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My Top 5 Pokémon (Gen VII)

We’ve hit something of a dilemma, intrepid travellers! After months of eager anticipation, a bevy of twists and turns, and unfathomable vitriol for appointing Swellow as the best Hoenn Pokémon (true geniuses are only appreciated after their time), we have at long last arrived at our destination – the sunny shores of Alola.

This is all well and good, what with its exotic jungles, sprawling beaches and curious fascination with malasada, but I’m still as of this point rather unfamiliar with its denizens. You see, Pokémon Sun and Moon may have been released late last year, but I only started playing it a few months ago. I’m a busy man, after all, and I don’t really have time for holidays on tropical islands.

Regardless, I’ve got a deadline to meet. It’s self-imposed because nobody really cares what I do, but much like former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, I have an arbitrary sense of duty offset by a complete lack of tact. Plus, a possible drug addiction. So I shall press on!

This here is the final list of the top 5 Pokémon, all of the wonders that can be found in gen 7. As per usual, this list is entirely my singular opinion, and subject to change. So when I make a ninja edit to suddenly declare Pyukumuku as the pinnacle of haut couture, don’t be surprised/disappointed/enraged. Just leave a comment expressing your dismay, and a member of our staff will attend to you in 3 to 5 working decades.

741Oricorio-Baile

5. Oricorio

Fun fact – I’m rather fond of the drink. Many a sordid evening has been spent crawling from pub to pub (sometimes literally), ingesting a small fortune worth of liquor, and then cuddling up close with my best friend. Sometimes, it’s a buddy who I engage in a D&M with. Other times, it’s the toilet because YOLO, the night was lit, son.

Depending on what I’m consuming, I may take on a different persona throughout the night. A few shots of Tequila, and suddenly I’m reminiscing of time spent in Tulum and unleashing my terrible Spanish. A glass of whiskey, and I become Jack Donaghey; distinguished, determined, Baldwinning in life. A serving of Bailey’s and milk? Don’t judge me, it’s just delicious.

Oricorio is the Pokémon equivalent to this phenomenon, because depending on which nectar it has been sucking, it will change up its style, even altering its typing in the process. It’ll be a fiery flamenco dancer one moment, a pompom-wielding cheerleader doing the electric boogaloo the next.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that Oricorio is probably an alcoholic, and I love it for that.

My own dalliance with this Pokémon stuck around on my roster for longer than I intended, constantly at risk of being cycled out due to the Flying-type role already being allocated to my Rowlet, Hooratio. The new recruits came in droves… Yungoos… Passimian… even the repugnant Stufful made a brief, horrifying appearance. But they were all quickly substituted for dependable, drunken old Shabazz. She sure loved a good fight after it was all said and done, and for this boorishness, she forever secured a place in my heart and on my bathroom floor.

750Mudsdale

4. Mudsdale

Muddy pony is big! Muddy pony is slow! Muddy pony will sponge up all the hits in the world, and then eat a carrot! That last bit isn’t necessarily true, I’m just jumping to bold conclusions here.

Mudsdale is a Ground-type behemoth that can tank hits left, right and centre. Not only does it have good physical bulk (100/125/100 spreads for HP, attack and defence), it is the sole possessor of the Stamina ability. Effectively, every blow Mudsdale takes raises its defence stat one stage. You hit it, it only makes it stronger. Call it Vigo the Carpathian, for you are like the buzzing of flies!

Alas, muddy pony has its warts, too. Its 85 base stat in special defence is simply okay, it has little in the way of special attack and, most noticeably, a 35 in speed. It’s like climbing atop a clydesdale, only to discover you’ve actually mounted a bar stool – you’re not going anywhere very fast, cowboy.

Regardless, time and time again, my somewhat hapless squad was saved from the brink of disaster by the efforts of Wyatt the Mudsdale. The look of apathy on her face was the doorway to a deep-seated misery resting dormant in her soul – for she knew that her lot in life was to cop a thumping in the name of her incompetent trainer, Dr. Catlove.

I don’t know what exactly Catlove has a doctorate in, but it most certainly isn’t Pokémon training.

727Incineroar

3. Incineroar

There has been a hilarious trend in Fire-type starters over the years. Firstly, the abundance of Fire/Fighting hybrids has become rather bloated, sitting at three as of now. Additionally, the adorable Vulpix wannabe Fennekin brought a great deal of chagrin to trainers eager to have an elegant foxy final evolution, as it began to walk on its hind legs and become a vulpine wizard, because sure – why not?

When the world met Litten, the tension was palpable. Would it remain snugglicious throughout its growth? Or would it acquire that dastardly Fighting spirit, throwing fists at the drop of a hat? Enter Incineroar: the buff feline that only partially disappoints.

