Did you know that with the advent of Pokémon Black and White there are now 649 Pokémon in existence? I remember back in the day when I would watch the anime on television and hear that familiar Pokérap song at the end of each episode naming all the Pokémon that, at the time, totaled 150. I'll admit, I was one of those people who tried to memorize their names, and I also went even further by researching their origins and how they were thought up. And guess what? I still do.
This is the 10th of my many I Choose You! articles where I will focus on one Pokémon or on its evolutionary line and cover its origins and abilities. I'll also include my own opinions about the Pokémon and what I remember most about them. Sure, we all know about Pikachu, Mewtwo, and Lucario. But what about the less famous ones like Finneon, Lombre, and Graveler? I've added all 649 Pokémon into a randomizer and I will try to focus on all of them as they come and in no particular order. Even if you are not a Pokémon fan, I hope you'll learn a bit about them, how they affected my own gaming experience, and perhaps realize why the Pokémon franchise is still going strong. Hit the jump for Slugma!
Despite being introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, Slugma was one of a few Pokémon you could only catch until after you beat the Elite Four and returned to Kanto. Since almost all the new Generation II Pokémon resided in Johto, this separated Slugma from all the others and almost made it seem as if it was cast aside. But who could forget this little fire slug?
Slugma, the Lava Pokémon, is the embodiment of slow moving lava that flows down the sides of a volcano. Its body is a bright red and it has two oval-shaped eyeballs that extend a bit from the tops of its head. Both its English and Japanese name, Magmag, are portmanteaus of slug and magma, the fiery substance that flows through its body and provides it with minerals and oxygen. This allows Slugma to possess the in-game abilities Magma Armor and Flame Body, the former protecting it from getting frozen and the latter burning foes that make direct contact with it. The Pokédex states that Slugma needs to keep moving to keep the magma in its body circulating and in motion. It cannot fall asleep or stop to rest or else the magma will cool off and turn hard like rock and break off, greatly reducing its body size. Despite this Pokédex fact, Slugma can indeed learn Rest and sleep in the games with no repercussions.
Real-life slugs have bodies mainly composed of water, and there is actually a species of sea slug known as Janolus Ignis that lives in the deep waters of New Zealand and looks like a slug that is on fire. While Slugs leave a trail of mucus behind them and rely on it to coat their bodies as a means of defense, Slugma relies on its hot body for protection since it can literally burn anyone upon contact. Magma can be up to 2400°F, so it not only burns things it touches but it immediately vaporizes them too. Slugs also are hermaphrodites, having both female and male reproductive organs, and so they can breed with any other slugs. But, Slugma are either male or female and can only breed with the opposite gender.
I wasn't a big user of Slugma in the games mainly because there were faster Fire-type Pokémon to use. Slugma's biggest drawback is its low Speed stat, but its Special Attack is all right. While it debuted in Pokémon Gold and Silver, I remember seeing it a lot more in Pokémon Sapphire. I would always run into wild Slugma on the Fiery Path in Hoenn and I also had to fight two Slugma that belonged to Lavaridge Town Gym Leader Flannery. Her Slugma were tricky to fight mainly because my Pokémon were underleveled and her tactics relied on maximizing her Pokémon's attacks. Sunny Day and Overheat were a good combo, but using it caused Slugma's Special Attack to go down two levels. My best bet was the find a way to defeat her Slugma before they attacked or have a strong Pokemon to withstand the hit. As it levels up, Slugma can also learn Rock-type attacks like Ancient Power and Rock Slide because it later evolves into the dual-type Fire/Rock Pokémon Magcargo.
Being an unevolved Pokémon, Slugma gets a bit stronger once it evolves into Magcargo, but gaining that additional type is somewhat of a disadvantage to this already slow Pokémon. Instead of using it for battles, I took Slugma out of its PC Box whenever I needed to hatch some Eggs. Its Flame Body ability made hatching them twice as fast and a lot less of a hassle. Some Pokémon may be tireless fighters, but my Slugma was more of a sleepless incubator.