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Weekly Article – Mistaken Types

Sudowoodo, a rock imitating a tree: a perfect example of mistaken types
(Image from Bulbapedia)

When it comes to a Pokémon’s type, sometimes first appearances could be deceiving, so we might mistake them to be of another type when they are in fact a different type. Due to this, players who found the real information of a certain Pokémon would be surprised by the real thing. The article will highlight some examples on this. The guesses might not necessarily apply to you, which is why looking at others’ point of view is interesting. If you want to know what those misconceptions are, you may read on.



Mistaken Type: Fire/Dragon
Actual Type: Fire/Flying

One look at Charizard, and you will know that it is a dragon. Despite its appearance, it is a Flying-type. It’s not as exciting as being a Dragon, but it gets the job done since Flying is useful, especially when it comes to more convenient travelling.

Looking back, the fact that Charizard has a Dragon Mega Evolution is a sort of allusion of this expectation, so while it panders to those who wanted Charizard to be a Dragon, it is the next logical next step for a fan-favourite.


Psyduck & Golduck

Mistaken Type: Water/Psychic
Actual Type: Water

One of the characteristics of these Pokémon is their psychic power. Their names are one thing (Psy- is for psychic and Gol- is for psychic in a different sense), but their PokéDex cements the connection by stating that they use psychic powers. They even have a good number of Psychic moves at their disposal!

The anime have a good deal of screentime for Psyduck, so when it could exhibit psychic powers, it would mistake people even more. It’s unclear why both Pokémon didn’t have an extra Psychic type like Slowpoke and Starmie. At this point, adding a Psychic-type is too late, so we have to settle with this confusion for now.


Mistaken Type: Water/Dragon
Actual Type: Water/Flying

Much like Charizard, Gyarados’ appearance suggests a more draconian attribute, since it is fearsome, after all. Certain fans reasoned that Gyarados’ Flying-type is balanced since it is a strong Pokémon in several ways. Not only that, Dragon wouldn’t help much in Generation 1 since you can’t do a lot of damage. In some ways, this is true, but to what extent is unclear.

Unlike Charizard, Gyarados didn’t have a Dragon-type for its Mega Evolution, but rather, it is converted to a Dark-type. In a way, this is where its draconian attribute manifests itself. It doesn’t seem that Gyarados should be a Dark-type, but there are some who did feel that Dark fits Gyarados better. Also, it does give Generation 1 a Dark-type, so that counts as something, right?



Mistaken Type: Grass
Actual Type: Rock

This mistake is common when you cannot view the information online, and it’s in the very design of this Pokémon to fool players. This is why it’s a pseudo-wood. It looks like a tree, hence a Grass-type, but it is actually a Rock-type. Bonsly gets a similar treatment for being a pseudo-plant, although it would be easier to see it as a Rock-type if you know Sudowoodo’s type.

If one knows what Sudowoodo’s name mean, it wouldn’t fool him or her, though knowing its real type could be something else. Those who actually faced a Sudowoodo in-game could be surprised that Fire doesn’t work well, which would have been an indication that it is not actually a Grass-type. Essentially, its masquerade doesn’t last long if you investigate enough.



Mistaken Type: Water/Flying
Actual Type: Psychic/Flying

Perhaps it’s Lugia’s affinity to the ocean that has to do with its deceptive type. Unlike Ho-oh, who could easily be discerned as a Fire-type, Lugia’s look doesn’t seem to suggest it is a Psychic-type. It could be any type, like Ice-type, so it would be a surprise to some people that Lugia is a Psychic-type. It doesn’t help that Lugia’s signature more is a Flying attack, though it does make sense since it is more of a Flying Pokémon, since it is the leader of Moltres, Articuno and Zapdos.



Mistaken Type: Water*
Actual Type: Normal*
*This is a mistake made before Generation 6, thus the Fairy-type isn’t mentioned.

Azurill, being Marill’s pre-evolution, is expected to hold the same type as it. However, that proves to not be the case, which is a surprise since pre-evolutions have the same type as that Pokémon. In the Trick Master’s house in Hoenn, he will ask a question alluding to Azurill’s deceptive type, so the designers acknowledge this. Here’s an interesting trivia: Azurill is female 3 out of 4 times, so it could potentially turn into a male since Marill is female 1 out of 2 times.

