Pokemon is one of Nintendo’s best-selling franchises of all time and there are no signs that will change anytime soon. From the original Red and Blue, their tried and true formula works so well that it still brings in sales to this day. These are games that people still get excited about.
When Pokemon X and Y came out, it was sort of a love letter to everything that had come before it. There was a new generation of Pokemon, but they were comparatively small to other generations. As such, a mere three years after the release of X and Y and the new generation six, we were given an announcement of Pokemon Sun and Moon on top of an entire new generation seven.
This is arguably one of the shortest spans between generations (save for one and two), showing that Game Freak is putting a lot of work into these games. Not only that, but with the addition of Alola forms (for the original 150), a new island-based region, and a new progression system that does away with gym leaders, there’s a lot to love.
I would go into detail about everything Nintendo is packing into Sun and Moon, but you’re here for the Pokemon. Like many Pokemon games in the past, Game Freak is slowly building up hype by progressively releasing new Pokemon that will appear in the game. Because we’re only two months away from the game’s release, we’ve seen quite a few new faces at hand. There are definitely some ugly ones, but there are many more awesome ones.
Here are 15 of the coolest generation seven Pokemon. This list is only for new Pokemon in Sun and Moon; Alola forms do not count.
When Game Freak debuted the first trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon, naturally the first Pokemon they unveiled were the three starters. This time around, we have an owl, a cat, and the sea lion Popplio. Naturally, this is the water starter we get to have at our side. As of the writing of this article, we don’t know yet what the starter evolutions are going to look like, so we can’t yet judge the potential that Popplio has. I will say that when they were first unveiled, Popplio was my least favorite. After looking at him for some time, however, the design has really grown on me. It is a much more unique design for a water starter than what we’ve gotten in the past, and based on the rumors, there seems to be a lot to be excited for with its evolutions. I understand that many people aren’t too fond of this little guy, and that’s fine. He isn’t my first choice either, but he’s far from a poorly-designed Pokemon.
Gamescom is a huge event for gamers and casual players alike, and Game Freak definitely wanted to capitalize on it. There they released info about Sun and Moon along with the design of this Pokemon Turtonator. A combination of turtle and detonator, Turtonator is a fire/dragon type, and looks to be an excellent tank in battle. The Pokemon is so hardy that it lives in volcanoes and can even camouflage itself in the rocks as it waits for unsuspecting victims. The most interesting thing about Turtonator is the shell on its back. The shell is layered with an explosive coating that when struck with its tail, creates a terrible explosion. On its front is a hole in the chest where it absorbs the force of its explosions. However, in battle, if Turtonator is struck on the stomach, it will take much more damage than normal. It is currently unclear if Turtonator will switch positions and be vulnerable in the actual game, but it’s quite likely. Any trainer in Alola will definitely want to catch this Pokemon for their collection, because it looks to force opponents to rethink their strategies, due to its typing and high defensive capabilities.
Game Freak loves to experiment with their type combinations, and Mimikyu is perfect evidence of this. Sporting a Ghost/Fairy typing, Mimikyu looks to bring something unique to battles because of that alone. It’s ability, Disguise, allows it to take a full hit with no damage for one turn only. That will surely be a desirable trait in the metagame. Now on to Mimikyu’s design. This Pokemon resembles a child dressing up like a ghost on Halloween using only a bed sheet. It has a sheet of sorts draped over its entire body. At the head of the sheet is a crudely drawn face that resembles a Pikachu. This idea to me is incredible but simple. Having a Pokemon poorly mock other Pokemon makes almost too much sense. Regardless, this is a Pokemon worthy of consideration on your team (if it has an evolution that is). Mimikyu is weak in the sunlight, so it’s said that the covering it wears serves as a protection. It chose Pikachu to mimic because after seeing the popularity of Game Freak’s mascot, it thought that looking like Pikachu would let it have more friends. Apparently, seeing it’s true form will cause some sort of strange sickness as well.
