The Pokemon card franchise, which has soared in popularity over the last year, started as a simple battle card game — 'attacking' your opponent's card with the move that was written on yours, using decks taken from a 102 card set. Now, with over 6,000 different printed Pokémon cards, there has to be at least��double that many attack names. Many of them will be existing moves from the video games (or slight derivations of them) while many others will have been created entirely for the trading card game.
Naturally, with thousands of attacks to name, the writers at the Pokemon Company occasionally take very creative liberties with the source material, leading to some truly bizarre attacks that are guaranteed to leave a smile on any fan's face.
10 Weezing - Surrender Now
While Weezing's 'Surrender Now' isn't immediately a particularly odd sounding attack name, when one considers the gentleman at the bottom right of Weezing's illustration, the attack name is one that couldn't be more perfect.
There stands Team Rocket's very own James. The same James whose lines in the oft-used Team Rocket motto include 'Surrender now or prepare to fight.' This nod to the anime is sure to please any long-time Pokémon fan, it's just a shame the same wasn't done for the Arbok in the same set.
9 Giovanni's Meowth - Cat Fleas
More a passive attack than the others on the list, having 'being infested with fleas' as a weapon of choice is pretty hilarious, and it's due to its non-threatening (but a little annoying) nature that it ended up on this list.
The best Pokémon card attack names aren't always those that sound like they pack a punch, more so ones that are more creative and stick in our mind for longer. Paired up with the equally non-threatening 'Cat Kick', this card just makes Meowth seem like a housecat that Giovanni stapled a coin onto. Maybe it is.
8 Cleffa - Eeeeeeek
Eeeeeek! Cleffa is the star-shaped baby form of Clefairy believed by some to be an alien. The trading card game (and the franchise as a whole) tends to hang more on the 'soft cute tiny baby' aspect of Cleffa more than the 'intergalactic star monster' thing and, well, who can blame them? Look at it.
A great example of this is the fact that Cleffa has had 'Eeeeeek' (or some variation of it) as an attack in five out of its eight appearances in the TCG. While tooth-meltingly sweet, it does make a nice change from the millionth 'Bite' or 'Double Kick'.
7 Cramorant - Continuous Gulp Missile
Probably the newest card on this list, Cramorant from Vivid Voltage has a move that draws a fantastic image to one's mind — 'Continuous Gulp Missile'. Cramorant, based on the cormorant, has a signature ability that involves barfing up today's lunch and firing it like a rocket launcher.
While usually fish-based, the diet of this hungry bird has been known to involve our good friend Pikachu, which means that Cramorant occasionally will launch Pikachu like a torpedo. This, combined with the fact that the card promises a 'continuous' attack, creates an image of Cramorant repeatedly swallowing fish and firing them like a semi-automatic weapon. And that's wonderful.
6 Slowpoke & Psyduck GX - Thrilling Times GX
Psyduck and Slowpoke are perhaps some of the most oblivious Pokemon in the franchise. Slowpoke — small, pink and quite like a hippopotamus — is said by the Pokedex to take five seconds to realize it's even under attack. Psyduck, on the other hand — small, yellow and very much like a duck — has a constant headache and the ability to very rarely use incredibly strong psychic powers. Unfortunately, it forgets using them immediately afterward.
It's no exaggeration to say these two aren't the duo you'd rely on to fight your battles for you, or help with housework or even be moderately entertaining, but wait! The Pokemon trading card game says 'No!' to your bold assumptions and promises 'Thrilling Times' when these two are together. The 'GX' at the end somehow makes this even funnier.
5 Stoutland - Arf Arf Bark
The Cosmic Eclipse set has some of the most creative cards made to this date — character cards. Character cards are beautifully drawn full-art cards of a Pokemon interacting with their trainer. Roxie and her Koffing use 'Blow-Away Bomb', Jasmine and Steelix with 'Iron Tail' and Cheren and Stoutland with the powerful, fear-inducing, spine-tingling 'Arf Arf Bark'. Wonderful, truly.
It's not even a mistranslation, the Japanese is roughly the same, too. Like Cleffa's 'Eeeeeeek' it's refreshing to see attack names that aren't as serious and menacing as the likes of 'Guillotine' or 'Vicegrip' — 'Arf Arf Bark' is very much a breath of fresh air.
4 Hypno - Goodnight, Babies
It's Hypno doing what Hypno does best — being as creepy as sin. The excellent artwork by Tomokazu Komiya already makes this a particularly disturbing piece, what with Hypno literally pointing you down the path to some twisted nightmare-scape, but what really drives home the unpleasantness is the ability 'Goodnight, Babies'.
'Goodnight, Babies'? Is that Hypno talking? Is that Hypno saying this to his prey? To us? Why is he calling us babies? It's so fantastically unnerving. In the TCG, Hypno has really done well for itself, receiving both fantastic art and creative attack names — bravo, guys. It's a shame this card suffers from the awful dark red text on purple background curse, though.
3 Honchkrow - Nightmare Mambo
When someone hears the word 'mambo', the next word that'd come to mind is pretty unlikely to be 'nightmare'. In fact, 'nightmare' is perhaps one of the last they'd suggest. A mambo is an upbeat, flowing Cuban dance, while a nightmare — an unpleasant or traumatic dream. Together, who knows what that would look like? Honchkrow, apparently.
These two words next to each other are comical enough, but imagining this near-3ft tall mafioso crow shuffling around to Que Rico Mambo to celebrate your defeat is too much. Wonderful card with wonderful art and dance skills.
2 Hypno - Stir The Brain
Well, that didn't take long. Hypno scores high again by having hands-down the most horrific attack name in the entire franchise — 'Stir the Brain'. And, due to this, it is one of the best. The mental images that this stirs up (forgive the pun) are pretty graphic.
Due to the whole brain-not-being-a-liquid thing, this attack's name tells you that it's gonna do some serious damage — the actual effects of the attack don't quite live up to its name but hey, what would?
1 Forretress - Everyone Explode Now
Perhaps the most well-known of the 'did I just read that correctly?' moves is HS Undaunted's Forretress with 'Everyone Explode Now'. It's hard to place the thinking behind the name. Is it a command? Is it a C+C Music Factory parody? The original Japanese can be read as 'explosion with everyone' which, to be fair, is a little better.
It is, however, because of this eye-catching move, that this card is utterly iconic. Along with the gorgeous artwork and unique borders, this strange Forretress is just another one of the many things that make HS Undaunted such a fun set.
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