We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Azurill, a pre-evolution that is of a different type from its Water-type evolutions! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: shoon)
When it comes to unique types within evolution lines, Azurill is a contender. Some Pokémon experience an additional type in their evolution lines, such as Burmy and Slugma. There are others who experience a complete type change, such as Eevee. Azurill initially fit into this category, but what makes Azurill special is that it is a pre-evolution of an existing Pokémon Marill. Marill is a Water-type, so it is pretty strange that Azurill is a Normal-type. As Azurill’s the only Normal-type in its family, this is the only Pokémon you will see here. It is until Fairy was added to this line that the type connection is complete.
There are a lot of differences between Azurill and Marill, besides type. The gender ratio that Azurill experiences is different since it is one part male and three parts female, compared to Marill’s equal chance of being male and female. This means that in Generation 5 and earlier, Azurill would change from female to male depending on its personality value. It seems that Generation 6 is more consistent with little details even if the personality value doesn’t match, making Azurill stay the same gender after evolution.
Amusingly, Azurill is harder to catch compared to Marill, since its catch rate is lower than Marill’s. It’s possible that it is a bouncy Pokémon, which means its movement is more fickle. Its tail seems to be its weapon of choice, considering its size relative to its body (and because it has no hands). In terms of stats, Azurill is not much lower compared to Marill, only having less Speed and defences, possibly because Marill’s stats are already low.
Its tail stores nutrients and is also rather bouncy, not to mention floaty. This could be why it has Thick Fat as its ability. Perhaps Azurill’s ability to use its tail for huge feats justifies its Huge Power ability. This effectively makes it stronger than it suggests, even though with its current Attack its strength isn’t enough to elevate it to a dangerous level. As for Sap Sipper, it might be that Azurill is an herbivore, which is why it has that ability.
It is a Pokémon that is usually depicted as frowning. As to why that is the case, it’s a mystery since hints on its sadness are not mentioned, but we could at least speculate. A reasonable explanation for its sadness is to indicate its evolution method of requiring friendship and levelling up. Besides, Marill is a rather cheerful Pokémon. There are other suggestions that make a reference to Azurill’s unusual body or its gender issue, which I find to be rather distasteful.
All in all, Azurill is a mildly interesting but unremarkable Normal-type, since it does not have a lot in common with other Normal-types other than being an animal (even then, it’s hard to argue that Azurill has anything in common with rodents, not counting its ears), though it has the interesting gender quirk that is fixed, which makes it even more unremarkable.
+ Interesting gender quirk
– Unremarkable Normal-type, even among Normal-types
– Unremarkable battler, even among early-stagers
– Strange type choice that deviates from its evolutions
There are currently only three Azurill cards in existence, even though it was introduced way back in Generation 3. This could be attributed to how baby Pokémon are rarely used as cards, given their evolutions are just as easily played, and they’re often better than them thanks to their higher HP and being one step away from their final evolution. Anyway, this card is chosen mainly because it has water, and Azurill evolves into a Water-type. It helps that this card looks the best of the bunch, despite the small size of this image (that’s the best I could use).
This move has a simple effect of forcing another to repeat the same move, but the way in which it could happen is quite mysterious. This move is always depicted as clapping hands with a spotlight over that target, as if they are performing a show. All of its users have different body structures that there is no absolute way this move is used.
One could argue that some Pokémon clap their hands or forelegs to use it, but there are handless Pokémon like Poliwag, Sunkern and of course, Azurill. Moreover, a few don’t have free hands like Chatot, Amaura. The anime makes it seem like the Pokémon projects a form of energy that forces the target to repeat the same move, which is most plausible for Pokémon with psychic abilities, but it would be strange to see Pokémon who are not necessarily psychic.
The purpose of Encore is that it forces the target in using a harmless move to the user, thereby preventing them from counterattacking. It is a lot more potent when Prankster is used alongside it, so that even the fastest Pokémon isn’t free from this vicious cycle. Usually, slower Pokémon are not the best users because the opponent is given a chance to switch moves, but if the move gives the user an advantage, such as Wobbuffet forcing the opponent to use an attack that it could reflect, then obviously that is preferable.
Certainly this is a strange move, but an amusing and useful one nonetheless.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Bidoof & Bibarel