Pokemon has no shortage of bird-inspired creatures, but it seems they have yet to run out of ideas for them. Oricorio is another Flying type for Pokemon Sun and Moon, but it comes with a unique catch: it has four possible forms. In the Alola region, there are four separate islands to traverse, each featuring a different form of Oricorio. Each form is based off of a different style of dance (or body movement). The forms are Baile (Fire/Flying), Sensu (Ghost/Flying), Pom-Pom (Electric/Flying), and Pa’u (Psychic/Flying). This Pokemon is known for its unique move- Revelation Dance, a physical attack that changes its typing based on what the form of the Oricorio using it is. Oricorio’s various dancing also has uses outside of battle. The Pa’u dance serves as an offering to their guardian deities, which serve as legendaries in the Alola region. The Pom-Pom dance is used to cheer up gloomy individuals. The sensu dance draws in the power of nearby spirits for battle. Then the baile dance exerts a lot of heat and energy. Their unique designs and nature make all forms of Oricorio desirable among the people of Alola, and I’ll be sure to catch all four when the game releases in November.
The fire starter for Alola had to make this list. We’ve had a few cat Pokemon, but never a fire type (I’m not counting Litleo or Pyroar, as they’re lions). Litten is an adorable little feline that looks like it has plenty of attitude to back up its steamy attacks. Like Popplio, we have no current information as to what Litten can evolve into, but based on its design, we can make some speculation. There are rumors going around that Litten’s evolution will be based off of a wrestler and have a Fire/Dark typing (please no more Fire/Fighting). The way that Litten attacks is based off of its fur. Its fur secretes a flammable substance, allowing the Pokemon to collect it while grooming, then lighting it in a fireball. When Litten starts to shed, instead of grooming its entire body, it simply burns off the detached hair with a quick flame. It’s a simple concept, but the Pokemon captures everything that makes a cat so unique. If there ever were a fire cat, it would act like Litten. There’s no doubt that plenty of new trainers will be choosing this adorable cat as their go-to Pokemon.
I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for really unique Ghost Pokemon, that’s why Golurk is one of my favorites. Game Freak is again experimenting with the tropical themes of Alola and still putting together a unique ghost Pokemon. This time, Palossand is a spirit that has inhabited a sand castle. By mind-controlling humans, it forces them to create said sand castle as a form of protection and camouflage. However, if Palossand ever loses some of its sand, it can always regenerate its appendages. What makes this Pokemon so frightening is that sometimes it will disguise itself as it waits for unsuspecting prey to come by. As it travels, the shovel on top of its head will rotate, leading some to theorize that it serves as a radar of sorts. Once it finds prey, it then grabs its victim and sucks it into a sand vortex. The captured Pokemon leaves its ill will behind (pretty dark for a Pokemon game, I’ll admit), which is said to change into a new Sandygast, the pre-evolved form of Palossand. I can almost guarantee this is a Pokemon that will make my team, covering both Ghost and Ground typings respectively.
I’m very intrigued by this little reptile. Salandit is one of the few Pokemon on this list that we really don’t know anything about (as far as battle potential and evolutions go, if it has any). Nonetheless, this is a Pokemon worth a catch. Boasting a Fire/Poison typing, this is both unique and has a lot of potential on the playing field. The most notable part about Salandit is easily its design. Portrayed as a cross between a poisonous lizard and a volcano, Salandit has all the right features to make it a desirable creature. Salandit’s strategy, if evolved, well come very handy, as it boasts the new ability Corrosion. This allows it to poison Steel and Poison type Pokemon, both of which are currently immune to poison. The little lava flower symbol on its lower back isn’t just for show either. Salandit emits a toxic gas as well as fire from that symbol, luring in unsuspecting opponents then trapping them in a fiery blaze. If Salandit manages to get an evolution that looks just as cool and keeps the ability, that Pokemon will also make my team.
