The second generation of Pokemon is coming to Pokemon Go. Well, not officially yet, but rumors say that Niantic is gearing up for a huge December update which will add 100 all-new Pokemon to the game (along with player-vs-player battling and trading). Earlier this month, data-miners at The Silph Road discovered in the game code references to the second-gen Pokemon, although moveset data are not yet present. Nevertheless, this likely means Niantic is already working on the second-gen Pokemon. Releasing Chikorita and co. would be a great way to end their massively successful year (at least from a financial standpoint). Here are six reasons why you should feel excited about the arrival of second-gen Pokemon.
“Real” Steel-type Pokemon
No offense to the magnet duo Magnemite and Magneton, but the Steel Type is not yet truly represented in Pokemon Go, which isn’t really a surprise considering the Steel and Dark Types debuted with the second-gen Pokemon. The second-gen will introduce four new Steel-type Pokemon:
- #205 Forretress (Bug/Steel)
- #208 Steelix (Steel/Ground)
- #212 Scizor (Bug/Steel)
- #227 Skarmory (Steel/Flying)
Scizor and Steelix are the evolution of Scyther and Onix, respectively. Steel-type Pokemon are marked with high Defense stats in the main games, which will likely be carried over to Pokemon Go. Combined with their numerous Type resistances, Steel-type Pokemon are built to last in battle (quite similar to tanks in League of Legends). However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re best deployed to defend Gyms. Gym defenders also need to be capable of taking out challengers. Amongst the four, only Scizor is also built to dish out heavy damage, and the non-existence of the Speed stat – Scizor’s main weakness – makes it even more formidable. Also, Scizor is without a doubt one of the coolest-looking Pokemon ever.
Darkness has arrived
Although Dark-type moves are present in Pokemon Go, the Type isn’t represented by any Pokemon. This changes with the arrival of second-gen Pokemon where the Dark Type is represented by six Pokemon:
- #197 Umbreon (Dark)
- #198 Murkrow (Dark/Flying)
- #215 Sneasel (Dark/Ice)
- #228 Houndour (Dark/Fire)
- #229 Houndoom (Dark/Fire)
- #248 Tyranitar (Rock/Dark)
Dark-type Pokemon are designed with one thing in mind: to combat powerful Psychic Pokemon. However, with the absence of Type immunities in Pokemon Go, Dark-type Pokemon are stripped of their one big advantage over Psychic-type Pokemon. Meaning, Alakazam can tear through all of them handily – except Tyranitar (more on it later).
Pokemon eggs have been a fixture in Pokemon Go from the beginning. But they actually debuted with the second-gen Pokemon, along with the Breeding feature and Baby Pokemon. In the main games, Baby Pokemon are generally obtainable only by hatching Pokemon eggs via Breeding – with some exceptions. They are the lowest form of a Pokemon species and can’t breed similar to most other Pokemon. There are eight second-gen Baby Pokemon:
- #172 Pichu (Electric) of the Pikachu line
- #173 Cleffa (Fairy) of the Clefairy line
- #174 Igglybuff (Normal/Fairy) of the Jigglypuff line
- #175 Togepi (Fairy)
- #236 Tyrogue (Fighting), which evolves to Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan or Hitmontop (another second-gen Pokemon)
- #238 Smoochum (Ice/Psychic), which evolves to Jynx
- #239 Elekid (Electric) of the Electabuzz line
- #240 Magby (Fire) of the Magmar line
Two new Eeveelutions
The second-gen introduces two new Eevee evolutions: the Psychic-type Espeon and the Dark-type Umbreon mentioned above. In the main games, the two are like opposites of each other. The former has a high Special Attack stat while the latter has a high Special Defense stat. The most special thing about these two Pokemon is their evolution requirements. Both require players to have maximum “Friendship” with them, which is a new feature also introduced in the second-gen games. But most importantly, the time of the day affects which one Eevee evolves into after a level-up – Espeon during daytime or Umbreon during nighttime.
Obviously, Niantic can’t deploy the same evolution requirements for Espeon and Umbreon due to the non-existent Friendship feature in Pokemon Go. Instead, they could just simplify things by including these two Pokemon along with Flareon, Jolteon and Vaporeon as Pokemon that Eevee randomly evolves into. But with Espeon only available during the day and Umbreon during the night, just like in the main games. Alternatively, Niantic could make use of the Buddy System to sort of “build” Friendship with Pokemon.
As mentioned, Tyranitar is one of the select few second-gen Pokemon that carries the Dark Type. And without a doubt, it’s the most powerful among them. Well, actually, it’s more powerful than most other Pokemon. Tyranitar is in the same category as Dragonite – a powerful non-legendary Pokemon. This means its family tree will also be one of the rarest encounters in Pokemon Go, although you can simply opt to buy a Pokemon Go account with Tyranitar already caught. Tyranitar is actually similar to Scizor. It has high Attack and Defense stats in the main games, with a low Speed stat that won’t be translated into Pokemon Go. Don’t be surprised to find this Godzilla-looking Pokemon defending most Gyms once the second-gen Pokemon are in the game. And if you think Tyranitar looks menacing, wait until you see its Mega Form (assuming Niantic includes the feature in Pokemon Go sometime in the future).
Finally, to cap off this list, we have the so-called “runners” a.k.a. the legendary beasts – Entei, Raikou and Suicine. These three are the equivalent of Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres in the first-gen. But unlike the legendary birds, these legendary beasts can’t be found loitering around a specific dungeon, waiting for players to approach them in the main games. The legendary beasts continuously run around the map, hence the “runners” moniker. If the player moves, they will move accordingly away from the player’s direction. However, there’s a “special” method for catching them (and all other runners in subsequent generations).
Niantic could go the same route by making the legendary beasts continuously running around in Pokemon Go, prompting players to chase after them. But no thanks to the omission of wild Pokemon battles, catching them will undoubtedly be more difficult than in the main games. The bad news is that players may be more prone to accidents and mishaps if they’re chasing after Entei, Raikou and Suicune.