Generation three introduced some of the cooler pokemon in my opinion, so I had a very fun time putting this together. Like my Kanto and Johto lists, these are completely subjective and are mostly related to my own experiences using the pokemon and how cool they look.
Yeah, you heard me. I used an early-game bug type as a mainstay team member in my first run of Omega Ruby, and I loved every second of it. Somehow she was my star player during the gym battle, and managed to keep up even in the later game. I don’t know how, considering their base stats are so low, but it was a hell of an underdog story and I was glad to have facilitated it. On top of that, Beautifly is one of those pokemon feels like they’d add a lot of color to the pokemon world. Imagine a spring day, you’re walking around town, and you see these colorful butterflies over a bed of flowers. Adorable. On top of that, the gist of its pokedex entry in Black and White is “it seems docile, but if you disturb it while eating, it will jab you”, and that’s just plain relatable.
It feels like there aren’t quite as many gimmick pokemon these days. Ditto could transform, gaining their opponents stats and moveset; Smeargle could learn any move but only by copying it once it was used against them; and then came Shedinja. When a Nincada evolves into Ninjask while a player has a spare pokeball in their bag and an empty spot in their party, the player will also get a Shedinja, a pokemon with only 1 HP but an ability called “Wonder Guard”, meaning any move that isn’t super-effective will miss entirely. Unless you have mold breaker or a similar ability, Shedinja can only be damaged by flying, rock, ghost, fire, and dark type moves, with everything else having no effect. This is probably my favorite gimmick pokemon there is, and it’s a lot of fun bringing it to a safe gym and sweeping it with no damage.
Tropius is one of those pokemon that makes me wonder who the hell is thinking these up. It’s a dinosaur crossed with a banana tree, and also it can fly. Its pokedex entries only raise more questions. “This pokemon loves fruit… [which] resulted in an outgrowth of fruit.” “In spring, it scatters pollen from its neck.” “It flaps the leaves on its back as if they were wings.” Is it not genetically predisposed to grow fruit, and just does… somehow?? It scatters pollen, you know, plant gametes. Is this how it reproduces? Can you cross-pollinate Tropius with other plants? It explicitly says the leaves are leaves, not wings, but we all know how frail leaves are. What kind of leaves can lift a 220 pound dinosaur off the ground?? I realize I may not be making the best case for Tropius to be on this list, but come on, it’s a banana-tree-saurus that can fly. How is that not awesome?
Psychic and fighting is such a cool combination. They have a lot of parallels, fighting types having high attack stats on average while psychic types have high special attack, fighting moves like counter and mirror coat having similar effects to bulk up and calm mind, and of course psychic type pokemon being focused on mental abilities and intelligence with fighting types focused around technique and strength. Meditite and Medicham are the first pokemon to combine these typings, undergoing intense training to sharpen their mind and their body to become powerful physical and mental fighters. “Badass monk” is a very fun archetype to see in pokemon.
It may not be Halloween anymore, but I will have my pick of spooky ghost type. Originally I was going to put Duskull here, because Dusclops is kinda weird looking, but then I looked into the pokedex entries and holy damn, this thing is wild. Apparently it’s a walking black hole, where there’s absolutely nothing within its wraps, and if something goes in it never comes out. Some theories say it’s a ball of fire on the inside, but it’s never been confirmed, because whoever looks inside it is absorbed into the void. As an added kicker, it can hypnotize people to do its bidding. They let kids hang around this thing? Why don’t the evil teams use these? Better yet, wouldn’t it be a sick reveal that a single Dusclops was the leader of an evil team?
Poor Absol. I love this one for the story behind it: Absol’s horn allows it to sense danger, and so before earthquakes, floods, storms, and other disasters, it would come to warn humans of the impending peril. Humans noticed that Absol would always appear before danger, though, and so began to assume Absol was the one who brought the danger. Believing it to be an evil harbinger, they chased Absol deep into the mountains, where it lived in fear. A pessimist may say the story ends there: no good deed goes unpunished, but I like to look a little deeper. Absol’s name comes from Absolve, to be declared innocent of sin. Eventually, people realized Absol wasn’t the cause of disaster, and welcomed it to live side by side with them and their pokemon.
Gardevoir’s another one from a first playthrough, featuring on my first time playing ORAS. I like her ghost-alien design, and she was pretty cool to use, but little did I know at the time, her moveset was not representative of her full power. If the pokedex is to be believed (and I am taking everything it says as canon, nonsensical as it is), not only can Gardevoir predict the future, but they also have pretty much total control over gravity, able to levitate with psychic power and create black holes to defend themself and their trainer. This thing has more power than most legendaries. The dex also says they’re fiercely loyal, so I guess that makes them a reality-warping ghost alien knight god. I love my reality-warping ghost alien knight god.
This is a dragonfly, right? It’s dragon type and it can fly and it kinda looks like it has dragonfly wings, right? Nope! It’s an antlion you uncultured plebeian! Learn some entomology! I like Flygon’s entire line: Trapinch is pretty cute and Vibrava and Flygon’s polygonal wings look pretty slick. It’s fully built around its desert environment, with sand-repellent eyes and a ground typing to make it immune to sandstorms. Its wings, more importantly, can create music when flapped, luring prey (and people) right towards it. I wonder what it sounds like.
Here’s my big and badass pokemon for the list. When I saw Salamence, I decided I wanted one so badly that I left an open spot on my team for all eight gyms of Hoenn, dove deep into victory road to find the one room where Bagons live, and let the greatest victory road theme in the series motivate my search. It was a few hours between my first steps on victory road and registering Salamence in my pokedex, but god damn, it was worth it. Not only is Salamence ridiculously cool looking, part of its name even comes form “menacing”, it’s got pseudo-legendary stats and wonderful type coverage. My favorite part, though– Bagon and Shelgon dream of someday being able to fly, and by training one up to evolution, any trainer can help make their dream come true.
Apparently Swablu sometimes sits on people’s heads to be a cute little hat. Then they become Altaria, floating through the sky as a cloud, singing beautiful songs. They even hug trainers they feel especially close to. I can’t really think of much to say about Altaria. Some pokemon are cute, some pokemon are powerful, some are mystical and interesting, and some are enveloped in quiet majesty. Normally this is where I’d say something like “I want one”, but all I want is something like this to exist, untouchable by human hands, only to be admired from a distance.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.