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The Alola Pokedex

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Rediamond, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Furfrou

    Overview

    Furfrou has a reputation as perhaps the most regal and snobby of the world’s canines, and certainly of the world’s domestic canines. But the truth is that furfrou are, charitably, one the most energetic of the domestic canines. Less charitably, they are perhaps the least intelligent. So how did a high energy, low attention span dog that would rather be sloppily licking their trainer than sitting beside their throne become synonymous with poise and nobility?

    As usual, there’s an extensive and messy history behind the breed.

    Furfrou, along with yamper, was one of only two canines to be domesticated in Europe. (Fenniken was domesticated in the Sahara around 1500 C.E. and would not become popular in Europe until the 1700s.) Furfrou was also one of the earliest domestic pokémon of any sort available in Europe. Between their long fur and potential for herding and protecting other livestock, they were quickly adopted by farmers across the continent. Foreign visitors during the early Kalosian Empire viewed furfrou as synonymous with the European method of agriculture.

    There was a slight problem with furfrou, though: they are not the patient herders that stoutland and arcanine are. Instead they easily get distracted by birds, flowers, people, wild Pokémon, or the sun and stop watching the herd or walk away altogether before coming back at night with their tail between their legs. Farmers initially tried rectifying this by adopting a larger court of furfrou to watch both each other and the livestock, but they only distracted each other. As soon as arcanine were imported to Europe in the late stages of the Kalosian Empire, furfrou were only retained as livestock for their fur or as protectors of children. The widespread domestication of lopunny slowly led to their decline in even those roles.

    Enter Empress Apolline. Born a common farmer, she was conscripted into the Imperial Army during The Winter Legions’ Mutiny. Her tactical brilliance and skill with taming pokémon led to her rising quickly up the ranks and, after the death of the emperor at the Battle of Cylage placed one of the rebels next in the line of succession, the Lumiose Guard raised her to the throne. She carried the war within the year and her compassion and cunning during the post-war era lead to peace in Kalos for another century. She also had fond memories of her family’s furfrou and brought several into the court in order to train senior military leaders and nobles in pokémon husbandry. The court, in turn, happily adopted furfrou as the Kalosian equivalent to the Galarian monarchs’ yamper and played up the nobility and beauty of the breed as a form of propaganda.

    Over generations and dynasties, the furfrou stayed as a symbol of Kalos in general, and the monarchy in particular. The elaborate styling of frufrou’s coats was perfected during this period. Previously furfrou shaving had been a mundane semiannual task to obtain fur and improve the furfrou’s mobility; now it was (and mostly still is) a form of conspicuous consumption and class status.

    It can be expensive to obtain a purebred furfrou in Alola (or almost anywhere else), but mutts are somewhat common in the wild and shelters as most trainers and families view them as too high maintenance and the wealthy would prefer a purebred. However, furfrou make excellent pets for anyone who wants a high energy dog or a chance to practice advanced grooming techniques.

    Physiology

    Furfrou are classified as normal-types by the Department of Agriculture, as they lack the criteria for any other typing.

    Furfrou are rather typical, if lean, canine pokémon. Their only main distinctions are their long, shaggy white fur and their somewhat delicate facial structure. Most purebred furfrou have a very long and narrow snout compared to other canines. This is impractical and forces them to greatly slow down while eating. It is a product of selective breeding for purely aesthetic purposes.

    Furfrou’s fur is not actually as thick as that of cincinno or lopunny. However, it is somewhat curly and grows very quickly. This leads to it fluffing out more than most other pokémon’s fur. They can grow a full coat of fur up to 40 centimeters long in six months and the fur can extend a ways away from their body, leading to them looking more like a mareep than a ninetales.

    Unusually for canines with long coats, they do not have summer and winter coats that they shed with the seasons change. Instead, furfrou fur reaches its terminal length and stays that long until it is groomed. Feral furfrou thus almost always have the maximum coat length. In their original range in Northern Europe this was seldom a problem, but in Alola this can be a serious health concern as, like most canines, furfrou have no better means of heat release than simple panting.

    Purebred furfrou grow up to 0.8 meters in height at the withers and can weigh between 25 and 40 kilograms, depending upon how long their fur is at the time. Mutts are usually somewhat larger. Purebreds live around seven years in captivity; mutts usually live between 10 and 15. Neither typically survives long in the wild, especially in Alola.

    Behavior

    As mentioned above, furfrou are very energetic and playful. They are also quite social and, when stressed, will seek out the nearest furfrou, other canine, fluffy pokémon or human and stick very close to them. They frequently rub against fences or trees for reasons that are not well understood. In colder climes or when recently shorn, furfrou are known to run for several hours a day and spend the rest of their time sleeping.

    Feral furfrou mostly prefer to scavenge or beg around human settlements rather than go hunting. This is partially because they have one of the weakest senses of smell of all canine pokémon and their vision isn’t much better. Hunting in crowded urban areas by hearing alone is rather difficult for them and most aren’t well trained in tracking or battling in captivity.

    When they must hunt, furfrou tend to be ambush predators staying motionless in one place until something they think they can kill crosses their path. Unfortunately for them, furfrou are both conspicuous and impatient. They frequently move around and blow their cover, jump at things that are not edible (or even living), play with their potential prey rather than eating it, or forget what they were doing and wander off.

    Husbandry

    Furfrou eat standard canine food mixes and are also capable of eating most common human foods. They are notorious beggers and their diet should be monitored. However, they are also active enough that they seldom get particularly fat.

    Speaking of their activity, furfrou require several walks a day. It is best to do these around sunrise and sunset, with a shorter walk in the late morning and early afternoon (or both). Even furfrou without much fur can overheat in the late afternoon sun.

    Furfrou are incredibly social in captivity and will require either another dog to keep them company or near-constant proximity. When awake they will demand scratches, walks, food or playtime. If these are denied they will attempt to cuddle their trainer with full body tackles, steal whatever is distracting their human or (curiously) grab onto their trainer’s leg and start licking it continuously, sometimes for up to an hour.

    Unless under strict veterinary observation, furfrou should have their fur trimmed once every three months. Most groomers are more than capable of giving them basic cuts. Advanced cut groomers are somewhat rare in Alola as eevee, stoutland, rockruff, growlithe and vulpix are far more popular pets, but they can be found in Hau’oli and Malie. There is some debate as to whether elaborate styles are uncomfortable for furfrou. It appears to vary depending upon the style and dog and furfrou should be monitored closely after they receive a new styled trim to gauge their comfort with it.

    Illness

    Purebred furfrou suffer from a number of health problems. Snout injuries and cancers are the most common, but almost any illness or injury a dog can suffer is a risk for a purebred. They should receive veterinary checkups once every six months, ideally after grooming sessions. Mutts tend to have fewer health problems.

    One particular challenge for furfrou is that their habit of rubbing against anything and everything in their territory often leads to skin infections. These can be very difficult to spot given the coverage and bulk of their fur. Furfrou should be thoroughly petted often to check for skin wounds; the dog will not mind this.

    Like all canines, furfrou can carry rabies and should be vaccinated. This is usually done shortly after birth so it won’t be a problem for anyone but breeders.

    Evolution

    Juvenile furfrou look like smaller versions of adult furfrou, albeit they are often a little less fluffy. Furfrou typically reach maturity and their adult size around one year of age.

    Battle

    Furfrou’s lack of size and elemental attacks, as well as their frankly middling speed, mean that they are almost never the dog of choice for competitive battlers. The one exception to this is in the Kalos league, where many trainers who have access to the private tutors, TMs, money to travel extensively, and training supplies that help them succeed also tend to have furfrou.

    This does not mean that furfrou are unusable on the island challenge, although they do suffer severe competiton from the many other dog breeds in Alola (arcanine, eevee, vulpix, lycanroc, manectric, stoutland, riolu, zoroark, houndoom, granbull). However, they are fast enough and their fur coat durable enough that they can dominate many early challenges and still get a hit or two off in the later ones. Other pokémon will need to pick up the slack towards the end, but furfrou users are playing an even longer game. Furfrou are high maintenance but energetic and lovable pets that can live for years after the island challenge is over.

    In battle, it is best to keep things simple. While furfrou can learn several projectile attacks through TMs, they do not have the energy reserves to utilize them effectively. Instead they should rely upon tackles and full-body melee attacks combined with a few basic tricks such as roar, protect and double team if the TMs can be found or afforded. They are countered by ghosts, steel, and rock types, powerful physical walls and most birds. Anything they can hit successfully (at least, when most opponents are using common juvenile pokémon) will likely take significant enough damage to make up for their long list of counters.

    Purebred furfrou should be withdrawn after taking serious hits or multiple weak ones to avoid significant injury. A good rule of thumb is that if a purebred’s coat is in disarray, it’s time to end the round.

    Acquisition

    Furfrou can be adopted, captured or purchased with a Class I license. A few feral furfrou can be found around Hau’oli City, especially in the winter. It is far easier to simply adopt one from the shelters in the city. There are also furfrou breeders on Ula’Ula and Melemele.

    Breeding

    Furfrou courtship, mating, pregnancy and child rearing are all quite typical for canines. This makes them a good starter pokémon for getting into the breeding of more difficult dogs such as ninetales, zoroark, eevee and granbull. Furfrou have been known to mate with every other canine species on Alola, although some crossbreedings are more difficult than others. Most furfrou hybrids are reproductively viable.

    Furfrou pregnancies last roughly two months and they have litters of four to six puppies.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  2. Starlight Aurate

    Starlight Aurate Just a fallen star

    Hi! I just dropped by and while I've only read the first entry, I really like this. A lot. I studied science throughout my high school and college years, so reading an encyclopedia for Pokemon is neat! And I appreciate that it actually feels like reading a piece of non-fiction; you have a very calm, unbiased tone (for the most part, though talking about things like zoroark trying to commit suicide is usually objectively bad).

    In particular, I like you mention that the green in Rowlets' lines' feathers is from a photosynthetic symbiont, especially as things like that occur so often in the natural world, moreso than most people realize. And I know you said they're based on zooxanthellae but they made me think of the cyanobacteria that symbiose in coralloid roots and turn them a bluish color.

    Also, was the venomous quills of the Queenseye Dartrix inspired by the venom of duck-billed platypi at all? I know it might not be, it just struck me that Australia is where they're found and I thought the correlation was interesting.

    Not too much to say, but I like this! It gave me something fun to read when I was stuck in bed from pain+pain killers =P Nice work!
     
    Rediamond likes this.
  3. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Wait. I need to put in a content warning for the zoroark entry. Thank you for the reminder.

    There are several instances of symbiotes providing food. I could've gone with the chemosynthetic organisms along the hydrothermal vents just as easily. But I liked the idea of a flying coral reef too much to pass up.

    It's generally based on the popular belief that everything in Australia can kill you. While it's not entirely true, even the platypus being venomous lends some credence to the belief. So, indirectly, they are.

    I get the feeling. I once binge-read all of Worm while lying in bed after surgery with nothing else to do.

    Thank you for the praise/review. I hope you feel better soon.
     
  4. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Raichu (Pichu, Pikachu, Hodad)

    Overview

    It is somewhat difficult to explain pikachu’s global popularity. Until the late twentieth century they were only common in central Japan and Alola with small invasive colonies elsewhere. They are not the most popular pokémon among Japan’s trainers. Worldwide, relatively few casual trainers used them before the 1990s and relatively few use them today. They are virtually absent from the competitive battling scene beyond the occasional use of hodad as a bird counter.

    By all accounts, pikachu owes its popularity to one trainer who used a pikachu medically incapable of evolution (see Illness) and the subsequent anime and video games made about his improbable rise through the underground and officially sanctioned battling scenes of metropolitan Yamabuki. How the story and media caught on just as much, if not more so, outside of Japan than in it is a discussion for another book in another field.

    Pikachu’s cuteness and perceived power led to its rise as a popular pet worldwide, even to the point of largely supplanting the popularity of related electric types such as emolga, dedenne, togedemaru, plusle and minun, and pachirisu. However, whatever the Satoshi-inspired anime and games say, most pikachu inevitably grow up. And many people find raichu to be not quite as cute as their adolescent stage. Furthermore they aeriously disrupt nearby electronics. Pichu have relatively little control over their electric sacs and can be dangerous to have around very young children, in addition to being a frequent literal and metaphorical pain for their trainer.

    This is not to say that the pikachu line are bad pets, exactly. They are cute, loyal, friendly and (once they evolve for the first time) almost entirely safe. But they do not work for every trainer and those prizing cuteness in their electric-types above all else might be better served by a togedemaru, emolga or dedenne, which have the advantage of not growing into a larger form.

    There are also misconceptions about the Alolan or Tapu raichu (referred to in this guide by their traditional name: hodad). Normal raichu are not absent from or even uncommon in Alola. Most pikachu here evolve into raichu. Additionally, hodad does not appear to be a raichu subspecies. They are both branching evolutions of pikachu like slowbro and slowking are to slowpoke. Indigenous Alolans did not and do not worship hodad; they worship Tapu Koko and believe that hodad are blessed by the land spirit. However, this veneration was only particularly common on Melemele; the residents of other islands had their own sacred emissaries.

    Physiology

    Plusle, pikachu and raichu are classified as pure electric-types by the Department of Agriculture. Hodad is classified as a dual electric- and psychic-type. There is some dispute as to whether they should have a third fairy-typing. However, as they fit the criteria for their two primary typings far better and third typings are presently disallowed, it is unlikely that hodad’s official typing changes unless the basic rules of official typings change as well.

    Pichu, as well as pikachu and raichu, are predominately quadrupedal but can stand up on their hind legs if needed. Pichu are pale yellow in color, except for the fringes of their ears (black), their cheeks (pink), their tail (black), and a jagged band of fur around their neck (black). They are perhaps most easily distinguished from pikachu based on their size and the prominence of their feet. Pichu’s electric sacs are not fully developed. This makes them prone to weak discharge when startled; they can be startled by their own involuntary discharges, leading to a feedback loop of release that leaves the pichu severely drained. Their electric sacs are also not developed enough to store large amounts of electricity, meaning that their total discharges still don’t release as much power as the average raichu’s thunder shock attacks.

    Pikachu are generally bulkier than pichu with less prominent limbs and a proportionally larger torso. The cheeks darken to a bright red color and their tail becomes longer, more jagged and coated in yellow fur. Their ears are also proportionally longer and only colored black at the very tips. Pikachu’s electric sacs are nearly as large as those of a raichu, allowing them to hold about as much electricity. However, their release processes are less sophisticated and they have less experience using them, leading to frequent situations where they discharge too much at once and either hurt themselves or run out of energy quickly in a battle. However, as Satoshi’s pikachu demonstrated, their unregulated thunderbolts can be the strongest of any common electric-type.

    It has been said that raichu resemble pichu far more closely than pikachu. They are proportionally longer, their ears are fringed in darker brown fur, and their feet are quite prominent, especially when compared to the stubby legs of pikachu. Raichu are darker in color than their juvenile forms, except for a cream-colored belly. This makes them appear counter-shaded, which is unusual for a purely terrestrial organism. This has led to some speculation that the ancestors of raichu could either swim or fly. The circles on raichu’s cheeks (which, contrary to popular belief, are not the exterior of their electricity pouches but rather just ornamental markings) are pale yellow in color.

    Perhaps the most interesting element of raichu’s physiology is the existence of a long brown “cord” between their tail proper and the rest of their body. Most trainers can’t believe that a tail so thin can hold up the bulky lightning-bolt-shaped tip. This disbelief is supported by reality; raichu can’t hold up their tail with muscles alone. Instead they use sophisticated electromagnetic currents to move their tail around and channel their lightning bolts. This gives them much more accuracy, range, speed and physical power than pikachu, as they can use their electricity to supply kinetic energy to their own body.

    This is far more visible in hodad. They have even larger tails with equally thin cords leading to them. Hodad often balance the rest of their body on top of their tail and fly through the air on them. This gives them the appearance of surfing. Beyond that, hodad are generally of a lighter color than raichu, with the brown fur on their paws replaced with white fur. The eyes literally bright blue (that is, their eyes emit light of their own and glow in the dark). The ears are also rounded and appear to contain a spiral pattern, although this is actually just a result of their magnetic field acting up on their fur. Hodads’ ears are also light yellow in coloration.

    There is some dispute as to whether or not hodad utilize actual telekinesis or just manipulate themselves and other objects with electromagnetic fields. Hodad can be taught to use a variety of other mind-affecting attacks that give them the marking of a psychic-type. They are also quite adept at communicating with human psychics. Since telepathy and telekinesis usually go together in pokémon, it is speculated that they augment their natural electromagnetic abilities with telekinesis.

    Despite common misconceptions, no member of the pikachu evolutionary line feeds upon electricity; they are all vegetarians. They prefer berries but can also eat leaves, bark and stems. Pikachu and raichu prefer to cook their food and will often use their electricity to scorch plants (especially unfamiliar ones) before eating them. Hodad feed almost exclusively upon berries and use their levitation to rise up berry trees and then dart to the next grove. They do not scorch their food.

    The misconception that pikachu subsist on electricity has a clear origin: lightning often strikes near pikachu colonies. Almost every time there is a storm, the skies above the forests that pikachu and raichu inhabit will be almost constantly lit up. Raichu also flock to the areas around power plants and other crucial parts of the electric grid. All stages of the evolutionary line (save hodad) become tired when they have not been exposed to lightning or raw electricity in some time. After a long withdrawal period they will resume their normal activity levels, but they will not use electricity until they are recharged. Unlike most electric types, it does not appear as if they can generate their own power and must rely upon lightning strikes or leeching from the electric grid (or shocks from other pokémon) to maintain their defensive and offensive capabilities.

    Hodad, however, do appear to generate their own electricity. They are still frequently struck by lightning and briefly become hyperactive after they are hit. It is unclear how their generation works as their internal anatomy is very similar to raichu and none of the differences appear to explain this ability.

    Raichu grow up to 0.8 meters when standing upright, tail not included. They can weigh up to 20 kilograms. Hodad grow up to 0.7 meters and can weigh up to 22 kilograms. Raichu typically live for about seven years in both captivity and the wild. Hodad can live up to thirty years.

    Behavior

    Pichu are almost entirely dependent upon their evolved forms in the wild. They typically stay inside of their underground nests until they approach their first evolution, so it is difficult to observe their wild behaviors. In captivity and when they begin to leave their nest, pichu are incredibly curious pokémon prone to gleefully exploring their surroundings and being fascinated by individual objects, particularly human-made ones, for hours. Or until they accidentally shock it and become upset, triggering a feedback loop and often damaging the target of their affections. They are primarily nocturnal.

    Pikachu spend most of their time either sleeping or foraging. Batteries can contain up to thirty individuals (including pichu and raichu), but individuals mostly forage alone. They are skilled climbers and move from tree to tree without leaving the canopy for most of the day. Pikachu are also skilled burrowers who dig shallow tunnel networks that they sleep in during the night. It is not that pikachu aren’t curious, rather, they simply devote very little time in a day to anything that isn’t survival. When they encounter a new potential nest or food source they can spend up to an hour exploring it before either committing to taking the nest over, cooking the food or wandering away. One of pikachu’s most interesting behaviors is their tendencies to shock weakened pikachu to restore the depleted pokémon’s electricity sacs. They will sometimes even do this to pikachu in other batteries they encounter on their foraging journeys.

    Raichu spend most of their day around the colony’s nest guarding against potential predators. They are not strictly diurnal or nocturnal; the raichu in a colony tend to sleep in shifts so that at least one is awake at all times. When they feel a nest is unsafe or wish to introduce their pichu to the outside world, they have the ability to warp their magnetic field to stick pichu against their backs and render them nearly incapable of escape.

    Hodad do not live in the same battery as pikachu and pichu. Instead they move between the territory of different batteries as they please. They tend to live in pairs. Rather than burrowing, they sleep in the canopy. Like pikachu, hodad are primarily diurnal (although it is also not uncommon to see them active at night, especially if there’s a storm). They do not rear their own pichu and instead drop them off in a nearby battery. In exchange, they provide protection for all batteries in their range should they be seriously threatened. If they are unable to protect a colony, they will drop their carefree attitude in a heartbeat to avenge them. It was this attribute that gave them their semi-mythical status in Alolan folklore. Chiefs who built structures in the wrong territory or dared to hunt pikachu would often wind up killed by a thunderbolt on a clear day, as if struck down by Tapu Koko herself. This vigorous defense of pikachu territory is one of the reasons Route 1 zoning is entirely controlled by the Melemele kahuna.

    Husbandry

    Pichu are nearly as demanding as an actual human infant or toddler. If the parent raichu are available, it is best to simply leave the baby’s care largely in their parents’ hands (see Breeding). However, because many pichu in captivity are obtained from captive hodad, who refuse to care for their own offspring, many trainers will find themselves in the position of having to raise a pichu on their own.

    The first major challenge the trainer will face is that very young pichu require raichu milk to survive. This can be purchased at some specialty breeder supply stores in Alola’s large cities. Travel should not be attempted with a very young pichu as a constant supply of milk is needed and even brief disruptions can lead to starvation. As they grow older, pichu become more willing to eat mashed up fruit and, eventually, some crushed leaves. Pichu at this age should not be shocked because a pichu with electricity means shocks for their human caretakers as well as frequent fires as they begin to explore their environment.

    Young pichu should be stored in a room either without electrical outlets or with well covered and insulated ones. Their room should contain no sharp or heavy objects and should contain enclosed and soft spaces for them to retreat to when scared. This will occur very often, as pichu are scared of nearly everything until they approach evolution. They should also be given toys such as exercise wheels and objects dangling from string. Like all stages of the pikachu line, they will require something to gnaw on as well, lest they begin to burrow out of the door or walls. To be safe, pichu should never be put into a pokéball until they reach three months of age, and then the ball should be only sparingly used.

    Pikachu require far less constant care. However, they are very social pokémon who tend to resent pokéballs and anything else they see as separating them from their trainer. Pikachu love most machines; the machines tend not to love pikachu back. Keep them away from any electronics that haven’t been specifically made to resist electric types. Pikachu will need somewhat frequent electric charges. Access to a simple electrical outlet can usually do the trick. Alternatively, pikachu chargers are available for sale at most Pokémon Centers in Alola. The machines’ efficacy seems to vary depending upon the exact model and individual pikachu.

    Pikachu, raichu and hodad will all eat as much as they can. This will often prove to be more than their metabolisms can handle. Feed them a quantity roughly equal to one fifth of their body weight each day. They will beg for more food after battles, but they do not need food so much as a good charge. The pokémon will still exploit their human’s ignorance about that if they can. Pichu should be fed whenever they cry. If they do not accept the food, move on to other potential problems (minor injury, dirty litter, broken toys).

    Pikachu enjoy frequent battles and exercise as well as enrichment in the form of new toys to experiment and play with or new locations to explore. If you do not want a pikachu to attempt to burrow in a home, provide them with some sort of enclosed area they can retreat to. Like all stages of the evolutionary line, they can be housebroken.

    Raichu are more sedentary than pikachu. However, they require more electricity and the same amount of food to maintain their fields. Some raichu are fine with pokéballs; most are not. In general, they are less social than pikachu and more content to spend time alone or with another pokémon. Their electrical field makes them poor housepets as they have a habit of accidentally frying devices in their home. Traveling trainers with a raichu can find themselves burning through multiple phones a year.

    Hodad are even rougher on electronic devices due to the increased strength of their field. They are also more active and social than raichu and require time on their own to fly. Otherwise they will get very energetic and start accidentally discharging electricity like a pichu. It is believed that flight is how they release excess energy, something that is constantly a problem for them as they generate their own supply. Hodad have a notorious sweet tooth and can be easily bribed and trained with their favorite type of berry. They prefer to sleep cuddled against either their trainer or a fluffy pokémon, preferably an electric type. Most fluffy pokémon hate getting their fur messed up by static electricity, so hodad trainers should just accept that they’re going to wake up most mornings next to a drooling pokémon and with their hair sticking every which way. For this reason, short haircuts and cheap pajamas are recommended for hodad trainers. Alternatively, ampharos do not seem to mind hodad cuddles.

    Illness

    Some pikachu have problems with their electricity sacks that make the process of evolution medically inadvisable. There is a surgical procedure that can prevent them from undergoing it. Pikachu so altered typically live for five years, which is only a little longer than they would have otherwise lasted. The main reason this surgery is actually performed in practice is to ensure that the pokémon stays as a cute and relatively powerful pikachu forever. As such, there are an increasing number of veterinarians and surgeons who will not perform the procedure at all.

    Most health problems any member of the evolutionary line will have are related to their electric sacs. These problems are usually temporary and work themselves out again after a good charge or discharge. If a pokémon continues to have unusual difficulty with their electricity (such as accidental releases for pikachu, raichu or hodad, painful discharges or shying away from electronics or other electric-types) for more than two days, consult a veterinarian.

    As a final note, as they age some raichu and hodad experience senility and a partial loss of hearing. This is very common among related species and should be accepted. However, this often leads to raichu being unable to easily distinguish verbal commands. A raichu older than seven years should never be ordered to use thunder wave if the trainer isn’t fine with them using thunderbolt instead.

    Evolution

    Pichu and pikachu evolve in brief periods of four to six days. The exact catalyst for evolution is unknown, but the leading theory at present is that it is tied to their total lifetime exposure to electricity. Usually this evolution occurs between four and six months of age for pichu and three to five years of age for raichu. Exposure to thunder stones can almost immediately trigger an evolution in a pikachu. However, this amount of electricity can be dangerous or even fatal for a pichu and no effort should be made to force their evolution. Shortly before evolution, the pokémon becomes very hyperactive and begins to eat anything it possibly can. Then it goes sluggish for a few days of very rapid growth. They will prefer to retreat into their burrow for the duration of this process in the wild and some equivalent structure should be provided in captivity. Evolution might generate electricity; in any case, the pokémon will be incredibly charged immediately after completing the process and will be nearly as energetic as they were before evolution (if a lot clumsier as they adjust to their new body).

    Hodad evolution is different. Sometimes, particularly on melemele, a thunderstone with a spiral pattern carved into one surface will appear. A pikachu exposed to these stones will immediately begin a flash evolution into hodad. These stones can also be broken up into pieces that can serve as impromptu z-crystal to allow for a massive, temporary increase in the power of a hodad’s electromagnetic field.

    Battle

    Pikachu have a small niche in competitive battling given the sheer power they can unleash. Once. Maybe twice. If the attack is blocked, dodged or the pikachu is knocked out before they can execute it, they won’t deal any damage at all in the fight. Given pikachu’s size and relative frailty, they are not durable enough to take almost any hit from a pokémon on the competitive circuits at all.

    Hodad holds a more substantial role, if only barely so. Flying electric-types are understandably popular for their ability to not only strike birds with powerful weakness-targeting moves, but to keep up with them in their home turf. Unfortunately for hodad, vikavolt exists and is both faster and more powerful. Hodad holds some niche advantages, though, like better offensive and defensive movepools with attacks such as focus blast, encore, magic coat and reflect. Birds are also less likely to know bug buzz, shadow ball or dark pulse than they are to know heat wave. But even on their good days, hodad aren’t capable of firing off thunderbolts half as powerful as a vikavolt’s. And vikavolt have the added perk of not frying their trainer’s cell phone.

    Raichu are neither fast nor powerful enough to earn a substantial role in competitive battling. Some recent trainers have used them early in their careers. They usually obtained one after being misled by video games or television and the trainer was then unwilling or unable to convince a veterinarian to render their pikachu incapable of evolution.

    This is not to say that either raichu or hodad is bad for casual battling or the island challenge. To start with, raichu and hodad are much easier to obtain, evolve and train than vikavolt. And their thunderbolts are more than capable of keeping pace with even the later totem pokémon and grand trials. It should be noted that raichu is not particularly bulky and hodad is even frailer. For the most part they should be used as ranged nukes that can hold their own up close if necessary but are better served getting in hits from a distance and keeping their opponent at bay. Moves such as double team and protect are a hodad or raichu’s best friend.

    Pikachu are also frail, but they are quite capable of taking the average hits of the first two islands’ trials. By the time the third island comes around, it may be time to evolve them. Otherwise they battle much like their evolutions, although early on it might be practical to mix in physical moves such as iron tail, quick attack or slam as their opponents will also be relatively frail and the pikachu can’t keep up thunder shocks for long without exhausting themselves.

    Pichu should be battled with sparingly and against weak opponents only, and even then they should only be battled with at all after they reach three months of age. It is best to leave them to nursery room fights against other very young pokémon.

    Acquisition

    All stages of the pikachu line are often found around Hau’oli City and in Route 1.

    Raising a pichu from an egg without a raichu requires a Class IV license. Raising a pichu from an egg with a raichu requires only a Class II license, or a Class I license if you have a female raichu. (The disparity is due to the difficulty of obtaining milk without a female raichu.) Hodad will not raise a pichu and thus do not discount the license requirement. Pichu should never be captured inside of their nest as this is against commonwealth law. But a fine is the least of your worries if you disturb a pichu nest, as hodad tend to aggressively avenge those transgressions. Pichu out of a nest can be captured with a Class II license. Pichu over three months of age can also be adopted or purchased with a Class II license.

    Pikachu can be adopted, purchased or captured with a Class I license. However, pikachu can only be captured inside of Route 1 after defeating at least one of the Melemele trials. Even then, only one pikachu capture per trainer is allowed. The restrictions in Hau’oli City itself are far laxer. Both pichu and raichu are commonly available from breeders.

    Raichu and hodad may not be captured from the wild in Alola. However, many trainers abandon them to shelters after they lose their first cell phone. This makes them rather easy to adopt. Both require a Class III license to adopt or purchase.

    Breeding

    Female raichu mate with a male in their battery about once a year. After a five week pregnancy, they give birth to two pichu. Raichu carefully guard all pichu in their nest, regardless of parentage. They do not allow them to leave the nest at all until they reach about three months of age, and even then they are only allowed to leave when magnetically glued to a raichu’s back. They are only allowed to explore on their own after another two to four weeks.

    Hodad pairs sometimes never mate. They also frequently form homosexual pairs that, regardless of whether they mate or not, cannot reproduce. Sometimes hodad pairs mate and reproduce up to three times a year. Hodad pregnancy is very similar to raichu pregnancy. After their young are born, the male hodad will seek glue them to his body and seek out a nearby battery to drop the pichu off at. Hodad don’t seem to have any preference as to which battery they drop eggs off at. Some pairs will drop theirs off at the same one every time, and others will drop them off at a different one each time. There does not appear to be any clear driving factor behind their selection.

