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SUN AND MOON ARE HERE. We have been waiting so long for this game to come out and it is about time that we finally get it! With the debut of Sun and Moon, we are given a new story, a new region, and of course, new Pokémon! What could make traversing through Alola better? Having those nostalgic Kanto Pokémon not only come back but come back in a new form. This way, some go from “eh” to viable, while some still stay in the NU, or never use, ranking.
Whether it is a new form, new typing, or just a new movepool, most of these are VERY welcome as with recent games, the new pokes are just too powerful to stand up against with first generation Pokémon. Whether you are a genwunner or a real lover of Pokémon, this list will take a look at the 10 best Kanto Pokes that have made their re-debut in Alola with new forms! Let’s get into it and, Alola!
- Kanto Pokedex: 53
- Alola Pokedex: 46
Persian rounds out the bottom or top since this is a list that reads downward because we needed a Pokémon that… well… fit the bill of being on the bottom. Aka, Persian. The Meowth-Persian line has been around since game one. Giovanni sported a Persian both in the anime and the game, while Meowth became a very popular Pokémon because of his pairing with team rocket. Other than that, though, they are not viable in Kanto that much at all due to their normal typing along with subpar stats, save for speed that is. However, in the new Sun and Moon, Persian, makes a re-debut as a normal dark type while having the abilities Fur Coat, which halves damage from physical moves and technician which… maybe people love especially those who do online battling.
Its speed does stay a wonderful 115, and the only major difference is that its attack now drops from 70 to 60, but its special attack now goes from 65 to 75. So, other than the fact that it looks like the meme of the dog who ate a bee and had its face swell up like a basketball, nothing much has changed. It does learn dark pulse for STAB if you can handle getting it all the way to level 69, but other than that, it does not stand out a whole lot. It can learn other TM moves like Thunder, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, and even Dream Eater. However, without Hypnosis, it’s dead in the water. The only other trait about Persian is that it only learns physical moves when leveling up, except for power gem at 32, which then are tied to its lower physical attack stat.
- Kanto Pokedex: 76
- Alola Pokedex: 231
Golem evolves from Geodude, pictured above. This time around though, the Geodude line is changing. Golem is up next on our list and we are sure that Brock is weeping somewhere in a dark corner. Alolan Golem goes from Rock/Ground to Rock/Electric typing while its stats stay exactly the same. This poor Pokémon, unfortunately, did not get too much of an upgrade, or did it? If you can find one with its hidden ability Galvanize, then you could be in business. This powers up all normal-type moves by 20% and then makes them electric type. Which helps since all of the electric moves that he learns other than Thunder Punch, are special moves and not ties to his 120 physical attack stat.
Looking at how it looks now, there is a battery now on its back/head thus Electric-type. It does lose its 4x weakness to water and grass, as well as its regular weaknesses to ice, ground, and steel. It picks up a new 4x weakness to ground, so watch out for those Earthquakes! Other than that, it has a decent setup now that all those other weaknesses are gone. You just need to keep an eye out for water, grass, and ground moves. This makes Golem a bit more solid and usable, but be aware that its 45 speed is not letting it go anywhere. You can run Golem however you would like, but it is safest to make sure that he learns his NEW STAB move Volt Switch to keep him away from types that would wreck him.
- Kanto Pokedex: 105
- Alola Pokedex: 164
We get it. Your mother is dead. We get it. In an attempt to drag out Cubone’s tragic backstory even further, we now have Alolan Marowak. Sorry, we meant, island dancer, new Fire/Ghost type Alolan Marowak. Is this the new Chandelure? Most likely not, but let’s see. It’s abilities in the game are Cursed body, which makes your foe have a 30% chance of being disabled when they touch you, and lightning rod which boosts your speed when attacked with Electric-type moves. Rock Head, previously a regular ability, now is it’s hidden one. With this new typing as well, it has now gone from three weaknesses of water, grass, and ice, to five, water, ground, rock, ghost, and dark, with a slew of new resistances. In fact, it resists or nulls eight different types! So maybe Game Freak was onto something here.
Tragically yet again, the stats do not change for Marowak leaving it abysmally slow, but with an okay attack, great defense, and okay special defense. What was done right here was its movepool shakeup. Normally, Marowak is locked into ground and normal moves with a spare dark move. Now, it actually does learn good moves for its movepool as well as a nice new Shadow Bone Ghost-type move made just for it. Marowak does have a few Ground-type moves peek through which is excellent as well giving it more coverage. Finally, Game Freak may have just figured something out.