It’s not like Azurill has a different colour, since it is blue like its evolutions. This serves to make it easier to mistake Azurill as a Water-type. It does learn Water attacks, but it doesn’t get the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB), so isn’t as useful. In Generation 6, every member gets a Fairy-type, so in a way, both sides are linked through that type. It’s not known if they got this type for this reason or to make them better than before, but one thing is clear: people might still mistake Azurill as a Water-type.



Mistaken Type: Fire/Rock
Actual Type: Fire

With the progressively complex designs of Pokémon, several mono-type Pokémon could easily be mistaken as a dual-type. Torkoal is probably not the most notable example, but it is a Pokémon that strikes out as a very good example of one.

Torkoal’s smoke emissions is easily identified as something related to fire, but its shell make it look deceptively like another type, especially Rock, and to a much lesser extent, Ground. In fact, as I had outlined in a previous Weekly Article, some fans thought Magcargo (a real Fire/Rock-type) evolves into Torkoal!

The somewhat complex design of Torkoal meant that knowing its real type is a letdown, because a mono-type denotes something simpler, at least based on the expectation on Torkoal’s look.



Mistaken Type: Fire
Actual Type: Ground

Being a Pokémon that summons Sun, one would think that Groudon is at least part Fire-type. Groudon also learns Fire attacks like Overheat, Eruption and Fire Blast. It is a counterpart to Kyogre, who has Water-type written all over it, from its ability, animal-motif and moves. Groudon’s Ground-type is not the first thing that comes to mind.

To be fair, Groudon’s species is a “continental” Pokémon, so it would at least have the Ground-type. Even with that knowledge, one might wonder why Groudon is not Ground/Fire. At least that type combination gives Groudon a power boost on its Fire, making its Fire attacks lethal in Sun, much like Kyogre’s Water attacks are lethal in Rain.



Mistaken Type: Electric/Dark
Actual Type: Electric

Some types are easily discerned, such as Fire, where all you need is fire sprouting out of one part of your body to be considered one. Grass is another example, for just having real plant attributes. For Luxray, the Electric-type is a very distinguishing characteristic.

There are some types that cannot be discerned quite as easily. Ground is somewhat common on some animals, but it’s not always distinguished. Dark is actually one of the types that is quite general because there are several ways a Pokémon could be a Dark-type, including ruthlessness, wrath and cunning. Even colouring could be considered. Luxray has a dark colouration too. It subverts the expectation by displaying itself as a pure Electric-type.

It would have been a great opportunity to introduce a new type combination, but I guess there’s still hope for a Mega Evolution featuring Electric/Dark Mega Luxray.


Eelektross line

Mistaken Type: Electric/Water
Actual Type: Electric

Being a Pokémon based on aquatic creatures, one would come to expect them to be Water-types by now. Any fish you encounter is a Water-type in some way, but oddly, these aquatic creatures are not exactly aquatic themselves. In fact, the first place you meet them is in an electromagnetic cave, therefore their levitation is a significant characteristic they possess.

Here is a Pokémon whose mono-type actually help distinguish itself from other of its dual-type peers, since having an Electric-type meant one weakness, and its ability averts that, giving it no weaknesses as a result.


Elgyem & Beheeyem

Mistaken Type: Psychic/Rock
Actual Type: Psychic

This is a mistaken type that I didn’t quite understand how it is thought of in the first place, being that it’s an opinion by other people. I think it has to do with how they look. Elgyem and Beheeyem has a similar colouration with minerals, their heads look somewhat bumpy, and their gem-like hands adds to the rocky look. It might also be more that rocks are a popular subject when it comes to objects from outer space.



Mistaken Type: Fairy/Grass
Actual Type: Fairy

Now for a recently introduced Pokémon. When you look at Flabébé and Floette, it might lead the player into thinking that they will evolve into something that fits a Grass-type because of their attachement to the flower they have. They are pure Fairy, so the final form should take on a more appropriate appearance, or it would seem.

Florges does take a flowery appearance, and it still have access to Grass attacks, but it is oddly not part Grass. Sure, it would end up with more weaknesses, but this would allow it to differentiate itself from Sylveon, as well as taking advantage of its Grass support abilities like Flower Shield and Flower Veil.


These are some of the examples of types that players thought were true, but weren’t. Do you have any Pokémon whose types you thought were true, but isn’t? If you have, please sound them off in the comments below! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it.

Thanks for reading.

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