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EVERYONE: The Alola Pokedex

Persephone

The Vulture Queen
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Blissey (Happiny, Chansey)

Overview

There is a credible case to be made that blissey was the first pokémon to be tamed. Stone tablets with drawings of blissey in a human camp, and even wearing human clothes, have been found that dated back to 18,000 B.C.E. They were one of the only domesticated pokémon exclusively found in Australia prior to the creation of the mass produced pokéball.

As difficult as it is to believe now, blissey were not introduced outside of Australia until around 1750 C.E. Even the wayfarers could not bring them from island to island without stressing them to the point of death. The pokéball and large sailing ships rectified the problem. At present there are wild populations on every continent except Antarctica.

Blissey is the quintessential healing pokémon of the modern world. Their egg is one of the most potent psychoactive drugs currently known and it is not physically addictive. It also contains every enzyme and growth factor needed for healing in humans. In pokémon it rapidly accelerates the regeneration abilities of almost all mammalian species, most non-mammalian organic species, and some mineral or otherwise non-organic pokémon.

Most Alolan Pokémon Centers have now added blissey or chansey to their staff, either in addition to more traditional options such as comfey and alomomola or as the sole pokémon on hand. They can also be found in the wild on all four islands, although finding or capturing them can be a difficult prospect.

In addition to their use as healers, blissey are the premier special walls in competitive battling. Their combination of power and utility has led to extensive capture (legal and illegal) in their native and international ranges, making the remaining wild blissey very skittish around humans.

Physiology

All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure normal-types. There has been a substantial push in recent years to reclassify them as dual normal- and fairy-types. However, they only meet one of the common traits of fairies (healing powers, reliance on charming or emotional manipulation, propensity for playing pranks, extraterrestrial origin, ties to the moon, weakness to iron). Most other fairies meet at least two or three of the above factors. The Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing its ruling to consider the evidence for a fairy-typing.

Happiny are divided into two distinct segments. The lower half of happiny is covered in a hard, dark pink shell. Only their short, stubby legs protrude from the bottom. The shell has a somewhat loose flap of white skin on top of it which happiny often form into a pouch.

The upper half of happiny’s body is covered in short, light pink fur. They have two arms, which are even shorter and stubbier than their legs. They have a proportionally large face consisting of a mouth and a pair of eyes. They have two darker cheek spots on their face. Towards the top of the head they have three short, hard lumps. These are primarily used for sensory purposes. They have a dark pink ‘bead’ on the very top of their head with a messy, curly ponytail extending from it.

Chansey have been described as being shaped like an oval, or an egg. They have two pink feet, which are substantially longer than those of a happiny. They also have a tail that can extend for up to thirty centimeters behind their body. Their face resembles that of a happiny but it barely grows as the happiny evolves, making it proportionally smaller. They lose the knobs on their forehead but gain two sets of tufts on the sides of their head, where many creatures have ears. The most notable feature of a chansey is the pouch by their arms. This is often used for holding eggs, but they can put unruly happiny or other small pokemon inside in a pinch.

Blissey’s primary differences from chansey are on the lowest half of their body. This portion becomes coated in fluffy white fur. This fur gains two sets of four tufts. They gain additional tufts of fur over their arms. Blissey lose the tufts on their head that they had as chansey and gain large fluffs of long, curly, pink fur in their place.

Blissey have a rather large amount of fat inside of their bodies. However, they also have a surprising amount of muscle. This allows chansey and blissey to run far faster than they appear capable of moving, and happiny are able to lift far heavier objects than most other pokémon of their size.

No stage of the evolutionary line has ears or a nose. They breathe through their mouth and sense vibrations in the air through their pink fur, allowing them to sense movements around them and process sounds.

Blissey appear to have some ability to sense the emotions of those around them and then seek out the source of particularly negative emotions with high accuracy. They do not appear to have any ability to sense pheromones. As such, it is suspected that they may be empathic. Their obsession with easing the physical and mental pain of those around them may simply be a defense mechanism to avoid those unpleasant feelings entering into their own minds. However, blissey (especially those raised by trainers since birth) can be taught to participate in battles and even inflict direct pain on their opponents. Blissey also have no particular aptitude for casting or resisting mental attacks. Human psychics have reported that blissey are a little easier to work with than most humanshape pokémon, but not to a degree that suggests inherent psychic powers.

Blissey grow up to heights of 1.7 meters and masses of up to 70 kilograms. They might be immortal aside from stress, prolonged starvation, or particularly severe injuries (see Illness).

Behavior

The evolutionary line is best known for their caring nature. Wild chansey and blissey often tend to sick or wounded pokémon, predators and prey alike. It is suspected that blissey are the reason that Australian predators evolved to be so deadly: if prey wasn’t killed immediately, that prey wasn’t going to be killed. Chansey primarily cure pokémon by giving them their egg. Even wild blissey appear to have some skill in other forms of healing. This appears to be a learned behavior passed down through generations; a chansey raised in isolation will learn no healing techniques outside of their egg.

Wild chansey tend to flee from all but the sickest and most depressed of humans. Even humans they feel compelled to heal will be approached with the utmost caution and ran from and the first sign of danger. They will almost always put their own freedom and welfare above the health of other creatures.

Because happiny are not known to lay eggs, they will tend to find and carry around any object that superficially resembles an egg and will fit inside of their pouch. Occasionally they will gift their ‘egg’ to a very trusted friend or someone they think needs healed; it is believed that happiny do not understand that their ‘eggs’ do not have any healing properties. The other quirk of happiny that is not present in their adult stages is that they appear to have a low opinion of their appearance. Mirrors anger them and they will attempt to use combs, sticks or anything they can grip to straighten their hair. They are usually unable to succeed. Since they cannot directly touch or see their hair they will eventually forget about the problem.

All stages of the line are highly social pokémon, but they greatly prefer interacting with members of other species. Sometimes two blissey or chansey will live together, especially when one is hurt. But most will only associate with their child. When a happiny evolves, mother and daughter will part and then seldom interact in the future. Blissey and chansey tend to keep large ranges that other members of their species do not enter. While they do not fight over territory, the one whose territory is being intruded upon will usually run to the trespasser and puff her fur up. She will stand still, looking at the trespasser until they leave. On the rare occasion that the intruder ignores her, she will continue to follow her unwelcome guest until they leave the territory.

When a happiny evolves, a new chansey or blissey is introduced, or a member of their species is captured or dies, all blissey and chansey in the area will assemble, work out new territory boundaries, and immediately go back to their homes. It is unclear how blissey can sense other members of the species entering their territory or the calling of a meeting.

Even captive chansey working together in a hospital setting usually need to have individual wings they are responsible for and that other members of the species do not enter.

Blissey are very happy to interact with other species. They will usually bond with one group of one species. Blissey tend to pick the species most closely related to them to bond with. If there are no egg-laying mammals, they will either resort to befriending another mammal or a large bird or reptile. They will help protect the eggs and raise the young of the ward they have attached themselves to, as well as healing the injuries of adults. In exchange, they will sometimes ask for an egg (see Breeding).

Blissey spend a few hours a day foraging on their own if they are not attached to a ward of herbivores. Otherwise, they tend to rely on the ward to bring them food. Blissey’s short limbs make it difficult to pluck berries from trees, and their shape makes it impossible to bend down to eat grass. They can go without food or water for up to sixty days, although they will stop producing eggs if they have not eaten in over ten.

Husbandry

Chansey and blissey are the rare pokémon that do more to care for their trainer than their trainer will need to do for them. However, they are not a good team member for a trainer who does not wish to have much interaction with their pokémon. Blissey hate pokéballs and prefer to be with their trainer or the other pokémon on the team almost constantly. Fortunately for stationary trainers (and unfortunately for travelers), they sleep around fifteen hours a day.

Growing happiny, chansey and blissey will need about 10% of their body weight in food a week. Fully grown blissey will need to eat 3-5% of their body weight a week. Blissey that battle at the highest levels will require 6-8% of their body weight in food. They prefer berries, but they will happily eat most plant material and even honey. Blissey should be handfed due to their very limited use of their limbs. If a blissey is taught a telekinetic move such as psychic, they will need much less assistance.

Water can be provided through large bottles with straws or a water fixture around the height of their mouth. Blissey should be given about one liter of water a day, although they will very seldom drink all of it. If they do, provide them with more water until they stop.

Any blissey or chansey will adopt an abandoned happiny. If you find yourself caring for an orphaned happiny, you should begin seeking out one of the older stages as well. Otherwise, the happiny will tag along with their trainer constantly and grow stressed if they are separated for a long period of time (including by pokéballs).

Never take the egg (or surrogate egg) of any stage of the evolutionary line. If they wish for you or someone else to have an egg, the pokémon will give it freely. Stealing their egg causes a great deal of stress, which in turn reduces the frequency of egg laying.

Blissey and chansey eggs are incredibly tasty and good for healing tissue, boosting the immune system and reducing pain. This makes the species especially popular among trainers with chronic illnesses. Blissey eggs are also powerful antidepressants with a side effect of greatly increasing the consumer’s desire for social interaction. There are presently no other known side effects and blissey trainers are well known for being calm, happy and helpful. The government still closely regulates the trade of blissey eggs. To be safe, you should never own more than one blissey without a specific license to do so. If a blissey gives you an egg you should not redistribute it. This irritates the blissey and is often illegal.

Illness

It is very difficult to kill a blissey. Their body has thick layers of fat around all major organs. Blissey fur also reduces elemental energy. This means that only very, very powerful blunt force attacks and particularly deep and powerful cutting moves can knock a blissey out. Only unrestrained physical attacks from some of the most powerful pokémon in the world can actually kill a blissey. Even then, they will almost always fully recover from attacks such as rhydon tail swings, rampardos head smashes, aegislash cuts, and machamp dynamic punches. To be safe, they should never be left in a fight for more than one of those blows (and smart trainers will put considerable effort into avoiding them altogether).

If a blissey is knocked out in battle they should be immediately withdrawn into a pokéball (ideally a heal ball) and taken to a Pokémon Center as soon as possible. Blissey and chansey are quite good at tending to the wounds of their own species and only a handful of blissey have ever died when taken into the care of a blissey or chansey within two hours of being injured. Most leagues allow trainers to immediately send a pokémon to a nurse after it is knocked out. This option should be taken whenever available.

Well fed blissey, chansey and happiny have never been observed catching an illness or having one of their wounds become infected. Adult blissey do not appear to age. Prolonged starvation can kill a blissey. This dramatically reduces their ability to heal themselves and others. They will usually succumb to injury or infection around two months after being withdrawn from food.

The juvenile forms, especially happiny, are somewhat less durable. Chansey can be outright killed by the sorts of attacks mentioned above, and even the average strong physical move can take them out if left untreated. Happiny are almost always fine fighting baby, juvenile or adolescent pokémon. They can even safely take hits from some adult pokémon provided they are not trained for competitive play or possess exceptionally high strength.

The main reason that blissey and chansey die in captivity is stress. A stressed blissey will experience many of the same symptoms as a starving one. They should be given near-constant social interaction, as much sleep as they want, and frequent access to wide-open green spaces. Confinement indoors or on a small ship is stressful. Some blissey have greater tolerances for battle than others, and this should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to use them in a match.

Evolution

Happiny evolve into chansey around their second birthday. The transition is gradual and the formal demarcation is the creation of their first natural egg. In the wild, evolution is also marked by the new chansey leaving her mother. Blissey evolution is also gradual and the exact demarcation line between chansey and blissey is in dispute. The subsuming of their ear tufts beneath their hair, the development of white fur across their entire lower half, and the disappearance of their tail have all been proposed. All three events tend to take place around the same time, in any case. Chansey evolve into blissey when they have been free from stress for a long period of time. Chansey with very close social bonds, particularly with their trainer, can evolve even if exposed to normal battle stressors.

Battle

Blissey is the premier special tank in international battling. There are very few elemental attacks that they even seem to feel. Even if they are damaged, they can heal themselves in a variety of ways (wish, eating part of their own egg). They have a variety of utility attacks to use while they are walling opponents, such as heal bell, reflect, light screen and stealth rock. Blissey don’t have particularly good elemental attacks, although they can learn a wide variety. Their elemental well is simply too small to be of much use in high tier battles. Blissey’s main means of doing damage is through toxic, which steadily wears down most opponents. They can also use counter to deal with melee attackers.

Blissey is countered by powerful physical attackers, particularly fighting-types, and taunt users. They are also a massive drain on momentum for both the user and the opponent. Those two drawbacks limit their use to defensive or balanced teams.

On the island challenge, blissey are still powerful enough to deal with most opponents offensively, especially if they have a way to exploit a weakness. It’s still usually for the best to use them to wall a particularly difficult opponent that can neither switch out or harm blissey, such as elementally inclined totem pokémon or a kahuna’s team members.

Chansey hold a similar roll, although they are faster and somewhat less powerful and bulky. Blissey don’t really need speed for their role, so chansey are a somewhat niche pick in competitive battling. They are still quite capable of walling almost all elemental attackers on the island challenge, and they’re even capable of dodging or outrunning some projectiles or melee attacks.

Happiny have surprisingly strong tackles. However, they lack a way to reliably heal themselves and they aren’t particularly durable. They can be used to counter weak special attackers that can’t outrun a happiny. Alternatively, a well-trained happiny can learn a utility move or two to help out the team while an opponent struggles to take them out of the fight.

Acquisition

All stages of the evolutionary line can be found throughout Melemele, Akala, and Ula’Ula islands. They can also be found in Poni National Park. Because they are technically invasive they can be captured in all protected areas without additional restrictions.

Federal law prohibits a private individual from owning two blissey at once. This is probably for the best, as outside of a happiny and either a chansey or a blissey they do not get along when held on the same team.

Happiny can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class II license. If the trainer also owns a chansey or blissey, only a Class I license is required. Chansey and Blissey can be captured, adopted or purchased with a Class I license.

The main problem with acquiring a member of the line is finding a wild specimen. They are quick to flee from trainers and their fur gives them a pretty good impression of their surroundings. Chansey and blissey are also rather light sleepers. Even if a trainer does find and corner one, their ward will usually come to her aid to avoid losing their resident healer.

In practice, only three types of trainers encounter a wild specimen: the patient ones, the injured ones, and the very depressed ones. In any case, sudden movements should be avoided around a wild blissey. It is best to try and bond with the creature rather than capturing it outright as chansey and blissey caught by force tend to be very difficult to tame.

Capturing a wild happiny is a tricky prospect as they will almost always be protected, either by their mother or by their ward. They are also quick to flee from humans, although they can usually be outpaced by a moderately fit human moving at a comfortable walking speed. If it becomes clear that a captured chansey or blissey is caring for a happiny, that pokémon should also be captured. Otherwise, we cannot recommend capturing a wild happiny for ethical and practical reasons.

As mentioned above, all stages of the evolutionary line prefer to be held in heal balls. Luxury, love and quick balls are also acceptable, although they will never like staying in the ball for long periods of time.

Breeding

Contrary to popular belief, blissey are not parthenogenic. There are also no male blissey and there is no equivalent species they mate with. Chansey and blissey eggs are impossible to fertilize and are only used for healing purposes. When a blissey wants to reproduce (and only blissey have the ability to do this) they will approach a female in their adopted clan and request an egg. If the female agrees, the blissey will put the egg inside of her pouch.

Through a poorly understood process she will begin to convert the egg into a fertilized blissey egg. The amount of time it takes for the egg to be converted and hatch depends on how closely related the species is to blissey. Bird and reptile eggs can take years to convert. Eggs from kangaskhan (blissey’s closest living relative) typically take only two months after reception to hatch.

Blissey breed very rarely in the wild. They tend to only do so when particularly content or when the local chansey population has declined.

In captivity, blissey must be very happy and kept with another female member of an egg-laying species. Even under the best of conditions, it is unlikely that a blissey chooses to reproduce. Given their very long life expectancies, aversion to their own species, and lack of natural predators, there are sound reasons for the species’ reluctance to have children.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

The Vulture Queen
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Snorlax (Munchlax)

Overview

Most invasive species in Alola eventually settle into a niche and the ecosystem rebalances, albeit in away less favorable to the native species. Resilient as it may be, the Melemele ecosystem has yet to adjust to snorlax. Alolan snorlax are the smallest in the world and they can still eat up to 250 kilograms a day. Their sheer size and appetite have put them towards the top of the local food web since they can bully away every other predator species on Melemele sans salamence.

In 1987, the Hau’oli Zoo acquired a snorlax named Danielle. She became something of a celebrity in the Commonwealth. Petitions surged to allow the importation of munchlax through the less restrictive Category I Importation process. An initial review from the United States Department of Agriculture concluded that the Alolan islands simply were not big enough to be able to support a wild snorlax, making the threat of a resident population establishing itself quite minimal.

It would later become evident that the government overlooked two major factors. Alola has the highest plant growth per acre in the world, allowing it to support a far larger food web than would otherwise be possible. The sheer number of large carnivores on the islands (incineroar, lycanroc, zoroark, arcanine, salamence, braviary, mandibuzz, magmortar, vikavolt, tyranitar, bewear, pangoro, metagross, garchomp, krookodile, vanilluxe, ninetales, etc.) attests to this. Second, snorlax that are limited by food will simply reach maturity without reaching their maximum possible size.

The disparity in licensing required to possess the friendly and easy to care for munchlax and the monstrous snorlax has led to many young snorlax being released, particularly in the Hau’oli area. Most of these releases have not resulted in a stable wild population, especially since the DNR has classified snorlax as their “Number One Species of Interest.” But even the initiative to remove wild snorlax has left a large number of the bears in government hands with no clear place to send them.

At present, the Melemele Kahuna and the DNR have negotiated an agreement to allow wild snorlax to live freely within the Route 1 Holy Site to see how much damage they will actually do to the environment. The results so far have been discouraging, but the experiment has not been ended due to the difficulty of capturing every wild snorlax, preventing more from being released, and finding somewhere to send the recaptured pokémon. In the interim, the importation of additional munchlax has been banned in almost all circumstances. Several of Alola’s top trainers have also added a snorlax to their team to take at least one out of the wild.

One outcome of all of this is that one of the most powerful pokémon in the world can be freely adopted, purchased or captured without seasons or quotas. However, trainers should be advised that snorlax require a Class V license to possess and their owner must be prepared to purchase over one thousand kilograms of food every week.

Physiology

Both stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure normal-types. Neither ruling is contested.

Munchlax in most of the world are covered in a long, thick coat of blue fur. In Alola they tend to only grow a relatively short and sparse one. The fur on the lower half of their head, back paws and part of their chest is usually cream-colored. Munchlax have five short claws on their forepaws and three long and sharp ones on their back paws. Their ears are quite long and munchlax have rather sharp hearing. Their sense of smell is rather limited at birth. The relative strength of their hearing and smell slowly shift as they age; elderly snorlax are effectively deaf but can smell blood from kilometers away. Munchlax have two stomachs, each containing very powerful acid. They seldom chew their food and instead rely on their stomachs to digest it.

The vast majority of a snorlax’s bulk is in their nearly cylindrical torso. Their limbs are relatively small and stubby, although they still end in sharp claws for traction, gripping food and self-defense. While most of this mass is fat, snorlax are also quite muscular due to the need to support and move their own weight. Similarly, they have a very durable skeletal structure. The fur on their back is mostly blue, while the fur on their front and limbs is cream-colored.

Wild Alolan snorlax are smaller than their counterparts in mainland Eurasia, growing up to 1.8 meters in height and 380 kilograms in mass. Captive-raised snorlax can reach heights of up to 2.3 meters and masses of up to 550 kilograms.

Behavior

Most bear pokémon are physical titans that chase and kill their prey through any obstacle. Bewear and pangoro are two such examples in Alola. A snorlax running at max speed can move at up to six kilometers per hour in short bursts. But the average wild snorlax will only run once or twice in their life. Instead snorlax are the ultimate scavengers. When another predator takes down prey, snorlax will wake up and steadily move towards the kill. There are very few predators, in Alola or otherwise, that can take down a snorlax and most don’t even try to defend the carcass. When the original predator has run away, snorlax scarfs down the remains and immediately goes back to sleep. If there is no food to be had for over a week, snorlax will stir and begin to topple and eat trees until it is satiated or something falls from the tree and dies on impact.

Munchlax occupy an ecological role somewhere between a scavenger and a decomposer. They use their acute sense of smell to find food, ideally somewhat rotten food that faster or stronger scavengers wouldn’t bother with, and then they walk tirelessly towards their meal. Then they gulp it down as quickly as possible and stand motionless until their meal is digested. Then they wake up and repeat the process. As they grow larger, they begin to behave more like snorlax.

Snorlax are not social, but they also do not seem to strictly enforce territorial boundaries. If there is not enough food in an area for two snorlaxes, one will eventually just move someplace else. In both the wild and captivity, a sleeping snorlax will seldom actually object to small creatures (such as human children) playing on them while they slumber. This may be because they don’t find it worth the effort to wake up, kill and then eat such small and agile prey.

Outside of Alola, snorlax often hibernate in the winter when most other predators are asleep and fresh kills are less plentiful. Sometimes they retreat into caves or mountain ranges. More often than not, a snorlax (especially one that isn’t pregnant) will simply fall asleep in a forest or field and wake up a few months later.

Husbandry

Munchlax are almost always tolerant of pokéballs. Unless exposed to them as a munchlax, a snorlax will seldom tolerate them for more than a few hours at a time.

Munchlax used to be popular pokémon because they are quite easy to care for and some munchlax, particularly those raised by humans form a very early age, can be quite social. However, unless a trainer goes out of their way to engage one they are more likely than not to simply stand still, half-asleep, between feedings. They produce rather little waste but should still be provided a tray or small pool near their preferred standing spot to catch what they do emit.

In the wild munchlax will often eat as much as they can and then stuff the rest under their fur for later. Unfortunately, their sense of smell and memory are quite weak, meaning that they often forget they put the food their in the first place. If a captive munchlax attempts to put food into their fur they should be allowed to do so. It is extremely unwise to get between a munchlax or snorlax and their food. Instead, the munchlax’s fur should be combed and any food removed should be either thrown out or put in storage for later. Munchlax should be bathed frequently to keep them clean. Munchlax do not mind water (or almost anything else, for that matter). If they are not fed somewhat regularly, munchlax will begin to throw tantrums.

The main challenge with caring for both munchlax and snorlax is the difficulty in feeding them. Munchlax require, at minimum, 1.5 times their body weight in food every week, but they will happily eat up to 2.5 times their body weight. Munchlax will eat virtually anything. Snorlax prefer relatively fresh meat, which means that very few trainers can afford to care for one.

There is a perception that snorlax are rather docile creatures. This is patently false, particularly for wild-caught snorlax. There is a case to be made that snorlax are the most dangerous bear species on the planet. To start with, snorlax are strong enough to break spines with a half-hearted swing of their arms. A nearby human may be deemed large enough and close enough to kill and eat. They do not readily form bonds with humans as they are solitary in the wild. Instead, their trust must be gained over months of associating their human with free and easy food. Only then can proper training of any sort begin.

Snorlax should be given two separate paddocks to feed in at first. This will allow their trainer to clean up any waste in one paddock while they eat or sleep in the other. Their enclosure should be well fortified, ideally with walls and a moat. This prevents snorlax from walking off in pursuit of food when they get hungry or smell something in the area.

Despite appearances and reputations, snorlax do need and even want some measure of exercise. They should be forced to walk at least ten meters to access new food. Some snorlax are inquisitive or even playful. Most are not. If a snorlax regularly spends time awake when there is no food present, they should be provided with toys or changes in their environment on a somewhat regular basis. They enjoy rubber balls that are large enough for them to maneuver and thick enough that they will not be immediately pierced.

Perhaps due to parental instincts or not bothering with small, living prey, snorlax are much more tolerant of children than adults and even wild snorlax will seldom kill a human child. There is some debate as to whether or not it is best to bond a wild-caught snorlax to a child before introducing them to their adult trainer. It is far more effective at acclimating the pokémon, but this method has led to at least two fatal errors.

Illness

Much like blissey, snorlax have highly effective digestive and immune systems that render poisons and infections all but irrelevant. They also have thick layers of fat and muscle around their organs. Snorlax heal well even by pokémon standards, although they will need larger, less frequent meals while they heal.

Munchlax are also resistant to infection and poison, but they can be injured by particularly strong attacks. It is recommended that munchlax trainers use normal precautions in matches. (See Battle.)

Evolution

Munchlax grow fairly gradually and steadily into snorlax and there are few major anatomical differences between the two. As they age, munchlax begin taking more interest in progressively fresher kills and have deeper resting periods. They generally cross the formal demarcation line between munchlax and snorlax (a mass of 200 kilograms) around their fifth birthday. Snorlax grow progressively larger as they age, up to the point where they can no longer consume enough to put on weight.

Trainers wishing to evolve their munchlax more quickly should feed them the maximum amount they will eat. Unlike most species, battles are counter-productive in encouraging growth as they lead to the pokémon expending energy.

Battle

In the 1970s, snorlax was the single most dominant pokémon on the competitive battling scene. The 1950s and 1960s brought advancements in transportation and pokémon care that allowed more trainers to use the bulkiest pokémon in the world, such as skarmory, steelix, avalugg and blissey. Hard stall, or slow stall, became the most common playstyle at the top levels of the battling world.

Two events made the rise of snorlax possible. In 1963, Dr. Judith Black published a comprehensive guide to snorlax care. The guide’s techniques made it possible for individuals without large, well-fortified estates to raise snorlax. In 1969, the first mass-produced ultra ball was put onto the market, giving far more trainers a tool to actually contain or capture a snorlax with.

Snorlax is not quite as bulky as blissey, but it is still covered in thick layers of fat that make it difficult for all but the most physically powerful of pokémon to harm. They are also very strong and have a surprisingly deep and versatile energy well. Snorlax are also effectively immune to all but the strongest of poisons. The result is a pokémon too tough for the average defensive pokémon to hurt, strong enough to wear down walls, and immune to most toxic attacks (the most common means of damage-dealing for stall teams). Snorlax’s main disadvantage, low speed, is essentially irrelevant against the slow walls on hard stall teams. The moves curse and rest allow snorlax to slowly become more bulky and powerful and heal off any weak blows that they take in battle.

Quick stall fares little better against snorlax, as snorlax’s versatile ranged attacks means that it can take out most fast-but-fragile pokémon in time, and most common quick stall pokémon can’t hurt it back.

These days any serious trainer attempting a hard stall team in a league where snorlax is allowed keeps at least one counter on hand. The best answers to snorlax are very powerful fighting-types, most notably machamp. Otherwise, most very tough and very strong physically attackers can take down a snorlax without taking too much damage. In Alola, rhydon and large dragons are the only pokémon (aside from fighting types) that can reliably take on a snorlax and win.

If you have a snorlax on the island challenge, you can probably get through everything bar the Elite Four and Champion without breaking a sweat. But with the high cost of food and the Class V license requirement, it is extraordinarily difficult for a traveling, amateur trainer to care for a snorlax.

Munchlax are somewhat more difficult to battle with. They are somewhat durable, especially for their age and size. And they are also deceptively strong. But most adult pokémon are too durable or too strong for munchlax to take care of. Their energy well is also substantially smaller than an adult snorlax’s, and they will not have the experience needed to use the variety of elemental techniques that a snorlax can. By the end of the second island, munchlax will almost certainly be at a severe disadvantage against almost all opponents.

Acquisition

Munchlax can be bought, purchased or captured with a Class II license. They are most frequently found along the outskirts of Hau’oli City, especially in the Route 1 Holy Site.

Snorlax require a Class V license to possess or acquire. A wild population exists on Route 1, but it is far easier to adopt one from the Alolan government. Contact the Hau’oli office of the DNR for more information.

Breeding

Snorlax mate in spring. If a female and male snorlax share the same range, the female may approach the male. There is no formal courtship ritual, but sometimes the male does decline the chance to mate. This is usually expressed by the male lying down and falling asleep or not bothering to stand up to acknowledge the female.

Snorlax pregnancy lasts roughly seven months. In the late fall, a pregnant female will begin eating with more frequency and even attacking any animal or pokémon that gets too close to them. It is difficult to tell a pregnant snorlax apart from a normal one (or a female apart from a male, for that matter) so extra caution is advised when traveling through snorlax territory in the fall. Trainers breeding snorlax should avoid any contact whatsoever after the first four months of pregnancy.

Snorlax typically give birth after they begin hibernating. The mother seldom wakes up for the duration of the winter while her babies are nursing. In captivity, a pregnant snorlax should be given a cool, enclosed space to use as a cubbing den. After emerging from hibernation, the mother will protect her cubs and share food with them for roughly two months. Then she will stop paying attention to her children, and even scare them off if they try to take food from her.

Subspecies

Despite popular belief, the Alolan snorlax is not a subspecies. Snorlax born in Alola have the potential to reach their full size if well fed.

The subspecies in Alola is the European snorlax. They are native to the foothills, temperate forests and grasslands of Europe. This subspecies is endangered throughout most of their range and has been extirpated from the British Isles. They are still somewhat common in the Pyrenes, Kalos and the European plain.

The European snorlax is closely related to the somewhat smaller eastern snorlax, native to eastern China, Korea and Japan. The eastern snorlax has a slightly thinner coat and hibernates more regularly than the European snorlax. They are capable of running somewhat faster than the European snorlax, and they often kill their own prey. Eastern snorlax have the deepest and most versatile energy well of any subspecies. Unfortunately, they are also the most endangered due to their encroachments into the ever-growing human settlements in their range.

The Himalayan snorlax has a very thick coat and hibernates for up to six months a year. Their claws and paws are larger than the lowland subspecies and their lungs are substantially more powerful. Himalayan snorlax are prone to using their bulk, strength and energy well to trigger small earthquakes, causing avalanches nearby. They will then dig through the amassed snow to find prey. This behavior earned them fear and veneration; although they are not endangered, they are protected by strict conservation laws. There are only three known Himalayan snorlax in captivity, all within the mountain range.

The Siberian snorlax has the highest population and perhaps the strangest behaviors. They are the largest of any subspecies in both weight and bulk. They have never been seen using a non-ice elemental attack, and even then their ice beams are weaker than those of the average European or Eastern snorlax. Siberian snorlax hibernate in the winter by digging themselves down into the permafrost. During the summer they spend most of their waking hours scouring the permafrost for buried carcasses to devour. They seldom drink water, preferring to simply eat chunks of ice when they get thirsty. Siberian snorlax are seldom seen on the surface and relatively little is known about them. They fare poorly in captivity due to the difficulty in replicating their natural habitat.
 
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Slowpoke (Slowbro | Slowking) | Turbann

Overview

Slowpoke is well known and loved among the people of Alola. Their tails are a part of many traditional recipes. Slowbro and slowking are taught as an example of symbiosis in almost all elementary science classes. Due to long traditions and the complexity of the subject matter, much of what the average resident of Alola knows about slowpoke, their partners, and their evolutions is wrong.

The biggest misconception is that slowpoke are symbiotic with shellder; slowpoke bond with a separate species called turbann. Unlike the rather flat shellder, turbann are conical and have a spiral ridge on their exterior. On the inside they are vastly different.

Beyond that, slowpoke are not stupid so much as borderline non-sentient and non-sapient. They do not think so much as follow a basic list of survival impulses. In spite of their official typing, psychics have been unable to have any sort of conversation with them or access any memories. There is even an argument to classify slowpoke not as their own species, but as a sort of external organ for turbann. There is some precedent for this, mostly notably with parasect. Slowbro and slowking are also not two separate entities coexisting; the slowpoke and turbann share a fused nervous system and function as one organism.

Fossils of a species closely resembling slowpoke have been found dating back to the late Devonian era. Given the similarity of turbann to orthocones and the bizarre biology of slowpoke, it is possible that they were an early offshoot of the jellies that convergently evolved to resemble amphibians. However, their dependence on an aquatic species limited them to the ocean's edge. It is also unclear why they left the sea in the first place.

Most captive slowpoke in Alola are held for agriculture or research. Slowpoke and slowbro are not the brightest of pets and slowking are, if anything, too smart for the average trainer to adequately care for. The main appeal of slowpoke for young trainers is that they are a very forgiving choice for learning how to care for aquatic pokémon and species with bizarre biology.

Physiology

Slowpoke is officially classified as a water- and psychic- type. This designation is hotly disputed in academic journals. The debate centers on whether true intelligence is a requirement of the psychic typing. The ability of the species to thrive in cooler waters has also led to some calls for a secondary ice-typing. Slowbro and slowking are also designated as water- and psychic- types. Slowbro's designation is controversial for the same reason as slowpoke's. Slowking's typing is generally agreed upon. Turbann is a pure water-type, although more research might lead to it being granted a secondary typing. The official recognition of turbann as a separate species, and not just a variant of shellder, only occurred in the early 2000s. Proper research into the line is lacking.

Slowpoke are pink quadrupeds with cream-colored bellies and muzzles. Their internal physiology is a strange cross between jellies and amphibians. Slowpoke have a handful of cartilaginous bones as well as some hair-like threads that bind multiple mucus layers together into a coherent organism. There are complex mucus structures in their bodies that perform the basic functions of organs. Rather than proper muscles, they move through a system of hydraulic pumps. They also do not have anything resembling a brain; their nerves form several small clusters throughout their bodies, each of which appears to govern a single function. It is unclear if slowpoke are physiologically capable of higher thought.

Turbann are conical invertebrates. They have hard, gray shells that have a very similar composition to those of cloyster. The spherical mouth of their shell is lined with needle-like teeth, and they have two eye spots on the rim of their shell. On the inside they possess a complex network of passageways, pumps, filters, and nerves that guide the organism.

When a turbann latches onto a slowpoke, a series of changes begin in both organisms. The most obvious external sign is that the slowpoke roughly doubles in size. In slowbro, most of the internal changes occur in the turbann. The areas formerly devoted to propulsion and feeding become filled with neural tissue and reproductive organs. This increases the intelligence of the whole organism and allows the turbann to eventually reproduce (see Breeding). Slowking experience neural growth in not just the turbann, but throughout the slowking's head. The turbann also does not develop reproductive organs. Both slowbro and slowking gain stronger hydraulic pumps to move their larger body around.

Slowpoke grow to lengths of 1.2 meters and masses of 35 kilograms. Turbann grow to lengths of 0.6 meters and masses of 25 kilograms. Slowbro and slowking both grow to heights of roughly 2 meters and masses of 80 kilograms. Turbann can live up to five years in the wild and three in captivity. Slowbro and slowking can live up to twenty-five years in both the wild and captivity. Slowpoke may be functionally immortal unless it evolves.

Behavior

Slowpoke prefer living in moist, cool, coastal habitats. They are capable of living in warmer waters or drier climates, but they must spend more time in the water in these areas. Slowpoke will stand motionless on the waters edge for days on end, sometimes inserting their tail into the water. The same compounds that give slowpoke tails their distinct flavor also lure in fish and small pokémon, allowing the slowpoke to whip them onto land and devour them once they die. Slowpoke can go weeks between feedings. While they are somewhat capable swimmers, they only enter the water when they need to rehydrate.

Turbann are pelagic filter feeders that live right above the thermocline. They swim by pushing water through their bodies. This water is filtered as it moves through the pokémon, and all trapped plankton are digested. Once a turban reaches its full size it will begin following the chemicals released by fishing slowpoke. They can swim upwards of one thousand kilometers to evolve.

