There’s only a few short weeks left to go before the release of Pokémon Sun & Moon, but Nintendo hasn’t been shy about releasing details in the months leading up to the game’s launch. We’ve seen one trailer after another detailing not only the hordes of new Pokémon we’ll encounter in the Alola region, but also a number of the unique additions to the standard gameplay options. There’s colorful new friends and foes, powerful Z-Moves for certain Pokemon, and all-new region-specific variations of classic pocket monsters.
Despite new ways to battle with, groom, and train your roster, the most exciting thing about any new Pokémon game is all the new creatures you’ll get to encounter. This time around, the designers behind Sun & Moon have pulled out all the stops to craft some truly unique creatures, from the legendary to the man-made, and everything in between. Here are 15 New Pokémon You Need To Know About.
15 Grass Starter Final Form: Decidueye
Even if you haven’t already seen what the starter Pokémon will look like, you’ll get to see them before you encounter any other Pokémon. Assuming Sun & Moon functions like every other Pokémon game, one of the earliest tasks you’ll complete once you leave your house will be meeting with the Alola region’s tree-themed Professor and select which Pokémon you want as your first companion. While you’ll be able to examine the Basic form of each of the Grass, Water, and Fire starter options, we thought it’d be helpful for you to know how they’ll all end up once you’ve fully evolved them.
The first entry into the Alola Pokédex is the Grass-type Rowlet, who evolves into Dartrix before it reaches its final form, Decidueye. Similar to Pokémon X&Y starter Greninja, Decidueye seems to be modeled after a, well, ninja. Where Greninja used water shurikens and its peculiar tongue-scarf, Decidueye’s weapon of choice are wooden arrows concealed in its wings. The Pokémon is described as a silent threat, likely aided by the Ghost type that Decidueye gains once it hits its final evolution.
14 Fire Starter Final Form: Incineroar
Following Rowlet and its evolutions in the Pokédex is the Fire-type starter Litten. If the pun in the name wasn’t enough of a giveaway, Litten is a cat-based Pokémon that evolves into Torracat before finally becoming Incineroar. Where Decidueye seems to favor stealth when facing an opponent, Incineroar’s name and demeanor indicate that it prefers a much more aggressive fighting style.
Matching the intensity of its type, the glimpse of Incineroar revealed in the latest trailer for the Sun & Moon suggests that the weretiger is modeled after a boastful wrestler. Rather than gaining a Fighting type to go with its Fire (and thus missing a great opportunity for a pun), Incineroar becomes part Dark-type once it evolves from Torracat. While a move named Hellfire would be a no-brainer given its dual type, Incineroar’s big attack is instead the interestingly titled Darkest Lariat, adding some cowboy flavor to this peculiar Pokémon.
13 Water Starter Final Form: Primarina
Completing the balance of the starter cycle is the Water-type Popplio. While we’ve had Pokémon based on seals and sea lions since the original 150 (like the on-the-nose Seel and Dewgong), some animals were bound to come back around as the franchise creeps towards 900 entries. Rather than give Popplio and its evolutions a fighting-theme like the other two starters, however, Sun & Moon decided to differentiate their seal-based Pokémon by incorporating some classic circus imagery. As Popplio evolves into Brionne and then Primarina, it maintains a clownishly-styled round, pink nose and an ever-expanding neck ruffle. Even the final form name Primarina alludes to a water-themed performer.
Though there's sadly no Clown or Dance-type Pokémon (yet), much like Incineroar and Decidueye, Primarina gains a type when it hits its final form. As with many of the more whimsically-styled Pokémon in recent games, the starter adds the relatively new Fairy type once it’s fully evolved. Rounding out the performance theme is the brand-new move Primarina boasts—Sparkling Aria, which is sure to be more devastating that its name implies.
Not to be confused with the Legendary Pokémon that each game possesses, Magearna is a mythical creature. Appearing earlier this year in the film Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, the Steel/Fairy-type Pokémon is actually man-made, having been forged 500 years ago by an “uncommon genius.” While this steampunk debutante isn’t the only Pokémon crafted by human hands in the history of the game, it appears to be the first, in terms of the game’s chronology at least.
Forged from the essence of other Pokémon, Magearna appears to be a suit of armor covering its true self: the powerful Soul Heart. Unlike our organs, however, this core contains extraordinary power, as it unleashes the Pokémon’s signature Soul Heart move. More than just delivering heavy damage, the Ability also allows Magearna to gain Special Attack points for every Pokémon that faints around it. And adding to its adorable factor, Magearna can transform into a facsimile of a Pokéball whenever it sleeps—or when it’s sad.
At first glance, Wishiwashi doesn’t seem all that impressive. As a single-form Pokémon, its appearance as a small, sad-looking fish doesn’t inspire confidence. Its official description seems to drive home this point: “A single Wishiwashi is tiny and weak. Measuring just eight inches from nose to tail, Wishiwashi is very small—even for a Pokémon.” The ingenious thing about this Water-type, however, is that it doesn’t float alone.
