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POTW: Pokémon of the Week #30: Popplio, Brionne, and Primarina

Driving You Batty
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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 Popplio line!


Popplio is the newest Water-type starter introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Determined, hardworking, and dedicated to their craft Popplio and its evolutions are heavily based on performing seals and sea lions. As a counterpart to the performing seals’ trademark balancing ball these Pokémon can create balloons with nothing but the water that they can skillfully manipulate. Popplio starts its balloon technique at a young age diligently practicing and honing its acrobatic ability. Upon evolution this line adds song and dance to its repertoire of talents. Once a Brionne it takes on a pop idol persona becoming exceedingly cheery and learning to perfectly dance in sync with people and Pokémon alike. And as Primarina this Pokémon takes on its prima donna namesake final form giving it the vocal power to generate glittering balloons that can detonate on command that can contribute to creating magical moonlit performances. Having become a part Fairy-type Primarina notably takes inspiration from a number of water based mythical creatures depicted in stories and folklore from all across the globe. The overall standouts of these aquatic fae for Primarina’s design are sirens, mermaids, and selkies. From the sirens originates the idea of alluring musical enchantresses that lounge along the sea coast. Mermaids contribute their fin tailed and flowing hair body outline to Primarina’s design. And finally the legends of the part-seal part-woman selkies are what tie all these together by laying down the animal base and also adding on the attributes of these other fae which selkies too have on occasion also expressed.

While sharing its typing with the Legendary Pokémon Tapu Fini has led to conflicts with team building Primarina has carved a hole for itself boasting some outstanding special stats with good coverage moves to utilize them. In contrast to Tapu Fini’s defensive playstyle Primarina mostly functions as a bulky hard hitting special attacker. Primarina’s Z-powered Sparkling Aria become its signature Oceanic Operetta that can deal massive damage which can only be rivaled by Z-powered full HP Water Spout or Z-powered Hydro Cannon!

Out of all twenty-some starter Pokémon that there are so far the Primarina-line is definitely the most feminine of the bunch. This has been a hot topic of discussion concerning Primarina ever since it was leaked way back in early June in which some people even dismissed it for fake because of how feminine a seven male to one female species was depicted. This issue as well as some others people had with the leaked starters’ final forms lead to speculation that their may be or even should be a second set of final forms for the starters. With so many Pokémon designs running contrary to gender norms it is apparent that Gamefreak isn’t all too fussed about sticking to these societal guidelines that some may feel a bit uneasy drifting away from. This is not at all a bad thing and can actually be helpful for aiding starter Pokémon variety which have been stuck with their male leaning gender ratio since the implementation of genders. A greater benefit to this variety is that it allows for the starter lineup to have a wider draw making it easier for old and new players to use something that really appeals to them. Overall Primarina’s feminine design has garnered a lot of attention for being controversial for some and for being adored by many others. It’s only natural for a prima donna!

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 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?
  • When Popplio was first revealed did you think that it would have ever turned into something like Primarina?
  • Being another starter Pokémon that debuting alongside another Pokémon with the same typing and similar roles do you think that Primarina has managed to stand out in battle when compared to Tapu Fini?
  • What do you think about Primarina’s signature move and Z-move along with their power compared to the signatures of the other starter Pokémon?
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!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
Fire Chicken
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I like it because of nice typing, design and good stats.
How is this Pokémon in-game?
Pretty good over most of the game.
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Haven't tried yet. Can't wait to see what the Liquid Voice strategies may be about.
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Lana's Popplio is fine I guess although I'd prefer a Popplio that is a bit more in the series' spotlight, perhaps even belonging to Ash.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
They would be considered cute and used in circuses.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Only better stats.
When Popplio was first revealed did you think that it would have ever turned into something like Primarina?
Not exactly, to be honest, but I couldn't think of a design for Popplio's final evolution.
Being another starter Pokémon that debuting alongside another Pokémon with the same typing and similar roles do you think that Primarina has managed to stand out in battle when compared to Tapu Fini?
Yes. Tapu Fini, as all 4 Tapu, seem to have distinct roles in the metagame, and their Surge Abilities are important part of their strategy. Primarina is a non-Legendary Pokemon (also a starter!) whose main focus is the special Z-Moves, and there's also the interesting Liquid Voice Ability.
What do you think about Primarina’s signature move and Z-move along with their power compared to the signatures of the other starter Pokémon?
I like their niche; healing burns is an effect that will rarely matter, but it still warrants higher base power than the respective attacks of the other starters.
I've also grown to the idea of its signature attacks not being Fairy-type, despite it meaning it is the odd one out.
 
