POTW: Pokémon of the Week #10: Murkrow and Honchkrow

¡Prepárate a morir!
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
7,168
Reaction score
1,918
Salutations! I am leetic, a moderator in TCG & Collectibles and Fun & Games! And this week, I think it shall be nice if we were to discuss my favorite Pokémon line.

In the World of Pokémon, there lives a vast number and variety of amazing creatures to befriend and collect. Every week, we will be focusing on a single one of these Pokémon or evolutionary line and talking about what makes it special. This week's Pokémon of choice is the Murkrow line!



Murkrow was a Dark/Flying type Pokémon introduced in Gen. II, and when Gen IV came around, it gained an evolution in the form of Honchkrow when one is exposed to a Dusk Stone. Both are based on ravens/crows with inspiration from witches, and Honchkrow adds gangster influences to the design. In game Honchkrow used by many villain team leaders, among them Cyrus, Giovanni, and Lysandre, as well as Karen from the Johto Elite Four.

Murkrow generally acts as a trickster, stealing shiny objects and luring its enemies into mountain trails to get them lost. Honchkrow, meanwhile, uses its call to summon Murkrow to do jobs for it, such as finding food for the Honchkrow. It has gained a reputation as the “Summoner of the Night” due to its ability to summon flocks of Murkrow to do its bidding. Said Murkrow are advised to be careful, as most Honchkrow will not forgive their mistakes. They are found mostly in forests, swamps, and mountains. Its shiny variation has a coat of pink feathers.

In the metagame, these two Pokémon can be surprisingly useful. Murkrow, in fact was banned from the Little Cup on Smogon because of its attack and special attack stat of 85, meaning it was very strong compared to its peers, and a speed stat of 91, meaning it could put its attacking stats to good use. Honchkrow isn’t as good compared to its peers, but is still considered a viable Pokémon in UU. Its attack stat (125) is very good for the tier. This makes it good at defeating many of the walls found at that tier. However, due to its lackluster Defense stats and a weakness to Stealth Rock, Honchkrow is usually reserved for late in the match – nonetheless, it does its job very well, as its Brave Bird is known to 2HKO nearly anything in its tier that doesn’t resist it.

In the anime, the line’s only major appearance was being (quite fittingly) Paul’s signature Pokémon.

Here are some questions to consider to get the conversation rolling. You don't have to answer all of them or any of them in your post as long as you're staying on topic and within global forum rules.
  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
  • Do you like that Murkrow got an evolution in a later generation? Or do you think it should’ve stayed a non-evolving Pokémon?
  • Do you think this Pokémon should get a Mega Evolution? What ideas do you have for it?

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Beep Boop
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
5,176
Reaction score
6,434
Murkrow is absolutely one of my favourites, which may have to do with my love for crows, ravens and the like. Love its design with the tail and the 'hat', definitely my favourite flying type. The only problem I have with it is its evolution. I remember evolving it in Diamond, not knowing what it would be, and reloading the save because I was so disappointed :( I'm not really sure what I would've liked it to evolve into instead, but the tail and hat I loved so much now turned into something I really dislike, and not very fond of the white fluff on its breast either. Its beak also bothers me, as Murkrow has such a cool looking beak and Honchkrow's is kinda bland. So yeah, if I could change anything it would be its evolution.

However, that doesn't mean I think it should've stayed a non-evolving Pokémon. It deserved and needed an evolution, just like Sneasel. I just wish it looked differently, maybe simply closer to Murkrow's design (like how Weavile stayed close to Sneasel's design, imo).

I do think it should get a Mega Evolution, because 1) its Mega design may make me like it more and 2) it's not very usable in online battles, due to its poor defense stats and low speed. I hope giving it a Mega with a boost in both defenses and in speed will make it more viable and more people will use it.
 
Driving You Batty
Joined
Apr 17, 2010
Messages
2,116
Reaction score
1,079
Murkrow is absolutely one of my favourites, which may have to do with my love for crows, ravens and the like. Love its design with the tail and the 'hat', definitely my favourite flying type. The only problem I have with it is its evolution. I remember evolving it in Diamond, not knowing what it would be, and reloading the save because I was so disappointed :( I'm not really sure what I would've liked it to evolve into instead, but the tail and hat I loved so much now turned into something I really dislike, and not very fond of the white fluff on its breast either. Its beak also bothers me, as Murkrow has such a cool looking beak and Honchkrow's is kinda bland. So yeah, if I could change anything it would be its evolution.
Yeah, there's definitely a bit of a dissonance between the themes behind these two. Murkrow that the witch thing going on but then it turns into a crow mafioso. That kind of thing between stages is something you used to see more in the first two generations since that's when there was still uncertainty if the series would continue so they would cram as much as they could into Pokemon designs. You can kind of see this elsewhere with Murkrow since it can mimic voices pretty clearly like a parrot can.