    Subspecies

    Some pikachu colonies have different coloration, fur patterns, tail patterns, or fur thickness than others. These are viewed as normal variations within a subspecies rather than classifying the breeds as separate subspecies altogether. There is some dispute as to whether or not Alolan pikachu constitute a different subspecies as their fur is generally lighter and thinner, but at present this split is not widely accepted within the scientific community as they are otherwise very similar to Japanese pikachu. Additionally any pikachu who encounters the right stone can evolve into hodad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  5. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Drowning sorrows with Regice & Latios

    So, I've never actually reviewed any of your stuff in this neck of the woods... so I'm just going to comment on the zoroark family because... well... personal bias and all that jazz. :V

    I know we conversed a bit about how absolutely BS the whole illusion ability is. I do like the hydrokinesis strategy that you end up employing here. I've had a similar headcanon going for the Eon Duo, whereby they can manipulate microscopic water particles in the air to enhance the light refraction that their glass downs provide... granting them illusionary powers. I personally still think pure shapeshifting still fits better and that whoever named it illusion is an idiot and should've been fired from their post. But I think your explanation is just the right blend of science fantasy to fly in a fake encyclopedia.

    The other big aspect to it that interests me is their general fascination with humanity. Sure, you do mention their stereotypical portrayal as tricksters. But you downplay that heavily in favor of having them study humans intently to learn how to create a human form and blend in with humanity. And to have that extend into potentially slipping a zorua pup into a human family to better learn and develop their own illusions. I mean... I guess they don't know better... that's just very funny to see. One thing that struck me as a bit of an omission was the lack of mention as to whether or not certain other pokémon species (aura-readers, psychic-types) can see through a zoroark illusion. I guess it would depend on the subspecies, but as a trainer, if I knew I had a species that could see past an illusion I'd feel a lot more confident in battle. it could've also been a way to slip in a meta gag about the whole lucario/zoroark thing, but that's just me.

    Other small quirks that amused me: zoroarks loving showers (their manes are big and water makes them heavy, that just seems like a bad time for all), them breaking their trainer's stuff out of spite if they don't get their way (that's probably the most stereotypical "dark-type" thing to do), having them use some hollowed-out remnant of another living thing as their bead (never would've considered that and impressively morbid).

    I'll probably be back for some other species and I'm sure you can guess which ones. Because I'm biased. :p
     
  6. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Grubbin (Charjabug, Vikavolt)

    Overview

    Most pokémon species in this book were introduced to the islands by humans. Broadly speaking, they came in three waves: the initial Polynesian settlers, Japanese and Chinese expeditions between 800 C.E. and 1100 C.E., and European explorers and colonizers after 1750 C.E.

    However, a handful of species (particularly migratory birds and aquatic pokémon) were living on Alola before humans first arrived on its shores. Some of those species are found nowhere else in the world. Grubbin is one example. And out of all of the truly Alolan pokémon, it is by far the most famous and feared outside of the islands.

    It has been mentioned several times before in this book that flying pokémon hold a metagame defining and constraining role in competitive battling. Because of this, any team without a reliable bird counter or several bird checks is doomed to failure. And vikavolt might be the best bird counter there is. Vikavolt pack some of the strongest thunderbolts of any pokémon, they can keep up with most birds in both speed and agility in the air, and they are natural predators of birds in the wild. Some of the most prominent birds in the international metagame, such as skarmory and talonflame, live in Alola and vikavolt have learned how to defend themselves against and even hunt them.

    Vikavolt are the reason that the most powerful bug specialists feel the need to take a pilgrimage to Alola. They are also the reason that Alola draws some of the world’s most prominent trainers to the Battle Tree Invitational Tournament year in and year out. Vikavolt may not be the single most metagame defining pokémon on the international scene right now, but, their relatively recent rise to prominence and their small native range means that if a trainer wants one, there’s really only one place to get them.

    This hasn’t been entirely good for vikavolt. Their juvenile forms are easy pickings for scyther, volcarona, pinsir and heracross. While the latter isn’t even a carnivore, they have no desire to compete with the highly aggressive vikavolt for territory and resources. And while vikavolt are almost uniquely built to take on the migratory birds that flock to Alolan shores each year, they are somewhat physically frail and other powerful bugs can sometimes lure them into a trap and take them out. Even before their meteoric rise on the competitive scene, grubbin were essentially extinct on Poni and declining on Akala due to competition from other bugs. Concerns about overharvesting for competitive battling led to the Commonwealth establishing a small grubbin formation in Galar to take pressure off of the Alolan populations. Alola was given $350,000,000 to establish this relatively small formation.

    Thankfully, it is much easier to obtain a grubbin or charjabug as an island challenger than as a member of the general public. Please note that there are still restrictions in place on quickly trading or selling grubbin, and more than one trainer has run afoul of the law while trying to make a quick buck on the grubbin market.

    Physiology

    Grubbin are classified as pure bug types by the Department of Agriculture. Charjabug and vikavolt are classified as dual bug- and electric-types. There is some dispute as to whether or not grubbin should have an additional ground-typing, but as they are neither terrakinetic nor built to thrive in sandstorms or deserts, the current ruling is quite likely to stand.

    Grubbin are small bug-types with four distinct body segments. The latter three are light grey in color with occasional yellow spots. These segments contain most of grubbin’s organs as well as their legs, two per each hind segment. The front segment is the largest and orange in color, with a yellow ‘visor’ shielding their mouth and the base of their mandibles from aerial attack. While they appear to have large ringed eyes, these are simply ornamental. Grubbin are entirely blind, something they make up for with lateral lines that allow them to sense the electric signals in the living organisms around them. Their mandibles extend from the front of their head. The mandibles usually contain yellow and orange stripes. The exact width and number of the stripes is unique to each grubbin. Right above their mouth, grubbin have another orifice for the release and withdrawal of silk lines. While silk production isn’t uncommon among young bugs, grubbin use it in an interesting way. They release the silk at high speed to snare potential predators, rivals or prey and slowly pull them towards the grubbin’s powerful mandibles, where they can be killed or battered further.

    Charjabug look quite different from grubbin at a glance, leading early European explorers to determine that the charjabug and vikavolt on Ula’Ula and Poni were a different species altogether than the grubbin on Melemele and Akala. To start with, charjabug are uncannily geometric. Their body is an almost perfect rectangular prism with only short, stubby legs and mandibles protruding from it. Most of their body is green, except for one face of their body which contains their face. The face is broken into a grid of nine perfect squares. The bottom two squares in the middle column are grey and contain jagged lines—the mouth. The remaining squares in the middle row are a reflective blue. The mandibles, tiny yellow pegs, stick out of the remaining green squares on the bottom. The blue tiles contain the charjabug’s eyes behind them. At least, they do for older charjabug. Newly evolved charjabug haven’t finished growing eyes yet and still rely heavily on their lateral lines for navigation.

    Charjabug are also known for being a sort of natural battery. (Although, contrary to popular belief, the manmade battery was not inspired by charjabug.) They slowly absorb energy throughout their life and can release it for either self defense or to assist a vikavolt. The main reason that charjabug can live on the surface undisturbed is that killing one will, at an unpredictable time after their death, set off an explosion of all the remaining electricity in their body. This will often take out their killer. Curiously, charjabug make accordion-like sounds when disturbed.

    Vikavolt are about as different from charjabug as charjabug are from grubbin. They resemble a large beetle. Unlike other beetle pokémon such as pinsir and heracross, vikavolt are not bipeds and are most comfortable in the air. The upper portion of vikavolt’s shell is dark blue. A portion of this shell covers the head. The rest is retractable and covers the wings. The rest of vikavolt’s shell is black. Unlike grubbin and charjabug, they have four long, spindly legs rather than six stubby ones.

    Vikavolt are most easily recognizable by their head and mandibles. Their head contains two bright yellow triangles that cover up their eyes. Right beneath their eyes they have an orange mouth which, like charjabug, opens horizontally rather than vertically. Their mandibles begin with horizontal green- and yellow-striped spikes facing away from their head. Then the mandibles extend up to 0.6 meters away from the mouth. The interior of the mandibles are typically green and contain a number of small spikes. The exterior is bright yellow. These are not used for grappling or eating prey (they actually must be swerved aside to let vikavolt get their mouth to their food). Instead, they are used for amplifying and releasing powerful thunderbolts.

    Vikavolt are capable of reaching flight speeds up to fifty meters per second for very brief periods and pivoting a full 360 degrees in less than two seconds while moving at max speed. Their thunderbolts contain wattage and amperage approaching that of actual lightning and, at max charge, they can fire off up to a dozen before they absolutely need to rest. This is accomplished based on a few power saving or recharging tricks. First, vikavolt slightly charge themselves with every wingbeat, although this is not enough to recoup the energy loss of flight. They also reabsorb some of the ambient energy left in the air after firing off a bolt, which is the primary reason why wild vikavolt often wait up to a minute between attacks.

    However, vikavolt do not passively generate their own electricity like some pokémon can. They need to eat. Grubbin are primarily herbivorous, although they will also scavenge kills or take out small bugs or birds from time to time. Charjabug don’t move or eat much, preferring to keep their metabolism low to minimize the time until evolution. When they do eat, they tend to eat the remains of vikavolt kills or slowly work through a tree, as trees are immobile and large enough to last several charjabug through evolution. Vikavolt are primarily carnivorous, although they have sometimes been observed in the wild and in captivity seeking out flowers, fruit or nectar. Their preferred prey are birds.

    There is a common belief in Alola that vikavolt are venting the impotent rage towards birds they had as a grubbin. This is mostly unsupported by evidence. Grubbin have relatively few predators as they spend almost their entire life underground (see Behavior), and the predators they do have tend to be dedicated insectivores or burrowers. Trumbeak occasionally prey upon grubbin, as do skarmory and fearow. But vikavolt only prey upon trumbeak when there are no larger birds to eat and, while they do hunt skarmory and fearow, they prefer larger migratory birds such as braviary, tropius and mandibuzz. All three species do not actively hunt grubbin and only kill vikavolt in self-defense.

    Given the prominence of both psy-sensitive trainers and vikavolt on the competitive battling scene, there have been multiple papers published on the psychic lives of vikavolt. Most, but not all, psychics have concluded that vikavolt see birds with the detached gaze of a predator rather than the rage of a warrior out for vengeance.

    However, after humans began to capture grubbin in large numbers, vikavolt have begun to attack adult humans in some portions of their range without provocation. This lends some credence to the idea that vikavolt hunt out of revenge. They do not eat killed humans and do not hunt children.

    Grubbin grow up to 0.4 meters in length (including the mandible) and 5 kilograms in mass. Vikavolt grow up to 1.7 meters (including the mandible) in length and 10 kilograms in mass. Grubbin can live for four years in the wild and eight in captivity. Vikavolt live an average of nine years in the wild and twelve in captivity.

    Behavior

    Grubbin mostly live one to three meters beneath the surface their entire life, or until they evolve. They move from root system to root system and leave tunnels behind them. Grubbin live mostly solitary lives. Their tunnels are not a home, just a relic of where they’ve been. They almost never backtrack. When grubbin are unable to obtain enough food or water underground they will sometimes come to the surface to eat and drink. Once it finds stagnant water or a root system, the grubbin will disappear back underground.

    Charjabug, like metapod, have very little behavior to speak of. Sometimes they will move to avoid a slow-moving natural disaster such as rising waters or lava flows. Occasionally they will crawl over to and up a tree for shelter or food. Otherwise, they stay still and absorb the ambient electricity that caused them to evolve in the first place.

    Vikavolt behavior is more interesting. They stay in the air virtually all of the time, pausing only for a quick rest each night for three to five hours. This is usually one in brush or dense canopies. Because vikavolt are light sleepers and their primarily black and blue color scheme is difficult to see at night, this is a difficult weakness to exploit.

    Perhaps the most interesting of vikavolt’s behaviors is their relationship with charjabug. While they seldom interact with other vikavolt, they are prone to picking up a charjabug with their legs. The adolescent form appears to function as a battery, giving vikavolt the power to cast more thunderbolts and a shorter recharge time between attacks. However, the charjabug weighs them down and they sometimes leave them behind when chasing very fast prey or fleeing from predators. They almost always come back for their dropped charjabug. When their claimed charjabug evolves, the vikavolt keeps close watch over them and protects them from predators as they grow. If the vikavolt are of opposite sexes, they will form a lifelong mated pair. Otherwise, they will split when the younger vikavolt is fully grown and both will find a new charjabug. Mated pairs seldom use charjabug as batteries and discard them immediately after battle when they do use one.

    Outside of hunting and resting, vikavolt tend to aimlessly fly around their territory. The exact purpose of this is unclear. Proposed theories for these flights include warning off other vikavolt, searching for new bird nests, or just killing time.

    Husbandry

    The three insect pokémon covered thus far in the guide (butterfree, ledian and ariados) are wonderful starting bugs. They aren’t aggressive towards humans, they grow and die rather quickly, and they are each quite social. Vikavolt are almost none of these things. Trainers with no prior experience raising bug-types may find their grubbin, charjabug or vikavolt difficult to understand, and thus difficult to tame and care for. However, they are also not the most difficult bugs in the Alola region and they give fair warning before attacking their trainer. The most common complaint from trainers is actually that they are quite boring.

    Grubbin primarily eat roots in the wild. This is easy enough to replicate in captivity by providing them with root vegetables. They should be fed three to five times a day. Grubbin will not eat if they are full or drink if they are not thirsty. Their vegetables should always be relatively fresh. If this is not feasible, other fruits and vegetables can be provided to them. Grubbin should be given a water cup at every meal.

    Charjabug, for the most part, do not eat. They should be ‘fed’ through frequent access to a thunder stone, generator or electronic devices. Once every two to three days they should be offered tree bark, sticks, grass, or leaves and a cup of water. If they eat the food, get them a lettuce-based plant mix to eat until they no longer show an interest in food. If they drink the water, they should be provided with a cup of water once or twice a day until they stop drinking.

    Vikavolt are almost entirely carnivorous. They aren’t particularly picky on what they eat, but they usually prefer poultry. If their food is not cooked in advance they will zap it themselves. They should be fed frequently and in relatively large quantities. Like their juvenile forms, they will simply stop eating when they are full. Once the vikavolt has been in captivity (and fully grown) for a few weeks, their trainer should be able to work out how much and how frequently they need fed. Vikavolt require water far more consistently than their juvenile stages and should be provided cups of water more frequently than they are given food.

    Grubbin will want to burrow. This makes them happy, but also makes them difficult to keep track of or retrieve. Breeders and trainers raising grubbin in permanent homes might wish to invest in a concrete or metal bin or pool filled with sand or soil. Sticks or vegetables should be frequently mixed in for enrichment and the sand should be sifted through or replaced roughly once a week to remove droppings. A water bin should be placed on top of the sediment. In general, grubbin are entirely fine with their pokéballs so long as they are regularly fed.

    Charjabug also do not mind their pokéballs. Or much of anything. They should not be left in overly hot or dry environments for too long and should be left out of their pokéball for at least two hours a day. Of course, there’s still a compelling reason to spend more time with grubbin and charjabug than is strictly required. And that reason has a predatory drive, wicked lightning bolts and flight faster than highway speed limits.

    Vikavolt are mostly apathetic towards humans they do not know. They will accept offerings of cooked food (not raw food initially), but food alone will not make them warm up very quickly to a human. Usually they’ll just take an early chance to zip away if their trainer has done the bare minimum to care for them in the past. Spending frequent time around grubbin and charjabug, helping the former battle and providing enriching environments for them, keeping them in luxury or friend balls and generally making a show of being protective of them will all help earn a measure of trust. Vikavolt will usually stay around a familiar human until they finish growing. This period is absolutely critical for earning a vikavolt’s full trust, and even friendship.

    Growing vikavolt should be protected from harm at all costs. They enjoy chasing toys such as paper airplanes, laser pointers or RC helicopters around to practice their lightning bolts and flight. Providing a pokémon that can teach a vikavolt new moves is also useful. Some young vikavolt have shown a fondness for batteries that they can hold in their legs like a charjabug. If all of these factors and others (food quality, environment, sleeping places, access to trainer) are met, a vikavolt will usually choose to stay with their trainer for life.

    Fully grown vikavolt require far less sustained attention. They should be allowed to explore during the day whenever possible and trained to recognize a whistle so they know where to come back to at night. So long as high quality food is provided to them, they will seldom make a nuisance of themselves by hunting local wildlife. Vikavolt also require frequent battle or they will start acting up or terrorizing the local birds, even if they don’t actually eat them. Vikavolt will demand either a place indoors or inside of a tent to sleep near their trainer at night. Outside of healing and (short) discipline, a vikavolt’s pokéball should be used sparingly.

    Beyond proximity while they sleep, vikavolt will demonstrate few conventional displays of affection. They are not social pokémon in the wild and even mated pairs only nest and occasionally hunt together.

    Illness

    Sometimes vikavolt or grubbin get parasites. These are usually not curable, but also usually not life threatening. Infections can usually be prevented by making sure their food is as fresh as possible. Parasite infections are usually marked by somewhat abrupt shifts in their dietary habits, either towards eating far more food than usual or towards eating less. Sometimes this leads to vikavolt becoming sluggish and putting on weight. Consult a veterinarian if these symptoms are observed as they can be managed with changes in diet and training.

    Most other symptoms are a sign of hunger and can be easily solved by giving the pokémon food.

    Evolution

    Most grubbin, especially on Akala and Melemele, do not evolve in the wild.

    Grubbin only evolve when they have been exposed to a persistent and powerful electromagnetic field. At that point they go to the surface, find some place hidden and secure, and slowly begin to grow and change into a charjabug. The process usually takes one to three days to complete. The main body of a charjabug is essentially a cocoon that the body of a vikavolt slowly forms within. Once enough energy has been absorbed, the nervous system’s center switches from a network lining the shell’s walls to a nerve cluster inside of the developing body. Then the vikavolt wakes up, breaks out of the charjabug and takes to the sky.

    At this point, the new vikavolt is usually less than 0.4 meters long. They grow to their full size over the course of ten to twenty weeks, depending upon the availability of food. These new vikavolt primarily hunt insects at first before moving up to small mammals, small birds and, once they approach full size, larger birds. They spend almost all of their time seeking out new prey, with only an hour or two a night spent sleeping.

    In captivity, it is best to spend some time with a grubbin before trying to evolve them. This helps gain their trust once they evolve into vikavolt. The exact time needed depends upon your experience with insects, but for a novice trainer two months is recommended. At this point, the easiest way to quickly evolve grubbin and charjabug is acquiring either another electric-type such as pikachu or magnemite or obtaining a thunder stone. Thunder stones can be a little expensive, but vikavolt don’t need to deplete the stone to evolve (they just absorb the energy it would be radiating anyway). Because of this, the stone can be resold after evolution is completed.

    Battle

    Despite all of the attention paid to them in recent years, vikavolt usage is still confined to one basic strategy with some slight variations: release a powerful thunderbolt, stall for a little while, release another thunderbolt, continue until defeated. This applies at both professional and amateur levels. Vikavolt have a few offensive options to compliment their electric attacks (bug buzz, hyper beam, hidden power, energy ball, signal beam, air slash) as well as a few options for stalling (dig, volt switch and u-turn, toxic, roost, protect, light screen, substitute).

    Some trainers have attempted to use them in a primarily defensive role using their powerful attacks, high speed and decent utility movepool to function as a cleaner and defensive flier on a quick stall team. They have some potential in this role, especially for quick-stall teams that need a dedicated bird killer, but it should be noted that vikavolt are not particularly durable and their recharge period leaves them vulnerable to counter-attacks. This makes them an awkward fit in stall teams of any flavor. In general, vikavolt function best in a mostly offensive role as a bird killer and ranged cannon on balance or offensive teams that need something to pave the way for a melee sweeper.

    Charjabug should be battled with sparingly, as using up their electricity supply delays their evolution. Like galvantula, charjabug silk conducts electricity. The default charjabug strategy is to bind opponents and then shock them until they faint or are withdrawn.

    Grubbin combat was briefly alluded to above. Their best tactic is to use their silk to set up a melee fight and then use their powerful mandibles to finish the battle quickly. Grubbin have very limited electrical reserves so, even if they can learn some electric attacks, it’s better to use non-elemental styles in practice. Avoiding the use of electricity also hastens their evolution.

    Acquisition

    Grubbin are found in the wild within Blush Mountain Commonwealth Park and on Route 1. In these areas, they may only be captured by trainers on the island challenge who have either registered to participate in the challenge or completed a trial or grand trial within the last three months. There is a limit of one grubbin (or charjabug or vikavolt) per trainer between both sites. Trainers may only sell their grubbin, charjabug or vikavolt from these areas if they complete all four grand trials. Otherwise they must be donated to the Alolan government or released. Grubbin are far less threatened on Akala and found throughout almost all of the island’s forests and grasslands. There are substantially fewer restrictions on the capture and use of grubbin captured on Akala. On all islands, they require a Class I license to purchase, adopt or capture.

    Charjabug and vikavolt are almost exclusively found in the wild within the Blush Mountain Commonwealth Park on Ula’Ula. They are subject to the same restrictions on sale and capture as grubbin. Charjabug require a Class I license to purchase, adopt or capture. Vikavolt require a Class III license to purchase and adopt, or a Class IV license to capture.

    Grubbin are generally only found on the surface during particularly dry periods. Digging into the ground to remove one is illegal within the boundaries of both the Blush Mountain Commonwealth Park and Route 1. On Akala it is usually legal, although the owner of the property should be consulted first.

    Charjabug can be found on the ground or attached to trees on Blush Mountain. Vikavolt are generally found in the skies of the area. While it may seem like an obvious choice to capture a vikavolt rather than a charjabug, it is definitely not. Charjabug are far easier to find, capture and tame than vikavolt. In fact, it is recommended that only experienced bug specialists attempt to tame a wild vikavolt as they are very powerful, somewhat prone to violence and slow to trust humans. However, their capture is not currently prohibited.

    Breeding

    Female grubbin reproduce asexually in the early spring. They lay a batch of roughly one hundred eggs in their tunnel and promptly abandon them. The eggs hatch roughly two weeks later. Newly hatched grubbin are only about three millimeters long when born. Their survival rates are very, very low as they are eaten by some common insects and animals and most burrowing pokémon. There are currently commonwealth-run programs to breed and raise grubbin in captivity and reintroduce them to the wild when they are large enough to have fewer predators.

    Mated pairs of vikavolt also reproduce in the early spring. Vikavolt do not have a proper courtship ritual as their mated pairs are determined upon one party’s evolution, rather than when both are already grown vikavolt. Their mating, however, does have a set ritual. The vikavolt both climb up to roughly a kilometer above the ocean (the highest they ever fly), latch on to each other, and stop beating their wings. They break away from each other right before impact with the water’s surface and, if necessary, climb back up to repeat the process. The male vikavolt digs a hole in the earth and the female lays two to three thousand eggs in it. Then the male covers the eggs and stirs up the air over the hole to blend the topsoil together and cover up the nest’s existence. Then both parents leave. They never return to check on their young.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  7. Ambyssin

    Ambyssin Drowning sorrows with Regice & Latios

    All aboard the charjabus! Beep beep!

    One thing struck me as someone contradictory with this entry. You start off by noting vikavolt's rise in the competitive scene, but then when you go into battle specifics, you actually admit that it is pretty much relegated to a niche role. Pretty much anything you'd want to do with a vikavolt competitively can just be done with galvantula anyway... except for air slashes, I suppose. It's interesting that you brought in the game dex's mention of vikavolt's speed into this. I like how you sort of counterbalance it with the speed needing to be released in short bursts, but that it can essentially "augment" itself by finding a decent charjabug. I also got a kick out of the idea that they just sort of fly around aimlessly and the best the researchers putting this together can do is speculate about it.

    The charjabug parts, while small, also made me smile. It just... you nailed it perfectly. It's like one of those 'mons that doesn't really care about everything. You just slide them around a puzzle table all willy-nilly in USUM and they don't bat an eye. Even when the machine they're powering looks like it's overloading they just sit there without a care in the world. That might be animation limitations on GF's part, sure, but I like to think this headcanon fits. My one disappointment is that, unless I missed it, there's no mention of charjabugs sounding like accordions if they're moved. I know it's silly, but I always hear accordions when I see charjabugs. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, too. :p

    That's all I got. I know this isn't much of a "review," but I had fun with this entry. :V
     
  8. RocketKnight66

    RocketKnight66 404: Consistent Schedule not Found

    This seemed pretty interesting, so I decided to give it a look, choosing to read on the Rowlet line to start.

    I was pretty amused that there's controversy over Decidueye's typing. It was interesting to see that little detail. Speaking of interesting details, I liked how the crests of Rowlets are unique to each one.

    The behavior section was neat, Rowlets wanting to cuddle and perch on their trainers? That's pretty darn cute.
    There's a lot of interesting additions with the line, like them needing lots of sunlight, or Dartrix having a poor digestive system, or their potential illnesses like the feather bleaching. The addition of small extra details like those are fascinating, and I loved reading them.

    Decidueye's behavior is interesting... they seem a bit scary. And by a bit, I mean a lot. It was also a bit sad, though. Specifically the part about people complaining of the "death of personality" in their pet and some abandoning them. The shock and withdrawal from such an event killing a Decidueye in only some six months was a bit depressing for me to read.

    The thing about licenses is interesting... I don't think I've heard something like that brought up before, but it certainly works well. Then there's the subspecies. The South Island variation sounds downright terrifying... Life in Canada is kinda scary in this universe, it seems. Especially when you have the apparently ninth deadliest Pokémon out there lurking around.

    This is really well done... the amount of effort that goes into expanding the info about these Pokémon is staggering, especially with the variations. All in all, it was a very interesting read, and I'll be sure to check out more in the future.
     
  9. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Code:
    Downloading from the Alola Pokedex, Online Appendix . . .
    Rhyperior (Rhyhorn, Rhydon, Rhyfernal)

    Overview

    The existence of pokémon on the bottom of the seafloor was confirmed in the 18th Century by the crew of the H.M.S. Challenger. In the 20th Century, NASA confirmed the existence of pokémon life in the exosphere and on the moon. It is looking like the next frontier in pokémon science will be the study of pokémon life in the mantle, or at least deep in the Earth’s crust.

    There is a somewhat odd grouping of pokémon who mostly live around volcanoes. Camerupt and torkoal are two well known examples. However, both pokémon are quite capable of living outside of volcanic areas and often migrate from mountain to mountain with periods of activity. The more interesting pokémon are those that cannot long survive outside of fires and lava flows.

    Slugma is the classic example of such a pokémon. Almost every active volcanic range on the continental crust (and some on the oceanic) has slugma living there. Yet, they are utterly incapable of moving between volcanoes in any form. Until the 21st Century, scientists had no good theory on how they were so widespread despite having no clear means of spreading. And then rhyfernal appeared in Alola.

    Rhyperior are found on every continent except Antarctica. It was known for some time that rhydon had two branching evolutions and that the less common one was associated with fire and volcanoes. However, very little was known about that evolution, rhyfernal, and there was debate as to whether or not they were a separate species altogether. Then, despite there being no documented rhydon on alola at the time, a half dozen rhyfernal appeared around lava flows on Ula’Ula. Then the population laid eggs. And rhyhorn hatched from them. Now there is an apparently natural rhyhorn population on Ula’Ula, thousands of kilometers away from their nearest natural range.

    The logical explanation, however wild it may seem, is that rhyfernal travel far beneath the Earth’s surface from volcano to volcano. It is possible that they spend almost all of their lives in the mantle and only come to the surface to reproduce. Notably, the stones harvested from one of the dead rhyfernal that surfaced on Ula’Ula were very similar in composition to the Earth’s mantle.

    It is unclear what life in a world of tremendous heat and pressure would look like. Both rhyfernal and slugma are essentially just sentient clumps of lava held together by unknown forces, although the former has rocky organs in the interior and a rocky armor on their exterior. Other pokémon known to live or travel deep in the Earth include carbink and steelix, both very durable Pokémon.

    Beyond their relationship to the world below, rhydon are always popular on the competitive battling scene and rhyhorn are one of the most popular pokémon in zoos worldwide. The recent classification of rhyperior as a native Alolan species has dramatically lowered the barriers for the importation and ownership of the pokémon on the islands. While the wild population is still protected, trainers with a high enough license and enough money can get their hands on an imported rhyhorn.

    Elsewhere in the world, rhyperior habitat has slowly been shrinking. Rhyhorn and rhyperior in particular often become a nuisance to local communities. And, given their very slow maturation rates, one bad season can keep rhyperior out of an area for centuries even with no further barriers to reentry.

    Physiology

    Rhyhorn, rhydon and rhyperior are all classified as dual rock- and ground-types by the Department of Agriculture for their and mineral exteriors and low level terrakinesis. The ground-typing is somewhat controversial as their terrakinesis is not substantially more common or powerful than it is in most rock-types as a whole. However, because at least one member of their evolutionary line lives almost exclusively underground, the typing has become less controversial in recent years.

    Rhyfernal is classified as a dual rock- and fire-type. A secondary ghost-typing instead of rock is being actively considered, but the final decision is on hold pending the release of the full study Department of the Interior study on rhyfernal.

    Rhyhorn are large quadrupeds with short stubby legs and big, triangular heads with small eyes. Their most interesting feature is the (usually) slate grey plate armor that surrounds their body. It is composed of over three dozen separate plates which interlock at odd angles throughout the body to form a series of spines and ridges. While rhyhorn’s joints are not directly covered, at least one protruding ridge usually extends above every major joint. Rhyhorn armor is very similar in composition to granite, although the exact makeup (and color) varies depending upon the most common rocks in the rhyhorn’s habitat. Beneath the armor, rhyhorn skin is not substantially more durable than that of a human.

    Rhydon, by contrast, have very tough and thick skin that can heal almost all surface-level injuries within a few days. They have much less plate armor coverage than their juvenile form. They use the lessened burden to be much more maneuverable than rhyhorn, even if they aren’t as fast in a direct charge. Rhydon are almost always bipedal, although they will drop to all fours against some short but tough opponents.

    For whatever reason, rhydon have more variable colors in both their armor and their skin than rhyhorn. However, their armor and most of their skin usually remains slate grey. The exceptions are a patch of skin on their belly and their (now more prominent) horn, both of which are usually some shade of light brown or yellow, although red, dark brown and even pale blue and green shades have been documented.

    Their limbs are still relatively short, but their hindlegs are now much thicker and stronger than they were as a rhyhorn. All of their limbs grow three short, sharp and hard claws. Rhydon have a much larger tail than rhyhorn to help them balance. This tail can grow up to two-thirds as long as the rest of their body and is quite bulky and muscular. In addition to balance, tail swings are their primary means of defense in the wild.

