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POTW: Pokémon of the Week #29: Rowlet, Dartrix, & Decidueye

Discussion in 'General Pokémon Discussion' started by Enzap, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Enzap

    Enzap Rightful Leader Head Administrator

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    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 Rowlet line!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
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    Rowlet is one of the starter Pokémon in the newest additions to the franchise, Sun and Moon. It is a Grass and Flying type owl, making it one of only two starter Pokémon that be dual-typed from the first stage. It is also noteworthy for being the lightest starter Pokémon and being tied for the smallest starter with Froakie, standing at only one foot (.3 meters) tall. Rowlet evolves into Dartrix at level 17, and into Decidueye at level 34. In its final stage, Decidueye replaces the Flying type of its previous stages with the Ghost typing, making it the only Ghost type starter Pokémon and the only starter that changes its type upon evolution. Having access to three types throughout its life cycle gives Decidueye a fairly wide variety of powerful moves such as Leaf Blade, Brave Bird, and its signature move Spirit Shackle. Stat-wise, it has fairly high Attack and Special Attack, as well as Special Defense, while its other stats are somewhat mediocre but not necessarily crippling. In battle it functions most similarly to a specially defensive tank with mixed attacking options, which is mostly made possible by its access to the healing moves Synthesis and Roost, the set up moves Swords Dance and Nasty Plot, as well as the increased priority move Sucker Punch.

    Decidueye, along with the the designs of the rest of the final stage starter Pokémon, were leaked well before their official reveal. This resulted in weeks of speculation on typing and stats. Decidueye was perhaps the biggest surprise in both regards. Few people anticipated the Ghost typing since its pre-evolutions were part Flying and its design did not seem to be hinting at this type change. Many fans also suspected Decidueye would be fast with high attack, as most sneaky, rogue-like Pokémon such as Weavile and Accelgor tend to be. Fans are still questioning the stat spread of Decidueye, but its Ghost typing, while atypical, can be explained. Approaching from a biological standpoint, owls are known for being silent stalkers who hunt primarily at night. This image of floating undetectable through the darkness earned the barn owl the nickname "ghost owl," and it's likely no coincidence Decidueye essentially bears the same title, albeit more literally. Owls are also often associated with magic, spirits, and bad luck across cultures, from Greek Mythology to Harry Potter. In Hawaiian mythology (Hawaii of course being the real world equivalent to Alola), the pueo owl is said to be the physical form of ancestor spirits. This physical and behavioral resemblance to ghosts and the cultural connection between owls and the spirit world likely both served as the inspiration behind Decidueye's typing.

    Here are some questions to consider to get 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 it?
    • 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 agree with Decidueye's Grass/Ghost typing? If not, what would you suggest it be instead?
    • Similarly, were you surprised by Decidueye's stat distribution, and if not how would you change it?
    • How does this Pokémon compare to the other Alola starters and the other Grass type starters from previous regions?
    • Do you like the new trend of making Ghost type Pokémon that aren't literal ghosts but instead represent other aspects of the spiritual world or shadows? What other directions could this be taken in in the future?
    If you have any suggestions for Pokémon you'd like to discuss in the future just leave your ideas at the bottom of your post. Make sure you give your thoughts about the current Pokémon first!

    Thanks to @Dustflier for suggesting this Pokémon of the Week!

    Previous Pokémon of the Week:
     
    Trevor Belmont likes this.
  2. Beth Pavell

    Beth Pavell Thesaurus rex

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    I don't have a problem with Decidueye's Ghost-type simply because it's never really been clear what Ghost pokémon are anyway. I mean, you have pokémon that according to the 'dex are formed from the spirits of dead children who pulled on a tree branch one too many times or something ... which you then are capable of hatching from an egg after pairing them with a clearly living pokémon.

    The way I see it, it has precedent anyway - the Dragon-type is more of a theme than a strict adherence to mythology (If there can be any such thing, since there's no such thing as a mythical canon), whether you look east or west. The early Ghost-types don't have any kind of spooky origin story, either - in that sense Decidueye isn't that different from Misdreavus, for example
     
