Metagross has been one of my favorite Pokemon since its introduction in Gen III, thanks to its imposing design and (at the time) unprecedented Steel/Psychic type-combination. An enormous, robot-tank with four mechanical crab legs and red, T-800 Terminator eyes easily checked off all my “preferred Pokemon” boxes as a young fan of the franchise, a penchant only boosted by the fact that Metagross’ final form is the result of a series of fusions (two Beldum combine to form a Metang; four Metang combine to form a Metagross) by its pre-evolved robot forms to form a bigger, amalgamated robot like the Power Zords from Power Rangers.
What I didn’t realize up until recently however was just how terrifying Metagross is, especially when considering its diet – or in particular, its method of “eating.”
Before we get into that however, it’s important to note that Metagross’ combination process doesn’t just affect its physical constitution — its intelligence is also augmented, or as the Pokemon Ruby Pokedex describes it:
“The brains of the Beldum are joined by a magnetic nervous system. By linking its brains magnetically, this Pokémon generates strong psychokinetic power.”
As a result of Metagross’ brain being a coalescence of all its previous forms, it is described as “more intelligent than a supercomputer.”
So what does a hyper-advanced supercomputer do to attain energy most efficiently? Plug itself into a giant, self-designed battery? Harness solar energy? Perfect some form of nuclear fusion? Construct mechanisms that previous, less-intelligent generations could only dream about like a Dyson Sphere capable of harnessing the energy of stellar furnaces?
The Pokemon Sun Pokedex entry describes it like this:
“It firmly pins its prey using its four claws and large body. Then the teeth in the mouth on its stomach chew the prey to bits.”
That’s right, the supercomputer-brained Pokemon actively go out of their way to hunt their prey, pin them down to the ground with their metallic pincer arms and eat them, kicking and screaming the whole time I imagine, with the callous enthusiasm of a house cat torturing a mouse.
That’s pretty f—– up. Especially when combined with the following snippet from the Pokemon Ultra Sun Pokedex entry for Mega Metagross: “Its intellect surpasses its previous level, resulting in battles so cruel, they’ll make you want to cover your eyes.”
I cover my eyes when a shark bites into a giant tuna on National Geographic, so I can only imagine the pants-sh—g, life-altering, Lovcraftian horror I’d experience watching Metagross gorge in the wild.
Which brings us to the question, what does Metagross eat exactly? Luckily, for the millions of Pokemon trainers in the Pokemon universe, both aspiring and current, the answer isn’t human beings – or cute, cuddly Pokemon like Pikachu or Eeevee. But does that make the actual answer any less unnerving when you put it under scrutiny?
The actual answer is Nosepass, by the way, according to the Pokemon Sword Pokedex entry, which states that Metang, Metagross’ penultimate evolutionary stage, subsists on magnetic minerals – which is what makes Nosepass, a Rock-type Pokemon with a giant magnet nose, the perfect meal for Metang. Once more however, it’s the method of procuring said meal which brings the act from “Well, that’s just nature for you” territory to “Well, that’s pretty damn sadistic, isn’t it?” territory.
The Pokemon Moon Pokedex states, “[Metang] adores magnetic minerals, so it pursues Nosepass at speeds exceeding 60 mph.”
I’m not sure how fast the average Nosepass is (well, I do actually, considering its base speed is 30 in-game, among the slowest of all Pokemon), but considering it’s three-feet-tall, weighs over 200 pounds and has short, chubby, toddler-sized legs on top of an extremely ungainly body and looks like this:
I’m gonna go ahead and assume 60 MPH is a tad excessive.
And even if Nosepass can hit like a truck in retaliation – even that isn’t enough to put a dent in Metang/Metagross’ adamantine, steel exterior. As the Pokemon Pearl/Diamond Pokedex states, “Its steel body won’t be scratched if it collides with a jet.”
That doesn’t exactly bode well for a defensive Rock Blast or Stone Edge from Nosepass doing jack s— to a pursuing member of the Metagross family.
Let’s not forget that not only is Metang/Metagross fast, but its claws are also capable of slicing through steel like it was tissue paper.” The Pokemon Ultra Moon Pokedex states, “It flies at high speeds around the skies. When it finds its prey, Metang takes a firm grip with its sharp claws and never lets go,” with the Pokemon Emerald Pokedex adding that Metang’s “claws tipping its arms pack the destructive power to tear through thick iron sheets as if they were silk.”
If I was sort of ambivalent towards Nosepass before, I honestly just feel bad for it now. All I can imagine is it tottering away comically slow as Metagross stalks it like a demon-eyed Terminator at egregious speeds, its stubby, wind-up toy feet still moving and its nostrils huffing with fear and dribbling with rock-snot as it’s pinned beneath Metagross’ razor-sharp claws, Meteor Mashed and ripped apart as it’s eaten alive.
Of course, we can’t neglect Metagross’ Psychic powers either. Let’s revisit the Pokemon Ruby Pokedex entry for Metang we brought up at the beginning of this article, particularly the mention of its “strong psychokinetic power.” If for some reason any of Metagross’ aforementioned offensive capabilities weren’t enough, like its Wolverine-esque claws pinning you in place, it also has the option to telekinetically hold you in place like Jean Grey instead.
While Nosepass is the only direct mention made in the Pokedex entries as being part of the Metagross family’s diet, luckily for Nosepass, it isn’t the only Pokemon of magnetic mineral composition in the franchise.
If Nosepass’ magnetic mineral composition is a clue to the Metagross’ dietary predilection, we can infer that other Rock Pokemon, particularly Rock/Steel Pokemon would also be on its menu as well. Obviously, Probopass, Nosepass’ evolution and essentially a bigger, less-mobile looking version of Nosepass would make the list.
Solrock and Lunatone, which are described as “Meteorite Pokemon,” would also fall into this category. Meteorites are defined as “fragments of rock or iron from a meteoroid, asteroid, or possibly a comet that pass through a planet or moon’s atmosphere and survive the impact on the surface.” Meteorites typically contain a significant amount of iron and other metals in them, which would also make them magnetic. While Solrock and Lunatone both have better stats than a Nosepass (nearly 100 base points higher) and the Levitate ability, it’s unlikely they’d put up a much better fight than Nosepass would against Metagross, as their Rock-typing makes them highly susceptible to Steel-type attacks, particularly Metagross’ signature attack, Meteor Mash. Their Psychic-type might come in handy in some situations, but Metagross is also Psychic, so the two types, being ineffective in-game against one another, would likely cancel each other out.
Other Pokemon of magnetic mineral composition include Alolan Golem; the Magnezone family and Minior, a Rock/Flying Pokemon described as the “Meteor Pokemon.” Of those three, it’s likely that Magnezone would be able to defend itself against Metagross from a purely physical standpoint, as its Electric/Steel dual-typing is resistant to both Steel and Psychic attacks. Its Magnet Pull ability, which traps Steel-type foes, would also render Metagross incapable of escaping while Magnezone could dish out damage with high Special Attack, STAB Thunderbolts.
In closing, the next time you face a Metagross in battle and think about taking it easy, just remember the poor little Nosepasses that were sadistically hunted at 60 MPH, skewered on steel spider-crab legs and then pulverized alive by its gyratory rock crusher of a maw. That’ll change your tune real quick. And that’s coming from someone who considers Metagross one of his favorite Pokemon.
Do you agree with my description of Metagross, the terrifying, steel-limbed, hunter-killer? Is Metagross justified in being a Pokemon who eats other Pokemon, or should a Pokemon with a supercomputer-level brain have devised some more humane method of acquiring its energy? Let us know in the comments.