Whilst I’m sweltering down in Australia, my mind wanders to far off lands – To places where snow falls this time of year, and others where wintery Pokémon may be found. Perhaps still on a high from Let’s Go! Eevee, I’ve decided to compile a list of the most Christmas-y Pokémon around, in no particular order. Enjoy!
Of course Delibird had to be on this list – It’s basically Pokémon Santa! This Ice/Flying Pokémon – officially known as ‘The Delivery Pokémon’ – was first introduced to us in Generation II. In Pokémon Silver and Crystal, you could find them in random encounters inside the Ice Path that connects Route 44 to Blackthorne City. This Pokémon’s base stats are fairly average, but has acceptable Special Attack and pretty good Speed. It only learns two Normal type moves naturally – Drill Peck, and the Delibird unique move, Present. Present’s a bit of a wildcard – Delibird gives the opposing Pokémon a gift that either restores a quarter of its health, or deals damage to it with either 40 base power (Very weak), 80 base power (Average), or 120 base power (Very strong) at random. Thankfully, it can learn pretty good moves like Blizzard or Future Sight through TMs and Breeding.
Delibird – a combination of ‘delivery’ and ‘bird’ – is based on the real world Rockhopper Penguin, albeit with Santa motifs. In the anime, the Pokémon has appeared both as Santa’s Pokémon (yes, really – he actually makes a lot of appearances), and also as a debt collector working for Team Rocket. In the manga, though, the trainer Gold had a super-strong Delibird that was able to defeat Ho-Oh, so it goes to show that even gimmicky Pokémon can still be powerhouses with the right trainer!
Stantler is another obvious choice for a list like this. Whilst there certainly are other deer Pokémon, notably Sawsbuck, Stantler is the only Pokemon inspired by the reindeer – the animal traditionally responsible for pulling Santa’s sleigh. Infact, in the anime, Santa does indeed own some Stantler (apparently a replacement for Ponyta he used to use instead). They take ill during Christmas Eve, however, and it’s up to Ash, Misty, and Brock’s Pokemon to find a curative berry to heal them.
The ‘Big Horn Pokémon’ first debuted in Generation II, found in Gold, Silver and Crystal on Routes 36 and 37. The Pokémon is a Normal type, but it has displayed some Psychic tendencies – notably making Santa’s sleigh fly, and in the episode where it’s revealed that fawns have the ability to project illusions. Indeed, it learns no less than four Psychic moves as it levels, and has access to nine more via TM and Breeding. It can also learn the very powerful move Solar Beam, as well as Giga Impact. It has excellent base Attack stats, as well as decent Special Attack and Defence – its other stats are very low, though. A bit of a mixed bag, it’s still a pretty decent Pokémon in its own right.
This Ice-Psychic Pokémon – officially the ‘Human Shape Pokémon’ – isn’t just on this list for its frosty abilities. It has been depicted in the anime as akin to Santa’s elves, helping the old man create toys and manage the North Pole – Ash and his friends were once required to rescue one of his wayward Jynx in an episode of the anime. Additionally, the Pokémon has been depicted as a wonderful singer, which would make it a perfect Pokemon to go Christmas carolling with.
There is, as many are aware, a lot of controversy over Jynx’s appearance, which resulted in later depictions having different coloured skin. And whilst a lot of people know that the Pokémon is probably inspired by Ganguro fashion or the mythological Yama-uba, considering its use as a holiday Pokémon, another inspiration may be the Dutch Christmas character of Zwarte Piet, or ‘Black Peter’. Originating from 19th century Dutch literature, tradition holds that St. Nicholas travels the world throughout December, and comes to Holland directly from Spain. Zwarte Piet is a Spanish Moor companion of Santa, helping guide him on this journey – When finally in Holland on December 5th, he participates in the Feast of St. Nicholas celebration, offering sweets to those who see them. How people have chosen to depict this character is unfortunate, though.
Stat wise, Jynx has excellent Special Attack, and very good Special Defence and Speed – It’s Attack and Defence stats are, however, woeful. Curiously, although a Psychic type, it only learns Heart Stamp via levelling, but it does learn powerful moves like Blizzard, Perish Song, and Wring Out. It can also learn moves like Giga Impact and Focus Blast via TM, making this a very useful – and festive – glass canon of a Pokémon indeed.