    Rhyperior remain bipedal, but in many other ways they resemble rhyhorn more than rhydon. They are very bulky, almost round creatures. Almost every square inch of their body, except for one small region right beneath their head, is covered in plate armor. Unlike rhyhorn, almost all of their body is covered in a single skin-like sheet of stone rather than a network of interlocking plates. That armor also has other rock ridges and plates protruding from it to make rhyperior all but invulnerable. Their tail is thinner and shorter than a rhydon’s. It also has a large club on the end. A rhyperior’s horn is about two to three times longer than it was as a rhydon.

    Rhyperior’s most significant physical change is in their arms. The organic parts of rhyperior arms are rather long and slender, especially when compared to rhydon. But they have some of the most extensive mineral armor on the entire body surrounding them. They have two large spears sticking back from the elbow, giving them a means of covering the arm joints and defending against attacks from behind. They also have a hole in their palm with powerful muscles lining it. This serves as a cannon, allowing them to launch small stones or even geodude large distances at high speeds.

    The number of defensive mechanisms rhyperior have is somewhat puzzling. Rhyhorn have very few predators anywhere in their vast range. In some more mountainous areas, they may deal with vanilluxe, tyranitar and metagross. On the plains the occasional grass-type such as tangrowth might try to pick on a weak rhyhorn, or one that has become separated from their wreck. But these are all risky fights for the assailant. Rhydon have no natural predators. And yet, at some point macroevolution guided rhydon towards regrowing much of their armor as they age. This makes them too slow to protect the weaker members of their wreck from fast predators such as metagross, vanilluxe and tangrowth. And rhydon deal with tyranitar about as well as rhyperior do. The reason for the regrowth of armor as a rhydon ages and evolves is currently unknown.

    Rhyhorn, rhydon and rhyperior are primarily herbivorous and graze on grasses and shrubs. They have been observed eating rocks, but it is unclear if this is for the minerals to reinforce their shell or whether they gain actual energy from the consumption.

    If rhyfernal did not lay eggs that became rhyhorn, they almost certainly would not be classified as related. The other stages of the evolutionary line are conventional mammals beneath their armor. Rhyfernal appear to be almost entirely inorganic. They have a similar silhouette to rhydon and, shortly after evolution, they might look nearly identical except for glowing eyes and scorch marks across their body. As they grow older and experience battle, rhyfernal gain a brittle outer shell of an obsidian-like mineral. They also have several ‘organs’ of similar composition inside of them. A rhyfernal that forgoes battle for long enough begins to develop a thicker shell and even several erratically placed horn-like growths on their face. They don’t regrow eyes after the first time their head is shattered.

    Between their shell and organs, rhyfernal are filled with ‘blood.’ This fluid is a substance chemically similar to basalt lava. It appears to have small complex mineral structures reminiscent of cells floating inside of it. Their blood is kept viscous at a temperate between 500 and 700 degrees Celsius. When their shell is damaged, rhyfernal sometimes activate an explosion inside of them that blast off portions of the shell and a shower of extremely hot blood at whatever harmed them. This blast material can move at supersonic speeds and reach distances of over 20 meters. After detonation, rhyfernal will seek out minerals to eat.

    Until they were observed reproducing, it was not believed that rhyfernal were alive in any real sense. Instead, the leading theory was that they were a strange sort of ghost pokémon that possessed the corpse of a rhydon that had burned to death. Their may still be some truth to this: some channelers and mediums can connect with rhyfernal, and the species strongly dislikes shadow-based and spectral attacks. It is entirely possible that rhyfernal may technically be a different species from rhyperior, albeit one that relies upon the same physical body. The only real precedent for this, shedinja, is treated as part of the same species as ninjask.

    Rhyperior can live for over 250 years. They can reach heights of 2.5 meters and weigh over 3500 kilograms.

    Estimates of rhyfernal life expectancy in the wild range from two to five years after emergence. In captivity, they have only been kept alive for three years after evolution before succumbing to hypothermia (see Illness). Five of the six rhyfernal that emerged on Ula’Ula roughly a decade ago are dead. It is entirely unclear how long they had been alive before they surfaced. Rhyfernal have been documented reaching heights slightly over two meters. The largest rhyfernal corpse ever weighed had a mass of 2400 kilograms; it is understandably difficult to weigh a live rhyfernal.

    Behavior

    Rhyperior social structures vary slightly between subspecies (see Subspecies). Montane rhyperior wrecks tend to contain either one mated pair of rhyperior, a sibling group of rhyhorn, or a small group of rhydon. Sometimes rhydon live alone. In grassland habitats where food is abundant, wrecks can be much larger. The largest one ever observed in the wild was an American rhyhorn wreck containing 41 rhyhorn, 11 rhydon and 3 rhyperior. Wrecks of around 25 individuals are far more common, though.

    Despite their large social groups, rhyperior hierarchies are very loose. Young children respect adults. Beyond that, no single member appears to take orders from any other member. Fights between members of a wreck are quite common. If the fight escalates, the other wreck members form a ring around the main two parties. They battle and the loser leaves, sometimes taking pokémon that were close to them along.

    Rhyhorn are known for their lack of intelligence. This stereotype is more or less accurate. They have nasty tempers but tend to forget grudges very quickly. Some research suggests they often forget the reason they started charging before they hit their target. As such, most disputes that escalate enough to warrant a wreck-sanctioned fight are between rhydon and rhyperior. Very young rhyhorn are somewhat curious; after a few years of age, they essentially only perform vital life functions and occasional charges at things that upset or intrigue them.

    Rhydon are somewhat more intelligent than their juvenile forms. They are also less aggressive and tend to thump their tail against the ground and roar before attacking. Some wild rhydon have been observed making crude pyramids out of boulders. Captive rhydon given rectangular blocks have also been documented stacking them, unstacking them, and then stacking them again for days on end before they lose interest. When they were subsequently given blocks of differing shapes, they regained interest and played with them until no new blocks had been introduced within five to eight days. This may be a way to explore the capabilities of their arms after decades of being quadrupedal rhyhorn.

    Rhyhorn generally only charge at predators, attackers or creatures they are unfamiliar with (and thus suspect could be predators). Rhyperior are far more aggressive. In fact, rhyperior have been known to load stones into their cannons and fire directly into flocks of birds. This apparently serves as target practice. Older rhyperior sometimes attack and kill other herbivores sharing the same range or destroy man-made structures in their habitat. Or natural structures in their habitat: rhyperior have been observed snapping trees and repeatedly charging into cliffs in the wild with no apparent provocation.

    Rhyfernal spend almost all of their available time sleeping inside of fires or lava. Their ranges are restricted to the areas immediately around active volcanoes because of this. They seldom rise up to the surface, preferring to live a little deeper down in warmer areas with higher pressure. When they do surface, they seldom interact with organic life. Instead they briefly survey the area and go back down within the hour. Their body temperatures are simply unsustainable on the surface for long (see Illness). The Ula’Ula colony have sometimes killed potential predators for their rhyhorn offspring while on the surface or engaged in some very brief cuddling with their young once they had grown enough armor to withstand their parents’ heat.

    Husbandry

    Rhyhorn and rhydon captivity has a centuries long history on multiple continents. They have been used for war, sport, companionship and transportation. Most of these rhyhorn were captive bred by noble houses that passed down the same rhyhorn for generations. For a variety of reasons, they make very poor pets for individual trainers.

    To start with, a newly born rhyhorn can live for centuries. Rhyhorn, rhydon and rhyperior are neither terribly social nor intelligent. They are not fun to cuddle with. They require large open spaces and either near-constant human affection or other members of their species to socialize with. They can eat up to 15% of their considerable body weight a week. Your heirs will probably not want your rhyhorn. They will probably not want to deal with the hassle of finding a trainer, zoo or safari park willing to take the pokémon. Rhyhorn husbandry is really best left to the professionals. But, if you are an experienced pokémon trainer who wants to take the risk (or are a trainer who has inherited one and has no desire to give it away), a single trainer can make it work.

    A rhyhorn more than a decade or two old will require either several acres of or must be let out of their pokéball during frequent, long distance walks. Once a rhyhorn reaches a height of roughly one meter at the withers they can carry a human and barely notice the added weight. But their hard, ridge-riddled body means that even the best saddles will not make the riding experience comfortable.

    Rhyhorn, rhydon and rhyperior should be allowed to graze on their own if adequate land is available. If not, they should be fed a mix of grasses, hay and roots with occasional leaves mixed in. They should be fed roughly 2.5% of their body weight a day until they reach the age of ten, at which point they can be fed 2%. If the pokémon is frequently used in battle, add roughly 0.3% per day to their food.

    All three stages drink water, but most subspecies can go up to two weeks without drinking if they need to. Do not push their limits. Instead, fill their water trough every three to five days.

    Rhyhorn, rhydon and rhyperior also require stones to eat to replenish their armor. Their favorites are slate, shale and granite. They will also eat sandstone, limestone and basalt. Large quartz crystals and geodes fascinate them and a rhyhorn will often spend a few days protecting and examining their new toy before they get bored and wander off.

    As mentioned in behavior, rhydon can use some large bulky objects of varying shapes as toys. They should be given enrichment once a month. Enrichment can either be toys added to their habitat, rotation to a new paddock or supervised exploration of a new area. Rhyhorn do not want toys and will often just destroy any that they are given. Rhyperior enrichment should be handled on a case by case basis; some can be quite clever and playful, most will just smash anything in their enclosure at the first opportunity.

    It is easiest to contain rhyhorn by digging water-filled moats over two meters deep around almost the entirety of their enclosure (although this does not work for the Japanese cave rhyhorn, see Subspecies). Barring that, rhyhorn can typically be contained by bland solid metal, stone or wood walls at least two meters high. Walls with slats are a bad choice as rhyhorn can see things that upset them on the other side, charge through the fence and then wander off. Electric fences are useless at deterring them.

    Rhydon are best held in place by the promise of food and trust in their trainer. Frequent enrichment and a lifelong bond with humans help. If that cannot be arranged, moats around the entire enclosure will usually do the trick.

    Rhyperior containment is so difficult that currently only the San Diego Safari Park, the Lumiose Zoological Park and the National Zoo of Chile exhibit them. The former relies upon providing them with so much space that they seldom run against the boundaries (which are moats over four meters deep). The latter two have very old and calm rhyperior that have continuously been held in zoos since they were rhyhorn.

    A handful of professional trainers, often from old families with long histories of rhydon training, keep one on their team. They say that the channeled violence of frequent battle keeps them docile outside of fights and training. Many countries refuse to allow trainers to release rhyperior to the wild given the public safety risk they propose. Others only allow it in very remote or protected areas. The difficulty of caring for a rhyperior, lack of trainers or zoos willing to take a rhyperior in, and the inability to easily release them leads to most rhyperior being euthanized shortly after evolution.

    Rhyfernal captivity is a new field and should not be attempted by anyone but zoos and scientists looking for a massive challenge. The obstacles to caring for them include a very poor understanding of their diet, a need to constantly maintain a pool of liquid rock without melting the rest of the enclosure, and the difficulty of building heatproof the barriers that can also take an explosion or direct charge. It is impossible for humans to enter the rhyfernal’s exhibit under any circumstances, and they tend to break the drones some zoos have used to care for them remotely.

    If a trainer’s rhydon evolves into rhyfernal (see Evolution) and the pokémon returns, they will require a very expensive magma ball that the pokémon will only be able to leave for less than an hour at a time. They will likely be under constant stress from their environment and will be entirely unable to get physically close to their trainer due to the heat radiating off of them. Additionally, scientists have very little idea what rhyfernal need to survive. At best, the creature will be kept alive but in emotional and physical pain for several years. If a rhyfernal returns after evolution, it is best for everyone involved to tell them to go back to their volcano.

    Rhyhorn don’t tend to mind pokéballs as long as their exercise, food, water, and socialization needs are met. Rhydon are a little more skeptical but occasional use, especially when they are hurt, is almost always tolerated. Rhyperior tend to hate pokéballs, but rhyperior that have been raised with them (or at least apricorn balls) since birth tend to at least tolerate them when used sparingly by a human they trust.

    Illness

    Rhyhorn often struggle with health issues between their skin and their armor. Sometimes their armor cuts or pinches their body and it is difficult for them to do anything about it. Occasionally their skin will get infected. These problems are generally accompanied by symptoms such as lethargy, pained groans (especially while moving), and trying to ram one part of their body against other objects to get the armor off.

    Most issues of this nature require surgery to temporarily remove a portion of the rhyhorn’s armor. Outside of Alola, this can generally only be performed by large mammal specialists in major cities. The popularity of rockruff in Alola means that far more veterinarians are willing to perform the surgery. This makes it much cheaper and easier to schedule than in almost any other part of the United States.

    Rhyfernal blood is mostly composed of molten stone. If the blood ever cools too much, the rhyfernal literally starts to turn into a statue. When a rhyfernal makes pained noises or tries to bury into the ground, it should be immediately withdrawn into a magma ball. The same goes for a rhyfernal that has just partially exploded and exposed their bloodstream to air. These ‘blood clots’ are usually incurable and fatal.

    Evolution

    Rhyhorn development is slow and mostly consists of gradual transformations. In the wild rhyhorn typically reach their full size between 70 and 100 years old and are considered evolved between 90 and 120 years old. The formal demarcation line between rhyhorn and rhydon is their first time standing on their hind legs for more than one hour. Rhyperior have a more abrupt evolution, usually around 180 years old. They dig deep into the Earth and evolve beneath the surface under high pressure (however, they get nowhere close to leaving the crust). Roughly five weeks later they emerge in the exact same spot, evolved. They will not evolve in even simulated high heat and pressure environments in captivity and must dig to evolve.

    Like many pokémon, both of these evolutions can occur much sooner than they naturally would in captivity than in the wild with few adverse effects. If a pokémon battles a lot or is under constant environmental stress, they undergo metamorphoses faster. The exact mechanism that triggers this in hundreds of different pokémon species across the world is unknown at this time.

    Rhydon that live near volcanoes will often break away from their wreck and move towards the volcano when it is time for them to evolve. They will climb most of the way up the peak and then begin to dig down into it until they hit magma (if there is lava on the surface they will wade through it and then dig into the source). At some point most of their flesh burns away and they are left with armor, magma and a handful of pseudo-cells and organs that are silicon-based rather than organic. They will emerge two to three months later. Sometimes they will seek out their wreck like newly emerged rhyperior do. Captive rhyfernal may seek out their old trainer. They usually will not do either and will simply live alone near the volcano they evolved under until they die or are captured and taken away.

    Battle

    Rhydon is one of the dominant forces on the global competitive battling scene. They are durable enough to take all but the heaviest of hits and keep going. While rhydon are not fast, they can summon relatively powerful earthquake attacks with training and their tail swipes can hit with forces well over 100,000 Newtons. This makes them one of the quintessential physical tanks in competitive battling.

    They compete for their role most directly against aggron, golem, steelix and tyranitar, all but the last of which also have a large global range in the modern area. The former three are all more durable but less powerful than rhydon. Aggron have a better temperament but they can be more expensive to care for. Steelix post-evolution can also be very moody and might reject their trainer. Golem are relatively cheap to feed and don’t require as much space as rhydon do, but they are very mean and known to reject commands altogether in battle. Tyranitar are usually regarded as better than rhydon in almost every way (better movepool, better speed, better durability, better temperament, just a little less power). However, they are difficult to obtain and, like steelix, sometimes reject their old trainer after evolution.

    Rhydon struggle against powerful water-types, grass-types or anything strong enough to shatter their armor. While their skin is hard to burst and their internal organs are well protected, sufficiently sharp claws can still draw blood and cause distracting pain.

    Unlike most slow, grounded pokémon, rhydon win most of their matchups against birds. Their stone edges have decent range and rank among some of the strongest of any pokémon. And simple physics means that any bird generating the kind of projectile force needed to hurt a rhydon is probably knocking itself out of the air from the recoil. Fliers with great physical bulk, powerful melee attacks and enough speed to dodge tail swipes, or birds with powerful ranged grass- or water-type attacks can still break a rhydon.

    Zoning tactics, that is, staying far away from rhydon and lobbing projectiles at them, are also not usually effective. Rhydon earthquakes will usually do more damage to their opponent than their opponent will do to them with projectiles. Extreme type advantage somewhat offsets this, but it’s usually still a risky endeavor.

    The best way to deal with a rhydon is either to run a rain team or to pack a check such as gliscor, skarmory, venusaur, tangrowth, swampert, machamp, conkeldurr, metagross or kabutops. Rhydon has no true counters and can steamroll unprepared teams, but their potential usefulness is limited from game-breaking to merely top-tier by the sheer number of popular checks they have.

    Rhyperior is arguably better than rhydon on the competitive scene. Their loss of speed is offset by devastating projectile attacks from their cannon, even greater bulk, and a sight boost in power over their adolescent form. There are simply very few trainers with a rhyperior. They join metagross and abysscull on the list of pokémon that would define the global metagame if more than handful of high-level trainers had one. They battle in much the same way as rhydon, although they prefer full body tackles to tail swings. Their cannon also gives them some additional anti-bird options and a way to take out pokémon that insist on playing a zoning game against them.

    If you have a rhydon or rhyperior that’s fully trained and obeys your orders, you’re probably halfway to the big leagues already. But if you do come into the possession of one as an amateur, their competitive battling tactics work wonders on the island challenge. Rhyhorn are best used with a mix of devastating charges, seismic attacks and the occasional rock slide or stone edge. They can remain viable throughout the entire league challenge without evolving.

    A few academic and trade journal articles have been written on rhyfernal battle strategy. Two professional battlers have temporarily wielded one. For now, they are essentially a novelty pick on the battling scene due to the difficulty of capturing, caring for and training one. They are also quite fragile and can easily die in battle if their shell is worn down or they blast away too much of their body. Golem and electrode are far more practical as explosion users, which seems to be the main use of rhyfernal in the metagame at present.

    Acquisition

    All subspecies of rhyhorn and rhydon can be purchased or adopted with a Class IV license. At present, capture from the wild population is illegal. Rhyperior and rhyfernal require a Class V license to purchase, adopt or possess. Trainers without a Class V license whose rhydon evolve will be unable to keep their pokémon.

    At present the rhyfernal and rhyhorn population on Ula’Ula live in the sparsely populated eastern mountains and interior desert. Trainers are strongly encouraged to observe them from a distance, if they must observe them at all.

    Breeding

    When two rhyperior living in different wrecks encounter each other, they engage in battle. These fights can sometimes take up to thirty hours to complete due to the sheer bulk of both combatants. If the pokémon are of different sexes, the winner of the battle may choose to reproduce with the loser. Curiously, both sexes of rhyperior have the ability to carry eggs to development after mating. The loser of the fight almost always carries the eggs.

    After a roughly two-year pregnancy, the pregnant rhyperior delivers about ten bowling-ball-sized eggs. The rhyperior will abandon their wreck and stay with the eggs until they hatch roughly one month later, almost never eating or drinking during the duration. They may then seek out their old wreck with their young in tow or try to find a different one.

    Rhyperior eggs are very tough and require the parent to break them open when they hear the young begin to move inside. Because of their durability, rhyperior make almost no attempt to bury or conceal the eggs. The presence of a very protective rhyperior nearby also deters other pokémon from attempting to break into and eat them.

    In captivity, rhyperior breeding requires introducing two rhyperior with very little prior contact with each other and being able to weather the property damage that tends to come with an all-out rhyperior fight. The young tend to survive to birth and adulthood far more frequently in captivity than in the wild, if only because the rhyperior can be fed while they guard the eggs and the entire wreck will probably be staying in the same general area to also keep an eye on them.

    Do not attempt to incubate rhyperior eggs away from the parent or take very young rhyhorn out of eyesight. Rhyperior always care more about their babies than their trainer.

    It is entirely unclear how rhyfernal reproduce since they don’t appear to be organic life and yet they lay eggs that produce carbon-based young. They do reproduce, and that’s all that can be said about the matter for now.

    Subspecies

    Generally speaking, the default rhyperior mentioned in this entry is a montane rhyperior. There are over a dozen recognized rhyperior subspecies and this guide has simply attempted to cover the things that are generally true for all of them.

    There are a variety of plains species that have evolved away from the mountains. They can broadly be grouped into desert and grassland rhyperior subspecies. The plains subspecies, such as the American, Tanzanian and Pampas rhyperior tend to be larger, more docile and more social than their montane and desert cousins.

    Desert rhyperior such as the Arabian, Gobi, Uluru and Mojave subspecies, tend to be the smallest. Their wrecks almost never contain more than six individuals. They have the thinnest armor of all subspecies and shy away from fights whenever possible. Some Arabian rhyperior have been observed killing and eating other pokémon in times of prolonged drought.

    All subspecies are otherwise quite similar in anatomy and behavior, and they have similar care requirements and battle strategies. Grassland rhyhorn are the most common in captivity. The American rhyhorn in particular is the cheapest and most available in Alola. They are mid-sized rhyhorn, just a little larger than the montane rhyhorn covered in the rest of this entry. Their armor is a little thicker than average and is relatively smooth. Sometimes they will partially burrow into the ground and become rather inactive during the winter. Captive born American rhyhorn are among the friendliest and are probably the best subspecies to start with.

    The next most common subspecies in captivity is the European rhyhorn. They are quite fast and agile compared to the other subspecies and are a little more intelligent than the average. This makes them well suited for battle and able to obey commands and recognize people more easily than montane or American rhyperior. However, European rhyhorn also require far more socialization than most subspecies. They are the most common rhyhorn and rhydon adopted by trainers who have already started their professional pokémon journey.

    The Tanzanian rhyhorn is the largest subspecies in the world, which makes them popular with collectors. They have experienced considerable decline in the wild because of this. Tanzanian rhyhorn are generally apathetic towards humans and require a very large amount of food. As such, they are not recommended.

    The Japanese cave rhyhorn has also experienced a boost in demand after the Malie Safari Park began exhibiting them. They are some of the least intelligent and strongest rhyhorn of them all, which makes them a very bad fit for all but the most experienced of trainers. They also require burrowing spaces, ponds and rivers, and large, natural-looking shelters. Cave rhyhorn are quite water resistant and have even been known to ford rivers by holding their breath and walking along the bottom. This gives them a measure of popularity on the competitive battling scene, but also means that moats are not an effective containment device. Even moats with very steep walls will fail as the rhyhorn will simply use seismic attacks until the barriers collapse enough to be walked up or dug through.
     
  10. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Credit to giygas on Spacebattles for the forest’s curse idea.

    Sudowoodo (Bonsly)

    Overview

    Sudowoodo are very easy to care for. They are also more mobile and personable than most other mineral pokémon, making them a good first step into caring for more dangerous and less friendly mineral pokémon such as golem, gigalith, and tyranitar. Bonsly are quite powerful for their size and age and sudowoodo are able to keep pace with most of the competition. They are one of the few pokémon whose ownership is more common in older populations than younger ones closer to the island challenge and with more energy to spare. Still, they have their fans among the younger generations.

    Physiology

    Both bonsly and sudowoodo are classified as pure rock types by the Department of Agriculture. Neither ruling is disputed.

    Most pokémon are physiologically similar to some non-pokémon form of life. So far this guide as discussed mammals, birds, insects, and cephalopods. Even some extraterrestrial lifeforms resemble these basic archetypes.

    Some pokémon, especially the ones strongly linked to humans or human society, don’t resemble any known non-pokémon organism. Many of these are inanimate objects brought to life by some supernatural force. Others are truly manmade pokémon. And a final group have completely unknown physiologies and origins. Sudowoodo is one such pokémon.

    While it superficially resembles a tree and is capable of something akin to photosynthesis, sudowoodo is emphatically not a plant. It is part of a group known as ‘mineral pokémon.’ Pokémon in this class tend to be chemosynthetic and inorganic, that is, they are not based on carbon like all non-pokémon life on Earth. Sudowoodo, in particular, is a silicon-based creature.

    It isn’t presently known how mineral pokémon evolved, or if they undergo macroevolution at all. The most widely accepted theory at present is based on physiologically similar automaton pokémon such as porygon-z and golurk: at some point, every mineral pokémon may have had a creator and they have simply been self-replicating ever since. Alternatively, they may have been formed from chemical reactions deep in the Earth akin to the ones that created muk on the surface. The latter theory has yet to gain traction for the simple reason that all chemically formed pokémon known at present are mostly liquid, while almost all mineral pokémon have very dry interiors.

    Bonsly are dark brown in color across their body unless otherwise noted. They have two short legs supporting a roughly conical body. There is a rim roughly a quarter of the way up their body. Bonsly have three yellow spots forming a triangular face. The bottom two spots contain the bonsly’s eyes. They have a mouth placed right below their eyes. The mouth is thin and horizontal. It also does not connect to their digestive or respiratory tracts and is entirely used for vocalization. The pokémon produces sounds by vibrating small crystals inside of their mouth that superficially resemble growing teeth.

    At the top of their body, bonsly have three stems that branch off from each other. Each stem has a green sphere at the end. While these resemble leaves at first glance, they are actually complex and mostly hollow crystalline lattices. They do appear to serve some function akin to photosynthesis, using the heat of the sun to break up the compounds they use for the chemosynthetic reactions that actually power their body.

    Sudowoodo are taller and leaner than their juvenile form. The core of the body is a trunk-like rectangle that’s surprisingly flexible for being similar to stone in composition. The bottom two-thirds of their trunk is littered in seemingly random patterns of yellow dots. At about the two-thirds mark, two arms branch out on opposite sides of the trunk. These arms each have a trio of green orbs at the end. Above their arms, sudowoodo have two eyes and a mouth that are quite similar to those of bonsly. They have another stem that branches out into two other, orbless stems on top of their body.

    In Alola, the typical sudowoodo grows to heights of around one meter and masses a little over 30 kilograms. They can live for forty to sixty years in captivity and ten to thirty years in the wild.

    All forms of sudowoodo are chemosynthetic. They absorb minerals from the ground and break them down through a complex series of chemical reactions to produce energy and new material for their body. Sudowoodo and bonsly store long coiled tendrils within their main body. These tendrils are covered in small crystals structures that allow them to sense and pull minerals out of the ground. They release their tendrils from a small hole on the bottom of their body.

    Sudowoodo tendrils can reach lengths of up to six meters long and they can deploy nearly a dozen at a time. The tendrils absorb any silica they can find in the soil, along with trace metals and some salts. The pokémon excretes water with unneeded chemicals. Sudowoodo hate water and only need very small quantities of it. Adults can drain it through their root cavity. Bonsly cannot and must release it through their eyes in the form of tears. Too much water can be fatal for all stages, although it tends to only kill bonsly in captivity.

    Behavior

    Both stages prefer to find a shaded grove of low trees and stand motionless. They deploy their roots and simply soak in sunlight and minerals until they are disturbed. Sudowoodo have almost no predators because their body is mostly rock. The few pokémon that do eat rocks tend to hunt the ones that won’t run away from them. Because of this, sudowoodo tend to only move to avoid rain.

    Sudowoodo breathe through pores on their skin. Those pores can let rain in. An adult can usually drain water faster than they take it in, provided that they find some shelter like a cliff or a dense forest. Rain is quite often fatal for bonsly. Sudowoodo parents are constantly vigilant for rain and will usually move their babies to shelter if there are clouds outside. In Alola, most sudowoodo stay very close to caves or abandoned buildings during the rainy season.

    On Akala and in the interior of Melemele, sudowoodo often join trevenant forests. The trevenant can use Forest’s Curse to temporarily make sudowoodo more resistant to rain and water-type attacks. In turn, sudowoodo deal with the insects, fire-types, and birds that might pick on the slow-moving trevenant. The introduction of sudowoodo to Alola led to a partial reversal of the post-conquest decline in trevenant numbers.

    Husbandry

    Sudowoodo are very simple to care for. They require soil and sunshine and both are usually quite easy to find. If a sudowoodo is raised entirely indoors or is confined to a small space of earth for a long period of time they will require supplements. Sun lamps can be purchased in virtually all Pokémon Centers. Traveling trainers stuck in prolonged rainstorms can usually talk the presiding nurse into letting their pokémon use the dartrix photosynthesis room. The owls usually enjoy having an interesting new perch; the sudowoodo tends to stay motionless. It is unknown if this is out of fear or instinct.

    Fertilizer designed specifically for sudowoodo and bonsly can be purchased at most specialty pokémon or botany supply stores. A sudowoodo raised permanently indoors should be given a circular pool at least half a meter deep and two meters wide filled with fertilized soil. Sudowoodo raised outside should always have a place to retreat to in the event of a sudden rainstorm.

    Sudowoodo and bonsly are perfectly fine being stored in pokéballs so long as they are allowed to filter soil at least six hours a day and receive at least 20 hours of sunlight a week.

    Bonsly become very stressed if they are separated from their parent or trainer for more than an hour, especially if they are outside. Until they evolve their trainer should make every effort to stay nearby while the bonsly is outside of their pokéball. Bonsly are not good at filtering water out of the soil they consume, so a trainer should generally carry around roughly two kilograms of fertilized soil and a small pool in case a rainstorm permeates the soil.

    Illness

    If a bonsly cries for more than a few minutes a day, try giving them a new pan of soil and spending more time with them for the next week. If they do not stop crying for more than ten minutes a day when given dry soil and socialization, consult a veterinarian.

    If a sudowoodo becomes unusually active or inactive, you should also consult a veterinarian. It is difficult to cure most diseases mineral pokémon suffer from, but seeking medical care in a timely fashion can often cure or help manage minor problems.

    Evolution

    Bonsly reach their adult size in roughly two years. The formal demarcation line between bonsly and sudowoodo is the bonsly’s rim becoming less than one centimeter thick at its thinnest.

    Battle

    Sudowoodo currently have no presence in competitive battling. They are outclassed in their role as fast rock-types by several fossil pokémon. Even before fossil pokémon became common on the competitive scene, they still only had a very small niche in some regional circuits.

    Sudowoodo are surprisingly agile and powerful combatants. Conversely, they are quite frail for a mineral pokémon. They function mainly as a melee fighter with enough bulk to take a hit or two. This puts them in the role of the typical fighting-type in battle.

    For their size and age, bonsly are quite strong and durable. Their main use in battle is to trade powerful physical moves, mixed in with tears to throw opponents off guard if the tide turns against the bonsly.

    Both sudowoodo and bonsly are quite good for the first two islands, mediocre on the third and are very somewhat outclassed by the fourth island’s trials. However, a clever trainer commanding a sudowoodo with enough training can still make the pokémon pull its weight.

    Acquisition

    Bonsly can be purchased, captured or adopted with a Class II license. As a note of caution, a wild bonsly will usually have a parent sudowoodo nearby ready to defend their young if you get to close. They can be adopted from several shelters on Melemele and Akala. The shelters in eastern Hau’oli often have them on hand. Additionally, botany supply stores will often have bonsly for sale.

