Monday, December 12, 2016

Dec Starlite Gaming Premier Challenge: Team Analysis

Click to enlarge
The first Premier Challenge for Sun and Moon I've run in South Carolina was held this past weekend at Starlite Gaming in Summerville, SC. We had 10 participants, all of which were Masters. Four rounds of Swiss were played with us cutting to Top 4. During the event I raffled away goodies, including small pokemon notebooks, car decals, and a Master Ball lanyard.

Starting last year, I had begun releasing a lot of the play data from my Premier Challenges (PCs), however I stopped once attendance took a nosedive after the World Championships. This year I plan to keep it more consistent, so long as attendance continues to be moderate to good. The graph on the right shows the most commonly registered pokemon by percent. The most commonly registered pokemon was Alolan Marowak. There were many pokemon that were only registered to one team. Although they are present in the raw data, I did not include them in this graph. Below are the teams that made top cut.

I am also tracking additional usage data for the remainder of every PC I host from now until the end of the 2017 season. For example, half of all of the teams entered included an Alolan Marowak on their team. For the Top 5 most commonly used pokemon, which I refer to as the MVPs, I have included the percentages of chosen abilities, natures, items, and attacks. I may eventually go on to include data for every pokemon that appeared on more than one registered team, however we'll see. To access the raw data, check out the Google spreadsheet I will be routinely updating.

Friday, December 9, 2016

My Trip to Alola

There's a lot of water, but not too much I suppose.
Pokémon Sun and Moon have been out for about 3 weeks now. I feel like I can talk about my experiences without spoiling anything for anyone. However, if you ARE worried about spoilers, I'd suggest not reading this further. If you read this and get upset because I spoiled something, that's on you. You've been warned. 

My trip to Alola, like with anyone who's gone there in the past month or so, began on Melemele Island. I expected the atmosphere to be a lot like Hoenn, given they are both tropical islands. Although a lot of the topography seemed similar, there was something about Alola that definitely made it stand out as different. That is the island culture and the closeness the natives have with the pokémon, specifically the Tapu. I knew I'd eventually end up going around to catch the Tapu to fill my dex. I wonder how the natives feel about me capturing their guardians? I suppose only time will tell how that will affect their various ceremonies and tournaments held in the Tapu's honor.

My travels eventually took me to the various islands to complete trials and battle the kahunas as part of my island challenge. All of my league challenges in other regions felt definitely more isolated. It was me versus the gym leaders and Elite Four. Occasionally, my rival would show up to battle me or what have you, but that's about it. In Kalos, I had a few more friends travel with me early on, but we split up pretty quickly. In Alola, Lillie, Hau, and even Professor Kakui were often around so the journey didn't seem that lonely. It was a nice change.

This is pretty much how life is every day in Alola.
The trials themselves were interesting. I wouldn't say that captain's trials were any more or less challenging than what I've had to do in gyms in the past, but there were definitely different. Often, in other regions, challenging gyms just felt like something I did while I was in town. They were a part of my journey, and I needed to get the next badge to continue to the next, but the gym leaders didn't seem to care about much of what was going on outside their gym. There were a few exceptions, of course, but most gym leaders seem to just deal with gym duties and that's about it. The trial captains definitely made trials that not only seemed relevant to me becoming a better trainer, but also taught me about the habitats and pokémon in Alola. In the end, there's more to pokémon than just battling. 

One thing I learned about Alola that also sets it apart from every other region I've been to is they have no Pokémon League. Apparently, I came to Alola at the perfect time as Prof. Kakui was looking to start one. I wasn't surprised that the kahunas, for the most part, were promoted to the Elite Four. There was no champion though, well, not before I showed up. Now I'm the champion and when I'm not adventuring I can go and accept new challenges.

