As per RPG tradition, combat in the Pokémon series generally focuses on the elements. We all know the basics: Water beats Fire, Fire beats Grass, Grass beats Water. Fire also beats Ice, for obvious reasons (although, in the much-beloved Final Fantasy series, the reverse is often true).
Some Pokémon typings, however, just don’t fit into the type chart so conveniently. When it comes to the Normal-type, all bets are off. Normal Pokémon seem to be able to do whatever the heck they like, strange little catch-alls in the type chart that are tough to pin down. Should you keep a Normal-type on your team? Let’s take a look!
10 Important: Their Lack Of Weaknesses
The first and most obvious point in Normal-types’ favor is that they have only a single weakness: Fighting. Couple this with the fact that they’re completely immune to Ghost-type attacks (unless they’re affected by very niche moves that nobody in the history of Pokémon has ever bothered using seriously), and you’ve got a huge asset on your side.
Fighting-types are very common, there’s no doubt about that, but a single weakness is much easier for the rest of your team to prepare for and cover.
9 Don’t Bother: It’s (Not) Super Effective!
We’ve already touched on the fact that Normal Pokémon and Normal moves interact with the rest of the type chart in a strange way. Most uniquely, it’s the only typing in the game that isn’t super effective on anything.
With Normal moves, then, your goal should be to go all out and try to finish off the opponent with a powerful neutral STAB. You’re not going to be exploiting any weaknesses here.
8 Important: Access To A Wide Range Of Moves
The Normal typing was a super, super handy creation for the developers. It gave them a convenient out, with regards to all those Pokémon that just don’t really have an elemental sort of vibe to them. Where a great biceps-the-size-of-the-Chrysler-building powerhouse like Machamp here is a born Fighting-type, many Pokémon just don’t fit anywhere. In that case, Normal it is!
As a result, Normal is the second-most common type in the series (only Water is more prevalent). The same applies to Pokémon moves, which is why Normal types have access to a whole range of different moves. From powerful attacks to devious support moves, Normal has you covered.
7 Don’t Bother: It’s Not Very Effective…
As we’ve seen, then, when it comes to Normal STAB, your goal is to break through using brute Attack or Special Attack alone. Nothing at all is weak to Normal moves. Not unless you’re playing Inverse Battles in Pokémon X and Y, and let’s be honest with ourselves: nobody is playing Inverse Battles in Pokémon X and Y.
The issue with simply spamming the strongest Normal STAB you can muster is this: lots of opponents can stop that nonsense right away. Steel and Rock both resist Normal, while Ghost is totally immune to it (though the rare Scrappy Ability completely removes that issue). A second STAB from a dual typing is often needed to alleviate this problem, which defies the whole point of having a Normal-type in this context.
6 Important: They Have STAB On Some Great Moves
So, yes. It’s definitely not an easy life, being a super-strong Normal-type that just wants to claim some souls. However, these Pokémon do have one huge advantage on their side: Normal type gain a STAB bonus on some very, very powerful attacks.
From the darn useful priority move Extreme Speed to the formidable special move Boomburst and even the horrifyingly strong Explosion, Normal moves are some of the strongest around. Pokémon like Staraptor can find great success simply firing off Double-Edge (with a side order of Brave Bird, of course) until the recoil takes them out, hopefully having severely dented the opponent’s team in the process.
5 Don’t Bother: The Most Notable Normal-Types Are Early Game Pokémon
Prior to the launch of Pokémon Sword and Shield, Wooloo was one of the most hype-tastic Pokémon around. It still is (bless the adorable little furry cuddle-magnet), but if we can be brutally real for a moment, it isn’t actually any good, is it?
As with a lot of its Normal-type brethren, Wooloo and Dubwool proved to be early game Pokémon that the player drops (faster than Snoop Dogg when it’s hot) in favor of something better. This has been the case since the days of Pidgey and Rattata, and it’s probably always going to be.
4 Important: There’s Just So Much Choice
When it comes to these sorts of preferences, though, it’s always up to the individual player to decide. If you’re one of those dedicated souls who fought your way right to the Elite 4 with your Raticate by your side, more power to you.
Every Pokémon is somebody’s favorite, after all. Even Dunsparce (there’s probably someone out there). Another major asset Normal has on its side is that it’s both super common and super varied, meaning that you’re sure to be able to find a Normal-type that really appeals to you. The more common Water-type, meanwhile, won’t have a lot to offer you if sea creatures aren’t your bag.
3 Don’t Bother: Lots Of Them Are Totally Forgettable, Though
There we go, then. A huge number of Normal-type Pokémon have been released across the generations, so your perfect partner is sure to be found somewhere among them. Even the pickiest of Trainers is sure to appreciate one of them, right?
Sadly, though, many of them are completely uninteresting. For every great and/or iconic Normal-type like Snorlax, there are a couple that you’d probably entirely forgotten existed. Who would really notice if Stantler, Greedent, and Spinda (just to name a couple of pure Normal-types) were snapped right out of this reality by Thanos himself? We’ll tell you who: nobody, that’s who.
2 Important: They Can Slot Super Easily Into Teams
While you’re making your merry way through a new Pokémon game and nabbing the critters you most like the look of, you’ll usually face a team-building problem: redundant typings. Of course, for the story, you can use just about anything, but it’s not very practical to have two or three Fire-types in your team of six.
What you’ll often have to do is switch something out. When it comes to Normal types, though, that’s less of an issue, as you don’t lose a lot of coverage or compound weaknesses much by adding a Normal-type. You still don’t want four of them, but Normal Pokémon can slot nicely into a team without affecting much. Their dual typings help with that too.
1 Don’t Bother: It’s Often The Dual Typing That Makes Them Useful
That’s exactly the problem, though. Not many new Pokémon are single-type now (Cinderace, Intelleon, and Rillaboom being so was surprising), which tends to mean that it isn’t actually a Normal-type’s Normal typing that you want it for.
Pokémon like Staraptor and Swellow thrive on spamming their powerful Normal moves alongside a second STAB like Brave Bird, and they’re at their best when they also have something that can deal with Steel, Rock, and Ghost. A Pokémon like Pyroar, which has Fire STAB to deal with those Steel-types that otherwise laugh in its face, is a good example. Sometimes, your Normal-type might as well not be a Normal-type at all.
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