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Released November 18th 2016, you’ve probably had a chance to get some quality time with Pokémon Sun & Moon and determine which Pokémon are your favorites. Of course, it’s always fun to obsess over your favorite new Pokémon designs, but is that what really gives a Pokémon its lasting appeal? To an extent, yes, but really what the look of a Pokémon will signify is their Type. A lot of different Pokémon end up sharing the same Type or Dual-Type, but a lot of the most memorable and exciting Pokémon for casual fans and competitive fans alike is when a Pokémon comes along with a Dual-Type all its own. So we thought it would be fun to breakdown the most interesting unique Dual-Types and the Pokémon that hold them in Pokémon Sun & Moon.
We should note as well that the Pokémon on this list are not necessarily exclusive to Pokémon Sun & Moon (though most are), but cover Pokémon and family lines of Pokémon that have an exclusive Dual-Type found in Sun & Moon without having them bought in from either X & Y or Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. We’ll be ranking them based solely on how well the two types complement one another, both defensively with what they can resist, and offensively; specifically by how their Same Type Advantage Boost (or STAB, as it is commonly referred to) covers the weaknesses and common issues of the other type. We also may point out some other interesting advantages the Pokémon gets.
- Pokédex #: 793
Starting off this list is actually quite the powerhouse of a Pokémon, Nihilego! Those who have played the game are already probably aware of this, but Nihilego actually plays a pretty important role in the main storyline of Sun & Moon. We won’t go into details since the games are still relatively new, but it’s a powerful force that you have to deal with throughout the game that you won’t get the chance to acquire for yourself until the post-game after the credits roll. It’s one of many Ultra Beasts you’ll end up encountering.
Type-wise, the biggest benefit Nihilego gets is that, being both Rock and Poison, it gets access to Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes, meaning it can set up dual entry threats and cause some serious chip damage. Otherwise, it does have the benefit of Poison canceling out Rock’s big weakness of Fighting types, so it’ll only get hit with neutral damage. Beyond that, however, it does suffer from a major quadruple weakness to common Ground type moves, which keeps it from getting further up the list.
[Alola Sandshrew and Alola Sandslash]
- Pokédex #: 27 & 28
Now here’s familiar set of faces to anyone who’s been following the series since its inception, particularly to anyone who chose Pokémon Blue over Red. Of course, they’d also most likely know that both Sandshrew and Sandslash have been pure ground types for the past 6 games. However, in Pokémon Sun & Moon, Sandshrews are located in the icy Mt. Lanakila (exclusive to Pokémon Moon), which apparently caused them to change their type into a fearsome Ice/Steel combo!
Ice and Steel largely work well together due to their STAB coverage. Ground types are generally a big threat to Steel, but a STAB boosted Icicle Crash coming off of Alola Sandslash should make anyone pause. The Steel typing also hits Rock types that generally cause problems for Ice types. Defensively, Alola Sandslash is one of the few Ice-type Pokémon that can switch into a Stealth Rock Set-up and only take neutral damage. Plus, Steel balances out Ice’s weakness to other Steel moves. Unfortunately though, we can’t justify putting Alola Sandslash higher since Ice/Steel also comes with two quadruple weaknesses to both Fire and Fighting, two very common attacking types.
[Salandit and Salazzle]
- Pokédex #: 757 & 758
Next up, we have a recent fan favorite in the glamorous and sassy-looking Salazzle! You can find its pre-evolution, Salandit, either out on Route 8 or, more likely, the Wela Volcano Park, and just level one up to 33. There’s a catch, though: Salazzle can only evolve from female Salandits, and while this wouldn’t normally be an issue, there seems to be a pretty poor ratio of male to female Salandits. There’s only a 12.5% chance you’ll even encounter a female!
The main appeal of Fire being paired with Poison is that it allows Salazzle to hit Steel types that normally cause major problems for Poison types, as Steel is completely immune to any Poison type attacks. Poison/Ground and Poison/Fighting can do this as well, but the issue is, barring certain moves like Earth Power from the Ground type move pool and Focus Blast from Fighting, most moves from these types draw from physical attack power, and Steel type Pokémon as a general rule tend to have high defense. Fire-typing, on the other hand, tends to favor special attacks, meaning Salazzle is a Poison type that can hit most Steel types with hard-hitting STAB Fire moves. Also, Poison/Fire grants three quadruple resistances to Grass, Bug, and Fairy moves, and while the first two aren’t common, Salazzle makes a nice switch-in to Fairy-based attacks. Just watch out for its 4x weakness to Ground based moves.
