in Articles by winstein

It’s time for the next roundup, a review of Generation 3′s Ghosts! The 3rd Generation introduced more new Ghost Pokemon than the current ghosts, as if Ghosts were beginning to be part of Pokemon universe. I believe that even though Gastly’s family can appear in Hoenn (which I mentioned previously), they were left out to allow these new spirits to shine where Ghosts were supposed to be sparse.

Let’s “spirit away” and meet these (then) new spirits!

Shedinja's Emerald Sprite
Shedinja's BW Sprite

Shedinja is a strange Ghost. Unlike the other Pok√©mon of this generation, Shedinja’s existence isn’t immediately known, because it can only be obtained through a strange method of evolution. Basically you need to evolve a Nincada while having a free slot in the party and a free Pok√©ball, which rewards the player with an extra Pok√©mon Shedinja. It basically is a hollow shell left by Ninjask, which is a reflection of a cicada’s life cycle.

This Pokemon is also incapable of body movement like other animals. Instead, the Pokémon is a floating shell with a frozen face and a halo over the shell. That shell must be deader than dead, I tell you.
Shedinja is also strange because it only has 1HP, no matter what its level is. However, while this makes Shedinja seem frail, it comes with the greatest ability that it needs: Wonder Guard. With it, Shedinja is immune to 12 types, the types it isn’t weak to, giving it decent survivability.

Another interesting thing about Shedinja is that any move that Ninjask has at the time of evolution, Shedinja gets, so you can only get one move Ninjask learns, and that is during the time of evolution. Meaning, if the newly-evolved Ninjask learned Swords Dance, Shedinja learns it too, but cannot get other moves like Agility and Baton Pass.
The method of obtaining Shedinja presents an element of surprise to the player, because sometimes they’re not aware they “caught” this Pokemon. If the player somehow manages to get Shedinja, they’re in for a nice treat, because, as we all know: the more the merrier!

Remember to keep your common Pokéballs in place, so that Shedinja will be put into one, otherwise you will waste the evolution. You have been warned! This only applies from the 4th Generation of games onward, by the way; the 3rd Generation essentially provides a free Pokéball.
In terms of Competitive Battling, Shedinja is a risky Pok√©mon to possess. On the one hand, it can stop certain opponents because they lack a move to hit it. On the other hand, it is susceptible to entry hazards, which spell “death” to the hollow shell. This is the reason that competitive teams needed either an attack that can hit Shedinja super effectively, a Burn or Poisoning move, or entry hazards so that they wouldn’t be stopped by Shedinja.

To the user of Shedinja, they need a move that will eliminate entry hazards so this bug can switch in without the penalty of instant death. With the move Mimic, one could use it to copy Camouflage, Conversion or Reflect Type, giving the bug a new set of immunities after use. Or, one could also copy Endeavour, which would always make the opponents’ HP drop to 1! The latter is actually shown as a battle strategy in Pok√©mon XD, meaning that Genius Sonority were aware of this.
It is interesting to note that Shedinja’s ability is a target for hackers, because putting this ability on a Ghost/Dark Pok√©mon can give them immunity to any direct damage. Another interesting thing is that if Shedinja manages to get hold of Sturdy, Shedinja won’t die from any attack! However, you have to remember that Wonder Guard cannot be swapped or copied (unless Trace activates its effect), so you have to remove the ability and transfer it.
Did I mention that there’s this myth that peering into the back of Shedinja’s shell will steal one’s spirit. Of course, this is quite absurd because a hollow shell cannot possibly steal souls, right? If that were true, Shedinja will be a thousand times more deadly, which is thankfully not the case. Still, Shedinja is appropriately creepy, given its lack of true movement.

8 wisps out of 10!


Sableye's Emerald Sprite
Sableye's BW Sprite

If you play Sapphire or Emerald, Sableye will be one of the first Ghosts the player meets, being located near the 2nd Gym. What makes Sableye special is that due to its typing, it has no weakness, making it the first Pok√©mon to brag that honour. The advantage of Sableye’s typing could come in handy for the next Gym, since the Gym was a Fighting-type.

