After years and years of playing Pokemon, Generation 5 is the time when things finally started to change.
With Generation 5 came improved Wi-Fi capabilities and a better device, the Nintendo 3DS (to be clear, Black and White were not 3DS games, but the 3DS’ backwards compatibility meant they could be played on it). And with those, came more efficient online play.
That’s right, Geeration 5 is the generation where I started battling online somewhat competitively. For the first time, I was concerned about IVs and properly training EVs! Because why let a game be FUN when you can, instead, turn it into tediously frustrating homework?
With that said, let’s move on to my favorite Pokemon from Unova and see how competitive battling may or may not have shaped the list…
Audino is such an unusual Pokemon because she was never designed to be a worthwhile member of your team or something you needed to catch.
Audino was introduced as a new mechanic in game where you could kind of force her to appear for random battles, and she would drop a BUCKETLOAD of experience on your team.
Audino was Game Freak’s little way of saying “Level grinding sucks, right? Here, this should help! Go get ‘er, champ!”
I guess what I’m saying is: Thanks for making Black and White playthroughs easier, Audino!
Unova really went hard with the Prankster ability–an ability that gives any Pokemon that has it a +1 priority on moves that don’t inflict damage–and Thundurus was one of many Pokemon that instantly debuted as relevant because of it. The funny thing is that Thundurus’ best use of Prankster was to use Taunt… a move that stops other Pokemon from using moves that don’t inflict damage. So Thundurus was the anti-Prankster Prankster! Meta!
Also, it had a secondary forme that hit like Tyson, so that was nice, even if it had to give up Prankster as an ability to do it. Can’t argue with versatility, though.
The hottest riser on the Unova Top Ten is this little pony who, while I liked him well enough in-game, is growing as a favorite due to the TCG: Keldeo.
Unova had a Three Musketeers thing going on with a new trio of legendaries (possibly more on them later!), and Keldeo was the understudy fourth Musketeer to the group.
Most notably, it’s GX card form makes it immure to attacks from other GX cards, which litter the scene. Take that, large tag team monsters!
I appreciate that Zoroark takes the time out of its busy day living inside a tiny computer ball to pull back its unkempt mane into a ponytail. You can’t just be going into battle with your lockes all over the place like you just rolled out of bed. So many Pokemon don’t have the dignity to keep up their appearance, but… not Zoroark!
I SAID “APPEARANCE”, WHAT A GOOD SEGUE!
Zoroark has a unique ability that allows him to take on the physical appearance of another of your Pokemon when you put it in battle. Unlike Ditto, he doesn’t adopt stats or moves or typing… Zoroak is still himself underneath it all. It’s all a clever ruse to trick the opponent.
I LOVE RUSES.
It’s first form’s name is FOONGUS!
This was just a Pokemon I liked for online battling since, once again, I preferred multi-pokey battles over the basic one-on-one. Amoongus had stiff defenses, the ability to heal, and–most importantly–Rage Powder.
Also, it looks like the logo! That’s just good branding, and they hadn’t gone that since Electrode and Voltorb way back in Kanto.
Her hair is a musical bar thing! And she has a headset for singing! I’ve literally never noticed that until now.
I don’t know… Miley Cyrus: The Pokemon: The Singer is neat in that she can change formes back-and-forth mid-battle. Not too many others can do that.
She’s also one of the very most indicative Pokemon as to how designing pocket monsters has changed over the years. They used to be pseudo-realistic and beastly. Now they are all cutesy anime things with nub-hands and excruciatingly little detail. Is that good or bad? I guess it’s subjective, but when I compare Meloetta to some Gen 1 pokeys… I can definitely see it.
This was the guy who was usually anti-Prankster’ed by Thundurus, but that’s because Whimsicott was such an amazing Prankster in is own right.
He hit like a noodle, but he cares? He was never included on teams for his own innate ability to whomp pokeys. He was there because his Prankster movepool was great! Tailwind, Taunt, Helping Hand, Attract, Light Screen, Cotton Guard, Encore, and more. He had so many great moves, your opponent never instantly knew what his role was on your team (unless you used him in conjunction with the next Pokemon on this list…)
Add into that that he is… some kind of… ram + piece of cotton hybrid? But he looks so happy to be whatever he is. You do you, Whimsicott! Don’t let anyone bring you down.
I mentioned with Keldeo that there was a Three Musketeer legendary pack in Generation 5, and here’s it’s other representative on this list, the Rock/Fighting type, Terrakion!
Coballion, the Steel/Fighting type, was mostly non-descript, and the Grass/Fighting type Virizion was, honestly, kind of trash. But Terrakion, with his high attack, speed, and bulk? He was the most well-rounded.
He worked LUDICROUSLY well online with Whimsicott in multi-Pokey battles, too. There was a whole set-up you could do with Whimsicott speeding your team up with Tailwind, then using Beat-Up on your own Terrakion to max out his attack, whereupon his Rock Slide just obliterated anything that didn’t resist it.
Honestly, even without Whimsicott, Terrakion was one of my go-to Physical attackers from Gen 5 on. So strong!
The creme de la Unova really came down to a coin toss for me between Mienshao and the upcoming #1 choice. While Mienshao was probably the better combination of a Pokemon I loved competitively AND in-game, it ultimately lost out to one I just adored wrecking shop with in basic game playthroughs.
Still, Mienshao and his crazy sleeve-arms can’t be discounted. A relatively fast Fake-Out user who could also Wide Guard and had a decent enough moveset. I got a lot of mileage out of him.
What is he, though? Like… a ferret? Some kind of weasel, right? Martial arts weasel!
For whatever reason, two of my favorite Pokemon types are Bug and Electric, and what did Unova give us? AN ELECTRIC BUG. Fantastic!
Galvantula is a nifty little thunderous spider with the Compound Eyes ability which allows it to hit Thunder (normally a 70% accurate move) with an accuracy of 90+%. In-game that was terrific, just lightning-bolting the living hell out of everything in your way. Little can stand in your way, little guy! Thunder! Boom! Thunder Boom! It got to the point where when the < 10% kicked in and Galvantula MISSED its finishing move, you started feeling robbed.
Plus, look at that gif! Creepy! I want an army of those things.
With the list behind us, let’s look at the updated All-Ten team:
I have supplemented my team’s abundant weakness to Ice (Butterfree, Latias, and Torterra) with a crippling disdain for Fire, as well (Butterfree, Torterra, Galvantula). This… isn’t going well.
Still, we have at least one more generation to go, so meet me back here next week to judge the Kalos Pokemon!