Despite the boost in intelligence, slowbro are only slightly more active than slowpoke. They are benthic feeders who use their psychic abilities to locate prey beneath the substrate. Then use their claws, water attacks and telepathy to make the kill. Slowbro eat multiple times most days. When they are not hunting, slowbro typically beach themselves on land and sleep. Outside of mating, slowbro are not particularly social. Sometimes several will live in the same area but they will seldom acknowledge each other.

The average slowking is far more intelligent than the average human. This leads to slowking leading a radically different lifestyle than slowbro. To start, most slowking are vegetarian. They subsist mostly on fruit and seaweeds. When these are scarce near the waterline, they may resort to scavenging or hunting non-pokémon fish or jellies. They are extremely empathic and consistently express a reluctance to harm other sapient creatures. Like most psychics, slowking also spend a considerable amount of time asleep. In the wild, they sleep for roughly twelve hours a day. When they are not sleeping or foraging, slowking spend much of their time socializing or exploring.

Slowking are incredibly curious creatures that seek to understand everything and everyone they encounter. Finding slowbro too dull to bother with, they mostly interact with either other slowking or highly intelligent creatures. This often drives them to seek out a human trainer to teach them about human society, philosophy, and technology.

Slowpoke will sometimes instinctively defend themselves with telepathic bursts. They have very few natural predators because, aside from their tail, their body is difficult to digest and not particularly nutritious. Slowbro and slowking have even fewer predators due to their increased power, intelligence and size. It is not known if turbann have natural predators. It is not thought that anything would bother penetrating their hard shell for the relatively small amount of soft tissue inside of it.

Husbandry

Turbann have a rather high resource threshold of care. They need large quantities of natural seawater to filter and open spaces to swim through and die quickly on land. Turbann also do not form attachments to humans and when placed in the ocean they will attempt to swim away. Because of these limitations, their care is best left to aquariums and large laboratories. The Hau'oli Aquarium has them on display in their Open Oceans exhibit.

Slowpoke also do not form attachments to humans, but they are relatively easy to care for and keep track of. Slowpoke and slowbro show no aversion to pokéballs. A slowpoke should be let out of their pokéball near a large body of water every few days. If the slowpoke walks over to it and sticks their tail in, it is feeding time. Slowpoke eat most kinds of seafood and have also been known to eat insect mixes and raw poultry.

The main concern for slowpoke and slowbro (and a big concern for slowking) is hydration. Because their bodies are mostly liquid and their movement is powered by hydraulic pumps, they need to be given time to soak in water every three days at most. They prefer salt water between three and ten degrees Celsius. In a pinch, they can tolerate fresh water and water up to twenty degrees Celsius.

Slowbro require daily feedings. Their diet is about the same as a slowpoke's, although individual slowbro have different preferences. Slowbro eat until full and then stop eating. While they can and do become attached with their trainers, slowbro are not at all cuddly and do not like being touched. Unlike true amphibians, slowpoke and its evolutions will not be injured by skin contact. They simply find it uncomfortable. Slowbro will also avoid engaging in any activity at all, including socialization to training. Getting a slowbro to obey even simple and costless commands is an exercise in patience.

Slowking should be provided with seaweed (or lettuce in a pinch) and fruit until they are no longer hungry. Most slowking have a particular fondness for watermelons. They will need to sleep roughly twelve hours a day and they are content to do so within their pokéball. Slowking generally prefer dive balls. Slowbro have not demonstrated a preference in pokéball type.

When they are not sleeping or eating, slowking need to be outside of their pokéball exploring or conversing. They are as inquisitive as a toddler and have the intellect of a Ph.D. student. Even the smartest of trainers will struggle to keep a slowking entertained on their own. Successful slowking trainers generally teach their pokémon to read and telekinetically lift books. They will then rely upon a library, television, or computer to keep the slowking occupied. Some universities have experimented with having slowking oversee dormitory floors so they can learn from many different people and attend classes themselves as payment.

As implied above, most slowking quickly figure out telepathic and verbal human speech. It is not uncommon for a slowking to learn multiple languages. This gives even non-psychic trainers a pokémon they can speak with. Many trainers find that this elevates the pokémon from pet to family in their eyes. It can be quite difficult for trainers to adjust to having a new sapient being they are required to care for and that wants to take up as much of their time as possible. If your slowpoke evolves into a slowking (see Evolution) and you are not prepared to make the transition, it is best to give up the pokémon before it becomes attached.

All stages of the slowpoke line produce exclusively liquid waste. Upon being sent out of their pokéball, slowpoke and slowbro should be placed over a small pool or tub, or at least an area that can be urinated on. Slowking are quite capable of housebreaking themselves.

Of course, the main reason people train the line in Alola is for slowpoke tails. Wild slowpoke require their tails to hunt and become distressed when they lose their tail unexpectedly. They shed and regrow their tails naturally on a roughly three-month cycle. Captive slowpoke can have their tails harvested as soon as they reach full size as they do not require their tails to find food. Tails regenerate in full over the course of a month. A tail-less slowpoke should regularly be offered food, as the normal means of gauging their hunger is inapplicable.

Illness

The most common problems for turbann are starvation and shell thinning. Starvation occurs when there is an inadequate or imbalanced amount of food in their environment. Pumping in fresh coastal seawater to their tank generally solves this problem. There is a corollary problem where too much particulate matter in the environment can clog up a turbann's filter system. Visibly murky or silty water should be avoided. Shell thinning is caused by inadequate calcium carbonate concentrations in their tank. If a turbann's shell appears brittle or cracks, then more calcium needs to be introduced as soon as possible. To prevent these injuries, supplemental calcium sources should always be present in the tank.

Slowpoke are remarkable regenerators. Given enough food, water and time they can regenerate from anything except near-complete shredding or dissolution. The most common problems in captivity occur when they are not given the food, water or time they need to heal.

If a slowpoke's skin ever stops being bright pink and slimy, they should immediately be offered a pool and allowed to stay outside of their pokéball until they completely remove themselves from the water. This also applies for the evolutions of slowpoke. When wounded slowpoke should be given an increased supply of food and not be put into battle again until they have fully recovered.

In the event of a slowbro's devolution they should immediately be placed into professional veterinarian care.

Evolution

When a turbann bites a slowpoke, a variety of physiological changes occur. Many of these are detailed in the Physiology section of this article. The union of a turbann and slowbro appears to be the only way for slowpoke to evolve. In the wild, the vast majority of turbann choose to latch onto a slowpoke's tail rather than their head. How a turbann decides where to attach themselves is unclear. The leading theory at present is that turbann gauge the chemical markers slowpoke put into the water to evaluate the health of the slowpoke slumber and the number of slowbro and slowking. If the slumber is threatened or declining or there are only one or two slowking, the turbann is incentivized to evolve a slowpoke to slowking in order to solve the slumber's problems and increase its numbers (see Breeding).

Trainers who wish to use a slowbro or slowking are recommended to acquire one that has already evolved. Evolving a slowpoke without external aid requires letting a slowpoke rehydrate and catch its fish naturally while under constant supervision (they will not return to their trainers on their own) until they are eventually bitten by a turbann. Alternatively, trainers can pay the Hau'oli Aquarium for the chance to put their slowpoke in the same tank as turbann. In both cases it is impossible to determine what a slowpoke evolves into.

Slowbro has a mega evolution. It takes the form of a temporary flash evolution. Excess energy is channeled into the turbann, allowing it to grow until it covers almost the entire slowpoke. It is believed that this might cause the slowpoke some distress, if not actual pain. This runs against the theory that turbann and slowpoke become one cohesive organism rather than a partnership of two separate creatures. Or, perhaps, the slowpoke's face is expressing the discomfort of the collective being itself. In any case, mega evolution of slowbro is currently banned in most competitive matches in Alola. Mega evolving slowbro requires a Class V license.

Slowbro are notable for being one of the few pokémon to experience devolution. When a turbann detaches itself from slowbro, either because of external trauma or the normal reproductive cycle (see Breeding), the slowpoke has a chance to survive. Upon detachment, the slowpoke loses access to much of it central nervous system. They are also usually far out to sea and experiencing massive blood loss. However, sometimes the slowpoke will manage to guide itself to shore without being devoured by predators. At this point they will usually haul themselves into the shallows and rest. Over the next few weeks, wounds will close and the nervous system will return to that of a slowpoke. Most disturbingly, large chunks of flesh are expelled as the slowpoke returns to the size it was before evolution. When everything is completed, the rejuvenated slowpoke will awaken and resume hunting as if nothing had happened at all.

Battle

Turbann has never been used on the competitive battling scene. One journal article proposed that they might have a niche in underwater battles. Their relative agility and the durability of their shells could allow turbann to stall out the clock with perish song or poisoning in play. However, even that article conceded that cloyster would probably be more useful due to the species' superior intelligence and offensive power. Pyukumuku is also probably better as a defensive utility pokémon in underwater battles. In any case, almost all captive turbann are owned by aquariums and thus are highly unlikely to see battle. On the rare occasions where a sharpedo or other predator has threatened a turbann in their tank, they did not fight so much as unleash a powerful jet of water to get to the other side of the tank and stun the predator

The only known method of training a slowpoke to respond to commands involved extensive cognitive rewiring from a high-level psychic. Ignoring the ethical and legal implications of this, it is simply impossible for the vast majority of trainers to do. The only real way to use a slowpoke in battle is to send it out and hope that the right reflexes kick in when the slowpoke gets attacked. Typically, slowpoke will defend itself with low-powered water bursts and telepathic attacks. These usually only manage to annoy adult pokémon, but some juvenile or frail pokémon can be knocked out.

Slowking is gifted with a reasonably deep and versatile energy well and a naturally high intelligence. A captive slowking can learn to use up to eight elemental attacks. Slowking can also learn a variety of utility moves such as light screen, scald, future sight, yawn and trick room. When combined with the line's naturally fast healing slowking is a decent special wall and utility pokémon that can still pack a punch if needed. One of the Top 100 Trainers, Gabriel Perez, uses one on their main team.

Slowbro has a slightly different role in competitive battling. They cannot be taught the sheer number of moves that a slowking can learn. Instead, slowbro trainers abuse a quirk of their physiology: they seem unable to feel any pain at all. Their mucus-like flesh also practically knits itself back together in the water or while stored in a dive ball. These attributes allow slowbro to take a lot of damage, both at once and throughout a match. They can also be taught a utility move or two, reasonably powerful water and psychic attacks, and perhaps one elemental move for coverage. This is all they really need to check some of the premier water, rock and fighting type pokémon in the metagame and then continue to check them throughout the entire match.

Still, slowbro faces competition from other bulky water-types that are a bit easier to train and can learn a wider variety of moves. Milotic is also a durable, fast healer. In addition, milotic learns more utility moves, hits harder and can last longer against a single opponent. They are generally better companions. The advantages slowbro has over milotic on professional circuits are the ease of acquisition, telepathic resistance, endurance throughout a battle and their ability to take stronger single hits without fainting from pain.

On circuits where mega evolution is allowed, slowbro is viewed as one of the metagame's top pokémon. In addition to the advantages listed above, almost nothing can pierce a mega slowbro's shell. They can also be trained to move quickly enough that it's hard to line up a reliable strike on the (still pain immune and fast-healing) head.

For trainers on the island quest, slowking plays much the same as it does on the competitive scene. They should be taught new attacks regularly and given new puzzles and games to encourage them to master old attacks or use different combinations of them. This allows them to play a more versatile, technical game than any opponent a trainer is likely to face on the island challenge, with the possible exceptions of the fourth kahuna, the elite four, and the champion. Slowking still faces competition from primarina for a slot as the intelligent, reasonably durable water-type and translator on a team.

Slowbro generally fares better on island challenges than it does on the U.S. competitive scene. Even relatively untrained slowbro are still durable enough to tank any neutral attacks they are likely to encounter before the elite four. And while milotic and toxapex are better at filling the bulky water role, the rarity of feebas and diet of toxapex mean that most trainers are better off just getting a slowbro.

Acquisition

Turbann require a Class IV license to purchase, adopt or capture. Their capture is prohibited within fifty nautical miles of the coast. This ban, combined with their habit of staying about ten meters below the surface makes them difficult to find. Again, turbann is not recommended for traveling trainers.

Slowpoke require a Class I license to capture, adopt or purchase. They are typically found congregated along Kala'e Bay or the runoff streams of Mt. Lanakila where the waters are cooler than in the rest of Alola.

Slowbro and slowking require a Class II and III license to possess, respectively. Unlike most other species, trainers who captured their pre-evolution with a lower license are not automatically allowed to keep the pokémon when it evolves. This is because newly evolved slowbro and slowking almost never show any loyalty to the trainer who cared for them as a slowpoke. Both are found in the same locations as slowpoke. Trainers taking the island challenge are limited to capturing one slowbro or slowking total. They are only allowed to do so if they have defeated a kahuna within the past year. All other trainers are prohibited from capturing a slowbro or slowking.

Breeding

Slowbro produce turbann and slowking produce slowpoke. After an apparently random period of time, a female slowbro will begin to produce more egg cells inside of her shell. She will then seek out a male to mate with. After the eggs are fertilized, the slowbro will swim up to fifty kilometers off the continental shelf, often over the course of several days. Then the turbann will detach from the slowpoke and release roughly three million eggs into the water. These eggs will drift in the current for six weeks before hatching into zooplankton. They will then develop into an adult turbann over the next year. The turbann mother will perish, and usually the slowpoke will also die due to being stranded far from shore with low food reserves and a profusely bleeding wound.

Slowking have much more conventional reproduction. When food is abundant and threats are scarce, slowking will seek each other out and mate. Unlike true amphibians, slowking are internally fertilized and give birth to two to three live young after a four month pregnancy. Both parents help in protecting the slowpoke until they are roughly three months old, at which point the parents pay no more attention to them than they do to the rest of the slumber. Slowking do not die after reproducing and can do so many times over the course of their lifespan.

Slowbro should not be bred in captivity due to the high risk of death and abundance of wild turbann and slowpoke. Slowking are not shy about reproduction and will express their needs and desires freely to a trainer they trust. Due to their desire to coparent, one trainer will need to either own two slowking or borrow one for a few months in order to facilitate breeding. Pregnant slowking will require slightly elevated amounts of food and a damp, cool and quiet place to retreat to. They should not be used in battle. Male slowking grow more aggressive and territorial after mating and have even been known to lash out at their trainers if they perceive them as a threat to the female. Caution is advised around the males during pregnancy and child-rearing.

Subspecies


The fossil record and drawings found in Phoenician settlements suggest that slowpoke lived in the North Atlantic until roughly 3,000 years ago. It is unclear why the Atlantic slowpoke died out rather abruptly throughout its entire range. The only living subspecies is the Pacific slowpoke, which lives around the North Pacific and down much of the South American coast.

Turbann live throughout the Pacific Ocean and have no recognized subspecies.
 
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Persephone

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Pelipper (Wingull)

Overview

A handful of species have established nearly global ranges. For the most part these are small and hardy pokémon. Few have the power or majesty to attract worship. Yet pelipper plays a central role in several world mythologies and have earned the fear and respect of sailors the world over.

Pelipper are widespread and worshipped because of their almost unique ability to manipulate wind and rain. In the wild, they congregate in groups of hundreds or thousands and beat their wings and use water attacks in coordination. This can change wind currents and bring rain. Some captive pelipper have been taught to do something similar on their own, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Alolan mythology holds that pelipper came to Alola alongside humans. Indeed, there is some evidence that Polynesian cultures may have tamed pelipper as hunting companions in much the same way canine and feline pokémon were tamed and used elsewhere.

The parallels to dogs and cats are easy to see. Pelipper are social and relatively intelligent. Wild pelipper do not have clear hierarchies, but their communal nature makes them adapt well to captivity. They eat many of the same fish species as humans and can learn to hunt in tandem. However, they have never been properly domesticated anywhere in the world. While pelipper can respect and use humans they are proud and unruly and even the most docile refuse to submit completely to anyone, bird or human.

The attributes listed above make them a decent choice pokémon for beginning trainers. They also make for an excellent gateway to raising and battling with flying-types, although it should be noted that pelipper generally do not get along with other species of birds.

Physiology

Wingull have rather simple builds. They have long, flat, and straight wings. These are useful for gliding and catching thermal updrafts. Wingull beaks tend to be about as long as their core body. They have short trains of several long, blue feathers.

The core body of a wingull is rather small and contains a short digestive tract, heart, and air cavity. This cavity functions as both lungs and a swim bladder. Curiously, wingull do not need to breathe. Instead they can intake air from small slits beside their beak and release it through similar slits on the posterior. They can only do this while flying. While grounded or swimming, they must breathe through their beak. Due to the small size of their air cavity wingull cannot hold their breath for long. As such wingull seen out of flight will usually be gaping with their beak wide open.

The vast majority of a pelipper’s body is made up of their bill and supporting organs. The Alolan pelipper’s bill is pink and looks like a large scoop, with the upper half of the bill forming a nearly flat lid. Pelipper do not have a proper stomach. Instead, they pump digestive acids into the bill itself and digest it there. Because of this pelipper have to land shortly after filling their bill with food in order to safely digest it without the risk of acid sloshing outside of their very durable bill. A pelipper with a full beak is also quite heavy, making it difficult to fly even with aerokinesis. Pelipper’s lungs are much stronger than wingull and allow them to breathe even if their mouth is closed for several hours. Their nostrils are located beneath their eyes.

Pelipper have waterproof pale blue feathers. They have short, thin legs and webbed feet. Unlike most other subspecies, the Alolan pelipper has a trail of feathers that it uses to sense the wind. Alolan pelipper also have a much longer wingspan and wing surface area than any other subspecies. As the largest and heaviest subspecies, they need large wings to catch air currents and stay aloft. Between these changes, the Alolan pelipper looks more like a conventional bird of prey than other subspecies do. There is a theory, preliminarily supported by DNA tests, that the pelipper in Alola may have had widespread interbreeding with toucannon and mantine in the past. At present wild pelipper infrequently leave their flock to mate with another species of bird pokémon. The resulting offspring are sometimes reproductively viable and are often accepted into a pelipper flock if they wish to join.

Pelipper can have a wingspan of up to 1.8 meters and a mass of 30 kilograms. They usually live for eight to twelve years in the wild and up to twenty in captivity.

Behavior

Individual pelipper have moderately powerful aerokinesis and water elemental abilities. In large groups they can combine their gusts to form large, powerful storms that have minimal impact on individual pelipper. It is unclear exactly how they manage this coordination as they do not appear to possess a hivemind and, while intelligent, there are far smarter birds that cannot coordinate as well as pelipper can.

Pelipper’s storms are their primary means of hunting. Their preferred food are wishiwashi. Turbulent waters disrupt wishiwashi’s ability to school, making it hard for them to defend against pelipper scooping them up. Other surface-dwelling fish such as finneon and luvdisc are also often unable to navigate well during pelipper storms.

The Alolan pelipper is more audacious in confronting other birds than any other tropical subspecies. They will often swarm the rookeries where migrating birds congregate. Roughly two-thirds of the flock will keep up a powerful storm to ground or disorient the adult birds. The rest will swoop in and try to make off with eggs or young birds. Braviary are generally able to power through the winds and can easily take down a pelipper. Mandibuzz have taken to roosting further inland or placing their nest inside of a crevice or other area difficult for pelipper to reach. Hawlucha and delibird have fewer adaptations, forcing them to live within the same range as braviary or dragons to stand a chance.

Pelipper have a few predators themselves. Talonflame are skilled fliers that mind water far less than other fire-types. They are known to kill pelipper for food and sport. Vikavolt show a particular resentment towards pelipper and hodad will sometimes cull pelipper colonies that get too brash. Pelipper are salamence’s favorite prey; there is very little even a flock of pelipper can do against a large airborne dragon.

The Alolan pelipper is the only subspecies that does not rest in cliff faces or trees. Instead a flock descends upon a beach and makes itself at home. On most days scores of pelipper can be seen wandering around Hau’oli Beach. They sometimes wander into the city to explore. If provoked pelipper rear up and start flapping their wings while honking as loud as they can. This summons more pelipper who engage in the same behavior. Grounded pelipper are not particularly strong but this scares off most predators that attempt to attack their nesting grounds.

If intimidation does not scare predators away some pelipper will spew the acidic, partially digested content of their bills at the attacker. Because this costs them a meal it is a last resort.

Husbandry

It is best to obtain a pelipper as either an egg or a wingull. They will be ornery regardless, but the younger a pelipper is exposed to humans the less aggressive it will be. Generally, pelipper are tolerant of their own trainer after a few days, weeks or months of adjustment. They will also usually harass any other human they come across using the method detailed in the Behavior section.

Pelipper are perfectly tolerant of pokéballs during the night and the bulk of the day. They prefer to be fed in the morning and be given a few hours to sit still and digest food. When necessary, pelipper feedings can be pushed back until the afternoon or evening to allow for a morning battle. However, they will be somewhat aggressive until fed. Wingull are more tolerant of their pokéball than pelipper and are far more tolerant of varying feeding schedules.

Wingull and pelipper should be fed diets consisting largely of fish, poultry and eggs. Some wingull enjoy berries, but the birds cannot digest them well enough to be primarily herbivorous. Pelipper tend not to enjoy anything but meat and eggs. They should be fed roughly half the volume of their bill every day and the full volume after strenuous battles or training.

Once a pelipper has adapted to having a trainer they will typically demand nearly all of their trainer’s time when they are outside of their pokéball. They do not tend to play with other pokémon aside from other wingull or pelipper. As such many pelipper trainers find it easier to keep a mated pair than an individual.

Pelipper are clever. However, their lack of a functional beak or talons means that most bird enrichment items will not work for them. Some trainers have reported that pelipper will push around and harass a beach ball for hours at a time treating it like a living organism intruding upon their territory. In general visually interesting objects or items a pelipper can shove away make for the best toys.

Wingull are even more curious and playful than pelipper. They also have a much more useful beak. Puzzle items that require manipulation to obtain treats are always popular with the gulls. Small eggs or seeds make for good rewards. Wingull can also be target-trained, biting at items in exchange for food. More than anything, wingull enjoy being allowed to fly around an area and explore it. However there are many predators willing to attack a solitary wingull. If a wingull is allowed to explore they must be supervised (ideally by an electric- or ice-type that can scare other birds away).

Wingull and pelipper do not have an anus. Instead, they dispose of waste by regurgitating it. Wingull can be housebroken and taught to do so outside or in a specific location. If they did not learn as a wingull, pelipper will refuse to learn on principle. Because their digestive processes are not particularly efficient, a pelipper can produce a lot of waste. Trainers of non-housebroken pelipper should be prepared to have to clean it up at inconvenient times and in inconvenient places.

Illness

Because their beak is not good for grooming, pelipper struggle to keep parasites at bay. In the wild the fierce storms pelipper fly in clear away lice and fleas.Captive pelipper that have not learned how to create a storm on their own do not have this advantage. It is important for trainers to brush their pelipper once every two to four days. Unfortunately, pelipper have a strong dislike for having their feathers touched even by trusted humans. But an unbrushed pelipper will quickly develop disease or feather problems that make it harder for them to swim or fly. While these can be medically treated, it is ultimately easier to just regularly groom your pelipper, however unpleasant it may be for everyone involved.

Evolution

Pelipper has a combination of normal growth and flash evolution. Wingull steadily increase in size after birth. After they gain enough experience with flight, aerokinesis and their environment, they undergo flash evolution into a pelipper of roughly the same mass. They then steadily grow until they reach their final size.

In captivity, wingull evolution can be sped up by providing them with plenty of toys and chances to explore. Learning new moves and battling also accelerate the process. Conversely, an everstone can keep a wingull from evolving. There is some evidence that wingull learn skills more readily than pelipper and they are generally easier to keep in line. Some trainers have kept their wingull from evolving for the full course of their life with no apparent side effects. However, pelipper are far better battlers. Trainers on an island challenge should evolve their wingull at the first opportunity.

Battle

Pelipper are far less powerful on their own than in a flock. The Alolan pelipper’s size makes it better at fighting alone than most subspecies but it will still take extensive training to teach one to summon and control storms. This is the primary advantage of capturing a wild pelipper; they will have been taught by other pelipper since birth how to master the winds. Trainers willing to exchange more hardships in husbandry for a simpler training process should keep this in mind.

There are many other pokémon that can alter the weather on small temporal and spatial scales. Some, such as castform and politoed, are even better than pelipper at summoning rain. But pelipper is the only pokémon in Alola that can instinctively whip up a full storm, gale-force winds and all. Other birds can be taught to summon rain and provide wind on their own, but their rain tends to take longer to summon and then falters shortly after they leave the field. When all of this is taken together, pelipper is easily the best cornerstone for rain teams on the competitive circuit.

Pelipper functions as an arena-controlling zoner in battle. They take to the skies and spend most of their time and effort controlling their storm. When they must attack directly they fire off water-attacks or manipulate gusts of wind into striking their opponent. A skilled pelipper trainer will only have their pokémon land to use roost. Most pelipper on the competitive battling scene carry toxic and scald to wear down opponents over time.

Pelipper still have two glaring weaknesses. Electric-types can usually target and knock them out easily and pelipper have few options for defending against thunderbolts. They are also not fast movers on the ground and must be in the air to control their storm. Once the first thunderbolt knocks them down to earth, they can very seldom get back up before they are knocked out entirely. The second weakness is to more imposing birds or dragons. As in the wild braviary, talonflame and salamence can usually fly through a pelipper’s storm and land a quick knockout in close-quarters combat.

In addition to their role as a rain-setter pelipper are good at taking down teams that only have a rock or ice type as their bird check. However the recent rise of vikavolt has been horrible for pelipper and for rain teams as a whole.

It is extremely unlikely that a trainer on the island challenge can teach a pelipper to summon a full storm before they complete all of the trials. Pelipper are neither bulky nor powerful enough to hold their own after the second island. They still make for excellent pets after the challenge ends but trainers should manage their expectations during the actual challenge itself.

Absent a full storm pelipper function as relatively bulky but weak birds. They should try to stay in the air as much as possible and rely on wind and water attacks to take down opponents from a distance. If they do get knocked down pelipper have few good options up close. Their main defense mechanism in the wild, regurgitation, requires feeding the pelipper a large meal before battle. This keeps them from flying and also only works once. As such it is not a particularly good strategy. Toxic and scald are the best moves for the amateur’s pelipper. Whirlwind is an option for warding off losing matchups. Despite these tricks, when pelipper find themselves at a disadvantage they often lose spectacularly and quickly. It is unlikely they have a chance to land a whirlwind.

Wingull play very differently from pelipper. Generally they will need to get up close and strike with their beak. Wingull also have rather weak wings and need assistance to get into the air. The solution to this is that a trainer should toss their wingull at the start of the match. Then all effort should be put into making sure the wingull stays airborne. A grounded wingull can still often hold their own against weaker opponents through intimidation displays and pecks but they are much less useful than a wingull able to circle their opponent and wait for the opportune moment to strike.

Acquisition

Wingull and pelipper are found on practically every beach in Alola, except for areas where braviary are actively breeding. They also avoid the black sand beaches on Ula’Ula. Wingull require a Class I license to adopt or purchase and a Class II license to capture. Pelipper require a Class III license to capture, adopt or purchase. Trainers should be warned that approaching a pelipper flock with the intent of capturing a wingull or pelipper will likely lead to a confrontation with the entire flock. It is best to pick on isolated pelipper off exploring.

Wingull that have grown accustomed to captivity generally fare poorly in the wild. Some pelipper owners eventually decide cleaning up after their pet is more trouble than it’s worth. As such there are usually wingull and pelipper in the major pokémon shelters. These birds will also have already acclimated to people and been housebroken (if possible). The easiest way to obtain a wingull or pelipper is to adopt one.

Alternatively, the Seafolk sell pelipper that are trained to manipulate winds on their own. They typically charge between $5,000 and $10,000 for one. This prices out most trainers on an island challenge, but established trainers who want to explore rain teams may be interested.

Breeding

Pelipper mate for life. Generally a male interested in a female will go out and hunt well before dawn, before the flock wakes and conducts their own hunt. The male will fill up their bill with fish but not begin digesting it. They will then swim to shore (it is usually too difficult to fly solo with a full beak). The male will find their prospective mate and present them with the catch. If the female accepts it, they will begin to stay close to each other at all times, seldom getting more than 15 meters apart.

Pelipper breed at the height of rainy season, typically in January or February. Most migratory birds are absent at this time. The female lays a single egg each season. The parents will spend most of their time huddled around the egg. If small predators approach one parent will leave to harass them away. If a large predator is spotted near the flock half of the birds will take to the air and attempt to force them away. The other half will guard the eggs. Similarly, half of the flock will leave each morning to hunt. They will then share part of their catch with the partner watching the egg. Males and females alternate hunting and defense duties.

It is impossible to identify the sex of a pelipper or wingull without very close examination of their genitals. This is best done by a veterinarian while the bird is under anesthesia. The procedure is viewed as elective and nurses at public centers will charge for it. Unless a trainer wishes to breed their pelipper it is easiest to just randomly assign a gender. The pelipper will not understand or mind.

Trainers who do wish to breed their pelipper are encouraged to get their pokémon tested. Then they should adopt or purchase a pelipper of the opposite sex. The male should be given the chance to hunt on their own until they court the female. Females are pregnant for roughly three weeks before laying their egg, which will take another month to hatch. Once the egg has been laid neither member of the pair should be withdrawn into their pokéball or disturbed outside of feedings.

Pelipper are devoted parents to their wingull for the first two months. The parents will behave very aggressively towards anyone except for their trainer during this time and one should always be outside of their pokéball with the child. Around the two month mark the parents will begin losing interest and the wingull will become essentially independent. Normal husbandry routines may be resumed at this time.

Subspecies

Most of the eight subspecies of pelipper are rather similar to the Alolan pelipper. They have slight differences in build, color and behaviors to adapt to their environments, prey and predators. Only one is particularly notable.

The blessed, or African, pelipper is the most migratory subspecies. They seldom settle down for long, preferring to constantly travel across the continent bringing heavy rains. The blessed pelipper flies at night and collects moisture. Their wingbeats and winds can sound like drums and whispers, respectively. One of the oldest pelipper in the flock stays above the clouds, occasionally dipping down to communicate with the others. It is believed that this elder is navigating by starlight. Just before dawn, the flock abruptly stops and circles in place. They unleash all collected moisture in a single, powerful rain. Then individual members of the flock begin to swoop down and pick on anything scurrying for shelter. They also scavenge any fire types killed by the torrent.

The blessed pelipper rests during the day. They are the most curious and intelligent subspecies and some individuals will wander to nearby settlements to exchange songs. The blessed pelipper is very skilled at manipulating sound using their throat pouches and they have a very good individual and collective memory. Anthropologists have taken to eavesdropping on blessed pelipper flocks to learn long-forgotten words and ancient melodies.

Once a year, all of the blessed pelipper fly to Mt. Kilimanjaro. They intermingle and breed there. Members are exchanged between flocks and, at the end of breeding season, they all rise above the Serengeti in one massive swarm of birds before dispersing again. One female remains on the mountain and waits there for the rest to return.
 
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Persephone

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Alakazam (Abra, Kadabra)

Overview

Pokémon are generally considered to be separate from other lifeforms based on their ability to manipulate elements. In essence, there is one set of physics and biology that binds humans and other animals and a whole separate set that governs pokémon.

As with everything in nature that clean binary gets messier the more it’s examined. Some pokémon are so similar to baseline plants or animals that only genetic testing has marked them as pokémon. And some humans can do things that violate simple biological explanation. The most notable subgroup of these superpowered humans are the psychics. Human psychics are split into nearly a dozen subclasses and scientific research as to how and why psychic powers work is still a new field. But the psychics themselves are not new. In ancient times, they were viewed as priests of the gods and often played outsized roles in court politics. There is some evidence that they played a major role in the early domestication and taming of pokémon.

They also played a key role in the spread of alakazam.

Alakazam possess an incredible intellect. They are also some of the most powerful telepaths and telekinetics in the world. Yet alakazam’s greatests gifts hold them back in the wild. From their final evolution on alakzam scan the minds of everyone around them. They reflexively store most of this information and almost never forget any of it. But the more information an alakazam has downloaded, the less quickly they can process all of it. Alakazam are also deeply afraid of making poor decisions and looking foolish which compels them to check their entire memory for relevant information before acting. As such an elderly alakazam can stand motionless for hours or even days before making even a simple decision.

Humans can be very helpful in this regard. They can make most of the short term decisions for an alakazam. If the decision leads to a bad result, the alakazam sees themselves as virtually blameless and they feel only mild shame from it. In exchange alakazam make for fearsome protectors, powerful telepaths and very wise advisers. However, because alakazam are constantly sifting through the thoughts and memories of everyone around them only natural psychics can withstand their presence for long enough to gain their trust. All others will develop horrible migraines and, if exposed for months on end, cancer or dementia.

Because of their utility to psychics and psychics’ prominent role in early civilization, alakazam were traded between courts and brought by conquerors to their new lands. In time, captive alakazam spread throughout most of the old world. In the wild they are still limited to areas with either large silver deposits or a long lineage of alakazam that have left their spoons behind.

Alola’s silver deposits are so small and diluted that commercial mining is infeasible and alakzam were introduced less than a century ago. These factors sharply limit the size and range of the population to a handful of small islands in the “Poké Pelago” and the city of Hau’oli. The former site has several active mineshafts that let abra get below the surface and begin sifting for silver. The latter has an abundance of silver that can be stolen. As such abra are usually seen as a pest species in Alola.

There have been serious discussions of culling the wild population and imposing a mandatory genetic registry of existing alakazam. These efforts have never moved past the proposal stage. It is extremely difficult to capture an abra and even harder to kill one. In practice, only psychics and baseline humans with highly specialized (and expensive) equipment can do so. Alakazam have a history of destroying said equipment when they learn about it. Human psychics are often reluctant to help destroy a pool of potential partners.

Trainers who test beneath a 150 on a PSY test are strongly discouraged from training abra. But if you happen to have psychic gifts, alakazam should be seriously considered as a partner.

Physiology

All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure psychic-types. This ruling is not controversial.

Abra are bipedal. Their torso, groin and feet are covered in thick, tan, leathery skin. Their arms and legs do not have as much protection and are instead covered in fine tan hairs. The skin covering their torso is either brown or, more rarely, purple.

Abra’s head is disproportionately large for their size. Most of it is also covered in tan fur. They have large eyes and vaguely feline ears. While abra mostly experience the world through telepathy they require powerful senses to watch out for the dark types they cannot psychically detect. Abra also have a long, thin tail.

Kadabra for the most part look like larger and bulkier abra, but there are a few notable differences. Kadabra have a much longer and fluffier tail. The volume of this tail usually exceeds that of the rest of their body. Kadabra gain a small ridge under their groin that appears to help with moving the tail. They also gain a set of red markings on their groin and forehead. These markings are unique for each individual. Kadabra also have much longer and sharper claws than abra do. In addition, kadabra grow a long moustache that droops down past their chin.

The main external differences between kadabra and alakazam are that the latter loses their tail and red markings. Alakazam also tend to have much larger heads than kadabra. An alakazam’s head continues to grow throughout its life. While the muscles in their frame clearly cannot support this, no stage of the evolutionary line has any particular reliance on their muscles. Sometimes a cornered kadabra or alakazam might lash out with their claws, but even these movements are powered by auto-telekinesis rather than any sort of muscles. In fact, alakazam’s musculature is only powerful enough to keep them alive and slowly moving for roughly one hour.