[Hakamo-o and Kommo-o]
- Pokédex #: 783 & 784
Of course every generation has to have its obligatory, superpowered Dragon-type line of Pokémon, so we had to include Pokémon Sun & Moon’s addition to this tradition! It can be a bit of a process getting yourself a Kommo-o, as first you have to find yourself a Jangmo-o in the Vast Poni Canyon, which is already pretty close to the end of the game. Then you’ll have to level up Jangmo-o up to 35 so it’ll evolve into Hakamo-o, and then Hakamo-o up to 45 so you’ll finally have yourself a Kommo-o. You might also luck out and have a Jangmo-o call for help for a Kommo-o during battle, but honestly it might just be faster to grind.
The best part about Kommo-o’s Fighting type is that it gives it a way to hit Ice types hard. Dragons struggle a lot with Ice type Pokémon, so the addition of STAB Fighting moves will make anyone rethink sending in their STAB Ice Beam wielder. Plus, while Dragons aren’t weak to Steel types, Steel resists Dragon and can easily wall them in. A STAB Sky Uppercut is a huge boon to its offensive capabilities. It does have to worry about Fairy Types though, as they can hit Kommo-o in its quadruple weakness, while also resisting its Fighting type moves and completely nullifying its Dragon attacks.
- Pokédex #: 26
Hey, who knew Pikachu actually had an evolution? Raichu has been neglected by developer Game Freak in favor of its enormously popular pre-evolution, Pikachu, but finally they decided to bless it with a new form in Sun & Moon! We’re actually cheating a bit to include Alola Raichu on this list, as the first Electric/Psychic type was found in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 during the Pokéstar side missions, and they actually created a special boss for the player to fight towards the very end that had that typing. However, seeing as how UFO 2 wasn’t a Pokémon you could catch for your team, we felt it only fair to include Raichu instead!
Electric and Psychic don’t give either type any particular defensive advantage for each other, nor do they provide offensive support for the other’s weaknesses. So then why put Electric/Psychic so high on this list? Well, the dual STAB of Electric and Psychic means that it can hit almost every Pokémon in the game for at least neutral damage! The only Pokémon that can even resist it are certain legendary Pokémon, Ultra Beasts, and a small handful of Steel Types (like Ferrothorn and Steelix). Having a teammate that can hit everything is certainly a nice advantage to have!
- Pokédex #: 478
Based off the legends of the Yuki-Onna from Japanese mythology, Froslass is the only returning Pokémon from past generations on this list without getting retyped for the Alola region. Froslass still qualifies for this list since Ice/Ghost is still a type pairing exclusive to her. Plus, you can still find one natively in your copy of either Sun or Moon. Just track down a female Snorunt outside of Tapu Village and give it a Dawn Stone and you’ll have yourself a Froslass in no time!
While other Ice Pokémon get some resistance to Fighting type moves with their type combinations, Froslass is the only one who can completely nullify them thanks to her Ghost typing. This alone gives Froslass a huge edge over her peers. Plus, STAB Ghost moves are certainly useful for her to have, as they at least can do normal damage to Steel, Fire, Water, and other Ice types, all of which resist Ice moves. There’s actually very little Froslass can’t hit with any move it gets STAB with!
- Pokédex #: 38
Players were immediately taken with Vulpix’s Alolan variation as soon as it was shown off. And why not? It’s crazy adorable! You may be hesitant to even evolve your Vulpix, as it does take awhile to even find one outside Tapu Village or on Mount Lanakila (Sorry Moon players; Sun only). You may not want to lose it after all the trouble. We assure you though, that you’ll want to use your Ice Stone to evolve your Vulpix to Ninetales.
Ice/Fairy might seem a bit redundant at first. After all, both hit Dragon types for super effective damage, which is the major draw of both Ice and Fairy. What’s nice about the two together is that its Ice-typing gives it all the benefits that Ice types get when hail is out (no chip damage, perfect chance to hit with Blizzard, and you can put up Aurora Veil), and even though Ice hits Dragon for double damage, it doesn’t resist Dragon moves. Ninetales’ Fairy typing gives it a safe switch-in to Dragon attacks to get some hail going and gives it some resistance to Fighting types to boot! You do need to be wary of Steel types still, as Ninetales will take quadruple damage from Steel attacks, but thankfully Steel is a pretty uncommon attacking type (barring Bullet Punch abusers like Scizor).