- Kanto Pokedex: 20
- Alola Pokedex: 16
Raticate. You can hate them, but you will never hate them as much as Rattatas or a cave full of Zubat. Welcome to the new, fat Dark/Normal type Raticate and second on this list of Dark/Normal types! Raticate, or rather, it’s predecessor Rattata, shows up early in the game and is rather quick to be a possible, early game addition to your party. Here is why. Hustle. Sure, it can have gluttony or thick fat, but those do not matter when Raticate can learn Hustle. For a refresher, Hustle ups the power of all of your movies buy 50% but lowers the accuracy to 80%.
Raticate’s stats tend to even out a bit more with its speed dropping from 97 to 77, but HP is now up from 55 to 75. Both Defenses also get a 10 point boost to 70 for Defense and 80 for Special Defense. Also, attacks fall by 10 to 71 for attack and 40 for special. So, Raticate is now more of a mixed bag. Raticate also now picks up a 4x weakness to fighting with a double weakness to Bug and Fairy types with a resistance to Dark and nulls all Psychic and Ghost moves. The playing field is getting a bit more diverse. Movepool wise is the same as the Kanto Raticate, just that it now can get STAB for all of the physical Dark-type moves. He won’t last you late into the game, but early on, before everything gets too diverse, he is viable.
- Kanto Pokedex: 26
- Alola Pokedex: 26
Raichu is one of those Pokémon that will forever live in the shadow of another Pokémon on its evolutionary line. Other examples would be Pokémon like Crobat, Persian, and Kingdra. Let’s take a look at the new Raichu. Attack and Defense get 5 points syphoned off and transferred to Special Attack and Special Defense which sit at 95 and 85 respectively. Its speed sits at a nice 110 though, and it can be doubled by its ability, Surge Surfer. If you can breed, that’s right since only three Pokémon in the entire game learn it, onto a Pikachu, and then evolve it, it can have a frightening 220 in speed thus allowing it to outspeed every single Pokémon in the game. 95 is okay in Special Attack and it does a decent movepool as an Electric/Psychic type.
Tragically you need to carry around a Pikachu for a while to make it have a decent electric movepool and it will only learn Psychic when it evolves thus avoiding the need for the TM. Otherwise, it can learn Focus Blast to help it deal with all of the new weaknesses it has picked up, but it still can be checked by fairy types no matter how fast Raichu is, so be careful. This new Raichu is best suited as a special sweeper.
- Kanto Pokedex: 51
- Alola Pokedex: 72
“But how is she, thoooooooough?” Alolan Dugtrio comes not only with a new movepool and some new stats, it also boasts a new blond hairdo akin to a surfer, which when all things considered, makes sense with Alola, islands, and surfers. Does it stack up, though? Well, one thing to note is its New Ground/Steel typing. This gets rid of that pesky grass and ice weakness while giving it a slew of new resistances. You just now have to also, in addition to water, watch out for fire, fighting, and ground moves. You basically resist everything else, though, so congrats!
For Abilities, Alolan Dugtrio has sand veil, standard, and a new one called Tangling hair which will drop an opponent's Speed by one stage when they touch it. HOWEVER, Sand Force, a new ability, is a game changer. Set up Sandstorm, and Ground, Rock, and Steel-type moves are powered up by 33%. Speaking of stats, its Speed is dropped from 120 to 110 and it’s Defense is moved up to 60. Be careful though as Dugtrio only has a 35 in HP.
Sandstorm is all fun and games unless you get OHKO’d before you can fire off a STAB move. If you are going to use this ability, be sure to have a Pokémon before Dugtrio set up sandstorm or trigger it. Speaking of, let’s move beyond the ridiculous hairdo and see what the movepool looks like. Ground-type wise, there are so many STAB moves that you have nothing to worry about. Metal-type though, it only gets Iron head which is decent and you can re-teach it Night Slash for more coverage. Other than that it is decent. Just heed our advice about setting up that Sandstorm before it switches in.
- Kanto Pokedex: 28
- Alola Pokedex: 252
Sandslash is one of two brand new typings where they went all the way back to the drawing board and gave us this. It is also notable that Sandshrew, along with Ninetales generated hype before the game came out since this changed everything. Sandslash has now gone from its generic Ground typing to an Ice/Steel Type. It now comes with all new resistances and weaknesses so just some important ones are that it is weak to fire and fighting. Everything else is either normal damage, halved, or nulled. It has a total of 9 resistances which is pretty good. The only important ability is called Slush Rush and it is hidden so you have to work for it. However, it doubles Sandslash’s speed when it is hailing which is amazing.