Glorious Goo
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I like this Pokemon a lot and I'm not the least bit bothered by the feminine design. It's not the first time a mostly male species has such a design. Fennekin and Eevee have the same issue. Primarina is elegant as all hell and Popplio is super adorable like real life seal pups.

In-game I say it does alright in the beginning. It still runs into issues against the Totem Wishiwashi, Lurantis and Vikavolt but Primarina is very strong against the right opponents and there are actually a lot of those around thanks to Water/Fairy being such a good type.

Not sure what else needs to be said in competitive other than giving it a Choice Specs and letting those Arias and Moonblasts loose. Though with that special defense an assault vest could be fun. Liquid Voice could have use in doubles so you have what is essentially surf that goes through subs and doesn't hit your teammate. It's nigh useless in singles since Aria does the job by default. Healing the opponent's burn isn't really an issue unless you engineer a situation where it's a problem for you.

In the real world I can see them being popular as pets and in entertainment. Primarina could be a hit in concerts.

If I could change a thing about this line I would give it some more support moves like Wish or Heal Pulse to help it stand out against Azumarill and Tapu Fini. I would also buff the Z-move since a Specs Aria or Hydro Pump seems more effective than a one shot strong water move that leaves you itemless for the rest of the battle. Considering the animation I would have made it summon rain after use so Primarina could help support rain teams and keep up an offensive momentum by hitting hard as rain ends and renewing it to launch more strong moves or supporting teammates. Probably would also take out some attack and put it into defense and make Liquid voice give 20% extra damage to affected moves like Aerialate.

When Popplio was revealed I didn't think it would end up like it did but I had faith it would turn into something good. After all the last 2 water starters did the same thing.
 
"What do you mean, my Gengarite is contraband?!"
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  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
Love it. I latched on to the unpopular Popplio from the first reveal and this beauty is my reward. Froakie should have taught everyone to not bash the basic stage Water starters solely on design, look how popular Greninja is. Primarina is my favourite Water starter and my third favourite starter overall, behind Torterra and Typhlosion.

  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
I kinda feel as though it would join Milotic in being depicted within beautiful works of art.

  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
I'd either give it Boomburst to actually make Liquid Voice worth using (Sparkling Aria is already a Water type Hyper Voice, there's no point), or just give it something like Pixilate/Water Bubble/Water type -ate/possibly Marvel Scale for alternative Hidden Abilities. Let's face it, this line totally got shafted in the HA section compared to its fellow Gen VII starters.

  • When Popplio was first revealed did you think that it would have ever turned into something like Primarina?
Not at first since I don't immediately believe leaks, but Brionne made it look likely.

  • Being another starter Pokémon that debuting alongside another Pokémon with the same typing and similar roles do you think that Primarina has managed to stand out in battle when compared to Tapu Fini?
I think so. Having better offensive presence and a good movepool for its Choice Specs certainly gives Primarina some room to distinguish itself.

  • What do you think about Primarina’s signature move and Z-move along with their power compared to the signatures of the other starter Pokémon?
I wouldn't use Sparkling Aria to combat Guts like many suggest since it doesn't douse the Flame Orb that every Guts user barring Flareon (who should stick to Flash Fire) should hold without exception, which means that it's failed in that purpose. As such, my opinions of it and subsequently Oceanic Operetta are rather low despite both having good power. I'd prefer Muddy Water if I had to run a Water starter's signature move on something.
 

