Anything Goes: You’re not the boss of me now And you’re not so big


Hello PUCLonions! (I had to do it once) Welcome back to another edition of Anything Goes! First, I hope everyone is enjoying their unofficial start to Summer. If you’re interested in competitive play, you should definitely check out the Summer League going on right now. The gym leaders are awesome and super helpful!

Last week, Whimsicott started our topic off with her thoughts on Stage 1 (evolved once) Pokemon that are cooler than their Stage 2 evolutions. I have not had a chance to read it yet (I don’t want to spoil my own article) but she always brings a great perspective. If you haven’t read her article yet, you should go do that and then come back and read mine. I can wait.

Did you read it yet?

All done? Good!

Man, it can be tough being a Stage 1 Pokemon. Many times the Basic, unevolved Pokemon is cute and the Stage 2, final evolution is completely BA. The Stage 1 Pokes are often forgettable and/or derpy. I can think of no better example of this than the Chespin line.

To find a Stage 1 Pokemon that is not only cool, but surpasses final evolution, is quite rare. But that is my quest in this article. Without any further ado, here are my favorite Stage 1 Pokemon that I think about better than their final evolutions.


      Image result for kangaskhan

Marowak’s design is sweet! It’s got a really cool skull on it head and is carrying a huge bone club. When it evolves into Kangaskhan, it loses the skull, loses the club, and gain a baby (and the possibility to “Mega” evolve. While being able to mege evolve is nice…

Wait… what? Are you sure? But they are so similar and are both found in Glittering Cave… You’re sure about this.

Sorry folks. This just in. Marowak DOES NOT evolve into Kangaskhan. I am sure I am as surprised and disturbed by this as you are. Moving on.


Image result for wartortle             Image result for wartortle blastoise

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Blastoise, a lot! It is the final evolution of one of the original starters. It’s almost a given that it will have a good design and look cool. But Blastoise is big and appears to be slow and bulky. To that effect, Mega-Blastoise looks kind of derpy, even with 3 water cannons. Wartorle is sleek and has a really interesting design. I mean, it has wings on its head and a fluffy curly tail. While I am have to give props to Blastoise, from a design perspective, I like Wartortle.


Image result for rhydonImage result for rhyperior

This is probably one of the most one sided examples of a Stage 1 being better than its Stage 2. Rhydon was one of the first Pokemon ever designed. The amount of time and consideration given to the design was probably huge. I’m not going to say is the best Pokemon design, but it is definitely one of the most solid ones. When it gained an evolution in Gen IV, it bulked up and gained some orange stones as protection. Rhyperior has a fine desgin, but it is clearly inferior Rhydon’s design.



Jigglypuff is one of the most iconic non-starter Pokemon in the entire series. It is super cute and was a prominent figure the first series of the anime. Not only that, but Jigglypuff has been a character in Super Smash Bros. since the beginning of that series. Let me say that again: Jigglypuff has been in Smash Bros. since the beginning. Wigglytuff is Jigglypuff’s less cute, overweight older brother. The ears grow a bit and aren’t quite as cute as before and gets bigger. Jigglypuff is definitely the way to go.


Image result for magmar

So… Magmar is a fire duck, and in Japan his name is Booby (see forehead). How do you make such a Pokemon worse? Like this:

Image result for magmortar

Ok, so I like the arm cannon. But everything else doesn’t particularly work for me. I think egg shaped body and the creepy Joker-face that makes this one really awkward. Magmar is not a well designed Pokemon, in my opinion, but Magmortar made it worse.


        Image result for dragonite

So, competitively, I love Barney the Orange dinosaur (aka Dragonite) for battling competitively. This is one of my favorites to bring and use. But how disappointing is it to see Dratini and Dragonair as these cool, sleek, whispy blue Dragons, and then… it gets bloated, grows appendages, and turns orange. WTF? Now, the Black and White anime tried to give Dragonite more attitude but… give me a long blue Dragon instead!


Image result for lombre       Image result for ludicolo

Like Magmar, Lombre isn’t a great design, but compared to what it evolves into, it’s spectacular. I like the sombrero-like top of the lily-pad on its head. But when it evolves into a pineapple-duck, it gets kinda weird.


Image result for herdierImage result for stoutland

So, Herdier is basically a scotty-dog. It’s cool and I would love to have that as a dog. But Stoutland looks like someone just forgot to groom Herdier. If you haven’t gathered, I am usually unimpressed by simply bulking up a Pokemon during evolution. This is the epitome of that sentiment.


Image result for braixenImage result for delphox

When I was starting to play Y version, I made my final decision on who my starter was going to be based on the final evolution. Let’s just say it came down to a choice between Chesnaught and Greninja. Overall, this evolution line just went down hill. Braxien has so much potential to become something really cool but it gained a large, uninteresting robe.


pImage result for floetteImage result for florges

I really like the design of Flabebe and Floette, but Florges just over does it. It’s too busy. There’s too much going on. Something simpler and more elegant would have been more appropriate if you ask me.

Well, folks, this week’s article was short and sweet, but these are the “middle children” of Pokemon that outshine their final evolutions. Which Stage 1’s do you think are better than the final Stage 2 forms? Let me know in the comments.

Smell ya later.

Prof. Snag

Prof. Snag is a regular cohost of the PUCL Podcast as of September 2016. He began as a writer of the "Anything Goes" series of opinion articles and occasionally writes "The Gloom," a satire series. As of December 2016, he began hosting PUCL Game Corner, a Pokemon Game Show.

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