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POTW: Pokémon of the Week #9: Sneasel & Weavile

Beep Boop
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Hi everyone, my name is Soki and I’m a moderator of Pokémon Video Games and Current Event: Pokémon Sun and Moon. And this week it’s my turn to show off my first favourite 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 Sneasel line!

900px-215Sneasel.png
900px-461Weavile.png

Introduced as a non-evolving Pokémon in generation II, Sneasel is an Ice/Dark type Pokémon that steals eggs from unattentive Pidgey. Two generations later, one got a hold of a Razor Claw at night instead and evolved, introducing Weavile. Both Sneasel and Weavile seem to be based on cats, weasels and kamaitachi (weasel demons), with a pinch of Egyptian influences. They’re devious creatures with huge claws, which they use for attacking opponents, climbing trees and carving patterns on trees and ice to communicate with others. They’re also surprisingly social, often hunting in pairs or packs. They can usually be found in cold regions, often in icy caves.

What makes these two Pokémon special is their unique type combination and that they’re very fast. In fact, Sneasel has the highest base Speed of all evolvable Pokémon and Weavile is the fastest Ice-type and almost the fastest Dark-type Pokémon, too (damn you, Darkrai). Weavile’s Attack stat isn’t too shabby either, making it quite a popular Pokémon in competitive battling. Sadly, it also has many weaknesses and its defense stats aren’t much to talk about either, so it has a hard time staying in battle for long.

Other things these Pokémon are known for: Rival Silver owns a Sneasel in (Heart)Gold & (Soul)Silver, which he stole from a trainer in Cianwood City. Furthermore, Weavile is also a playable character in the spin-off game Pokkén Tournament.

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 Sneasel 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?
  • What do you think of Weavile’s addition in Pokkén?
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:
 
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PinkIceTales!
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-Sneasel is one of my favorite pokemon (it is actually one of the ones who compete to be called my favorite pokemon)! I always loved the way it looked, and I just started loving it more the older I got. Oddly, I've never gotten a chance to use it in a game. :|
-I don't think I got to see any episodes with Sneasel in it when I watched the anime.. such a shame.
-If it were in our world, I could see it being a nuisance to farmers who own chickens. No doubt that little sneaker would be stealing eggs whenever it got the chance.
-I wouldn't change anything about Sneasel! It's amazing looking and I just love it to bits. :3
-I'm not as fond of Weavile as I am Sneasel... its feather hair isn't as cute! and it's less greenish colored and more purple in its art and I adore Sneasel's color. Though I'm happy it evolves. Means I could give it eviolite to make it tougher if I REALLY didn't want it to evolve.
-YES MEGA EVOLVE IT! It can only get MORE AWESOME. 8)
-I don't play Pokken so... doesn't phase me at all.

I also love Sneasel's shiny form too. I looks so cool, unlike a lot of early gen shinies that don't look very different at all, puke green, or just does not look good with its design. Sneasel's colors however look really great to me.
 

Zeb

what is your spaghetti policy here?
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One of the coolest lines in Pokemon imo. Sneasel was always one of my favourites as a kid and Weavile is amazing.

Little story, I started with Gen I as a kid, but between Gen III and IV in my early teen at high school I sort of fell out of love with Pokemon (probably because it was seen as "uncool" when you're that age and I guess I just had other stuff going on) and I didn't realise a new generation was coming out/already out. But I ended up seeing some of the Gen IV Pokemon in a gaming magazine (they were Electivire, Magmortar, Lopunny, Staraptor and I think Lickilicky) and I just felt this compulsion to look up the new Pokemon online to see what sort of new ones were added. When I did I ended up seeing a random image of Chatot, Mime Jr and Weavile plushies (probably from the movie they were in) and I knew as soon as I saw Weavile, without even needing to check, that it was a Sneasel evolution. And I was so hyped. I ended up making a deal with my parents to buy a DS and pay them back later (by giving them my paper round money each week lol) and now here I am, hooked to the franchise again ever since!

The designs are both amazing, love their types and Weavile's Attack and Speed are insane. If you've seen my posts around SM section you'll know I'm a fan of Pokemon being unique and having less common typings and these two sticking with Dark/Ice all this time is great to keep them unique.

I'm not a total competitive buff, I know enough for when I take an interest and battle, but it seems like a lot of things have gone in Weavile's favour this generation and it's become a bit of a powerhouse which is cool to see (Steel nerf for Dark, Knock Off buff, gaining Icicle Crash and being able to avoid Rocky Helmet on Pokemon weak to it like Garchomp, more important Speed tier etc and now Dark/Ice is just really good offensively).

I don't use Weavile much in-game because the Razor Claw always seems to come really late in the game (usually after the league) so I've tended not to bother, even though Sneasel would probably hold its own just fine. But I did use it once in Diamond once, though I can't remember how useful it was.