Zeb

what is your spaghetti policy here?
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I liked Primarina when it first leaked because its design and concept were SO fresh and unique in comparison to all the muscley and creepy clown fanart evolutions for Popplio that were floating around. Everyone seemed to go with the circus theme, while I don't recall seeing any singers or performers that ran with its theme like Primarina does. It's also nice to see Fairy on a starter evolution too, I recall it on occasion was grouped with Dragon and Ghost by some fans as a type that starters would never have (they were discounting Megas, I would guess). We're still waiting for the Dragon out of those three though. :p

When the starters were revealed back in May, Popplio was my least favourite of the three starters easily, so even now I still don't have much of an opinion on the line or real interest in it. Like many of the other starters, it's just kinda there and not a Pokemon line I have particular investment or attachment to. I just like how the concept was not guessed by fans at all prior to it leaking. It's nice when Game Freak shows they can still surprise.

Competitively it's easily the best of the three Alolan starters right now, but that's kinda what having a typing like Water/Fairy will do for you. Both offensively and defensively it's ridiculously good and it has that huge 126 Sp.Atk to back it up. Incineroar in doubles will give it a run for its money as the best competitive Alolan starter when it's released, but only in doubles I think. Intimidate + Fake Out on top of its other qualities gives it a very strong niche, alongside only Scrafty iirc.

I don't know if I'd change anything about it. It seems to have most tools it needs. I guess Liquid Voice and its signature move aren't the greatest, but they probably could have been worse and it does fine without them. I think giving it a stronger ability is something to be careful of with its typing too.
 
link to the unknown
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I rather like primarina, definitely one of my favorite starters and the best one this gen. It's very pretty looking and I like the mermaid and siren inspirations. It also has a neat typing, I'm glad we finally have a water/fairy that's not dumbass azumarill, although tapu fini is alright too.
 
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Actually Your Boy Guzma
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Popplio's evo line is the Ugly Duckling story of Pokemon. You have no idea how happy I am that Popplio ditched the clown theme. I mean, I liked Popplio despite the clown theme, but I was worried we'd get a Monster Clown like that fake leak. Thankfully, we didn't.
 
Actually Your Boy Guzma
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Gonna be honest here, Primarina's my favorite Fairy-type.
 
The Ugliest Trainer in Galar
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I adore the Popplio line, it's probably my second favorite line after Oshawott now. It has just the best typing.
 
Actually Your Boy Guzma
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Primarina's a decent Pokémon competitively, too. She's great if you give her some Choice Specs. I was anticipating her niche would be a special wall pre-release, but I was proven wrong.
 
Cute bunny baby
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
Popplio is adorable. I absolutely love it! Hate the evolutions. They are hideous.

How is this Pokémon in-game?
I'm using a Popplio in Moon now and he's great. Their learnset is really nice.

Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Lana's Popplio is a great character. I especially loved his portrayal in SM16. He was such a cute little trooper. He was doing everything in his power to keep Rowlet safe despite his lack of mobility and just make it back to their trainers safely.

How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
Like a typical sea lion. It would probably stay primarily in the water and maybe come up for food.

If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Definitely. Popplio's evolutions would continue to keep the sea lion theme rather than becoming ugly mermaids. I'd probably also give them a sort of clownish appearance since Popplio kind of looks like a little performing sea lion/jester.

When Popplio was first revealed did you think that it would have ever turned into something like Primarina?
No, not at all. I thought it would remain a cute clownish, sea lion on the second stage before becoming a bit tougher looking in the final stage. I hate that they decided to make it a grotesque looking mermaid creature.
 
