Hello, my dear PUCLonians! I hope you’ve had a pleasant week, and that you are ready to plunge into the last, most fascinating part of our journey through types. We are now going to be looking at what may be called “modern” Pokémon types: those types that have only been discovered in recent history, and thus pose so many intriguing questions! We’ll start with, well, possibly the most difficult for me to face and understand… but I believe it will be worth the effort. This week’s Topical Type is Steel!
Section 1 – Introduction
Steel types show what is probably the deepest connections to human technology (which might explain theire relatively recent appearance). Many of them have common traits with human-made devices, up to the point where you have Pokémon like Klink and its family, who look like machinery come to life. This merging of lifeless technology and the natural energy that fills all Pokémon is, to say the least, an interesting subject for scientific study. Are these Pokémon really objects somehow given life? Or, as Pokémon can come into existence in forms resembling elements of the world around them (just look at Grass types for a very clear example), did these Pokémon start imitating new elements brought into the world by humans? Even before the appearance of Steel types, people have been wondering about Voltorb’s uncanny resemblance to a Pokéball, given that Voltorb first appeared around the time they were invented. But no definitive conclusion has been reached on this subject, and I believe thinking that Steel types came only from human technology is too reductive: look at creatures like Mawile, who obviously bear no resemblance to any human device, and yet are still Steel types. Perhaps Steel, as a type, was brought about by the advancement of technology, but that is certainly not true of individual Pokémon belonging to it.
Section 2 – Battling Behavior
Steel types have a veritable plethora of resistances: they resist over half of all Pokémon types, and are immune to one more! (Poison. Oh, the envy.) And they usually have amazing Defense to back this up, making them all in all the sturdiest of all types.
But the first Steel type we’re taking a look at is not famous for his defensive prowess; Bisharp prefers hitting things hard. In fact, he likes it so much that if you try to drop his Attack, you’ll end up boosting it, thanks to his Defiant Ability. Knock Off and Iron Head hurt a lot, but Bisharp is not too fast, and has a glaring Fighting-type weakness due to also being a Dark type. So to ensure he’s not a sitting Psyduck, have him learn Sucker Punch… and then pray nobody on your opponent’s team knows Mach Punch.
One very tough Steel-type cookie is Metagross. Its Defense is amazing… and nearly matched by its Attack! Given that both of these stats rise when it Mega Evolves, and its contact-making attacks also get boosted by its Tough Claws Ability, you can see why it can be so scary. Let’s not forget that Metagross is also a Psychic type, giving him ample choice of attacks (and it does not lack choices outside those types, either) and covering his Fighting-type weakness… truly a powerful Pokémon. It even gets priority in Bullet Punch, so you know what? Let’s move forward, before I run from my own research.
Our last Steel type will be Mawile, who, like me, just recently found out she’s also a Fairy type! Unlike me, she also found out she can Mega Evolve, which gives her the Huge Power Ability… on top of an already quite high Attack stat. Essentially, she becomes the Pokémon with the highest Attack stat out there. Her Speed is quite abysmal, though, so you can go for two solutions: Sucker Punch, or a teammate with Trick Room. You’ll never see a rougher Play Rough.
I don’t think I can say there’s a Steel-type move I really like, so I’ll go with Doom Desire as my favorite, because it sounds epic and it gives me a lot of time to run for the hills. King’s Shield is what makes Aegislash so great on the battlefield, and Bullet Punch is always useful, especially on a Scizor with Technician.
Section 3 – Classification
As you can imagine, Steel types are usually not among my favorites, especially since I somehow became a Fairy type. But some of them do stand quite close to my heart: here they are, in The Fluffiest Whimsicott’s Top 5 Steel-type Pokémon!
Number 5: Lucario
Lucario is loyal and honorable, and I very much like his assured, calm demeanor. It creates a good contrast with his appearance when he Mega Evolves: he gets a somewhat shaggy “tail”, and red-tipped dreadlocks! Along with the other red accents, they make him look almost wild, and yet the firm look in his eyes only gets steadier. Even if he wouldn’t read Empoleon’s aura for me, I quite like Lucario.
Number 4 – Scizor
Despite his cumbersome pinchers, Scizor develops a certain elegance when he evolves from Scyther. His metallic exoskeleton is very shiny (and a lovely green when Scizor himself is shiny!) and smooth, and his retractable wings are quite cool. But maybe I like him even more because of Iron Bug, Captain Braviary’s ally… what a team they make! So many adventures… I can’t wait for their next movie!
Number 3 – Jirachi
This little starry Legendary could not be kept off this list. He’s cute, he brings luck, he grants wishes! And I love his little ribbons and streamers, that make him look so much like a drawing of a shooting star. I have to admit, he gets a tad creepy when he opens the third eye on his belly, but that almost never happens, so…
Number 2 – Mawile
Yes, I know; she’s only cute from the front, right? But I don’t think her giant jaws are that scary, and I like the way she looks over her shoulder when she fights… as long as she’s not fighting me, of course! But if you stay on the right side of her, literally and figuratively, Mawile is a very sweet Pokémon. Plus her Mega Evolution is a tiny Fairy type that can kick (or, well, bite) most Pokémon’s rears, and you know I appreciate that.
