Who’s That Pokemon? It’s… Greninja!
Welcome to Who’s That Pokemon?! In this weekly series, we will highlight a random Pokemon and discuss who the Pokemon is, lay out a possible moveset to wreak havoc with, talk about some notable appearances of the Pokemon, show some cool fan art, and more!
To kick off Who’s That Pokemon?, our inaugural entry will center on a very recent addition to the franchise, and one of my personal favorites: Greninja.
Who is Greninja?
Look at that cool mother fucker. Have you ever seen anything more awesome than a frog ninja that uses its tongue as a scarf? No, you haven’t. Greninja, the Ninja Pokemon, is a Water and Dark type, and is the final evolution of the Water starter from X and Y, Froakie. In addition to a badass design, Greninja may be one of the best non-Mega starter evolutions in the franchise. Good Speed, decent Special Attack, great movepool, and one of the most terrifying Abilities known to Pokemon: Protean. Without Protean, Greninja is essentially worthless, serving as little more than a fun starter to get you through the Elite Four. With Protean, however, it becomes a horrifically powerful monster, one capable of tearing through unsuspecting teams with ease if handled properly.
1. Hydro Pump
2. Dark Pulse
3. Ice Beam
4. Grass Knot
EVs: 4 HP, 252 Special Attack, 252 Speed
Item: Life Orb
This set will give you some pretty great type coverage. There aren’t many Pokemon that won’t at least take a neutral hit from one of these moves, and with Protean giving you STAB on all of them, this little blue bastard is going to be dishing out some damage. The Speed investment is very important here: Greninja is very frail, often unable to take more than one hit (sometimes even a resisted one if its strong enough) without fainting, so a Timid Nature and maximum Speed EV investment are an absolute necessity. The same goes for Special Attack, as you want Greninja to come as close to OHKOing anything it faces as possible, because if you give your opponent a chance to retaliate, Greninja may not last too long. As for the moves, you’ve got Hydro Pump for raw power (just be careful with the 80 accuracy) and Dark Pulse, Ice Beam, and Grass Knot for amazing type coverage. If absolutely necessary, Protean can allow these moves to change Greninja’s type defensively as well, if soaking up a certain type of move is unavoidable.
In addition to being one of the starters from Gen 6, Greninja has gained fame outside of the Pokemon community due to its appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS.
Super speedy with some pretty versatile moves, Greninja can be an absolute beast in the right hands. This may just be a personal opinion, but one of my favorite things about Greninja in SSB is how it feels exactly how I imagined he would. After using it (quite extensively, I might add) in competitive battling, I was ecstatic when it was announced that one of my favorite Pokemon of all time was going to be in the new SSB after only existing for about a year. In between his announcement and the game’s release, I had built up in my head how I imagined he would play: super quick and light, but packing one hell of a punch. And I’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what I got. Greninja is now by far my best character in SSB (I am in no way saying I’m really good at SSB; I’m mediocre at best, but he’s my personal best), and I attribute that to the fact that he plays exactly how I had imagined he would. And besides, even if you don’t like how he plays, he uses god damn water swords.
WATER SWORDS. I mean, c’mon. Now it’s just unfair for the other characters.
(Disclaimer: I want to make it abundantly clear here that I did NOT create the following fan art, and I am NOT claiming it as my own. I am simply sharing it here. I will do my best to give credit to the original source, provided I can find it.)
That’s it for this week’s edition of Who’s That Pokemon?! Check back next week for another Poke-centric entry into the series!