[Alola Geodude, Graveler, and Golem]
- Pokédex #: 74, 75, & 76
You may not recognize it underneath that sweet beard, but that is actually the very same Golem from Pokémon Red and Blue! It’s changed a bit in the Alola region, but the method of acquiring one is roughly the same. Just find yourself a Geodude (check around Route 12 or Blush Mountain on Ula’Ula Island), get it up to level 25 to evolve it to Graveler, and then trade it to a friend to evolve it to Golem! Or, if you can’t find anyone and have a spare Haunter, there’s someone in the Pokémon Center in Tapu Village who’s looking for Haunter and will trade you Graveler, which will instantly evolve afterwards.
Rock and Electric are like chocolate and peanut butter; two seemingly incompatible tastes that actually go great together! Rock famously has a crippling weakness to Water, but its Electric type STAB moves make any trainer think twice about switching in any Water types without a secondary Ground typing. Electric also gives some resistance to Steel, so Golem only takes neutral damage to Steel moves rather than the normal double damage that Rock generally does. Common Flying type moves just bounce right off it too, as combining Rock and Electric resistances assures that Golem only takes a fourth of what it would normally take from a Flying move. Just be wary of that nasty 4x weakness to Ground, along with Grass type Pokémon, which can shrug off both Rock and Electric, and you’re golden.
- Pokédex #: 740
You may not realize it, but Crabominable is actually the Pokémon that participants in the VGC (a yearly doubles tournament held globally by the Pokémon Company) have been waiting a long time for. While we won’t go into much detail here, Crabominable is a fantastic partner Pokémon in doubles play, largely thanks to its type advantages! Getting one couldn’t be easier, too. Just catch yourself one of the Crabrawlers that will pop up pretty much anytime you try and pick up a pile of berries, then take it to Mount Lanakila and level it up once and it will immediately evolve into a Crabominable!
Fighting and Ice are something like a glass cannon together. Neither one gives the other any resistances to anything they’d be weak to, barring Fighting helping out with Ice’s Rock weakness. However, this lack of defenses is more than made up for with the amount of offensive STAB coverage. Fighting moves don’t tend to work well against Flying type Pokémon, but thankfully Ice can hit them pretty hard. And Ice Pokémon can get worked hard by Rock and Steel types, which is where its Fighting moves come in. Together, Crabominable can hit more Pokémon for super effective damage than anyone else on this list!
1. Ghost/Fairy [Mimikyu]
- Pokédex #: 778
Every generation of Pokémon has its own Pikachu-esque design, so with Sun & Moon they dropped the pretense and created a Pokémon that’s actually disguised as Pikachu! This creepily-cuddly Pokémon has to hide its real face because, while it loves people, its true form is so horrifying that no one can see it. If you feel bad enough about one of these little guys, check out the abandoned Thrifty Megamart on Ula’Ula Island. It might take a bit, as there’s only a 4% chance to encounter one, but it’s worth it. How could you say no to that costume?
Perhaps more shocking than its true appearance, though, is that it’s also a shockingly potent Pokémon. Mimikyu’s Dual typing gives it a total of 3 whole immunities: Normal, Fighting, and Dragon. The latter two invulnerabilities alone would be enough to secure a place. However, the Fairy typing also gives its Ghost side some resistance to the Dark moves Ghosts tend to hate, while the Ghost typing counteracts Fairy’s notorious weakness to Poison. Mimikyu is only weak to Steel and, ironically, other Ghosts. Ghost/Fairy may actually be one of the best new defensive types in the game!
While we tried to rank all the uniquely typed Pokémon based on how well their typing gives them an advantage in battle, please keep in mind that this isn’t the end-all, be-all. This is just one advantage certain Pokémon get in battle. Aspects like movesets, abilities, and stat distribution can be a vital component in choosing a Pokémon for your team as well. However, we hope we gave you a good starting point for building a team!
Anyone we missed? Disagree with the reasons? Maybe have some advice of your own? Please, comment below! We’d love to hear what you suggest!