It feels like yesterday when I played and reviewed Pokémon: Legends Arceus. The hype for the game was real and upon playing it, it quickly became one of the best Pokémon games that's ever been made thanks to its more story-driven plot, more open-world gameplay, unique battle mechanics that add a new challenge to the game and for being an example of how deviating from the norm can still produce something great. Like many people, I hope this game will set the standard for Pokémon games going forward and give us more unique experiences that fully bring the franchise into the modern era.
So for this post, I feel like talking about Pokémon: Legends Arceus again. For this post, I'll be counting down 10 of my favourite Hisuian Pokémon that we got to meet and catch in the games. While the game didn't have a lot of new Pokémon, they managed to give us some cool new evolutions and regional forms of Pokémon to make some of these old species feel new again. So which ones are the ones that struck a chord with me the most? Which ones would I want to see in future games?
Let's find out. I'm the Media Man and these are my Top 10 Favourite Hisuian Pokémon...
Number 10: Hisuian Lilligant
Lilligant was a Pokémon I didn't think too much of but slowly grew on me over time. It's pretty cute and it's helpful she has the Own Tempo ability so it can use Petal Dance without getting confused and with access to Quiver Dance, it can boost itself to be quite a heavy hitter.
Hisuian Lilligant on the other hand takes what was great about Lilligant and improves on it. Not only does her design look cooler and more interesting than Unovan Lilligant as this dance-battling ballerina plant girl with powerful legs for kicking, but she becomes a half-Fighting type and exchanges strong Special Attack for strong Physical Attack. She's also speedy too, making her a hard-hitting, fast-moving bruiser that shows you shouldn't underestimate a pretty face. She can learn some powerful moves such as Close Combat, Leaf Blade and Poison Jab (handy for dealing with Fairy-types that would pose a threat), has a wider move pool and variety of moves that allow it more type-coverage compared to its Unovan counterpart and its signature move, Victory Dance, gives it an Attack and Defence boost along with doing 50% more damage than before when attacking. Needless to say, if any regional variant is an example of an older Pokémon taking a level in badass, this is your girl.
Oh and did I mention that this kick chick is also one of the boss fights in the game too? Warden Arezu watches over a Noble Lilligant that provides us one of the boss fights we have to defeat in Pokémon: Legends Arceus and it proves itself a hardy fighter with its fast-moving dance moves that definitely keep you on your toes to avoid being stomped all over. That should tell you what a badass this Pokémon is.
Hisuian Lilligant is a cute, elegant little Pokémon with a lot of fight to it and is one I'll be happy to have on the team in a future playthrough. She's only at the bottom of the list because these nine Pokémon I just happen to like more and they provide some stiff competition. Nevertheless, I really hope there'll be a chance to use this version of Lilligant in the future as she is one kickass plant girl...
Number 9: Sneasler
I can't say I expected Sneasel of all Pokémon to get a regional variant for this game, less so a brand new evolution.
Sneasler is no Weavile by any means. Its design is alright but could've been a lot better in my eyes. I've seen many people compare this to somebody in a fursuit or someone's fursona and yeah, I think I can see why. For me, it's mostly the colours that do it as the light greyish blue as the main colour doesn't blend in well with the rest of the colours. If it was a darker blue or maybe even dark purple in colour, it would look better. As is, Sneasler's design isn't terrible by any means. I like the long feather it has over its left ear and the long claws make it look truly vicious, like it could slice your guts open in a single swipe. I also like how it's taller than Sneasel and Weavile, which fits its status as a Ride Pokémon that you use to climb up mountains. By sporting a taller build, it makes it more believable this thing can carry you on its back as it climbs up mountains and gets you to places you wouldn't normally reach.
Sneasler is a Fighting/Poison type (funny we've covered two Fighting-types in a row here), which is a decent typing with plenty of resistances and only three weaknesses. True it suffers from the Croagunk line's crippling quadruple weakness to Psychic attacks but unlike that line, Sneasler is really fast (as expected from the Sneasel line) and is likelier to hit first before the Psychic-types can exploit that weakness. Also helps it has some handy coverage for that weakness such as X-Scissor and Shadow Claw. For STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) moves, it can learn Close Combat and Poison Jab, both very hard-hitting moves in their own right and with Sneasler being a Lighting Bruiser like Weavile before it, it's guaranteed to hit fast and hard.
I used Sneasler in my first playthrough of Legends Arceus and it didn't disappoint at all. It's a strong Pokémon that can hit hard and is likely to knock the opponent down before they even have time to blink. If the design was a little better, it might've been higher up on the list. Still, Sneasler has more than earned the Number 9 spot for being one reliable Pokémon that is a great fighter and a great navigator up steep cliff-faces. A must have for ANY Hisuian Adventure...
