Hello, my dear PUCLonians! Are you feeling the Winter chill yet? Have you played in the snow lately? My Pink Scarf is becoming my constant companion, and that’s usually enough… but this week I was really tempted to acquire a full set of cold-weather gear! Not because the temperatures were that low… but because this week’s Topical Type is Ice!
Section 1 – Introduction
Ice types are not the most approachable subjects… especially for a Grass type like me! It’s not that they have a cold and distant personality (although a few do, of course), but they tend to live in remote, freezing places, and I, for one, am not a big fan of being cold. At all. But since I am a fan of doing my job right (and also Professor Juniper was quite insistent on this, but that’s another story), I did my usual research, and I can now tell you, as I sip very hot tea under a little blanket, that Ice types have extremely low body temperatures, and enjoy an environment that matches that. Their ability to suddenly lower the temperature of the air and humidity that surrounds them is unmatched, and this allows them to produce ice seemingly out of nowhere. The heat, besides making them uncomfortable, greatly increases the effort needed for this operation, which is made obvious in their difficulties facing Fire types. This scarce ability to adapt to a warmer environment is probably the main reason Ice types are among the rarest of Pokémon, along with the Ghost types I spoke of last week.
Section 2 – Battling Behavior
Ice is a fantastic offensive type… and a dreadful defensive one. Many Trainers simply choose to give an Ice-type move to a Pokémon of a different type, but let’s not be too mainstream: here are a few Ice types who hold their own in battle.
Let’s start with Cloyster; except for an amazing Defense stat (which is not supported by a lot of HP, I must say), he doesn’t seem to have much going for him… until you see that he can have the Ability Skill Link, which turns Icicle Spear and Rock Blast into devastating attacks that get past any Substitute, Focus Sash or Sturdy Pokémon. If you’re thinking, well, that’s all good, but his Attack and Speed are barely decent… Cloyster gets Shell Smash. Sure, he becomes extremely fragile with that… but also extremely scary. (He’s scary even before that to me, of course… my poor cuddly Substitute!) A Focus Sash guarantees a turn to use Shell Smash; a King’s Rock gives him a good chance to flinch an opponent, given he tends to hit many times, but relying on that means you’re gambling with a frail friend’s health… not on, PUCLonians! Not on.
Next we have Mamoswine; an imposing Pokémon who can be surprisingly swift with that Ice Shard (oh, the pain!) and quite potent with his Earthquakes… but despite his decent bulk he usually needs a Focus Sash, too, especially if he’s going to spend his first turn setting up Stealth Rock. (I did mention that Ice is a horrible defensive type, didn’t I? His ability does help him with Fire-type attacks, but it’s simply not enough.)
Finally, for our Mega Evolution, we have my buddy Abomasnow! He may look a bit scary, but when he’s not battling he’s one of the best companions you could find for a nice day of playing in the snow. When he does battle… well, I try to be somewhere else. When he Mega Evolves, both his Attack and his Special Attack are great, his Defenses are good… his Speed sucks, sure, but that’s what teammates with Trick Room are for, right? The Hail he automatically summons helps to grind down the opposition, albeit slowly, but you need to keep him away from any Fire-type attack. Steel types are also not fun, although he does get Earthquake to help against them. All in all, he may not be the strongest Mega Evolution, but I assure you no opponent will enjoy getting attacked by a scary, angry Christmas Tree!
Ice-type moves hurt like you wouldn’t believe, but they tend to be quite pretty. My favorite is obviously Aurora Beam: it’s a rainbow-colored aurora! Absolutely wonderful, as long as it’s not aimed at me! Ice Beam is very reliable, Ice Shard (unfortunately) gets priority, and Freeze-Dry has the peculiarity of being super effective on Water types, which Ice types usually have trouble bringing down.
Section 3 – Classification
While Ice types may be few, there is no dearth of cute or beautiful ones… hence I had no trouble bringing you The Fluffiest Whimsicott’s Top 5 Ice-type Pokémon!
