Not everyone can be the best (like no one ever was) but some Pokemon just can’t keep up.

There are those both baffling in appearance and useless to boot. (Sorry Unown.) And those forever relegated to their “cute widdle baby forms” so the kids keep buying the Pikachu Beanie Babies and lollipops because – hey, that’s just good business.

But when you have the choice of playing as Pokemon that can tear their fellow Pocket Monsters’ limbs apart with telekinetic hurricanes summoned from genetically altered brains or melt Pokéflesh to ash with their atomic dragon breath, watching Rattata and Pidgey faint after squabbling over a few stray berries seems… a tad banal. The point is, the Pokémon game is won by battling, not by how many haircuts you can give your Skitty. (Although they’ll love you for it.) So why should we play as the mediocre ones?

Point in case: The following Pokémon. They suffer from unfortunate type combinations, crappy stats, a deficient movepool—or all three. They need to evolve. Or at least be improved in some way. You know, that way somebody might actually play them… instead of leaving them to rot in their strange, spherical prisons.


1. Arbok/Seviper


People are scared shitless of snakes. And with good reason; they’ve been vilified in every publication from the Bible to its modern day film equivalents like Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane. They hiss, slither all surreptitiously through the grass, and have no legs. In other words, they’re creepy as all Hell. Also, many of them are venomous enough to kill you with a single bite. Just read through the following list of the world’s most venomous snakes and see if you ever consider running around barefoot in your backyard ever again.

In-game snakes on the other hand? Not so scary. First of all, they’re poison type, AKA the redheaded stepchildren of offensive types. Arbok and Seviper are the two most notable poisonous snakes and they’ve been in the “rarely used” tier of competitive Pokémon fighting since… forever. They’re also both so frail that anything stronger than Magikarp’s Splash can pretty much OHKO them.

Suggested Evolution: The move Coil, introduced in Black/White was a step in the right direction. Now let’s just give Arbok some better stats and some bulk to make better use of the move. Continuing with the whole “snake spelled backwards” motif of Ekans and Arbok, we’ll call the Arbok evolution Abmam, which is ‘mamba’ backwards.

As for Seviper? Turn him into Seboa. Give him some more staying power and slap a Shadow Tag/Arena Trap equivalent on him, to conjure the impression that opponents are actually ensnared in the clutches of a massive, constricting snake.


2. Ariados


Along came a spider… that sucked ass.

Like several other Pokémon on this list, Ariados at least looks kind of formidable.

Problems? The generic Bug/Poison type combination which about 3950535730 other Pokémon share. And more glaringly, a downright pitiable base speed of 40 which puts it roughly in the same tier as a grandmother whose wheelchair capsized in a tar pit and a scant pube’s width above Slowpoke and Shuckle. The hell, Nintendo? Last time I checked, Ariados has four legs. What could possibly make it that slow?

Suggested Evolution: According to Bulbapedia, Ariados is based on the Myrmarachne formicaria spider, or a jumping spider that mimics an ant. Does that sound like something as plodding as Ariados is made out to be?

ariados-evo
Courtesy of nelsinios

Slap an extra stinger on his back, as well as an additional eye and Ariados becomes Arachtres, a combination of arachnid and the Spanish number tres. Also, how about Magic Guard as an ability so that it can switch in against Stealth Rock unscathed?


3. Banette


According to the Pokémon Emerald Pokédex entry for Banette:

An abandoned plush doll became this Pokémon. They are said to live in garbage dumps and wander about in search of the children that threw them away.

Sadly, in a heap of garbage is right where this derelict doll-spirit belongs. There’s just no justifiable reason to pick this dude over spectral mainstays like Gengar, Dusclops, or even Misdreavus unless you want to be a unique little snowflake, are running some gimmicky Trick Room/Focus Sash spec or have a strange fetish… for dolls. (In which case you stay away from this game designed for school-aged children, you hear?)

Suggested Evolution: Another interesting factoid courtesy the Ruby Banette Pokédex entry:

Banette generates energy for laying strong curses by sticking pins into its own body. This Pokémon was originally a pitiful plush doll that was thrown away.

So that explains the strange trumpet protruding from its ass. Now there’s something we can run with; er… the voodoo doll theme, not the anal brass wind instrument. Its already got a freaky looking zippered-shut mouth, so let’s cram those needles everywhere. We’re talking Pinhead from Hellraiser style. Garb him head to toe in something resembling black S&M leather while we’re at it.

Stats wise, he needs help in both defenses. Then just ameliorate his already strong Attack and we could have a viable Choice Bander or physical threat whose Sucker Punches and Shadow Sneaks would actually hurt.

Since Banette is a combination of the words bane and marionette, let’s keep that sinister doll theme going with Nefarikin. (Nefarious + manikin/mannequin.)


4. Cacturne


Cacturne looks pretty bad-ass, I’ll admit; like one cactoid hominid you wouldnt want to mess with in a dark cornfield/desert in Hoenn. He’s got Spikes, Toxic, Swords Dance, and a STAB Sucker Punch in his repertoire—all the makings of a decent Pokémon; ironically though, for a character based on an extremely resilient plant that can survive environments with drought and bone-dry climates, Cacturne is anything but with his feeble Defense and Special Defense stats. His Sand Veil ability helps with this, and while a Swords Danced Sucker Punch from him certainly hits hard as hell, his frailty really begins to show against anything that can avoid Sucker Punch using status moves as well as those that can resist the other moves in his movesets.

cacturne-evo

Suggested Evolution: Curve that hat up a bit. Think less 18th century naval tricorne and more Kung Lao. Make the spikes on his body more pronounced and incurved as well. We shall call him… Cactnox. (Cactus + nox, the Latin word for night.)


