We’re on the brink of a new era of Pokémon. Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee comes out this November, and 8th Gen will be out as early as next year. We’ll even be getting our first 8th Gen Pokémon in Pokémon Go to correspond with the release of Pokémon Let’s Go. It’s an exciting time to be a Pokémon fan, as there’s the faint scent of massive change lingering in the air. Pokémon is on the brink of an evolution as a franchise.
Which is odd because it feels like 7th Gen only just came out, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s because Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon came out just last year and some of us are still digging our way through that game. The anime still isn’t even done with Sun & Moon. Heck, Smash Bros fans are speculating which 7th Gen Pokémon will hit Smash Bros Ultimate, as there’s no way we’re seeing anyone from 8th Gen. It’s almost too early for something new, so we thought it’d be fun to rank the top Pokémon of the most modern generation. After all, these are the Pokémon closest to us currently!
Pokémon don’t get more pathetic than Wishiwashi. Even Magikarp could take on this wimp in a solo fight. However, “solo” is the operative word here, as you will almost never encounter a Wishiwashi on its own. Instead, Wishiwashi tend to travel in large groups. Even if one happens to be traveling alone, it can send a signal over a 25 mile radius to summon all Wishiwashi to join together. The resulting school resembles a horrifying monstrosity of a fish with the strength to back it up. Truly there is power in numbers!
Actually, in regards to competitive viability, Wishiwashi isn’t that great. Despite sky-high stats, its school form disappears once Wishiwashi loses half of its health. However, that very same ability makes it a perfect Totem Pokémon for the games. Lana summons one as a part of the trial on Brooklet Hill, and is commonly known as the “weed-out” Pokémon of Sun & Moon. Wishiwashi’s is the battle where you need to have a solid understanding of the mechanics of the game. You can’t get by with just overpowering it at that point, making it one of the most notorious battles in Sun & Moon.
Well gang, looks like we have a mystery to solve! Don’t worry, though, Gumshoos is on the case! And trust us, once Gumshoos latches onto an idea, it never lets go. Much like the ever famous TV detective Columbo, Gumshoos will choose a target and patiently wait for them to let their guard down before going in for a strike. However, unlike Columbo, rather than sending its culprit to jail, Gumshoos wants a meal. In fact, Gumshoos has managed to force its main prey, Rattata and Raticate, into a nocturnal cycle just so the species could survive!
But look, we’re not going to dance around the subject here. Regardless of your political affiliation… you have to admit, Gumshoos does bear a striking resemblance to the acting president of the United States, Donald Trump. It’s Gumshoos’ uncanny comb-over hair that drives the comparison home. However, according to Sun & Moon producer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori, this was entirely a coincidence. Sun & Moon began production long before the US 2016 primary elections, and Gumshoos’ design had been finalized well before then!
This fearsome force of a Pokémon actually evolves from Type:Null, one of the only purely manmade Pokémon. 3 Silvallys were created from the cells of all the known Pokémon types in order to battle the Ultra Beasts in other dimensions. Unfortunately, though, the Silvallys went berserk and the scientists in charge of the project had to place limiting helmets on them so they could maintain some level of control. These helmets changed it into the Type:Null, but once a trainer develops enough of a bond with it, they can remove the helmet and change it back into Silvally.
What’s really fascinating, is the resemblance Silvally bears to Arceus, or the god of the Pokémon world. The similarities go further than appearance, as even Silvally’s base stats line up closely with Arceus. Both have stats that are perfectly equal with each of their other stats, just that Arceus’ base is much higher overall than Silvally’s. It’s this sort of unspoken lore that you have to derive from context clues that makes Pokémon so fascinating as a franchise. The writers leave little clues, and the players and anime watchers have to put together the pieces. This revelation drives home man’s interference with the natural order of the world of Pokémon, where people are failing to recreate god.
“Apathetic” is probably the best way to describe Litten. Much like real cats, not a whole lot will affect your average Litten. Most of the time, Littens keep to themselves and don’t like to be handled all that much. In fact, you might even want to be careful about touching a Litten altogether, as its fur is composed of several different flammable oils that could ignite when it sheds. In fact, these oils are exactly how it can spit flames; after Litten grooms itself, it spits fireballs instead of hairballs!
Being a starter Pokémon, Litten naturally receives more attention than your average Pokémon. After all, some kids are getting started with the Pokémon franchise for the very first time with Sun & Moon. Litten could very well be their very first Pokémon! Ash even gets a Litten during the Sun & Moon arc of the anime as one of his only 7th Gen Pokémon in the entire anime! This has allowed plenty of kids to get to know Litten on a much more personal level than your average Pokémon.
You may be tempted to hug this giant teddy bear of a Pokémon. We do advise against it, though. Bewear is one of the most dangerous Pokémon in all of Alola. Its hugs are so strong they could actually snap your back, which is a shame, as Bewear is a very affectionate Pokémon. It loves to rush towards a potential friend and give them a great big bear hug. So, if you want one, you’ll want to refrain from asking Bewear to work out the cricks in your spine… or to redirect its love towards your opponents.
However, if you really feel the need to give Bewear a hug, you could always find yourself a plushie. The Pokémon Company has put Bewear on the forefront of their merchandising campaign for 7th Gen. After all, the entire point of Bewear is to hug it! Obviously, you’d need a teddy bear to accompany it. As a result, both Bewear and its pre-evolution Stufl have been very popular Pokémon for stuffed animals. There’s even a very rare limited edition Dusclops-disguised Bewear plush out there, officially produced by The Pokémon Company!
