Choose your own adventure 3 – September and October Community Days

Hey, Trainers! Looks like we have another chance to affect our destiny incoming as Niantic is having us pick between four new contenders for September and October Community Days! September Community Day will take place on September 20th, October’s on October 17th. Voting takes place on the Pokémon GO Twitter page, just like last time, on August 22nd through 23rd.

Your choices are:

  • Charmander – Dragon Breath (Dragon Type Fast Attack, STAB in the case of Mega Evolution)
  • Caterpie – Hurricane (Flying, STAB)
  • Grimer – Fire Punch (Fire)
  • Porygon – Tri Attack (Normal, STAB)
  • So, what else do we know? Not a whole lot. Bonuses are still to be released. For now, let’s concentrate on the Pokémon.

    Spotlight on Charmander

    You know it, you love it, one of the original creatures we started our journey with! In recent times it has seen a little push back as it definitely gets more attention from Game Freak than its counterpart Pokémon. This has led to players stating that it is overrated And there might be some legitimacy to that… or not.

    Look, I’m only human and as such, I have my biases. I freely admit this. Charmander is, was and probably will forever be one of my absolute favorite Pokémon. Give me a game where I can pick Charmander and I generally will. Tide goes in and out, sun rises in the east, Jim picks Charmander. Laws of nature.

    Having said that… do I want a Charmander Community Day?

    I think there are better options in this list. I already got my Shinies last time this Community Day happened. Though there’s Mega Evolution in the works and for those who don’t have a Shiny Charizard or two, this could be a valuable opportunity.

    Anyway, the Pokedex tells us that this Pokémon’s characteristic tail flame burns with a very soft noise which you can only hear if you and your Charmander are in a quiet spot together. This flame is an indicator of its life energy – it burns intensely when the Pokémon is healthy but will dwindle if it should experience poor health. It will die if the flame goes out.

    When it evolves into Charizard, it develops that secondary Flying Type. It’s said to be able to melt 10,000 ton glaciers with its fire breath. However, being a sporting sort of creature, it’s reluctant to roast enemies weaker than itself. Nice! It instead flies high in the sky, up to 4000 ft, searching for powerful foes to test its mettle against. The harsher the battles it faces and the stronger it gets, the hotter its fire becomes. When especially powerful Charizards become enraged, the fire at the end of their tails is said to burn blue.

    So. How does this Pokémon stack up in Pokémon GO?

    It’s fine. Max CP of 2889, Attack of 223, Defense of 173 and Stamina of 186 means it hits hard, but lacks a certain staying power. Of course, it’s overshadowed by Moltres (CP 3465, Att 251, Def 181, Sta 207) who has the same typing and better stats but c’mon… Moltres is a Legendary. Of course it’s going to outclass its more common rival.

    Being a Fire/Flying Type, it’s double weak to Rock Type Attacks, with regular weaknesses to Water and Electric Type moves. It has extra resistance against Grass and Bug Type Attacks, with regular resistance against Ground, Fire, Fairy, Fighting and Steel Type Attacks.

    In terms of Attacks, you have Fire Spin and Air Slash for Fast Attacks. Both are STAB. (You have Ember and Wing Attack as Legacy Fast moves, too.) For Charged Attacks, you have Dragon Claw, Overheat and Fire Blast. The latter two are STAB – Charizard gets no Flying Type Charged Attacks at all. (Legacy Charged Attacks are Flamethrower and last Charmander Community Day’s Attack, Blast Burn, which is by all accounts the best move currently available to this Pokemon.)

    Two Mega Evolved Forms exist for this Pokemon. Mega Charizard X and Mega Charizard Y.

    The black and blue one you see there is Dragon Type so Dragon Breath is a really good, viable option for it.

