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POTW Pokémon of the Week #7: Ditto

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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, due to a request made in a previous thread, we will be looking at the Pokémon Ditto!


Able to change its appearance at will by rearranging its atomic structure, Ditto is definitely a unique Pokémon. One of only two Pokémon able to use the move Transform, the other being Mew itself, it is rumored that Ditto is a failed Mew clone. Ditto can turn itself into whatever it pleases; organic, inorganic, or anything in between. It is said that Ditto transforms itself into a rock while it is sleeping, so that it isn’t disturbed. (Imagine that happening in-game when you put a Ditto to sleep…) While its mastery of duplication is impressive, it is only able to copy what it sees. If it tries to replicate something from memory, it will often leave several mistakes.

The devilish doppelganger Ditto has appeared numerous times in the anime, most notably under the ownership of Duplica. Originally, Ditto was unable to perfectly duplicate other Pokémon, because it couldn’t change its face, but that was resolved by the end of the episode. Another Ditto owned by Duplica later on was able to perfectly copy anything it saw, but it couldn’t change its size. Additionally, Ditto was seen Transforming into objects like a cannon, and other people.

In its appearance in The Electric Tale of Pikachu manga, a Ditto Transformed into Ash and got him into trouble with Misty.

In-game, Ditto had pretty much no competitive value until Gen V blessed it with the Hidden Ability Imposter, which allowed it to Transform upon being sent out. Since then, the standard formula has been to max out HP and speed EVs, give it a Choice Scarf, and watch as it transforms into your opponent’s Pokémon and outspeeds it with the Scarf.

Outside of competitive value, Ditto is known for being a universal breeding Pokémon, as it can breed with all Pokémon except for Pokémon in the Undiscovered egg group and itself. Ditto is one of only two Pokémon capable of breeding that cannot be obtained by breeding, the other being Manaphy. Perfect IV Dittos are highly sought after commodities for breeding aficionados.

Lastly, the strange looking Clefairies in the Veilstone Game Corner are rumored to be Dittos, who have Transformed into Clefairies.

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?
  • How do you think Ditto can breed with Pokémon that are otherwise unable to breed?
  • What’s your favorite theory about Ditto?
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 @クリスタル for suggesting this Pokémon of the Week!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I do. Unique concept, unique utility, raises important questions about how the Pokemon world's breeding (and genetics in general) work.
How is this Pokémon in-game?
Not good for an in-game team, but perfect for the Daycare.
How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
Not really good either. The only viable startegy is having it use its Hidden Ability and go from there... good luck.
Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
I sure do. All the episodes that I remeber which had it were great. It even led to the creation of the minor anime character Duplica who's much more interesting than your regular minor anime character.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
It would transform all the time and confuse everyone... not to mention breeding... I'd rather not have it in our world.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Better stats. That's all it really needs considering how it battles.
How do you think Ditto can breed with Pokémon that are otherwise unable to breed?
I agree it is somewhat strange; 2 genderless Pokemon of the same species should've been able to breed the same way 1 can do with Ditto.
What’s your favorite theory about Ditto?
They are failed attempts at cloning Mew
 
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@Zexy while Ditto might not be the world's greatest Pokémon in terms of competitive battling, it is somewhat useful as a "wild card" position on a team.

Like I said above, max out its HP and Speed EVs, slap on a Choice Scarf and send it out against a Pokémon you think would have something weak against itself.
Or send it out against your opponent's lead and use it as a counter lead.

I will agree that, because it could turn into anything or anybody, it would be disastrous to have it in the real world. Mostly because the NSA and/or CIA would use them to spy on people as well as the possibly relationship sabotages that could occur.

Then again, if a Ditto Transforms into a human, can it talk?
I'm not sure. Honestly, I don't remember from the anime if a Transformed Ditto would still say "Ditto" or if it would say the name of the Pokémon it Transformed into.

Also, a fun fact about Ditto that I forgot to mention in the OP:
Ditto is TheJWittz's favorite Pokémon.
 
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Problem is, its stats are low to the point that achieving max Speed (252 EVs + Nature + Choice Scarf) can still be outsped by fast sweepers. Who'd have much better offensive stats too. As for it being a counter lead, its stats are low again so the other lead will probably be a step ahead; although it can mess up with leads who like to use Trick to pass useless Choice items on your Pokemon.

Then again, I don't think Ditto can transform into a human; some Pokedex entries stated that it has the DNA of all Pokemon. I think its abilities were overlplayed in the anime. Due to the popular inconsistency of the anime, we don't know if it can even say the word "Ditto" or just use its Pokedex cry.
 