Unlike Sneasel from last week Murkrow was a Pokemon that can do well before and after the physical/special split since it has pretty decent Attack and Special Attack. Those along with its Speed also being pretty good meant that its defenses suffered though. I would have definitely used Murkrow in GSC if it wasn't locked away deep in Kanto. That still ticks me off how horrible a job they did in Gen II with Pokemon distribution especially when showcasing the cool new Dark-type.

One of my top reasons for picking Pokemon Diamond was that it was the version with Murkrow and that it was found rather early too. Having been originally designed as a single stage Pokemon means that it has very good stats that can carry you for a good stretch until you're ready to evolve it. Murkrow and Honchkrow also have a pretty unique typing (Legendary Pokemon don't count :p) that works well as removes a few weaknesses and gets some immunities.
 
"What do you mean, my Gengarite is contraband?!"
Joined
Jun 10, 2012
Messages
3,385
Reaction score
3,510
Ahh, Honchkrow... I remember one really silly little set I made for it. Super Luck and a Razor Claw/Scope Lens with Thunder Wave, Night Slash, Sky Attack, and Superpower. Trust me, it was hilarious when it worked.
 
Last edited:
Beep Boop
Joined
Oct 19, 2014
Messages
5,176
Reaction score
6,434
Yeah, there's definitely a bit of a dissonance between the themes behind these two. Murkrow that the witch thing going on but then it turns into a crow mafioso.
Yes, that's it! I like Murkrow better because it looks witchy and wish Honchkrow would look more like that too. Though I understand why they didn't do that, as Mismagius already got the witchy look in the same generation...
 
PinkIceTales!
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
1,899
Reaction score
4,687
Ohh man! One of my second favorite pokemon!

Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I LOVE this line! I just love the design of Murkrow and when it evolves it just gets more amazing!
How is this Pokémon in-game?
I've never really used him in-game so I can't really say. Hopefully I catch one in my Nuzlockes!
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
I don't play competitively so I can't say.
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I didn't watch of the anime past the first generation due to various reasons, so I can't say on this matter either.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Replace Crows and Ravens with Murkrow and Honchknow. Like that but a little more annoying but I would love it.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
No I would never change my precious bird babies. D:
Do you like that Murkrow got an evolution in a later generation? Or do you think it should’ve stayed a non-evolving Pokémon?
I LOVE Honchkrow. I love its design and while I love Murkrow's cuteness, when it evolves its even cooler!
Do you think this Pokémon should get a Mega Evolution? What ideas do you have for it?
*imagines mega Honchkrow* :eek: Oh my gosh yes. Make him even MORE mafia.

One of the reasons I like this line so much is because one of my OCs loves dark type pokemon and owns a Murkrow that eventually evolves. This guy, named Murry, was a silly show-offy goofball who was also extremely protective of his trainer. More often than not, you'd see Murry trying to show off for a female bird pokemon and then freaking out when his trainer has wandered off or is doing something he thinks is dangerous. He's also known for being a bit of a big eater, snapping his mouth at crackers and other food, usually getting a response from humans of "That... that was almost my hand."
 
The Wizard
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
15,721
Reaction score
5,593
Yes, that's it! I like Murkrow better because it looks witchy and wish Honchkrow would look more like that too. Though I understand why they didn't do that, as Mismagius already got the witchy look in the same generation...
To be fair it does have a bit of a warlock thing going on with the beard, but it definitely does seem to be more inspired by a mob boss. I'm all for taking lines in a new direction, but this one was a little jarring.

Outside of design, they're both pretty fun to use in battle. Murkrow is a fairly fast and surprisingly hard hitter for something its size, and learns a pretty good array of moves from Defog to Sucker Punch to Drill Peck. Honchkrow is really strong in terms of attack, but does suffer quite a bit when it comes to defense having barely increased stats from Murkrow and is actually slower than its pre-evolution for some reason. But that attack means that Sucker Punch is quite a devastating attack, so with some good prediction skills and a little Super Luck it can really be a pain for low defense sweepers. Or alternatively you can set it with a Choice Scarf and to bonus as much off of Moxie as possible.

EDIT: Thinking about Honchkrow's stat distribution and how it has higher attack and lower speed than Murkrow reminded me of a Mega Evolution like Mega Abomasnow. Then I looked up their stats again and lo and behold Honchkrow has exactly 100 more Base Stat Total than Murkrow, which is the standard stat increase for Megas. What an interesting coincidence.
 