When a single Wishiwashi senses danger, it uses its large eyes to catch the light and create a vast illumination. Its uses this glow as a sort of Wishiwashi Signal, sending out a call to thousands of other Wishiwashi. Once they meet up, they then create Wishiwashi’s School Form, a massive beast resembling a whale shark. This Voltron-like creatures is apparently so frightening that even mighty Gyarados flee in its wake. This looks to be one of the more fun Pokémon to play with, especially if you’re battling a friend who’s unaware of what this meek fish can become.
10 Rockruff & Lycanroc
Much like Wishiwashi, Rockruff isn’t as meager as it seems. Beginning as a cute Rock-type puppy, Rockruff is said to become more aggressive as it grows. Soon enough, it’ll begin howling at dusk, and will soon slink off to be on its own. Once it does, it’ll go through a lycanthropic evolution, transforming into two different versions of the Pokémon Lycanroc, depending on which game you have.
For those who purchase Pokémon Sun, the solar light of the game’s Legendary mascot will suffuse their little Rockruff, turning it into the Midday form of Lycanroc. With moves like Accelorock and Stone Edge, the Lycanrock’s Midday form is said to be sleek and fast-- valuable skills to come with a Rock-type Pokémon. If you opt for Pokémon Moon, on the other hand, your Rockruff will evolve under the moonlight of your own Legendary and become the vicious Midnight version of Lycanroc. While the Midday form looks much like a normal wolf, the Midnight form of Lycanroc has the menacing appearance of the werewolf which provides its name. Standing on its hind legs and preferring to goad opponents into attacking, Midnight Lycanroc’s coat and eyes possess a sinister red glow, highlighting its more aggressive and brutal nature.
One of the earliest new Pokémon revealed for Sun & Moon, Mimikyu already seems to be a fan-favorite due to its unusual appearance. While Nintendo has certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of Pikachu clones throughout the years, Mimikyu seems to serve as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the company’s ubiquitous poster Pokémon. As per the character’s official description: “The rising popularity of Pikachu-styled merchandise around 20 years ago is the reason that Mimikyu makes itself look like Pikachu. In fact, this Pokémon is dreadfully lonely, and it thought it would be able to make friends with humans if only it looked like Pikachu.”
With Alola natives believing that to glimpse the Pokémon’s true form invites a type of curse, Mimikyu is actually somewhat vampiric, as it’s harmed by exposure to sunlight. Though the curse may be bunk, it does use its creepy covering to protect itself from the sun’s rays. That said, Mimikyu is a rare Ghost/Fairy-type, meaning it hosts plenty of mystical abilities that it could unleash on anyone unwise enough to lift its disguise.
8 Stufful & Bewear
“Deceptively cute” seems to be a running theme with this new batch of Pokémon in Sun & Moon, as evidenced by the existence of Stufful and Bewear. Continuing a concept first introduced with Teddiursa, Bewear are so dangerous that signs, um, bearing their name are a constant in their habitats. While the Pokémon’s final form does provide a bit of warning in its pun-tastic name, both creatures’ adorable looks are rather misleading. Looking like two pink teddy bears brought to life, Stufful and its evolution Bewear are some of the last Pokémon you want to try and cuddle up with in bed.
Hiding its Fighting type behind its initial Normal one, both Stufful and Bewear are said to possess incredible physical power. In fact, many trainers of these Pokémon have to teach them to restrain their strength, as their tendency to embrace their loved ones can be catastrophic to the recipient if they’re not careful. Given this information, it’ll be incredibly disappointing if Bewear’s final Ability isn’t called Bear Hug.
One of the most recently revealed Pokémon from Sun & Moon, Cosmog adds to the case that Nintendo should really introduce a Cosmic type. For now, this Nebula Pokémon is a Psychic type, and looks to be a powerful one at that. Once only known to the kings of the Alola region, this gaseous Pokémon was originally called "The Child Of The Stars" before scientists from the mysterious new Aether Foundation dubbed it Cosmog.
Though it possesses a benign nature and can be blown away by the slightest breeze, Cosmog is said to grow in size as it absorbs solar energy. Given the titles of the new games and the Legendary mascots of each one, it’s no surprise that so many of the new Pokémon seem to gain strength from the light of the sun and the moon. While not considered a Legendary Pokémon itself, Cosmog is likely similar to other rare creatures like Mew and Seribii. If that’s the case, you probably won’t find one in the game and will instead have to acquire this Pokémon as part of a special event.
Though there’s sadly no Dance-type Pokémon, Oricorio is classified as a Dancing Pokémon. More interestingly, though, is that this Flying-type Pokémon varies in type, ability, and appearance in classic Darwinian fashion. With the concept of evolution playing such a key role in Pokémon, it’s no surprise that Sun & Moon decided to literalize it a bit and create a series of bird Pokémon that vary depending upon which of Alola’s four island they dwell.
On one island you’ll find the Baile Style Oricorio, which is part Fire-type and resembles a Flamenco dancer. It has the ability to ignite its own feathery fluff, thus unleashing some truly fiery dance moves. The Pom-Pom Style Oricorio has a good deal of pep in its step, as it uses its Electric type to charge the balls on the ends of its wings to excite sad trainers and deal blows to its opponents. Pa’u Style Oricorio uses its luau dance to hone its psychic powers, and the Sensu Style variation mimics traditional Japanese fan dancers as it gathers wandering spirits to power its secondary Ghost-type abilities. With these clever permutations on what would otherwise be more bird-based Pokémon, Sun & Moon provides some exciting incentives for catching multiple versions of the same creatures.
