Last year, I dug into the depths of Pokémon base stats to try to answer a simple question: Why were G7 monsters so darn slow? Today, we attempt to answer a bigger question: How far can we extrapolate stat changes over time, and what can we say about G8 Pokémon based on these trends?
Our Speed analysis from before indicated that there seemed to be an effort to counterbalance the stats of monsters from previous generations: G2 and G3 Pokémon were relatively slow, G4 through G6 was significantly faster, and G7 was slow again. The goal this time is to look at every statistic across each generation, identify trends over time, and try to predict where the G8 monsters might fall on the spectrum.
Some comments on the methodology:
- All data used was compiled from Bulbapedia’s base stat pages.
- Only final evolutionary forms were included in the analysis. However, if an evolution was considered a final form in its generation, it was included in that generation’s statistics. Hence, Pokémon who had different final forms in different generations were included multiple times (for example, Rhydon was included in G1 calculations while Rhyperior was included in G4 ones).
- Because G1 Pokémon only had one “special” stat, their split spec. attack/defense stats from G2 were used, and both G1 and G2 were lumped together in a single category. This means that any G1 final forms that lost that status in G2 (Golbat, Onix, Porygon, etc.) are not included in the calculations.
- Pokémon with multiple final forms were included multiple times only if they could not switch between these forms at will. For example, Wormadam’s three forms are all included separately, but only Deoxys’s “normal” form is included.
With all the technicalities covered, let’s get to the tables!
|Average Value For…|
A few things jump out from these numbers immediately:
- There was a substantial overall stat jump between G3 and G4, but that number has been remarkably stable ever since. It makes you wonder if The Pokémon Company has set 85 as the benchmark for future generation stat averages. (Based on this thought, I also wonder if extrapolating trends using pre-G4 gens is even useful.)
- If there’s a “bubble stat” that’s about to burst, it’s Attack: G5 and G7 stand head-and-shoulders above the rest of the generations, and G4’s numbers are noticeably high as well.
- G6 sticks out as a decidedly defensive generation: It’s the only one with two average stats above 90 (Defense and Spec. Defense), and its Attack is the lowest since the G1/G2 days. Given that it followed a high-Attack generation in G5 and that G7 sports G5-esque numbers, could G8 provide a similar counterbalance to G7? (The argument against the above bullet is that G7’s Special Defense number more closely resemble G4’s, a number that dropped off a cliff in G5.)
- HP, Spec. Attack, and Speed seem relatively flat from G4 onwards (although G7 is still notably slow). Every other stat has had a 90+ peak in the past; is one of these stats due to take a turn?
Given these observations, here’s my prediction for how things will play out in G8:
Allow me to explain:
- HP and Speed seem to lag behind the rest of the stats, so I decided that G8 would be Spec. Attack’s time to shine. 93 is a fairly high average, but it’s still below the 97+ Attack averages we’ve seen lately.
- Attack comes crashing down hard from its G7 level, mirroring the G5-to-G6 correction.
- Spec. Defense seems to be the more volatile defensive stat historically, so that ends up lower than Defense here. Still, both wind up are pretty close to their G7 values.
- HP remains relatively flat, but Speed picks up the remaining slack to approach its G5 peak. I think this will make for some interesting wrinkles in the competitive scene: Imagine a wave of Alakazam-like monsters with decent HP sweeping the meta!
This is interesting, but it also feels incomplete. Can we say more, like whether or not there’s a type that needs super-charging?
Pokémon has never been known for its type balancing, but it’s tried to make strides recently to even things out (using Fairy to counter Dragon types and make Poison Pokémon more valuable, for example). This can also be done, however, by bringing in more and stronger monsters for players to mess around with. Are there any types that could use a numbers boost?
According to PokémonDB’s numbers, the answer is a resounding yes:
|Type||Total # of Pokémon|
The totals are all over the place, but Ice stands out as a type that is lagging far behind its peers. (The fact that Fairy has cut into its ‘Dragon counter’ territory doesn’t help matters.) While the type counts some pretty potent Pokémon among its members (Articuno, Regice, Kyurem), it could still use some reinforcements.
Here’s where things get interesting (albeit speculative). Ice Pokémon didn’t have a huge presence in G7, which makes total sense: Alola was a tropical island with a climate mostly inhospitable to such creatures. If the Pokémon Company wants to bring Ice back to the pack, what sort of world could they create to support them?
Picture this: The G8 world of Pokémon is a cold, desolate region filled with ice and snow (think Pokémon Platinum times 100). The harsh climate is suitable only for types that are conveniently underrepresented up to this point: Ice, Rock, Dark, Ground, Fire) while types that are generally numerous (Water, Grass, Bug) and a lot harder to find. Turn the dystopian dial up a notch or two, and maybe Ghost Pokémon finally get some decent representation as well.
The chances of this happening are remote (Nintendo and company are not going to use the first HD mainline Pokémon game to show off a barren wasteland), but maybe the changes aren’t permanent. Maybe the world was a warm, hospitable area until some plot point sunk the entire place into a deep freeze. I think there’s room for a deep, compelling story here, and it could help fix the current type inequalities along the way.
So that’s my “Big Data”-esque attempt to peer into the crystal ball and see what sort of creatures will populate the upcoming G8 game. If you’ve got predictions of your own, drop them in the comments below!