This is a blog where I talk about the crazy unique properties of Pokémon that you never noticed while playing the games. If you want to know more about this blog and me, check out the About page. Otherwise we’ll get straight to the posts.


Teaching Munchlax Self-destruct Part 2

Posted February 18, 2018

This is the second part of my discussion of Munchlax and Self-destruct. You’ll want to read last week’s blog post before this one. There I talk about how Munchlax learns Self-destruct and why this particular edge case was one of the main inspirations for starting this blog in the first place.


Teaching Munchlax Self-destruct

Posted February 11, 2018

This is it, folks. This is the Pokémon peculiarity that inspired this blog in the first place. Today, I’m going to talk about how you can obtain a Munchlax that knows Self-destruct and how this particular move tripped up PokémonCompDB when I first encountered it. Two weeks ago I mentioned that some of the edge cases I’ve discovered mean things are particularly difficult for the player to do and others are challenging for PokémonCompDB from a data perspective. This one was both.


Hoppip and Pay Day

Posted January 29, 2018

Hoppip is a Grass and Flying Pokémon introduced in Generation 2 (Gold & Silver). It’s an adorable little fluff ball that evolves into two other similar fluff balls (Skiploom and Jumpluff), and back in Generation 2, it could learn Pay Day. This is Hoppip:


Consistency in Temporary Form Changes

Posted January 21, 2018

I’ve talked about temporary form changes before when I was talking about Rotom. They’re when a Pokémon changes form for a bounded amount of time, often just for the duration of a battle. Today I’m going to be talking about how PokémonCompDB represents all of these temporary form changes and some inconsistencies about how to effectively represent them that still plague me to this day.


Ultra Necrozma, Form Exceptions Galore

Posted January 14, 2018

Ultra Necrozma is an alternate form of Necrozma that was introduced in Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. It plays a major part in the story of those games and is generally extremely powerful. And it spits on my definitions of form transitions in ways I hadn’t thought about.


Shedinja in a Master Ball

Posted January 07, 2018

Oh, Shedinja. Shedinja is the Pokémon made of exceptions and weird edge cases. I’ve talked about Shedinja before, about how its fixed HP stat of 1 has caused me some problems. Now I’m coming back to Shedinja to talk about how you might go about catching Shedinja with a Master Ball.


Mega-Evolution Exceptions

Posted December 31, 2017

Mega evolutions were added to Pokémon in Generation 6 (X & Y). They’re effectively temporary form changes that activate in the middle of a battle. When a Pokémon is holding the correct mega stone (for example, Abomasnow holding an Abomasite), the player can elect to transform them into their mega form on their turn. The transformation happens at the beginning of that turn, before any Pokémon in the battle have moved. Mega-evolutions usually drastically increase the stats of the Pokémon and often change its types and ability as well.


Meowstic, the True Nidoran

Posted December 24, 2017

This week, I’m celebrating Christmas by talking about Meowstic. Exciting, I know! Meowstic is a Pokémon that is significantly different depending on if it’s male or female. I’ve talked about gender dimorphism in Pokémon before and some of the other fun edge cases I’ve discovered to do with it. Mostly, Pokémon gender differences (when they exist) are cosmetic, but in Meowstic the differences affect several things: appearance, stats, abilities, and move sets. Each gender of Meowstic is basically a different form (and I’ve discussed form differences a bit before as well). This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Pokémon, but Meowstic is different from its predecessor, Nidoran, in a few ways that caused me additional headaches.


The Many Forms of Pikachu

Posted December 17, 2017

Pikachu, the electric rodent Pokémon and one of the best known mascots of any series in the world, has been represented in the main series Pokémon games since the very beginning. There have also been many different iterations of the adorable little guy, to celebrate a variety of Pokémon-related occasions. Last week I talked about forms and Rotom, and today, I’m going to talk about the variant forms of Pikachu that have had the most impact on PokémonCompDB and how they create their own unique spins on the normal Pokémon.


