Sinnoh is going to be the make or break region for Game Freak and Pokémon. With Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl on the horizon, as well as Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Game Freak is using the past to shape the future. If Game Freak can deliver with both installments, then we just might be on the verge of a Poke-renaissance.
Back in 2007, Game Freak was dragged into transitioning the series from the Gameboy Advance to the Nintendo DS. Gen 4 launched with Diamond & Pearl complete with an excellent champion, new Pocket Monsters to collect, and rounded out the Pokedex to an iconic 493.
A lot of the Sinnoh Pokémon are either evolutions or pre-evolutions of the original three generations. Personally, I like this as it combines all the first 4 generations into a complete experience. So with that in mid, here’s my take on the best Gen 4 Pokemon in the Sinnoh region.
This list will not include Legendary Pokémon. Not only are they ridiculously broken, they’re also over saturated and I want to highlight the Pokemon most prevalent on the Sinnoh journey.
I was never the biggest fan of Gardevoir. Until it became a Fairy type, Gardevoir was decent yet unremarkable. Luckily, Sinnoh provided an alternative for players wanting to use the Ralts line with Gallade. A Psychic/Fighting type with a sleek design. Yes, it’s mega evolution that looks like it’s about to challenge Yugi in Battle City. However, it looks so damn cool. It’s move set, like the female counterpart, is pretty damn impressive as well. Leaf Blade, Night Slash, Psycho Cut – there’s a lot to have fun with Gallade.
One of the few great Ice types, Mamoswine is a dragon killer. The Ice/Ground type gives it a fantastic catalogue of stab moves as well as the ability to learn Rock Slide/Stone Edge. Dawn’s Mamoswine in the Pokemon anime was also fantastic. Going through a Charizard-esque character arc before becoming the loyal muscle to her team. It’s easily proof enough that Sinnoh did all they could for the normally mediocre Ice type.
Speaking of great Ice types, Weavile is what Sneasel needed from the beginning. A Physical Dark/Ice attacker with a cool design. Weavile improved upon the original Pokemon which is what evolutions are supposed to do. I love the black and red together as well as the menacing aura Weavile gives off. It looks more intimidating, has better stats, and helped to cement Sinnoh as the definitive region for ice-type Pokémon.
Whether you prefer Blaziken, Emboar, or Infernape, Game Freak went hard on Fire/Fighting starters for three straight generations. Personally, while I prefer the Kicking Chicken. I also like the Sun Wukong inspired Fire Monkey. Infernape has a perfect storyline in the anime; after being released and neglected by Paul, Ash’s Chimchar went on the become arguably his best Pokemon. Fire/Fighting, whether you like it or not, is a great typing.
Even better than Fire/Fighting is the Water/Steel Emperor Penguin Empoleon. The only Water/Steel type Pokémon so far, Empoleon is one of the best starter Pokémon ever created. Steel types are always reliably excellent. Compared to Torterra and Infernape, Emploeon is the best starter for an in-game play. The Sinnoh regions boasts great water types in the regional dex and Expoleon is no exception. Part of the reason why I love Empoleon is Dawn’s Piplup. Pokemon should always have personality, and taking inspiration from real-world figures into a Pocket Monsters is a genius idea.
Is Staraptor the best regional bird in all of Pokémon? Yes. Two words: close combat. Staraptor shines over every other beginning route Pokemon due to an excellent moveset, stats, and design. I’m personally more of Unova fan than Sinnoh. However, comparing Unfezant to Staraptor is like comparing Zelda CD-i to Ocarina of Time.
The absolute unit. The bane of Sinnoh players’ existence. The Pokemon that single-handedly made Flygon irrelevant. The Gen 4 Pseudo-Legendary Garchomp. What can I say about this terrifying land shark that hasn’t been said already? It’s a badass that, pre-Fairy type, ruled over Pokemon with an iron fist. Garchomp is still a top tier fan favorite and will be on teams everywhere for Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl and Legends: Arceus. Dread it, run from it, destiny arrives all the same. Garchomp is gonna destroy you.
Lucario is the one and only Pokémon that could replace Pikachu as the mascot of the franchise. From the fantastic Anubis design, to its excellent Steel/Fighting typing, there’s a reason this Pokemon is the one non-legendary to get his own movie.
The beloved fighting Pokémon has a tremendous amount of popularity, especially now that Ash has one in Pokémon Journeys. Lucario looks tough and friendly at the same time, and is a loyal companion and fighter that channels aura. This Pokemon has always had a special appearance in every generation since it’s inception.
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