    Sudowoodo can be purchased, captured or adopted with a Class I license. They can be caught in most of the same places bonsly can be found. They are less common in shelters and very few stores sell adult sudowoodo. Because they are considerably less difficult to care for than bonsly, trainers on an island challenge are advised to simply seek out and capture a wild sudowoodo.

    The sudowoodo’s ease of care makes them popular among older trainers who want companionship and purpose but are unable to keep up with an active pokémon. The reason there are wild sudowoodo in Alola is the multitude of heirs who released their deceased parent’s sudowoodo rather than continuing to care for it. At present their population is quite small on Melemele and mostly focused around a cluster retirement homes on Route 1. Their population has grown larger and more rapidly on Akala.

    Sudowoodo have not been a priority for the DNR. They barely impact the environment don’t prey on local species and actually provide an ecological benefit by stirring up and enriching the soil and protecting endangered trevenant . There have even been talks about deliberately introducing them to Ula’Ula to help protect the forests on the northern half of the island.

    Breeding

    During the late wet season, sudowoodo may seek each other out. Sudowoodo do not have distinct sexes until they mate, at which point, seemingly at random, one will begin to adopt male anatomy and the other will adopt female reproductive organs. This transformation usually takes two to three weeks. When the process is complete, the sudowoodo mate. The female lays four to six eggs about the size of a golf ball a week later. The male will bury the eggs and the parents will guard them in shifts until they hatch roughly three weeks later. Parents will stay with their children for roughly another year, at which point all members of the family will go their separate ways.

    Subspecies

    While sudowoodo living in ranges with different soil composition sometimes have different compositions, they are not different subspecies. A bonsly descended from two parents in Kalos will develop a near-identical composition to Alolan sudowoodo if raised in Alola. Like many of the mineral pokémon in the archipelago, Alolan sudowoodo are tougher but slower than their continental counterparts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  11. RocketKnight66

    RocketKnight66 404: Consistent Schedule not Found

    Time for the Litten line, my favorites of the Alola starters. Right away, I like that they're mentioned to be the friendliest of the Alolan feline Pokémon. Yup, they just show affection in their own ways. ^_^

    Champion Luna has an Incineroar? I don't actually know who that is, I'm guessing it's related to the fic. They have good taste in Pokémon, though.

    It's interesting to note that the amount of fire they can use is limited due to the source being their fur, it's something that I hadn't really thought about a lot.

    Ah, typical cat behavior. Unless you have mine that is, he's in my face all the time. I'm just wondering where's the part about them getting in the way of whatever you're doing! :p

    Torracat offering to groom others is a bit amusing, but nothing compared to them licking human's eyebrows. I had to do a double take on that and I was laughing for a fair bit.

    I know this from experience, definitely got a laugh out of it. xD

    Waterlogged hypothermia, huh? Yeah, I can see that being a fire-type thing. It's also interesting (and a little bit concerning) that the immersion of an Incineroar's flames should always be considered life-threatening.

    Interesting that Litten and Torracat lack the raw power that the other starters have, but can instead make up for that with more complex strategies. I liked that.

    Poni Island National Park sounds absolutely terrifying, even though I love the Litten line, I don't think I would touch that area with a ten foot pole if it's that dangerous.

    I'm glad my favorite Alola starter had some pretty interesting stuff, and I enjoyed reading it.
     
    Rediamond likes this.
  12. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Blissey (Happiny, Chansey)

    Overview

    There is credible evidence that blissey was the first pokémon to be tamed. Stone tablets with drawings of blissey in a human camp, and even wearing human clothes, have been found that dated back to 18,000 B.C.E. They were one of the only domesticated pokémon exclusively found in Australia prior to the creation of the mass produced pokéball.

    As difficult as it is to believe now, blissey were not introduced outside of Australia until 1842 C.E. Even the wayfarers could not bring them from island to island without stressing the pokémon to the point of death. The pokéball and large sailing ships rectified the problem. At present there are wild populations on every continent except Antarctica.

    Blissey is the quintessential healing pokémon of the modern world. Their egg is one of the most potent psychoactive drugs currently known and it is not physically addictive. It also contains every enzyme and growth factor needed for healing in humans. In pokémon it rapidly accelerates the regeneration abilities of almost all mammalian species, most non-mammalian organic species, and some mineral or otherwise non-organic pokémon.

    Most Alolan Pokémon Centers have now added blissey or chansey to their staff, either in addition to more traditional options such as comfey and alomomola or as the sole pokémon on hand. They can also be found in the wild on all four islands, although finding or capturing one can be a difficult prospect.

    In addition to their use as healers, blissey are the premier special walls in competitive battling. Their combination of power and utility has led to extensive capture (legal and illegal) in their native and international ranges, making the remaining wild blissey very skittish around humans.

    Physiology

    All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure normal-types. There has been a substantial push in recent years to reclassify them as dual normal- and fairy-types. However, they only meet two of the common traits of fairies (healing powers, reliance on charming or emotional manipulation, propensity for playing pranks, extraterrestrial origin, ties to the moon, weakness to iron). Most other fairies meet at least three of the above factors. The Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing its ruling to consider the evidence for a fairy-typing.

    Happiny are divided into two distinct segments. The lower half of happiny is covered in a hard, dark pink shell. Only their short, stubby legs protrude from the bottom. The shell has a somewhat loose flap of white skin on top of it which happiny often form into a pouch.

    The upper half of happiny’s body is covered in short light pink fur. They have two arms, which are even shorter and stubbier than their legs. The face is proportionately large and consists of a mouth and a pair of eyes. They have two darker cheek spots on their face. Towards the top of the head they have three short, hard lumps. These are primarily used for sensory purposes. They have a dark pink ‘bead’ on the very top of their head with a messy, curly ponytail extending from it.

    Chansey have been described as being shaped like an oval, or an egg. They have two pink feet, which are substantially longer than those of a happiny. They also have a tail that can extend for up to thirty centimeters behind their body. Chansey’s face resembles that of a happiny but it barely grows as the happiny evolves, making it proportionally smaller. They lose the knobs on their forehead but gain two sets of tufts on the sides of their head where their ears would be. The most notable feature of a chansey is the pouch by their arms. This is often used for holding eggs, but they can put unruly happiny or other small pokemon inside in a pinch.

    Blissey’s primary differences from chansey are on the lowest half of their body. This portion becomes coated in fluffy white fur. Four tufts grow out of the white fur and one apiece develops on the arms. Blissey lose the tufts on their head that they had as chansey and gain large fluffs of long, curly, pink fur in their place.

    Blissey have a rather large amount of fat inside of their bodies. However, they also have a surprising amount of muscle. This allows chansey and blissey to run far faster than they appear capable of moving, and happiny are able to lift far heavier objects than most other pokémon of their size.

    No stage of the evolutionary line has ears or a nose. They breathe through their mouth and sense vibrations in the air through their pink fur, allowing them to sense movements around them and process sounds.

    Blissey appear to have some ability to sense the emotions of those around them and then seek out the source of particularly negative emotions with high accuracy. They do not appear to have any ability to sense pheromones. As such, it is suspected that they may be empathic. Their obsession with easing the physical and mental pain of those around them may simply be a defense mechanism to avoid those unpleasant feelings entering into their own minds. However, blissey (especially those raised by trainers since birth) can be taught to participate in battles and even inflict direct pain on their opponents. Blissey also have no particular aptitude for casting or resisting mental attacks. Human psychics have reported that the line are a little easier to work with than most humanshape pokémon, but not to a degree that suggests inherent psychic powers.

    Blissey grow up to heights of 1.7 meters and masses of up to 70 kilograms. They might be immortal aside from stress, prolonged starvation, or particularly severe injuries (see Illness).

    Behavior

    The evolutionary line is best known for their caring nature. Wild chansey and blissey often tend to sick or wounded pokémon, predators and prey alike. It is suspected that blissey are the reason that Australian predators evolved to be so deadly: if prey wasn’t killed immediately, that prey wasn’t going to be killed. Chansey primarily cure pokémon by giving them their egg. Even wild blissey appear to have some skill in other forms of healing. This appears to be a learned behavior passed down through generations; a chansey raised in isolation will learn no healing techniques outside of giving their egg.

    Wild chansey tend to flee from all but the sickest and most depressed of humans. Even humans they feel compelled to heal will be approached with the utmost caution and ran from and the first sign of danger. They will almost always put their own freedom and welfare above the health of other creatures.

    Happiny are not known to lay eggs, but they tend to find and carry around objects that superficially resembles an egg and will fit inside of their pouch. Occasionally they will gift their ‘egg’ to a very trusted friend or someone they think needs healed; it is believed that happiny do not understand that their ‘eggs’ do not have any healing properties. The other quirk of happiny that is not present in their adult stages is that they appear to have a low opinion of their appearance. Mirrors anger them and they will attempt to use combs, sticks or anything they can grip to straighten their hair. They are usually unable to succeed. Since they cannot directly touch or see their hair they will eventually forget about the problem.

    All stages of the line are highly social pokémon, but they greatly prefer interacting with members of other species. Sometimes two blissey or chansey will live together, especially when one is hurt. Most will only associate with their young daughters. When a happiny evolves, mother and daughter will part and then seldom interact in the future. Blissey and chansey tend to keep large ranges that other members of their species do not enter. While they do not fight over territory, the one whose territory is being intruded upon will usually run to the trespasser and puff her fur up. She will stand still, looking at the trespasser until they leave. On the rare occasion that the intruder ignores her, she will continue to follow her unwelcome guest until they leave her territory.

    When a happiny evolves, a new chansey or blissey is introduced, or a member of their species is captured or dies, all blissey and chansey in the area will assemble, work out new territory boundaries, and immediately go back to their homes. It is unknown how blissey can sense other members of the species entering their territory or know when a meeting is called.

    Captive chansey working together in a hospital setting usually need to have individual wings they are responsible for and that other members of the species do not enter.

    Blissey will usually bond with one group of a single species. They tend to pick the species most closely related to them to bond with. If there are no egg-laying mammals, a placental mammal or a large bird or reptile will be befriended instead. Blissey will help protect the eggs and raise the young of the ward they have attached themselves to, as well as healing the injuries of adults. In exchange, they will sometimes ask for an egg (see Breeding).

    Blissey spend a few hours a day foraging on their own if they are not attached to a ward of herbivores. Otherwise, they tend to rely on the ward to bring them food. Blissey’s short limbs make it difficult to pluck berries from trees, and their shape makes it impossible to bend down to eat grass. They can go without food or water for up to ninety days, although they will stop producing eggs if they have not eaten in over ten.

    Husbandry

    Chansey and blissey are the rare pokémon that do more to care for their trainer than their trainer will need to do for them. However, they are not a good team member for a trainer who does not wish to have much interaction with their pokémon. Blissey hate pokéballs and prefer to be with their trainer or the other pokémon on the team almost constantly. Fortunately for stationary trainers (and unfortunately for travelers), they sleep around fifteen hours a day.

    Growing happiny, chansey and blissey will need about 10% of their body weight in food a week. Fully grown blissey will need to eat 3-5% of their body weight. Blissey that battle at the highest levels will require 6-8% of their body weight in food. They prefer berries, but they will happily eat most plant material and even honey. Blissey should be handfed due to their very limited use of their limbs. If a blissey is taught a telekinetic move such as psychic they will need much less assistance.

    Water can be provided through large bottles with straws or a sipper water bottle fixed at the appropriate height. Blissey should be given about one liter of water a day, although they will very seldom drink all of it. If they do, provide them with more water until they stop.

    Any blissey or chansey will adopt an abandoned happiny. If you find yourself caring for an orphaned happiny, you should begin seeking out one of the older stages as well. Otherwise, the happiny will tag along with their trainer constantly and grow stressed if they are separated for a long period of time (including by pokéballs).

    Never take the egg (or surrogate egg) of any stage of the evolutionary line. If they wish for you or someone else to have an egg, the pokémon will give it freely. Stealing their egg causes a great deal of stress, which in turn reduces the frequency of egg laying.

    Blissey and chansey eggs are incredibly tasty and good for healing tissue, boosting the immune system and reducing pain. This makes the species especially popular among trainers with chronic illnesses. Blissey eggs are also powerful antidepressants with a side effect of greatly increasing the consumer’s desire for social interaction. There are presently no other known side effects and blissey trainers are well known for being calm, happy and helpful. The government still closely regulates the trade of blissey eggs. To be safe, you should never own more than one blissey without a specific license to do so. If a blissey gives you an egg you should not redistribute it. This irritates the blissey and is often illegal.

    Illness

    It is very difficult to kill a blissey. Their body has thick layers of fat around all major organs. Blissey fur also dampens elemental energy. This means that only very, very powerful blunt force attacks and particularly deep and powerful cutting moves can knock a blissey out. Only unrestrained physical attacks from some of the most powerful pokémon in the world can actually kill a blissey. Even then, they will almost always fully recover from attacks such as rhydon tail swings, rampardos head smashes, aegislash cuts, and machamp dynamic punches. To be safe, they should never be left in a fight for more than one of those blows (and smart trainers will put considerable effort into avoiding them altogether).

    If a blissey is knocked out in battle they should be immediately withdrawn into a pokéball (ideally a heal ball) and taken to a Pokémon Center as soon as possible. Blissey and chansey are quite good at tending to the wounds of their own species and less than a handful of blissey have ever died when taken into the care of a blissey or chansey within two hours of being injured. Most leagues allow trainers to immediately send a pokémon to a nurse after it is knocked out. This option should be taken whenever available.

    Well-fed blissey, chansey and happiny have never been observed catching an illness or having one of their wounds become infected. Adult blissey do not appear to age. Prolonged starvation can kill a blissey and dramatically reduces their ability to heal themselves and others. They will usually succumb to injury or infection around three months after being withdrawn from food.

    The juvenile forms, especially happiny, are somewhat less durable. Chansey can be outright killed by the sorts of attacks mentioned above, and even average high-power physical moves can take them out if left untreated. Happiny are almost always fine fighting baby, juvenile or adolescent pokémon. They can even safely take hits from some adult pokémon provided they are not trained for competitive play or exceptionally strong.

    The main reason that blissey and chansey die in captivity is stress. A stressed blissey will experience many of the same symptoms as a starving one. They should be given near-constant social interaction, as much sleep as they want, and frequent access to wide-open green spaces. Confinement indoors or on a small ship is stressful. Some blissey have greater tolerances for battle than others, and this should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to use them in a match.

    Evolution

    Happiny evolve into chansey around their second birthday. The transition is gradual and the formal demarcation is the creation of their first natural egg. In the wild, evolution is also marked by the new chansey leaving her mother. Blissey evolution is also gradual and the exact demarcation line between chansey and blissey is in dispute. The shedding of the last ear tuft, the development of white fur across their entire lower half, and the disappearance of their tail have all been proposed. All three events tend to take place around the same time in any case. Chansey evolve into blissey when they have been free from stress for a long period of time. Very close social bonds, particularly with their trainer, can lead to evolution even with low level stressors such as occasional battles.

    Battle

    Blissey is the premier special tank in international battling. There are very few elemental attacks that they even seem to feel. Even if they are damaged, they can heal themselves in a variety of ways (wish, rest, eating part of their own egg). They have a variety of utility attacks to use while they are walling opponents such as heal bell, reflect, light screen and stealth rock. Blissey don’t have particularly strong elemental attacks, although they can learn a wide variety. Their elemental well is simply too small to be of much use in high tier battles. Blissey’s main means of doing damage is through toxic, which steadily wears down most opponents. They can also use counter to deal with melee attackers.

    Blissey can be overpowered by many physical attackers, particularly fighting-types. Taunt can also seriously limit blissey’s utility. Blissey are also a massive drain on momentum for both the user and the opponent. Those three drawbacks limit their use to defensive or balanced teams.

    On the island challenge blissey are still powerful enough to deal with most opponents offensively, especially if they have a way to exploit a weakness. It’s still usually for the best to use them to wall a particularly difficult opponent that can neither switch out or harm blissey, such as elementally inclined totem pokémon.

    Chansey play a similar role, although they are faster and somewhat less powerful and bulky. Blissey don’t really need speed for what they do, so chansey are a somewhat niche pick in competitive battling. Chansey are still quite capable of walling almost all elemental attackers on the island challenge, and they’re even capable of dodging or outrunning some projectiles or melee attacks.

    Happiny have surprisingly strong tackles. However, they lack a way to reliably heal themselves and they aren’t particularly durable. They can be used to counter weak special attackers that can’t outrun a them. Alternatively, a well-trained happiny can learn a utility move or two to help out the team while an opponent struggles to take them out of the fight.

    Acquisition

    All stages of the evolutionary line can be found throughout all four Tapu Islands. Because they are technically invasive they can be captured in all protected areas without additional restrictions.

    Federal law prohibits a private individual from owning two chansey or blissey at once. This is probably for the best, as outside of a happiny and either a chansey or a blissey they do not get along when held on the same team.

    Happiny can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class II license. If the trainer also owns a chansey or blissey, only a Class I license is required. Chansey and Blissey can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class I license.

    The main problem with acquiring a member of the line is finding a wild specimen. They are quick to flee from trainers and their fur gives them a pretty good impression of their surroundings. Chansey and blissey are also rather light sleepers. Even if a trainer does find and corner one, her ward will usually come to her aid to avoid losing their resident healer.

    In practice, only three types of trainers encounter a wild specimen: the patient ones, the injured ones, and the very depressed ones. In any case, sudden movements should be avoided around a wild blissey. It is best to try and bond with the creature rather than capturing it outright as chansey and blissey caught by force tend to be very difficult to tame.

    Capturing a wild happiny is a tricky prospect as they will almost always be protected, either by their mother or by their ward. They are also quick to flee from humans, although they can usually be outpaced by a moderately fit trainer moving at a comfortable walking speed. If it becomes clear that a captured chansey or blissey is caring for a happiny, that pokémon should also be captured. Otherwise, we cannot recommend capturing a wild happiny for ethical and practical reasons.

    As mentioned above, all stages of the evolutionary line prefer to be held in heal balls. Luxury, love and quick balls are also acceptable, although they will never like staying in the ball for long periods of time.

    Breeding

    Contrary to popular belief, blissey are not parthenogenic. There are also no male blissey and there is no equivalent species they mate with. Chansey and blissey eggs are impossible to fertilize and are only used for healing purposes. When a blissey wants to reproduce (and only blissey have the ability to do this) they will approach a female in their adopted clan and request an egg. If the female agrees, the blissey will put the egg inside of her pouch.

    Through a poorly understood process she will begin to convert the egg into a fertilized blissey egg. The amount of time it takes for the egg to be converted and hatch depends on how closely related the species is to blissey. Bird and reptile eggs can take years to convert. Eggs from kangaskhan, blissey’s closest living relative, can hatch in less than two months.

    Blissey breed very rarely in the wild. They tend to only do so when particularly content or when the local chansey population has declined.

    In captivity, blissey must be very happy and kept with another female member of an egg-laying species. Even under the best of conditions, it is unlikely that a blissey chooses to reproduce. Given their very long life expectancies, aversion to their own species, and lack of natural predators, there are sound reasons for the species’ reluctance to have children.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  13. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Snorlax (Munchlax)

    Overview

    Most invasive species in Alola eventually settle into a niche and the ecosystem rebalances, albeit in a way less favorable to the native species. Resilient as it may be, the Melemele ecosystem has yet to adjust to snorlax. Alolan snorlax are the smallest in the world and they can still eat up to 250 kilograms a day. Their sheer size and appetite have put them towards the top of the local food web since they can bully away every other predator species on Melemele sans salamence.

    In 1987, the Hau’oli Zoo acquired a snorlax named Danielle. She became something of a celebrity in the Commonwealth. Petitions surged to allow the importation of munchlax through the less restrictive Category B3 Importation process. An initial review from the United States Department of Agriculture concluded that the Alolan islands simply were not big enough to be able to support a wild snorlax, making the threat of a resident population establishing itself quite minimal.

    It would later become evident that the government overlooked two major factors. Alola has the highest plant growth per acre in the world, allowing it to support a far larger food web than would otherwise be possible. The sheer number of large carnivores on the islands attests to this. Second, snorlax that are limited by food will simply reach maturity without reaching their maximum possible size.

    The disparity in licensing required to possess the friendly and easy to care for munchlax and the monstrous snorlax has led to many young snorlax being released, particularly in the Hau’oli area. Most of these releases have not resulted in a stable wild population, especially since the DNR has classified snorlax as their “Number One Species of Interest.” But even the initiative to remove wild snorlax has left a large number of the bears in government hands with no clear place to send them.

    At present, the Melemele Kahuna and the DNR have negotiated an agreement to allow wild snorlax to live freely within Route 1 to see how much damage they will actually do to the environment. The results so far have been discouraging, but the experiment has not been ended due to the difficulty of capturing and rehoming every wild snorlax. In the interim, the importation of additional munchlax has been banned in almost all circumstances. Several of Alola’s top trainers have also added a snorlax to their team to take one out of the wild.

    One outcome of all of this is that one of the most powerful pokémon in the world can be freely adopted, purchased or captured without seasons or quotas. However, trainers should be advised that snorlax require a Class V license to possess and their owner must be prepared to purchase over one thousand kilograms of food every week.

    Physiology

    Both stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure normal-types. Neither ruling is contested.

    Munchlax in most of the world are covered in a long, thick coat of blue fur. In Alola they tend to only grow a relatively short and sparse one. The fur on the lower half of their head, back paws and part of their chest is usually cream-colored. Munchlax have five short claws on their forepaws and three long and sharp ones on their back paws. Their ears are quite long and munchlax have rather sharp hearing, although they have a rather limited sense of smell. The relative strength of their hearing and smell slowly shift as they age; elderly snorlax are effectively deaf but can smell blood from kilometers away. Munchlax have two stomachs, each containing very powerful acid. They seldom chew their food and instead rely on their stomachs to digest it.

    The vast majority of a snorlax’s bulk is in their nearly cylindrical torso. Their limbs are relatively small and stubby, although they still end in sharp claws for traction, gripping food, and self-defense. While most of this mass is fat, snorlax are also quite muscular due to the need to support and move their own weight. Similarly, they have a very durable skeletal structure. The fur on their back is mostly blue, while the fur on their front and limbs is cream-colored.

    Wild Alolan snorlax are smaller than their counterparts in mainland Eurasia, growing up to 1.8 meters in height and 380 kilograms in mass. Captive-raised snorlax can reach heights of up to 2.3 meters and masses of up to 550 kilograms. Both wild and captive snorlax tend to live for twenty-five to thirty years.

    Behavior

    Most bear pokémon are physical titans that chase and kill their prey through any obstacle. Bewear and pangoro are two such examples in Alola. Snorlax can only move up to six kilometers per hour, and even then only in short bursts. But the average wild snorlax will only run once or twice in its life. Instead snorlax are the ultimate scavengers. When another predator takes down prey, snorlax will wake up and steadily move towards the kill. There are very few predators, in Alola or otherwise, that can take down a snorlax and most don’t even try to defend the carcass. When the original predator has run away, snorlax scarfs down the remains and immediately goes back to sleep. If there is no food to be had for over a week, snorlax will stir and begin to topple and eat trees until it is satiated or something falls from the tree and dies on impact.

    Munchlax occupy an ecological role somewhere between a scavenger and a decomposer. They use their acute sense of smell to find food, ideally somewhat rotten food that faster or stronger scavengers wouldn’t bother with, and then they walk tirelessly towards their meal. Then they gulp it down as quickly as possible and stand motionless until their meal is digested. When they wake up they repeat the process. As they grow larger, they begin to behave more like snorlax.

    Snorlax are not social, but they also do not seem to strictly enforce territorial boundaries. If there is not enough food in an area for two snorlax, one will eventually just move someplace else. In both the wild and captivity, a sleeping snorlax will seldom object to small creatures (such as human children) playing on them while they slumber. This may be because they don’t find such small and agile prey worth the effort to kill.

    Outside of Alola, snorlax often hibernate in the winter when most other predators are asleep and fresh kills are less plentiful. Sometimes they retreat into caves or mountain ranges. More often than not, a snorlax (especially one that isn’t pregnant) will simply fall asleep in a forest or field and wake up a few months later. In the archipelago where predator hibernation is uncommon snorlax typically remain (relatively) active throughout the year.

    Husbandry

    Munchlax and snorlax are almost always very tolerant of pokéballs.

    Munchlax used to be popular pokémon because they are quite easy to care for and some munchlax, particularly those raised by humans form a very early age, can be quite social. However, unless a trainer goes out of their way to engage one they are more likely than not to simply stand still, half-asleep, between feedings. They produce rather little waste but should still be provided a tray or small pool near their preferred standing spot to catch what they do emit.

    In the wild munchlax will often eat as much as they can and then stuff the rest under their fur for later. Unfortunately, their sense of smell and memory are quite weak, meaning that they often forget they put the food their in the first place. If a captive munchlax attempts to put food into their fur they should be allowed to do so. It is extremely unwise to get between a munchlax or snorlax and their food. Instead, the munchlax’s fur should be combed and any food removed should be either thrown out or put in storage for later. Munchlax should be bathed frequently to keep them clean and they do not mind water (or almost anything else, for that matter). If they are not fed somewhat regularly, munchlax will begin to throw tantrums.

    The main challenge with caring for both munchlax and snorlax is the difficulty in feeding them. Munchlax require, at minimum, 1.5 times their body weight in food every week, but they will happily eat up to 2.5 times their body weight. Munchlax will eat virtually anything. Snorlax prefer relatively fresh meat, which means that very few trainers can afford to care for one.

    There is a perception that snorlax are rather docile creatures. This is patently false, particularly for wild-caught snorlax. There is a case to be made that snorlax are the most dangerous bear species on the planet. To start with, snorlax are strong enough to break spines with a half-hearted swing of their arms. A nearby adult human may be deemed large enough and close enough to kill and eat. They do not readily form bonds with humans as they are solitary in the wild. Instead, their trust must be gained over months of associating their trainer with free and easy food. Only then can proper training of any sort begin.

    Snorlax should be given two separate paddocks to feed in at first. This will allow their trainer to clean up any waste in one paddock while they eat or sleep in the other. Their enclosure should be well fortified, ideally with two sets of thick metal or concrete walls with a moat in between them. This prevents snorlax from walking off in pursuit of food when they get hungry or smell something in the area.

    Despite appearances and reputations, snorlax do need and even want some measure of exercise. They should be forced to walk at least ten meters to access new food. Some snorlax are inquisitive or even playful. Most are not. If a snorlax regularly spends time awake when there is no food present, they should be provided with toys or changes in their environment on a somewhat regular basis. They enjoy rubber balls that are large enough for them to maneuver and thick enough that they will not be immediately pierced.

    Perhaps due to parental instincts or not bothering with small, living prey, snorlax are much more tolerant of children than adults and even wild snorlax will seldom kill a human child. There is some debate as to whether or not it is best to bond a wild-caught snorlax to a child before introducing them to their adult trainer. It is far more effective at acclimating the pokémon, but this method has led to at least four fatal errors.

    Illness

    Much like blissey, snorlax have highly effective digestive and immune systems that render poisons and infections all but irrelevant. They also have thick layers of fat and muscle around their organs. Snorlax heal well even by pokémon standards, although they will need larger, less frequent meals while they heal.

    Munchlax are also resistant to infection and poison, but they can be injured by particularly strong attacks. It is recommended that munchlax trainers use normal precautions in matches. (See Battle.)

    Evolution

    Munchlax grow fairly gradually and steadily into snorlax and there are few major anatomical differences between the two. As they age, munchlax begin taking more interest in progressively fresher kills and have deeper resting periods. They generally cross the formal demarcation line between munchlax and snorlax (a mass of 200 kilograms) around their fifth birthday. Snorlax grow progressively larger as they age, up to the point where they can no longer consume enough to put on weight.

    Trainers wishing to evolve their munchlax more quickly should feed them the maximum amount they will eat. Unlike most species, battles are counter-productive in encouraging growth as they lead to the pokémon expending energy.

    Battle

    In the 1970s, snorlax was the single most dominant pokémon on the competitive battling scene. The 1950s and 1960s brought advancements in transportation and pokémon care that allowed more trainers to use the bulkiest pokémon in the world, such as skarmory, steelix, milotic, avalugg and blissey. Hard stall, also known as slow stall, became the most common playstyle at the top levels of the battling world.

    Two events made the rise of snorlax possible. In 1963, Dr. Judith Black published a comprehensive guide to snorlax care. The guide’s techniques made it possible for individuals without large, well-fortified estates to raise snorlax. In 1969, the first mass-produced ultra ball was put onto the market, giving far more trainers a tool to actually contain or capture a snorlax with.

    Snorlax is not quite as bulky as blissey, but it is still covered in thick layers of fat that make it difficult for all but the most physically powerful of pokémon to harm. They are also very strong and have a surprisingly deep and versatile energy well. Snorlax are also effectively immune to all but the strongest of poisons. The result is a pokémon too tough for the average defensive pokémon to hurt and strong enough to wear down walls. More importantly, they are too heavy to force out via whirlwind, near deaf and immune to roar, and very resistant to most toxic attacks. Snorlax’s main disadvantage, low speed, is essentially irrelevant against the slow walls on hard stall teams. The moves curse and rest allow snorlax to slowly become more bulky and powerful and heal off any weak blows that they take in battle.

    Quick stall fares little better against snorlax, as snorlax’s versatile ranged attacks means that it can take out most fast-but-fragile pokémon in time, and most common quick stall pokémon can’t hurt it back.

    These days any serious trainer attempting a stall team in a league where snorlax is allowed keeps at least one counter on hand. The best answers to snorlax are very powerful fighting-types, most notably machamp. Otherwise, most very tough and very strong physically attackers can take down a snorlax without taking too much damage. In Alola, rhydon and large dragons are the only pokémon (aside from fighting types) that can reliably take on a snorlax and win.

    A trainer using a snorlax on the island challenge can break through almost everything without serious difficulty. But the high license requirement and enormous logistical difficulties make it inadvisable for a young traveling trainer to own one.

    Munchlax are somewhat more difficult to battle with. They are somewhat durable, especially for their age and size, and they are also deceptively strong. But most adult pokémon are too durable or too strong for munchlax to take care of. Their energy well is also substantially smaller than an adult snorlax’s, and they will not have the experience needed to use the variety of elemental techniques that a snorlax can. By the end of the second island, munchlax will almost certainly be at a severe disadvantage against almost all opponents.

    Acquisition

    Munchlax can be bought, purchased or captured with a Class II license. They are most frequently found along the outskirts of Hau’oli City, especially in Route 1.

    Snorlax require a Class V license to possess or acquire. A wild population exists on Route 1, but it is far easier to adopt one from the Alolan government. Contact the Hau’oli office of the DNR for more information.

    Breeding

    Snorlax mate in spring. If a female and male snorlax share the same range, the female may approach the male. There is no formal courtship ritual, but sometimes the male does decline the chance to mate. This is usually expressed by the male lying down and falling asleep or not bothering to stand up to acknowledge the female.

