We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Audino, Unova’s most common Pokémon found in shaking patches of grass! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: Yamio)
At first glance, Audino’s name sounds like “audio”, which is its key trait: its astounding auditory aptitude. With the feelers from its ears, it could also feel the heartbeats of others to know their feelings or even hear the inside of an egg to determine how close it is to hatching. It is also a pun for “I don’t know”, which doesn’t seem to be related to Audino’s trait unless it has Unaware for a Hidden Ability, but then that won’t fit its Japanese name, which is a pun for “maybe”, though they share the reference to Audino’s sensitive hearing. The localisation of Pokémon names is generally better than ever, certainly a lot better than the days of “Wobbuffet” (lost the punny nature of its name) and Feraligatr (not adhering to the 10-character limit).
In Generation 5, Audino is a common find in any shaking grass, making it very easily found. Even when it is battles, it didn’t put up much of a fight. It might attack sometimes, but it also has some support moves that will affect the player (since they’re the only target), such as Heal Pulse. That makes Audino an easy target to pick off, though it has good defences to take care of. This works to the advantage of the player, because the high availability of Audino is convenient experience points. Chansey and Blissey, two Pokémon providing more experience points, are considerably rarer, which makes them less ideal for experience farming. It has led to some players pointing out the cruelty of such an act.
When I look at Audino, I look at a rabbit. Audino has several traits that give it a rabbit’s look, such as its ears and stubby tail. Perhaps like rabbits, Audino are quite fertile, which would explain why Audino is rather common. Perhaps it makes an Audino hunt hurt less for places where rabbits are pests. It should be noted that Audino is not rabbit-like in the same way Buneary and Bunnelby are, for it has traits shared by its fairy cousins, namely being pink and cute. Being pink is a way of saying that Audino is a Pokémon of calming and healing.
It is not immediately clear that Audino is a healer, since it looks like a rabbit. The only indicator to its healing talent is the feelers on its ears, which functions similarly to a stethoscope. The tool is more for diagnosis, so that’s where Audino’s healing abilities come in. It has two abilities that provide passive healing, which are Healer and Regenerator. Not only that, it has a wide array of healing moves to help out, including Wish and the aforementioned Heal Pulse. With such utility, it is little wonder Audino is the choice of Pokémon for Pokémon Centres in Unova.
It was initially believed that Generation 5 didn’t have Mega Evolutions since Pokémon X & Y didn’t have any, but during Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire’s information drip-feed, Audino was revealed as the first Generation 5 Pokémon with a Mega Evolution. Mega Audino takes a whiter and more angelic look, but more importantly, it looks like it is wearing a doctor’s coat and a stethoscope around its neck. Not only that, it gained a Fairy-type! If you ask me, I believe Audino should have been a Fairy-type in the first place, since it could use a viability boost. Besides, Normal/Fairy is a decent type combination. Oh well, it’s already past the release date, so we’ll make do with a pure Normal-type Audino.
Audino’s not a bad Pokémon in battle, but it has stats that are on the low side. Its defences are alright, certainly primed to be a good healer, but it has weak offences, meaning it’s not going to be doing reasonable damage anytime soon. Having Regenerator is a huge asset mainly because as a defensive Pokémon, it will want to be able to stay healthy as much as possible when it is needed. The bonus of switching out comes in handy with the move Wish, because it gets to heal a teammate along with some of the damage it took. Since it won’t do too much damage, disruption through status is a good enough alternative, or even the usage of Knock Off to remove items.
Audino is both a notable and a forgettable Pokémon. On one hand, Audino’s frequency and utility (and maybe being the first Generation 5 Mega Evolution) make it popular, but its design is not the most remarkable thing. Being both is certainly a better deal than being mediocre, for that would make it forgettable than it already is, so it works out well for Audino. On its own merits, Audino is a rather cool and useful Pokémon, so it has a purpose and reason to exist.
+ Very cute
+ Has a Mega Evolution
– Somewhat forgettable design
Audino is shown to be lying around, and it looks like it must be resting after a hard day’s work at the Pokémon Centre. This is of course because Audino’s abilities are well-suited for medical care, and it’s even the choice of Pokémon in Unova’s Pokémon Centres (at least in the anime). Amusingly, the attack it has is appropriate to its pose, and even more amusingly, this attack can actually do a lot of damage even though it doesn’t suggest being as offensive as it sounds.
In Generation 3, Secret Power was TM-exclusive, meaning that no Pokémon could learn this move naturally. Because this move can be taught to any Pokémon, it’s a versatile move to use. It’s also a TM that is easily available, so there is no fear in using up any Secret Power TMs.
In Generation 5, Audino is made to be the only Pokémon to learn this move naturally, finally giving a way to spread this move around. This move fits Audino because it’s ubiquitous in Unova, and while its location is usually grassy areas, the variation in location must have been the idea that it could use this move naturally. Unfortunately, its Egg Group is a tad exclusive, making it required for other Pokémon to be transferred from a previous Generation so that certain Pokémon (especially Generation 5 ones) could get it through breeding.
It’s a basic attack with a neat effect. Basically, it will do something based on the terrain, and for every different terrain, there is a 30% chance of inflicting some effect, including paralysis, lowering of Attack, sleep and freeze (only move to have 30% of freezing).
More importantly, this move is an essential move for Hoenn trainers, because it allows them to build a Secret Base on spots where it’s suitable to build one. Since the TM could be learned by any Pokémon, you could use a spare Pokémon only for the purpose of conjuring a Secret Base. Audino’s ability to naturally learn this move must be why it gets a Mega Evolution in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, since this move is tied to Hoenn.
Overall, it’s a mediocre attack, but it’s memorable because Secret Bases depends on this move to make them a reality.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Azurill