Top 25 Pokémon Countdown: #20-#16


In celebration of April 22nd’s release of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl for the Nintendo DS, we’ve decided to give you our picks for the top 25 Pokémon of all-time. We’ve gone through the first three generations’ entire list of 386 different Pokémon, and we’ll be listing out a few of our picks each day over the course of the week until we reach our undisputed #1 pick for our favorite Pokémon of all-time on Saturday evening!

It’s now day two of our countdown. Tonight we’ll look at our picks for Pokémon #20 through #16 in our Top 25 list. Check after the break to find out who those Pokémon are, and to decide what you think!

#20 – Pikachu

Who’s That Pokémon?
Pikachu honestly doesn’t need an introduction, but we’ll give him one anyway. This mouse Pokémon would have been just another Pokémon had he not been the next elemental Pokémon after the three starters in the Pokédex. 070416pikachu.jpgThis characteristic made Pikachu the Pokémon first in line to be chosen by Ash, the main character of the television anime, thus keeping the show neutral in terms of which of the three normal starters to choose from. Instead, the anime and its mountains of merchandise soon afterwards shot this Pokémon to fame and the forefront of pop culture.

Why did we pick it?
Yeah, we watched the show when it started years ago. We have a soft spot for Pikachu. While there are many out there that despise the little rodent for the fact that he appears everywhere, we love him as homage to the roots of the franchise and the cartoon show. In addition, Christian’s first Pokémon game was Pokémon Yellow – the game based on the show (which was based on the game). Your starter wasn’t Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle. It was Pikachu. And Pikachu could surf. Which just increases Pikachu’s awesomeness exponentially.

#19 – Ditto

Who’s That Pokémon?
These days, Ditto has been relegated to “designated breeder” Pokémon more often than not, but it has always been much more than that. 070416ditto.jpgDitto is an amorphous/shapeshifter Pokémon that has the ability to alter its size and shape to mimic those of whatever Pokémon it is battling or is otherwise next to. In battle, Ditto is generally used by players to annoy the opponent or stall for time by mirroring the opponent’s moves, which often do little damage as most Pokémon are weak against their own type. However, skilled Pokémon masters are able to use Ditto’s unique versatility to its maximum potential and turn the opponent’s best Pokémon into his or her worst enemy. Morphenomenal!

Why did we pick it?
In a world filled with oddball creatures, Ditto is the oddball of the oddballs, which makes it quite the oddball. Ditto has quite the extraordinary talent, but it suffers emotionally by lacking any sort of true identity (hence why we refer to Ditto as an “it”). It tries to cover this up with its adorable smile and beady little eyes, but we feel its pain, which is why we are giving it a prime spot on our countdown!

#18 – Psyduck

Who’s That Pokémon?
Despite being purely of the water type, Psyduck’s name, Pokédex entries, and anime appearances suggest that Psyduck is a potentially powerful psychic duck. 070416psyduck.jpgIn reality, Psyduck’s only natural psychic move is Confusion, and the Psychic move itself is only obtained through breeding. Regardless, Psyduck’s Pokédex entry reveals that this Pokémon holds his head due to a terrific headache. As this headache intensifies, Psyduck’s brain waves start to resemble those of a sleeping Pokémon as Psyduck unleashes a mysterious power. However, since its brainwaves are altered during this time, Psyduck does not retain any memory of any event that may occur when this power is used.

Why did we pick it?
Although Psyduck might not be the most desirable of Pokemon, he provides copius amounts of comic relief in the game and anime series. The poor creature always has a befuddled look upon its face and can’t stop clutching its head in bewilderment! And I [Beeks] also have a Psyduck mint tin that doubles as my wisdom teeth case.

#17 – Gardevoir

Who’s That Pokémon?
A third generation Pokémon whose first evolution, Ralts, is native to grasses near the beginning of your adventure in Hoenn, Gardevoir is the final evolution of its particular Pokémon family. Its stats rival some of the best non-legendary, third evolution psychic Pokémon, though it is generally more balanced out than being lopsided in categories like special attack and special defense. 070415gardevoir.jpgVisually, Gardevoir resembles the figure of an elegant woman, despite the fact that Gardevoir’s male to female ratio is just about even. As a psychic Pokémon, Gardevoir stands out as having a brain developed far beyond the level of a humans, enabling Gardevoir to see into the future. Gardevoir also exhibit an unmistakable level of unselfishness and concern for others. If, using its precognitive abilities, the “Embrace Pokémon” senses any sort of threat to either its trainer or to its offspring, it will use its powerful psychokinetic abilities to their full force in an effort to protect its trainer or offspring. Gardevoir are willing to sacrifice their life for their trainers and offspring without hesitation. For this reason, as well as Gardevoir’s apparent ability to completely comprehend the human language, many trainers develop a strong bond with their Gardevoir.

Why did we pick it?
Like many of the Pokémon higher up on our Top 25 list, Gardevoir exhibits an amazing level of beauty and elegance. Add to that the facts that Gardevoir possesses powerful, mystic, psychic abilities and that Gardevoir not only resembles a human being visibly but also compassionately, and you have a Pokémon unlike any other. While Ralts may seem like just your ordinary Lv. 2 field Pokémon, trainers who have evolved a Gardevoir will appreciate its unparalleled abilities.

#16 – Scyther

Who’s That Pokémon?
While technically capable of flying, Scyther rarely take to the skies as they are not fast flyers. Instead, they flap their wings to gain a slight lift above the ground.070416scyther.jpg Scyther are blindingly fast runners, so their wings best function to add to that fact. A Scyther’s most pre-dominant features, of course, are its twin scythes for arms. These blades are extremely sharp and can cut through thick logs or metal beams. When assisted by Scyther’s impressive speed, the blades become extremely deadly. In the Game Boy Advance games, Scyther is a rare find in Pokémon FireRed and non-existent in the wild of the other four games, though a single Scyther may be obtained through Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness for the GameCube.

Why did we pick it?
Just read the description! With phrases such as “blindingly fast,” “extremely deadly,” and “blades so sharp they can cut through thick logs, metal beams, and even gym shoes just like those Ginsu knives,” how can you not include Scyther on this list?

Two nights in, and we’re already 40% through our list of the Top 25 Pokémon of All-Time. Check back tomorrow evening for the next five, as we count down each day until we reach our #1 favorite Pokémon ever on the eve before Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are released here in North America!

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About the Author: Matthew Dominick