These creatures seem to have little in common
with each other outside of their ability: Beast Boost.
A research topic for another day.
Speaking of adventuring, there are a lot of mysterious pokémon in Alola. I'm still working to understand a new class of pokémon known as "Ultra Beasts". It almost seems like they are similar to pokémon we currently classify as "mythical" or "legendary", except they are only few in number due to very few making it to our world. The inter-dimensional beings seem to share characteristics to our native pokémon, but are different enough to make them their own class. As I learned from Professor Burnet, these aren't the first inter-dimensional pokémon. In fact, I've had my own experiences traveling to other dimensions before. While in Sinnoh, I visited the Distortion World in search of Giratina. What, if anything, the dimension the Ultra Beasts reside in has in common with the Distortion World remains to be seen.

 Obviously, there are still many mysteries surrounding Alola that I will continue to explore in the coming weeks. Once I have had more time studying the regional variants of pokémon in Alola and the Ultra Beasts, I plan on writing a couple "The Science of..." articles about them.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Pokémon Sun and Moon Release Next Week!

With the coming of Pokémon Sun and Moon many already know the entire game, thanks to leaks. For me, this has meant avoiding most of the sites I frequent and even led to me writing less. However, now that we are a week out I will brave the Internet to express my excitement!

Oh dang, I just accidentally checked Serebii...

Say hello to Origami Guy and Bronzong's wife.
So it appears, thanks to Corocoro, we're are getting at least 2 more Ultra Beasts and another legendary(?) that seems to be in a trio with Lunala and Solgaleo. I think the Ultra Beasts are pretty neat. I definitely like them better than UB-02 Absorption (AKA Meathead Mosquito, you can see it and other released Ultra Beasts on the official Sun and Moon site). Design-wise they seem to fit in with what we have previously gotten in legendaries, especially those that are event exclusive. Once you put these guys beside pokémon like Deoxys, Darkrai, Hoopa Unbound, or Volcanion the designs seem pretty on par. This certainly seems to point to Ultra Beasts being a type of pokémon. I think they are likely on the same caliber as the legendary bird trio from Kanto, the legendary beasts of Johto, etc. They don't seem to share design elements like many of the trios do, but then again, they aren't a trio. With these two, we know of as least 5 Ultra Beasts, so not sharing design elements like trios do isn't surprising. We also know there are 2 UB-02s, with the one that shows up being dependent on the version you are playing. Perhaps we are seeing the introduction of a new kind of legendary to further increase the incentive of trading and version choice. So far, luckily for me, I'm happy with the exclusives to Moon. With these two, I'm ok with either, so if they are version exclusive I'll just plop random legends on the GTS to get the one I'm missing from people less enthused on them. The other legendary (or I assume it's a legendary) is this big crystalline guy.
Gigalith... I am your father. Join me and we can rule the universe
as father and son...
Darth Gigalith looks sweet. I will be disappointed when this thing ends up not being Rock and is, instead, some generic end game legend type... like Psychic or Dragon.. but whatever. Corocoro suggests it has some connection to Lunala and Solgaleo, however we again end up with a legend that doesn't share design elements with its buddies. So what does that mean? Likely it means in some future game it will get a forme, or Mega, or Primal, or something that pushes it to the forefront and is touted as its "true forme". However, based on what I'm seeing.. which is just a solid black pokémon with crystal arms, I'm guessing it represents black holes or something. Time will tell. Forward all your questions about this guy to Dialga and Celebi.

UPDATE: So "Darth Gigalith" is called Necrozma and it confirmed my worry that it is just Psychic.. like so many other legendaries before it. I'm not too stoked on it overall. It looks cool, but that's where my interest ends. We'll see where we go from here in future games. I did manage to get a Modest one and I even caught it in a Beast Ball. Now it just has to eventually warrant some reason for me to use it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Drowning in Sun and Moon Hype

Why does all early artwork make it seem
like box legends will face off at some point?
Many don't even show up in the same game.
The past couple of months have been a whirlwind in regards to Pokémon. There have been event downloads every month for Pokémon's 20th anniversary, Pokémon GO was released, and Pokémon Sun and Moon info has been coming in waves. It has been tough to keep up and get my thoughts on paper (er... online) before the next wave hits. I have enjoyed Pokémon GO, and it looks to be a stable in my gaming schedule now, which suddenly involves a lot of time outside. Given my profession as a paleontologist, I can now work and play almost at the same time. Not too shabby. However, Pokémon Sun and Moon look to be the gaming experience that Pokémon GO can never hope to be, and vice versa. It's nice that I'll have two games (I'm getting Moon) that fit two different aspects of my lifestyle. That's leads to the next topic, what do I think of Sun and Moon so far? Don't read further if you are worried about spoilers.

