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Pokémon The Alola Pokedex

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Dartrix (Rowlet, Decidueye)

Overview

Rowlet is one of the three traditional starters in the Alola region, alongside litten and popplio. It is something of a middle ground between the ease of care but aloofness of torracat or the difficult but highly social and intelligent brionne. The species has a long history of coevolution with the seafolk. While not domesticated, they are easily adjusted to working with humans. Rowlet born in captivity seem to accept humans as large, featherless decidueye.

Physiology

Rowlet and dartrix are grass- and flying-types. Decidueye are officially grass- and ghost-type, although there is some controversy over whether or not they should retain the flying classification as well. This guidebook will not delve into the controversy over the so-called triple-typings and adheres to the official rulings of the Department of Agriculture.

All stages of dartrix possess excellent hearing and night vision. Rowlet and dartrix can see perfectly well on cloudy nights with a new moon. Captive decidueye have been able to strike targets in near-perfect darkness in laboratories. It is presently unclear how they manage this, as there is no evidence they use echolocation. Rowlet are born pure white and slowly develop their colors as photosynthetic symbiote colonies grow inside of their feathers.

Rowlet resemble a small, almost spherical owl with pale brown body feathers, a white mask and a green crest on their chest. It is widely, and incorrectly, believed that this crest forms two intersecting ovals in the rough shape of deciduous leaves. While some Rowlet do have crests like this, the exact shape and shade is unique to each rowlet. The crests of related rowlets are usually similar, allowing them to serve as an identifier.

Dartrix are slightly wider than rowlet. Adults in Alola are usually about 60 centimeters tall, but with controlled diet, humidty and sunlight, some captive dartrix have grown up to one meter They gain a green headcrest and the brown feathers on their body darken considerably. Mature dartrix have developed projectile "blade feathers" that aren't actually feathers at all, but rather thin hairs coated in keratin. These replace their talons as their main form of defense.

Decidueye are usually between 1.7 and 2 meters tall. Their green crests grow to surround their entire head and an orange one forms where their crest originally was as a rowlet. Decidueye wings are dark brown. Their quills are much sharper and harder than those of dartrix, and a trained decidueye is capable of shooting them at speeds of up to fifty meters per second at ranges of up to five-hundred meters.

Dartrix can live up to thirty years in the wild and twenty-five in captivity. Decidueye never die of old age in the presence of combat and stress.

Behavior

Wild rowlet are nocturnal, although captive rowlet can be quickly trained to be crepuscular or diurnal. They perch on top of the highest trees in their area and spread their wings to allow their symbiotic bacteria to photosynthesize. At night, they leave their perches and eat leaves. This is both for nutritional reasons and to clear up more space to roost in direct sunlight during the day. In spite of their representation in folklore as powerful hunters, all stages of the evolutionary line are strictly herbivorous (this is not true for all subspecies, see Subspecies).

Their reputation comes from the hunts of decidueye. When dartrix face predators, the decidueye in the flock are known to set out at night (or, for diurnal predators, in the day) and assassinate all members of the predator species within a several kilometer radius. Some subspecies have also been documented killing even the predators that did not hunt dartrix so, in the future, those predator species will aggressively cull any others that get too aggressive with dartrix nests.

In captivity, rowlet are intensely social while awake and prefer to rest in direct sunlight or cuddle against warm-blooded animals or other rowlet for warmth. When allowed to do so, they will frequently perch on top of their trainers. Dartrix, thankfully, grow out of this practice. They still enjoy engulfing their trainer in their wings. The purpose of this behavior is unclear.

Decidueye's behavioral differences will be further detailed in the Evolution section.

Husbandry

It is best to acquire a member of the line while it is still in its first evolutionary stage. As it develops into an adult (see Evolution), it should seldom be placed inside of a pokéball or separated from its trainer for more than twenty-four hours at a time. Separation for any length of time is stressful for very young rowlet and should be avoided whenever possible. They should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours a day, five days a week. If this is infeasible, most Pokémon Centers in Alola have rooms which can simulate natural sunlight. These rooms in the busiest Centers are typically filled with rowlet and dartrix, allowing for socialization (and an exercise in remembering your rowlet's crest). During periods of particular stress, rowlet prefer to be cradled by humans or dartrix or, at the very least, given a cramped space to hide in.

The dartrix line have very inefficient digestive systems and, like most birds, they tend to defecate whenever they get ready to fly. Thankfully, rowlet and dartrix much prefer short hops and walking on their talons to flight (see Battling). They are still quite difficult to housebreak and the only real consolation is that their waste is more solid, and thus easier to clean up, than most birds. There is a five hundred dollar fine for not cleaning up your dartrix's waste in a public area.

All stages of the dartrix line should be fed a special blend of leaf-based food sold in all Pokémon Centers in Alola, and most pokémon equipment and sporting goods stores. Adult dartrix can be held in pokeballs for considerable lengths of time, although most find this irritating and using their pokéball frequently will undermine their trust in you as their trainer. Dartrix without a photosynthesis-condusive pokéball should get thirty hours of direct or simulated sunlight a week. Decidueye need only three hours of sunlight per week, although they will become more active if exposed to more light. Decidueye also tend not to have strong feelings on being held in their pokéballs.

Illness

The most common illness by far for all stages of the dartrix line is feather bleaching. During a bleaching episode, a dartrix loses all color in their feathers and become pure white across their entire body. Bleaching can be caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, severe injury, inadequate exposure to sunlight, low humidity, isolation, disease, starvation, overeating or for no apparent reason at all. So long as conditions are quickly rectified and the dartrix is given a few days to rest and either exposure to other dartrix or injections of symbiotic bacteria the problem will usually be resolved within a week. If your dartrix begins to bleach, immediately consult a veterinarian.

It should be noted that molting, the loss of feathers in certain parts of the body and slow regrowth of initially white feathers, is separate from bleaching. Unless feathers don't gain color for over a month in an adult or three months in a juvenile or molting occurs across the entire body at once it is not necessary to consult a veterinarian.

Evolution

Rowlet naturally evolve into dartrix provided food, sunlight, companionship and time. The formal point where a rowlet becomes a dartrix is the growth of a full headcrest. This typically occurs when a rowlet is nine months old. It takes another five for a dartrix to fully mature and become ready for their next evolution.

Wild decidueye are exceedingly rare. In times of great external stress, such as pandemics, sudden habitat loss, natural disasters, competition for their roosting spaces, or predation, the eldest dartrix in the quiver will begin to rapidly gain size and start to develop projectile quills. This will continue to happen with more dartrix evolving one by one until the crisis is resolved. Decidueye only live for one to three years after the most recent crisis.

In captivity, projectile quills can be surgically removed, rendering evolution impossible. Otherwise, a dartrix exposed to enough battles over the course of roughly one year (or a handful of particularly dire ones in rapid succession) will begin to evolve on its own. During evolution, dartrix should be offered greatly increased amounts of food and sunlight and given as much as it wants of both.

For a variety of reasons, dartrix evolution is not recommended for all but the most serious of trainers. Decidueye cut off from frequent, high-level battles tend to decline in health and die within a few years. This makes retirement effectively impossible for decidueye trainers. Decidueye also undergo a change in temperment arguably greater than their change in appearance. Decidueye sleep less than two hours a day and spend the remainder of their time hyper-vigilant and seeking out battles. If no opponents are presented to them in formal engagement, they will tend to pick their own fights.

They otherwise lose almost all of the cuddly and expressive nature that dartrix are known for. While they will usually not decline physical affection, they will almost never initiate it. They will stand guard for their trainer when outside of their pokéball and do little else. Because of this, many trainers who evolve their dartrix complain about a death of personality in their beloved pet and some will lose interest and abandon their decidueye. The shock of losing the quiver they evolved to protect paired with the combat withdrawal will usually kill the decidueye within six months. Decidueye seldom accept new trainers once abandoned, although many will adopt a new trainer when their old one dies.

Battle

Rowlet and dartrix are relatively durable pokémon and both are far more clever than they would appear. They have naturally good aim for the handful of projectile attacks they have. Unfortunately, they are not so capable at flying as to be able to dodge projectile attacks. Most dartrix and all rowlet are unable to dodge melee moves from average-size pokémon. They also tend to loathe battling and must be bribed into each individual fight. As such, they are not the recommended starter for trainers interested in serious battling.

Decidueye, as mentioned above, are addicted to combat and violence. They are much more adept fliers than dartrix, have near-silent movement and can put their natural aim to much better use with their quills. The species signature attack, spirit shackle, allows them to pin foes down for a short period of time, making it harder for the opponent to dodge shots or close the distance. The species has two groups of counters. The first are pokémon capable of taking a quill to any point of their body and continuing to fight because they are very durable and have no exploitable weak points. Opponents with no major weak points that can take an arrow or two and then retaliate with an even more powerful fire- or ice-type projectile move. Decidueye tend not to surrender fights until they are physically incapable of continuing, so a trainer should be mindful of the above and withdraw their decidueye if they appear to be visibly hurt.

On the professional circuits, Alolan decidueye were one of the top 1000 most used pokémon in Global Battle Federation tournaments until the late 2000s which was impressive given their very limited range and the control the Alolan government exercises over the species distribution. Their usage has declined due to the corresponding rise in South Island decidueye usage (see Subspecies)

Acquisition

Children between the ages of ten and twenty can obtain a rowlet from certified distributors free of charge with a Class I certification. Children who have cleared the grand trial on at least one island and did not receive a rowlet as a starter can purchase or adopt an additional one. Dartrix in licensed shelters can be adopted with a Class II license or higher. Decidueye adoptions are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Dartrix quivers are found in Poni Meadow, Exeggutor Island, Tapu Forest and Lush Jungle. It is illegal to collect any member of the line from the wild without explicit government approval. It is also entirely unnecessary given the strength of captive breeding programs.

Breeding

In the wild, dartrix pairs mate for life. Every three years, all of the unpaired dartrix gather away from the rest of the flock. One or two decidueye will keep watch. The males engage in an elaborate competition of skill and showmanship, including an archery contest. The females will then select their mates. Homosexuality has been observed in wild and captive dartrix with the rate appearing to increase in larger quivers. It is speculated that this evolved as a form of population control. Every Spring, dartrix mate and bring the eggs to a central location in the territory. Most of the flock's decidueye will shift to guarding the eggs, with a few watching the rowlet and dartrix instead. If there are no decidueye, the oldest dartrix will take over egg-watching duties. The eggs hatch after roughly three months. All adults help raise all of the quiver's rowlet.

Captive breeding requires a Class IV license with an additional certification in dartrix breeding. The certification course has further information.

Subspecies

As island-dwellers with limited flight, there are nearly two dozen subspecies of dartrix. As such, this section will not cover them all in detail.

Indonesian and Filipino dartrix (Filipino, Sumatran, Javan, Bornean, Varirata) typically have wingspans twice those of their Alolan counterparts at all stages. They are also much more capable fliers, and even some rowlet are capable of sustained, powered flight for a kilometer or more. Most of these subspecies are omnivorous during the wet season. However, their quills are not nearly as developed as the other subspecies and they hunt primarily through a combination of their talons and their silent flight.

The Queensland dartrix is the only subspecies with naturally venomous quills. Queensland decidueye are less than a meter tall and their dartrix are correspondingly small. Their quills take several weeks to regenerate. Between these two drawbacks, they have not gained much popularity in the competitive battling scene.

The small islands of the Pacific are littered with different dartrix subspecies. Most of them are quite similar to the Alolan dartrix, but smaller. Almost all are endangered. The Heahea conservatory has an exhibit showcasing several of these subspecies.

New Zealand previously had two subspecies of dartrix. The North Island dartrix is now extinct and the South Island dartrix at risk of extirpation. South Island dartrix regularly evolve into decidueye, regardless of external stressors. They are also nearly as large as the Sumatran decidueye and have much thicker coats. Despite their wingspan, they are nearly flightless and only use their wings for getting into and out of trees and slowing falls. Their primary weapons are their quills, by far the largest of any subspecies of decidueye. South Island decidueye make up for the seasonably variable amounts of sunlight in their environment by being carnivorous. During the summer they stay nearly stationary with their wings spread out in a field. In the long winter nights, they take up position on a low tree branch and wait to kill anything that crosses by.

South Island decidueye form mated pairs until their chicks evolve into dartrix, at which point the pairs split up and leave the dartrix on their own.

While they have nearly been hunted to extinction in New Zealand, an invasive population in the Canadian boreal has grown tremendously over the last two decades. The latest estimates placed the decidueye population in Alberta alone at over ten thousand, almost as large as the population of the total population of the Alolan decidueye. They have become a major safety risk for humans in the area, as they will kill and eat any human who enters their territory in the winter and it is all but impossible to notice a South Island decidueye before it notices you.

Due to legalized hunting and capture of Canadian decidueye, they are now the most common subspecies on the international battling scene. Seven of the Top 100 Trainers have a South Island decidueye on their main team, with only one currently using an Alolan decidueye. Further down the rankings, the Alolan decidueye is more commonly used, but still not more used than the South Island decidueye.

The South Island decidueye is also the ninth most lethal pokémon to humans worldwide (excluding disease transmission) and require a Class V license to possess in the United States.
 
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Negrek

Spindrift
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Glad to see this here! I don't generally have much interest in fan pokédexes, but I know you know your stuff. It'll be interesting to see how you spin all the weird pokémon biology out there.

This guidebook will not delve into the controversy over the so-called triple-typings and adheres to the official rulings of the Department of Agriculture.
Huh, the Department of Agriculture rules on pokémon typings? Not fish and wildlife or something? Says in the first paragraph they're not considerd domestic... If you're not eating them, would they fall under agriculture...? Why would a government agency regulate what type classification a pokémon is, it's not like the USDA makes rulings on what phylum a particular plant species falls under or whatever? If anything that seems like it would be a sporting association thing, since that's the context where typings would seem to be most relevant... or whatever agency it is that issues the licenses alluded to throughout this entry. (Which presumably isn't Agriculture?)

Interesting that dartrix have a reputation as hunters when most of the subspecies don't actually hunt anything. Perhaps the cultures with the most influence on that reputation had contact with one of the non-herbivorous varieties? Or perhaps modern rowlet are descended from ancestors that did do some hunting... the talons and all would seem to suggest that.

The idea of some dartrix evolving to decidueye to defend the quiver in times of stress is neat, and the idea that they go through and systematically slaughter threats to the other members of their species defintely suggests that there must have been, uh, some intense decidueye-human conflicts in the course of history. "Quiver" is a nice name for a group of rowlet-line mons, too.

It is unclear whether or not decidueye ever die of old age in the presence of combat and stress.
This sentence is really confusing. Initially I took it to mean that Decidueye essentially battle themselves to death, but looking again, maybe you mean that as long as they have constant battle opportunities, they may be immortal?

I'm curious what purpose the symbiotic bacteria that are mentioned a few times in here serve. Just camouflage?

ninth most lethal pokémon to humans worldwide (excluding disease transmission)
how dare you call out my bro rattata like this

A lot of this entry is focused on decidueye and how it differs from its lower evolutionary forms, which makes since it probably has the most interesting biology, but I liked the allusion to the generally cuddlier dartrix and rowlet as well. On the one hand, if this is the easiest of the Alola starters and it's one where if you battle it too much it might evolve into constant-vigilance murderbird, yikes, but on the other hand you can appreciate why rowlet would be such a popular option, especially for a young kid. They sound like a lot of fun.

Makes me wonder what makes the other starters more daunting, though. Litten has at the very least the same problem as all fire-types, namely "fire," but popplio? I wonder if you're going to go for the terrifying hunter-seal interpretation. I suppose we'll find out pretty soon!
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
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Torracat (Litten, Incineroar)

Overview

Fire-types have a reputation for forgoing strategy in favor of a barrage of smoke and flame. Torracat largely avert this; in the wild they are pack hunters that barely use their flames. Incineroar, however, plays the reputation straight. Contrary to the stigma around fire-types that they are difficult to control, Torracat are the tamest and friendliest of the Alolan feline pokémon, even if their means of expressing affection can come off as detached and distant to those unused to working with cats. Incineroar have odder behaviors, but are perhaps friendlier to humans while in captivity.

The primary appeal of torracat as a starter rests in their typicality. Children who grew up in a household with a pet feline already have a headstart in caring for and understanding their first partner. Additionally, torracat avert the typical territoriality of felines and are quick to accept new partners.

Champion Luna's incineroar has inspired a great many trainers hoping to get into serious battling to pick a litten as their first pokémon. It should be noted here that incineroar evolution takes time, luck and a willingness to go without the torracat for a while. Unevolved torracat are still lovable and capable of winning even moderately high level battles if used well. Going without evolution is a perfectly reasonable choice for a trainer on an island quest.

Physiology

Litten and torracat are classified as pure-fire types. Incineroar is classified as a dual fire- and dark-type due to their resistance to telepathic attacks.

Litten have a rather typical feline bodyshape, with the exception of a larger-than-average head for their size. They are colored black with red stripes on their legs and a red crest on their forehead. The exact hue and the shape of the crest vary by age and individual. Litten possess an internal flame sac right below the junction of their neck and torso. All stages of the torracat line have thick, flame-resistant skin. Their fur is surprisingly flammable. It is the fur they collect during grooming that serves as their primary flame source. However, the time required for fur to regrow does provide a limit to how much fire they are able to use in a given period of time, even with diet supplements.

Torracat are physiologically similar. They are far larger than their juvenile counterpart, growing up to roughly 0.75 meters in height at the shoulder, but the growth is mostly proportional. Red stripes cover their back and tail, and their head crest becomes more prominent. More pronounced red whiskers that give them a sense of the thermal gradient around them. The most significant change is the growth of a bell-like structure protruding from the flame sack. This bell is not metallic, rather, it is made of bone and coated in natural oils. It helps regulate the release of flames, something litten tend to struggle with. Torracat are capable of emitting a variety of sounds that other torracat can pick up on up to two kilometers away.

Incineroar are far larger with external flames around their waist. They typically reach roughly one meter in height at the shoulder. Contrary to popular belief, incineroar are primarily quadrupeds that sometimes rear up on two legs to reach higher, deliver more powerful blows with their forelegs, or intimidate opponents. Their paws, claws and teeth are proportionally larger than torracat's, and their muscles are more powerful and prominent. The incineroar's headcrest has grown to encompass almost the entire head. Incineroar have replaced their reproductive system with additional flame sacs, allowing for more control and power. These replace the torracat's bell.

Torracat can live up to twenty-five years in captivity and fifteen in the wild. Incineroar typically live about ten years after evolution, regardless of their age beforehand.

Behavior

Torracat, like most felines, understand human behaviors and desires through the lens of their own. Many people are vexed by their tendency to stay within the same room as their trainers, but seldom initiate physical affection. They will even frequently reject petting or grooming from even longtime trainers. This is not because of a lack of love, although many litten are initially skeptical of terrifyingly large non-torracat mammals with unknown intentions. They do this because of a belief that humans desire the same personal space as a torracat does.

Additionally, due to the use of fur as a fuel source, it is extremely uncommon for a torracat to allow someone else to groom them. As such, the offer of grooming (which is what they interpret petting as) is an insult to them. They sometimes allow humans to do it for reasons that are poorly understood, and this should be treated as a great honor.

In captivity, torracat will frequently approach other mammals and offer to groom them to build up their fuel reserves. They will even do this with humans, although their preferred method of doing so is licking human eyebrows with their rather coarse tongues. Simple negative reinforcement with a spray bottle can usually stop this behavior. Many trainers are reluctant to irritate their pets, but torracat are quick to pick up on humans' boundaries with regards to grooming and will usually stop after the first one or two reprimands from a human they respect. If a torracat does not like their trainer, they will weather sprays out of wpite.. This is a sign that either the litten needs to be replaced with a more compatible companion or serious effort needs to be put in to earning the litten's respect.

Torracat seldom harm humans in the wild or captivity and very well-trained torracat can be trusted alone with infants and toddlers.

Incineroar spend most of their time caring for their young in the wild. Typically one incineroar in a pair will hunt or sleep while the other watches the litten. Once a pair's litten have evolved and left them, they will often appear to be lost and sleep far more than they previously did. They will sometimes seek to rectify this situation by adopting orphaned babies of other pokémon species. Sometimes they will even adopt babies that are orphaned because of the incineroar's own hunts.

Husbandry

At eighteen months of age, litten can be used in battle or gifted to trainers without a Class I breeding license and DNR approval. At this point litten have fully developed coats and flame sacks. The litten provided to trainers are almost all male, as female litten are retained in the breeding program. Sometimes a female litten that is particularly curious or combative will be given to trainers alongside the males, or a male litten that is physically or tempermentally unsuitable to be given to children will be retained.

Litten will generally provide their own exercise if allowed out of their pokéball for at least twenty hours a week for non-battling purposes. This exercise may be detrimental to the integrity of furniture and camping supplies, so it is advised to let them blow off steam in battle or more structured play with other team members or their trainer.

Even when properly exercised, torracat and litten are well-known to scratch furniture and walls to mark their territory. This makes them somewhat unsuitable to be indoor pets for retired trainers without either extensive training and a close bond or a professionally done cat-proofing. They do not mark their territory through urination and are easily trained in the use of litter boxes and, on walks, vacant lots while no other humans are around.

All stages of the torracat line are not averse to rain and quite enjoy playing in it. Torracat and litten will even take submerging baths if water is provided, although they will not do so if they are forced to take them. Torracat can not be safely submerged for more than ten minutes at a time. Incineroar can not be safely submerged for any length of time (see Illness). However, moderate rain and almost all water-type attacks will not be enough to kill an incineroar.

Torracat and litten are omnivores. They will happily eat feline pokémon food sold in every Pokémon Center and pet shop in Alola, although they will require roughly 30% more food than recommended for a generic feline pokémon as they literally burn more calories than other cats. They will also happily eat most produce given to them. They prefer dried produce as it is more easily ignited. Torracat will not eat more dried fruit than they need. As such, it is advised to give them an overabundance at meal times and then simply remove and repackage what was not eaten.

Unlike most felines, torracat crave additional fur to eat. This makes pokémon with high maintenance needs and thick fur, such as furfrou, lopunny or cinccino, ideal partners. Vulpix also qualify provided the torracat or litten is adopted first. See the entry on vulpix for more information. If it is not possible to provide a mammalian partner, fur supplements can be purchased in Pokémon Centers. However, these supplements, especially the high quality ones, are rather expensive for pokémon food.

Incineroar are carnivores and apex predators and will require very large amounts of calories and fur to sustain themselves. The exact details vary by incineroar, but it is best to assume they will need 20% of their body weight in meat and 10% in fur every week. Incineroar will continue to groom team members that allow them to do so, but most pokémon that did not grow up with the incineroar while it was a torracat will be too nervous to allow it.

Incineroar are fiercely protective of anything they see as their baby, which often applies to young trainers as well as small or unevolved pokémon on their team. They will often growl or rear up on their hind legs if they perceive another human as threatening their trainer, or if they see one of their teammates hurt in battle. It is recommended that incineroar be withdrawn during battles, not used in double battles and kept away from stressful situations.

All stages of the evolutionary line require scratching posts to keep their claws in check. Otherwise they will seek out wood, be it forest logs or furniture, and take care of their needs.

Wild torracat can live in mated pairs, litter groups, groups of multiple mated pairs, mixed groups, or on their own As such,hey can adapt to almost all team dynamics in captivity.

Illness

All stages of the evolutionary line have illnesses similar to most felines. Rabies vaccines are compulsory and usually handled by the DNR. Trainers breeding their own litten (see Breeding) should vaccinate their litten on their first birthday.

A torracat exposed to particularly heavy rains or submersion for long periods of time will develop waterlogged hypothermia, the most common illness for all fire-types. A waterlogged torracat will become very inactive, refuse to eat and obsessively groom its own fur to the point of ripping out entire patches and even tearing into the skin. They will not produce flames. Waterlogging is rather easily cured in torracat with the provision of oils under the supervision of a veterinarian. If a torracat becomes waterlogged and there is not a Pokémon Center readily available, withdraw it and keep it in its ball. Drop it off at a veterinarian or Pokémon Center as soon as possible.

Parasites are particularly tricky to deal with in torracat as they will almost never allow a human to groom them. Fortunately, the few parasites that do prey on the species are usually near-harmless. Make sure your torracat has a full checkup by a veterinarian at least once a year.

Any immersion of an incineroar's open flames in water should be assumed to be life-threatening.

Evolution

Litten naturally progress into torracat as they age. This process usually takes roughly two years. The formal demarcation between litten and torracat is the first vocalization with their bell.

Torracat evolve after reproducing with another torracat. The male will begin to eat and hunt more while the female is pregnant and begin the process of evolving, which will be completed by the time the female gives birth. After delivering a litter of four to six kittnes, the female will begin to evolve in turn.

In captivity, all torracat breeding and evolutions are handled by DNR approved breeding facilities. Contact the DNR if interested in evolving a male torracat. Female torracat can be handed over for evolution, but they will only be returned to their trainer after their litten have been adopted out.

Battle

Wild litten and torracat primarily hunt with their claws and save their fire for self-defense, distractions, intimidation and mating displays. They can be trained to use fire more regularly in captivity, although their diet will need to be adjusted to compensate. Torracat are capable of fighting at range with (relatively inaccurate) embers and streams of flame, or up close with their claws and teeth. As such, they should be trained in a variety of strategies and the one picked in battle should be determined by their opponent.

In the wild, torracat hunt through the use of rough terrain and large packs communicating over long distances to set up traps. In captivity this strategy is often unable to be replicated, as only the most experienced of trainers will be able to understand their torracat's vocalizations in any detail and double battles are rare in Alola. It does mean that torracat are quite clever and can pick up on new moves and tactics quickly. This, combined with their reluctance to use fire, makes them less directly powerful than brionne or dartrix, but capable of using more complex maneuvers to compensate.

They are most easily countered by rock-types that can shrug off their claws and aren't seriously hurt by fire. Very accurate or powerful water- or ground-types can also force a torracat into surrender by targeting its bell. Litten are not particularly water averse and have no direct opening to their flame sacs, allowing them to take hits from those attacks more easily.

Incineroar in the wild hunt with powerful flame blasts, bites and paw strikes. This makes them far more direct battlers than torracat. However, like most carnivores, they sometimes have trouble holding back. Incineroar seldom bother to defend themselves if they weren't trained in defensive maneuvers as a litten. Instead they prefer to rush their opponents, rear up to bring their flame belt into play, and start scorching and slashing until one pokémon or the other is knocked out. This means that incineroar can reliably win against anything they can win a close-quarters slugging match against, and they are doomed when they can't. They also struggle against birds and quick stall teams who can keep away from incineroar while slowly chipping away at them. But outside of those two exceptions, incineroar battles tend to be brutal and short.

Incineroar directly competes for a spot with arcanine and pyroar on international competitive circuits. They are usually considered to be a weaker option due to their open flames. Their small geographic range and rarity contributes to this. But their open flames also make them far weaker to water-types than arcanine and pyroar. As such, Champion Luna is the only trainer on The Battler's Top 100 list who uses one on their main team.

Acquisition

Children between the ages of ten and twenty can obtain a litten from certified distributors free of charge with a Class I certification. Children who have cleared the grand trial on at least one island and did not receive a litten as a starter can purchase or adopt an additional one. Torracat in licensed shelters can be adopted with a Class II license or higher. Incineroar can be adopted by trainers aged 16 or under with a Class II license. Trainers above the age of 16 require a Class IV license, as they are often unwilling to cooperate with an adult human.

Wild torracat colonies exist within Poni Island National Park. It is forbidden to capture wild litten or torracat without the explicit approval of the National Park Service. Following the introduction of pyroar to Poni Island a fierce territorial dispute has emerged. The pyroar have all but entirely won the conflict through their greater size and social cohesion. Incineroar without a current litter will frequently hunt and kill pyroar in an attempt to reduce the threat to torracat and incineroar.

Wild incineroar will often attack adult humans on sight, or younger humans if they get too close to their litten. Trainers are advised not to enter Poni Island National Park alone without a pokémon capable of reliably defeating a wild incineroar. Never approach a wild litten in the park, as at least one of its parents will always be close by.

All feral torracat encountered outside of Poni Island National Park are the property of the Commonwealth of Alola and, if captured, must be dropped off at a pokémon center within thirty days. Due to abuse of the system, bounties for returned torracat are no longer offered.

Breeding

Torracat breeding with other torracat is handled exclusively by the DNR.

In captivity, torracat will mate with other felines and even some non-canine mammalian fire types, as well as subspecies of natural fire-types that are not themselves fire-types, such as Lanakilan vulpix. This reproduction will not trigger evolution and the babies will seldom be fertile, if reproduction is even possible. Torracat pregnancies typically last four months. They should not be withdrawn into pokéballs once the pregnancy becomes visible, and neither the mother nor her litten should not be withdrawn into their pokeballs until the babies are six months old.

Litten typically abandon their parents at eighteen months of age in the wild. Litten of this age can be gifted to the DNR. Trainers will receive a $1200 tax break per litten handed over.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
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Brionne (Popplio, Primarina)

Overview

Brionne and primarina are mammals. However, they have convergently evolved gills and mucus generation. In practice, they have about as much in common with slowpoke as dewgong. Their needs, husbandry and even battle strengths and weaknesses can seem alien to the beginning trainer. The disadvantages of this are obvious. But, those trainers that manage to raise a thriving brionne will find themselves with the fundamentals needed to tame and care for the oddest of species in the future. And as far as strange species go, they have one of the best support networks in the region in terms of supplies and veterinarian knowledge.

Beyond that very important note, brionne have the least problematic evolution when compared to the lengthy period of absence required for a torracat evolution and the difficulties of caring for a decidueye in the long term. Primarina are mostly famous for their popularity in zoos and circuses worldwide. But they are very competent battlers that are difficult for an unprepared trainer to counter. They also get more friendly and gregarious as they evolve, and primarina tend to take on a motherly role towards their teammates and trainer.

Physiology

Popplio and brionne are classified as pure water types. Primarina is classified as a joint water- and fairy-type. Both rulings are undisputed.

Popplio are dark blue almost everywhere on their body. Their shape is typically pinniped, with two large front flippers used for movement on land and two smaller back flippers used for movement in water. Their muzzle is colored white and ends in a pink orb. There is a pale blue frill around their neck. Popplio use this frill to help regulate their temperature and salinity. They can get oxygen through it in an emergency, but they prefer to breathe with their lungs. The frill is also used for regulating internal water supply and analyzing the properties of the water around them. The orb on popplio's nose is used to sense and produce vibrations to view the world in echolocation. It is believed that this is their primary sense.

Popplio skin is quite thick and rough, aside from the frill. As they evolve, their skin becomes thinner and slimier.

Brionne are lighter in coloration and the tips of their flippers are white. They gain two more frills around their midsection. The most notable change is the development of two antennae on their head. These are used to produce vibrations and help with controlling the water around them.

While brionne mostly look like larger popplio, primarina have quite a few major external and internal differences from popplio. Their body as a whole is thinner and sleeker relative to their size, and their frills (now located on their forehead, the start of their hind flippers, the start of their tail and the area around their front flippers) are proportionally smaller. Their tail is longer and bulkier than a brionne's and dark blue in coloration. The skin on their tail is similar to a popplio's. The rest of their body proper is white. Primarina and older brionne gain a thin layer of blubber under their skin to insulate them on long pelagic journeys.

The biggest difference between brionne and primarina is that the antennae are replaced with thousands of long, fine hairs. These are used to sense and modify vibrations, allowing for much more complex sounds to be created.

The brionne line use sonics and slime to channel their hydrokinesis. More complex sounds allow for more complicated water attacks and more nimble movement when submerged. More slime in an area allows for more water to be manipulated. Primarina have some of the most complex vocal chords of all pokémon and can produce sounds several octaves above and below the range of human hearing. Their frills gain the ability to aid in manipulating sound upon a primarina's final evolution.

Brionne can live up to fifteen years in the wild or thirty in captivity. Primarina can live up to sixty years in both the wild and captivity. Brionne typically grow to 0.8 meters and they weigh less than 25 kilograms. Primarina can reach lengths of two meters and masses of 50 kilograms.

Behavior

Popplio are naturally curious and playful. They will attempt to mimic almost all sounds that they hear and will practice their attacks and singing ability constantly. In the wild they often huddle together with other members of their evolutionary line. They will not do this with humans or any other species. This is for the best (see Illness). Unlike the other stages of their evolutionary line, popplio sleep on land during the night and enjoy playing on beaches during the dusk and dawn. Usually a small group of brionne or the choir's primarina will supervise them during this time.

During the day, wild popplio typically play with each other and forage around the choir's resting place.

Brionne are perhaps even more curious about sounds, but they now possess the proper anatomy to replicate them. In the wild they will frequently beach near human settlements to listen to music and urban sounds. They also frequent bird rookeries to listen to bird calls. In captivity, they are fascinated by sports and dancing. Brionne sleep during the day by hooking themselves to sea grass or rocks at the bottom of water between two and ten meters deep.

Wild primarina spend most of the day resting. At night they teach their songs to the choir's brionne (see Evolution) or beach on land to learn new sounds or forcefully introduce theirs to anyone in range. They are also known to forage for pearls, sea stars or anything they consider to be beautiful. They subsequently adorn their hair with these items. The purpose of this is unclear.

In the wild popplio hunt small birds and insects through ambush tactics. One of their favorite strategies is to sneak up on a flock of small seabirds, make a loud noise to startle them into flight and then attempt to pick off one with a well-aimed burst of water. Their diet is supplemented by shellfish, benthic fish and invertebrates and insects provided by the older members of their choir.

Brionne typically hunt in groups. They will find large schools of small fish and swim around them in a group while emitting very loud cries. Individual brionne will break out of the circle and swim into the school, picking out as many fish as they please.

Primarina hunt by stunning or killing fish. They can also use their hydrokinesis to propel themselves up to 15 meters per second for short distances. One of primarina's songs can kill almost all insects in a thirty meter radius. Primarina will only eat insects when desperate. Insect kills are either done for sport or to feed their young.

Husbandry

The biggest challenge with caring for all stages of the brionne line is meeting their need for stimulation. In the wild popplio play with each other and the older members of their choir. This is hard to replicate in captivity as most humans do not have the patience to play with their popplio for several hours a day every day, and most pokémon's idea of play is too rough for popplio (and especially for brionne). Popplio will need at least six hours a day of enrichment. Brionne require at least four. This can be done by giving the pokémon a toy such as a ball or rattle or just by putting an MP3 player on. Brionne in particular are quite fond of children's television featuring dancing, singing humans.

