(Picture by KiraTakuto)
And now, the Poison-type Award Ceremony! This Poison-type review series took more than a year to complete (the first review was published back in 23rd of August last year), so I hope your patience is rewarded up to this point! Since this is an original article, it took longer to complete than the others.
Anyway, enough talk. Let’s get right down to the main part: the awards!
Starting off this article is the best name category. There are quite a few worthy candidates here. My final decision for this matter ultimately goes to Seviper, because the components of its name is really nice. Its name could be a mix of “Sever” and “Viper”, but it has a few similarities with the word “serpent” as well. It’s certainly a step up from its closest relatives’ names, Ekans and Arbok (snake and kobra spelt backwards).
Runner-ups: Drapion, Toxicroak, Garbodor
Gulpin & Swalot
New Poison-types are a rarity these days. However, when they are introduced, they are often unique. The one that struck me as the best concept are these Pok√©mon. Gulpin and Swalot are based around the idea of digestion, like how our stomach turn our food into nutrition, which involves acids and enzymes and stuff to aid the breaking down of the food. Similarly, these Pok√©mon have deadly acids to dissolve literally anything they eat, even metal (I guess). Not only do they eat big, they also discharge fluids out of their gigantic mouths. The association between Poison-types and digestion is an ingenious one to say the least.
Runner-ups: Grimer and Koffing families (Pollution counterparts), Trubbish and Garbodor (Garbage)
Of all the awards, choosing the coolest is probably the hardest, simply because what is cool is certainly a subjective matter. After some consideration, I decided to go for something that is not always appreciated, Beedrill! It’s one thing to collect insects to battle, but if this insect is a deadly bee weapon with stinging spears on its limbs, it certainly is unconventional enough that it’s a “cool” Pok√©mon. In fact, Beedrill’s movepool are a bit skewered to cool, if the moves from Generation 4 is taken into account. While Beedrill may be weak compared to most others, it is dangerous in swarms, so it’s not wise to underestimate one (especially if it’s one swarm!).
Runner-ups: Scolipede, Gengar, Toxicroak, Arbok
For this one, I am casting my vote on Gengar, simply because as a ghost, Gengar has a lot of tricks up its sleeve. For example, it has the ability to hide in shadows, by virtue of being a ghost. However, it will literally give that person the chills should it be near. Still, Gengar’s tricks. Among these tricks include scaring people with scary faces, putting a life-draining curse on its opponent, making other sleep and disabling moves. Maybe it’s not the absolute best choice, but it’s the only one that is smart enough for me to consider the smartest of Poison-types.
Between Nidoking and Drapion, this is a tricky pick. Both of them have their own degree of toughness and brutality. In the end, I decided that Nidoking is the better choice. While both of them are contenders, Nidoking wins due to its strength. Its Pok√©Dex entries mentions not only its powerful tail, but also its strong hide and powerful horn. The reason Nidoking has an edge over Drapion is its versatility. It may have a lot of powerful physical techniques, but it also could pull off some special moves, such as breathing fire and surfing. Because of its formidable appearance and the different ways Nidoking could cause destruction, Nidoking ultimately wins out as the toughest Poison-type.
Runner-ups: Drapion, Scolipede, Muk
Poison-types are not exactly renowned for their beauty, so this is kind of a sparse category. For this one, I put Roserade as the most beautiful because it is the most colourful of them all, and flowers are lovely. Its powers of fragrance is one of the benefits of being a flower, so there’s that too.
Runner-ups: Vileplume, Nidorina, Venomoth
When asked my personal opinion about the Cutest Poison-type, this won’t be my first choice (Budew would be, but it was chosen as cutest in the Grass-type Award Ceremony). However, I chose Koffing because I heard various people endorsing Koffing’s cuteness, not to mention being a choice Pok√©mon for a mascot as far as fansites go (Smogon and Dogasu’s Backpack are the main ones). I can see why certain people find Koffing cute and charming too. In fact, I heard of an opinion that even though Koffing is composed of a bunch of noxious gases, it is happy because it acknowledges its existence as one. Now that’s a brilliant one!
Runner-ups: Trubbish, Budew
There is something about Croagunk that makes it popular. It probably has to do with its appearance. It looks like it is planning something evil based on its sinister smile and the way its eyes look. This is one of the things that makes it a fan-favourite. Perhaps its claim to fame is its anime appearance. In the anime, ever since Brock got hold of Croagunk, it will take every opportunity to stab him with a stinging Poison Jab whenever Brock got too flirty. That is some comedy potential right there. These two factors are enough to make Croagunk a standout as funniest.
