Hello, my dear PUCLonians, and welcome back to The Fluff! For this article, I’ll be exploring the times when enough is enough; when it is wise to stop, rather than to reach the ultimate limit; when one, simply, has to press B. Yes, as the title says: here are 10 Stage One Pokémon who are simply much, much better than their evolved form. Maybe not competitively, but in all the ways that really count… which is, cuteness and coolness.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), half of them are starter Pokémon. Which just goes to show, we’d all better remember to save our game before our Rowlet starts glowing in November…

Number 10: Flaaffy


Flaaffy really hits the best spot in the Mareep line, being pink (as opposed to yellow) with blue details, and retaining a perfectly acceptable amount of fluff. Being bipedal makes it somehow cuter than Mareep, and it’s obviously cuddlier than Ampharos. The only reason it is at the bottom of this list is that Mega Ampharos gives Ampharos its fluff back, and thus my need for a soft, cuddly sheep can be fulfilled by its evolution once again.


… and by you, Whimsicott. Obviously.

Number 9: Sliggoo


Oh, I hear what you guys are thinking. “What? But Whimsicott, you always say you love Goodra!” And yes, I do. But Sliggoo looks super dorky, and it’s a snail with long antennae (both things I really like), and its eyes have devolved! So it’s blind.

Which makes it… cuter?

Well, it makes it cool, in my opinion. It’s a scrappy little fella! It sees by radar, kind of like Daredevil. Or, you know, Zubat. Goodra is lovely, but… I guess, if you have to be slimy, go all the way?

Number 8: Lampent


Yea, I love Chandelure, too. But during my run of Gen V, I always wished I could keep my Lampent as it was (I didn’t, because Gen V is not the easiest game around). Lampent manages to keep the cuteness of Litwick, which Chandelure completely loses, but it’s rather quirky and fun. Its shiny, with the lilac flame, is by far the best in its line, and it gives this Stage One additional points.

Well, it’s less scary than Chandelure, so I guess that helps.

It really kind of does. I mean, it will still steal your soul, but maybe it won’t… burn you?

Number 7: Haunter


I loved Haunter in the anime. You loved Haunter in the anime, don’t deny it. It is spooky, but not too much. It’s a fun guy all around, and it looks like the quintessential shadow monster. But then you evolve it into Gengar and get… a fat ghost? I know it’s supposed to evoke the Cheshire Cat, but it doesn’t do a good enough job of it, in my opinion.

I guess they could have given it pink stripes…

Oh, that wouls have been super spooky. NOT. In short, yeah, when I get a Haunter through Wonder Trade, and it starts evolving, sometimes I hit B. And I don’t regret it.

Number 6: Servine


And here it starts: the Stage One starter cavalcade! It will go on almost until the very end of this article, so strap in.

Now, of course Serperior is another Pokémon I love, but… I think they overdid it a little with the fleur-de-lis snake design. Servine manages to look cute and cool at the same time; its haughtiness is there but minimal, and its tiny limbs make it look just dorky enough to be approachable. Servine looks absolutely perfect to me.

Even over Snivy?

I hope Sublime won’t mind, but yes. Servine forever, baby.

Number 5: Combusken


Combusken is, definitely, a fighting chicken. It looks just like a teenager, which is rather apt for a Stage One, and while it is infinitely less cute than Torchic (because, let’s face it, nearly everything is infinitely less cute than Torchic), I still prefer it to Blaziken’s too-bold ’70s style (and I’m a big fan of Starsky & Hutch and other things from the ’70s, including flared pants, so it’s not that, believe me).

Yes, Blaziken does go a bit over the top, and kind of into “unfortunate Halloween costume” territory.

While Combusken hits a fair middle ground. I’d still keep my Torchic a Torchic, but hey, this is about Stage Ones.

Number 4: Quilava


At least one PUCLonian will be with me on this one (you still around, QK?): Quilava is far superior to Typhlosion.

I just realized you could have made that pun with Servine, and I am infinitely grateful you didn’t.

Oh, man! Total missed opportunity. Shoot. Anyway, Quilava is cuter than both Cyndaquil and Typhlosion! It has eyes, for one thing, and it doesn’t perpetually look like it wants to bite your hand off. I’d totally keep a Quilava as a pet.

Flames off, please!

Well, that would be ideal, but it’s cute either way. Just… maybe a bit easier to cuddle, you’re right.

Number 3: Braixen


Raise your hands if you didn’t see this coming.

Oh, look, a tumbleweed.

Yuuup. My hasty, last-second ditching of Team Fennekin is entirely due to the utter disaster that strikes Braixen as it evolves into Delphox. Why, Game Freak? Why would you do that? Braixen is a bit strange, yes, but it’s still rocking the twig concept, it has a lovely tail, and a general look that I can totally get behind. (I’m a fan of black tights under colorful skirts, too.) Delphox… oh, poor thing. The less said, the better.

Number 2: Wartortle


Mickey is 100% right: Wartortle is where it’s at. The ear-wings! The foamy tail! The color! And then Blastoise happens, and I’m sorry, Blastoise fans, but I’m really not one of you. If Wartortle evolved into something worthy of it, I might have been a Squirtle girl. But alas, Mega Blastoise only made it worse.

It doesn’t even punch people in the face and then shoot its arm cannon. Such a sad, sad creature.

Yeah. Hear me out, folks, and give your Wartortles an Everstone. They will thank you.

Number 1: Dragonair


And perhaps this was the most obvious of them all. Twenty years later, I am still wondering how this beautiful, elegant blue creature evolves into cumbersome, orange Dragonite.

It is a mystery that not even science has been able to unveil. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely fond of Dragonite. But the wasted aesthetic potential in Dragonair is pretty much infinite. What could those white, feathery wings have become? What magic could those blue orbs have channeled? We shall never know, because we got Dragonite instead. And I wouldn’t trade it for another evolution, but why couldn’t Game Freak have pulled a Bellossom on this? Sigh.

I know. It’s a tragedy.

Enough of this gloominess, though.

Did you just… ?

Shhh, that was supposed to be a stealth pun! Don’t ruin it. Dear PUCLonians, what do you think? What Stage One Pokémon most deserves to get an Everstone for its birthday? Do you think some of the ones I mentioned definitely deserve to have my hand slapped away as I reach for the B button? Let me know in the comments! Snag will let us know next week, as usual, so keep an eye out for that, as well.

Until next time,

The Fluffiest Whimsicott