5. Farfetch’d


With his fair brown plumage, mischievous unibrow, and onion stalk lance gallantly clutched between his prehensile wings, Farfetch’d evinces an air of quixotism; surely this is a mallard worthy of a dignified swashbuckler’s life. One of adventure. Daring. Bravado.

So it’s a damn shame the little guy just oozes tedium; his stats, subpar moveset and glaring lack of moves to cover his resistances.

Suggested Evolution: This would be a controversial move for Farfetch’d and this may be some of my personal bias interfering but come on… take one look at the little guy and tell me he doesn’t deserve it. We’re going to make him Fighting/Flying type. While that type combo makes him immensely powerful, we wouldn’t boost his base stats as much as most evolutions do just to make it feasible.

farfetchd-evo

Turn the onion leek into a sword or sickle-type bladed weapon (to match his new appellation), as well as some crudely fashioned onion-leek armor (maybe even a shield) for a parodic Don Quixote effect. Thus, a Farcic’l is born. (Play on the word farcical, or resembling farce; ludicrous; absurd.)


6. Delibird


Once you get past the puerile novelty of a penguin dressed as Santa Claus… you are left with, well—a penguin dressed as Santa Claus… with s--t stats and a bad move pool.

Suggested Changes: Give him a menacing scowl and call him Angribird. Make Grumpig his new arch nemesis. Construct a new unlockable mini-game wherein you fire Angribird at Grumpigs stationed within various structures. Rake in trillions, Nintendo.

But seriously – More Kringle, more power! Slap a robust beard on this dude; beef him up by roughly 400 pounds and concordantly boost his stats so that he can survive more than a single maneuver. Give him the appearance of a pugilistic avian Santa Claus, red sleeves rolled up and fists raised like an old time boxer. Give him the Scrappy ability so that he’s able to hit Ghost types with Normal and Fighting type moves, which will guarnatee a Rapid Spin for him no matter what and ladies and gentleman, we’ve finally given this little bird some usefulness.


7. Luvdisc


…On second thought, forget it. Every game needs its perennial laughingstock; the perennial underdog you can’t help but root for and pity at the same time. Sorry Luvdisc, that’s you.


8. Beedrill


You’d think that an enormous, bipedal bee with poisonous, parking-cone-sized stingers would garner a little more respect in the world of enslaved beast fighting. Hell, what about Africanized Killer Bees, man? Little bastards can kill you and they’re a fraction of Beedrill’s size. As it stands, Beedrill comes off as little more pesky than the little bastard from the Honey Nut Cheerios box.

Suggested Changes: When Beedrill evolves, he goes a little nuts. Think Ultimate Warrior from the old school WWF days talking about crashing a plane with Hulk Hogan on it. Yeah, that crazy. He’s going to turn into Beedrenlin.

I know what you’re thinking. “But AiPT, Beedrill is already a third evolution, a-----e. How dare you personally insult both myself and my kinsfolks’ honor by suggesting such sacrilege, filthy blasphemer!” First, calm the hell down. Second, I love Beedrill. I really do. That’s why I want to see him succeed or at least have a miniscule chance to survive a little better in the Overused Tier of competitive battling. The evolution into Beedrenlin will be caused by an evolution-inducing held item I concocted called “Hive Nectar.” Slap that little baby on a Kakuna, trade him away and voila; that way Beedrenlin is not a fourth-level evolution but an alternative to Beedrill with different base stats. So put your flaming torches or vibrating Fleshlights down, my fellow Pokefanatics.

beedrenlin
Courtesy of Sherhazad-Arshad

Beedrill can pack a wallop already with X-Scissor or U-Turn, but he’s still not exactly striking fear into the hearts of his opponents. So let’s give Beedrenlin his own signature move: We’ll call it Beesting, make it 120 base power like Megahorn, and give it the same 85% accuracy. The only catch? Beedrenalin has the Compoundeyes ability, which increases the accuracy of all moves multiplicatively by 30%. All of a sudden, a whole lot more Pokémon just got allergic to bee stings.


9. Tropius


Everyone’s reaction when seeing Tropius in-game for the first time: Holy crap, it’s a brontosaurs with a banana bushel neckbeard. Also, he can fly. My inner five year old just crapped his OshKosh B’Gosh overalls. I can’t wait to capture this prehistoric beast and unleash botanic dinosaur hell on some fools.

Everyone’s thoughts after playing with Tropius for more than five minutes: You are slow as f--k. You have a 4x weakness to ice and you’re not even a flying dragon. Instead of just fainting next time, Tropius… I want you to die. Please die.

tropius-evo
Courtesy of Smiley-Fakemon
.

Suggested Evolution: Troplodcus (Tropical + Diplodocus, another well known sauropod dinosaur.) Make him leaner and meaner looking, with less stubby legs.


10. Linoone and Furret


I know what you’re thinking. Why these guys? They’re just stupid little raccoon things. The most impressive talent raccoons exhibit in real life is rummaging through people’s garbage cans and getting run over by cars. Why should they be going round for round with psychic dragons and continent-forging Anklyosaurs?

Because unlike some of the others on this list, both Linoone and Furret have fairly impressive movepools. They just lack the staying power to exhibit them.

Suggested Changes: Make them more like this:


11. Plusle/Minun


Whoops. This entry’s here by mistake. Just expose these adorable little electric rodents to a Thunderstone and watch the crazy evolution take its course. Oh. Wait a minute… you mean these guys aren’t Pikachu?

Move on to Part Two: 11 More Pokemon That Desperately Need Evolutions.

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