We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Farfetch’d, the prepetual underdog (or bird)! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: Bubble-Rhapsody)
It is something of a timely convenience if you see a duck with a green onion, considering how they could be combined to form duck stew. Even their name cites this unlikely coincidence, since it is farfetched to see such a thing happening. After all, if you see any fish with potatoes handy, wouldn’t it be really convenient to make fish and chips out of them?
There is a saying in Japanese that is translated as “a duck comes bearing green onions”. It essentially means “something surprising, yet convenient”. When your food comes with an essential ingredient, such as a duck with a green onion, wouldn’t it be convenient since you can just make some duck stew with them? Of course, it’s not likely to happen, but if it does, then it is indeed a fortuitous thing. When this phrase is shortened, then it is composed of the words meaning “duck” and “onion”, which is read as “Kamo Negi”, and do you know what that name is used for? Farfetch’d’s Japanese name! I hope that in the future, there are more Pokémon designed based on sayings in other languages.
The origin of Farfetch’d must’ve been quite unknown in the English world, since before its real origin was pointed out, it was thought that Farfetch’d’s origin came from a legend that goes like this: a wild duck carries a green onion to offer itself to the starving travellers as a meal. It is something only Pokémon fan-sites cited, yet the tale is alien to the Japanese. Thanks to the research effort done by George Hutcheon of Bulbanews, we now know the real idea. Otherwise, nobody would have an idea about it, so people like JHall won’t mention the idea behind Farfetch’d’s design. What matters now is that this superstitious legend is debunked for good.
One would have to wonder why this wild duck Pokémon would want to carry a scallion everywhere, and why it even wants it in the first place. Having a tool can be quite handy if you know how to use it, and Farfetch’d knows how to use it. With it, it can build a nest, probably by cutting other branches or things with that stick for materials. When it needed to eat something, the last resort is to eat its scallion, which it would preferably not do, because this scallion is useful for fending off attackers or predators. Do you actually think that Farfetch’d wants to be eaten? Because Farfetch’d is a popular choice of food for its ease of catching it and relative vulnerability, it’s understandable that preservation is needed to prevent its extinction. You wouldn’t want Farfetch’d to be missing in action for the next Generation, would you?
In order to supply itself with more scallions, it needs to find where they grow. When it found that spot, it would understandably want to prevent anybody from disturbing their growing place, since it cannot survive without them. Several moves couldn’t be used without them, after all. A proper scallion would be preferable over a bad one, probably based on function over form, so if the scallions are not enough for the Farfetch’d family, then they will fight for the best ones. If, by chance, you catch a Farfetch’d with an ideal scallion, it will be holding it as an individual item called a “Stick” (actually, it’s a Scallion in Japanese).
One thing you might notice is that Farfetch’d is quite rare. Some were given as gifts, such as in Kanto, while wild ones are usually rare. On one hand, it could be about how they are hunted at an unsustainable rate, similar to certain endemic birds that are free from predators, such as the kakapo and the kiwi. On the other hand, it could be based on the second meaning of the phrase I mentioned earlier: “along comes a sucker just begging to be parted from his money”. This is most relevant when Farfetch’d is traded away, because it is usually asked for more useful Pokémon, namely Spearow and Bunnelby. By comparison, Fearow is stronger and faster, while Diggersby can use its STAB Earthquake. In essence, you traded away a useful Pokémon for a Pokémon that is ineffective at battling, so you are like a sucker. However, in the context of a video game, you can always catch more of the common species, and besides, Farfetch’d is a new Pokémon that fills your PokéDex, so it sounds like a win-win if you ask me. Realistically though, this deal is not quite worth it.
Farfetch’d’s stats are subpar all around, with no distinct ones. Its best ability is Defiant, a nice ability that fits its underdog nature. Farfetch’d could improve its chance through the “Stick” item, which increases the critical hit ratio by two stages. In prior Generations, the chances of landing a critical hit is not as great as now, because normal moves will now have a 50% chance of landing it, while a high critical-hit ratio move like Night Slash will always land a critical hit. Keep in mind that critical hits are only 50% stronger compared to having a 100% boost, so the power isn’t much greater this time.
Because of Farfetch’d’s lack of battling potential, fans were hoping that Farfetch’d could at least have an evolution to remedy this, or even a Mega Evolution if the former isn’t possible. Some others hoped that it will never happen since the idea behind this Pokémon, namely the aspect of it being purposefully weak, would be ruined by it having an evolution. Either way, Farfetch’d is an interesting case of being purposefully weak that to be able to effectively beat an opponent with it is a grand achievement by itself.
Ask a competitive battler, and they will write Farfetch’d off for its lack of viability now and ever. Ask an average battler, and they would not necessarily use Farfetch’d because it is not common. However, there will always be fans of a Pokémon that is considered a perpetual loser. After all, it is about right that there is a Pokémon for everyone.
+ Underdog by design
± Proves that Pokémon can be eaten as food
– Initial origin is misleading
– Unsuitable for battling
This card is actually an alternate version of another Farfetch’d card, which has a much more generic-looking art. This one, on the other hand, provides a much more personality for our underdog bird. Instead of being portrayed as something helpless, Farfetch’d is shown weeding out some unwanted things in the ground, which are possibly a group of Diglett since that is the closest Pokémon they resemble. It appears that Farfetch’d is playing “whack-a-mole”, and it might have played it a little rougher than usual, for those Diglett in the ground had become misshapen. So basically, even underdogs have their days.
This move is another challenging pick for Farfetch’d, mainly because it doesn’t have any specific move that fits it, but ultimately, Feint is chosen to tie into Farfetch’d’s skills in using its leek as a type of rapier.
Initially, Feint only works when the target is protected, becoming useless when they decided not to do it. It makes the move so much harder to use because it can fail. Fortunately, the designers saw the problem with it and made this move always hit even though no protection is used. Unfortunately, this move also has a power decrease from 50 BP to 30 BP, possibly to keep it from being too powerful, since it is faster than Quick Attack (thus, it is less powerful than it).
Any type of protection will be removed if this move is used, including ones that should by right avoid it like Quick Guard. Moreover, it is not affected by the negative effects of certain protection moves like Spiky Shield and King’s Shield.
Because protection is integral in Doubles and Triples, Feint is a good counterattack if a certain Pokémon needs to be attacked at all costs. Fortunately, there are so many users of this move. The only type of Pokémon this move cannot affect normally is Ghost-types, so they can still protect, unless the attacker has a way to bypass the immunity either through Foresight or Odour Sleuth, or even a move type-changing ability like Aerilate. Other times, the move’s high priority is useful to pick off a weakened target, but remember that Fake Out is faster than it.
Overall, Feint is normally just a good attack with a good trade-off between speed and power, but because of its protection-shattering effect, it is immensely useful in team-based battles (Doubles and Triples) to aid any teammate in guaranteeing any important strikes.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Fletchling