Number 5 – Lapras
We’ve met Lapras and we know all about her gentle and generous disposition. She can be surprisingly elegant as she swims among the waves, and she has a beautiful singing voice… which for some reason I can’t recall too clearly, but it was so pleasant! Why, just thinking about it I get… so… relaxed…
Number 4 – Glaceon
Ahem! I’m awake! Of course, if there’s an Eeveelution in a type, she’s going to end up in my Top 5. Glaceon looks extremely elegant, with a pleasant mix of cool colors, and those dangly… things framing her face are really nice. I can’t honestly say the same of her bangs, but hey, to each her own style, right?
Number 3 – Amaura and Aurorus
These prehistorical beauties make my list once again! Have I mentioned how amazing it is when their rainbow frills change color when they attack? And how beautifully their crystals glitter in the light? I am really glad humans were able to bring their fossils back to life, and that I got to see them!
Number 2 – Dewgong
Dewgong has the most pure white fur of all Pokémon, which, besides giving him awesome camouflage in the snow, makes him a truly beautiful sight. The effect is heightened by the elegant, flowing frills on his tail and flippers. And while you might find his face a little goofy, I can’t help but be captured by how sweet his big, liquid dark eyes look. Don’t you just want to hug him? If you can find him anywhere that’s not a freezing ocean, that is.
Number 1 – Articuno
I know, Articuno is a Legendary Pokémon, and I usually leave them out of these things. But… that beautiful blue color! With those soft white feathers on its chest! That glittering, ribbon-like tail! That melodious cry! Articuno is really quite beautiful… although there is a weird mystery surrounding it. Now, photographs of Legendary Pokémon are, for obvious reasons, not that common, but some older pictures show it being… well… no more aesthetically pleasant than an Unfezant, let’s put it this way. But in more recent pictures, it looks increasingly better, and in the latest ones, oh, it’s gorgeous! What could have happened to it? Surely this mystery requires more research.
Section 4 – Interview
And that is why I gathered every bit of courage I have (and the biggest tea-filled thermos I could carry) and let the chill winds carry me to Kanto’s Seafoam Islands, where I went looking for my most elusive, and possibly most dangerous, subject for an interview: Articuno itself. (Yes, I willingly went looking for an Ice/Flying Pokémon. No, I don’t know what’s gotten into me.) Here’s a transcript of what happened.
The Fluffiest Whimsicott: Oh Arceus! Stupid wind! Stop! Stop! The entrance was down theeeeere- OOOMPH!
[Several rather undignified sound can be heard in his slightly damaged portion of the tape. They shall not be reproduced in this transcript because, for once, Professor Juniper showed a smidgen of consideration for Whimsicott’s dignity.]
TFW: Owww… That was one of my worst landings yet… is this still recording? Oh, good. Let’s- oh, no. Is this a snowflake? And this one, too? And… Oh, dear. That’s… a lot of snowflakes. Who’s the joker who thought it would be funny to use a Blizzard attack around a Grass type? Hey! Is… is anyone here? It’s… it’s getting so cold… maybe this was a worse idea than I thought… help?
Articuno: Are you lost, little one?
TFW: Wha… wow! Oh my goodness! Articuno?
TFW: I… I didn’t think I would actually meet you! And… I thought you were supposed to be found inside this mountain, not on top of it…
A: You were looking for me?
TFW: I wanted to interview you… brrr… for my research…
A: You are not looking well, little one.
TFW: Oh… oh, no! I just remembered… the Pokédex says… brrr… that you appear to… to doomed travelers! I am… doomed!
TFW: DOOOOOOOMED! Farewell, my family in Pinwheel Forest! Goodbye, PUCLonians! Adieu, Professor Juniper… and, Empoleon… I never got to tell you-
TFW: … yes?
A: Why do you think that is known, little one? That I appear to those who are lost?
TFW: Because… oh! Because you rescue them and they live to tell the story?
A: That would be it, yes.
TFW: Oh. I see. I… apologize for the unnecessary… brrr… drama.
A: You are forgiven. But still looking unwell.
TFW: Yes, it’s the cold, but let me just… uncap this… oooh! The tea is still hot! How wonderful! Would you like some?
A: I shall have to pass on that offer, but I do thank you.
TFW: Right. Ice type. Hot beverage. Sorry.
A: Your intentions were good. You said you meant to… interview me?