Brionne are a special challenge because they require plenty of stimulation and are nocturnal. Brionne and primarina trainers are advised to adjust their sleep schedules to at least partially match their partner's.

Technology or toys will inevitably prove necessary as even humans who want to play with their popplio will quickly discover that their pokémon has more energy and stamina than they do. However, it is recommended to spend as much of this time as possible playing with the pokémon yourself or with your team members. Since popplio and brionne's play enhances their battling prowess, this time can be used to work on moves and strategies. Indeed, one of the biggest strengths of the line is that they never need to be cajoled or bribed into practicing.

During the remainder of the day popplio are almost always fine with resting in their pokéballs.

Food designed specifically for brionne is sold in every Pokémon Center in Alola. Trainers are encouraged to allow their pokémon to hunt and forage on their own at least once a month.

The best partners for brionne are musically inclined or otherwise vocally interesting pokémon. Toucannon, crobat, noibat, ditto, zoroark, ninetales, mismagisus, and oricorio all make good teammates for brionne and can save their trainer time and energy in enrichment. It is recommended that trainers who intend to evolve their brionne get some form of musical training as it will be a good bonding tool with the pokémon and a necessity for understanding how to command one in battle (see Battling).

Wild primarina never have any relationships with an equal partner, platonic or otherwise. As such they tend to adopt a maternal attitude towards their trainers. They will frequently embrace their trainer or even fall asleep on them if allowed to. It is recommended to minimize skin contact while they are doing this and allow them a chance to swim shortly after. Primarina require less in the way of enrichment than their pre-evolutions, but they become quite protective of their trainer and will want to spend several hours a day in the same space as them. They also very much enjoy singing to and with their trainer.

All stages of the line are amphibious and brionne and primarina are primarily aquatic in the wild. The water is necessary to keep their frills from drying out. It is important to allow them to soak in seawater whenever possible. Brionne and primarina will need to sleep in the ocean at least once a week for optimal health. It is important to note that tap water drawn in a bathtub can be toxic to all stages of the line and should never be used as a replacement for seawater. Almost all large, inland Pokémon Centers have saltwater pools that can be used as a substitute when necessary.

Primarina are long-lived, intelligent and social. Many will begin to learn human languages, although their pronunciation is often jarring due to the different structure of their vocal chords. As such, they don't learn commands through reinforcement of behaviors and the building of trust so much as through actually reasoning through their trainer's words. This has obvious advantages. It also means that sometimes your pokémon will tell you you're making a bad decision in as many words. Primarina are frequently conversational in multiple pokémon languages and will usually be willing to translate the wishes of other team members. Of course, by the time a trainer has a primarina to do this they will likely have a good idea what their pokémon's behaviors mean.

A final word of caution: primarina frequently steal jewelry and other shiny objects from their trainer to adorn their hair. They will refuse to give these objects back and, if the objects are taken from them, they will scream loudly and incessantly until they are returned. Watch your valuables around primarina.

Illness

The most common illness affecting all stages of the evolutionary line are surface wounds and infections. Their frills (and, to a lesser extent, their skin) are thin, porous, and coated in a vital layer of mucus. This means that attacks that would leave tiny scratches on most pokémon can become gaping wounds on them. Fortunately, they heal somewhat faster than most other pokémon when allowed to submerge in clean seawater. Make sure to watch how rough your pokémon are playing with your brionne and be willing to withdraw them from battle early in melee exchanges.

The next major problem with brionne is that they are very susceptible to dehydration. This is mostly a problem for brionne, as popplio have thicker skin and smaller frills and primarina are capable of rehydrating themselves from the air in sufficiently moist environments. A dehydrated brionne will become sluggish and unwilling to play or eat. Their skin will look and feel dry and brittle. Fortunately, this can be cured by immediately bathing them in seawater. It should be noted that a brionne subjected to prolonged dehydration may appear to recover after a bath only to die shortly thereafter because they cannot regulate their body chemistry effectively with damaged frills.

Finally, brionne skin, and especially brionne frills, are very susceptible to foreign contaminants. This includes the oils on mammal's skin. A brionne with damaged frills will typically begin to cry out in pain or pull away from direct contact. They will attempt to climb out of water with contaminants, including fluoride and chlorine. If a primarina initiates skin-to-skin contact with their trainer, allow them to soak soon afterwards to wash out contaminants and restore the slime. Find out if the primarina is willing to have a sheet or other barrier between her and her trainer.

If any symptoms do not go away following immersion in seawater for six hours, consult a veterinarian.

Evolution

Healthy popplio naturally progress to brionne over the course of roughly three years, although constant exposure to enrichments, clean water, battle, and food can accelerate the process. The development of the third frill is the formal demarcation point between popplio and brionne.

All popplio and brionne are male. All primarina are female. Every choir has exactly one primarina. When there is no primarina, the dominant brionne begins to evolve and change sex in the process. They then form a reverse harem with the brionne in the choir. A solitary brionne will never evolve. As such, it is necessary to either train multiple brionne, which may be advisable due to their social needs, or to loan your brionne to a primarina collective.

In primarina collectives, captive brionne on loan from other breeding programs or trainers, as well as injured wild brionne that could not be returned to the wild, are held inside a large enclosure. When a primarina evolves, they are removed. This does not stress the brionne as primarina frequently depart from their choirs in the wild and outside brionne frequently join them (see Breeding).

Primarina songs are more inherited than improvised. In order to develop properly, a primarina must spend time with either another primarina after evolving or a wild-raised primarina before evolving. The injured wild brionne inside of breeding collectives help teach their captive counterparts the songs they learned from wild primarina.

Licensed primarina collectives are run by the Commonwealth of Alola through the Hau'oli Aquarium, Heahea Conservatory and Malie Zoo. Privately owned collectives can be found in Brooklet Shire, Seafolk Village, Heahea City and West Beach City.

Wild primarina are often willing to teach songs to their captive counterparts. See Acquisition for the locations where they are most commonly found in Alola.

Battle

Popplio have a reputation as glass cannons. They can take far fewer hits than the other traditional Alolan starters but have relatively powerful projectile attacks and are clever enough to learn a variety of moves rather quickly. Brionne, with their thinner skin but more powerful voices, are even more typical glass cannons.

It is wrong to apply that term to primarina. They are not projectile glass cannons who either knock out their opponents before they can cross the field or get knocked out in turn. Instead, they are powerful arena shapers when well trained and played. While they still might get taken out by one good cut or a few blunt force attacks, they use their control of the battlefield to prevent most grounded physical attackers from ever reaching them.

Primarina use their slime and hydrokinesis to condense water from the air and fill durable slime bubbles with it. They will then either use these bubbles as projectiles, trapping moves or, a means of riding around the arena. This serves both as a way for them to move quickly on land and to coat the arena in a thin layer of slime that allows for more control of the water. They will then use the slime and water coating the battlefield to lock down their opponent's movements, all the while bombarding them with sonic moves, moonblasts, hydro pumps and other powerful ranged attacks.

If primarina have a drawback, it is that their trainers can almost never understand exactly how their song works. They have limitations that can sometimes seem pointless but are not easily fixed without overhauling the entire song, something that would take multiple lifetimes for them to do completely. Because primarina songs are mostly inherited, this allows opponents to come up with primarina counter-strategies that work against almost all members of the species.

Birds durable enough to take a ranged hit or two and fast enough to outpace a moving primarina can be reliable counters. Toucannon often find it difficult to fly between their beak's weight and rapidly condensing water in the air, but their bullet seeds and rock blasts are often able to knock out a primarina in one or two volleys. Vikavolt, hodad, and magnezone are reliable counters for primarina.

Despite this, primarina have always had a niche in competitive battling. So long as they aren't too popular in a given metagame, few trainers will have bothered to come up with a counter strategy. And it is rather difficult to stop a powerful, mobile arena controller without having a plan in place at the start. This is especially true as some primarina have learned how to emit sounds that disrupt complex thoughts in humans without being readily detectable. Because primarina trainers are seldom much use in the heat of battle, this almost always works to their advantage.

The discovery of this ability has led to the ban of primarina from the Pan-African and European Union leagues. The primary leagues in China, Australia and Japan allow them provided that the exact frequency they use against humans is monitored during the battle. The Global Battling Federation and United States Competitive Pokémon Association currently allow primarina with no restrictions.

Acquisition

Children between the ages of ten and twenty can obtain a popplio as a starter free of charge with a Class I certification. Children who have cleared the grand trial on at least one island and did not receive a popplio as a starter can purchase or adopt an additional one. Brionne or primarina in licensed shelters can be adopted with a Class II license or higher.

Wild brionne are frequently found at Exeggutor Island, Kala'e Bay, Hano Beach, or the coastline of Poni Island National Park. It is illegal to capture a wild specimen at any stage of the evolutionary line without the approval of the Department of Natural Resources. However, these colonies will happily play with and teach songs to captive popplio or brionne. Wild primarina seldom interact with each other. However, if a captive and a wild primarina are allowed to bond for several days the wild one will often agree to teach her songs to the captive primarina.

Breeding

Primarina tend to mate once a year, usually in mid-September. They will select one to three brionne to mate with based on their genetic diversity, proficiency in learning songs, and the responsibilities they have taken over popplio rearing. The brionne chose to father the pups hold no special role in parenting and do not appear to gain any status over other brionne.

After a five month pregnancy, primarina give birth to roughly six pups. These popplio are typically only fifteen to twenty centimeters long and are under constant watch by the primarina and brionne of the choir until they reach roughly six months of age, at which point they are roughly forty centimeters long. At this point popplio are given more leeway to play and explore, albeit with a brionne or primarina always keeping a watchful eye on them. Even so, many die from illness and predation.

If conditions are not ideal to continue raising popplio, a primarina will take a few brionne and swim elsewhere to reproduce and set up a new choir. The dominant brionne that remains will evolve. Brionne frequently leave their choirs to join new ones. The impetus for this is unclear, but it serves the purpose of diversifying the gene pools of any given choir.

Captive breeding is best left to the professionals at primarina collectives.

Subspecies

There are three major subspecies of primarina, with disputed reports of a fourth. The primarina given out as a starter in the Alola region is the pelagic primarina.

Mangrove primarina and brionne are roughly half the size of their reef and pelagic counterparts. They are mottled green and brown and tend to hunt insects, fish and small birds and mammals through the use of sonic attacks, slime webs and traps they build in the mud. They rest in seagrasses off shore during the day and lie waiting in ambush between the roots of mangrove trees at night. They tend to have the least slimy skin and smallest frills of the primarina subspecies. Mangrove primarina are officially classified as water and ground types.

Abyssal primarina are the least studied of the confirmed primarina subspecies. They live at depths between one and three kilometers in the ocean and are unable to survive on land. Abyssal brionne are roughly three meters long. The largest abyssal primarina ever recorded was seven meters long from nose to tail. Abyssal brionne have far larger and more complex frills. They use slight control of water currents to create large nets of gelatinous material to create traps for plankton and other microorganisms. They then absorb the nets into their body, process the food and excrete the net material to be refashioned and used again. No abyssal brionne has been held in captivity for more than seven hours. If abyssal brionne have a popplio stage, they have never been observed.

There are reports of a fourth subspecies of brionne, tentatively referred to as the hadal brionne. The physical evidence for their existence amounts to a single bloated and mangled corpse that washed up on the shores of Peru in 1983. There is also an account from a manned expedition to the Galapagos Triple Junction where something resembling a twenty-plus meter long abyssal primarina disrupted the submarine's equipment and let out a low, eerie moan as it passed by. It is speculated that hadal primarina may have led to the abrupt disappearance of several submarines and autonomous exploration vehicles in the past.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Toucannon (Pikipek, Trumbeak)

Overview

After years of studying the finches of the Galapagos and refining his theory of macroevolution, Charles Darwin took one look at an Alolan toucannon and decided his work clearly didn't apply to Pokémon. Lydia Aholo, heir apparent to the Alolan throne until the U.S. takeover, used the very same pokémon in her argument that macroevolution did apply to pokémon.

What Darwin found most jarring about Alolan toucannon is the sheer size of their beak. Even though the beak is hollow and lighter than it appears, most of the bird's anatomy is dedicated to supporting it. And, unlike the beaks of other birds, it does not appear particularly well adapted to toucannon's food source. However, dissection of toucannon show that the structure of their beak is remarkably similar to toucannon from the Americas. It is unclear when or how a bird incapable of flying more than a kilometer or two at a time crossed thousands of kilometers of open ocean, but it happened and the long period of isolation that followed led to the most unique of the toucannon subspecies.

Princess Lydia's work on toucannon beaks and feather structure is well documented at an exhibit in the Royal Aviary in Castleton. The descendants of the princess's toucannon also live there.

Toucannon is often overlooked among serious trainers in Alola in favor of larger or more agile birds such as decidueye, braviary, mandibuzz or talonflame. However, it has its advantages. Pikipek starts out as a relatively powerful pokémon, is easy to care for at all stages of its evolutionary line and stays competitive up to the power levels seen at the end of the island challenge. Unlike decidueye, it can be evolved without requiring its trainer to actively battle indefinitely.

Physiology

All stages of the toucannon line are recognized as flying-types, even though toucannon is not capable of flying long distances (trumbeak are capable of flying moderate distances of roughly five kilometers, which is still less than most near-adult flying-types). They all hold a placeholder normal-typing per Department of Agriculture standards on birds without compelling evidence for any secondary typing. There is some dispute as to whether or not Alolan toucannon should quality for a fire or even electric typing, but as their power source is strictly internal and only used to power other attacks without a clear elemental theme, the Department of Agriculture has declined to reconsider their ruling.

Pikipek are counter-shaded birds with white feathers on their stomach and black feathers on their back. They have a red crest running from their bill to the back of their head. Their bill is narrow and conical with grey and black patches.

Trumbeak lose the red stripe on their head in favor of a large tuft of black feathers. They do gain a red ring of feathers around their neck. Their beaks begin to properly segment and gain external rings of bright colors.

Toucannon only have white feathers on their chest. Their crest disappears entirely and they gain patches of yellow feathers on their cheeks. The red feathers on their body shift from their neck to the area right above their tail. Toucannon have thicker and longer talons than trumbeak. Their beaks are also far larger and bulkier, growing from narrow cones to something resembling a proper horn. Toucannon grow up to 120 centimeters tall and can weigh up to twenty kilograms pounds. Their beaks alone can weigh up to eight kilograms and reach seventy centimeters in length.

Toucannon's beak is incredibly intricate. It is capable of storing seeds and pebbles for long periods of time and chemically altering wood. It also contains several chambers filled with steam. These allow for toucannon to spit out small objects at speeds of up to three hundred meters per second. The resulting hit can stun, kill or badly injure most pokémon, depending upon their size and durability. Toucannon can accurately hit multiple targets with pinpoint accuracy up to thirty meters away. Due to the weight of their beak, toucannon are only capable of flight for short distances.

Toucannon can live up to fifty years in the wild and sixty years in captivity.

Behavior

In the wild, pikipek are insectivore that supplement their diet with fruit. They are known to practice spitting or dropping seeds upon opponents. Their primary feeding tactic is to carve small holes into wood to find and remove insects. It is believed that they possess some sort of ability to determine the location of bugs from the sound the impact of their beak makes. All members of the evolutionary line have been known to burrow into trees for sport or to pass the time.

Trumbeak are known to incessantly vocalize, even during the wee hours of the night when they should be sleeping. They are prone to repeating any sound they hear to the greatest extent their beak can manage. Trumbeak that live near brionne choirs are known to get into hours long singing contests with their neighbors. Contrary to popular belief, trumbeak barely use their beak for these sounds. Instead, they originate in their chest. The reason trumbeak vocalize far more than pikipek is likely attributable to the relative dearth of predators that hunt the former compared to the latter. Trumbeak primarily live on a diet of insects, but fruit can comprise up to forty percent of their diet.

Toucannon flock to forests with the oldest of trees. They then dig intricate tunnels and caverns into the trees. They can even build sealed passageways and multiple rooms through their ability to turn wood shavings into a hard resin with their beak. Toucannon spend most of their day looking for fruit and most of their nights sleeping in their nest. When they find fruit that is too high to reach from the ground, they will attempt to shoot down the branch it is on. If this fails they will settle for snapping the tree through repeated bites. Toucannon are neither particularly curious nor playful in either the wild or captivity.

Husbandry

Toucannon are rather easy to care for at all stages of the evolutionary line. They don't seem to mind pokéballs so long as they are properly fed. Bonding with them usually entails giving them adequate food for long enough that they will accept partnership with you. Having musical talent and being willing to sing to them, especially as trumbeak, also helps.

Pikipek and trumbeak can be fed insect mix sold in all Pokémon Centers. Berries, live crickets and worms serve as good treats and rewards. Trumbeak will require fresh fruit to make up at least 30% of their diet. Toucannon will only eat fruit, although some have displayed a fondness towards brightly colored cereals. Fruit provided to them must be fresh, as no stage of the evolutionary line drinks water. They get their moisture from their food.

It is recommended that all stages of the evolutionary line be allowed to forage for at least some of their diet. The reasons for this are two-fold. The first is that it's a cost saving measure and cuts down on the amount of heavy food that needs to be carried around on trails. The second is that pikipek and trumbeak will obsessively peck at all wood they find. They can be trained to not peck some types of wood through negative reinforcement (loud noises for pikipek, squirt bottles for trumbeak). However, they will resume pecking unless given a suitable outlet. Trees in parks or forests can provide this to them.

Toucannon will want a nest if they are held in the same area for more than three days. They will attempt to build one unless given an enclosed space big enough to hold at least two toucannon. Ideally the nest will have a trap door to block light but allow for entry. These nests can be purchased at most pokémon goods stores, but they are neither cheap nor easy to carry. Some Pokémon Centers will have toucannon boxes available for rent. If you are staying in one place for an extended period of time on a journey and cannot use a Pokémon Center's box, it may be cheaper to rent storage unit, line blankets on the floor and provide adequate food. The door should be left unlocked and the toucannon should be taught how to open and close it. They can be taught to use keys if necessary. Toucannon will not defecate inside of their nest.

Toucannon can be quite clever. They just prefer not to use their higher thinking to solve problems.

While toucannon don't defecate as much as dartrix, they still produce waste that will need to be cleaned up. Pikipek and trumbeak can be house trained, to a degree, through negative and positive reinforcement. Toucannon will defecate wherever they want, whenever they want. In nature this helps spread seeds around. This misbehavior could be attributed to simple natural instinct, but they have a habit of looking their trainer dead in the eyes and huffing while they do it, and then maintaining eye contact until it is cleaned up. It is suspected that this is a means of asserting autonomy and/or dominance.

Toucannon that have been held in captivity for up to a decade have successfully reintegrated into the wild. If for whatever reason you don't want to keep a toucannon at the end of your journey, they can be dropped off at any place their stage of the evolutionary line inhabits (see Acquisition).

Illness

Toucannon illnesses typically have symptoms of diarrhea, labored breathing, sudden loss of feathers or a sudden loss of interest in food. Should these symptoms arise, immediately withdraw the toucannon into its pokéball and take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Some diseases can be fatal within three days. While the frequency and severity of illness declines as a toucannon ages, they can still result in permanent injury or death if left untreated.

Evolution

Pikipek naturally mature into toucannon over the course of three to four years. The formal demarcation line between pikipek and trumbeak is the disappearance of all red feathers on top of the head. The demarcation between trumbeak and toucannon is the appearance of yellow feathers on the cheeks.

Battle

Pikipek's greatest strength in battle is their relatively high speed and maneuverability for a young and easily trained pokémon. Their pecks are far more powerful than they seem and pikipek should be trained to pull their punches in battles against powerful opponents before they are allowed to fight pokémon of their own strength. Even holding back, a pikipek can easily stay out of reach of melee attacks before dropping in to deliver a barrage of pecks fast and powerful enough to knock out most young pokémon in a few rounds. However, it takes a pikipek a moment to regain altitude and they will be vulnerable during this phase of the battle.

Trumbeak are prone to showing off through taunts, mid-battle preening and overly elaborate aerial maneuvers. Trainers are encouraged to let them do this in all but the most serious of battles, as it has been shown to boost their mood. Trumbeak rely on a mix of diving peck attacks and aerial barrages of seeds. The aim and force of these shots is far less powerful than in an adult toucannon, and at this stage much effort should be focused on getting them to hold back.

In the wild, adult Toucannon prefer to defend themselves by firing small rocks until the threat stops moving or goes away. In captivity, this is often a felony. All but the most experienced of trainers will struggle to keep a toucannon acquired from the wild in its final evolutionary state from simply killing any opponent it can. With proper training in restraint, toucannon can be one of the fiercest competitive pokémon available in Alola. Their niche is primarily in shutting down hyper-offensive teams that often lack a pokémon that can take the equivalent of ten low-caliber bullets a second. Toucannon are also capable of taking quite a few hits and using their beak to burn or batter anything that comes too close.

The pokémon that can shrug off toucannon's attacks usually counter it. In these situations, high-level trainers typically rely on toucannon to support their team through defog, tailwind and u-turn.

Champion Luna is currently the only Battler ranked trainer to use an Alolan toucannon on their main team. A handful of prominent but unranked trainers from the United States also use one.

Acquisition

Pikipek can be captured or purchased with a Class I license. They can be found by waiting in almost any public park or forest in Alola for five minutes.

Trumbeak are rarer due to the sheer number of predators that pikipek have (vikavolt, rattata, yungoos, ariados, some canines, most felines, and a handful of other birds). They can still be found over almost all of Alola. They can be captured or purchased with either a Class II license or a Class I license and completion of at least one island's Grand Trial.

Due to the relative rarity and longevity of wild toucannon, as well as their difficulty to tame, wild toucannon have a very limited season, strict annual quotas and require a Class IV license to capture. Only a Class II license is required to purchase a trained toucannon. Toucannon only live in old growth forests with trees large enough to support their nests. These areas include the rainforests of Akala and Ula'Ula, the wooded portions of Poni Island National Park, and the interior forests of Melemele.

No healthy specimen at any stage of the evolutionary line may be adopted. Licensed shelters will simply release most toucannon to free up space for rarer pokémon, or those that don't fare well upon reintroduction. Adoption of injured toucannon is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Breeding

Toucannon mate for life. At the start of spring, a female toucannon enters her nest and lays her eggs. The male seals her inside using a resin made in his beak. They drill a small hole in the barrier. The male returns to the nest every day and regurgitates food in for his mate and young. If the male fails to return for two days, the female will blast open the wall of the nest and abandon her young. Should the male continue to return, the female will stay inside of her nest for five months before emerging with her young. The parents stay with their pikipek for an additional two months before abandoning them.

Subspecies

There are several subspecies of toucannon in the Americas. However, the toucannon there tend to have much smaller beaks, less vibrant colors and larger, more powerful wings. They resemble fearow, their closest genetic relative, more than Alolan toucannon. American toucannon are also usually referred to as arboreabeaks. These subspecies have varied beaks and diets, but all of them share a basic morphology, typing and defense strategy. Arboreabeak can release projectile seeds, but they have nowhere near the accuracy and power of toucannon. As such, they only use their beaks for self-defense when running away is not an option. They tend to be more prolific breeders and have shorter lifespans than toucannon.

Most subspecies of arboreabeak can produce viable offspring with toucannon. However, all of these subspecies have at least a 20% chance of producing offspring that are not viable. There is a debate as to whether or not arboreabeak and toucannon should be classified as separate species altogether.
 

Persephone

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Gumshoos (Yungoos)

Overview

Gumshoos has been one of the most useful and used pokémon in captivity for millennia. Hardy, fierce and loyal, they have been the scouts and sentinels of settlers and soldiers since at least the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Gumshoos grow quickly, are intelligent and patient enough to easily train, and are fierce enough to give most apex predators pause.

Previous additions of this text have whole-heartedly recommended gumshoos to trainers going on their island challenge. This is no longer the case.

Despite being confined to the edges of the United States and Europe (see Subspecies), plains gumshoos have become the unofficial symbol of white supremacist organizations. This is due to the supposed resemblance between the gumshoos' crest and a certain politician's hair. Given the demographic composition and politics of Alola, trainers (especially white ones) using a gumshoos may experience social stigma and difficulty reintegrating after the completion of the island challenge.

Physiology

All stages of plains gumshoos are recognized as pure normal-types. Despite "memes" on some portions of the internet, they are not dark-types.

Yungoos are long, slim quadrupeds with light brown fur on their sides and yellow fur running in stripes down the length of their back and belly. They have two rows of proportionally large teeth. While they can close their mouth completely, they seldom do so. Their stomach is proportionally very large.

Gumshoos change their appearance rather little as they grow. The most obvious change is the growth of a crest on top of their head and a small beard at the end of their chin. Their mouth and head are proportionally smaller than yungoos. The end of their brown fur before the start of their tail also begins to stick up in tufts. They can reach a height of up to 0.7 meters and a mass of around 15 kilograms.

Most of what makes a gumshoos remarkable is beneath their fur. They have very thick skin and musculature around their throat, head and vital organs. Their bones are some of the most durable among mammalian pokémon and their claws, while small, are sharp enough to pierce the hide of most species. Gumshoos have day vision nearly five times greater than the average humans, and their sense of smell is at least ten times stronger than ours. However, gumshoos are effectively blind at night and tend to seek shelter and sleep. The species strictly diurnal and over thousands of years of attempts, captive plains gumshoos have remained that way.

Gumshoos can live up to twenty years in captivity and ten in the wild.

Behavior

Prior to recent events, gumshoos were most famous for their stakeouts. A gumshoos can stand near motionless for up to twelve hours at a time. They frequently use their sense of smell to detect an area their prey frequent and then stand there until something crosses their path, at which point they abruptly break composure and charge. Captive gumshoos can be trained to merely sniff out and point at a prey animal, although they usually can't help but slowly creep up on their prey.

It is a common misconception that this behavior is only for hunting. A male gumshoos with children or a pregnant mate will frequently stake out an area near their den. They use their mostly vestigial control over static electricity to puff up their fur when defending something, be it their trainer or family.

Yungoos mostly hunt by roaming large areas in search of something to eat. They will frequently become fixated on killing the first moving thing that crosses their line of sight, even if it is much larger than they are. This behavior is a form of play, as a hungry yungoos will ignore anything they obviously cannot bring down. Yungoos are primarily scavengers who supplement their diet with fruit in practice, although they will gladly hunt and kill anything small and slow enough for them to bring down.

Gumshoos, given their greater size, speed and claws, are almost exclusively carnivores. Their prey includes most animals and pokémon smaller than them and some larger than they are. Outside of Alola, gumshoos have been documented approaching recent kills and either scaring off the other predator or killing and eating both predator and prey at once.

Gumshoos are tenacious fighters with a deceptively sturdy build, sharp claws and multiple rows of teeth. The only species in Alola that prey upon gumshoos are bored or desperate apex predators. In their original habitat, the young of some large predator species have developed coats similar to that of a gumshoos.

Gumshoos hunt alone but rest and socialize with squadrons of six to ten gumshoos and their young. Past scholarship has suggested that these groups have an "alpha male," although recent research has suggested that this is false. Gumshoos squadrons are quite egalitarian and intra-group fights appear to be more for play than establishing dominance.

Husbandry

Yungoos and gumshoos will only voluntarily stay with and take orders from humans they view as at least an equal. Raising a yungoos from a very young age can establish this relationship. Otherwise, having several pokémon with power at least equal to that of the gumshoos will usually satisfy this requirement. If a trainer begins to lose too frequently, however, gumshoos may become uncooperative. For some species, a trainer fighting and defeating the pokémon in single combat without the aid of their pokémon is the best way to establish dominance. This is not the case for the gumshoos line. A yungoos will easily evade kicks and punches, give the human several nasty cuts for their trouble, and then run away. A gumshoos will view the situation as either a predation attempt or an opportunity for hunting.

Yungoos will require at least ten percent of their body weight in food per day. They will eat nearly anything, but they prefer meat. Gumshoos will only eat meat and frequently leave to hunt on their own if they deem the food provided to them to be insufficiently fresh. A fully grown gumshoos requires roughly 600 grams of meat a day. This was previously the largest drawback of raising a gumshoos.

All stages of the evolutionary line will require occasional access to trees or a scratching post, although they can be trained quickly through spray bottles or loud sounds not to scratch furniture.

Gumshoos can be trained to use litter boxes. As a word of caution, yungoos held in fixed environments prefer to seek shelter in tight, enclosed spaces or at the highest point available. The former preference means that they will often spend large amounts of time inside their litter box if allowed to do so. Bathing a yungoos to get rid of the stench is a task that requires patience and gloves designed for pokémon handling.

Gumshoos can be trained to tolerate pokéball use during the day, although they will lose respect for their trainer if they believe it is being used too often. The don't seem to notice if they are withdrawn between sundown and sunrise.

A gumshoos with sufficient trust in their trainer will often approach them and begin to cuddle. At night they will prefer to sleep like this. The behavior is safe and natural. Never initiate physical affection with a gumshoos, however much they like you.

Gumshoos will groom themselves. Yungoos will allow larger or more adult pokémon to groom them. If this cannot be arranged, a trainer equipped with the aforementioned gloves can brush and wash them once a week, or as needed.

Illness

The most common health problems gumshoos experience in captivity are related to their weight. If a yungoos appears to be putting on weight but not height or a gumshoos is putting on weight, the food provided to them should be cut back. If they appear to be getting unhealthily thin or they vocally demand food outside of their usual feeding time, they should be provided with more food.

Gumshoos should receive the rabies vaccines within two weeks of capture or two months of birth.

Evolution

Wild yungoos naturally mature over the course of two to three years, depending upon their diet and the amount of combat they receive. Captive specimens have been observed reaching maturity roughly a year after birth. The formal demarcation line between yungoos and gumshoos is reaching 0.6 meters when fully extended.

Battle

All subspecies of gumshoos have held a niche in competitive battling since the days where humans fought along with spears and shields. The plains gumshoos in particular is known for being easy to train, tenacious and surprisingly hard to take down. Gumshoos are neither fast nor powerful enough to keep up with the behemoths, tricksters or apex predators that make up the upper echelons of competitive battling, but they are tenacious and tough enough to wound almost all melee opponents before going down. This gives them a role as a disruptor, ignoring barriers or tricks for long enough to begin viciously tearing into anything trying to stat boost, set up barriers or manipulate the field.

The Royal gumshoos (see Subspecies) has a well-established role in competitive battling as a "suicide lead" where they set up barriers protecting their team, deal some damage and then go down.

Plains gumshoos fight primarily through melee scratches and bites. This leaves them vulnerable to agile snipers like jolteon, hard walls like some steel types, and fliers with ranged attacks such as toucannon and vikavolt. Much stronger melee attackers like machamp and hariyama can also take them out quickly before a gumshoos can do much damage. Gumshoos are still quite capable of trading blows with the likes of pyroar or flygon due to their natural durability and scrappiness. All but the fastest and strongest of fragile ranged pokémon will also usually fall to a mature and trained gumshoos, as they can weather attacks as they cross the field and then end the fight up close.

Gumshoos should not be allowed to take particularly powerful blows as they will not surrender and can, in fact, be hurt or killed in battle.

Acquisition

Yungoos can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class I license. They are most commonly found at the edges of urban settlements, in open fields or in sparse forests.

Gumshoos are somewhat rarer due to yungoos' need for very large amounts of food as well as their tendency to pick inadvisable fights. Gumshoos can be found in many of the same places as yungoos in the wild, although they prefer to stay further away from humans than their juvenile counterparts. They can be captured, adopted or purchased with either a Class II license or a Class I license and completion of at least one island's Grand Trial.

Yungoos and gumshoos were formerly common pets and pest catchers in Alola. This has changed somewhat abruptly, leaving many available for adoption from shelters throughout the commonwealth. Housebroken gumshoos or yungoos may be purchased relatively cheaply from breeders on Melemele, Akala and Ula'Ula.

Breeding

Wild gumshoos mate within their squadron. One or two pairs will breed a year, although there is no particular season in which this usually occurs. Pregnancy lasts roughly ten weeks. Yungoos litters typically contain four to six cubs. During the latter half of pregnancy the females will seek shelter inside of a cubbing den. This can be a natural cave, an abandoned toucannon nest or a small burrow they dig themselves. The mother will stay in the den with her cubs for roughly two months after birth. The other members of the squadron provide her with food during this time. Yungoos usually stay with their squadron until evolution and then set off on their own to find another group.

In captivity, a female gumshoos will begin showing signs of bloating and sluggishness as her pregnancy progresses. Attempts to cut back her food to avoid overeating will be met with angry hisses and displays of aggression until more food is provided. After these symptoms manifest, a secluded area with multiple chambers (one with a litter box, one without) should be provided. The female will not mind the trainer briefly sticking their arms in to change litter or provide food, but no attempt should be made to intrude into the nest without a readily apparent purpose.

Yungoos should not be used in battle or taken away from their mother until at least four weeks after they live outside of the cubbing den full time.

Subspecies

All other subspecies of gumshoos are descended from the alpine gumshoos. These gumshoos are native to the Ethiopian plateau, the Alps, and the Pyrenees mountains. They closely resemble the plains gumshoos, but only grow up to 0.5 meters in length. The brown portions of the plains gumshoos' coat are marbled grey and white, and the yellow stripes on their fur tend to stick up in random clumps or spikes. Alpine gumshoos are ambush predators that use powerful electric shocks to fell birds or terrestrial pokémon that wander into their line of sight. They are the only subspecies that has powerful enough electric capabilities to warrant an electric typing.

The plains gumshoos was the first to be tamed. They originally lived in the grasslands of Southern and Eastern Africa, with populations introduced to Egypt and Mesopotamia around 2500 BCE. Roughly one thousand years later, the Phoenicians spread them around the Mediterranean. The Iberians, for their part, introduced them to the Pampas, Mexico and California during the Age of Discovery. They were introduced to Alola in 1922 to deal with an outbreak of rattata.

The Indian gumshoos were originally native to the the Indian subcontinent. They reach a maximum length of 0.4 meters. They have scarlet side fur and very bright yellow stripes. Indian gumshoos seek out venomous snakes and poison-types to consume. Their bodies are capable of not only neutralizing but breaking down and digesting most forms of venom and poison. Some of these compounds are retained inside of their bodies to make them highly toxic to eat. As such, they have less durable builds than other subspecies. They hunt their prey through a combination of ambush tactics and persistence hunting, where lines of gumshoos will slowly follow fleeing prey until it gives up out of exhaustion, at which point the gumshoos use their fangs and claws to finish it off.

