Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives

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Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
1. Kanto Water Type

X: Staryu, Starmie
Y: Shellder, Cloyster

Jaeger: This one has to go to Pokemon X. Starmie is a beast of a water type, able to learn powerful moves from other types, including Psychic and Thunderbolt, absolutely annihilating fellow water types.

Larissa: Why does everything have to be about competitive play with you? Shellder is cute. Its tongue sticks out! Plus, I love using Cloyster's Skill Link ability and loading it up with Icicle Spear and Spike Cannon. 5x hits every time.

Evan: I have to side with Jaeger on this. Starmie is my Rapid Spinner on many of my teams. Access to Natural Cure is an added bonus.

Winner: Pokemon X

Source: Credit to dotyao for picture.
Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
2. Mega Evolving Bug

X: Pinsir
Y: Heracross

Larissa: Heracross is a tank. Its fighting type is a useful pairing with bug, giving Heracross a utility in attacking Psychic and Dark types alike. Plus, I loved Heracross in the anime. Pinsir is just scary.

Ev: I'm with you on Heracross. I kind of like Mega Pinsir better (both aesthetically and for its ability) but Heracross on the whole is a billion times more useful.

Jaeger: Yup.

Winner: Pokemon Y

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
3. Fossils

X: Lileep, Cradily, Anorith, Armaldo
Y: Omanyte, Omastar, Kabuto, Kabutops

Ev: Is it just a coincidence you're having me start off the fossil conversation? Really guys?

As someone who has spent years studying fossils I appreciate Cradily a lot. Crinoids are gorgeous fossils and anything that raises awareness for them is good in my books. But this is no contest: You have two of the most iconic Pokemon from the first gen in one game and easily two of the most forgotten in the other.

Jaeger: I'm surprised they didn't pair them up. Give one game Lileep and Omanyte, give the other Kabuto and Anorith. It'd make sense. Alas, that isn't the case.

Larissa: This means we agree Y takes this, right? Even despite the variety in typing in X?

Ev: Yeah, no contest.

Winner: Pokemon Y

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
4. Mega Evolving Canine

X: Houndour, Houndoom
Y: Elektrike, Manectric

Jaeger: Do we only disagree when I start things off? Manectric is deadly in the right hands when Mega Evolved. Its speed stat is strong, its single typing of electric has few weaknesses, it has Intimidate to help survivability, and the range of moves available to it lets it eliminate any threat. Easy choice.

Larissa: I've never really liked Houndour. In XY, I get bored of seeing them. I know my Lucario, with mismatched typing, will pound them into oblivion. Decent moves are hard to find whereas Manectric has a good pool. Plus, Mega Manectric is shaped like a lightning bolt.

Ev: REALLY? REALLY? Houndoom is the epitome of cool. It's like a biker gang got to design a Pokemon and that's what we got! I rarely sneeze at dark types, and Houndoom has access to some nastiness in Nasty Plot. Besides, Mega Manectric looks like a lightning bolt...

Winner: Pokemon Y

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
5. Dark Type

X: Poochyena, Mightyena
Y: Purrloin, Liepard

Larissa: Liepard's abilities are the difference maker to me. I'm a fan of all three of them but Prankster is by far my favourite to use, boosting the priority of moves that don't inflict damage. I won't talk about using the Dark type moves because access is basically the same. Plus, cats are totes better than dogs.

Ev: I lost on Houndoom but don't be cruel and make me lose here, too. Mightyena is way cooler. It's vicious looking. It's so vicious it has Intimidate as its ability: Prankster may be a great ability, but how often do you use it? At least I'm confident in knowing my Mightyena is going to lower attack once.

Jaeger: They're both garbage Pokemon--and not in the sense that Trubbish is a garbage Pokemon, either. But seeing as I'm being forced to vote, it's Mightyena. At least I can stomach looking at its design.

Winner: Pokemon X

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
6. Fighting Types

X: Sawk
Y: Throh

Ev: I can't say this is a particularly inspiring set of choices one way or another. I'm more partial to Sawk though: He's tall and gangly (like me) and reminds me of the Blue Man Group. That's good enough criteria, right?

Jaeger: Ha, I'm reminded of you every time I see Sawk too. Sawk has slightly more utility than Throh, too, so I'm fine with giving it the nod. Does anyone buy a Pokemon game based on these guys?

Larissa: Wait, why are we overlooking Throh so much? He's short, I get it. But his lower speed pairs well with Revenge. You two have me seeing red...

Jaeger: No, that'd be Throh doing that.

Winner: Pokemon X

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
7. Regional "Water" Types

X: Clauncher, Clawitzer
Y: Skrelp, Dragalge

Jaeger: This one's too easy: Dragalge single...finnedly wins it! (I know, I know.)

Dragalge is real easy to overlook, but I consider it one of my favourites. That type combo of Dragon and Poison can be nasty. Dragalge isn't much of a Dragon type--easily the worst around--but it's one slick Poison type. That Dragalge can survive some various onslaughts in select teams and dish out pain with Sludge Wave is enough for me to adore it. I use it often.

Larissa: Of the crustaceans, Clawitzer is easily the best design. But that's all it has going for it. It's a Water type with little utility otherwise. This has to be the easiest decision of the bunch.

Ev:I'm with you on this. I really like Clawitzer--and I'm partial to it--but we can't get something like it in X without trading. (We'll come to that in another installment.)