A trailer came out today that recaps a lot of what we've seen over the past few months and most trainers are pretty up on what is to come. That being said, I'm not going to retrace old ground. I'll just give my take on these different aspects and what I hope to see.

  1. The Legendaries: So far we've gotten the cover art legends Solgaleo and Lunala as well Tapu Koko (a trio legend?) and Magearna (mythical). Design wise, I don't think any are far off base from what we have come to expect from legends. However, Solgaleo and Lunala having renamed versions of older abilities is a little sad. Solgaleo's Full Metal Body is just Clear Body and Lunala's Shadow Shield is just Multiscale. Oh well, at least Tapu Koko and Magearna get cool new abilities. Tapu Koko's Electric Surge activates Electric Terrain and Magearna's Soul-Heart boosts it's Special Attack when a pokémon on the field is KO'd. I hope to see more "Tapu" pokémon with other terrain based abilities. I felt terrains weren't well tapped in XYORAS, so it'd be nice to see them get something to make them more viable.
  2. Brand New Pokémon: Like the new legendaries, this is a given. You can't have a new generation without new pokémon. So far, most are on point, but I haven't seen many that I know I will HAVE to have (see all released ones here on Serebii). I'm intrigued most by those that seem to have good lore or interesting play mechanics. The standouts are: Wimpod, for having a built in switch mechanic with its Wimp Out ability; Wishiwashi, for its form changing Schooling ability; and Type; Null for its overall weirdness and interesting lore as being a synthetic pokémon for countering legendaries
  3. Alolan Pokémon:
    Alolan Marowak is Ghost/Fire rather than
    the standard Ground. It also seems smaller
    and perhaps faster.
    I could have included this in the previous section, but I'm more stoked on these than I am the brand new pokémon overall... so it definitely needed its own section. In Alola, pokémon have adapted to the various habitats differently and have different appearances, types, and abilities than they have elsewhere. Like Megas in XYORAS, I think this will add an air of freshness to older pokémon. Of course, the nostalgia of seeing Red, Blue, and Yellow pokémon getting new formes may be part of it, but the science of it really intrigues me, personally. In the real world, this is very similar to how varieties and speciation actually occurs. It also means that in future regions could have regional variants too. That means there are already 721 existing pokémon that could be expanded on by adding regional formes, Megas, etc rather than always having to release brand new pokémon every game.
  4. Island Trials: It seems that Alola does not follow the traditional 8 Gym/Elite 4 scheme.
    Instead, each Island has a Trial Leader that sends you on a quest. The player completes the quest, battles a Totem (or Boss) pokémon, then has to battle the Island's Kahuna (or leader).
    Having Totem Pokémon guarding areas or causing problems that the player must solve creates situations like this... which is much more intimidating that some guy standing in a room just waiting for you to battle them.
    This is a very different system than every other main pokémon game, but I think it is time for something new. As much as I like Pokémon games, they are very formulaic. It's nice to see the formula getting jostled. I find the Totem pokémon interesting as well. In previous games pokémon are very passive. Sure they jump you for battles, but outside of that and the occasional attack from legendaries, they don't really interact with the world itself. Occasionally a pokémon may be standing around in the overworld, but now we have pokémon that guard areas and must be defeated to move on. They also have special buffs, call for support, all of the sorts of things you would expect of a boss. 
  5. Z-Moves: To be clear, I am not jazzed on Z-moves. I don't care for the name and I don't care for super moves in general. I was really excited for Megas when they were announced, but that was for a similar reason as Alola formes: refreshing older pokémon. Z-moves don't bring that sort of air to the games. That being said, they seem better handled than super moves in other games. You can only use one per match and only if you have the right crystals on yourself and your pokémon. I'm interested to learn how these work in relation to regular moves. Do they have a base power/accuracy or are they just OHKO moves? Why do some appear to just be linked to types while others are linked to certain species (ex: Snorium Z can only be used by Snorlax)? The plus side of these is that Pulverizing Pancake, Snorlax's Z-move, exists. It is the best new move I've seen introduced for Sun and Moon and you can see it in action here.
There's even more that Pokémon Sun and Moon have brought to the table. Battle Royal, a four player battle system, the Rotom PokéDex, a Pokémon Snap-esque mechanic, non-Chibi sprites in the overworld, etc. Regardless of some of my reservations, these games look to be some of the best pokémon games ever made.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Science of Pokémon: Fossil Resurrection