Wishiwashi, like many of the gen seven Pokemon, is very unique. Game Freak is really playing around with the tropical setting, and Wishiwashi is proof of that. When you catch this Pokemon, it starts out as a cute little sardine that looks like he’s crying. If you level it up enough, it won’t evolve, but instead activate its ability called Schooling. This ability is unlike any other ability in the Pokemon games. When Wishiwashi activates schooling, a slew of other Wishiwashi form up with it to create a much more powerful, menacing form. The conglomerate Wishiwashi is much more fierce and packs a much more powerful punch. There are divots in its body from which it can launch fish-shaped torpedoes. Where it can fire is currently unclear and at what level Schooling is able to be utilized, but the idea of a school of fish joining together to fight is something that nobody thought would ever appear in Pokemon. Because of Wishiwashi’s combined strength, the people of Alola fear it greatly and call it “Demon of the Sea,” even when they see a single one by itself. Could this be hinting at the Pokemon’s true potential on the battlefield?
Of the two legendary Pokemon for Sun and Moon, I have to admit I was very disappointed with Solgaleo. For a lion that resembles the sun, his design looks very uninteresting. On top of that, his Psychic/Steel typing doesn’t make much sense. Lunala on the other hand, has my full attention. Its design obviously resembles that of a bat and the moon, but there’s so much to it. First off, Lunala is very darn beautiful and majestic. Then there’s its unique typing of Psychic/Ghost. Ever since Pokemon Red and Blue, those were two types that no one ever thought would go together. Having a legendary with this typing opens up the potential for some brutal battle strategies. Lunala also comes with a signature attack, Moongeist Beam. The thing to note about this attack is that it ignores all Pokemon abilities when dealing damage. A lot of people can get frustrated or mixed up in the metagame, and an attack like that will surely relieve a lot of stress. In Alola, Lunala is heralded as an “emissary of the moon.” It takes in light and changes to energy, giving it a galaxy look on its body.
6. Tapu Koko
Pokemon Sun and Moon is taking some different approaches to gym leaders, elite four, and legendary Pokemon. Each of the four Alolan islands all have a legendary that serves as its guardian deity. Each has their own typing and personality respectively that resembles the island it guards. For Melemele Island, they put their hope in the Pokemon Tapu Koko. Designed to reflect a native islander, Tapu Koko is a curious, playful, but feisty Pokemon. Just because you need help doesn’t mean that it will help you. Nonetheless, Tapu Koko has a good heart and strong battle capabilities at its disposal. First off, it boasts Electric/Fairy typing which works well for battle, considering the only other Pokemon to have said typing is Dedenne. Then there’s its unique ability, Electric Surge. It covers the battlefield in electricity, increasing the power of all electric moves and prevents any Pokemon from being put to sleep. Finally there’s its unique move, Nature’s Madness. This attack sends Tapu Koko straight into the opponent and immediately cuts that Pokemon’s HP by half. Tapu Koko’s arms can also be brought together for it change into another form where it charges electricity. It’s also said that it shows this enclosed form in other special occasions.
Of the three starters in Pokemon Sun and Moon, Rowlet is easily my favorite. That may be a bit subjective depending on who is looking at it, but for me, Rowlet boasts a simple design but different enough that it harkens back to the first generation of Pokemon. Besides the only other owl Pokemon we ever got were Hoothoot and Noctowl, Pokemon that didn’t really carry over into the metagame. Rowlet is also a master of stealth being able to attack without making a single sound. The leaves on Rowlet’s feathers can also be shot out as razor sharp projectiles. Sometimes in battle, Rowlet will rotate its head 180° to make sure it gets proper instructions from its trainer. What makes me most excited about Rowlet, though, is its potential evolution line. There have been rumors that Rowlet’s final evolution will be a Robin Hood-inspired archer. Tell me that’s not one of the coolest things you’ve ever heard for a Pokemon! Even if those rumors aren’t true, there’s a lot of amazing things that can be done with a simple Pokemon like Rowlet, and that’s why it is the starter I will be picking for my team.