    Snorlax pregnancy lasts roughly seven months. In the late fall, a pregnant female will begin eating with more frequency and even attacking any animal or pokémon that gets too close to them. It is difficult to tell a pregnant snorlax apart from a normal one (or a female apart from a male, for that matter) so extra caution is advised when traveling through snorlax territory in the fall. Trainers breeding snorlax should avoid any contact whatsoever after the first four months of pregnancy.

    Snorlax typically hibernate for a few months after giving birth. The mother seldom wakes up for the duration of the winter while her babies are nursing. Do not approach a snorlax with cubs under any circumstances. In captivity, a pregnant snorlax should be given a cool, enclosed space to use as a cubbing den. After emerging from hibernation, the mother will protect her cubs and share food with them for roughly two months. Then she will stop paying attention to her children, and even scare them off if they try to take food from her.

    Subspecies

    Despite popular belief, the Alolan snorlax is not a subspecies. Snorlax born in Alola have the potential to reach their full size if well fed.

    The subspecies in Alola is the European snorlax. They are native to the foothills, temperate forests and grasslands of Europe. This subspecies is endangered throughout most of their range and has been extirpated from the British Isles. Most of the remaining bears live in the Wild Area of Galar, the Royal Lands in Kalos, Pyrenees Transnational Park, and a handful of private reserves on the European Plain.

    The European snorlax is closely related to the somewhat smaller eastern snorlax, native to eastern China, Korea and Japan. The eastern snorlax has a slightly thinner coat and hibernates more regularly than the European snorlax. They are capable of running somewhat faster than the European snorlax, and they often kill their own prey. Eastern snorlax have the deepest and most versatile energy well of any subspecies. Unfortunately, they are also the most endangered due to their encroachments into the ever-growing human settlements in their range.

    The Himalayan snorlax has a very thick coat and hibernates for up to eight months a year. Their claws and paws are larger than the lowland subspecies and their lungs are substantially more powerful. Himalayan snorlax are prone to using their bulk, strength, and energy well to trigger small earthquakes, causing avalanches nearby. They will then dig through the amassed snow to find prey. This behavior earned them fear and veneration; although they are not endangered, they are protected by strict conservation laws. There are only three known Himalayan snorlax in captivity, all within Nepal and Bhutan.

    The Siberian snorlax has the highest population and perhaps the strangest behaviors. They are the largest of any subspecies in both weight and bulk. On balance they have never been seen using a non-ice elemental attack and even then their ice beams are weaker than those of the average European or Eastern snorlax. Siberian snorlax hibernate in the winter by digging themselves down into the permafrost. During the summer they spend most of their waking hours scouring the permafrost for buried carcasses to devour. They seldom drink water, preferring to simply eat chunks of ice when they get thirsty. Siberian snorlax are seldom seen on the surface and relatively little is known about them. They fare poorly in captivity due to the difficulty in replicating their natural habitat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  14. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Slowpoke (Slowbro | Slowking) | Turbann

    Overview

    Slowpoke is well known and loved among the people of Alola. Their tails are a part of many traditional recipes. Slowbro and slowking are taught as an example of symbiosis in almost all elementary science classes. Due to long traditions and the complexity of the subject matter, much of what the average resident of Alola knows about slowpoke, their partners, and their evolutions is wrong.

    The biggest misconception is that slowpoke are symbiotic with shellder; slowpoke bond with a separate species called turbann. Unlike the rather flat shellder, turbann are conical and have a spiral ridge on their exterior. On the inside they are vastly different.

    Beyond that, slowpoke are not stupid so much as borderline non-sentient and non-sapient. They do not think so much as follow a basic list of survival impulses. In spite of their official typing, psychics have been unable to have any sort of conversation with them or access any memories. There is even an argument to classify slowpoke not as their own species, but as a sort of external organ for turbann. There is some precedent for this, mostly notably with parasect. Slowbro and slowking are also not two separate entities coexisting; the slowpoke and turbann share a fused nervous system and function as one organism.

    Fossils of a species closely resembling slowpoke have been found dating back to the late Devonian era. Given the similarity of turbann to orthocones and the bizarre biology of slowpoke, it is possible that they were an early offshoot of the jellies that convergently evolved to resemble amphibians. However, their dependence on an aquatic species limited them to the ocean's edge. It is also unclear why they left the sea in the first place.

    Most captive slowpoke in Alola are held for agriculture or research. Slowpoke and slowbro are not the brightest of pets and slowking are, if anything, too smart for the average trainer to adequately care for. The main appeal of slowpoke for young trainers is that they are a very forgiving choice for learning how to care for aquatic pokémon and species with bizarre biology.

    Physiology

    Slowpoke is officially classified as a water- and psychic- type. This designation is hotly disputed in academic journals. The debate centers on whether true intelligence is a requirement of the psychic typing. The ability of the species to thrive in cooler waters has also led to some calls for a secondary ice-typing. Slowbro and slowking are also designated as water- and psychic- types. Slowbro's designation is controversial for the same reason as slowpoke's. Slowking's typing is generally agreed upon. Turbann is a pure water-type, although more research might lead to it being granted a secondary typing. The official recognition of turbann as a separate species, and not just a variant of shellder, only occurred in the early 2000s. Proper research into the line is lacking.

    Slowpoke are pink quadrupeds with cream-colored bellies and muzzles. Their internal physiology is a strange cross between jellies and amphibians. Slowpoke have a handful of cartilaginous bones as well as some hair-like threads that bind multiple mucus layers together into a coherent organism. There are complex mucus structures in their bodies that perform the basic functions of organs. Rather than proper muscles, they move through a system of hydraulic pumps. They also do not have anything resembling a brain; their nerves form several small clusters throughout their bodies, each of which appears to govern a single function. It is unclear if slowpoke are physiologically capable of higher thought.

    Turbann are conical invertebrates. They have hard, gray shells that have a very similar composition to those of cloyster. The spherical mouth of their shell is lined with needle-like teeth, and they have two eye spots on the rim of their shell. On the inside they possess a complex network of passageways, pumps, filters, and nerves that guide the organism.

    When a turbann latches onto a slowpoke, a series of changes begin in both organisms. The most obvious external sign is that the slowpoke roughly doubles in size. In slowbro, most of the internal changes occur in the turbann. The areas formerly devoted to propulsion and feeding become filled with neural tissue and reproductive organs. This increases the intelligence of the whole organism and allows the turbann to eventually reproduce (see Breeding). Slowking experience neural growth in not just the turbann, but throughout the slowking's head. The turbann also does not develop reproductive organs. Both slowbro and slowking gain stronger hydraulic pumps to move their larger body around.

    Slowpoke grow to lengths of 1.2 meters and masses of 35 kilograms. Turbann grow to lengths of 0.6 meters and masses of 25 kilograms. Slowbro and slowking both grow to heights of roughly 2 meters and masses of 80 kilograms. Turbann can live up to five years in the wild and three in captivity. Slowbro and slowking can live up to twenty-five years in both the wild and captivity. Slowpoke may be functionally immortal unless it evolves.

    Behavior

    Slowpoke prefer living in moist, cool, coastal habitats. They are capable of living in warmer waters or drier climates, but they must spend more time in the water in these areas. Slowpoke will stand motionless on the waters edge for days on end, sometimes inserting their tail into the water. The same compounds that give slowpoke tails their distinct flavor also lure in fish and small pokémon, allowing the slowpoke to whip them onto land and devour them once they die. Slowpoke can go weeks between feedings. While they are somewhat capable swimmers, they only enter the water when they need to rehydrate.

    Turbann are pelagic filter feeders that live right above the thermocline. They swim by pushing water through their bodies. This water is filtered as it moves through the pokémon, and all trapped plankton are digested. Once a turban reaches its full size it will begin following the chemicals released by fishing slowpoke. They can swim upwards of one thousand kilometers to evolve.

    Despite the boost in intelligence, slowbro are only slightly more active than slowpoke. They are benthic feeders who use their psychic abilities to locate prey beneath the substrate. Then use their claws, water attacks and telepathy to make the kill. Slowbro eat multiple times most days. When they are not hunting, slowbro typically beach themselves on land and sleep. Outside of mating, slowbro are not particularly social. Sometimes several will live in the same area but they will seldom acknowledge each other.

    The average slowking is far more intelligent than the average human. This leads to slowking leading a radically different lifestyle than slowbro. To start, most slowking are vegetarian. They subsist mostly on fruit and seaweeds. When these are scarce near the waterline, they may resort to scavenging or hunting non-pokémon fish or jellies. They are extremely empathic and consistently express a reluctance to harm other sapient creatures. Like most psychics, slowking also spend a considerable amount of time asleep. In the wild, they sleep for roughly twelve hours a day. When they are not sleeping or foraging, slowking spend much of their time socializing or exploring.

    Slowking are incredibly curious creatures that seek to understand everything and everyone they encounter. Finding slowbro too dull to bother with, they mostly interact with either other slowking or highly intelligent creatures. This often drives them to seek out a human trainer to teach them about human society, philosophy, and technology.

    Slowpoke will sometimes instinctively defend themselves with telepathic bursts. They have very few natural predators because, aside from their tail, their body is difficult to digest and not particularly nutritious. Slowbro and slowking have even fewer predators due to their increased power, intelligence and size. It is not known if turbann have natural predators. It is not thought that anything would bother penetrating their hard shell for the relatively small amount of soft tissue inside of it.

    Husbandry

    Turbann have a rather high resource threshold of care. They need large quantities of natural seawater to filter and open spaces to swim through and die quickly on land. Turbann also do not form attachments to humans and when placed in the ocean they will attempt to swim away. Because of these limitations, their care is best left to aquariums and large laboratories. The Hau'oli Aquarium has them on display in their Open Oceans exhibit.

    Slowpoke also do not form attachments to humans, but they are relatively easy to care for and keep track of. Slowpoke and slowbro show no aversion to pokéballs. A slowpoke should be let out of their pokéball near a large body of water every few days. If the slowpoke walks over to it and sticks their tail in, it is feeding time. Slowpoke eat most kinds of seafood and have also been known to eat insect mixes and raw poultry.

    The main concern for slowpoke and slowbro (and a big concern for slowking) is hydration. Because their bodies are mostly liquid and their movement is powered by hydraulic pumps, they need to be given time to soak in water every three days at most. They prefer salt water between three and ten degrees Celsius. In a pinch, they can tolerate fresh water and water up to twenty degrees Celsius.

    Slowbro require daily feedings. Their diet is about the same as a slowpoke's, although individual slowbro have different preferences. Slowbro eat until full and then stop eating. While they can and do become attached with their trainers, slowbro are not at all cuddly and do not like being touched. Unlike true amphibians, slowpoke and its evolutions will not be injured by skin contact. They simply find it uncomfortable. Slowbro will also avoid engaging in any activity at all, including socialization to training. Getting a slowbro to obey even simple and costless commands is an exercise in patience.

    Slowking should be provided with seaweed (or lettuce in a pinch) and fruit until they are no longer hungry. Most slowking have a particular fondness for watermelons. They will need to sleep roughly twelve hours a day and they are content to do so within their pokéball. Slowking generally prefer dive balls. Slowbro have not demonstrated a preference in pokéball type.

    When they are not sleeping or eating, slowking need to be outside of their pokéball exploring or conversing. They are as inquisitive as a toddler and have the intellect of a Ph.D. student. Even the smartest of trainers will struggle to keep a slowking entertained on their own. Successful slowking trainers generally teach their pokémon to read and telekinetically lift books. They will then rely upon a library, television, or computer to keep the slowking occupied. Some universities have experimented with having slowking oversee dormitory floors so they can learn from many different people and attend classes themselves as payment.

    As implied above, most slowking quickly figure out telepathic and verbal human speech. It is not uncommon for a slowking to learn multiple languages. This gives even non-psychic trainers a pokémon they can speak with. Many trainers find that this elevates the pokémon from pet to family in their eyes. It can be quite difficult for trainers to adjust to having a new sapient being they are required to care for and that wants to take up as much of their time as possible. If your slowpoke evolves into a slowking (see Evolution) and you are not prepared to make the transition, it is best to give up the pokémon before it becomes attached.

    All stages of the slowpoke line produce exclusively liquid waste. Upon being sent out of their pokéball, slowpoke and slowbro should be placed over a small pool or tub, or at least an area that can be urinated on. Slowking are quite capable of housebreaking themselves.

    Of course, the main reason people train the line in Alola is for slowpoke tails. Wild slowpoke require their tails to hunt and become distressed when they lose their tail unexpectedly. They shed and regrow their tails naturally on a roughly three-month cycle. Captive slowpoke can have their tails harvested as soon as they reach full size as they do not require their tails to find food. Tails regenerate in full over the course of a month. A tail-less slowpoke should regularly be offered food, as the normal means of gauging their hunger is inapplicable.

    Illness

    The most common problems for turbann are starvation and shell thinning. Starvation occurs when there is an inadequate or imbalanced amount of food in their environment. Pumping in fresh coastal seawater to their tank generally solves this problem. There is a corollary problem where too much particulate matter in the environment can clog up a turbann's filter system. Visibly murky or silty water should be avoided. Shell thinning is caused by inadequate calcium carbonate concentrations in their tank. If a turbann's shell appears brittle or cracks, then more calcium needs to be introduced as soon as possible. To prevent these injuries, supplemental calcium sources should always be present in the tank.

    Slowpoke are remarkable regenerators. Given enough food, water and time they can regenerate from anything except near-complete shredding or dissolution. The most common problems in captivity occur when they are not given the food, water or time they need to heal.

    If a slowpoke's skin ever stops being bright pink and slimy, they should immediately be offered a pool and allowed to stay outside of their pokéball until they completely remove themselves from the water. This also applies for the evolutions of slowpoke. When wounded slowpoke should be given an increased supply of food and not be put into battle again until they have fully recovered.

    In the event of a slowbro's devolution they should immediately be placed into professional veterinarian care.

    Evolution

    When a turbann bites a slowpoke, a variety of physiological changes occur. Many of these are detailed in the Physiology section of this article. The union of a turbann and slowbro appears to be the only way for slowpoke to evolve. In the wild, the vast majority of turbann choose to latch onto a slowpoke's tail rather than their head. How a turbann decides where to attach themselves is unclear. The leading theory at present is that turbann gauge the chemical markers slowpoke put into the water to evaluate the health of the slowpoke slumber and the number of slowbro and slowking. If the slumber is threatened or declining or there are only one or two slowking, the turbann is incentivized to evolve a slowpoke to slowking in order to solve the slumber's problems and increase its numbers (see Breeding).

    Trainers who wish to use a slowbro or slowking are recommended to acquire one that has already evolved. Evolving a slowpoke without external aid requires letting a slowpoke rehydrate and catch its fish naturally while under constant supervision (they will not return to their trainers on their own) until they are eventually bitten by a turbann. Alternatively, trainers can pay the Hau'oli Aquarium for the chance to put their slowpoke in the same tank as turbann. In both cases it is impossible to determine what a slowpoke evolves into.

    Slowbro has a mega evolution. It takes the form of a temporary flash evolution. Excess energy is channeled into the turbann, allowing it to grow until it covers almost the entire slowpoke. It is believed that this might cause the slowpoke some distress, if not actual pain. This runs against the theory that turbann and slowpoke become one cohesive organism rather than a partnership of two separate creatures. Or, perhaps, the slowpoke's face is expressing the discomfort of the collective being itself. In any case, mega evolution of slowbro is currently banned in most competitive matches in Alola. Mega evolving slowbro requires a Class V license.

    Slowbro are notable for being one of the few pokémon to experience devolution. When a turbann detaches itself from slowbro, either because of external trauma or the normal reproductive cycle (see Breeding), the slowpoke has a chance to survive. Upon detachment, the slowpoke loses access to much of it central nervous system. They are also usually far out to sea and experiencing massive blood loss. However, sometimes the slowpoke will manage to guide itself to shore without being devoured by predators. At this point they will usually haul themselves into the shallows and rest. Over the next few weeks, wounds will close and the nervous system will return to that of a slowpoke. Most disturbingly, large chunks of flesh are expelled as the slowpoke returns to the size it was before evolution. When everything is completed, the rejuvenated slowpoke will awaken and resume hunting as if nothing had happened at all.

    Battle

    Turbann has never been used on the competitive battling scene. One journal article proposed that they might have a niche in underwater battles. Their relative agility and the durability of their shells could allow turbann to stall out the clock with perish song or poisoning in play. However, even that article conceded that cloyster would probably be more useful due to the species' superior intelligence and offensive power. Pyukumuku is also probably better as a defensive utility pokémon in underwater battles. In any case, almost all captive turbann are owned by aquariums and thus are highly unlikely to see battle. On the rare occasions where a sharpedo or other predator has threatened a turbann in their tank, they did not fight so much as unleash a powerful jet of water to get to the other side of the tank and stun the predator

    The only known method of training a slowpoke to respond to commands involved extensive cognitive rewiring from a high-level psychic. Ignoring the ethical and legal implications of this, it is simply impossible for the vast majority of trainers to do. The only real way to use a slowpoke in battle is to send it out and hope that the right reflexes kick in when the slowpoke gets attacked. Typically, slowpoke will defend itself with low-powered water bursts and telepathic attacks. These usually only manage to annoy adult pokémon, but some juvenile or frail pokémon can be knocked out.

    Slowking is gifted with a reasonably deep and versatile energy well and a naturally high intelligence. A captive slowking can learn to use up to eight elemental attacks. Slowking can also learn a variety of utility moves such as light screen, scald, future sight, yawn and trick room. When combined with the line's naturally fast healing slowking is a decent special wall and utility pokémon that can still pack a punch if needed. One of the Top 100 Trainers, Gabriel Perez, uses one on their main team.

    Slowbro has a slightly different role in competitive battling. They cannot be taught the sheer number of moves that a slowking can learn. Instead, slowbro trainers abuse a quirk of their physiology: they seem unable to feel any pain at all. Their mucus-like flesh also practically knits itself back together in the water or while stored in a dive ball. These attributes allow slowbro to take a lot of damage, both at once and throughout a match. They can also be taught a utility move or two, reasonably powerful water and psychic attacks, and perhaps one elemental move for coverage. This is all they really need to check some of the premier water, rock and fighting type pokémon in the metagame and then continue to check them throughout the entire match.

    Still, slowbro faces competition from other bulky water-types that are a bit easier to train and can learn a wider variety of moves. Milotic is also a durable, fast healer. In addition, milotic learns more utility moves, hits harder and can last longer against a single opponent. They are generally better companions. The advantages slowbro has over milotic on professional circuits are the ease of acquisition, telepathic resistance, endurance throughout a battle and their ability to take stronger single hits without fainting from pain.

    On circuits where mega evolution is allowed, slowbro is viewed as one of the metagame's top pokémon. In addition to the advantages listed above, almost nothing can pierce a mega slowbro's shell. They can also be trained to move quickly enough that it's hard to line up a reliable strike on the (still pain immune and fast-healing) head.

    For trainers on the island quest, slowking plays much the same as it does on the competitive scene. They should be taught new attacks regularly and given new puzzles and games to encourage them to master old attacks or use different combinations of them. This allows them to play a more versatile, technical game than any opponent a trainer is likely to face on the island challenge, with the possible exceptions of the fourth kahuna, the elite four, and the champion. Slowking still faces competition from primarina for a slot as the intelligent, reasonably durable water-type and translator on a team.

    Slowbro generally fares better on island challenges than it does on the U.S. competitive scene. Even relatively untrained slowbro are still durable enough to tank any neutral attacks they are likely to encounter before the elite four. And while milotic and toxapex are better at filling the bulky water role, the rarity of feebas and diet of toxapex mean that most trainers are better off just getting a slowbro.

    Acquisition

    Turbann require a Class IV license to purchase, adopt or capture. Their capture is prohibited within fifty nautical miles of the coast. This ban, combined with their habit of staying about ten meters below the surface makes them difficult to find. Again, turbann is not recommended for traveling trainers.

    Slowpoke require a Class I license to capture, adopt or purchase. They are typically found congregated along Kala'e Bay or the runoff streams of Mt. Lanakila where the waters are cooler than in the rest of Alola.

    Slowbro and slowking require a Class II and III license to possess, respectively. Unlike most other species, trainers who captured their pre-evolution with a lower license are not automatically allowed to keep the pokémon when it evolves. This is because newly evolved slowbro and slowking almost never show any loyalty to the trainer who cared for them as a slowpoke. Both are found in the same locations as slowpoke. Trainers taking the island challenge are limited to capturing one slowbro or slowking total. They are only allowed to do so if they have defeated a kahuna within the past year. All other trainers are prohibited from capturing a slowbro or slowking.

    Breeding

    Slowbro produce turbann and slowking produce slowpoke. After an apparently random period of time, a female slowbro will begin to produce more egg cells inside of her shell. She will then seek out a male to mate with. After the eggs are fertilized, the slowbro will swim up to fifty kilometers off the continental shelf, often over the course of several days. Then the turbann will detach from the slowpoke and release roughly three million eggs into the water. These eggs will drift in the current for six weeks before hatching into zooplankton. They will then develop into an adult turbann over the next year. The turbann mother will perish, and usually the slowpoke will also die due to being stranded far from shore with low food reserves and a profusely bleeding wound.

    Slowking have much more conventional reproduction. When food is abundant and threats are scarce, slowking will seek each other out and mate. Unlike true amphibians, slowking are internally fertilized and give birth to two to three live young after a four month pregnancy. Both parents help in protecting the slowpoke until they are roughly three months old, at which point the parents pay no more attention to them than they do to the rest of the slumber. Slowking do not die after reproducing and can do so many times over the course of their lifespan.

    Slowbro should not be bred in captivity due to the high risk of death and abundance of wild turbann and slowpoke. Slowking are not shy about reproduction and will express their needs and desires freely to a trainer they trust. Due to their desire to coparent, one trainer will need to either own two slowking or borrow one for a few months in order to facilitate breeding. Pregnant slowking will require slightly elevated amounts of food and a damp, cool and quiet place to retreat to. They should not be used in battle. Male slowking grow more aggressive and territorial after mating and have even been known to lash out at their trainers if they perceive them as a threat to the female. Caution is advised around the males during pregnancy and child-rearing.

    Subspecies

    The fossil record and drawings found in Phoenician settlements suggest that slowpoke lived in the North Atlantic until roughly 3,000 years ago. It is unclear why the Atlantic slowpoke died out rather abruptly throughout its entire range. The only living subspecies is the Pacific slowpoke, which lives around the North Pacific and down much of the South American coast.

    Turbann live throughout the Pacific Ocean and have no recognized subspecies.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  15. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Pelipper (Wingull)

    Overview

    A handful of species have established nearly global ranges. For the most part these are small and hardy pokémon. Few have the power or majesty to attract worship. Yet pelipper plays a central role in several world mythologies and have earned the fear and respect of sailors the world over.

    Pelipper are widespread and worshipped because of their almost unique ability to manipulate wind and rain. In the wild, they congregate in groups of hundreds or thousands and beat their wings and use water attacks in coordination. This can change wind currents and bring rain. Some captive pelipper have been taught to do something similar on their own, albeit on a much smaller scale.

    Alolan mythology holds that pelipper came to Alola alongside humans. Indeed, there is some evidence that Polynesian cultures may have tamed pelipper as hunting companions in much the same way canine and feline pokémon were tamed and used elsewhere.

    The parallels to dogs and cats are easy to see. Pelipper are social and relatively intelligent. Wild pelipper do not have clear hierarchies, but their communal nature makes them adapt well to captivity. They eat many of the same fish species as humans and can learn to hunt in tandem. However, they have never been properly domesticated anywhere in the world. While pelipper can respect and use humans they are proud and unruly and even the most docile refuse to submit completely to anyone, bird or human.

    The attributes listed above make them a decent choice pokémon for beginning trainers. They also make for an excellent gateway to raising and battling with flying-types, although it should be noted that pelipper generally do not get along with other species of birds.

    Physiology

    Wingull have rather simple builds. They have long, flat, and straight wings. These are useful for gliding and catching thermal updrafts. Wingull beaks tend to be about as long as their core body. They have short trains of several long, blue feathers.

    The core body of a wingull is rather small and contains a short digestive tract, heart, and air cavity. This cavity functions as both lungs and a swim bladder. Curiously, wingull do not need to breathe. Instead they can intake air from small slits beside their beak and release it through similar slits on the posterior. They can only do this while flying. While grounded or swimming, they must breathe through their beak. Due to the small size of their air cavity wingull cannot hold their breath for long. As such wingull seen out of flight will usually be gaping with their beak wide open.

    The vast majority of a pelipper’s body is made up of their bill and supporting organs. The Alolan pelipper’s bill is pink and looks like a large scoop, with the upper half of the bill forming a nearly flat lid. Pelipper do not have a proper stomach. Instead, they pump digestive acids into the bill itself and digest it there. Because of this pelipper have to land shortly after filling their bill with food in order to safely digest it without the risk of acid sloshing outside of their very durable bill. A pelipper with a full beak is also quite heavy, making it difficult to fly even with aerokinesis. Pelipper’s lungs are much stronger than wingull and allow them to breathe even if their mouth is closed for several hours. Their nostrils are located beneath their eyes.

    Pelipper have waterproof pale blue feathers. They have short, thin legs and webbed feet. Unlike most other subspecies, the Alolan pelipper has a trail of feathers that it uses to sense the wind. Alolan pelipper also have a much longer wingspan and wing surface area than any other subspecies. As the largest and heaviest subspecies, they need large wings to catch air currents and stay aloft. Between these changes, the Alolan pelipper looks more like a conventional bird of prey than other subspecies do. There is a theory, preliminarily supported by DNA tests, that the pelipper in Alola may have had widespread interbreeding with toucannon and mantine in the past. At present wild pelipper infrequently leave their flock to mate with another species of bird pokémon. The resulting offspring are sometimes reproductively viable and are often accepted into a pelipper flock if they wish to join.

    Pelipper can have a wingspan of up to 1.8 meters and a mass of 30 kilograms. They usually live for eight to twelve years in the wild and up to twenty in captivity.

    Behavior

    Individual pelipper have moderately powerful aerokinesis and water elemental abilities. In large groups they can combine their gusts to form large, powerful storms that have minimal impact on individual pelipper. It is unclear exactly how they manage this coordination as they do not appear to possess a hivemind and, while intelligent, there are far smarter birds that cannot coordinate as well as pelipper can.

    Pelipper’s storms are their primary means of hunting. Their preferred food are wishiwashi. Turbulent waters disrupt wishiwashi’s ability to school, making it hard for them to defend against pelipper scooping them up. Other surface-dwelling fish such as finneon and luvdisc are also often unable to navigate well during pelipper storms.

    The Alolan pelipper is more audacious in confronting other birds than any other tropical subspecies. They will often swarm the rookeries where migrating birds congregate. Roughly two-thirds of the flock will keep up a powerful storm to ground or disorient the adult birds. The rest will swoop in and try to make off with eggs or young birds. Braviary are generally able to power through the winds and can easily take down a pelipper. Mandibuzz have taken to roosting further inland or placing their nest inside of a crevice or other area difficult for pelipper to reach. Hawlucha and delibird have fewer adaptations, forcing them to live within the same range as braviary or dragons to stand a chance.

    Pelipper have a few predators themselves. Talonflame are skilled fliers that mind water far less than other fire-types. They are known to kill pelipper for food and sport. Vikavolt show a particular resentment towards pelipper and hodad will sometimes cull pelipper colonies that get too brash. Pelipper are salamence’s favorite prey; there is very little even a flock of pelipper can do against a large airborne dragon.

    The Alolan pelipper is the only subspecies that does not rest in cliff faces or trees. Instead a flock descends upon a beach and makes itself at home. On most days scores of pelipper can be seen wandering around Hau’oli Beach. They sometimes wander into the city to explore. If provoked pelipper rear up and start flapping their wings while honking as loud as they can. This summons more pelipper who engage in the same behavior. Grounded pelipper are not particularly strong but this scares off most predators that attempt to attack their nesting grounds.

    If intimidation does not scare predators away some pelipper will spew the acidic, partially digested content of their bills at the attacker. Because this costs them a meal it is a last resort.

    Husbandry

    It is best to obtain a pelipper as either an egg or a wingull. They will be ornery regardless, but the younger a pelipper is exposed to humans the less aggressive it will be. Generally, pelipper are tolerant of their own trainer after a few days, weeks or months of adjustment. They will also usually harass any other human they come across using the method detailed in the Behavior section.

    Pelipper are perfectly tolerant of pokéballs during the night and the bulk of the day. They prefer to be fed in the morning and be given a few hours to sit still and digest food. When necessary, pelipper feedings can be pushed back until the afternoon or evening to allow for a morning battle. However, they will be somewhat aggressive until fed. Wingull are more tolerant of their pokéball than pelipper and are far more tolerant of varying feeding schedules.

    Wingull and pelipper should be fed diets consisting largely of fish, poultry and eggs. Some wingull enjoy berries, but the birds cannot digest them well enough to be primarily herbivorous. Pelipper tend not to enjoy anything but meat and eggs. They should be fed roughly half the volume of their bill every day and the full volume after strenuous battles or training.

    Once a pelipper has adapted to having a trainer they will typically demand nearly all of their trainer’s time when they are outside of their pokéball. They do not tend to play with other pokémon aside from other wingull or pelipper. As such many pelipper trainers find it easier to keep a mated pair than an individual.

    Pelipper are clever. However, their lack of a functional beak or talons means that most bird enrichment items will not work for them. Some trainers have reported that pelipper will push around and harass a beach ball for hours at a time treating it like a living organism intruding upon their territory. In general visually interesting objects or items a pelipper can shove away make for the best toys.

    Wingull are even more curious and playful than pelipper. They also have a much more useful beak. Puzzle items that require manipulation to obtain treats are always popular with the gulls. Small eggs or seeds make for good rewards. Wingull can also be target-trained, biting at items in exchange for food. More than anything, wingull enjoy being allowed to fly around an area and explore it. However there are many predators willing to attack a solitary wingull. If a wingull is allowed to explore they must be supervised (ideally by an electric- or ice-type that can scare other birds away).

    Wingull and pelipper do not have an anus. Instead, they dispose of waste by regurgitating it. Wingull can be housebroken and taught to do so outside or in a specific location. If they did not learn as a wingull, pelipper will refuse to learn on principle. Because their digestive processes are not particularly efficient, a pelipper can produce a lot of waste. Trainers of non-housebroken pelipper should be prepared to have to clean it up at inconvenient times and in inconvenient places.