Of the 3 starters from Sun & Moon, the Popplio line seemed the least likely to take off. People really wanted a seal Pokémon… and no, Seel didn’t count. However, Popplio’s giant pink nose was the second time it looked like the starter water Pokémon line was tempting fate with a clown theme. Most fans were drifting towards Rowlett as the go-to starter of 7th Gen. Even the anime hasn’t really featured Primarina, outside of one match where a Primarina was owned by a nameless trainer during a Battle Royal.
But then something miraculous happened. In Nintendo Dream, one of Japan’s biggest Nintendo-exclusive publications, there was a poll held for the favorite Pokémon of 7th Gen. Primarina managed to rank 3rd overall! Apparently, the mixture of pop idol and aquatic siren was just too unique a combination for fans to ignore. Perhaps Primarina is not the most recognizable Pokémon out there, but it clearly is an incredibly popular one that for some reason The Pokémon Company has yet to acknowledge!
Lycanroc comes in three forms, depending on which version of Sun & Moon you own. If you’ve got Moon, leveling up a Rockruff at night will net you the kind-of-scary Midnight Form. If you evolve a Rockruff in the morning or afternoon in Sun, you’ll get the rather noble Midday form. If you’ve got Ultra Sun or Ultra Moon though, you’ll get the slightly more noble Dusk form if you evolve Rockruff right in between 5 and 6 p.m.
That Dusk form was added in thanks to the anime. Ash snagged a Rockruff early on in the Sun & Moon arc of the anime, and it evolved into Dusk-Lycanroc to hype up the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. However, Lycanroc was especially popular even before the anime, particularly the wild-looking Midnight version. There are very few Pokémon that look outright psychotic, but Midnight-Lycanroc certainly nails that down. However, considering that Rockruff is cute as a button and its Midday and Dusk forms are designed to be cool, Lycanroc is really the kind of Pokémon that can appeal to anyone.
This dapper young fella has come prepared to serve, complete with a tiny bowtie! Of course, it’s not actually a bowtie, but two leaves arranged to look like one. You might think it’s because Rowlet is the first in a series of buttler-themed Pokémon, and its first evolution Dartrix certainly feeds into that notion. However, let’s just say things get a little grim for little Rowlet by the time it grows up into Decidueye. We can only assume it does not give two weeks’ notice when it casts off the shackles of its servitude.
There’s really nothing more to Rowlet’s popularity than its completely adorable presence. Ash starts with Rowlet during the Sun & Moon anime and has yet to ever evolve it. Why would he? Decidueye took such a depressing turn, that anyone would want to keep Rowlet as its little poof-ball self forever! Its rise to stardom was not a slow one either. As soon as the starter trio was revealed, Rowlet was the immediate favorite among fans.
Cosmog is something of an anomaly within the Pokémon world. The only way to describe Cosmog is that it’s as if the very concept of space emerged from our collective unconscious as a gas baby. It’s a tiny, floating nebula that you can carry around with you. The strangest thing though? It’s incredibly friendly! In fact, somehow, Cosmog is more interested in you and your situation than you could ever be in it. It won’t stay like that forever, though, as Cosmog will eventually evolve into Solgaleo or Lunala depending on which version of the game you’re in.
What most people remember about Cosmog is its role in the story of Sun & Moon. Lillie escaped with a Cosmog from Aether Paradise and dubbed it Nebby. She hid Nebby in her bag to keep it hidden from the world, as she didn’t want people asking too many questions about this completely unheard of Pokémon. Of course, Nebby, being the curious critter that it was, would often escape from Lillie’s bag to explore on its own. Fans started taking this as a tongue-in-cheek, semi-abusive relationship and love to shout “GET BACK IN THE BAG NEBBY!!!” whenever they see a Cosmog at, say, a convention. It’s the biggest in-joke from 7th Gen!
We know it’d be easy to confuse Mimikyu with a certain other famous yellow rodent thanks to that spot-on disguise. However, that crayon drawing isn’t actually part of Mimikyu’s body. That’s actually a costume it wears. Why? Mimikyu’s actually a very friendly Pokémon, but its true form is so horrifying, so disgusting, that no one has looked upon Mimikyu’s face and survived. They die of sheer horror. But Mimikyu just wants to be your friend. Seriously. It dons the costume because Mimikyu knows how much people love Pikachu and doesn’t want to hurt anyone.
There are hundreds of different background stories for every single Pokémon throughout every generation, yet we doubt anyone would be able to recount any of them outside of Mimikyu’s. The backstory is really what sells it. It’s almost as if Game Freak was acknowledging that they knew that no Pokémon would ever be able to achieve the same popularity their main mascot, and the only way they could draw attention away from Pikachu was to create a clone.
Yet that clone is just as adorable as Pikachu for completely different reasons. Those crayon sketches on its disguise show the struggle Mimikyu goes through to change who it is just to be loved. Who hasn’t ever felt like that? Mimikyu has spoken to an entirely new generation of fans, making it just about the most relatable Pokémon out there.
7th Gen is still so fresh that it might be just a bit early to make a call on who the most iconic are. However, we feel that these are going to be the Pokémon that people remember from this generation. They’ve all got their unique hook and still have fans talking about them 2 years after the release of the game. That’s a pretty good indicator for who’s going to be sticking around into 8th and possibly even 9th Gen.
You disagree with us? Miss one of your favorites? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!