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POTW: Pokémon of the Week #92: Fletchling, Fletchinder & Talonflame

Discussion in 'General Pokémon Discussion' started by Cresselia92, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Cresselia92

    Cresselia92 Winter Fairy

    Blog Posts:
    Nov 29, 2012
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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...


    Talonflame, the Scorching Pokémon!​

    The regional bird of the Kalos region, this line is quite different compared to the other regional birds, as it’s currently the only species which changes typing during evolution, going from the standard Normal/Flying to Fire/Flying once Fletchling evolves into Fletchinder.

    This line's aggressiveness toward intruders and affinity to fire is shown since the earliest stage, with Fletchling being able to learn offensive moves like Flame Charge and Overheat and being known among Trainers for being very warm. Some Trainers even sleep with this little bird, especially if they live in cold areas. As a Fletchinder, this Pokémon has now mastered the art of fire assaults, which it uses to prey on bugs by burning tall grass to scare them off and catch them, before grilling them with its strong embers. Once it becomes a Talonflame, no Fire-type Pokémon can even hope to compete with its impressive speed, which it uses to dive bomb on slower birds and smack them down with its powerful kicks... despite not knowing any kick-based attack!

    Speaking of moves, this line gets many useful offensive toys like Acrobatics, Steel Wing, U-Turn and Flare Blitz (as a Talonflame). They also have many status and supportive moves, like Swords Dance, Will-O-Wisp, Tailwind and Roost.

    In terms of Abilities, this line has Big Pecks to prevent Defense drops as a Flethling and Flame Body to burn opponents on contact and hatch Eggs faster as Fletchinder and Talonflame, but this line's main strength lies in its great signature Hidden Ability: Gale Wings. With this Ability, all Flying-type moves become priority attacks, on par with the speediness of moves like Quick Attack and Ice Shard. Thanks to this, Talonflame can inflict heavy quick damage with Brave Bird, Acrobatics and/or Supersonic Skystrike, giving very little time to the opponent to react, or it can use a fast Tailwind to give an instant boost in speed to its allies for four turns.

    However, the Ability was nerfed with the transition from XY to SM, as now it can give priority only when the Pokémon is at full health. As such, moves like Brave Bird can be risky to use as the damage taken with the recoil will slow the Pokémon down, it can’t get extra fast recovery in the form of Roost anymore, and tactics like Stealth Rock are even more dangerous now as they can hamper its speed alongside stripping it of half its energy. It doesn't help that Talonflame's stats bar Speed are very average, which can't do much damage without a Swords Dance's boost and don't allow it to take too many hits.

    In the anime, a Fletchling debuted in the first episode, where it was tasked to wake Serena up by her mother, which was done by pecking her during her sleep, mirroring the initial scene from the XY games. Another Flethcling appeared in "A Battle of Aerial Mobility!", where it stole a berry from Bonnie that was supposed to be given to a wild Dedenne. It battled with Ash's Froakie many times, until it was ultimately caught by the Trainer. In a later episode, Fletchling evolved into Fletchinder while facing a Talonflame during a Sky Battle, before evolving into a Talonflame during a confrontation with an enraged Moltres.

    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?
    • Do you think that the Gale Wings’ nerf was needed? If yes, is it balanced or excessive?
    • How does Talonflame compare with the other regional birds?
    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:
    MegaPod likes this.
  2. Stratelier

    Stratelier Well-Known Member

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    Oct 9, 2012
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    My only complaint about Talonflame is that its name is ... bland; it loses all resonance with Fletchling/inder before it, and maybe the localization team needed more time or ideas to work on it.

    That aside, I do love me a lot of birds with high Speed and Roost, plus Flame Body is always a good ability for physical-based opponents (though unlike Oricorio, Talonflame is lacking in stalling moves). Still, it learns U-Turn which is good for the odd Psychic/Dark coverage plus the ability to switch out before the opponent can even make a hit.

    Stealth Rock still needs a nerf.

    Talonflame is also an amazing Pokemon to have for breeding purposes due to the combination of Flame Body and Fly.
  3. Gengarzilla

    Gengarzilla "You thought Dugtrio and Magnezone were asshats?"

    Blog Posts:
    Jun 10, 2012
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    -Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
    It's my least favourite Gen VI Pokémon, primarily from how overused it was at the time. I hated seeing it on everyone's competitive teams and took to using Choice Scarf Magneton solely as a deterrent as it could move first where Magnezone couldn't.
    Not to mention that I hate the name; two words glued together with no sort of integration or marriage. I mean, Klinklang might be bad but at least it isn't Klinkklang.

    -How is this Pokémon in-game?
    Idunno. I personally don't think priority is worth it when you will inevitably outspeed most things just from your Pokémon's higher levels (experience builds up, this will happen eventually). Talonflame's niche is something I would rather be using with the likes of Dusknoir and Conkeldurr in cartridges.
    There is Flame Body and Fly, but Poké Rides kinda gutted that pro.

    -How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
    I like the idea of Natural Gift with specific berries to blow through things that shrug off Brave Bird and Flare Blitz. Me First sounds cool and at least usable with Talonflame being fast, though it would take incredible prediction to use reliably.

    -Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
    This is what I'd call Talonflame's redeeming factor because Ash's Talonflame was one of my favourites of his Kalos team (I'm pretty sure my thoughts on Ash-Greninja are well known now). That second evolution was pretty amazing.
    It kinda helped that there was no Gale Wings too.

    -If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
    A bit more Attack. Seriously, it's insane to think that a Cacnea could theoretically hit harder if it got Wood Hammer.
    This isn't something entirely specific to Talonflame but having the type gems return would be a serious boon too, considering the Flying Gem's interaction with Acrobatics.

