Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This is No Fairy Tale, it's a New Type of Pokémon!

Between E3 and the latest issue of Corocoro, an explosion of new information about X and Y reached fans across the world. And alas, the biggest bombshell the Pokémon crew dropped has me eating my own words...again. It's been 14 years since Gold and Silver introduced two new types which we now consider staples. Without further ado, here is the new type of Pokémon, Fairy!
Sylveon challenges Hydreigon. Watch out for its Moonblast!

Before this announcement, we already met the first Fairy-type Pokémon, Sylveon. I personally thought it was Normal. Older Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Marill and Gardevoir also gain a secondary Fairy-type. This is similar to how Magnemite and Magneton became both Electric and Steel-types.

Looking at the initial Fairy Pokémon, it's obvious that they fit the "cute" motif. I highly doubt Muk is going to be Poison/Fairy anytime soon. I found it peculiar that Jigglypuff became Normal/Fairy over Clefairy. I mean, it's literally in Clefairy's name! Granted, Jigglypuff was the second-most popular Pokémon in Japan (with the first being Pikachu of course), so it might have been a smart way to promote the new type. Still, this doesn't mean that Clefairy can't be a Fairy-type. We just have to wait and see what Game Freak has in store for us.

While I didn't think a new type would come about, I did say that a new type would probably counter Dragon-types. At least I got that right! But what would make Dragon Pokémon so good that they needed a new type to counter it? The first family of dragons was the Dragonite line back in Red and Blue. Back then, he was benign, playful, cuddly...but now Dragonite's an unstoppable juggernaut bent on sheer destruction!
That's not cute and cuddly...

Many Dragon-types are pseudo-legendaries with a base stat of 600. Besides raw power, Dragon-types have impressive offensive and defensive capabilities. Dragon hits every type for at least neutral damage except for Steel (not very effective) and Dragon (super effective). Furthermore, Dragon is only weak to Dragon and Ice-types while sporting resistances to Electric, Grass, Fire and Water. This allows them to switch in on a number of moves and immediately threaten any unfortunate Pokémon standing in the way.

Dragon types also have powerful moves to abuse. Draco Meteor, Outrage, Dragon Pulse and even Dual Chop are quite effective. I wouldn't say that Dragons enjoy the privileges of Psychic-types back in Gen 1, but they're pretty powerful. I'm glad that the strength of Dragon-types was addressed.
Take that you jerk! It's Super Effective!

So what about my opinions about these new Fairies? For one thing, I wish they weren't called Fairy-type! To me, it's too gender specific. Look at Grass, Fighting and Dark. They don't inherently sound male or female. While certain Pokémon like Machamp and Gothitelle look masculine and feminine, the type as a
whole is not all one gender. Fairy sounds too feminine; I wouldn't want Fighting to be called "Macho". Light-type could be an alternative. There are moves like Moonblast and the released Fairy Pokémon have a sort of "light" or good persona to them.

Flabébé is a new Fairy-type in 6th gen
It's great that the strength of Dragons were addressed, but I don't think a new type was the best answer. While it might benefit the main series games, how will this new type affect the Pokémon franchise as a whole? Will the trading card game create a new energy type? How will the anime "magically" explain that  Jigglypuff had a secondary typing? Only time will tell. At the moment however, I don't believe that Fairy-type was necessary to keep things fresh for X and Y.

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