The boreal gumshoos is the largest subspecies, with males averaging 1.1 meters in length. Females tend to only grow up to 0.8 meters. This subspecies has darker brown fur on its side, and light brown fur on its belly and back. They are known for the black marks on their face that resemble domino masks. Their apparent coloration may vary as boreal gumshoos frequently have lichens or moss growing on their fur. The lichens appear to be capable of plant-based attacks, toxic spore release and rapid regrowth. There is some debate as to whether or not they should qualify as separate pokémon species altogether.

Boreal gumshoos generally hunt by following the scent trails of other predators, finding their kills, and then either waiting for the predator to move on or scaring the predators off. Boreal gumshoos have longer claws than their plains counterparts which they use for defense, offense and climbing trees. They have relatively smaller teeth, on balance. They hibernate and reproduce during winter months, emerging in the spring with their cubs in tow.

Royal gumshoos were originally a domesticated breed from Galar produced through crossbreeding of imported Scandanavian telemmings and boreal gumshoos. The subspecies is known for its black coloring with star and moon shaped white markings on its chest. It is the only subspecies to not have a prominent back stripe. Royal gumshoos are telekinetic at short ranges. They use this ability to dampen incoming blows and increase their own apparent strength. Like the alpine gumshoos, they hunt primarily through projectile attacks. In their case, royal gumshoos are known to pick up large stones and use their boosted strength to fling them at unsuspecting prey. Escaped or released royal gumshoos have formed wild populations in the Ohio river basin, Ontario, Quebec, and Galar. Royal gumshoos do not properly hibernate, but they are known to sleep up to 18 hours a day during the winter.
 

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Raticate (Rattata)

Overview

Even factoring in subspecies, there are very few terrestrial pokémon that can truly be said to have a worldwide range. Raticate is one of them, appearing in one form or another in almost every corner of every landmass except for Antarctica and a few tiny, uninhabited, or remote islands. This is due in large part to the sheer versatility of the species and its capability of eating almost anything. The rest is largely due to the fecundity and short lifespan of the species that enables them to undergo macroevolution at a rate only matched by a handful of insect and mechanical pokémon. When combined with the adaptability of normal-types and the hardiness of mammals, the stage was set for raticate to become the most successful terrestrial pokémon. Currently the species has over thirty documented subspecies and they fill every ecological role from herbivore to decomposer to scavenger to apex predator.

Physiology


All stages of the alolan raticate (henceforth 'raticate,' unless another subspecies is specified) are classified as joint normal- and dark-types by the Department of Agriculture.

Rattata are small quadrupeds. Their fur is counter-shaded with cream fur on the bottom and black fur on their back. Tufts of black fur adorn their prominent ears. Their incisors are very large and protrude from their mouth even when it is closed. Rattata have a prehensile tail that is up to half their body length long. This tail is not particularly strong and is mainly used for balance.

While rattata have a fairly slight build, raticate are often nearly as wide as they are long. Their tail loses its fur, their hindlegs become proportionally larger and stronger while their front legs become proportionally smaller. The fur on their belly darkens to a mottled brown color. They gain large, puffy cheeks with cream colored fur on them. Female raticate grow to a length of 0.7 meters excluding their tail, and 1 meter including it. They can weigh up to 40 kilograms, but typically only weigh about 30. Males usually only grow to about half a meter long excluding their tail.

Rattata are primarily quadrupeds that sometimes stand on two legs to scout out their surroundings. Raticate, when they move at all, tend to waddle on their hind legs. This keeps their teeth in play during fights and makes them appear larger than they really are. Raticate and rattata primarily defend themselves with their teeth, and a fully grown raticate can bite with up to 8,000 Newtons of force. Most of the average raticate's mass is composed of fat reserves and their claws are neither particularly long or sharp. This leaves them few weapons aside from their teeth in a fight.

Raticate navigate primarily through their keen sense of smell. Their night vision is also considerably stronger than a human's, although their day vision is not nearly as powerful. Despite their large ears, raticate are nearly deaf. The leading theory at this time is that their atrophied hearing helps avoid attacks from noivern and crobat they compete for nest space with. The ears are either vestigial or help with heat regulation. The alolan raticate's sense of taste is one of the strongest observed in nature. While technically omnivorous in the wild, they will only eat very fresh meat from a handful of species. In captivity, they have shown a willingness to eat most meat that is fresh, high quality and well prepared. They can subsist on vegetation alone provided that their protein needs are met by beans, nuts, or some berries.

Most wild rattata die before their second birthday without becoming fully grown. Raticate in captivity can live up to six years. The lifespan of wild raticate is unknown.

Behavior

Raticate are nocturnal creatures, and rattata leave their nest to scour the earth for any food they can find at night. Their habit of gnawing through doors to pilfer pantries is well documented. As daybreak approaches, the rattata all retreat back to their home. Fully grown raticate only leave their nest to defend their territory. Most groups have a dominant female raticate and at least one male breeding partner. The queen and her consorts live with several dozen rattata, most (but not all) of whom are their offspring. It is not known where the remaining, unrelated rattata come from. The colony either digs their own tunnel network to live in or, when available, take to living in existing caves or burrows.

Uncovered raticate nests, along with circumstantial evidence, suggests that most of the food the rattata acquire is given to the raticate of the nest. It is believed that the raticate take more than they need, or even more than they can eat, in order to keep the rattata in a state of starvation. This limits the number of rattata that reach their adult state and can compete for sexual partners, territory and food.

Whenever food is relatively sparse or the raticate population grows too high (which, given their fecundity, happens quite often), raticate nests are known to go to war. These fights are apparently unplanned and simply occur when two rattata find the same piece of food at roughly the same time. The loser of their squabble will call reinforcements. As losses mount and increasing number of reinforcements are called, eventually the raticate on both sides will leave their nests and join the fray. The fight ends when the queen in either nest is killed, one side's losses are great enough that their queen calls a retreat, or the sun rises and gumshoos begin to wake up. In the latter case, the fight will usually resume at the same place roughly ninety minutes after sundown. If the queen is killed, all of her consorts and most of the rattata in her colony and slaughtered as well, with the remainder joining the victorious nest.

When forced out of their range due to a territory dispute or a lack of food, raticate will typically abandon the rattata in their nest and swim to another island to start again. Their fat reserves make them quite buoyant and they use their tails to propel themselves through the water.

Husbandry

Due to the relative abundance of food in their habitat, the Alolan raticate has become accustomed to eating large quantities of very high quality food. Both stages of the evolutionary line require roughly 30% of their weight in food each week. They will become upset if they receive less than that and will frequently seek out food to eat on their own. If a raticate believes itself to be deprived for more than one month, it will frequently stop obeying its trainers commands or run away. Additionally, raticate will frequently reject food they deem to be insufficiently fresh or tasty. It is recommended that trainers bring their raticate (provided it is well trained) with them when shopping so it can select food that it will eat. This both saves on guesswork and ensures that their trainer will eat well themselves. However, this makes raticate one of the most expensive pokémon on Alola to train, exceeded only by those with hyper-specialized diets or medical needs (komala, fossils), very large pokémon (snorlax, dragons), or those that require specialized insurance packages (vanilluxe, volcarona, metagross, sableye, klefki, magnezone).

Raticate require objects, preferably metal or bone, to gnaw on. If they are not provided these objects, they will resort to chewing on furniture, load-bearing walls and kitchen appliances.

In the wild, raticate use specialized chambers of their nest for urination and defecation. This makes them quite easy to house train.

Raticate will ask to be groomed at least twice a week. They are physiologically incapable of grooming themselves and quite insistent on cleanliness. Rattata can be trained to help tidy up their home, but raticate are reluctant to do any extra work. Both stages are very social and cuddly pokémon and will usually seek to be close to their trainer. The species enjoys sleeping alongside their trainer, but their sleep patterns tend to prevent this from happening. Fully grown raticate seldom mind being used as a pillow during the day.

As naturally hierarchial pokémon, rattata acclimate rather quickly to taking orders from a human. Female raticate are somewhat harder to tame, but they will usually become complacent with a human who feeds them well.

Illness


Both stages are carriers of several human diseases. They should be vaccinated within two weeks of capture or birth. In addition to being able to get their trainer sick, they can also be infected by their trainer. The best solution to this is keeping both you and your raticate clean.

Raticate gain increasingly sensitive stomachs as they grow, making them rather vulnerable to food poisoning. They will usually refuse food that would make them sick, but sometimes they make an error in judgment or, if desperate, will eat food they suspect is bad. Food poisoning will manifest as nausea and slight bloating (which can be hard to notice); the symptoms will usually go away on their own within a day or two.

Gumshoos were introduced to Alola to curtail the growing raticate population. Ultimately, they proved unsuccessful. This is largely because Alola's relative dearth of mid-size nocturnal predators allowed the raticate to become nocturnal and avoid gumshoos with relatively few consequences. The raticate population was ultimately checked by another invasive species, albeit one introduced unintentionally. The white mask fungus is a parasitic mold that spreads across a raticate's face, preventing breathing, contaminating the food they eat and usually blinding them. It is the leading cause of raticate death in captivity and the second most common in the wild, after malnutrition (it is probably the leading cause of death for wild raticate when rattata are discounted, but it has proven difficult to confirm this). The first sign of an infection is usually a raticate vigorously rubbing their face against an object without gnawing on it. Infections spotted very early on can be treated. Otherwise, the raticate will need to be euthanized.

Evolution

Rattata, provided they are sufficiently fed, will typically evolve into a raticate within eighteen months. Very well fed rattata or those that battle frequently can evolve in less than a year. The appearance of cream colored fur surrounding their entire mouth is the formal demarcation line between rattata and raticate.

Battle

The Alolan raticate has no presence in the international or national professional battling circuits. Other subspecies do, although they are usually a crutch for young trainers due to the relatively short time it takes to fully train one and raise it to maturity. Before the atomic raticate was banned in every major circuit, it was well on its way to establishing itself as one of the premier threats on the international competitive scene. At present it is highly unlikely the restrictions upon it will ever be lifted.

Rattata are fast but fragile, and their bite is one of the strongest attacks that new trainers are likely to have access to. The optimal strategies for a rattata take advantage of this through priority or speed-boosting moves to dodge attacks and close the distance. Rattata fight somewhat better against large opponents than small ones as they can attack the places of their opponent's body they cannot easily reach, and their claws let them hold on when the opponent attempts to shake them off. The species is surprisingly clever and capable of learning a number of dark-type tricks and attacks.

Raticate do not like to fight. They are nowhere near as agile as their preevolution, although they sport the bulk necessary to take a few hits before going down. The sheer power of a raticate bite is enough to end most fights within minutes, but by that point the raticate will likely either be too injured to continue or seek to give up. By the time a raticate reaches maturity, it is best to retire it to the role of grocery shopping aid and refocus training time and resources on pokémon with a more combative disposition and a higher strength ceiling.

Acquisition

Rattata can be caught, adopted, or purchased with a Class I license. They can be found nearly anywhere in Alola at night, or in caves or dense forests during the day.

Raticate can be adopted or purchased with a Class I license, or caught with a Class II license. They are usually only found safeguarding their nests underground, alongside dozens of rattata that will defend them in battle. Trainers wishing to train their own a raticate should simply capture and raise a rattata.

Due to their fecundity, the few trainers who wish to breed raticate will often end up with more offspring than they desire to keep. As such, rattata can be easily purchased or adopted in the major cities of Alola.

Breeding

A raticate exposed to another raticate (or a closely related species) of the opposite sex will attempt to breed with it. They have no particular breeding season and, in the wild, are believed to reproduce continuously. After a pregnancy of roughly eighty days, a raticate will give birth to around fifteen offspring. Trainers are required to spay or neuter their raticate unless they possess a permit to breed them.

Subspecies

Unlike dartrix, the various subspecies of raticate do not fall into clear groupings. Only a handful of particularly common or interesting subspecies will be noted here. Trainers wishing to do further reading are advised to go to their local library and check out a copy of Raticate: A Story of Global Conquest by Dr. Elaine Faraday.

The two most common subspecies of raticate worldwide are often referred to as the eastern and western raticate. The eastern raticate is the direct ancestor of the Alolan raticate. They have a lighter coloration, with cream chest fur and light brown fur on their back. Eastern raticate are bulky than their descendants and are primarily quadrupeds who sometimes rear up on their hind legs for intimidation. The subspecies is even more prodigous than the Alolan raticate and can produce up to seventy offspring a year. Unlike the Alolan raticate, the eastern raticate is primarily diurnal. Most of their diet is comprised of small animals and pokémon, although they have also been known to dig up the roots of plants and eat them. Eastern raticate are found in eastern China, northern India, Central Asia, and many of the southern Japanese islands.

Western raticate have dark grey fur. Their tails are longer than their eastern counterparts and covered in fur. They are much more slender (and smaller, reaching lengths of only 0.6 meters) and have more developed legs and feet tipped in long claws. Western raticate do not dig burrows or seek shelter in caves. They live in social groups of one pair of raticate and their most recent litter. Western raticate seek shelter in tall grass, marshlands or tree branches when possible. Their range covers temperate Europe from the Iberian peninsula to the Caucuses. Most raticate subspecies in the Americas are their descendants.

Raticate have fared poorly in Africa due to the sheer number of mid-sized predators that exist, including the plains gumshoos. The main subspecies there is the six-eyed raticate. These raticate do not, in fact, have six eyes; they have two and, ironically, are nearly blind. The remaining :eyes" are their nostrils and two facial markings that serve and unknown purpose. They are one of the smaller raticate subspecies (the largest recorded specimen was, from their nose to the end of their tail, 0.36 meters long), but they are also one of the heaviest, reaching weights of up to 30 kilograms. This is because their bodies are coated in thin layers of metallic fur, and their claws are composed of nearly pure iron. They dig and live in elaborate tunnel networks underground. One of the few things that is well documented is that they seek out and eat metal deposits. This previously limited their range and numbers, but the growth of modern, metal-filled cities on the continent has removed these limiting factors. There have been dozens of events where swarms of thousands of six-eyed raticate ascend upon the business district of an African city and begin to devour the buildings. Whether or not they eat something other than metal has yet to be established, as they have a history of eating any cameras stuck in to their tunnels to observe them. No specimen has survived in captivity for more than three weeks.

Polar raticate, native to Scandanavia, northern Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland, are some of the largest and most aggressive predators among the raticate subspecies, reaching lengths of up to 1.3 meters. They have thick white fur coats and their hind legs are large and webbed. Their tail is broad and coated in the same waterproof fur as the rest of their body. Unusually for polar animals, they dig deep burrows in the summer and hibernate. They emerge in the winter to hunt. Their prey: other hibernators. They use their keen sense of smell to find the dens of other pokémon or animals. Then they assemble a hunting party of three to six raticate, burrow in and use their superior numbers and sharp teeth and front claws to overwhelm and kill their young or sluggish prey. Then the pack will disassemble and move on to finding their next target. Polar raticate are currently endangered across their entire range due to hunting, climate change (especially potent in the post-Sootopolis atmosphere), and capture. Prior to the Arctic Wildlife Protection Pact, polar raticate were common in professional battling circuits as an anti-metagame pick due to their niche as a slayer of apex hunters and their status as one of the few ice-types with good speed, power and bulk.

The Caribbean raticate is the only species known to spend most of its time in the water year round. They have long, broad tails roughly equal to half of their body length (1.1 meters, tail included). Their paws are large and webbed and their body is slender with short, fine, counter-shaded fur. Caribbean raticate swim out to coral reefs or similarly abundant areas during the day and dive down to hunt slow moving or stationary pokémon underwater. They use their front paws to grab ahold of their prey and their powerful jaws to crunch down and kill it. Carribean raticate are the only predators of the Gulf clamperl. At night they retreat to nearby islands to sleep on or near the shore. Faster invasive species such as sharpedo have begun to compete with them for food or hunt them directly, leading to a sharp decline in their numbers in the last fifteen years. The species is still in no danger of going extinct due to a strong captive breeding program. The Hau'oli Zoo currently has a breeding pair on display.

While the six-eyed raticate can damage cities and the western raticate is a well-known carrier of plagues, neither has terrified the public quite like the so-called atomic raticate. Prior to 1971, the dominant raticate subspecies in Papua New Guinea were arboreal herbivores that moved from tree to tree eating leaves and fruit and using their fangs to tear into trunks to drink water inside of the tree. This subspecies, the New Guinean raticate, only reached lengths of roughly 0.8 meters. In March 1971, the United States government began a series of oceanic hydrogen bomb tests in the sea between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. That August, a field biologist in New Guinea recorded seeing a raticate roughly two meters in length. In October a second biologist working on the opposite side of the country documented a three-meter raticate. The atomic raticate became too large for the trees to support them and they moved to the ground. At some point, they changed their diet to suit their new habitat. By the start of 1971 the provinces of Enga, the Southern Highlands, the Western Highlands and Hela had experienced mortality rates of over 80%.

In 1974, there was an outbreak of crossbred atomic and western raticate in the suburbs of London. Approximately 85,000 people were killed over the course of three years. A 1982 outbreak in Toronto led to the destruction of the city's subway system and the deaths of approximately 11,000 people. Subsequent outbreaks across Canada killed another 5,000, although there have been no sightings of the species outside of New Guinea since 2002. Atomic raticate are by far the most prodigious breeders of all subspecies, capable of producing up to 600 offspring a year, which mature over the course of roughly eleven months if properly fed. They have been known to bide their time in the forests near urban areas, slowly killing off the local wildlife until their numbers are great enough to begin their proper hunt. They actively seek out humans to kill and eat. It is unknown if this is for sport or nutritional reasons.

International law prohibits the study of live atomic raticate specimens and field research upon them is extremely difficult. The limited research conducted by professional battlers and biologists prior to the London and Toronto outbreaks suggested that the atomic raticate had a very powerful connection to whatever force it is that allows pokémon to do what baseline plants, animals and minerals cannot. This granted them effective dynakinesis, creating bursts of fire, radiation or electricity around their body. Their crossbred offspring exhibited exceptional elemental powers of the other subspecies' typing. All variations of the atomic raticate used their power to dampen incoming attacks of almost every nature, making them nigh-invulnerable to everything but some toxins.

In 1997, the United Nations Security Council designated the island of New Guinea as a nature preserve under U.N. administration and began to relocate the survivors. Australia was initially supposed to take the refugees, but a new government installed at the last minute prevented them from disembarking. At present they are being held on the Solomon Islands in a state of legal limbo.

Drone expeditions and satellite imagery have confirmed that the atomic raticate population remains strong on New Guinea but have found very little else there except for plants, birds, and canopy-dwelling pokémon. It is unclear exactly what the raticate are eating. If there is any silver lining, it is that the atomic raticate are not adept swimmers. It is illegal under international law to possess a Caribbean raticate within 300 kilometers of New Guinea in order to prevent this from changing.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Metapod (Caterpie, Butterfree)

Overview

There is a paradox at the heart of Alolan ecology. Virtually all pokémon on the island save the birds were introduced by humans, either by the original Polynesian settlers or the waves of colonizers and immigrants who came later on. Alola's ecology is also remarkably balanced. With the partial exceptions of gumshoos and rattata, no single species has come to dominate the island. Even the dozen or so apex predators mostly keep their numbers and ranges small and specialized to minimize conflict and further diversify the ecosystem. Scientists are are conflicted on why, exactly, this is. Metapod are as good a representation as any as to how this can be true.

Metapod were introduced to Alola by Japanese immigrants in the 1920s. They quickly carved out a niche and expanded in population… to a point. A variety of factors prevented metapod from ever experiencing the initial explosive growth rates of some invasive species. To start with, caterpie and butterfree are picky eaters who's preferred diet mostly constitutes introduced plants, which are themselves limited by other factors. While they later became quite fond of the so-called "meadow quartet," they found competition in those spaces from ribombee and oricorio, in addition to the migratory birds in Alola that already knew how to deal with metapod.

There has never been a serious attempt to exterminate the metapod population. This is because they have come to fill an important ecological niche. Ribombee tend to go dormant in the wet season, allowing newly evolved butterfree to pick up the slack as the dominant pollinator. Butterfree are also widely regarded as the most beautiful of Alola's insect pokémon and the blue butterfree in particular has become a source of pride.

Due to their relative cuteness, low maintenance, battle niche and short life expectancy, metapod are an excellent first bug-type for trainers. They are also quite gentle and surprisingly playful. This makes them a popular pet for acclimating children to pokémon.

Physiology

Caterpie and metapod are classified as pure bug-types. Butterfree is classified as a bug/flying type. There have been period efforts to consider it as either a bug/psychic or a psychic/flying type, but its powerful flight and control of wind currents as well as its distinctly insectlike anatomy have led to those proposals being rejected.

Caterpie looks like a green worm with eight distinct segments of decreasing size from head to tail. The head has two large eye-like markings. These are not actually their eyes and are used solely for intimidation. The eyes are slightly below the markings. Caterpie have a pair of legs on each segment but their first and last. Their head has a large branched antennae. They do not appear to use this antennae for sensory purposes; it contains glands that allow them to emit a horrific stench.

Metapod are shaped like green crescent moons with eyes. Once again, these are not real eyes. Metapod do not, strictly speaking, have eyes. They do have eye spots which allow them to sense ambient light levels. The shell of a metapod is extremely durable, capable of taking hits from even pikipek and other young birds. By contrast, their insides are mostly composed of a highly viscous liquid except immediately after and immediately before evolution (see Evolution).

Metapod seldom move and never eat or defecate. The most metapod can do in their own defense is secrete a sticky silk-like substance. There have even been some attempts in the scientific community to reclassify metapod as an egg rather than a pokémon, with caterpie and butterfree being technically separate species. This theory has not gained the endorsement of any major scientific organization. Metapod are typically around 0.7 meters tall and have a weight of roughly 10 kilograms.

Butterfree grow to a height around 1 meter and a weight of roughly 16 kilograms. Other guidebooks have reported butterfree’s mass as exceeding 32 kilograms, which is obviously false. No insect of butterfree's size could fly, much less float and glide, with that mass. It is true that a butterfree drenched in water can reach a weight close to that, but it seems disingenuous to count that as its true weight.

Butterfree possess a body with two blue segments, blue feet and red feelers. Additionally, they possess a large pair of red compound eyes. Their wings are far larger than their main body and have a white coloration with various black lines marking them. Butterfree wings are remarkably water resistant and they are both strong and nimble fliers. This enables them to launch spores up to ten meters with reasonable accuracy, as well as fly relatively unencumbered in even the heaviest of rains.

In captivity and the wild, butterfree can live up to fifteen months after evolving, but they typically only live for about ten (see Illness). Caterpie can live up to two months before they attempt evolution, even in highly unfavorable circumstances. Metapod may be immortal if not exposed to injury or water.

Behavior

All stages of the evolutionary line are almost exclusively herbivorous. They primarily seek out and eat plants with either an unpleasant taste or toxic properties. Caterpie and metapod store the spores, toxins and oils inside of themselves to create horrific smells and tastes to deter would-be predators. Butterfree are more active in seeking out specific spores, which they then store in chambers right beneath their wings. They can then emit powders with effects dependent upon their diet. In Alola, Melemele butterfree typically specialize in paralytics, Akala butterfree in psychoactive powders, Ula'Ula butterfree in chemical burns and rashes, and Poni butterfree in sleep inducing spores and other depressants. In captivity their diet can be selected to alter or maximize their capabilities (see Husbandry).

Even with their foul taste butterfree still have a fair few predators. Some birds such as fearow, noctowl and skarmory have olfactory glands weak enough to eat butterfree with only mild stomach irritation. Crobat can also shrug off some of their spore attacks and ambush butterfree at night when their vision is weaker and they tend to be tired or asleep. Snorlax and toucannon sometimes prey upon metapod. Arbok prey upon metapod and caterpie. Ariados have been known to snare and hunt caterpie and butterfree and, on the rare occasion that they leave their nest, they have been known to carry back any metapod they encounter to feed upon at a later time.

Caterpie are diurnal foragers. They have a highly developed sense of smell and will walk for up to 100 meters to find the optimal plant in range. This may not sound like a long distance, but for a small and slow-moving insect, it definitely is. Once a caterpie finds their desired tree it will climb into it and eat leaves until it is forced out by a competitor or predator, the tree dies or stops producing leaves, or a better foraging opportunity presents itself. When a caterpie exits a tree they produce a silk line and slowly lower themselves to the ground. A captive caterpie that is provided leaves at regular time and in adequate supply will still seek to climb on objects around it such as walls, lamps or their trainer.

Metapod have no behaviors worth noting, beyond their complete absence of any movement beyond reflexive self-defense.

Butterfree are diurnal, but they are most active whenever it is raining to take advantage of weather that grounds other birds. They also serve as pollinators, seeking out nectar and other sweet substances and then moving from plant to plant. Most smoothie stores in their range tend to have at least one resident butterfree camped out nearby, hoping to pilfer leftovers or steal from customers. When dormant, they perch and sleep in the canopies of tall trees. They sleep with their wings fully extended at their sides to make them appear larger to any would-be attackers.

Husbandry

Caterpie primarily eat leaves, although some nutritional supplements can be mixed in. Trainers should conduct further research with a more specialized guide and alter their caterpie's diet towards more toxic or foul-tasting plants that the caterpie can still digest. All bug catching stores and some general pokémon supplies stores will keep these leaves in stock. Caterpie being raised as pets, especially for small children, should be fed a standard leaf mix available at all Pokémon Centers and supply stores. This prevents them from gaining a particularly foul scent.

Metapod do not consume food.

Butterfree diets are more difficult to replicate in captivity. Some mix of fruit, flowers, and nectar is advisable. Detailed specialist guides can outline combinations that have been shown to work well for butterfree aimed at battling. A simple assortment of fresh or live flowers, honey and nectar will usually do the trick. Sugar water and fruit juices make for good rewards.

Caterpie cannot be housebroken. Butterfree can be, although it requires a fair bit of effort and will likely require a more experienced bug trainer to assist in the process. Caterpie waste is a dense soild; butterfree waste is a thin, almost colorless liquid.

It is recommended that trainers bond with their caterpie before it evolves into metapod. This can be accomplished by supervising it while it forages in nature, holding leaves and making the caterpie crawl over you to get them or providing it a climbing perch where its leaves are regularly provided with the trainer standing or sitting nearby it. All of these activities get caterpie to associate their trainer with food.

Butterfree will frequently perch on their trainers' head or outstretched arm when allowed to do so. As a word of caution, they are surprisingly heavy. A gentle flick of the arm or head will usually be enough to convince them to leave. They are remarkably intelligent and enjoy toys such as balls, puzzles containing nectar, fans, surfaces with strange textures, fog machines, and strobe lights. It is good for butterfree's enrichment to allow them to go outside on rainy days. Few of their predators fly in the rain, which makes it one of the few times they can safely remain unsupervised. Butterfree are smart enough to be taught to respond to even fairly complex verbal commands with time.

Caterpie show no particular aversion to being held inside a pokéball. Metapod should be transferred inside of a pokéball, but should otherwise be left alone and outside of their ball. Butterfree resent being held in all but the most comfortable pokéballs during the day, although it is sometimes necessary to keep them from flying off. They show no particular aversion to their ball at night, and some butterfree seem to prefer it as a means of keeping them safe from real or imagined predators.

Illness

Unfortunately, time is something butterfree have in short supply. In their native range, caterpie typically hatch in early spring, evolve a few weeks later, evolve again two to six weeks after that, lay eggs in the fall and die off in the winter. Migration is largely impossible as they are outcompeted by faster and more aggressive butterfly and moth species to the south of them.

In Alola there is no particular reason that they need to die off in the winter. However, butterfree macroevolution has done little to select against age-related diseases beyond eight months. As such, butterfree typically succumb to organ failure or cancer between nine and twelve months of age. Some butterfree have been documented as living a few months longer, but none have ever lived to see sixteen months

Some injuries affecting caterpie, metapod and butterfree can be cured. Veterinarians at Pokémon Centers will fix up the simple ones for free. Most serious injuries or those related to illness rather than battle wounds are not covered for the simple reason that they would give the butterfree another year of life at most. Theoretically, some private sector veterinarians may be willing to cure serious butterfree illnesses. But butterfree trainers must consider if it is worth paying large amounts of money to keep their pokémon alive for another few months.

Evolution

A well-fed caterpie will grow rapidly over the course of roughly six weeks. They do not grow linearly; they periodically shed their skin and crawl out. Over the next twelve hours they grow in size and develop another exoskeleton. This process will be repeated roughly ten times before caterpie are able to evolve.

In the wild, caterpie climb up to an inaccessible or hidden spot in a tree, tie a thick silk line, and form a thick exoskeleton cocoon around themselves. In captivity, caterpie should be provided a safe place to rest at least once a week to see if they will evolve. Once evolution occurs, the metapod should be left undisturbed in the same place for a week. They should never be battled with. If a metapod evolves inside of a Pokémon Center room, the trainer will be allowed to stay there for the full week.

Metapod evolve under very harsh or persistent rain. In nature they can sometimes lie dormant for the entire dry season. If natural rain is unavailable one to three weeks after metapod evolves in captivity, it is best to seek out a sprinkler room used to care for amphibians and water-types. Some of the largest Pokémon Centers have them. Failing that, most fish or herpetology specializing stores will typically have such a room available for a fee.

Inside of the metapod, the caterpie’s organs and flesh steadily dissolve into a thick green goo. As evolution progresses, the goo steadily reforms into a miniature butterfree. When the process is complete, the new butterfly will break out of the metapod shell and fly away. Butterfree grow from their initial size to their final size over the course of two to three weeks.

Battle

Caterpie are not natural battlers and actively avoid conflict whenever possible. In the wild their primary defense mechanism is to be so foul tasting and smelling that almost nothing wants to eat them. In captivity, this makes them hard to coax into fights beyond forcing them onto a battlefield and hoping they reflexively defend themselves. Caterpie are typically too nervous or unintelligent to be properly trained. Their self defense mechanisms amount to (weak) bites, (weak) full body tackles, discharges from its scent glands, and (strong) silk tripwires it uses to bind or trap opponents. It should be noted that caterpie will simply run away from a sufficiently bound foe rather than taking the opportunity to damage them further. It is recommended that if caterpie must be used in battle at all, they be used to tie up a particularly tricky opponent and then be withdrawn or forfeited to give another more combative 'mon an opening.

Metapod should not be battled with. The slabs of their exoskeleton are incredibly durable and can take hits from pikipek and rattata. However, they are poorly built for handling impacts and will frequently burst and lose their inner liquid. These injuries are fatal.

Many an aspiring youngster or bug catcher has dreamed of shocking the world stage with their butterfree, something they believe to be criminally underrated. This belief is supported by the simple fact that most trainer's first abject humiliation comes from a butterfree. Flying projectile users are incredibly good counters for melee fighters. Butterfree have access to moderately powerful psychic attacks and delicate but powerful wings. Those traits in tandem allow them to strike with gusts of wind or carry spores to hit their target with surprising accuracy. From there it's only a matter of time before they finish their helpless opponent off.

More clever trainers still will note that butterfree would be a perfect addition to so-called "rain teams," because they are capable fliers, the rain mitigates super effective fire attacks, and the weather allows for more powerful hurricane attacks. Even if there isn’t rain on the field, butterfree's aim allows it to usually land hurricanes.

Butterfree is not the strongest of pokémon. Or the fastest. Or the most durable. There's a reason that their main defense in the wild is being inedible. A well-used butterfree might remain viable towards the end of an island challenge, but on the world stage it's hopelessly outmatched as a rain flier by pokémon such as swanna and pelipper. Its role as a status spreader is better left to bulky grass-types.

Acquisition

Caterpie are most common in meadows, temperate forests and near large man-made gardens or orchards. All stages of the evolutionary line can be captured, trained, adopted or purchased with a Class I license. Many trainers are tempted to go straight for capturing butterfree as there are no higher license requirements for doing so. This is usually inadvisable. To start with, butterfree are free-spirited, intelligent, and hate confinement. By the time a trainer gets a butterfree to cooperate, it will either be mostly obsolete in battle or on death's door. Butterfree tend to reflexively trust trainers who cared for them and fed them as a caterpie and watched over them as a metapod.

Metapod can, technically, be captured. This ensures that a butterfree is obtained while they're still young and the capture process is much easier. However, the butterfree will not recognize their trainer and all the usual problems of establishing dominance will apply.

Most shelters simply release butterfree. They don't fare well indoors and tend to fare well upon reintroduction to the wild.

Butterfree, especially those of alternate colorations, can usually be purchased from breeders in major cities or near flower meadows. However, they will often charge a price that may not be worth paying to have a low-power pokémon for a few months. Caterpie are frequently sold in pet stores, but there's no particular reason to pay to obtain one when they're already quite common and not particularly hard to capture in the wild. Captive-born caterpie will be slightly more used to humans, but caterpie adjust to new circumstances quite quickly as it is.

Breeding

Butterfree find mates during the summer and fall months. After a courtship ritual involving elaborate flight patterns and one party providing the other with flowers or honey, they will consummate the relationship. Roughly three weeks later, the female will lay their eggs in leaves near the canopy of a tree, typically during or after rainstorms. They do not continue to watch these eggs after they are laid and show no particular loyalty to their offspring. In captivity, butterfree are somewhat more maternal and have been known to roost over their nest during their day and seek out and provide food to their offspring once they hatch. The reason for this difference is unknown.

Butterfree can be bred in captivity. Provide the butterfree a mid-sized real or artificial tree in an indoor environment. Make sure the environment is kept relatively moist. Have enough leaves in supply to feed the caterpie once they hatch. They are often bred for their color schemes; several Alolan breeders specialize in blue-winged butterfree.

Subspecies

Butterfree technically has no subspecies. However, it does have alternate color schemes. While these do not have any major physiological differences they still appear to be more different from the baseline butterfree than some actual subspecies do. The most common alternate color schemes are blue, yellow, pink, orange, and dark green butterfree. Botanical gardens, zoos and the royal aviary frequently have summer exhibits displaying butterfree of many different colors. These butterfree enjoy no substantial benefits in combat, but they do cost more to obtain and are almost exclusively found in captivity.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Ledian (Ledyba)

Overview

There is a peculiar sort of modern arrogance that history can be divided into two phases: the era of primitive mysticism and the Age of Science. The latter began only a few centuries ago. Before it no significant advances were made beyond, perhaps, the very basics of mathematics. Sometimes in their rush to repudiate ‘superstition,’ scientists rush to dissenting opinions when, in reality, the ancient wisdom was largely correct. Ledian appears to be one of those cases.

