The Splash: Talonflame
Greetings PUCL! With Summer League going strong, I have been examining team building and continually keep coming back to the one and only fiery bird…
No, no, not Moltres the good one…
That’s right, Talonflame, the Scorching Pokemon. Now if you have spent even a brief amount of time competitive battling chances are you have faced this thing, if not you probably are using it to hatch your eggs. Either way, any Pokemon aficionado should recognize that Talonflame is both a useful and extremely powerful Pokemon; however, battles, stats, and use; these are not the things that make up The Splash, so without further adieu I will begin examining the bird behind the power, the one and only Talonflame!
One of these first things I noticed about Talonflame, upon picking up Pokemon Y, was that its design is great! It makes use of a striking blend of bright aggressive colors, which along with its angular build screams a quick, darting attacker. This should come as no surprise, as Talonflame draws a lot of its design from the extremely quick bird of prey falcons.
The resemblance is pretty obvious to even a casual observer. Falcons attacker by diving and stabbing into their prey, if Talonflame’s diving stance is not enough to demonstrate the similarities, the Pokedex describes Talonfalme’s preferred method of attack.
Pokemon Y: “When attacking prey, it can reach speeds of up to 310 mph. It finishes its prey off with a colossal kick.”
In addition to drawing origins from falcons, I also argue that Talonflame draws some inspiration from the mythical creature Phoenixes.
Phoenix are mythological creatures, thought to be extremely long lived birds made up of fire, or possessing some control over the element. Often the phoenix is seen as a symbol of rebirth or new beginning. In much of the mythological lore on the creatures, when a phoenix dies, a new phoenix egg is found in the ashes of the creature, giving birth to a new phoenix.
Beyond the obvious ties between phoenixes and Talonflame of bird + Fire, Talonflame is also often used to hatch new life into the Pokemon world, thanks to its ability Flame Body. In this way, Talonflame, as the Pokemon phoenix, very literally brings new life and rebirth into the world.
Interestingly, Talonflame is one of four Pokemon/ evolution trees with the Fire/Flying combo, the others being Charizard, Ho-Oh, and Moltres. This means its the first Fire/Flying since Gen. 2! It also is the fastest of the Fire Pokemon, and the fastest Gen. 6 Pokemon.
Overall, I really like Talonflame, its typing is cool, its colors and design amazing. I also really like the idea the Talonflame is a Pokemon phoenix (I am interested to see if any other readers agree).
The biggest problem with Talonflame is how prevalent it is in competitive battling. As I mentioned earlier, it is pretty difficult not to face one after any time battling on showdown or in OU singles.
For semi-hipster trainers like myself, this can be a turn off (though I am vowing to fight my natural inclinations and use more OU stuff). For others this most likely isn’t a problem, and you have already been riding the Talonflame hype train to victory. Either way, hopefully this article has given you some food for thought on the scorching bird, Anyway, I am off to try to get myself a Gale Wings Fletchling and jump on (admittedly late) the Talonflame fan… ur train, Toot Toot!