in Articles by winstein

Today, we start looking at the Ghost-types of Generation 4.

In this Generation, we have seven different families, and since that is a lot to cover for one day, we will only look at four of them. What I like about this Generation’s Ghost-types is how unique they are, in terms of design and competitive value. So, read on and see who is reviewed first!
 
 
 

Mismagius
 

 
Previously, Misdreavus was without an evolution. Guess what? It has an evolution this time around!

Mismagius is more witch-like the way things look, and now its mouth has a “w” shape on it, implying either a sinister smile or a sinister frown. The colour is, to me, more elegant because it is darker and more purple, which I’ve envisioned Ghost-types to be. The real question is: why was Misdreavus blue in the first place?
 
Like Misdreavus, Mismagius has a lot of feminine traits going for it, but again, the actual Pokemon doesn’t have any gender bias. On it, we can see that “witch’s hat”, the “brooches”, and the dress-like “cloak”. Thankfully, Mismagius isn’t as much of a sexual target as its cousin Gardevoir as far as I know.
 
Also, like real witches, Mismagius is able to chant some incantations, such as Lucky Chant, a move Misdreavus cannot learn but Mismagius can. While it’s mentioned in the PokĂ©Dex that Mismagius usually perform incantations, it’s never said that it can even wail like a banshee, which may imply a loss in ability or an often forgotten one. It may be the reason Misdreavus doesn’t learn Hyper Voice, a sentiment I’ve made previously.
 
In terms of stats, Mismagius isn’t a huge improvement from Misdreavus. Its HP, Attack and Defence hasn’t changed and only the Special Attack, Special Defence and Speed has increased. The Speed boost is the most beneficial improvement, because it now has the ability to out-speed Pokemon with a base Speed of 100. This is especially useful for Destiny Bond, if the player knows Mismagius is going to be eliminated.
 
Mismagius is probably built to be more offensive, as it can make better use of Nasty Plot and the myriad of Special Attacks it learns. However, the classic Substitute and Calm Mind works too. Of course, like Misdreavus, Mismagius can use the dreaded Mean Look and Perish Song combo to a degree of success, especially when pitted against walls that can’t do a lot of damage like Chansey and Blissey (who might switch in to try to sponge Special Attacks).

Mismagius is blessed with the move Wonder Room, which swaps the Defence and Special Defence of every Pokémon on the field, so in the case of a foe with high Special Defence like Blissey, Mismagius can swap those stats to have a better chance. However, its use is usually considered a gimmick for competitive players, since the rewards are usually not that great to them.
 
The anime presents the first appearance of Mismagius as a Pokémon who likes to perform illusions on people for fun, similar to what Ghost Pokémon would usually do. In the show, Ash and friends have been disillusioned into meeting their wildest dreams.

The two notable trainers with Mismagius are Fantina (also used one in Diamond and Pearl) and Zoey. I do hear that Zoey’s Mismagius was involved in one of the best performances in the anime when paired with Leafeon in the episode “Coming Full-Festival Circle!” Maybe you should see for yourself!
 
Still, the mysticism of Mismagius made it better than Misdreavus, who, now that I think about it, was more bland than Mismagius.
 
 

8 wisps out of 10!

 
 
 

Spiritomb
 

 
Unlike a pure Ghost, new Ghost-types never have a shared typing with the old ones, and Spiritomb is no exception. However, it is treated as a shared typing by type junkies and competitive battlers, because the arrangement of types doesn’t matter in calculation.

Note that Sableye is a Dark/Ghost type; Spiritomb has an entirely new dual typing in the form of Ghost/Dark, which is only different aesthetically, as Spiritomb looks more like a Ghost-type than a Dark-type. In case you forgot, Spiritomb’s typing gives it no type weaknesses, which is something very few Pokemon can brag, more so since it does not need to use a move or an ability eliminate its weaknesses.
 
Spiritomb is one of the few Pokemon to have significance with its Dex’s number, as it is in position #108 in the Sinnoh’s Dex, and also has a base Defence and Special Defence of 108, not to mention weighing 108 kg. It is said to be an accumulation of 108 different malevolent spirits. It is of note that 108 is a magic number in Buddhism: it’s the number of temptations one must endure. I believe that this kind of numerical significance cannot be replicated in other monster franchises like Digimon and Yugioh (which I believe do not have numerical orders for their monsters).
 
