Both Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon have been out on the Nintendo 3DS for a little over a week now, introducing trainers from around the world to an entirely new region filled with plenty of fresh Pokémon to catch, catalog, and train. The Alola region is home to a bunch of new Pokémon to fill your personal team roster out with, but a few special ones stick out thanks to their unique looks, typing, and strengths in battle.
Here’s some of our favorites from our time exploring Alola.
In Pokémon Sun and Moon, there are few forces as powerful as an angry Crabrawler. This crustacean Pokémon is a Fighting-type who absolutely hates to lose a battle and packs quite a punch when used against Pokémon who can’t exploit its weaknesses to Fairy, Ice and Flying-type moves. What makes this little crab so good, though, is its Iron Fist ability, which will power up any punching moves by 20 percent in battle.
Iron Fist doesn’t just include Fighting-type punch moves though. It also extends to moves like Fire Punch, Ice Hammer, Ice Punch, and Dizzy Punch, which can give a Fighting-type Pokémon like Crabrawler a little more utility in combat. When evolved into Crabominable, Iron Fist can be combined with Ice Punch, Ice Hammer and Dynamic Punch to give your Pokémon team a member capable of dishing out plenty of damage.
Vikavolt is one of the best looking new Pokémon, present in both Pokémon Sun and Moon, with a Bug and Electric-typing that give it access to a few very powerful moves. Initially, Vikavolt starts as a Grubbin, which you can find relatively early in the games, and can only be evolved from Charjabug starting at level 20 when leveled up in the Vast Poni Canyon.
Vikavolt has the Levitate ability, which allows it to ignore all Ground-type moves, and can be taught some great moves with the right TMs and HMs. Having access to combinations, like X-Scissor (known as one of the strongest Bug-type moves) and Volt Switch (which allows you to deal damage before switching out into a different Pokémon on your team), make this Pokémon a valuable addition to your lineup.
There’s something about Salazzle’s design that just sticks out compared to many other Poison-type Pokémon present throughout both Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. This Poison/Fire-type is a female only Pokemon that evolves from a female Salandit starting at level 33 with the Corrosion ability, which allows you to inflict poison damage on any Pokémon, regardless of their typing.
While Corrosion doesn’t entirely negate the effects of Poison-type moves on Poison and Steel-type Pokémon who would typically resist the effects of being poisoned, it’s a unique answer to taking them on and wearing them down, while the rest of your team does the work for you. But due to Salazzle’s Fire-typing, she also gets access to Fire-type moves that allow her to burn through Steel-type Pokémon with ease. Combined with a high speed stat, her moves can often deal with opponents before they know what hit them.
A few Pokémon, added in both new versions, were created with the intention of changing the game for the type they represent, breaking through a previous limitation, or introducing a new way to use them in battle. Previously, many Rock-type Pokémon could hit very hard, and take a hefty amount of damage, before feinting in battle, but were limited by a slow speed stat – until now.
When evolved during the day in Pokémon Sun, starting at level 25, Rockruff becomes Midday Lycanroc, who is a Rock-type Pokémon with a high base Speed and Attack stat, which can learn all the heavy-hitting Rock-type moves, like Rock Slide and Stone Edge. Midday Lycanroc also has access to the Sand Rush ability too, which will double its speed if a sandstorm is present in battle. Not bad for a Rock-type, right?
It’s hard to forget the classic relationship between the small, seemingly useless Magikarp, and the behemoth it evolved into, known as Gyarados in Pokémon. But in Pokémon Sun and Moon, it turns out that they aren’t the only ones to share the sudden change in power. Much like Magikarp and Gyarados, the small anthropoid Pokémon Wimpod, and its evolved form Golisopod, share a relationship that is worth investing some time into.
Golisopod is a Bug and Water-type Pokémon with high base Attack and Defense stats that allow it to dish out damage, while also taking heavy hits from other Pokémon in battle. Like Vikavolt, Golisopod’s typing allows it to learn X-Scissor, while also gaining access to many powerful Water-type moves like Surf, Waterfall, and Liquidation. Plus, it also has the ability Emergency Exit, allowing it to swap out immediately, once per battle, when its HP reaches 50 percent. While it may not be as perfect as say, Volt Switch, it certainly opens up some creative ideas when it comes to building your team.