The ancient poets, from India to Kalos to the Andes, claimed that ledian fed upon starlight. In the late 1700s a man by the name of John Alabaster published a lengthy treatise on how this belief was the height of ancient foolishness. Cultures around the world had built and protected homes for ledbya near their fields because ledyba prey upon other bugs. The same farmers would also complain when ledian ate the fruit from their orchards. What place was there for starlight in their diet?

It is true that ledyba hunt bugs and ledian are very fond of fruit. However, it has been recently discovered that the cells on a ledian’s carapace appear to generate energy in reaction to starlight that isn’t from the sun. It is unknown what advantage they reap from this that they would not gain from simple photosynthesis. The leading theory, that they need only dim light, has been disproved routinely in experiments. Extrapolating from close relatives is also difficult. While ledbya look almost exactly like a larger version of a baseline insect, their organ systems are closer to a klinklang than a butterfree, to the extent that their physiology is understood at all.

Ledian are fascinating and loyal pets that can hold their own in even international competitions. Unfortunately, “the cycle” (see Breeding) limits the times in which ledian are available and even further limits the amount of time most trainers will have to bond with their partners.

Physiology

All stages of ledian are classified by the Department of Agriculture as dual bug- and flying-types. The department is currently in the process of reconsidering its prior ruling in favor of a bug- and fairy-typing because of the species’ strong connection to starlight.

Ledyba have two segments. The larger of the two contains its wings and six proportionally small legs. The back of its carapace is marked with five black stars. The exact size and pattern of the stars varies between individuals. The second segment contains the ledyba’s head. Unusually for insects, their eyes are complex and quite similar to those of cephalopods or vertebrates. They have two large black antennae on their head. These antennae are used for smelling the world. Ledyba have scent glands located right beneath their antennae. They use these glands to signal their emotions, location and intent to conspecifics. ledyba are counter-shaded; their bellies are yellow and their back is primarily orange.

Ledian are some of the largest flying insects, reaching heights of up to 1.6 meters in parts of the world that are both warm year-round and have excellent air quality. Alola is one of those places. Ledian have a proportionally large head segment and a proportionally small ‘body’ segment. The two are connected by a short but visible neck. Ledian have a visible black dot where their scent glands are. Curiously, ledian have conventional compound eyes rather than the more complex eyes of their juvenile form. Ledian legs become more specialized, with two serving as ‘feet’ used for balance mid-flight and four growing longer and developing hard, round tips that vaguely resemble boxing gloves. Ledian gain a darker red coloration upon their backs.

Ledbya appear to subsist entirely upon starlight. Ledian sometimes eat very sweet fruit or berries during long summers, long periods of continuous cloud cover, or during periods of abnormally bad air quality. Ledian have never been observed producing waste. Their digestive system, like almost all of their other organs, appears to be entirely different from known organic pokémon. The inner workings of ledian are still largely a mystery. Some organs (their ‘brain,’ their scent glands, their three hearts) readily appear to have a purpose. Most of their organs do not.

The amount of energy a ledian obtains from starlight appears to be based upon the number of stars visible, air quality, cloud cover, the phase of the moon and the length of the night. There is preliminary evidence that ledian energy production might depend upon the alignment of planets, long-term fluctuations of the Earth’s tilt and distance from the sun, and the presence of nearby comets.

Behavior

Ledyba are some of the most gregarious of all pokémon, preferring to live in swarms of several hundred members. Ledian are less social, but still prefer to live in groups of six or more. In the wild ledyba are known for forming huge swarms and, when attacked, grouping together and throwing up reflective shields around the entire swarm. However, particularly powerful or stealthy birds enjoy preying upon ledyba, which causes their numbers to steadily decline. Even with human training and protection, the total number of ledian in Alola inevitably declines to roughly 1000 at its low point.

Ledyba have long been known to find and kill other non-pokémon insects in their home. Ledyba emit a steadily stream of a weak insecticide from their scent glands and use their weak punches and wind attacks when their poison alone won’t do the trick. The purpose of these hunts is unclear, as they do not compete for food with these insects and they seldom attack ledyba except in self-defense. Because they usually spare pollinators, ledyba are beloved by farmers. The species was deliberately introduced in 1851 to safeguard sugar plantations. This introduction has led to a decline in local insect populations, but the popularity of Alola as a rookery for large birds of prey (fearow, braviary, honchkrow, mandibuzz, talonflame, skarmory, noivern, noctowl) has kept the ledian population in check.

Ledian also make a habit of hunting bugs. Unlike their juvenile form, they hunt down pokémon insects. They spare pollinators such as ribombee and butterfree. There are records of ledian going after vikavolt in the first few cycles after their arrival in Alola, but they have since stopped hunting vikavolt and vikavolt, in turn, have stopped hunting them. Almost all other bug-types are fair game. Ledian punches are surprisingly powerful and can be unleashed at rates of up to 130 total punches a second when counting all four arms. Ledian’s preferred tactic is to ambush a bug while it rests and unleash fast, targeted punches to a particular area on their target’s exoskeleton. The resulting force is not intended to break the exoskeleton. Rather, it is meant to put pressure on weak points elsewhere and cause the insect to burst open. Ledian hunt insects that do not compete for space and food. They do not eat the remains or lay eggs in it.

Attempts to discern their reasoning through telepathy have proven unsuccessful, beyond giving the human psychic a deep-rooted fear that can last for weeks, months or years depending upon the length of the connection. Past editions of this guidebook have referred to the fear as simple arachnophobia. This no longer appears to be the case. The creatures telepaths see when they sync with ledian have nine long legs covered in spines that branch off into clusters of more spines, a core body that appears to be made up of a dodecahedron with giant, rapidly-moving eyes visible on each pane, translucent purple wings almost as large as the rest of the creature, and a constant scream one telepath described as “…a baby crying on a plane, but its voice is a car crash, metal on metal... the volume is always changing… I think it was saying something [like] if pure, all-consuming hatred was condensed to a single word…” Telepathic scans have further confirmed that ledian minds are structured nothing like those of any other observed insect pokémon. These traits have made them minds a subject of intense curiosity among non-telepaths in the field of telepath studies and also a subject that almost no telepath wants to touch.

It is hypothesized that the so-called “ledian spiders” may be relatives of metagross, a pokémon that is also quite likely to have extraterrestrial origins. Metagross seem fascinated by ledian; ledian will attempt to flee from metagross, disregarding their own safety in the process. Ledian exposed to metagross with no escape route available will frequently attempt suicide. It is strongly recommended that trainers not keep both species on the same team.

All stages of the evolutionary line rest in the day and fly at night in what appear to be elaborate dances and social rituals. It is unclear what the purpose of these are or what they mean, as ledian are just as likely to perform them with a member of their swarm they appear to dislike as they are to perform them their closest partner in the swarm.

Husbandry

As ledyba need no extra food than natural starlight and produce no waste, they would appear to be ideal pets. Unfortunately, several factors complicate this analysis.

To start with, ledyba are uncomfortable living in swarms with fewer than twenty members. This is infeasible to replicate on most standard teams of six pokémon. Ledian are less gregarious, but still require either a full team of six pokémon or near-constant interaction with their trainer. They are intelligent and loyal creatures and enjoy play.

Ledyba prefer to sleep in their pokéballs. Ledian have no particular preference. However, ledyba and ledian both drain their energy reserves while they are in their pokéballs and will need to be let out each night. It is recommended that they have a guard pokémon, preferably an electric, rock, or ice-type, to ward off birds of prey.

Ledian are almost constantly releasing powerful scents to signal their moods. Sometimes these scents can be quite pleasant. Sometimes they are not. It should be accepted that a ledian trainer will gradually gain a rather distinctive scent due to their pet’s communications. The species’ fondness of cuddling does not help with this.

Ledian are some of the easiest pokémon to tame due to the almost absurd lengths they will go to in pursuit of the fruits they enjoy and their love of puzzles. Providing challenges or games with fruit as a reward will convince a ledian to practice their moves, engage in battle, or pick up prosocial behaviors for a comparatively low cost. Ledian do not appear to pick up weight when overfed, but it is best for a trainer’s wallet if they don’t overdo it. The more rewards a ledian gets, the less they will respond to the opportunity of obtaining food.

As the ledian’s life cycle ends, they will attempt to leave their trainer. They should be allowed to go as every surviving ledian is important for restoring the population at the end of the cycle (see Breeding).

It is extremely difficult to train a ledian alongside other bugs. Butterfree, ribombee and vikavolt, as mentioned above, are the only exceptions in Alola. Very experienced bug specialists can sometimes pull it off, but it’s a task best left to zookeepers and the world’s top trainers and researchers.

Illness

Ledian very seldom get sick. When they do there is absolutely nothing a veterinarian can do for them given their odd physiology. Ill ledian should be comforted, exposed to as much starlight as possible, and left outside of their pokéball. Sometimes they will recover on their own.

However, tempting as it may be, ledian should not be overfed when sick. More than one ledian has come to view feigning illness as a trick they obtain fruit for performing.

Evolution

Ledyba grow steadily after birth through repeated molts until they reach a height of roughly 0.7 meters at roughly seven months of age. At this point their size remains stagnant for one to three months until they begin metamorphosis. The soon-to-be-ledian will drop down to the floor of the swarm’s nest and remain there, protected by other members of the swarm, for roughly two weeks. During this period they undergo repeated molting and rapid growth.

Ledyba only evolve when they have a ready source of protection. In most cases, this is their swarm. When a ledyba is held without other ledyba, something that is legal but generally inadvisable, ledyba will only evolve when provided a dark and sheltered area that remains a constant presence in their space for at least one month.

Battle

Ledyba are cowards that actively avoid battle with anything bigger than a few centimeters long. They are more likely than not to simply freeze up when exposed to an opponent.

Ledian are naturally combative and can be disciplined to hold back from killing other bugs with the help of some wild pokémon and fruit. Ledian have access to highly targeted punches, even if they aren’t particularly strong, aerokinetic attacks, and low-level telepathic attacks. However, ledian are perhaps best used as supporting pokémon that set up telekinetic barriers, annoy the opponent or set up a sweep. If a trainer is willing to invest time and money on specialized training and TMs, ledian can learn a plethora of nasty tricks to capitalize upon their screens. Roost and drain punch compensate for their relative frailty, even with screens. Tailwind, agility, substitute, swords dance and baton pass can help set up another teammate. Encore, infestation and u-turn can help establish momentum. Ledian are also intelligent enough to know multiple tricks simultaneously which can keep opponents guessing as to whether ledian is a momentum-builder, a sweep enabler or an all-out attacker. This has given ledian a niche in competitive battling circuits despite their lack of bulk or power.

For amateurs with less time, resources and knowledge to put into training a ledian, it is best to go for a screen-augmented attacker route. Mix the classic protective screens (reflect, light screen, safeguard) with moves such as comet punch, bug buzz and air slash together and you’ll have a pokémon that can continue to play a role through either the end of the island challenge or the end of the cycle, whichever comes first.

Acquisition

Ledyba require a Class II license to capture, adopt or purchase. Ledian only require a Class I license. The disparity is in place to prevent trainers without the time, resources or skills to wrangle twenty or more ledyba from trying to do so.

The abundance of ledian and their evolutionary stage largely depend on the time in the cycle. To learn about ledian availability, consult a bug pokémon or agricultural supplies store. At some points in the cycle the capture of ledian is strictly prohibited. Late in the cycle when ledian are present and no longer living in large swarms, they can typically be found near orchards, gardens, plantations or some sparse temperate forests. Ledian are easily intrigued and bribed with fruit and, after they have let their guard down, hugs. They can be overpowered and captured, but it’s usually best to get them to join your team voluntarily. Simply giving them food, attention and a community is enough to establish dominance over them.

Breeding

It is impossible to breed ledian in captivity.

Ledian operate on well-known cycles based around total lunar eclipses, which occur about once every 2.5 years. Eggs are laid during the eclipse and hatch two to three weeks later. Ledyba eggs are about the size of a ping-pong ball and look and feel more like a crystal than a standard egg. The eggs are translucent and the growing ledyba is clearly visible.

When the ledyba eggs hatch, there are suddenly hundreds of thousands of tiny ledyba in Alola guarded by roughly 1000 ledian. Predators, pokémon and otherwise, take advantage of this. When the start of the cycle coincides with the breeding season of migratory birds mortality is particularly high. By the time ledyba reach full size, there are typically only ten thousand remaining in the archipelago. Once all the ledyba have evolved roughly ten months in to the cycle, they begin to split off into smaller swarms of ten to twenty individuals. Individuals and swarms are gradually coaxed into captivity or killed off by predators until only about 50 swarms remain in the wild, with another 25 in captivity on large plantations. The remainder are held by private trainers or zoos and botanical gardens.

As the end of the cycle nears, the captive ledian will begin to leave their trainers to return to the place of their birth. On the night of the total lunar eclipse, the ledian will begin one final moonlight ritual, this one with a clear purpose. Details of this event are largely unknown as ledian react with hostility to humans approaching their mating grounds and have even been known to destroy drones sent in to observe. The next morning, the ground of the mating areas are littered with eggs. Ledian will spend the next six months fiercely defending their offspring. Most will die in this process as predators flock to the swarms.

The remaining ledian will begin to die off six months after the eclipse, unleashing powerful and incomprehensible psychic waves as they do so. Some captive ledian will choose to return to their trainers to die. Those that successfully return will embrace their human and initiate a psychic connection. Trainers report visions of vast fields of brightly colored stars and what appears to be a nebula in the middle-distance. The humans often report feelings of confusion and awe at mundane objects such as trees or forks in the following weeks, along with an overpowering sense of love for almost everyone and everything.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

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Pronouns
her/hers
Ariados (Spinarak) | Ālìduōsī (Xiànqiú)

Overview

It is somewhat uncommon for two subspecies of the same pokémon to coexist in the same range. There are forces that encourage specialization, but the pokémon in an area usually continue to interbreed enough that the subspeciation process is slow.

Ariados is the first pokémon discussed in this guide with two subspecies classified by the Department of Agriculture as having “significant populations” in the Commonwealth of Alola. These are commonly referred to outside of Alola as the Yangtze ariados and the Alolan ariados. Within Alola, the latter are just called “ariados” (spinarak as juveniles) and the former are referred to by their transliterated Chinese name, ālìduōsī (xiànqiú as juveniles). These names will be used unless noted otherwise.

The ancestors of ālìduōsī, now extinct, were smaller, nimbler and more aggressive than the current pokémon. Even while the humans in their range despised the spiders, they had to respect the sheer durability of their silk, which was capable of withstanding slashes from all but the sharpest of bronze swords. Eventually, the Chinese domesticated the species. Anthropologists have yet to figure out exactly how the happened. The folklore revolves around a woman who was cursed to become a spider for infidelity, married a male of the species and served as a dutiful wife, and was then rewarded with humanity by the gods. However, she still loved her spider children and raised them as her own.

This is perhaps the most plausible explanation for how relatively intelligent and asocial man-eating spiders were tamed by humans who had no reliable way of harming or containing them. No other culture managed to domesticate their local spider species, and several of them are less intimidating than the historical record suggests the proto-ālìduōsī were.

For centuries, ālìduōsī silk was known and coveted as far away as the banks of the Niger and Rubicon. Yet the spiders themselves never developed a long-term foothold outside of China, Taiwan, the Korean peninsula, and the Japanese archipelago. Part of this was a deliberate policy decision by the Chinese empires not to export the production of their most valuable commodity. During the Han dynasty smuggling a ālìduōsī out of the country earned execution for the trafficker and their entire family.

The first attempt to raise ālìduōsī on Alola occurred before first contact with Europeans and was apparently unsuccessful. However, some of the descendants of those ālìduōsī would later retreat to the dense jungles of Alola and become ariados.

In the late 1800s, a British entrepreneur decided to try again. Using some ālìduōsī illegally smuggled from China, as well as some purchased from a desperate nobleman in Johto, he set up the first successful ālìduōsī plantation outside of East Asia. Alola’s climate meant that ālìduōsī have plenty to eat and never have to hibernate. The only other spider pokémon in Alola are aquatic and relatively docile or, in the case of ariados, generally tolerant of others of their species. Vikavolt were used to keep birds away from the plantation. After only two decades, Elisha Gage owned no less than seven plantations across the islands and was well on his way to being the richest man in the archipelago. His political disputes with the king over taxation led to him bankrolling the overthrow of the monarchy. Four plantations remain today near Malie city and, ironically, Castleton on Ula’Ula. Another two are located on smaller islands to the northwest of the Tapu Isles. Two are located around Melemele and one on Akala.

Gage’s company, now known as Gracidea Clothiers, is a multibillion dollar corporation specializing in ālìduōsī silk products and luxury clothing. They have since expanded into jewelry, private security, restaurants, bottled water, wine, and real estate.

(Full disclosure: Gracidea Clothiers is the second largest donor to the Alola Pokémon League, the publishers of this guidebook.)

Physiology

All evolutionary stages of ariados are classified as dual poison- and bug-type pokémon by the Department of Agriculture. All evolutionary stages of ālìduōsī are classified as pure bug-types.

Spinarak are small arachnid pokémon with six legs and two body segments. Their legs are covered in uneven yellow and black stripes. The rest of their body is covered in a mottled green pattern. The stripes and discoloration break up lines of sight and make them harder to see. Most spinarak have features resembling two eyes and a mouth on the back of their body to ward off predators, although their mottled coloration sometimes obscures it. Spinarak produce and release silk from their larger rear segment. Despite common misconceptions, spinarak do not release silk from their anus or genitals. Instead, it is released from a series of nearby glands which each specialize in a specific type of silk. Spinarak’s smaller front segment contains the bulk of their central nervous system, although this also spreads into their hind segment and even their legs. The head segment also contains their mouth, venom sacs and eyes (unlike most spider pokémon, all subspecies and evolutionary stages of ariados only have one pair of eyes). Spinarak release venom from a stinger located just above their eyes. Spinarak venom is slow acting and primarily serves to weaken the target’s immune system and interfere with their circadian rhythm. The damage it deals is meant to be long-term.

Xiànqiú are slightly larger and bulkier than spinarak. Their legs are proportionally shorter and, instead of a mottled coloration, they are bright green with a clear face pattern on their back. Unlike spinarak, they are somewhat poisonous throughout their entire body but can only emit rather weak venom from their stinger. Xiànqiú are not particularly well equipped for hunting prey and rely mostly upon feedings from either humans or their mother to survive.

Ariados have long, spindly legs with pale yellow and grey stripes. Ariados’ main body is covered in chaotic pale green and yellow patterns, often but not always with a black face marking on its back. Like most arachnids, ariados have eight legs. However, one pair is very small and located near their silk glands to manipulate and cut their silk. Spinarak and xiànqiú have only four legs, all in the traditional position. All subspecies of ariados gain two more legs on their back which they use to grab branches above them or other points on their web, as well as defend themselves better against birds and other aerial attackers.

Ariados have more pronounced mandibles and stingers than their juvenile form and their purple eyes are well known in Alola for glowing in the dark. Their venom is almost identical to that of spinarak, although their larger size allows them to possess more of it. Male ariados frequently grow up to 0.7 meters in length and 35 kilograms in mass, with females reaching lengths of 0.8 meters and masses of 40 kilograms.

Ālìduōsī are substantially larger than ariados. The females can reach lengths of up to 1.3 meters and masses of up to 100 kilograms. The smaller males only grow to around 1 meter in length and 80 kilograms in mass. Their coloring is also notably brighter, consisting of yellow and pink stripes and patterns throughout their body with a very distinct black face marking on their back. Their mandibles and stinger are larger still than ariados’ and colored pure white. These were both traits ancient farmers selected for aesthetic reasons. While their juvenile form is still rather poisonous, the adults have roughly the same quantity of poison spread throughout a much larger body. It is speculated that their ancestors were, in fact, poisonous enough no bird would eat them and their venom could kill an adult human in less than a day. Farmers probably selected against both traits at some point, as the risk of getting killed by their livestock was more important than the risk of their livestock being killed by birds.

Ariados silk is less easy to work with and color than ālìduōsī silk, but it is also far stickier. Ālìduōsī silk can be stronger than steel and lighter than almost all other cloths. Ariados silk is less durable and lightweight, but they produce more of it relative to their mass. The stickiness of the silk makes it better for snaring prey and worse for clothing humans. Ariados silk is also thinner than their domestic counterparts. This makes their webs more difficult to see.

Ariados live up to two years in both the wild and captivity. Male ālìduōsī live up to three years in captivity and females live up to five years. No substantial wild population of ālìduōsī exists anywhere in the world.

Behavior

Wild spinarak old enough to have moved away from their mother’s web tend to stick to the canopy. They do not make proper webs, instead relying on small networks of tripwires to snare smaller bugs (pokémon and otherwise), young birds and small mammals and reptiles (mostly non-pokémon). The spinarak will drop more strands onto their prey from above or using their ability to shoot out strands a distance of up to fifty centimeters with reasonable accuracy. They will then either finish the prey off with their mandibles or, if it is too large to end in a single bite or too dangerous to get close to, they will stand motionless near their prey until it falls asleep, at which point they will either sting the prey or kill it.

Ariados build elaborate webs spanning from the ground to the canopy. Their webs contain three distinct regions. The first is a dense “house” compartment that the ariados sleeps in during the day to avoid predators that could pick them off their web. The second is a typical spiderweb in the canopy spanning from branch to branch. This is used to capture birds and small creatures who unwittingly crash into it. The ariados will typically approach them from behind and either finish them off immediately or sting them to slow and sedate their prey so it doesn’t damage the web or alert other pokémon. The ariados will then eat the prey when it is hungry.

The third portion of an ariados web is a series of thin tripwires spread out near the forest floor. These wires are attached to spools higher up in the web that can contain up to a kilometer of thread each. Once a creature snags itself on one of the threads, it will likely continue moving on none the wiser until it reaches its nest or resting spot. The ariados will then stalk the forest floor at night, following the thread until it reaches not only their sleeping prey but likely their entire family. If the prey are too large, powerful or numerous to take on in one sitting, the ariados will simply craft a web around the den and wait, occasionally landing stings or bites when it is safe to do so. Eventually the prey will die from infection or starvation, or at least fall into a deep enough sleep from the venom’s effects that the ariados is comfortable killing them. Ariados can sometimes consume quantities above their body weight over the course of a week from these feasts.

While ariados and ālìduōsī can drink water, and often will in captivity, they are also quite capable of subsisting only off of their prey’s bodily fluids.

Ālìduōsī build elaborate structure more closely resembling a bird’s nest than a spider’s web. They prefer to find several nearby trees or bamboo poles and weave the structure between them, suspended entirely in midair. The exact form of it seems to be learned from the spider’s mother and other nearby spiders rather than being an instinctual habit. For reasons unknown, ālìduōsī abandon their webs about once every six months and find a nearby location suitable for creating a new one. If their web is destroyed or severely damaged they will abandon their current site prematurely. This is when their silk is harvested.

Ālìduōsī do not actively hunt, but they will eat anything that lands in their web. Recently abandoned ālìduōsī in the wild have been observed scavenging nearby kills at night and retreating to their nest in the day.

Something many people find off-putting about both subspecies is how friendly they are towards people. Both will seldom attack, much less kill, humans. Ālìduōsī and captive-raised ariados will often seek out and approach humans who enter their territory, especially at night, to greet them and maybe beg for food. Some wild born ariados that have never had a trainer have also been observed doing this. Captive-born spinarak will happily climb all over their trainer and other familiar humans. Xiànqiú are more cowardly and are frequently under their mother’s watchful eye, but if they feel safe they sometimes will. Ariados have been known to attempt this but, given their large size, they usually fail and knock their trainer over. They then scurry away and hide out of either embarrassment or fear of retaliation.

Husbandry

All stages of the ariados line are carnivores, although they sometimes will eat plant-based treats. They can be fed pre-prepared food mixes such as dog, cat or insectivore food. Meat intended for human consumption, either cooked or raw, is also good. It is best to vary an ariados’ diet over time. Food should be used as a reward for good behavior to help tame them, especially if the spider was captured as an ariados. Placing food around the environment and making the ariados hunt for it is also good for their mental well-being and prevents them from becoming entirely sedentary.

In the wild, ariados avoid defecating near their web as the scent alerts some prey species to the presence of spiders. Instead the ariados leaves their web at night and walks up to three kilometers away (although usually no more than one, especially if they have young) to relieve themselves. If the ariados is a mother with young, she will bring the entire colony along either on her stomach, her back or trailing behind her, depending upon the spinaraks’ age. It is remarkably easy to train ariados to defecate outside in captivity. This is also a chance for exercise, especially if the walk goes on somewhat longer than is strictly necessary. Ariados are very fond of long night walks and can be taught to hold a leash on one of their back legs.

Ariados will attempt to build webs almost anywhere they go. These can be difficult to clean up, even with special web dissolving fluids (which can be rather expensive). It is best to keep ariados in their pokéball when staying in an indoor space you don’t own, or an outdoor space where you aren’t allowed to leave webs (check the rules or ask the owner everywhere you camp).

Ariados don’t mind their pokéballs in the day; spinarak prefer them. Ariados also don’t mind their pokéballs at night so long as they are also allowed a walk and given food as bribery.

Ālìduōsī and xiànqiú are generally calmer and lower maintenance. The exact diet they are fed in captivity is a trade secret, but it is known that they are omnivorous and that the plants in their diet are the key to the texture and quality of their silk. They seldom leave their webs but will defecate in a nearby receptacle. To learn more information, visit the Ālìduōsī Museum on Melemele Island near Plantation Point.

Neither species hibernates in Alola due to the warm temperatures. If the ariados is taken out of the Commonwealth during the winter or late fall, they may attempt to do so. This is a perfectly natural behavior. Consult a more specialized guide on insect hibernation for more details.

Illness

Insect diseases, especially parasitic diseases, are notably difficult to cure as much of modern medicine revolves around killing insects and other simple creatures. Due to their relationship to ālìduōsī, ariados diseases have some chance of being curable by at least one veterinarian in Alola’s larger cities. The most common symptoms of disease are red patches appearing behind the ariados’ stinger, the ariados obsessively scratching some portion of its body, refusing food for more than three days, defects in their slik, an abrupt change in fecal color or consistency without a corresponding change in diet, or an abrupt change in temperament. If an ariados in Alola attempts to hibernate by retreating for a long period into a secluded, dark area that is not their own web, that could also be a sign of illness.

Consult a veterinarian as soon as any of these symptoms are observed.

Evolution

Spinarak grow to their full size over the course of roughly eight months for males and ten for females. There are no particularly rapid growth spurts or other abrupt changes involved in the transition. The formal demarcation line between spinarak and ariados is when their back legs grow long enough to touch each other.

Ālìduōsī grow to full size from xiànqiú in roughly six months. The formal demarcation line of evolution is the same as it is for spinarak and ariados.

Battle

Ālìduōsī are far more valuable as livestock than battlers and no one has ever seriously used one in a major competitive circuit. When they must defend themselves from battles they use their hooked and somewhat pointed legs, especially the ones on their back, to defend themselves. They mostly avoid combat by staying inside of their tough, sticky webs.

Spinarak and ariados suffer in battling from being ambush predators. In the wild the success or failure of their hunts is usually determined before the prey even knows the predator is there. They are not particularly bulky and their mandible strength and venom are nothing special for a pokémon. Ariados have a very tiny niche in competitive battling as laying the strongest webs and being able to project them up to a meter or two when well trained. If ariados were fast enough to dodge hits and weave around the battlefield to reduce their opponent’s mobility, as galvantula can, they might be useful. The same would be true if they were bulky enough to move unimpeded regardless of what their opponent did to stop them. As neither is the case for ariados, their use on the circuits has been almost entirely confined to rising bug trainers who haven’t had the time, money or experience to train something better suited for competitive battling.

The headstone ariados has seen some usage in the few leagues where they are allowed. Their venom is one of the most painful and debilitating of any pokémon and they’re decently fast, which makes them an excellent wallbreaker against stall teams with bulky but weak pokémon. However, their venom’s potency has led to them being banned virtually everywhere. The notable exceptions are their native Johto and Kanto (they are traditional), Australia (everyone carries at least three venom counters per team in the Uluru Conference and Pacific Invitational Tournament), and some of the less established or regulated leagues (kills are an accepted part of the game).

On the island challenge, where most opponents won’t hit quite so hard, ariados can still be useful. They are best used not as attackers in their own right but as web layers that create traps around the battlefield until they can no longer safely continue. Ariados silk is quite flammable unless chemically treated after production, but it is very durable and sticky. This makes it difficult for opponents to remove without a fire-type, and in a fair few arenas lighting the battlefield on fire creates more trouble than it’s worth. Of course, this will also slow down your own team members. But, they can be trained to navigate around the silk lines; your opponent will likely have no such training. Be mindful that this does not particularly hinder most birds or pokémon that would never land on the battlefield anyway. More than one bug trainer has made the mistake of laying down ariados webs just to find out that it makes it even easier for an opponent with a bird to sweep them.

Acquisition

Spinarak can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class I license. They are most commonly found in the forests of Melemele around Route 1. They can also be found in Alolan Rainforests National Preserve on Akala Island and the areas around Malie City, including The Malie Gardens. Ariados require a Class II license to capture, adopt or purchase. They are found in the same locations as spinarak.

Possession of a xiànqiú and ālìduōsī, requires a Class V license and a permit, which in turn requires a federal background check and security clearance. They are treated as resources vital to national security and their ownership is heavily guarded as such.

Breeding

Two ariados that cross paths during breeding season (early spring) will engage in a courtship ritual consisting of a mock fight, displaying their webs to each other and the male presenting his prospective mate with food. Should his efforts be successful, the female will take him back to her nest and mate with him. She will later lay her eggs into a special cavity located just behind the legs on his back. As the spinarak are born they will emerge from their eggs slightly larger than a quarter in diameter. They will eat the lining of the cavity for nutrition and, eventually, the rest of their father’s body. Once there is almost nothing left to consume they will join their mother. Spinarak stay with their mother until they are roughly five months of age and roughly twenty-five centimeters long. At this point they will leave their nest and wander the canopies until they evolve and begin forming a more permanent web. The female ariados will usually die of natural causes shortly after her offspring set off on their own.

Captive breeding of ariados essentially requires the death of the male. Attempts to strategically withdraw the male after the eggs have been fertilized angers both parties as the females become temporarily hostile towards humans and the males enter a suicidal depression. The female will usually eat her own eggs if not allowed to lay them inside of the male. Breeding is initiated in captivity by introducing a male ariados to a female with a well-established web. There will be a fight and, should they choose to mate, the rest of the process goes on much as it does in the wild. The female should be allowed to stay in the same place until her young are at least a month old.

Ālìduōsī breeding is a trade and state secret revealed by Gracidea Clothiers or the Untied States government on a need-to-know basis.

Subspecies

Aside from the Yangtze and Alolan ariados, four other subspecies have been documented.

Two are native to central Japan. The Johtonian ariados more closely resembles the Yangtze ariados than the Alolan one in size and coloration. They are both poisonous and venomous and function primarily as ambush predators that eat anything unfortunate enough to collide with their relatively thin and translucent web. They do not sleep or rest on their web and prefer to wait in the nearby canopy to maximize the chances something accidentally sticks themselves in their trap.

The headstone ariados is a domestic breed created from the Johtonian ariados (itself created from feral Yangtze ariados). They have far more potent venom than any other subspecies but die shortly after stinging an opponent. The headstone ariados is the smallest of all subspecies, with females only growing up to 0.5 meters. They were bred and maintained by secretive clans of assassins to quietly dispatch enemies in a reliable and reliably painful manner. Spinarak are both rather easy to train and quite small, making it easy for them to infiltrate even highly guarded structures and sting their prey before crawling a short distance to die in a hidden place. There is an antivenom for the headstone ariados but the clan that domesticated them refused to give up the recipe, even under heavy international pressure following the death of the Kalosian Prime Minister to a headstone ariados sting on a visit to Saffron City.

An antivenom has since been independently created by researchers in Australia. With their preferred weapon suddenly blunted, the remnants of the headstone clans as well (as their modern successors, the Yakuza and Team Rocket) have begun selling headstone ariados to collectors, researchers and foreign governments for a hefty price.

The European ariados population is a result of a 12th century king’s attempt to breed ariados for their silk, as he could not obtain ālìduōsī. The experiment failed, both due to the extreme difficulty of weaving with ariados silk and the presence of talonflame. The survivors ultimately retreated to caves, away from talonflame. They primarily trap and hunt bats and small rodents. The European ariados only grows up to 0.6 meters in length and their eyes have atrophied to near-uselessness. They sense the world almost exclusively through the vibrations on their webs.

The fourth subspecies is native to the forests of Northeastern Australia. They are the descendants of another early attempt to breed the Yangtze Ariados on Pacific Islands, after substantial crossbreeding with local insect and spider species. The Queensland ariados are classified as dual bug- and ground- types and build their webs on the forest floor alongside an elaborate system of hidden pits and trapdoors. Unlike the Johtonian, European and Alolan ariados, they will happily eat any humans that fall into their traps. Their reluctance to go above the earth’s surface makes them difficult prey for birds, but native and introduced fire types such as pyrotreemata and heatmor are quite happy to burn their nests and eat them as they flee.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
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Lopunny (Buneary)

Overview

Lopunny is a domesticated descendant of European diggersby. It is believed that they were first domesticated in what is now Germany and were, at least originally, much bulkier and not nearly as cute. But generations of selective breeding produced several different breeds of rabbit pokémon. Lopunny is by far the lithest of the diggersby descendants. They were selectively bred, originally by serfs for the quality of their fur and utility in defending the home.

Lopunny reliably shed and their fur is very warm when fashioned into a coat. Of course, in the old days few people bothered to work with the shed hair. Instead they were killed and eaten during harsh winters to provide both meat and pelts. Pokémon rights movements during The Enlightenment often targeted this practice both due to the death of a pokémon involved and, if only subconsciously, its association with the lower classes. This resulted in the passing of bans or restrictions upon lopunny care by several European monarchs and nobles (as well as the Galish parliament). The Kalosian Revolutionaries used the ban there as one of their arguments against the monarchy.

