This month we were treated to a plethora of new information regarding Super Smash Brothers for Wii U and 3DS, not least of which was the newest character added to the roster — Greninja. Greninja was revealed alongside Charizard, leading to the speculation that he is effectively replacing Squirtle as the water-type pokemon this go around. That speculation of course leads to more speculation — who is the grass-type starter replacing Ivysaur? So, in this special edition of Smash Step-Brothers, we’ll be looking at the Grass -type starters to see who could possibly make the cut, and who should be left in the pokeball.
height: 6′ 7″
weight: 220.5 lbs.
The grown up version of Smash veteran Ivysaur, Venusaur is a powerful plant pokemon that thrives off the nutrients that the giant flower on it’s back absorbs. Venusaur maybe the easiest of the pokemon on this list to adapt, as it’s basically a heavier, bulkier Ivysaur. Venusaur can learn all of Ivysaur’s moves, so there should be are fewer changes needed to his model, size, and weight ratio; or at least, that’s what it seems.
In practice, however, several of Venusaur’s moves would have to change due to his new-found girth. Certain attacks should be more powerful given his larger size. His speed should naturally be reduced as well. Generally, however, Ivysaur’s moveset conflicts with Venusaur’s general focus in the games. Late-game Venusaur has a lot more powerful special attacks, such as Solar Beam, as it’s signature attacks. Many of these maybe more difficult to include into a viable moveset made from scratch, however.
Also, while Venusaur isn’t the heaviest character on this list, he does suffer from an issue many of contenders on this list will have — he’s huge. In fact, Venusaur looks like he’s been lounging about just soaking in the delicious rays. The idea of him jumping about like Mario or even hopping like Bowser seems more than a bit awkward.
Even if that wasn’t the case, there is also a few other issues to consider. Venusaur is a Generation 1 pokemon, of which there are at least 2 (Pikachu and Charizard), and possibly 3 (Jigglypuff). While Smash has always been very heavy with generation 1 pokemon, if Greninja’s inclusion is a sign that Smash is trying to diversify, Venusaur is not a good means to that end.
Probability Forecast: Mostly Unlikely:
Venusaur is a cheap option, but not necessarily a good one.
weight: 221.6 lbs.
Chikorita was the grass type starter from generation 2, who previously featured in Super Smash Brothers Melee as a pokeball pokemon. Meganium is it’s fully evolved but lesser known cousin. Shaped like an apatasaurus, the petals about it’s neck are renown for calming creatures that touch them.
Meganium like many grass-starters is very heavy. Unlike Venusaur, however, it is much more slight, meaning most of it’s weight is going to muscle, not fat. This would make Meganium a bit quicker, and more plausible as a fighter. It’s long neck would keep it more flexible when it comes to attack range, and give it a much more unique fighting style.
It’s build could also prove a curse though. Meganium is a four-legged combatant. With the exception of Ivysaur, every fighter in Smash Brothers has at least two hands and walks erect, or has the ability to walk erect (see Pikachu and Yoshi). Ivysaur got around that by using vines that came out of his flower — something the Bulbasaur-Ivysaur-Venusaur line was known to do. The line Meganium is from is not particularly known to do that, or known to stand erect for any significant amount of time. Meganium’s only real way to grab a hold of anything is to bite it, which isn’t in is nature per say.
Meganium’s general description is that of a rather peaceful pokemon. This is evidenced by it’s moves in the pokemon games being heavily focused on status effects. It lacks many physically damaging moves, and what powerful attacks it has would be hard to translate into Smash — see Solar Beam and Giga Drain. This is also why Meganium biting something to toss it isn’t entirely natural.
Probability Forecast: Unlikely with a chance of unreasonable:
Meganium suffers from possible technical issues and lack of easily translated moves
weight: 115.1 lbs.
Notable as the first Grass-type starter to stand erect, Sceptile is the final evolution of Treeko. It’s raptor-like appearance makes it an intimidating pokemon, and the seeds on it’s back and blade-like leaves on his arms make it even more deadly.
Out of all the grass starters, this is the first that seems at all likely, as it has all the elements that should make a good fighter. Unlike his precursors, he generally stands erect, and is more focused on physical attacks — his signature attack being Leaf Blade. He has hands that allow him to grab opponents, and a lithe body type that lends to hopping about a busy battlefield.
Sceptile’s main drawback is that he was sadly born in the wrong generation. Sceptile comes from generation 3, which is noteworthy for two other pokemon — the meme-inducing Mudkip, and the incredible Blaziken. Both Mudkip and Blaziken are starters in this generation, so Sceptile was sadly overlooked most of the time. It’s possible Smash could give him a second wind, but Smash tends to follow certain trends, not completely rewrite them.