Mechatronics Expert
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
32,283
Reaction score
16,457
Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
Yes, I like this Pokemon quite a bit. Honchkrow is one of my favorite Gen IV Pokemon, and the only reason I bother keeping a copy of Pokemon Diamond around. I love Honchkrow's design and over all gangster motif. I'm a big fan of fedoras, and the fact that Honchkrow's plumage is designed to look like a fedora is just so amusing to me. At the same token, it doesn't completely get rid of the witch motif that Murkrow had, it's breast feathers resembling a warlock's beard, and its tail resembling a broom head. It's just a fantastic Pokemon, design wise.
Typing is also pretty good for it. Granted, it was introduced in the same Gen that massively buffed Rock types, but you can only catch Murkrow after the first Gym Badge anyway, and it's useful against the next three Gyms.
I also love the fact that, Honchkrow was, retroactively, added as a member of Giovanni's team in HGSS, since it's a Pokemon that fits him perfectly. I don't like that the battle with Giovanni is locked behind an event, but whatever...

How is this Pokémon in-game?
I quite enjoy using a Honchkrow with Super Luck in-game in Platinum. I know that Insomnia is probably the better ability as of Gen IV, but I love it when the increased critical hit ratio works in my favor. Gimmicky, but really fun. Plus, in Gen IV, you get it in Eterna Forest, where it's relatively easy to level-grind it, due to the party member. Plus, due to its Dark/Flying typing, it's useful against the next three Gyms, which are Grass, Ghost, and Fighting. In Platinum, it's also easy to evolve early on, due to a Dusk Stone being in the "Hidden" section of Wayward Cave, accessible after only the second badge.

How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
As of Gen V, Moxie is the ability to use with Honchkrow. I'm not a big fan of Sucker Punch, as a rule, because it relies on predicting when your opponent is going to attack you, as opposed to switching out, or using a status move. That said, Sucker Punch is Honchkrow's only way around its mediocre Speed stat, and is still a STAB move.
While Honchkrow is a great Pokemon, I don't really use it much competitively, but that's mostly because I don't really do competitive battling much.

Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I do seem to recall Honchkrow being used by Paul at one point, but I wouldn't exactly call Paul's Honchkrow his "signature" Pokemon, that title belongs to Electivire. I honestly don't remember Honchkrow much from the anime, despite being one of Paul's Pokemon that actually appeared multiple times.

How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Birds would start to have organized crime syndicates and take over the world.

If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
The only thing I remotely dislike about Honchkrow is its Shiny coloration. I feel like they should have gone with a mostly red with black underlying, sort of flip the red and black colors currently on Honchkrow, but make it more of a blood red.

Do you like that Murkrow got an evolution in a later generation? Or do you think it should’ve stayed a non-evolving Pokémon?
Honchkrow is, literally, the best thing that ever happened to the Murkrow family. I'm upset that Murkrow didn't have an evolution back in Gen II.

Do you think this Pokémon should get a Mega Evolution? What ideas do you have for it?
Yes, that would be nice. If they were to do so, perhaps they should emphasize Honchkrow's "mystical" aspects a little more. Stuff like: making the broom tail and "beard" more pronounced, and changing the fedora into more of a wizard's hat. I can also see them doing something with a pentagram theme.
Alternatively, they could focus on the mobster theme, and give Honchkrow a more Godfather like appearance.
Either way, giving Honchkrow defensive boosts would help it out immensely.
 
Fire Chicken
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
19,580
Reaction score
6,376
Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
This line isn't in my group of really favourites but I like it enough I guess.
How is this Pokémon in-game?
Haven't tried using it. Not having an evolution until Gen IV, being version-exclusive almost always etc. make it somewhat rare for me to have.
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Haven't used it competitively either :(
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
The only representation I remember is Paul's Honchkrow and it looked cool and got some time in the spotlight.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
It will be like a regular crow, I think. Nothing too dangerous.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
It could have better stats and some awesome Ability, I suppose...
Do you like that Murkrow got an evolution in a later generation? Or do you think it should’ve stayed a non-evolving Pokémon?
I like how it got an evolution, it would be the kind of Pokemon that everyone would just overlook otherwise.
Do you think this Pokémon should get a Mega Evolution? What ideas do you have for it?
Sure, why not? Perhaps it will have a bit too good stats? If that's a problem it can become bulkier. The only really nice thing they can do it is give it some cool Ability, Gale Wings being the only thing that currently comes to mind. I don't see any reason for the typing to be changed so that's all.
 
Call of Fate
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
615
Reaction score
259
This line is alright. Not my favourite, but not disliked either. I like the fact Honchkrow has less Speed than Murkrow, since the Pokedex entries mention that it spends its time lazily grooming itself in its nest and forces its Murkrow followers to bring it food. Its plump appearance reflects this behaviour, too. I didn't like the fact you couldn't get Murkrow until reaching Kanto in Generation II games and their remakes, but in Johto games, this kind of thing isn't exactly rare. Honchkrow hits fairly hard with moves like Brave Bird and Superpower(which combines nicely with Moxie), but it is a shame it lacks Knock Off. Otherwise, I don't think it needs that many changes.
 
Top