Obtaining Spiritomb is quite troublesome, however, as it requires another device, in this case, another DS. But the reason for this is not to trade, no! In Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, it requires talking to 32 players underground to acquire the Keystone, before a Spiritomb can be encountered. Remember to save first, because the troublesome process has to be repeated if you failed to capture before it faints.

In the anime however, Spiritomb seems to be released in an easier fashion. Instead of requiring that difficult game sequence, it only requires a knock for Spiritomb to show up. However, it did seem that Spiritomb was very strong and menacing, which in the end, forced Pikachu to use Thunder to strike Spiritomb in order to “calm” it.
 
In terms of competitive battling, Spiritomb is good, being a Pokemon with high defences and no weaknesses. Spin-blockers require this kind of defence. Pressure is also a great ability to wear down the opponent’s PP, especially if the move has low PP to begin with. Spiritomb is one of the few Pokemon that can reliably use Rest, Sleep Talk and a boosting move, preferably Calm Mind, because it can withstand a lot of damage if Defence is fully invested, and the Special Defence is increased.

While Spiritomb is quite slow, it can learn Shadow Sneak and Sucker Punch, which means the opponent is not always able to take advantage of Spiritomb’s low Speed. It’s also important to note Spiritomb’s immunities. Those immunities would make any pure Psychic-type jealous, because it is immune to the types they normally resist. Wobbuffet doesn’t particularly appreciate Spiritomb for being immune to Counter and Mirror Coat, so Spiritomb can wear down Wobbuffet without being harmed (Tickle is an event move, so it’s rare).
 
Spiritomb’s Hidden Ability is Infiltrator. This does sound like a gimmick to Spiritomb, but there are a few things that Spiritomb can do with that ability. Safeguard would normally prevent status, but it ignores Safeguard, meaning that Spiritomb is able to still spread Burns. Spiritomb’s attack is above average, and will be able to use the full power of Pursuit by ignoring Screens set up by Psychic-types.

For some reason, I felt that this Pokémon could do with an evolution. Anyway, with that scary face and the intangibility, Spiritomb is indeed another Pokemon that looks like a real Ghost, albeit one that is bound to an object. While most of the Ghosts are of the mischievous variety, Spiritomb is more of the malicious side of ghosts, which is a trait partially shared by Shuppet and Banette. Because of that, Spiritomb has an eerie value, which earns it some points.
 
 

10 wisps out of 10!

 
 
 

Dusknoir
 

 
While Dusclops and Banette were counterparts, only Dusclops got the evolution treatment, becoming Dusknoir (poor Banette!). Once again, Dusknoir continues the theme of being the personification of death that the other two pre-evolutions were based on.

For example, Dusknoir has that antenna on its head which is said to be able to receive radio waves from the spirit world. Dusknoir has a face on its body, with an angry one in front, and a happy one behind, which I guess are the two sides of death. It can be scary because of the unknown possibilities that we would be faced with in the future, and happy for in the Baha’i writings, “death is a messenger of joy”. Obviously religious writings are not taken into account, but it’s an observation, nonetheless.
 
Competitive battling-wise, Dusknoir was said to be an unnecessary evolution from Dusclops due to how close their stats are. In fact, the only notable increase from Dusclops is Attack, which means that Dusknoir doesn’t need to resort in Seismic Toss or Night Shade to do damage, although that’s still an option.

When Trick Room was introduced, it became Dusknoir’s niche, more so in Doubles, because of its immunity to Fake Out and bulk, meaning the guaranteed flinch (Fake Out) and 2HKO are insufficient. Also, Dusknoir was one of the few Pokemon to learn Gravity naturally, and was a niche user, because it can learn Dynamic Punch, which becomes essentially 83% accurate due to the evasion decrease.