This cute little baby Pokémon, introduced in Generation IV, is essentially a living jingle bell with candy cane themed ribbons poking from its head. Officially the ‘Bell Pokémon’, Chingling jingles every time it moves, thanks to the mysterious red orb in its mouth that rattles about. Although possessing a golden body in this form, it is actually a pure Psychic type – As is its evolution, Chimecho.
This Pokémon has only made sporadic appearances in the anime and manga – In the former, several made up the centrepiece of one Pokémon Coordinator’s routine, and in the manga, a particularly malevolent one was owned by an advanced member of Team Galactic.
As a baby Pokémon, its stats are understandably low, and it only learns a few basic moves – That being said, it is one of the few Pokémon that can learn Last Resort (Which does an incredible amount of damage so long as Chingling has used at least one of each of its other moves first) as well as Entrainment (Which forces the other Pokemon’s Ability to match Chingling’s). Its evolution, Chimecho, has excellent Special Attack and Defence, and can learn a variety of moves, including no less than three healing ones. You could definitely imagine a bunch of Chinglings providing an issue for anyone who’d dare do wrong at Christmas!
And what’s Christmas without all the food? Turkey, stuffing, ham, baked potatoes – Not to mention candy canes and chocolates! So as the biggest glutton in the Pokémon world, Snorlax of course represents the unending feast that is part of Christmas. The ‘Sleeping Pokémon’ has also had its own Christmas special, too, in Snorlax Snowman – Pikachu and friends build a Snowlax, only to find it come to life later, similar to some tellings of the Jack Frost fable.
Although its Normal typing might deceive one into thinking its weak, Snorlax is anything but – It has one of the highest Health stats in the game, and boasts both great Attack and great Special Defence. It is shockingly slow though. It has many sleep-focused moves (Yawn, Rest, Snore for example) and has access to high power moves like Giga Impact, Hyper Beam, and Solar Beam via level up and TM. Notably, it can also learn Surf, and a wide array of type-boosting moves like Rain Dance and Sunny Day – Infact, it can learn moves from all over the type spectrum in general.
Quite the all rounder, it’d be best to be prepared if one shows up – Both with a strong Pokémon team, and a fully-stocked kitchen!
And finally, we come to what will probably be an unexpected choice for a lot of people, but one made with good reason. This Normal-type Pokémon is the ‘Happiness Pokémon’ – It produces sterile eggs which provide feelings of comfort and joy to any who ingest it, and its fur is able to pick up when other creatures are sad, at which point it’ll do its best to cheer them up. Really, this Pokémon just wants everyone to be happy, well, and safe, and it can only evolve from a Chansey with a very high friendship rating, too. So I doubt there’s a Pokémon out there who could better represent the goodwill of the season than a Blissey.
Boasting the highest Health stat in the game and great Special Defence, Blissey seems like it’d be a really powerful combatant… Until you discover that its unfalteringly good-nature is reflected in its stats; with an Attack rivalling Magikarp and a general Defence of a particularly frail Abra, this poor Pokémon was clearly never meant to see the field of battle! Should one find a way to offset both of these aspects though, Blissey does know some powerful moves up its arm frills – Egg Bomb, Hyper Beam, Solar Beam, and Giga Impact are all available to it via levelling and TMs. As are a great number of healing and status cleansing abilities, befitting this natural nurse.
Although the list is now officially concluded, it feels important to mention Rhydon as a Pokémon to be mindful of, too. Whilst not especially Christmas-y in its own right, Rhydon has been stated by Pokémon designer Ken Sugimori to be the first Pokémon whose design was ever finalised. The first substantial foundation to which we owe so much – Without it, we and many others would never have excitedly woken up on Christmas mornings past to discover a new Pokémon title for us to explore. So thanks, Rhydon!
And with that spirit of remembrance, I’d like to thank Respawning for the past year of letting me write for them. It’s been quite fun, and I look forward to more good times ahead with the team! I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays, and a fantastic New Year!