Alakzam grow up to 1.6 meters tall. Excluding their spoons they weigh only about 25 kilograms. Alakazam live for up to eight years in the wild or twelve in captivity.

Behavior

Wild alakazam are nocturnal and forage under the cover of darkness. This initially confused researchers because alakazam’s greatest threats are dark-types, which are generally nocturnal. However, this makes a degree of sense. During the day alakazam rely on their telepathy to detect threats and teleport away from them. They cannot easily read dark types, meaning that one can ambush and kill alakazam without much effort. So long as they are awake at night their powerful vision and hearing can help them detect predators.

Abra do little but sleep and teleport away from danger, often at the same time. Sometimes they even forage while asleep by levitating or teleporting up to the canopy and telekinetically picking berries to eat. Trainers with any desire to interact with a wild abra will likely be unable to do so as any intention to approach the pokémon will be interpreted as hostility and trigger a teleport.

Kadabra are only a little less lethargic than abra. They begin actively exploring human minds shortly after evolution to pick up on information they should know. But they are still very anxious and will only approach human settlements in the dead of night. Should anyone begin to stir the kadabra will teleport away before they are detected

Unlike abra, kadabra and alakazam are fiercely territorial. Some common areas are recognized around silver deposits or human settlements. Outside of these areas every single tree is claimed by one kadabra or alakazam and one only. They will not enter the territory of another even to mate or challenge another alakazam. Instead they will go to the border of the territory and send out telepathic waves inviting the territory’s owner to come closer. Then they will either mate or engage in a contest of minds and wills until one party backs down and cedes part of their territory. This has led to viral videos of two alakazam staring at each other for hours, or even days, with no outward signs of aggression. Do not be fooled; these alakazam are at their most dangerous. Getting near a territorial dispute will give all but the strongest of psychics powerful migraines and possible mental illness.

Kadabra and alakazam are well known for their massive silver spoons. These channel and amplify their powers. This makes alakazam the most powerful terrestrial telepaths, legendary pokémon aside. Some alakazam do forge their spoons from earth. They begin to telekinetically sift through large quantities of soil and take out the trace amounts of silver until they have enough to assemble their spoon. As their life comes to a natural end, many alakazam will bury or hide their spoons. They leave a subtle telepathic ringing in them that attracts abra in need of a spoon. About half of kadabra in Alola get their first spoon this way. Kadabra tend to create their own second spoon and leave the buried ones for abra.

It is unclear exactly how alakazam turn tiny fragments of silver into a solid object. When asked the head of the Pokémon Studies department at the University of Hau’oli (an alakazam trainer himself) shrugged and said, “Magic, I think.” Alakazam silver is chemically different from normal silver. It is far harder to bend or break and does not corrode. There is also a popular rumor that food eaten from an alakazam’s spoon tastes better than normal. This is actually true. Sometimes an elderly alakazam will leave one or both spoons to their trainer. There is usually an understanding that they will be gifted to the alakazam’s children when it comes time for them to evolve. But the alakazam will also usually lace the spoon with telepathic waves that induce mild feelings of pleasure and satisfaction in anyone who comes into contact with them as a parting gift to their trainer.

Alakazam are rather short lived for an intelligent humanoid species; most true psychics have human-comparable life spans and several intelligent species can live for centuries. Alakazam owe their short lives to their greatest gift: their intellect. In the wild elderly alakazam become so burdened with stored information that even simple decisions about food become impossible to make before they must sleep again. Eventually wild alakazam begin to starve to death. When this time comes, they will usually set out to hide their spoons. Then they will retreat to their favorite place in their territory, sit down and stay motionless until death takes them.

Even captive alakazam tend not to live much longer. Because they usually die around eight years of age in the wild macroevolution has not selected against deformities and illnesses that kill an alakazam later on. As such, modern medicine can only rarely allow an alakzam to see their fifteenth birthday.

Husbandry

Abra can be competently raised by non-psychics, but it is a rather difficult endeavor. Non-psychic trainers are not encouraged to raise a wild-caught abra as they will probably escape at the earliest opportunity. Already tame abra are a different story as they generally recognize their trainer and stay within 30 yards at all times. They will seldom allow anyone to come closer and will simply teleport away when approached. Because of this habit they will need to be fed by placing berries in a tray and leaving them alone. Abra should be fed roughly one-tenth of their body weight each day.

Fortunately all stages of the evolutionary line are very tolerant of pokéballs. Kadabra and alakazam will prefer socialization time to pick up new knowledge, but abra only need to be released for feeding. Unlike slowking and oranguru, alakazam absorb information passively. They also grow more and more wary of acquiring new information as they age, leading to them becoming rather reclusive. Most appreciate talking to their trainer, but they will not need puzzles or books to learn from. Alakazam are also not particularly emotional or affectionate; most conversations with them tend to be about the business at hand or intellectual curiosities rather than either party’s feelings.

Illness

Outside of old age alakazam seldom get sick. They groom themselves by telekinetically lifting all particles and parasites off of themselves up to six times a day and they can generally detect rot with a quick telekinetic scan of an object. Poisoning and infection are rare. Alakazam also heal rather quickly on their own. When cut they can create barriers to hold blood inside of them, and they can set their own bones when needed.

Very strong physical hits can potentially kill an alakazam. Most high-level trainers know to pull their punches against alakazam; in return, alakazam trainers should know the limits of their pokémon and withdraw them whenever the potential for immediate lethal harm exists.

As they age alakazam begin to develop many health problems. Most illnesses affecting the body can be easily cured. Diseases of the brain are much more difficult. Strokes are the most common cause of death for alakazam. There are relatively few warning signs, beyond perhaps a telepathic warning from the alakazam themselves. Brain cancer and dementia are also rather common over the age of ten. Due to the risks of a sick and unrestrained psychic, most alakazam will request either euthanasia or the right to retreat to the wilderness to die alone when their time draws near. This is a decision the alakazam must be allowed to make for themselves, however long it takes them.

Evolution

As abra grow up, their tail begins to get bushier and their armor gets bulkier. At about the time they physically begin to resemble kadabra they will set out to acquire their first spoon. At some point in the future the kadabra will create their second spoon. Shortly after this their tail will fall off and their red markings will fade. The timing of these events is highly variable from pokémon to pokémon; the only real constant is that most alakazam will have reached their final stage by their fourth birthday.

The formal cutoff between evolutionary stages are marked by the acquisition or creation of the first and second spoon.

Battle

Alakazam is occasionally the single most used pokémon on the competitive pokémon scene. This is due to two main factors. To start with, alakazam are undeniably powerful. They think quickly, can teleport away from strikes, and their telepathic assaults can quickly faint almost anything that isn’t another psychic, a dark-type, an extraterrestrial, a hive mind or an inorganic machine. While most trainers have at least one pokémon in those categories, once those checks are removed alakzam can be terrifying sweepers.

Human psychics are also disproportionally represented in the upper echelons of competitive play. Humans with a PSY score of 150 or higher make up less than 0.4% of the population. Those with PSY scores of 200 or higher make up less than 0.1%. Yet, among the Top 100 trainers, 17 test above 150 and 5 test above 200. All but two of those trainers have used an alakazam over the course of their career.

Twelve of the Top 100 trainers have an alakzam on their core team. While this may not sound dominant, only four pokémon are used more. No pokémon has ever had more than 20 ranked trainers using it at a time.

In competitive play alakzam usually function as rather simple sweepers. If they must fight something resistant to telepathic attack they can use focus blast, signal beam or shadow ball. Alakazam have surprisingly small and narrow elemental reserves leaving them mostly confined to the above three coverage attacks and hidden power.

There is an adage that if an alakazam is not attacking it is losing. This is not entirely true. Alakazam have access to a few defensive and utility options. Teleport combined with telepathic scans for incoming attacks are the most common strategy. Some incredibly fast pokémon can form and unleash an attack so quickly that alakazam do not have the time to prepare a teleport. In these cases alakazam also have access to recover, barrier, reflect, and light screen. Even a protected alakazam is still frail. Sometimes trainers using a dual screens alakazam forget this to their detriment. Alakazam can also use trick, encore and disable to prevent opponents from attacking at all. The attacks often fail to phase purely offensive opponents.

Alakazam can be checked and countered. While they are terrifyingly powerful they are also perhaps the frailest pokémon that sees regular competitive use. Anything fast enough to score a hit on an alakazam has a good chance of knocking it out or forcing the trainer to withdraw it (see Illness). Area of effect attacks can also make it harder for an alakazam to simply teleport out of the way. Telepathically resistant pokémon also give alakazam no end of trouble. Vikavolt has a mindset just alien enough that alakazam usually struggle to crack it and bring them down before they take a thunderbolt. Some powerful dark-types such as hydreigon, gharain, spiritomb and tyranitar also check alakazam. All but spirtomb will not appreciate taking a focus blast but it usually will not knock them out in less than three hits.

On the island challenge trainers with a kadabra or alakazam will likely need to put less thought into using them than they would on the competitive scene. Almost nothing can withstand the combination of shadow ball, focus blast and psychic. While the latter two moves might be difficult to acquire TMs for, alakazam benefit from passive telepathic learning. If they spend enough time around or battling against pokémon that know those moves they will pick them up as well.

Abra will not be willing to fight until they are very near evolution. Otherwise they will simply sense the intent to harm them the moment their opponent is on the field and then teleport out of bounds.

Acquisition

Kadabra and alakazam require a Class V license to possess for any trainer with a PSY score below 150. As such, trainers who do not qualify or expect to qualify are advised against obtaining an abra, even from another trainer. Non-psychic trainers can still capture, purchase or adopt an abra with a Class III license, but they will have to forfeit or release the pokémon upon evolution if they do not have a Class V license.

The rest of this guide will assume the trainer has a PSY score above 150.

Abra and kadabra can be captured with a Class I license, or purchased or adopted with a Class III license. The disparity is designed to get psychics to capture abra rather than adopt them. There is no compelling husbandry or safety reason for this disparity. It is simply designed to get trainers to capture wild specimens and remove a nuisance.

Alakazam cannot be captured from the wild as they are generally too stubborn and powerful to be captured and trained safely. They can be adopted or purchased with a Class IV license.

As mentioned above, abra and kadabra are most common in the area immediately around Hau’oli City. Zoroark predation has led to a decline in numbers near Route 1. In practice most kadabra are found in the woods immediately north of Hau’oli City. Some abra also live in the largest urban parks.

Kadabra and abra are far more common in the minor islands in and around the Poké Pelago. Trainers will need to pay a fee to access these areas and another fee for each pokémon captured.

Breeding

Alakazam mate once in their life. They will head to the edge of their territory and send signals to another alakazam. The two will meet at the border and have a silent discussion. This conversation can be broken several times for sleep or foraging. Neither will ever leave their own territory throughout this process.

Alakazam and the true psychics form a strange family of pokémon that has neither sexual nor asexual reproduction. Instead there is a meeting of the minds that results in the spontaneous creation of four to six eggs. Both parents will alternate caring for the eggs until they hatch. This takes about ten weeks.

After the eggs hatch alakazam pay no attention to their children or mates whatsoever.

Gender appears to be vestigial in alakazam. Homosexual and heterosexual reproduction are both possible. Alakazam appear to select mates based on territory size and intelligence more than gender.

In the wild alakazam do not crossbreed with other species. In captivity they can reproduce with most true psychics. Alakazam prefer not to mate with other party members. Instead trainers should partner with the trainer of a potential mate to arrange meetings. Both trainers should be present and the meeting should happen on neutral ground to best simulate the conditions of wild encounters. After reproduction occurs the eggs can be divided between the trainers. Alakazam need not look after their eggs directly so long as they believe that the eggs are safe. While they are comfortable living with their children until they evolve, they will not assist in caring for them.

Subspecies

Some alakazam from different regions have slightly different colorations, personalities, and abilities. The alakazam of Greece are well known for their extremely high wisdom and intelligence but rather low lifespans and offensive power. Congolese alakazam have green stripes and a much wider telepathic range than the other subspecies in exchange for offensive telepathic ability. Tibetan alakzam have rather thick fur and exceptional teleportation abilities but weaker mundane senses than most other subspecies.

The alakazam in Alola come from a mix of several different breeds. Inter-breed pairings are very common in both the wild and captivity. Individual alakzam have different strengths and weaknesses depending on their lineage.
 
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Persephone

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Persian (Meowth)

Overview

Historically, the popularity of torracat in Alola has limited the desire for any other cat species. Other islands’ experiences with invasive cats have also led the Commonwealth government to restrict feline importation. Pyroar, their most notable failure, is a large predator that only occupies territory and a niche once held by torracat. As such pyroar’s introduction has really only hurt one native species.

Persian is the only other cat to gain any sort of foothold in Alola.

The species was brought by early trading expeditions from Japan, the only place where they are endemic. For a few generations persian were the beloved pets of the Alolan royal family. Then King Ka’eo ascended to the throne. One of his first acts was to give away all of the persian in the royal court. It is believed that he did so out of a long-running spat with a persian during his childhood. In any case, many of the persian found their way into the homes of Japanese immigrants in Malie City or the rising merchants of Hau’oli City. Their owners viewed Persian ownership as a status symbol that set them apart from the torracat of the lower classes.

Ironically, the Alolan persian has had extensive interbreeding with torracat during the last few centuries. This, combined with some breeders actively selecting for darker coats, led to the differences between the Japanese and Alolan persian.

Persian are proud and temperamental, but they can be loyal and affectionate to their trainer. Unfortunately the black cats are not the strongest in battle. Trainers looking to add a meowth or persian to their team should be willing to trade a lack of power in the short term for a for companion after the journey ends.

Physiology

Meowth and persian are both classified as pure dark-types. This is due to the unique properties of their thick fur, which disrupts telepathy of all kinds. A shorn persian has no special psychic resistance. As such there is a push for a dual dark- and normal-typing. Because meowth are born with a coat of fur and never lose it, the Department of Agriculture has previously rejected a typing change.

While mostly quadrupedal, meowth are capable of standing on their hind legs for short periods. Their coat is dark gray with slightly lighter fur at the end of their feet and tip of their tail. Meowth have typically feline paws on both their arms and legs. They also have a long prehensile tail they can use for balance and grip. Meowth’s most notable feature are their wide, ovular heads. Part of this shape is an exaggeration created by their fur; their actual head is about half as large as it appears. Meowth have long, prominent whiskers and ears. They also have what appears to be a golden coin growing out of their forehead. This object is actually metallic. It is slowly grown from small quantities of scrap metal that meowth eat. While meowth can live without it, the coin is directly attached to their skull. This makes removal only possible through surgery and almost always inadvisable. It is unknown at this time what purpose the coin serves

Persian are slender and quadrupedal. Their claws are much longer than a mewoth’s and their ears are rounded rather than pointed. Persian also lose their coin in favor of a small gem. The color of this gem varies but it is usually blue. The gem is bioluminescent and can be used to provide dim silvery light to help persian see on the darkest of nights.

Meowth and persian produce sounds over a range of pitches very similar to humans. Persian screams sound uncannily like a screaming human woman and they make them often to scare away other cats or predators. Roughly one-eighth of the Malie Police Department’s nighttime calls are in response to persian screams.

Persian grow up to 1.3 meters in length including their tail. They typically have a mass around 15 kilograms. The average persian lives for about 12 years in the wild and 18 in captivity. The oldest Alolan persian on record lived to be 31 years old.

Behavior

Meowth tend to stay on the ground when they are not with their mother or sleeping. They hunt at night. Most of meowth’s prey are sick, wounded, or starving rattata, although they will also hunt insect pokémon and abra. Unlike persian, meowth are rather social. After they leave their mother but before they evolve meowth congregate in groups to sleep, groom and socialize. However, they hunt on their own.

Persian occupy an entirely different physical space and ecological role in the environment than meowth. While they tend to ignore or assist banks of meowth, they are fiercely territorial towards other persian. Persian are built for the arboreal life. Their sharp retractable claws and long prehensile tail allow them to move along tree branches and rooftops almost as easily as they move on land. Persian can jump up to four meters vertically or six horizontally. Their light is nearly indistinguishable from moonlight and thus doesn’t trigger panicked reactions from drowsy prey species. Persian primarily hunt small bird pokémon resting for the night. While they love eggs and will happily eat any they find, there are not many adult bird pokémon in Alola that a persian can beat in a straight fight. If persian cannot find any birds they are prone to lying in wait on tree branches and then pouncing on any prey that walks beneath them.

Persian are often described as cruel. It is true that persian are prone to breaking the wings of their prey before killing and consuming them. However, this is often to provide their babies practice in killing without subjecting them to actual danger. When female persian do this while they are not nursing or pregnant it is usually a sign that they are in heat and would like to mate. Males are considerably less likely to prolong killings than females are.

Meowth and persian are among the most playful of feline pokémon. In the wild they will approach and explore any changes in their territory. They will occasionally dissect unfamiliar species, but only after killing them. Persian are prone to digging through unsecured garbage cans to find new playthings. Meowth do this as well, but their purpose is mostly to find metal.

Husbandry

Meowth are rather curious and social as well as nocturnal. These traits make them somewhat more difficult to care for than litten, eevee, and most canine pokémon.

A stationary trainer can provide a meowth with many toys or periodically rearrange their environment. Meowth should be played with around dusk and dawn. At night they should be given access to their trainer’s bed. They will disturb their trainer’s sleep on most nights, but if physically separated from their trainer they are liable to scream like a murder victim until they are given attention. Meowth should not be put into their pokéball at night if the environment is safe for them to explore; containing them for too many nights in a row will lead to the pokémon becoming very irritated when released.

Most successful meowth trainers have at least one other social nocturnal pokémon on their team. This pokémon can keep the meowth company at night and generally keep the cat away from their trainer. A powerful nocturnal pokémon can also supervise a meowth during journeys as they explore their environment. It should be noted that persian will not usually be willing to supervise a meowth and will almost never tolerate another persian (see Breeding).

Meowth can be fed eggs, fish, and most types of meat. Some meowth have a preference as to whether their food should be cooked or raw but they will usually tolerate it either way. Their diet should be shifted periodically to prevent them from getting bored. Metal supplements should be purchased from specialty pokémon stores and fed as directed. Meowth require only very small amounts of metal in their diets and trainers trying to play it by ear will usually give their meowth far too much. This can lead to metal poisoning (see Illness). Both persian and meowth should be fed roughly 4% of their body weight per day.

Persian are nearly as playful as meowth but they express it differently. Traveling trainers should try and camp near trees and allow their persian to explore at night. This is banned in some protected areas or near vulnerable bird populations. Check with local Pokémon Centers as to where persian can be left unsupervised.

Stationary trainers should provide their persian with many perches and walkways positioned so that the persian can move from one to another without touching the ground. They will usually drag their toys up onto a perch to play with. Unfortunately persian have a habit of viewing anything shiny or unfamiliar as a toy. This can lead to all of their trainer’s keys and jewelry being hidden on top of cabinets or on high shelves.

The bulk of a persian’s diet should be made up of eggs and poultry. Other meats should be provided from time to time. Persian generally will not eat generic cat mixes and will need to be fed fresh raw or cooked meat.

Persian will generally want to be in the same space as their trainer around dusk and dawn. Sometimes they will approach their trainer to be pet. They will generally hiss or scream at any other humans who try to touch them. At night persian will alternate between exploring their perches and lying down near their trainer.

Illness

The most common illness among captive meowth s metal poisoning. If a meowth is exposed to too much metal it may vomit, run a fever, become lethargic or, in extreme cases, die. If your meowth exhibits any of these symptoms or an abrupt change in behaviors cut metal out of their diet for a week. If the symptoms persist consult a veterinarian.

Metal deficiency is possible but rare in captive meowth. A metal-deficient meowth will begin to ignore orders, rummage through garbage or attempt to eat jewelry or electronics. The solution to this problem is to gradually increase the amount of metal in the meowth’s diet until the symptoms stop. It should be noted that meowth naturally hoard and are fascinated by shiny objects. It is only when they begin to bite into metallic objects outside of their food bowl that action should be taken.

Evolution

Meowth gradually evolve into persian. They become lethargic for a time and seek out easy kills, including garbage left out by humans. Over the course of one to two months their spine extends and they stop standing bipedallyTowards the end of this process the meowth’s coin will fall off and reveal a gem underneath it.

In the wild this process occurs earlier and faster if the meowth is integrated into a bank of other meowth. The evolving pokémon’s comrades will provide protection and food during this critical period. Captive meowth also experience a faster, earlier, and smoother evolution if they have a great deal of trust in their trainer or teammates.

Battle

No professional trainer has used a persian on their main team since 1904. In the very early days of international leagues it was common for nobles and businessmen from Japan to use them. They were met with little success and gradually stopped being used.

Persian have some of the tools needed to succeed. They are fast and agile as well as naturally predatory and clever. This means that, in theory, they should be able to learn and use a variety of utility moves while retaining enough power to take down opponents. Combined with their naturally thick coat and speed persian could have a niche on quickstall teams.

Unfortunately these strengths are balanced by very real weaknesses. Persian don’t have a particularly deep utility movepool. And while their coats are bulky, persian’s bones are a different story. Persian’s elemental reserves and physical strength are both well below average on the competitive scene. Worst of all absol does many of the same things with a sharper blade, better movepool, and precognition to make up for their slightly lower speed.

On the island challenge persian functions as a glass cannon. They can rip into unarmored opponents but can’t take many hits themselves before going down. Persian function best with the help of a few utility moves for dodging blows. Good moves include parting shot, protect and double team. Persian should be instructed to use trees and any other obstacles on the battlefield to maneuver around opponents.

Meowth are brutal scrappers, even if their claws aren’t as long or sharp as those of a persian. Trainers should always put their meowth on the attack, getting into the opponent’s face and never letting up for even one second.

Acquisition

The DNR attempts to limit the spread of persian beyond the city limits of Malie and Hau’oli. Persian and meowth captured outside of these areas may carry a bounty if the trainer chooses to trade the pokémon in. This policy leads to a large number of persian and meowth in shelters available for purchase.

Meowth may be adopted, purchased or captured with a Class I license. Persian can be adopted or purchased with a Class II license, captured with a Class II license inside city limits and captured with a Class I license outside of city limits.

Trainers who want to capture a meowth are advised to stay motionless in a public park at night. Ideally a predatory pokémon with night vision should assist. It is legal to bait meowth within city limits. Raw fish and eggs generally work best. Because meowth hunt alone it is likely that only one will show up. If a larger group arrives, proceed with caution.

Persian are more difficult to spot or capture. They tend to move above human’s heads, a problem compounded by their coat serving as good camouflage at night. While baiting persian is legal within city limit it is unlikely that they descend to ground level to take the bait. Anything strong enough to shake a persian out of a park tree is also likely to damage the tree itself. It is generally easier to look for persian in the daytime while they are resting. It is still very difficult to spot them but they will usually be too lethargic to immediately put up a fight.

Breeding

Wild persian are territorial and are only social during breeding season in the winter. Persian have a roughly eight week pregnancy. They typically give birth to twins although triplets are not uncommon. Mothers will stay with their children for roughly three months before they start to behave aggressively towards their young to get them to leave.

Persian are not territorial towards meowth banks. They are known to keep a watchful eye over the meowth in their territory and intervene to stop predators or, in some cases, prevent starvation.

Captive persian should not be kept with other persian or the adults of any other cat species. Foxes and foxes are occasionally but not always accepted. Trainers wishing to breed their female persian should arrange for a male to join the team during breeding season. Once pregnancy is confirmed or the female begins behaving aggressively towards the male the pair should be separated again. It is important to give away the meowth when their mother begins to reject them. There is some evidence that persian prefer to have occasional contact with their children until they evolve.

Subspecies

Alolan persian sometimes have varying coat patterns depending upon their parentage. Torracat-persian hybrids, the most common in Alola, tend to have dark stripes faintly visible in the coat. Umbreon-persian hybrids tend to have spots. Pyroar-persian hybrids occasionally have a small mane.

The only other Persian subspecies is the Japanese persian. Due to the relative scarcity of large land predators in the more urbanized areas of Japan the subspecies is diurnal and seldom takes refuge in the trees. They tend to live in sparsely-wooded grasslands and hunt the prey too small for arcanine but too large for fearow and pidgeot. Curiously, the Japanese persian live alone but hunt in packs. One persian will actively chase the prey, cutting into it when they can. The rest flank the target, funneling it into one direction. At some point a persian hiding in a tree will leap down and slash at the target’s throat or another weak point. If the initial strike is unsuccessful all other persian will rush in and use their claws to rip into their prey until it is dead. Their favorite prey are raticate, hypno and sometimes even tauros and miltank.

The Japanese persian has a white coat that is considerably smoother and thinner than their Alolan counterparts. Their claws are also slightly less sharp while their muscles are stronger.
 
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Persephone

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Magnezone (Magnemite, Magneton)

Overview

The May 1911 cover story of The Battler laid out the case for why magnezone was going to be a dominant force in the nascent metagame. In fact, the author suspected it might be the first pokémon to be banned altogether. Magnezone are overwhelmingly powerful, very sturdy, hover over most opponents and have a niche as a trapper for steel-types, the main checks to dragons at the time. They are even found in most of the world’s countries.

And yet magnezone has never cracked the top fifty most used pokémon in the metagame. To top it all off the rise of vikavolt has led to the rapid decline of magnezone on the competitive circuits. So what happened?
In short, magnezone is one of the most expensive pokémon to train. They don’t eat as much food as snorlax or wailord; magnezone are actually quite capable of feeding themselves, with perhaps a few thousand dollars worth of electricity a month to supplement. They do not require much in the way of specialist supplies. No, magnezone are expensive because they have the highest insurance requirement of any pokémon in the Alola pokédex.

Pokémon insurance covers damages your pokémon might do to the property (and life and limb) of others. Most pokémon have no insurance requirement, although it can be purchased. The League provides trainers on the island challenge with $10,000 worth of insurance automatically. Large predators often carry a mandatory coverage requirement. For metagross and vanilluxe, the government requires a minimum coverage of $10,000,000. Magnezone carry a minimum of $50,000,000. There are ongoing debates as to whether this threshold should be raised.

Magnezone are highly unlikely to directly kill anyone. But their most powerful attacks can fry electronics within a ten kilometer radius. This can deal an absurd amount of property and economic damage. A swarm of magneton swept through Goldenrod City in 2003 and cost the local economy over half a billion dollars. As a result, trainers of magnezone must be both wealthy and willing to live far away from human civilization. While there are ascetic trainers, most professionals enjoy occasional access to running water.

Magnemite can be a worthwhile and powerful partner on the island challenge. It is even relatively easy to keep one from evolving. However, magnemite trainers should just accept that they can’t own any personal electronics. And they will also have to accept that they’ll probably never be allowed to evolve their partner.

Physiology

All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as dual steel- and electric-types.

Magnemite’s main body is made up of concentric metal shells. The exact alloy varies by the region of birth. All but the outermost shell are constantly spinning in different directions and at different rates. The pattern allows the magnemite to fly and attack. Magnemite change the rotation of their layers by using the three screw protruding from their body, one that they keep oriented upwards and two beneath their eye.

Magnemite have a single eye protruding from their shell. Curiously, this eye is only a feature of the outermost layer; it does not extend any deeper than the shell. The eye does not appear to function like human eyes, but does absorb and process light. It is believed that a small chip at the base of this eye contains all of magnemite’s nervous system. Magnemite can react to sound, but it is unknown how they hear.

Magnemite channel attacks through two horseshoe magnets, one on each side of their body. Right before they attack the magnets begin to spin very quickly with a small orb of energy appearing in the center. The magnets will abruptly stop spinning and an attack is unleashed from the orb.

Magneton are formed by three magnemite in an equilateral triangle. One is dominant and remains positioned at the top of the triangle. This magnemite retains all of its screws. The other two sacrifice one of their external screws to fuse them to the dominant magnemite. The resulting magneton retains the personality and behaviors of the dominant with only very small additions from the two others. However, all three processing chips remain active.

Magnezone look rather different from their preevolutions. Their body is split into three connected but distinct chambers. The largest is a spheroid in the center of the pokémon. This chamber holds three separate rotating shell structures. The upper portion of the spheroid has a barrier separating it from the bottom. This segment contains a large network of chips, circuitry and rotating spheres. There has not been a chance to study this network in detail as magnezone explode shortly after their deaths. As such, all observations have been conducted with very specialized equipment capable of scanning electric-types. Magnezone are not easily sedated and do not like being confined in tight spaces, making it difficult to observe them for long. There is a long antennae on top of the spheroid. This is used for receiving and transmitting signals (see Behavior).

The two other chambers of a magnezone are shaped like magnemite fused into the spheroid. Each have a single shell structure inside of them. Magnezone have three eyes, one on each chamber. The central eye is far larger than the other two. In fact, the other two eyes only seem to become active when the magnezone is preparing an attack, suggesting that they are only used for aiming. Magnezone have two very large screws on them, both attached to the back half of the magnemite portions. They have three large horseshoe magnets, one in front of each magnemite and one behind the spheroid. The back magnet is not used for attacking and appears to be entirely devoted to navigation, and perhaps to moving the three spheres inside the spheroid.

All three stages move in part by repelling themselves from the earth. They are also capable of creating a poorly understood force tentatively named “anti-gravity” that helps them levitate.

Magnezone can grow to be about two meters across and have a mass of 200 kilograms. Magnezone live for about thirty years in the wild and fifty years in captivity.

Behavior

Magnemite feed upon electricity. In the past this restricted them to predation or parasitism on electric-types. Sometimes electric-types would congregate in such numbers that the environment itself became charged; magnemite were most abundant in these places and they are, to this day, their primary breeding grounds.

Modernity has led to an explosion in the number of magnemite in the world and the areas in which they can live. From the earliest days of modern electricity, guards have been required at power plants and along wires. Magnemite learned and began to prey upon the places where the lines connected to the homes themselves, as well as upon the generators of rural homes.

Magnemite and magneton are not particularly intelligent. They behave like automatons concerned only with feeding and survival. Some (mostly under trainer care) develop a sense of curiosity; their hardware is not well equipped for this feeling. In time they inevitably become paranoid and obsessed with triangles. In the very rare circumstances that these magnemite become dominant upon evolution and evolve again (see Evolution), the resulting magnezone are known to almost immediately attack centers of media, government, commerce, and (most curiously) mushroom farms.

Despite their lack of creativity and intelligence, magnemite are known to congregate in large swarms. The individuals do not seem to interact with or acknowledge each other and they do not coordinate collective strategies. Rather, it seems like they all have roughly the same ability to sense unsecured power sources and they all have the same analytical process for choosing which one to swarm.
Magneton behaviors are nearly identical to magnemite.

Magnezone behave rather differently than magnemite and magneton. To start with, they very seldom descend to the ground. Magnezone are most often found among the clouds absorbing static electricity. Clouds with a magnezone in them produce far less lightning. They are not social, although they are constantly emitting and receiving signals. This discovery and magnezone’s bizarre anatomy and appearance led to widespread speculation that they are extraterrestrial. There is no solid evidence that this is not the case, but they don’t seem to have much reaction towards any extraterrestrial species. And there is a far simpler explanation for these signals: they are communicating with others of their species. When a magnezone does descend to breed, another inevitably comes to the same location even if they started out hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.

Curiously, magnezone have a strong sense of justice. Magnezone on the surface are known to badly wound any carnivores they witness hunting. Human criminals caught stealing or engaged in violent crime will also catch a powerful thunderbolt, although it will seldom be lethal. Magnezone have a strong aversion to killing and can apparently calculate how to badly wound their target without dealing a fatal blow.

Husbandry

The first part of this section will focus only on magnemite, as their insurance rate is well within the limits covered by the League.
Magnemite are quite easy to care for so long as their trainer is very mindful of any electronics around. Most Pokémon Centers have well insulated rooms and equipment. If this is the case, then magnemite can be safely allowed to explore their trainer’s room. Introducing a magnemite to a common area is still usually a faux pas due to the damage they can do to other trainers’ personal electronics. Most pokédex models are well insulated, but most pokégear aren’t. Magnemite won’t kill a device just by being in the same room as it, but using an attack nearby or getting within a meter is likely to fry anything sophisticated and unprotected.

The entire line feeds upon electricity. They prefer direct current but will happily lap up alternating current as well. Many Pokémon Centers have specially designated power feeding rooms for electric-types. Those that do not will have batteries for sale that are designed for feeding electric-types. Magnemite will know what to do in either case. In an emergency, magnemite can feed directly from a generator. The trainer should ask permission before doing this. When a magnemite begins to droop closer to the ground or move slower, they should be fed. If a magnemite has a far higher energy level than usual, their intake should be reduced and they should be used in battle immediately to prevent random EMPs.

As mentioned above (see Behavior), magnemite are neither social nor curious. They will sometimes orbit their trainer, but this is about as far as they go in terms of play. Because they do not get bored, magnemite and magneton are quite comfortable spending almost all of their time inside of a pokéball. If a trainer really wants to interact with their pokémon, polishing the shell appears to make a magnemite happier.

Magneton and magnezone are far more prone to firing out random EMPs than magnemite. As such, their minimum coverage rates are $1,000,000 and $50,000,000 respectively. Should a trainer decide to evolve their magnemite, the care for magneton is much the same. But they should be very, very cautious about their choice of battlefields and make sure that any opposing trainers have protected personal electronics.

Magnezone are a slightly different story. Unlike magnemite, which bond to anything that regularly feeds them, magnezone can always just drift off into the clouds if they want food. As such it is very difficult to bond with a magnezone unless they already have some faith in their trainer. Even then, newly evolved magnezone are still prone to just drifting off and never coming back. They will usually only stay with trainers who battle with them often and well. Magnezone like to spend at least a few hours at night out of their pokéballs. This should be allowed, if only because charge taken from the clouds is charge that does not have to be paid for. Magnezone are always emitting waves, but most of these are harmless to human health. They are absolutely devastating to personal electronics. Magnezone should always be kept in their pokéball unless deep in the wilderness or inside of a well-protected stadium.

As with their prior stages, magnezone do not require socialization. It is believed that they are always communicating with other magnezone and don’t see a point in bonding with humans or other species. Training and polishing are all they want from a trainer.

Illness

Most magnemite “illnesses” are simply a result of low charge. If they are behaving unusually and have not been charged since their last battle or within the last week, let the magnemite charge for a while and then see if the problem is resolved.

Physical damage is rare. Most battles with a magnemite end when they lose charge, not when they’re shell is broken. If the shell is ever broken, they were probably in a battle where they were dramatically outclassed. There is also very little that can be done to repair a wounded magnemite. If a magnezone is on hand, the repairs can sometimes be made. However the force required to twist a magnemite back into shape is likely to generate really powerful EMPs and alter the magnemite’s personality upon reboot.

If a magnezone gets seriously wounded, they will float as high as it can and explode. Should a magnezone be killed in a way that does not even allow them to do that, they will probably explode within fifteen minutes of death.

Evolution

Magnemite can have a quick and apparently painless surgery done upon their bolts that renders them incapable of evolution. Trainers unwilling to pay for the insurance or adopt the ascetic lifestyle a magneton requires should do this.

Magnemite evolve when a group of three combat-tested magnemite encounter each other. They will engage in a three way melee until only one still has charge. The winner will charge themselves and then bond with the other two. This involves removing one screw from each, releasing the caps of their own screws and then linking their screws through the holes left in the other magnemite. The new magneton will position themselves in the air so that the dominant magnemite is on top.

