Alright guys, one last pokéblog about team building, because recent generations are not as type balanced. My third and final team essential is what I call, the elemental foil.
This is another term that I’ve completely made up and is a take off of literary foil. A literary foil is a character whose qualities contrast, and thus highlight another character’s qualities. An elemental foil, in my world, is a pokémon whose type contrasts my starter’s— it’s strong against what my starter is not adding balance to the team. I’ve come up with an elemental foil for each of my starter pokémon.
To Charmander: LAPRAS
Generation 1 was very balanced, type-wise, because those 150 were all you got! It was clear that the fire type was my first love and that I needed its power in my team. What also became clear is how important the water type is. Charmander is terrible against Brock’s rock pokémon and even worse against Misty’s water pokémon. While a water type only improved on the first of these two gyms, at least you didn’t have a weakness to deal with so early. Fire & water are both essential parts of my team, so to counter Charizard, my pick for generation 1’s games is Lapras. You receive Lapras in the Silph Co. building in Saffron City. By then, you’re already well into the game but this is before HM03 comes into play. After you receive Surf in your next destination, Fuchsia City, it’s almost like Lapras was made for the job. Plus, the little surfing pokémon avatar basically is Lapras at this point.
To Totodile: AMPHAROS
Since I’ve gone water for my starter in generation 2, fire power was still required. However, what I really look for in a foil is something that could beat my starter. Water against water is just ehh, but electricity can really make a difference. Okay, so electricity isn’t exactly an element, and electric type isn’t the most useful, really. I did get used to the type advantages from Yellow version thanks to Pikachu, but I found my favorite electric type in generation 2: Ampharos! I’ve loved sheep since my time in Wales, where most of the population seemed to be sheep. Mareep is a cute option, but I didn’t appreciate his power until he evolved into Ampharos. Ampharos is a permanent fixture in my master team!
To Torchic: LUDICOLO
At first glance, Lotad might not seem like much. In truth, this water/grass pokémon is really a double whammy! Having picked a fire starter, this guy takes care of either side of the initial triangle of type match-ups. He evolves into Lombre early, and with the assist of a Water Stone you can have Ludicolo of your very own. This combination duck/maraca pokémon is the perfect compliment to any team led by a fire pokémon. I love the balance it lead, adding two elements in one space on your team. A rock-type will never trip you up with this guy by your side. I’m a big fan of Ludicolo, for the same really why I’m crazy about Lanturn and Chinchou from the previous generation– I love the combination of a type and its weakness. A dual-type like this really makes things interesting. That’s why I’m holding out for that water/fire combo rumored in gen 6…
To Piplup: ROSELIA
We are starting to get less balanced type-wise here in generation 4. Generation 4 is basically a bunch of added evolutions, case in point: baby form Budew and evolved form Roserade were added. I figure that’s a good enough reason to count Roselia, a generation 3 pokémon, as my elemental foil for this generation. Of course I still need fire power on my team, being that I picked a water starter, but the best counter for water in the type-triangle we’re presented with each time we start a version is grass! Until Roselia showed up last generation, I never was excited about grass types. I love little Roselia, and with a water starter, it’s great to have her on my team.
To Tepig: SIMIPOUR
Aaaand we’re back to a pokémon that actually came out in the generation I’m talking about! I absolutely love the elemental monkeys, but I’ve always had a special connection to Panpour. He’s my hair twin. Sometimes my sock bun gets a little out of control, and I call it a Panpour bun. After doing this for a while, I realized I feel like Simipour with my hair down too. Fortunate, then, that with a fire-led team, I needed a water type to counter. I’m super into the elemental monkeys, who can be caught early on, and thus make a great addition to any team!
To Fennekin: VAPOREON
We’re off-generation again. Generation 6 didn’t offer much in the ways of new water types. Other than the starter Froakie, I never connected with any of the new water types enough to invite one onto my team. I had Panpour again to get me through, but to make one last pick, I’m going back to generation 1 to highlight an elemental foil that I’ve loved since the beginning. Since another Eeveelution was added in generation 6, I’m voting on Vaporeon to be my water type to count Fennekin. Vaporeon was my favorite Eeveelution back when there were three, and even now with 8 possibilities, I’m always tempted to turn my Eevee into a Vaporeon. I guess on my teams, water types are pretty important.