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All about ice types: the chilly anomaly

6/26/13 12:51pm
tl;dr

I may have missed out on SGC, but expect a Pokemon return stronger than ever!

Come one, come all! To the greatest show on ScrewAttack..! That’s about Pokemon, at least... We excited? It’s Thunder Plant and I as usual; new style, same two dudes talkin’ about the Pokes you love! Cause this time we’re using part of my name as the double entendre of this blog, because this is gonna be our coolest blog yet!

So among all the delay, we finally return for another installment of Pokemon Talk. With exams and job hunting during our long summer months, we pushed aside this blog for quite some time until we remembered this blog even existed. If you can already tell from the introduction, this is gonna be quite the blog.

And this is because we’re doing something different this time, expect this to not only be much shorter than normal. I didn’t want to keep stressing you guys out each month with an essay’s worth of writing. That being said, we’ll get on with the show, and if you like what you see, PM me to participate in the next one. So lets take a look and talk a ton about Ice Types.

Introduction and Competitive Summary  

Ice is one of the original fifteen (then seventeen, as Steel and Dark were introduced after for balancing) types introduced in Generation I in which its critical acclaim other than getting Lapras after saving Silph Co. was as a counterbalance to the oh-so-godlike Dragonite. Aside from a few blizzard related abnormalities such as the Yuki-onna (or ice cream), Ice is usually glacials inspired beasts or commonalities in the frigid north.
 
Offensively great against Dragon, Grass, Ground and Flying made sure that these Antarctic beasts would be the perfect antithesis to the powerful pseudo-legendaries. However, weaknesses to Fire, Fighting, Rock, Steel made sure that these Pokemon would never be affiliated with the word “wall” unless being part Water or Ground. Not to mention that unfortunate weakness to Stealth Rock. As a result, unless your name was Cloyster there was no chance in hell you were gonna have a STAB Ice Beam in the high competitive scene, as the move itself was saved for other Special Attackers. You hit hard and you hit fast, or else there will be an Earthquake ready to kill you in one hit. Ironically though, this never stopped Game Freak from making defensive Ice Types with Walrein and Regice.
 
Gen IV was a renaissance and a breaking point for this typing. Originally exclusive to Special, the Physical/Special ensured that the physical hitting evolutions Mamoswine and Weavile would be fast and heavy hitters whereas the introduction of Stealth Rocks ruined the chance to ever use Articuno. Classics like Jynx and Lapras failed to meet ground with the new cast of Mons in the game, where only Cloyster is the one who gets new game breaking toys in the name of Gen V’s Shell Smash. Its fun enough to note that these three Pokemon are the main reason to use Ice types, with their massive movepool for various sets and use in the competitive scene. Unless of course, you’re silly enough to make a Hail team.

Whether you find them cool or not, Ice-types are utilized very effectively by some of the most chill trainers in the series: Lorelai of the Kanto Elite Four, Pryce of the Mahogany Gym, and the Pokestar Studio Star Brycen of Icirrus City. Why he “retired” in B2W2 I’ll never know, but I know one thing's for certain, I really hate Pokestar Studios. (TP: No love for Mecha Tyranitar? Doc confirmed for casual movie goer)
 
  The Most Common and "Best" Ice-Type Moves
 
  • Ice Shard: The ice equivalent to Quick Attack. It’s a good idea on just about every physical-oriented Ice-type. Slap this sucker on a Choiced Mamoswine and watch as the Landorus or Dragon/Flying monstrosity goes down.

  • Ice Beam/Blizzard: Literally if you don’t have the one move as a check, you’ll have the other. These two moves are the staple in Ice attacks, but Ice Beam tends to be favoured more often for that sweet, sweet accuracy.

  • Ice Punch: Unfortunately, this tends to be the default Physical Ice-type move. Icicle Crash is technically stronger with no drawbacks, but only three families learn it: Cloyster, Mamoswine, and Beartic’s.

Now that we’ve looked at the common moves found in the current meta, lets push more information in your face as we talk about the Pokemon that you’ll end up facing if you choose to battle competitively in the Gen V weather filled metagame. For the sake of the natural selection, we opted to instead go through the OU tier because we’d be talking about everyone. We're not discussing any Legendaries and/or Ubers, because honestly, it's boring. Not to mention we get to talk more about the frozen monsters, Cloyster and Mamoswine. Starting with...