As the use of pelts taken from a live lopunny was banned, a handful of artisans began to experiment with making coats from shed fur. The result became a form of conspicuous consumption and a lopunny a symbol of wealth. The landed gentry of Europe largely scoffed at the coats as the vulgar business class showing off. Due in part to

Lopunny almost never grow their proper winter coat in Alola, but the association has still made them popular among a strange mix of businessmen, youth, and recent migrants from the mainland. As a result they can be easily obtained from pet shops and small feral herds descended from escaped or released pets. They are tame, pretty and surprisingly fierce in battle.

Physiology

Buneary and lopunny are both classified as pure normal-types. The challenges to this designation are mostly from a taxonomical school that argues domestic breeds should retain the typing of their wild counterparts. Mega lopunny is recognized as a dual normal- and fighting-type. This designation also has some opposition from purists who argue that mega evolutions cannot undergo a type change, but this school of thought has substantially diminished in influence over the years as mega evolution has been more widely studied.

Buneary are bipeds with two layers of fur. One is cream colored and very fluffy. This coats their bottom half as well as the tips of their ears. The other layer is dark brown and covers the majority of their upper half. They have two dots of cream colored fur over their eyes resembling eyebrows. Buneary ears can be half as long as their body. These ears do contain muscles, however they are nowhere as powerful as their equivalent stage in the diggersby line. For the most part they are used for emergency self-defense and balance with their arms and legs (or, more typically, their parents’ arms and legs) doing the heavy lifting. Because of the musculature of their ears, their hearing is somewhat less adept than you might expect.

Lopunny are more slender than their juvenile form and the positioning of their fur layers is less even and predictable. Lopunny usually have cream fur beneath the knee, around their arms and across most of their ears. The eyebrow spots on buneary become large crests by the ears that can be up to 20 centimeters long.

Lopunny have proportionally longer legs, arms and ears with stronger muscles in all of them. However, due to centuries of selective breeding and the inbreeding that accompanies it, they have somewhat fragile bones. Lopunny heal faster than most mammalian pokémon but their relative frailty means that they seldom pick fights and prefer to pull their punches whenever it is safe to do so (see Mega Evolution).

At various times in the year, buneary and lopunny have different fur layer configurations. During the winter and in colder climates they have more of the cream fur. In the summer they shed almost all of the cream fur and grow an entirely brown coat. In Alola lopunny tend to keep their summer coat year round. They still shed once a year, typically in early spring, and have a very thin brown coat for roughly one week until the thicker brown parts come back.

Lopunny grow up to 1.3 meters tall (with ears pointed straight down after the bend). They can weigh up to 30 pounds. Captive lopunny can live up to eight years; the life expectancy in feral populations is far lower.

Behavior

Lopunny are herbivores and feral colonies tend to live in lightly forested areas near meadows. They use the trees for cover at night and leave to graze in the meadow during the day. One or more lopunny will always be standing sentry while the others eat to keep an eye and ear out for birds. When birds do try to take a lopunny, the bird often discovers how hard the rabbit can hit when its life is on the line. The sentry duty appears to serve primarily to deter newly arrived birds and to appease the rabbits’ nerves.

Lopunny are very nervous creatures in the wild and have been observed moving in and out of panic attacks every few hours when in a group of fewer than five lopunny. In captivity they seldom have this problem and actually have a reputation for being one of the gentlest and calmest of the small normal-types. Having either a permanent home with a roof to retreat to or much larger creatures looking after them probably helps.

Lopunny sleep huddled together, even on the warmest summer nights. At least one is always awake. They sleep in shifts to relieve the night sentry. In captivity lopunny allowed to sleep near their trainer or larger pokémon tend to sleep through the night.

Like many other pokémon with fluffy white fur (ninetales, furfrou, cincinno), lopunny are somewhat obsessive with their grooming and can spend up to two hours a day maintaining their fur. They will allow trusted humans to groom them, although usually only in the form of petting or light brushing. A lopunny will almost never allow a torracat or incineroar to groom them. However, a wild incineroar lived with an adopted buneary (later lopunny) in Poni National Park for several years and the lopunny did allow his adopted parents to groom him.

Husbandry

Lopunny are easy-going pets that mostly take care of themselves. They also enjoy being around their trainer for most of the day. This gives them a reputation as a very good pokémon for young children or inexperienced trainers. There are still a few care guidelines to keep in mind.

As herbivores, lopunny require a mix of plants fed to them several times a day. The ideal diet for their health is a mix of oats and hay. These are most commonly sold in very large packs for farm pokémon but smaller lopunny-specific packs do exist in specialty pokémon supply stores or some larger Pokémon Centers. It is best to mix in some leafy green pokémon mixes. Lopunny adore clover and it can be a very effective treat or reward.

While a lopunny is shedding they should be provided with a safe, enclosed space and seldom disturbed. They seem to be self-conscious during this period and hate being seen by their trainer or other pokémon, especially by mammals with strict grooming regimens.

Lopunny very seldom bathe in water but may sometimes elect to do so. They should never be forced into this because, even if they have been bathed before, they may interpret it as a threat and lash out. An adult lopunny is strong enough to crack human bones if they aren’t holding back.

While it is less obvious than with a diggersby or raticate, lopunny still need to be provided with logs or other hard objects to gnaw on to keep their teeth in check. If their teeth are frequently visible when the lopunny is not eating, this should be taken as a sign that they need to gnaw. Lopunny should also periodically be given scratching posts for their nails. Otherwise they will scratch furniture.

Lopunny are intelligent enough to understand several words and verbal commands. While not strictly hierarchal in the wild they are rather easy to tame so long as a trainer is providing a safe place, cuddles and food. They can be trained to use a litter mat or box. While lopunny prefer to live inside full time but, provided they have a cage to retreat into, they can live in backyards. Very few lopunny tolerate pokéballs, unless they are trained with a high quality pokéball when very young.

Never grab a lopunny too quickly or wake up a sleeping lopunny by touch as they may lash out.

Lopunny are sometimes nervous around new carnivores or birds. Never leave them alone with even a very tame pokémon in these categories until they have been given a few weeks to acclimate to each other.

Lopunny sleep through most of the night and still take several hours worth of naps during the day. Buneary are more active but still somewhat lethargic. They prefer to sleep while cuddled against their trainer or a trusted, fluffy pokémon. If this is not possible, stuffed animals will sometimes work.

Illness

The most common problem for pet lopunny, aside from overgrown teeth are hairballs (or the lack thereof). Lopunny are sometimes unable to vomit up hair they consume while grooming and it can mat in their stomach and block up their digestive system. Medication or even surgery are usually needed to deal with this.

Battling lopunny often break their bones. They heal well enough that with a simple splint and either time inside of a healing machine or heal ball, or a long rest outside of one, the bone will usually be restored. It will still break again more easily in the future. Lopunny should be retired from battling after a few serious breaks and allowed to live out the rest of their life as either a backyard or house pet. If this is not possible they should be put up for adoption.

Evolution

Buneary naturally grow up into lopunny over the course of roughly fifteen months. The formal demarcation line between buneary and lopunny is the growth of cream fur around their forepaws.

Mega lopunny are roughly the same height as normal lopunny and the few centimeters of growth observed can be attributed to changes in posture. Lopunny undergo relatively few physical changes at all when they evolve. The most notable change is the transformation of their ears from large, muscular pseudo-limbs into long whip-like instruments that are no longer either prehensile or useful for hearing. Lopunny lose their cream coat and gain a very thin brown- and black-patterned coat across their entire body.

The difference in speed and strength observed comes from psychological changes. Mega lopunny are unable to either feel pain or care about injuries, including self-inflicted ones. This gives them the ability to exert far more force than even a truly desperate baseline lopunny would. Incredibly dangerous offensive opponents, they are also some of the most fragile pokémon commonly used in the international battling scene. Mega evolution of a lopunny requires a Class V license and a one month cool down period with no battling whatsoever between uses in combat.

Battle

As mentioned above, mega lopunny are one of the best examples of the glass cannon archetype in competitive battling. They enjoy widespread use in the European, American, Australian and international circuits. In the United States they are one of the most useful permitted mega evolutions and, even if they’re fragile, they breed and grow quickly enough to be considered replaceable. In battle they rely upon powerful kicks and strikes from their whip-like ears. They can outspeed some of the large dragons and beat all but the most powerful of physical walls into submission. However, one good hit is usually enough to take them out of the fight.

Normal lopunny enjoy far less usage. Their ease of care gives them some use among relatively new trainers but their fragility and frankly unexceptional power and speed prevents them from gaining widespread usage.

All of that is true. It’s also true that on the island challenge where very hard hitters are comparatively rare until the (optional) Elite Four and Champion battles, lopunny’s fraility usually isn’t a massive problem. The species is easy to raise before and after starting the challenge and have become a common non-traditional starter. They are powerful enough to reach the fourth island trials without many difficulties, although the last few steps might cause them some trouble.

Lopunny fight primarily through simple kicks. As normal-types they are capable of learning a fair few elemental attacks through TMs and special training, but their energy reserves aren’t deep enough for their projectile attacks to do much more than sting. Their fighting style is basic and easy to teach, but it’s also quite effective against most opponents.

Very durable physical walls and most birds counter lopunny. A handful of pokémon that hit fast and very hard can also take them out in one hit, but these are somewhat rare on the island challenge.

Buneary fight in much the same way as lopunny but with less power (and faster healing). Their ears are proportionally stronger relative to their legs and arms which makes attacks utilizing them a decent option for early battles.

Acquisition

There are feral lopunny herds on Route 1 and in Poni Island National Park. Capture from both herds is permitted without restriction and requires a Class I license for buneary and a Class II license for lopunny.

It is easier to just adopt them from the many shelters that have excess buneary and lopunny or buy them from breeders who specialize in the species. The licensing requirements for adoption and purchase are the same as those for capture. One caveat: many shelter lopunny are retired battlers. They can be useful for training other team members but they should not be used on the island challenge due to their fragile health.

Breeding

Lopunny mate during the late winter and females give birth to a litter of three to five buneary in the early spring. They will stick very closely to their parents for the next seven months and stay near them until or after their evolution. It is not particularly hard to breed lopunny in captivity. Put an unrelated male and a female together for long enough and they will mate. Don’t try and separate parents from children for six months as this is a good way to wind up with an upset lopunny, which usually means at least one broken bone in either the trainer or the pokémon.

Subspecies

There are a handful of different breeds of domesticated diggersby, as well as diggersby themselves. The latter is technically considered a different pokémon rather than a subspecies or breed and will be excluded here. Most lopunny breeds vary primarily in the thickness and color of their hair, their body size or how slender or bulky they are. They possess few substantial dietary, typing or anatomical differences. Most are entirely used in agriculture for either fur or meat. Consult a specialist guide or a breeder (many breeders around Paniola Town raise lopunny as either their primary species or a secondary one) for more information.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Malamar (Inkay)

Overview

The ocean floor comprises roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface. Humans have visited less than 1% of it in person and only surveyed roughly 5% of it with unmanned research vessels. What we know of its life comes entirely from these tiny glimpses of areas that are usually selected because they are geologically interesting. Most of what we know about life in the abyssalplelagic zone of the ocean comes from trawls which naturally select for slow and stationary creatures in and around the very bottom layer.

But we get a glimpse of what life is like far beneath the surface every single night. The largest migration on Earth (measured by both biomass and number of organisms) occurs not in the skies or on the plains, but in the sea.

Sunlight is the source of most of the ocean’s bioenergy, with the remainder coming from chemosynthesis around a small number of hydrothermal vents. Photosynthesis is only viable where there is light and light is only present in a small portion of the ocean’s volume. But light can mean death. The abundant phytoplankton lead to an equal if not larger number of zooplankton to feed on them, which are in turn fed upon by everything from minnows to ship-sized behemoths. And those creatures also have predators. The surface has almost all of the food, but it also has almost all of the predators. What is a small oceanic creature to do?

The answer for many is to live in the ocean’s suburbs, the zone just beneath the light, during the day. And at every sunset those creatures rise to feed on the resting organisms or phytoplankton at the surface. And every sunrise they slink back down to the depths as the residents wake up.

Malamar are a deep sea enigma that have never been captured or even seen alive in the depths and very seldom appear on the surface. The only proof of their existence comes from deep scars on surfacing wailord, bloated corpses washing up on beaches and inkay raised and evolved in captivity (as will be noted below, these captive-raised malamar are not particularly useful for research purposes).

By contrast, inkay are plentiful enough on the surface to be a reliable draw for tourists across their range. During the night, that is. Inkay are almost never seen during the day as they sleep down in the depths.

Malamar are more difficult to care for than any pokémon discussed previously in this guidebook. They are also powerful hypnotists capable of dishing out some of the hardest hits of any predator. Trainers looking for a husbandry challenge with high rewards can hardly do better than training an inkay.

Physiology

All evolutionary stages of the line are currently classified by the Department of Agriculture as dual psychic- and dark-types. The dark typing is heavily disputed. The top contenders for a secondary typing are water due to their habitat and use of water pulses for propulsion, bug due to their anatomy, and flying due to their ability to levitate above the surface and use of air for propulsion. Malamar are exceptionally difficult for psychics to interface with, much less read or control. Proponents of the dark typing hold this as evidence of it. Opponents hold that so long as triple typings are disallowed, pokémon that fit the criteria for three or more typings should be given the two they fit best.

Inkay are very similar to surface cephalopod pokémon such as octillery and tentacruel in physiology. Their body is composed of two core parts. The first is made up of a translucent, white, hat-like bulb on their head. Pink flesh is visible through the head containing four yellow dots spaced at equal intervals. Two long tentacles that extend slightly beyond their lower tentacles reach down from the headpiece. The headpiece itself contains an elaborate system of chambers for water, air and other fluids and gasses that is used to raise inkay to the surface and lower them back down to the depths.

The rest of their body is colored a dark blue. It terminates in six short tentacles that resemble a skirt when they are held close together. Inkay have two complex eyes on their face with a small pink feature between them. This, contrary to popular belief, is not an inkay’s beak. They do not eat from it and instead use it to ward off predators who might attack the eyes. The inkay’s real beak is hidden amidst their tentacles. It is roughly half as long as the tentacles themselves. Near it are three valves they use for filtering water, releasing waste and propulsion.

The tentacled portion of malamar is nearly identical to that of inkay, although it is somewhat larger and a darker of blue on the outside (the inner bits near the beak stay roughly the same shade). They also gain an additional two tentacles. Malamar’s headpiece grows far larger until it is roughly 1.5 times as long as the bottom tentacles fully extended. The inner pink flesh becomes a dark, nearly black, shade of purple and malamar gains two more lights, stacked in three rows of two. These lights are visible from any angle. Two ridges on the top of an inkay’s head grow into functional legs. It is unclear what the purpose of these legs are in the deep but they are used to balance on land on the surface. Malamar’s two arm tentacles grow to lengths exceeding the rest of their body combined and can be held down to form two more legs or arms when on land or extended towards their beak in the water to form powerful weapons for defense and offense. Their arms are tipped with axe-like blades sharp enough to seriously wound a wailord by either slashing blood vessels or puncturing their air bladders.

Inkay and malamar use bioluminescence to create elaborate patterns. These are used for communication between members of the species, to calm down predators with hypnotic patterns, or to transfix prey long enough to be slashed open and eaten. These light patterns work on most pokémon and animals, including humans. Most of malamar’s carapace is composed of tissue that forms their nervous system and they are highly intelligent creatures capable of figuring out complex puzzles in seconds. They also possess telekinetic capabilities. Whether or not they have pure telepathy or just use their light patterns for hypnosis (or if there’s a meaningful difference at all) is disputed.

Malamar are sexually dimorphic and their maximum size varies widely between captive and wild specimens. All measurements given below are from the tip of the carapace to the end of their arms. Captive females grow up to 2 meters and captive males grow up to roughly 1.7 meters. Wild females can grow up to seven meters and males can grow up to six meters. Captive malamar can live up to five years. Evidence suggests that wild malamar do not live much, if any, longer.

Behavior

It isn’t terribly clear what wild inkay are up to during their daily rest. They chafe at and can usually deconstruct or detach external tracking devices. When injected their behavior appears to be altered considerably for a few days. On the surface they tend to swim in troupes of roughly twenty inkay. They form a grid where the closest inkay is roughly ten meters away from the next one. They move in close synchronization while flashing their lights to confuse and captivate predators and prey alike. Genetic testing suggests members of a troupe are all siblings.

Inkay are capable of levitating over the water and surviving in moist air for up to five hours at a time. They are well known for the mid-air flips they perform while moving. It is disputed whether or not these are accidental, intentional with a clear biological purpose, or just part of their naturally curious nature.

Inkay are intensely clever and often distracted by new and interesting environments or puzzles. This holds true for wild inkay who will sometimes put themselves in possible danger to investigate something of interest to them. They consider machines of interest and are often cut up by the propellers of boats. The boat tours that bring tourists close to inkay troupes often kill several as a side effect.

Inkay primarily hunt fish (both pokémon and non-pokémon). Wishiwashi are a favorite of theirs in Alola and they are one of the few natural predators of wishiwashi. They can get away with picking on individuals without facing the wrath of the collective because their lights make the level of coordination necessary to school nearly impossible.

No one knows exactly what depths malamar frequent or what their wild diet is. It is assumed from captive specimens that they eat large sea pokémon and non-pokémon fish but this has never been confirmed in the wild. Attempts to release captive malamar to observe their behavior in the wild tend to go poorly. They tear off mechanical trackers quickly, almost never return to their trainers, and malamar with inobtrusive trackers inside of them (that they don’t manage to get out anyway) appear to die shortly after release. The leading theory is that malamar are somewhat social creatures in the wild who teach vital skills to other malamar. Without this upbringing, newly released malamar struggle to survive.

Wild malamar almost never surface. Captive malamar can and do stand on their main tentacles and the expanded carapace ridges and are capable of levitating a few centimeters off the ground and surviving in air for several hours. Notably, their air sacs and carapace ridges appear to be proportionally larger and stronger than their wild counterparts. It might be physiologically impossible for a wild malamar to stand, float or survive on land.

Husbandry

Inkay require a seafood diet. They aren’t very picky at all on what they eat and are fine with crustacean meat (crustaceans with the shells still attached double as a toy), fish, mussels and even the flesh of other cephalopods. There is some evidence that wild malamar engage in cannibalism; in captivity this has only occurred in very cramped aquariums or between very underfed malamar. Inkay prefer fresh seafood to pellets and mixes but will eat those in a pinch.

Inkay should be kept in saltwater about as often as they are kept outside of it. Some pokéballs can meet this requirement. Consult a specialty pokéball or fish supplies store for more details.

Inkay are incredibly intelligent creatures and will require either frequent access to toys or an equally intelligent playmate. They appear to be motivated by curiosity alone and the presence or absence of food at the end of the puzzle doesn’t seem to affect their willingness to solve it. On the flip side, inkay in aquariums are incredibly gifted escape artists and their nimble tentacles and telekinesis allow them to frequently break out of supposedly unescapable cages. Inkay are capable of contorting their body to fit through any space bigger than their beak. In the Aquarium de Ambrette an inkay was filmed waiting for a security guard to pass by and then swimming through the filtration system into the adjacent fish tank, eating the fish inside and then moving back to her own tank when it was time for the next security sweep. They are capable of learning rules but they tend to see rules as a constraint that they want to get around for the pure joy of bypassing it without getting caught. This makes inkay impossible to tame and difficult to keep in line. The best solution is generally to continuously present them with new and interesting environments or highly intelligent playmates. Brionne are very good for this purpose, as are slowking and oranguru. The latter two have much less energy than an inkay which can sometimes become a problem.

Inkay are not particularly cuddly. When they do run their tentacles over a trainer it is often in either an attempt to steal something, to apologize if they get caught breaking the rules (they quickly learn that humans become more lenient when happy and that contact induces happiness), or to figure out their trainer’s puzzling anatomy.

Inkay are most active at night in and out of aquaria. In community tanks, especially those with large pokémon, inkay tend to seek shelter for the entire day and then come out at night.

Inkay can be housetrained but this is a rule they will often seek to break. Their waste is a stream of dark liquid.

Malamar are often best approached on a case by case basis or not raised at all for all but the most experienced of trainers and public aquariums. Inkay tend to have similar personalities to each other and relatively few individual quirks. Malamar are moody and wildly different from each other in temperament and behavior. They tend to hide during the day in public aquariums and then prey upon other tankmates at night even if food is very explicitly provided for them, except when they are given more food than they could possibly eat and it can only be accessed through a very challenging puzzle. They are also fiercely territorial over their preferred corner of the tank and will seldom leave it except to hunt. Curiously, captive malamar seem to ignore each other entirely even if they were in the same troupe in the wild and raised together in captivity.

Malamar are easily bored by humans and will often seek comeuppance against the people who control or restrict them. This usually takes the form of hypnosis. Inkay will almost never hypnotize a human unless they believe themselves to be at immediate risk. Malamar have no such reservations. When training a malamar it is very important to have frequent therapy sessions, ideally with a telepath, and keep a diary several times a day on your emotional state and the subject of your thoughts. Malamar brainwashing tends to be accompanied by a general boost in mood, a detachment from other humans and pokémon and a mild obsession with obtaining fish. Some malamar trainers become obsessed with battles and competition; others abruptly come to resent them. Malamar training is really best left to public aquaria, psychics capable of recognizing telepathic assault, and trainers formidable enough to earn their malamar’s respect.

See Evolution for more details on what to do when your inkay approaches evolution.

Illness

The most common illness for inkay is dehydration. This happens when their water sac runs low. Dehydration can be reversed if the pokémon is quickly submerged in salt water and allowed to stay there until they float out on their own. The symptoms of dehydration include drastically lowered activity, general apathy, and a refusal to eat. A substantial increase or decrease in the frequency or volume of their waste discharges should also be noted. For any symptom other than those with obvious causes, dehydration should be assumed.

If hydration does not solve the problem, consult a veterinarian.

Evolution

Inkay tend to evolve around their third birthday, although the amount of battling they partake in can move this back or forward. It is suspected that the actual catalyst for their evolution is reaching a threshold of telepathic activity across their lifetime.

Inkay tend to become lethargic and eat far more when they approach evolution. They will also all but stop releasing waste. This should be the point where trainers who do not want to deal with a malamar (or do not have the credentials to do so) should release their inkay back into the ocean. Inkay in the wild evolve by swimming deep beneath the surface and never reemerging. In public aquariums they usually seek out either the deepest or most protected spot in the aquarium and stay absolutely still for days on end as they grow and change. The water pressure and available light both appear to affect the amount of time it takes to evolve and the size they grow to.

Trainers who wish to evolve their inkay and then keep the malamar, and have the proper licensing to do so, should work out an arrangement with a local zoo, aquarium or rehabilitation center to loan out a pressurized, dark, and secluded space. Inkay should be provided as much food as they will eat during the runup to evolution. Malamar will often be very clumsy during their first couple of weeks after evolving, especially on land, but they should never be laughed at. They tend to lash out when they believe their intelligence or agility is being insulted. Malamar have a rather formidable arsenal for lashing out with.

Battle

Malamar are most often used as an anti-metagame pick on competitive battling teams and their popularity waxes and wanes depending on what sort of threats are popular at any given time. In metagames (regional or international) dominated by psychic types, malamar usually become quite popular. These scenes tend to attract psychic trainers who have an easier time raising malamar. The cephalopods are very good at countering psychic-types. The same goes for metagames with large pools available as an arena pick as malamar are some of the best pokémon for taking down large water-types such as wailord and miltoic in the water.

Malamar are most easily countered by bug types that can break their concentration with sonic attacks and retaliate with powerful slashes that can tear through their skin and seriously injure them. Malamar and inkay are vulnerable to cuts but they can patch them up easily in saltwater given a few hours (or days for particularly severe wounds). Pokémon that can present puzzles or traps mid-fight can often confuse or distract them as they obsess over how to ‘solve’ the problem, something ordinarily best left to the trainer while the pokémon reacts to the immediate problems at hand.

Malamar are a mix of arena control and tech fighters. They are superb at setting traps twisting the battlefield around with attacks like trick room. Malamar also have very sharp claws and can move quickly in short bursts by releasing air or water jets (this works triply well in the water). They function like a mix between primarina’s arena control and golisopod’s hit and run styles, although they aren’t quite as good in either role. Still, they are one of the few trapsetters that can keep up with and even knock out the glass cannons, nukes, or set-up sweepers that usually counter them.

Only psychics should attempt to use a malamar on the island challenge.

Inkay fight rather differently than malamar. Without sharp claws they struggle to end the battle quickly. As such, they must use light patterns to pacify the opponent and levitation to avoid them. Tricks such as protect and trick room can prolong this phase of the fight. When the opponent is subdued they can be hit with a barrage of ranged or melee attacks without much fear of retaliation. Be mindful that if opponents are allowed to switch out this can disrupt the inkay’s hard work. Inkay are particularly useful against totems as the core of the battle is one very powerful pokémon that can stay on the field a long time. Provided that inkay can take a hit or two they are quite useful for draining the totem and setting them up for a harder hitter to take out.

Acquisition

Inkay require a Class III license to adopt, capture, or purchase. Troupes are found in Kala’e Bay almost every night. They can sometimes be seen off of Route 1, Route 2 or Hau’oli City. There are rare sightings of inkay around Fini Beach and the eastern shoreline of Poni Island. They are somewhat rare in captivity, especially among trainers or suppliers who might be willing to part with them. It is easiest to simply capture an inkay.

Capture of a malamar is illegal due to the difficulty of finding one, the possibility that they are quite rare, the difficulty of taming one, and the simple fact that no captured malamar has survived for longer than a week in captivity. Possession of a malamar requires a Class IV license for the general population and a Class III license for psychics who earn a PsiTest score of 125 or higher.

Breeding

Malamar have never been bred in captivity or been observed reproducing in the wild.

Subspecies

There is some argument that, due to their size and physiological differences, wild malamar are not the same subspecies as captive malamar. The argument goes that there is a benthic inkay that never surfaces at all that evolves into deep sea malamar. The inkay that come to the surface are a different subspecies entirely and the malamar known in captivity are a subspecies that fares so poorly in the wild that they are almost never seen. The main argument against this idea is that there is no reason for inkay to undergo the costly process of evolution if they would almost certainly die immediately afterwards. There are also only very minimal genetic differences between captive and wild malamar. As such it is generally accepted that captive and wild malamar.

However, there still are three accepted subspecies. The malamar in Alola are Pacific malamar that generally prefer equatorial surface waters. They live all across the equatorial Pacific but are most abundant near islands and coasts due to the greater abundance of prey.

Atlantic Malamar live in the temperate portions of the North Atlantic. Coastal sightings have declined considerably since the 1700s. The leading theory is that industrial whaling and fishing operations depleted malamar’s prey. Atlantic inkay have somewhat duller colors than Pacific inkay and are 20% larger on average.

Southern malamar are the largest subspecies by far. One female that washed up on the coast of New Zealand’s South Island measured fifteen meters from the tip of her head to the end of her arms. They are more heavily armored than the other subspecies with thick, leathery skin covering their head. The Atlantic and Pacific malamar have weaker and fewer suction cups than the average cephalopod. By contrast, the southern malamar has relatively long leg tentacles lined with powerful suction cups and sharp barbs. It is speculated that southern malamar use the threat of surface level wounds to deter opponents from going for their eyes while their long, brutally sharp arm tentacles go for the kill.

Southern inkay are pure white across their entire body; southern malamar are pure black. Outside of their coloring, southern inkay also require very cold waters and can only surface for one or two minutes at a time. The subspecies also appears to be less playful than Atlantic inkay, which in turn are far less curious than Pacific inkay.

It is difficult to study the southern malamar and inkay. The farthest north they have ever been recorded was Tasmania. They are only common in the seas around Antarctica. Southern inkay are shy and tend to run away from approaching research vessels or humans. Southern malamar have only been held in captivity three times. The Vermillion Aquarium displayed one for nine days in 1971 after one of the inkay in their cold waters exhibit evolved. The new malamar quickly killed everything else in its tank, broke the glass while visitors watched, and proceeded to slash through or drown two hundred and eighty-six people before dying of asphyxiation. SeaWorld evolved one in 2006; while it did not kill any one, the new malamar refused to eat and died six weeks after evolution. Mwasaa binti Musa evolved one of her southern inkay in 2009. The malamar, Akil, listened to Musa’s commands and even battled for her in a handful of competitive matches. However, in one match it tried to attack the opposing trainer after dispatching one of his pokémon. Akil broke the shields and came within a fraction of a second of succeeding in the time it took Musa to recall him. His behavior rapidly deteriorated and he was eventually put down.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Zoroark (Zorua)

Overview

Every North American culture, from the Mississippians to the Dakota to the Aztecs, had a variation on the same myth. Sometimes a child would abruptly stop talking in the night. As they grew up they would slowly start talking again, albeit with less skill and frequency than they had before. Some would display magical abilities. Galar also had a variant of the changeling tale. The difference is, the stories from North America had a very real basis.

All subspecies of zoroark have the same outcome (illusions) but approach it in very different ways (telepathy, hydrokinesis, pyrokinesis). This would ordinarily suggest an extreme case of convergent evolution, but all three living subspecies are closely related.

What makes the species of particular interest to scientists is their intelligence. Zoroark are not the most intelligent pokémon. Nor are they the only ones capable of communicating in human speech (primarina, chatot and even some slowking can). Zoroark are interesting because of their ease of blending into human society and their desire to do so. Human children are often one of the first illusions a zorua learns to cast, even in the wild, and adult zoroark have been observed creating and maintaining a human identity for years. Changeling stories have been documented in the modern era in zoroark’s remaining habitats. They break into residences, steal children and leave behind a zorua of their own. More than one zoroark has told researchers and police officers that this is to give their child a better shot at learning human behaviors.

It is unclear what exactly happens to the kidnapped human children. While it has long and widely been believed that the zoroark simply ate the babies, this may be untrue. Human children showing up on doorsteps or living alone (but healthily) in the wild are unusually common in zoroark habitats. The prevailing theories is that zoroark keep abducted children in their nest to teach human forms and behaviors to their other pups, or that they drop humans off elsewhere in an attempt to reduce the hostility towards their species.

For understandable reasons, zoroark were both hunted and worshipped in pre-Columbian North America. Sometimes the same culture did both. European settlers were unnerved by the zoroark, especially after some infiltrated their expeditions and came back to Europe with them. Witch hunts in the early United States were ostensibly aimed at getting rid of supposed zoroarks. One minister spearheading a witch hunt that killed twenty young women was himself revealed to be a zoroark upon his death.

Eventually European settlers nearly succeeded at driving zoroark extinct. Currently there are only two wild populations of zoroark in North America: one on the Olympic Peninsula and surrounding portions of British Columbia and Washington and the other near the California-Anahuac border.

Two of the three globally common subspecies, the Olympic and montane zoroark, are classified as having “significant populations” in Alola by the Department of Agriculture. However, montane zorua are neither reliably available to travelers or extremely important to Alolan society so they are relegated to the subspecies section of this entry. The rest will focus upon the Olympic zorua.

Physiology

Both zorua and zoroark are classified as pure dark types by the Department of Agriculture. This ruling is highly contested. Now is perhaps the best time to bring up the history of the dark typing. In the earliest attempts to group pokémon by typing, dark signified that the pokémon had a connection to satanic magic. The ruling has been controversial in the modern era and in the rest of the world for understandable reasons. However, the dark type has not been abolished both due to tradition and because it appears that there was something to the initial theory. While most scientists no longer view them as satanic, dark-types tend to have some general traits: they have the ablity to manipulate shadows, above average intelligence, a resistance to telepathy, and either some degree of malice towards humanity or shocking brutality. Zoroark fit all four categories.

Among researchers that acknowledge the dark-typing, it is almost universally recognized that zoroark are primarily dark types. The dominant dispute revolves around whether or not they should also have a water, flying, psychic, fairy or normal typing. Zoroark are hydrokinetic to a very limited degree. They use this to manipulate the air, which could suggest a water or flying type. This trick has a cursory resemblance to low level telekinesis and they are highly intelligent, which could support a psychic typing. Fairy-types are ordinarily tricksters and were often viewed as ‘holy’ pokémon. Zoroark have an extensive mythology tied to them and can be very friendly, even familial, to humans. They are undeniably tricksters. Normal implies versatility and a mastery of several elements. The authors of this guidebook take no particular position on the typing of the Olympic zoroark or zorua.

Zorua fur is primarily either grey or black, depending upon the individual. They have a typical quadrupedal vulpine build. The fur on their paws is red and they possess several red markings on their forehead. The skin of their eyelids is also red. Zorua have an unruly tuft of fur on top of their head that is red at the tips.

Zoroark are primarily bipedal with long and slender limbs and relatively weak muscles. Their claws are much longer and sharper than that of zorua and are colored blood red. Their fur is rather short across their entire body, except on their upper chest. Zoroark are most easily identifiable (when they aren’t casting an illusion) by their mane. The mane of a fully grown zoroark is almost always bigger in volume than the rest of their body combined. It is bright red in color with black tufts and streaks throughout it. They generally keep an object, usually a pearl from a shellder or spoink, around the middle of their mane to keep their hair in some semblance of order. Their fur is coated in oils that they can control with their hydrokinesis so it doesn’t encumber them as much as its bulk would suggest.

Zoroark can grow up to 1.7 meters and 55 kilograms in size, with males being somewhat larger than females on average. Zoroark live up to 60 years in captivity. Their wild lifespan is not well studied.

Behavior

Olympic zoroark primarily cast their illusions through small-scale hydrokinesis. They use tiny water droplets to manipulate the air. This allows them to create and suppress sounds, bend, light and even move small objects and create tactile illusions. They can alter their secretions to create scent illusions. A particularly skilled zoroark can create an entire body out of faux-forcefields made of air and water, speak and look like a human, and even smell like one. While the bulk of the mane might seem like an obvious challenge for presenting as a human, zoroark can remove their bead and telekinetically weave the hairs around their body in a pinch.

The only real way to disrupt a zoroark’s illusions is to hit their body with enough force to break the surface tension of the projection and force them to spend time and energy to put it back together. A hard, unexpected punch is usually sufficient to do this. There are other methods to bypass illusions as well. Longtime or skilled zoroark trainers can frequently identify zoroark from tells that they have difficulty explaining. Ultraviolet and infrared scanners, as well as thermal scanners, can usually bypass the illusion as they are targeted towards traditional human senses. As a note of caution, at least one zoroark has been able to beat all three of the above methods at different times (never simultaneously).

Zorua tend to be far less skilled at illusions and have a variety of simple tells from an inability to mimic voices or suppress their own to pixelated glitches to forgetting to cover up their tail. They are almost never skilled enough to replicate the scent of another creature.

