Warning: Potential spoilers for Pokemon Legends: Arceus ahead.
The long-awaited Pokemon Legends: Arceus is finally here and with it a whole new (well, new as in it’s from the undiscovered past) region to discover: Hisui. Hisui, a feudal Japan-esque, historic version of Sinnoh will not only yield amazing new (or should that be old?) sights to see – but brand-new Pokemon as well. From a Bug/Rock Scyther evolution to Hisuian variants of the starters that look like they just smoked a joint to an Ursaring evolution that switches up its entire method of terrestrial locomotion — there’s a lot to unpack in the game’s new setting.
Which of these will be the best new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus however? Read on to find out.
“Sweet Arceus has answered my prayers, Ursaring is finally getting an evolution!” – me and the twelve other Ursaring fans in the world.
Yes, Ursaring is getting an evolution – Ursaluna – and while that’s got me pretty geeked I can’t say I expected it to go from a towering, upright Kuma from Tekken-looking powerhouse into one of the bear mounts from World of Warcraft. That is to say, is Ursaring regressing to a more primal state by going from bipedal to quadrupedal with its Ursaluna evolution?
Which begs another few questions: Will we be able to ride our trusty Ursaluna like an ursine steed into Pokebattles? (Editor’s Note: Now that the game has been released, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.) Does the “luna” part of Ursaluna’s name suggest a connection to the moon, as “luna” is the Latin word for moon or crescent? Or does it simply accentuate the crescent marking on Ursaluna’s fur as opposed to the ring on Ursaring’s?
(Editor’s note: Ursaring evolves into Ursaluna when a player uses a Peat Block on the Ursaring when it is a full moon in-game, which explains the etymology of Ursaluna’s name.)
Whatever the case, Ursulana sees Ursaring’s already serviceable 500 base stat total jump to 550, with advantageous stat reallocation beefing up its base HP (90 to 130) and Defense (75 to 105), making Ursaluna a much more veritable tank.
Ursaluna also gains the Ground-type, making it a Normal/Ground dual-type, as well as what could be a very useful ability in Bulletproof, one which makes it immune to any ball and bomb-type moves. Off the top of my head, I can see a Pokemon like Gengar, who utilizes Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb in its moveset having a hell of a time with Ursaluna.
Last but not least, Ursaluna should prove a useful case study for the advantages of evolutionary quadrupedalism over bipedalism in Pokemon, a subject so riveting I can ahem, “bearly” contain myself for my first Pokemon Legends: Arceus playthrough.
As wholesome a Pokemon as Goodra is, there’s no disputing it’s one weird–looking Dragon-type. First, it doesn’t fit the description of “draconic” in any mythos. And second, that mucilaginous green goo perpetually dripping from its jowls and wrists is pretty nasty. When I was eight-years-old the thought of getting covered in green slime was cool because I watched Nickelodeon everyday but these days, as an adult, the thought of getting constantly hugged by a slime-soaked Goodra just means more trips to the laundromat and crying in the shower.
But there’s hope. Goodra gets a brand-new type addition in Pokemon Legends: Arceus – one that you figure might cut down on the slime and up the dragon-ness. Instead, Hisuian Goodra somehow looks even weirder. And every bit as slimy.
Imagine Goodra went to the Pokemon Day Care (if you know what I mean) with a Giant African Snail, an aluminum mixing bowl from your grandma’s kitchen cabinet and a container of Nickelodeon Gak and you’ve got a good idea of what Hisuian Goodra looks like.
That being said, the borderline grotesque appearance comes with a benefit: Hisuian Goodra gains the Steel type, making it Dragon/Steel, an amazing type combination that gives it myriad resistances and 2x weaknesses to only Fighting and Ground attacks.
Something tells me if you’re already a fan of Goodra then you don’t mind your Pokemon soiling you with slime and looking a little different. Which means you probably won’t have a problem with Hisuian Goodra (who can be obtained by leveling a Hisuian Sliggoo to Level 50 while it’s raining) either, thus adding what should be one of the best new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus to your roster.
Arcanine, with its beautiful, flowing mane is one of my favorite Pokemon designs from Gen 1, which means Hisuian Arcanine, who becomes a Fire/Rock dual-type Pokemon has some big paws to fill.
Luckily, Hisuian Arcanine not only looks pretty sweet – it should be formidable in Pokemon Legends: Arceus as well. While the first thoughts that might come to mind when seeing Hisuian Arcanine gain a Fire/Rock dual-typing might be “Surf lul” or “Earthquake lul” in regards to its newfound 4x weaknesses to Water and Ground attacks, Fire and Rock STAB also gives it amazing type coverage, with Fire and Rock hitting nearly half of the Pokemon in the game super-effectively.
Hisuian Arcanine will also be one of two Pokemon to learn a new Fire attack called Raging Fury, a 90-base-power physical attack that “spews vicious flames to inflict damage on the target, [whereafter the Pokemon] then becomes fixated on using this move.” Because Raging Fury will have a Choice Band-like effect where Hisuian Arcanine will have to keep using the move repeatedly after its first use, it should probably be used as a wallbreaking physical attacker that can be switched in and out strategically.
Sneasel became one of the best competitive battling Pokemon in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl thanks to its evolution into Weavile, a Dark/Ice sweeper with biting 125 base Speed and 120 base Attack. Could its new dual-type variant evolution make it one of the best new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus as well?
In Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Sneasel can evolve into its Hisuian variant, Sneasler, when holding a Razor Claw during the day. Sneasler sports a promising Fighting/Poison dual-type, while retaining 120 base Speed and brandishing 130 base Attack.