Runner-ups: Qwilfish, Amoonguss
When I missed out on mentioning Bulbasaur or its family as an award winner in my Grass-type Award Ceremony, I received a few comments about how it’s a shame that Bulbasaur (or its evolutions) weren’t winners. Well, to all of you who lamented about this, I have some good news for all of you: this category is unrivalled for our friendly and cute Bulbasaur! Bulbasaur certainly looks cute, and unlike most of the Poison-types, isn’t known for being harmful or willing to be on the offensive. It is also the mascot of the Bulba sites, so the folks there have a degree of respect for this little plant dinosaur. In fact, Bulbagarden is one of the friendlier sites you will find out there! So yep, Bulbasaur is the friendliest of the Poison-types, and rather iconic too, considering how popular Bulbapedia is among the Pok√©mon websites.
Poison-types, due to their nature of willing to harm, are generally scary. As you may have guessed, there are several candidates for this one. I decided to be more “direct” for this one and say that Scolipede is the scariest. It is a humongous insect that also happens to be very fast, in which it moves by not only running, but also rolling. An insect that big won’t hesitate to plow anything or decapitate to make a meal out of anything that resembles prey. This is the stuff that is sure to incite one’s fear of insects.
Runner-ups: Tentacruel, Gastly line, Nidoran family, Drapion
Poison-types are an interesting bunch. We have stuff that are weird because they look weird, as well as stuff that are weird due to their inherent characteristics. Skuntank fits the latter category, with a touch of the first one (its face is derri√®re-like). What’s odd about Skuntank is that it, as well as its pre-evolution, are the only Poison-type mammals. Mammals are not known for their venomous qualities (not even real skunks are poisonous, you know), so I imagine that they must not feel good absorbing Toxic Spikes with their feet. Another quality has to be their fume-spewing abilities. I chose Skuntank over Stunky because Skuntank’s method of fume-discharging is not immediately apparent. Unlike Stunky, who spews through its anus like skunks do, Skuntank spews it from the tip of its tail, which is weirder. Oh, and if that’s not all, they can spew flamethrowers too. For this category, Skuntank barely beats the rest.
Runner-ups: Garbodor, Muk, Weezing
Here’s a tough one to make. There are various Poison-types that received some wonderful improvements over the generations, especially one of the numerous Poison-types found in Generation 1. For this category, my vote goes to Crobat. First and foremost, despite not being a Generation 1 Pok√©mon, Crobat evolves from one, and it has a fantastic stat upgrade from Golbat. It’s got decent defences, nice Attack and more importantly, superb Speed. From then on, it received other upgrades, namely useful attacks, a Special Attack booster (Nasty Plot), recovery (Roost) and support. This allows Crobat to pull off numerous roles, whether it be offensive, defensive or support. Its resistances is even more needed today, considering the powerful Fighting-types (and to a lesser extent, Bug-types) that it could fight back, due to its STAB Flying attacks.
Runner-ups: Weezing, Victreebel, Venusaur, Venomoth
If I were to pick between Beedrill and Ariados, I would choose Ariados as the one with the most need. Why? Because Ariados didn’t quite get better. At least Beedrill has some notable characteristics that makes it better off, particularly the ability to hit Steel-types super-effectively, some form of recovery and being famous as a dangerous swarm. Ariados does have certain qualities too, such as dealing with Ghosts and using Baton Pass. However, it lost something that truly differentiates it: Spider Web passing. The way it worked is once a target is trapped with Spider Web, using Baton Pass to switch out will result in the target still being trapped. It does not work this time, making Ariados a lot less special. At least with Beedrill, it is extremely easy to raise, but Ariados is a bit tougher, and thus, deserves better improvements.
Runner-ups: Beedrill, Dustox, Swalot
Runner-ups: Crobat, Roselia
Poison-types are generally deceptively useful, because they have characteristics that give them good defensive utility. Being immune to Poison is one thing, but resistances is where we’re at. Being part-Water, Tentacruel also resists some important types, in addition to not being weak to Grass (because Poison neutralises it). Tentacruel is oddly fast for a defensive Pok√©mon, and this has its advantages. For starters, it learns Toxic Spikes and Rapid Spin. It also benefits in Rain, since Rain Dish gives it more recovery. Along with Scald to burn things (and thus somewhat mitigating its lower Defence), it is a great Poison-type to use. Back in Generation 1, Wrap disables the opponent’s action, which complements Tentacruel’s good Speed well. While Gengar is in general a great Pok√©mon for its great Speed and Special Attack, it is not chosen because most of its success lies in its Ghost-type rather than its Poison-type.
Runner-ups: Gengar, Crobat, Venusaur, Drapion, Scolipede
The only ones that are worthy of nomination are Team Rocket’s Pok√©mon and Brock’s Croagunk. Brock’s Croagunk is already mentioned, so there’s no need to mention it again. I decided to go for Dustox this time instead of the other regulars. What puts it over the edge is its departure episode. Personally, I didn’t watch this episode, but I heard it’s one of the saddest out there, besides Ash’s Butterfree’s departure. Though Weezing and Arbok got their departure in the same episode, somehow that doesn’t feel too bad to me. The other reason I put Dustox is due to its lack of nomination in other categories, so it gets a prize here.