Zoroark use illusions for a variety of purposes. In addition to infiltrating human society, they also use them to conceal their den and pups, imitate a harmless prey species to lure in a small predator, imitate a very large predator to scare away a mid-sized one, or for mating displays (see Breeding). Zorua generally use their illusions to either replicate very well-known species or confuse their opponent enough to cover a retreat.

It is difficult to research wild zoroark as they do not like being followed and typically shroud themselves in illusions. It is believed that the Olympic zoroark lives in groups of one to five adults and their young. Members frequently join and leave the pack and they do not have a particularly tight-knit social structure. Juvenile-only packs with an occasional unrelated adult providing protection or supervision are also somewhat common, particularly in areas outside of the Olympic peninsula where there are simply very few adults that live exclusively in the wild. This is the dominant model of zorua packs on Melemele and Akala, although there are semi-permanent adults in the Poni Island pack(s).

Zoroark and zorua are primarily ambush predators, although they will also go to the shores to hunt for shellfish meat and pearls. Slowpoke are a frequent target of theirs as the foxes don’t mind getting wet, resist psychic attacks, can pick off the indigestible parts, and find that the tails taste quite good.

The species is nocturnal in the wild, although zoroark imitating humans will usually adjust to diurnal life.

Husbandry

Zoroark present a unique challenge among all of the pokémon in Alola. Some species have comparable intelligence to humans, such as primarina, and others often insist that they are superior via actions or telepathy (ninetales, metagross, slowking, oranguru). Zoroark are unique in their desire to be human. They will frequently take on the appearance of their trainer (or a gender flipped version of their trainer) at first and slowly make adjustments. They resent pokéballs and any sign of subjugation and will snap at their trainers, literally and metaphorically, if they get the impression that they are not viewed as equals. Their default human form will only be left for combat purposes or for illness or injury (see Illness). The species main goal when dealing with humans is not to obtain food or protection but to learn more about human appearances and behaviors. If they believe their trainer to be sufficiently kind they will often elect to stay with them when they decide their education is complete. Otherwise they will usually take their trainer’s valuables and slink off into a crowd, never to be seen again.

Zorua will sometimes tolerate portable dog beds. Zoroark will not and demand a sleeping mat, cot, or something else equivalent to what their trainer has. Similarly, zorua will be willing to eat typical canine mixes or leftovers; zoroark will become spiteful if they don’t have regular access to human food. Their digestive systems are similar enough to a human’s that they can survive on a typical human diet with a little more protein. Zoroark can be reasoned with on finances to a degree but they will still demand a measure of equality in even the worst situations.

Unlike most canines, zoroark love water. They can bathe themselves with hydrokinesis or their tongue but they prefer to have access to baths or showers. All but the wealthiest of trainers will need to set limits on shampoo and water usage will need to be set early on.

Zoroark require scratching posts from time to time. Only very young or spiteful zorua will scratch up furniture. Adults will simply slink off to a forest to slash some tree bark if they are not provided with a scratching post. Zorua will use a litter box; zoroark are quite capable of using toilets.

The most important lessons for handling a zoroark are those you should have in kindergarten: be respectful, share your toys, and be willing to help others. Trainers who follow those rules often develop deep, even familial, relationships with their zoroark. This can help keep them sane and grounded on the trails of Alola and in the parts of life’s journey that follow.

Illness

Zoroark can contract rabies and should be vaccinated within two weeks of capture or six weeks of birth.

Most zoroark illnesses and injuries affect their illusions in some way. Not all instances of a zoroark dropping their illusion are due to suffering. Sometimes zoroark drop their illusions for battle, for intimidation or for no clear reason at all. Zorua usually sleep with their illusion down and will often spend time in their default appearance around trainers they trust.

However, if a zorua spends more than three days without casting an illusion or a zoroark goes for more than one, they may be sick or injured. Ask the pokémon to create a human illusion to talk, or at least to write if they are capable of it. If they can’t or won’t, take them to a veterinarian. If they will take a human form, ask them earnestly and repeatedly if anything is wrong. Even if they insist that everything is fine, it might still be for the best to take them to a veterinarian for a cursory check. Zoroark are very good at spotting lies so don’t try to conceal the real purpose of the visit from them.

Evolution

Zorua reach their full size around sixteen years of age. However, they can appear to grow much faster in captivity. Zorua with a devoted trainer become more skilled with human illusions and usually decide to match their trainer’s age. This in turn forces them to think in more mature thought patterns, which has been shown to promote actual rapid brain development followed by physical development. Premature evolution has not been shown to have an adverse effect on lifespan and should not be encouraged or discouraged. Zoroark’s manes continue to grow in length and volume until their death.

The formal demarcation line between zorua and zoroark is the selection of their first hair bead.

Battle

Zoroark are a niche pick in competitive battling for their mindgames. Even in leagues that announce each party’s full team beforehand it can be difficult to know which pokémon is a zoroark. While this isn’t terribly effective at the levels where one hit from almost any pokémon can knock out a zoroark’s illusion, if not the zoroark itself, it is a useful tool in leagues that allow for counterswitching. A common tactic is initiating a switch against an opponent’s fighting-weak pokémon while having your zoroark pose as a humanoid fighting type. This forces the opponent to gamble by either sending in a psychic type and risking a matchup against a zoroark or staying in and risking a beatdown from a fighting-type. A similar tactic applies to having your zoroark imitate a poison-type when fighting an opponent with at least one fairy, forcing them to decide whether or not to risk their fairy against what might be a real poison-type for the chance of annihilating a zoroark and gaining momentum.

Island challenge trials don’t force either side to declare their pokémon beforehand, just the number they are bringing to battle. This gives zoroark a few rounds of confusion and setup against an opponent before the kahuna figures out the trick. Elite Four battles require declaring in advance (and allow both sides to freely switch) which makes the best zoroark tactics the ones described above. However, it should be noted that most opponents in the island challenge use monotype teams. This makes the utility of baiting out a pokemon less useful because the opponent will either have no fairy or psychic types (or bugs) to bait out, or will have so many that other factors will carry the battle.

Beyond illusions, zoroark have sharp claws and surprisingly potent shadow manipulation. They can also abuse illusion “glitches” to disorient opponents for a split second. This allows them to either begin or disrupt a combo, get in for a melee hit or get out of range of a melee fighter. Their signature tactic is using shadows to trip up opponents as they move and force them to hit the ground with their own force. As zoroark are rather light on musculature and natural defenses, this is probably their best way of safely dealing damage. They can also be taught a number of elemental tricks and disruption tactics to maximize their efficacy.

Acquisition

There are zorua packs around Route 5 and Route 1. Captures from the former are currently prohibited. Captures from the latter are presently allowed without restriction (beyond the requisite trainer rank) as zorua are viewed as an invasive species and a public safety risk. Capture, adoption or purchase of a zorua requires a Class I license.

Zorua are also found in the pack(s) in Poni Island National Park. There is often a single pack, but there are enough zoroark that they sometimes split off into smaller groups. Capture of zorua and zoroark is presently allowed inside the park without restriction with the requisite trainer rank.

Zoroark require a Class III license to purchase, adopt or capture.

Breeding

Zoroark are incredibly private about all stages of reproduction. What is known is that they have a very long courtship period (sometimes lasting years before procreation) and that a pair will typically only have one litter of six to twelve pups. Zoroark pregnancies last seven months. Pregnant zoroark will often be hesitant to create illusions, presumably due to the energy illusion formation requires. Male zoroarks will stay very close to their pregnant mates.

Both parents stay very close to their pups until they reach their full size. If one parent dies before the pups are fully grown the surviving parent will seek out another zoroark to assist in childrearing. If both die in the same incident the remaining zorua will band together into a pack. Sometimes another zoroark will take over parental duties, or at least begin to drop by every so often to check on their welfare and provide instruction. Both zorua packs in Alola were formed by orphaned litters that did not gain a steady parental figure but did find another zoura litter to merge with. The packs continue to take in stray zorua. At least one former pack member checks in on them from time to time.

Mated pairs usually split up when their children leave. Sometimes they will pursue a long-term homosexual partnership. Sometimes they will find an orphaned pack and assist in raising it or they will join a multi-zoroark group. Zoroark have also been observed finding a member of another species and entering into either a romantic or platonic partnership with them.

Zoroark will lay out their own boundaries and desires for privacy during reproduction and childrearing to their trainer. Sometimes they will wish to leave their trainer to find a mate and raise children. They should be allowed to do so. If forbidden from leaving, they will leave anyway but steal or destroy several of their trainer’s possessions on the way out. A zoroark that amicably parts from their trainer will often return when their pups are fully grown. Occasionally a zoroark will tolerate or even desire raising their pups in captivity. They will lay out their needs for this as well, although it typically amounts to a dark, safe, and permanent home.

Zorua cubs should not engage in anything more than a playfight until they reach two full years of age.

Subspecies

There are six subspecies of zoroark. The first is the Olympic zoroark discussed above.

The second is the montane zoroark. While there has not been a stable colony of zoroark in the wild since at least the 1920s, they continue to thrive in captivity. Mormon theology teaches that God gave the montane zoroark to the church as a gift. The church proceeded to round up almost all of the zoroark in the Rocky Mountains and tame them. They currently run a breeding program for the montane zoroark that contains nearly all of the world’s montane zoroark. These zoroark are used to protect their churches, leadership and missionaries. Cynics also attribute the public and private miracles of the church to zoroark illusions.

Montane zoroark are powerful telepaths that create illusions by hacking the brain of their targets and altering their sensory processing. This makes their illusions the most powerful; it also means that they are sometimes unable to affect all nearby minds at once. The sheer versatility of their power and ability to completely block the senses of opponents makes them by far the most powerful zoroark subspecies, as is seen whenever the church allows one of its members to use one in battle. The remaining montane zoroark are owned by the Smithsonian Institute. Every few years they will display montane zorua at the National Zoo; zoroark would never consent to this. There are persistent rumors that other branches of the United States government may possess montane zoroarks, but this has never been proven. Montane zorua are very similar in appearance to the Olympic zorua, if a bit lighter in coloration and with bright purple eyes instead of pale blue.

Desert zoroark used to range from Texas to Tenochtitlan and from the Gulf to the Pacific. At present they are confined to a patchwork of habitats in Anahuac and a handful of National Parks and reservations in the American Southwest. The Aztecs, Navajo and Hopi revered the desert zoroark and the lands under their control house most of the remaining desert zoroark population. Unfortunately, the post-war instability in Anahuac has put the zoroark population there at risk. While poaching is a crime punishable by death and state sponsored hunts have been discontinued, zoroark populations in Ananhuac have plummeted since 1981. Until 1903 the United States offered substantial bounties for zoroark and sent military expeditions to wipe the species out. The unwillingness of some Native American leaders to hand over the zoroark on their lands was the pretext for a number of wars.

Desert zoroark create their illusions in a similar manner to Olympic zoroark, suggesting that they may be the most closely related of the subspecies. It would be impractical to use water in the air to create their illusions given their habitat. Instead, they create tiny heat waves to shape the air around them. While their tactile illusions are entirely unconvincing, they learn visual and auditory illusions much faster than their Olympic counterparts and don’t need to spend much time redeveloping an illusory body after their old one is destroyed. They are classified as dual dark- and fire-types and can create more powerful heat waves in battle than the ones they use for illusions.

The swamp zoroark is nearly extinct in the wild. They are the largest of the subspecies and tend to be dark green in color with light purple stripes across their body. Their manes are also the smallest proportionally and stop growing when they reach physical maturity. Unlike other zoroark subspecies, they have webbed paws and spend most of their time in the water and, when they do go on land, they walk on all fours. Because of this and the factors below, it is believed that they are the ancestor of the other zoroark species.

Swamp zoroark do not create particularly detailed illusions. Instead, they emit gasses that cause hallucinations and feelings of panic in their target. Long-term exposure results in blindness and even death. These gasses are used for hunting and defense. At present, there are believed to be fewer than 80 swamp zoroark and zorua in the wild. Most live in and around Everglades National Park, with the remainder split between the bayous of Louisiana and Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

The remaining two zoroark subspecies are extinct in the wild. However, wild populations occasionally pop up around the world. This suggests that they have simply abandoned the forests and plains of North American entirely to integrate into human society.

The first of these subspecies is the plains zoroark. They have thick dark brown fur in the winter and a lighter coat of grey fur in the summer. Their mane resembles a cape extending from the bottom of their head and they didn’t use beads. Plains zoroark are powerful telekinetics who create and craft forcefields into a body. They then warp the light and sound around their forcefields through an unknown method to complete the illusion. Plains zoroark have the most durable illusions of all zoroark and they can form them rather quickly. However, they are among the least intelligent of the subspecies and take some time to learn the voices and social norms of other species.

Forest zorua were the most common subspecies at the time of European first contact. They ranged from Quebec and Ontario to the southern tip of the Appalachians and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. Forest zorua are proper shapeshifters rather than illusionists and morph their form until they physically become their illusion. Like ditto, it is entirely unknown how this works. However, forest zorua suffer from one core weakness: they must concentrate hard to maintain their illusory form. Lapses in concentration, including sleep, will often cause their illusion to begin to break down. While some particularly clever zoroark can maintain their illusions for up to 72 hours, even through full nights of sleep, a heavy enough blow will cause them to almost instantly revert. As such, there is some speculation that forest zoroark do not shapeshift so much as use an attack akin to substitute. Unfortunately, captive forest zoroark tend to commit suicide or refuse to eat, much less cooperate with experimenters. It may never be known how, exactly, the forest zoroark’s illusions work.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Furfrou

Overview

Furfrou has a reputation as perhaps the most regal and snobby of the world’s canines, and certainly of the world’s domestic canines. But the truth is that furfrou are, charitably, one the most energetic of the domestic canines. Less charitably, they are perhaps the least intelligent. So how did a high energy, low attention span dog that would rather be sloppily licking their trainer than sitting beside their throne become synonymous with poise and nobility?

As usual, there’s an extensive and messy history behind the breed.

Furfrou, along with yamper, was one of only two canines to be domesticated in Europe. (Fenniken was domesticated in the Sahara around 1500 C.E. and would not become popular in Europe until the 1700s.) Furfrou was also one of the earliest domestic pokémon of any sort available in Europe. Between their long fur and potential for herding and protecting other livestock, they were quickly adopted by farmers across the continent. Foreign visitors during the early Kalosian Empire viewed furfrou as synonymous with the European method of agriculture.

There was a slight problem with furfrou, though: they are not the patient herders that stoutland and arcanine are. Instead they easily get distracted by birds, flowers, people, wild Pokémon, or the sun and stop watching the herd or walk away altogether before coming back at night with their tail between their legs. Farmers initially tried rectifying this by adopting a larger court of furfrou to watch both each other and the livestock, but they only distracted each other. As soon as arcanine were imported to Europe in the late stages of the Kalosian Empire, furfrou were only retained as livestock for their fur or as protectors of children. The widespread domestication of lopunny slowly led to their decline in even those roles.

Enter Empress Apolline. Born a common farmer, she was conscripted into the Imperial Army during The Winter Legions’ Mutiny. Her tactical brilliance and skill with taming pokémon led to her rising quickly up the ranks and, after the death of the emperor at the Battle of Cylage placed one of the rebels next in the line of succession, the Lumiose Guard raised her to the throne. She carried the war within the year and her compassion and cunning during the post-war era lead to peace in Kalos for another century. She also had fond memories of her family’s furfrou and brought several into the court in order to train senior military leaders and nobles in pokémon husbandry. The court, in turn, happily adopted furfrou as the Kalosian equivalent to the Galarian monarchs’ yamper and played up the nobility and beauty of the breed as a form of propaganda.

Over generations and dynasties, the furfrou stayed as a symbol of Kalos in general, and the monarchy in particular. The elaborate styling of frufrou’s coats was perfected during this period. Previously furfrou shaving had been a mundane semiannual task to obtain fur and improve the furfrou’s mobility; now it was (and mostly still is) a form of conspicuous consumption and class status.

It can be expensive to obtain a purebred furfrou in Alola (or almost anywhere else), but mutts are somewhat common in the wild and shelters as most trainers and families view them as too high maintenance and the wealthy would prefer a purebred. However, furfrou make excellent pets for anyone who wants a high energy dog or a chance to practice advanced grooming techniques.

Physiology

Furfrou are classified as normal-types by the Department of Agriculture, as they lack the criteria for any other typing.

Furfrou are rather typical, if lean, canine pokémon. Their only main distinctions are their long, shaggy white fur and their somewhat delicate facial structure. Most purebred furfrou have a very long and narrow snout compared to other canines. This is impractical and forces them to greatly slow down while eating. It is a product of selective breeding for purely aesthetic purposes.

Furfrou’s fur is not actually as thick as that of cincinno or lopunny. However, it is somewhat curly and grows very quickly. This leads to it fluffing out more than most other pokémon’s fur. They can grow a full coat of fur up to 40 centimeters long in six months and the fur can extend a ways away from their body, leading to them looking more like a mareep than a ninetales.

Unusually for canines with long coats, they do not have summer and winter coats that they shed with the seasons change. Instead, furfrou fur reaches its terminal length and stays that long until it is groomed. Feral furfrou thus almost always have the maximum coat length. In their original range in Northern Europe this was seldom a problem, but in Alola this can be a serious health concern as, like most canines, furfrou have no better means of heat release than simple panting.

Purebred furfrou grow up to 0.8 meters in height at the withers and can weigh between 25 and 40 kilograms, depending upon how long their fur is at the time. Mutts are usually somewhat larger. Purebreds live around seven years in captivity; mutts usually live between 10 and 15. Neither typically survives long in the wild, especially in Alola.

Behavior

As mentioned above, furfrou are very energetic and playful. They are also quite social and, when stressed, will seek out the nearest furfrou, other canine, fluffy pokémon or human and stick very close to them. They frequently rub against fences or trees for reasons that are not well understood. In colder climes or when recently shorn, furfrou are known to run for several hours a day and spend the rest of their time sleeping.

Feral furfrou mostly prefer to scavenge or beg around human settlements rather than go hunting. This is partially because they have one of the weakest senses of smell of all canine pokémon and their vision isn’t much better. Hunting in crowded urban areas by hearing alone is rather difficult for them and most aren’t well trained in tracking or battling in captivity.

When they must hunt, furfrou tend to be ambush predators staying motionless in one place until something they think they can kill crosses their path. Unfortunately for them, furfrou are both conspicuous and impatient. They frequently move around and blow their cover, jump at things that are not edible (or even living), play with their potential prey rather than eating it, or forget what they were doing and wander off.

Husbandry

Furfrou eat standard canine food mixes and are also capable of eating most common human foods. They are notorious beggers and their diet should be monitored. However, they are also active enough that they seldom get particularly fat.

Speaking of their activity, furfrou require several walks a day. It is best to do these around sunrise and sunset, with a shorter walk in the late morning and early afternoon (or both). Even furfrou without much fur can overheat in the late afternoon sun.

Furfrou are incredibly social in captivity and will require either another dog to keep them company or near-constant proximity. When awake they will demand scratches, walks, food or playtime. If these are denied they will attempt to cuddle their trainer with full body tackles, steal whatever is distracting their human or (curiously) grab onto their trainer’s leg and start licking it continuously, sometimes for up to an hour.

Unless under strict veterinary observation, furfrou should have their fur trimmed once every three months. Most groomers are more than capable of giving them basic cuts. Advanced cut groomers are somewhat rare in Alola as eevee, stoutland, rockruff, growlithe and vulpix are far more popular pets, but they can be found in Hau’oli and Malie. There is some debate as to whether elaborate styles are uncomfortable for furfrou. It appears to vary depending upon the style and dog and furfrou should be monitored closely after they receive a new styled trim to gauge their comfort with it.

Illness

Purebred furfrou suffer from a number of health problems. Snout injuries and cancers are the most common, but almost any illness or injury a dog can suffer is a risk for a purebred. They should receive veterinary checkups once every six months, ideally after grooming sessions. Mutts tend to have fewer health problems.

One particular challenge for furfrou is that their habit of rubbing against anything and everything in their territory often leads to skin infections. These can be very difficult to spot given the coverage and bulk of their fur. Furfrou should be thoroughly petted often to check for skin wounds; the dog will not mind this.

Like all canines, furfrou can carry rabies and should be vaccinated. This is usually done shortly after birth so it won’t be a problem for anyone but breeders.

Evolution

Juvenile furfrou look like smaller versions of adult furfrou, albeit they are often a little less fluffy. Furfrou typically reach maturity and their adult size around one year of age.

Battle

Furfrou’s lack of size and elemental attacks, as well as their frankly middling speed, mean that they are almost never the dog of choice for competitive battlers. The one exception to this is in the Kalos league, where many trainers who have access to the private tutors, TMs, money to travel extensively, and training supplies that help them succeed also tend to have furfrou.

This does not mean that furfrou are unusable on the island challenge, although they do suffer severe competiton from the many other dog breeds in Alola (arcanine, eevee, vulpix, lycanroc, manectric, stoutland, riolu, zoroark, houndoom, granbull). However, they are fast enough and their fur coat durable enough that they can dominate many early challenges and still get a hit or two off in the later ones. Other pokémon will need to pick up the slack towards the end, but furfrou users are playing an even longer game. Furfrou are high maintenance but energetic and lovable pets that can live for years after the island challenge is over.

In battle, it is best to keep things simple. While furfrou can learn several projectile attacks through TMs, they do not have the energy reserves to utilize them effectively. Instead they should rely upon tackles and full-body melee attacks combined with a few basic tricks such as roar, protect and double team if the TMs can be found or afforded. They are countered by ghosts, steel, and rock types, powerful physical walls and most birds. Anything they can hit successfully (at least, when most opponents are using common juvenile pokémon) will likely take significant enough damage to make up for their long list of counters.

Purebred furfrou should be withdrawn after taking serious hits or multiple weak ones to avoid significant injury. A good rule of thumb is that if a purebred’s coat is in disarray, it’s time to end the round.

Acquisition

Furfrou can be adopted, captured or purchased with a Class I license. A few feral furfrou can be found around Hau’oli City, especially in the winter. It is far easier to simply adopt one from the shelters in the city. There are also furfrou breeders on Ula’Ula and Melemele.

Breeding

Furfrou courtship, mating, pregnancy and child rearing are all quite typical for canines. This makes them a good starter pokémon for getting into the breeding of more difficult dogs such as ninetales, zoroark, eevee and granbull. Furfrou have been known to mate with every other canine species on Alola, although some crossbreedings are more difficult than others. Most furfrou hybrids are reproductively viable.

Furfrou pregnancies last roughly two months and they have litters of four to six puppies.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Raichu (Pichu, Pikachu, Hodad)

Overview

It is somewhat difficult to explain pikachu’s global popularity. Until the late twentieth century they were only common in central Japan and Alola with small invasive colonies elsewhere. They are not the most popular pokémon among Japan’s trainers. Worldwide, relatively few casual trainers used them before the 1990s and relatively few use them today. They are virtually absent from the competitive battling scene beyond the occasional use of hodad as a bird counter.

By all accounts, pikachu owes its popularity to one trainer who used a pikachu medically incapable of evolution (see Illness) and the subsequent anime and video games made about his improbable rise through the underground and officially sanctioned battling scenes of metropolitan Yamabuki. How the story and media caught on just as much, if not more so, outside of Japan than in it is a discussion for another book in another field.

Pikachu’s cuteness and perceived power led to its rise as a popular pet worldwide, even to the point of largely supplanting the popularity of related electric types such as emolga, dedenne, togedemaru, plusle and minun, and pachirisu. However, whatever the Satoshi-inspired anime and games say, most pikachu inevitably grow up. And many people find raichu to be not quite as cute as their adolescent stage. Furthermore they aeriously disrupt nearby electronics. Pichu have relatively little control over their electric sacs and can be dangerous to have around very young children, in addition to being a frequent literal and metaphorical pain for their trainer.

This is not to say that the pikachu line are bad pets, exactly. They are cute, loyal, friendly and (once they evolve for the first time) almost entirely safe. But they do not work for every trainer and those prizing cuteness in their electric-types above all else might be better served by a togedemaru, emolga or dedenne, which have the advantage of not growing into a larger form.

There are also misconceptions about the Alolan or Tapu raichu (referred to in this guide by their traditional name: hodad). Normal raichu are not absent from or even uncommon in Alola. Most pikachu here evolve into raichu. Additionally, hodad does not appear to be a raichu subspecies. They are both branching evolutions of pikachu like slowbro and slowking are to slowpoke. Indigenous Alolans did not and do not worship hodad; they worship Tapu Koko and believe that hodad are blessed by the land spirit. However, this veneration was only particularly common on Melemele; the residents of other islands had their own sacred emissaries.

Physiology

Plusle, pikachu and raichu are classified as pure electric-types by the Department of Agriculture. Hodad is classified as a dual electric- and psychic-type. There is some dispute as to whether they should have a third fairy-typing. However, as they fit the criteria for their two primary typings far better and third typings are presently disallowed, it is unlikely that hodad’s official typing changes unless the basic rules of official typings change as well.

Pichu, as well as pikachu and raichu, are predominately quadrupedal but can stand up on their hind legs if needed. Pichu are pale yellow in color, except for the fringes of their ears (black), their cheeks (pink), their tail (black), and a jagged band of fur around their neck (black). They are perhaps most easily distinguished from pikachu based on their size and the prominence of their feet. Pichu’s electric sacs are not fully developed. This makes them prone to weak discharge when startled; they can be startled by their own involuntary discharges, leading to a feedback loop of release that leaves the pichu severely drained. Their electric sacs are also not developed enough to store large amounts of electricity, meaning that their total discharges still don’t release as much power as the average raichu’s thunder shock attacks.

Pikachu are generally bulkier than pichu with less prominent limbs and a proportionally larger torso. The cheeks darken to a bright red color and their tail becomes longer, more jagged and coated in yellow fur. Their ears are also proportionally longer and only colored black at the very tips. Pikachu’s electric sacs are nearly as large as those of a raichu, allowing them to hold about as much electricity. However, their release processes are less sophisticated and they have less experience using them, leading to frequent situations where they discharge too much at once and either hurt themselves or run out of energy quickly in a battle. However, as Satoshi’s pikachu demonstrated, their unregulated thunderbolts can be the strongest of any common electric-type.

It has been said that raichu resemble pichu far more closely than pikachu. They are proportionally longer, their ears are fringed in darker brown fur, and their feet are quite prominent, especially when compared to the stubby legs of pikachu. Raichu are darker in color than their juvenile forms, except for a cream-colored belly. This makes them appear counter-shaded, which is unusual for a purely terrestrial organism. This has led to some speculation that the ancestors of raichu could either swim or fly. The circles on raichu’s cheeks (which, contrary to popular belief, are not the exterior of their electricity pouches but rather just ornamental markings) are pale yellow in color.

Perhaps the most interesting element of raichu’s physiology is the existence of a long brown “cord” between their tail proper and the rest of their body. Most trainers can’t believe that a tail so thin can hold up the bulky lightning-bolt-shaped tip. This disbelief is supported by reality; raichu can’t hold up their tail with muscles alone. Instead they use sophisticated electromagnetic currents to move their tail around and channel their lightning bolts. This gives them much more accuracy, range, speed and physical power than pikachu, as they can use their electricity to supply kinetic energy to their own body.

This is far more visible in hodad. They have even larger tails with equally thin cords leading to them. Hodad often balance the rest of their body on top of their tail and fly through the air on them. This gives them the appearance of surfing. Beyond that, hodad are generally of a lighter color than raichu, with the brown fur on their paws replaced with white fur. The eyes literally bright blue (that is, their eyes emit light of their own and glow in the dark). The ears are also rounded and appear to contain a spiral pattern, although this is actually just a result of their magnetic field acting up on their fur. Hodads’ ears are also light yellow in coloration.

There is some dispute as to whether or not hodad utilize actual telekinesis or just manipulate themselves and other objects with electromagnetic fields. Hodad can be taught to use a variety of other mind-affecting attacks that give them the marking of a psychic-type. They are also quite adept at communicating with human psychics. Since telepathy and telekinesis usually go together in pokémon, it is speculated that they augment their natural electromagnetic abilities with telekinesis.

Despite common misconceptions, no member of the pikachu evolutionary line feeds upon electricity; they are all vegetarians. They prefer berries but can also eat leaves, bark and stems. Pikachu and raichu prefer to cook their food and will often use their electricity to scorch plants (especially unfamiliar ones) before eating them. Hodad feed almost exclusively upon berries and use their levitation to rise up berry trees and then dart to the next grove. They do not scorch their food.

The misconception that pikachu subsist on electricity has a clear origin: lightning often strikes near pikachu colonies. Almost every time there is a storm, the skies above the forests that pikachu and raichu inhabit will be almost constantly lit up. Raichu also flock to the areas around power plants and other crucial parts of the electric grid. All stages of the evolutionary line (save hodad) become tired when they have not been exposed to lightning or raw electricity in some time. After a long withdrawal period they will resume their normal activity levels, but they will not use electricity until they are recharged. Unlike most electric types, it does not appear as if they can generate their own power and must rely upon lightning strikes or leeching from the electric grid (or shocks from other pokémon) to maintain their defensive and offensive capabilities.

Hodad, however, do appear to generate their own electricity. They are still frequently struck by lightning and briefly become hyperactive after they are hit. It is unclear how their generation works as their internal anatomy is very similar to raichu and none of the differences appear to explain this ability.

Raichu grow up to 0.8 meters when standing upright, tail not included. They can weigh up to 20 kilograms. Hodad grow up to 0.7 meters and can weigh up to 22 kilograms. Raichu typically live for about seven years in both captivity and the wild. Hodad can live up to thirty years.

Behavior

Pichu are almost entirely dependent upon their evolved forms in the wild. They typically stay inside of their underground nests until they approach their first evolution, so it is difficult to observe their wild behaviors. In captivity and when they begin to leave their nest, pichu are incredibly curious pokémon prone to gleefully exploring their surroundings and being fascinated by individual objects, particularly human-made ones, for hours. Or until they accidentally shock it and become upset, triggering a feedback loop and often damaging the target of their affections. They are primarily nocturnal.

Pikachu spend most of their time either sleeping or foraging. Batteries can contain up to thirty individuals (including pichu and raichu), but individuals mostly forage alone. They are skilled climbers and move from tree to tree without leaving the canopy for most of the day. Pikachu are also skilled burrowers who dig shallow tunnel networks that they sleep in during the night. It is not that pikachu aren’t curious, rather, they simply devote very little time in a day to anything that isn’t survival. When they encounter a new potential nest or food source they can spend up to an hour exploring it before either committing to taking the nest over, cooking the food or wandering away. One of pikachu’s most interesting behaviors is their tendencies to shock weakened pikachu to restore the depleted pokémon’s electricity sacs. They will sometimes even do this to pikachu in other batteries they encounter on their foraging journeys.

Raichu spend most of their day around the colony’s nest guarding against potential predators. They are not strictly diurnal or nocturnal; the raichu in a colony tend to sleep in shifts so that at least one is awake at all times. When they feel a nest is unsafe or wish to introduce their pichu to the outside world, they have the ability to warp their magnetic field to stick pichu against their backs and render them nearly incapable of escape.

Hodad do not live in the same battery as pikachu and pichu. Instead they move between the territory of different batteries as they please. They tend to live in pairs. Rather than burrowing, they sleep in the canopy. Like pikachu, hodad are primarily diurnal (although it is also not uncommon to see them active at night, especially if there’s a storm). They do not rear their own pichu and instead drop them off in a nearby battery. In exchange, they provide protection for all batteries in their range should they be seriously threatened. If they are unable to protect a colony, they will drop their carefree attitude in a heartbeat to avenge them. It was this attribute that gave them their semi-mythical status in Alolan folklore. Chiefs who built structures in the wrong territory or dared to hunt pikachu would often wind up killed by a thunderbolt on a clear day, as if struck down by Tapu Koko herself. This vigorous defense of pikachu territory is one of the reasons Route 1 zoning is entirely controlled by the Melemele kahuna.

Husbandry

Pichu are nearly as demanding as an actual human infant or toddler. If the parent raichu are available, it is best to simply leave the baby’s care largely in their parents’ hands (see Breeding). However, because many pichu in captivity are obtained from captive hodad, who refuse to care for their own offspring, many trainers will find themselves in the position of having to raise a pichu on their own.

The first major challenge the trainer will face is that very young pichu require raichu milk to survive. This can be purchased at some specialty breeder supply stores in Alola’s large cities. Travel should not be attempted with a very young pichu as a constant supply of milk is needed and even brief disruptions can lead to starvation. As they grow older, pichu become more willing to eat mashed up fruit and, eventually, some crushed leaves. Pichu at this age should not be shocked because a pichu with electricity means shocks for their human caretakers as well as frequent fires as they begin to explore their environment.

Young pichu should be stored in a room either without electrical outlets or with well covered and insulated ones. Their room should contain no sharp or heavy objects and should contain enclosed and soft spaces for them to retreat to when scared. This will occur very often, as pichu are scared of nearly everything until they approach evolution. They should also be given toys such as exercise wheels and objects dangling from string. Like all stages of the pikachu line, they will require something to gnaw on as well, lest they begin to burrow out of the door or walls. To be safe, pichu should never be put into a pokéball until they reach three months of age, and then the ball should be only sparingly used.

Pikachu require far less constant care. However, they are very social pokémon who tend to resent pokéballs and anything else they see as separating them from their trainer. Pikachu love most machines; the machines tend not to love pikachu back. Keep them away from any electronics that haven’t been specifically made to resist electric types. Pikachu will need somewhat frequent electric charges. Access to a simple electrical outlet can usually do the trick. Alternatively, pikachu chargers are available for sale at most Pokémon Centers in Alola. The machines’ efficacy seems to vary depending upon the exact model and individual pikachu.

Pikachu, raichu and hodad will all eat as much as they can. This will often prove to be more than their metabolisms can handle. Feed them a quantity roughly equal to one fifth of their body weight each day. They will beg for more food after battles, but they do not need food so much as a good charge. The pokémon will still exploit their human’s ignorance about that if they can. Pichu should be fed whenever they cry. If they do not accept the food, move on to other potential problems (minor injury, dirty litter, broken toys).

Pikachu enjoy frequent battles and exercise as well as enrichment in the form of new toys to experiment and play with or new locations to explore. If you do not want a pikachu to attempt to burrow in a home, provide them with some sort of enclosed area they can retreat to. Like all stages of the evolutionary line, they can be housebroken.

