Alola bestiary, Part One!

Hey, Trainers! Welcome to the Season of Alola! Feel those warm breezes, smell the fresh pinap juice and get ready to make some new buddies in this, the most tropical of Pokemon locales!

Tuesday, March 1st at 10:00 a.m. to Wednesday, March 9th at 8:00 p.m. will be the debut of Rowlet, Litten, Poplio, Pikipek, Yungoos, Rockruff and Tapo Koko! There’s also Special Research that will award Alolan Pokemon among other prizes:

Special Research:

  • Melemele Island, March 1st – March 22nd
  • Akala Island, March 22nd – April 12th
  • Ula’ula Island, April 12th – June 1st
  • Poni Island – May 10th – June 1st
  • End of Season, May 25th – June 1st
  • Finish all Special Research before June 1st to unlock another Special Research quest.

    There’s also some snazzy Alola themed Avatar items to make your fit that much more tropical! They’ll be available soon. Can’t wait to update my wardrobe!

    So, let’s get on with the list of new arrivals!

    Rowlet, Dartrix and Decidueye

    Rowlet is the Grass Starter of our Alolan adventure. This little owl can, unnervingly, turn its cute face almost 360 degrees. It’s kind of scary. The Pokedex is a little light on info simply because it’s only featured in 3 total game releases so far: Sun & Moon and the Ultra versions of the same, Sword and Shield and Pokemon: Legends Arceus. (Don’t think I don’t see what you’re doing there, Niantic. It feels super early to be dropping a new Generation on us and I would be very, very surprised if at some point soon we don’t get a Hisuian Decidueye event to carry on with that Arceus Hype Train. I got you.) Anyway, it’s known for flying silently at night using energy stored during a day of photosynthesis and sleep. It will attack prey with both bullet seed and kicks.

    Look at its little bow tie. Aww.

    It evolves into Dartrix and then Decidueye

    This Green Arrow looking owl can fire off an arrow in a tenth of a second, so, its battles can be over before they’ve even really begun! It has a calm demeanor unless surprised, in which case it panics! It uses the vine on its head to improve its focus.

      Decidueye Max CP: 3137, Attack 210, Defense 179, Stamina 186
      Type: Grass/Ghost
      Fast Attacks: Astonish, Razor Leaf
      Charge Attacks: Brave Bird, Shadow Sneak, Energy Ball

    Litten, Torracat and Incineroar

    Litten was my pick for Alola in my first play through. Because I hadn’t seen the final evolution yet. I have since re-thought my general policy of picking Fire Type Starters without checking to be sure that final evolution isn’t… y’know. An abomination.


    Litten’s Pokedex informs us that it prefers solitude, if you try and pet it too much it will bite and scratch you and it takes a while to build any kind of friendship with it. So. Y’know. Scientists have confirmed that Litten, is indeed, a Cat! I like that it burns all its excess hair though… no stepping in surprise hairballs in the middle of the night.

    It evolves into Torracat and then Incinerorar.

    Incineroar is famous for enjoying hard, no-holds-barred fights that it loves to win. It gets pumped for challenging battles and finds picking on weaker opponents boring. Not morally objectionable, mind you! Just boring. It’s said that it will sometimes help out smaller Pokemon and as such, it apparently does have the capacity for tenderness. But, if it decides a Trainer isn’t worth listening to, it has no problems in just doing its own thing without a care in the world, leaving that poor Trainer high and dry.

    Incineroar Max CP: 3387, Attack 214, Defense 175, Stamina 216
    Type: Fire/Dark
    Fast Attacks: Snarl, Fire Fang
    Charge Attacks: Dark Pulse, Flame Charge, Fire Blast

    Popplio, Brionne and Primarina

    Popplio, despite being the least favorite of the fandom upon the initial release of the designs for Alola’s Starters, is a prime reason why you need to watch out who you make fun of in Middle School. That glow-up is intense! From Clown to Queen in two easy steps!

    The way the Pokedex describes its attacks is genuinely uncomfortable for me. Direct quote – “This Pokémon snorts body fluids from its nose, blowing balloons to smash into its foes.” This is, frankly, just gross. I can handle the idea that an animal can magically produce water and bubbles and mist, but the minute you describe them as bodily fluids, I’m kind of over everything. Other than that, we’re told it can use the bubbles it blows not only to attack, but to tailor the battlefield to its liking, using them to jump and bounce on. Smart!

    It evolves into Brionne and then Primarina.

    Primarina is known to treat each battle as a performance – the battlefield is a stage and Primarina is the star! It releases melodies to control its bubbles mid-flight and it attacks with sonic waves that, while devastating, are also beautiful. It passes these battle hymns down to the next generation.

