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Difference between revisions of "Evolution"

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[[Image:Evolution.png|frame|right|{{p|Metapod}} evolves into {{p|Butterfree}}, depicted in [[Pokémon Black and White]]]]
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[[Image:Evolution.gif|frame|right|{{p|Ivysaur}} evolves into {{p|Venusaur}}, depicted in [[Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen]]]]
   
 
During the course of a Pokémon's development, under certain circumstances specific to that Pokémon's species, it may '''evolve''' (Japanese: {{tt|進化|しんか}} ''shinka'') into a different Pokémon. This change is not merely physical, however, as Pokémon of a higher evolutionary stage have different (and usually more powerful) [[base stats]] than their predecessors, may have different [[move]]s that can be learned, and sometimes change their [[Elemental types|type]]s, though usually at least one of the types of the previous form is preserved. Other statistics, such as [[nature]] and [[EVs]], as well as {{pkmn2|shiny|alternate coloration}}, are preserved.
 
During the course of a Pokémon's development, under certain circumstances specific to that Pokémon's species, it may '''evolve''' (Japanese: {{tt|進化|しんか}} ''shinka'') into a different Pokémon. This change is not merely physical, however, as Pokémon of a higher evolutionary stage have different (and usually more powerful) [[base stats]] than their predecessors, may have different [[move]]s that can be learned, and sometimes change their [[Elemental types|type]]s, though usually at least one of the types of the previous form is preserved. Other statistics, such as [[nature]] and [[EVs]], as well as {{pkmn2|shiny|alternate coloration}}, are preserved.

Revision as of 08:17, 2 February 2011

During the course of a Pokémon's development, under certain circumstances specific to that Pokémon's species, it may evolve (Japanese: 進化 shinka) into a different Pokémon. This change is not merely physical, however, as Pokémon of a higher evolutionary stage have different (and usually more powerful) base stats than their predecessors, may have different moves that can be learned, and sometimes change their types, though usually at least one of the types of the previous form is preserved. Other statistics, such as nature and EVs, as well as alternate coloration, are preserved.

Professor Rowan is the leading expert in Pokémon evolution. According to his research, over 90% of all Pokémon are connected to at least one other through evolution. Rowan is currently investigating whether evolution is a form of maturity in Pokémon, and looking at the implications this process has on legendary Pokémon, which don't evolve.

Evolution families

An evolution family is a group of Pokémon who will all, if bred with Ditto or a Pokémon in the same egg group, make a Pokémon egg that will hatch into the same Pokémon, excluding baby Pokémon. This also means that the most basic form has the potential to become any of the rest of the family, although it will ultimately be able to follow only one evolutionary path.

Stages of evolution

Pokémon can be divided into different evolutionary stages, based on where they appear in their evolution family. All Pokémon fall into one of four groups: baby Pokémon, unevolved Pokémon, first-evolution Pokémon, and second-evolution Pokémon. These groups are also the basis for the TCG's grouping of Baby Pokémon, Basic Pokémon, Stage 1 Pokémon, and Stage 2 Pokémon, respectively.

Due to the fact that no evolution family contains both a baby Pokémon and a second-evolution Pokémon, many regard baby Pokémon as the most basic form, while moving their evolved counterparts one level higher. For example, originally, Pikachu was regarded as an unevolved Pokémon, however, with the release of Pichu in Generation II, many now consider it to be more on par with Pokémon like Charmeleon, though its TCG classification remains the same.


Two-evolution families

Main article: Pokémon that are part of a three-stage evolutionary line

Perhaps the most well-known types of evolution families are those that feature two separate evolutionary events in the Pokémon's development. Indeed, this type of evolution family is what all of the starter Pokémon in the main series are a part of, excluding Pikachu as in Pokémon Yellow, the game it was the starter for; Pichu did not yet exist and it could not be evolved into Raichu. An example of this type of evolution family is below.

