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POTW: Pokemon of the Week #36: Weedle, Kakuna, & Beedrill

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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 Weedle line!


Weedle, also known as the Hairy Bug Pokémon (but where's the hair?), is a Bug/Poison type Pokémon introduced in Generation 1. Like its counterpart Caterpie, Weedle is extremely weak and has one of the most limited movepools in the game. At level 7 it evolves into Kakuna, a cocoon with eyes that is incapable of attacking outside of moves it inherited from its pre-evolution and Harden. After 3 grueling levels, it evolves once again into Beedrill. While Beedrill is not known for its strength, it allows the player to access a fully evolved Pokémon before the first gym. This trend of early evolving Bug type Pokémon has been continued throughs several more of the main series games.

Beedrill are said to be territorial Pokémon that attack in swarms to make up for their relatively low individual strength. This was a running gag during the early days of the anime. Another notable appearance in the anime was under the control of Jeanette Fisher, one of Ash's opponents in the Indigo League. Jeanette's Beedrill's speed made it a difficult target to hit, but Ash's Bulbasaur managed to defeat it in the end.

Beedrill was almost never used in competitive play for most of its existence. Its low stats, pitiful movepool, and multitude of weaknesses made it severely outclassed by nearly every fully evolved Poison and/or Bug type Pokémon. However, Generation VI brought some very positive changes to Beedrill. Its base attack power was increased slightly, but perhaps more significantly it received a Mega Evolution complete with the extremely powerful Adaptability ability, which increases the power of attacks moves with the same type as the user. This ability stacked on Mega Beedrill's insanely high attack power and nearly unmatched speed means it no longer needs to rely on numbers to win a battle.

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?
  • How does Beedrill compare to Butterfree and other "early route Bug" Pokémon?
  • Should Game Freak make more fully evolved Pokémon that are accessible early in the game? If so, should they be stronger or around the same level as Beedrill?
  • Is Mega Beedrill powerful enough, or could Beedrill use some more buffs to be truly useful?
  • Do you prefer Mega Evolutions that max out particular stats of the base Pokémon and keep others low or reduce them, or do you like all-around balanced 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!

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

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
Pokémon of the Week #1: Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, & Venusaur
Pokémon of the Week #2: Scraggy & Scrafty
Pokémon of the Week #3: Gulpin & Swalot
Pokémon of the Week #4: Porygon, Porygon2, & Porygon-Z
Pokémon of the Week #5: Emolga
Pokémon of the Week #6: Rufflet & Braviary
Pokémon of the Week #7: Ditto
Pokémon of the Week #8: Wynaut & Wobbuffet
Pokémon of the Week #9: Sneasel & Weavile
Pokémon of the Week #10: Murkrow & Honchkrow
Pokémon of the Week #11: Houndour & Houndoom
Pokémon of the Week #12: Exeggcute & Exeggutor
Pokémon of the Week #13: Gastly, Haunter, & Gengar
Pokemon of the Week #14: Smoochum & Jynx
Pokémon of the Week #15: Beldum, Metang, & Metagross
Pokémon of the Week #16: Bidoof
Pokémon of the Week # 17: Deerling & Sawsbuck
Pokémon of the Week #18: Munchlax & Snorlax
Pokémon of the Week #19: Hoppip, Skiploom, & Jumpluff
Pokémon of the Week #20: Nincada, Ninjask, & Shedinja
Pokémon of the Week #21: Pumpkaboo & Gourgeist
Pokémon of the Week #22: Mudkip, Marshtomp, & Swampert
Pokémon of the Week #23: Froakie, Frogadier, & Greninja
Pokémon of the Week #24: Rattata & Raticate
Pokémon of the Week #25: Mimikyu
Pokémon of the Week #26: Mareep, Flaaffy, & Ampharos
Pokémon of the Week #27: Delibird
Pokémon of the Week #28: Espeon
Pokémon of the Week #29: Rowlet, Dartrix, & Decidueye
Pokémon of the Week #30: Popplio, Brionne, & Primarina
Pokémon of the Week #31: Litten, Torracat, & Incineroar
Pokémon of the Week #32: Woobat & Swoobat
Pokémon of the Week #33: Vulpix & Ninetales
Pokémon of the Week #34: Mewtwo
Pokémon of the Week #35: Shellos & Gastrodon
 