Number 8: Wyrdeer
If any Pokémon was long overdue for an evolution, Stantler was certainly one of them. It was just a bland Normal-type Pokémon with an equally as bland design and was also a huge missed opportunity to have a Normal/Psychic type Pokémon. Thankfully, Legends Arceus finally gave us one and needless to say, it improved Stantler tenfold and made it worth catching for once.
Wyrdeer is a great Pokémon to use in any playthrough of the game thanks to being a Normal/Psychic type Pokémon that has some great attacking stats on both the physical and special side so it can sport a mixed move set with no issues and it's also decently bulky so it can take a hit and keep on going. As it's half-Normal type, it naturally loses the Psychic-type weakness to Ghost types, thus giving it one weakness less to deal with and when fighting Ghost opponents can likely stall them out as their Ghost attacks won't even harm it. Wyrdeer also sports a rather elegant design as this large elderly deer with a large beard. The grey fury, the beard and its status as a Psychic-type Pokémon give Wyrdeer this somewhat elderly wizard style look to it and it just looks way more interesting than Stantler ever did. It just makes me wonder why Stantler was never given an evolution like this in the first place.
Wyrdeer has a handy signature move in the form of Psyshield Bash. A Stantler using this 20 times in the Agile Style is how you even evolve it into Wyrdeer and it's a powerful Psychic attack that boosts its Defences after you use it, which will make Wyrdeer more of a stone wall to over come in battle. That is always going to be useful. It also has a pretty diverse move set with it able to learn attacks like Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, Energy Ball, High Horsepower, Megahorn and more, which gives Wyrdeer a chance to cover a lot of types. Also it's a very handy Ride Pokémon you get to use in the games, riding on its back as it gallops gracefully through the Hisuian landscape. It's one of the best Ride Pokémon to use in the game as it makes travelling Hisui much easier and due to the game's broken graphics and landscape design, it's even able to jump up places it shouldn't be able to jump up. Yes, I have exploited this flaw in the game's design, what about it? XD
Wyrdeer is a long overdue upgrade for Stantler that has given new life to an easily forgettable and disposable Pokémon and was well worth using in my first playthrough. There's nothing weird about having this deer by your side on your Pokémon journey...
Number 7: Hisuian Zoroark
This version of Zoroark made history for being the first EVER Normal/Ghost type Pokémon to be created and needless to say, it made a good first impression. First of all, it was the subject of quite possibly the scariest trailer Pokémon has ever produced! And then we had the found footage which showed us what really happened. Not quite as scary but nevertheless a big way to promote a new Pokémon.
Hisuian Zoroark is the regional variant of the popular Zoroark species from the Unova region and as mentioned, trades its Dark-typing for the incredibly unique dual typing of Normal/Ghost, a type that currently no other Pokémon possesses. That already was going to make it stand out from the crowd. But that's not all it has going for it. Hisuian Zoroark sports a fantastic design that draws from its original Unovan design and gives it a more ghostly appearance along with striking colour scheme of grey, red and white. Its large waving hair especially gives it one heck of a memorable appearance. Hisuian Zoroark is also slightly faster and stronger than its Unovan counterpart, being a speedy Special Attacker that also has a somewhat diverse move pool to draw from, being able to learn some strong Ghsot and Dark moves while also being able to learn Flamethrower and Sludge Bomb for extra coverage. Its signature move is Bitter Malice, a moderately strong Ghost move that is essentially its equivalent of the move Hex, only it also has the chance to give the opponent Frostbite (Legends Arceus equivalent of being frozen). So considering it's likely to inflict a satus condition on you and its move does more damage when the opponent has a status condition, that's some pretty sneaky battle tactics.
Hisuian Zoroark is one of my favourites from the Hisui region from its unique typing and striking appearance that just makes it look so cool to me. I do love the original Zoroark, don't get me wrong, but this one just looks great and I'll be all too happy to use one in future playthroughs. I'm honestly amazed with how highly promoted this Pokémon was, it wasn't one of the boss fights in the game. However, you can fight Captain Zisu of the Security Corps and she uses one so I guess that kinda counts. Also I think a lot of people may have taken a liking to this Pokémon from its depiction in the Pokémon Hisuian Snow shorts where we see it as a shiny Zorua that befriends a boy named Alec and after becoming a Zoroark, it saves him and the others from a rampaging Alpha Garchomp. That's quite a showing for a new Pokémon if I say so myself.