    Spotlight on Caterpie

    The original creepy crawly of the Pokemon world! This little green Bug Type wormed its way into our hearts in the early days of the anime by being Ash’s first ever catch as well as the first Pokemon on the show to evolve. It remains a favorite of mine to this day. ((For a little more interesting information on Caterpie, you could check out this article! Here I detail this Pokemon’s relationship to Venonat and Venomoth. The connection may surprise you!) It’s one of the few Pokemon explicitly designed to resemble an actual animal; in this case, the caterpillar of the Asian Swallowtail. The pink-red horn on Caterpie’s head even mirrors that of the Swallowtail Caterpillar and is unique to it. It’s called the osmeterium and its function is the same in both animals. It releases a foul smelling odor as a defense mechanism.

    The Pokedex tells us that Caterpie is voracious – a hungry little critter known to demolish foliage at an alarming rate, downing leaves many times its own size. As it grows, it sheds its skin constantly until it’s ready to evolve. And it makes sense as many birds in the Pokemon world see Caterpie as nothing but a snack. I’d want to get on to evolving, too!

    When Caterpie does evolve all the way, Butterfree is what you get. Again, a memorable character in the anime. If you didn’t feel something during the Bye Bye Butterfree! episode, you may want to get looked at by a doctor to make sure your heart is screwed in the right way.

    The Pokedex informs us that this Pokemon’s nose for honey is unparalleled. Much like a shark scenting blood in the water, this Pokemon can scent nectar filled flowers from a distance of six miles. It rubs this honey on its legs for consumption later. (Weird.) It will battle with Cutiefly for territory and bomb bird Pokemon with toxic scales if it finds them hunting Caterpie.

    How does it fare in Pokemon GO?

    Look. You know what this guy is. Early route Bug Types aren’t made for metagame dominance. It’s the easy to raise, early to evolve critter designed to help novices get a better understanding of the levelling system and mechanics of the game. It has a Max CP of 1827, Attack of 167, Defense of 137 and Stamina of 155. If you’re using this Pokemon in Raids or Gyms or PvP, it’s because it’s a favorite of yours and that is absolutely fine.

    It’s a Bug/Flying Type and so it’s especially weak to Rock Type moves, with standard weaknesses to Fire, Flying, Electric and Ice Type Attacks. It has a particularly strong resistance to Ground Type Attacks, very good resistance to Fighting and Grass Type moves and a standard resistance to Bug Type Attacks.

    It has two Fast Attacks currently available in Confusion and Struggle Bug (And a legacy move in Bug Bite) with the latter being STAB. For Charged Attacks you have Psychic, Signal Beam and Bug Buzz, with the latter two being STAB. No Flying Type Attacks whatsoever, so, Hurricane is at least a switch-up.

    So, do I want a Caterpie Community Day? Y’know, it’s probably my second favorite option. It’s been out as a Shiny for a while but I haven’t managed to snag one, yet, and I love the Shiny form as it is a bright gold and it makes me think of Golden Frieza.

    Spotlight on Grimer

    Grimer is one of those somewhat divisive Pokemon. As a member of the original 151, it’s afforded a certain level of respect absent from other, similar, Pokemon from other generations. Trubbish, for example, is regarded entirely differently despite being cut from the same cloth, thematically. (I explain the relationship between these two and Koffing here.) But many Pokemon fans, even folks who view Generation 1 with the rose hued glasses of nostalgia, will tell you that if they had to pick one or two designs to call weaker than their brethren, Grimer would be on that list along with Muk, Electrode and Voltorb.

    The Pokedex tells us that this Pokemon was formed when X-Rays from the moon hit polluted seawater.

    Okay, hold up. While it may sound like a cheesy tagline from a 50s B-Flick, there’s some actual science, here. Sort of. So, the moon doesn’t produce X-Rays, as such. Those tend to come from stars and black holes. The moon is more closely linked to everyone’s favorite super-steroid, gamma radiation. (Disclaimer: Coming into contact with massive amounts of gamma radiation will not actually transform you into an Incredible Hulk. It will just kill you.) Gamma radiation and X-Rays sit in the same area of the electromagnetic spectrum, being very short wavelengths, but X-Rays are made by accelerating electrons versus gamma radiation which is a by product of deteriorating atomic nuclei. Because it lacks protection from cosmic rays, it’s consistently bombarded with radiation from space, resulting in this abundance of gamma radiation.