TFW: Yes! I don’t usually research Legendary Pokémon, of course, you are too… exceptional to provide statistically relevant data. But you, in particular, are the subject of a mystery that has deeply fascinated me.
A: Do tell.
TFW: Well, you are, obviously, an utterly beautiful creature.
A: Ah, thank you. But you are aware that I am in the Undiscovered Egg Group, are you not?
TFW: What? Oh! Oh, no, I wasn’t… hitting on you! I mean, not that I believe genderless Pokémon shouldn’t have a right to love, if they so desire, of course, but… that’s not the point!
A: I apologize for misinterpreting. Please, continue.
TFW: Well… while researching you, I found a few illustrated reports of sightings of you that occurred several years ago, and in them you look, ah… a bit… different?
A: Did you say “illustrated”?
TFW: Yes. There are photographs.
TFW: Yes, look, I even brought a few.
A: OH MY GOODNESS! There are pictures of this? Of me? Like this? Where did you find them?
TFW: Ah… the Internet?
A: That accursed human invention! I look out for them when they are foolish enough to get lost in my beautiful mountains, and this is the thanks I get! Oh, I am so embarrassed!
TFW: So this is you? Back then? But how…
A: Oh, dear. It is a long story. I assure you, I had… reasons to look like that.
TFW: Would you like to share them? Would that make you feel better?
A: Why, I believe it might. See… you were right, genderless Pokémon do look for love, just like everyone else. But… Suicune decided… we should stop meeting… and… the only consolation I could find were Ice Berries…
TFW: Oh! I’m very sorry to hear that.
A: Thank you. So, you see, Ice Berries were surprisingly fattening. And I kind of let myself go a bit, hence… the pictures.
TFW: Oh, I see.
A: Thankfully Rawst Berries are a lot better for one’s health… and Celebi actually stopped by to have a talk with me, and I was quite cheered up. Today, as you can see, I am once again at my best.
TFW: And what a best it is. Thank you for telling me your story.
A: Thank you for listening, little one. But you are out of your warm tea, I see, and I believe it is time for me to get you off this mountain.
TFW: Aw, thank you. I’m glad I classified you as my favorite Ice type, you really deserve it!
A: You did? Even after seeing those pictures?
A: Well, that means a lot to me. Climb on, little one, but be careful not to touch my wings.
TFW: Are you ticklish?
A: No, my little Grass type. They are made of ice.
TFW: That. Is so. Cool! Ah… no pun intended.
Section 5 – Facts and conclusions
I was really afraid there, for a while, but… I got to meet a Legendary Pokémon! I am so glad I was able to be so brave… it was really worth it. While I finish basking in the awesomeness of that (and in the warmth of the pile of blankets Professor Juniper kindly provided for me when I got back to the lab), have our usual five facts about Ice-type Pokémon!
- The region with the most native Ice types is Unova! Which really surprises me… you’d have guessed Sinnoh, too, wouldn’t you?
- Ice-type moves can induce three different kinds of Status: Burn, Paralysis and, of course, they can leave the target Frozen.
- There are only two Ice-type moves that are not Beauty moves in Contests: Ice Fang and Avalanche (they are, of course, Cool moves).
- The smallest Ice type… well, Swinub, Smoochum and Vanillite are all 40 cm tall, although Frost Rotom and Snowy Form Castform are smaller, at 30 cm tall. The lightest is Vanillite, at 5.7 kg, but of course Frost Rotom is only 300 g. The biggest Ice type is Kyurem; it’s 3 m tall, but gets even bigger when it becomes Black Kyurem (3.3 m) or White Kyurem (3.6 m). The heaviest, though, is Avalugg, at 505 kg, and I thank him for finally making this plain and easy.
- Ice-type Pokémon can have the warmest of hearts.
Well, this is all for our coldest journey yet; I do hope it keeps that record in the future, as well. As ever, I hope this expanded your knowledge in a pleasant way, and I hope you’ll follow me as I reach the last few types on Professor Juniper’s list.
Until next type,
The Fluffiest Whimsicott
This article was lovingly translated from Pokémon speech by Mr. Natural Harmonia Gropius. If you wish to enlist his services as a Pokémon-Human translator, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. All income will go towards feeding and sheltering abandoned Pokémon and covering the cost of Mr. N’s therapy sessions.