Lowest Trigger

Level 30
Middle Trigger

Level 55
Highest
147.png
Dratini
148.png
Dragonair
149.png
Dragonite

One-evolution families

Main article: Pokémon that are part of a two-stage evolutionary line

By far the most common type of evolution family, these families are based in a Pokémon that will only ever evolve once in its development. About one third of all Pokémon that would later get a baby form were part of this kind of evolution family before their baby form was revealed. An example of this type of evolution family is below.

Lowest Trigger

Level 20
Highest
019.png
Rattata
020.png
Raticate

Pokémon that do not evolve

Main article: List of Pokémon that do not evolve

The least common type of evolution family, of course, is that in which no evolutionary event takes place, meaning that it is made up of only one member. Many of the Pokémon that have no evolutionary relatives are, of course, legendary Pokémon. However, there are still 57 other Pokémon that do not evolve. Below is a list of all non-legendary Pokémon that do not evolve.

Gen I Gen II Gen III Gen IV Gen V
083 Farfetch'd 201 Unown 302 Sableye 417 Pachirisu 531 Tabunne
115 Kangaskhan 203 Girafarig 303 Mawile 441 Chatot 538 Nageki
127 Pinsir 206 Dunsparce 311 Plusle 442 Spiritomb 539 Dageki
128 Tauros 211 Qwilfish 312 Minun 455 Carnivine 550 Basculin
131 Lapras 213 Shuckle 313 Volbeat 479 Rotom 556 Marakacchi
132 Ditto 214 Heracross 314 Illumise 489 Phione 561 Shinbora
142 Aerodactyl 222 Corsola 324 Torkoal   587 Emonga
  225 Delibird 327 Spinda 594 Alomomola
227 Skarmory 335 Zangoose 615 Furijiio
234 Stantler 336 Seviper 618 Maggyo
235 Smeargle 337 Lunatone 621 Crimgan
241 Miltank 338 Solrock 626 Buffalon
  351 Castform 631 Kuitaran
352 Kecleon 632 Aianto  
357 Tropius
359 Absol
369 Relicanth
370 Luvdisc

It must be noted that not belonging to an evolutionary family is not indicative of strength, or a lack thereof. Some Pokémon, such as Pinsir and Skarmory, are comparable to fully evolved Pokémon while others, like Luvdisc and Pachirisu, are more comparable to unevolved Pokémon. Often this indicates a Pokémon's possibility to be eligible for future new evolutions or pre-evolutions.

Branch evolution families

Main article: List of Pokémon with branched evolutions

Several families, while also one- and two-evolution families, are also branch evolution families. What this means is that there is a split in the evolutionary line at some point so that even though two Pokémon of the same species evolve the same amount of times, they can become one of two or more entirely different creatures. Eevee is the best-known example of this, evolving seven different ways depending on the method used. An example of this type of evolution family is below.

Lowest Trigger

Level 25
Middle Trigger

Water Stone


Trigger

King's Rock
Highest
060.png
Poliwag
061.png
Poliwhirl
062.png
Poliwrath
186.png
Politoed
Advantages

A major difference between the final forms of an evolution family with a branch in evolution is in the way that their base stats line up. For example, Kirlia evolves into both Gardevoir and Gallade, which both have 518 total base stats. However, Gallade's base stat in Attack is 125 and its base stat in Special Attack is 65. The reverse is true for Gardevoir, whose Special Attack is 125 and whose Attack is 65. This is true of many opposing evolutions, with one focusing in one specific stat, the other focusing in a separate stat, and both having the same total stats. This is especially obvious in the Eeveelutions, who each have exactly the same base stats, though organized differently.

A listing of the stat focuses is below.

