We return for more Ice-types in Generation 5, featuring a snowflake and a frosty dragon! Please read on for to see what we have in store.
Here’s another object that we didn’t have for an Ice-type before: a snowflake. And thus, Cryogonal is born. Even though it is based on a snowflake, it did not have any variation in appearance. There is a chance two snowflakes would look alike, but the chance is so infinitesimal it’s not likely to happen naturally. Still, it is a giant snowflake, so it’s not like it’s suppose to take on the characteristics of one anyway. Cryogonal is also quite eerie, with a lot of nightmare potential, being a floating face with glowing eyes.
Much like Vanillite, Cryogonal is born from snow clouds. Real snowflakes are formed when the cloud’s droplets are frozen and are gathered together by chance, forming a unique pattern. There are tiny snowflakes that its beauty can only be seen under the microscope, and there are snowflakes big enough to see its pattern anyway. Still, the largest snowflake is no match for Cryogonal’s size, since it has a diameter of 1.1 metres. It’s still a mystery on how Cryogonal is formed, due to its more complex formation, which includes glowing eyes and ice chains. If there’s one thing though: it might be scary to see a huge group of Cryogonal descending from the clouds when it’s snowing.
Another unique trait with Cryogonal is its state of matter. When it gets warmer, it will be liquefied and steamed, but when it gets colder, Cryogonal will be formed again. This meant that Cryogonal is still alive even though the dissipation of snow is supposed to mean something is dead, so it’s like as if Cryogonal is a ghost. If Cryogonal could have abilities, it could have one where its evasion or Defence is raised during Sunlight. Cryogonal’s chains are used for trapping any prey, and that’s kind of scary because, as I said, it’s a big face with glowing eyes (the crevice where its eyes are makes it look like it’s grinning at you, I should add), in addition to potentially appearing out of nowhere.
As a snowflake, Cryogonal has sharp edges, allowing it to use slashing moves such as Night Slash and Poison Jab. There are various special moves Cryogonal learns, such as the useful Rapid Spin and the odd Sharpen, but one move stands out as the oddest of them all: Attract. The reason for its oddity is, Cryogonal is genderless, so it will always fail to use this move, like Mew.
It may not look like it, but Cryogonal is rare. In the original Black and White, there is a 1% chance of meeting one at Twist Mountain, unless it’s winter, where it’s only 5%. This extreme rarity might prove frustrating for anyone attempting to pursue them. This is made easier in Black 2 and White 2 because in the same area, there is a 15% chance to meet one in winter, and a 5% chance otherwise. Due to Cryogonal’s rarity, it’s a Pokémon that new players might meet in surprise, and they might end up liking it because its rarity makes it a more valuable thing.
In the anime, there are a group of Cryogonal that appeared in “Team Eevee and the Pokémon Rescue Squad!”, where several of them (five, to be exact) freezing the dam with their ice powers, but it was discovered that there is a smaller (also known as a baby) Cryogonal trapped in the dam, and once reunited, they left the premises. The first appearance of Cryogonal is also a false one, because Cryogonal Man doesn’t have one, despite the mask. He even admits that he can’t find one, which alludes to the rarity of the species. Of course, the other appearance with Cryogonal is during the Ice-type Gym Battle between Ash and Brycen, since there are only three of them anyway.
Cryogonal may not look like much, but it is a Pokémon to consider in battling. The main draw with Cryogonal is Rapid Spin. What makes Cryogonal special is the ability to avoid Spikes due to Levitate, so it isn’t damaged by it. Moreover, it could Recover, which is something Claydol cannot do, so you could use its high Special Defence as an opportunity to replenish. The high Speed allows you to perform support well or do the occasional attacking should the need arises. It may learn Sharpen, but its low Attack meant that this is best done by another Pokémon (even Beartic is better at Physical attacking).
This is a Pokémon that is outwardly creepy because it is unlike any other Pokémon out there. There’s something to like about this uniqueness since its look isn’t easily replicated by other Pokémon out there. The closest relation to Cryogonal is probably Glalie, who also has a scary face (Cryogonal can’t learn Scary Face). It has a simple design, yet showed a good degree of potential.
Rating: 9 Snowflakes out of 10!
+ Cycle of life is interesting
+ Decent battler
± Creepy in looks and nature
± Rare to find
– Lack of variation despite snowflake origin
And now for the final Ice-type of this Generation: Kyurem. Much like Articuno, Kyurem is part of the primary elemental trio consisting of Fire, Ice and Lightning. Obviously, Kyurem is the Ice of the trio, with Reshiram being Fire and Zekrom being Electric. It was conceived as a dragon with elements of it being incomplete, as mentioned in the PokéDex. People expected a new Forme for Kyurem early in Generation 5, but what no one saw coming is Kyurem has not one, but two new Formes, which is a result of gene-splicing from Reshiram or Zekrom’s DNA. They are known as White Kyurem and Black Kyurem.
In the PokéDex, Kyurem is able to generate a “powerful, freezing energy” inside itself, and if the energy is leaked out, its body will become frozen. This sound very strange because when there isn’t such a thing as “cold energy” since coldness is the result of the absence of heat energy, much like how “darkness energy” is not possible in real life because darkness is the absence of light. Of course, since it’s a fantasy series, we don’t need to delve too much into reality. Anyway, back to fantasy. So, Kyurem is able to generate ultra-cold air, possibly reaching absolute zero levels.
