We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Patrat and Watchog, rodent Pokémon whose eyes could be considered unsettling due to its colours! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: Swadloon)
These early-game two-staged Normal-type mammals are as basic as you can get, but with an attribute. The main attribute for these Pokémon is their tendency to look out for anything, what with their warning-like eyes and the vest-shaped pattern on Watchog. I find their names strange because Patrat sounds similar to “Patrick” and Watchog sounds similar to “watchdog”, though the naming of the latter at least made sense.
One of Patrat’s habits is to be on the lookout for any dangerous threat, since it is a smaller animal and not necessarily equipped for combating. Like Sentret, it will feel insecure without one of them watching out. It might be more optimal for more than one to be on the lookout, since its range of sight is not wide enough to notice a foe behind. Patrat also appropriately behaves similarly to smaller rodents such as chipmunks or squirrels in that it stores food in its cheek pouches where the food will be carried while keeping its paws free to scurry off.
Watchog is more akin to the groundhog, a larger rodent compared to a chipmunk. Unlike real groundhogs, Watchog is slim. Even Watchog’s pose is similar to the groundhog, which will stand on two feet to have a better view on what to watch out for, and if trouble is nearby, it will warn the other groundhogs to flee by whistling. Watchog, however, is more able to fight back, as it will attempt to fight back by spitting seeds from its cheek pouches at its enemies, or threaten them with the luminescence from the yellow stripes on its body. It is possible that when it failed to threaten its enemy or be defeated, the others will flee for their lives.
Both Pokémon have eyes that might be unsettling for some people because they do not look normal. Not only are their eyes partly red, they have a yellow strip on each eye. The unusual eye pattern could be beneficial to emit some light, making its surroundings visible. This gives off a type of warning just by staring at them, or used for hypnotising (they’re the only early-game two-staged mammal Pokémon that gets Hypnosis). It is possible that the red around the eyes allow it to have a wider range of vision, which is essential to watch out for threats, but not too much to see what’s behind, so their vision is still very much monocular.
Watchog’s chest is marked with yellow markings that make it look similar to a high-visibility vest. Normally, this would be a disadvantage since Watchog is not supposed to be spotted, but it could also be used as an advantage not only for survival purposes, but the natural lighting of its body could be used as natural signals while in the dark, such as landing a plane on an airstrip, or to direct lost travellers in the woods to safety. It is also a form of irony where as a prey, being spotted is the last thing it wanted, but it is highly visible to anything with its yellow pattern.
In the second Gym battle in Pokémon Black and White, Watchog is the Lenora’s main Pokémon. In said battle, Watchog is somewhat powerful at that stage, since it is fully-evolved at a time when the starter is likely to be at its middle stage. The power mainly comes from the move Retaliate, which does double damage when another Pokémon fainted, and being that the battle is a two-Pokémon team, chances are that will happen. This Pokémon could also be helpful in the museum (where Lenora works at) for its abilities to help in watching out for any intruders attempting to steal the artefacts, along with her other Pokémon Herdier.
As expected for an early-game Pokémon, Watchog is quite mediocre in battling, since its stats are mediocre, with only Attack being decent. Its best ability is Analytic, which basically gives it extra power when it moves last or if the opponent switches. It could be useful since it’s not the fastest, but its defences are too low to make any meaningful impact. It’s too bad, because its movepool is fine, containing a wide range of Physical attacks and a good range of Special attacks, as well as unique non-attacking moves. The best ability that it should’ve gotten is No Guard to suit its watchful nature, and it could make its Hypnosis always hit. It won’t make it suddenly viable, but it will help it a little by making Hypnosis and Super Fang always hit.
Patrat and Watchog are essentially normal in that they are closely based on animals, but they have special abilities that make them pretty cool to have because the benefits are more relatable on a human level. Unfortunately, they are not remarkable in the games for their generally mediocre battling performance, so from the perspective of a player looking for a battle, they are not remarkable. Still, they are a great addition to the Pokémon family despite that, for their designs.
+ Ordinary animals given abilities helpful for humans
± Unusual eyes
– Mediocre battler
Patrat’s TCG Card
Patrat normally works in groups to oversee things in all angles, so they need each other to keep an eye out for dangers from practically anywhere, due to each individual’s limited point of view. Since they are not the most powerful Pokémon, their strength in numbers is surely an asset for their lookouts.
Watchog’s TCG Card
It’s an ideal that a Pokémon’s abilities are used for the good of humanity, but there are those who use them for heinous means. It’s not that the Pokémon might be aware that they are up to no good, such as Watchog here, who is just keeping watch on a Team Plasma ship. Actually, it could be interpreted that it is up to no good, what with that ominously blue aura around it, on top of its already unsettling glare.
After You’s effect allows the target to make their move after the user targets them, and in a way, this fits Patrat and Watchog because they are always on a lookout, so once things are fine, it gives a signal that things are fine, allowing the others to perform their activities.
Since this move is meant to benefit the ally the most, it is best used in a Double or Triple battle, where a faster user could help their slower teammate move immediately. Even moves that normally have a low priority will move first, so Trick Room could be activated sooner than before, as with moves that force out the target. However, the user has to be the first to make the move, otherwise the effect fails.
For a move that encourages speedier progress in allies, many of its users are slow Pokémon. This includes the Solosis family, Shuckle and the Slowpoke family. One reason might be that the more sluggish Pokémon are more ready to invite others to move after them, but due to this, they often fail because they are too slow. The idea is that these Pokémon are best used in Trick Room to make their faster brethren move immediately under a condition where they are now slow. It’s even better if that Pokémon have both Trick Room and After You, as this allows you to have faster Pokémon who could be fast in and out of Trick Room!
It’s a pity that there is no Prankster user with this move, which would be great since now their allies have priority in any move they want (though that might be overpowered, so I guess it’s a good thing this hadn’t happen yet).
Overall, After You is a great emergency move for situations where you need to mover first.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Pidgey, Pidgeotto & Pidgeot