When it comes to new Pokémon, Pokémon Sun and Moon don’t overwhelm us with exclusives. I’m playing Pokémon Sun at the moment, and the only new-to-the-series, totally exclusive characters in this game are Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Ninetales, Passimian, and Turtonator. Though, Lycanroc’s day form may count as well, since Pokémon Moon players can’t get it until later in the game. To help you understand what you can expect or might be missing, here’s a look at each one’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as some move sets I’ve found that work for each one against in-game NPCs.
Alolan Vulpix and Ninetales aren’t too different from their standard cousins, with the only difference being the obvious ice-typing, slightly higher speed, and somewhat lower attack. A Modest one is a good idea, to boost its special attack and increase the power of its ice-type moves. Now, Vulpixie and most other Ninetales will have the Snow Cloak ability that boosts evasion in a hailstorm. But, oddly enough, neither actually learns Hail! Grabbing TM07 from the Battle Royal Dome’s Pokémon Center for $50,000 and teaching it to the Pokémon is priority one. I also have Ice Beam, Sheer Cold, and Dazzling Gleam on my Vulpixie. But, if you don’t want to wait until level 50 to evolve Vulpix and get Sheer Cold, you could always go with Blizzard instead.
I haven’t found a use for Passimian. He’s a slow fighting type, with his attack being his strong suit, followed by defense and health. Adamant’s a good trait for him, since it boosts attack higher and lowers special attack. Since Receiver is the ability he’s most likely to come with and gives him the ability of a defeated ally, you may want to try and use him in doubles matches. I have one set up with Bulk Up, to boost attack and defense even higher, as well as the fighting-type Reversal, Close Combat, and Low Sweep for STAB.
Turtonator is a bit of an oddball in Pokémon Sun. While I like him, I can’t help but wish his stats were a little different. He’s a defense tank, with that stat absolutely being his highest, followed by special attack, then special defense. Yet, he has low health. There’s quite a divide between his defense and special defense, though, which makes me hesitant to have him as an outright tank like Ms. Bliss, the Blissey, or my Snorlax. His special attack is so low in comparison, I’d almost rather swap a Salazzle in for quick fire blasts. I recommend a nature that gets his special defense up. Perhaps Sassy, since his speed is already ridiculously low. Shell Armor, his ability, will block all critical hits, which is another help. Shell Trap is an essential move, since it’s a STAB move that deals double the damage taken from a physical move. It only has 5 PP, so use a PP Up to get that up to eight as soon as you can. I’ve been using him to stall in battles, personally, and have taught him Toxic, Dragon Pulse, and Protect to encourage that.
What’s great about the Pokémon Sun’s Lycanroc day form is that this guy is a speedster in the realm of slow tanks. A Jolly nature is recommended, since it boosts Lycanroc’s speed even higher and it’s special attack stat is naturally low anyway. My Hachiko is a Careful nature, which work as well since it favors special defense and lowers special attack. I recommend going with moves that compliment that. Accelerock isn’t bad, as its Lycanroc’s signature move, but it doesn’t do the most damage. I went with Stone Edge and Rock Slide, for STAB and the chance of Stone Edge landing a critical hit and Rock Slide making an opponent flinch. Rock Climb is also part of Hachiko’s move set, due to its possibility to confuse a target. I also have Rock Tomb, so it’ll lower the opponent’s speed, and Crunch, for its flinch chance.
Now, I know this is supposed to be about Pokémon Sun exclusives, but I can’t go through this without saluting Mimikyu. Mimikyu is a fantastic Pokémon. Its Disguise ability works wonderfully either to test the waters in a battle by having it first in line or should you need to switch Pokémon mid-fight. It’s only weak against ghost and steel types. It has high special defense, attack, speed, and defense. My Mimicute’s Naive, which boosted her speed further and means she often gets in the first hit, without hurting her special defense too badly. At level 74, her attack’s 190, speed’s 181, special defense’s 168, defense’s 147, and special attack’s 107. What’s great about Mimikyu is that it learns some amazing moves, so many that I didn’t find I needed to supplement Mimicute’s lineup with TMs. She has Pain Split, in case she does get hit, the beastly Play Rough attack, Shadow Claw for when she encounters other ghosts, and Leech Life to restore her health in case she does get hit. Out of all the Pokémon I have, she’s never fainted. Mimikyus are very good, very precious babies.
You’re going to find a lot of cool Pokémon in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Maybe a version exclusive will be the best fit for your time. Maybe it won’t. It never hurts to at least get Pokémon Sun’s exclusives for the sake of completion. Then, once you get to the post-game and have time to train, go ahead and see if you can find a good place for Turtonator, Alolan Ninetales, or the day form of Lycanroc.
Pokémon Sun and Moon are available for the Nintendo 3DS.