Actually Your Boy Guzma
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Prima's managed to stand out compared to Tapu Fini because they have different niches. Prima's a special wallbreaker, while Fini is a support Pokémon. I don't like how Fini and Prima both share a mermaid motif and typing, to be honest, especially since I think Prima has a superior design. That's probably just my irritation with the Tapus becoming the new Doruses.
 
Crashing Curlipede
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I admit to not expecting great things from Popplio from the start. I thought Litten's line would be my favorite Alola starter family. Nope. When the final evo leak first came out, I hoped that only the Primarina one would come true. And I couldn't believe how kyooot Brionne was when I saw its reveal. Primarina is definitely my favorite of the Alola starters overall. I'm choosing Popplio first once I get SM.

Also, now that we have a Water/Fairy type that makes sense, can my pal Azumarill please be pure Water again? ;_;
 
Borderland Sword
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  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I love Primarina! She's so gorgeous and probably my favorite Water-type starter evo~ Popplio is cool, but I think it just looks better as Brionne and Primarina~
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
I used one in Sun and it's pretty good~ As a Brionne, it really only has Water moves to work with, as Disarming Voice is weak AF, but it's still decent~ Only problem is its speed~
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
I use Primarina on Showdown on a mono-Fairy team and on a UU (IIRC) team. It's good with high Special attack and its defenses aren't terrible. Its Speed is horrible though. I hate that the Starters are so slow this time around. I have no idea why they decided to make it so slow but it could really use a Speed boost or maybe just work on a Trick Room team~
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Lana'a Popplio is pretty cute~ Doesn't have that much of an in-depth personality so I'd like to see more of it~
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
As a performer, 100%~ Any of its stages would serve well as an aquatic idol for entertaining crowds~
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
BOOST. THE. SPEED. Seriously, it has SO much potential, WHY make as slow as they did? I'll never quite understand why Gamefreak felt it was necessary, but it's just so irksome to think how good it could be if it was faster~
  • When Popplio was first revealed did you think that it would have ever turned into something like Primarina?
I didn't but I'm glad as hell that it did because I love the sht out of Primarina. It's simply gorgeous!
  • Being another starter Pokémon that debuting alongside another Pokémon with the same typing and similar roles do you think that Primarina has managed to stand out in battle when compared to Tapu Fini?
I think so, as Tapu Fini serves her purpose in higher tiers, Primarina shines in lower ones and is more of an offensive Pokemon, while Tapu Fini excels in Stall and being defensive.
  • What do you think about Primarina’s signature move and Z-move along with their power compared to the signatures of the other starter Pokémon?
Primarina is the only one whose Z-Move is its Primary Type, rather than secondary~ On the one hand, it disappoints me because Fairy is such a good offensive type and I would have loved her to get a super powerful Fairy move, but the execution of Oceanic Operetta is so perfect, I can't really complain. Plus, it already gets Moonblast as a strong Fairy-Move, while Decidueye and Incineroar needed their signature moves to be of their secondary-typing for them to have one, so I can understand why the decision was made~
 
Call of Fate
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Primarina's design is gorgeous, but its pre-evolutions just aren't my cup of tea. I'm not fond of clowns, and Brionne's skirt-thing isn't very appealing, either. I think Primarina should have had better Speed at cost of Attack, since its physical movepool is really shallow. Liquid Voice is also somewhat situational (although Hyper Voice is better than Surf/Sparkling Aria in Double and Triple battles, unless the allies have Water Absorb/Storm Drain), I think it should have been more similiar to Aerilate and the like(i.e. boost the sound-based moves by 20%). Other Abilities that could have been a nice alternative to Liquid Voice are: Pixilate, Storm Drain, Water Absorb, and Swift Swim.
 
ᴛᴀʀɢᴇᴛ ᴀᴄǫᴜɪʀᴇᴅ
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I'm still salty that Primarina's first anime appearance had it completely worfed by an Incineroar of all things. :mad:
 
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