Raichu are more sedentary than pikachu. However, they require more electricity and the same amount of food to maintain their fields. Some raichu are fine with pokéballs; most are not. In general, they are less social than pikachu and more content to spend time alone or with another pokémon. Their electrical field makes them poor housepets as they have a habit of accidentally frying devices in their home. Traveling trainers with a raichu can find themselves burning through multiple phones a year.

Hodad are even rougher on electronic devices due to the increased strength of their field. They are also more active and social than raichu and require time on their own to fly. Otherwise they will get very energetic and start accidentally discharging electricity like a pichu. It is believed that flight is how they release excess energy, something that is constantly a problem for them as they generate their own supply. Hodad have a notorious sweet tooth and can be easily bribed and trained with their favorite type of berry. They prefer to sleep cuddled against either their trainer or a fluffy pokémon, preferably an electric type. Most fluffy pokémon hate getting their fur messed up by static electricity, so hodad trainers should just accept that they’re going to wake up most mornings next to a drooling pokémon and with their hair sticking every which way. For this reason, short haircuts and cheap pajamas are recommended for hodad trainers. Alternatively, ampharos do not seem to mind hodad cuddles.

Illness

Some pikachu have problems with their electricity sacks that make the process of evolution medically inadvisable. There is a surgical procedure that can prevent them from undergoing it. Pikachu so altered typically live for five years, which is only a little longer than they would have otherwise lasted. The main reason this surgery is actually performed in practice is to ensure that the pokémon stays as a cute and relatively powerful pikachu forever. As such, there are an increasing number of veterinarians and surgeons who will not perform the procedure at all.

Most health problems any member of the evolutionary line will have are related to their electric sacs. These problems are usually temporary and work themselves out again after a good charge or discharge. If a pokémon continues to have unusual difficulty with their electricity (such as accidental releases for pikachu, raichu or hodad, painful discharges or shying away from electronics or other electric-types) for more than two days, consult a veterinarian.

As a final note, as they age some raichu and hodad experience senility and a partial loss of hearing. This is very common among related species and should be accepted. However, this often leads to raichu being unable to easily distinguish verbal commands. A raichu older than seven years should never be ordered to use thunder wave if the trainer isn’t fine with them using thunderbolt instead.

Evolution

Pichu and pikachu evolve in brief periods of four to six days. The exact catalyst for evolution is unknown, but the leading theory at present is that it is tied to their total lifetime exposure to electricity. Usually this evolution occurs between four and six months of age for pichu and three to five years of age for raichu. Exposure to thunder stones can almost immediately trigger an evolution in a pikachu. However, this amount of electricity can be dangerous or even fatal for a pichu and no effort should be made to force their evolution. Shortly before evolution, the pokémon becomes very hyperactive and begins to eat anything it possibly can. Then it goes sluggish for a few days of very rapid growth. They will prefer to retreat into their burrow for the duration of this process in the wild and some equivalent structure should be provided in captivity. Evolution might generate electricity; in any case, the pokémon will be incredibly charged immediately after completing the process and will be nearly as energetic as they were before evolution (if a lot clumsier as they adjust to their new body).

Hodad evolution is different. Sometimes, particularly on melemele, a thunderstone with a spiral pattern carved into one surface will appear. A pikachu exposed to these stones will immediately begin a flash evolution into hodad. These stones can also be broken up into pieces that can serve as impromptu z-crystal to allow for a massive, temporary increase in the power of a hodad’s electromagnetic field.

Battle

Pikachu have a small niche in competitive battling given the sheer power they can unleash. Once. Maybe twice. If the attack is blocked, dodged or the pikachu is knocked out before they can execute it, they won’t deal any damage at all in the fight. Given pikachu’s size and relative frailty, they are not durable enough to take almost any hit from a pokémon on the competitive circuits at all.

Hodad holds a more substantial role, if only barely so. Flying electric-types are understandably popular for their ability to not only strike birds with powerful weakness-targeting moves, but to keep up with them in their home turf. Unfortunately for hodad, vikavolt exists and is both faster and more powerful. Hodad holds some niche advantages, though, like better offensive and defensive movepools with attacks such as focus blast, encore, magic coat and reflect. Birds are also less likely to know bug buzz, shadow ball or dark pulse than they are to know heat wave. But even on their good days, hodad aren’t capable of firing off thunderbolts half as powerful as a vikavolt’s. And vikavolt have the added perk of not frying their trainer’s cell phone.

Raichu are neither fast nor powerful enough to earn a substantial role in competitive battling. Some recent trainers have used them early in their careers. They usually obtained one after being misled by video games or television and the trainer was then unwilling or unable to convince a veterinarian to render their pikachu incapable of evolution.

This is not to say that either raichu or hodad is bad for casual battling or the island challenge. To start with, raichu and hodad are much easier to obtain, evolve and train than vikavolt. And their thunderbolts are more than capable of keeping pace with even the later totem pokémon and grand trials. It should be noted that raichu is not particularly bulky and hodad is even frailer. For the most part they should be used as ranged nukes that can hold their own up close if necessary but are better served getting in hits from a distance and keeping their opponent at bay. Moves such as double team and protect are a hodad or raichu’s best friend.

Pikachu are also frail, but they are quite capable of taking the average hits of the first two islands’ trials. By the time the third island comes around, it may be time to evolve them. Otherwise they battle much like their evolutions, although early on it might be practical to mix in physical moves such as iron tail, quick attack or slam as their opponents will also be relatively frail and the pikachu can’t keep up thunder shocks for long without exhausting themselves.

Pichu should be battled with sparingly and against weak opponents only, and even then they should only be battled with at all after they reach three months of age. It is best to leave them to nursery room fights against other very young pokémon.

Acquisition

All stages of the pikachu line are often found around Hau’oli City and in Route 1.

Raising a pichu from an egg without a raichu requires a Class IV license. Raising a pichu from an egg with a raichu requires only a Class II license, or a Class I license if you have a female raichu. (The disparity is due to the difficulty of obtaining milk without a female raichu.) Hodad will not raise a pichu and thus do not discount the license requirement. Pichu should never be captured inside of their nest as this is against commonwealth law. But a fine is the least of your worries if you disturb a pichu nest, as hodad tend to aggressively avenge those transgressions. Pichu out of a nest can be captured with a Class II license. Pichu over three months of age can also be adopted or purchased with a Class II license.

Pikachu can be adopted, purchased or captured with a Class I license. However, pikachu can only be captured inside of Route 1 after defeating at least one of the Melemele trials. Even then, only one pikachu capture per trainer is allowed. The restrictions in Hau’oli City itself are far laxer. Both pichu and raichu are commonly available from breeders.

Raichu and hodad may not be captured from the wild in Alola. However, many trainers abandon them to shelters after they lose their first cell phone. This makes them rather easy to adopt. Both require a Class III license to adopt or purchase.

Breeding

Female raichu mate with a male in their battery about once a year. After a five week pregnancy, they give birth to two pichu. Raichu carefully guard all pichu in their nest, regardless of parentage. They do not allow them to leave the nest at all until they reach about three months of age, and even then they are only allowed to leave when magnetically glued to a raichu’s back. They are only allowed to explore on their own after another two to four weeks.

Hodad pairs sometimes never mate. They also frequently form homosexual pairs that, regardless of whether they mate or not, cannot reproduce. Sometimes hodad pairs mate and reproduce up to three times a year. Hodad pregnancy is very similar to raichu pregnancy. After their young are born, the male hodad will seek glue them to his body and seek out a nearby battery to drop the pichu off at. Hodad don’t seem to have any preference as to which battery they drop eggs off at. Some pairs will drop theirs off at the same one every time, and others will drop them off at a different one each time. There does not appear to be any clear driving factor behind their selection.

Subspecies

Some pikachu colonies have different coloration, fur patterns, tail patterns, or fur thickness than others. These are viewed as normal variations within a subspecies rather than classifying the breeds as separate subspecies altogether. There is some dispute as to whether or not Alolan pikachu constitute a different subspecies as their fur is generally lighter and thinner, but at present this split is not widely accepted within the scientific community as they are otherwise very similar to Japanese pikachu. Additionally any pikachu who encounters the right stone can evolve into hodad.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Grubbin (Charjabug, Vikavolt)

Overview

Most pokémon species in this book were introduced to the islands by humans. Broadly speaking, they came in three waves: the initial Polynesian settlers, Japanese and Chinese expeditions between 800 C.E. and 1100 C.E., and European explorers and colonizers after 1750 C.E.

However, a handful of species (particularly migratory birds and aquatic pokémon) were living on Alola before humans first arrived on its shores. Some of those species are found nowhere else in the world. Grubbin is one example. And out of all of the truly Alolan pokémon, it is by far the most famous and feared outside of the islands.

It has been mentioned several times before in this book that flying pokémon hold a metagame defining and constraining role in competitive battling. Because of this, any team without a reliable bird counter or several bird checks is doomed to failure. And vikavolt might be the best bird counter there is. Vikavolt pack some of the strongest thunderbolts of any pokémon, they can keep up with most birds in both speed and agility in the air, and they are natural predators of birds in the wild. Some of the most prominent birds in the international metagame, such as skarmory and talonflame, live in Alola and vikavolt have learned how to defend themselves against and even hunt them.

Vikavolt are the reason that the most powerful bug specialists feel the need to take a pilgrimage to Alola. They are also the reason that Alola draws some of the world’s most prominent trainers to the Battle Tree Invitational Tournament year in and year out. Vikavolt may not be the single most metagame defining pokémon on the international scene right now, but, their relatively recent rise to prominence and their small native range means that if a trainer wants one, there’s really only one place to get them.

This hasn’t been entirely good for vikavolt. Their juvenile forms are easy pickings for scyther, volcarona, pinsir and heracross. While the latter isn’t even a carnivore, they have no desire to compete with the highly aggressive vikavolt for territory and resources. And while vikavolt are almost uniquely built to take on the migratory birds that flock to Alolan shores each year, they are somewhat physically frail and other powerful bugs can sometimes lure them into a trap and take them out. Even before their meteoric rise on the competitive scene, grubbin were essentially extinct on Poni and declining on Akala due to competition from other bugs. Concerns about overharvesting for competitive battling led to the Commonwealth establishing a small grubbin formation in Galar to take pressure off of the Alolan populations. Alola was given $350,000,000 to establish this relatively small formation.

Thankfully, it is much easier to obtain a grubbin or charjabug as an island challenger than as a member of the general public. Please note that there are still restrictions in place on quickly trading or selling grubbin, and more than one trainer has run afoul of the law while trying to make a quick buck on the grubbin market.

Physiology

Grubbin are classified as pure bug types by the Department of Agriculture. Charjabug and vikavolt are classified as dual bug- and electric-types. There is some dispute as to whether or not grubbin should have an additional ground-typing, but as they are neither terrakinetic nor built to thrive in sandstorms or deserts, the current ruling is quite likely to stand.

Grubbin are small bug-types with four distinct body segments. The latter three are light grey in color with occasional yellow spots. These segments contain most of grubbin’s organs as well as their legs, two per each hind segment. The front segment is the largest and orange in color, with a yellow ‘visor’ shielding their mouth and the base of their mandibles from aerial attack. While they appear to have large ringed eyes, these are simply ornamental. Grubbin are entirely blind, something they make up for with lateral lines that allow them to sense the electric signals in the living organisms around them. Their mandibles extend from the front of their head. The mandibles usually contain yellow and orange stripes. The exact width and number of the stripes is unique to each grubbin. Right above their mouth, grubbin have another orifice for the release and withdrawal of silk lines. While silk production isn’t uncommon among young bugs, grubbin use it in an interesting way. They release the silk at high speed to snare potential predators, rivals or prey and slowly pull them towards the grubbin’s powerful mandibles, where they can be killed or battered further.

Charjabug look quite different from grubbin at a glance, leading early European explorers to determine that the charjabug and vikavolt on Ula’Ula and Poni were a different species altogether than the grubbin on Melemele and Akala. To start with, charjabug are uncannily geometric. Their body is an almost perfect rectangular prism with only short, stubby legs and mandibles protruding from it. Most of their body is green, except for one face of their body which contains their face. The face is broken into a grid of nine perfect squares. The bottom two squares in the middle column are grey and contain jagged lines—the mouth. The remaining squares in the middle row are a reflective blue. The mandibles, tiny yellow pegs, stick out of the remaining green squares on the bottom. The blue tiles contain the charjabug’s eyes behind them. At least, they do for older charjabug. Newly evolved charjabug haven’t finished growing eyes yet and still rely heavily on their lateral lines for navigation.

Charjabug are also known for being a sort of natural battery. (Although, contrary to popular belief, the manmade battery was not inspired by charjabug.) They slowly absorb energy throughout their life and can release it for either self defense or to assist a vikavolt. The main reason that charjabug can live on the surface undisturbed is that killing one will, at an unpredictable time after their death, set off an explosion of all the remaining electricity in their body. This will often take out their killer. Curiously, charjabug make accordion-like sounds when disturbed.

Vikavolt are about as different from charjabug as charjabug are from grubbin. They resemble a large beetle. Unlike other beetle pokémon such as pinsir and heracross, vikavolt are not bipeds and are most comfortable in the air. The upper portion of vikavolt’s shell is dark blue. A portion of this shell covers the head. The rest is retractable and covers the wings. The rest of vikavolt’s shell is black. Unlike grubbin and charjabug, they have four long, spindly legs rather than six stubby ones.

Vikavolt are most easily recognizable by their head and mandibles. Their head contains two bright yellow triangles that cover up their eyes. Right beneath their eyes they have an orange mouth which, like charjabug, opens horizontally rather than vertically. Their mandibles begin with horizontal green- and yellow-striped spikes facing away from their head. Then the mandibles extend up to 0.6 meters away from the mouth. The interior of the mandibles are typically green and contain a number of small spikes. The exterior is bright yellow. These are not used for grappling or eating prey (they actually must be swerved aside to let vikavolt get their mouth to their food). Instead, they are used for amplifying and releasing powerful thunderbolts.

Vikavolt are capable of reaching flight speeds up to fifty meters per second for very brief periods and pivoting a full 360 degrees in less than two seconds while moving at max speed. Their thunderbolts contain wattage and amperage approaching that of actual lightning and, at max charge, they can fire off up to a dozen before they absolutely need to rest. This is accomplished based on a few power saving or recharging tricks. First, vikavolt slightly charge themselves with every wingbeat, although this is not enough to recoup the energy loss of flight. They also reabsorb some of the ambient energy left in the air after firing off a bolt, which is the primary reason why wild vikavolt often wait up to a minute between attacks.

However, vikavolt do not passively generate their own electricity like some pokémon can. They need to eat. Grubbin are primarily herbivorous, although they will also scavenge kills or take out small bugs or birds from time to time. Charjabug don’t move or eat much, preferring to keep their metabolism low to minimize the time until evolution. When they do eat, they tend to eat the remains of vikavolt kills or slowly work through a tree, as trees are immobile and large enough to last several charjabug through evolution. Vikavolt are primarily carnivorous, although they have sometimes been observed in the wild and in captivity seeking out flowers, fruit or nectar. Their preferred prey are birds.

There is a common belief in Alola that vikavolt are venting the impotent rage towards birds they had as a grubbin. This is mostly unsupported by evidence. Grubbin have relatively few predators as they spend almost their entire life underground (see Behavior), and the predators they do have tend to be dedicated insectivores or burrowers. Trumbeak occasionally prey upon grubbin, as do skarmory and fearow. But vikavolt only prey upon trumbeak when there are no larger birds to eat and, while they do hunt skarmory and fearow, they prefer larger migratory birds such as braviary, tropius and mandibuzz. All three species do not actively hunt grubbin and only kill vikavolt in self-defense.

Given the prominence of both psy-sensitive trainers and vikavolt on the competitive battling scene, there have been multiple papers published on the psychic lives of vikavolt. Most, but not all, psychics have concluded that vikavolt see birds with the detached gaze of a predator rather than the rage of a warrior out for vengeance.

However, after humans began to capture grubbin in large numbers, vikavolt have begun to attack adult humans in some portions of their range without provocation. This lends some credence to the idea that vikavolt hunt out of revenge. They do not eat killed humans and do not hunt children.

Grubbin grow up to 0.4 meters in length (including the mandible) and 5 kilograms in mass. Vikavolt grow up to 1.7 meters (including the mandible) in length and 10 kilograms in mass. Grubbin can live for four years in the wild and eight in captivity. Vikavolt live an average of nine years in the wild and twelve in captivity.

Behavior

Grubbin mostly live one to three meters beneath the surface their entire life, or until they evolve. They move from root system to root system and leave tunnels behind them. Grubbin live mostly solitary lives. Their tunnels are not a home, just a relic of where they’ve been. They almost never backtrack. When grubbin are unable to obtain enough food or water underground they will sometimes come to the surface to eat and drink. Once it finds stagnant water or a root system, the grubbin will disappear back underground.

Charjabug, like metapod, have very little behavior to speak of. Sometimes they will move to avoid a slow-moving natural disaster such as rising waters or lava flows. Occasionally they will crawl over to and up a tree for shelter or food. Otherwise, they stay still and absorb the ambient electricity that caused them to evolve in the first place.

Vikavolt behavior is more interesting. They stay in the air virtually all of the time, pausing only for a quick rest each night for three to five hours. This is usually one in brush or dense canopies. Because vikavolt are light sleepers and their primarily black and blue color scheme is difficult to see at night, this is a difficult weakness to exploit.

Perhaps the most interesting of vikavolt’s behaviors is their relationship with charjabug. While they seldom interact with other vikavolt, they are prone to picking up a charjabug with their legs. The adolescent form appears to function as a battery, giving vikavolt the power to cast more thunderbolts and a shorter recharge time between attacks. However, the charjabug weighs them down and they sometimes leave them behind when chasing very fast prey or fleeing from predators. They almost always come back for their dropped charjabug. When their claimed charjabug evolves, the vikavolt keeps close watch over them and protects them from predators as they grow. If the vikavolt are of opposite sexes, they will form a lifelong mated pair. Otherwise, they will split when the younger vikavolt is fully grown and both will find a new charjabug. Mated pairs seldom use charjabug as batteries and discard them immediately after battle when they do use one.

Outside of hunting and resting, vikavolt tend to aimlessly fly around their territory. The exact purpose of this is unclear. Proposed theories for these flights include warning off other vikavolt, searching for new bird nests, or just killing time.

Husbandry

The three insect pokémon covered thus far in the guide (butterfree, ledian and ariados) are wonderful starting bugs. They aren’t aggressive towards humans, they grow and die rather quickly, and they are each quite social. Vikavolt are almost none of these things. Trainers with no prior experience raising bug-types may find their grubbin, charjabug or vikavolt difficult to understand, and thus difficult to tame and care for. However, they are also not the most difficult bugs in the Alola region and they give fair warning before attacking their trainer. The most common complaint from trainers is actually that they are quite boring.

Grubbin primarily eat roots in the wild. This is easy enough to replicate in captivity by providing them with root vegetables. They should be fed three to five times a day. Grubbin will not eat if they are full or drink if they are not thirsty. Their vegetables should always be relatively fresh. If this is not feasible, other fruits and vegetables can be provided to them. Grubbin should be given a water cup at every meal.

Charjabug, for the most part, do not eat. They should be ‘fed’ through frequent access to a thunder stone, generator or electronic devices. Once every two to three days they should be offered tree bark, sticks, grass, or leaves and a cup of water. If they eat the food, get them a lettuce-based plant mix to eat until they no longer show an interest in food. If they drink the water, they should be provided with a cup of water once or twice a day until they stop drinking.

Vikavolt are almost entirely carnivorous. They aren’t particularly picky on what they eat, but they usually prefer poultry. If their food is not cooked in advance they will zap it themselves. They should be fed frequently and in relatively large quantities. Like their juvenile forms, they will simply stop eating when they are full. Once the vikavolt has been in captivity (and fully grown) for a few weeks, their trainer should be able to work out how much and how frequently they need fed. Vikavolt require water far more consistently than their juvenile stages and should be provided cups of water more frequently than they are given food.

Grubbin will want to burrow. This makes them happy, but also makes them difficult to keep track of or retrieve. Breeders and trainers raising grubbin in permanent homes might wish to invest in a concrete or metal bin or pool filled with sand or soil. Sticks or vegetables should be frequently mixed in for enrichment and the sand should be sifted through or replaced roughly once a week to remove droppings. A water bin should be placed on top of the sediment. In general, grubbin are entirely fine with their pokéballs so long as they are regularly fed.

Charjabug also do not mind their pokéballs. Or much of anything. They should not be left in overly hot or dry environments for too long and should be left out of their pokéball for at least two hours a day. Of course, there’s still a compelling reason to spend more time with grubbin and charjabug than is strictly required. And that reason has a predatory drive, wicked lightning bolts and flight faster than highway speed limits.

Vikavolt are mostly apathetic towards humans they do not know. They will accept offerings of cooked food (not raw food initially), but food alone will not make them warm up very quickly to a human. Usually they’ll just take an early chance to zip away if their trainer has done the bare minimum to care for them in the past. Spending frequent time around grubbin and charjabug, helping the former battle and providing enriching environments for them, keeping them in luxury or friend balls and generally making a show of being protective of them will all help earn a measure of trust. Vikavolt will usually stay around a familiar human until they finish growing. This period is absolutely critical for earning a vikavolt’s full trust, and even friendship.

Growing vikavolt should be protected from harm at all costs. They enjoy chasing toys such as paper airplanes, laser pointers or RC helicopters around to practice their lightning bolts and flight. Providing a pokémon that can teach a vikavolt new moves is also useful. Some young vikavolt have shown a fondness for batteries that they can hold in their legs like a charjabug. If all of these factors and others (food quality, environment, sleeping places, access to trainer) are met, a vikavolt will usually choose to stay with their trainer for life.

Fully grown vikavolt require far less sustained attention. They should be allowed to explore during the day whenever possible and trained to recognize a whistle so they know where to come back to at night. So long as high quality food is provided to them, they will seldom make a nuisance of themselves by hunting local wildlife. Vikavolt also require frequent battle or they will start acting up or terrorizing the local birds, even if they don’t actually eat them. Vikavolt will demand either a place indoors or inside of a tent to sleep near their trainer at night. Outside of healing and (short) discipline, a vikavolt’s pokéball should be used sparingly.

Beyond proximity while they sleep, vikavolt will demonstrate few conventional displays of affection. They are not social pokémon in the wild and even mated pairs only nest and occasionally hunt together.

Illness

Sometimes vikavolt or grubbin get parasites. These are usually not curable, but also usually not life threatening. Infections can usually be prevented by making sure their food is as fresh as possible. Parasite infections are usually marked by somewhat abrupt shifts in their dietary habits, either towards eating far more food than usual or towards eating less. Sometimes this leads to vikavolt becoming sluggish and putting on weight. Consult a veterinarian if these symptoms are observed as they can be managed with changes in diet and training.

Most other symptoms are a sign of hunger and can be easily solved by giving the pokémon food.

Evolution

Most grubbin, especially on Akala and Melemele, do not evolve in the wild.

Grubbin only evolve when they have been exposed to a persistent and powerful electromagnetic field. At that point they go to the surface, find some place hidden and secure, and slowly begin to grow and change into a charjabug. The process usually takes one to three days to complete. The main body of a charjabug is essentially a cocoon that the body of a vikavolt slowly forms within. Once enough energy has been absorbed, the nervous system’s center switches from a network lining the shell’s walls to a nerve cluster inside of the developing body. Then the vikavolt wakes up, breaks out of the charjabug and takes to the sky.

At this point, the new vikavolt is usually less than 0.4 meters long. They grow to their full size over the course of ten to twenty weeks, depending upon the availability of food. These new vikavolt primarily hunt insects at first before moving up to small mammals, small birds and, once they approach full size, larger birds. They spend almost all of their time seeking out new prey, with only an hour or two a night spent sleeping.

In captivity, it is best to spend some time with a grubbin before trying to evolve them. This helps gain their trust once they evolve into vikavolt. The exact time needed depends upon your experience with insects, but for a novice trainer two months is recommended. At this point, the easiest way to quickly evolve grubbin and charjabug is acquiring either another electric-type such as pikachu or magnemite or obtaining a thunder stone. Thunder stones can be a little expensive, but vikavolt don’t need to deplete the stone to evolve (they just absorb the energy it would be radiating anyway). Because of this, the stone can be resold after evolution is completed.

Battle

Despite all of the attention paid to them in recent years, vikavolt usage is still confined to one basic strategy with some slight variations: release a powerful thunderbolt, stall for a little while, release another thunderbolt, continue until defeated. This applies at both professional and amateur levels. Vikavolt have a few offensive options to compliment their electric attacks (bug buzz, hyper beam, hidden power, energy ball, signal beam, air slash) as well as a few options for stalling (dig, volt switch and u-turn, toxic, roost, protect, light screen, substitute).

Some trainers have attempted to use them in a primarily defensive role using their powerful attacks, high speed and decent utility movepool to function as a cleaner and defensive flier on a quick stall team. They have some potential in this role, especially for quick-stall teams that need a dedicated bird killer, but it should be noted that vikavolt are not particularly durable and their recharge period leaves them vulnerable to counter-attacks. This makes them an awkward fit in stall teams of any flavor. In general, vikavolt function best in a mostly offensive role as a bird killer and ranged cannon on balance or offensive teams that need something to pave the way for a melee sweeper.

Charjabug should be battled with sparingly, as using up their electricity supply delays their evolution. Like galvantula, charjabug silk conducts electricity. The default charjabug strategy is to bind opponents and then shock them until they faint or are withdrawn.

Grubbin combat was briefly alluded to above. Their best tactic is to use their silk to set up a melee fight and then use their powerful mandibles to finish the battle quickly. Grubbin have very limited electrical reserves so, even if they can learn some electric attacks, it’s better to use non-elemental styles in practice. Avoiding the use of electricity also hastens their evolution.

Acquisition

Grubbin are found in the wild within Blush Mountain Commonwealth Park and on Route 1. In these areas, they may only be captured by trainers on the island challenge who have either registered to participate in the challenge or completed a trial or grand trial within the last three months. There is a limit of one grubbin (or charjabug or vikavolt) per trainer between both sites. Trainers may only sell their grubbin, charjabug or vikavolt from these areas if they complete all four grand trials. Otherwise they must be donated to the Alolan government or released. Grubbin are far less threatened on Akala and found throughout almost all of the island’s forests and grasslands. There are substantially fewer restrictions on the capture and use of grubbin captured on Akala. On all islands, they require a Class I license to purchase, adopt or capture.

Charjabug and vikavolt are almost exclusively found in the wild within the Blush Mountain Commonwealth Park on Ula’Ula. They are subject to the same restrictions on sale and capture as grubbin. Charjabug require a Class I license to purchase, adopt or capture. Vikavolt require a Class III license to purchase and adopt, or a Class IV license to capture.

Grubbin are generally only found on the surface during particularly dry periods. Digging into the ground to remove one is illegal within the boundaries of both the Blush Mountain Commonwealth Park and Route 1. On Akala it is usually legal, although the owner of the property should be consulted first.

Charjabug can be found on the ground or attached to trees on Blush Mountain. Vikavolt are generally found in the skies of the area. While it may seem like an obvious choice to capture a vikavolt rather than a charjabug, it is definitely not. Charjabug are far easier to find, capture and tame than vikavolt. In fact, it is recommended that only experienced bug specialists attempt to tame a wild vikavolt as they are very powerful, somewhat prone to violence and slow to trust humans. However, their capture is not currently prohibited.

Breeding

Female grubbin reproduce asexually in the early spring. They lay a batch of roughly one hundred eggs in their tunnel and promptly abandon them. The eggs hatch roughly two weeks later. Newly hatched grubbin are only about three millimeters long when born. Their survival rates are very, very low as they are eaten by some common insects and animals and most burrowing pokémon. There are currently commonwealth-run programs to breed and raise grubbin in captivity and reintroduce them to the wild when they are large enough to have fewer predators.

Mated pairs of vikavolt also reproduce in the early spring. Vikavolt do not have a proper courtship ritual as their mated pairs are determined upon one party’s evolution, rather than when both are already grown vikavolt. Their mating, however, does have a set ritual. The vikavolt both climb up to roughly a kilometer above the ocean (the highest they ever fly), latch on to each other, and stop beating their wings. They break away from each other right before impact with the water’s surface and, if necessary, climb back up to repeat the process. The male vikavolt digs a hole in the earth and the female lays two to three thousand eggs in it. Then the male covers the eggs and stirs up the air over the hole to blend the topsoil together and cover up the nest’s existence. Then both parents leave. They never return to check on their young.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

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her/hers
Credit to giygas on Spacebattles for the forest’s curse idea.

Sudowoodo (Bonsly)

Overview

Sudowoodo are very easy to care for. They are also more mobile and personable than most other mineral pokémon, making them a good first step into caring for more dangerous and less friendly mineral pokémon such as golem, gigalith, and tyranitar. Bonsly are quite powerful for their size and age and sudowoodo are able to keep pace with most of the competition. They are one of the few pokémon whose ownership is more common in older populations than younger ones closer to the island challenge and with more energy to spare. Still, they have their fans among the younger generations.

Physiology

Both bonsly and sudowoodo are classified as pure rock types by the Department of Agriculture. Neither ruling is disputed.

Most pokémon are physiologically similar to some non-pokémon form of life. So far this guide as discussed mammals, birds, insects, and cephalopods. Even some extraterrestrial lifeforms resemble these basic archetypes.

Some pokémon, especially the ones strongly linked to humans or human society, don’t resemble any known non-pokémon organism. Many of these are inanimate objects brought to life by some supernatural force. Others are truly manmade pokémon. And a final group have completely unknown physiologies and origins. Sudowoodo is one such pokémon.

While it superficially resembles a tree and is capable of something akin to photosynthesis, sudowoodo is emphatically not a plant. It is part of a group known as ‘mineral pokémon.’ Pokémon in this class tend to be chemosynthetic and inorganic, that is, they are not based on carbon like all non-pokémon life on Earth. Sudowoodo, in particular, is a silicon-based creature.

It isn’t presently known how mineral pokémon evolved, or if they undergo macroevolution at all. The most widely accepted theory at present is based on physiologically similar automaton pokémon such as porygon-z and golurk: at some point, every mineral pokémon may have had a creator and they have simply been self-replicating ever since. Alternatively, they may have been formed from chemical reactions deep in the Earth akin to the ones that created muk on the surface. The latter theory has yet to gain traction for the simple reason that all chemically formed pokémon known at present are mostly liquid, while almost all mineral pokémon have very dry interiors.

Bonsly are dark brown in color across their body unless otherwise noted. They have two short legs supporting a roughly conical body. There is a rim roughly a quarter of the way up their body. Bonsly have three yellow spots forming a triangular face. The bottom two spots contain the bonsly’s eyes. They have a mouth placed right below their eyes. The mouth is thin and horizontal. It also does not connect to their digestive or respiratory tracts and is entirely used for vocalization. The pokémon produces sounds by vibrating small crystals inside of their mouth that superficially resemble growing teeth.

At the top of their body, bonsly have three stems that branch off from each other. Each stem has a green sphere at the end. While these resemble leaves at first glance, they are actually complex and mostly hollow crystalline lattices. They do appear to serve some function akin to photosynthesis, using the heat of the sun to break up the compounds they use for the chemosynthetic reactions that actually power their body.

Sudowoodo are taller and leaner than their juvenile form. The core of the body is a trunk-like rectangle that’s surprisingly flexible for being similar to stone in composition. The bottom two-thirds of their trunk is littered in seemingly random patterns of yellow dots. At about the two-thirds mark, two arms branch out on opposite sides of the trunk. These arms each have a trio of green orbs at the end. Above their arms, sudowoodo have two eyes and a mouth that are quite similar to those of bonsly. They have another stem that branches out into two other, orbless stems on top of their body.

In Alola, the typical sudowoodo grows to heights of around one meter and masses a little over 30 kilograms. They can live for forty to sixty years in captivity and ten to thirty years in the wild.

All forms of sudowoodo are chemosynthetic. They absorb minerals from the ground and break them down through a complex series of chemical reactions to produce energy and new material for their body. Sudowoodo and bonsly store long coiled tendrils within their main body. These tendrils are covered in small crystals structures that allow them to sense and pull minerals out of the ground. They release their tendrils from a small hole on the bottom of their body.

Sudowoodo tendrils can reach lengths of up to six meters long and they can deploy nearly a dozen at a time. The tendrils absorb any silica they can find in the soil, along with trace metals and some salts. The pokémon excretes water with unneeded chemicals. Sudowoodo hate water and only need very small quantities of it. Adults can drain it through their root cavity. Bonsly cannot and must release it through their eyes in the form of tears. Too much water can be fatal for all stages, although it tends to only kill bonsly in captivity.

Behavior

Both stages prefer to find a shaded grove of low trees and stand motionless. They deploy their roots and simply soak in sunlight and minerals until they are disturbed. Sudowoodo have almost no predators because their body is mostly rock. The few pokémon that do eat rocks tend to hunt the ones that won’t run away from them. Because of this, sudowoodo tend to only move to avoid rain.

Sudowoodo breathe through pores on their skin. Those pores can let rain in. An adult can usually drain water faster than they take it in, provided that they find some shelter like a cliff or a dense forest. Rain is quite often fatal for bonsly. Sudowoodo parents are constantly vigilant for rain and will usually move their babies to shelter if there are clouds outside. In Alola, most sudowoodo stay very close to caves or abandoned buildings during the rainy season.

On Akala and in the interior of Melemele, sudowoodo often join trevenant forests. The trevenant can use Forest’s Curse to temporarily make sudowoodo more resistant to rain and water-type attacks. In turn, sudowoodo deal with the insects, fire-types, and birds that might pick on the slow-moving trevenant. The introduction of sudowoodo to Alola led to a partial reversal of the post-conquest decline in trevenant numbers.

Husbandry

Sudowoodo are very simple to care for. They require soil and sunshine and both are usually quite easy to find. If a sudowoodo is raised entirely indoors or is confined to a small space of earth for a long period of time they will require supplements. Sun lamps can be purchased in virtually all Pokémon Centers. Traveling trainers stuck in prolonged rainstorms can usually talk the presiding nurse into letting their pokémon use the dartrix photosynthesis room. The owls usually enjoy having an interesting new perch; the sudowoodo tends to stay motionless. It is unknown if this is out of fear or instinct.

