Pokémon has the second biggest amount of playable characters behind Super Mario, with eight. In Smash 64 we got Pikachu and Jigglypuff. Then in Melee we got Mewtwo and Pichu. In Brawl the numbers rocketed up with Ivysaur, Squirtle, Charizard (under the command of the Pokémon Trainer) and Lucario, but we lost Pichu and Mewtwo. And finally in Smash for 3DS and WiiU Charizard separate itself of its group that got HM01’d, also we got Greninja and Mewtwo struck back as the first DLC character of the series.
Making a cut from eight to five is hard, but there are over seven hundred Pokémon and more are coming. It always will be hard to choice. But remember, there is Pokken Tournament, so there is less pressure to play as some Pokémon, this way, Sakurai can put his efforts in represent the iconic ones and Pokken (that likely will get a sequel) will get way more Pokémon than those that can be in the Super Smash Bros.
This one looks hardcore. Of the five spots for Pokémon, the only one that will never be cut is Pikachu, no matter what, he is the mascot of the series— not even Mewtwo or Red escaped the cut in past games. The good news is that some of them will likely return, so let’s catch some alternatives.
Jigglypuff: She has never been cut, so cutting her now would feel weird, she has been the primal aerial character in smash, and her rest move is a classic in the series, and being of the new fairy type is a plus. But, is that enough to come back? She isn’t as iconic as some other Pokémon on the list. Sakurai did almost cut her in Melee and in Brawl.
Mewtwo: He’s been a little misrepresented in Smash, so this time he needs to be a force to be reckoned with. No more Hypnosis and Disable, instead, Psycho Cut (a hard hitting blow), Barrier (like Palutena’s reflect), Swift (a quick barrage of homing dark stars) and Psychic (that can hit like Zelda’s Kick if it connect with a sweetspot). But his actual moveset probably won’t change. Anyways, he has been cut before, maybe his place is just being a final boss.
Charizard: One of the most iconic starters, and has the strength to break in once again. But until now it has lacked the air mobility that might define a flying Pokémon, so maybe next time he will be able to take the air. However, new Pokémon like Greninja have been getting the spotlight.
Lucario: The Aura ability gives him the edge, making him really strong in the heat of the battle. He is the symbol of the Mega evolution in the games. However, for some he isn’t an “iconic” Pokémon. Can the sheer force of his playstyle keep him in Smash?
Greninja: As a character that was chosen for Smash even before his game came out, and he was received with some backlash and Nerfs. If he comes back, he needs to be the agile and slippery ninja that he has shown to be in the Anime series. Even more now that he is one of the most popular Pokémon.
Pokémon Trainer: No one knows if the next iteration of Super Smash Bros will accept transformation characters, but if it does, maybe the trio might come back. But for the next time they will need to be stronger for the battle, without the elemental weaknesses but with PP for their moves, so it becomes necessary to switch them out. A true challenge for a fan favorite Champion.
Sceptile: A lot of us believed that he would be the one that would close the ‘starter circle’, being the “balanced one” for the strong Charizard and speedy Greninja. But on its own he can be a quick and strong character that also could use Synthesis, a mechanic similar to the Aura of Lucario or the Limit of Cloud. But could he get in the game without being just the third wheel?
Gengar: One of the strongest Pokémon, versatile and charismatic, Gengar could work great in the air and in the ground, but is he the Pokémon that we need as a representative?
Blaziken: He has a repertoire of moves that might fit really well in the Smash Series, but has he what it takes to overtake Charizard in Smash? or is just good enough for Pokken?
Red: Being the first protagonist, and the strongest canonical trainer of the series, it’s weird that he hasn’t been a playable character himself. He could use his Pokémon team as Specials and Smashes and just like Robin uses his tomes, Red will have to manage how to use his team to defend himself and defeat his foes. But did we really need a human character to represent this series?
7th Gen Pokémon: As new games come, there are more option of Pokémon to be represented in Smash, no one was expecting Greninja, so maybe we might get a surprise in a few years. No one knows… Well, maybe Sakurai already knows.
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