Magneton only evolve in places where a very large amount of electricity has been readily available for some time. The magneton will spend even more time than usual charging. Sometimes they will leave to pick up the pieces of dead magnemite and integrate them into their own body. When there are no dead magnemite around, the magneton will simply kill one for parts. During the period where the dominant magnemite’s body is being expanded restructured, most of the magneton’s cognition occurs in the auxiliary magnemite’s processing chips.

Once a magnezone body is fully completed, the newly evolved pokémon will fly up into the clouds. They will only descend again to breed.

Battle

Magnezone has a limited number of strategies and a limited movepool. But it is very effective at using what options it does have.
Their main role in combat is to levitate high enough over the field that grounded melee attacks cannot reach them. From there they fire off devastating thunderbolts, flash cannons and hyper beams until their target faints. They can also take a moment to lock onto a fast-moving target and all but guarantee that their next attack fries them. This makes them a particularly good counter to glass cannons and arena controllers.

Magnezone are also one of the best counters to steel-types in the metagame. Their unique abilities prevent steel-types from being withdrawn from the field while magnezone is in play. Magnezone can hover above a steel-type and then use their magnetism to pull their target up into the air. Once the target is almost to magnezone, they can be repulsed down towards the ground. This can be repeated until the target has fainted or magnezone runs out of charge.

Speaking of which, magnezone essentially only faint when they lose power. This means that every action, offensive and defensive, takes a toll on their staying power. As such using protect to avoid injury is actually counter-productive, because the shield costs more power than just taking the impact would. This means that stalling them out with a pokémon who can take all of the hits a magnezone can dish out and keep going is usually the best counter-strategy. Blissey, gastrodon, swampert, hippowdon and snorlax can’t do much to hurt magnezone, but magnezone can do very little to hurt them, either. Because magnezone have a clear tell in their attacks (an orb forming in their horseshoe magnets), it’s easy enough to outplay them with mixed protects, recovery moves and occasional attacks. Magnezone will inevitably switch out, but this at least gives the opponent some time to set up hazards or stat boosts.

The best offensive checks to magnezone are generally dragons that can take them on in the air and dish out powerful fire attacks. Hydreigon is their most reliable counter in the metagame, although they are somewhat rare. Flygon are not actually an effective counter because magnezone is likely to take them down with two or three locked-on hyper beams, while flygon’s own attacks are not strong enough to substantially injure magnezone.

Again, despite their theoretical ability to hard-counter glass cannons, steel-types, birds and rain teams, magnezone has never been particularly popular on the circuits. Because even if a trainer loses to magnezone, at least they can train for their revenge in the presence of other people.

Due to their limited movepool, magnezone should theoretically battle the same on the island challenge as they do at the World Championships. No one has ever actually used one, though.

Magnemite are a common enough choice on the island challenge. They are surprisingly bulky, especially if their trainer can afford an eviolite. Their defensive typing and (limited) ability to hover away from attacks enhances this. They aren’t particularly weak, either, and unlike most walls they won’t have to rely on toxic stall and chip damage. However, anything they can’t hurt with thunderbolt probably won’t be hurt at all. Fighting- and fire-types can also usually overpower magnemite, especially at the end of the challenge.

Acquisition

The DNR runs a campaign to capture, operate upon, and release any magnemite they can find. As such, there are very few magneton in Alola. Occasionally a magnezone will show up and undo all of the DNR’s hard work, but this is a once-in-a-decade event.

There are only two permanent magnemite colonies in Alola. The first is usually around Hau’oli City. They move between homes and infrastructure with unsecured electricity, finding a new home when they are shooed away. Locating the colony after a move carries a $100 reward. The other colony is on the Poké Pelago. Most magneton that do manage to evolve are relocated here, which in turn makes it the place that magnezone usually descend to breed (see Breeding). The government operates a poorly secured offshore windfarm here to drive magnemite away from the populated areas. The property itself is run by a private corporation with a public charter, meaning that there is a fee for capturing magnemite.

Magnemite require a Class II license to adopt, purchase or capture.

Magneton and magnezone may not be captured due to the risks involved in bringing an untrained one into an urban area. They may be purchased or adopted so long as their original trainer captured them as a magnemite. Magneton and magnezone require a Class IV license to possess.

Breeding

Some mineral pokémon reproduce in a way that, in spite of their strange biology, actually bears a good deal of resemblance to conventional organic reproduction. Magnezone is not one of these pokémon.

Sometimes two magnezone will depart from their trainer or orbit and meet up at the place where one member of the pair evolved at. The pair will first conduct repairs on all magnemite and magneton present. When this is finished, the native magnezone will scrounge up enough material to create eight new magnemite. They prefer to do this by recycling the bodies of magnemite that were beyond repair, but they can use their magnetism to mine and purify the necessary materials if need be. Then the non-native magnezone will shape the materials into their final form. The resulting babies have (roughly) the material composition of the native magnezone and the structure of the non-native magnezone.

Anecdotal reports from trainers suggest that magnezone reproduce exactly twice in their lives. They typically do so during periods of unusual solar radiation, such as during sunspots. Sometimes meteorite strikes or passing comets will also trigger reproduction.
It is impossible to breed magnezone in captivity. Captive magnezone will simply float away to reproduce whenever they feel like it. Some will return after roughly three weeks. Most will not. If your magnezone departs, stay in roughly the same area and make frequent phone calls from a pokégear or cell phone. If the magnezone has not returned after six weeks then they are not coming
back.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

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Muk (Betobetaa, Grimer)

Overview

In his 1913 novel “March of the Muk,” author Henry Blackstone laid out a vision of muk as a strange creation of sludge and lunar x-rays that rose up from the oceans to destroy the cities. With humanity’s greatest insults to the wilderness gone, the muk die off as if they had never been there at all. The view of muk as a scourge upon the civilized world was not new at the time. They seemed to come from nowhere around the turn of the 20th Century and thrived in the rancid sewers and industrial areas of the world’s cities. While they first appeared near Japan, they quickly and almost simultaneously appeared near almost all of the world’s coasts.

In truth, muk are not the creation of anything so fanciful as lunar x-rays. They were also not made by, or even in response to, humans. While they do not fossilize well, muk may have been living for millions of years on the seafloor. The Challenger expedition captured what was probably a betobetaa several years before muk were seen on the surface. The ship was above the abyssal plains of the Mid-Atlantic at the time, half the world away from their eventual surfacing point.

The deep sea has no sunlight. No new plant life can grow there. The entire food chain is based off of scavenging the scraps that come from above. The abyssal muk is a relative of the slime mold that feeds not on the falling matter itself, but upon the bacteria and fungi that start to break it down. If necessary, they can kill other organisms and then wait for them to decompose.

The shelf muk is the subspecies that eventually came to the surface. They can function as a decomposer of decomposers, but they prefer to feed upon oil and natural gas leaking up from the seafloor. They do not directly eat the petroleum themselves. Rather, colonies of bacteria living inside of them break the oil and gas down into usable energy and put it back into the food web. When humans started bringing oil to shore and letting it run back into the sea, muk just followed the path until they found themselves in the harbors and rivers. Eventually, some mutated to live comfortably on land.

Once their food source and biology was better understood, engineers, chemist and biologists started to harvest terrestrial, shelf and abyssal muk to selectively cross-breed them. These processes eventually created a new pokémon, the LifeChem, Inc, muk. The species is more commonly known as the domestic muk. The domestic muk is patented and regularly “updated” to keep the newer breeds protected by the law. Older breeds are no longer patented and can be purchased, captured and bred at will.

The domestic muk readily breaks down most microbes, organic matter and plastics without seriously damaging glass or metal. This allows for the now-cleaned waste products to be easily recycled. Some breeds only consume oil, leaving plastics behind for recycling. The newest breed can break plastic down into a liquid form, letting it easily be remolded. Products cleaned by muk are very sterile because they consume bacteria and their bodies themselves are only barely toxic. Their flesh still should not be consumed; the “muk slime challenge” can be fatal. Unless they are actively defending themselves, though, domestic muk are usually safe to touch and even hug so long as the crystals are avoided.

Muk are good battlers that can cut down on the amount of trash a trainer has to carry with them between disposal sites. They are also relatively easy to feed, as they can eat plants or meat in a pinch (but they usually will only eat rotting, microbe-filled organic matter). They are not recommended for households with young children.

Physiology

Muk’s typing is widely disputed. A poison primary typing is agreed upon; the second slot is a toss-up. Unlike most subspecies and most related species, the domestic muk is very resistant to psychic attacks that can fry the nervous systems of almost anything without a proper brain. They are also nocturnal. These factors suggest a dark-typing. However, muk are most comfortable in the water and need to fully submerge themselves at least once every few days. This suggests a water-typing. Other pokémon related to fungi have been given grass-typings. For now, the Department of Agriculture has given them a preliminary dark-typing and left the issue open to comment and discussion.

Grimer and muk have similar physiology, and betobetaa is best understood in comparison to them. As such, this section will not go through the anatomy of all three stages in detail.

Muk are closely related to slime molds. This means that they are an amalgam of many separate single-celled organisms, most capable of surviving outside of the collective. Some of these cells have dissolved the cell boundaries between each other, resulting in massive cells with multiple nuclei. This is also why they are so amorphous. Outside of their crystals, muk contain no hard structures.

Domestic muk generally stratify into specialized layers, similar to organs. These layers often have different colors. Some layers are devoted to dissolving specific microorganisms, others to digesting plastic and still others to generating attacks or neural processing. Despite their lack of a brain, muk are reasonably intelligent pokémon capable of solving puzzles, learning new moves, and displaying affection for their trainer.

Muk sense the world primarily through vibrations. This allows them to hear spoken words and differentiate between the voices and footsteps of individual humans. Muk appear to have eyes; however, these are simple eye spots. Muk can only determine whether light is present or absent. The species can also apparently sense chemicals in the air and water. This is how they find food.

Unlike the other subspecies, the domestic muk does not keep many poisons inside of their flesh. They do keep resident bacteria colonies inside of them, but these are mostly to help with digestion of plastics and bacteria and they not actively attack living tissue. Unlike other muk subspecies which must continuously find new food into their body to feed themselves, the domestic muk stores excess or particularly toxic materials inside of their crystals. When attacked, they absorb the crystals into their body to temporarily make their flesh more toxic. This helps deter any would-be predators and harm anything that keeps attacking them. These crystals can be removed and sometimes fall out on their own.

All stages of the evolutionary line appear to have a mouth. This is used to wholly absorb rotting materials, letting them break it down from all angles. Sometimes a muk will engulf an opponent to maximize their exposure to toxins and prevent them from fleeing. Grimer and muk have crystalline teeth lining their mouth for extra utility in battle.

Grimer are very similar to muk, except smaller and with crystals limited to their mouth and the area around their eye spots.
Betobetaa are not very developed. They have yet to stratify and, eye spots aside, their constituent parts tend to swirl around each other in a blend of colors. They also have yet to develop crystals. Newborn betobetaa are seldom more than 30 centimeters across.
Muk can usually only reach widths of 2.5 meters and weigh up to 50 kilograms.

Behavior

Muk are generally sedentary creatures. They will sit still and digest food when they find it. When a food source runs out, muk will retreat into the water for digestion, healing and safety. Muk prefer stagnant water, especially dirty water that lets them passively feed on bacteria. Adults are willing to enter running water, but grimer and betobetaa will generally avoid it unless they desperately need to hydrate.

A very hungry muk will attempt to hunt. Because of their low speed, they are mostly limited to sedentary Pokémon, animals and plants. Muk are one of the very few species that can digest slowpoke, but most will not take advantage of this. Lazy as they are, slowpoke still move faster than bacteria.

Muk were once believed to be a highly social pokémon. Terrestrial muk were almost always found in large colonies known as dumps. Shelf muk are also usually found congregated together. However, outside of crossover (see Breeding), members of all subspecies don’t really interact with others. Terrestrial and shelf muk only form groups because their largest food sources tend to be constant and unmoving, allowing for many muk to find a particular spot and coexist peacefully. Muk do not fight each other for territory, but if a given dump is at capacity would-be newcomers tend to turn away and find their food elsewhere.

Domestic muk tend to rest during the day and become active at night. This was bred into them to make their circadian rhythm align to the times janitors need them most. While muk do not properly sleep, when inactive their mouth seems to disappear and they become a circular pile of colorful sludge with a very slight bulge and two white eye spots in the middle.

As mentioned in Physiology, muk respond to potential threats by breaking off crystals into their body. They will then rise up as high as they can and begin to groan. If the threat has still not left, they may begin to attack. If they do kill their assailant, the muk will stay near the same spot for days until the body is sufficiently decomposed to eat.

Husbandry

Betobetaa require very frequent feedings. They can and will eat up to half their body mass a day. It is impossible to overfeed one, so it is generally a good idea to leave them a large pile of trash that is periodically refilled. Betobetaa do not have crystals, which means that their body is always dangerous to the touch and they need all of the elements of their diet almost every day. Some of these items, such as plastics, dead plants and metal, are rather easy to keep on hand. More esoteric compounds, such as slightly radioactive material and some varieties of toxic sludge, will need to be purchased in small doses.

Raising a betobetaa is not recommended for the casual trainer and a variety of janitorial and waste disposal agencies across the commonwealth will happily buy them.

Grimer and muk need to be fed less and do not require all of their diet every day. They have been bred to eat a diet matching the typical load at a landfill. As such, the average trainer’s trash will usually keep a muk satiated. They may supplement their diet by roaming their environment and eating any bacteria they find. This, combined with their sterile exterior, makes them popular with hospitals for sterilizing equipment and rooms. The easiest way to get a muk’s radiation needs met is to loan them to a Pokémon Center so they can clean the equipment. The sludge mix muk require can be purchased at most Pokémon Centers, hardware stores, or pokémon supply stores.

Muk will adjust the amount of bacteria in their body to match their average long-term diet. Newly captured or purchased muk should be fed more or less the same things they were previously eating and slowly be weaned into whatever a trainer needs them to eat. To maintain maximum size, a muk should be fed about 15 kilograms of trash a week.

Muk are aquatic pokémon and should be given the chance to fully submerge themselves at least once a week. If this is not possible they should at least be stored in a dive ball. These are not perfect substitutes for actual submersion and muk are happiest if they can swim frequently, but dive balls will at least keep a muk alive. Muk prefer stagnant pools, but have no preferences on water temperature, pH, or salinity.

Many trainers are often surprised to learn that grimer and muk can be rather affectionate to the humans who feed them. Some will initiate cuddling. Most will at least tolerate it. Before they embrace their human, muk will slowly move all of their crystals to one side of their body. They should only be touched from the other side. If initiating contact, slowly stroke one area of the pokémon’s body. This should lead the muk to shift their crystals. If the muk keeps their crystals in place, they probably do not want to be touched.

Do not touch a muk within 24 hours of battle.

Muk can slowly be trained to be diurnal, but most will always be a little sluggish in the day. Stern verbal commands can usually stir an inactive muk into moving. It is easiest to train a muk to be awake in the day if the pokémon is kept in a brightly lit area with water at night, and in a dark room with food during the day. After two weeks of this, almost all muk will have shifted their sleep schedule.
Muk sometimes enjoy puzzles. Systems of tubes with trash at the end are a favorite of the species. However, muk will usually try to eat pvc pipes and other plastic obstacles instead of playing with them. Metal toys work best (although they can and eventually will digest those, too). Because they sense the world through vibrations, many muk have shown a fondness for music. They usually settle upon a preferred genre or artist in time.

Illness

Most muk illnesses fall into three categories: dehydration, nutrient deprivation or starvation.

Dehydration illnesses manifest as muk being slower or less obedient. If a muk’s movement speed is noticeably slower than usual, allow them to be submerged in water until they decide to leave. The same applies if a muk is disobedient or aggressive for no clear reason, as they could be trying to get away and find water. Long term dehydration can lead to muk disincorporating into a pile of toxic crystals and bacteria-laced sludge.

Disincorporation is perhaps the only way a muk can die. Dehydration is by far the most common cause of death in domestic and terrestrial muk. It can also be caused by extensive attack damage, particularly from sound- and wave-based attacks (see Battling).
Nutrient deprivation illnesses manifest as one color layer growing much larger than before or one layer growing smaller. As most layers correspond to one digestive function, check the muk breed’s guidebook to figure out what needs to be increased or reduced in their diet. Long-term deprivation of one nutrient usually will not kill a muk, but it will render them permanently unable to digest one food source.

Starvation results in a muk growing smaller over time. Reproduction and damage in battle can also result in shrinkage. If muk looks smaller or weighs less than usual, their feedings should be increased in size or frequency.
If any of the above remedies do not solve a problem, or if muk begins shedding more than one crystal a month, seek professional veterinarian help from a Pokémon Center or LifeChem store.

Evolution

With the partial exception of betobetaa, muk stay in much the same shape throughout their entire lives. Whether or not grimer should even be a recognized as a distinct stage is a hotly debated question. The main anatomical differences between betobetaa and muk are their size, lack of stratification, and lack of crystals.

Because the size of a muk is in a state of constant flux from consumption, reproduction, and damage, size is not a consistent indicator. Stratification is. When betobetaa grow, they shift from different bubbles of cells to distinct layers, each with its own color. Once stratification has occurred, the newly evolved grimer begins to slowly grow crystals. These develop first in the mouth and later in the areas around it. When the first crystal grows away from the face area, the grimer has formally evolved into muk.

Muk is the rare species of pokémon that doesn’t experience a rapid increase in growth and maturation rates in times of frequent combat. Instead their growth is almost entirely tied to the amount of food they consume. Betobetaa can incorporate up to one-fifth of their body weight every day, grimer up to one-quarter, and muk up to one-sixth.

Battle

Both domestic and terrestrial muk and frequently used in the international circuits. Muk don’t have conventional organs or weak points to damage. They are hurt the most by vibrations or attacks that effect their entire body at once. This makes muk the best counter in the metagame to technical physical attackers such as scizor, weavile, and sceptile. Physical birds often struggle against muk as well, because their beaks generally can’t do enough damage to muk to justify the proximity. Full body impacts run a very high risk of poisoning.

Domestic muk are more frequently used than terrestrial muk at this time. Domestic muk are highly resistant to telepathic attacks, the best counter to terrestrial muk. However, terrestrial muk can be far more toxic than domestic muk. This makes domestic muk an excellent wallbreaker; anything slow enough to be caught up in their body has a very limited amount of time left on the field. Because their bodies are filled with natural herbicides, domestic muk are also a counter to many physical or defensive grass-type pokémon. This has been famously exploited by Miguel Cabrera, champion of the Amazonian Federation, fifth highest ranked trainer in the world, and winner of 29 of the last 40 Pan-American Invitationals. The South and Central American metagames are filled with grass-types and technical attackers and are short on ground-types, making his muk almost as iconic and useful as his harpyre.

Both subspecies are countered by any decently fast pokémon with a strong seismic move. Some powerful water-type attacks, such as surf or muddy water, can also serve the same purpose. Fast fliers with projectile attacks can usually dodge most of muk’s attacks and fire back their own. However, these birds are often unable to deal serious damage to muk, allowing the opposing trainer to run down the clock and switch.

A muk’s usual offensive movepool includes poison jab, toxic, venoshock and a projectile poison move such as gunk shot or sludge wave to hit fliers and fast projectile users. Protect, acid armor, torment, disable, pain split and substitute are useful for surviving earthquakes, but they can’t save muk in the long term. Even the most defensive of muk usually will not hold out long enough to be able to switch out against a powerful earthquake user. These moves dramatically boost muk’s ability to wall non-earthquake users (and-non psychics, in the case of terrestrial muk). Their elemental well is not large, but some muk are taught thunderbolt, ice beam and stone edge to increase their ranged offensive options.

Like the South American leagues, the South Pacific metagame is dominated by grass-, water-, and flying-type pokémon. On the few islands where ground-types exist in large numbers, most serious trainers don’t bother to catch them. This makes powerful water-type moves the only real counter for muk on the island challenge, with ranged fliers like vikavolt serving as an important check. Powerful physical attackers that know earthquake, while rare outside of the very top teams, can also wreck a muk.

Grimer is an extremely good pokémon for the early island challenge as almost all weak pokémon function as technical attackers. This allows muk to single-handedly take down almost all teams on the first island and most of the second. Muk stays useful up to and including the pokémon league. Trainers are unlikely to be able to teach their muk the full list of defensive moves outlined above, but one or two in combination with toxic and venoshock are all muk really needs to succeed. Trainers can also use a dark-type move such as knock off to take advantage of muk’s telepathy resistance and turn them into psychic-slayers.

Acquisition

Grimer requires a Class II license to capture, purchase, or adopt. Muk require a Class III license to purchase or adopt. Betobetaa require a Class IV license to possess. Only grimer may be legally captured in the region.

Most grimer in Alola are held in the four Waste Depository Centers, one on each of the main islands. They can also be purchased from private trainers and LiveChem stores. From time to time, the Waste Depository Centers will release excess grimer into the area around them for trainers to capture. These releases are usually publicized a week after they happen in to allow the grimer some time to spread out. After a certain period of time passes, the DNR sets out to recapture any muk or betobetaa that still exist in the wild.

These four centers are in East Hau’oli, Route 4, Malie Cape, and The Battle Tree.

Breeding

Muk imitate sexual reproduction through two separate events. The first is crossover. This occurs when two muk are around each other for a long period of time and develop a mutual respect. The two muk will coalesce into one pile and then pull apart into two distinct muk. This process works across subspecies and results in sister muk that are essentially the biological offspring of the pair. In captivity the trainer that the new muks choose to follow is essentially random, with one going with each trainer roughly half the time and both going with one the other half. Which muk remembers which moves and strategies is also essentially random. Crossover can be prevented by not allowing a muk to spend more than two weeks with another member of their species.

Betobetaa are produced asexually. Muk prefer not to get above a certain size, although their exact terminal mass varies by individual. When a muk is at terminal mass and consumes more food, they will mix some of every layer in their body into a ball and release it. The betobetaa awakens and begins moving within six hours of formation. Betobetaa are sometimes loyal to their parent’s trainer and often retain knowledge of most of the same moves, even if they do not have the proper anatomy or energy well for using them yet. Some specialty breeders exploit this to sell betobetaa or grimer with deep movepools and battle experience.

After a captive muk produces a betobetaa, the muk should be weighed to determine the mass they reproduce at. If you do not desire any more reproduction, make sure to keep the muk below that mass.

Subspecies

As mentioned in the introduction, there are four subspecies of muk. The domestic muk has been covered above.

The terrestrial muk is the most toxic of the subspecies and can wilt small plants just by passing within three meters. They are only found around the most polluted of industrial waste sites and landfills. They must hydrate daily which further restricts their range. Modern environmental laws have rendered the terrestrial muk all but extinct in developed economies, with the remaining populations persisting at facilities explicitly designed for keeping the terrestrial muk alive. These centers are often run by professional trainers who are fond of muk, but are sometimes run by environmentalists who want the subspecies to live on for its intrinsic value.

Terrestrial muk are still a major health concern in some developing economies. Portions of coastal Brazil, the Gold Coast of Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and the Indonesian archipelago still have very high concentrations of terrestrial muk, usually along the coast but sometimes in ponds or rivers.

Shelf muk usually live along the seafloor at the edge of the continental shelf. They are the lightest subspecies, but usually spread out to about the area the average domestic muk takes up. Drone observation suggests that most shelf muk stay unmoving for months at a time. They only appear to move when one of the rare pokémon that preys on gelatinous organisms approaches. They begin to move quite quickly when predators are nearby, rising off of the seafloor and flapping their body in a pattern remarkably similar to a jellyfish. Shelf muk usually attack by sending out jets of highly toxic water or wrapping themselves around an attacker. They can also make sudden movements that send pressure waves through the water, but these are only usually powerful enough to stun an opponent. While shelf muk can go above the surface for very short periods of time, they are extremely reluctant to do so. The difficulty of capturing them and their expensive diet make them uncommon in captivity, but some LifeChem breeding centers and public aquariums keep them.

Abyssal muk have been sighted on the abyssal plains of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Like most decomposers, they are most common in equatorial areas where surface primary productivity is rather high. They are seldom seen near the continental shelf, outside the tropics, or in ocean trenches. They also appear to be absent from hydrothermal vent ecosystems.

The abyssal muk is pure white. They are the heaviest subspecies and have the largest resting area, seldom becoming more than five centimeters thick. When food falls, they move along the seafloor like a shallow white wave. It is unclear how long muk stay in one place, but captive specimens have gone up to three years without eating before they became agitated. There is video of muk attacking and consuming wimpod and pyukumuku, suggesting that they may be both a scavenger and the apex predator of the seafloor. The abyssal muk appears to be hydrokinetic and able to still the waters ahead of themselves while they move, which keeps prey from being alerted to their presence.

LifeChem used to keep abyssal muk in their breeding centers. This is where almost all of our knowledge of the subspecies comes from. It took months to adjust abyssal muk to surface pressures and they never seemed to fare well in captivity; most died of apparent nutrient deficiency within five years. The abyssal muk breeding program was discontinued in 2008. It is still not known what else they needed in their diet to survive.
 

Persephone

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A/N: This entry is partially based on two chapters of the fic "The Fair Folk" by Huinari over on FFN. I strongly recommend checking out that story if you like this one.

Mr. Mime (Mime Jr.)

Nomenclature

Unusually, this entry must begin with a note on a species name. The species whose adult form is usually referred to as “Mr. Mime” does not appear to have a biological sex. They reproduce by a bonded pair manifesting a physical egg. No physical contact is required to do this. The species does not communicate telepathically with even very experienced psychics, although species closely related to them can communicate with trainers who have PSY scores as low as 110. As such, they cannot directly communicate whether or not they have a gender identity. Individuals given access to human clothing tend to use both male- and female-coded items indiscriminately. Most quickly get bored and stop putting on any at all. There is substantial debate as to whether or not a gendered clothing preference would even matter.

In 1997, the Department of Agriculture renamed Mr. Mime to mime sr. After the most recent volume of this text was published, the government abruptly reversed that decision without a comment period. Unusually, they did not provide a statement justifying the decision.

While we are ordinarily hesitant to speculate on the reasoning of the Department of Agriculture, the current President of the United States once said during a campaign speech: “Folks, men are under attack. When I grew up it was Mr. Mime, now it’s, get this, ‘mime sr.’ Can you believe that? We—they always say, look, women need to be proud right? Well, what about men? Why can’t men be proud? In China they’re proud. That’s why they’re winning. [Eleven pages of transcript discussing China, automobiles, CNN, his hotels on the Arabian peninsula, a Best Actress nominee, three primary opponents, his hands, European clocks, daylight savings time, and recycled plastic have been omitted.] And let me tell you, when I’m president we’re going to make Mime Mr. again. Believe me. Believe me.”

Reflecting the formal guidance of the Department of Agriculture, future versions of this guidebook will be updated to change references from Mime Sr. to Mr. Mime. For now, the online and pokédex models will begin with this note. The rest of the entry will refer to the adult form of the species as Mr. Mime.

Introduction

Pokémon are usually grouped into three superkingdoms: the organics, the machines, and the phantoms. Organic pokémon more or less obey the rules of biology, with a few quirks and biologically inexplicable powers. Machines at least imitate biology, even if they reproduce asexually and are based on silica rather than carbon. The phantoms usually don’t resemble life at all; it simply appears as if some extradimensional force is acting on an object, causing it to move and express itself.

There does appear to be a ‘missing link’ between the organics and phantoms that is still very much alive today: the true psychic genus. True psychics imitate biology when alive and often have typically mammalian hairs and body shapes. They even DNA that appears to determine phenotypes.

Everything else about them is bizarre. They appear to feed on emotions, thoughts and other mental and spiritual energies, like the phantoms often do. When true psychics die, their bodies disappear altogether. True psychics also distort the dimensional fabric around them to a much greater degree than even the phantoms.

Mr. Mime was originally native to Kalos. They became a popular companion of traveling bards for their uncanny ability to mimic the movements of others and to create invisible barriers out of thin air. They were steadily exported to other regions as bards traveled farther and farther with advances in naval technology and international trade routes. Backlash often followed. The king of Galar found them to be creepy and demonic, and he tried to cull every single Mr. Mime in the country as a response.
In 1956, a circus was set up in Hau’oli. While initially popular, it found itself deeply in debt and with declining attendance. The owner decided to close the circus and release all of the pokémon in it. This established the first colony of Mr. Mime on Alola. The DNR determined that Mr. Mime are relatively harmless (as far as fairies go, anyway), don’t compete for organic food, and are popular with competitive battlers, wealthy families, and some children. As such, more Mr. Mime were imported to further increase the resident population.

Mr. Mime are incredibly solid battlers (albeit ones that require some skill to use), often willing to help with routine chores, and do not require their trainer to purchase and carry around food for them. If trainers can put up with their need for attention and creepy appearance, they should strongly consider adding one to their team.

Physiology

Both Mr. Mime and Mime Jr. have an undisputed psychic-typing. Both are usually regarded as fairies in Kalos and are often found in fairy courts. This makes their fairy-typing also relatively uncontroversial (beyond the debate as to whether there should be a fairy type at all).

Mime Jr. generally have short, stocky bodies. Their legs are very short and have no knees. The lower portion of their body is coated in blue fur (the exact shade varies by individual). Their upper body is covered in pink, purple or red fur. The one exception is their head, which is covered in long, thick, blue hair that tends to clump together and stick up. Mime Jr. like to seek out a pearl, bead, or other round object to put on top of their hair. They try to keep the object balanced and will cry if it falls off.

Mime Jr. have long, thin arms. They also have two small red growths on their body, one on their navel and one on their nose. Neither Mime Jr. nor Mr. Mime has ears. They do have eyes and a mouth, but no vocal cords or lungs. Mr. Mime never have any apparent reproductive organs. They may have a heart, kidneys, liver, stomach, intestines, appendix, or gall bladder. They may also not have one, any or all of those organs. In any case, the heart does not beat and none of the other organs appear to function.

Mr. Mime has a disc-like torso covered in white fur. They have the same red outgrowths as Mime Jr., but much larger and located at the base of their limbs, their navel and on their cheeks. They have four small red growths on the ends of their fingers. Mr. Mime has the same red fur as Mime Jr. on their face. They lose their visible nose but retain a nasal slit. Mr. Mime also lose their eyelids. Instead of one long clump of hair, Mr. Mime usually have two jutting out from either side of their head. They usually outgrow their habit of balancing objects by this point. All of Mr. Mime’s limbs are long, thin, and coated in a thin layer of white hairs. Adult Mr. Mime have four joints on each limb and are double jointed on all four. At the end of their legs, Mr. Mime have long feet that curl up at the end. They are usually the same color as their juvenile blue fur, except they are hard structures made of keratin. Mr. Mime have long, broad hands. Their fingers are double-jointed and have more joints than the average human hand.

A fully-grown Mr. Mime usually has a mass of about fifty kilograms. Fully extended, they can reach heights of 1.5 meters. The lifespan of Mr. Mime in the wild and in captivity closely tracks the average human lifespan in the area.

Behavior

Rather than normal food, Mr. Mime and Mime Jr. appear to feed off of human attention and fascination. They prefer to live near large human settlements and will often venture into cities to give performances on street corners or in public parks. Mr. Mime used in arenas or other places with many people being entertained (see Battling) usually have brighter fur and more energy than the average Mr. Mime. When they are not performing, Mr. Mime find a secluded area and sit down, fold their limbs to appear small as possible, and stop moving. During their resting state they remain smiling with their eyes wide open.

Mr. Mime hate interacting with other Mr. Mime. They only seek each other out to mate and they abandon their mate and child immediately after reproduction occurs (see Breeding). The one exception is that Mr. Mime held in fairly large numbers in very active public places will sometimes tolerate each other, but they will not interact unless ordered to do so and they will constantly try to upstage the rest of their circus.

Mime Jr. will usually seek out surrogate parents. These can be humans, other true psychics (or alakazam), fey courts, or individual fairy or bipedal pokémon. They are very nervous when they are not being watched over by their surrogate parent. When they feel safe, Mime Jr. are very playful and will constantly play games with themselves or attempt to perform for someone else. They are perfectionists and will often break down in tears at the slightest mistake, even though they are not yet very skilled at mimicry or even graceful movement.

Mr. Mime never speak, even telepathically. However, even without ears they can understand spoken commands. They cannot understand music and recorded voices. Mr. Mime ordinarily use telepathy to read the nervous systems of similarly structured creatures. This allows them to perfectly mimic the movements of humans. Less well known is their ability to project their own movements onto humans and other bipeds. This is usually only possible after a psychic link is established through mimicry. Mr. Mime never cause the being they are controlling to speak or write.

Husbandry

The species is generally safe around humans. There are three broad exceptions. Mime Jr. or Mr. Mime in a fey court are every bit as dangerous as every other member of a fey court. They will lash out violently if their performance is interrupted or mocked. Finally, sometimes Mr. Mime become too attached to one individual and become addicted to their attention. If this attention is ever withdrawn, the pokémon may kidnap the target of their affection and, if necessary, keep their body controlled and performing gestures of affection forever. Trainers of Mr. Mime are strongly urged to keep another pokémon as well to prevent this from happening. Bringing other humans in to watch the Mr. Mime or having multiple family members give the pokémon roughly equal amounts of attention are also advised.

So long as these warnings are followed, Mr. Mime are excellent partner pokémon. They do not require food. They can sleep up to sixteen hours a day. They are also fascinated enough with humans that they can sometimes be convinced to do routine “human” tasks such as sweeping, mopping or cleaning dishes. If a Mr. Mime does not want to do these things, they should never be forced to do them.

The main drawback of keeping Mr. Mime is their need for attention. They will expect their trainer to spend several hours with them a day, either venting to the Mr. Mime (they are very good listeners), watching a performance, or allowing the Mr. Mime to mimic their trainer’s movements while in public or doing a complex task. On rare occasions, they may take over their trainer’s body for an hour or so.

Mime Jr. are even more demanding, in their own way. They are typically content to just watch what their trainer does and try to imitate it, but they will sometimes want to perform. Both present problems. Mime Jr. will inevitably make mistakes in their spontaneous imitations and performances, causing them great emotional distress. Their trainer will then need to drop whatever they were doing and console their Mime Jr. It is speculated that they even make mistakes on purpose from time to time to get attention. They are also less used to linking their nervous systems than Mr. Mime are; this can sometimes result in involuntary twitches or inexplicable sensations in nearby humans. Sometimes weirder results, such as full body or perception swaps, can happen.

Mr. Mime should be given a secluded place to sleep in, ideally one where other humans rarely enter. Mime Jr. should be allowed to sleep in their trainer’s bed (they are more than tough enough to survive a human rolling onto them and they can’t choke on blankets because they don’t breathe). Their pokéballs should be used very sparingly, ideally only when the pokémon is injured or right before major formal matches.

Illness

When a Mr. Mime receives insufficient attention, they may become withdrawn, lethargic and bitter. This, ironically, results in the pokémon receiving less attention than they were before. Taking a day and doing nothing but playing with a Mr. Mime can usually reverse this.

The vast majority of trainers will experience only temporary maladies from Mime Jr. attempting nervous systems links. The more serious cases tend to be spotted fairly quickly. Some powerful human or pokémon psychics (or legendary pokémon, such as the relatively friendly Tapu Lele and Tapu Koko) can resolve these problems without permanent side effects.