Fire Chicken
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
Yes. I like the designs, some anime appearances and the concept.
How is this Pokémon in-game?
Underwhelming with only one exception mentioned below.
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Using it against Lance in Generation I the same way All-Terrain Venomoth was used in TPP. I actually did it once by accident way ago, I brought my team of Blastoise/Articuno/Zapdos/Moltres/Weedle/some other Revive slave in the League and got trouble at Lance, when all hope was lost I sent Weedle out and Revived Articuno only to see they wouldn't use an attacking move on it, so I used it for the rest of the battle. It got to Level 11 and evolved into Kakuna after the battle.
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
Yes, I like the Beedrill running gag.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
People would be afraid of it.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Even better stat distribution for Mega Beedrill (15 Sp. Atk too much, why not 5?!), better Abilities.
How does Beedrill compare to Butterfree and other "early route Bug" Pokémon?
I liked Butterfree more because of the better moveset. Can't really compare it to Beautifly/Dustox since I've never seen them in the same game. Never used Vivillon to compare to that either.
Should Game Freak make more fully evolved Pokémon that are accessible early in the game? If so, should they be stronger or around the same level as Beedrill?
No need for too many of them, I like how it's a Bug niche.
Is Mega Beedrill powerful enough, or could Beedrill use some more buffs to be truly useful?
It could use much more.
Do you prefer Mega Evolutions that max out particular stats of the base Pokémon and keep others low or reduce them, or do you like all-around balanced Pokémon?
The first all the way! Lots of Pokemon could benefit by stat distributions closer to that, I don't like using mixed attackers much so physical or special-only is very nice, no need to have both good Attack and Special Attack, waste of BST. Besides some Pokemon that look physical or special oriented by design end up being more balanced than I would expect. Mega Beedrill, even though it's still kinda weak because the BST is low (since it had to be +100 to the low BST of regular Beedrill) makes very good use of it and several other Pokemon could do the same.
 
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Beedrill's Mega Evolution boiled it down to the essentials.
High Attack, high Speed, removing 30BP from the already unusable Sp. Attack.
I actually like when GF takes away "useless" base stats from a Pokemon and redirects them elsewhere. If a Pokemon has a high physical Attack stat, mostly physical Attacks in its movepool, and is overall meant to function as a physical attacker, it doesn't need a decent sized Sp. Attack stat. I'd rather have those stats get redistributed elsewhere.
Mega Beedrill turned a mediocre bug into a nightmare. It didn't change any of its already frail defensive stats, but it actually gave it significant offensive capabilities, which it had been sorely lacking.
 
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I'd say ORAS changed Beedrill a lot. From a BST of a measly 380 which is pretty low for a final evolution into a potential sweeper, having a great physical Attack stat really helps it out in its mostly physical move pool, sure Beedrill's defense and special defense isn't the greatest as a Psychic can take it out, it can pretty much outspeed many pokemon, being almost able to outspeed Ninjask. Also, Mega Bedrill's Sp.Attack is just nothing but horrible, so don't run Venoshock or any special moves on it.
 
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Mega Beedrill is very interesting for just what they had to do to make it work. It was one of the few times Gamefreak knew they had to do some serious min-maxing. Like the common perception is that Gamefreak never does competitive-type thinking and doesn't care to try, but then Mega Beedrill happens!

On it's own Beedrill has always been a cool Pokemon that hasn't really had a chance to do much due to its handicaps as an early route fodder Pokemon. Special mention goes to Giovanni's Beedrill form Pokemon Adventures. It's simply amazing to see a usually underwhelming be so badass!
 

Zeb

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I've honestly never really cared for Beedrill, even when the pool of Pokemon was much smaller than it is now. But I find it impossible to not like Mega Beedrill - that thing is nuts. The design itself isn't anything extraordinary, but I like that it stayed pretty true to the original while just making it sleeker and cooler to look at. When the text leaks of Mega Beedrill and Pidgeot released I was worried what the designs would be like - some of the Megas can be very hit or miss, and after Mega Heracross it seemed like their potential to ruin good designs knew no bounds. But when the images leaked I was very pleased with what Game Freak did with them. Even though it's called Beedrill and apparently it's a hornet, I've always just thought it as a wasp (because bees are the fluffy friendly little critters, while wasps are angry little shits and that fits with how Beedrill has always been depicted in the anime), so making Beedrill sharper and more deadlier with extra lances when it goes Mega makes sense.

The real kicker is the stats, Game Freak just went all out making it a speed demon with ridiculous Attack, which I love. They took what was a pathetically weak early game mon and turned it into a nightmare. I used to battle my friend fairly often in Gen 6 and he loved using Mega Beedrill and that thing was just a pain in the ass due to how fast and strong it was - not to mention it could just U-turn out. I wish more Megas had gone to Pokemon like Beedrill or Pidgeot, we needed more zero to hero ones like those than we needed Mega Garchomp or Mega Gengar. Although looking at things like Pelipper in Gen 7, or Alolan Muk/Marowak, shows there is other ways to improve a Pokemon, too.
 
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