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Weekly Article – Defining the Types (Part 6)

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This is the final article in analysing the Pokémon found in each type to determine how a type is defined. This week, the final three types are to be explored for things they have in common, or at least, characteristics that properly define their type.

This week, we will delve into the more mythical types, which should be interesting since all of them are quite diverse, meaning they have more characteristics that define their type, compared to some of the simpler or general types we touched on before.

If you are ready, please continue.




The Dragon-type is reputedly the most powerful type, not by type interactions, but by the powerful members they generally have. Not all Pokémon are powerful, but this is made up by their powerful attacks. It is a rare type in the beginning, with only one family, and only one new addition in Generation 2, though from Generation 3 we are introduced to more Dragon-types, and so far, at least one is a legendary. There are even four pseudo-legendary Dragon-type families!

A lot of Dragon-types are based on dragons, either the Western variety (Salamence) or the Eastern variety (Rayquaza). Most of them are Western, since they tend to be more lizard-like rather than snake-like. Interestingly, the Dratini family contains both varieties.

There are other Dragon-types that don’t look like the tradition dragon, so they might not be recognised as a dragon at first. For example, Kingdra is more of a seahorse, which is an aquatic creature. Maybe seahorses resemble dragons, so that’s why not only is Kingdra a Dragon-type, but Dragalge as well. Tyrunt and Tyrantrum might be Dragon-types despite being dinosaurs, since dinosaurs are also reptiles. Their force and royalty might be the deciding factors on their station as a Dragon-type.

Another example of a deceptively-looking Dragon-type is Altaria. It looks more like a bird, so it least resemble one. It is probable that Altaria is a Dragon-type because it is based on the Peng, a long-life Chinese mythical bird which is gigantic to the point of godly. Perhaps Dragon-types are powerful mythical creatures, so Zygarde is part of this.

What about Noibat and Noivern, bats without a trace of Dragon-types? It’s probable that they are designed to look more like a dragon despite their bat origins, or that Noivern’s powerful sound ability made it rival the power of a Dragon-type. Vibrava and Flygon could be also Dragon-type on the basis on gaining Dragon-type characteristics, since the idea of dragonfly Dragon doesn’t hold enough weight, with Yanmega around. What about Mega Ampharos? It might have some dragon-like characteristics, but I would attribute it to its name, which could be interpreted as “electric dragon”.

It should be noted that we have dragon-like Pokémon that are not Dragon-types, such as Charizard and Gyarados. Despite that, they are still Dragons on the basis that they are the Dragon Egg Group. With that said, let’s get down to what makes a dragon a Dragon.

  • Based on a dragon, Western or Eastern
  • Species resemble a dragon
  • Based on powerful and magnificent mythical creature
  • Animal given dragon-like traits




The Fairy-type is a fairly new introduction, being introduced in Generation 6. As with past new types, some older Pokémon were changed to this type. Because of the limited selection of older Pokémon, their common characteristic doesn’t necessarily make them all Fairies. As such, we will look at what we have, rather than explaining some of the exceptions.

The main thing that Fairy-types are known for is being based on, well, fairies. Perhaps fairy is too broad a term. What I mean is the smaller type of mythical creatures that are humanoid in nature, such as fairies, elves and carbuncles. Some of these examples include Flabébé, Whimsicott and Carbink. Even though there are Pokémon that are based on mythical creatures such as Misdreavus (a banshee), they are not chosen. This is what I mean when there are exceptions. The choice of what becomes Fairy is not explained, so it would be best not to explain the exceptions from here onwards.

Fairy-types are not necessarily based on fairies, but their design might be meant to be fairy-like, from their innocence and cute appearance. This could be seen with the Fairy Egg Group, where we have some Pokémon that became Fairy-type, including Clefairy, Jigglypuff and Marill.

Another type of Fairy-type is those with a natural ability of empathy, as in able to feel what others feel. This is most likely the case for the Togepi family and the Ralts family (except Gallade).

There are a couple of other Fairy-types to explain. The first is Mr. Mime (and Mime Jr.). It’s something that stumble me when I saw this re-typing. Maybe Mr. Mime is this type because of its frolicky attitude as a clown or mime, and the abilities as one. Mr. Mime is thus a Fairy the same reason Jigglypuff is a Fairy. Xerneas is probably a Fairy-type because of its association with life, and it had an eternal life, which are mystical qualities.

With some things explained, the characteristics are what I get for Fairy-types:

  • Based on humanoid and smaller mythical creatures
  • Possess cuteness and innocence
  • Ability to feel feelings
  • Representation of life




The last type we will be covering, but not the least, is the Ghost-type. This is another type that is rare very early on (only one family), and only contain a single new introduction in the subsequent Generation before getting modest amounts of new Pokémon in future generations.

Being that Ghost-types are mainly centred around spirits, a visible spirit-like Pokémon is the main defining characteristic of a Ghost-type. Some of these Pokémon are even mentioned as spirits of dead people. Examples of this include Yamask, Spiritomb and Froslass.

Not all Ghost-types are purely spirits, as there are quite a fair amount who are objects. This includes Shuppet, Honedge, Litwick, Pumpkaboo and Golett. Based on this, another characteristic that defines a Ghost-type is that an object might be possessed by a spirit. It is differentiated by other Mineral Pokémon in that they are powered by a spirit rather than a life force, so for example, Golett is powered by a mysterious energy, whilst something like Magnemite is powered by magnetic energy.

Intangibility had always been one of Ghost-type’s powers, assuming its two immunities (Normal and Fighting). A few Ghost-types simulate this intangibility by having a body that does not seem to take damage due to being bloated. The two Pokémon that fit this criterion is Frillish and Drifloon. They are made up of water and gas respectively, which would help in absorbing the hits.

There are a couple of Ghost-types that don’t necessarily fit into the above characteristics. Giratina is not quite a spirit, but perhaps its powers of distortion, in regards to its rule over the Distortion World, as well as the fact that it appears in an ancient cemetery, made it a Ghost. Sableye is another tricky Pokémon to understand its Ghost-type. From what I understand, it is said to hide in the darkness of the caves, so it has the ability to naturally evade some of the attacks since it relies on the “darkness” to take advantage of those immunities.

With that done, the characteristics that define the Ghost-type are:

  • Spirit-based
  • Objects possessed or powered by spirits
  • Bloated body containing a substance
  • Ability to travel into another dimension (Giratina)
  • Uses darkness for natural evasion


The classification of Pokémon based on characteristics isn’t always perfect, since there is bound to be exceptions and oddities, but the general pointers will give you a good idea on why a Pokémon is given a certain type, so it’s hopefully a guide on how to recognise types. Certainly, some fan designers could attempt to create something odd that don’t match the conventions of a type, but they might have a creative reason to do so, and so it should be understood first.

With that, I end this series of “Defining the Types”. Next week there won’t be a Weekly Article, unfortunately, for it takes time to research and type all of this, so a break is in order. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it.

Thanks for reading, everyone.
I appreciate it.

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