Evolution

When a Mime Jr. has enough confidence in their own mimicry abilities, they will evolve. They are not gradual or flash evolvers; they are in a rare third category that simply disappears and reappears a moment later in their adult form. This process is literally faster than blinking. There is no bright flash of light. Evolution simply happens. Curiously, the new Mr. Mime will almost never acknowledge that they were ever a juvenile and will immediately begin acting as if everything is normal.

Evolution cannot be accelerated by battling, but can be hastened by the Mime Jr.’s surrogate parents spending more time with them. Trainers who want to evolve their Mime Jr. quickly should play with their pokémon whenever possible and never stray more than a few meters away.

Battling

Mr. Mime are seen on almost every professional battlefield—on the sidelines. A rhydon cannot go all out with a seismic attack without leveling all but the sturdiest of structures around them. A missed hydreigon draco meteor could easily kill several spectators. Arguably, high level professional battling is only possible because of Mr. Mime. The pokémon put on a show at the start of most professional matches (although this part is usually omitted from telecasts). This gives the pokémon a boost in power and confidence that allows them to form shields around the battlefield. These barriers keep attacks, field effects and pokémon inside of the arena while still allowing all but the harshest of lights and sounds to pass through.

Mr. Mime form these shields in one of two ways. The more powerful is belief. If someone nearby believes that their walls are real, they spontaneously become real. These walls persist until physically broken, the belief falters, or the last believer leaves the area. Mr. Mime can also create temporary barriers by using small vibrations of their fingertips to still molecules in front of them. They can create a feedback loop where the temporary barrier visibly holds, convincing bystanders that it is real. This, in turn, causes the barrier to become far stronger, which fosters more belief in the power of the barrier, which causes the barrier to become stronger, and so on. This makes Mr. Mime shields uniquely powerful in large stadiums where powerful attacks routinely hit their shields without breaking them.

There is some debate as to whether trainers themselves should not be allowed to use Mr. Mime in stadium matches, or whether stadium capacity should be limited for professional battles where one side has a Mr. Mime. It has been repeatedly shown that trainer’s Mr. Mime are less powerful in isolated matches, such as remotely telecast matches fought on top of Mt. Silver or on desert islands. Mr. Mime on the battlefield do not appear to become any more powerful when other Mr. Mime are creating the barriers, as opposed to salahewa or claydol. This is not surprising given Mr. Mime’s antipathy towards others of their species.
In 2006, at the peak of baton pass teams’ popularity, eleven of the top one-hundred trainers used a Mr. Mime on their main team. Changes in the rules to punish the playstyle has decreased Mr. Mime’s prominence, but they are still among the top thirty most used pokémon in major tournaments.

Every baton pass team, and a fair few bulky and hyper offense teams, have a Mr. Mime at their core. The pokémon can temporarily distract an opponent through disable, encore, taunt or torment. Then they start to set up the shields. Only the very strongest of opponents, or those with unique shield-breaking abilities, can get around the barriers in less than one minute. In the meantime, Mr. Mime meditate through nasty plot or calm mind. They periodically fortify the shields as needed and then resume boosting up. Once the switch timer runs out, they immediately baton pass to either another link in the baton pass chain or to an offensive pokémon. A hydreigon with fifteen minutes of nasty plot boosting and Mr. Mime shields behind it (and maybe other boosts from the rest of the chain) can sweep most full, healthy teams before the switch clock runs.

Most baton pass counters, such as merciless offense, toxic, perish song, and taunt, do not work on Mr. Mime because of their shields, bizarre biology, or deafness. Instead, their weakness is their relative lack of offensive presence. Some trainers will let Mr. Mime do whatever it wants behind the barrier. In the meantime, they have their own pokémon set up. This can take the form of stat boosting or arena control. The above hydreigon can theoretically sweep a team in fifteen minutes, but if they immediately come into face an opponent with several minutes of amnesia, swords dance or calm mind boosting, hail, and the backing of a tailwind or trick room, things could quickly look ugly for that hydreigon.

Mr. Mime can use their own offensive abilities and shoot out attacks such as dazzling gleam or charge beam through the barrier. But even with several minutes of boosting (or baton pass boosts of their own), Mr. Mime are only powerful enough to match the average top tier offensive pokemon. And every second spent attacking is a second that Mr. Mime isn’t boosting or fortifying their barriers. While they lack conventional weak points, Mr. Mime are still rather fragile and can’t take many hits once their walls come down.
As such, Mr. Mime is increasingly viewed as an insurance policy: one way or another, the winner of the matchup right after Mr. Mime baton passes out is going to take the match. If a trainer has had a very bad match and is left with only Mr. Mime and a special attacker, they can effectively wipe out the rest of the match beforehand. This has led to some rumblings about banning baton pass altogether because it “takes the skill out of battling.”

Island Challenge battles are not fought in front of sold out stadiums. Only the champion, the challenger and a referee are allowed in the throne room during title defense matches. The elite four chambers and the throne room are all guarded by technology derived from bronzong and partially fortified by ninetales, not Mr. Mime, to get around the lack of crowds. The Malie Gym uses Mr. Mime, and Alola Stadium (still under construction as of this volume’s publication) will use Mr. Mime.

The lack of attention does diminish Mr. Mime’s effectiveness, but in turn only the Kahunas, elite four and champion have pokémon that can dish out professional tier attacks. Champion Luna is the only Battler ranked trainer based in Alola. This means that Mr. Mime can still make shields that hold off most opponents for at least a minute, even with relatively few spectators. After evolution or capture, Mr. Mime should be taught a few offensive attacks such as charge beam and dazzling gleam. Then training should focus on boosting moves. A Mr. Mime can do very well for themselves up until the elite four without knowing baton pass. The default strategy for using Mr. Mime in casual battle is to disrupt the opponent, set up shields, boost for a minute or so, and then start firing out attacks. Opponents who take the time to counter-boost can be troublesome, as Mr. Mime’s shields do not scale up with their boosting and the species has no good way to boost their defenses outside of their barriers.

Mime Jr. should only be battled with in very controlled settings against weak opponents. They strongly prefer friendly play to battle and losses can upset their self-confidence for days or even weeks.

Acquisition

Mime Jr. and Mr. Mime can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class III license.
They are most commonly found in the suburbs of Hau’oli, although they sometimes venture into more rural areas or into the heart of the city. Mr. Mime are most often seen while performing. These performances should never be disrupted, as the Mr. Mime will fly into a rage and, if captured, never trust their trainer. Mr. Mime are creative, vindictive, and have psychic powers; angering one and then keeping it close is folly of the highest degree.
Mr. Mime are best captured by simply approaching one moving between locations or sitting down next to a resting Mr. Mime. Showing the pokémon a pokéball and watching a full performance (with suitably vigorous applause at the end) will usually gain the pokémon’s trust and they will allow themselves to be captured. They feed off of attention and are entirely willing to be trained by humans if it means a constant source of food.

Mime Jr. are somewhat trickier to capture. A Mime Jr. that has not found a surrogate parent after a week or two will usually cry very loudly until either a predator or potential parent approaches. Walking around the woods north of Hau’oli or the suburbs of the city and listening for tears is as good a way to find one as any. Mime Jr. will be very friendly to potential surrogate parents and will make no effort whatsoever to resist capture. If a Mime Jr. already has parents or shows disinterest in capture, it is best to leave the pokémon alone to avoid angering their parents.

Breeding

Mr. Mime do not need physical contact to breed. In fact, a pair have successfully mated through a video link while being physically over 100 kilometers apart. When two Mr. Mime see each other, one will spontaneously begin performing while the other watches. The other will reply with a performance of their own. If both are reasonably impressed with the other, they will begin a synchronized routine that lasts for one to two hours. Then both will stand motionless for several minutes until a Mime Jr. spontaneously appears next to one of them. Both parents will then immediately ignore the child and each other. Mr. Mime can mate several times throughout their lives, but they will never mate with (or even acknowledge) a past partner again.

Subspecies

N/A
 

Persephone

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Arbok (Ekans)

Introduction

Before 1955, arbok was mostly notable as the link between the constrictors and the venomous snakes. The former group use their muscles and the element of surprise to wrap themselves around their prey and squeeze until their target dies of suffocation. The venomous snakes make a single strike and inject their prey with venom from their fangs. Then the snake slinks away and waits until their prey dies. Arbok is a constrictor, but they also have venom.

This venom is a paralytic that has psychoactive effects on most mammals, reptiles, and birds. They deliver this venom by spitting it through the air onto their targets face. Arbok can reliably hit a stationary target from twenty meters, and they can usually hit a moving target from five meters. Once the venom reaches its target, it starts to give off noxious fumes. When inhaled, the target’s muscles begin to lock. This is not distressing. In fact, the venom has a strong calming effect. Mammals, birds and reptiles under the effect of arbok venom are perfectly aware of what is happening and can even feel pain; they just passively accept all of it.

In 1938, the surgeon general of the United States released a report on the long and short term effects of hypnosis on the human mind. Hypnosis had previously been the preferred method of anesthesia in most of the world’s operating theaters. However, the surgeon general’s report suggested that hypnosis, especially from hypno and ghost-types, could add or delete memories, impair future sleep or memory formation, and cause or exacerbate serious mental illnesses. Congress had banned it for medical purposes within one year.

However, there was no good alternative to take hypnosis’ place. Faced with the option between painless surgery with potential psychological risks or painful, often lethal surgery without anesthesia, most patients who could afford to do so left the country for operations. Many who could not afford to travel died or were left severely traumatized. In 1941, after just twenty months, the ban on hypnotism was reversed.

In 1955, a monk from the Mount Otsukimi Monastery, was admitted to the newly formed NTT Hospital in Saffron. His particular sect did not allow priests to be hypnotized and the doctors advised him that he would almost certainly die without hypnosis. The monk recommended arbok venom be used, citing his experiences on the slopes of Mount Otsukimi watching arbok crush tranquil prey to death. The hospital consulted with the Sekichiki Dojo, the owners of the only captive arbok in Japan that had not been defanged. An arbok was brought to NTT for the surgery and, to the astonishment of all present save the monk himself, the surgery was successful and the patient woke up less than one day after the surgery’s completion with no ill effects. Arbok venom is now the standard anesthesia method across the world.

People under the effect of arbok venom also retain their memories, albeit rendered less traumatic than they otherwise would be. This makes the criminal applications of arbok venom rather limited. Theoretically arbok venom can be used to paralyze a target in order to murder them, but there are far more efficient ways to kill someone with a pokémon. Studies on the addictiveness of arbok venom have shown mixed results. The current consensus is that if arbok venom is addictive at all, then it is only psychologically addictive and does not cause chemical dependence. Nevertheless, arbok venom was included in the 1971 Prevention of Pokémon Drug Abuse Act and most subsequent legislation on the topic. It is currently illegal to transport arbok or ekans across regional or national borders with intent to breed the pokémon. It is also illegal to keep the pokémon there for over thirty days. Violation of the act carries a forty year mandatory minimum sentence.

In 1975, Alola found itself facing a shortage of arbok. No arbok had ever given birth to live babies in Alola and importation of more was impossible. In a last ditch effort to avoid returning to hypno within a decade, the regional government released twenty arbok into the wild on Route 2 to see if they would breed.

They did.

There are now nearly 1300 ekans and roughly 80 wild arbok on Melemele. The federal government has even granted a partial exception to the importation ban to keep the wild population genetically diverse. In 2017, the regional government began to allow trainers on the island challenge to capture ekans.

Physiology

Ekans and arbok are classified as pure poison-types. The ruling is not disputed.

Ekans are long, thin snakes. Their backs are usually purple, but can also be green, pink, red, grey or gold. Their bellies are almost always a light yellow color. They have large yellow eyes, but they primarily sense the world through smell. Ekans and arbok often flick their tongues out to get a sense of the heat signatures and scents in their surroundings. Ekans and arbok are entirely colorblind. Both stages have nostrils. While they cannot smell with them, the nostrils are useful for breathing while they eat.

Young ekans have no venom or poison abilities whatsoever. Older ekans gain some ability to use poison-elemental attacks, but they do not have natural venom. They do have powerful muscles that let them crush anything they are fast enough to wrap themselves around. Additionally, their jaw is detachable to allow them to eat meals larger than they are. Ekans have a rattle at the tip of their tail. This can be shaken to create a sound that has been described as a breathy scream.

Arbok lose their rattle. In exchange, they gain a large hood directly beneath their head. This hood is usually not expanded and just appears as a slight bulge at the top of their body. When expanded, it displays a distorted face. The exact pattern varies (see Subspecies). It was previously believed that this pattern terrified opponents into freezing up, allowing arbok to safely constrict and eat them. It is now believed that this hood allows them to momentarily stun prey so that they can be more reliably poisoned. It is also useful for making the arbok look bigger than it is and scaring off potential predators.

Arbok are not particularly large snakes; they are less than half the length and less than one third the weight of the largest constrictors. However, they are the strongest non-draconic constrictors on record. Arbok have been observed crushing oil drums and snapping trees and bones.

Arbok can grow up to 3.5 meters in length and 65 kilograms in mass in their native range. In tropical environments they tend to grow up to 4 meters and 70 kilograms. They can live up to 17 years in the wild and 36 in captivity.

Behavior

On Honshu, ekans almost exclusively eat eggs. They are adept climbers and are generally shorter than the grasses in the rugged savannas they inhabit. This allows them to stealthily reach both grounded and arboreal nests and eat the contents. In Alola, ekans have run up against a slight problem. The most common bird pokémon is toucannon. Even if an ekans got into a nest, it would be no match for the mother toucannon inside. Pelipper, the next most common bird, fiercely protect their eggs.

There are a plethora of birds that nest on the eastern side of Melemele. There is also very sparse grass cover, forcing ekans to be exposed if they want to enter the area. In addition to being their most common source of food, large birds are ekans’ most common predators. The risk of exposing themselves to an army of mandibuzz, braviary and fearow does not make up for the risk of entering the eastern cliffs.

As such, ekans are confined to the western edge of Melemele. Their main targets here are honchkrow, delibird, golduck, fearow, and oricorio eggs. This predation has led to the near-extripation of oricorio from Route 2, as well as the decline of the local honchkrow , fearow, delibird and golduck populations. The latter four are invasive, and this decline is arguably a benefit for the ecosystem. The oricorio decline has been treated as an acceptable casualty. Melemele Meadow is routinely monitored for ekans; if any are found there, they will be removed to protect the oricorio population.

Between the breeding seasons of their prey, ekans will target small pokémon. In practice, this is usually rattata. Ekans prefer to stay hidden deep in thick grass and wait for something to pass by them. They will also hide in trees and drop down on something that passes beneath them.

Arbok have no common predators of Route 2 and suburban Hau’oli. Even arcanine are unwilling to pick fights with them. Arbok spend most of their time basking in well-lit areas. They seldom fully sleep, instead keeping themselves alert enough to be able to respond to threats. Arbok have no eyelids, making it difficult to tell if one is asleep or not. A wild basking arbok should be left alone. They are not dangerous unless disturbed.

Arbok prefer to lurk at the edge of tall grass patches, although they can hunt down prey if their ambush is unsuccessful. When something passes by them outside of the grass, they will rise up and hiss. Arbok hisses sound like a mix of metal scraping against metal, a screaming infant, and a roaring flame. They are loud and scary enough that most creatures will reflexively look towards them, be frightened by the hood into a second of stunned stillness, and then get a blast of venom to the eyes or nose. When the prey is poisoned, arbok will slither over and crush it until death occurs. Then they will dislocate their jaw and eat it whole.
Arbok’s main prey are raticate, and they will sometimes go well out of their way to hunt one. Arbok are diurnal and will approach a nest during the day, while the raticate and most rattata are asleep. They will hiss to wake up the raticate, poison it, and then either scare the remaining rattata away or kill them and leave the bodies for ekans or other scavengers.

In addition to raticate, arbok often eat delibird, golduck, smeargle, growlithe (but not arcanine), and lopunny. They will sometimes deliberately kill pikachu, pichu and raichu to bait a hodad into attacking them. When the hodad approaches, they will get a shot of venom between the eyes before they can locate and attack the arbok. Given the type disadvantage, this is often a bad strategy. But some arbok seem to almost exclusively hunt hodad. These are usually removed from the wild to avoid straining the hodad population.

Outside of their venom, arbok are most notable for their hibernation. The species never ventures far from caves in either their native range or in Alola. Even though they are generally territorial, during the winter arbok and ekans will all swarm together and descend into a nearby cave. They will huddle together for warmth and create a pile of hundreds of snakes. They seek out caves because they tend to stay warmer than the outside air during the winter. However, the caves are still not particularly warm. Arbok go into brumation in the winter, where their metabolism sharply drops. Arbok and ekans can go the entire winter without hunting, although they will sometimes prey on a cave pokémon unfortunate or reckless enough to approach the den.

In Alola, some arbok brumate during the wet season (see Reproduction). Almost no ekans do. Even at the coldest point in the year, the surface is still warmer than the world beneath it.

Husbandry

Recreational use of arbok venom is strongly discouraged. While not chemically addictive, it can cause psychological dependency. It can cause fatal allergic reactions in some people. Even if it is not instantaneously lethal, someone under the effects of arbok venom will be unable to help themselves if danger appears. Some people have mild allergic reactions to arbok venom causing them to vomit; if they cannot move their head, this can cause suffocation.

Ekans will require at least twenty hours of basking time a week, either in natural sunlight or under a heat lamp. If basking outside, they should be provided some protection from predatory birds. Arbok require thirty to fifty hours of basking time but seldom need to be protected. Ekans should be provided with enrichment in the form of climbing structures. Arbok will not use them. Both will play with pipe systems, although it is difficult to construct one large and sturdy enough for an arbok.

Ekans can be housebroken rather easily. Arbok will generally refuse to learn if they are not already housebroken.

Ekans and arbok are rather tolerant of pokéballs so long as they are sometimes allowed to train, explore and bask. They prefer balls designed for ectotherms and these roughly halve the required basking time. They can tolerate almost every pokéball.

Ekans should be fed primarily a diet of eggs. One large egg a day is generally enough for a small ekans, although larger ekans may begin to eat more. Neither ekans nor arbok will eat when they are not hungry, which makes putting more eggs than necessary in an ekans living quarters a good strategy. This can also be used for enrichment as the ekans has to sniff out and find the eggs.

Almost all carnivorous pokémon will eat dry food, or at least ground meat. This allows trainers some disconnect between the food and its components. Arbok and large ekans will only eat their prey whole. It should be recently dead or thawed out. Some general pokémon supply stores and almost all reptile specialty stores will sell frozen or freshly killed food. Trainers who are not comfortable feeding a dead creature, and often a dead pokémon, to their arbok should not train the species.

Arbok can eat rattata and raticate, yungoos and gumshoos, most small- to mid-size birds, small fish, golbat, and some larger insects. They strongly prefer eating pokémon to ordinary animals, and should be fed a dead pokémon at least once a month. Arbok should be offered food one week after small meals, ten days after medium-sized meals, and two weeks after large ones. If they are hungry and go too long without food, arbok will kill and consume small pokémon around them, including teammates, pets, and endangered species.
If they are captured as an ekans, arbok are generally harmless to humans. They will often wrap around their trainer as a sign of affection, but they will not squeeze tightly enough to kill. The very few cases where an arbok in captivity before evolution went on to kill their trainer were generally in cases of severe neglect or abuse. Arbok and ekans can even be trusted around children, although this is generally not recommended. Kids tend to either be traumatized by arbok or harass them while they bask.

If an arbok rears up at you, it is best to slowly sit down, look away from them, and speak in soft tones. If they do not spit venom immediately, they are simply showing that they are irritated or threatened. They may also be sick (see Illness).

Illness

Snake illnesses tend to require professional care to treat. The most common symptoms are random displays of aggression and a refusal to eat. These could signal anything from a minor infection to a life-threatening illness. The pokémon should be kept in their ball and taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible in these cases.

The most common disease in arbok is blister disease. This manifests as a series of blisters, warts, or sores on the belly of the snake. It is recommended that trainers examine their pokémon’s belly every few days to make sure that this is caught early. Ekans are often very hesitant to have their belly scratched at first, but will quickly warm to it and even turn over to encourage their trainers to pet them. Arbok and ekans should be stroked towards the tail. If an arbok has not yet been trained to accept scratches, it is best to have a professional handle the process. The disease is caused by excess moisture in the environment, something that often happens when a snake native to temperate scrubland is introduced to a tropical region.

Another common symptom is mouth rot. This manifests as bleeding gums, open sores in the mouth, and white pus. Ekans are always reluctant to have their teeth checked, but trainers should always be watching for signs.

Annual checkups are also useful for catching parasites, slight internal damage, developmental problems, and endocrine disorders.
Arbok are necessary for most modern operations and the restrictions on importation have led veterinarians to try and find every possible way to keep one alive. Almost all illnesses can be cured if caught early enough. The one exception is inclusive body disease. The affected snake will be immediately euthanized. This has made many trainers unwilling to bring a snake showing signs of IBD in to be treated. This is selfish on two fronts: death from IBD is inevitable and painful, and the arbok might infect the wild and domestic populations the Alolan healthcare system depends on.

Evolution

Around the time they reach two meters in length, ekans begin to develop flaps of skin behind their head. These eventually grow into a full hood, with colorful scales growing in to form the facial markings. Their venom sacs mature around the same time. The formal demarcation line between ekans and arbok is the rattle falling off, temporarily leaving the new arbok with a stump tail before the tip grows back.

Evolution usually occurs around twenty-four months of age in Honshu. Wild Ekans evolve around the sixteen month mark in Alola due to abundant prey year round and the lack of a hibernation period. Captive ekans can evolve marginally sooner than wild ekans, but this is a matter of six weeks at most.

Battling

Arbok are not often used on the competitive circuits. They are physically powerful and have a useful ability to disable opponents. However, they have some serious drawbacks. Like most poison-types, they respond poorly to earth and psychic elemental attacks. Psychic types are abundant on the competitive scene, and earthquake is a widespread attack among physical powerhouses. Arbok simply does not have the bulk to tank many of these hits.

Arbok venom can theoretically disable an opponent in one shot, but there are some drawbacks here as well. Generally, arbok only carry enough venom to disable something the size of a tauros. This allows them to shut down many smaller Pokémon. In theory. The venom is nearly useless against mineral and phantom pokémon, and some organics with bizarre biology don’t experience any effects at all. Pokémon with very simple or extremely complex nervous systems can also resist the psychoactive effects, allowing some elemental attacks to be launched even as the pokémon remains paralyzed.

Many of the smaller pokémon arbok could theoretically disable are psychic-types with some sort of a barrier move to block the hit. In the wild, arbok rely on catching their opponent off guard. This is not an advantage they have on the battlefield. The remaining small pokémon that see use are either too fast to hit (e.g. ninjask) or have tricks to block or mitigate the venom (e.g. smeargle).

In practice, arbok’s use is limited to countering a small number of pokémon, or physically overpowering any pokémon without psychic or ground attacks that’s slower than arbok. Only one trainer in the top 100 uses one on their main team. That trainer, Elena Chirlov, is a dragon and reptile specialist who wanted a counter to most common fairy-types such as clefable, sylveon and florges.

By contrast, arbok is very good on the island challenge. Seismic attacks are uncommon outside of stadium battles, and ground-types are quite rare in the South Pacific metagame. Most pokémon that the average trainer uses are small enough to succumb to arbok venom and most casual trainers will not have a premade strategy for dealing with the snake. The only issue is training an arbok to crush something to injury, but not to death. This may require professional assistance.

Ekans can struggle before they evolve. Their poison attacks are not particularly potent, they are not particularly strong or fast, and as ambush predators they have few instincts to guide them in a one-on-one fight in the open. The best strategy is usually to poison the opponent with toxic or a similar move and then coil tightly and lash out when anything gets too close. This strategy is shut down by anything with a neutral ranged attack and more speed than the ekans.

Acquisition

Ekans can be captured or adopted with a Class II license. Arbok capture is prohibited but they may be adopted with a Class III license. Purchase of arbok and ekans is prohibited under federal law. Capture of arbok is prohibited by the regional government to ensure that breeding adults stay in the wild.

Ekans may be found all over Route 2, but particularly the tall grass savannas near the coast. They can also be found in the forests north of Hau’oli, although many of these areas are nature preserves with restricted entry and tightly regulated capture.

Breeding

Female arbok attempt to eat as much as possible in the months before the wet season. If they eat enough, they will be willing to reproduce. These females will slither to the high water mark of cool, but not cold, caves. This describes the Melemele caves that are not either actively volcanic or in the Seaward Cave complex. The depths of Verdant Cavern, beyond the trial site, are closed off in the wet season because of the number of arbok there.

In Alola, the females will refuse entry to most males. They will either fight the males themselves or force them to fight each other. A handful of winners are allowed to stay; the rest must leave the cave and either hibernate elsewhere or not go into brumation at all. In their native range, all arbok go into brumation, although only a handful of females are receptive to mating and they will ward off any male they see as an unworthy partner.

If a female accepts a male, they mate. One female may mate with multiple males in the week before brumation begins. Once all mating occurs, all snakes tangle together into one large pile. The females undergo a five-month pregnancy during brumation. They give live birth to three to five ekans upon emergence. Mothers will monitor their children for one to two weeks and then abandon them.

In captivity, it is essential for breeding that females (and males) be given extra training and food in the months leading up to brumation. They should also have access to a secluded area kept between 10 and 16 degrees C and big enough for multiple arbok to rest comfortably in. The arbok should be allowed to explore this area towards the start of the dry season, and then periodically return to check on it throughout the season. If the female decides she wants to reproduce, a powerful male who is already aware of the brumation chamber should also be introduced to it.

Arbok will sometimes mate with other large snakes and will seldom kill or reject them from the chamber. However, the chances of mating, successful birth, and viable offspring all increase in arbok-arbok pairings. Even a well fed and powerful female may not decide to mate in a given year. This is not concerning. If she has never gone into brumation in the available chamber, then a larger one should be provided the next year.

Subspecies

There is some debate as to whether arbok with different colorations and hood markings should qualify as different species. But because they have the same general elemental wells, physiology, behaviors, and range, almost all scientific bodies have accepted that there are no subspecies of arbok. While arbok have a slight preference for mates with similar appearances, wild and captive arbok will pick a stronger mate with a different phenotype over a weaker one with the same.
 

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Dunsparce

Introduction

The dragons hold special places in almost every culture. They are seen as messengers of the gods, or as gods in their own right. Even the cultures that do not worship them know the importance of approaching them with respect and fear. In general, dragons are split into three groups: the true dragons, the pseudodragons, and the elemental dragons. The latter category will be set aside for now.

Pseudodragons evolved from snake pokémon and the true dragons evolved from pseudodragons. The true dragons are mostly bipedal or quadrupedal and often have wings. The pseudodragons, milotic and gyarados, are sea serpents revered as gods of peace and war around the world.

Dunsparce is the third pseudodragon. They are not worshipped by any known culture.

Rather than being fearsome apex predators like most true dragons and gyarados, dunsparce are scavengers and herbivores. They are extremely timid and flee into the earth at the first sign of trouble. All of this has led dunsparce being mocked as the little dragon that couldn’t.

But all hope is not lost for the smallest pseudodragon. Research on the few captive specimens has shown that they easily outlive milotic and gyarados. And a partial skeleton recently unearthed in the Andes has raised the possibility that we may know far less about the species than we think we do.

Physiology

Dunsparce are classified as pure normal types. They are not true dragons and do not wield draconic energy as well as the elemental dragons can. Despite their digging abilities, dunsparce are not terrakinetic. These limitations rule out dragon and ground typings, and there is no other typing that would fit them.

Dunsparce are relatively short, thick snakes. They are typically about 1.5 meters long and 0.3 meters wide. Most of their back is covered in yellow scales and their belly is lined with teal ones. The one exception to this rule is a patch of scales between their wings. This pattern, unique to each individual, is a mix of tan and teal scales.

Dunsparce have two short white wings with soft feathers. The species is not capable of flight, but they can hover for short periods. Their wings beat rapidly while they do this, but the flight itself is an elemental ability and not the product of mechanical force. Dunsparce have two very wide eyes with eyelids. However, these eyes are almost always shut. Sometimes a captive dunsparce will open them for a minute or so, but they will then close their eyes continuously for nearly a decade. No wild dunsparce has been observed with their eyes open.

At the end of a dunsparce’s tail is a drill. They can spin this drill rapidly to create a limited twister attack that carves out a tunnel behind the pokémon. Dunsparce slither backwards faster than they slither forwards; it is believed that dunsparce always move backwards in their tunnels, and only move forwards in large caverns and on the surface.

Dunsparce have two large fangs. They are not venomous and do not hunt their prey. No dunsparce, captive or wild, has ever been seen using their fangs. Their purpose was entirely unclear until 2015; it is now suspected that the fangs are either vestigial or still developing (see Evolution).

Dunsparce typically have a mass around 40 kilograms. One captive dunsparce, Don Velez, was captured as an adult in 1467 and has shown no aging-related health problems. He has grown five centimeters in this time.

Behavior

Dunsparce are extremely timid. This makes observation of them in the wild difficult. When approached on the surface, they will immediately burrow back underground. When approached inside of caves, they will immediately burrow even further down. Pokémon and drones sent into their tunnels typically send the dunsparce into a full panic as they try to tunnel away as fast as possible, occasionally lobbing out attacks if they get outrun. If anything gets too close, they will go limp and play dead. They will stop playing dead and escape the first time an opportunity presents itself.

There are a few things that are known about wild dunsparce behavior. They frequent caves that are not flooded or part of an active volcano. In fact, they appear on every continent (including Antarctica) and have frequently shown up on Melemele and other volcanic islands. There is no record of the indigenous people bringing them to the island (why they would introduce them to Alola). Dunsparce were already established on Melemele when Europeans discovered it. This suggests that they can dig under or swim through the oceans if need be. Because dunsparce seem even more afraid of water than they are of people (see Husbandry), the former is far more likely.

Dunsparce often share caverns with all subspecies of dugtrio. They appear to tolerate the presence of dugtrio and diglett in the wild. The only high quality study of wild dunsparce was done by attaching cameras to dugtrio and having them check in every few days on any dunsparce they found. It appeared as if most dunsparce stay perfectly still for months at a time.

The study did manage to film a dunsparce eating. A cave fish killed a small crab in a nearby stream and the dunsparce slithered over, created a high-pitched grinding sound with their drill to scare the fish away, and then ate the crab. Captive dunsparce have never killed and eaten live prey. Between the two data points, it appears as if dunsparce are primarily scavengers. Captive specimens are fond of root vegetables and the roots of many grasses and shrubs. This suggests that part of dunsparce’s trips to the surface may be partially to eat plant material.

Dunsparce are usually sighted on the surface after very heavy rains. Presumably, they surface primarily to escape their flooding tunnels. Some dunsparce are also seen surfacing in the winter in areas where arbok live. They could be avoiding the den of much larger snakes that is temporarily occupying their home. While on the surface, dunsparce prefer to hide in thick grasses, piles of boulders, or other places that provide them with cover.

Husbandry

Dunsparce are probably the most difficult species to capture and train in this entire guide, legends excluded but ultra beasts very much included. While the process is far safer than trying to tame a vanilluxe, volcarona or metagross, it makes up for the relative safety through the sheer time, inconvenience and frustration involved.

Capturing a dunsparce is no easy task (see Acquisition). After a trainer manages to capture one, they then face the problem that whenever they are let out of their pokéball, dunsparce will attempt to burrow into the ground and escape. They will do this even if held in love, luxury, or friend balls.

To avoid this, the trainer must immediately go onto a boat and release the dunsparce. The pseudodragon will burrow through the boat, hit water, panic, and stop digging. If the boat can take on water and not sink, then the trainer can stay inside of it. If not, the trainer should pick up the dunsparce (the pokémon will struggle and they are deceptively strong; many trainers break a rib at this step), get onto a ride pokémon, and then get onto another boat.

The dunsparce will not attempt to burrow deeper so long as they can see and smell the ocean and feel the rocking of the waves. Now, the trainer can acclimate their pokémon to humans. The dunsparce must be left out of their ball for the entire process, ideally with a small, shaded and enclosed box or cavity they can retreat into. Their trainer must stay with them the entire time to slowly get the dunsparce to accept that humans are not a threat. Then, the trainer should feed the dunsparce at least ten times.

This may sound easy. But, there is a catch. Dunsparce eat at most once a month. Their trainer will need to stay with them on a boat for up to a year. The trainer can leave the boat to take a break, but it is recommended that breaks be kept to one hour a week. The dunsparce will also need to be acclimated to all of the pokémon species they will interact with on the team, many of whom are more intimidating than humans. It is also difficult to acclimate a dunsparce to a steelix while on a boat. Or to convince any ground-types to stay on a boat away from solid earth out of their pokéball at all times for a year.

Togekiss and blissey are among the best possible teammates for dunsparce as they have calming auras and eggs, respectively. They can halve the time it takes for a dunsparce to bond with a human, reduce the risk of flight, and all but eliminate stress-based diseases (see Illness).

If the dunsparce is not acclimated to humans and used to taking meals from them by the time they are allowed onto solid land, they will immediately try to escape and render the whole process fruitless.

Captive dunsparce should be fed roughly once a month. The recommended diet is a mix of fresh crustaceans, dog biscuits, wet cat food, fish, and root vegetables. They will not have the appetite to eat more than three standard servings of food at a given feeding. Dunsparce do not like to battle and will often burrow if spooked, although they sometimes will come back to a longtime trainer when they think the coast is clear. If a dunsparce is battled with, they should be fed once every two weeks. They should be provided with a stationary water dish in an easy to access place.

Dunsparce urinate roughly once a week and defecate twice a month. They cannot technically be housebroken, but they move so little that if they are set on a plastic sheet or in a pool, they will probably just relieve themselves where they are at.

It is unclear if dunsparce sleep or how often they do. But they prefer to stay motionless unless they need to move for food, to obey a command from a trainer they are loyal to, or to get away from something that intimidates them. Some dunsparce will explore their surroundings, but this is a relative rarity. The favored enrichment item of dunsparce is a network of plastic, metal or glass tubes big enough for them to slither through. The Lumiose Museum of Natural History has a popular burrowing species exhibit where the pokémon can move through a series of glass tunnels, concrete caverns and enclosed piles of dirt and rocks that spans nearly the entire museum. Their dunsparce, Lucille and Royal, are the most active captive specimens in the world.

The species is not affectionate. They will accept petting from trusted humans, but they will never initiate it or show much reaction at all. Most dunsparce kept today are not pets, but as research or museum specimens. The others are the pokémon of long-dead sailors who thought that a months long transoceanic voyage in a massive ship was as good a chance as any to train a dunsparce. Even in the 1400s, having a tame dunsparce was seen as a monumental accomplishment in the nascent world of pokémon trainers. By 1700 the impossible had already been done a dozen times over and most of Europe’s naval academies had at least one donated dunsparce in their collection. Dunsparce weren’t captured again until the late 1800s, when it was theorized that they might be the link between the snakes, pseudodragons, and true dragons.

Illness

Sometimes dunsparce will hover in the air for no apparent reason. This will often be accompanied by a constant whirring of their drill. It is believed that this is a sign of stress, as they often stop when they are left entirely alone in the dark. Dunsparce will also rapidly shed scales when they experience prolonged stress. If they experience a serious illness or very acute stress, dunsparce will usually take care of it themselves by burrowing into the earth. One dunsparce died of stress when frequently used in battle for several months with while being held on a ship: this is the most recent reported accidental death of a captive dunsparce. That incident happened in 1550. Most of the world’s 45 captive dunsparce have had century-long runs of perfect health.