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Problem is, its stats are low to the point that achieving max Speed (252 EVs + Nature + Choice Scarf) can still be outsped by fast sweepers. Who'd have much better offensive stats too. As for it being a counter lead, its stats are low again so the other lead will probably be a step ahead.
Imposter bypasses all of Ditto's low stats except for HP, since it instantly transforms into the other Pokémon. Speed EVs are only maxed out to outsped or force a speed tie with another Ditto, should it come to that.

Then again, I don't think Ditto can transform into a human; some Pokedex entries stated that it has the DNA of all Pokemon. I think its abilities were overlplayed in the anime. Due to the popular inconsistency of the anime, we don't know if it can even say the word "Ditto" or just use its Pokedex cry.
Ditto's abilities were underplayed, if anything, in the anime. Duplica's first Ditto not being able to perfectly Transform into a seen Pokémon, her second Ditto not being able to change its size.
Ditto's Dex entries vary in just how good of a copier it is (from near-perfect to exactly perfect, as long as the object is in sight), but all agree that Ditto is transforming at a cellular/genetic level. It is literally rewriting its DNA, so there's no reason that it couldn't transform into a human.
 
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Oh, here it comes! The Ditto in Pokemon of the Week!!

First thing first. I don't even know Ditto had an Imposter HA before this thread ever mentioned it, because I never ever utilize Ditto outside of breeding purpose. Despite that such ability allows it for better competitive performance, I don't think I'll then use it more often, or even include it in my battle team. I prefer to use my own pokemons than a copy of someone else's pokemons.

That line of Ditto transforming into stone when it asleep, do you know that what is the scene that comes up immediately in my head? --Kirby using its Stone ability! Actually, with this line of thinking, I imagined Ditto can battle without copying any of the existing Pokemon. It could have develop a fighting style of its own using its transform ability.

Also, that kind of makes me think, can Ditto transform into any non-Pokemon imaginary monster, when it is exposed to large amount of visual information?
 
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I thought that Ditto keeps its own stats despite the transformation... the anime probably confused me again. That Orange Islands Full Battle :(

Based on the theory I had in the spoiler, though, Ditto probably doesn't re-write its DNA or anything but has it all stored and just expresses it differently.
 
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Oh, here it comes! The Ditto in Pokemon of the Week!!
*shrug* I was intrigued by the conversations about Ditto in the Porygon thread, plus it was suggested. Ditto's a cool Pokémon, though. I'd have gotten around to it eventually.

First thing first. I don't even know Ditto had an Imposter HA before this thread ever mentioned it, because I never ever utilize Ditto outside of breeding purpose. Despite that such ability allows it for better competitive performance, I don't think I'll then use it more often, or even include it in my battle team. I prefer to use my own pokemons than a copy of someone else's pokemons.
Not gonna disagree about preferring my own Pokémon to a carbon copy of someone else's Pokémon, but it is a pretty Trollish strategy and one I've used occasionally to my great amusement.

Also, that kind of makes me think, can Ditto transform into any non-Pokemon imaginary monster, when it is exposed to large amount of visual information?
From what I understand, reading Ditto's Dex entries, if a Venustoise was in front of Ditto, it would be able to perfectly copy it, but if a Blastoise and a Venusaur were in front of Ditto, it could not transform into a Venustoise on its own. It can copy, not think on its own.

I thought that Ditto keeps its own stats despite the transformation... the anime probably confused me again. That Orange Islands Full Battle.
I usually ignore all things anime when discussing the games and vice versa. One has little to nothing to do with the other.

Based on the theory I had in the spoiler, though, Ditto probably doesn't re-write its DNA or anything but has it all stored and just expresses it differently.
Well, that depends on whether or not you believe the theory that Ditto is a failed Mew clone.
That's my favorite Ditto theory. There's a decent amount of "supporting" evidence, which I will go through at a later point. Preferably when I'm not at work.
 
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From what I understand, reading Ditto's Dex entries, if a Venustoise was in front of Ditto, it would be able to perfectly copy it, but if a Blastoise and a Venusaur were in front of Ditto, it could not transform into a Venustoise on its own. It can copy, not think on its own.
Mmm... Not exactly what I mean. I don't expect Ditto to transform into a combined species, as I also wasn't expecting it to think.
It is more like the case of, provided that a designer created a very detailed encyclopedia of "Imaginary Monster", within that book there is very detailed information about that imaginary monster, not just a whole bunch of colour illustration, but the person go as far as creating an augmented 3D presentation that can be projected with some 3D graphic projector.
Of course, I do expected the famous hilarious case of Ditto transformed into the encyclopedia book instead of the target monster itself. :D

That also makes me think, can Ditto transform into a "real" imaginary monster if it sees a fake? Such as the case of transforming into a real dinosaur if it sees an exhibition dinosaur robot that was made to be so physically correct almost like a real one?
 
