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The Charmander Line

Today we're taking a look at the Charmander line! This line is, by and large, the Most over-represented in all of Pokemon, beyond the iconic Pikachu and Eevee. Unlike Pikachu and Eevee, I don't quite get Charizard's popularity. Pikachu and Eevee are cute and marketable, easy to make merchendise and plushies of, and their popularity was bolstered by the anime and their rarity in game, respectively. Charizard on the other hand, has none of that. Charizard was popular with genwunners sure, but it's not exactly an easy design to sell as a plush toy huh?

I won't lie, Charmander is pretty cute. He is just a orange lizard with his tail on fire, but he's so darn precious! Look at the stance, that big goofy baby grin, those big shiny eyes. How could Charmander not find its way into your heart?

Interestingly enough, Charmander seems to be based on the mythical salamander, which was a lizard-like fire spirit. Its Japanese name, Hitokage, even suggests this: it's literally just the word hi, meaning fire, and tokage, meaning lizard.

Charmeleon shows off more of that middle-evolution rebellion that Ivysaur started. I know it was likely just a way to marry the large, angry-looking Charizard and the small and cute Charmander, but god if it doesn't look cool. I'm a big fan of its claws in particular, I really enjoy thinking about these monsters growing like actual, physical creatures and growing claws and sharper fangs as they grow older.

Oh Charizard. I used to love you so much, but now it feels like I've had too much of a good thing. Where I once saw a cool design and a ferocious Pokemon, I now just see another cashgrab for genwunner's money. I've seen you so many times that instead of seeming cool or mysterious, you're just a large, orange, almost typical dragon, and that makes me sad to say. I used to love you Charizard, and I hope Nintendo lays off the Char-mania soon so I can love you again.


So Charizard, for some reason, is the Only Pokemon to get two mega evolutions besides Mewtwo. Like uh... alright. This is what I mean when I say that Charizard gets preferential treatment.

That said, I'm actually a fan of Charizard X's design. It's got a badass color scheme, looks appropriately menacing, and in my opinion, it feels more like a mega evolution than Charizard Y does. I also appreciate that it finally gets the Dragon typing, which feels natural for Charizard.

Charizard Y on the other hand... Is a bit boring in the same way Mega Venusaur is, though it is quite a bit better than that one. It feels less like a mega evolution and more like a "fourth" evolution, if that makes sense? I vastly prefer Charizard X to this one, I'm afraid.

So how does the Charmander line hold up in battle?

Unsurprisingly, Charizard does not fare well without its Megas or a Gigantimax. Its 4x weakness to rock really hinders it on a lot of levels, with its flying subtyping really pulling it down and adding far more weaknesses, especially when you look at how prevalent Stealth Rock is as an entry hazard.

With its MEga evolutions though, Charizard turns into a real powerhouse whichever way you choose to go. Drought on Charizard Y is killer despite its glaring weaknesses to common types, and Tough Claws on Charizard X in combination with its new typing is an absolute force to be reckoned with. I dare say that these two mega evolutions are... gasp... really good. I really cannot overstate their usefulness in battle, and just how deadly they can be. If you only have base Charizard and want to use it though, who am I to stop you? As the game says, "Strong Pokemon. Weak Pokemon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites."

Final Thoughts

Though completely over-represented in the Pokemon world, I can't overstate how useful Charizard's mega evolutions are. I despise its popularity at the cost of other Pokemon, but I can't deny how many people love and have loved Charizard over the years. Charizard is no longer my cup of tea, but I'll happily respect anyone that says Charizard is one of their favorite Pokemon.

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