    In short, it’s more likely (Read: Still entirely unlikely but let’s roll with it.) that Grimer resulted from exposing sludge to gamma radiation beamed to Earth by the moon. But that’s just a theory… a gamma theory.

    This Pokemon feeds on pollutants; industrial waste, sludge and sewage. It absorbs toxins into its body on a near constant basis and is so filled with bacteria and germs that life finds it hard to exist nearby. Even tough weeds don’t grow in areas infested by Grimer. If its internal bacteria drop below a certain level, it will get sick and if it’s forced to stay in a sterile environment too long, it will die. Poor little blob monster. They gather to swap poisons and make more of themselves by allowing pieces of themselves to slough off, forming new Grimer in the process.

    As the world grows more environmentally conscious, the places this Pokemon likes to live are shrinking and there may, one day in the future, be a time when this Pokemon goes extinct.

    There’s also its Alolan form to consider.

    This colorful blob of gunk is the Alolan variant, fed on a different diet and with a brand new Type! Poison/Dark. A powerful combo indeed. This Pokemon feeds on solid trash instead of dirty water. Which makes sense. The Island nation of Alola has its clean, green image to consider, after all! So, solid waste goes to a processing plant where it’s munched down by this version of Grimer. The hard, tooth-like protrusions you can see in its mouth are actually crystallized toxins. This Pokemon is also a cannibal! That’s right – a big portion of its diet consists of hunting down Trubbish and Garbodor.

    Once they evolve, you get Muk. These bigger, badder puddles of poison goo love to hide in the dirt where they’re hard to spot. Much like Grimer, they gather in areas where there’s pollution and trash. Just one drop of the fluid they secrete will poison a pond and make it stagnant and dead. Tress and plants wither and die in their wake. Gaze upon their works and weep. If one touches you, it causes a fever that takes bed rest to cure. I have no idea how Professor Oak isn’t dead yet.

    Of course, it smells absolutely rancid as well! Its own sense of smell is non existant. But, as with Grimer, the places where they like to congregate and live are growing fewer and further inbetween as the world gets better about environmental protection. While some people think this is a good thing and will seek to exterminate Muk due to the damage they can cause, others are going about setting up special polluted habitats to conserve the species.

    Alolan Muk, by constrast, is apparently an extremely quiet and chill Pokemon to have around. Keep it well fed with garbage, though, or it will smash stuff in your home to feast on. The stuff it eats cause chemical reactions in its body which accounts for its beautiful, switching colors. You’ll notice it has a lot of pointy, jagged parts that look like teeth and claws. Again, these are solidified toxic elements and you’d be wise not to get scratched by them or you’re going to have a really bad time.

    So, how do these puddles of colorful slime clean house in Pokemon GO?

    Kantonian Muk has a Max CP of 2757, Attack of 190, Defense of 172 and Stamina of 233. So, really pretty average. Nice Stamina let down by average Defense. Its two weaknesses, Ground and Psychic, are also commonly used Types. It has five resistances in Fairy, Fighting, Bug, Grass and Poison.

    In terms of Attacks, this Pokemon has two Fast Attacks in Infestation and Poison Jab, the latter of which is STAB. (Lick is a Legacy move for this Pokemon.) For Charged Attacks, you have a variety of options. Dark Pulse, Thunder Punch, Acid Spray, Sludge Wave and Gunk Shot, the latter three of which are STAB with Gunk Shot winning out for DPS.

    Muk’s Alolan Counterpart comes in with a Max CP of 2757, Attack of 190, Defense of 172 and Stamina of 233. Yep, exactly the same Stats! But, one key addition is that additional Type – Poison/Dark. That removes the weakness to Psychic Type Attacks and leaves you with one weakness to Ground. Psychic becomes a resistance. You have resistances to it and four other Types in Ghost, Grass, Dark and Poison.