However, the trainers were smart and carried Foresight, so that had to be noted, because when Foresight had been applied to Sableye, that pitiful Pokémon becomes very susceptible to Fighting attacks. Thankfully, Brawly the Gym Leader isn’t as smart, because only his Makuhita can deal damage to Sableye. Sableye does have the look of a Hopkinsville Goblin, though.
If you noticed, Sableye has sharp teeth, which is useful for eating rocks, part of Sableye’s diet. In the anime, this is also shown. Sableye is a prankster, playing tricks on others for fun. Because Sableye has jewel eyes, you would expect them to glow too, and it has an intimidating effect, since some believe it can steal their souls with a stare, but again, Sableye cannot actually do this, because Sableye isn’t so much of a ghost as it is a goblin.
Unlike many other ghosts, Sableye is completely grounded, meaning that it cannot float like the other Ghosts do and can only travel by foot. The point is: Sableye is the first genuinely grounded Ghost. Sableye is also the only one in the Humanshape Egg group, meaning that it is incompatible with the other Ghost-types in breeding.
Competitive-wise, Sableye doesn’t have anything special despite that nice typing, because most of its stats are below average. The 4th Generation didn’t do much aside from new additions like Recover and Power Gem (which is nice because it matches its diet), and the worse addition: Stall, an ability that forces it to go last. It‚Äôs got use with Metal Burst, but overall it‚Äôs not quite useful because Sableye doesn‚Äôt learn Skill Swap.

The 5th Generation made a radical change: it gets Prankster as a Hidden Ability. This is a great ability that makes any Status moves go first, and Sableye has substantial Status option, including but not limited to: Will-O-Wisp, Confuse Ray, Trick, Taunt, Torment and Recover. As it is, Sableye will be another Ghost with a niche, thanks to the geniuses at GameFreak!
While it’s true that Sableye is part-Ghost, it’s not immediately obvious on its Ghost-type characteristics, especially with its human-like appearance. However, there is a degree of intimidation with this Pokémon that makes it one of the Ghosts, especially with its glowing eyes and sharp teeth.

7 wisps out of 10!


Shuppet & Banette
Shuppet's Emerald SpriteBanette's Emerald Sprite
Shuppet's BW SpriteBanette's BW Sprite

Next up on the list are Shuppet and Banette. There‚Äôs an article regarding their Origins of Species, so I won’t delve much into it, but you may read it if you want.

Basically these Pok√©mon are said to be discarded toys by those who don’t want them, and with a surge of negative energy, they seek revenge to those that ditched them. They feed on the negative emotions of others like envy and grudge. Banette also has a mouthful of misery, for opening its zipper unleashes that negativity, putting a new meaning behind demotivational talk.

New to HeartGold and SoulSilver, however, is the fact that a Banette doll is in the room of Copycat, so that makes them happy I guess, or it could be an “unpossessed” doll. Still, it’s a nice touch.
It’s interesting to note that while Shuppet is seen to levitate, the actual Pok√©mon itself doesn’t have the ability Levitate. Additionally, Shuppet and Banette start introducing Ghost-types that are based on real life objects. Unlike previous Ghost-types, who are spirit-like in appearance, these Pok√©mon are the first to resemble a real life object, which is no doubt useful for camouflage and frightful purposes.
Back in Generation 3, it was still a good time to be a Ghost-type Pok√©mon, especially one that’s immune to Sleep. In fact Banette was still a niche, thanks to having Knock Off to get rid of any item the opponent might have.

One of the things that Shuppet and Banette were able to do back in those days (talking about Generation 4) was to use Trick, before it was a Move Tutor, meaning the strategy was exclusive to them and a few others. Platinum removed their exclusivity, leaving them with Trick Room duties, which is helpful because of Insomnia. One also couldn’t ignore their respectful Attack and decent Special Attack, and their decent offensive movepool.

