass Snakes: 
Almost immediately, for some reason, my attention was drawn quickly to the Grass-type starter. 
 "That thing looks exactly like Treecko" was essentially the first sentence I found I could say about it. I mean, look at it. What more could two bipedal, green, Grass-type lizards have in common? Not to mention the willful, almost smug expression plastered across the faces of the two lizards. Their eyes each seem to say "I don't care what anybody thinks, I'm a badass!" For these reasons, and that they are both starter Pokemon, I was turned off to Snivy from the beginning. That is not to say I don't like smug little lizards, but I feel that when Nintendo tends to release a superfluous amount of a certain species, so much so that it becomes almost exhaustive (*cough* Electric rodents! *cough*), there isn't much fun or excitement in discovering these new Pokemon. I was, however, soon proved wrong. 
 The evolved forms of Snivy do in fact live up to the species' name. More particularly in the last stage (dubbed 'Jalorda', 'Jarooda', or 'Smuglord' as of yet), it is clear that this evolutionary line is based on a snake of some sort. With regal curving patterns down the length of its body and the retention of the self-controlled, smug
My original thoughts: Grass/Dragon type
glare, this final form reigns superior over any other snake Pokemon introduced to date. I must say I am impressed with Snivy's evolution and I will gladly accept it into the family of other Grass starters. Better still, it resembles Sceptile by no means whatsoever and adds a refreshing touch to my personal standards for starter Pokemon. Its stats are interesting as well, but we will touch on those another time. If I had to rate this on a scale of 1 to 10 for coolness (10 being the best), I would give it an 8.

Another Fighting type??!?: 
   Tepig, of all three starters, instantly became my favorite of the group. Its with a unique design, awesome coloration, and a legacy to live up to in being a Fire type starter, I felt that this thing had the potential to be an amazing Pokemon, both stat-wise and species-wise. Of the three, he was the funnest to speculate about, and even still is, despite us knowing quite a bit about him now. Of course, the whole pig thing has been done before (see Spoink, Grumpig and....Mankey?), but this was a completely new attempt at it. Seriously, this thing is so awesome that it doesn't even turn into bacon despite the presumably hot temperatures its body must exceed. All in one this thing looks fierce, especially with its awesome typing. It even retains the cuteness factor of being a little piglet. I am certain to choose this as my starter once Black and White come out in the U.S. A fire-breathing pig...Go figure. 
A Ham that cooks itself! This could have easily been Fire/Dark or Fire/Ground!

Now, contrary to Snivy and its final form, who went from disappointing to royally awesome, Tepig's last stage was welcomed a little differently. Design-wise, it lives up to my expectations of the Fire Pig, and possibly even surpasses the coolness of its Grass counterpart. What let me down, however, was the fact that it stands, once again, as another Fire/Fighting type starter. As if two isn't enough the designers of the new Pokemon must have felt like a tradition had been started with its fiery predecessors, and perhaps didn't want to let the Pokefans down. Otherwise they were at a complete loss for ideas with the 15 other types they could have used to enhance this thing's uniqueness. Overall, this Pokemon does look cool, and I will keep my word that it is my favorite of the other new starters, but I really do hope Gamefreak doesn't begin to make a pattern of this. Even another pure Fire-type starter would be ok. All and all, it is out of my hands to make up the types of Pokemon, and is therefore futile to complain. Design-wise, this thing nets a hardy 8.5/10 in my book. Just don't ask me to judge its typing. 

**On a side note, an interesting observation I have made is that Enobuu, along with Blaziken and Infernape, in fact share more things in common than are categorically obvious. Being a chicken, a monkey, and a pig, I have noticed that the three Fire starters of the past three generations have been based off animals that reside in the Chinese Zodiac. While this may be a minor coincidence, it is still something fun to discuss and speculate about. Maybe we can come to expect a Fire/Fighting ram in future games?**

Wait, so what is that thing??
    Oshawott, the sea otter Pokemon. What a cutie. Yes, we've seen the otter thing done before in Buizel and Floatzel (or were they weasels?), but Oshawott by no means resembles these two, and is unique in its own right. With a white face, a large, round orange nose, and a ruffly neck, my first thought of this otter was that it would evolve into some sort of clown/mime/sea otter hybrid. Yes, the idea sounds a bit creepy, but I can't say I wouldn't like it. In fact, I would gladly trade in Wott's actual evolution for a clown, a mime, anything but this!
Probably my least favorite of the three,
but I've seen worse Pokemon.
Meet Daikenki (current Japanese name), the Dignity Pokemon. Complete with oldman-like mustache/beard combo, a honeycomb as a headpiece, and a jet/shark-looking fin for a tail, this thing is far from the cutely huggable otter it is supposed to have evolved from. Where exactly is its dignity?
All joking aside, this is actually a decent-looking pokemon. Odd, yes, but let's be thankful we weren't given another Water/Steel bird, or yet ANOTHER Electric-type rat (wait....nevermind...). Fierce, swift, and dog-like, I personally wouldn't mind raising one of these myself. That is even taking into account the fact that every time I look at it I am reminded of the delicious Summer treat, Otter Pops. Here's to hoping this guy makes a splash in the coming games. 7.5 out of ten.