Runner-ups: Arbok, Weezing, Victreebel, Seviper, Croagunk
Muk is one of Koga’s Pok√©mon, and quite a useful one at that. An interesting way Muk is utilised in the manga is when it was disguised as Koga’s armour. This relates to its move Acid Armour, which is a Defence-boosting move, so that’s a creative way to use Muk. Admittedly, I have not been reading the manga these days, so there may be some other great Poison-types there, but for now, this is my choice. If you have a better alternative for best Poison-type, I would love to hear it.
After some consideration, I finally decided that Oddish looks the least like a Poison-type. Its evolutions may look more to form, but not so for Oddish. Its purple skin matches its Poison-type, yes, but it lacks any form of poisonous traits. This might be the basis for Bellossom, considering how Oddish has more in common with Bellossom than Gloom, and Bellossom is a pure Grass-type. Its Pok√©Dex also lack any kind of poisoning behaviour in it, compared to its evolutions (besides Bellossom), making it very much unlike a Poison-type at all. So yeah, Oddish least resembles a Poison-type.
Runner-ups: Bulbasaur line, Bellsprout line, Budew
The Nidoran family highlights an interesting case of sexual dimorphism, something that is very rare in the Pok√©mon world. One could also say that this is the best family due to the sheer number of members in it, compared to many others. Both sides of this family highlight a part on what makes Pok√©mon a memorable franchise: the cool- and strong-looking monsters. Nidoking, in particular, looks and sounds like a Pok√©mon a casual observer would pick without a second thought because it looks cool and powerful. In addition to this, they learn a lot of moves, making them quite versatile.
Runner-ups: Trubbish line, Koffing line, Gastly line
There is no other move that beats the flexibility of Toxic. It’s a great move to stall out any Pok√©mon (if they stay in), whether it is an attacker or a defender. More importantly, however, is the fact that this move could be learned by practically any Pok√©mon, through a Technical Machine! It’s said by Koga that Toxic is the oldest-known move, which could be the reason every Pok√©mon learns this move: their DNA is encoded in such a way that they are able to learn this move.
Koga is the only one that deserves it, among the three currently-known specialists, making him peerless here. First of all, Koga starred in two series, them being the Kanto era and the Johto era. In the former, he is a Gym Leader. For the latter, he is an Elite Four member, so the promotion is quite interesting. While his anime appearance leaves a lot to be desired, his manga’s incarnation makes up for it by having an active role in Special. Of course, there’s that ninja thing going on with him… his coolness factor doesn’t need to be explained, really.
Grimer & Muk
Grimer and Muk struck me as the least original Poison-type in recent memory. It certainly is an obvious concept, since a pile of moving sludge is one of the first things to come to mind when it comes to designing a Poison-type (at least, that’s my speculation). Generation 1 contains several evolutions that are very similar to the original, back when times were simple. This pair is among one of them. Interestingly, there is no weight change after evolution. To their credit, though, at least there is the concept of density, in which Muk is more liquid than Grimer since it is bigger.
Croagunk & Toxicroak
This is another challenging category to pick, because it’s hard to pinpoint the most original Poison-type. The final decision ultimately goes to Croagunk and Toxicroak. Asides their signature type combination, their fighting style is rather unique, preferring to fight things their way, to put it lightly. They also look like those African tribal fighters, adding to their originality. Perhaps the most striking part of their originality is how the Poison-type is integrated. The final part of the integration of ideas is to apply a frog texture on them, because there is such a thing as poisonous frogs (and their are colourful too). It should be noted that while they look like frogs, they generally don’t behave like them, so you could say they’re frog people.
Well… if you ask me, Weedle didn’t look like it has anything special to write home about. It looks ordinary compared to the colourful variety of insects such as Venipede and Wurmple. At least Wurmple has the quirk of evolving into two different species, while Kakuna has that necktie pattern on its cocoon. Wurmple? It’s my least favourite simply because there’s nothing special about it. Its annoying factor also has something to do with it too. Getting poisoned from one is sure to be a real hassle to deal with, so there’s that too.
Here comes the final question that you no doubt heard the answer already, since that picture is big and obvious by now. So let’s get right down to why I love Amoonguss a lot. Amoonguss is one of the funniest Pok√©mon to me, with its oddball appearance and the way it tried to lure its prey. I also like its abilities. It has the almighty Spore, as well as the power to recover its health by switching out (that ability Regenerator), ensuring its longevity. The bottom line is, Amoonguss is a really quirky Pok√©mon that stood out to me, ever since it was revealed back when Pok√©mon Black and White was new.
Runner-ups: Roselia family, Muk, Garbodor, Gastly family
With that, the Grass- and Poison-type Review series is wrapped up. I have to apologise for dragging this for too long, since some might have lost interest already. However, if you do discover this, you could go to the archives to read the other parts of this series. I worked hard to get these done, so I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.
I appreciate it.
(Certain images are courtesy of Bulbapedia)