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Magcargo is one of many interesting Pokemon from Gen 2, and also like many Gen 2 Pokemon, he's fairly underwhelming competitively. As the sole owner of the Fire/Rock typing, he struggles to play the bulky role his stats intend for, not to mention that, despite his high defense, his low HP and middling special defense also limit him pretty heavily. It's a shame, really, so I want to investigate a new way Magcargo could develop an identifiable niche that we could possibly see in Gen 8.

http---cdn.bulbagarden.net-upload-thumb-6-65-219Magcargo.png-250px-219Magcargo.png.6760f984a3831d719a32692c0b2f0a6c.png

Magcargo, the Lava Pokemon

 

Typing: Fire/Rock

Abilities: Magma Armor/Flame Body/(Weak Armor) -> Flame Body/(Molten Rock *NEW*)

Stats:

HP:   60 -> 80

ATK: 50

DEF: 120 -> 130

SPA: 90

SPD: 80 -> 90

SPE: 30 -> 20

 

Total: 430 -> 460 (Net +30)

 

Molten Rock: A Pokemon with Molten Rock heals 1/4th of its maximum HP when hit with a Rock-Type attack; including Stealth Rocks. NOTE: Stealth Rocks will be absorbed like when Poison Pokemon switch into Toxic Spikes.

 

Concept: Many Johto Pokemon could use a minor stat readjustment so that their average totals aren't as low as they currently are. This small adjustment gives Magcargo a stronger role as a defensive Pokemon with more health to soak up damage, and a bit more defenses. Magcargo's speed is already painfully low, and he is a snail after all, so he should be fairly slow.

 

But the real big deal is Molten Rock. Essentially, this is the water absorb/volt absorb for Rock attacks. Rock is an offensive type that could use a slap on the wrist. It doesn't need to be destroyed, but it could stand to be taken down a notch. With Magcargo absorbing rock attacks, a type he would ordinarily be weak to, suddenly there's a Pokemon who can switch into Stone Edges with complete safety, but the real kicker is being able to absorb Stealth Rocks on switch-in and prevent them from being applied.

 

Stealth Rocks is an extremely powerful tool and one that constantly needs to be taken into account. Rapid Spinners and Defogers can already rid the field of them, but since Magcargo doesn't need to use a move to do that, he would have a slight edge over those Pokemon. Being 4x weak to Water and Ground though will still pose to be an issue, so I don't necessarily believe he would suddenly become an ubers threat, or even OU, but I believe these changes would at least give him a role that would warrant experimentation and use across more than just ZU/PU.

 

 

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I'm kinda hoping that they give it Storm Drain or something at least. 

 

"Magcargo's body temperature is approximately 18,000 degrees F. Water is vaporized on contact. If this Pokémon is caught in the rain, the raindrops instantly turn into steam, cloaking the area in a thick fog." - Pokemon Sapphire dex entry

 

Why does something twice as hot as the sun get destroyed by a light drizzle? It even says it turns into steam on contact which should make it immune at worst.

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In general Gen2 pokemon have received the short end of the stick. They have been outdone in multiple areas and their roles are constantly being restricted.

They could definitely use a little buff here and there. I personally would have started with things like Ledian, Ariados, Xatu, Octillery, Lanturn, or Delibird, but Magcargo is also one forgotten mon.

 

The issue with Magcargo is that it doesn't have a role to play.

It can't be fully defensive because of its abysmal stats and terrible typing, it can't be supportive because of typing and lackluster movepool, it can't go on the offensive.

It's a snail that's meant to now be forgotten, given how the power creep increases with each added generation.

 

Were I to fix it, I would consider a new ability that would be OP in other pokemon. 

However, the idea of Molten Rock is way too strong imo. Either have it be a semi-immunity to Rock, disregarding SR as well, OR have it absorb SR without being immune to Rock attacks in general.

 

Storm Drain is again overkill. It's not only an immunity to Water, but also a boost in SpA. 

It's safe to always assume the pokedex entries to be made by the 10yo that caught the pokemon, thus making them biased and certainly not scientific. 

Don't pay them any serious attention.

 

As for the stats, I can't say I disagree with the changes. Maybe tinker them a bit more.

HP: 60 --> 75

ATK: 50 --> 40

DEF: 120 --> 130

SPA: 90 --> 95

SPD: 80 --> 100

SPE: 30 --> 20

BST: 430 --> 460

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In all honestly, I don't think Molten Rock is really that strong when taking into account Magcargo's speed and typing. A really great way to make poor type combinations more viable is for those Pokemon to have abilities that allow them to counteract some of those weaknesses.

 

Abilities like Volt Absorb and Water Absorb already exist specifically to neutralize a given type, and none of the Pokemon with those abilities are all that ground breaking. Meanwhile Poison types already ignore the Poison condition, and all of them absorb Toxic Spikes on switch in.

 

The thing about Stealth Rocks is that it desperately needs more ways to counter it other than just Rapid Spin and Defog because both of those options still require that someone switch in and take the damage.

 

Spikes has to be layered several times for it to get to that level, not used in one turn. And as I mentioned, Toxic Spikes can be immediately absorbed just by switching in a Poison Pokemon of any kind. Stealth Rocks is still very oppressive.

 

Magcargo's stats and quadruple weakness to Grass and Water are three reasons why players will forever be apprehensive, but having an ability that allows Magcargo to switch in and heal on Stone Edge or Stealth Rocks, as well as removing them if they're already on the field has a trade of that I think warrants some attention without tipping the scale aggressively into always being on an OU team simply for that reason. There will still be much stronger Pokemon who can simply use Rapid Spin at the trade off of needing to switch into them and use a turn.