The next part of its PokéDex entries is interesting, because the description merely states that “This legendary ice Pokémon waits for a hero to fill in the missing parts of its body with truth or ideals”. If you are not familiar, Truth is represented by Reshiram and Ideal is represented by Zekrom, so it alludes to Kyurem’s ability to change its Forme by adding a piece of Reshiram or Zekrom. That description also shows that Kyurem is somewhat of an incomplete legendary, which is why it isn’t quite as strong until it fuses with another Pokémon.
The idea of Pokémon fusion had been around for a long time, and there are rare cases where that happened (Magneton and Metagross), although cases like those are not technically fusions since the Pokémon didn’t need several species to form, but instead, the extra parts just magically appear when evolving. Kyurem, on the other hand, is considered true fusion because it requires two Pokémon to form, so when the DNA Splicer is used, Reshiram or Zekrom will disappear in your Pokémon team if a fusion were to happen, and will appear again when separated.
In the games, the Giant Chasm is where Kyurem resides. In order to meet Kyurem this way, you need to reach the lake in the middle of the chasm outside the cave, and that is not as easy as reaching it, because the terrain is maze-like. If you reach there, the whole area will be covered in snow, allowing the player to travel to Kyurem’s lair, where they could catch Kyurem. In Lacunosa Town, which is near where Giant Chasm is located, the folks there are most afraid of staying out for fear Kyurem would catch and eat the denizens there. It’s probably more of a superstition though, since Kyurem cannot learn any moves associated with using jaws (it doesn’t learn Ice Fang either!). If you look at Kyurem’s face, it looks like its jaw is sealed shut from its ice mask
In Black 2 and White 2, things are a bit different because Kyurem is part of the story, so approaching it is a bit different. This time, Ghetsis will attempt to freeze the player, at least until N comes to the rescue. At that point, Ghetsis used N’s dragon to fuse with Kyurem, creating a different beast depending on the dragon. You need to defeat Kyurem’s Forme (can’t catch it), followed by Ghetsis. You are able to catch Kyurem after catching Reshiram or Zekrom at Dragonspiral Tower later on.
Kyurem’s only appearance in the anime is the aptly named “Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice”. This movie starred not only Kyurem, but the legendary musketeers. In this movie, Kyurem demonstrated the ability to transform into White Kyurem and Black Kyurem without a need for splicing DNA, so it’s very different from how it worked in the games. In that movie, Keldeo (the other star) needs to defeat Kyurem in order to qualify as a Sword of Justice, a group of Pokémon that travel the world and protect Pokémon and humans alike. In this movie, Kyurem also has an army of Cryogonal, which sounds like a decent army to have. Perhaps it’s not appropriate for me to reveal my opinion on this movie, since I haven’t seen it yet.
Kyurem possesses three signature moves, all of the Ice-type, but it cannot have all three at the same time. Glaciate is only found on its normal Forme, and it is basically a stronger Icy Wind. Something tells me that this move was going to be a stronger version of Frost Breath (always hits critical), since Reshiram and Zekrom both have signature attacks of equivalent power. Even though it’s a signature move, Victini could possess it through an Event. The other two moves are Freeze Shock (Black Kyurem) and Ice Burn (White Kyurem). The former could cast Paralysis, while the latter could cast Burn. They also have a very high Base Power, but they are both charging moves, so it’s not as useful as it could be. In fact, both moves are variations of Sky Attack.
Kyurem’s stat total is a bit lower than its very powerful contemporaries, and in addition to its unimpressive defensive typing and Speed that is lower than 100, is allowed in Standard Play. One could see this as a disappointment for a legendary so powerful, since Kyurem is the first one to be allowed in Standard Play, not counting Regigigas (its Ability puts it at a whole new level). For what’s it worth, its capabilities are not too bad in Standard Play. With Pressure, recovery and good bulk, you could stall certain Pokémon easily (such as Stone Edge users). Its coverage isn’t bad either, having Dragon attacks and a coverage move, either Earth Power or Focus Blast, so it isn’t really something to set up on either. It’s a pity that a powerful Pokémon could be deemed OK, but that’s how it is.
For Kyurem’s two other Formes, they have incredible power. White Kyurem has a very high Special Attack, while Black Kyurem has a very high Attack. Their Speed didn’t have a hike, but the incredible power makes up for it. In addition to this, they have Reshiram and Zekrom’s abilities, so the opponent cannot rely on their abilities to mitigate any damage. Speed-wise, they are able to compete with the big guys, since quite a good number of them are slower. Considering that both Dragon and Ice are brilliant offensive types in that kind of environment, that’s where they could show off their power. White Kyurem has the perfect set of moves to devastate the opposition, but Black Kyurem didn’t have enough moves to use with its sky-high Attack, so it is deemed safe to allow it in Standard Play. Even then, you cannot use any of the Kyurem versions in Tournaments, even though they don’t seem too hard to handle within the competitive community.
Kyurem is a one-of-a-kind legendary Pokémon. For one, people thought that Kyurem would only have one new Forme, but surprise: there are two of them instead! What’s more: both of the new Formes are featured as mascots. It is also the first titan legendary to be alright in Standard Play, another thing that defies conventions. So, Kyurem essentially brings new things to the table, such as what I mentioned before, as well as being a true Pokémon fusion. To me, Kyurem’s alright and I appreciate its design and what it brings, so it’s still a pretty good Ice-type in my book.
Rating: 10 Wings out of 10!
+ Two new Formes that are main Pokémon
+ Original design conveys incompleteness well
+ Formes are powerful attackers
– Original Kyurem is an overshadowed choice in battling
Next time, I will touch on the Ice-types of Generation 6. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.