Evolution

In 2011, a paleontologist working in the Andes Mountains unearthed a giant rib bone over three meters long. The rest of the partial skeleton he found included a two-meter-long fang and a five-meter-long drill. The ribs, fangs, and drill are very similar to those of a modern dunsparce.

The skeleton was only 12,000 years old.

Given the exceptional lifespan of dunsparce, their close relationship to two of the largest serpents in the world, and the sheer breadth of what we do not know about the species, it is very possible that this skeleton does not belong to an ancestor of the dunsparce, but instead belongs to an evolution. The modern surface dunsparce may all be juveniles that eventually grow into far larger snakes that live deep in the crust.

There is no known way to cause a dunsparce to evolve. Given that milotic and gyarados are flash evolvers that grow slightly as juveniles and then immediately become very large, it is reasonable to assume that dunsparce is as well.

Battling

Dunsparce have a strong aversion to battling. When threatened and unable to retreat, they rise above their opponent or try to scare them off with loud noises. Dunsparce can use some elemental attacks such as thunder wave, and even melee attacks such as bite and zen headbutt. They do not enjoy being tutored, but dunsparce can be trained to use TMs.

Only trainers willing to risk scaring off their dunsparce for good should attempt to battle with them.

Acquisition

Dunsparce can be captured with a Class V license. Dunsparce can also be purchased or adopted with a Class V license, but trainers should be warned that all but the tamest of dunsparce will attempt to flee from a new trainer.

The best way to find a dunsparce is to search the tallest, thickest grass of Route 2 after a particularly fearsome rainstorm. This is best done with thermal goggles or a tracking pokémon used to the scent of dunsparce. At this point, trainers have three options for attempting the capture:
  • They can throw a quick ball or ultra ball and hope they hit the target and successfully capture it on the first try.
  • They can use a trapper to block off escape. Chandelure, gothielle and mega gengar are among the most popular with professional hunters. Some telekinetics can also suspend the dunsparce in mid-air for a moment, and even guide the pokéball towards the target.
  • Use a faster pokémon to defeat dunsparce in battle. Dugtrio have the advantage of being able to outrun and outfight dunsparce even when they try to dig below the surface. Some variants of dugtrio can also try trapping dunsparce on the surface, but they are usually able to slip through the trap. Some birds can also swoop in and pick up a dunsparce in their talons. The snake can then be weakened with a few solid pecks.
The first strategy is entirely luck-based and the latter two require specialized teams. Between the trapper and a pokémon to ease the bonding process, many trainers need two rare and powerful pokémon to even be able to capture and raise a relatively weak, if interesting, new team member.

Breeding

Dunsparce have never been bred in captivity. It is unknown how they breed in the wild.

Subspecies

All dunsparce populations are remarkably similar in phenotype and genotype, despite their vast range.
 

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Arcanine (Growlithe)

Introduction

Arcanine may have been one of the first pokémon to be tamed. There are 30,000 year old cave paintings in Central Asia depicting human hunters fighting alongside an arcanine. The species’ bones are often found near Paleolithic archeological sites in the region. Yet, arcanine were not common in captivity until the Industrial Revolution.

The Chinese Empire used tame arcanine as far back as 500 B.C.E. They were the mounts of the highest-ranking generals and imperial messengers, as well as the pets and guardians of the emperors themselves. All tame arcanine in the empire belonged to the emperor and were loaned out at their discretion. Occasionally a clan in Mongolia or the steppes would tame a pack of arcanine and use them in conquests, and in times of crisis the empire occasionally granted arcanine to other kingdoms in exchange for gold or military support, but for the most part the only tame arcanine were the property of the Chinese emperor.

Two developments around 1800 C.E. changed that. Growlithe ownership had previously been restricted by the species’ unwillingness to leave their own pack to join humans. The pokéball made it easier to capture and tame individual growlithe. But it was large scale mining operations that made full domestication possible. Growlithe evolve very slowly in the wild. However, exposure to some elementally-charged stones can lead to their evolution occurring much earlier and faster with few long-term health consequences. When growlithe realized that humans had very large numbers of fire stones, entire packs began to approach human settlements and practically beg for capture. The massive influx of captive arcanine, the temporary weakening of China, and the rise of global trade networks led to the species quickly becoming commonplace guard dogs and pets throughout the world.

There are still feral growlithe packs and arcanine, but they tend to be made up of particularly rebellious spirits or those with bad experiences towards humans. Some are deliberately released by governments to give trainers on journeys a chance to capture a powerful and loyal friend. The Alolan pack is a mix of the two.

Physiology

Both arcanine and growlithe are classified as pure fire-types. Neither ruling is controversial.

Growlithe look like rather typical canines. Most of their body is coated in red fur with black stripes running through it. A growlithe’s strip pattern is unique to them. Their bellies, tails, and the top of their head are coated in light brown fur.

Arcanine mostly resemble a very large growlithe. However, the brown tufts of fur expand to cover most of their face as well as the backside of their legs.

The species has one of the strongest senses of smell of any pokémon species, as well as an above average sense of hearing. They can track prey from two-week-old scent trails if there has not been any rain. These heightened senses compensate for their rather weak vision. Growlithe can see large shapes and some colors, but they are usually not able to identify small objects from sight alone.

Arcanine have no open flames at any point in their evolutionary line. This makes them more resistant to rain than other fire-types. They even enjoy swimming. The reason they are fire-types is that they have a series of flame sacs at the base of their neck and around their stomach and intestines. Their normal digestion process is slow and they have more capacity than most canines their size in their bowels. When needed, arcanine can radically increase the speed of digestion by physically burning all stored food. This reduces the amount of nutrients they can incorporate, but creates large amounts of flames and energy. With this boost, arcanine can run up to 500 kilometers an hour for 20 hours straight.

Arcanine typically reach a height of two meters at the withers and a mass of 1100 kilograms. They can live for 350 years in the wild and in captivity.

Behavior

Wild growlithe live in packs of ten to thirty individuals. They are fiercely territorial and will attack or kill any other canines, including other growlithe packs, that hunt inside of their territory. Growlithe packs will tolerate arcanine since the adults will sometimes share their kills with the pack. The packs are also strongly hierarchal. Each pack has a dominant male and a dominant female who demand submission from all other members of their sex. Not submitting, eating too much, or other violations of social etiquette will lead to exile. Other packs will not allow in another growlithe without the permission of both packs’ dominant pair, or unless an arcanine insists upon it. In practice, exile is a death sentence for a growlithe.

The species displays aggression through growls and barks. They communicate within the pack through whistles, yapping, whines, and sneezes. Because of their poor sight, growlithe do not have the elaborate body language that many other social canines do.
Growlithe hunt by having three to five growlithe chase down their prey at a time. If they get tired, another team of growlithe will take over for them and continue the chase. Whenever their prey slows down too much, the nearest growlithe will tear into them with a fire fang. These tactics allow them to outlast anything that can’t fly (and even some things that can). It does not work on anything that growlithe cannot convince to run. This strategy is well adapted to the speed-oriented ecosystem of the plains and deserts of Central Asia. Despite the hierarchal nature of the pack, kills are shared equally among all members, including the young, injured, and sick who cannot hunt.

Arcanine tend to be solitary in the wild outside of mating and childrearing (see Breeding). They hunt by chasing down prey and finishing them off with one or two bites, but they can also get into a direct fight and win against almost everything in their home range. This is riskier than simply intimidating something until it runs so it is not the preferred strategy.
When they are not hunting, arcanine and growlithe tend to lie around doing nothing. They usually live near an oasis, lake or river inside of their territory. This gives them a reliable source of water and draws prey to them. If prey does not come to them, the species’ sense of smell is acute enough that they can track prey down themselves. In times where food is abundant (as it always is in Alola), growlithe and arcanine are far more playful and will patrol their territory, pick fights with local pokémon, investigate natural and man-made structures, and go swimming. They are usually not dangerous to humans unless provoked.

Growlithe packs sleep together in a heap at night. They do not leave a sentry awake. Growlithe have virtually no natural predators in their home territory, as even flygon prefer to not risk angering any arcanine in the area.

Husbandry

Growlithe and arcanine can survive on as little as 0.5% of their body weight a day in meat. They can eat up to 5% a day and they will be more active and more powerful for it. The species can eat plants and most varieties of dog food, but they strongly prefer raw or cooked meat. Growlithe drink as much if not more water than other common canines. Many new growlithe owners make the mistake of assuming their fire-type will not need to drink water.

Because they live in strict hierarchies in the wild, growlithe can adjust quickly to captivity. They should submit fully to their trainer within a few days of capture or adoption. The process is faster and more absolute if the trainer is the same sex as them. Because growlithe operate on scent, transgender people who are on hormone replacement therapy will be read as their identified gender.

In the wild, rule-breaking can mean exile and a slow death from thirst or starvation. This makes growlithe very sensitive to the obedience of social norms (or at least, what they understand human social norms to be). They will typically refuse to work for or even outright attack trainers who harm or steal from other humans. The species can even be upset by the idea of battling for money, as they see it as akin to attacking another human and taking their food. Cash exchanges are best done away from growlithe.

Growlithe are perfectly fine being inside of pokéballs during the day. Well-fed growlithe will still want to explore and play with their trainer around dawn and dusk. Growlithe will lose respect for their trainer if they are not allowed to sleep in their trainer’s bed at night in an imitation of their usual sleeping habits in the wild. They prefer to sleep with all other team members as well, but will sometimes make an exception for nocturnal pokémon, pokémon that do not sleep, or for pokémon that this is obviously impractical for.

Wild growlithe share a community latrine. This makes them exceptionally easy to housebreak, as they just need a litter box placed near their trainer’s toilet. They will quickly figure out what to do from there.

Growlithe can be overly territorial. They will bark at or even bite any unfamiliar human who gets near their trainer’s home. They have even been known to growl at people who bump into their trainer on a crowded street. Discipline and good training can reduce this impulse, but not eliminate it.

Arcanine are not as hierarchal as growlithe are. This makes them far more difficult to train. The difficulty is only slightly offset by their respect for a trainer who got them to evolve before they naturally would have (see Evolution). Most of the above paragraphs on growlithe care also apply to arcanine. However, trainers should note that arcanine have substantially more energy than growlithe do. They will demand to play with their trainer for at least an hour a day, and they often object to being held in pokéballs for more than a few hours at a time. Arcanine will also insist on continuing to sleep alongside their trainer, even if they are now much, much larger. They are less sensitive to rule-breaking than growlithe are, although they will sometimes go too far in retaliating against anyone who threatens their trainer. This reflects their natural behavior of hunting down and killing any predators who attack growlithe.

Fully grown arcanine can be trained to wear a harness and give rides to their trainer. Their fur is not particularly hot.

Illness

Arcanine are not susceptible to many internal parasites because of the intense heat that they sometimes generate inside of their body. They can still get flea and tick bites, and they should be regularly groomed to check for them. The most threatening diseases to wild and captive arcanine in other parts of the world are rabies and canine distemper virus. All wild and captive arcanine in Alola are vaccinated against these illnesses, and any imported arcanine must also be vaccinated.

Evolution

Throughout their lifetime, growlithe slowly develop larger flame sacs and more ability to control their own flames. Once they become very experienced and powerful in their use of fire, the evolution process will begin. Evolution takes roughly three years of growth to bring a growlithe to their full size. Growlithe grow very little between their tenth birth day and evolution, so any growlithe larger than the average and still growing is assumed to be evolving. In the wild, growlithe typically evolve between 100 and 200 years of age.

They can evolve much, much earlier through the use of fire stones. These should be kept near the growlithe as they sleep. As a consequence, the trainer must also share a bed with a very hot rock every night. Fire resistant bedding is advised. The fire stone will stimulate the growth of the growlithe’s fire sacs as the body mistakenly believes that the growlithe itself is able to generate the fire aura and they need larger sacs to handle the flames. Evolution via fire stone takes roughly one year, as opposed to three.

The advantage of this is that the growlithe will evolve within their trainer’s lifetime. There are several disadvantages, though.
As mentioned above (see Husbandry), arcanine are harder to keep in line than growlithe. By virtue of being much larger they also require more space and more food. Most importantly, growlithe that evolve prematurely are not yet able to safely and effectively harness the flames they can now produce. This makes any use of their fire potentially dangerous for up to three decades after premature evolution. Even the most experienced of trainers will have to drop all other training paths and focus solely on their arcanine’s fire control. This process will still take several years to complete, even for professional arcanine breeders.

Battling

Arcanine are massive, have powerful flames, and can move faster than almost any other pokémon that can’t fly. This gives them several paths in battle. They can be zoners that use their speed and powerful fire attacks to keep other pokémon away. They can also be very effective rushdown pokémon, using a burst of speed to close the gap and ripping into their opponent with powerful elementally infused full body tackles such as close combat, flare blitz or wild charge. They can also use thunder or fire fang and crunch to take advantage of their powerful bite. Alternatively, they can play defense. They are very large and can repel anything that gets close, or scare them off with roar. Their speed also allows them to dodge many attacks. Morning sun or rest, combined with toxic and burns, let them outlast their opponent.

Arcanine are not the best at any of these strategies. There are bulkier pokémon with more reliable methods of recovery or attack blocking. There are better zoners and rushdown attackers. There are even better fire-types at some of these things. But there is no single pokémon that is better at all three of them. This makes arcanine versatile, able to change up their playstyle to match the opponent or to take out particularly troublesome threats. They are used on the main team of nine of the world’s Top 100 trainers.

No trainer on an island challenge is likely to have an arcanine. Their evolution takes longer than the average island challenge lasts and they cannot usually be adopted or captured (see Acquisition). Even if a trainer did have a recently evolved arcanine, they are unlikely to be able to safely wield their fire attacks and will have to rely on their size and other elemental moves.

Growlithe function differently than arcanine in battle. They typically do not have the life experience to learn the sheer variety of moves that an old arcanine will know. Growlithe typically depend on bites, moderately powerful fire attacks, and a few utility moves such as agility or roar. They function as fairly typical rushdown pokémon, getting in close with an initial sprint and then tearing away with bites.

Growlithe are strong for the first part of the island challenge, but they will be underpowered by the end of the second island.

Acquisition

Growlithe can be captured with a Class III license or purchased or adopted with a Class II license. Arcanine capture in Alola is forbidden without DNR permission. Arcanine can be adopted or purchased with a Class IV license.

The growlithe pack hunts in the coastal plains of Routes 2 and 3. They rest along the Anahula River on Route 2. They have successfully driven zorua, furfrou and rockruff into the forests, urban areas, and mountains of Melemele. Ambushing a growlithe to capture them is not recommended; the entire pack will band together to resist an unwanted capture. The best way to capture a growlithe is to camp out near the Anahula river for a few days with non-canine pokémon. Eventually a growlithe may approach and test the trainer. If they decide the trainer is worthy, they will go willingly.

Growlithe can also be purchased or adopted from most canine breeders and pokémon shelters in Alola. The Alolan government prefers to get arcanine out of the archipelago due to the disruptive effect they can have on local ecology. Aside from the occasional migratory salamence, arcanine would be the largest predator on Melemele. When an arcanine's trainer dies and no heir is willing or able to care for the pokemon, the Alolan government will offer them for adoption for thirty days before either granting them to a local police department or sending them to be released in their native range.

Breeding

Arcanine are not as territorial with each other as growlithe packs are. They will often share overlapping ranges. They hunt separately. In times of scarcity, arcanine will more strictly enforce their territories.

In times of plenty, arcanine will sometimes cross paths and briefly socialize. Sometimes a male and female arcanine with overlapping territory will develop a respect for each other and, eventually, mate. The female has a forty-month pregnancy, during which time the male will typically guard and even hunt for his mate. Arcanine have litters of eight to twelve puppies. The arcanine pair will care for them until they reach roughly two years of age, at which point they will be able to eat exclusively solid foods. The female arcanine will go around to every growlithe pack in the range and give one to three puppies to each pack to care for.

In captivity, a pair of arcanine can share the same trainer and space. They may eventually mate. Arcanine will trust their trainer to distribute the puppies once they are fully weaned. Arcanine will grow aggressive towards their puppies if they stay on the same team for more than three years.

Subspecies

N/A
 
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Persephone

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Hypno (Drowzee)

Overview

Hypno is one of the easiest psychic-types to care for in Alola. They are intelligent and social, and each has a distinct personality. They don’t require the same level of enrichment as slowking and oranguru. They do not need to sleep, drink or eat physical food. Their diet is provided routinely and automatically by their trainer and teammates. They are protective of humans, especially children. Contrary to their reputation, hypno are an entirely safe family pokémon.

Perhaps most importantly, they can respect and communicate with humans with even below-average PSY scores.

Physiology

Hypno and drowzee are both classified as pure-psychic types. Neither typing is disputed.

Hypno are true psychics. Like most true psychics, their organ structure is usually similar to humans but contains many irregularities distinct to each individual. See the mime sr. entry for more details. They disappear upon death. Hypno and musharna make up a branch of the true psychics referred to as the dream psychics. They do not warp the fabric of reality to the same degree as mime sr., but they have extraordinarily powerful telepathy related to sleep and dreams. Their telepathy works on anything with a sleep or resting stage, even if the species is ordinarily very resistant to mental attacks.

Drowzee are born with dark brown fur. As they grow older, golden spots and stripes begin to appear. Eventually, the colors settle into dark brown fur on their bottom half and golden fur on the upper half. The pattern at the border of the two areas is unique to the individual. Drowzee are primarily quadrupedal, although they can stand on two legs when necessary. Drowzee’s most notable feature is their proboscis. They have large mouths and often produce vocalizations that sound like whines or yawns.

Hypno have golden fur across almost their entire body. The exception is a ring of thick, fluffy white fur around their neck. Hypno lose their proboscis’ mobility as it shortens and hardens into a hooked nose. Hypno also lose their mouths, although they often retain stomachs and lungs with no connection to the outside of the body. Hypno’s ears grow continuously until they die, growing more powerful with age. Both drowzee and hypno have functional eyes, but their light-based vision is very limited (see Behavior). They are almost entirely bipedal.

Hypno typically grow to a height of 1.5 meters and a mass of 75 kilograms. Their lifespan closely tracks the average human lifespan in their habitat.

Behavior

Both drowzee and hypno feed upon dreams. They strongly prefer human dreams, or at least those of highly intelligent pokémon, but they will settle for any species’ dreams. They also prefer younger prey as they have more REM sleep than older members of their species.

Drowzee do not yet have powerful hypnotic abilities. Their means of putting something to sleep are limited to yawns that carry a telepathic signal, relaxing everything that hears them. Two to five of these yawns (depending upon the age of the drowzee and the exhaustion of the human) can put a human to sleep. Once their prey is asleep, drowzee put their proboscis over the nostrils of their prey. Their breath keeps their prey knocked out for the duration of the feeding, and also stimulates dreaming. Drowzee are satiated after two to three hours of consuming human dreams.

Hypno have more effective ways of knocking out prey. They can initiate a telepathic link by eye contact. This link can be manipulated by means of a pendulum whose pattern is slightly altered by telekinetic pushes. After establishing eye contact for roughly half of a second, hypno can convince a target to follow rudimentary orders or to enter into a dormant stage. This dormancy is similar to sleep, but differs in two key ways. The first is that the target’s eyes are open, aside from blinking. The second is that the sleep has proportionally more REM sleep than the prey would otherwise have. Hypno lose control of their target after three full seconds of broken eye contact. They typically order their target to sleep and forget when feeding ends, resulting in their prey waking up refreshed and confused after a few more hours of sleep.

Both drowzee and hypno have a strong preference for happy individuals, especially happy children. This is because they often have happier dreams, which are more satiating and better tasting. To conserve their favored prey, hypno are very defensive of children of all species in their territory. When they believe that a parent or other adult is making a child miserable, they will knock out the adult and whisk the child away. Contrary to popular belief, hypno do not keep the child. They simply move the child away and leave them with a new adult. So-called “hypno orphans” usually wake up with all traumatic and otherwise unpleasant memories erased, along with all memories that could be used to identify their old parent. This process can make hypno sick for up to two months but the same hypno have been documented doing it multiple times, fully aware of the cost to themselves.

Husbandry

Hypno and drowzee are rather easy to feed. They should simply be let out of their pokéball while their trainer sleeps. Drowzee feedings will lead to less rejuvenation per hour slept, but they do not have to feed for very long so the total effect is the equivalent of a lost hour a night. Hypno trances are more rejuvenating in total, but then hypno takes some of the rest away as they feed. The trances are still more rejuvenating per hour than actual sleep, though, and they allow trainers to perfectly set their own sleep schedule.

Hypno and drowzee will sometimes show their trainers very good dreams they have fed upon in the past. They can also prevent trainers from remembering nightmares, although this can make them sick for the next day or two (see Illness).

This feeding is physically addictive. However, the only symptoms are felt upon withdrawal. Because hypno have a human-equivalent lifespan, a hypno trainer can freely feed their pokémon with very minimal risk of withdrawal. Hypno have been phased out of regular hospital use because getting someone addicted to the trances and then taking them away can lead to headaches, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, and forgetfulness for up to twenty days.

Hypno will grow frustrated with depressed trainers. This does mean that they will do everything in their power to keep their trainer happy. However, chronic depression will limit the ability of a trainer to feed their pokémon. As such, depressed trainers should not capture drowzee or hypno. If a trainer becomes depressed after obtaining the pokémon, it is best to acquire other teammates that can feed the hypno.

The best partner for hypno is komala (see Acquisition). Other good partners are intelligent pokémon that are not psychic- or dark-types. Pokémon of those types can make it more difficult for hypno to absorb dreams from them. Good dream providers include ninetales, sylveon, lapras, primarina, passimian, blissey, lucario, and dragonite. Other nocturnal pokémon and psychic-types can keep a hypno entertained while they are not feeding.

Hypno prefer to hide and relax during the day, even if they do not properly sleep. They are fine being in pokéballs from dawn until dusk. They do not need much social interaction with their trainer while awake because of the form their telepathy takes. Trainers without a high PSY score will not be able to have a standard telepathic conversation with their hypno. All but the most powerful of telepaths will not be able to talk to their hypno without making eye contact.

Hypno can talk to almost all humans in dreams. Shortly before or after feeding, hypno can create an artificial dreamscape and talk to their trainer. Hypno may retain their form, take a human form, or go with something else entirely. The majority of hypno use either a distinctly male or distinctly female telepathic voice and seem to identify with that gender. Hypno do not have an anatomical sex (see Breeding). Hypno do not have full control over the dreamscape and must integrate elements from dreams they have fed upon to create it. Older hypno have more options and more dreams in reserve and can create more elaborate dreamscapes. Most hypno are very pleasant to everyone, especially the person that feeds them, and will create pleasant experiences. Angry hypno can be terrifying in the dreamscape, as they control reality itself and there is nothing the victim can do to break free. Thankfully outside of child abuse or abusing the hypno itself, it is difficult to provoke this wrath.

Hypno do not produce waste. They do not need to drink or breathe. Because their socialization needs are met while their trainer is asleep, they are a very easy pokémon to care for. Their intelligence and dreamscape control also make them a good and loyal friend. They can also be trusted to carefully protect children and other family members.

Illness

Hypno illnesses are temporary and untreatable. They can be brought on by injury in battle, consuming too many unpleasant dreams, or not consuming enough dreams. The solution to all injuries is rest, food, and a break from battles. Hypno’s more physical injuries can also be cured by some herbal medicines, pokémon moves, and artificial medicines.

The usual symptoms of more mental hypno illnesses include grumpiness, antisocial behavior, a lack of energy, pained expressions with no apparent cause, and an aversion to light.

Evolution

Drowzee gradually evolve into hypno between five and eight years of age. The formal demarcation point is when the pokémon begins to play with pendulums. Hypno do not reach sexual maturity until they are roughly sixteen years old, although they otherwise reach their final size and appearance around twelve years of age.

Their evolution can be accelerated a little by frequent battling, but not to nearly the same extent as most other species.

Battle

Hypno’s effectiveness in a metagame depends on what the relevant sleep clause is. The United States Competitive Pokémon Association holds that if a pokémon on the opposing team is already asleep, then no sleep-inducing moves may be used. However, a pokémon being asleep does not cause the switch timer to expire or move at a faster rate.

This means that hypno is best used as the only sleep-inducer on a team. When they enter the field, they should immediately set about trying to hypnotize the opponent. Unfortunately, this is easily countered by the simple command, “Close your eyes!” Fortunately, this means that the opposing pokémon will be blind against hypno.

Offensively, hypno has more physical strength than the average true psychic but not much more than the average pokémon. Their telekinesis is also somewhat limited. They can be absolutely devastating to the psyche of a sleeping opponent, warping the dreamscape to break the opponent’s will to fight. But outside of the dreamscape, hypno have to boost for a few minutes with nasty plot or calm mind to be a serious offensive threat.

In practice, hypno are best played by trying to control the field and disrupt the opposing pokémon until they make the mistake of opening their eyes to navigate. Hypno can do this with barrier, light screen and reflect, poison gas, thunder wave, disable, and psychic terrain.

Unfortunately, this dependence on many utility moves makes hypno rather hard to train for the island challenge. Part of this is that gaining proficiency in many moves is harder and more time consuming than gaining mastery over one. Part of the difficulty is just learning the basics of the moves themselves. Several of these moves are TMs or require specialist tutoring, which can be time-consuming or expensive. Hypno can bridge the gap a little by eating the dreams and combing the memories of pokémon that can use these attacks. However, this requires having teammates who already know these attacks. Sometimes memory eating destroys the memory itself, requiring a retraining of the pokémon the move was learned from.

Drowzee are less able to inflict ranged sleep. As such, they are best used as somewhat bulky physical attackers who can hit up close with their fists or relatively weak elemental attacks. Both drowzee and hypno can take a few hits before falling, especially if those hits are weakened by a utility move. Drowzee can compliment their weak offensive abilities and decent bulk through poison gas or toxic, making them fit on more stall-oriented teams.

Acquisition

Drowzee and hypno can be purchased, adopted, or captured with a Class II license.

The species has been introduced to all four major islands to help protect the local komala population. Because komala are always asleep and apparently always happy, hypno adore them. Hypno are incredibly protective of their preferred food source, and will fight any would-be predators of the endangered komala.

Hypno were later removed from Ula’Ula when the komala population had recovered enough to allow for capture, as the threat hypno posed to trainers became greater than the boost to komala numbers was worth. Hypno and drowzee capture is allowed on Melemele and Poni, but not on Akala. They are most often found at the edge of forests along the coast. The species takes shelter in forests during the day, and dreams near the ocean are apparently more pleasant. Drowzee and hypno are best captured by waiting for them to come to you. Stay awake at night in prime hypno territory with only one pokémon out. If a drowzee approaches, try to capture it. If a hypno does, it is best to tell your pokémon to back down and try to reason with the hypno in the dreamscape. If the trainer’s dreams are good enough, the hypno will usually join the team willingly.

Breeding

Hypno often have identified genders. Roughly 40% identify as male, 40% as female, and 20% identify as both or neither. Hypno have no genitalia and no physical differences based on gender. Hypno can reproduce with any other hypno, regardless of the gender of the two parents.

When a hypno finds someone with very good dreams, they implant part of their psyche into the prey. This is not noticeable outside of direct psychic attacks or scans. It does make the prey more resistant to telepathy and may provide a slight boost to intelligence, but has no other effects.

If another hypno feeds from the same prey, and agrees that the dreams are very good, they will remove the embedded psyche, merge it with a fragment of their own, and give it physical form. The resulting drowzee will have an appearance and genome equivalent to a child made through sexual reproduction between the parents. The personality and instincts will be a mix of the two hypno parents and the host used to create the child.

This may sound like a strange way to reproduce, but hypno are equally baffled by human reproduction.

Hypno do not like sharing the same trainer in captivity. In effect, hypno breeding requires having two hypno and only using one at a time. Because they are social and intelligent pokémon that trainers can converse with, most are unwilling to do this. Hypno are generally fine with not reproducing if doing so would require leaving their trainer.

After birth, drowzee is cared for by the second parent for the first eight to ten years of their life. Hypno can reproduce multiple times over the course of their life and are willing to raise multiple children at once. Newborn drowzee are only about ten centimeters long and spend most of their time in their parent’s soft neck fur. As they grow older, hypno allow their offspring to rest their head against the fur while being carried. When transporting “rescued” children between parents, hypno also comfort the child by letting them rest against their fur. It is believed that this fur induces calmness and drowsiness, but the effect is lost when the fur is removed from the hypno.

Subspecies

N/A
 

Persephone

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This week’s entry of The Alola Pokedex is a tribute to Ghost Town by eldestOyster for tying for the top prize in Serebii’s 2018 Fan Fiction Awards. You can check it out here. Be forewarned that this entry contains massive spoilers for the ending of Ghost Town.

Downloading from The Alola Pokédex Online Appendix . . .​

Spiritomb (Dr. Tacoma Spearing)

Overview

Human psychics are well-studied. We may not understand why their powers work, but we understand how they do. There are other classes of humans with uncommon, pokémon-like abilities that are more poorly understood. These include channelers, humans who can communicate with the dead. Channelers are well documented in the modern era, even if modern science cannot yet explain much about them at all.

Mages and magic are a blind spot for researchers. Magic is here defined as incantation or text based “spells” that perform a non-psychic or channeling effect impossible for most humans. There are reports of magic in almost all ancient cultures, but almost no verifiable reports among modern humans. Some very well-respected scientists believe that magic never existed at all. What passed for “magic” were just humans performing elaborate tricks with hidden pokémon, or the interventions of extraordinarily powerful legendary pokémon.

Spiritomb is one of the main arguments against this theory.

Humans on six continents created spiritomb. There are depictions of them in the crypts of Old Kingdom pharaohs, although the oldest continuously documented spiritomb only dates back to the Song Dynasty. The myths of spiritomb creation, powers and behaviors are remarkably similar across cultures. Between spiritomb and golurk, our ancestors clearly had a way to engineer phantoms. This might be explainable as sufficiently advanced science, but depictions of spiritomb are not correlated to a civilization’s level of social and scientific advancement.

The most plausible explanation is simply that there are ways not currently understood for humans to exercise control over the world of phantoms. Spiritomb is also a strong argument that we may have been better off unlearning this control. By all accounts their creation process required mass death, ritual suicide, and the traumatization of scores of souls. The end product is a powerful and unpredictable pokémon prone to fits of murderous rage.

Physiology

Spiritomb is classified as a dual ghost- and dark- type Pokémon. The ghost typing is undisputed. The dark-typing is in review, as spiritomb are vulnerable to telepathic attacks unless they go out of their way to shield themselves. Their other characteristics (shadow manipulation, most active at night, shocking displays of brutality, hostility towards humanity, above average intelligence) are definitely in line with a dark typing. It is widely expected that the Department of Agriculture will maintain the typing after their review.

There are three superkingdoms of pokémon: organics, machines, and phantoms. Organics are carbon-based and physiologically similar to ordinary plants, animals, and protists. Machines are not carbon-based and usually reproduce by external assembly of offspring from raw materials, or at least from parts of the parent’s body. Phantoms exist primarily on another plane, with portions of their being overlapping in the physical realm. Phantoms must derive their energy from the mental processes and psychic radiation of other species.

There are pokémon that blur the lines between these categories. The true psychics often feed on mental processes and exist primarily on another plane, but they have a physical carbon-based body.

Another borderline family of pokémon are the constructs. Many phantoms possess objects and use them to interact with the physical world. Constructs were originally objects that, through means still poorly understood, were given life by humans. The constructs do not need to feed from the minds of others: all of their energy comes from the process that created them. While this well is theoretically finite, no known construct has ever expired from hunger. Unlike other phantoms, they can be killed by destroying their physical body as they cannot reform one or possess another object on their own (see Illness).

Spiritomb’s body is a single smooth stone, usually conical in shape, with a small opening at the surface. The stone is hollow, and sonar scans confirm that the hole does lead into the interior. However, no object can pass through the hole and no light comes out. There is often, but not always, at least one crack running along the stone’s surface.

Active spiritomb can create projections from the hole. These are usually spinning discs of purple gas with green dots scattered throughout it. A green face usually appears on the disc. Aside from their disc, some spiritomb project a purple and green version of the currently manifesting spirit’s face at the time of death.

Spiritomb can weigh as much as 108 kilograms, but most are considerably lighter. Ten to twenty kilograms seems to be a more typical mass. Spiritomb’s keystones are typically 0.3 to 0.5 meters in length. The height of their disc is highly variable depending on the spiritomb’s power, energy, and emotional state.

Behavior

The first thing to know when interacting with spiritomb is that there are 70 to 200 souls sharing one body. Sometimes there is one dominant spirit and no others will ever take charge of the disc. Sometimes multiple spirits share the disc at once. For most spiritomb, a handful of spirits take turns controlling the disc, with one to five in control most of the time and others occasionally taking the reins. Different spirits can either broadly cooperate or go out of their way to undo whatever the last controlling spirit did.

Each soul has a different personality, emotional state, level of intelligence, and relationship to others. One spirit can be very fond of a trainer and would never harm them. The next might kill their trainer at the first opportunity. This makes interacting with them extremely dangerous and never safe, however docile the pokémon appears to be.

Spiritomb also have varying levels of activity across time. Some spiritomb, while not technically dormant (see Illness), can go for centuries without manifesting a disc. Other spiritomb keep a disc up near-constantly. Most spiritomb will wake up every night for a few years or decades, and then spend about the same amount of time silent.

Motivations vary by spiritomb. Many are very bloodthirsty, going out of their way to kill everything they possibly can. Others can have long, peaceful conversations with passers-by. Some can go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye. A minority of spiritomb attempt to fulfill some goal that the dominant spirit had in life.

Dr. Spearing has suggested that spiritomb’s individual spirits may still be human enough to warrant traditional psychiatric diagnoses. Their violence stems from their nature in life and circumstances of creation (see Breeding), the shock of death, being confined with other rage-filled spirits, having a human mind but no contact with living humans, dysmorphia, and the stressors of being near-immortal. These stressors include watching everyone the spirit cared about inevitably die, the human mind not being built to hold up for centuries or millennia, and the increasing inability to recognize the world around them.

This theory goes a long way towards explaining spiritomb behavior. Application of traditional talk therapy has substantially calmed a captive spiritomb owned by Castelia University’s ghost studies department. However, even that spiritomb is still prone to fits of violence and withdrawal.

Husbandry

Many pokémon that occasionally attack and eat wild humans can be trained rather easily. Pyroar and incineroar are social felines that adjust well to human care when raised from birth, for example. Even most dragons can be kept complacent so long as they are well fed and given outlets for their hunting instincts. Another group of pokémon often kill their trainers on accident due to their sheer power and obliviousness to human life. Volcarona is the best example of this in Alola.

Then there are the pokémon that don’t prey upon humans for food, but rather for sport. They cannot be tamed. Even specimens raised from birth in captivity can and will kill their doting caretaker on a whim. These pokémon can never under any circumstances be trusted. The best, and perhaps only, way to train them is to keep them on a team stacked with other powerhouses that love their trainer and will put down the attacker the second they step out of line. This usually works to deter vanilluxe. Metagross often just see it as a puzzle to be solved.