I wouldn't mind a Mega Weavile but I think Game Freak would have to be careful because it wouldn't take much to make it broken. Lots of fans suggest Refrigerate or Tough Claws and that +100 stats would be a one-way ticket to broken really. They'd have to dump a lot in other stats besides Atk and Speed imo, especially if they want it to have one of those two abilities..
 
Fluffy with 80% more spots!
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I really like these guys! Very interesting and sleek designs and unique typing.

These Pokemon I have used in-game and competitively. They handle very well. Sneasel is great for Little Cup tournaments while Weavile has proven to be a versatile opponent and team member in regular tournaments. Both have excellent Speed and Attack Power (which, unforuntately, was almost useless to use in Gens II and III due to the lack of good Attack moves). Gen IV really made Sneasel shine with Dark- and Ice-type moves no longer being limited as Special Attacks. Also, it evolves into something really cool-looking! It is frail as all heck but makes up for it with such excellent Speed. Just give it a Focus Sash and you got something that can be a menace to the other opponent. With access to Pressure, they can create a frustrating experience. They're's nothing gimmicky about these two and I like that. They're well-balanced and great additions to teams that need the speed (sorry for that unintentional rhyme, but it works in this case). They're perfect for taking down the ever-present Dragon-type and especially the speedy Garchomp.

Moveset and item I have on Weavile:
Night Slash
Ice Punch
Taunt (singles)/Protect (doubles)
Ice Shard

Item: Focus Sash

I wouldn't change a thing with these Pokemon. Again, they are pretty well-balanced. They are fast and hit hard, but frail. Any good hit from Flamethrower or even Brick Break will knock them out (without Focus Sash). I've had non-EV trained Pokemon knock out my Weavile because I didn't have a Focus Sash on it (don't know if they had good IVs, however). Give it higher defenses and you'll have a broken Pokemon. I don't want that. I also do not care too much of the prospect of a Mega Evolution. I mean, if Weavile gets one, that's alright, I guess? I mean, Gengar got one and he was already really powerful on his own. You can't attach any other items on Mega Evolved Pokemon anyways, so it doesn't matter too much to me. Ice is such an easy type to take down, and I much prefer Focus Sash over a Mega Evolution, anyways.

The anime, the only one I was familiar with was Paul's in the Diamond and Pearl era. They didn't flesh out its personality all that much. Barely saw it compared to Paul's other Pokemon. Would have been nice to see it more. =)
 
Fun Ghoul
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I like Sneasel and Weavile a lot; Sneasel was the first Dark type to ever have a spot on my team, way back in Crystal version. I was pretty pumped when later generations improved its moveset and gave it an evolution (though I admit I'm not as much a fan of Weavile's design as Sneasel's). Not sure a Mega Evolution is in the cards for Weavile, just because if you bulked up its defensive stats combined with the speed and attack power it already has, it'd be a real pain to take down. I guess that doesn't make it out of the question, but if Mega Weavile does become a thing I foresee it getting restricted in competitive play pretty quickly.

I don't follow the anime closely enough to really recall any episodes that heavily feature the Sneasel line. There was one, I forget which season, where Team Rocket's Meowth dressed up as Sneasel for one of their schemes but that's about it.
 
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AWACS SkyEye
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I like Sneasel a lot too and I think Weavile was a perfect addition in Gen IV. I always remember how cool it looked and that your rival had one in Crystal version.

By the way, does anyone know why Sneasel had such weird coloring in Gold and Silver? I've always wondered that.
 
Onduru ruragittan disukaa
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One thing I recently noticed was that this line and Gligar are kind of turned into counterparts in Generation IV through receiving new evolutions that evolve with similar methods, and it makes me wonder if Sneasel was actually intended to be Gligar's Version Exclusive counterpart in Gen II.

Gold and Silver's exclusives are rather odd---now Ledyba and Spinarak make sense being found in the same area, as do Teddiursa and Phanpy, but then things get weird. Mantine and Skarmory aren't found in the same area, but they can be seen as counterparts still due to both being part-Flying and having the same BST. Perhaps being in different areas is meant to sort of serve as a balance with the way the Box Legendaries are distributed, in Gold you'll find Ho-Oh on the mainland first and then Mantine in the ocean, while in Silver it's Skarmory on the mainland and then Lugia in the ocean. It actually works nicely that way.

But then you've got Gligar and...Delibird. Gold gets a perfectly decent Pokemon, but Silver is stuck with a gimmicky Pokemon. Sneasel has the same BST as Gligar and feels "similar" enough they'd make nice counterparts. Sneasel is tossed into Kanto awkwardly in Gold and Silver, but in Crystal is put into the Ice Path where Delibird is found. I really do wonder if Sneasel was originally intended to be there in Silver and was Gligar's counterpart, but something went wrong and Delibird somehow ended there instead. We know Gold and Silver had some issues that Iwata had to step in with, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the odd distribution for Pokemon was the result of this including Sneasel not ending up as Gligar's Version Counterpart.
 