  3. Zexy

    Zexy Fire Chicken

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    Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
    I like it a lot! It is my starter of choice in Sun.
    How is this Pokémon in-game?
    Very good, just as starters should be. There are points where it's struggling a bit type-wise but that's also to be expected.
    How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for it?
    Haven't tried any of that yet.
    Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
    Ash's Rowlet is so nice; hope it evolves all the way and stays as awesome.
    How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
    Rowlet would be considered cute and Decidueye would scare some (being Ghost-type) while others would like it.
    If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon, and if so, what would you change?
    Better stats (more physically focused). A better (yet still unique) Hidden Ability works too. And maybe Grass/Flying typing? Not sure on the last one.
    Do you agree with Decidueye's Grass/Ghost typing? If not, what would you suggest it be instead?
    Mixed feelings. It staying Grass/Flying would be nice as the only fully evolved option (Tropius) is somewhat underwhelming, while Grass/Ghost has been done enough in Gen 6 and they don't seem to like to stop in Gen 7. Yet I feel like Grass/Ghost fits it more alongside Fire/Dark and Water/Fairy starters, there is an explanation of it, and the typing changes for the final form just as its fellow Alolan starters.
    Similarly, were you surprised by Decidueye's stat distribution, and if not how would you change it?
    Already discussed on the question above; more physically focused.
    How does this Pokémon compare to the other Alola starters and the other Grass type starters from previous regions?
    I think it does better than the others in-game because of the order of Akala's trials and best Speed. I think it is better than less offensive Grass-type starters such as Venusaur/Meganium/Serperior or the tankish Torterra/Chestnaught. Sceptile is a hard comparison; I would like Decidueye more over regular Sceptile but not Mega Sceptile.
    Do you like the new trend of making Ghost type Pokémon that aren't literal ghosts but instead represent other aspects of the spiritual world or shadows? What other directions could this be taken in in the future?
    I sure do, but do not have an idea about other directions for it.
     
  4. MegaPod

    MegaPod Rainbow Rocket Grunt

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    Since I don't have Sun and Moon, my critique for these Pokémon are basically of their design. Right from the start, I loved Rowlet, hoo immediately shot up past Hoothoot and Noctowl as the superior owl Pokémon. And Dartrix was more than everything I hoped for out of Rowlet's middle stage. Such class! Now, Decidueye itself I was originally apprehensive to accept; when I first saw the leaked images of the final Alola starters, I thought "No way Rowlet becomes that thing." To me, the design seemed...unnatural, because of the arrows or hood, I suppose. But when the official reveal came, I came to like Decidueye, and it's my second favorite fully evolved Alola starter, behind Primarina. The Ghost typing definitely surprised me, but I think it's pretty cool. Plus, Decidueye bears heavy resemblance to the Green Arrow, so how could I not appreciate that? If I could change something about this family, I'd give them the option to learn Fly. That's pretty much it!
     
  5. Gengarzilla

    Gengarzilla "You thought Dugtrio and Magnezone were asshats?"

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    • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
    I don't mind it.

    • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
    Ash's Rowlet is ok, I suppose. It's still early days.

    • Do you agree with Decidueye's Grass/Ghost typing? If not, what would you suggest it be instead?
    I like Dhelmise more with that typing, but I don't have any problems with Decidueye having it.

    • Similarly, were you surprised by Decidueye's stat distribution, and if not how would you change it?
    I thought it'd be faster than it really is. I was expecting a stat spread similar to Infernape, frail but fast and hard hitting from both attacking stats. Swap Special Defence with Speed and you have what I wanted.

    • How does this Pokémon compare to the other Alola starters and the other Grass type starters from previous regions?
    Not very well for me. I much prefer Primarina and Torterra, so Decidueye is an unfortunate flop in both categories.

    • Do you like the new trend of making Ghost type Pokémon that aren't literal ghosts but instead represent other aspects of the spiritual world or shadows? What other directions could this be taken in in the future?
    Speaking as a big fan of the Ghost type, I heartily approve of this trend. I'm not certain what directions this could take but my interest is peaked.
     
  6. SirOni

    SirOni Driving You Batty

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    Rowlet is super cute and I love all the work they did with its animations both in battle and in Refresh. After having seen how it develops I definitely want to go through Alola again with this line. Despite what many have said about its type change and stat spread I have seen Decidueye do some pretty cool things. One of my favorites is how I've seen it handle walls with its very unique signature move and some good support moves both offensive and defensive.

    On the topic of the Ghost-typing I really love the new aspect of it that they are exploring with this new batch of Pokemon. It's not every generation that we get a new expression of a Pokemon type so it's always a exciting to see it happen. Having the Ghost-type also encompass Pokemon that can commune and influence otherworldly spirits really adds more to what Gamefreak can do with the Pokemon world.
     