Spiritomb cannot be killed (see Illness). They know they cannot be killed. Some know this, but still want to die badly enough that they will lash out at anything that might overpower them in hopes of it being their final fight. As such, mutually assured destruction usually does nothing at all or backfires when caring for spiritomb.

Most captive spiritomb are communicated with through intercoms and video feeds. There are constantly pokéballs ready to withdraw them. If that fails, the cells have a built-in weapons system. This is not viable for traveling trainers.

If you absolutely must care for a spiritomb on the road, the most reliable means of doing so is through consistently kind, empathetic interactions. This works best on spiritomb with a single dominant spirit, and even then it only works on one with the right temperament. If a spiritomb has a motivation that the human can assist with, they will be far less likely to kill their trainer or break reasonable rules. The most common motivation is seeing more of the world, as some spiritomb have been stuck in the same place for millennia. Even non-violent spiritomb can be verbally abusive, so consistent calm can be difficult to maintain.

Spiritomb cannot eat or drink. They do not produce waste. Most sleep, but this is apparently not strictly necessary.

Only two spiritomb are trained by individuals (as opposed to institutions) in the world. For legal purposes, Dr. Spearing is owned by Jodi Ortega. The other spiritomb is trained by Shirona Karashina, regional champion of the Sinnoh League in Japan.

Illness

Spiritomb get tired after sustaining heavy damage to their disc and projections, or after using offensive attacks. The pokémon will rest, if not sleep, for a time after their injuries. Pokémon Centers and conventional medication are useless on spiritomb, and ultimately unnecessary as the pokémon can fully recover from virtually anything on their own. They also do not suffer from any of the typical phantom diseases.

The pokémon’s keystone is practically invulnerable. Famously, Karashina’s spiritomb retreated into its keystone right before taking a meteor mash from a mega evolved metagross. The impact of the stone shattered the mime sr. created walls of the arena. The spiritomb came out apparently unharmed a second after the stone fell to the ground. The keystone had not been scratched.

This stone is also the only way to kill a spirtomb. While no spiritomb has been killed in the modern age, images and texts from the Achaemenid Empire and twelfth century Cahokia have depicted a spiritomb being killed by a sword blessed by the gods slicing through the keystone. The species’ weakness to fairy attacks, traditionally viewed as holy or divine energy, suggests that this may be a viable way of killing one.

One spiritomb has been temporarily sealed in the modern era. This involved detonating a fairy-tinged attack with the equivalent force of a small atomic bomb right on top of a spiritomb. The stone went inactive for fifteen years with channelers reporting that the dominant spirit was simply gone, and the others were nearly destroyed.

That spiritomb reactivated as soon as someone died near it, trapping that soul in the process. All attempts to neutralize spiritomb were quickly abandoned as not worth the effort.

Evolution

Spiritomb may be capable of evolution. There is only one instance of this in the modern era and no ancient records, legends, or drawings suggest it had happened before. In January 1977, Dr. Tacoma Spearing underwent a radical change in appearance. She initially appeared as a woman with roughly the same appearance as she had before death. At present, she resembles her initial appearance altered to match her chronological age. She has demonstrated the ability to instantly revert to her initial appearance and has suggested it is her true form. Any deviations are illusions.

She deviates from her pre-death appearance in a few ways. Her body is slightly translucent, especially when she is tired. Her keystone, now with several more cracks, floats where her heart should be. The edges of her body are always indistinct and blurring into mist. Her hair is made up of purple tendrils that move with a mind of their own but generally hang down.

Dr. Spearing has consistently refused to submit herself to more detailed testing. As such, this is the extent of our knowledge on her physiology.

She has theorized that spiritomb have a bond-based evolution. If one ever gets close enough to a living human, their keystone will shatter and all spirits will have a choice of moving on or staying in an evolved state. She chose to stay and all other spirits passed. Dr. Spearing has stated that she could still pass if she desired to do so. While spiritomb feed off of the energy well imbued in them at construction, she has a more traditional phantom diet of strong emotions. Her preferred emotion is love, but she has stated that she can feed on hatred, disgust, irritation, envy, sadness, anger, and the feeling that comes from knowing that you’ve forgotten something very important but can’t remember exactly what it was.

Battle

Because there is only one spiritomb that regularly battles, almost all of what we know comes from it. This is complicated by Karsahina’s reputation as a fearsome strategist and trainer. Her garchomp, for example, is the only pokémon to ever knock out Richard Conrad’s victini. There are no other reports of victini ever being defeated.

Spiritomb appears to be entirely invulnerable while retreated into its keystone. As such, spending more than fifteen seconds in the keystone over a sixty second period is considered to be a knockout. It does take roughly half a second for spiritomb to finish withdrawing, which still leaves it vulnerable to some very fast and powerful attacks. Even with its disc out, Karashina’s spiritomb has taken hits from a Battler-ranked trainer’s signature pokémon for over an hour without going down. This was not an anomaly, as it has never been knocked out in less than thirty minutes in an official match.

While not as strong as it is durable, spirtomb can still spew out plumes of ghostly flames, send out anti-telepathic bursts and actual telepathic attacks, and control shadows in the environment. Spiritomb has shown the ability to harden shadows into blades and move them with enough force to penetrate a rhyperior’s skin.

Spiritomb has no reliable means of recovery, outside of some weak energy sapping. This makes it vulnerable to being worn down by repeated hits, especially from fairy types. Still, Karashina’s spiritomb is almost as feared as her garchomp. Unprepared trainers, even world-class ones, have found their team systematically destroyed by it.

Other spiritomb are similarly powerful, if not quite as well trained. Their biggest weakness is that they like to toy with their prey rather than finishing it off immediately, giving chances to retaliate. While these retaliatory strikes likely will not knock out the spiritomb, they may stun it for long enough to escape.

Dr. Spearing is less durable than the average spiritomb. She has been harmed by attacks that a normal spiritomb would laugh off, although she has kept battling through them. When genuinely upset, her offensive powers dwarf even Karashina’s spiritomb. While spiritomb can manipulate small shadows, Dr. Spearing can move all darkness in an area as a single mass, and even extinguish light sources. Her main difference from spiritomb is that she can fly at speeds up to eight meters per second, while spiritomb are incapable of moving their keystone more than a centimeter or two a minute.

Acquisition

Spiritomb require a Class V license to purchase, adopt, or capture.

Outside of Karashina’s visits, there is only one spiritomb in Alola. It resides in lāh Palace, the old home of the Hawaiian monarchs. While it was dormant for nearly two centuries, the spiritomb awakened at some point over the last three years and has slowly been moving through the castle. At least two people have been killed after encountering it, with another three surviving encounters. Two of those three were badly injured.

The palace is a restricted area. Permission to enter is at the discretion of the Ula’Ula kahuna. Capturing the spiritomb is unwise, as it is presently confined to an abandoned area, but it is technically legal.

According to legend, this spiritomb was created in the 15th century after the Lanakila War when the losing chief, her family, her best warriors, and some other Ula’ula chiefs were bound into the keystone as punishment for the Lanakila Massacre. There she killed the three island chiefs on sacred ground in a bid to take over the archipelago. Her name was struck from history and few other details about her have survived. It is believed that she is the dominant spirit in the pokémon.

Breeding

Spirtomb were created by a high priest of the local gods sealing seventy to two hundred sinners into a ritually prepared stone. The incantations used to create spiritomb have mostly been lost to time, but the fragments found appear to be phonetically similar to each other across centuries and oceans. The process appeared to involve ritual human sacrifice of the sinners. At the end, the priest would kill themselves on top of the keystone and complete the ritual. Whether the priest was one of the sealed sinners themselves seems to vary by culture.

A handful of modern cults have attempted to create spiritomb. None have succeeded.

No spiritomb has ever reproduced with another pokémon. Encounters between spiritomb tend to end in fights or both parties withdrawing into their keystones and refusing to talk. The one evolved spiritomb, Dr. Spearing, has not produced offspring. She is in a long-term romantic relationship with a human of the opposite gender and self-identifies as a lesbian.

Subspecies

None known.
 

Persephone

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This week’s entry of The Alola Pokedex is a tribute to The Curious and the Shiny: New Game Plus by NebulaDreamsfor tying for the top prize in Serebii’s 2018 Fan Fiction Awards. You can check it out here. Be forewarned that this entry contains moderate spoilers.

Downloading from The Alola Pokédex Online Appendix . . .​

Luxray (Shinx, Luxio)

Overview

Pokémon are not equally intelligent. Some, such as slowpoke, may not be sapient or sentient at all. Many have intelligence roughly equivalent to a non-pokémon animal or a human toddler. Others roughly equal us in intellect. Slowking see us as toddlers, metagross as dumb pets.

Pokémon are also not mutually intelligible. Members of Carnivora can’t understand the language of most ungulates, and vice-versa. There is an open debate over the extent to which pokémon even have languages, in the human understanding of them.

At some point, perhaps as early as 1980 and perhaps continuing to the present, at least one group set out to change this. No records survive and all of our knowledge comes from the few participants in the programs who want to talk about their experience. Their reports mostly align, and the results, talking pokémon from several species that have never spoken before, lend credibility to them.

Some of the survivors have settled in around the world. Many have begun to raise families that display similar intelligence. The results appear to be more pronounced in less intelligent species, with affected alakazam being only marginally smarter than the baseline for their species (albeit with fewer of the mental health drawbacks). These new populations have been preliminarily dubbed gestalt pokémon.

The only gestalt population on Alola is a group of luxray on Akala. Given the large number of gestalt luxray around the world, most of whom claim to be from different facilities, as well as the slight genetic variance in gestalt luxray, these were probably genetically modified and captive bred by the responsible organizations.

Gestalt luxray are a protected species in Alola. Capture is only permitted with the luxray’s consent. Please be aware that these luxray are considered to have slightly above average intelligence by human standards. Furthermore, they have the most human-like mentality of any other pokémon species in Alola. Trainers who are not prepared to treat their pokémon as equals should avoid training this species.

Physiology

Gestalt luxray are pure electric-types.

Outside of some slight genetic differences, a more elastic brain structure, and more complex vocal chords, gestalt luxray are identical to standard eastern luxray.

The back half of shinx is coated in black fur, and most of the front half in blue. A yellow star tops their long, thin tail. The star and the tail are the shinx’s primary tool for channeling electric discharges. Shinx have ringed golden eyes and a black “collar” of fur. They also sport yellow bands on their front ankles and yellow inner ears. These are not used to channel attacks and are purely ornamental. The size of the ears gives shinx the best hearing of the feline pokémon.

Luxio develop a more complex ornament on their tail, allowing for more powerful and accurate discharges. They gain another stripe on their forelegs. Shinx’s thin black collar grows into a head-framing black mane of fur as they grow. Luxio’s ears are proportionally smaller than shinx’s, but they are larger overall and shinx’s senses get stronger with age until they are fully grown.

Luxray have a different coat pattern than shinx and luxio. The back legs are covered in blue fur, while the black mane expands to cover the front of the forelegs. Another stripe develops on the forelegs, but all stripes are now only visible from the back. Luxray have a very large headcrest, but it sticks back in large tufts rather than encircling their full face like a male pyroar. A small blue patch develops in their midsection.

The species is one of two electric cats, along with umpaka. Their electricity is generated by muscle movements and stored inside of their fur as static. The fluffier a luxray is, the more danger it presents in a fight. Their bolts are channeled with their tail. Alternatively, they can be steadily discharged from their fur to create a glowing effect or a temporary shield of static electricity, depending upon the amount released.

Luxray (and, to a lesser extent, luxio) also have the ability to sense electrical currents around them. This ability includes the currents in the nervous systems of other animals and pokémon. While using this ability, the pokémon’s sclera glows red.

Adult luxray are typically around one meter in height and weigh around forty kilograms. The lifespan of the eastern luxray is fifteen years. Several gestalt luxray have reached this age with no serious deterioration. In fact, no gestalt luxray has yet showed signs of aging.

Behavior

Young shinx often have only a limited ability to speak, although they can understand most feline pokémon from birth and begin to develop an understanding of other spoke languages before their first birthday. They will usually not be able to speak fluently and without stutters or other errors in any non-feline language until they are nearly two years old.

Because luxio and luxray can track patterns much more complex than letters, luxray are among the most literate of the gestalt species. They can often read in several languages before they master speaking other feline dialects.

The Alolan charge of luxray live as one large family group.

While male and female luxray look very similar (although the males manes are a little longer), they are very different in temperament. Male luxray shy away from all violence and are generally laid-back, social, and considerate. They raise the kittens in the wild. Females are high-strung, somewhat rude, and love violent play. Female luxio and luxray hunt for the charge. Both genders and all three stages are obligate carnivores.

Husbandry

Gestalt luxray have many of the same advantages and drawbacks as other intelligent, social species. Males can be taught rules and routines from a very young age and will attempt to obey them, even if there is very little in the way of reinforcement. Females will at least understand rules, but see no need to obey them.

Luxray should be provided with an abundance of reading materials as books are their preferred toys. While they are capable of reading electronic books, they strongly prefer paper books as they are easier to use without breaking them. Females will also entertain themselves by hunting or through battle. Males are reluctant battlers and prefer socializing and exploring. Some sort of a fitness regimen should be given to a male luxio right after acquisition to ensure they stay in shape. It is best if the trainer engages in the same activities to avoid building resentments.

Eastern and gestalt luxray are ambivalent about water. Eastern luxray will sometimes swim in the wild for entertainment, hunting, or transportation. Gestalt luxray prefer not to get wet as it interferes with their ability to store charge, but will do so for baths. Because the bathing and grooming processes necessarily entail electric discharges, anti-static gear should be worn at these times.

Male luxray will eat dry cat food or well-cooked meat. Female luxray enjoy fresh meat and tend not to enjoy cat food at all.

Most intelligent pokémon have mindsets that are entirely alien to humans. Even if they are as smart as a human, these pokémon should not be treated exactly like one. Zoroark and luxray are the two exceptions in Alola. Luxray need trust, respect, and freedom. They should be allowed to use their own preferred name and should not be forced to do or refrain from anything outside of dire circumstances. Suggestions, rewards and compromises are the best ways of getting them to do something that they do not want to do. Luxray will develop their own hobbies, friend groups, and interests. Gestalt luxray understand the concept of purchases and, if given an allowance, are quite capable of making their own financial choices.

Adopting a luxio is equivalent to adopting an adolescent human. You may be their legal guardian and primary caretaker. The luxio may respect and love you for it.

You will never, ever own them.

Illness

Gestalt luxray are incredibly resistant to almost every common feline disease, including rabies.

The bigger challenge for the line are mental health issues, as their brains do not have centuries of evolution to adapt to high intelligence.

Depression is the most common problem in males. It can be hard to tell a depressed male luxray from a normal one due to their natural temperament, but a total loss of interest in things they used to enjoy is the easiest symptom to identify it by. No anti-depressant works on luxray. Talk therapists willing to take on a pokémon client and qualified to do so are very rare. This means that the trainer will usually have to do their best to make sure that the luxray is regularly socializing, exercising, and eating the proper amount of food.

Females have different issues, some of which might just be the natural disposition of the species rather than a problem that should be treated. ADHD-like symptoms are one such example, as female luxray tend to have high energy and low concentration and see nothing wrong with it. Many could be diagnosable with a personality disorder, but most luxray object to this diagnosis. Even if it useful for describing the symptoms, they contend that they should not have to fit inside of human norms for no discernable reason. If their behavior is actively self-destructive, the trainer should try and subtly help with the luxray’s permission. Otherwise, it is best to let sleeping cats lie.

Anxiety is the most common problem in female luxray that they will need help with. Merely being high-strung is not a problem. However, if they find themselves not engaging in things they want to do because they are constantly obsessing over risks, than they should probably be helped through it. Talking through choices with the pokémon and offering frequent reassurances are the best way for a trainer to assist.

Evolution

Shinx evolve for the first time between two and four years of age. Luxio evolve for the second time between three and five years of age. The pace of development is strongly linked to battle and hunting experience. In practice, females usually evolve before males.

Both evolutions are classic flash-evolutions that occur over a matter of seconds. The newly evolved luxio or luxray is absolutely brimming with charge upon evolution.

Battle

No Battler-ranked trainer uses a luxray on their main team. Grounded electric-types struggle to justify their spot over mangezone, eelektross, vikavolt, and hodad. While they are less rough on personal electronics (luxray can even safely use computers), the lack of power and maneuverability makes them unpopular. They also struggle to compete with the faster manectric, which can also mega evolve. Despite these drawbacks, several noteworthy trainers on the Asian and European regional circuits use either an eastern or northern luxray.

Shinx, luxio, and luxray all fight in effectively the same way. They defend themselves with a shield of static electricity that grows stronger as they run around the field. The longer the battle goes, the harder it is to hurt the pokémon. Then they discharge the shield either all at once or in smaller blows. Luxray hit hard, but they are unfortunately not very durable beyond their shield. If an opponent gets in one or two strong hits very early on it will be difficult for the luxray to pull off the round. Discharges also temporarily weaken the shield. These drawbacks mean that luxray struggle as revenge killers because they need time to set up themselves, and they also have serious difficulty pulling off a sweep.

In a bind, luxray can release electricity from their claws to create long, thin electrical burns on their opponent.

Fortunately, luxray are not very common in Alola and were only recently introduced. This means that opponents may not know to hit luxray early on and keep them from running. If they try to ignore their opponent and set up, they may find themselves in for a nasty surprise.

Gestalt pokémon have the benefit of being intelligent enough to think on their own feet. This lets them handle basic responses and strategies without needing to receive commands while their trainer focuses on longer term strategies and watches for threats that are not immediately obvious.

Acquisition

Luxio require a Class II license to capture.

Per commonwealth law, only luxio may be taken from the wild. Even then, this can only occur with the luxio’s explicit and ongoing consent. The charge can usually be found within the bounds of Akala National Park, usually in the lowland plains. Once or twice a month they will come to the Northern Shores Resort or Dividing Peak Tunnel. On one occasion they went all the way to the Pink Fields Stadium. They are not shy and will usually approach nearby humans.

Breeding

All luxray breeding must occur in the wild in Alola.

Getsalt luxray usually mate for life, but can end long-term relationships for many of the same reasons humans do. The female enters a twenty day pregnancy and lays four to six eggs. These eggs will hatch after roughly two weeks into shinx kittens. Newborns are usually less than six inches long and grow to their full size over the course of six months. Infant mortality rates for all subspecies of shinx are among the highest of any feline pokémon.

Curiously, gestalt luxray that spend enough time around either non-gestalt eggs or growing shinx can convert them into a gestalt shinx. This process even changes the genetic code of the converted pokémon. Neither pokémon scientists nor the luxray themselves understand how this works, and gestalt luxray almost always refuse to submit to rigorous examination.

New shinx eggs and young shinx are occasionally given to the Alolan charge to expand the population without causing severe inbreeding.

Subspecies

There are four other subspecies of luxray.

The eastern luxray are native to coastal China. They are physically near-identical to gestalt luxray. The pokémon live in charges of a dominant mated male and female pair and their descendants. Female children stay with their parents; males go to other charges to be with their new mate. One charge can consist of the dominant pair, several female children, their mates, and their children. Up to fifteen luxray have been spotted in a single charge.

When the dominant female dies, her children split up and form their own charges. If the male survives, he will typically live with one of his children until he passes. If the male survives and has no fully evolved children of his own, he will probably choose a new partner. The new dominant female will kill all of the male’s surviving children before mating with him.

The subspecies sticks to dense forests near open grasslands. At night, the females go out onto the plains and try to spot their prey with their electric vision before they are spotted in turn. They will silently creep as close to their prey as they can, sometimes staying in the forest edge during this process, and then break into a run. Females can run at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour for mid-distances. If they cannot outrun their prey in the initial charge, they will keep up the hunt until they have enough stored power to strike their prey down from a distance.

Eastern luxray are reasonably popular as pets due to their exaggerated facial expressions, and escaped individuals have formed charges on the outskirts of Kotobuki City, Atlanta, and several Western European cities.

Northern luxray have thicker coats and are generally larger and lighter, growing up to 1.5 meters at the shoulder. The northern, southern, and western luxray usually live alone, with pairs coming together for around one year to mate and care for their young until they reach their full shinx size. Then the shinx are left to fend on their own. This subspecies lives in the forests of the Amur watershed. All hunting occurs within forests, and despite their size northern luxray are primarily ambush predators and scavengers. Electric vision is helpful for identifying buried pokémon, and their size allows them to scare off many predators from their recent kills. The subspecies is the most popular in zoos due to their size and fearsome appearance, as well as their docile nature and ease of adjusting to captivity.

The southern luxray lives in the rainforests and swamps of Southeastern Asia. They are about 30% smaller than the eastern luxray and have a much thinner, waterproof coat. Thinner coats mean that this subspecies has the least ability to store electricity. Their preferred hunting method is sitting motionless on the edge of cloudy water and waiting for something to swim nearby. Then they will send a quick burst of electricity out to stun their prey before diving in to make the kill with their teeth and claws.

The western luxray is the smallest and most endangered subspecies. They have the fluffiest coat and even more expressive body language than the other subspecies. Large paws help them move in the deserts they inhabit. Small, digging species are their primary prey. Unlike their relatives, western luxray do not usually release their stored energy as electric bolts. Instead, the stored charge is converted into a temporary surge of kinetic energy released in one direction. Western luxray run around looking for prey with their electric vision. When they find a tunnel, they stand above it and send a pulse downward to collapse it. They will then either dig through the rubble to eat the crushed prey, or catch anything they tries to flee the tunnel through the new hole. Come morning, western luxray return to their own burrows and sleep.
 
Hypno

Persephone

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Hariyama (Makuhita)

Overview

Hariyama were not the first pokémon to be tamed on Alola. The wayfarers brought their dartrix with them. A brionne choir quickly took interest in the new human inhabitants and developed a close relationship with the Alolans, especially the Seafolk who kept the wayfaring tradition alive. According to legend, the first kahuna of Poni Island wrestled with an incineroar for control of Poni Island. Upon defeat, the incineroar gave some of her cubs to the kahuna so that they might learn his strength. True or not, torracat breeding programs were well established by the time of first contact with Japan. A handful of other species frequently interacted with humans as intellectual equals (oranguru, slowking) or hunting companions (lycanroc). Some kahunas managed to bond with one or two pokémon of other species, such as minior or jangmo-o.

The importation of hariyama is viewed as the start of training for sports, pokémon battles as an alternative to war, and the island challenge itself.

Hariyama are eager to train, generally submissive, and terrifyingly powerful. For the first time in Alolan history, pokémon trainer could reliably wield the strength of two dozen soldiers. Training went from an accessory to hunting, agriculture, or scholarship to a means to political and military power. The island challenge was instituted to present aspiring trainers with a relatively peaceful way to prove themselves to the tapus as potential kahuna material and, later, as a means of replacing the monarch.

Today the political significance has been stripped away from the island challenge and scores of species are routinely trained. Hariyama still remains one of the best choices a trainer can make given their relatively modest care requirements, willingness to work, and raw power. They also have very distinct personalities and can make good companions (and a good reason to exercise) long after the island challenge ends.

Physiology

Both makuhita and hariyama are classified as pure fighting-types.

Makuhita loosely resemble a fat human. Thin, fuzzy fur coats their body. Most of this fur is yellow, but black stripes around the neck and hands are common. The hands have three very short fingers and a thumb. Their hands are nearly useless for anything but punches and push-ups. Makuhita generally have red rings on their cheeks and a long tuft of hair on top of their head. They have ear slits, but they are not very good at identifying where a sound is coming from. Much of their body is fat, but they are still far stronger than they look.

Hariyama, by contrast, have virtually no body fat. In fact, they have so little that it can cause them health problems (see Illness). Evolution makes them substantially bulkier, but this bulk is almost entirely solid muscle. Their hands are giant and flat with three wide fingers. The hair on the upper half of their body falls out, and their skin is very light grey. A tan plate of armor on their chest helps protect their internal organs, and a bony blue visor on their head protects the brain and new outer ears. Hariyama's lower half retains its fur, but replaces the old yellow coat with a blue one. They gain a series of flaps around their waist that help them regulate their internal temperature while exercising.

Hariyama can grow up to 2.5 meters tall and have a mass of 500 kilograms. Hariyama typically live for twelve years in the wild, but can live up to thirty in captivity.

Behavior

Fighting-types tend to be split into two groups. One are naturally powerful pokémon that always act feral, even when raised from birth in captivity. The other are relentlessly focused on improving their body and martial arts skills through training. Hariyama are a quintessential example of a Type II fighting type.

Wild hariyama prefer to form dojos with other Type IIs and humans. Lucario are their preferred pokémon partners in Alola. This partnership instinct is because makuhita can struggle to feed themselves as they are herbivores that lack useful fingers or a prehensile tail and are not tall enough to browse. Absent partners, they typically feed by hitting berry trees until the fruit (or the tree itself) fall down. Then they do push ups to eat the berries off of the ground. This method is inefficient enough that makhuita and hariyama without a mixed-species dojo can spend up to two-thirds of their waking hours eating.

In exchange for the assistance with feeding (and tying their hair), hariyama will use their bulk to scare away any would-be predators. Lucario are skilled and have fearsome ranged attacks, but they can struggle to slow, much less kill, very large predators. Hariyama can take on almost any wild pokémon in Alola and overpower them. Only powerful telepaths, large groups, salamence, volcarona, metagross, and particularly clever pokémon stand a chance at defeating a fully grown hariyama.

Hariyama revel in challenging anything approaching their power. They are known to take on buses, trains, and even airplanes during landing and takeoff. Members of the Melemele dojo routinely pick fights with visiting salamence, who are often quite happy to oblige for the sheer thrill of battle. Cameras in the Poni Colosseum have recorded several matches between kommo-o and hariyama with makuhita and jangmo-o sitting in the audience.

Makuhita are less aggressive in finding challengers. They mostly fight within their dojo, although they will defend themselves from anything that attacks them. Some particularly oblivious makuhita on Poni Island have mistakenly attacked exeggutor only to get launched thirty meters back. The exeggutor make no attempt to warn makuhita of their mistake, and have even been seen shuffling into groves and standing dead still whenever makuhita approach.

Husbandry

Makuhita have fairly normal food needs, although they will need their berries handed to them. They should be fed until they refuse food. . Mint leaves are also a favorite snack of the species. Litter box training isn't an issue. As long as a water bowl is tall enough for them to reach it mid push-up, neither is water.

The main problem with makuhita training is the training part.

Makuhita rise at dawn and they go to sleep at sunset. Between the two they are almost exclusively concerned with food and exercise. Trainers who want a break can simply give makuhita a berry pile. On the trail, makuhita view hiking and carrying gear as an exercise. They can also be left alone with barbells or a punching bag while their trainer goes about their business.

Ideally, a makuhita trainer will be very fit and capable of exercising alongside their makuhita. Being able to teach the pokémon martial arts moves is the best way to gain their respect. Balancing their strengths and weaknesses, makuhita is the best partner possible on the island challenge for athletic, motivated trainers who want to be the best and are willing to put in the work. Otherwise, they should be avoided in favor of Type I fighting-types like passimian, pancham, crabrawler, and scrafty make for a better companion.

Hariyama are more concerned with showing off their strength than improving it. Unlike makuhita, hariyama are willing to go into pokéballs for several hours a day (and all of the night) if they are routinely given worthy fights. In the absence of high level battles, they will need a gym with weights of at least a metric ton. After an island challenge is over, hariyama can be safely released on either Poni or Melemele if their trainer is unwilling to make the lifestyle or monetary concessions needed to raise a hariyama.

Illness

Very young makuhita and very old hariyama often develop cancers or respiratory problems. Most of these problems can be easily treated if caught early. The line can also catch and transmit several common diseases in humans, such as influenza.

The main health problem that hariyama suffer from is internal organ damage. Hariyama have very little body fat, relying instead on layers of powerful muscles to protect themselves. When flexed, the muscles form a nigh-unbreakable shield. However, if a hariyama is caught off guard with a sufficiently powerful hit to the torso, the shockwave can rupture an organ and potentially kill them. A hariyama should always be made aware that it is about to go into battle, and even playful sneak attacks should be avoided.

Evolution

When makuhita are strong enough, experienced enough, and have stored enough food, they begin the process of evolution. During the two to four month evolution period, makuhita drop all training and spend all of their waking hours eating. When the process is complete, they will set out on a path of wanton destruction to test their newfound strength. Evolution typically occurs between four and five years of age in the wild, and two to four in captivity.

Trainers wishing to hasten the process should provide their makuhita with plenty of training and interesting fights. For the year after evolution ends, the new hariyama will need to be used in several battles a week against worthy opponents. Otherwise they will begin to seek out their own challenges, some of which can be quite costly.

Battle

Hariyama is one of the most physically powerful pokémon in the world. They are also very, very tough and can keep on fighting at full strength for hours. While slow, this seldom matters because eventually a hariyama will land a hit and it is difficult for most pokémon to land meaningful blows on them. They fight mainly with their open palm slaps, shockwaves, and thrown rock attacks. Hariyama have a few other tricks, such as whirlwind and elementally charged punches, but for the most part hariyama does one thing and they do it terrifyingly well. Any team without a solid hariyama counter or a few checks will be crushed by a well-trained hariyama with a competent trainer.

Unfortunately for hariyama, their counters abound in the competitive circuits. Although they are not particularly weak to telepathic assaults, hariyama also do not resist them. This makes alakazam hariyama's hardest counter, since the psychic-type can hover above shockwaves and teleport away from whirlwinds, thrown rocks, and physical assaults while simultaneously tripping hariyama up with utility moves and hitting them in the brain. Gardevoir, espeon, gothielle, mega slowbro, and mime sr. are not quite as effective but can still usually take down a hariyama.

Floating steel-types and very fast ranged fliers can also put a stop to hariyama. Neither has much to fear from rock attacks (due to natural resistance or speed) and can stay well out of range of physical blows and shockwaves. The fliers are usually strong enough to power through a whirlwind, and the steel-types are too heavy to really care. This makes the relatively common bronzong, skarmory, magnezone, vikavolt, yanmega, dragonite, noivern, and talonflame solid counters to hariyama. More exotic picks such as harpyre and metagross are even more effective.

Quickstall teams can also make hariyama much less useful. They are usually fast enough to outpace hariyama, bulky enough to take the shockwaves or thrown rocks, and tricky enough to slowly wear their enemy down while keeping themselves healthy.

Finally, bulky ghost types such as South Isle decidueye, dusknoir, and jellicent can phase through the worst of hariyama's hits while using a variety of trips to bypass hariyama's natural defenses. These matches tend to be close and hariyama prevails more often than not, but the sweep ends very shortly afterwards.

Almost every professional trainer has at least one counter to hariyama at the ready. But a clever hariyama trainer can still play the long game, wear down or take out the checks, and then unleash an unstoppable force at the end. Hariyama can also be played as a mid-game wallbreaker, since they can break down common stall pokémon such as milotic, goodra, blissey, steelix, ferrothorn, forretress, hippowdon, or clefable and allow a teammate to sweep. It is also inadvisable to try and set up a sweep with a pokémon hariyama can defeat so long as the fighting-type is still reasonably healthy.

If the metagame were any less hostile to hariyama, it would be the single most threatening pokémon commonly held by professional trainers. Even as things are, hariyama is still one of the biggest threats in the world and skilled professional and amateur trainers should always have a counter plan in mind.

On the island challenge, makuhita are effective in battle but require patience. They are reasonably bulky and quite powerful, but rather slow. The trick is setting up a situation where the makuhita can get in a solid hit or two. If this is possible, they can defeat most young pokémon. If it isn't, they will probably be worn down and defeated in the end.

Hariyama's rather limited pool of tricks makes them a good choice for the island challenge. Simple hand slaps with a few rock and seismic attacks to hit distant foes is all hariyama really needs. Be wary of the counters listed above, but otherwise hariyama is likely to carry the match.

Acquisition

Makuhita can be found on Route 2 and on the eastern end of Poni. Only makuhita at least one meter tall may be captured. They require a Class I license to capture or purchase.

Hariyama can be found in many of the same places as makuhita. The ones that do not wish to go with a trainer have already been captured by the Melemele Dojo and the Poni National Park rangers. All others are legal catches with a Class III license (purchase requires a Class I, adoption is impossible as unwanted makuhita and hariyama are released to the wild).

Both stages are very insistent upon a proper capture battle. If a trainer cannot overpower them with any single team member, the pokémon will refuse to listen to them just because a piece of technology or superior numbers restrained them.

Breeding

Hariyama can be bred in captivity, but they strongly prefer being released to the wild to reproduce. The species can form emotional attachments to fighting-types of any gender. However, only heterosexual pairings with other hariyama, machamp, or primeape will produce offspring. Mating tends to happen after a hariyama's tenth birthday, but they reach sexual maturity upon the end of evolution. Older hariyama often settle down, have kids, and devote the rest of their lives to training makuhita.

Subspecies

The Alolan hariyama is slightly taller and substantially heavier than the Asian hariyama. This is due to the abundance of food in Alola.

Asian hariyama live in the temperate portion of Asia's Pacific coast, from southern China to the Korean peninsula and Japanese isles. They typically live in caves, only leaving to eat. Alolan hariyama sometimes take shelter in caves from bad storms, but otherwise avoid them. There is no consensus on why Asian hariyama prefer to live underground when they are large herbivores that need to spend several hours a day grazing.
 
Smeargle

Persephone

The Vulture Queen
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Smeargle

Overview

Smeargle might be the first pokémon partner humans ever had. Neanderthal settlements in Southwestern Europe tend to have smeargle bones or objects stained in smeargle ink nearby. In many areas, early cave paintings are right next to ancient smeargle marks. Ancient kingdoms the world over prized smeargle for their dyes, which are vibrant, easily produced, and capable of lasting for millennia under the right conditions. Kamehameha the Great imported smeargle to the islands to paint the new capitol city of Hau'oli when Ihā Palace was deemed too traditional for the new era.

Many of those smeargles' descendants now live on Melemele. While technically invasive, the DNR allows them to stay as a tourist attraction and force for peace among wild pokémon. Capture by trainers with an artistic bent keeps the population in check.

Smeargle is not useful in a fight unless very well trained. Still, they are creative and affectionate companions for trainers concerned with their future after the island challenge ends.

Physiology

Smeargle is classified as a pure normal-type. They are capable of wielding every wavelength of the elemental spectrum in a way that only eevee, ditto, and the recently created silvally can begin to match.

While they are sometimes mistaken for canines, smeargle are actually feliforms. Gumshoos is their closest relative in Alola. Smeargle have long and lithe bodies and large paws, eyes, and ears. Their tongue is rather long and is often left hanging out of their mouth. This also helps them regulate their internal temperature. A floppy cap of skin and fur adorns their head. There is not a scientific consensus on what purpose, if any, the cap serves. Most of their fur is short and white, except for brown patches on the ears and around the eyes. Smeargle also have brown bands above their paws; the exact number and width of these bands varies by individual.

The species is most famous for their ink secretions. Smeargle has a long prehensile tail with a tuft of fur and an ink gland on the end. The color of the ink varies by the individual, and the shade varies with diet, mood, exhaustion, and the solar and lunar cycles. This ink is resistant to almost everything except for smeargle's saliva. Sanding the surface, extreme high and low temperatures, and some corrosive attacks will also work in a pinch.

Smeargle can reach heights of 1.3 meters and masses of 60 kilograms. They live for up to seven years in the wild and ten in captivity.

