This is a term I adopted from cheerleading. As a pop warner cheerleader, I myself was a flyer– the girl that goes up in mounts and stunts. It was fun, but really effing scary to cradle down. Anyway… it’s time for a little more pokéblogging!
Last week’s post on starter pokémon inspired me to think about how I build my team. I mentioned before, I focus heavily on my starter, relying on it to carry my team through battle; training it to be a one-hit-wonder, K-O-ing defending pokémon immediately. My starter always takes the first spot in the party. After a strong starter, the next element to my pokémon team is a flyer. The flyer always takes the second spot. You can catch a good flying-type pokémon early on, train, and evolve it into an essential part of the team. Plus, when you finally get that precious HM02, this bird is your key to the map!
In Generation 1, the obvious choice was Pidgey. Pidgey is one of the first pokémon you can catch, along with Rattata. It’s perfectly conceivable that you could catch him early on, evolve him into Pidgeotto as you go, and have Pidgeot with you as you battle the elite four. That is precisely what I did.
Generation 2 didn’t offer the Pidgey alternative I was hoping for. Hoothoot was the early catch option, but this guy wasn’t for me. Pidgey was still in these games and still available early on, so I continued to keep this bird by my side through Johto until Ho-oh changed the game. Ho-oh took the second spot in my team filling the role of the flyer and adding some much needed fire power to my Feraligatr-led party.
Generation 3 offered a few options for a flyer. Taillow, your basic bird of the generation, didn’t enthuse me with only one evolved stage. Wingull, the seagull, was much more exciting. Wingull also only evolves once, but this water/flying combination brought something additional to the table for my fire-led team. The best option, and actually my pick for favorite flying type, is Swablu and its evolution, Altaria. I love this cloud-winged bird who evolves into a dragon. Altaria is my second in Gen 3, and is my ultimate pick for flyer for my master team!
Generation 4 produced a perfect Pidgey imitation: Starly, Staravia, and Staraptor. This is really what I wanted, after setting the precedent with Pidgey: a pokémon that could grow and evolve along with my starter! Okay, okay, a little behind. I love a twice evolving pokémon and Starly and its evolutions have more of an edge than Pidgey. It works for me.
Following suit, Generation 5 brought another Pidgey-reminiscent three-stage family: Pidove, Tranquil, and Unfeazant. I preferred Ducklett and Swanna when I came across them in the game due to their water type, but Unfeazant fit the pattern as a Pidgeot-substitute.
Another twice evolving bird that fit the Pidgey pattern came in Generation 6. Fletchling, Fletchinder, and Talonflame could be a great addition to a team. These dual type flying and fire pokémon add a bit more power to the position of flyer, and could act as a great elemental foil if you’ve gone water or grass for your starter! …Of course, I didn’t. Then I chose Charmander from Sycamore because Mega Charizard X! I also got the promotional Torchic. My gen 6 team actually was a mess.
This second spot flyer was my team-building tradition. How do you build your pokémon team?