Rotom Forms

Posted December 09, 2017

Rotom is a tiny little Electric/Ghost Pokémon that is pretty adorable. It also acts as an infuriating sidekick in Generation 7 (Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, & Ultra Moon). Rotom changes form between several different types and drastically different stats by possessing household appliances. (Yes, this is actually what it does.) There are a lot of Pokémon that change form (some of which I’ve talked about before), but Rotom was the first Pokémon I encountered that had certain moves only available in certain forms, but could also switch between forms at will.


Alolan Form Evolutions

Posted December 03, 2017

Alolan forms are one of the headline features of Generation 7 (Sun & Moon). They’re new variants of existing Pokémon that take a fresh look at those Pokémon designs. In the fiction of the games, the Alolan forms of existing Pokémon are caused by them migrating to Alola (the region in which Sun & Moon are set) from other regions, and their physiology changing in adaptation to the new environment there. In practice, Game Freak have created a bunch of new twists on existing Generation 1 (Red & Blue) Pokémon - many of them classics that longtime players will remember.


Catching Politoed

Posted November 25, 2017

Politoed, introduced in Generation 2 (Gold & Silver), is a green frog Pokémon that evolves from Poliwhirl. That evolution happens when you trade the Poliwhirl, which is a mechanic Game Freak use to encourage players to play together and make friends. Poliwhirl has a small additional wrinkle in that it needs to be holding a King’s Rock when traded in order to evolve into Politoed.


Azurill’s Gender Swap

Posted November 19, 2017

Pokémon have genders. Three to be precise: Male, Female, and Genderless. Genderless Pokémon tend to be synthetic or non-animal-based in some way (like Magnemite). Genders are used to facilitate Pokémon breeding (that and anything that can breed can breed with Ditto). Some Pokémon have visible cosmetic gender differences (like Pyroar) and the move Attract affects Pokémon of the opposite gender to the user. Those are the general properties of Pokémon gender, but there’s one specific Pokémon called Azurill that could change gender in certain situations.


Calculating a Pokémon’s HP

Posted November 11, 2017

How much HP should this Pokémon have? That depends on a lot of factors. At some level, like all other stats, the Pokémon will have a Base HP. Different species (Bulbasaur vs Arceus vs Umbreon, and all other 799 of them) have differing Base HPs. Pokémon gain HP as they level up, so a level 76 Chansey will have a lot more HP than a level 5 one.


Game Abbreviations

Posted November 04, 2017

Such a simple problem. “Which Pokémon game is this?” You would think that looking at the data for where a Pokémon learned a move, it would be obvious which game that move was learned in. Unfortunately, you would be wrong.


Z-Move Base Power

Posted October 27, 2017

Z-moves are one of the new headline features in Generation 7 (Sun & Moon). There are quite a few unique things about them compared to… pretty much every other move that’s come before. They can be used, only once per battle, to transform one of your Pokémon’s existing moves into a more powerful Z-Move, using the Z-Move instead of the original move. They’re unlocked by a special item called a Z-Crystal that the Pokémon must be holding, with one Z-Crystal available per type. (And a few that are only for specific Pokémon like Pikashunium Z for Pikachu.) They have hugely different effects based on which normal move you turn into a Z-Move.


HM05 Rock Smash and TM94 Secret Power

Posted October 20, 2017

When working to support the newly released Pokémon Sun & Moon (6 months after they came out) there were a lot of new concepts for me to wrestle with to represent the new mechanics Game Freak added in Generation 7. Things like Alolan forms and Z-Moves were the visible, big ticket items, but I ran into an unexpected little problem with two TMHMs.


Bonsly, Lucario, and Vaporeon in Generation 5

Posted October 13, 2017

Starting as I mean to continue, my first post is about how three specific Pokémon learn moves subtly and surprisingly differently from most others in Generation 5 (Pokémon Black & White and Black 2 & White 2). And by “most others” I mean “all others of the then-494 total Pokémon.”