The Verdict:
I think it is now safe to say that, based off the starters' appearance alone, we are in for an exhilarating, visually refreshing adventure when Pokemon Black and White come out in North America. There are always going to be those unappealing Pokemon; the ones that make you think, "WHAT were they thinking?!", but overall I think the designers over at Gamefreak have really outdone themselves this time around. It may take some getting used to, but once we truly familiarize ourselves with these new monsters, they will be just as much our favorites as Pikachu or Arceus.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pokemon Black and White: English Names

As of right now several English names have been confirmed for things in the Black and White games. While there are somewhere under 10 items (Pokemon, Moves and Region) confirmed so far, we still have quite a long way to go in the anticipation of these brand new games.

So what's confirmed??

The Starters



 Quite odd names, to say the least. Upon first reading these names, I immediately resented them in my head as they did not have that same "ring" the other starter trios had. However, I grew to like Snivy, as a combination of "Snake" and "Ivy", and for some reason some long awaiting search inside of me was restored. Snivy! What an awesomely catchy name! Oshawott, on the other hand, is just weird. I couldn't guess what kind of pun or word-play they were going for in that. On the brighter side of things, many fans anticipated the Water-type's name to be Wotter, and seeing that there is a portion of that name in its actual English name does justify the prediction to some degree. Tepig is an odd name because its potency is not as blatantly obvious as something like Chimchar or Mr. Mime, but has still come to grow on me. I can only hope the evolutions have names nearly as clever, if not any more clever, than these "decent" attempts. Snivy still stands as my favorite (at least in the name category).

The Foxes



The very first Generation 5 Pokemon introduced. I was not let down in the least at the announcement that these two would be keeping their already deemed titles, because I thought their names were interesting off the bat. "Zorro", the Spanish word for fox is so cleverly incorporated here it almost seethes with wily deceit, as the two Pokemon's appearances seem to reveal. It stands that Zorua and Zoroark are truly just as awesome in design as they are in name.

The Mascots


These, I believe, were the first to be introduced as keeping their original names. Again, while the names give nothing literally away, they are to be pronounced with all the great mysticism and prestige of a legendary Pokemon, particularly of the Dragon-type clan. It is but a matter of time before we discover the English variations of their Ice-type affiliate, among the remainder of the new monsters introduced in the new games.

As of now, only one move has been precisely confirmed in its English translation, and that is Hone Claws. This attack boosts the Attack and Accuracy stat of the user by +1. While the move literally "Hones the Claws", I don't believe it is a fitting name for an attack. While we've had odd attempts like "Follow Me" and "Me First" before, I think Hone Claws sounds oddly formal as opposed to calling it "Claw Hone", or something of the sort. Personally, I liked its original, tentative translation "Claw Sharpen" better. Let's see how many other moves' names are goofed up like this one.

For the first time ever, the actual Region name was changed in the transition of rough Jap-translation to true English name and it was done so drastically. While I liked Isshu, the Japanese name, because it sounded like it fit in with names like Hoenn, Sinnoh, Kanto, etc, I believe Unova fits nicely into the mix as well. Plus, the shift in region name is not nearly as grandiose as, say, something like changing Rotom-A's typing from Electric/Ghost to Electric/SomethingElse...

So that is the list for now. Of course, in the coming weeks and months we will be heavily bombarded with countless others, but until then it is always fun to discuss and speculate accordingly.

Happy Judging!


Sunday, December 19, 2010


Since I am new here, and anybody reading this likely is as well, I would like to introduce myself.

I am obsessed with Pokemon, and have been since the very beginning.
I am also very fond of Scarecrows. 
I am a writer, and love to read, as well as write poems, stories and songs.
Music is one of the largest, if not the largest, influential mediums in my life.
My favorite Pokemon of all time is Mew. I remember spending countless hours as a kid wondering how in the world I could obtain Mew for my own. I was very disappointed to find that there was no way to get him in the games without some kind of cheat. It wasn't until I was much older that I discovered the Mew Glitch in Pokemon Red and Blue versions. One of my happiest moments ever.
I also like to learn.

Thank you for taking the time to read my introductions. I will start posting more Pokemon-centered topics soon enough.


*Now I ask, what is your favorite Pokemon, biggest influence in life, and/or career of choice (what is your career now, or what would you like your career to be in the future).

Welcome to my world! (of Pokemon)

Hello Everyone,

And welcome to my Pokemon blog. I have been, and probably always will be, a very avid fan of anything Pokemon, and so with this I hope to bring about discussion and thoughts of anything and everything related to the Pocket Monsters Franchise. Here I will attempt to delve into the vast realms of Pokemon, ranging from aesthetic appeal to in depth tips and guides of the games to discussion and speculation of the competitive battling scene. Also, with Black and White just months away, I hope to stir excitement as well as anticipation for the new games, as well as the new set of monsters introduced.

I invite anyone who is a fan, of any level, to join me here, where we will traverse the various fields of Pokemon in hopes of sharing thoughts, beliefs and even tips to everything that relates to this, one of Nintendo's most popular ventures.

Hoping to meet a great many Pokefans.