Whether or not this thing deserves a spot on this list is entirely dependent on whether or not you consider it a Pokemon. As it stands now, UB-01 is what is called an Ultra Beast, and to be honest, I have no clue what means. I have no idea what this thing really is either. It’s a creature, it’s in Pokemon, and it’s not an Alola form, so I’m including it here. Apparently UB-01 is one of multiple Ultra Beasts who pose a severe threat to the Alola Region. UB-01’s design intrigues me greatly. It resembles a jellyfish, but this is the closest we’ve ever gotten to a creature in Pokemon resembling its real life counterpart. It’s a very interesting design, and one that asks more questions than it answers, but that’s what makes UB-01 so cool. Apparently, it’s design and movements are very similar to those of a young girl, though it’s unclear who that girl is. It is speculated that it has something to do with the character Lillie, who has already been confirmed to have some important part in the story. Both its mystery and design lead to UB-01 being one of the more memorable announcements for Pokemon Sun and Moon.
I may get a bit of hate for this, but Drampa is just one of those Pokemon that I can’t help but fall in love with. At first glance it’s not hard to tell that Drampa’s inspiration came from the dragon in The Never Ending Story. I loved the dragon in that film, and I love the Drampa’s design as well. From the long neck to its elderly additions, there’s a lot going on with Drampa, but it all fits pretty well. Adding to its design is its nature. Drampa live lonesome lives in mountains at least 10,000 feet above sea level. However, many people and Pokemon alike have seen Drampa before, as they come down to the base of the mountain to nab some berries. They reportedly enjoy communicating with people and Pokemon. Drampa is also known to be very protective over those they care about. If it sees anyone it loves hurt, that will send it into a horrible rage with its Dragon Breath attack. Drampa also has a unique ability at its disposal: Berserk. This will raise its Special Attack by one if its HP goes below half.
It was a hard choice deciding which of the two remaining Pokemon would get the top and second spots. Nonetheless, I chose Vikavolt for second place, but it is a VERY close second. I’ve never been one to catch the bug Pokemon, and when I saw Grubbin for the first time, I was unimpressed. Couple that with an evolution that looks more like a Crazy Bus than a Pokemon, and I was sure I would ignore the final result. However, in an Ugly Duckling twist, Grubbin’s final evolution resulted in one of the most bad@$$ looking Pokemon in history. Vikavolt is fast, powerful, and dangerous. Based off of a stag beetle, this is a Pokemon you don’t want to provoke against you. Having a Bug/Electric type, Vikavolt will likely be a hard hitter. The Pokemon website describes it as “a fortress that zooms through the forest, firing a beam of electricity from its mouth.” Vikavolt will also be sporting the Levitate ability, making it immune to all ground type attacks. No doubt that this will be a highly sought after Pokemon, and will most likely make a spot on my own personal team.
1. Type: Null
The coolest Pokemon in Alola in my opinion has to be Type: Null. When it was first announced, the name threw me off a bit, but I eventually understood. Type: Null’s design is one that is both excellent and intriguing. It looks to be inspired by a chimera, having parts from multiple creatures. Apparently, this Pokemon was synthetically created to become one of the strongest Pokemon on the planet. The maker’s goal was to have it go toe to toe with Pokemon only spoken of in mythology. Because it has the parts of many different Pokemon, Type: Null is able to adapt to any battle strategy is comes up against. Whatever they intended, they obviously succeeded. You’ll notice that Type: Null bears a mask fitted to its head. This mask was designed specifically for the Pokemon to inhibit its incredible powers, mainly its agility. There are many theories as to what Type: Null did before the mask was given to it or what it really looks like, and the questions alone are enough to make me more excited to get one of the games. Type: Null will likely be a “one time catch” kind of Pokemon, and if its history is anything to go by, you do not want to miss it. That is why Type: Null is the coolest Pokemon in Gen Seven.