    In terms of Attacks, you have three Fast Attacks: Snarl, Bite and Poison Jab, all of which are STAB. Charged Attacks are Dark Pulse, Acid Spray, Sludge Wave and Gunk Shot. Again, all options are STAB.

    Fire Punch will give it a reliable counter against Steel Type Pokemon, aganst which it may generally struggle.

    What are Grimer’s chances of being a Community Day contender? Eh… not good. It’s been out in Shiny for a while, now, and as stated above, it’s a divisive Pokemon at best. I actually love this little gloop ball and would not at all be upset if it made the cut.

    Of course, we all know Grimer’s final Evolution hasn’t yet been released in any game. It’s too powerful.

    Spotlight on Porygon

    And that brings us to our last option, the man made digital duck, Porygon. It’s the only one thus far in this list who doesn’t already have a Shiny available and as such, I think it’s a pretty safe bet to say we’re getting a Porygon Community Day in September.

    Porygon is maybe most notable for its episode of rhe anime. Electric Soldier Porygon saw Ash, Misty and Brock meet up with the Pokemon to try and remedy some I.T. Issues the Pokemon center was having with their ball transfer unit. (I wonder if they tried turning it on and off again?) Due to a scene with strobing lights, photosensitive epileptic seizures occurred in a portion of the Japanese viewership resulting in 685 hospitalizations. This event was given the name Pokemon Shock by the media and the anime went into a four month hiatus directly afterward. The episode has never been aired since.

    Anyway, that business aside, Porygon was a notable Pokemon in the games for being one that you had to buy using coins won at the Rocket Game Corner in Celadon City. Which makes sense – being man made and digital to boot, you’re not exactly going to find these things roaming around in the tall grass. The Pokedex says that this Pokemon was created with cutting egde, state of the art, no-expense-spared type technology… twenty years ago. As such, it’s a little on the basic side, now. It doesn’t deviate from its programming, is programmed with only simple instructions and is copy protected so you can’t just load it onto your high tech floppy disc drive to duplicate it. It can move around in cyberspace freely, navigating Geocities pop-up ads like an absolute champion, but its real purpose was to explore ACTUAL space. Being that it doesn’t need to breathe, it can live in almost any environment including the cold, dark vacuum of space. It has yet to realize this goal, however.

    It goes through several permutations – first, evolving into the Porygon 2 when introduced to the Upgrade Item, then into its as-yet final form, Porygon-Z when given the dubious Disc… or in the case of Pokemon GO, a Sinnoh Stone.

    Porygon-Z was updated with additional software to allow it to travel between dimensions – I’m going to guess that this was done by Team Plasma with the goal of sending it into the Distortion World. The void where Giratina was banished. The lore seems to make sense, here. Anyway, something in this software update caused Porygon-Z to behave erratically. In fact, its erratic behavior is the only thing researchers can agree on because they can’t even unequivocally state that Porygon-Z is a true evolutionary stage. (Maybe it’s better classified as a Digivolution?)

    So, how does this digital duck fare in Pokemon GO?

    With a Max CP of 3266, Attack of 264, Defense of 150 and Stamina of 198, not terrible. Defense is low, offset by decent Stamina and a wonderful Attack Stat. Being a pure Normal Type, it has only one weakness in Fighting and one Resistance in Ghost.

    Fast Attacks for this Pokemon are Charge Beam, Hidden Power and Lock On, the latter two being STAB. For Charged Attacks, you have Blizzard, Zap Cannon, Solar Beam and Hyper Beam which is STAB. The Community Day move would be Tri Attack which in this game is a Normal Type move, STAB, with the chance of decreasing the Attack and Defense of your opponent.

    Again, I think it’s a pretty foregone conclusion that this is going to be our September Community Day champion. It’s Shiny form is a reversal of blue and pink areas on its body and a slight cooling of the colors as well. It looks great!

    So, who do you hope gets picked for these two Community Days? Porygon and Caterpie are my personal picks. I think it’s going to be Porygon and Charmander, though! Don’t forget to get in on the polling and make sure your voice is heard, Trainers!

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