Regigigas, one of the many Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation IV, doesn’t need me to feel sorry for it. But the normal-type titan monster has been getting the short end of the stick thanks to its signature Ability Slow Start since it debuted in 2006, and I can’t help but pity the poor, giant rock man sleeping in the ancient ruins of Snowpoint Temple in the Sinnoh region.
Ever since Abilities were added to the mainline Pokémon games in Generation III, they’ve made individual monsters feel distinct beyond their stats and movesets. These passive traits can give you an edge in a battle—like Raichu’s Static, which paralyzes an enemy if they strike the electric mouse with a physical attack—or they can act as a built-in sabotage—like Slaking’s Truant, which prevents it from attacking every other turn. However, given Legendary Pokémon’s power within the universe, the biggest and baddest of these creatures usually have something that makes them a powerhouse to deal with. Well, except for Regigigas, who cannot catch a break.
This scenario gets messier if you’re trying to catch it. Catching Legendary Pokémon is notoriously difficult because their catch rates are much higher than your average, run-of-the-mill wild Pokémon. So a lot of these encounters can become long, drawn-out fights, with you spamming Pokéballs until one finally works. If you’re trying to catch the big rock man, it could very well take more than five turns, so it will be back at its full power and can punch through your Pokémon, decimating them before you can snag it. It’s frustrating when out in the wild, but as far as its competitive viability, Regigigas gets such a slow start that it can often be hard or impossible to catch up by the time you can actually take advantage of its raw power.
The funniest thing is: Regigigas should have gotten a break from this delayed attack mechanic in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, as last year’s single-player-focused RPG did away with Abilities altogether. When you’re not balancing through a competitive lens, it makes sense that some mechanics would be scrapped in place of new systems, but Regigigas got no such reprieve, as Slow Start was repurposed into an exclusive status effect. Sure, it’s consistent in terms of lore, but also this poor titan has been going through it for so long, and now we know through Legends: Arceus’ historical setting that Regigigas has been suffering for centuries.
Honestly, more Legendary Pokémon need to be taken down a peg. Sure, they’re forces of nature or even gods, but each of them have a weakness, and more of them should be stupid and hilarious like Regigigas not being a morning person. Give me a Legendary Pokémon who misses every other attack because its eyes are still adjusting to the sunlight after slumbering for centuries.
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