Fairy-types, who have become a bane for the Fighting type, will have to think twice about switching into Sneasler, whose STAB Poison Jab and Dire Claw will deal downright virulent super-effective damage.
After going against the grain and picking Bulbasaur as my starting Pokemon in Gen 1 and facing the derision of my Charizard-picking peers, I went with Fire-type starter Cyndaquil in Gen 2 – who would evolve into the bad-ass, flaming honey badger Typhlosion – after much deliberation between it and the plucky Totodile.
Typhlosion’s usually fearsome appearance made me a little confused when seeing Hisuian Typhlosion looking stoned out of his gourd in all those Pokemon Legends: Arceus preview images. But maybe its newfound role in the game can clue us in a little bit to its mellowed out appearance – he’ll be a Fire/Ghost type who according to his PokeDex entry, will “purify lost, forsaken souls with its flames and guide them to the afterlife.” I’m sure the people in Hisui feel a little more comfortable being metaphorically ferried into the afterlife by an absolutely blowed Typhlosion rather than a frightening grim reaper analogue, so maybe there was good reason for the Fire starter looking higher than Willie Nelson.
While Hisuian Typhlosion certainly doesn’t resemble Charon on the River Styx, his new Ghost-type addition gives him a nearly unresisted STAB combination that should prove deathly hard to switch into; combined with its brand-new signature move, Infernal Parade, a 60 base-power Ghost attack that has a chance to inflicts its target with a burn and whose power is doubled if Hisuian Typhlosion is inflicted with a status itself, the former Generation II starter should quickly flare up as one of the best Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. And even though Hisuian Typhloson looks blazed, you have to admit it made his drip game even more 🔥:
Typhlosion finna come through Pokemon Legends: Arceus drippin' pic.twitter.com/phf1ixdHx8
— Retbit (@Retbit2) January 21, 2022
Hisui seems like it’ll be very good to its regional variants and Hisuian Decidueye is no exception; the Grass-starter from Generation VII goes from Grass/Ghost to Grass/Fighting and gains a brand-new signature move in Triple Arrows, a 50 base-power Fighting move with an interesting aftereffect that lowers the target’s defense and makes Hisuian Decidueye’s future attacks more likely to land as critical hits.
While Hisuian Decidueye should certainly take aim as one of the best new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus it still remains to be seen if it isn’t too held back by a subpar base 60 Speed stat.
Speaking of Hisui being good to its regional Pokemon, how about Hisuian Zoroark, the first ever Normal/Ghost type in series history?
While Zoroark was no slouch as a pure Dark-type Pokemon, thanks to its extremely unique signature ability, Illusion and dangerous offensive capabilities (105 Attack, 125 Special Attack), it was a bit of a glass cannon, with low bulk and defensive stats and competition from more powerful Dark-types like Hydreigon.
That fragility may be addressed and fortified with Zoroark’s extremely unique type combination; Normal types are known for their glaring weakness to Fighting types, and Hisuian Zoroark’s Ghost typing will take care of that; Ghost type’s weakness to other Ghost types will also be completely negated by its Normal typing, making Zoroark weak only to Dark attacks.
On top of that, Hisuian Zoroark’s design looks straight up amazing. The pinkish-red and white color scheme; the haunting yellow eyes; the preternaturally flowing fox mane and the way the extraneous fur floats from its elbows and heels like the tendrils of the Carnage symbiote from the Venom sequel – all of it is just *chef’s kiss*. Especially with how it synergizes with Hisuian Zoroark’s description from the official Pokemon Legends: Arceus website:
The spiteful power emitted from Hisuian Zoroark’s long, writhing fur projects terrifying illusions—and it can also inflict physical harm upon foes, damaging their bodies from both inside and out. And the illusions that Baneful Fox Pokémon projects have expressions of such utter malice toward every last thing upon this world that those who see them are said to be driven mad by the terror.
Even if Hisuian Zoroark doesn’t end up being the absolute best new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, it’s already one of my favorites based on everything it’s bringing to the table.
Another intriguing new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus is Basculegion, the Basculin evolution. I’ve been saying Basculin has needed an evolution for years and much like Ursaring’s evolution into Ursaluna, I’m pretty hyphy for Basculegion as well.
Basculegion sports a Water/Ghost type combination in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, as well as a respectable 530 base stat total. One of the biggest base stat boosts Basculegion has over Basculin is its HP (70 with Basculin to 120 with Basculegion), which should give it enough additional staying power and bulk to utilize its new Wave Crash special attack, one which raises its action speed but also deals damage to itself.
Scyther’s getting another evolution in Pokemon Legends: Arceus too (Scizor technically its first evo back in Gen 2)? Game Freak and Nintendo are really trying to appeal to my pre-teen rose-tinted glasses, aren’t they?
Scyther, the original ninja bug before one of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s best competitive battling Pokemon, Ninjask, came along, becomes a Bug/Rock dual-type in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. While this doesn’t help Kleavor in terms of overall type-resistances, Kleavor does see a boost to its base Attack (Scyther’s 110 to Kleavor’s 135) and Defense (Scyther’s 80 to Kleavor’s 95) at the expense of some Speed (Scyther’s 105 to Kleavor’s 85) as well as some potentially frightening offensive capabilities.
Kleavor’s new combination of STAB moves: X-Scissor, a 80 base power Bug attack with a high critical hit rate and new 65 base power Rock attack Stone Axe, which embeds stone splinters in the opponent that deal it damage for several turns thereafter will make it difficult for Scyther and Scizor’s usual nemeses, Flying and Fire-types to switch into it.
What do you think are the best new Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus? Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.