  7. Enzap

    Enzap Rightful Leader Head Administrator

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    On the note of diversifying the ghost type, are there any other types folks would like to see future generations expand on in a similar way? I'd perdonally like to see more variety in the Ice type. We only get a couple evrry generation and its almost always literally nade of ice or based on an arctic animal. I'd like to see what other directions they could take the type in.
     
  8. Zeb

    Zeb what is your spaghetti policy here?

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    Rowlet is adorable and one of my favourite Pokemon ever. Decidueye I do like, just not as much as Rowlet. In terms of Grass starters, I'd probably rank Serperior first, then Decidueye and then Torterra as my top 3.

    I really wanted a Grass starter that was Grass/Flying (I was saying it before Rowlet was revealed) so I was obviously hoping the line would stay Grass/Flying, which was a disappointment when it dropped it for Ghost. People were hating on Grass/Flying so much too, I was really hoping they would prove the haters wrong and make a good Grass/Flying type to show that a 4x weakness to Ice isn't the end of the world. :( A fast Grass/Flying mon with something like Tinted Lens (Noctowl gets it!) and Hurricane, Brave Bird, U-turn, etc would have been really cool. Oh well, they can still do it in the future.

    I also expected it to be faster, in its leaked art it looked very much like the Infernape/Sceptile/Greninja of the group with its nimble-looking and lean body type. So of course the slower, bulkier route was a bit disappointing too, especially since we got Dhlemise in the same gen which has the same typing and fulfills almost an exact same role. And we just had Trevenant and Gourgeist last gen, neither of which are super fast like I wanted for Decidueye, so the Grass/Ghost we have feel kinda repetitive in that way.

    The archer design is very cool though, and I like that they incorporated it in a natural way using its body, rather than just giving it a random bow to hold. This is a criticism I can point towards Blastoise with, where its cannons aren't incorporated in a natural way and are just tacked on metal weapons like something from Digimon. Decidueye, Clawitzer, Octillery etc do weaponized Pokemon concepts really well and a believeable way for Pokemon.

    If I would change anything I'd drop some points out of Sp.Atk into Speed. It only gets Energy Ball, Shadow Ball and Hidden Power for special moves iirc. Sure it gets Nasty Plot, but its physical movepool is much wider and of course there's Spirit Shackle as an awesome move that you will be ignoring going special. So its Sp.Atk being so high seems an honest waste when it doesn't really use it and could use those points elsewhere.

    I haven't bred and trained one up yet, I'm waiting for Bank so I can breed all the egg moves I want onto it. Curse is the only one of the four I can't get without Bank. Spirit Shackle + Curse + Roost seems fun in theory, if super gimmicky. :D
     
  9. Steel_Justice

    Steel_Justice Glorious Goo

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    Rowlet is super cute and Decidueye looks great. Love the archer design. Though I feel there is a disconnect between Dartrix and Decidueye in terms of design.

    Rowlet gives a good advantage early game since it is strong against Hala and the totem Wishiwashi but it starts falling behind late game where its speed and numerous weaknesses catch up to it. Thankfully by doing well early game it did its job as a starter imo.

    I like the idea of choice scarfing Decidueye in competitive because of Spirit Shackle and U-Turn. Opponents caught by Spirit Shackle can't switch until Decidueye switches first possibly giving you a free switch. U-turn can also be used to conserve momentum if they try to switch in a dark type.

    In the real world Decidueye can be a good hunting partner with its stealth and marksmanship. Could also be used in war for the same reasons. Low speed doesn't matter if the target doesn't know they're in a fight to begin with.

    I was pretty surprised Decidueye was basically given Samurott's stats but flipped around. I would have taken a good chunk of that special attack and a bit from special defense and put it into speed. Decidueye was supposed to be the fast one of the alola starters so it should actually be fast. It's really embarrassing knowing its slower than Venusaur.despite their appearances.

    I would have also buffed the Z-move a bit. A one shot ghost type move with 180 BP with no effect is a bit underwhelming considering Decidueye won't be holding another item and other unique Z-moves like Spark Surfer have good secondary effects. I would have at least made it lower the opponent's speed by 2 stages so Decidueye can put the opponent in a very bad situation...

    I think it's one of the best looking starters period but as far as gameplay goes the lack of outstanding stats makes it fall behind. It's not as tough as Mega Venusaur and it's not fast like Sceptile or Serperior. Using it takes quite a bit more skill and prep than others.
     
    Enzap likes this.
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