Hisuian Zoroark may be full of resentment and bitterness, but it shouldn't resent the fact it made the count for this list and earned itself the Number 7 spot...
Number 6: Hisuian Typhlosion
Behold people, a first for the Pokémon series...regional starter evolutions! And the first one to make the cut here is Hisuian Typhlosion.
I've always had a soft spot for the Cyndaquil line what with being someone who grew up with Gen 2 along with Gen 1 and watching Ash's Cyndaquil in the anime so I'm naturally going to be interested to see a new version of Typhlosion. Typhlosion always looked somewhat badass as this fiery badger thing with a perpetually angry expression so what would an alternate version of that look like? Well, this pretty much. XD Hisuian Typhlosion is a Fire/Ghost type Pokémon in the same vein as Alolan Marowak and Chandelure. The typing gives this Typhlosion one extra weakness but also two immunities, one extra resistance and a double Bug resistance instead of one like before so already it's a dual-typing that benefits it more than its original typing. The Ghost-typing also gives it a naturally altered appearance to reflect that. The flames on the back of its neck are now purple instead of orange and they wave around Typhlosion like a roaming spirit rather than blazing away like its original flames. Sadly, it loses its angry expression and sports one that makes it look...uh, stoned off its ass if we can be honest but the new flame design at least looks great. Also I'm a sucker for purple so I'm not gonna say no to that. XD
Hisuian Typhlosion sadly has the same issues as regular Typhlosion, namely in that some crazy person thought this Special Attacking Pokémon should have...a mostly Physical move pool. It makes even less sense in this one's case because Hisuian Typhlosion has SLIGHTLY higher Special Attack than its Johotnian counterpart so why does it still mostly have a Physical move pool? It also loses access to Solar Beam so it has even less type-coverage than before. As is, it can still learn some powerful Fire and Ghost moves with its signature move, Infernal Parade, being very similair in function to Hisuian Zoroark's Bitter Malice attack in that it has a chance of inflicting a burn and does more damage if the opponent has a status condition. That's always handy. It may not have much type coverage that it can reliably exploit with most of its attacks running off its inferior Physical Attack but it can still hit hard in a battle and isn't to be sniffed at.
Hisuian Typhlosion is a cool looking variant on an already cool Pokémon that gives it the awesome Fire/Ghost-typing and while it's let down by a poor move pool, it's still a great looking regional variant and makes it as one of my favourites for its appearance, typing and also calling back to a more nostalgic period of the Pokémon franchise by being an update of a Gen 2 Pokémon. This is one ghost that will bust anyone it faces...
Number 5: Hisuian Samurott
Samurott is awesome. That is a fact. It's a samurai otter thing that is the fully-evolved form of the Unovan starter with the most rounded stats so what's not to love about it? So naturally, I was gonna be interested to see a regional variant of Samurott and this one doesn't disappoint.
Hisuian Samurott is a Water/Dark type akin to Gen 6's Greninja and Gen 3's Crawdaunt and it's equally as badass as its original counterpart, maybe even more so. Its design looks fantastic too with its dark blue body colour, long jagged beard and new armour that reflects its Dark-typing thanks to the black and red colour scheme and the helmet looking sharper and more ferocious with its spikes and crooked horn. It looks like it could skewer you in a second and you'd never be able to react in time. This whole look gives it an evil samurai appearance much like how the original had a heroic samurai look. Now imagine them sword-fighting together with their horns...
Hisuian Samurott has mostly well-rounded stats like its Unovan self but trades some of its defences in favour of greater speed and greater attack. Its a hard hitting Physical Attacker that also has access to a variety of moves, including powerful Water and Dark moves. . It can even learn Poison Jab to cover its Fairy-type weakness and Psycho Cut to cover its Fighting-type weakness, which is awesome. Its signature move is Ceaseless Edge, a Dark-type attack that basically has a built-in Stealth Rock feature and an increased critical hit ratio so you don't want to be on the receiving end of that! The one downside to this Pokémon is that it can't take hits very well, even if you use grit to max out its stats. But this Pokémon is such a heavy hitter and is decently fast so it's likely to take the enemy down before it can, especially if you use Strong Style.
Oh and I managed to get its Shiny form thanks to finding a Shiny Dewott on Pokémon GO and trading it over to Legends Arceus so I have both versions to enjoy. ^^
Hisuian Samurott is a cool version of an already cool Pokémon and has some nifty tricks up its...helmet I guess as it doesn't have sleeves. XD It can cover its weaknesses and dish out a lot of punishment with its signature move that is guaranteed to bring the pain. With an incredible design and strong attack power, it's no wonder this guy had to be my first Pokémon for my first Hisui playthrough. Needless to say, he gave me a great first impression. This is one honourable samurai that is worth taking on any Pokémon journey...