Cloyster - Gen I

I mean... he looks like a vagoo to some, but he's still awesome to me

 
Shell Smash is broken.
Now, what TP means to say is that Shell Smash and White Herb together are broken. That, coupled with the fact that Cloyster gets Skill Link and Icicle Spear, makes it quite the wrecking ball. For those who don’t know much about these things, that means in ONE TURN, it will double its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. Because of white herb, Shell Smash will not lower Cloyster’s Defense or Special Defense. Then, because of the ability Skill Link, any move that normally hits 2-5 times will hit five times 100% of the time. That includes Icicle Spear. An Ice-Type move. Yeah, Cloyster gets STAB on that. For reference, Cloyster already has 95 Atk, 180 Defense, 85 Special Attack, and 75 Speed. He’s outrunning and wrecking everything that isn’t packing some serious defense and special attack. To put this into perspective, this actually makes Cloyster useable in Ubers. If you’re brave enough to risk it, that is.
Let's not forget that Cloyster is also a perfect utility Pokemon, seeing as it carries the defensive typing of Water to compensate for the Ice typing. While those nasty weaknesses remain common, the bulk will keep it around for some turns regardless of damage output. With both variants of Spikes and Rapid Spin, just think of it as a less diverse but more physically bulky Starmie, which was Cloyster’s claim to fame in the previous generations. In fact, because of its strength and defensive capabilities, it has remained fairly high on the competitive pooling since its debut way back the Game Boy days. Granted, who would even want to think of defense when you could just destroy your opponents team with the setup above? Fucking Shell Smash...
 
Mamoswine - Gen IV

I don't know what the mask thing is all about, but damn them tusks

 
This tank of a motherfucker just doesn’t know when to quit, and I think it’s pretty bad ass!
Literally the sex. Piloswine was meh, but Mamoswine brought it up to a whole, notha’, level. Back the days of Gameboy, this Swinub evolution was rarely ever seen or used aside from the Gym Battle with Pryce. With 100 HP/ATK being his claim to fame, and all his other stats not even reaching 80, Piloswine was considered among the worst fully evolved Ground types. Sure it carried the standard Earthquake but the lack of Ice STAB moves with horrid defenses could only get you so far. (That is, until Eviolite came to play in Gen V) Mamoswine bumped up all its stats, now boasting 110/130 HP and ATK and not-so-horrible 80 SPD, this monster will kill anything. He is the check to standard play. Thundurus-T, Landorus, and Garchomp ruining your day? Well Mamo OHKOs them with the glory that is Icicle Clash. Just slap on a Life Orb and watch it destroy everything in sight. Priority with Ice Shard. Earthquake and Super Power just to see the world burn. This is an offensive beast you don’t want to intimidate.
All of this pretty legit stuff aside, he does have a few downsides. First of all, his abilities aren’t the MOST useful. Sure, there are plenty of shittier abilities, but Oblivious, Snow Cloak, and Thick Fat aren’t the most versatile. Of the three, I’d personally recommend Thick Fat, just because Mamoswine’s greatness is shone in places besides a Hail Team. Even then, it’s not fantastic considering Mamoswine’s horrendous defenses. 80/60 Def/SpDef are a burden in spite of that 110 HP. Thick Fat helps cover Fire a little, but still, not much. Regardless, his moveset(s) let him stay very versatile; with access to moves like Icicle Crash, Ice Shard, EQ, Superpower, Stealth Rock, Endeavor, Stone Edge, and much more, he fits well even in Ubers if you’re so bold. He’s easy to check with Fighting/Fire moves (which are oh-so-prevalent in OU), but when he hits, he hits HARD.
 
Ice-Types That Save Our Melting Hearts
 
Now if you didn’t think that was biased as hell. Wait till we talk about our favourites. We’ve also kidnapped our good friend Zimphf to talk about his favourites and not-so-favourites as well. Being the egotistical fuck that I am, I’m starting first.
 
  Glaceon - Gen IV

So elegant, but so pretty bad

Initially I wanted to talk about the sexy mammoth of a Pokemon named Mamoswine, until I flipped my “screw the metagame” hipster shades on and went with something below the standard tier of usefulness. Here I would like to talk to you about the most useless Eeveelution there is that isn’t Flareon, where Glaceon, despite being quite terrible in the metagame has got to be my favourite mainly with a design aesthetic. All in all, it’s a simplistic design using a three shades of a powder blue, but the execution of that simplicity is something that I just love about it. The sharp pointed ears, hair and tail are reminiscent of an Ice Queen Archetype. (I’d supply a TVTropes link here...but I’m not that much of an ass) They’re neat and evenly symmetrical to which resemble almost an icicle. Add a “hime-cut” to it and it’s to die for. Now that I have the creepy glares coming my way, I’ll just say that aside from the insanity I just said that all in all I’m a fan of the design.