However, as of now, they do not have a niche role to differentiate themselves from other Ghost-types. Poor Banette… Generation 5 did give him/her Cursed Body, which is a nice ability that disables an attack, useful for survival.
Shuppet and Banette are both counterparts with Duskull and Dusclops, these are some of the reasons:

  1. Both of them are Ghost-types, in the Fast Experience Group and part of the Indeterminate Egg Group.
  2. In Mount Pyre and its nearby area, Shuppet is more commonly found in Sapphire, and Duskull is rarer. In Ruby, it’s vice versa.
  3. In the Sky Pillar, Banette is only found in Sapphire, while Dusclops is only found in Ruby.
  4. Banette’s family is more offensive, while Dusclops’s is more defensive.

However, it’s quite sad that the actual Pok√©mon is abandoned as well. Dusclops has an evolution next generation, but Banette doesn’t, leaving it to wish for one in Generation 6. Let’s see what the future has in store for Banette. It might be possible that it could be better and have a niche.

Who knows? The future might be brighter for them, both flavour-wise and competitive-wise. If Sableye can be improved, I believe Banette can, too.

7 wisps out of 10!
(Extra point for such an awesome origin)


Duskull & Dusclops
Duskull's Emerald SpriteDusclop's Emerald Sprite
Duskull's BW SpriteDusclop's BW Sprite

With a skull mask, a cloaked body and one glowing eye, Duskull looks like the Grim Reaper. The evolution Dusclops looks more like a mummy and cyclops than its “grim reaper” pre-evolution. As such, these Pok√©mon are the first ones to personify death, which is appropriate for a Ghost type, as ghosts are said to be “dead” after all.
Duskull is the only member in its family to Levitate, meaning that it cannot be affected by Ground attacks or other grounded nuisances. However, Dusclops lack this ability, instead having a pair of feet. Although Dusclops’ next evolution doesn’t have feet, they still can be hit by Spikes, which is a real oddity, but one that players learn to live with. After all, inconsistency has always been a very interesting topic in Pok√©mon.
Duskull is said to have the ability to spirit away bad children according to Pokémon world parents. The saying is meant to discourage bad behavior, which is funny because this is similar to real life where admonishments would be given to children to discourage bad behavior, like lying will make your nose grow like Pinocchio.

Dusclops is marked to have some absorption ability, where it can absorb anything into its empty body, probably similar to Gengar in the Pokémopolis episode in the anime. Although Duskull has two eyes on the mask, it actually only have one, and it’s flying between eye sockets, meaning that the family only has one eye each. Therefore, they can learn Hex, which is Evil Eye in Japanese.
Unlike any Ghosts mentioned so far, this evolution line is based on defence, possessing low attack power, yet high defences (although low HP). This was also very useful for it, because that meant that it’s hard to knock out.

Perhaps its popularity in competitive battling was due to both its defense stats and spin blocking. Spin Blocking is the act of preventing the use of Rapid Spin, which would eliminate entry hazards, a tool that wears down the opponent. If they are in need of an attack, they can always use Seismic Toss or Night Shade for consistent damage.
Dusclops was blessed to be one of the few Pok√©mon to obtain an evolution in the 4th Generation, but he/she will be discussed when the time comes. This was an advantage, because in the 5th Generation, the Eviolite grants Dusclops a great Defensive boost, making him/her a viable Pok√©mon alongside Dusknoir. This allowed Dusclops to be a better user of Trick Room, and thanks to Pain Split, Dusclops can recover as well. Again, Dusclops didn’t have much offense, and so had to rely of the aforementioned attacking moves as a result. Oh, and Pressure is a great ability for PP-stalling purposes.
All in all, Duskull and Dusclops are great Ghost-Pokémon, as their death personification is a very good fit for a Ghost-type, along with their walling and stalling capabilities.

10 wisps out of 10!

With that done, I will call it a day for this one. The next generation introduces more Ghost-types, and will be split into two parts because there are more families introduced. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had writing them.

Thanks for reading.

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