FYI: Not a dinosaur.
Fossil Pokémon have been around since the beginning of pokémon, and I mean that quite literally. They represent the oldest species of pokémon as well as showing up in the first pokémon games. However, a major aspect of fossil pokémon is that their fossil has to be recovered and given to an appropriate scientist to resurrect. During the early 90's, bringing fossils back to life was fresh on people's minds as Jurassic Park came to theaters in 1993. Jurassic Park brings up a few good points as to why one should, or should not, bring extinct animals back to life. Of course, in pokémon a 10 year old child is saddled with that decision, and I doubt very few trainers would be opposed to it given the opportunity.

Obviously, in the real world we haven't ever been able to successfully get DNA from a fossil. That's not to say people aren't trying. It doesn't seem this is the most viable method for bringing back dinosaurs, with other scientists using different methods. So, even though we haven't been able to match the success seen in the Pokémon World, obviously the idea of bringing back long extinct animals isn't too far out in science fiction. That being said, like in my previous pokémon science blog, we know the Pokémon World is way more technologically advanced. 

"I'm back from the dead to seek my
revenge upon the mortals of your world!"
So what are the effects of bringing an extinct animal back to life? From the pokémon perspective, there seems to be some effect of the fossilization process that seems to have affected the DNA of the ancient pokémon. All fossil pokémon are at least part Rock type. From a diversity standpoint, that doesn't seem to make sense. Why would all pokémon diversity in the past be so similar when in the present day there are many other type combinations? Most likely this rock aspect is a result of inorganic materials still being present in the living pokémon after resurrection. When a bone is fossilized, minerals from the surrounding sediment leech in to replace the rotting biological components. That means all fossil pokémon are at least part Rock do to the sediment replacing the organic aspects of their bones. Although, animals with shells (ex: Omanyte and Omastar) already have inorganic material in their shells, a mineral known as calcite, and potentially were always part Rock.

Science is always progressing, so of course at one point scientists decided to push the envelope... and that envelope was Genesect. Often people forget this, but Genesect is actually a fossil pokémon. Unlike the other fossils, Genesect was resurrected by someone else and given to you, so there is no fossil to retrieve. However, Genesect is the Paleozoic pokémon. The Paleozoic era lasted from roughly 542 - 251 million years ago, so it's safe to say that Genesect is pretty old. However, its sleek technological appearance does often mask that fact. The Genesect we're familiar with is NOT how Genesect looked originally.
"She blinded me with science....
so I blasted her with my cannon."
Just like how Mewtwo is a modified clone of Mew, Genesect was modified from its resurrected form. This is evident in its typing: Bug/Steel. Steel is produced by modifying iron ore found in rocks. Most likely the original Genesect was Bug/Rock, but the modifications made to its carapace by Team Plasma changed it enough that it lost its Rock characteristics and gained Steel characteristics. This sort of type change is commonly seen with pokémon that evolve using a man-made object. The closest comparison is how Onix is Rock/Ground, but becomes Steel/Ground as a Steelix when it's traded with a Metal Coat. When Team Plasma attached Genesect's cannon to its back, it likely changed the pokémon's biology as well.