    Illness

    Because their beak is not good for grooming, pelipper struggle to keep parasites at bay. In the wild the fierce storms pelipper fly in clear away lice and fleas.Captive pelipper that have not learned how to create a storm on their own do not have this advantage. It is important for trainers to brush their pelipper once every two to four days. Unfortunately, pelipper have a strong dislike for having their feathers touched even by trusted humans. But an unbrushed pelipper will quickly develop disease or feather problems that make it harder for them to swim or fly. While these can be medically treated, it is ultimately easier to just regularly groom your pelipper, however unpleasant it may be for everyone involved.

    Evolution

    Pelipper has a combination of normal growth and flash evolution. Wingull steadily increase in size after birth. After they gain enough experience with flight, aerokinesis and their environment, they undergo flash evolution into a pelipper of roughly the same mass. They then steadily grow until they reach their final size.

    In captivity, wingull evolution can be sped up by providing them with plenty of toys and chances to explore. Learning new moves and battling also accelerate the process. Conversely, an everstone can keep a wingull from evolving. There is some evidence that wingull learn skills more readily than pelipper and they are generally easier to keep in line. Some trainers have kept their wingull from evolving for the full course of their life with no apparent side effects. However, pelipper are far better battlers. Trainers on an island challenge should evolve their wingull at the first opportunity.

    Battle

    Pelipper are far less powerful on their own than in a flock. The Alolan pelipper’s size makes it better at fighting alone than most subspecies but it will still take extensive training to teach one to summon and control storms. This is the primary advantage of capturing a wild pelipper; they will have been taught by other pelipper since birth how to master the winds. Trainers willing to exchange more hardships in husbandry for a simpler training process should keep this in mind.

    There are many other pokémon that can alter the weather on small temporal and spatial scales. Some, such as castform and politoed, are even better than pelipper at summoning rain. But pelipper is the only pokémon in Alola that can instinctively whip up a full storm, gale-force winds and all. Other birds can be taught to summon rain and provide wind on their own, but their rain tends to take longer to summon and then falters shortly after they leave the field. When all of this is taken together, pelipper is easily the best cornerstone for rain teams on the competitive circuit.

    Pelipper functions as an arena-controlling zoner in battle. They take to the skies and spend most of their time and effort controlling their storm. When they must attack directly they fire off water-attacks or manipulate gusts of wind into striking their opponent. A skilled pelipper trainer will only have their pokémon land to use roost. Most pelipper on the competitive battling scene carry toxic and scald to wear down opponents over time.

    Pelipper still have two glaring weaknesses. Electric-types can usually target and knock them out easily and pelipper have few options for defending against thunderbolts. They are also not fast movers on the ground and must be in the air to control their storm. Once the first thunderbolt knocks them down to earth, they can very seldom get back up before they are knocked out entirely. The second weakness is to more imposing birds or dragons. As in the wild braviary, talonflame and salamence can usually fly through a pelipper’s storm and land a quick knockout in close-quarters combat.

    In addition to their role as a rain-setter pelipper are good at taking down teams that only have a rock or ice type as their bird check. However the recent rise of vikavolt has been horrible for pelipper and for rain teams as a whole.

    It is extremely unlikely that a trainer on the island challenge can teach a pelipper to summon a full storm before they complete all of the trials. Pelipper are neither bulky nor powerful enough to hold their own after the second island. They still make for excellent pets after the challenge ends but trainers should manage their expectations during the actual challenge itself.

    Absent a full storm pelipper function as relatively bulky but weak birds. They should try to stay in the air as much as possible and rely on wind and water attacks to take down opponents from a distance. If they do get knocked down pelipper have few good options up close. Their main defense mechanism in the wild, regurgitation, requires feeding the pelipper a large meal before battle. This keeps them from flying and also only works once. As such it is not a particularly good strategy. Toxic and scald are the best moves for the amateur’s pelipper. Whirlwind is an option for warding off losing matchups. Despite these tricks, when pelipper find themselves at a disadvantage they often lose spectacularly and quickly. It is unlikely they have a chance to land a whirlwind.

    Wingull play very differently from pelipper. Generally they will need to get up close and strike with their beak. Wingull also have rather weak wings and need assistance to get into the air. The solution to this is that a trainer should toss their wingull at the start of the match. Then all effort should be put into making sure the wingull stays airborne. A grounded wingull can still often hold their own against weaker opponents through intimidation displays and pecks but they are much less useful than a wingull able to circle their opponent and wait for the opportune moment to strike.

    Acquisition

    Wingull and pelipper are found on practically every beach in Alola, except for areas where braviary are actively breeding. They also avoid the black sand beaches on Ula’Ula. Wingull require a Class I license to adopt or purchase and a Class II license to capture. Pelipper require a Class III license to capture, adopt or purchase. Trainers should be warned that approaching a pelipper flock with the intent of capturing a wingull or pelipper will likely lead to a confrontation with the entire flock. It is best to pick on isolated pelipper off exploring.

    Wingull that have grown accustomed to captivity generally fare poorly in the wild. Some pelipper owners eventually decide cleaning up after their pet is more trouble than it’s worth. As such there are usually wingull and pelipper in the major pokémon shelters. These birds will also have already acclimated to people and been housebroken (if possible). The easiest way to obtain a wingull or pelipper is to adopt one.

    Alternatively, the Seafolk sell pelipper that are trained to manipulate winds on their own. They typically charge between $5,000 and $10,000 for one. This prices out most trainers on an island challenge, but established trainers who want to explore rain teams may be interested.

    Breeding

    Pelipper mate for life. Generally a male interested in a female will go out and hunt well before dawn, before the flock wakes and conducts their own hunt. The male will fill up their bill with fish but not begin digesting it. They will then swim to shore (it is usually too difficult to fly solo with a full beak). The male will find their prospective mate and present them with the catch. If the female accepts it, they will begin to stay close to each other at all times, seldom getting more than 15 meters apart.

    Pelipper breed at the height of rainy season, typically in January or February. Most migratory birds are absent at this time. The female lays a single egg each season. The parents will spend most of their time huddled around the egg. If small predators approach one parent will leave to harass them away. If a large predator is spotted near the flock half of the birds will take to the air and attempt to force them away. The other half will guard the eggs. Similarly, half of the flock will leave each morning to hunt. They will then share part of their catch with the partner watching the egg. Males and females alternate hunting and defense duties.

    It is impossible to identify the sex of a pelipper or wingull without very close examination of their genitals. This is best done by a veterinarian while the bird is under anesthesia. The procedure is viewed as elective and nurses at public centers will charge for it. Unless a trainer wishes to breed their pelipper it is easiest to just randomly assign a gender. The pelipper will not understand or mind.

    Trainers who do wish to breed their pelipper are encouraged to get their pokémon tested. Then they should adopt or purchase a pelipper of the opposite sex. The male should be given the chance to hunt on their own until they court the female. Females are pregnant for roughly three weeks before laying their egg, which will take another month to hatch. Once the egg has been laid neither member of the pair should be withdrawn into their pokéball or disturbed outside of feedings.

    Pelipper are devoted parents to their wingull for the first two months. The parents will behave very aggressively towards anyone except for their trainer during this time and one should always be outside of their pokéball with the child. Around the two month mark the parents will begin losing interest and the wingull will become essentially independent. Normal husbandry routines may be resumed at this time.

    Subspecies

    Most of the eight subspecies of pelipper are rather similar to the Alolan pelipper. They have slight differences in build, color and behaviors to adapt to their environments, prey and predators. Only one is particularly notable.

    The blessed, or African, pelipper is the most migratory subspecies. They seldom settle down for long, preferring to constantly travel across the continent bringing heavy rains. The blessed pelipper flies at night and collects moisture. Their wingbeats and winds can sound like drums and whispers, respectively. One of the oldest pelipper in the flock stays above the clouds, occasionally dipping down to communicate with the others. It is believed that this elder is navigating by starlight. Just before dawn, the flock abruptly stops and circles in place. They unleash all collected moisture in a single, powerful rain. Then individual members of the flock begin to swoop down and pick on anything scurrying for shelter. They also scavenge any fire types killed by the torrent.

    The blessed pelipper rests during the day. They are the most curious and intelligent subspecies and some individuals will wander to nearby settlements to exchange songs. The blessed pelipper is very skilled at manipulating sound using their throat pouches and they have a very good individual and collective memory. Anthropologists have taken to eavesdropping on blessed pelipper flocks to learn long-forgotten words and ancient melodies.

    Once a year, all of the blessed pelipper fly to Mt. Kilimanjaro. They intermingle and breed there. Members are exchanged between flocks and, at the end of breeding season, they all rise above the Serengeti in one massive swarm of birds before dispersing again. One female remains on the mountain and waits there for the rest to return.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
  16. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Alakazam (Abra, Kadabra)

    Overview

    Pokémon are generally considered to be separate from other lifeforms based on their ability to manipulate elements. In essence, there is one set of physics and biology that binds humans and other animals and a whole separate set that governs pokémon.

    As with everything in nature that clean binary gets messier the more it’s examined. Some pokémon are so similar to baseline plants or animals that only genetic testing has marked them as pokémon. And some humans can do things that violate simple biological explanation. The most notable subgroup of these superpowered humans are the psychics. Human psychics are split into nearly a dozen subclasses and scientific research as to how and why psychic powers work is still a new field. But the psychics themselves are not new. In ancient times, they were viewed as priests of the gods and often played outsized roles in court politics. There is some evidence that they played a major role in the early domestication and taming of pokémon.

    They also played a key role in the spread of alakazam.

    Alakazam possess an incredible intellect. They are also some of the most powerful telepaths and telekinetics in the world. Yet alakazam’s greatests gifts hold them back in the wild. From their final evolution on alakzam scan the minds of everyone around them. They reflexively store most of this information and almost never forget any of it. But the more information an alakazam has downloaded, the less quickly they can process all of it. Alakazam are also deeply afraid of making poor decisions and looking foolish which compels them to check their entire memory for relevant information before acting. As such an elderly alakazam can stand motionless for hours or even days before making even a simple decision.

    Humans can be very helpful in this regard. They can make most of the short term decisions for an alakazam. If the decision leads to a bad result, the alakazam sees themselves as virtually blameless and they feel only mild shame from it. In exchange alakazam make for fearsome protectors, powerful telepaths and very wise advisers. However, because alakazam are constantly sifting through the thoughts and memories of everyone around them only natural psychics can withstand their presence for long enough to gain their trust. All others will develop horrible migraines and, if exposed for months on end, cancer or dementia.

    Because of their utility to psychics and psychics’ prominent role in early civilization, alakazam were traded between courts and brought by conquerors to their new lands. In time, captive alakazam spread throughout most of the old world. In the wild they are still limited to areas with either large silver deposits or a long lineage of alakazam that have left their spoons behind.

    Alola’s silver deposits are so small and diluted that commercial mining is infeasible and alakzam were introduced less than a century ago. These factors sharply limit the size and range of the population to a handful of small islands in the “Poké Pelago” and the city of Hau’oli. The former site has several active mineshafts that let abra get below the surface and begin sifting for silver. The latter has an abundance of silver that can be stolen. As such abra are usually seen as a pest species in Alola.

    There have been serious discussions of culling the wild population and imposing a mandatory genetic registry of existing alakazam. These efforts have never moved past the proposal stage. It is extremely difficult to capture an abra and even harder to kill one. In practice, only psychics and baseline humans with highly specialized (and expensive) equipment can do so. Alakazam have a history of destroying said equipment when they learn about it. Human psychics are often reluctant to help destroy a pool of potential partners.

    Trainers who test beneath a 150 on a PSY test are strongly discouraged from training abra. But if you happen to have psychic gifts, alakazam should be seriously considered as a partner.

    Physiology

    All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure psychic-types. This ruling is not controversial.

    Abra are bipedal. Their torso, groin and feet are covered in thick, tan, leathery skin. Their arms and legs do not have as much protection and are instead covered in fine tan hairs. The skin covering their torso is either brown or, more rarely, purple.

    Abra’s head is disproportionately large for their size. Most of it is also covered in tan fur. They have large eyes and vaguely feline ears. While abra mostly experience the world through telepathy they require powerful senses to watch out for the dark types they cannot psychically detect. Abra also have a long, thin tail.

    Kadabra for the most part look like larger and bulkier abra, but there are a few notable differences. Kadabra have a much longer and fluffier tail. The volume of this tail usually exceeds that of the rest of their body. Kadabra gain a small ridge under their groin that appears to help with moving the tail. They also gain a set of red markings on their groin and forehead. These markings are unique for each individual. Kadabra also have much longer and sharper claws than abra do. In addition, kadabra grow a long moustache that droops down past their chin.

    The main external differences between kadabra and alakazam are that the latter loses their tail and red markings. Alakazam also tend to have much larger heads than kadabra. An alakazam’s head continues to grow throughout its life. While the muscles in their frame clearly cannot support this, no stage of the evolutionary line has any particular reliance on their muscles. Sometimes a cornered kadabra or alakazam might lash out with their claws, but even these movements are powered by auto-telekinesis rather than any sort of muscles. In fact, alakazam’s musculature is only powerful enough to keep them alive and slowly moving for roughly one hour.

    Alakzam grow up to 1.6 meters tall. Excluding their spoons they weigh only about 25 kilograms. Alakazam live for up to eight years in the wild or twelve in captivity.

    Behavior

    Wild alakazam are nocturnal and forage under the cover of darkness. This initially confused researchers because alakazam’s greatest threats are dark-types, which are generally nocturnal. However, this makes a degree of sense. During the day alakazam rely on their telepathy to detect threats and teleport away from them. They cannot easily read dark types, meaning that one can ambush and kill alakazam without much effort. So long as they are awake at night their powerful vision and hearing can help them detect predators.

    Abra do little but sleep and teleport away from danger, often at the same time. Sometimes they even forage while asleep by levitating or teleporting up to the canopy and telekinetically picking berries to eat. Trainers with any desire to interact with a wild abra will likely be unable to do so as any intention to approach the pokémon will be interpreted as hostility and trigger a teleport.

    Kadabra are only a little less lethargic than abra. They begin actively exploring human minds shortly after evolution to pick up on information they should know. But they are still very anxious and will only approach human settlements in the dead of night. Should anyone begin to stir the kadabra will teleport away before they are detected

    Unlike abra, kadabra and alakazam are fiercely territorial. Some common areas are recognized around silver deposits or human settlements. Outside of these areas every single tree is claimed by one kadabra or alakazam and one only. They will not enter the territory of another even to mate or challenge another alakazam. Instead they will go to the border of the territory and send out telepathic waves inviting the territory’s owner to come closer. Then they will either mate or engage in a contest of minds and wills until one party backs down and cedes part of their territory. This has led to viral videos of two alakazam staring at each other for hours, or even days, with no outward signs of aggression. Do not be fooled; these alakazam are at their most dangerous. Getting near a territorial dispute will give all but the strongest of psychics powerful migraines and possible mental illness.

    Kadabra and alakazam are well known for their massive silver spoons. These channel and amplify their powers. This makes alakazam the most powerful terrestrial telepaths, legendary pokémon aside. Some alakazam do forge their spoons from earth. They begin to telekinetically sift through large quantities of soil and take out the trace amounts of silver until they have enough to assemble their spoon. As their life comes to a natural end, many alakazam will bury or hide their spoons. They leave a subtle telepathic ringing in them that attracts abra in need of a spoon. About half of kadabra in Alola get their first spoon this way. Kadabra tend to create their own second spoon and leave the buried ones for abra.

    It is unclear exactly how alakazam turn tiny fragments of silver into a solid object. When asked the head of the Pokémon Studies department at the University of Hau’oli (an alakazam trainer himself) shrugged and said, “Magic, I think.” Alakazam silver is chemically different from normal silver. It is far harder to bend or break and does not corrode. There is also a popular rumor that food eaten from an alakazam’s spoon tastes better than normal. This is actually true. Sometimes an elderly alakazam will leave one or both spoons to their trainer. There is usually an understanding that they will be gifted to the alakazam’s children when it comes time for them to evolve. But the alakazam will also usually lace the spoon with telepathic waves that induce mild feelings of pleasure and satisfaction in anyone who comes into contact with them as a parting gift to their trainer.

    Alakazam are rather short lived for an intelligent humanoid species; most true psychics have human-comparable life spans and several intelligent species can live for centuries. Alakazam owe their short lives to their greatest gift: their intellect. In the wild elderly alakazam become so burdened with stored information that even simple decisions about food become impossible to make before they must sleep again. Eventually wild alakazam begin to starve to death. When this time comes, they will usually set out to hide their spoons. Then they will retreat to their favorite place in their territory, sit down and stay motionless until death takes them.

    Even captive alakazam tend not to live much longer. Because they usually die around eight years of age in the wild macroevolution has not selected against deformities and illnesses that kill an alakazam later on. As such, modern medicine can only rarely allow an alakzam to see their fifteenth birthday.

    Husbandry

    Abra can be competently raised by non-psychics, but it is a rather difficult endeavor. Non-psychic trainers are not encouraged to raise a wild-caught abra as they will probably escape at the earliest opportunity. Already tame abra are a different story as they generally recognize their trainer and stay within 30 yards at all times. They will seldom allow anyone to come closer and will simply teleport away when approached. Because of this habit they will need to be fed by placing berries in a tray and leaving them alone. Abra should be fed roughly one-tenth of their body weight each day.

    Fortunately all stages of the evolutionary line are very tolerant of pokéballs. Kadabra and alakazam will prefer socialization time to pick up new knowledge, but abra only need to be released for feeding. Unlike slowking and oranguru, alakazam absorb information passively. They also grow more and more wary of acquiring new information as they age, leading to them becoming rather reclusive. Most appreciate talking to their trainer, but they will not need puzzles or books to learn from. Alakazam are also not particularly emotional or affectionate; most conversations with them tend to be about the business at hand or intellectual curiosities rather than either party’s feelings.

    Illness

    Outside of old age alakazam seldom get sick. They groom themselves by telekinetically lifting all particles and parasites off of themselves up to six times a day and they can generally detect rot with a quick telekinetic scan of an object. Poisoning and infection are rare. Alakazam also heal rather quickly on their own. When cut they can create barriers to hold blood inside of them, and they can set their own bones when needed.

    Very strong physical hits can potentially kill an alakazam. Most high-level trainers know to pull their punches against alakazam; in return, alakazam trainers should know the limits of their pokémon and withdraw them whenever the potential for immediate lethal harm exists.

    As they age alakazam begin to develop many health problems. Most illnesses affecting the body can be easily cured. Diseases of the brain are much more difficult. Strokes are the most common cause of death for alakazam. There are relatively few warning signs, beyond perhaps a telepathic warning from the alakazam themselves. Brain cancer and dementia are also rather common over the age of ten. Due to the risks of a sick and unrestrained psychic, most alakazam will request either euthanasia or the right to retreat to the wilderness to die alone when their time draws near. This is a decision the alakazam must be allowed to make for themselves, however long it takes them.

    Evolution

    As abra grow up, their tail begins to get bushier and their armor gets bulkier. At about the time they physically begin to resemble kadabra they will set out to acquire their first spoon. At some point in the future the kadabra will create their second spoon. Shortly after this their tail will fall off and their red markings will fade. The timing of these events is highly variable from pokémon to pokémon; the only real constant is that most alakazam will have reached their final stage by their fourth birthday.

    The formal cutoff between evolutionary stages are marked by the acquisition or creation of the first and second spoon.

    Battle

    Alakazam is occasionally the single most used pokémon on the competitive pokémon scene. This is due to two main factors. To start with, alakazam are undeniably powerful. They think quickly, can teleport away from strikes, and their telepathic assaults can quickly faint almost anything that isn’t another psychic, a dark-type, an extraterrestrial, a hive mind or an inorganic machine. While most trainers have at least one pokémon in those categories, once those checks are removed alakzam can be terrifying sweepers.

    Human psychics are also disproportionally represented in the upper echelons of competitive play. Humans with a PSY score of 150 or higher make up less than 0.4% of the population. Those with PSY scores of 200 or higher make up less than 0.1%. Yet, among the Top 100 trainers, 17 test above 150 and 5 test above 200. All but two of those trainers have used an alakazam over the course of their career.

    Twelve of the Top 100 trainers have an alakzam on their core team. While this may not sound dominant, only four pokémon are used more. No pokémon has ever had more than 20 ranked trainers using it at a time.

    In competitive play alakzam usually function as rather simple sweepers. If they must fight something resistant to telepathic attack they can use focus blast, signal beam or shadow ball. Alakazam have surprisingly small and narrow elemental reserves leaving them mostly confined to the above three coverage attacks and hidden power.

    There is an adage that if an alakazam is not attacking it is losing. This is not entirely true. Alakazam have access to a few defensive and utility options. Teleport combined with telepathic scans for incoming attacks are the most common strategy. Some incredibly fast pokémon can form and unleash an attack so quickly that alakazam do not have the time to prepare a teleport. In these cases alakazam also have access to recover, barrier, reflect, and light screen. Even a protected alakazam is still frail. Sometimes trainers using a dual screens alakazam forget this to their detriment. Alakazam can also use trick, encore and disable to prevent opponents from attacking at all. The attacks often fail to phase purely offensive opponents.

    Alakazam can be checked and countered. While they are terrifyingly powerful they are also perhaps the frailest pokémon that sees regular competitive use. Anything fast enough to score a hit on an alakazam has a good chance of knocking it out or forcing the trainer to withdraw it (see Illness). Area of effect attacks can also make it harder for an alakazam to simply teleport out of the way. Telepathically resistant pokémon also give alakazam no end of trouble. Vikavolt has a mindset just alien enough that alakazam usually struggle to crack it and bring them down before they take a thunderbolt. Some powerful dark-types such as hydreigon, gharain, spiritomb and tyranitar also check alakazam. All but spirtomb will not appreciate taking a focus blast but it usually will not knock them out in less than three hits.

    On the island challenge trainers with a kadabra or alakazam will likely need to put less thought into using them than they would on the competitive scene. Almost nothing can withstand the combination of shadow ball, focus blast and psychic. While the latter two moves might be difficult to acquire TMs for, alakazam benefit from passive telepathic learning. If they spend enough time around or battling against pokémon that know those moves they will pick them up as well.

    Abra will not be willing to fight until they are very near evolution. Otherwise they will simply sense the intent to harm them the moment their opponent is on the field and then teleport out of bounds.

    Acquisition

    Kadabra and alakazam require a Class V license to possess for any trainer with a PSY score below 150. As such, trainers who do not qualify or expect to qualify are advised against obtaining an abra, even from another trainer. Non-psychic trainers can still capture, purchase or adopt an abra with a Class III license, but they will have to forfeit or release the pokémon upon evolution if they do not have a Class V license.

    The rest of this guide will assume the trainer has a PSY score above 150.

    Abra and kadabra can be captured with a Class I license, or purchased or adopted with a Class III license. The disparity is designed to get psychics to capture abra rather than adopt them. There is no compelling husbandry or safety reason for this disparity. It is simply designed to get trainers to capture wild specimens and remove a nuisance.

    Alakazam cannot be captured from the wild as they are generally too stubborn and powerful to be captured and trained safely. They can be adopted or purchased with a Class IV license.

    As mentioned above, abra and kadabra are most common in the area immediately around Hau’oli City. Zoroark predation has led to a decline in numbers near Route 1. In practice most kadabra are found in the woods immediately north of Hau’oli City. Some abra also live in the largest urban parks.

    Kadabra and abra are far more common in the minor islands in and around the Poké Pelago. Trainers will need to pay a fee to access these areas and another fee for each pokémon captured.

    Breeding

    Alakazam mate once in their life. They will head to the edge of their territory and send signals to another alakazam. The two will meet at the border and have a silent discussion. This conversation can be broken several times for sleep or foraging. Neither will ever leave their own territory throughout this process.

    Alakazam and the true psychics form a strange family of pokémon that has neither sexual nor asexual reproduction. Instead there is a meeting of the minds that results in the spontaneous creation of four to six eggs. Both parents will alternate caring for the eggs until they hatch. This takes about ten weeks.

    After the eggs hatch alakazam pay no attention to their children or mates whatsoever.

    Gender appears to be vestigial in alakazam. Homosexual and heterosexual reproduction are both possible. Alakazam appear to select mates based on territory size and intelligence more than gender.

    In the wild alakazam do not crossbreed with other species. In captivity they can reproduce with most true psychics. Alakazam prefer not to mate with other party members. Instead trainers should partner with the trainer of a potential mate to arrange meetings. Both trainers should be present and the meeting should happen on neutral ground to best simulate the conditions of wild encounters. After reproduction occurs the eggs can be divided between the trainers. Alakazam need not look after their eggs directly so long as they believe that the eggs are safe. While they are comfortable living with their children until they evolve, they will not assist in caring for them.

    Subspecies

    Some alakazam from different regions have slightly different colorations, personalities, and abilities. The alakazam of Greece are well known for their extremely high wisdom and intelligence but rather low lifespans and offensive power. Congolese alakazam have green stripes and a much wider telepathic range than the other subspecies in exchange for offensive telepathic ability. Tibetan alakzam have rather thick fur and exceptional teleportation abilities but weaker mundane senses than most other subspecies.

    The alakazam in Alola come from a mix of several different breeds. Inter-breed pairings are very common in both the wild and captivity. Individual alakzam have different strengths and weaknesses depending on their lineage.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  17. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Persian (Meowth)

    Overview

    Historically, the popularity of torracat in Alola has limited the desire for any other cat species. Other islands’ experiences with invasive cats have also led the Commonwealth government to restrict feline importation. Pyroar, their most notable failure, is a large predator that only occupies territory and a niche once held by torracat. As such pyroar’s introduction has really only hurt one native species.

    Persian is the only other cat to gain any sort of foothold in Alola.

    The species was brought by early trading expeditions from Japan, the only place where they are endemic. For a few generations persian were the beloved pets of the Alolan royal family. Then King Ka’eo ascended to the throne. One of his first acts was to give away all of the persian in the royal court. It is believed that he did so out of a long-running spat with a persian during his childhood. In any case, many of the persian found their way into the homes of Japanese immigrants in Malie City or the rising merchants of Hau’oli City. Their owners viewed Persian ownership as a status symbol that set them apart from the torracat of the lower classes.

    Ironically, the Alolan persian has had extensive interbreeding with torracat during the last few centuries. This, combined with some breeders actively selecting for darker coats, led to the differences between the Japanese and Alolan persian.

    Persian are proud and temperamental, but they can be loyal and affectionate to their trainer. Unfortunately the black cats are not the strongest in battle. Trainers looking to add a meowth or persian to their team should be willing to trade a lack of power in the short term for a for companion after the journey ends.

    Physiology

    Meowth and persian are both classified as pure dark-types. This is due to the unique properties of their thick fur, which disrupts telepathy of all kinds. A shorn persian has no special psychic resistance. As such there is a push for a dual dark- and normal-typing. Because meowth are born with a coat of fur and never lose it, the Department of Agriculture has previously rejected a typing change.

    While mostly quadrupedal, meowth are capable of standing on their hind legs for short periods. Their coat is dark gray with slightly lighter fur at the end of their feet and tip of their tail. Meowth have typically feline paws on both their arms and legs. They also have a long prehensile tail they can use for balance and grip. Meowth’s most notable feature are their wide, ovular heads. Part of this shape is an exaggeration created by their fur; their actual head is about half as large as it appears. Meowth have long, prominent whiskers and ears. They also have what appears to be a golden coin growing out of their forehead. This object is actually metallic. It is slowly grown from small quantities of scrap metal that meowth eat. While meowth can live without it, the coin is directly attached to their skull. This makes removal only possible through surgery and almost always inadvisable. It is unknown at this time what purpose the coin serves

    Persian are slender and quadrupedal. Their claws are much longer than a mewoth’s and their ears are rounded rather than pointed. Persian also lose their coin in favor of a small gem. The color of this gem varies but it is usually blue. The gem is bioluminescent and can be used to provide dim silvery light to help persian see on the darkest of nights.

    Meowth and persian produce sounds over a range of pitches very similar to humans. Persian screams sound uncannily like a screaming human woman and they make them often to scare away other cats or predators. Roughly one-eighth of the Malie Police Department’s nighttime calls are in response to persian screams.

    Persian grow up to 1.3 meters in length including their tail. They typically have a mass around 15 kilograms. The average persian lives for about 12 years in the wild and 18 in captivity. The oldest Alolan persian on record lived to be 31 years old.

    Behavior

    Meowth tend to stay on the ground when they are not with their mother or sleeping. They hunt at night. Most of meowth’s prey are sick, wounded, or starving rattata, although they will also hunt insect pokémon and abra. Unlike persian, meowth are rather social. After they leave their mother but before they evolve meowth congregate in groups to sleep, groom and socialize. However, they hunt on their own.

    Persian occupy an entirely different physical space and ecological role in the environment than meowth. While they tend to ignore or assist banks of meowth, they are fiercely territorial towards other persian. Persian are built for the arboreal life. Their sharp retractable claws and long prehensile tail allow them to move along tree branches and rooftops almost as easily as they move on land. Persian can jump up to four meters vertically or six horizontally. Their light is nearly indistinguishable from moonlight and thus doesn’t trigger panicked reactions from drowsy prey species. Persian primarily hunt small bird pokémon resting for the night. While they love eggs and will happily eat any they find, there are not many adult bird pokémon in Alola that a persian can beat in a straight fight. If persian cannot find any birds they are prone to lying in wait on tree branches and then pouncing on any prey that walks beneath them.

    Persian are often described as cruel. It is true that persian are prone to breaking the wings of their prey before killing and consuming them. However, this is often to provide their babies practice in killing without subjecting them to actual danger. When female persian do this while they are not nursing or pregnant it is usually a sign that they are in heat and would like to mate. Males are considerably less likely to prolong killings than females are.

    Meowth and persian are among the most playful of feline pokémon. In the wild they will approach and explore any changes in their territory. They will occasionally dissect unfamiliar species, but only after killing them. Persian are prone to digging through unsecured garbage cans to find new playthings. Meowth do this as well, but their purpose is mostly to find metal.

    Husbandry

    Meowth are rather curious and social as well as nocturnal. These traits make them somewhat more difficult to care for than litten, eevee, and most canine pokémon.

    A stationary trainer can provide a meowth with many toys or periodically rearrange their environment. Meowth should be played with around dusk and dawn. At night they should be given access to their trainer’s bed. They will disturb their trainer’s sleep on most nights, but if physically separated from their trainer they are liable to scream like a murder victim until they are given attention. Meowth should not be put into their pokéball at night if the environment is safe for them to explore; containing them for too many nights in a row will lead to the pokémon becoming very irritated when released.

    Most successful meowth trainers have at least one other social nocturnal pokémon on their team. This pokémon can keep the meowth company at night and generally keep the cat away from their trainer. A powerful nocturnal pokémon can also supervise a meowth during journeys as they explore their environment. It should be noted that persian will not usually be willing to supervise a meowth and will almost never tolerate another persian (see Breeding).