 

Now in terms of competitively using it, that’s another story. Being a Pure Ice Type means you're bound to be in trouble defensively, and need to make up for it with some strengths. Boasting good Defenses (110/95) with rather low HP (60) ensures it will take the initial Stealth Rock without being in too much trouble. Actually, for an Ice Type and an Eeveelution is can surprisingly handle itself quite well. With A LOT of investment in the pisspoor speed (65), it can usefully boast the Special Attack to deal a ton of damage to whatever comes in it’s way. That would mean you’re essentially running Choice Specs unless you’re crazy enough to use this in similar veins of Umbreon. (God bless you, ya crazy bastard)


Of course this thing would be a monster, if the damn thing had moves. Aside from the STAB Ice Beam/Blizzard and the guaranteed Shadow Ball with Support Moves all Eeveelutions get (Wish/Baton Pass/Toxic), the movepool is really shallow. Due to it’s ability Ice Body, you’re best bet of using it would be in a Hail Team, as due to evasion clause Snow Cloak is banned. Nothing wrong with gimmicky teams (hell, Drizzle/Drought is everywhere in higher tiers), but outside of hail you wouldn’t be seeing much use for it unless you really wanted an Ice type in your team in the lower tiers. Of course, this being me I love me some lower tier fun, so Glaceon just had to be there as my number 1 not named Mamoswine. Now I’m sure Doc has something related to Gen IV so lets have him take the stage.

Weavile - Gen IV  

You... You don't look as cool as Sneasel. But I guess I like you anyways

I’m sorry, but I’m going to pull a ThunderPlant here. As much as he knows about Gen V, he’s still secretly living in the past of the Gen IV meta game. Anyways, hands down, the coolest Ice-type of Gen IV has got to be Weavile. Is he good in Gen V? Ehhhh, not really. But he used to wreck shop, and in the days where I played the meta game my way, and not the right way, he was the coolest mother fucker around. He was my lead on almost every team just to try and OHKO whatever their lead was on turn one, and as many Pokemon as possible afterwards. Did it work often? Sort of. Was it fun as hell? Yeah it was. I always made sure I used my shiny Weavile too, cause that swagalicious dude was pink, and pink is awesome on Pokemon. (Except you, Blissey, go fuck yourself.)

 

It makes me sad that Weavile is less of a threat in this generation, because he was always my good ol’ agro anti-lead in Platinum. With blaring speed, stabbing attack, and awe-inspiring coverage, what else could I need? He has 120 Attack and 125 Speed! Forget Swords Dance or priority moves, you’re one of the ten fastest Pokemon in the game (as well as the fastest Ice-type)! What you needed on this bad ass weasel was a nice Ice Punch and Night Slash for STAB, and then coverage with either Aerial Ace, X-Scissor, Brick Break, Low Kick, or if you’re feelin’ especially like a dick, Pursuit to just straight up WRECK whoever tries to run from your towering awesomeness.


That’s where the good news ends. With only 70/65/85 defenses, a weakness to Stealth Rock, and the now much-more-common Mach Punch, Weavile just isn’t quite cut out for the Gen V meta game. He didn’t get much to improve himself in the way of new moves or an ability either. I know I can’t think of a single move he got in Gen V that’s remotely useable. That means he’s just going to fall into the same old movesets. He’s still stuck with Pursuit, because Pick Pocket (an ability I didn’t know existed until this sentence) is terrible. All it does is steal an item from any Pokemon that makes contact with you. Well, you can’t steal an item if you’re already holding one. He’s just not as great in OU. You can use him, but expect him to dominate UU this time around. You fucked up, Game Freak... *Sigh* You’ll always be glorious to me, Weavile.

  Lapras - Gen I

Zimphf's second choice just so you guys didn't have to read two things on Glaceon

Lapras is the best Ice type simply cause she is cool. The sole purpose of lapras as a pokemon is to ferry people around on water just because she likes to. Not only that she also has been around since the original 150 and is still awesome. Not much for me to say but Lapras is cool and is one of the few pokemon I always have on my team when I play.