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The issue is not with an immunity to Rock itself, but the added bonus of absorbing the SR.

You are creating an unbalanced ability, and that's my main issue with it.

It's an immunity + heal absorption + hazard removal

 

Now onto Poison being an example. I don't think it works because of the following

Every type has a gimmick. Electrics cannot be paralyzed, Fire cannot be burnt, Ice cannot be frozen. So Poison cannot be... Poisoned.

Or can it? Given Corrosion is a thing, now Poison types CAN be poisoned (under very specific circumstances, to be fair)

Poison type pokemon absorb the Toxic Spikes but don't heal from them. Neither do they have an ability that absorbs Poison type attacks and turns them into HP.

It's a good thing they do because the effect of Toxic Spikes can stack and may completely destroy defensive playstyles.

SR and Spikes may be powerful against specific pokemon, but at least they don't punish the pokemon for every consecutive turn.

 

Here you're not proposing buffing Rock-types up, by making them absorb SR. You're giving that luxury to an ability.

For me, custom overpowered abilities to useless pokemon seem a cheap way to improve them, as they disregard all precedent both in terms of what an ability is meant to do, and what a type is supposed to represent.

Apart from that, giving up on certain pokemon is sometimes the only way to deal with the situation.

 

 

 

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On 3/3/2019 at 2:15 PM, NickCrash said:

The issue is not with an immunity to Rock itself, but the added bonus of absorbing the SR.

You are creating an unbalanced ability, and that's my main issue with it.

It's an immunity + heal absorption + hazard removal

 

Now onto Poison being an example. I don't think it works because of the following

Every type has a gimmick. Electrics cannot be paralyzed, Fire cannot be burnt, Ice cannot be frozen. So Poison cannot be... Poisoned.

Or can it? Given Corrosion is a thing, now Poison types CAN be poisoned (under very specific circumstances, to be fair)

Poison type pokemon absorb the Toxic Spikes but don't heal from them. Neither do they have an ability that absorbs Poison type attacks and turns them into HP.

It's a good thing they do because the effect of Toxic Spikes can stack and may completely destroy defensive playstyles.

SR and Spikes may be powerful against specific pokemon, but at least they don't punish the pokemon for every consecutive turn.

 

Here you're not proposing buffing Rock-types up, by making them absorb SR. You're giving that luxury to an ability.

For me, custom overpowered abilities to useless pokemon seem a cheap way to improve them, as they disregard all precedent both in terms of what an ability is meant to do, and what a type is supposed to represent.

Apart from that, giving up on certain pokemon is sometimes the only way to deal with the situation.

 

 

 

But wait a second, by this logic, that would also mean that abilities like Storm Drain and Lightning Rod are also too broken and cheap ways of improving weaker Pokemon. For lightning rod, you have an immunity + stat boost (which is usually better than a heal) + free Follow Me against every electric type attack. Storm Drain is immunity + heal + Free Follow Me against all water type attacks.

 

Sure, you could argue that the Follow Me benefit is doubles exclusive, but you also would recognize that SR absorption may as well be singles exclusive since SR isn't nearly as oppressive in doubles and often times just isn't used.

 

Also, I have to say that I think "giving up on certain Pokemon is sometimes the only way to deal with the situation" is an awful way to look at game design. Imagine if that's the mentality a construction team had when building a house. Someone does something incorrectly that would compromise the structural integrity of the building, and they're just like "Well, we should just give up on that and carry on." Gamefreak has complete and total power to improve and fix the parts of their product that are old, outdated, and in desperate need of repair, and as game designers, I believe they should.

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In both of your arguments, you are making uneven comparisons.

 

1. The Slippery Slope

Here an early disclaimer is needed, as pokemon abilities are not always fair to each other. There are abilities superior to others.

I could argue that whether you gain a stat boost or replenish health is better depending on the situation. Most times, the immunity itself is the most important factor.

For slow, defensive pokemon, such as Vaporeon and Magcargo, the heal would be usually much more appreciated.

A heal that also changes the terrain or almost permanently removes damage from their opponents, unless the opponent wastes some turns, is a huge boost to have.

Onto the argument itself:

It's not the same logic, because SR is much more dominant and game-changing than a single Electric or Water attack. 

You are comparing a circumstantial scenario for a specific game type, with a mechanic that has been central to the main gameplay for years now.

The effects carrying over to the following rounds, affecting essentially the whole team, freeing up moveslots from Rapid Spin and Defog, and all strategy that can be used to use or exploit them from the opponent are too much weight for a single ability to have.

 

2. The False Analogy

As for your second point, this is not key to game design. Magcargo is a small part of a much bigger design, whose flaws evidently doesn't change anything.

The game has been constantly changing and a power creep is steadily forming. There are tested ways to improve a pokemon without having to resort to cheap methods. 

It's far from being the main pillar of a building, whose frailty would cause the whole construction to collapse, and whose dismissal would prove detrimental.

Instead of that, you ought to look at it as more of an aesthetic feature that nobody cares if they are done 100% correctly, or if it's going to be noticable in the following 20 years.

 

Allow me to present an analogy of my own to make the point.

Imagine someone trying to cling to an already failing relationship, because they feel "there is always something to be done".

All the energy that could be invested in improving themselves in multiple other ways is wasted in an attempt to salvage what is long gone, due to how things have evolved.

It's an attempt that could be fruitless or prove to cause damage to a previously balanced psyche. It's wise to know when to let go.

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It'd be cool to see them do a bit with second gen whether be buffs through stars or abilities or an evolution look at gen 4 they added a bunch of baby Pokemon and evolutions or the mega Pokemon or form changes (Alolian varriants) or in this new game give them cool items like an armour or something

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