    Meowth can be fed eggs, fish, and most types of meat. Some meowth have a preference as to whether their food should be cooked or raw but they will usually tolerate it either way. Their diet should be shifted periodically to prevent them from getting bored. Metal supplements should be purchased from specialty pokémon stores and fed as directed. Meowth require only very small amounts of metal in their diets and trainers trying to play it by ear will usually give their meowth far too much. This can lead to metal poisoning (see Illness). Both persian and meowth should be fed roughly 4% of their body weight per day.

    Persian are nearly as playful as meowth but they express it differently. Traveling trainers should try and camp near trees and allow their persian to explore at night. This is banned in some protected areas or near vulnerable bird populations. Check with local Pokémon Centers as to where persian can be left unsupervised.

    Stationary trainers should provide their persian with many perches and walkways positioned so that the persian can move from one to another without touching the ground. They will usually drag their toys up onto a perch to play with. Unfortunately persian have a habit of viewing anything shiny or unfamiliar as a toy. This can lead to all of their trainer’s keys and jewelry being hidden on top of cabinets or on high shelves.

    The bulk of a persian’s diet should be made up of eggs and poultry. Other meats should be provided from time to time. Persian generally will not eat generic cat mixes and will need to be fed fresh raw or cooked meat.

    Persian will generally want to be in the same space as their trainer around dusk and dawn. Sometimes they will approach their trainer to be pet. They will generally hiss or scream at any other humans who try to touch them. At night persian will alternate between exploring their perches and lying down near their trainer.

    Illness

    The most common illness among captive meowth s metal poisoning. If a meowth is exposed to too much metal it may vomit, run a fever, become lethargic or, in extreme cases, die. If your meowth exhibits any of these symptoms or an abrupt change in behaviors cut metal out of their diet for a week. If the symptoms persist consult a veterinarian.

    Metal deficiency is possible but rare in captive meowth. A metal-deficient meowth will begin to ignore orders, rummage through garbage or attempt to eat jewelry or electronics. The solution to this problem is to gradually increase the amount of metal in the meowth’s diet until the symptoms stop. It should be noted that meowth naturally hoard and are fascinated by shiny objects. It is only when they begin to bite into metallic objects outside of their food bowl that action should be taken.

    Evolution

    Meowth gradually evolve into persian. They become lethargic for a time and seek out easy kills, including garbage left out by humans. Over the course of one to two months their spine extends and they stop standing bipedallyTowards the end of this process the meowth’s coin will fall off and reveal a gem underneath it.

    In the wild this process occurs earlier and faster if the meowth is integrated into a bank of other meowth. The evolving pokémon’s comrades will provide protection and food during this critical period. Captive meowth also experience a faster, earlier, and smoother evolution if they have a great deal of trust in their trainer or teammates.

    Battle

    No professional trainer has used a persian on their main team since 1904. In the very early days of international leagues it was common for nobles and businessmen from Japan to use them. They were met with little success and gradually stopped being used.

    Persian have some of the tools needed to succeed. They are fast and agile as well as naturally predatory and clever. This means that, in theory, they should be able to learn and use a variety of utility moves while retaining enough power to take down opponents. Combined with their naturally thick coat and speed persian could have a niche on quickstall teams.

    Unfortunately these strengths are balanced by very real weaknesses. Persian don’t have a particularly deep utility movepool. And while their coats are bulky, persian’s bones are a different story. Persian’s elemental reserves and physical strength are both well below average on the competitive scene. Worst of all absol does many of the same things with a sharper blade, better movepool, and precognition to make up for their slightly lower speed.

    On the island challenge persian functions as a glass cannon. They can rip into unarmored opponents but can’t take many hits themselves before going down. Persian function best with the help of a few utility moves for dodging blows. Good moves include parting shot, protect and double team. Persian should be instructed to use trees and any other obstacles on the battlefield to maneuver around opponents.

    Meowth are brutal scrappers, even if their claws aren’t as long or sharp as those of a persian. Trainers should always put their meowth on the attack, getting into the opponent’s face and never letting up for even one second.

    Acquisition

    The DNR attempts to limit the spread of persian beyond the city limits of Malie and Hau’oli. Persian and meowth captured outside of these areas may carry a bounty if the trainer chooses to trade the pokémon in. This policy leads to a large number of persian and meowth in shelters available for purchase.

    Meowth may be adopted, purchased or captured with a Class I license. Persian can be adopted or purchased with a Class II license, captured with a Class II license inside city limits and captured with a Class I license outside of city limits.

    Trainers who want to capture a meowth are advised to stay motionless in a public park at night. Ideally a predatory pokémon with night vision should assist. It is legal to bait meowth within city limits. Raw fish and eggs generally work best. Because meowth hunt alone it is likely that only one will show up. If a larger group arrives, proceed with caution.

    Persian are more difficult to spot or capture. They tend to move above human’s heads, a problem compounded by their coat serving as good camouflage at night. While baiting persian is legal within city limit it is unlikely that they descend to ground level to take the bait. Anything strong enough to shake a persian out of a park tree is also likely to damage the tree itself. It is generally easier to look for persian in the daytime while they are resting. It is still very difficult to spot them but they will usually be too lethargic to immediately put up a fight.

    Breeding

    Wild persian are territorial and are only social during breeding season in the winter. Persian have a roughly eight week pregnancy. They typically give birth to twins although triplets are not uncommon. Mothers will stay with their children for roughly three months before they start to behave aggressively towards their young to get them to leave.

    Persian are not territorial towards meowth banks. They are known to keep a watchful eye over the meowth in their territory and intervene to stop predators or, in some cases, prevent starvation.

    Captive persian should not be kept with other persian or the adults of any other cat species. Foxes and foxes are occasionally but not always accepted. Trainers wishing to breed their female persian should arrange for a male to join the team during breeding season. Once pregnancy is confirmed or the female begins behaving aggressively towards the male the pair should be separated again. It is important to give away the meowth when their mother begins to reject them. There is some evidence that persian prefer to have occasional contact with their children until they evolve.

    Subspecies

    Alolan persian sometimes have varying coat patterns depending upon their parentage. Torracat-persian hybrids, the most common in Alola, tend to have dark stripes faintly visible in the coat. Umbreon-persian hybrids tend to have spots. Pyroar-persian hybrids occasionally have a small mane.

    The only other Persian subspecies is the Japanese persian. Due to the relative scarcity of large land predators in the more urbanized areas of Japan the subspecies is diurnal and seldom takes refuge in the trees. They tend to live in sparsely-wooded grasslands and hunt the prey too small for arcanine but too large for fearow and pidgeot. Curiously, the Japanese persian live alone but hunt in packs. One persian will actively chase the prey, cutting into it when they can. The rest flank the target, funneling it into one direction. At some point a persian hiding in a tree will leap down and slash at the target’s throat or another weak point. If the initial strike is unsuccessful all other persian will rush in and use their claws to rip into their prey until it is dead. Their favorite prey are raticate, hypno and sometimes even tauros and miltank.

    The Japanese persian has a white coat that is considerably smoother and thinner than their Alolan counterparts. Their claws are also slightly less sharp while their muscles are stronger.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 5:05 AM
  18. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Magnezone (Magnemite, Magneton)

    Overview

    The May 1911 cover story of The Battler laid out the case for why magnezone was going to be a dominant force in the nascent metagame. In fact, the author suspected it might be the first pokémon to be banned altogether. Magnezone are overwhelmingly powerful, very sturdy, hover over most opponents and have a niche as a trapper for steel-types, the main checks to dragons at the time. They are even found in most of the world’s countries.

    And yet magnezone has never cracked the top fifty most used pokémon in the metagame. To top it all off the rise of vikavolt has led to the rapid decline of magnezone on the competitive circuits. So what happened?

    In short, magnezone is one of the most expensive pokémon to train. They don’t eat as much food as snorlax or wailord; magnezone are actually quite capable of feeding themselves, with perhaps a few thousand dollars worth of electricity a month to supplement. They do not require much in the way of specialist supplies. No, magnezone are expensive because they have the highest insurance requirement of any pokémon in the Alola pokédex.

    Pokémon insurance covers damages your pokémon might do to the property (and life and limb) of others. Most pokémon have no insurance requirement, although it can be purchased. The League provides trainers on the island challenge with $10,000 worth of insurance automatically. Large predators often carry a mandatory coverage requirement. For metagross and vanilluxe, the government requires a minimum coverage of $10,000,000. Magnezone carry a minimum of $50,000,000. There are ongoing debates as to whether this threshold should be raised.

    Magnezone are highly unlikely to directly kill anyone. But their most powerful attacks can fry electronics within a ten kilometer radius. This can deal an absurd amount of property and economic damage. A swarm of magneton swept through Goldenrod City in 2003 and cost the local economy over half a billion dollars. As a result, trainers of magnezone must be both wealthy and willing to live far away from human civilization. While there are ascetic trainers, most professionals enjoy occasional access to running water.

    Magnemite can be a worthwhile and powerful partner on the island challenge. It is even relatively easy to keep one from evolving. However, magnemite trainers should just accept that they can’t own any personal electronics. And they will also have to accept that they’ll probably never be allowed to evolve their partner.

    Physiology

    All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as dual steel- and electric-types.

    Magnemite’s main body is made up of concentric metal shells. The exact alloy varies by the region of birth. All but the outermost shell are constantly spinning in different directions and at different rates. The pattern allows the magnemite to fly and attack. Magnemite change the rotation of their layers by using the three screw protruding from their body, one that they keep oriented upwards and two beneath their eye.

    Magnemite have a single eye protruding from their shell. Curiously, this eye is only a feature of the outermost layer; it does not extend any deeper than the shell. The eye does not appear to function like human eyes, but does absorb and process light. It is believed that a small chip at the base of this eye contains all of magnemite’s nervous system. Magnemite can react to sound, but it is unknown how they hear.

    Magnemite channel attacks through two horseshoe magnets, one on each side of their body. Right before they attack the magnets begin to spin very quickly with a small orb of energy appearing in the center. The magnets will abruptly stop spinning and an attack is unleashed from the orb.

    Magneton are formed by three magnemite in an equilateral triangle. One is dominant and remains positioned at the top of the triangle. This magnemite retains all of its screws. The other two sacrifice one of their external screws to fuse them to the dominant magnemite. The resulting magneton retains the personality and behaviors of the dominant with only very small additions from the two others. However, all three processing chips remain active.

    Magnezone look rather different from their preevolutions. Their body is split into three connected but distinct chambers. The largest is a spheroid in the center of the pokémon. This chamber holds three separate rotating shell structures. The upper portion of the spheroid has a barrier separating it from the bottom. This segment contains a large network of chips, circuitry and rotating spheres. There has not been a chance to study this network in detail as magnezone explode shortly after their deaths. As such, all observations have been conducted with very specialized equipment capable of scanning electric-types. Magnezone are not easily sedated and do not like being confined in tight spaces, making it difficult to observe them for long. There is a long antennae on top of the spheroid. This is used for receiving and transmitting signals (see Behavior).

    The two other chambers of a magnezone are shaped like magnemite fused into the spheroid. Each have a single shell structure inside of them. Magnezone have three eyes, one on each chamber. The central eye is far larger than the other two. In fact, the other two eyes only seem to become active when the magnezone is preparing an attack, suggesting that they are only used for aiming. Magnezone have two very large screws on them, both attached to the back half of the magnemite portions. They have three large horseshoe magnets, one in front of each magnemite and one behind the spheroid. The back magnet is not used for attacking and appears to be entirely devoted to navigation, and perhaps to moving the three spheres inside the spheroid.

    All three stages move in part by repelling themselves from the earth. They are also capable of creating a poorly understood force tentatively named “anti-gravity” that helps them levitate.

    Magnezone can grow to be about two meters across and have a mass of 200 kilograms. Magnezone live for about thirty years in the wild and fifty years in captivity.

    Behavior

    Magnemite feed upon electricity. In the past this restricted them to predation or parasitism on electric-types. Sometimes electric-types would congregate in such numbers that the environment itself became charged; magnemite were most abundant in these places and they are, to this day, their primary breeding grounds.

    Modernity has led to an explosion in the number of magnemite in the world and the areas in which they can live. From the earliest days of modern electricity, guards have been required at power plants and along wires. Magnemite learned and began to prey upon the places where the lines connected to the homes themselves, as well as upon the generators of rural homes.

    Magnemite and magneton are not particularly intelligent. They behave like automatons concerned only with feeding and survival. Some (mostly under trainer care) develop a sense of curiosity; their hardware is not well equipped for this feeling. In time they inevitably become paranoid and obsessed with triangles. In the very rare circumstances that these magnemite become dominant upon evolution and evolve again (see Evolution), the resulting magnezone are known to almost immediately attack centers of media, government, commerce, and (most curiously) mushroom farms.

    Despite their lack of creativity and intelligence, magnemite are known to congregate in large swarms. The individuals do not seem to interact with or acknowledge each other and they do not coordinate collective strategies. Rather, it seems like they all have roughly the same ability to sense unsecured power sources and they all have the same analytical process for choosing which one to swarm.

    Magneton behaviors are nearly identical to magnemite.

    Magnezone behave rather differently than magnemite and magneton. To start with, they very seldom descend to the ground. Magnezone are most often found among the clouds absorbing static electricity. Clouds with a magnezone in them produce far less lightning. They are not social, although they are constantly emitting and receiving signals. This discovery and magnezone’s bizarre anatomy and appearance led to widespread speculation that they are extraterrestrial. There is no solid evidence that this is not the case, but they don’t seem to have much reaction towards any extraterrestrial species. And there is a far simpler explanation for these signals: they are communicating with others of their species. When a magnezone does descend to breed, another inevitably comes to the same location even if they started out hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.

    Curiously, magnezone have a strong sense of justice. Magnezone on the surface are known to badly wound any carnivores they witness hunting. Human criminals caught stealing or engaged in violent crime will also catch a powerful thunderbolt, although it will seldom be lethal. Magnezone have a strong aversion to killing and can apparently calculate how to badly wound their target without dealing a fatal blow.

    Husbandry

    The first part of this section will focus only on magnemite, as their insurance rate is well within the limits covered by the League.

    Magnemite are quite easy to care for so long as their trainer is very mindful of any electronics around. Most Pokémon Centers have well insulated rooms and equipment. If this is the case, then magnemite can be safely allowed to explore their trainer’s room. Introducing a magnemite to a common area is still usually a faux pas due to the damage they can do to other trainers’ personal electronics. Most pokédex models are well insulated, but most pokégear aren’t. Magnemite won’t kill a device just by being in the same room as it, but using an attack nearby or getting within a meter is likely to fry anything sophisticated and unprotected.

    The entire line feeds upon electricity. They prefer direct current but will happily lap up alternating current as well. Many Pokémon Centers have specially designated power feeding rooms for electric-types. Those that do not will have batteries for sale that are designed for feeding electric-types. Magnemite will know what to do in either case. In an emergency, magnemite can feed directly from a generator. The trainer should ask permission before doing this. When a magnemite begins to droop closer to the ground or move slower, they should be fed. If a magnemite has a far higher energy level than usual, their intake should be reduced and they should be used in battle immediately to prevent random EMPs.

    As mentioned above (see Behavior), magnemite are neither social nor curious. They will sometimes orbit their trainer, but this is about as far as they go in terms of play. Because they do not get bored, magnemite and magneton are quite comfortable spending almost all of their time inside of a pokéball. If a trainer really wants to interact with their pokémon, polishing the shell appears to make a magnemite happier.

    Magneton and magnezone are far more prone to firing out random EMPs than magnemite. As such, their minimum coverage rates are $1,000,000 and $50,000,000 respectively. Should a trainer decide to evolve their magnemite, the care for magneton is much the same. But they should be very, very cautious about their choice of battlefields and make sure that any opposing trainers have protected personal electronics.

    Magnezone are a slightly different story. Unlike magnemite, which bond to anything that regularly feeds them, magnezone can always just drift off into the clouds if they want food. As such it is very difficult to bond with a magnezone unless they already have some faith in their trainer. Even then, newly evolved magnezone are still prone to just drifting off and never coming back. They will usually only stay with trainers who battle with them often and well. Magnezone like to spend at least a few hours at night out of their pokéballs. This should be allowed, if only because charge taken from the clouds is charge that does not have to be paid for. Magnezone are always emitting waves, but most of these are harmless to human health. They are absolutely devastating to personal electronics. Magnezone should always be kept in their pokéball unless deep in the wilderness or inside of a well-protected stadium.

    As with their prior stages, magnezone do not require socialization. It is believed that they are always communicating with other magnezone and don’t see a point in bonding with humans or other species. Training and polishing are all they want from a trainer.

    Illness

    Most magnemite “illnesses” are simply a result of low charge. If they are behaving unusually and have not been charged since their last battle or within the last week, let the magnemite charge for a while and then see if the problem is resolved.

    Physical damage is rare. Most battles with a magnemite end when they lose charge, not when they’re shell is broken. If the shell is ever broken, they were probably in a battle where they were dramatically outclassed. There is also very little that can be done to repair a wounded magnemite. If a magnezone is on hand, the repairs can sometimes be made. However the force required to twist a magnemite back into shape is likely to generate really powerful EMPs and alter the magnemite’s personality upon reboot.

    If a magnezone gets seriously wounded, they will float as high as it can and explode. Should a magnezone be killed in a way that does not even allow them to do that, they will probably explode within fifteen minutes of death.

    Evolution

    Magnemite can have a quick and apparently painless surgery done upon their bolts that renders them incapable of evolution. Trainers unwilling to pay for the insurance or adopt the ascetic lifestyle a magneton requires should do this.

    Magnemite evolve when a group of three combat-tested magnemite encounter each other. They will engage in a three way melee until only one still has charge. The winner will charge themselves and then bond with the other two. This involves removing one screw from each, releasing the caps of their own screws and then linking their screws through the holes left in the other magnemite. The new magneton will position themselves in the air so that the dominant magnemite is on top.

    Magneton only evolve in places where a very large amount of electricity has been readily available for some time. The magneton will spend even more time than usual charging. Sometimes they will leave to pick up the pieces of dead magnemite and integrate them into their own body. When there are no dead magnemite around, the magneton will simply kill one for parts. During the period where the dominant magnemite’s body is being expanded restructured, most of the magneton’s cognition occurs in the auxiliary magnemite’s processing chips.

    Once a magnezone body is fully completed, the newly evolved pokémon will fly up into the clouds. They will only descend again to breed.

    Battle

    Magnezone has a limited number of strategies and a limited movepool. But it is very effective at using what options it does have.

    Their main role in combat is to levitate high enough over the field that grounded melee attacks cannot reach them. From there they fire off devastating thunderbolts, flash cannons and hyper beams until their target faints. They can also take a moment to lock onto a fast-moving target and all but guarantee that their next attack fries them. This makes them a particularly good counter to glass cannons and arena controllers.

    Magnezone are also one of the best counters to steel-types in the metagame. Their unique abilities prevent steel-types from being withdrawn from the field while magnezone is in play. Magnezone can hover above a steel-type and then use their magnetism to pull their target up into the air. Once the target is almost to magnezone, they can be repulsed down towards the ground. This can be repeated until the target has fainted or magnezone runs out of charge.

    Speaking of which, magnezone essentially only faint when they lose power. This means that every action, offensive and defensive, takes a toll on their staying power. As such using protect to avoid injury is actually counter-productive, because the shield costs more power than just taking the impact would. This means that stalling them out with a pokémon who can take all of the hits a magnezone can dish out and keep going is usually the best counter-strategy. Blissey, gastrodon, swampert, hippowdon and snorlax can’t do much to hurt magnezone, but magnezone can do very little to hurt them, either. Because magnezone have a clear tell in their attacks (an orb forming in their horseshoe magnets), it’s easy enough to outplay them with mixed protects, recovery moves and occasional attacks. Magnezone will inevitably switch out, but this at least gives the opponent some time to set up hazards or stat boosts.

    The best offensive checks to magnezone are generally dragons that can take them on in the air and dish out powerful fire attacks. Hydreigon is their most reliable counter in the metagame, although they are somewhat rare. Flygon are not actually an effective counter because magnezone is likely to take them down with two or three locked-on hyper beams, while flygon’s own attacks are not strong enough to substantially injure magnezone.

    Again, despite their theoretical ability to hard-counter glass cannons, steel-types, birds and rain teams, magnezone has never been particularly popular on the circuits. Because even if a trainer loses to magnezone, at least they can train for their revenge in the presence of other people.

    Due to their limited movepool, magnezone should theoretically battle the same on the island challenge as they do at the World Championships. No one has ever actually used one, though.

    Magnemite are a common enough choice on the island challenge. They are surprisingly bulky, especially if their trainer can afford an eviolite. Their defensive typing and (limited) ability to hover away from attacks enhances this. They aren’t particularly weak, either, and unlike most walls they won’t have to rely on toxic stall and chip damage. However, anything they can’t hurt with thunderbolt probably won’t be hurt at all. Fighting- and fire-types can also usually overpower magnemite, especially at the end of the challenge.

    Acquisition

    The DNR runs a campaign to capture, operate upon, and release any magnemite they can find. As such, there are very few magneton in Alola. Occasionally a magnezone will show up and undo all of the DNR’s hard work, but this is a once-in-a-decade event.

    There are only two permanent magnemite colonies in Alola. The first is usually around Hau’oli City. They move between homes and infrastructure with unsecured electricity, finding a new home when they are shooed away. Locating the colony after a move carries a $100 reward. The other colony is on the Poké Pelago. Most magneton that do manage to evolve are relocated here, which in turn makes it the place that magnezone usually descend to breed (see Breeding). The government operates a poorly secured offshore windfarm here to drive magnemite away from the populated areas. The property itself is run by a private corporation with a public charter, meaning that there is a fee for capturing magnemite.

    Magnemite require a Class II license to adopt, purchase or capture.

    Magneton and magnezone may not be captured due to the risks involved in bringing an untrained one into an urban area. They may be purchased or adopted so long as their original trainer captured them as a magnemite. Magneton and magnezone require a Class IV license to possess.

    Breeding

    Some mineral pokémon reproduce in a way that, in spite of their strange biology, actually bears a good deal of resemblance to conventional organic reproduction. Magnezone is not one of these pokémon.

    Sometimes two magnezone will depart from their trainer or orbit and meet up at the place where one member of the pair evolved at. The pair will first conduct repairs on all magnemite and magneton present. When this is finished, the native magnezone will scrounge up enough material to create eight new magnemite. They prefer to do this by recycling the bodies of magnemite that were beyond repair, but they can use their magnetism to mine and purify the necessary materials if need be. Then the non-native magnezone will shape the materials into their final form. The resulting babies have (roughly) the material composition of the native magnezone and the structure of the non-native magnezone.

    Anecdotal reports from trainers suggest that magnezone reproduce exactly twice in their lives. They typically do so during periods of unusual solar radiation, such as during sunspots. Sometimes meteorite strikes or passing comets will also trigger reproduction.

    It is impossible to breed magnezone in captivity. Captive magnezone will simply float away to reproduce whenever they feel like it. Some will return after roughly three weeks. Most will not. If your magnezone departs, stay in roughly the same area and make frequent phone calls from a pokégear or cell phone. If the magnezone has not returned after six weeks then they are not coming back.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
  19. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Muk (Betobetaa, Grimer)

    Overview

    In his 1913 novel “March of the Muk,” author Henry Blackstone laid out a vision of muk as a strange creation of sludge and lunar x-rays that rose up from the oceans to destroy the cities. With humanity’s greatest insults to the wilderness gone, the muk die off as if they had never been there at all. The view of muk as a scourge upon the civilized world was not new at the time. They seemed to come from nowhere around the turn of the 20th Century and thrived in the rancid sewers and industrial areas of the world’s cities. While they first appeared near Japan, they quickly and almost simultaneously appeared near almost all of the world’s coasts.

    In truth, muk are not the creation of anything so fanciful as lunar x-rays. They were also not made by, or even in response to, humans. While they do not fossilize well, muk may have been living for millions of years on the seafloor. The Challenger expedition captured what was probably a betobetaa several years before muk were seen on the surface. The ship was above the abyssal plains of the Mid-Atlantic at the time, half the world away from their eventual surfacing point.

    The deep sea has no sunlight. No new plant life can grow there. The entire food chain is based off of scavenging the scraps that come from above. The abyssal muk is a relative of the slime mold that feeds not on the falling matter itself, but upon the bacteria and fungi that start to break it down. If necessary, they can kill other organisms and then wait for them to decompose.

    The shelf muk is the subspecies that eventually came to the surface. They can function as a decomposer of decomposers, but they prefer to feed upon oil and natural gas leaking up from the seafloor. They do not directly eat the petroleum themselves. Rather, colonies of bacteria living inside of them break the oil and gas down into usable energy and put it back into the food web. When humans started bringing oil to shore and letting it run back into the sea, muk just followed the path until they found themselves in the harbors and rivers. Eventually, some mutated to live comfortably on land.

    Once their food source and biology was better understood, engineers, chemist and biologists started to harvest terrestrial, shelf and abyssal muk to selectively cross-breed them. These processes eventually created a new pokémon, the LifeChem, Inc, muk. The species is more commonly known as the domestic muk. The domestic muk is patented and regularly “updated” to keep the newer breeds protected by the law. Older breeds are no longer patented and can be purchased, captured and bred at will.

    The domestic muk readily breaks down most microbes, organic matter and plastics without seriously damaging glass or metal. This allows for the now-cleaned waste products to be easily recycled. Some breeds only consume oil, leaving plastics behind for recycling. The newest breed can break plastic down into a liquid form, letting it easily be remolded. Products cleaned by muk are very sterile because they consume bacteria and their bodies themselves are only barely toxic. Their flesh still should not be consumed; the “muk slime challenge” can be fatal. Unless they are actively defending themselves, though, domestic muk are usually safe to touch and even hug so long as the crystals are avoided.

    Muk are good battlers that can cut down on the amount of trash a trainer has to carry with them between disposal sites. They are also relatively easy to feed, as they can eat plants or meat in a pinch (but they usually will only eat rotting, microbe-filled organic matter). They are not recommended for households with young children.

    Physiology

    Muk’s typing is widely disputed. A poison primary typing is agreed upon; the second slot is a toss-up. Unlike most subspecies and most related species, the domestic muk is very resistant to psychic attacks that can fry the nervous systems of almost anything without a proper brain. They are also nocturnal. These factors suggest a dark-typing. However, muk are most comfortable in the water and need to fully submerge themselves at least once every few days. This suggests a water-typing. Other pokémon related to fungi have been given grass-typings. For now, the Department of Agriculture has given them a preliminary dark-typing and left the issue open to comment and discussion.

    Grimer and muk have similar physiology, and betobetaa is best understood in comparison to them. As such, this section will not go through the anatomy of all three stages in detail.

    Muk are closely related to slime molds. This means that they are an amalgam of many separate single-celled organisms, most capable of surviving outside of the collective. Some of these cells have dissolved the cell boundaries between each other, resulting in massive cells with multiple nuclei. This is also why they are so amorphous. Outside of their crystals, muk contain no hard structures.

    Domestic muk generally stratify into specialized layers, similar to organs. These layers often have different colors. Some layers are devoted to dissolving specific microorganisms, others to digesting plastic and still others to generating attacks or neural processing. Despite their lack of a brain, muk are reasonably intelligent pokémon capable of solving puzzles, learning new moves, and displaying affection for their trainer.

    Muk sense the world primarily through vibrations. This allows them to hear spoken words and differentiate between the voices and footsteps of individual humans. Muk appear to have eyes; however, these are simple eye spots. Muk can only determine whether light is present or absent. The species can also apparently sense chemicals in the air and water. This is how they find food.

    Unlike the other subspecies, the domestic muk does not keep many poisons inside of their flesh. They do keep resident bacteria colonies inside of them, but these are mostly to help with digestion of plastics and bacteria and they not actively attack living tissue. Unlike other muk subspecies which must continuously find new food into their body to feed themselves, the domestic muk stores excess or particularly toxic materials inside of their crystals. When attacked, they absorb the crystals into their body to temporarily make their flesh more toxic. This helps deter any would-be predators and harm anything that keeps attacking them. These crystals can be removed and sometimes fall out on their own.

    All stages of the evolutionary line appear to have a mouth. This is used to wholly absorb rotting materials, letting them break it down from all angles. Sometimes a muk will engulf an opponent to maximize their exposure to toxins and prevent them from fleeing. Grimer and muk have crystalline teeth lining their mouth for extra utility in battle.

    Grimer are very similar to muk, except smaller and with crystals limited to their mouth and the area around their eye spots.

    Betobetaa are not very developed. They have yet to stratify and, eye spots aside, their constituent parts tend to swirl around each other in a blend of colors. They also have yet to develop crystals. Newborn betobetaa are seldom more than 30 centimeters across.

    Muk can usually only reach widths of 2.5 meters and weigh up to 50 kilograms.

    Behavior

    Muk are generally sedentary creatures. They will sit still and digest food when they find it. When a food source runs out, muk will retreat into the water for digestion, healing and safety. Muk prefer stagnant water, especially dirty water that lets them passively feed on bacteria. Adults are willing to enter running water, but grimer and betobetaa will generally avoid it unless they desperately need to hydrate.

    A very hungry muk will attempt to hunt. Because of their low speed, they are mostly limited to sedentary Pokémon, animals and plants. Muk are one of the very few species that can digest slowpoke, but most will not take advantage of this. Lazy as they are, slowpoke still move faster than bacteria.

    Muk were once believed to be a highly social pokémon. Terrestrial muk were almost always found in large colonies known as dumps. Shelf muk are also usually found congregated together. However, outside of crossover (see Breeding), members of all subspecies don’t really interact with others. Terrestrial and shelf muk only form groups because their largest food sources tend to be constant and unmoving, allowing for many muk to find a particular spot and coexist peacefully. Muk do not fight each other for territory, but if a given dump is at capacity would-be newcomers tend to turn away and find their food elsewhere.

    Domestic muk tend to rest during the day and become active at night. This was bred into them to make their circadian rhythm align to the times janitors need them most. While muk do not properly sleep, when inactive their mouth seems to disappear and they become a circular pile of colorful sludge with a very slight bulge and two white eye spots in the middle.

    As mentioned in Physiology, muk respond to potential threats by breaking off crystals into their body. They will then rise up as high as they can and begin to groan. If the threat has still not left, they may begin to attack. If they do kill their assailant, the muk will stay near the same spot for days until the body is sufficiently decomposed to eat.

