PKMN of the Week: Totodile

It's Valentine's Day and thoughts turn to love - falling in love, being in love, chasing the dream of romance.  Which Pokémon is the Pokémon of love?  Who would be the cupid of the Pokémon world setting hearts afire?

There are the heart-shaped Pokémon - Luvdisc, Alomomola - but honestly, they're fish.  Gross.  Have you ever tried to love a fish?  The sentiment is not returned.

I'm also knocking out the pink Pokémon - your Igglybuffs, Jigglypuffs, Wigglytuffs, Clefairy, Clefable, not even Snubbull or Chansey.  Too easy.  Plus, I have a special place in my heart for pink team building which I'll have to discuss later.

So who wins out as the romance Pokémon?  The award goes to Totodile.  I'll confess, I'm a fan of the cartoon series and recently have been watching the Johto Journeys on Boomerang.  Have you ever seen the episode Love, Totodile Style?  I recommend you seek it out.  I'd argue little Romeo Totodile chasing around the water-type ladies is his best performance next to his dancing the Can-Can on the back of a Miltank trying to use Rollout.

Totodile, the water-type starter from Generation II.  According to one of my friends, he's the only starter who "stays cute" through all of his evolutions.  Outside of cuteness, Totodile comes with the standard water-type starter ability Torrent - water-type moves get a boost when HP drops below 1/3 (i.e., yawn).  If you manage to catch a Dream World Totodile he'll come with Sheer Force which gives you a bit more flexibility over Torrent.

I'll confess, I'm not a huge fan of water-types.  Partially because my best Pokémon battling friend swears by them (don't get me started on him and his Squirtle), partially because they tend to be favored by dudes who have to prove how macho they are.  Here's the secret, though, guys - water-types have the fewest weaknesses (grass and electric) compared to either the fire or grass starters.  If you really want to prove how tough you are, start out with a grass-type and really battle your way to the top.

Want to make the little romantic a member of your unevolved competitive party?  Well, sadly, he actually doesn't learn a lot of water-type moves as he is evolving, and the ones he does learn don't have a lot of accuracy.  Most likely at this point you'll be working with the Sheer Force ability, so try to give your Totodile some moves from leveling up that would have had secondary effects (Sheer Force boosts power while dropping secondary effects).  Your options here are Crunch, Ice Fang, and Bite.  Moves to teach your Totodile include Ice Beam, Rock Tomb, and Scald (here you get STAB and Sheer Force bonus).  Train him for special attack if you're aiming for Ice Beam and Scald (sounds pretty sweet to me . . .) physical attack for the others.

If you do raise your Totodile as an attacker, have him hold on to some Eviolite for battling.  It will boost his defense and special defense by 50% each, without your having to spend time training up those stats.

This Valentine's Day, make a little room in your heart for a snuggly Totodile.  He may bite, things may get a little wet, but you're bound to have a good laugh in the end.