However, even then, Dusknoir was not able to dish out most of the power, because Dusknoir’s main STAB was Shadow Punch, which only has a Base Power of 60, and unlike a certain future Ghost, the power is considered lackluster. It does help that it has Shadow Sneak to offset its low Speed, which is great for finishing foes who lacked a priority attack. Like Dusclops, Dusknoir still specialises in spin-blocking.
 
It’s interesting to note that in the anime, Dusknoir is shown to be a benevolent Pokemon in Ghoul Daze, although it is misunderstood as the villain, like Darkrai in the movie. It shows that anything based on darkness isn’t necessarily evil, like Absol, and of course, Yugioh.

However in a battle with Ash, Conway’s Dusknoir uses Trick Room, a strategy that Dusknoir does well in the games. Using Mean Look (where switching isn’t always a priority) and Shadow Punch, Dusknoir was able to trump two of Ash’s Pokemon before succumbing to Ash’s last Pokemon under the contortions of the twisted dimensions.
 
Dusknoir is also presented a major role in the PokĂ©mon Mystery Dungeon series, particularly the Explorers of Sky, Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, where it’s one of the main villain, but since I’ve never played the games, I can’t really put down my thoughts for this one.
 
Still, the design of Dusknoir doesn’t disappoint for being the personification of death. (But then again, that doesn’t justify not giving an evolution to Banette! Oh well…delayed gratification can only get better from here.)
 
 

9 wisps out of 10!

 
 
 

Froslass
 

 
It does take a long time to have a Pokemon based on a yuki-onna (and no, Jynx doesn’t count), and what better way to do this, than to do it with an already monstrous-looking Ice Pokemon? While Shedinja was the first non-Ghost to Ghost evolution, Froslass was the more noticeable and official one of the two, and also the only one that is gender-specific.

Froslass’ origins are easy to tell if you are familiar with Japanese folklore. Being based on the female snow spirits that haunt in snow, which the yuki-onna is known for, it’s quite appropriate that Froslass is a female-only evolution. Like Snorunt, Froslass’ hands are on her head, and like Glalie, Froslass can float and has no discernible legs. Her “skirt”-like appendage does has some arousal potential, just like Gardevoir, because it looks like a kimono, and the “ribbon” helps solidify the fact. In fact, a Gijinka is very easy to make due to this.
 
One of Froslass’s known appearances in the anime is during Ash’s battle with Paul in the Sinnoh League. Paul used it against Pikachu after Ash’s Infernape’s battle against Paul’s Ninjask. While Froslass was overbearing with her hail and freezing tactics, Pikachu manages to beat her by breaking out of the ice block trap and launching the famous Volt Tackle.

In the episode “The Drifting Snorunt”, where Froslass tricked Ash and friends through hallucinations (like that never happened before…) and blackmailed the heroes and Team Rocket into helping her get her pal Snorunt back.
 
Froslass has one great competitive battling niche, and that is Spike-stacking. Unlike many Spike stackers, she isn’t affected by Normal-type attacks, which meant that Rapid Spin is not able to out-stall those Spikes (because Rapid Spin has more PP than Spikes).

Froslass is also a very fast Pokemon, which means the Spikes can be placed first. Having Destiny Bond and Thunderbolt allows Froslass to perform other activities besides Spike-stacking, as Destiny Bond can take a foe out if Froslass is in danger, and Thunderbolt for the indispensable BoltBeam combination. Snow Cloak and Cursed Body (Hidden Ability) does give Froslass some support value, due to gaining either free evasion or a chance to disable an opponent’s attack, which are both useful to aid her survivability.
 
Froslass is, in general, not only a very well-designed Pokemon, but also useful in competitive battling.

I would like to add that there are people drawing partial resemblances to older Pokemon to give excuses that newer Pokemon were simply rehashes, in this case, that onion head like Celebi, but this is often a fallacy because body types are hard not to differentiate, and not to mention those people are spoiled…every newer generation of Pokemon has to endure the pain of increasingly ridiculous comparisons.
 
 

8 shards out of 10!
(Froslass can’t learn Will-O-Wisp)

 
 
 
With this done, that leaves us with three more families, who will be covered next week. So, stay tuned for the upcoming review! If you have any feedback, please post in the comments. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing them.
 

Thanks for reading.


Bookmark and Share