    Husbandry

    Betobetaa require very frequent feedings. They can and will eat up to half their body mass a day. It is impossible to overfeed one, so it is generally a good idea to leave them a large pile of trash that is periodically refilled. Betobetaa do not have crystals, which means that their body is always dangerous to the touch and they need all of the elements of their diet almost every day. Some of these items, such as plastics, dead plants and metal, are rather easy to keep on hand. More esoteric compounds, such as slightly radioactive material and some varieties of toxic sludge, will need to be purchased in small doses.

    Raising a betobetaa is not recommended for the casual trainer and a variety of janitorial and waste disposal agencies across the commonwealth will happily buy them.

    Grimer and muk need to be fed less and do not require all of their diet every day. They have been bred to eat a diet matching the typical load at a landfill. As such, the average trainer’s trash will usually keep a muk satiated. They may supplement their diet by roaming their environment and eating any bacteria they find. This, combined with their sterile exterior, makes them popular with hospitals for sterilizing equipment and rooms. The easiest way to get a muk’s radiation needs met is to loan them to a Pokémon Center so they can clean the equipment. The sludge mix muk require can be purchased at most Pokémon Centers, hardware stores, or pokémon supply stores.

    Muk will adjust the amount of bacteria in their body to match their average long-term diet. Newly captured or purchased muk should be fed more or less the same things they were previously eating and slowly be weaned into whatever a trainer needs them to eat. To maintain maximum size, a muk should be fed about 15 kilograms of trash a week.

    Muk are aquatic pokémon and should be given the chance to fully submerge themselves at least once a week. If this is not possible they should at least be stored in a dive ball. These are not perfect substitutes for actual submersion and muk are happiest if they can swim frequently, but dive balls will at least keep a muk alive. Muk prefer stagnant pools, but have no preferences on water temperature, pH, or salinity.

    Many trainers are often surprised to learn that grimer and muk can be rather affectionate to the humans who feed them. Some will initiate cuddling. Most will at least tolerate it. Before they embrace their human, muk will slowly move all of their crystals to one side of their body. They should only be touched from the other side. If initiating contact, slowly stroke one area of the pokémon’s body. This should lead the muk to shift their crystals. If the muk keeps their crystals in place, they probably do not want to be touched.

    Do not touch a muk within 24 hours of battle.

    Muk can slowly be trained to be diurnal, but most will always be a little sluggish in the day. Stern verbal commands can usually stir an inactive muk into moving. It is easiest to train a muk to be awake in the day if the pokémon is kept in a brightly lit area with water at night, and in a dark room with food during the day. After two weeks of this, almost all muk will have shifted their sleep schedule.

    Muk sometimes enjoy puzzles. Systems of tubes with trash at the end are a favorite of the species. However, muk will usually try to eat pvc pipes and other plastic obstacles instead of playing with them. Metal toys work best (although they can and eventually will digest those, too). Because they sense the world through vibrations, many muk have shown a fondness for music. They usually settle upon a preferred genre or artist in time.

    Illness

    Most muk illnesses fall into three categories: dehydration, nutrient deprivation or starvation.

    Dehydration illnesses manifest as muk being slower or less obedient. If a muk’s movement speed is noticeably slower than usual, allow them to be submerged in water until they decide to leave. The same applies if a muk is disobedient or aggressive for no clear reason, as they could be trying to get away and find water. Long term dehydration can lead to muk disincorporating into a pile of toxic crystals and bacteria-laced sludge.

    Disincorporation is perhaps the only way a muk can die. Dehydration is by far the most common cause of death in domestic and terrestrial muk. It can also be caused by extensive attack damage, particularly from sound- and wave-based attacks (see Battling).

    Nutrient deprivation illnesses manifest as one color layer growing much larger than before or one layer growing smaller. As most layers correspond to one digestive function, check the muk breed’s guidebook to figure out what needs to be increased or reduced in their diet. Long-term deprivation of one nutrient usually will not kill a muk, but it will render them permanently unable to digest one food source.

    Starvation results in a muk growing smaller over time. Reproduction and damage in battle can also result in shrinkage. If muk looks smaller or weighs less than usual, their feedings should be increased in size or frequency.

    If any of the above remedies do not solve a problem, or if muk begins shedding more than one crystal a month, seek professional veterinarian help from a Pokémon Center or LifeChem store.

    Evolution

    With the partial exception of betobetaa, muk stay in much the same shape throughout their entire lives. Whether or not grimer should even be a recognized as a distinct stage is a hotly debated question. The main anatomical differences between betobetaa and muk are their size, lack of stratification, and lack of crystals.

    Because the size of a muk is in a state of constant flux from consumption, reproduction, and damage, size is not a consistent indicator. Stratification is. When betobetaa grow, they shift from different bubbles of cells to distinct layers, each with its own color. Once stratification has occurred, the newly evolved grimer begins to slowly grow crystals. These develop first in the mouth and later in the areas around it. When the first crystal grows away from the face area, the grimer has formally evolved into muk.

    Muk is the rare species of pokémon that doesn’t experience a rapid increase in growth and maturation rates in times of frequent combat. Instead their growth is almost entirely tied to the amount of food they consume. Betobetaa can incorporate up to one-fifth of their body weight every day, grimer up to one-quarter, and muk up to one-sixth.

    Battle

    Both domestic and terrestrial muk and frequently used in the international circuits. Muk don’t have conventional organs or weak points to damage. They are hurt the most by vibrations or attacks that effect their entire body at once. This makes muk the best counter in the metagame to technical physical attackers such as scizor, weavile, and sceptile. Physical birds often struggle against muk as well, because their beaks generally can’t do enough damage to muk to justify the proximity. Full body impacts run a very high risk of poisoning.

    Domestic muk are more frequently used than terrestrial muk at this time. Domestic muk are highly resistant to telepathic attacks, the best counter to terrestrial muk. However, terrestrial muk can be far more toxic than domestic muk. This makes domestic muk an excellent wallbreaker; anything slow enough to be caught up in their body has a very limited amount of time left on the field. Because their bodies are filled with natural herbicides, domestic muk are also a counter to many physical or defensive grass-type pokémon. This has been famously exploited by Miguel Cabrera, champion of the Amazonian Federation, fifth highest ranked trainer in the world, and winner of 29 of the last 40 Pan-American Invitationals. The South and Central American metagames are filled with grass-types and technical attackers and are short on ground-types, making his muk almost as iconic and useful as his harpyre.

    Both subspecies are countered by any decently fast pokémon with a strong seismic move. Some powerful water-type attacks, such as surf or muddy water, can also serve the same purpose. Fast fliers with projectile attacks can usually dodge most of muk’s attacks and fire back their own. However, these birds are often unable to deal serious damage to muk, allowing the opposing trainer to run down the clock and switch.

    A muk’s usual offensive movepool includes poison jab, toxic, venoshock and a projectile poison move such as gunk shot or sludge wave to hit fliers and fast projectile users. Protect, acid armor, torment, disable, pain split and substitute are useful for surviving earthquakes, but they can’t save muk in the long term. Even the most defensive of muk usually will not hold out long enough to be able to switch out against a powerful earthquake user. These moves dramatically boost muk’s ability to wall non-earthquake users (and-non psychics, in the case of terrestrial muk). Their elemental well is not large, but some muk are taught thunderbolt, ice beam and stone edge to increase their ranged offensive options.

    Like the South American leagues, the South Pacific metagame is dominated by grass-, water-, and flying-type pokémon. On the few islands where ground-types exist in large numbers, most serious trainers don’t bother to catch them. This makes powerful water-type moves the only real counter for muk on the island challenge, with ranged fliers like vikavolt serving as an important check. Powerful physical attackers that know earthquake, while rare outside of the very top teams, can also wreck a muk.

    Grimer is an extremely good pokémon for the early island challenge as almost all weak pokémon function as technical attackers. This allows muk to single-handedly take down almost all teams on the first island and most of the second. Muk stays useful up to and including the pokémon league. Trainers are unlikely to be able to teach their muk the full list of defensive moves outlined above, but one or two in combination with toxic and venoshock are all muk really needs to succeed. Trainers can also use a dark-type move such as knock off to take advantage of muk’s telepathy resistance and turn them into psychic-slayers.

    Acquisition

    Grimer requires a Class II license to capture, purchase, or adopt. Muk require a Class III license to purchase or adopt. Betobetaa require a Class IV license to possess. Only grimer may be legally captured in the region.

    Most grimer in Alola are held in the four Waste Depository Centers, one on each of the main islands. They can also be purchased from private trainers and LiveChem stores. From time to time, the Waste Depository Centers will release excess grimer into the area around them for trainers to capture. These releases are usually publicized a week after they happen in to allow the grimer some time to spread out. After a certain period of time passes, the DNR sets out to recapture any muk or betobetaa that still exist in the wild.

    These four centers are in East Hau’oli, Route 4, Malie Cape, and The Battle Tree.

    Breeding

    Muk imitate sexual reproduction through two separate events. The first is crossover. This occurs when two muk are around each other for a long period of time and develop a mutual respect. The two muk will coalesce into one pile and then pull apart into two distinct muk. This process works across subspecies and results in sister muk that are essentially the biological offspring of the pair. In captivity the trainer that the new muks choose to follow is essentially random, with one going with each trainer roughly half the time and both going with one the other half. Which muk remembers which moves and strategies is also essentially random. Crossover can be prevented by not allowing a muk to spend more than two weeks with another member of their species.

    Betobetaa are produced asexually. Muk prefer not to get above a certain size, although their exact terminal mass varies by individual. When a muk is at terminal mass and consumes more food, they will mix some of every layer in their body into a ball and release it. The betobetaa awakens and begins moving within six hours of formation. Betobetaa are sometimes loyal to their parent’s trainer and often retain knowledge of most of the same moves, even if they do not have the proper anatomy or energy well for using them yet. Some specialty breeders exploit this to sell betobetaa or grimer with deep movepools and battle experience.

    After a captive muk produces a betobetaa, the muk should be weighed to determine the mass they reproduce at. If you do not desire any more reproduction, make sure to keep the muk below that mass.

    Subspecies

    As mentioned in the introduction, there are four subspecies of muk. The domestic muk has been covered above.

    The terrestrial muk is the most toxic of the subspecies and can wilt small plants just by passing within three meters. They are only found around the most polluted of industrial waste sites and landfills. They must hydrate daily which further restricts their range. Modern environmental laws have rendered the terrestrial muk all but extinct in developed economies, with the remaining populations persisting at facilities explicitly designed for keeping the terrestrial muk alive. These centers are often run by professional trainers who are fond of muk, but are sometimes run by environmentalists who want the subspecies to live on for its intrinsic value.

    Terrestrial muk are still a major health concern in some developing economies. Portions of coastal Brazil, the Gold Coast of Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and the Indonesian archipelago still have very high concentrations of terrestrial muk, usually along the coast but sometimes in ponds or rivers.

    Shelf muk usually live along the seafloor at the edge of the continental shelf. They are the lightest subspecies, but usually spread out to about the area the average domestic muk takes up. Drone observation suggests that most shelf muk stay unmoving for months at a time. They only appear to move when one of the rare pokémon that preys on gelatinous organisms approaches. They begin to move quite quickly when predators are nearby, rising off of the seafloor and flapping their body in a pattern remarkably similar to a jellyfish. Shelf muk usually attack by sending out jets of highly toxic water or wrapping themselves around an attacker. They can also make sudden movements that send pressure waves through the water, but these are only usually powerful enough to stun an opponent. While shelf muk can go above the surface for very short periods of time, they are extremely reluctant to do so. The difficulty of capturing them and their expensive diet make them uncommon in captivity, but some LifeChem breeding centers and public aquariums keep them.

    Abyssal muk have been sighted on the abyssal plains of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Like most decomposers, they are most common in equatorial areas where surface primary productivity is rather high. They are seldom seen near the continental shelf, outside the tropics, or in ocean trenches. They also appear to be absent from hydrothermal vent ecosystems.

    The abyssal muk is pure white. They are the heaviest subspecies and have the largest resting area, seldom becoming more than five centimeters thick. When food falls, they move along the seafloor like a shallow white wave. It is unclear how long muk stay in one place, but captive specimens have gone up to three years without eating before they became agitated. There is video of muk attacking and consuming wimpod and pyukumuku, suggesting that they may be both a scavenger and the apex predator of the seafloor. The abyssal muk appears to be hydrokinetic and able to still the waters ahead of themselves while they move, which keeps prey from being alerted to their presence.

    LifeChem used to keep abyssal muk in their breeding centers. This is where almost all of our knowledge of the subspecies comes from. It took months to adjust abyssal muk to surface pressures and they never seemed to fare well in captivity; most died of apparent nutrient deficiency within five years. The abyssal muk breeding program was discontinued in 2008. It is still not known what else they needed in their diet to survive.
     
  20. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    A/N: This entry is partially based on two chapters of the fic "The Fair Folk" by Huinari over on FFN. I strongly recommend checking out that story if you like this one.

    Mr. Mime (Mime Jr.)


    Nomenclature

    Unusually, this entry must begin with a note on a species name. The species whose adult form is usually referred to as “Mr. Mime” does not appear to have a biological sex. They reproduce by a bonded pair manifesting a physical egg. No physical contact is required to do this. The species does not communicate telepathically with even very experienced psychics, although species closely related to them can communicate with trainers who have PSY scores as low as 110. As such, they cannot directly communicate whether or not they have a gender identity. Individuals given access to human clothing tend to use both male- and female-coded items indiscriminately. Most quickly get bored and stop putting on any at all. There is substantial debate as to whether or not a gendered clothing preference would even matter.

    In 1997, the Department of Agriculture renamed Mr. Mime to mime sr. After the most recent volume of this text was published, the government abruptly reversed that decision without a comment period. Unusually, they did not provide a statement justifying the decision.

    While we are ordinarily hesitant to speculate on the reasoning of the Department of Agriculture, the current President of the United States once said during a campaign speech: “Folks, men are under attack. When I grew up it was Mr. Mime, now it’s, get this, ‘mime sr.’ Can you believe that? We—they always say, look, women need to be proud right? Well, what about men? Why can’t men be proud? In China they’re proud. That’s why they’re winning. [Eleven pages of transcript discussing China, automobiles, CNN, his hotels on the Arabian peninsula, a Best Actress nominee, three primary opponents, his hands, European clocks, daylight savings time, and recycled plastic have been omitted.] And let me tell you, when I’m president we’re going to make Mime Mr. again. Believe me. Believe me.”

    Reflecting the formal guidance of the Department of Agriculture, future versions of this guidebook will be updated to change references from Mime Sr. to Mr. Mime. For now, the online and pokédex models will begin with this note. The rest of the entry will refer to the adult form of the species as Mr. Mime.

    Introduction

    Pokémon are usually grouped into three superkingdoms: the organics, the machines, and the phantoms. Organic pokémon more or less obey the rules of biology, with a few quirks and biologically inexplicable powers. Machines at least imitate biology, even if they reproduce asexually and are based on silica rather than carbon. The phantoms usually don’t resemble life at all; it simply appears as if some extradimensional force is acting on an object, causing it to move and express itself.

    There does appear to be a ‘missing link’ between the organics and phantoms that is still very much alive today: the true psychic genus. True psychics imitate biology when alive and often have typically mammalian hairs and body shapes. They even DNA that appears to determine phenotypes.

    Everything else about them is bizarre. They appear to feed on emotions, thoughts and other mental and spiritual energies, like the phantoms often do. When true psychics die, their bodies disappear altogether. True psychics also distort the dimensional fabric around them to a much greater degree than even the phantoms.

    Mr. Mime was originally native to Kalos. They became a popular companion of traveling bards for their uncanny ability to mimic the movements of others and to create invisible barriers out of thin air. They were steadily exported to other regions as bards traveled farther and farther with advances in naval technology and international trade routes. Backlash often followed. The king of Galar found them to be creepy and demonic, and he tried to cull every single Mr. Mime in the country as a response.

    In 1956, a circus was set up in Hau’oli. While initially popular, it found itself deeply in debt and with declining attendance. The owner decided to close the circus and release all of the pokémon in it. This established the first colony of Mr. Mime on Alola. The DNR determined that Mr. Mime are relatively harmless (as far as fairies go, anyway), don’t compete for organic food, and are popular with competitive battlers, wealthy families, and some children. As such, more Mr. Mime were imported to further increase the resident population.

    Mr. Mime are incredibly solid battlers (albeit ones that require some skill to use), often willing to help with routine chores, and do not require their trainer to purchase and carry around food for them. If trainers can put up with their need for attention and creepy appearance, they should strongly consider adding one to their team.

    Physiology

    Both Mr. Mime and Mime Jr. have an undisputed psychic-typing. Both are usually regarded as fairies in Kalos and are often found in fairy courts. This makes their fairy-typing also relatively uncontroversial (beyond the debate as to whether there should be a fairy type at all).

    Mime Jr. generally have short, stocky bodies. Their legs are very short and have no knees. The lower portion of their body is coated in blue fur (the exact shade varies by individual). Their upper body is covered in pink, purple or red fur. The one exception is their head, which is covered in long, thick, blue hair that tends to clump together and stick up. Mime Jr. like to seek out a pearl, bead, or other round object to put on top of their hair. They try to keep the object balanced and will cry if it falls off.

    Mime Jr. have long, thin arms. They also have two small red growths on their body, one on their navel and one on their nose. Neither Mime Jr. nor Mr. Mime has ears. They do have eyes and a mouth, but no vocal cords or lungs. Mr. Mime never have any apparent reproductive organs. They may have a heart, kidneys, liver, stomach, intestines, appendix, or gall bladder. They may also not have one, any or all of those organs. In any case, the heart does not beat and none of the other organs appear to function.

    Mr. Mime has a disc-like torso covered in white fur. They have the same red outgrowths as Mime Jr., but much larger and located at the base of their limbs, their navel and on their cheeks. They have four small red growths on the ends of their fingers. Mr. Mime has the same red fur as Mime Jr. on their face. They lose their visible nose but retain a nasal slit. Mr. Mime also lose their eyelids. Instead of one long clump of hair, Mr. Mime usually have two jutting out from either side of their head. They usually outgrow their habit of balancing objects by this point. All of Mr. Mime’s limbs are long, thin, and coated in a thin layer of white hairs. Adult Mr. Mime have four joints on each limb and are double jointed on all four. At the end of their legs, Mr. Mime have long feet that curl up at the end. They are usually the same color as their juvenile blue fur, except they are hard structures made of keratin. Mr. Mime have long, broad hands. Their fingers are double-jointed and have more joints than the average human hand.

    A fully-grown Mr. Mime usually has a mass of about fifty kilograms. Fully extended, they can reach heights of 1.5 meters. The lifespan of Mr. Mime in the wild and in captivity closely tracks the average human lifespan in the area.

    Behavior

    Rather than normal food, Mr. Mime and Mime Jr. appear to feed off of human attention and fascination. They prefer to live near large human settlements and will often venture into cities to give performances on street corners or in public parks. Mr. Mime used in arenas or other places with many people being entertained (see Battling) usually have brighter fur and more energy than the average Mr. Mime. When they are not performing, Mr. Mime find a secluded area and sit down, fold their limbs to appear small as possible, and stop moving. During their resting state they remain smiling with their eyes wide open.

    Mr. Mime hate interacting with other Mr. Mime. They only seek each other out to mate and they abandon their mate and child immediately after reproduction occurs (see Breeding). The one exception is that Mr. Mime held in fairly large numbers in very active public places will sometimes tolerate each other, but they will not interact unless ordered to do so and they will constantly try to upstage the rest of their circus.

    Mime Jr. will usually seek out surrogate parents. These can be humans, other true psychics (or alakazam), fey courts, or individual fairy or bipedal pokémon. They are very nervous when they are not being watched over by their surrogate parent. When they feel safe, Mime Jr. are very playful and will constantly play games with themselves or attempt to perform for someone else. They are perfectionists and will often break down in tears at the slightest mistake, even though they are not yet very skilled at mimicry or even graceful movement.

    Mr. Mime never speak, even telepathically. However, even without ears they can understand spoken commands. They cannot understand music and recorded voices. Mr. Mime ordinarily use telepathy to read the nervous systems of similarly structured creatures. This allows them to perfectly mimic the movements of humans. Less well known is their ability to project their own movements onto humans and other bipeds. This is usually only possible after a psychic link is established through mimicry. Mr. Mime never cause the being they are controlling to speak or write.

    Husbandry

    The species is generally safe around humans. There are three broad exceptions. Mime Jr. or Mr. Mime in a fey court are every bit as dangerous as every other member of a fey court. They will lash out violently if their performance is interrupted or mocked. Finally, sometimes Mr. Mime become too attached to one individual and become addicted to their attention. If this attention is ever withdrawn, the pokémon may kidnap the target of their affection and, if necessary, keep their body controlled and performing gestures of affection forever. Trainers of Mr. Mime are strongly urged to keep another pokémon as well to prevent this from happening. Bringing other humans in to watch the Mr. Mime or having multiple family members give the pokémon roughly equal amounts of attention are also advised.

    So long as these warnings are followed, Mr. Mime are excellent partner pokémon. They do not require food. They can sleep up to sixteen hours a day. They are also fascinated enough with humans that they can sometimes be convinced to do routine “human” tasks such as sweeping, mopping or cleaning dishes. If a Mr. Mime does not want to do these things, they should never be forced to do them.

    The main drawback of keeping Mr. Mime is their need for attention. They will expect their trainer to spend several hours with them a day, either venting to the Mr. Mime (they are very good listeners), watching a performance, or allowing the Mr. Mime to mimic their trainer’s movements while in public or doing a complex task. On rare occasions, they may take over their trainer’s body for an hour or so.

    Mime Jr. are even more demanding, in their own way. They are typically content to just watch what their trainer does and try to imitate it, but they will sometimes want to perform. Both present problems. Mime Jr. will inevitably make mistakes in their spontaneous imitations and performances, causing them great emotional distress. Their trainer will then need to drop whatever they were doing and console their Mime Jr. It is speculated that they even make mistakes on purpose from time to time to get attention. They are also less used to linking their nervous systems than Mr. Mime are; this can sometimes result in involuntary twitches or inexplicable sensations in nearby humans. Sometimes weirder results, such as full body or perception swaps, can happen.

    Mr. Mime should be given a secluded place to sleep in, ideally one where other humans rarely enter. Mime Jr. should be allowed to sleep in their trainer’s bed (they are more than tough enough to survive a human rolling onto them and they can’t choke on blankets because they don’t breathe). Their pokéballs should be used very sparingly, ideally only when the pokémon is injured or right before major formal matches.

    Illness

    When a Mr. Mime receives insufficient attention, they may become withdrawn, lethargic and bitter. This, ironically, results in the pokémon receiving less attention than they were before. Taking a day and doing nothing but playing with a Mr. Mime can usually reverse this.

    The vast majority of trainers will experience only temporary maladies from Mime Jr. attempting nervous systems links. The more serious cases tend to be spotted fairly quickly. Some powerful human or pokémon psychics (or legendary pokémon, such as the relatively friendly Tapu Lele and Tapu Koko) can resolve these problems without permanent side effects.

    Evolution

    When a Mime Jr. has enough confidence in their own mimicry abilities, they will evolve. They are not gradual or flash evolvers; they are in a rare third category that simply disappears and reappears a moment later in their adult form. This process is literally faster than blinking. There is no bright flash of light. Evolution simply happens. Curiously, the new Mr. Mime will almost never acknowledge that they were ever a juvenile and will immediately begin acting as if everything is normal.

    Evolution cannot be accelerated by battling, but can be hastened by the Mime Jr.’s surrogate parents spending more time with them. Trainers who want to evolve their Mime Jr. quickly should play with their pokémon whenever possible and never stray more than a few meters away.

    Battling

    Mr. Mime are seen on almost every professional battlefield—on the sidelines. A rhydon cannot go all out with a seismic attack without leveling all but the sturdiest of structures around them. A missed hydreigon draco meteor could easily kill several spectators. Arguably, high level professional battling is only possible because of Mr. Mime. The pokémon put on a show at the start of most professional matches (although this part is usually omitted from telecasts). This gives the pokémon a boost in power and confidence that allows them to form shields around the battlefield. These barriers keep attacks, field effects and pokémon inside of the arena while still allowing all but the harshest of lights and sounds to pass through.

    Mr. Mime form these shields in one of two ways. The more powerful is belief. If someone nearby believes that their walls are real, they spontaneously become real. These walls persist until physically broken, the belief falters, or the last believer leaves the area. Mr. Mime can also create temporary barriers by using small vibrations of their fingertips to still molecules in front of them. They can create a feedback loop where the temporary barrier visibly holds, convincing bystanders that it is real. This, in turn, causes the barrier to become far stronger, which fosters more belief in the power of the barrier, which causes the barrier to become stronger, and so on. This makes Mr. Mime shields uniquely powerful in large stadiums where powerful attacks routinely hit their shields without breaking them.

    There is some debate as to whether trainers themselves should not be allowed to use Mr. Mime in stadium matches, or whether stadium capacity should be limited for professional battles where one side has a Mr. Mime. It has been repeatedly shown that trainer’s Mr. Mime are less powerful in isolated matches, such as remotely telecast matches fought on top of Mt. Silver or on desert islands. Mr. Mime on the battlefield do not appear to become any more powerful when other Mr. Mime are creating the barriers, as opposed to salahewa or claydol. This is not surprising given Mr. Mime’s antipathy towards others of their species.

    In 2006, at the peak of baton pass teams’ popularity, eleven of the top one-hundred trainers used a Mr. Mime on their main team. Changes in the rules to punish the playstyle has decreased Mr. Mime’s prominence, but they are still among the top thirty most used pokémon in major tournaments.

    Every baton pass team, and a fair few bulky and hyper offense teams, have a Mr. Mime at their core. The pokémon can temporarily distract an opponent through disable, encore, taunt or torment. Then they start to set up the shields. Only the very strongest of opponents, or those with unique shield-breaking abilities, can get around the barriers in less than one minute. In the meantime, Mr. Mime meditate through nasty plot or calm mind. They periodically fortify the shields as needed and then resume boosting up. Once the switch timer runs out, they immediately baton pass to either another link in the baton pass chain or to an offensive pokémon. A hydreigon with fifteen minutes of nasty plot boosting and Mr. Mime shields behind it (and maybe other boosts from the rest of the chain) can sweep most full, healthy teams before the switch clock runs.

    Most baton pass counters, such as merciless offense, toxic, perish song, and taunt, do not work on Mr. Mime because of their shields, bizarre biology, or deafness. Instead, their weakness is their relative lack of offensive presence. Some trainers will let Mr. Mime do whatever it wants behind the barrier. In the meantime, they have their own pokémon set up. This can take the form of stat boosting or arena control. The above hydreigon can theoretically sweep a team in fifteen minutes, but if they immediately come into face an opponent with several minutes of amnesia, swords dance or calm mind boosting, hail, and the backing of a tailwind or trick room, things could quickly look ugly for that hydreigon.

    Mr. Mime can use their own offensive abilities and shoot out attacks such as dazzling gleam or charge beam through the barrier. But even with several minutes of boosting (or baton pass boosts of their own), Mr. Mime are only powerful enough to match the average top tier offensive pokemon. And every second spent attacking is a second that Mr. Mime isn’t boosting or fortifying their barriers. While they lack conventional weak points, Mr. Mime are still rather fragile and can’t take many hits once their walls come down.

    As such, Mr. Mime is increasingly viewed as an insurance policy: one way or another, the winner of the matchup right after Mr. Mime baton passes out is going to take the match. If a trainer has had a very bad match and is left with only Mr. Mime and a special attacker, they can effectively wipe out the rest of the match beforehand. This has led to some rumblings about banning baton pass altogether because it “takes the skill out of battling.”

    Island Challenge battles are not fought in front of sold out stadiums. Only the champion, the challenger and a referee are allowed in the throne room during title defense matches. The elite four chambers and the throne room are all guarded by technology derived from bronzong and partially fortified by ninetales, not Mr. Mime, to get around the lack of crowds. The Malie Gym uses Mr. Mime, and Alola Stadium (still under construction as of this volume’s publication) will use Mr. Mime.

    The lack of attention does diminish Mr. Mime’s effectiveness, but in turn only the Kahunas, elite four and champion have pokémon that can dish out professional tier attacks. Champion Luna is the only Battler ranked trainer based in Alola. This means that Mr. Mime can still make shields that hold off most opponents for at least a minute, even with relatively few spectators. After evolution or capture, Mr. Mime should be taught a few offensive attacks such as charge beam and dazzling gleam. Then training should focus on boosting moves. A Mr. Mime can do very well for themselves up until the elite four without knowing baton pass. The default strategy for using Mr. Mime in casual battle is to disrupt the opponent, set up shields, boost for a minute or so, and then start firing out attacks. Opponents who take the time to counter-boost can be troublesome, as Mr. Mime’s shields do not scale up with their boosting and the species has no good way to boost their defenses outside of their barriers.

    Mime Jr. should only be battled with in very controlled settings against weak opponents. They strongly prefer friendly play to battle and losses can upset their self-confidence for days or even weeks.

    Acquisition

    Mime Jr. and Mr. Mime can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class III license.

    They are most commonly found in the suburbs of Hau’oli, although they sometimes venture into more rural areas or into the heart of the city. Mr. Mime are most often seen while performing. These performances should never be disrupted, as the Mr. Mime will fly into a rage and, if captured, never trust their trainer. Mr. Mime are creative, vindictive, and have psychic powers; angering one and then keeping it close is folly of the highest degree.

    Mr. Mime are best captured by simply approaching one moving between locations or sitting down next to a resting Mr. Mime. Showing the pokémon a pokéball and watching a full performance (with suitably vigorous applause at the end) will usually gain the pokémon’s trust and they will allow themselves to be captured. They feed off of attention and are entirely willing to be trained by humans if it means a constant source of food.

    Mime Jr. are somewhat trickier to capture. A Mime Jr. that has not found a surrogate parent after a week or two will usually cry very loudly until either a predator or potential parent approaches. Walking around the woods north of Hau’oli or the suburbs of the city and listening for tears is as good a way to find one as any. Mime Jr. will be very friendly to potential surrogate parents and will make no effort whatsoever to resist capture. If a Mime Jr. already has parents or shows disinterest in capture, it is best to leave the pokémon alone to avoid angering their parents.

    Breeding

    Mr. Mime do not need physical contact to breed. In fact, a pair have successfully mated through a video link while being physically over 100 kilometers apart. When two Mr. Mime see each other, one will spontaneously begin performing while the other watches. The other will reply with a performance of their own. If both are reasonably impressed with the other, they will begin a synchronized routine that lasts for one to two hours. Then both will stand motionless for several minutes until a Mime Jr. spontaneously appears next to one of them. Both parents will then immediately ignore the child and each other. Mr. Mime can mate several times throughout their lives, but they will never mate with (or even acknowledge) a past partner again.

    Subspecies

    N/A
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019

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