Genesect also represents a prime example of what bringing back an organism that no longer has a role in the environment will be like. In Genesect and the Legend Awakened, the Genesect are attempting to return to a habitat that no longer exists. Because they are unable to do so, they attempt to make a new habitat for themselves by displacing the pokémon already inhabiting the area. This makes Genesect a human produced invasive species. In actuality, all of the fossil pokémon would pose the same risk as would any real world resurrected animals. Present day flora and fauna are not adapted to deal with organisms that haven't been around for millions of years and could potentially be driven to extinction themselves. There is the flip side argument as well, that fossil organisms are ill-equipped to live in present day environments due to differences in plant-life, atmospheric gases, and human pollution. In that scenario, we would be bringing back organisms just to put them in an environment in which they would suffer. Regardless, if fossil organisms were ever brought back to life in the real world, they would likely never be able to be released into a natural habitat. This could explain, at least in a biological way, why fossil pokémon have never been found in the wild at all in the pokémon games even though fossil rejuvenation has been around since the beginning. Even if you released rejuvenated fossil pokémon into a Safari Zone, they wouldn't be able to coexist well with modern species.

So why do the scientists rejuvenate your fossils then give you the pokémon afterward? It seems like bringing them back to life is a bad idea. Well, the reasoning is simple. Fossil pokémon cannot survive in the wild without human interaction. Therefore, the scientists want to bring them back and observe how pokémon were different in the past. However, since they can't release the pokémon, it is better to give it to a trainer to take care of it. Although it's not the most responsible idea to give a 10 year old a T.rex, I can't say with full certainty that I wouldn't have accepted such a responsibility as a 10 year old. In fact, 10 year old me would have never even thought twice!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Science of Pokémon: An Argument for Inorganic Pokemon

Is it unoriginal or so original
you can't handle it?
One of the biggest arguments I see on forums relating to the newer pokémon generations is the general consensus that pokémon that look like inorganic objects are horrible. This typically leads the poster to conclude that: All new designs are terrible; Only the original pokémon look good; and "everything after ____ gen isn't a pokémon." However, I wish to present a rather scientific argument as to why these pokémon inspired by man-made objects make perfect sense.

Since the beginning of the franchise, evolution has been an important mechanic. As I explained in a previous blog, pokémon evolution isn't actually true evolution. Instead, it is a metamorphosis, with juvenile organisms eventually maturing into adults. Not every animal goes through metamorphosis, which explains why some pokémon never "evolve" in the game. That doesn't mean that natural selection, the driving force behind real world evolution, doesn't occur.

Natural selection occurs when an organism is born with a random characteristic that makes it better suited to the environment, which leads to them being able to breed and pass on their genetic material. This random trait, known as a mutation, needs to be beneficial (or at least not harmful) for it to be magnified through natural selection. For a random mutation to become the norm in a population, many generations of breeding is required for the once rare trait to become common. Humans have sped up this process with animals and plants by restricting which organisms are allowed to breed. (See: Selective Breeding)

Now back to the inorganic pokémon like Klink, Trubbish, or Vanilluxe. These organisms look like household objects. The first question would be to ask, what benefit is there from looking like a human-made object? The easiest answer would be that these organisms are adapted to blend with a human environment to have better access to food, water, and/or shelter. The easiest one to explain away is the one I hear the most griping about: Trubbish.

Highly Evolved. Highly Dangerous.
Trubbish is the Trash Bag pokemon. Its designation says it all. Trubbish is living garbage and many in the pokémon fandom regard it as such. However, in terms of natural selection, it is a highly adapted (or derived) organism that is the result of generations of breeding. Based on the technology used in the Pokémon World (the ability to convert living organisms into energy, warp pads, etc) its safe to assume that the world of pokémon is more advanced than our own. This may be a result of the events in the Pokémon World taking place in a futuristic Earth. Early writers of the anime were even going to go in to detail as to how pokémon replaced animals following some sort of extinction. If that is the case, Trubbish is an example of natural selection acting upon a creature to make it better adapted to live with humans. If you go to any urban area, you are going to find garbage, more than what you would find in pristine natural habitats. Animals commonly make use of camouflage to hide within their environment. If Trubbish's environment is a highly polluted human urban center, then its appearance makes perfect sense. It isn't garbage, it just looks like garbage to blend in. What would be its food source? Likely garbage. There has been TCG artwork showing Trubbish living in dumps and eating trash, so not only has this organism adapted to living in a toxic environment, it is now so derived it requires that toxic environment to survive.