Behavior

Smeargle ink has mild psychoactive effects until it dries. Prolonged exposure can cause hallucinations, calming, hunger, decreased aggression, and bursts of inspiration that are quickly forgotten. The species is not entirely immune to the effects of their own ink; smeargle with amputated or dried tails (see Illness) display far fewer typical signs of smeargle ink exposure.

A palette of smeargle typically have a distinct territory map. There will be a center area where socialization freely happens, disputes are resolved, and collaborative art projects are undertaken. Radiating out from this hub are various wedge-shaped territories that grow wider the farther they are from the center. Each wedge is occupied by a single smeargle, or a female and her young offspring (see Breeding). The edges of each territory are full of elaborate markings. Every smeargle uses thirty to one hundred individual marking patterns. Over 12,000 patterns have been identified worldwide. No two smeargle have been found with the same set. Smeargle are quite aggressive towards other conspecifics entering their territory, but are quite friendly with their neighbors in the center.

Smeargle's circadian rhythm changes over the lunar cycle. They are fully diurnal on new moons and fully nocturnal on the nights of full moons. Individuals get about twelve hours of sleep in every 24 hour period, regardless of when they get it. If the weather is good, all the smeargle in a gallery will convene in the hub on the days of new moons and the nights of full moons to collaborate on elaborate art projects, socialize, court potential mates, and trade objects and art tips. Smeargle with a very close bond (platonic or otherwise) will often ask their friend to place an ink-coated foot on their back as a permanent sign of their bond. When they groom themselves to remove excess paint, smeargle very carefully avoid their back. That is washed by water alone.

Because of their ability to track energy patterns as well as their perpetually altered mental state, smeargle are excellent at seeing through lies, illusions, and supernatural activity.

In the wild, smeargle tend to be accidental peacekeepers. Their bodies are toxic enough that few predators will bother to eat them. Most moderately intelligent pokémon appreciate the markings they leave across their territory. In turn, smeargle eat only plants and the occasional small scavenged carcass, and they don't eat enough or breed quickly enough to be a nuisance to other pokémon. Smeargle territories, especially territory edges and the central hub, tend to be home to unusually high amounts of wild pokémon. Predator and prey typically have a truce period during smeargle conventions during new and full moons. Several inter-species summits have been seen during these times, and violent organized inter-species conflicts are almost non-existent in the places where smeargle are common. Many pokémon will take advantage of the opportunity to trade items with other pokémon and human onlookers, as well as to evaluate potential friends, trainers, rivals, and mates.

Husbandry

In spite of their general appearance and attitudes, smeargle are reasonably intelligent pokémon and should always be treated with a certain amount of dignity. Many have aversions to pet names, strict schedules, or insults. Anything that suggests the pokémon is not viewed as a relative equal can set them off. These triggers can include lies, making important decisions without their consent, forcing them to use a more degrading place for urination and defecation than their trainer uses, excessive amounts of time spent in a pokéball, ignoring their feelings, or routinely being given food that their trainer would never settle for. In short, the relationship between a trainer and smeargle is best handled like a relationship between two human friends.

Smeargle make poor partners for dark, fairy, and ghost types because of the tendency of those species to pull pranks and create illusions. Both tend to stress smeargle due to their ability to track energy signatures. Ditto and zoroark are also unsuitable teammates for similar reasons. Lucario make for very good partners. So long as they each have a personal space to retreat to that they can freely mark up, most smeargle will tolerate other conspecifics on the team.

The bulk of smeargle's diet should be made up of berries and vegetables. They will also happily eat meat, but this should not be the core of their diet. Almost all smeargle prefer their meat to be cooked rather than raw. Kibble will be taken as an insult, either immediately or when the smeargle realizes that their trainer doesn't and won't eat it.

The species requires relatively little in the way of exercise unless being used as serious battlers. Instead, they need time to socialize and practice painting. They prefer artistic trainers who can offer them meaningful advice on their craft but will tolerate any trainer willing to give them reasonable respect, independence, and praise. Trainers should be mindful of the pokémon's rotating circadian rhythm. They should also accept that if easels and canvas are not provided, smeargle will mark up walls.

Illness

Smeargle can share diseases with gumshoos, among other pokémon. They should receive a full round of vaccinations within one or two months of capture, or within six months of birth. It helps to explain to the pokémon what is going to happen in advance, as randomly suffering a serious of seemingly unprovoked attacks can make smeargle distrust their trainer and medical professionals.

Ink well problems are a set of maladies that are unique to smeargle. These can range from amputated tails to frequent muscle spasms or seizures to heavy or very low ink flow. All of these problems have different causes and treatments. Some will result in a permanent loss or impairment of painting ability. These pokémon will require substantial emotional support and assistance in learning how to paint with brushes meant for humans. Smeargle unable to create anything at all will quickly become depressed and stop feeding.

Evolution

N/A

Battle

Smeargle can use nearly every pokémon technique, even those that rely on unique anatomical structures, by copying the elemental patterns. The species is also intelligent enough to learn about one new attack every month. Some older smeargle can use over 100 moves, which gives them one of the largest effective movepools of any pokémon.

Unfortunately, just because smeargle can use an attack does not mean they can use it well. They are incredibly frail, have less physical strength than a yungoos, and their elemental wells are equally unimpressive. The species is reasonably agile, but even their speed is below average in competitive circuits.

In the past, smeargle was almost always a lead that used a technique to incapacitate an opponent for a long period of time and then used a series of powerful boosting moves while the opponent was down. When the switch clock ran, smeargle would then baton pass the boosts to either another member of a baton pass chain or to a sweeper capable of using them well.

After the Global Battle Federation banned baton pass chains and several other leagues followed, smeargle's typical strategy changed. Now they are mostly used to incapacitate the opposing lead, set up a full suite of arena hazards and effects, and eventually get knocked out. Smeargle teams can effectively start with the terrain in their favor, but at the cost of fighting with five pokémon.

No ranked trainer currently uses a smeargle. Even in their one good use, some pokémon manage to prevent smeargle from setting up. A handful can not only block smeargle, but use them as set up bait. Even though smeargle can unleash hydro cannons, frenzy plants, and blast burns, the species' limited elemental well means that they hit about as hard as a water gun, leafage, and ember from any other competitive pokémon.

Smeargle fare worse on the island challenge than in competitive circuits. The average trainer will be able to teach their pokémon six to twelve moves during the full course of the challenge. Other common utility pokémon such as pineco, blissey, toxapex, and gengar, are able to learn as many or more utility moves while also being powerful or bulky. Early on, smeargle can use a myriad of super effective attacks and their not-yet-outclassed offensive stats to win battles. By the middle of the second island, smeargle will be near deadweight.

Acquisition

Smeargle can be adopted, captured, or purchased with a Class I license.

Because of their role as a keystone of the Route 2 environment and tourist attraction, there are limits on the species capture. Any wild smeargle must come willingly with a trainer. A Pokémon Center nurse will need to verify that the capture was consensual within thirty days or the capture will automatically be classified as illegal. There is a healthy captive breeding program of smeargle and importation is legal, making adoption usually the better option. Wild pokémon can be most easily convinced to follow by showing them your own art. Other smeargle simply want an opportunity to see new sights and learn new moves and will actively seek out trainers. Smeargle not only don't require a battle to test their prospective trainer, but get angry when a potential friend chooses to beat them up as an apparent show of superiority and a threat against future misbehavior.

Capture of all wild pokémon is forbidden during smeargle conventions and in the three hours before and after them.

Breeding

In the wild, courtship can take several years or several minutes before any mating occurs. Sometimes both parents help raise the child, sometimes the male leaves immediately after conception. Relationships can last anywhere from a few days to the full adult life of both partners. Smeargle are about as likely to form homosexual bonds as heterosexual ones, although only heterosexual unions produce offspring. Most wild smeargle will engage in both types of partnerships in their lives.

Smeargle pregnancies last two to four months and result in a single child. The child undergoes a rite of passage at their thirteenth convention, at which point they leave their mother and take their own territory.

Because smeargle are free spirits with often brief, passionate relationships and specific preferences, it is difficult to breed smeargle in captivity unless a full palette is held in a large territory that mimics natural conditions. There is no farm in Alola that currently breeds smeargle, but there are several dozen throughout the world.

Subspecies

N/A
 
Crabominable

Persephone

The Vulture Queen
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Crabrawler (Crabominable)

Overview

When measured from base to peak, Mt. Lanakila is the largest mountain on Earth. It is also the only mountains with year-round snow cover in Oceania, courtesy of the ninetales that call it home. This unique environment—a tall, frozen mountain in the middle of tropical lowland—provides a home for many species not found elsewhere in Alola, as well as two species and two subspecies of pokémon that are not found anywhere else on Earth. Crabominable is uniquely adapted to the Lanakila ecosystem. They begin life as a small herbivorous species that hugs the warm shores before some move up to hunt in the perpetual cold.

Crabrawler are not particularly intelligent or affectionate. Evolution does little to fix these problems. They are powerful, easy to care for, and adjust well to captivity. At the end of a challenge, they can be taken to the nearest berry tree and released with little fanfare. For trainers who want a fighting-type powerhouse without a constant need to train or an expectation of lifelong friendship, crabrawler is as good a pokémon as any.

Physiology

Crabrawler are classified as pure fighting-types. Crabominable are dual ice- and fighting-types.

The hardened carapace of crabrawler is purple. They have four long, spindly legs with hook-like hairs at the end. Shortly after molting (see Evolution), crabrawler are light tan in color. Two of crabrawler's legs are shorter and have very large pincers at the end. Unlike other crustacean pokémon, these pincers are not primarily used for crushing objects. Instead, crabrawler punches things. Actual gripping attacks are rare and their crushing strength is unimpressive. Crabrawler have a long, sharp spine on top of their head. This makes them harder to attack from above.

The species has crude lungs instead of gills. They are unable to breathe in water after their planktonic stage (see Breeding).

Crabominable tend to be far bulkier than their preevolution. Their legs remain about the same total length, but are no longer spindly on their form. This makes crabominable rather slow. Thick, wooly hair covers crabominable's entire body, including their legs. The hook-like hairs used for climbing are replaced, as there are very few trees on Lanakila. The horn on top of their head is replaced by tufts of blond fur. When crabominable is buried, this fur resembles a lichen patch. Finally, crabominable have massive pincers that are no longer capable of gripping anything at all. They are spectacularly effective blunt instruments and crabominable can break even sandslash armor in a few solid hits. The pincers can be fired off in an explosive blast if needed, but this leaves the crabominable down a pincer and is rarely done in the wild.

Crabrawler grow up to one meter across and can weigh up to 20 kilograms. They typically live for eighty years in the wild. Crabominable can grow up to two meters across and weigh up to 100 kilograms. They can live for over a century.

Behavior

Crabrawler are primarily herbivorous. They climb up berry and coconut trees, get a solid grip on the with their legs, and then punch the trunk until the food they want falls down. In the case of coconuts, if the fruit is not shattered on impact the crabrawler will punch it until it bursts. Once the fruit has been cracked or splattered, crabrawler will lower their mouth to the ground and eat. Crabrawler don't care about picking up grass or sand alongside the berry flesh and juice; any minerals that aren't needed for shell growth will be harmlessly excreted.

They will fiercely defend any food they knock down, even taking on far stronger birds in defense of what is rightfully theirs. This extends to humans; if a berry has fallen from a tree near the coast, it's a good bet that taking it will trigger a crabrawler attack. Unless provoked or feeding, crabrawler are relatively calm and will seldom initiate hostilities. When attacked, crabrawler prefer to defend themselves with a barrage of quick, untrained punches. If this does not succeed, they will attempt trickery to make an escape (see Illness).

During low tides, crabrawler burrow into the sand on beaches and sleep. When the tide comes in, crabrawler leave their nests en masse to feed. A single beach can house hundreds or crabrawler. Despite living in close quarters, crabrawler are not particularly social creatures and only interact to fight over burrow or food territory or to mate.

Crabominable are primarily carnivorous. While they can eat plants in captivity (see Husbandry), they have never been observed eating any in the wild. Crabominable's ice-type attacks are the product of endothermic reactions inside of their gut. These attacks, along with their fur, keep crabominable warm in even the harshest of conditions. This allows them to hunt ice-type pokémon with relatively little risk of harm. Crabominable are primarily ambush predators that disguise themselves as a lichen before lashing out with one or two powerful hits. Alternatively, they will leave half a kill and bury themselves nearby to attract other carnivores. Sandslash, weavile, and snorunt are their primary prey. They may attack ninetales and vulpix, but this has never been observed. Video evidence suggests that crabominable have begun to hunt vanilluxe.

Outside of their feeding habits, very little is known about wild crabominable. The Alolan monarchs and Ula'Ula kahunas have historically prevented scientific studies on the mountain. Even after the construction of the Alolan Pokémon League, interference from ninetales and vanilluxe has made observations difficult.

Husbandry

Crabrawler spend almost all of their days buried or searching for food. This makes them very tolerant of pokéballs. So long as they are adequately fed, they are willing to spend almost all of their time in one. Net balls are preferable, although nest balls and regular pokéballs are also fine. They should be let out of their balls to eat, defecate, and explore for at least a half hour a day.

While exploring, crabrawler will often try to climb things. If something resembles a coconut or fruit, they may try to punch it until it breaks. Crabrawler almost universally believe that vases look like coconuts. Most believe the same about lamps and light bulbs.

Crabrawler cannot technically be housebroken, but they generally prefer to defecate on wood shavings, grass, mulch, or damp sand. If there is only one area around that fits, they will conduct their business there.

Crabrawler, but not crabominable, get stand-offish around birds. Type I fighting-types like hariyama, machamp, and lucario will often grow frustrated with crabrawler's refusal to discipline themselves or train in a martial art. Sometimes crabrawler will start fights with crawdaunt, araquanid, and ariados. Crabominable may view ice-type teammates as food and try to eat them. Conversely, they are very wary around canines.

Crabrawler should be fed a fruit-rich diet, with mice or small fish occasionally thrown in as treats. They will need water bowls to drink from. Because they lack gills and are relatively dense, crabrawler cannot swim nor walk along the bottom of a pool for long. All water dishes should be shallow.

Crabominable are primarily carnivorous in the wild, but they can be fed a fruit-heavy diet in captivity with few apparent side effects. They can drink water from dishes, but they prefer getting it from ice crystals or snow. Evolution makes them more curious, and they will appreciate a chance to hide in a box or buried under dirt or blankets while watching others go by. The trainer should always be at the ready to withdraw the crabominable if anything gets too close. Even the best trained crabominable will seldom pass up a tasty meal that walks right by them. Crabominable are very fond of back rubs; crabrawler are not. The same goes for cuddling with a known and trusted human.

Crabominable should either have an ice-specific pokéball or a cold place they can retreat to at least once a day. A crabominable kept in a blizzard ball will only need two to three hours a day outside of it.

Illness

Most crabs foam at the mouth as a means of regulating their internal salinity. Crabrawler don't have to worry about that, but they still foam. This is their means of producing relatively weak bubble attacks that can serve as a distraction for an escape. It can also intimidate predatory mammals away out of fear that their prey has rabies. Crabrawler are incapable of developing rabies. Foaming is a normal behavior and nothing that a veterinarian needs to be consulted about.

The overwhelming majority of legitimate health problems occur during molting. Very young crabrawler can shed their shell in favor of a new one once a week. For the first year of their life on land, crabrawler don't even bother to grow a hard shell between molts, instead moving between gastropod shells and other found objects. During molting, wild crabrawler burrow to a point just above the water table and stay there for several days until their new shell hardens. In captivity, crabrawler should be kept in one place and not withdrawn into their pokéball during the process. Ideally they should be given a dark, cramped safe place to hide in. Until the process is complete, crabrawler are soft and very vulnerable to injury. Wounds that ordinarily wouldn't be felt can be fatal in this state.

As they grow older, crabrawler molt less frequently but each molting gets more dangerous. Getting out of their shell and growing a new one is increasingly energy expensive, and eventually crabrawler can have a three week softshell period during which they will have to go out and hunt for food. In captivity this danger is somewhat alleviated.

Crabrawler never really stop growing, although their molting becomes less frequent as they age. They will eat everything they can, and well-fed crabrawler will grow (and die) faster. Trainers who don't intend to evolve their crabrawler should limit their pokémon to one-fifth of their body weight a day.

Crabominable don't usually molt unless their carapace is badly damaged. Their molts can take a month, during which they will almost certainly have to hunt to get enough nutrients to build the new carapace. Captive crabominable usually survive, but the process is best handled under inpatient veterinary care.

Evolution

There is a healthy amount of debate as to whether crabrawler should be classified as a second-stage pokémon. Their larval form is planktonic, and even after emerging from the water young crabrawler have very different behaviors than adult crabrawler (see Breeding). The official stance of the USDA at this point is that crabrawler is the first stage of a two-stage line, as tiny planktonic forms are not counted as proper evolutionary stages and juvenile crabrawler look very similar to adult crabrawler.

Crabrawler on Melemele, Akala, and Poni Island will almost never evolve. On Ula'Ula, crabrawler approaching adulthood will begin to migrate towards Mt. Lanakila. They will spend a few weeks foraging near the base, usually in Ula'Ula Meadow, before they begin their ascent. Evolution is triggered by a combination of cold and elevation. Stimulating it in a lab requires thinning the air as well as cooling it.

On top of the mountain, crabrawler will retreat into one of Lanakila's slightly warmer caves, tuck themselves into an isolated, dark corner, and begin to molt. They typically molt four times in rapid succession, growing larger with each stage. At the end of the final molt, the newly evolved crabominable will exit the caves and begin hunting.

Trainers who wish to evolve their crabrawler are best off going up Lanakila with their crabrawler usually out of its pokéball. At the top, the Pokémon League Center has an area devoted to evolving crabrawler. Trainers who completed their island challenge within the last year may use the facilities once free of charge.

Mt. Lanakila is the most dangerous location in Alola due to difficult weather and terrain, as well as an abundance of pokémon strong enough to deal with those obstacles. The mountain is currently infested with vanilluxe who go out of their way to kill vulnerable humans. Weavile won't hesitate to finish off a badly injured human or pokémon. Crabominable themselves can and will kill anything that gets too close to them. Ninetales will seldom kill a human outright, but they will stir up the weather to make further progress impossible and then escort the trainer down when they finally give in and decide to leave.

Even with marked paths, summitting Mt. Lanakila on foot is an incredibly dangerous endeavor. Only trainers who have completed an island challenge or otherwise earned the permission of all four kahunas are permitted to attempt it.

For whatever reason, crabrawler taken up the lift or flown up to the summit will not begin to evolve.

Battle


Neither crabrawler nor crabominable sees any use in professional battling. Both are strong, but they are relatively slow and undisciplined. Crabominable has modest bulk, but crabrawler is very frail. When options like machamp and hariyama exist, it's difficult to justify using crabominable. Theoretically the ice crab has a niche as a hail-team counter, but hail teams have never been common enough to dedicate an entire team slot to dealing with them.

Ice-types in general are rare in Alola, as most of them are restricted to the inhospitable Mt. Lanakila. Crabominable's main advantage over hariyama, machamp, and other Type I fighting-types is simply that they require almost nothing in the way of training. Put them in front of a target and they know what to do. While they are not as strong as a well-trained machamp or hariyama, they are stronger than either of the two untrained. They are also easier to train than other Type II fighting types such as passimian, bewear, pangoro, and primeape.

Most trainers on an island challenge will be using crabrawler, and not crabominable, until at least the Elite Four. While crabominable are bulky and powerful enough to hold up until the very end of the challenge, crabrawler start running into serious problems on the second island. By the end of the third they will be near deadweight. They can be taught some useful moves, such as thunder punch, power-up-punch, and rock-type attacks. But they will never hone their technique in the same way that Type I fighting types can, and their supporting movepool and willingness to use it are both limited.

Acquisition

Aside from the handful of cities and resorts that bother to try and keep them off the beaches, crabrawler can be found on almost all of Alola's shores. As the tide starts coming in, camp out near a berry or coconut tree near the coast. A crabrawler will probably come. They can be captured or purchased with a Class I license. Alolan shelters usually release crabrawler unless they are seriously injured; crabrawler adoptions are handled on a case by case basis.

After a quick proving battle and a few days with a steady provision of food, water, and shelter, crabrawler are usually bonded enough to listen to orders. It can take them a few days to make a connection between an attack and its name, and a few more to actually use the attack their trainer tells them to.

Crabominable capture is illegal due to a lack of information on how many exist in the wild and what impact recent disturbances on Mt. Lanakila have had on the species. They can be purchased with a Class II license.

Breeding

Crabrawler mate in late September. After the eggs are fertilized, females wade into the water and release their clutch before moving back onto land. The eggs hatch after one to two weeks into microscopic zooplankton. If the plankton approach a shore after a ninety day period, they will begin to grow and develop into crabrawler about the size of a grain of sand. The new crabrawler will swim towards the land. Once beached, it will begin to rapidly grow and develop lungs. They are typically thirty centimeters across within five months. Crabrawler do not reach their maximum size or reproductive maturity until they are at least thirty years old.

Crabominable do reproduce. Occasionally a female can be seen coming down to the surface, dozens of juveniles about twenty centimeters across clinging to her body. She deposits them and heads back up the mountain. At the time of deposit, the juveniles have a phenotype and genotype identical to their crabrawler-born peers. It is not known how crabrawler mate or raise young.

Crabmominable have never been successfully bred in captivity. While crabrawler have been, it is best left to biologists in laboratory settings.

Subspecies


There is one species of crabrawler that ranges from the southeastern coast of Africa to coastal India to northern Australia to Alola. They live anywhere in the Indo-Pacific with large fruit-bearing trees near the coast. There are no subspecies documented.

All crabrawler have the potential to evolve into crabominable. This has been shown with crabrawler from Madagascar and Australia transplanted to Ula'Ula. The crabs quickly understood what they needed to do and began to climb the mountain after a few weeks of gorging themselves. Mt. Lanakila is the only place with the right conditions (a permanently snow-capped mountain within five kilometers of a tropical coast) to trigger evolution.
 
Gengar

Persephone

The Vulture Queen
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Gengar (Gastly, Haunter)

Overview

Throughout history, ghost pokémon have been treated with a mix of fear and reverence, and often both at the same time. Gengar are the most common ghost worldwide, and worldwide they have been treated with far more fear than reverence. They have been historically seen as malevolent tricksters that sometimes form partnerships of convenience with human trainers. Now there is an increasingly popular theory that gengar may have complex emotional lives and a tragic misunderstanding of their circumstances.

This does not mean that they are harmless.

Many trainers mistake "common" with "easy to train." While often true, this is not the case for gengar. Trainers who want to be eased into ghost husbandry are advised to start with another species. However, gengar are one of the most powerful ghosts in Alola and they can form close bonds with their trainer under the right circumstances. This makes them a good pokémon for trainers confident in their ability to handle phantoms and intent on dominating the battlefield.

Physiology

All stages of the evolutionary line are dual ghost- and poison-types.

Gastly are primarily formed from purple-grey spectral fog. Their most common form is a sphere surrounded by a loose halo of gas. Large eyes and a mouth with fangs adorn the face. No part of their body is solid and gastly are perfectly capable of altering their apparent features. Unlike most spectral fog, gastly fog is very toxic. Inhaling just a few grams can kill a human. Beyond inhalation, the fog burns and corrodes any living tissue that it touches. Gastly have relatively little control of their bodies and they can be disrupted by a stiff breeze (see Illness). While they can move at speeds of up to five meters per second if given time to compose themselves beforehand, they seldom move faster than two to three meters per second in the wild.

The species does not need to be visible, or even tangible, on the physical plane. They can move into another realm and move through it, allowing them to get through solid barriers that even their gaseous bodies cannot penetrate. However, they are incapable of affecting the physical world in this state. It takes them several seconds to move between planes.

Haunter are far more condensed than gastly, typically forming a large homogenous body with only a small gaseous tail. Some haunter form two separate hands connected to their body by thin, almost invisible strands of spectral fog. Others incorporate their hands into their body. Haunter typically have a large, toothless mouth. Their tongue actually does not exist when not in use and is only formed as needed. It can be up to two meters long and inflict either the usual chemical burns of the spectral fog or different effects altogether such as paralysis, sleep, and even encasement in a thin layer of ice.

While gengar appear smaller than haunter, they are actually far heavier. Most gengar have a large ovular torso with small, stubby limbs extending from it. There are usually spiky tufts on top as well. Most of the face is comprised of red eyes and a wide mouth with white teeth in it. These teeth are not actually solid, just illusions designed to intimidate their victims. In fact, no part of gengar is solid; they are just very dense orbs of gas. This density makes them very fast, capable of reaching speeds up to thirty meters per second in pure darkness and ten meters per second under natural moonlight. It also grants them a high resistance to wind. Curiously, it also seems to make them weak to light. Gengar move slower and appear less capable of using attacks under lighting more intense than the average streetlight. Under very bright light they fade out of the physical plane entirely, only to fade back in the same place when darkness returns.

Gengar are typically about 1.5 meters tall, but their height can vary considerably. The mass of a healthy, fully developed gengar is exactly 40.5 kilograms.

Behavior

All stages of the line are animivorous. That is, they feed upon emotions in particular and mental health more generally. They have been documented feeding upon other intelligent species, but they have a strong preference towards feeding on humans. For gastly and haunter these feedings usually take the form of repeated and escalating harassment, starting out with objects moved around and soft voices at night and escalating into potentially lethal pranks. Any fear they evoke is physically and psychologically draining, and a particularly severe haunting can potentially render the victim comatose. At that point, the pokémon will move on to a nearby victim. While both stages are capable of living out on the streets, they strongly prefer residing inside of buildings to shut out the wind.

Gengar are more aggressive hunters, albeit less committed ones. They prefer to roam city streets at night, making shadows move and sending chills through the air. When exposed to enough fear they can create elaborate illusions and gain insights into their victim's memories and psyche. They seldom stick with one victim for long, and their hauntings are usually less fatal than their preevolutions with rare but very notable exceptions (see Breeding).

During the day, all stages of the line typically fade out of the physical plane. Only dimension-disrupting attacks or very vulnerable prey will bring them out.

Husbandry

All stages of the line must be handled differently, as they have different behaviors and mindsets. In general, they are best held in dusk balls and are fine staying inside of them during the day. The pokémon will get upset and pull increasingly mean-spirited pranks if confined for most of the night.

Gastly are often confused, violent, and obsessed with hunting. Trainers will either need to battle with them near-constantly or accept that some of the feeding will be at their own expense. There should be a powerful ghost- or dark-type present to keep them in line should they act up. Flying-types and pokémon that can generate strong shockwaves or gusts of wind can also do the trick. Even when well-fed, gastly will habitually pull pranks on their trainer.

Haunter are the calmest stage. If a trainer puts up with them for an extended period of time as a gastly, the pokémon will often gain sympathy for their trainer and obey commands even without deterrents. Wild-caught haunter or those raised by another human tend to be more apathetic towards their trainer. Hunting is done only for food. They will often, but not always, leave their trainer alone so long as they are battled with enough to be well-fed. Haunter are also capable of feeding upon positive emotions and avoiding the need to battle altogether, but this can only be done with trainers they share a close bond with. This is complicated by haunter's incredible jealousy; even if they are fond of their trainer, they will attempt to sabotage all of their close relationships with intelligent pokémon and other humans.

Gengar are the most intelligent and self-aware stage of the evolutionary line. This does not inherently make them easier or harder to train. If raised from a gastly and treated well throughout their more unruly formative years, gengar can be very protective of their trainer and feed almost entirely off of the positive emotions generated by the partnership. They are also capable of scanning memories to quickly learn the human language in full and then use illusions to speak. Gengar have human comparable intelligence and are generally capable of being treated as a close human friend.

If gengar evolves and does not yet have a close bond with their trainer, the situation is more complicated. Gengar inherently yearn for close relationships and purpose, and being deprived of them makes them desperate. They may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as stalking, continuing harassment, and even murder in an attempt to gain their trainer's affections. Deterrent pokémon will be necessary in this case, although violent punishments can cause gengar to escalate instead. It is also far more difficult to overpower a gengar than a gastly. Patient demonstration of healthy relationship skills and the understated punishment of misbehavior are the best way to earn a gengar's trust.

No stage of the evolutionary line can be safely touched without an airtight inorganic suit. Trainers who intend to have a haunter or gengar long-term should invest in such a suit because both stages can be very affectionate. A chronic lack of physical affection will remind them of their condition and send them into rages. Gengar do not sleep in the same way that most pokémon do but they do go inactive during the day. They produce no physical waste.

Illness

Because they usually feed on negative emotions, gastly are at low risk of contracting most ghost illnesses. Their body can be torn apart, but given enough time in their alternate world they will pull themselves together as if nothing had happened.

Haunter and gengar often suffer from illnesses, especially in captivity. Aminivores that feed on positive emotions and relationships can be seriously affected by spectral diseases. These are usually triggered by strong negative memories or neuroses. Gengar are capable of digesting these memories easily enough, but too much negative energy can make the positive feelings around it toxic.

Ghost sicknesses are strange and best treated by a specialist in the field. Any prolonged change in physical structure or behavior that appears to distress the pokémon is an illness. These are typically not subtle changes and can include liquidification, time loops, an inability to control their own movements, prolonged periods of stillness, radical changes in behavior, sudden and apparently unprovoked aggression, and clear facial deformities. These symptoms typically will not go away on their own, and even cured illnesses will almost always resurface if the emotional damage in their partner is not fixed.

Gengar with a meaningful connection to a human partner will usually pass on when their trainer does. The species does not fear their own mortality and most channelers describe gengar as wishing to move on eventually but in no rush to do so.

Evolution

Ghosts are shrouded in superstition and myth. Even most of the Ghost Studies literature is working through old folklore in the closest thing possible to controlled experiments. Several prominent scholars are channelers. The chair of Goldenrod University's ghost studies department is even a ghost-type pokémon herself.

The current consensus is that some, but not all, ghosts are formed when a human or pokémon dies. Whether the new ghost is the old being, some psychic echo of the original, or just a creature that comes out of dormancy after a death is very unclear. Some of the more philosophical researchers believe that there is no difference at all between the three so long as the new ghost believes itself to be the old person.

Gastly are formed from human deaths. Gengar typically believe themselves to be the deceased person in a new form. Most of the evolutionary process is about remembering and accepting who they are and what happened to them.

Newly formed gastly are emotionally chaotic and run entirely on impulse and spite. The rare flashes of memory they do get just make them angrier and more confused. Gastly are best treated as existing in a stage between toddlers and infants. They are still figuring out how their body works and they have very limited self-awareness and higher brain functions. While drawn to humans for food and perhaps some vague glimmer of recognition, even channelers and psychics capable of speaking with them describe their thoughts as rather inhuman.

After a certain amount of feeding, gastly begin to grow heavier and gain better control over their form. They typically switch shape from a cloud of gas to the typical haunter's form almost instantly, but they will take several more months to refine the details and grow steadily larger.

Haunter begin to remember things. At first these memories have almost no impact on their behavior outside of drawing them closer to familiar places and people. As they develop haunter become progressively more distressed by the clash between their current parasitic existence and decidedly inhuman form and their steadily resurfacing human psyche. Haunter become desperate for affection and validation and will seek out humans for more than food.

This ends in one of two ways. If haunter have a stable emotional outlet and a human willing to treat them as a friend, they can become a loyal shadow and life partner and reach some measure of inner peace about their situation.

Alternatively, humans react to them the same way they always have: fear and disgust. After all, haunter still need to feed and their hauntings are decidedly unpleasant. Their possible victims have very good reason to shun haunter away. Even sympathetic people have to deal with haunter being possessive, violent, and unable to fully comprehend their emotions. Combined with their need to feed and toxic body, even the most patient people can leave the haunter or be killed (or both). Now fully convinced they are unlovable and overwhelmed by feelings they cannot control, haunter reach a breaking point and develop a deep loathing for all humans.

Either scenario triggers evolution. The new gengar will grow steadily heavier and more dexterous until they reach their final weight and shape. Gengar set out to either terrorize the world that let them die and kicked them while they're down or to protect the human who saved them from going down a very dark path.

Because they do not pass until they accept their situation, malevolent gengar tend to roam the world until someone finally manages to reach them. It is not impossible to redeem a gengar that has grown to hate humans, but doing so requires steadily negotiating with a powerful and hostile party. It is not recommended for anyone but experts in psychology and ghost pokémon.

Battle

Gengar are glass cannons on the competitive circuits. They are reasonably powerful and very fast. More importantly, they have many disruptive tricks at their disposal and a high enough intelligence to learn several of them. This forces opponents to think quickly on their feet as offensive attacks, debilitating status conditions, or even perish song or destiny bond are thrown at them. However, one good hit will bring all but the strongest of gengar down. They are slower under bright, meaning that most trainers will not use one during outdoor daytime matches.

Three of the Top 100 trainers use one on their main team. Almost all ghost specialists have one. They fit best on hyper offensive teams, but perish trapping and destiny bond allow them to act as revenge killers on stall teams.

Gengar are very good on the island challenge. While trainers will not have enough time to teach their pokémon every trick they can learn, just a few can force an opponent to guess well or face the consequences.

Defensively, all stages of the line benefit from being incorporeal. Most attacks that rely upon precision or power instead of elemental energy will pass harmlessly through incorporeal fog. Almost all contact attacks on gengar, even if technically super effective, are likely to leave the attacker in worse shape than the attacked after chemical burns take their toll.

Powerful elemental projectiles can seriously hurt gengar, but at the amateur level it's usually best to exploit a weakness. All stages of the line hate telepathic damage as it hits their already fragile and confused psyche. Mud or fine sand particulates can get stuck in their bodies and take a moment to filter out. Until cleared, debris inside of the fog substantially slows the pokémon down. This is not a common weakness for ghosts and appears to be related to the toxic nature of gengar's fog. Attacks that manipulate shadows, light, or spectral fog can make it much harder for gengar to remain tangible. Strong wind and shockwave attacks can also take out a gastly in a hit or two, although powerful lights affect them a little less.

Gengar are capable of fading out of the physical plane to avoid all damage. This is allowed in most professional leagues as it gives the opponent a chance to set up without any fear of retaliation. Most amateur leagues, including Alola's, ban fading out as comparatively few amateur pokémon have setup moves.

Good partners for gengar can dim sunlight. They fit well onto rain, hail, and sand teams. Gastly struggle to keep up in any weather but harsh sunlight, which they are often very reluctant to battle in.

Acquisition

Gastly can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class IV license. Haunter can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class III license. Gengar require a Class V license to possess without the gengar's consent. With consent they only require a Class III license.

Gengar, like most ghosts, are attracted to graveyards and other places that are tied to death. They can often be seen frequenting Hau'oli Graveyard, Memorial Hill, or the ruins of Tapu Village at night. Gastly and haunter will usually take shelter in residences close to their main territory. Gengar prefer to roam the nearby city streets when not visiting the graveyards at the core of their range. No evolutionary stage is visible during the day.

Breeding

Gengar do not breed. Some human deaths, for reasons currently unknown, produce a new gastly. Folklore and recent history suggest that gastly are most common following mass tragedies involving the air such as towns choked by volcanoes or smoke, tornadoes, hypothermia or heatstroke, the rampages of flying-type legendaries, or the use of chemical weapons on soldiers or civilians.

Some haunter and gengar in the throes of deep loneliness and emotional pain come to believe that killing another human will create a new partner who understands their pain.

This is not the case.

Subspecies

None known
 
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