 
Lapras was also pretty easy to get in earlier generations. Just rescue Silph Co. from those pesky Team Rocket thugs and he just gives you one. The only one in the entire game. With Special being so awesome and broken in Gen I alongside Lapras’ awesome bulk, this was an incredibly useful Pokemon in your adventure. Then of course, the later generations happened.
I don’t have too much to say about Lapras. It’s classic as fuck. That’s about it. I’ve used a Lapras on every single one of my Fire Red teams (sans Nuzlocke runs) and I never regretted it. She’s a mean mother with a lot of bulk and standard Ice/Water coverage. Can’t beat that Surf/Ice Beam/Rest sweeping, yo. As a kid, this Pokemon was one of the bigger parts of my weekend too. Catch this dude on a Friday in Union Cave in Gen II. Then, move on to Saturday where I sit and listen to K.K. Slider... Ahh, good times.
 
Ice-Types Ready With Some Freezer Burn
 
If you didn’t like that little gush session, feel free to enjoy the Pokemon we just abhor. These dudes bother us in one way or another enough to make us curse slightly more than usual. Enjoy! Or hate it. I mean, we do.
 
Beartic - Gen V

Is that... Is that tuft his dingle-dangle?

I honestly want to pick Vanilish as the Ice type on my hate list, but Beartic takes the cake on the mould of uninspired trash. You take an Ursaring and make it a polar bear. Sure you take away some of that raw power for a more balanced setup and take away five points of speed but all you get is one slow Pokemon that will get killed with the greatest of ease.

 

Since I tend to favor design (if it wasn’t obvious enough), I cannot stand the icy neck bread. It’s like he’s been too busy saging it up in /fit/ or something. Yes he would be on /fit/ because look at that attack. 110 ATK means he does only his uppers and says fuck to cardio, hence the 50 SPD. But seriously though, that ice bread is the only distinguishing factor that makes Beartic unique, and I can joke as much as I want but in the end, he does look intimidating. Most of the hate on the design however comes from Cubchoo. That tear drop snot is disgusting as all hell.


Competitively, I’d consider him better off than Glaceon due to the movepool. Icicle Crash, Superpower and Stone Edge ensure that it’ll be a heavy attacker, granted it survives a hit with its rather basic 95/80/80 defenses. I may hate on it but it is quite the powerhouse, as 110 ATK is something quite brag-worthy if not for the fact it was an Ice Type. Swift Swim however does wonders if running a rain team, seeing as its piss-poor speed turns to quite the sweeping monster. However, I have to continue by saying “Why would you ever want this when Mamoswine is so much more sexier. Also, Ursaring is more powerful with more moves and less weaknesses” but now I’m just being a jerk.

  Dewgong - Gen I

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...?

It sounds dumb, but aside from that top ten Pokemon I hated, I don’t really despise that many Pokemon. It’s not any of that pansy ass “I love all Pokemon equally” crap, but I tend to love all of those strange, yet gimmicky Pokemon. If there’s one thing I like about any Pokemon, then it’s alright by me. So, sure, I don’t really have a strong opinion (and I can’t exactly copy TP...), but here’s a loser I never gave much consideration for: Dewgong.

 

Why Dewgong? Well, I just explained that. Read it again, Mr. Illiterate. Dewgong is OG, but she don’t have much goin for her otherwise. Yeah, it’s totally a chick, too. She’s basically been barely good enough for NU ever since Gen I. I don’t exactly blame Game Freak. They took a generic animal, gave it INCREDIBLY boring and flat-line stats, and just made it Water/Ice. Sure, it does what you’d expect a Water and Ice Pokemon to do, but nothing else. That 90/70/80/70/95/70 spread is just... average in every way. Unfortunately, average is not the name of the game in Pokemon. Being average means you’re terrible.


That aside, there’s just nothing ever cool about Dewgong. You get Seels way too late in most games, you have no reason to really want this Pokemon to begin with, and as a whole, it’s just too bland a topic to go on further about. It’s a bland, blank, boring, blatant excuse to make a generic Water Pokemon, but hey, might as well make it Ice too, right? Right? No. Not even close. Now back to Zimphf on birds.