Number 4: Hisuian Braviary
Who knew it was possible to make a cool Pokémon like Braviary even more so? Well Game Freak managed it and gave us yet another slick regional variant.
Sadly, Braviary still takes a while to evolve just like its original counterpart but the wait is well worth it for what you get. Hisuian Braviary has the always great colour combo of black-and-white that makes it look more striking and somewhat elegant compared to the original Briaviary while also sporting purple flames with blue eye markings in place of the originals head plumes. The flames especially make it look like it could give you one heck of a burning gaze and that it could probably hypnotize you with them, which is suitable for a Psychic-type.
Speaking of, Hisuian Braviary is now a Flying/Psychic type. Ironically, this typing now makes it weak to the Ghost-types it used to resist in its Unovan self and also gives it two extra weaknesses but it can cover them at least by being able to learn Dazzling Gleam for Dark-types and Shadow Claw for Ghost-types. Hisuian Braviary also trades being a powerful Physical Attacker for being a Powerful Special Attacker with access to some powerful Special moves like Air Slash and a useful signature move in the form of Esper Wing, a Psychic attack that has an increased critical hit ratio and can boost its speed up after use, which helps as Hisuian Braviary is slower than its Unovan counterpart. Also, Hisuian Braviary is another Ride Pokémon that lets you fly around the Hisui region, providing the fastest way to travel although for some weird reason, it can fly downwards but not upwards. I don't get it.
Hisuian Braviary became a must-have when it was first revealed and I knew I was going to enjoy using it in my playthrough. It's a powerful Pokémon with some powerful Psychic attacks at its disposal, is a great ride Pokémon that makes travelling around the region a cakewalk and it looks flippin' awesome. This is one mighty eagle that I'll be proud to train any time.
Number 3: Kleavor
It's a rock mantis with GIANT AXES FOR HANDS! How can I NOT love this thing? XD
Kleavor was one of the first new Pokémon to be revealed when Legends Arceus was coming out and upon seeing it, I knew I had to use one. Kleavor is an interesting specimen for its a brand new evolution for Scyther, a Pokémon that already got a new evolution all the way back in Gen 2 in the form of Scizor. Scizor is epic and I will always love it, but Kleavor is cool in its own right. It evolves from Scyther when exposed to a Black Augurite and what you get is a powerful Rock/Bug type Pokémon that is nothing to sneeze at in a battle. Design wise, it still resembles Scyther only with a much tougher and more jagged appearance owing to its Rock-typing and replaces its long sword-like hands for giant stony axes that look like they can cut through just about anything. And when you consider the Noble Kleavor can chop down trees in a single swipe, maybe they can!
Kleavor is very much like Scizor in how its a powerful Physical Attacker with some decent Defences and at least two of its weaknesses are from types that are mostly Physical in nature so it might take some hits well before going down. It's not only strong, but fast too and it has access to some very strong Physical attacks while also being able to cover a variety of types. It can even cover its Steel and Rock weaknesses by learning Close Combat. Its signature move is Stone Axe, another attack that has an increased critical hit ratio and basically comes with a built-in Stealth Rock feature. It's a move that will hit hard and also leave jagged splinters that can inflict extra damage over time to really whittle down your opponent's health. It goes without saying that this badass bug is not to be trifled with! It's also notorious for being the first boss fight of the game as the first Noble Pokémon you have to fight. So yeah, talk about a big first impression...
Kleavor isn't as good as Scizor, but it's still a really cool Pokémon and it's just so awesome to see a new evolution for Scyther. It's even better how the game lets you have both too! With its epic design, strong attack power and handy move pool, Kleavor had no trouble cleaving through the others to make it to the Number 3 spot...
Number 2: Hisuian Arcanine
Arcanine is one of my favourite Gen 1 Pokémon so naturally I was excited to see what a regional variant of Arcanine was going to look like, and GameFreak didn't disappoint with this badass new version of an old classic.
Hisuian Arcanine just looks AMAZING. It sports this impressive mane of grey fur and three horns on its head that makes it look like an impressive, majestic Pokémon that won't hesitate to kick your ass if you make it made. The mane itself even looks somewhat sharp, like sharp rocks that you might find near a volcano or on a beach and that you could get some nasty scratches if you got too close. The fur on its back legs and its tail also somewhat resemble billowing plumes of smoke, which fits its volcanic origins and is a really clever design choice that also adds a lot of character to this version of Arcanine. I didn't think it was possible to make Arcanine look even cooler than before but here we are.
