We’re back for the Normal-type reviews, and today we’re going to focus on Whismur, Loudred and Exploud, whose abilities are noise-related! If you are ready with this one, please proceed.
Selected Fan Art (Artist: plasmama)
Sound is quite important for the sense of hearing, but it can also be a tool of destruction since extremely loud sounds can be quite deafening. What we have here are Pokémon that weaponises sound to a deadly effect. Noise pollution is quite disturbing, so the mere fact that there are Pokémon that could cause it makes them potential pests, so the world of Pokémon have its unique challenges.
Looking at each member of this family, one would wonder how they each have in common since there isn’t a clear transition between them. It seems that Whismur and Loudred have a head with arms and legs sticking out of them, similar to Kirby and Pac-man, while Exploud has a more complete body. It looks as if this family has a form of transition between the body types, where Whismur and Loudred shares the arms and legs attached to head, while Loudred and Exploud have a purple body and complete arms and legs.
The type of creature that this family is based on is rather enigmatic, because they don’t look like any one animal. Cases could be made that Whismur looks like a rabbit, since it has long “ears”, but those long protrusions aren’t ears; they are mufflers for the tiny holes that it hides (the real ears). Loudred is similar to a primate in several ways, though it is not close enough to resemble one (it doesn’t have monkey ears). Exploud’s complete body suggests that it might be based on both a primate and dinosaur, but it’s not clear how much it resembles either.
It doesn’t matter what animal these Pokémon look like, because they are meant to be a personification of sound, instead of looking like an animal. It would, however, be ideal if they look like an animal, because the fact that they don’t makes some people confused about what they are supposed to be, which makes them a monster because there isn’t a close-enough familiar classification of the species. Though Snorlax looks like a monster, at least it looks like a bear. In any case, what they are now is also fine because they don’t look too un-Pokémon-like. Not everything needs to be an animal to be a favourite. After all, my favourite Pokémon are based on objects and minerals.
The nature of these Pokémon revolves around sound. Whismur is typically quiet, hence its name (“whisper” + “murmur”). If provoked, the Pokémon will unleash a sound that is as loud as a jet plane engine, which is very loud. It might even get startled with the sound it makes and cry even louder. It can afford to keep making a sound because it could get air into its ear canals (the holes on its head) to keep the sound going. The best way to stop it is to cover that part to subdue it. Basically, Whismur is a timid Pokémon that will be horrifying to hear once it is threatened, like a baby.
When I realised Whismur was a Pokémon that can block sound, I wondered what happened if it interacted with the singing Jigglypuff in the anime. Turns out that the anime got that covered, but I didn’t watch the episode. I am assuming that Jigglypuff was OK with its awakened state while singing, but it slept for some other reason, making Jigglypuff disappointed in the end.
Loudred and Exploud are more overt about their capacity for loud noise. With a large mouth to shout with and sound output organs (speaker ears for Loudred and pipes for Exploud) to, well, output sound, they are capable of destroying things with the sound they emit. They also have other channels in which the sound would be released, mainly from the two speakers for Loudred, and any other openings for Exploud. It goes without saying that Exploud can create louder sounds than Loudred, who needs to stamp the ground to amplify the impact. It seems that Loudred could be unable to hear for a while after it exerts too much noise, while Exploud didn’t seem to have this handicap (not that we know of, at least). Applying sound as a weapon in battle can be deadly since it affects everybody, even the trainer, so owners would likely need to be prepared for such a situation.
With sound as their main theme, Soundproof was also introduced to make them essentially the master of the sound, by making them able to use lots of it while gaining immunity to them. To make this ability worthwhile, some moves become sound-based, such as Perish Song and Roar. Because the moves don’t provide an advantage beyond potentially being blocked by this ability, they were undesirable moves to have, that is, until Generation 6 where they have a much more useful function: bypass Substitute. It made sound-based moves quite deadly for being unblockable without Soundproof or type immunities. It would’ve been a boon for this family, but they have a much more useful ability to take advantage of this: Scrappy. (Note: Whismur has Rattled instead)
It is easy to understand how Scrappy plays into the theme of sound. Any sound will transmit through anything, and not even spirits will be immune to them. In some cultures, loud sounds are encouraged to ward off spirits. What makes Scrappy hugely beneficial for Exploud is not only for the Normal STAB, but also one of the strongest moves in the game: Boomburst. This powerful attack has a Base Power of 140 and has the range of Earthquake, making it so powerful one wonders why it didn’t have many drawbacks. This allows Exploud to blast anything with that move, and for those that resist it, it has other moves to deter them, between Fire Blast, Surf and Focus Blast. This game-changing move makes Exploud a force to be reckoned with.
These monsters with sound-based abilities are interesting because they don’t resemble animals, and one probable reason is that no animal exists that uses sound as a main weapon. If there are, then they’re probably not notable enough. As strange as these Pokémon look, at least they are plausible Pokémon designs, and the more enigmatic the design, the more I take a sort of liking to them.
+ Progressive power among evolutions
± Somewhat enigmatic monster-like design
± Each member looks too different from one another
– Can cause disturbances
Normally, each Pokémon in the family gets separate commentary, but there are special cases where referencing them all is the only way to do them justice. This family is one such case. At a glance, they don’t seem like much, but since Imakuni? (a comedic character based on a real person, and yes, his name is spelled with a question mark) is involved, there must be some humorous twist behind the cards. Even though Imakuni? is listed as the card’s illustrator, I doubt he drew these cards, but if he made the outlines, then that’s easier to believe.
These cards make use of the nature of the Whismur family by requiring both players to be virtually quiet (Whismur), talk loudly (Loudred) and shout (Exploud). That’s not mentioning that each attack is farcical as to be unusual even by the standards of the game.
Fortunately, none of these cards can be used in official tournaments, because there will definitely be someone who will force these disturbing mandatory effects on each of these cards. Still, this might be a fun card to use for friendly matches, as long as both people are OK with it.
While Boomburst was introduced along with Noivern, there is another Pokémon who learns this move naturally: Exploud. Thanks to Exploud’s amplified noises, it is the best representative of this attack.
For some odd reason, Boomburst doesn’t have any drawbacks when this move is used despite having high power. Sure, it is a ranged move that hurts teammates as well, but in Singles or Rotations, this move has no drawbacks. Not that anybody’s complaining, since this move is accessible to very few Pokémon.
Exploud is the best user of this move for various reasons. For one, its Normal-type grants STAB on this attack. The second and most important point is that it has Scrappy to bypass Ghost-types, and unlike Swellow (who also has this combination), its Special Attack is good and it has coverage for Rock- and Steel-types (and possibly Soundproof users), such as Fire Blast, Surf and Focus Blast. Therefore, its power output is very good.
In the end, Boomburst is a very deadly attack, so naturally it is a great attacking move. Its lack of drawbacks in some formats meant that there is no reason not to have this move if the user has enough power to unleash its full force.
That’s all for today’s article. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.
Next Article: Zangoose