Number 1 – Empoleon
Empoleon… well, Empoleon is… so elegant… and strong… and proud… and protective… and… a unique type combination, you know I like that… and… well… I just… like Empoleon… a lot… I really… really… you know… like him.
Section 4 – Interview
So, the Steel type, as I said, is kind of hard for me to understand: Grass types are all about nature, and Steel types… well, not so much. Fairy types revel in fun and magic; Steel types have a much more solid approach to life. So I thought maybe it would be more productive to interview a Steel type I am already somewhat familiar with, and it just so happens that lately a very kind Empoleon from Professor Rowan’s lab has been staying at Professor Juniper’s lab, fixing up and upgrading some of our machinery (he’s a very smart and handsome- I mean, handy! He’s a handy Empoleon). Thus I made the totally uninterested choice to interview this Empoleon, and here’s the transcript of the recording, as usual.
The Fluffiest Whimsicott: Ah… hi, Empoleon.
Empoleon: Hi, Whimsicott! This PC is almost ready, I just need to plug it back into the network.
TFW: That’s nice, thank you! But… I actually wanted to talk about something else.
E: Yeah? What’s that?
TFW: Well, this week I’m researching the Steel type… and…
E: How’s it going?
TFW: Well! It’s going well. But, you know, I do an interview every week, and… uh…
E: Would you like… a suggestion?
TFW: No! No, I’d like… I want to interview you!
E: Oh? OK. But you know, I just became a Steel type when I evolved, I was a pure Water type for most of my life. Is that OK anyway?
TFW: It’s perfectly fine. In fact… did you feel different, gaining a new type when you evolved?
E: Well, evolution always makes you feel different, but I think I did. I felt… I don’t know, more solid? And kind of like I could go in a straight line through anything. It’s good.
TFW: Fascinating. And… you now resist ten types, and are immune to one. Does that make you feel… safe?
E: I suppose, if you want to use that word. Not much can bother me, that’s nice.
TFW: That is quite true of your personality, too, if I may say so. Was it like this before, as well?
E: Yes. I don’t see the point in getting upset over stuff. You do what you have to, that’s all.
TFW: That’s very admirable. You’re very… responsible.
E: I think it’s only right.
TFW: Of course. But from what I’ve read, there is one thing that will upset any Empoleon.
E: Oh, yeah? What would that be?
TFW: Well… threatening his family.
E: That goes without saying. I’d take out anyone who tried to go near them.
TFW: So you do have one. I mean… a family?
E: Of course! I have many younger siblings and cousins, and any time one of them is chosen as some little human’s starter Pokémon, I take the time to have a good, long talk with that kid about needlessly endangering them in their battles.
TFW: And they understand you? I’ve found that not many human speak Pokémon.
E: Well, you know how my wings can slice even through thick ice?
E: Apparently, waving them around with an angry face and “accidentally” cutting a chair in two is a rather universal language. You can bet they leave the lab very scared and very determined to keep their Piplup safe.
TFW: That is… awesome. You’re awesome.
E: Professor Rowan doesn’t think so, but he’s gotten used to it. Now he buys cheap furniture in bulk.
TFW: Wow. You’re… you’re really something.
E: Ah… thanks. So… did you have any more questions for me?
TFW: Actually… ah… there would be one more…
E: Go ahead.
TFW: Ah… would you… I mean… maybe…
TFW: … doyouwannagooutforaBerryJuicewithme?
TFW: You know… Berry Juice… out… me… oh, never mind, pretend I didn’t say anything.
E: No, no! I like… Berry Juice. I like it… quite a lot.
TFW: You do?
TFW: So do I.
E: That’s… nice. Ah… do you know a good place around here?
TFW: No… but I know a Shuckle.
TFW: Yes, just… don’t ask him any questions about the juice. Believe me, it’s for the best.
E: All right. So… lead the way.
TFW: … yay!
Section 5 – Facts and conclusions
So, my… interview… went quite well. I didn’t think I’d enjoy the research on Steel types quite so much, but hey, you never know, apparently! Let me just leave you with our usual five interesting facts about Steel-type Pokémon!
- The region with the most native Steel types is Unova (well, we are quite filled with technology, so I guess they feel right at home).
- Steel-type moves never change the way they work in Double or Triple Battles, as they only ever affect one target.
- The Pokémon with the highest number of resistances are, of course, Steel types: Magnemite, Magnetone and Magnezone (with eleven resistances and one immunity). Curiously, Magnemite and Magneton are the only Pokémon who were discovered to belong to the Steel type only after their initial appearance.
- The smallest Steel type is Klefki, who measures all of 20 cm; the lightest is Jirachi, who weighs 1.1 kg. The largest Steel type is Steelix, who’s 9.2 m long, and grows to 10.5 m upon Mega Evolving. The heaviest, though, is Metagross, at 550 kg… Mega Steelix is heavier, at 740 kg, but then Mega Metagross is even heavier, at a whopping 942.9 kg.
- Steel types are easier to figure out than I thought.
That will be all for you about the Steel type (for me, well, not so much). I hope, as usual, that you found this week’s research interesting and pleasant… I certainly did. Only two types to go now!
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.