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I really do like Sneasal and Weavile. Interesting designs and they're interesting to use. Not to mention they can hold their own in the top ranks. In-game they're the clean-up crew who hit hard enough to take out the ones which the big guys like Snorlax couldn't take out because they're quick. Flying types have no chance against him and his immunity to ghost types also covers that base. Very easy to use in-game, it's only unfortunate that you get them late. For competitive play, I have no idea, but others have pointed out that they're very useful on that side of things.

Anime wise I like their representation as those sly creatures which can be nasty at times. It's fitting. If this Pokemon could interact with the real world, I can imagine it would be like a fox for those up north and in cold climates. A pack pest which you have to fight to keep away.
 
Driving You Batty
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Sneasel was one of those Pokemon that desperately needed the physical/special split which looking back makes me happy that it was included in Diamond and Pearl ready to hit hard and fast. In Pokemon Diamond I didn't plan out a set team beforehand which led frequent rotation often using someone again if it proved to be a powerful member. I ended up with a lot of powerhouses like Staraptor, Lucario, and Garchomp. When it came time to take on the league for some reason I decided not to take a full team of already trained members and grab a few new Pokemon I had never used before including Weavile. I don't know I chose Weavile over a lot of other Pokemon but I'm glad I did as it proved to be very useful against the league due to its good and unique typing. Now that it has access to better Ice-type moves I should consider using one again sometime, though hopefully in a game where it appears somewhat earlier than the seventh gym. Sneasel is in a pretty alright location in XY where it still has some time naturally grow and is immediately useful for the next gym.
 
That third Unova Starter
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I never hated any Pokemon, so I can't say anything bad about these two :). I never watched anime much and I don't play TCG so the most memorable appearance of Sneasel and Weavile for me is in the games, in B2W2 where Zinzolin uses these. I have to say that they're quite powerful and because I didn't play Pokemon much then I never knew how to beat it :D.
 
Borderland Sword
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  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I honestly had never cared one way or the other about Sneasel before Weavile, but when I saw that original beta sprite of Weavile, I wanted it extremely badly. Shiny Weavile is actually my favorite Shiny Pokemon in existence. As soon as I saw the shiny form in Diamond, I tried to do everything I could to chain to get one but I never was able to get one. It depressed me for a while but I eventually got hold of an Action Replay and the first thing I did with it before catching any wild Arceus was getting a shiny Sneasel. I have a competitive ready one ever since and it's one of my favorite Pokemon to this date :3
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
I used one in Diamond, which was the first Main Series title I played, so I didn't have a good grasp on how to properly train Pokemon. As such, I could never understand why it was so damn weak with Ice Beam (I think it had 54 in SP. Att, LMAO) but other than that, it was a clutch Pokemon on my team. I even remember it coming in clutch in PBR. XD
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
It's an awesome glass cannon. It has incredible Attack and one of the highest Speeds in the game, which is basically the type of Pokemon I like to use. It won't last more than 2 hits, but will do big damage to your opponent with the few turns it will have. I generally just run either a Focus Sash or Choice Band set with Ice Punch, Brick Break, Knock Off/Night Slash, and X-Scissor.
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
The ones in Lucario and the Mystery of Mew were so entertaining to me, and I also remember being so excited when I saw its Anime debut; so yeah, I like it in the Anime~
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
It would live in cold areas in groups, probably forests. I can imagine them being trouble for unaware travelers.
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Make its Shiny form its main form XP
  • Do you like that Sneasel got an evolution in a later generation? Or do you think it should’ve stayed a non-evolving Pokémon?
Yes, it now has so much more potential as a Pokemon, especially competitively, not to mention Weavile is SICK AF, like why would you not want it???
  • Do you think this Pokémon should get a Mega Evolution? What ideas do you have for it?
Yes, but I don't have any creative ideas sans an edgier looking Weavile with sharper/more exaggerated claws or something else totally uninspired. XP
  • What do you think of Weavile’s addition in Pokkén?
Will defs main when I get Pokken :3
 
Call of Fate
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Absolutely love this line. The Ice type is meant to be a glass cannon, yet most Ice Pokemon are slow and bulky, and it's great Weavile isn't one of them. It also has a good movepool. I've never used Sneasel before the Physical/Special split was introduced, but after that, I used it in Pearl and Platinum playthroughs and it didn't disappoint me. The only thing about Weavile that I dislike is the fact both of its abilities are really underwhelming, they should have given it Tough Claws or something as its second standard ability. I also think Sneasel should have remained obtainable in Ice Path in HG/SS, like it was in Crystal.
 
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