Winner: Pokemon Y

Source: Background: unicorn-skydancer08
Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
8. Fairy Type

X: Swirlix, Slurpuff
Y: Spritzee, Aromatisse

Larissa: I. Can't. Stand. Aromatisse. Something about it is just unsettling. I hate even seeing it. Have you seen that Puppy Monkey Baby ad from a few months back that some people instantly hated? That's me with Aromatisse. Misty with Bug types level freaked out. Ugh!

Ev: I, too, am a fan of Slurpuff. At least, that sounded like voting for Slurpuff. There's a US Presidential Election joke to be made here somewhere...

Jaeger: You just say that because none of us have to suffer through it.

Ev: True. I really don't care either way but I like whipped cream so there's that?

Jaeger: I'm left to be the voice of reason. It's Slurpuff. In tight competitive play in UU Slurpuff can come out of nowhere and annihilate a team. I've never quite seen Aromatisse have the same impact, even in its lesser tier.

Winner: Pokemon X

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
9. Three Stage Angry Dinosaur Things

X: Aron, Lairon, Aggron (Mega)
Y: Larvitar, Pupitar, Tyranitar (Mega)

Ev: Okay, there's no way this is coincidence now. We have a dinosaur inspired Pokemon and I'm starting things off.

You two are so much more competitive than me, so forgive me for stealing your shtick, but Tyranitar all the way. Its typing has issues, sure, but not nearly to the same extent as Aggron (whose Mega Evolution drops its second typing).

Weather teams are among my favourites (my Clefables are oh so much fun) and I've been using Tyranitar to whip up a sandstorm for years. Plus, pretty sure I know what the "Tyran" in its name stands for...

Jaeger: Yeah, you took my shtick. Mega Aggron is nasty. Mega Tyranitar can blast through things. That difference gives him my vote.

Larissa: I'm voting for Aggron out of pure nostalgia. I remember winning the championship in Gen III with Aggron, and that's after I nearly turned mine into an HM Slave. Meanwhile, Pupitar looks like a shiny Metapod.

Winner: Pokemon Y

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
10. Charizard

Jaeger: Oh yes. Oh yes oh yes oh yes.

Larissa: Someone's excited.

Ev: Oh yes.

Jaeger: I'm excited because it's about time Charizard got its due and X & Y give it much deserved respect. Both Mega Evolutions are DEADLY, and given that you can't possibly know which you're battling against until it's too late, the threat of a Mega Charizard means much of the metagame has developed around this Pokemon.

But it's Y that needs attention. Y has Drought -- an ability that supes up its STAB and allows it to knock out Pokemon left and right, often with a single blow. It's an amazing advancement for a Pokemon, but Charizard especially deserves it.

Larissa: I'm going with X. Yes, Y can OHKO a whole bunch of things, but you've already sold X for me. The versatility X presents given its typing makes it much more of a threat. Charizard has defined the meta by being unpredictable: X is why. When I see a Mega Charizard Y, I know what's coming.

Ev: I want to take a moment and say that it's your choice of Charizard that defined the selection process for most players I know. Not the cover legendary. Not the fossils. It was Charizard. I was no exception.

In my eyes, the reason I picked my game was because I got the Charizard I always wanted. That's a Dragon type.

Jaeger: Ugh.

Ev: Yup. That blue beast is my pick.

Winner: Pokemon X

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives
11. Legendary

X: Xerneas
Y: Yveltal

Larissa: We're all tied up. So, it's the cover legendary that will decide it.

Editor: Before negotiating the terms, it was decided Mewtwo would be left out of the debate.

I'll start things off by voting Yveltal. I'm not going to lie: Both legendaries are Uber, both serve a purpose, and both are awesome. I'm pretty well making my decision based on the aesthetic. And Yveltal is epic. Even its special move, Oblivion Wing, just looks cool.

Ev: I'm going to shock the world by not voting for the Dark type here. I love Yveltal, I really do, but its Flying typing--including of its special move--bummed me out. I know we already have a Dark/Dragon but it was such obvious typing.

As well, go into my house and you'll see paintings and sculptures of two things: wolves and deer. I fell in love with Xerneas and its Norse inspirations almost immediately. It's the top Fairy around and to me really represents what Gen VI is all about. Yveltal is destruction; Xerneas is life.

Well, Jaeger, I guess this means you decide this for us...

Jaeger: X-actly.

Nope, faked you out. My decision is based solely on the Special Move employed by each. Xerneas buffs. Yveltals damages (STAB, no less) while healing itself at a boosted rate. That's what inspires my choice.

Winner: Pokemon Y

Pokemon XY Retrospective Part 1: Ranking The Exclusives

There you have it. With a score of 6-5, Pokemon Y is the game with better exclusives. We've made our choice. Let us know in the comments which game you picked!


With Pokemon Sun and Moon a little more than a month away, we’ve assembled our Pokemon experts to look back at the last main series entry. Together, Jaeger, Larissa, and Evan will leave no rock unturned in their search for Mega Stones. From comparing Lysandre to Robespierre, to evaluating the Fairy type, to fulfilling an old man’s dying wish, this retrospective is massive. Beware: Spoilers abound!

Before making that fateful decision of which version of a Pokemon game to buy, studious players often make that all important decision based on exclusive Pokemon — cover legendary included.

We’ve assembled to rank each game’s exclusives — a simple 2/3 majority vote is needed from our authors to get a nod — before crowning our purchase pick. Read on to find out who our favourites are and who gets snubbed.

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