We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Pidgey, Pidgeotto and Pidgeot, well known early-game birds of Kanto! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: HappyCrumble)
The ecosystem in Pokémon contains birds in every region, and the first bird you will (most likely) encounter is Pidgey. Because of that, it might be one of the first catches by any budding trainer. In this sense, Pidgey and its family are well-known birds for being common and available early. Despite the Pokémon’s name, there is nothing remotely related to pigeons about them. The patterns on said birds do not even resemble pigeons! It is possible that they are named as such because pigeons are common birds, and the Pokémon are somewhat common birds in any region they are found, except Pidgeot (who can only be obtained through evolution).
Pidgey, the most docile bird of the family, resembles a sparrow more than a pigeon, but it is referenced as pigeon-like with the behaviour of returning to its nest no matter what unfamiliar grounds it is at. When I first saw Pidgey, I thought it was a chicken, especially in regards to its Red and Blue sprite. Pidgey is also less built for battle, which makes sense as the youngest of the family, precisely because Pidgey is known to be docile. It avoids conflicts through kicking sand in the enemies’ face with its flapping wings to blind them, possibly giving it chance to escape. It does not mean that Pidgey is helpless beyond that, especially because it would strike back when disturbed enough. Moreover, it is not against foraging small insects and Exeggcute. Of course, by training a Pidgey, it is obliged to be offensive even when it goes against its nature, but by necessity, it is required to evolve into something more predatory.
As for Pidgeotto and Pidgeot, they resemble birds of prey and behave like them, which as you can guess, aren’t related to pigeons since pigeons aren’t birds of prey. Pidgeotto is mainly skilled in sighting prey with its sharp eyesight. This allows Pidgeotto to sense movements from the sky and strike any prey with its well-developed claws, in which it could carry them to its nest as far as up to 100km. This must be the basis of its Keen Eye ability. Pidgeotto is also said to be quite territorial, attempting to seek any intruders with a claw strike or a peck when its territory is intruded. Because its territory is wide, attacks could happen when you least expect it.
With a speedy flight and keen eyesight, Pidgeot is able to capture any kind of prey without a hitch. Its beautiful wings are quite powerful to not only fly fast, but to generate strong winds. Pidgeot is especially notable for its ability to achieve Mach-2 speed, which translates to twice the speed of sound. That seems like an exaggeration, mostly because if that speed is achieved, you will be hearing sonic booms when they fly that fast, even way up in the sky. Moreover, its Speed stat is not as fast as it suggests which is now patched a bit when it gets a slight increase in its base Speed in Generation 6.
One feature that is apparent with this family of bird Pokémon is their head feathers. Pidgey’s in undeveloped, while Pidgeotto’s grew longer, and finally, Pidgeot’s is the longest with added yellow streaks. This is taken one step further when Pidgeot Mega Evolves into Mega Pidgeot, in which it has a head feather extending past its body length. In some ways, the extension of its “hair” is a form of conveying that it is extra power, like as if it has a stronger fire (and in turn, energy) on its hair. It’s little wonder Mega Pidgeot is known as “Super Saiyan bird” for its resemblance to Dragon Ball’s Super Saiyan mode. Of course, there is other stuff that Mega Pidgeot stands out at, such as its more colourful plumage, but its “hair” is the most noticeable trait.
This family gained extra popularity in “Twitch Plays Pokémon”, where Pokémon Red is played through the input of any user in the chatroom. Having multiple people playing the game makes it very difficult to guide the player’s actions to the right destination, and the unfortunate effect from all of this is that the player’s useable Pokémon, especially the Fire starter, are released when attempting to put Flareon in the PC. Being the last useable Pokémon in the player’s party, Pidgey is the hope that is required to finish the game, making it a saviour in a sense. This is what gave this Pokémon the nickname “Bird Jesus”. After that, the Pidgey eventually evolve into a Pidgeot, where it was instrumental towards the game’s completion.
The most notable appearance for Pidgeotto and Pidgeot in the anime is when it was one of Ash’s first Pokémon. In the second episode, he caught Pidgeotto in as early as Viridian Forest, which wasn’t possible in the games until Pidgeotto was retrospectively added in Pokémon Yellow. It was a Pidgeotto while with Ash until it evolved into Pidgeot out of necessity when combating the vengeful Spearow-turned-Fearow that Ash unintentionally harassed earlier. It was also one of the times Ash released his Pokémon, which means that his team is open for a future member. Asides from that, Pidgey commonly appears as a background Pokémon, as with its other members.
In battling, Pidgeot is not remarkable as a bird. It learns some great Flying attacks such as Hurricane and Brave Bird, as well as having a few useful attacks like Heat Wave or U-turn, but as a whole, it’s not remarkable mainly because its stats are not significant, except for Speed. Even Dodrio is a better attacker with its higher Attack stat and Fearow could use Drill Run for Rock- and Steel-types. That’s not mentioning the situational abilities that these family has. This all changes when Pidgeot’s Mega Evolution have an actually useful ability known as No Guard, allowing its Hurricane to always hit. This is very useful mainly because Hurricane is powerful and can confuse. Along with Heat Wave, Mega Pidgeot could do well in Sun despite the accuracy drop for Hurricane (because of No Guard), and it helps that Mega Pidgeot has high Special Attack and Speed.
Usually, early-game Pokémon is memorable because any player who plays the game is guaranteed to meet them, even ones that stop midway. Even though Pidgey and its relatives are not powerful, they are remembered for many things, including through Twitch Plays Pokémon, have an appearance of increasing power as it evolves and the usage of Pidgey as an example on the absurdity of a small Pokémon’s ability to lift trainers with Fly.
+ Abilities develop further as it evolves
+ Popular bird Pokémon
– Mediocre until Mega Evolution
– Normally used a filler Pokémon
Pidgey’s TCG Card
With its intricate lines and soft colours, this image of Pidgey is quite scenic, not because of focuses on Pidgey, but because it makes the environment as detailed as it could be.
Pidgeotto’s TCG Card
The angle in which Pidgeotto is viewed from is quite breathtaking. Given the similarity between both Pidgeotto and Pidgeot, it’s easy to mistake Pidgeotto here as Pidgeot, if you don’t know what’s different between them, namely the lack of yellow streaks on Pidgeotto’s hair and the existence of yellow tail feathers on Pidgeotto.
Pidgeot’s TCG Card
In these mountainous fields, Pidgeot looks to show off its signature speedy flying and long hair. It might just be me, but Pidgeot doesn’t look particularly big here.
Even though this move is wind-like in nature, this move is Normal-type. Because the first user of this move is the Pidgey family (alongside Butterfree), this move represents them the best.
Of all the moves that force the target out, Whirlwind has the least immunities (Roar is stopped by Soundproof, Circle Throw is stopped by Ghost-types and Dragon Tail is stopped by Fairy-types), so it is most likely to force a target out. Because forcing out opponents will negate any boosts they currently have, this is a useful tactic for certain Pokémon to ward off a threat. This is why this tactic is known as pseudo-Haze, named after Haze’s effect in resetting boosts.
This move is also useful to stop a wild Pokémon battle, as this move immediately blows them away, provided your level is higher than them. However, the opposing wild Pokémon could do the same to you if the conditions are met.
So that this move isn’t too powerful, this move has a huge negative priority, meaning that it is sure to move the last. This allows the opponent to land an attack of an effect first, which nicely balances the move’s ability to temporarily remove a threat. It cannot work if the opponent only has one Pokémon left, so this move can’t be used on the last boosting Pokémon standing.
Overall, Whirlwind is an immensely useful move, but it is also a nicely-balanced one.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Pidove, Tranquill & Unfezant