Double Trouble: Mythical Musings
Prepare for Trouble, and make it Double, Puclonians! Double Trouble, et cetera.
In the VGC, all Pokémon that can only be obtained through events – never through regular game play – are banned. Banning these event-only Pokémon, also known as Mythical Pokémon, actually makes a lot sense in terms of having a fair playing field, too, regardless of how good or bad they would be in the format. If you missed an Event Pokémon only obtainable three years ago, or lacked access to the proper internet connection to download it or whatever the case may be, no matter how many hours you pour into your cartridge, you will never have access to that resource of a Pokémon that potential opponents might have. Obviously, in a setting like Pokémon Showdown where you can create and use whatever Pokémon you want, this is a non-issue because everyone is guaranteed to have access to the same resources. But in a competitive format where there are literally tens of thousands of dollars worth in prizes up for stakes, the potential to have an unfair advantage over others through access to Mythical Pokémon is unacceptable.
That being said… there are a lot of cool Mythical Pokémon that I sometimes WISH were a part of the VGC. And with the recently announced Circle of Legends tournament taking place soon, what better time to ponder upon how cool it would be if various Mythical Pokémon were not Mythical Pokémon, and could be a part of the VGC. Here are the top 5 currently Mythical Pokémon I would be interested in seeing in the VGC.
Still the youngest of the 100s-across-the-board pixie mythical Pokémon, Victini makes this list while most other pixies did not because it brings unique qualities with it that are especially applicable to the VGC. Like its signature Ability, Victory Star. Lest we forget, as we all probably have at some point, Victory Star does not just boost Victini’s accuracy by 10%, but also the accuracy of Victini’s Ally as well. And I can think of a good number of just Spread moves that would REALLY appreciate having their accuracy boosted by 10%: Rock Slide, Muddy Water, Heat Wave, Icy Wind, Snarl. Nothing can ruin your day the way having Heat Wave miss both targets can. Ask any Mega Zard Y. Seriously, in a competitive game where luck plays a very real role in outcome, the accuracy boost from Victory Star cannot be understated. Especially because the boost from Victory Star could also be paired with Wide Lens on an ally to turn a lot moves notable for their capacity to miss into moves that literally never miss (one of the many combinations only possible in a Doubles format, part of why I love it). Just imagine: 100% accurate Fire Blasts, Muddy Waters, and Rock Slides! Worse yet, 100% accurate Swaggers! All made possible with help from Victini. I also think Victini would be a more interesting addition to the VGC than certain other Pixies because its signature move, V-Create, has a lot more potential in a Doubles Format where Trick Room is far more prevalent and viable, turning V-Create’s Speed drop into an asset.
I often hear people complaining about how common the excellent Landorus-T is in the VGC format. Particularly the Scarf set (although I’m a big fan in the Assault Vest version as well). Enter Scarf Genesect, whose Ice Beam would definitely dent the land genie’s popularity. What all the ramifications of having Genesect available in the VGC would be, I cannot say, but it would definitely be different. And with Scizor’s popularity being far less than it used to be in previous years of the VGC, Bug types, even Bug/Steel types specifically, have really dropped off in Gen VI. Genesect could definitely help to counteract that trend if it was available. And I would be very curious as to what would become a standard set, as trying to fit on Flash Cannon for the many Fairy types in the format would be a tempting prospect, but what move would it replace? I’d like to see Genesect in the VGC format just to see how it settles and what all the ramifications would be. It would be interesting. Plus, after dominating the TCG for years it is soon to be rotated out, so it could use a new home.
How unfair is it that the three other Swords of Justice get to participate in the VGC, but their youngest member is unallowed? And Keldeo would be SO viable, too, carrying on a family tradition where Terrakion is a standard in the format and Virizion has seen great success on specific teams. Their family has surprisingly good support options in their movepools that are only relevant in Doubles, and Keldeo is not left out of this, having access to Helping Hand, Quick Guard, and Taunt. Keldeo would even go a couple of steps further, getting access to the very valuable Icy Wind to contribute to speed control, and could use Scald as its Water STAB to fish for burns. And we cannot forget that Keldeo’s signature move lets it attack on both sides of the spectrum from just its Special Attack. Between all that and hard-hitting options in Hydro Pump and Ice Beam, Keldeo, if it were allowed, could very easily be the most versatile of its Legendary family. It would not be all picnics, though, given its weakness to the very visible Fairy and Electric types and two of the biggest Mega Evolutions in the format, Mega Salamence and Mega Metagross, both outspeeding Keldeo and hitting it with super effective STAB moves. Still, in a format with an anemic Fighting type presence, Keldeo would be a welcome and viable hypothetical addition.