Obviously, in the real world human pollution hasn't been around long enough to cause such an extreme level of evolution, but we do see animals adapting to our pollution. If we lived in the hyper advanced society powered by Infinity Energy where health care is free and entire cities are managed by levitating robots it may be common place to see animals adapted to the world we caused to change. As for other weird household pokémon, maybe they also have adaptations to help them better survive this human altered world. Maybe Vanilluxe looks the way it does to steal ice cream from ice cream parlors? It seems like that is pigeon holing it into a small niche (or ecological role) but that wouldn't be the first time nature has done something like that. If you research some of the odd ways animals have adapted to us, something that is adapted to hide among frozen food doesn't seem as far fetched.

Domo arigoto.
How about robotic forms of life like Klink or Magnemite? Well, we define life rather narrowly at the moment. We are usually referring to carbon-based life which includes animals and plants as well as bacteria and other microorganisms. However, we define it that way simply because we haven't encountered other types of life. As technology progresses, the idea that robotic sentient "life" could exist at some point becomes less and less far fetched. Obviously, these wouldn't be animals in the traditional sense, but would still consume something to power their bodies. In the case of Klink and Magnemite, it seems that nourishment is electrical energy. In these cases, we have not only have organisms that are adapted to live with humans, they were actually created by humans.

I could try explain why each inorganic pokémon is actually a natural science masterpiece, but I won't sugar coat it; they aren't. Not all adaptations are beneficial after all. Perhaps looking like a candle was useful for sneaking into houses and stealing food before the advent of electricity, but afterwards it would be more of a hindrance. I think most people would notice a random candle near their refrigerator.. which also seems to have a face and has turned bright orange for some reason. Eventually those mutations would be fazed out by a new mutation, perhaps one that makes the organism look like a key chain. This new organism that could better blend in and find food would eventually lead to the extinction of those defunct species that are no longer able to compete.

In the end, does basing a pokémon on a random household object allude to a loss of creativity? In my personal opinion: No. What it means is the person who devised it looked at that lifeless object and asked themselves, "If this was alive, how would it live?"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Pokemon Announcement: Magearna

It's time again to tune up the speculation engine on the old hype train because a new pokemon has been announced! Corocoro has begun leaking online and early this morning Serebii.net began posting information on the new pokemon Magiana. Well, new to us anyway. Apparently, this pokemon was created by humans 500 years ago. Here's the image from Corocoro that was posted to Serebii as well as some initial information about it.

Magiana. Its classification is Man-Made Pokémon. Type has yet to be revealed. It was made over 500 years ago, by "human hands". Volcanion is chasing Magiana, only it knows Magiana's secret. The new movie is to be called Volcanion and the Exquisite Magiana.'
Obviously this has fueled speculation as to whether this is a pokemon will see in a game this generation, or if it is a leaked pokemon from the next generation. My speculation engine is raring to go..