Basic form Evolutions Types Difference
043 Oddish 045 Vileplume Grass Poison Special Attack is 100, Special Defense is 90
182 Bellossom Grass Special Defense is 100, Special Attack is 90
060 Poliwag 062 Poliwrath Water Fighting Attack is 20 higher, Defense is 10 higher
186 Politoed Water Special Defense is 20 higher, Special Attack is 10 higher
079 Slowpoke 080 Slowbro Water Psychic Defense is 110, Special Defense is 80
199 Slowking Water Psychic Special Defense is 110, Defense is 80
133 Eevee 134 Vaporeon Water Highest stat is HP
135 Jolteon Electric Highest stat is Speed
136 Flareon Fire Highest stat is Attack
196 Espeon Psychic Highest stat is Special Attack
197 Umbreon Dark Highest stat is Special Defense
470 Leafeon Grass Highest stat is Defense
471 Glaceon Ice Highest stat is Special Attack
236 Tyrogue 106 Hitmonlee Fighting Large difference between Attack and Defense
107 Hitmonchan Fighting Speed lower than Defense, Attack and Defense more equal
237 Hitmontop Fighting Attack and Defense equal, Speed at minimum
265 Wurmple 267 Beautifly Bug Flying Attack and Special Attack higher than Defense and Special Defense
269 Dustox Bug Poison Defense and Special Defense higher than Attack and Special Attack
280 Ralts 282 Gardevoir Psychic Special Attack is 125, Attack is 65
475 Gallade Psychic Fighting Attack is 125, Special Attack is 65
361 Snorunt 362 Glalie Ice All stats are 80
478 Froslass Ice Ghost HP, Defense, Special Defense each 10 lower, Speed 30 higher
366 Clamperl 367 Huntail Water Attack is 104, Special Attack is 94
368 Gorebyss Water Attack is 84, Special Attack is 114
412
412G
412S
Burmy 413 Wormadam Bug Grass Special Attack and Special Defense higher by 10
413G Wormadam Bug Ground Attack and Defense higher by 10
413S Wormadam Bug Steel Equal special and physical stats
414 Mothim Bug Flying Lower Defenses but higher HP, Attacks, and Speed

Methods of evolution

Main article: Methods of evolution

The various triggers for a Pokémon's evolution are almost as varied as the Pokémon themselves. The most common of them is evolution by leveling up at or above a certain level. Other methods include leveling up when happiness has reached a high level, trading the Pokémon, trading the Pokémon holding an item, leveling up holding an item, or even using an evolutionary stone on it. Additionally, holding an Everstone prevents a Pokémon from evolving.

Most commonly, Pokémon that can evolve into more than one Pokémon will have the ways in which the evolution is activated being slightly similar, such as having both be by evolutionary stone or by holding an item and trading. Closely-related Pokémon, such as Nidoran♀ and Nidoran♂, will also have very similar, if not identical, evolution methods.

Some Pokémon have different evolutions depending on their gender. Usually, only one gender of the species will evolve, and the other will remain at the unevolved form. For example, only female Combee can evolve into Vespiquen; male Combee cannot evolve at all.

Also, there have been situations where something must be done to your current party in order for Pokémon to evolve. So far, only 2 Pokémon need to have special requirements. One is Mantyke, which will evolve into Mantine if leveled up with a Remoraid in the player's party. The other is Nincada, and will evolve into Ninjask when it reaches level 20. However, if there happens to be an empty space in the player's party (and a spare Poké Ball in Generation IV), a Shedinja will appear in the party.

In Generation V, a new method of evolution was introduced, the method of trading two specific Pokémon with each other. If one trades a Kaburumo for a Chobomaki, they will evolve into Shubarugo and Agirudaa, respectively.

In the anime

Gloom's evolutionary line as shown in the anime

In the anime, evolution happens in much the same way as it does in the games; though level-based evolution nor trade-based evolutions do not occur using those methods, there are similarities in the way they come about. For example, Misty's Poliwhirl evolved into Politoed because it found Ash's King's Rock and was holding it when Misty sent it out, while in the games it is required that Poliwhirl be traded while holding the King's Rock for the evolution to take place. When a Beedrill attacked Ash's Metapod, it caused a crack to appear on its shell, which Butterfree came out of.