There is only one Gen VI Mega Evolution Pokémon, and it is not even allowed in the VGC due to being a mythical Pokémon, which is a shame because Diancie could make such an impact on the format with its unique typing! In a format where there is NO good completely accurate Rock Type move, Diancie’s signature Diamond Storm would also be an interesting addition, having better accuracy than either Stone Edge or Rock Slide. The fact that its regular form plays so very differently from its Mega Evolution would also make it very versatile and playable of a wide variety of teams. Regular Diancie would be SUCH a welcome addition to Trick Room teams, particularly as an offensive Trick Room setter, given its great bulk and weaknesses that DON’T include Dark and Ghost. Erstwhile, Mega Diancie, by virtue of its typing, could have a real shot at being one of the top Megas in the format, beating staples such as Mega Salamence and Mega Charizard Y. Indeed Mega Diancie would probably a better fit for a number of teams than the currently en vogue Mega Gardevoir. But while imagining this fantasy, just try and pretend Steel types are not on virtually every team. And pretend Rain is not a thing, either. Same for Scarf Landorus-T (although Wide Guard support would get around this pretty easily). Be that as it may, plenty of other Pokémon in the VGC today have even more weaknesses and setbacks but still see success, and Diancie brings a lot of unique things to the table that make me wish this Mythical Pokémon were playable in a perfect world.
Once upon a time during Gen V, Japan’s annual Jirachi event for the Tanabata festival that inspired the Pokémon’s design gave Gen III’s pixie Follow Me. Because of the current restrictions on Pokémon having to originate from a Gen VI game in order to be legal in the first place, this particular Jirachi could not be used. But since this very article is based on pretending Mythical Pokémon will ever be allowed anyway, why not stretch the imaginary a bit further still? Because Follow Me Jirachi would be SO GOOD in the VGC. Redirection is extremely powerful, and part of why Pokémon such as Amoonguss, Togekiss, Clefable, Volcarona, and the world’s most famous Pachirisu see use in the VGC at all. And Jirachi has better overall bulk, not to mention more resistances, than any other Pokémon with redirection! Just think of all the potential team-ups Jirachi could be in providing redirection support to! With that many resistances there no doubt would be offensive threats that previously did not have as good synergy with the redirectors available in the format. AND it gets Helping Hand to be an even better supporter, as well as multiple forms of Speed Control between Icy Wind and Thunder Wave (and Trick Room, although it’s way too fast to capitalize on that). And how could we forget Serene Grace Iron Head? Combined with the same Speed Control it provides and the omnipresence of Rock Slide in the format? That’s not even listing everything Jirachi could potentially do in the VGC, given the vast size of its movepool, although Follow Me is definitely the most tantalizing thing to contemplate. Steel’s new neutrality to Dark and Ghost definitely hurts Jirachi, giving it more weaknesses than before, but even with having more weaknesses than in the past, Jirachi would be so good in the VGC. If ever I’m celebrating the Tanabata, making Jirachi accessible to all and to the VGC is what I’d wish for.
At the end of the day, I would never want Mythical Pokémon allowed in the VGC on principal. They need to be banned for the sake of fairness since the VGC is played on cartridges and Mythical Pokémon are not readily obtained by everyone on those cartridges. For Pokémon to be taken as seriously as possible as a competitive game, ensuring and maximizing fairness to the greatest extent possible is very important. But it can still be fun to imagine how Mythical Pokémon would do in the VGC format if ever allowed.
Also as a reminder, this topic was inspired by the upcoming online Circle of Legends tournament, where Mythical Pokémon ARE allowed. Registration closes tomorrow, so if you are looking for an opportunity to show off the Mythical Pokémon you have accumulated over the years, look into it. Sign-ups close tomorrow!
Until next time, Puclonians! I’ll be blasting off again!