Hello Vingle! While working on a different card ranking all the Pokemon types so far, I was including sections for Pokemon of each type October believes to be Underrated either by fans or Game Freak itself. Those sections began to get too large, and especially when coupled with the overrated sections to go with these, the card started to lose focus. So I figured I'd take those sections and make them their own uploads. Underrated and Overrated cards posted as the inspiration hits. This way I can elaborate on each Pokemon more and how I think they could be improved. So here is October's first Underrated Pokemon:
Typhlosion. Ah, Typhlosion, my first Pokemon ever. As a Jhoto trainer, I picked Cyndaquil as first ever Pokemon. I loved fire types and Cyndaquil is adorable (October thinks Cyndaquil is cuter than Charmander and Quilava is one of the most elegant looking Pokemon of them all and one of his favorite secondary evolutions). Typhlosion had one behemoth task of coming after the insanely popular (and honestly overrated) Charizard as a fire starter or fire type all together. However, Typhlosion was able to gain immense popularity and had been the definitive starter of choice for all versions of the Jhoto games. Typhlosion still had popularity today as people can't get enough of the volcano badger. However, Typhlosion has a very big problem.
The Issue: Typhlosion has a very poor movepool that keeps it held back. "October, you mean a bad movepool and poor stats, right?" Nope. Just slim movepool. Typhlosion actually had the exact same stat as Charizard who, even prior to receiving 2 mega evolutions (which October thinks is ridiculous anyways but whatever), was always a popular and competitive choice. For a breif time even, Typhlosion had the slight edge over Charizard being 2x weak to the painfully common Stealth Rocks whole Charizard's types ng made it 4x weak. In Generation 2 Typhlosion also could use Thunder Punch, which was still a special attack back then. Even though it dealt physical damage, Earthquake eliminated most rock threats to Typhlosion, as well as other fire types. As generations came and went newer moves became available but few were picked up by Typhlosion besides Eruption. It was strong but that niche move really is what made Typhlosion fall and furthered the gab between it and Charizard; because even after the massive damage from Stealth Rock, Charizard didn't get the amount of damage it could deliver reduced. Typhlosion's niche, since the move's introduction, has been Eruption. A powerful, special, fire attack that deals less damage as its user's health drops. One look at the overabundance of entry hazards and priority moves that is competitive Pokemon battles, and you see the flaw with that mechanic. Even if by some lucky chance Typhlosion gets to use Eruption without residual damage or a quick smack reducing its threat, the Flash Fire ability adds more risk to using the move.
Works Around: Surprisingly, Typhlosion actually has a wide physical attacking movepool that even provides stellar type coverage. Flare Blitz, Flame Charge, Wild Charge for water types, Earthquake and Rockslide for Rock and other fire types, and even some good fighting moves give options to a physical Typhlosion. Too bad that physical attack stat is really low in comparison to its special attack power. Not to mention that Typhlosion's speed, while once incredible and still respectable, is now outsped by many other Pokemon limiting his use as a Sweeper. Even using a physical set for less variable damage, a team needs to be built around Typhlosion for it to shine. Few trainers see value in building around a single specific Pokemon, especially one that even with stat boosts passed to it and hazards removed still has weaknesses that are easily exploited.
How to fix: Obviously an improved movepool. Better attack choices and a boosting move to make Typhlosion effective as a sweeper or at least wall breaker. Even this won't get it into OU tiers and certainty not Ubers, but could at least get it into UU with most of the other starters. I almost don't want to make this next suggestion because it seems to be everyone's answer to make Pokemon better, even if that particular one doesn't need to be improved (seriously of the Ash-Greninja becomes an in-game form October is going to be so pissed). Give Typhlosion mega evolution. You could make it add a dual type and as tired as everyone is with Fire/Fighting dual types starters (October is no exception) it could really help the volcano badger. Even if you wanted to go the Mega Charizard Y direction and have the Mega form boost Typhlosion's speed and physical attack that would work. It could then better utilize it's already wide physical movepool while keeping a respectable special power to maintain its niche use of Eruption or even run a mixed attacking set. It still needs access to some form of boosting move outside of the like of Power-Up Punch though. October, for one, would be perfectly happy letting his favorite starter death charge into an opponent with Wild and Flame charges. Flare Blitz to boost the speed if the stats don't get a raise and earthquake for rocks. Hell, a physical attack boost bring back the Generation 2 Typhlosion that earned it enough popularity to get Trainers Choice series toys for Cyndaquil (OK all the starters did but whatever). October just wants to see his volcano badger bringing the heat again, even if it is just in UU tier (which is October's tier of choice anyway). Who do you think is an underrated Pokemon that needs more love from fans or Game Freak? Let October know and be on the look out for more Underrated and Overrated Pokemon cards!