Hi everyone, JohnnyRootbeer here with a new segment I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I’m thinking of calling it Pokémon Head-to-Head. In each issue, I’ll randomly generate two Pokémon and have some fun comparing and contrasting them in a few different categories. I’m a big design guy so the character design aspect of Pokémon has always fascinated me. I’m also a big nature guy so the idea of fitting these little weirdo creatures into a living breathing world in a believable (usually unbelievable) way is another aspect of the franchise that keeps me coming back for more, twenty five years on. What I’m not, however, is a competitive Pokémon player, so this blog will be more about the lore and less about who can edge out a win.
Without further ado, let me put on my lab coat and get to work.
This week’s randomly chosen subjects are:
Luxray and Mismagius!
Weight: 92.6 lbs.
“ It has eyes which can see through anything. It spots and captures prey hiding behind objects. – Pokedex, Pokemon Diamond”
Luxray, already starting off with a big time fan favorite. People friggin’ love Luxray. I feel like if Lucario didn’t debut in the same generation, Luxray would be even more popular than he is, but he got the short end of the stick and became overshadowed by the bipedal Anubis dogman. Maybe if Lucario wasn’t around, Luxray would’ve gotten into Smash Bros. instead. Hey, stranger things have happened on that front. One thing that always sticks out to me about Luxray is, in one of the movies or specials there’s a scene that is so absolutely god damned sad involving a Luxray keeping a lost child warm in a blizzard. It will destroy you emotionally for a week, watch at your own risk. Luxray is arguably one of the faces of Generation IV, a staple of every player’s team in such a limited pool of early route Pokémon. Generation IV had limited selection, true, but they made the Pokémon designs count, that is absolutely fact.
In terms of design, he’s a slick fella. Bordering on overdesign, but only just. He’s got the edgy, almost all black coloring, with a yellow lightning motif and that nice light blue to break things up, like a quick and agile storm cloud coming to put you into the ground. The eyes are really striking, with red details that really make him look pissed, like if you were to run into one of these guys in the woods, you’d shit yourself from the staredown alone. A mishmash of a Lynx and a Lion, Luxray is as ferocious and powerful looking as you would want in an early route Pokémon, making all the time spent with your little baby level 5 Shinx pay off 4 or 5 badges into the game.
Height: 2′ 11″
Weight: 9.7 lbs.
“The incantations Mismagius chants can ward against misfortune, so a custom exists of inviting it into one’s home. Incur the Pokémon’s displeasure, however, and disaster will surely ensue. – Pokedex, Legends Arceus”
Mismagius, is an evolution of a Gen II Pokemon, Misdreavus. I’ve honestly never been a fan of Gen IV’s results of evolving previous generation’s Pokemon. I think the idea of doing that is great, but a lot of the guys that got that treatment in Gen IV look like what happened to the Monstars from Space Jam. Starting off as slick and cute designs, then roided out of their minds into big stupid jerks, I’m looking squarely at you, Rhyperior and Magmortar. Mismagius is not as heinous as those two though, it seems like a more natural evolution, where Misdreavus started as a sort of cute little witch-in-training, Mismagius is an accomplished and powerful witch or mage. I like the idea a lot. It’s spooky season and Mismagius is here for it.
As much as I like the idea behind this Pokémon line, I do still feel that Mismagius is quite a bit over designed like the other cross generational evolutions. Misdreavus was pretty simple, but now it’s grown to have a flowing sort of robe, and a large witch hat. The hat gets the point (get it?) across but it’s so jagged and all over the place. For me, it’s a little much. The theme and overall idea of this Pokémon are what saves it, in my opinion. The purple coloring continues on from Misdreavus but more saturated. Its little jewel necklace also returns, but now as sharper ovals, much like Mismagius is now a taller, pointier version of its younger self.
With its early access to dark type moves like Bite and Crunch, its high speed stat and good mix of physical and special moves, I think Luxray would win handedly against our spooky specter friend Mismagius.
Who am I picking to have an adventure with?
I tend to lean towards the Pokémon that look like monsters, beasts and animals, so after looking at all of the facts, I’m going to go with the shockingly cool lynx/lion/walking power plant: Luxray.
So what do you think? Let me know in the comments who you’re picking for an adventure, the fearless and ferocious Luxray or the magic and mysterious Mismagius?