      Primarina Max CP: 3618, Attack 232, Defense 195, Stamina 190
      Type: Water/Fairy
      Fast Attacks: Charm, Waterfall
      Charge Attacks: Psychic, Moonblast, Hydropump

    Pikipek, Trumbeak and Toucannon

    Pikipek is your Route 1 Bird for the Alola Region. It’s the Alolan Pidgey, if you will. This little guy can peck at a rate if 16pps (Pecks per second.) and you can get an idea of its mood by the rhythm it’s pounding out on whichever tree it’s picking on. It eats berries and will shoot stored berry seeds at enemies as an attack.

    It evolves into Trumbeak and then Toucannon.

    Now, I’ll admit – when I first saw this evolutionary line… I was a bit stumped. What do woodpeckers have to do with toucans, right?

    Actually, it turns out the two evolved from a common ancestor and are fairly closely related! As a lover and collector of weird animal facts, I find this delightful.

    The Pokedex informs us that this Pokemon forms harmonious couples and are often brought to Alolan wedding ceremonies to impart good luck to the couple! They use stored seeds to attack, much like Pikipek, but these seeds are forced from the beak using ignited gasses, so, they’re essentially rocket propelled grenades at that point, and can land with enough force to shatter stone.

      Toucannon Max CP: 3040, Attack 222, Defense 146, Stamina 190
      Type: Normal/Flying
      Fast Attacks: Rock Smash, Bullet Seed, Peck
      Charge Attacks: Flash Cannon, Rock Blast, Drill Peck

    Yungoos and Gumshoos (Available in Shiny)

    And here’s your Route 1 Rodent. The Alolan Rattata if you… wait… that doesn’t sound right…

    Oh yeah! Well, the Alolan Rattata has been out for a pretty long time. Actually, these two Pokemon are tied together by lore! Yungoos is not native to Alola, but was instead brought over by well-meaning idiots to try and help with another introduced pest – the aforementioned Rattata. This happened a lot in the real world… pretty much anywhere that was colonized by non-native invaders. They’d bring their own animals, from pets to pests to livestock. Eventually, rats, mice, rabbits and other small creatures would overrun the existing ecosystem, so, predators would be brought in to try and handle things. In my own old country of New Zealand, rabbits were brought in for sport, food and fur in the 1700s. There were no predators to keep them in check and they quickly overpopulated and decimated the countryside, so, people brought over stoats, polecats and weasels to try and fix this mistake. These mustelids found the native birds a much easier dinner than the rabbits so nothing worked out and everyone was miserable about it forever.

    Isn’t it fun when real world issues are presented in Pokemon format?

    Anyway, Yungoos are a long Pokemon who’s torso is almost entirely made up of stomach, so, they’re a ravenous eating machine that will literally pass out if it goes hungry. They like to feed on live food and will hunt everywhere, from fields and forests to streets and alleys.

    Yungoos evolves into Gumshoos.

    Gumshoos… look. Let’s be real. It’s a clear parody of a pretty public figure. It’s relevant because this person who’s being parodied actually sent private investigators (Or, y’know. Gumshoes.) to Hawaii to find information on another public figure who’s job depended on him being born in Hawaii, which Alola is based on. (If you have no idea who and/or what I’m talking about, great! You’re lucky! Don’t Google it! If you know… well. You know. Ugh.)

    Isn’t it fun when real world issues are presented in Pokemon format?

    The Pokedex tells us that Gumshoos loves to eat Rattata and Raticate, but it’s kind of a Ladyhawke situation. (1985 movie set in medieval Europe. Pretty good movie!) It’s always asleep by nightfall and Rattata in Alola are only nocturnal, so, it’s rare this giant weasel ever gets to eat its favorite food. Sad.

      Gumshoos Max CP: 2470, Attack 194, Defense 113, Stamina 204
      Type: Normal
      Fast Attacks: Bite, Take Down
      Charge Attacks: Rock Tomb, Crunch, Hyper Fang

    Rockruff and Lycanroc (Available in Shiny)

    This Very Good Boy/Girl is just a cute puppy which is a nice change of pace after the last entry.

    This Pokemon is considered a good one for beginners, generally… the issue is that, the older Rockruff gets, the more aggressive its disposition becomes. This is fine for some people, but not so great for others so a lot of them get abandoned. Which is pretty terrible. They show affection by rubbing the rocks on their necks against you, but because the rocks are sharp, it can be a little difficult to deal with.

    Rockruff then evolves into Lycanroc! This Pokemon has three forms. Two of which are available in Pokemon GO.

    The light brown one is called the Midday form. It’s a supremely loyal partner who will never stray from its Trainer. The rocks that stick out from its mane, though, are sharp as knives and widely treasured as good luck charms. They’re good hunters that wear their prey out over time, so, very much like real world wolves. You get this form by evolving your Rockruff in the day time.