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Good question. It depends on just how deeply Ditto's powers of Transformation go, which depends on the "mechanism" for said transformations.

Since Ditto can break down its structure at a cellular level and duplicate things at a cellular and genetic level, I'd assume that it can "see" those things at that microscopic level, in order to copy them with that great detail.
I would think that, if it can "see" at that level, it would duplicate the robot as a robot, not an organic dinosaur because it would see it as a robot, not a dinosaur.

Ditto's transformations are heavily based on what it can see. It's sight is magnificent, but it doesn't leave room for creativity.
 
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It's actually a pretty sweet Pokemon. The gimmick of it to become literally anything is really cool. It's usefulness is improved tenfold with the Imposter ability. With it's regular Limber ability, I really cannot use it as effectively as I'd like since it's so freaking slow and frail. I'd love to become something badass like Mewtwo or Lugia, but good luck outspeeding them to be able to pull it off.

In-game, it is a lot of fun to use. It's not too useful, even for in-game. Still, the novelty of it just makes it a fun tag-a-long. I have one with a perfect set of 31 IVs in all stats and it is what I use to breed stats for my competitive and casual-play teams. As far as being a competitive Pokemon is concerned, the only time I can see it being used is if it has Imposter, but a regular Ditto with Limber, uhhh... with a stat of 48 in everything, best of luck making good use out of it.

I don't know if anything can be changed without breaking it. Giving it a high enough speed to let it outrun anything and allow it to use Transform without any hiccups would be nice.
 
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I love Ditto for the fact that it makes breeding a lot easier. Being able to use males of the species you want to breed makes finding good mons to breed with a lot less bothersome. I don't really care for the Pokémon otherwise, never used it for battle and never had the desire to.

How do you think Ditto can breed with Pokémon that are otherwise unable to breed?
THAT is a really interesting question actually. Maybe being unable to breed simply means those Pokémon can't pass down their genes, not that they can't physically breed. I mean, it could be that what comes out of the egg is actually a Ditto that immediately changed into the other Pokémon and just stays like that for the rest of its life. It could be like that with any Pokémon it breeds with. And you'd never know any better. That's kinda creepy really.
 
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There is a common theory that is circulated about Ditto, namely that it is a failed Mew clone.
I shall now bring supporting evidence for this theory.
Remember, though, this is only a theory and has not officially been confirmed.
1. Ditto and Mew are the only two Pokémon that are able to use the move Transform. It's obvious why Mew, the ancestor of all Pokémon, said to contain the DNA of all Pokémon, is able to Transform, but it is never made clear why Ditto is able to Transform.

2. Ditto and Mew have the same coloration, for both standard and Shiny coloration.

3. Ditto and Mew are the same weight.

4. Ditto and Mew both have base stats that are the same in every stat, 100 across the board for Mew, 48 across the board for Ditto.

5. Ditto cannot be hatched from an egg. It is impossible to breed two Dittos and is one of two Pokémon that can breed, but not be obtained by breeding. This means that every, single Ditto in the world must have been created through some means aside from natural birth.

6. Ditto's locations in Kanto point to some connection to Mew and/or Mewtwo.

To explain this last point: in Pokémon Yellow Version, which closely follows the anime, Ditto can only be found in the Pokémon Mansion on Cinnabar Island and the Cerulean Cave.
The Pokémon Mansion is where all of the diaries about Mew and about Mewtwo's creation are found, and it is implied that the creation of Mewtwo happened in that Mansion.
Cerulean Cave is where Mewtwo can be found in the aftergame.

But what about the other Kanto games?
In Red and Blue, Ditto can also be found on Routes 13, 14, 15, and 23, and the Cerulean Cave.
In the Japanese Blue Version, Ditto is also found in Rock Tunnel, in addition to all of the above.
In FireRed and LeafGreen, Ditto can only be found on Routes 13-15, in addition to Cerulean Cave and Pokémon Mansion.

Cerulean Cave and Pokémon Mansion have already been explained, but what about Routes 13-15, Route 23, and Rock Tunnel?

Let's start with Routes 13, 14, and 15. Those are the non-water routes that connect Cinnabar Island and Lavender Town. But what's the connection to Mew?