Delibird - Gen II  

God Zimphf I don't know how you hate this adorable mofo

Delibird is a stupid pokemon with a stupid concept. First, he looks dumb and all he really does is throw presents at people. Mind you, sometimes those presents actually HEAL your opponent. He’s pretty much the Santa Claus of Pokemon, because they couldn’t let Santa be human in their world; they had to give us this derpy pokemon. Though, one good thing to say about him is at least that means Santa is real in the Pokemon world.
I’ll admit it. I love Delibird. He’s so freaking adorable, he’s charming, and his mini-game in Pokemon Stadium 2 was pretty sick. But still, he kind of blows. If you recall our Top Dumbest Moves list, you’ll remember Present. That move can HEAL your enemy dammit! And it’s his signature move. To boot, NONE of his stats are higher than 75; that 75 is speed, and everything else dips as low as 45. I guess if you want to make him redeemable, he has Hustle, so physical moves do 50% more damage at the cost of accuracy? I guess? It’s still nothing with an Atk stat of 55... And Ice/Flying? Yeah you fuckin suck, buddy. Enjoy being weak to Fire, Rock, and Electric while resisting NOTHING common in the metagame.
IT. HEALS. YOUR. ENEMY. What kind of sick logic is that? Crappy bird can’t even learn anything else naturally so enjoy stuffing it with god knows what TMs it learns. Typing of Present? Normal. Delibird? Ice/Flying. It doesn’t even get STAB, and it’s Physical. Granted that means jack shit when his Attack is only 10 base stats below his Special Attack. (55 vs 65. Woooo...) The icing on the cake? 4x weakness to the glorious move Stealth Rocks. Go fuck yourself, you adorable little Santa bird.
 

Now that that’s over, it is my pleasure to just mention one of my favorite things: trivia. So here’s some fun facts about Ice Types I considered worth mentioning.

TRIVIA, FACTS, and OTHER STATISTICS

  • 31 Ice types (if you include Rotom and Castform) which encompass 4.78% of Pokemon with 20 unique Ice Moves

  • Generation V introduced the most Ice-type Pokémon of any Generation, with eight and Generation II introduced the least Ice-type Pokémon, with five.

  • Generation I introduced the most Ice-type moves of any Generation, with six and Generation II introduced the least Ice-type moves, with two.

  • HIGHEST:
    • Speed: Weavile
    • SpDef: Regice

    • SpAtk: Kyurem-W

    • Def: Cloyster

    • Atk: Kyurem-B

    • HP: Lapras

  • Ice is the only type that is super effective against Flying-types that doesn't in turn resist Flying-type moves. It is also the only type that can be triply resisted due to Dewgong and Walrein's evolutionary lines having double resistance, as well as the Ability Thick Fat.

  • Articuno was the last Gen I Pokémon to be introduced in the anime, if movies and banned episodes are included (Otherwise, it’s Mew). Articuno is also the only Pokemon who can naturally learn an accuracy detecting and OHKO move with Mind Reader and Sheer Cold. Don’t be a scrub and do this, or else you’ll be on Wikipedia under “The Worst.”

  • Speaking of the anime, Weavile (alongside Lucario and Mime Jr) were showcased in the anime before the Sinnoh season.

  • Mamoswine would have been obtainable in both GEN II and GEN III if it had existed, as it was possible for Piloswine to learn Ancient Power in both generations. Mamo and its family are also naturally resistant to all types of weather damage thanks to their typing.

Final Words

 
I love Pokemon trivia. No, seriously. I eat this stuff up. I read it to lull myself to sleep at night, and it works better at keeping my mind at peace than Jigglypuff’s sound ever will. Anyways, it’s about time we wrap up this blog. I have nothing else to say on the matter, and neither does Thunder Plant. I mean, I guess I can’t speak for him, but:
So now that we’re done with this. Hold the fuck up...FAIRY TYPES? Doc. You thinking what I’m thinking?
Yeah, that we have nothing even remotely sound to base it off of, but what the hell. While we’re at it, let’s just discuss EVERYTHING about Gen VI! I’m down for huge amounts of theory, hype, fanboyism, and lollygagging. Expect a short, non-stop gush-a-thon. And expect it to be really gay.
As always if you’re interested in collaborating with us in the near future (and is not named Zimphf), drop us a private message here on Screwattack or through our twitter handles. @Dr_Cool_Guy and @Thunderplant.
Oh! One more thing! I have, thanks to SSB4 announcement, a list of what I would say are the top 10 Smash Bros stages ever. If you’re willing to completely agree with me in every way, I’d be more than happy to write with you! PM me ASAP so we can get started. Now that we’re done here, hopefully our next blog won’t take an eternity plus one. :D
 

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