    The mauve looking form is the edgelord Midnight form. Unlike the chill, purposeful Midday form, this Midnight form attacks with no regard for its own safety. It’s a complete savage, ignoring orders it doesn’t like and hurling itself at the biggest guy in the room to see how much damage it can inflict. It rolls solo most of the time as a result, becoming the very epitome of a lone wolf. It’s got that Jon Talbain energy. It, unsurprisingly, evolves from Rockruff at night.

    This is the Dusk form. It’s not currently available in Pokemon Go, but with the addition of dusk and dawn
    light cycles in Pokemon GO some months back, I’m fairly certain it will be available eventually.

      Midday Lycanroc Max CP: 3027, Attack 231, Defense 140, Stamina 181
      Type: Rock
      Fast Attacks: Sucker Punch, Rock Throw
      Charge Attacks: Drill Run, Crunch, Stone Edge
      Midnight Lycanroc Max CP: 3102, Attack 218, Defense 152, Stamina 198
      Type: Rock
      Fast Attacks: Counter, Rock Throw
      Charge Attacks: Psychic Fangs, Crunch, Stone Edge

    Comfey (Region-locked to Hawaii)

    This Lei inspired Fairy Type is pretty, but only available in Hawaii, as of right now. It’s a cute little thing – the ring it’s got going on are actually sticky wines that it uses to hold on to flowers it picks. (These flowers look a lot like Hibiscus which is a pretty iconic, Hawaiian themed bloom.) These flowers are attached in such a way as to soak up nutrition from the vine and, as such, they don’t wither and produce a lovely aroma. Because each Comfey picks its own flowers and each arrangement is individual to the Comfey in question, they all smell a little differently, too. The flowers are said to relax folks who sprinkle them in a bath.

    Much like Flabebe in the previous Generation, even though flowers are a huge part of this Pokemon’s aesthetic, this does not translate into its Typing, which is mono-type Fairy with no additional Grass Type. Some people complain about this, but I’d point out that since Generation 1 we’ve had similar instances of Pokemon grabbing vegetation without becoming vegetation – Farfetch’d, while it has a Leek, is not a Grass Type either.

      Comfey Max CP: 2392, Attack 165, Defense 215, Stamina 139
      Type: Fairy
      Fast Attacks: Hidden Power, Vine Whip
      Charge Attacks: Petal Blizzard, Grass Knot, Draining Kiss

    Jangmo-o, Hakamo-o and Kommo-o

    And here we have the Pseudo-Legendary of the Generation! This heavily plated little Dragon is available in 10Km Eggs.

    The scales on its body are, bizarrely enough, said by the Pokedex to be modified fur that’s as hard as metal. So, I’m thinking it’s a Pangolin sort of a situation. It rattles and bangs these scales to communicate and the places where this Pokemon are common are noisy as a result. That’s okay though as it is generally found in places where Humans are scarce.

    It evolves into Hakamo-o and then into Kommo-o

    This Dragon/Fighting Type is an absolute bruiser. Favoring uppercuts, it fights using the steely plates on its fists to inflict massive damage. These scales used to be crafting materials in ancient times, used to make armor for warriors. It rattles the scales on its tail when it sees an opponent and it won’t bother fighting anyone who shies away.

    It’s doubly affected by Fairy Type Attacks, however.

      Kommo-o Max CP: 3741, Attack 222, Defense 240, Stamina 181
      Type: Dragon/Fighting
      Fast Attacks: Poison Jab, Dragon Tail
      Charge Attacks: Flamethrower, Close Combat, Dragon Claw

    Tapu Koko

    It’s a Legendary Pokemon and it appeared in one Generation only – Generation 7. As such, Pokedex info is sparse, but we do know that it’s quick to anger and even quicker to forget what aggravated it in the first place. It has boundless curiosity and it will interact with humanity from time to time. It can draw in thunder clouds and reap their energy as its own. It’s the guardian deity of Melemele Island and while it’s generally nice, if you anger it, it becomes a vengeful God right quick.

      Tapu Koko Max CP: 3582, Attack 250, Defense 181, Stamina 172
      Type: Electric/Fairy
      Fast Attacks: Quick Attack, Volt Switch
      Charge Attacks: Brave Bird, Dazzling Gleam, Thunder, Thunderbolt

    And there you have it, folks! The first wave of Alola Pokemon. How do you like them? I’ll be honest, Generation 7 wasn’t my favorite but I do like quite a few of the Pokemon it introduced!

    As always, I wish you the absolute best of luck filling out your roster and making some new friends along the way! Stay safe and happy out there, Trainers!

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