5 Sandygast & Palossand
Pokémon based on animals are no-brainers, but the franchise has garnered equal amounts of admiration and ridicule for its tendency to include a host of pocket monsters based on man-made objects. From ice cream cones and lawn mowers to giants bags of trash, there have been some truly absurd Pokémon in each game. The first generation even boasted a pair of Pokémon that looked like living Pokéballs, not to mention the sentient CGI know as Porygon. Given that legacy, there was no way that Sun & Moon would pass up the chance to make a few weird additions to the Pokédex.
Ghost/Ground-types Sandygast and Palossand actually have quite an intriguing backstory. Formed from the negative energy of Pokémon who’ve fallen in battle, Sandygast uses its shovel (or other objects like a tree branch or flag) to lure in people for it to possess. Once under its sway, the Sandygast will use an individual to build up its body. When it evolves into Palossand, it can replenish sand on its own, and is prone to suck Pokémon into its mouth to gain their energy. So beware of these Pokémon’s gaping maw, unless you’re participating in the time-honored Alolan ritual of putting your hand into a Sandygast’s mouth to prove your courage.
4 Guardian Deities
Along with the Legendaries and other mythical Pokémon that inhabit the Alola region, Sun & Moon has added a new class of ultra-rare creatures: the Guardian Deities. Maintaining residence on each of Alola’s four islands, the Guardians Deities are all Fairy-type Pokémon that wear painted, wooden armor. In the latest trailer of the game, it appears that once you catch one of these mysterious creatures, they can power-up by withdrawing into their battle gear and increasing their formidability.
Each possessing the move Nature’s Madness, the four Deities also boast their own unique moves and additional types. On Melemele, you’ll find Tapu Koko, whose appearance actually conceals an added Electric type. Tapu Lele may look cute, but its Psychic type abilities and noted strategic battling style make it a force to be reckoned with. Rounding out the Guardians is the bull-themed Grass-type Tapu Bulu, and the dolphin-themed Water-type Tapu Fini. There’s no word yet on how you encounter these powerful Pokémon, but they likely won’t be easy to capture them.
3 Type: Null & Silvally
Boasting what may be the most idiosyncratic name of any Pokémon, Type: Null joins Magearna as another man-made creation in Sun & Moon. Like Mewtwo, Type: Null seems to have been created by scientists in an attempt to make the ultimate fighter. Designed to stand against the various Legendary Pokémon across the world’s many regions, Type: Null looks like a mishmash of various types and creatures. Though a Normal-type, its peculiar helmet is purported to curb its tremendous power. The truly unique thing about Type: Null, however, is its evolution.
When it trusts its trainer, it will remove its helmet and evolve into Silvally. Once in its final form, it’s able to move at blinding speed, but its weirdness is actually increased. Due to a slot on its head and a built-in RKS system, trainers can insert various discs into Silvally in order to change its type. With such an onerous set of abilities, this Pokémon will certainly be a once-a-game catch, though it’s equally likely that it’ll be distributed during a special promotional event.
Finishing off our list are the first two Pokémon from Sun & Moon that we saw—the mascots on each game’s cover. Unsurprisingly, Pokémon Sun features a solar-themed Legendary name Solgaleo. Appearing like a paladin-armor wearing lion, Solgaleo is actually a Psychic/Steel-type, despite its fiery appearance and namesake. This rare combo, however, affords it the unique ability Sunsteel Strike. Depending on the move it uses, Solgaleo can also activate its Radiant Sun phases, making it no wonder that legend speaks of this creature being a devourer of stars.
Just like in games past, this lit lion is likely only encountered towards the end of the game, and without trading a friend, you’ll only be able to get a hold of one if you purchase Pokémon Sun. With it’s mix of Psychic and Steel-type moves, however, Solgaleo looks to be a rare and formidable combination of traditional and special attacks. Choose wisely, though, as its counterpart appears to balance it out considerably.
If you choose Pokémon Moon, you’ll have access to a Legendary that’s both majestic and frightening in its appearance. Lunala matches Solgaleo’s affinity for the sun with an obsession about the moon, naturally. Appearing like a bat-themed moon amulet, Lunala forfeits physicality for the coveted Psychic/Ghost-type duality. Resembling the night sky as it fills itself with lunar energy, the ancients of Alola dubbed this Pokémon “the beast that calls the moon” and considered it an emissary of Earth’s lone satellite.
Whether powered into its Full Moon phases, or using its unique Moongeist Beam, Lunala’s strength, abilities, and appearance will all make it difficult for would-be trainers to decide which version of Pokémon Sun & Moon they should purchase. Though Nintendo would surely be happy if you caved and purchased both versions of the game, it seems safe to assume that you can’t go wrong by choosing either Lunala or Solgaleo.
Which new Pokémon are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments.
Pokémon Sun & Moon arrives in stores on November 18th, 2016.