Probability Forecast: Mostly Unlikely:
A lack of recognition trumps viable movesets for Sceptile.
weight: 583.4 lbs.
If you thought Venusaur was big, Toterra carries a small island of his own on his back. The final form of Turtwig, Torterra is also one of only 3 grass starters with a secondary type — his is Ground. Torterra is also my favorite starter, so forgive me if I pull any punches.
Torterra is somewhere between Venusaur and Sceptile when it comes to playstyle in pokemon. His ground type moves lend to a much more physical fighting style, while his grass typing grants him a plethora of special attack moves as well. This lends him a very broad number of abilities he can pull from. While he is big, bigger than Venusaur by far, he carries his weight better than Venusaur does, and looks more like a combatant.
That is about the extent of Torterra’s advantages, however. Torterra overall is a microcosm of all the issues that could befall grass-type starter pokemon. Like Venusaur, he’s too big to even consider jumping, much less with any agility. Like Meganium, he has nothing that would substitute for having hands, and likely would die trying to stand erect. Like Sceptile, he also is typically out shined by another starter from his generation — Piplup/Empoleon.
To make matters worse for Torterra, there is already a Generation 4 pokemon confirmed in the new game — veteran fighter Lucario. While there’s no rule stating one per generation, a heavy focus in generation 4 seems unlikely.
Probability Forecast: Unreasonable:
Even I have to admit, Torterra has little going for it right now.
weight: 138.9 lbs.
The Serpent pokemon, Serperior is unique amoung it’s peers. Serperior is one of only a handful of snake pokemon in the game. Serperior is similar to many of the pokemon on this list, but differentiates itself in this way.
Serperior is one of the more versatile pokemon on this list. Capable of both physical and special grass-type attacks, many of it’s attacks, such as Vine Whip, make sense for it’s body type. Being serpentine also gives it a unique fighting style as compared to many of it’s compatriots. It is non-humanoid, but the ability to wrap itself around opponents provides a possible out for that.
The down-side, of course, is also it’s body-type. If the grab ability can be worked around, there would still likely be issues concerning it’s size and movement. Also, very few of it’s attacks would be considered good moves to elevate it back to the stage.
On the plus side, however, Serperior isn’t sharing stage with any more well-known pokemon; Emboar and Samarot aren’t any more popular than Serperior, or at least not by a wide margin. Also, no other generation 5 pokemon have been announced thus far.
However, the latest trailer may signify his undoing already. In the new Charizard/Greninja trailer, Serperior’s basic form, Snivy, appears in the hoard of pokemon — many of whom were already confirmed in the nintendo Direct to be pokeball pokemon. While this is circumstantial at best, it is noteworthy.
Probability Forecast: Unlikely:
Technical issues with Serperior’s unique body type may trump it’s relatively even playing field.
height: 5′ 3″
weight: 196.4 lbs.
The bulletproof pokemon, Chesnaught is the final form of Chespin — who also appeared in the pokemon hoard in the last trailer. The only mammal on this list, Chesnaught is surrounded by protective armor. It also has typing that seems to lend itself to a fighting game rather well — the Fighting type.
This is the pokemon that has it all really. Bipedal humanoid shape that can grab and throw things? Check. Focus in physical attacks in it’s game of origin? Check. Unique ability that differentiates it from other pokemon? It has a unique skill Spikey Shield, so that’s a check. What could possibly deter me from giving Chesnaught the thumbs up?
The only thing barring his passage is Greninja’s announced inclusion. With a powerful generation 6 pokemon already in play, it is difficult to argue another is needed, particularly when other generations have so much to offer.
Probability Forecast: Unlikely:
Unfortunately, Chesnaught’s chances may be over before they began.
Ultimately, none of these pokemon seem incredibly likely on their own. Even the strongest competitors would have a ghost of a chance if I didn’t assume that there would be grass-type starter among the cast. Not to mention, we do not know for certain that Squirtle and Ivysaur are not returning; so much of this speculation will be moot until we learn that for certain.
That doesn’t prevent us from hoping though. Who would you include in the new Smash Brothers?
Tagged: 3DS, charizard, chesnaught, fighting games, gaming, greninja, ivysaur, meganium, Nintendo, Pokemon, sceptile, serperior, smash brothers, squirtle, super smash brothers, super smash step-brothers, torterra, venusaur, video games, Wii U