Speaking of speed, it’s only 65, so Slush Rush is good. Game Freak was clearly getting on board with making Kanto Pokémon good at this point by taking its Special Attack and dropping it to 25 and redistributing the points to Defense. Now Defense is a nice, solid 120 and it’s Special Defense is an okay 65, which is better than 55! It learns Icicle Spear, its signature move when it evolves, and iron Head and Gyro Ball as Sandshrew. It also learns the Ice version of Rollout, Ice Ball that was previously only available to the Spheal and Bergmite lines. Tragically, there aren't much good Physical Ice moves yet but it can get Stone Edge, Earthquake, Shadow Claw and more to give you that rounded-out movepool! For those of you with Pokémon Moon, keep an eye out for this gem!
- Kanto Pokedex: 103
- Alola Pokedex: 270
Exeggutor in Alolan Form feels like a giant walking dad joke. We all get the joke, the story behind it, but it does make you cringe a bit. Now it looks like what it should be, which is a coconut tree. In what is most likely a nod to Mega-Sceptile, Alolan Exeggutor is Grass/Dragon in Type which actually sets it up for more success than its previous form. It does now have to watch out for Ice which it is now 4x weak to as well as new weaknesses to Dragon and Fairy, but now more is resisted or only does normal damage. Alolan Exeggutor is SLOW. It has only a 45 in speed. However, most of its other stats, HP (95), Attack (105), Defense (85), and Special Attack (125) are all quite good. It also has the Hidden Ability Harvest, which is the one that matters. Frisk does not do too much for you.
As for moves, Exeggutor does not change a whole lot when it comes to moves, but it does learn Dragon Hammer, which only it can learn, in lieu of Stomp, allowing it to get that 90 base STAB attack off. It does however still cling to those grass and psychic moves which are fine, but you need to be aware of fairy types. For that, we suggest Sludge Bomb which it can learn via TM and/or Flamethrower to keep those Ice types at bay. Overall though, while it may not have become a pseudo-legendary, it can still do work with those 530 base stats.
- Kanto Pokedex: 89
- Alola Pokedex: 51
Alolan Muk is the next to last Pokémon on this list where Game Freak got it right. Looking like an acid trip gone wrong, Muk is now Poison/Dark type which means that it is now suited to do some real work. It only has one weakness which is ground. That is it. Abilities are meh at best with Poison touch and Gluttony as normal options. Power of Alchemy is a new ability introduced for this game where Grimer or Muk can copy the ability of an ally that has been defeated, so it is great for double and triple battles.
Muk is a fairy-type murderer now. He is scary powerful with a 105 in both HP and Attack and boasting a 100 in Special Defense and a 75 in Defense. Muk is here to take some hits, or negate them possibly, and inflict statuses nonstop. Toxic is paired excellently here with Venom Drench, which when it hits, drops Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. It gets some nice dark STAB moves as well which means that you don’t have to make him explode when you are close to dying. Brick Break can also help along with Rest to piss off your foes after you drop their stats. Really, the new Muk is so versatile now that it is not a Poison mono-type!
- Kanto Pokedex: 38
- Alola Pokedex: 254
Really, who did you expect at the end of this list other than Ninetales? This is the one that Game Freak got 100% right. 109 in Speed, 81 in Special Attack and BYE. It may not be amazing, but its movepool makes it devastating. Alolan Ninetales is now Fairy/Ice in typing and actually can do work opposed to its Fire mono-typing from previous generations. It gets either Snow Cloak, raising its evasion by one level in snow or it's hidden ability of Snow Warning which makes hail last for 5 turns.
As Vulpix, it learns a lot of Ice and Psychic-type moves. It does not learn an offensive Fairy type move until it evolves into Ninetales and gets Dazzling Gleam. Again, Game Freak is teasing us with the bone. Dazzling Gleam is not that amazing, but that STAB is. If you have Snow Cloak, Hail will be a boon for you making Blizzard 100% effective. You do need to keep an eye out for those Steel types as you are now 4x weak to them and the other normal weaknesses are Fire, Poison, and Rock.
Thankfully, Flamethrower, Energy Ball, Extrasensory/Psyshock have you covered. Want to play it safe? Set up Hail or have Snow Warning up and Ninetales can use the new, only-when-it-is-hailing TM Aurora Veil which drops all damage from physical and special moves for five turns. Either way, Ninetales is a good fit in your team with its unique typing, diverse movepool, be it innate or learned, and setup. Enjoy, Pokémon Sun players!
There was a lot of concern about these new Alolan forms as well as how Pokémon Sun and Moon would chance the game, but thankfully it is enjoyable and fun. The series is evolving and in a good way, especially by changing up these old, well-known pokes, and giving them new life and renewed usability. Hopefully, the next installment of the franchise, be it a remake or a new game, will continue the trend of making these new forms!