Well, in a photo in Blaine's Gym there is a picture of Blaine and one Dr. Fuji.
In the first Pokémon movie, Dr. Fuji was the scientist, hired by Giovanni, in charge of cloning Mew and/or creating the ultimate Pokémon. While this was never "officially" confirmed in the games, this photo of Blaine and Dr. Fuji on Cinnabar Island, right next to the lab Mewtwo was created in, does heavily hint to this.

In Lavender Town, you encounter a Mr. Fuji at the top of the Pokémon Tower, where he was mourning for a Marowak killed by Team Rocket who, incidentally, is being held captive there by Team Rocket.

Again, it's never confirmed that Mr. Fuji and Dr. Fuji are the same person, but there is evidence to suggest this. When looking at said picture of Blaine and Dr. Fuji, the player seems to show signs of surprise and recognition. As Mr. Fuji was the only character with that surname encountered in the game, it follows that they are the same person.
So, Dr. Fuji, having regretted his participation in the creation of Mewtwo, fled to Lavender Town and dropped his official title. The trail of Dittos leads from the sight of Mewtwo's creation to Mewtwo's creator, at least on the non-Water routes.

Rock Tunnel is in close proximity to Lavender Town.

Route 23 is interesting. That's the Route between Viridian City and the Indigo League. The leader of the Viridian City Gym is none other than Giovanni, leader of Team Rocket.
Again, in the movies and anime, it is clear that Giovanni was the financial backer for the Mewtwo project, but this was never officially confirmed in the games.

However, why were Team Rocket grunts attempting to kidnap Mr. Fuji? Well, if we believe my above theory that Mr. Fuji is actually Dr. Fuji, the creator of Mewtwo, then perhaps Giovanni wanted to kidnap and/or extort Mr. Fuji in order to have him create another Mew clone.
Giovanni had many Silph Co. scientists at his disposal, but Dr. Fuji would be the ideal candidate for recreating the Mew experiment.

So why are the Ditto on Route 23? As a nod to Giovanni's involvement with the Mewtwo project.

Again, this theory is imperfect, and is not fully supported by anything in the game.
It also does not explain Ditto's presence anywhere outside of Kanto or why in GSC and even HGSS (except for in Cerulean Cave), Ditto is conspicuously absent from Kanto and is instead in Johto.

Still, it's a fun little theory that I enjoy quite a bit, and I hope you all enjoy it too!
 
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I really like the above theory. Its main problem is that explaining the prescence of Ditto in each area it can be caught in every game is hard.
Then I realized something; it is stated that the Mew population was extremely high before and then they went almost extinct, and from them came all Pokemon. So I would be willing to believe that those Mew mutated to the Pokemon we know now, Ditto included; but the Mew -> Ditto mutation wasn't as huge as Mew -> most other Pokemon, so it retained transformation powers and developed the ability to breed with anything etc.
 
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It would probably make getting a 6IV one for IV breeding easier too.

On another note, I've heard that Ditto is the only Gen 1 non-legendary Pokemon that cannot be caught in Pokemon GO yet.
Same goes for Mewtwo/Mew, doesn't change much in the theories but I guess it reinforces them a bit.
 
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Honestly the only thing I'd change about Ditto in-game would be its inability to breed with itself, just to make my shiny hunting a bit easier.
Ditto's inability to be bred is one of the biggest problems with my Ditto is a failed Mew clone theory, as it makes it impossible to account for why there are Dittos outside of Kanto.

Every single Ditto in the world have to have been made "artificially," whatever that means. While this does lend a bit of credence to my theory that Ditto was first created in some sort of lab, I can't explain the abundance of Dittos around the world.
It's a challenge, to be sure...
 
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Ditto's inability to be bred is one of the biggest problems with my Ditto is a failed Mew clone theory, as it makes it impossible to account for why there are Dittos outside of Kanto.

Every single Ditto in the world have to have been made "artificially," whatever that means. While this does lend a bit of credence to my theory that Ditto was first created in some sort of lab, I can't explain the abundance of Dittos around the world.
It's a challenge, to be sure...
Maybe they can divide like amoebas when nobody's looking.
 
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Maybe they can divide like amoebas when nobody's looking.
Now that is a wonderful theory. I love it, and it makes perfect sense.
It definitely would explain how there are so many Dittos in the world, even if it's origin was a test tube.
 
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Now that is a wonderful theory. I love it, and it makes perfect sense.
It definitely would explain how there are so many Dittos in the world, even if it's origin was a test tube.
Even if they did come from Mew, it could explain how Ditto became so much more numerous. A few Mew some how evolved (devolved?) into Ditto, which then propagated itself through mitosis or whatever, or a few failed Mew clones got out of their laboratory and did the same.
 
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