Hisuian Arcanine becomes a Fire/Rock-type Pokémon, a typing that sadly gives it two double weaknesses but also gives it less types its damaged normally by and an extra resistance. Also stats wise, its pretty bulky and can sometimes survive a hit from even a Water or Ground attack if its lucky. Like the original Arcanine, this Pokémon is a beefy Physical Attacker that has a more diverse move pool than you might think. It can learn powerful Fire and Rock attacks and can also cover its Water weakness by learning Thunder Fang, which is VERY handy! It doesn't have a signature move but given its power, it doesn't really need one. Hisuian Arcanine also serves as a boss fight for the game as one of the Noble Pokémon you have to face, and they gave that Noble Pokémon the most interesting story of them all as this Growlithe that's the child of the original Noble Pokémon that drowned a while ago and it eventually grows to take its place as the new Noble. Shows how much this Pokémon rocks when they give that of all things the most compelling character arc in the game! XD
Hisuian Arcanine is a most-have for any player in the game and it was so close to becoming my favourite Hisuian Pokémon due to its awesome appearance, powerful attack stats and compelling story for the Noble Arcanine. But there's one Hisuian Pokémon that I felt was even greater and was more of my favourite for me. Still, Hisuian Arcanine is every definition of a good doggy and I will happily use one any time...
And my Number 1 Favourite Hisuian Pokémon is...Ursaluna
If anyone was going to take the top spot, it was always going to be Ursaluna. It wasn't even a hard pick. Of all the Pokémon I had my first go with in Legends Arceus, Ursaluna stood out the most for me for being such a powerful Pokémon and for exceeding any and all expectations I may have had for it.
Ursaluna is the evolved form of Ursaring. Yeah, it took them until now to FINALLY give it another evolution, go figure. XD It has to evolve during a full moon while being exposed to a Peat Block and what you get is one badass bear that is surprisingly one of the best Pokémon to use in a Legends Arceus playthrough. Its design is fantastic and very clever, somewhat resembling a mix of a grizzly bear and a mountain top surrounded by clouds while also having a yellow circle on its forehead to resemble a full moon as a clever call-back to Teddiursa's crescent moon forehead marking. Even its eyebrows resemble clouds! Ursaluna just looks very stocky, powerful and like it could wrestle with even the mightiest of Pokémon with no issues. Its stats also reflect how powerful it looks.
Ursaluna is a Normal/Ground type, a dual typing that doesn't see much use and gives it two resistances against Ghost and Electric types respectively. It's very slow and ponderous but makes up for that by having obscene attack power that makes Ursaring look gentle by comparison. But the best thing about Ursaluna is that it is VERY bulky. Its Physical Defence is very high and allows it to tank a lot of hits, especially if you max out its Effort Values with grit and make it a stone wall that can take just about any hit it receives. It can learn a variety of moves, including the elemental punches with all of them able to cover its weaknesses to Water, Ice and Grass respectively and it can even learn Play Rough to cover its Fighting-type weakness. Its signature move is Headlong Rush, a move as powerful as Earthquake that lowers the user's defences after it's used so you're probably better off just using Earthquake. Ursaluna is also a ride Pokémon in the game and is useful for travelling over the terrain and sniffing out treasures, including the Peat Block that you need to evolve it in the first place.
Ursaluna is a world class Pokémon with brilliant attack stats, bulky defences, a useable move pool and a fantastic design that looks great in the game's graphics. This Pokémon is a MUST-USE in any playthrough as it not only takes hits like a champ and keeps on going, but it's also the BEST Pokémon to use to defeat Volo and Giratina in the post-game story. No seriously, this thing was all I needed in order to beat it. Ursaluna with maxed out Defence Effort Values and Play Rough or Shadow Claw in its move set are guaranteed to win against Giratina. As a fantastic new evolution for Ursaring that makes it even more badass and is able to carry you through the game with its great bulk and strength, it's no contest for me. Ursaluna easily ranks as my Number 1 Favourite Hisuian Pokémon...
So that's it for my Top 10 Favourite Hisuian list. I hope you enjoyed it and I invite you to share your favourites down below. Which ones are your favourites and what's your Number 1 Favourite Hisuian? Do share in the comments, I'd love to hear them. Join me next time as I go onto another Top 10 list, but this one is all about the most iconic children's media to come from the UK... see you then media fans!