Obviously, the ‘cute and cuddly’ expectations were not met, unless you and I have vastly different interpretations of the term. A squeeze from the mighty Incineroar would surely break every bone in your body – the villainous Pokémon purring the whole time amidst your screams of agony. It kinda sounds like an SBS film. I kinda want to watch it.

Despite all appearances however, Incineroar is not a Fighting-type, but Dark, because it is in fact the Heel Pokémon. Wrestling pundits will be delighted by this reference, as it effectively translates to ‘wrestler who is a bad guy’. Rowdy Roddy Piper. Ted DiBiase. Tony Abbott. You love to hate them, basically.

Incineroar even comes equipped with its own finisher, the Malicious Moonsault, wherein it climbs atop the turnbuckle and crashes down upon its opponent in a fiery heap. I dig the reference, man! …I’ll even forgive the fact that it’s not actually a moonsault.

723Dartrix

2. Dartrix

If you’ll pardon the pun, the Pokédex entries for Dartrix in Sun and Moon are like night and day. Should you have opted for the latter, you’ll receive the following flavour text: “It throws sharp feathers called blade quills at enemies or prey. It seldom misses.”

That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? It uses its feathers as projectiles, and it’s deadly accurate. I’m down for that, hopefully that will be how my grandchildren describe me someday.

If you’re a Sun trainer, however, this is how you get to know Dartrix: “A bit of a dandy, it spends its free time preening its wings. Its preoccupation with any dirt on its plumage can leave it unable to battle.”

…O…M…G…

Not only does it describe Dartrix as being ‘a bit of a dandy’, but it makes the admission that it is so self-absorbed, it may simply forego combat entirely in favour of looking snazzy. In a prior entry, I rightly observed that middle evolutions are often forgotten in the echelons of Pokémon fandom, but it is clear that Dartrix is a luminary amongst its peers. Decidueye is great and all – everyone likes a dead bird in a hoodie – but this veritable Virion is on a level all of its own. Hold on tightly to that Everstone, my egotistical owl, for you have reached your pinnacle.

038Ninetales-Alola

1. Ninetales

Wh-what?! How can this be possible? How can a generation 1 creature possibly feature in my top 5 Pokémon from Alola? Is this a misprint? Some kind of chicanery on the part of the mafia? Could Donald Trump somehow be involved??

None of the above are true, my friends – Ninetales indeed makes a return in my rankings, this time sitting pretty atop the top 5 Pokémon in generation 7. In case the picture above didn’t tip you off, this Ninetales is a little bit different from its Kanto-based brethren, for the Alolan variant is the Ice-type. Kanto Ninetales are cool, but Alolan Ninetales are downright frigid.

Also possessing the vaunted Fairy-typing, Ninetales has got a whole new bag of tricks up its sleeve. Through careful breeding, it can acquire the Freeze Dry attack, an interesting technique that is super effective against the Water-type Pokémon it dreaded for all those years. In a snowstorm, it can also utilise Aurora Veil, which boosts the team’s defence and special defence all in one fell swoop.

Most importantly, however, it’s just absolutely gorgeous, isn’t it? I mean, I have been able to eloquently express all kinds of curious reasons for my affinity towards Pokémon throughout these articles, but this one speaks for itself. One look at Alolan Ninetales doesn’t just make you feel enamoured, it probably also makes you feel comparatively ugly. Are you a stunning supermodel with looks that were considered unrivalled? Well, not anymore! Now that you’ve taken one look upon this frosty fox, you’re yesterday’s news – retire in shame and retreat to a secluded cave in obscurity, you cad!!

So raise your glass to the one true ruler of them all, and then pour one out because we are finally done with all of these top 5 Pokémon lists! I’ll hardly know what to do with myself now – if anyone has any suggestions for similar articles, drop a line and let me know! Top 5 Digimon? Top 5 Fire Emblem units? Top 5 Spice Girls??

The sky’s the limit, my friends. And if you look closely enough, you may even see a Dartrix up there, too.

The top 5 lists are done, but there’s more fun to be had!

Don’t forget to head to our Facebook page to cast your vote for your favourite Z-fighter!!

Have you been following the latest developments on the Switch and 3DS? There’s plenty of Pokémon fun coming soon!

And… yes, you knew it was coming… One last plug for my Pokémon Red Nuzlocke Challenge! This upcoming weekend marks the return after a long layover… so better catch up now, before I go into the Rock Tunnel, do a party wipe, and cry myself to sleep!

 

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About Tony Cocking (20 Articles)
Gaming is my hobby, also sorta kinda my career.

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