    -Do you think that the Gale Wings’ nerf was needed? If yes, is it balanced or excessive?
    Absolutely needed and balanced, considering how it completely invalidated nearly everything with a Flying weakness before the nerf. It felt comparable to the likes of Huge/Pure Power. Besides, Talonflame's natural Speed stat is already good enough to move first more often than not.

    -How does Talonflame compare with the other regional birds?
    Beyond the unique typing and formerly borken ability... ehh, I think Staraptor has it beat today. Much better Attack and a very usable ability in Reckless, with Close Combat to sweeten the deal.
  4. Zeb

    Zeb what is your spaghetti policy here?

    Blog Posts:
    May 9, 2010
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    I love this line - definitely one of the better and more memorable bird lines we have. Deviating from the standard (boring) Normal/Flying in its later stages was great, and of course with Gale Wings it was so strong, it was just a really refreshing early bird all around. I love the colours of the design. I remember it being one of my favourite designs from XY's pre-release reveals - and along with a bunch of other Pokemon from Kalos, it stands among some really great designs from that generation.

    Gale Wings nerf was needed, but I wonder if there was a way to do it differently. Maybe only moves below a certain BP could have had priority, so it could still have a priority Flying move no matter its HP level (which is something we don't have outside of Mega Pinsir), just not ones that were 110 and 120 BP. It's good to see that even with the nerf it isn't a totally unusable Pokemon though - that typing, with its great Speed and useful moves like Swords Dance, Wisp, priority Tailwind etc, not to mention Supersonic Skystrike still keep it way above the levels of previous early birds, bar Staraptor.

    I get the criticisms about the name and I didn't like either, but it's now 5 years later so whatever I'm over at this point. Maybe if you'd asked me in 2013/2014 I'd have still been disappointed. Pyrogrine would have been a great name for it, guess when they had Pyroar in the same generation they might not have wanted it, though.
  5. ocelotlrama jaguar

    ocelotlrama jaguar Fluffy with 80% more spots!

    Blog Posts:
    Sep 26, 2011
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    This line is alright for early bird Pokemon. I've never really been into bird-like Pokemon, but these guys are alright. I like their designs but was never really too into them. In-game, they are decent but I never used it to the end. Once I got my hands on Charmander in Gen VI, I would have rather had Charizard as my Fire/Flying-type, so to the box it went. I wish Gale Wings was not a hidden ability because they are not defensive enough for Flame Body to be really effective. Of course, Gale Wings was nerfed big time in Generation VII, which brings me to my next point. Even with Gale Wings, I never found it too useful in the competitive ring besides doing a lot of damage to anything weak to it. Talonflame's attack stat is pretty bad and getting priority on Brave Bird was never really a good thing for me, considering the recoil damage it takes. There's also Acrobatics, but I immediately knew the opponent had a Talonflame with Acrobatics if they didn't have a hold item on it so there goes the element of surprise. The nerfing just made Brave Bird not worth having thanks to recoil damage. I just never found it too useful even when Gale Wings was powerful regardless of HP.

    I never really watched it too much in the anime to have an opinion on it. All I know is that Ash has a Talonflame.

    If these Pokemon existed in our world, I think Fletchling would be harmless. It would be like any other bird. Fletchinder and Talonflame would be a lot more dangerous. Even regular falcons are dangerous. Imagine a falcon that can breath fire.

    I would raise the Attack stat now that Gale Wings has been nerfed. I mean, Gale Wings was overpowered, but the nerfing has made it almost unusable without full HP.

    Yes, Gale Wings needed to be knocked down a peg. I hated it when people would spam Brave Bird, Acrobatics, and especially Tailwind. Now using Brave Bird allows one in on the first try and then... gone is the priority since it took damage. Not that it matters too much since Talonflame is really fast, but it can no longer spam that damn move if the opponent is faster.

    Compared to other regional birds, I'll give credit and say that the designs are great. I love the fire hawk-look. Still, Staraptor, while not as fast, is fast and can hit harder. It also doesn't have a double weakness to Rock-type moves. It's probably second to Staraptor now that Gale Wings has been nerfed.
  6. Matleo

    Matleo Well-Known Member

    Blog Posts:
    Jun 26, 2015
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    • like thats a fast fire/flying with priority ability
    • was good till got nerfed to much, its ability works now only when its 100% hp, but should be 50%
    • Brave Bird, Roost, Tail Wind, U-turn, Baton Pass, Flame Charge excelent sweeper and wall breaker
    • yes i liked it. Enjoyed the evolution, gym and league battles but would want to see in future it get used by a rival or gym new leader and see how Ash battles against it too. Hope also iin future Ash uses his to battle other oponents. Would deserve more battles with more pokemon.
    • it would be a very predator oriented species living in cities and in the wild
    • make its ability work to 50% of hp or back as it was before? If Gale wings could make all physical attack gain priority then it would work even better with the new priority negating abilities and psychic terrain.
    • yes. Its excessive, because its to harsh if it could work like I mentioned before it would be better. Gale Wings if would make all its physical moves gain the increased priority(+2-would be enough) and work to 25% or 50% of full hp (like Schooling) and would be more interesting beacuse psychic terrain, queenly majesty and dazzling could block it even better. Remember that there are many ways to reduce a pokemons speed, also trick room and tail wind against it or moves to take away its flying advantage Gravity, Take Down. Healing Block against Roost.
    • Talonflame with the other regional birds? Its better cause its not normal/flying, fast and got a good ability. We would need more like this kind off pokemon or similar ones that maybe not all are super fast but get good abilities in return, especially that ice/flying; electric/fling, fairy/flying, ghost/flying, steel/flying and maybe ground/flying? they dont have much representatives. Now take that grass/flying never got such a touch.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
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