Additionally, a difference can be noted in the fact that Pokémon evolve during a battle, as opposed to after it. There are also several instances of an evolutionary trigger being incorrect, such as March of the Exeggutor Squad where several Exeggcute evolve into Exeggutor without the aid of a Leaf Stone (Although it should be noted that the episode in question implies that there was radiation emitted by Leaf Stones buried underground that caused the evolution to be triggered). Pokémon may also evolve when they are needed to, for an extra boost of power, instead of after a set amount of training, such as when Ash's Charmeleon evolved into Charizard. In addition, Pokémon can sometimes choose not to evolve, even if they evolve by a 'natural' method such as leveling up. It appears that evolution has emotional implications for Pokémon - some Pokémon, such as Team Rocket's Meowth, dislike their evolved forms, while others such as Ash's Pikachu simply want to prove they can be powerful without evolving. Conversely, when Pokémon do evolve, this can often be linked with an experience that causes them to mature emotionally or deal with an emotional issue, such as when the Poochyena in A Bite to Remember evolved, or the Paras in The Problem With Paras. Poochyena, for some reason, had an aversion to using the move Bite, while Paras was extremely timid and weak in battle. Both of them evolved shortly after overcoming these issues.

For a list of all evolutions that Pokémon belonging to the main cast have undergone, see List of anime Pokémon by evolution.

In the TCG

Main article: Evolution (TCG)

Evolution in the TCG functions similarly in many aspects to that of the games, however, there is no different requirement that needs to be met depending on the Pokémon species to be evolved to move on to the next stage.

There are four different stages of evolution in the TCG, Baby Pokémon, Basic Pokémon, Stage 1 Pokémon, and Stage 2 Pokémon. Of these, only Baby and Basic Pokémon may be placed onto the Bench during the setup phase and during play; Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon are considered to be evolution cards and therefore unable to be played except on top of their corresponding pre-evolved forms. The stage of evolution is indicated in a conspicuous place on each and every Pokémon card, though the placement differs among the four generations of cards.

Within the deck and discard pile, only Stage 1 and Stage 2 cards are considered to be "evolution cards" for the purpose of a Trainer card or Pokémon Power which allows them to be searched for. In play, a Basic Pokémon card can be considered an evolution card if it is evolved from its Baby stage.

In relation to the real world

Evolution in Pokémon, for most species, is more akin to metamorphosis than to actual evolution. This is because real life evolution happens to a population rather than to individuals, and happens over much larger time scales than in the Pokémon world. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, it is mentioned that Pokémon evolution is an entirely separate phenomenon from the normal process of evolution, and is a mysterious ability exclusive to Pokémon that is still not fully understood.

However, this does not necessarily mean that evolution in real-world terms does not exist in the Pokémon world; the existence of "extinct" Pokémon backs this up, or also in the alternately colored Pokémon of the Orange Archipelago; Magikarp is apparently much weaker than its prehistoric ancestors, showing a genetic change in the Magikarp population.

Trivia

  • Eevee and Feebas are the only two Pokémon that can reach their next evolutionary forms in multiple ways. Eevee evolves into Espeon by either high happiness in the daytime in the main series games or by high happiness while holding a Sun Shard and leveling up in Pokémon XD. Eevee can also evolve into Umbreon by either high happiness in the nighttime in the main series games or by high happiness while holding a Moon Shard and leveling up in Pokémon XD. Feebas can evolve by leveling up with a high Beauty Stat in Generations III and IV, but since Contest Stats don't exist in Generation V, Feebas needs to be holding a Beauty Scale while being traded to evolve into Milotic. This might also explain why some Pokémon that only evolve by trading (Such as Gengar in the Old Chateau in Sinnoh) exist in the wild; by some unrevealed evolution method.
    • It is impossible for either Pokémon to utilize both methods of evolution in the same game.

See also

Pokémon training
CatchingNicknameBattlesEvolution (Mega Evolution) • Trading (Outsiders) • BreedingReleasing