This is At the Buzzer’s list of the top 25 Pokemon of all-time. We’re in the serious business zone now, counting down one by one through the top 10 until we reach the very best. For more information, click here or check out the Related Links down at the bottom of the post. Don’t forget to vote on how we did in the poll below!
Today’s Pokemon lives along shores in northern countries. A skilled swimmer, it dives for over 10 minutes to hunt. Because it is very proud, it hates accepting food from people. Its thick down guards it from cold. A poor walker, it often falls down. However, its strong pride makes it puff up its chest without a care.
4) Piplup (4 votes, 263 points)
Shaun: I should have liked Piplup more than I did. I wanted to. Chris is about to regale you with fantastical stories between him and his Piplup, and while I wish I could do the same, I just can’t.
I mean, look at him! Cute little face. Seems like a happy guy. Unique design. But I just couldn’t relate.
Part of the problem was the nostalgia factor…or rather, the fact that there was none. By the time Piplup was viable in the anime, I had long stopped watching. Then, when I finally had Piplup on my team, he was there for about five minutes before evolving into an ugly, monster penguin. How can I like something that I barely even got to know?
And that’s the problem with first evolutions — you waste all that time trying to decide which one you want, and then they change before you can really bond. And you can’t just not evolve them, because with the evolution comes critical stat boosts. It’s a lose lose situation for a Pokemon like Piplup, whose coolest form is pre-evolved.
And yet, I support his placement as number 4 on our list. Because it’s not his fault that Game Freak made him obsolete so soon. If you could take a Piplup through the whole game, he would undoubtedly be one of my favorites. For that reason alone, I think he deserves a little love. Or, you could just do what Chris did and turn the little penguin into a damn juggernaut…
Chris: Piplup is the source of some of my greatest frustration. Back when Diamond/Pearl came out, the Fiala brothers (Nick and Doug, who have contributed to the show in a variety of ways) settled on their respective starters. Nick was going to choose Piplup and Doug was going with Chimchar. In some deluded corner of my mind, I thought to myself, “I should choose Turtwig so that we have all of them covered!”
This was a terrible decision, one that I’ll probably still regret on my deathbed.
See, Piplup is a baby penguin. I love penguins. He’s a Water type. Water types are probably my favorite. Plain and simple, I messed up — and I think I resent Torterra because of it. Sorry, Torterra.
Once I finally decided to embrace Piplup, I faced another problem: the little guy wasn’t allowed to evolve (because screw Prinplup), so he wasn’t going to be very strong in battle. And that’s when, for the first and only time in my life, I decided to cheat.
I had an Action Replay for my DS, and I had Pokesav. This meant I could create Pokemon willy-nilly once I learned how the process worked. I spent most of my time doing this to create legit competitive battlers, with high (but not maxed) IVs and EVs already finished, good natures, etc. At no point did I create a Pokemon with a move it couldn’t have, or stats that were impossible.
Then Piplup came along. To compensate for its first-form inadequacies, Piplup had max IVs across the board. It knew silly moves like a Water-based Judgment (Arceus’ signature move) and Sacred Fire (because it’s awesome and I wanted it). And to top it all off, I gave my Piplup the Shedinja-only ability Wonder Guard, which meant it could only be hit by super effective Electric and Grass attacks.
Some might consider my genetic experiments to be too extreme. However, the interesting thing was that the end result was relatively balanced. Piplup could hold its own in battle, but with a bad matchup, he was still OHKO toast. Then again, some poor Pokemon couldn’t even hit my little boss penguin, so I suppose it was a little unfair.
The point is that I finally got the chance to run something on my team that I loved even though it was doomed to mediocrity because of its stats. So me and Piplup became best friends. Couple that with its awesomeness on the anime, and it’s my personal No. 1.
Jason:Piplup is a penguin. A cute, blue, water-type penguin, and that is awesome.