  • Argument for Appearance in Gen 6: The 6th generation of pokemon still feels rather unresolved. With the least new pokemon added to date (discounting Megas), it has always seemed like we would get more. With the announcements of new Zygarde and Greninja formes, it seemed like if there was going to be a "Pokemon Z" that the best we could hope for is new formes and megas. However, now that we have Magiana it is possible that in between the events of XY and potentially Z that a few more pokemon have been found in Kalos. It's not in the data for XY, but at this point that isn't a good argument for it not being in Gen 6. None of the ORAS primals/megas are in XY outside of Mega Blaziken, Mega Latios, and Mega Latias. 
  • Argument for Appearance in Gen 7: Typically, movies focus around a central mythical pokemon and then the supporting pokemon cast is either random or includes pokemon to appear in the next generation. For example, Manaphy and the Temple of the Sea is a Gen 3 movie, however the focus is around Manaphy who is a Gen 4 pokemon. It isn't the only 4th gen pokemon as Chatot also makes an appearance. It's quite possible that is what we are seeing here with the Volcanion and the Exquisite Magiana. Volcanion is the mythical pokemon and Magiana is the preview pokemon for Gen 7 (and may also be mythical). There is not a lot of precedent for introducing two mythicals in the same movie, but seeing as the online community has known about Volcanion for a while now, maybe a second mythical was added to give this movie an element of surprise. I, for one, didn't expect there to be a Gen 7 pokemon announced so it would seem like a good way to keep things fresh.
Now for it's placement in the Dex and its relationship to other pokemon. Some Team Knockout members have suggested it could be a fusion or evolution of a new pokemon, although the simplest answer would be its a brand new pokemon with no relationship to previous pokemon. Rev that speculation engine!
Do you even need a pokeball to catch her?
She seems to catch herself....
  • Argument for Fusion: Ever since Black Kyurem and White Kyurem showed up, and even some before that, several pokemon have been thought to be possible fusions. In fact, before knowing how Zygarde formes worked, some suggested that Perfect Zygarde was a fusion of it and Xerneas/Yveltal. Magiana certainly takes elements from pokemon we've seen before. It's mechanical nature has similarities to pokemon like Klinklang. Its more "princess" like qualities have been likened to Diancie and Mega Gardevoir. Adding a new fusion would be interesting seeing as it would open a lot of future possibilities. 
  • Argument for Evolutionary Relationships: Just because Magiana is classified as "Man-Made" doesn't mean it didn't evolve from a pokemon we already have. The Klink line has always been hinted as being man-made. Juniper even mentions that Klinks showed up only 100 years ago. This might suggest there is an evolutionary relationship between them. Perhaps under certain circumstances a Klink could be reformed into a Magiana. This would make it similar to Diancie in that is a special offshoot of Carbink. The opposite is also possible. Perhaps Magiana, after being built 500 years ago, began producing its own mechanical offspring in the form of Klinks the same way Manaphy can produce Phione. This wouldn't necessarily mean it is a mythical pokemon though. In 4th gen baby pokemon were revealed that were related to 2nd gen pokemon. Perhaps if you take a Klink to a certain area and level it up it becomes Magiana? Perhaps if you breed Magiana you'll get Klinks? 
  • Argument for Mythical Status: The easiest argument is that is a mythical pokemon that just LOOKS like it is related to other pokemon. Maybe the gear on its head is just meant to show off it is mechanical and actually has no relation to the Klink line. This wouldn't be the first two separate pokemon have been so aesthetically similar that they were thought to be related. Luvdisc and Alomomola are prime examples. Plus, Magiana also has a pokeball aesthetic. The gear linking her to Klink isn't any stronger than the pokeball dress that COULD link her to Voltorb. Is Magiana a mutant Voltorb/Electrode? Possibly, but Foongus and Amoongus are also pokeball themed and are obviously unrelated. Also, her height (1.0 m) has being as tall as most mythical pokemon, although that's more of just a side note. It seems reasonable that Magiana is a new mythical event exclusive pokemon meant to drive up hype. 
So what mysteries does Magiana REALLY hold and how will it affect the Pokemon World? I guess we'll just have to wait to find out. My guess is with this being in Corocoro and already leaking, we'll get an official announcement from The Pokemon Company about this new pokemon in the next week or two.

UPDATE: The English name is Magearna. Also, it has been confirmed to be a mythical pokemon.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A New Year, a New Format

Over the past few months this blog has seen some changes. For example, last year it changed from being the "Team Knockout Blog" to being my personal blog, "The Fossil Jockey". Well, I have another change. 

In the past, the sole point of this blog was pokemon. That has really limited the scope of the blog itself and there is no way I can honestly compete with pokemon fan sites like Serebii or Pokebeach (not that I was ever really trying to). This narrow scope has made it difficult, at times, to find things to write about. I've tried writing articles focusing on pokemon team strategies, deck ideas, even critiquing the show. However, none of these were that fun for me. In fact, of the articles I've written recently that actually enjoyed was the unown series. Also, my interests aren't limited to just pokemon. As evidenced by my title, I'm a huge paleontology nut. My interests are actually quite varied in video games, books, etc. Due to this, I have decided to diversify my articles. Pokemon will still pop up and will be a bulk of this blog, however, I plan on writing more posts that go beyond that scope.

I want to thank everyone who has enjoyed my pokemon posts and I hope you enjoy all of my future posts!