Fertilizer designed specifically for sudowoodo and bonsly can be purchased at most specialty pokémon or botany supply stores. A sudowoodo raised permanently indoors should be given a circular pool at least half a meter deep and two meters wide filled with fertilized soil. Sudowoodo raised outside should always have a place to retreat to in the event of a sudden rainstorm.

Sudowoodo and bonsly are perfectly fine being stored in pokéballs so long as they are allowed to filter soil at least six hours a day and receive at least 20 hours of sunlight a week.

Bonsly become very stressed if they are separated from their parent or trainer for more than an hour, especially if they are outside. Until they evolve their trainer should make every effort to stay nearby while the bonsly is outside of their pokéball. Bonsly are not good at filtering water out of the soil they consume, so a trainer should generally carry around roughly two kilograms of fertilized soil and a small pool in case a rainstorm permeates the soil.

Illness

If a bonsly cries for more than a few minutes a day, try giving them a new pan of soil and spending more time with them for the next week. If they do not stop crying for more than ten minutes a day when given dry soil and socialization, consult a veterinarian.

If a sudowoodo becomes unusually active or inactive, you should also consult a veterinarian. It is difficult to cure most diseases mineral pokémon suffer from, but seeking medical care in a timely fashion can often cure or help manage minor problems.

Evolution

Bonsly reach their adult size in roughly two years. The formal demarcation line between bonsly and sudowoodo is the bonsly’s rim becoming less than one centimeter thick at its thinnest.

Battle

Sudowoodo currently have no presence in competitive battling. They are outclassed in their role as fast rock-types by several fossil pokémon. Even before fossil pokémon became common on the competitive scene, they still only had a very small niche in some regional circuits.

Sudowoodo are surprisingly agile and powerful combatants. Conversely, they are quite frail for a mineral pokémon. They function mainly as a melee fighter with enough bulk to take a hit or two. This puts them in the role of the typical fighting-type in battle.

For their size and age, bonsly are quite strong and durable. Their main use in battle is to trade powerful physical moves, mixed in with tears to throw opponents off guard if the tide turns against the bonsly.

Both sudowoodo and bonsly are quite good for the first two islands, mediocre on the third and are very somewhat outclassed by the fourth island’s trials. However, a clever trainer commanding a sudowoodo with enough training can still make the pokémon pull its weight.

Acquisition

Bonsly can be purchased, captured or adopted with a Class II license. As a note of caution, a wild bonsly will usually have a parent sudowoodo nearby ready to defend their young if you get to close. They can be adopted from several shelters on Melemele and Akala. The shelters in eastern Hau’oli often have them on hand. Additionally, botany supply stores will often have bonsly for sale.

Sudowoodo can be purchased, captured or adopted with a Class I license. They can be caught in most of the same places bonsly can be found. They are less common in shelters and very few stores sell adult sudowoodo. Because they are considerably less difficult to care for than bonsly, trainers on an island challenge are advised to simply seek out and capture a wild sudowoodo.

The sudowoodo’s ease of care makes them popular among older trainers who want companionship and purpose but are unable to keep up with an active pokémon. The reason there are wild sudowoodo in Alola is the multitude of heirs who released their deceased parent’s sudowoodo rather than continuing to care for it. At present their population is quite small on Melemele and mostly focused around a cluster retirement homes on Route 1. Their population has grown larger and more rapidly on Akala.

Sudowoodo have not been a priority for the DNR. They barely impact the environment don’t prey on local species and actually provide an ecological benefit by stirring up and enriching the soil and protecting endangered trevenant . There have even been talks about deliberately introducing them to Ula’Ula to help protect the forests on the northern half of the island.

Breeding

During the late wet season, sudowoodo may seek each other out. Sudowoodo do not have distinct sexes until they mate, at which point, seemingly at random, one will begin to adopt male anatomy and the other will adopt female reproductive organs. This transformation usually takes two to three weeks. When the process is complete, the sudowoodo mate. The female lays four to six eggs about the size of a golf ball a week later. The male will bury the eggs and the parents will guard them in shifts until they hatch roughly three weeks later. Parents will stay with their children for roughly another year, at which point all members of the family will go their separate ways.

Subspecies

While sudowoodo living in ranges with different soil composition sometimes have different compositions, they are not different subspecies. A bonsly descended from two parents in Kalos will develop a near-identical composition to Alolan sudowoodo if raised in Alola. Like many of the mineral pokémon in the archipelago, Alolan sudowoodo are tougher but slower than their continental counterparts.
 

Persephone

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Blissey (Happiny, Chansey)

Overview

There is credible evidence that blissey was the first pokémon to be tamed. Stone tablets with drawings of blissey in a human camp, and even wearing human clothes, have been found that dated back to 18,000 B.C.E. They were one of the only domesticated pokémon exclusively found in Australia prior to the creation of the mass produced pokéball.

As difficult as it is to believe now, blissey were not introduced outside of Australia until 1842 C.E. Even the wayfarers could not bring them from island to island without stressing the pokémon to the point of death. The pokéball and large sailing ships rectified the problem. At present there are wild populations on every continent except Antarctica.

Blissey is the quintessential healing pokémon of the modern world. Their egg is one of the most potent psychoactive drugs currently known and it is not physically addictive. It also contains every enzyme and growth factor needed for healing in humans. In pokémon it rapidly accelerates the regeneration abilities of almost all mammalian species, most non-mammalian organic species, and some mineral or otherwise non-organic pokémon.

Most Alolan Pokémon Centers have now added blissey or chansey to their staff, either in addition to more traditional options such as comfey and alomomola or as the sole pokémon on hand. They can also be found in the wild on all four islands, although finding or capturing one can be a difficult prospect.

In addition to their use as healers, blissey are the premier special walls in competitive battling. Their combination of power and utility has led to extensive capture (legal and illegal) in their native and international ranges, making the remaining wild blissey very skittish around humans.

Physiology

All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure normal-types. There has been a substantial push in recent years to reclassify them as dual normal- and fairy-types. However, they only meet two of the common traits of fairies (healing powers, reliance on charming or emotional manipulation, propensity for playing pranks, extraterrestrial origin, ties to the moon, weakness to iron). Most other fairies meet at least three of the above factors. The Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing its ruling to consider the evidence for a fairy-typing.

Happiny are divided into two distinct segments. The lower half of happiny is covered in a hard, dark pink shell. Only their short, stubby legs protrude from the bottom. The shell has a somewhat loose flap of white skin on top of it which happiny often form into a pouch.

The upper half of happiny’s body is covered in short light pink fur. They have two arms, which are even shorter and stubbier than their legs. The face is proportionately large and consists of a mouth and a pair of eyes. They have two darker cheek spots on their face. Towards the top of the head they have three short, hard lumps. These are primarily used for sensory purposes. They have a dark pink ‘bead’ on the very top of their head with a messy, curly ponytail extending from it.

Chansey have been described as being shaped like an oval, or an egg. They have two pink feet, which are substantially longer than those of a happiny. They also have a tail that can extend for up to thirty centimeters behind their body. Chansey’s face resembles that of a happiny but it barely grows as the happiny evolves, making it proportionally smaller. They lose the knobs on their forehead but gain two sets of tufts on the sides of their head where their ears would be. The most notable feature of a chansey is the pouch by their arms. This is often used for holding eggs, but they can put unruly happiny or other small pokemon inside in a pinch.

Blissey’s primary differences from chansey are on the lowest half of their body. This portion becomes coated in fluffy white fur. Four tufts grow out of the white fur and one apiece develops on the arms. Blissey lose the tufts on their head that they had as chansey and gain large fluffs of long, curly, pink fur in their place.

Blissey have a rather large amount of fat inside of their bodies. However, they also have a surprising amount of muscle. This allows chansey and blissey to run far faster than they appear capable of moving, and happiny are able to lift far heavier objects than most other pokémon of their size.

No stage of the evolutionary line has ears or a nose. They breathe through their mouth and sense vibrations in the air through their pink fur, allowing them to sense movements around them and process sounds.

Blissey appear to have some ability to sense the emotions of those around them and then seek out the source of particularly negative emotions with high accuracy. They do not appear to have any ability to sense pheromones. As such, it is suspected that they may be empathic. Their obsession with easing the physical and mental pain of those around them may simply be a defense mechanism to avoid those unpleasant feelings entering into their own minds. However, blissey (especially those raised by trainers since birth) can be taught to participate in battles and even inflict direct pain on their opponents. Blissey also have no particular aptitude for casting or resisting mental attacks. Human psychics have reported that the line are a little easier to work with than most humanshape pokémon, but not to a degree that suggests inherent psychic powers.

Blissey grow up to heights of 1.7 meters and masses of up to 70 kilograms. They might be immortal aside from stress, prolonged starvation, or particularly severe injuries (see Illness).

Behavior

The evolutionary line is best known for their caring nature. Wild chansey and blissey often tend to sick or wounded pokémon, predators and prey alike. It is suspected that blissey are the reason that Australian predators evolved to be so deadly: if prey wasn’t killed immediately, that prey wasn’t going to be killed. Chansey primarily cure pokémon by giving them their egg. Even wild blissey appear to have some skill in other forms of healing. This appears to be a learned behavior passed down through generations; a chansey raised in isolation will learn no healing techniques outside of giving their egg.

Wild chansey tend to flee from all but the sickest and most depressed of humans. Even humans they feel compelled to heal will be approached with the utmost caution and ran from and the first sign of danger. They will almost always put their own freedom and welfare above the health of other creatures.

Happiny are not known to lay eggs, but they tend to find and carry around objects that superficially resembles an egg and will fit inside of their pouch. Occasionally they will gift their ‘egg’ to a very trusted friend or someone they think needs healed; it is believed that happiny do not understand that their ‘eggs’ do not have any healing properties. The other quirk of happiny that is not present in their adult stages is that they appear to have a low opinion of their appearance. Mirrors anger them and they will attempt to use combs, sticks or anything they can grip to straighten their hair. They are usually unable to succeed. Since they cannot directly touch or see their hair they will eventually forget about the problem.

All stages of the line are highly social pokémon, but they greatly prefer interacting with members of other species. Sometimes two blissey or chansey will live together, especially when one is hurt. Most will only associate with their young daughters. When a happiny evolves, mother and daughter will part and then seldom interact in the future. Blissey and chansey tend to keep large ranges that other members of their species do not enter. While they do not fight over territory, the one whose territory is being intruded upon will usually run to the trespasser and puff her fur up. She will stand still, looking at the trespasser until they leave. On the rare occasion that the intruder ignores her, she will continue to follow her unwelcome guest until they leave her territory.

When a happiny evolves, a new chansey or blissey is introduced, or a member of their species is captured or dies, all blissey and chansey in the area will assemble, work out new territory boundaries, and immediately go back to their homes. It is unknown how blissey can sense other members of the species entering their territory or know when a meeting is called.

Captive chansey working together in a hospital setting usually need to have individual wings they are responsible for and that other members of the species do not enter.

Blissey will usually bond with one group of a single species. They tend to pick the species most closely related to them to bond with. If there are no egg-laying mammals, a placental mammal or a large bird or reptile will be befriended instead. Blissey will help protect the eggs and raise the young of the ward they have attached themselves to, as well as healing the injuries of adults. In exchange, they will sometimes ask for an egg (see Breeding).

Blissey spend a few hours a day foraging on their own if they are not attached to a ward of herbivores. Otherwise, they tend to rely on the ward to bring them food. Blissey’s short limbs make it difficult to pluck berries from trees, and their shape makes it impossible to bend down to eat grass. They can go without food or water for up to ninety days, although they will stop producing eggs if they have not eaten in over ten.

Husbandry

Chansey and blissey are the rare pokémon that do more to care for their trainer than their trainer will need to do for them. However, they are not a good team member for a trainer who does not wish to have much interaction with their pokémon. Blissey hate pokéballs and prefer to be with their trainer or the other pokémon on the team almost constantly. Fortunately for stationary trainers (and unfortunately for travelers), they sleep around fifteen hours a day.

Growing happiny, chansey and blissey will need about 10% of their body weight in food a week. Fully grown blissey will need to eat 3-5% of their body weight. Blissey that battle at the highest levels will require 6-8% of their body weight in food. They prefer berries, but they will happily eat most plant material and even honey. Blissey should be handfed due to their very limited use of their limbs. If a blissey is taught a telekinetic move such as psychic they will need much less assistance.

Water can be provided through large bottles with straws or a sipper water bottle fixed at the appropriate height. Blissey should be given about one liter of water a day, although they will very seldom drink all of it. If they do, provide them with more water until they stop.

Any blissey or chansey will adopt an abandoned happiny. If you find yourself caring for an orphaned happiny, you should begin seeking out one of the older stages as well. Otherwise, the happiny will tag along with their trainer constantly and grow stressed if they are separated for a long period of time (including by pokéballs).

Never take the egg (or surrogate egg) of any stage of the evolutionary line. If they wish for you or someone else to have an egg, the pokémon will give it freely. Stealing their egg causes a great deal of stress, which in turn reduces the frequency of egg laying.

Blissey and chansey eggs are incredibly tasty and good for healing tissue, boosting the immune system and reducing pain. This makes the species especially popular among trainers with chronic illnesses. Blissey eggs are also powerful antidepressants with a side effect of greatly increasing the consumer’s desire for social interaction. There are presently no other known side effects and blissey trainers are well known for being calm, happy and helpful. The government still closely regulates the trade of blissey eggs. To be safe, you should never own more than one blissey without a specific license to do so. If a blissey gives you an egg you should not redistribute it. This irritates the blissey and is often illegal.

Illness

It is very difficult to kill a blissey. Their body has thick layers of fat around all major organs. Blissey fur also dampens elemental energy. This means that only very, very powerful blunt force attacks and particularly deep and powerful cutting moves can knock a blissey out. Only unrestrained physical attacks from some of the most powerful pokémon in the world can actually kill a blissey. Even then, they will almost always fully recover from attacks such as rhydon tail swings, rampardos head smashes, aegislash cuts, and machamp dynamic punches. To be safe, they should never be left in a fight for more than one of those blows (and smart trainers will put considerable effort into avoiding them altogether).

If a blissey is knocked out in battle they should be immediately withdrawn into a pokéball (ideally a heal ball) and taken to a Pokémon Center as soon as possible. Blissey and chansey are quite good at tending to the wounds of their own species and less than a handful of blissey have ever died when taken into the care of a blissey or chansey within two hours of being injured. Most leagues allow trainers to immediately send a pokémon to a nurse after it is knocked out. This option should be taken whenever available.

Well-fed blissey, chansey and happiny have never been observed catching an illness or having one of their wounds become infected. Adult blissey do not appear to age. Prolonged starvation can kill a blissey and dramatically reduces their ability to heal themselves and others. They will usually succumb to injury or infection around three months after being withdrawn from food.

The juvenile forms, especially happiny, are somewhat less durable. Chansey can be outright killed by the sorts of attacks mentioned above, and even average high-power physical moves can take them out if left untreated. Happiny are almost always fine fighting baby, juvenile or adolescent pokémon. They can even safely take hits from some adult pokémon provided they are not trained for competitive play or exceptionally strong.

The main reason that blissey and chansey die in captivity is stress. A stressed blissey will experience many of the same symptoms as a starving one. They should be given near-constant social interaction, as much sleep as they want, and frequent access to wide-open green spaces. Confinement indoors or on a small ship is stressful. Some blissey have greater tolerances for battle than others, and this should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to use them in a match.

Evolution

Happiny evolve into chansey around their second birthday. The transition is gradual and the formal demarcation is the creation of their first natural egg. In the wild, evolution is also marked by the new chansey leaving her mother. Blissey evolution is also gradual and the exact demarcation line between chansey and blissey is in dispute. The shedding of the last ear tuft, the development of white fur across their entire lower half, and the disappearance of their tail have all been proposed. All three events tend to take place around the same time in any case. Chansey evolve into blissey when they have been free from stress for a long period of time. Very close social bonds, particularly with their trainer, can lead to evolution even with low level stressors such as occasional battles.

Battle

Blissey is the premier special tank in international battling. There are very few elemental attacks that they even seem to feel. Even if they are damaged, they can heal themselves in a variety of ways (wish, rest, eating part of their own egg). They have a variety of utility attacks to use while they are walling opponents such as heal bell, reflect, light screen and stealth rock. Blissey don’t have particularly strong elemental attacks, although they can learn a wide variety. Their elemental well is simply too small to be of much use in high tier battles. Blissey’s main means of doing damage is through toxic, which steadily wears down most opponents. They can also use counter to deal with melee attackers.

Blissey can be overpowered by many physical attackers, particularly fighting-types. Taunt can also seriously limit blissey’s utility. Blissey are also a massive drain on momentum for both the user and the opponent. Those three drawbacks limit their use to defensive or balanced teams.

On the island challenge blissey are still powerful enough to deal with most opponents offensively, especially if they have a way to exploit a weakness. It’s still usually for the best to use them to wall a particularly difficult opponent that can neither switch out or harm blissey, such as elementally inclined totem pokémon.

Chansey play a similar role, although they are faster and somewhat less powerful and bulky. Blissey don’t really need speed for what they do, so chansey are a somewhat niche pick in competitive battling. Chansey are still quite capable of walling almost all elemental attackers on the island challenge, and they’re even capable of dodging or outrunning some projectiles or melee attacks.

Happiny have surprisingly strong tackles. However, they lack a way to reliably heal themselves and they aren’t particularly durable. They can be used to counter weak special attackers that can’t outrun a them. Alternatively, a well-trained happiny can learn a utility move or two to help out the team while an opponent struggles to take them out of the fight.

Acquisition

All stages of the evolutionary line can be found throughout all four Tapu Islands. Because they are technically invasive they can be captured in all protected areas without additional restrictions.

Federal law prohibits a private individual from owning two chansey or blissey at once. This is probably for the best, as outside of a happiny and either a chansey or a blissey they do not get along when held on the same team.

Happiny can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class II license. If the trainer also owns a chansey or blissey, only a Class I license is required. Chansey and Blissey can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class I license.

The main problem with acquiring a member of the line is finding a wild specimen. They are quick to flee from trainers and their fur gives them a pretty good impression of their surroundings. Chansey and blissey are also rather light sleepers. Even if a trainer does find and corner one, her ward will usually come to her aid to avoid losing their resident healer.

In practice, only three types of trainers encounter a wild specimen: the patient ones, the injured ones, and the very depressed ones. In any case, sudden movements should be avoided around a wild blissey. It is best to try and bond with the creature rather than capturing it outright as chansey and blissey caught by force tend to be very difficult to tame.

Capturing a wild happiny is a tricky prospect as they will almost always be protected, either by their mother or by their ward. They are also quick to flee from humans, although they can usually be outpaced by a moderately fit trainer moving at a comfortable walking speed. If it becomes clear that a captured chansey or blissey is caring for a happiny, that pokémon should also be captured. Otherwise, we cannot recommend capturing a wild happiny for ethical and practical reasons.

As mentioned above, all stages of the evolutionary line prefer to be held in heal balls. Luxury, love and quick balls are also acceptable, although they will never like staying in the ball for long periods of time.

Breeding

Contrary to popular belief, blissey are not parthenogenic. There are also no male blissey and there is no equivalent species they mate with. Chansey and blissey eggs are impossible to fertilize and are only used for healing purposes. When a blissey wants to reproduce (and only blissey have the ability to do this) they will approach a female in their adopted clan and request an egg. If the female agrees, the blissey will put the egg inside of her pouch.

Through a poorly understood process she will begin to convert the egg into a fertilized blissey egg. The amount of time it takes for the egg to be converted and hatch depends on how closely related the species is to blissey. Bird and reptile eggs can take years to convert. Eggs from kangaskhan, blissey’s closest living relative, can hatch in less than two months.

Blissey breed very rarely in the wild. They tend to only do so when particularly content or when the local chansey population has declined.

In captivity, blissey must be very happy and kept with another female member of an egg-laying species. Even under the best of conditions, it is unlikely that a blissey chooses to reproduce. Given their very long life expectancies, aversion to their own species, and lack of natural predators, there are sound reasons for the species’ reluctance to have children.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

Active member
Pronouns
her/hers
Snorlax (Munchlax)

Overview

Most invasive species in Alola eventually settle into a niche and the ecosystem rebalances, albeit in a way less favorable to the native species. Resilient as it may be, the Melemele ecosystem has yet to adjust to snorlax. Alolan snorlax are the smallest in the world and they can still eat up to 250 kilograms a day. Their sheer size and appetite have put them towards the top of the local food web since they can bully away every other predator species on Melemele sans salamence.

In 1987, the Hau’oli Zoo acquired a snorlax named Danielle. She became something of a celebrity in the Commonwealth. Petitions surged to allow the importation of munchlax through the less restrictive Category B3 Importation process. An initial review from the United States Department of Agriculture concluded that the Alolan islands simply were not big enough to be able to support a wild snorlax, making the threat of a resident population establishing itself quite minimal.

It would later become evident that the government overlooked two major factors. Alola has the highest plant growth per acre in the world, allowing it to support a far larger food web than would otherwise be possible. The sheer number of large carnivores on the islands attests to this. Second, snorlax that are limited by food will simply reach maturity without reaching their maximum possible size.

The disparity in licensing required to possess the friendly and easy to care for munchlax and the monstrous snorlax has led to many young snorlax being released, particularly in the Hau’oli area. Most of these releases have not resulted in a stable wild population, especially since the DNR has classified snorlax as their “Number One Species of Interest.” But even the initiative to remove wild snorlax has left a large number of the bears in government hands with no clear place to send them.

At present, the Melemele Kahuna and the DNR have negotiated an agreement to allow wild snorlax to live freely within Route 1 to see how much damage they will actually do to the environment. The results so far have been discouraging, but the experiment has not been ended due to the difficulty of capturing and rehoming every wild snorlax. In the interim, the importation of additional munchlax has been banned in almost all circumstances. Several of Alola’s top trainers have also added a snorlax to their team to take one out of the wild.

One outcome of all of this is that one of the most powerful pokémon in the world can be freely adopted, purchased or captured without seasons or quotas. However, trainers should be advised that snorlax require a Class V license to possess and their owner must be prepared to purchase over one thousand kilograms of food every week.

Physiology

Both stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure normal-types. Neither ruling is contested.

Munchlax in most of the world are covered in a long, thick coat of blue fur. In Alola they tend to only grow a relatively short and sparse one. The fur on the lower half of their head, back paws and part of their chest is usually cream-colored. Munchlax have five short claws on their forepaws and three long and sharp ones on their back paws. Their ears are quite long and munchlax have rather sharp hearing, although they have a rather limited sense of smell. The relative strength of their hearing and smell slowly shift as they age; elderly snorlax are effectively deaf but can smell blood from kilometers away. Munchlax have two stomachs, each containing very powerful acid. They seldom chew their food and instead rely on their stomachs to digest it.

The vast majority of a snorlax’s bulk is in their nearly cylindrical torso. Their limbs are relatively small and stubby, although they still end in sharp claws for traction, gripping food, and self-defense. While most of this mass is fat, snorlax are also quite muscular due to the need to support and move their own weight. Similarly, they have a very durable skeletal structure. The fur on their back is mostly blue, while the fur on their front and limbs is cream-colored.

Wild Alolan snorlax are smaller than their counterparts in mainland Eurasia, growing up to 1.8 meters in height and 380 kilograms in mass. Captive-raised snorlax can reach heights of up to 2.3 meters and masses of up to 550 kilograms. Both wild and captive snorlax tend to live for twenty-five to thirty years.

Behavior

Most bear pokémon are physical titans that chase and kill their prey through any obstacle. Bewear and pangoro are two such examples in Alola. Snorlax can only move up to six kilometers per hour, and even then only in short bursts. But the average wild snorlax will only run once or twice in its life. Instead snorlax are the ultimate scavengers. When another predator takes down prey, snorlax will wake up and steadily move towards the kill. There are very few predators, in Alola or otherwise, that can take down a snorlax and most don’t even try to defend the carcass. When the original predator has run away, snorlax scarfs down the remains and immediately goes back to sleep. If there is no food to be had for over a week, snorlax will stir and begin to topple and eat trees until it is satiated or something falls from the tree and dies on impact.

Munchlax occupy an ecological role somewhere between a scavenger and a decomposer. They use their acute sense of smell to find food, ideally somewhat rotten food that faster or stronger scavengers wouldn’t bother with, and then they walk tirelessly towards their meal. Then they gulp it down as quickly as possible and stand motionless until their meal is digested. When they wake up they repeat the process. As they grow larger, they begin to behave more like snorlax.

Snorlax are not social, but they also do not seem to strictly enforce territorial boundaries. If there is not enough food in an area for two snorlax, one will eventually just move someplace else. In both the wild and captivity, a sleeping snorlax will seldom object to small creatures (such as human children) playing on them while they slumber. This may be because they don’t find such small and agile prey worth the effort to kill.

Outside of Alola, snorlax often hibernate in the winter when most other predators are asleep and fresh kills are less plentiful. Sometimes they retreat into caves or mountain ranges. More often than not, a snorlax (especially one that isn’t pregnant) will simply fall asleep in a forest or field and wake up a few months later. In the archipelago where predator hibernation is uncommon snorlax typically remain (relatively) active throughout the year.

Husbandry

Munchlax and snorlax are almost always very tolerant of pokéballs.

Munchlax used to be popular pokémon because they are quite easy to care for and some munchlax, particularly those raised by humans form a very early age, can be quite social. However, unless a trainer goes out of their way to engage one they are more likely than not to simply stand still, half-asleep, between feedings. They produce rather little waste but should still be provided a tray or small pool near their preferred standing spot to catch what they do emit.

In the wild munchlax will often eat as much as they can and then stuff the rest under their fur for later. Unfortunately, their sense of smell and memory are quite weak, meaning that they often forget they put the food their in the first place. If a captive munchlax attempts to put food into their fur they should be allowed to do so. It is extremely unwise to get between a munchlax or snorlax and their food. Instead, the munchlax’s fur should be combed and any food removed should be either thrown out or put in storage for later. Munchlax should be bathed frequently to keep them clean and they do not mind water (or almost anything else, for that matter). If they are not fed somewhat regularly, munchlax will begin to throw tantrums.

The main challenge with caring for both munchlax and snorlax is the difficulty in feeding them. Munchlax require, at minimum, 1.5 times their body weight in food every week, but they will happily eat up to 2.5 times their body weight. Munchlax will eat virtually anything. Snorlax prefer relatively fresh meat, which means that very few trainers can afford to care for one.

There is a perception that snorlax are rather docile creatures. This is patently false, particularly for wild-caught snorlax. There is a case to be made that snorlax are the most dangerous bear species on the planet. To start with, snorlax are strong enough to break spines with a half-hearted swing of their arms. A nearby adult human may be deemed large enough and close enough to kill and eat. They do not readily form bonds with humans as they are solitary in the wild. Instead, their trust must be gained over months of associating their trainer with free and easy food. Only then can proper training of any sort begin.

Snorlax should be given two separate paddocks to feed in at first. This will allow their trainer to clean up any waste in one paddock while they eat or sleep in the other. Their enclosure should be well fortified, ideally with two sets of thick metal or concrete walls with a moat in between them. This prevents snorlax from walking off in pursuit of food when they get hungry or smell something in the area.

Despite appearances and reputations, snorlax do need and even want some measure of exercise. They should be forced to walk at least ten meters to access new food. Some snorlax are inquisitive or even playful. Most are not. If a snorlax regularly spends time awake when there is no food present, they should be provided with toys or changes in their environment on a somewhat regular basis. They enjoy rubber balls that are large enough for them to maneuver and thick enough that they will not be immediately pierced.

Perhaps due to parental instincts or not bothering with small, living prey, snorlax are much more tolerant of children than adults and even wild snorlax will seldom kill a human child. There is some debate as to whether or not it is best to bond a wild-caught snorlax to a child before introducing them to their adult trainer. It is far more effective at acclimating the pokémon, but this method has led to at least four fatal errors.

Illness

Much like blissey, snorlax have highly effective digestive and immune systems that render poisons and infections all but irrelevant. They also have thick layers of fat and muscle around their organs. Snorlax heal well even by pokémon standards, although they will need larger, less frequent meals while they heal.

Munchlax are also resistant to infection and poison, but they can be injured by particularly strong attacks. It is recommended that munchlax trainers use normal precautions in matches. (See Battle.)

Evolution

Munchlax grow fairly gradually and steadily into snorlax and there are few major anatomical differences between the two. As they age, munchlax begin taking more interest in progressively fresher kills and have deeper resting periods. They generally cross the formal demarcation line between munchlax and snorlax (a mass of 200 kilograms) around their fifth birthday. Snorlax grow progressively larger as they age, up to the point where they can no longer consume enough to put on weight.

Trainers wishing to evolve their munchlax more quickly should feed them the maximum amount they will eat. Unlike most species, battles are counter-productive in encouraging growth as they lead to the pokémon expending energy.

Battle

In the 1970s, snorlax was the single most dominant pokémon on the competitive battling scene. The 1950s and 1960s brought advancements in transportation and pokémon care that allowed more trainers to use the bulkiest pokémon in the world, such as skarmory, steelix, milotic, avalugg and blissey. Hard stall, also known as slow stall, became the most common playstyle at the top levels of the battling world.

Two events made the rise of snorlax possible. In 1963, Dr. Judith Black published a comprehensive guide to snorlax care. The guide’s techniques made it possible for individuals without large, well-fortified estates to raise snorlax. In 1969, the first mass-produced ultra ball was put onto the market, giving far more trainers a tool to actually contain or capture a snorlax with.

Snorlax is not quite as bulky as blissey, but it is still covered in thick layers of fat that make it difficult for all but the most physically powerful of pokémon to harm. They are also very strong and have a surprisingly deep and versatile energy well. Snorlax are also effectively immune to all but the strongest of poisons. The result is a pokémon too tough for the average defensive pokémon to hurt and strong enough to wear down walls. More importantly, they are too heavy to force out via whirlwind, near deaf and immune to roar, and very resistant to most toxic attacks. Snorlax’s main disadvantage, low speed, is essentially irrelevant against the slow walls on hard stall teams. The moves curse and rest allow snorlax to slowly become more bulky and powerful and heal off any weak blows that they take in battle.

Quick stall fares little better against snorlax, as snorlax’s versatile ranged attacks means that it can take out most fast-but-fragile pokémon in time, and most common quick stall pokémon can’t hurt it back.

These days any serious trainer attempting a stall team in a league where snorlax is allowed keeps at least one counter on hand. The best answers to snorlax are very powerful fighting-types, most notably machamp. Otherwise, most very tough and very strong physically attackers can take down a snorlax without taking too much damage. In Alola, rhydon and large dragons are the only pokémon (aside from fighting types) that can reliably take on a snorlax and win.

A trainer using a snorlax on the island challenge can break through almost everything without serious difficulty. But the high license requirement and enormous logistical difficulties make it inadvisable for a young traveling trainer to own one.

Munchlax are somewhat more difficult to battle with. They are somewhat durable, especially for their age and size, and they are also deceptively strong. But most adult pokémon are too durable or too strong for munchlax to take care of. Their energy well is also substantially smaller than an adult snorlax’s, and they will not have the experience needed to use the variety of elemental techniques that a snorlax can. By the end of the second island, munchlax will almost certainly be at a severe disadvantage against almost all opponents.

Acquisition

Munchlax can be bought, purchased or captured with a Class II license. They are most frequently found along the outskirts of Hau’oli City, especially in Route 1.

Snorlax require a Class V license to possess or acquire. A wild population exists on Route 1, but it is far easier to adopt one from the Alolan government. Contact the Hau’oli office of the DNR for more information.

Breeding

Snorlax mate in spring. If a female and male snorlax share the same range, the female may approach the male. There is no formal courtship ritual, but sometimes the male does decline the chance to mate. This is usually expressed by the male lying down and falling asleep or not bothering to stand up to acknowledge the female.

Snorlax pregnancy lasts roughly seven months. In the late fall, a pregnant female will begin eating with more frequency and even attacking any animal or pokémon that gets too close to them. It is difficult to tell a pregnant snorlax apart from a normal one (or a female apart from a male, for that matter) so extra caution is advised when traveling through snorlax territory in the fall. Trainers breeding snorlax should avoid any contact whatsoever after the first four months of pregnancy.

Snorlax typically hibernate for a few months after giving birth. The mother seldom wakes up for the duration of the winter while her babies are nursing. Do not approach a snorlax with cubs under any circumstances. In captivity, a pregnant snorlax should be given a cool, enclosed space to use as a cubbing den. After emerging from hibernation, the mother will protect her cubs and share food with them for roughly two months. Then she will stop paying attention to her children, and even scare them off if they try to take food from her.

Subspecies

Despite popular belief, the Alolan snorlax is not a subspecies. Snorlax born in Alola have the potential to reach their full size if well fed.

The subspecies in Alola is the European snorlax. They are native to the foothills, temperate forests and grasslands of Europe. This subspecies is endangered throughout most of their range and has been extirpated from the British Isles. Most of the remaining bears live in the Wild Area of Galar, the Royal Lands in Kalos, Pyrenees Transnational Park, and a handful of private reserves on the European Plain.

The European snorlax is closely related to the somewhat smaller eastern snorlax, native to eastern China, Korea and Japan. The eastern snorlax has a slightly thinner coat and hibernates more regularly than the European snorlax. They are capable of running somewhat faster than the European snorlax, and they often kill their own prey. Eastern snorlax have the deepest and most versatile energy well of any subspecies. Unfortunately, they are also the most endangered due to their encroachments into the ever-growing human settlements in their range.

The Himalayan snorlax has a very thick coat and hibernates for up to eight months a year. Their claws and paws are larger than the lowland subspecies and their lungs are substantially more powerful. Himalayan snorlax are prone to using their bulk, strength, and energy well to trigger small earthquakes, causing avalanches nearby. They will then dig through the amassed snow to find prey. This behavior earned them fear and veneration; although they are not endangered, they are protected by strict conservation laws. There are only three known Himalayan snorlax in captivity, all within Nepal and Bhutan.

The Siberian snorlax has the highest population and perhaps the strangest behaviors. They are the largest of any subspecies in both weight and bulk. On balance they have never been seen using a non-ice elemental attack and even then their ice beams are weaker than those of the average European or Eastern snorlax. Siberian snorlax hibernate in the winter by digging themselves down into the permafrost. During the summer they spend most of their waking hours scouring the permafrost for buried carcasses to devour. They seldom drink water, preferring to simply eat chunks of ice when they get thirsty. Siberian snorlax are seldom seen on the surface and relatively little is known about them. They fare poorly in captivity due to the difficulty in replicating their natural habitat.
 
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