Just like the analysis on Ghost-type Pokémon I did on 10/30 in celebration of Halloween, I shall formulate a top three on Ice-type Pokémon in celebration of Christmas. The Ice type is rubbish defensively, so Ice-types are not much of a presence competitively. Excluding alternate forms, there are a total of 33 Ice-type Pokémon:
- OU (1): Mamoswine
- BL (1): Weavile
- UU (1): Cloyster
- BL2 (2): Froslass, Kyurem
- RU (1): Abomasnow
- NU (16): Articuno, Aurorus, Avalugg, Beartic, Cryogonal, Delibird, Dewgong, Glaceon, Glalie, Jynx, Lapras, Piloswine, Regice, Sneasel, Vanilluxe, Walrein
- NFE (2): Sealeo, Vanillish
- LC (9): Amaura, Bergmite, Cubchoo, Smoochum, Snorunt, Snover, Spheal, Swinub, Vanillite
As for the alternate forms, there are 6, which are, in descending order of tier: Arceus-Ice (Uber), Kyurem-White (Uber), Kyurem-Black (OU), Abomasnow-Mega (RU), Glalie-Mega (BL3), and Rotom-Frost (NU).
You can see the sheer concentration of Ice-types in NU (about 44%, alternate forms included), and it is for a good reason. Ice-types only have one resistance (Ice) and weakness to three really common types (Fire, Fighting, and Rock), as well as Steel. Fortunately, it is a good type offensively, once famous for being one of the only types super-effective against Dragon, and still famous for being Gliscor’s one 4x weakness. Thus, it’s more often seen as a coverage type for non-Ice types than as STAB for Ice-types.
Anyway, I’m not here to bash Ice-types; I was just pointing out a few difficulties in formulating a top three for Ice-types. Now, I suppose it’s time to get to the point. On to the top three.
Hey, look, a not-fully-evolved Pokémon made its way into my top three! Surprising, isn’t it? Even so, Spheal is a pretty swell Pokémon. Its round and cute design is definitely appealing to me, and that’s pretty much the reason why I like it; it’s not that viable in Little Cup. Its Base Stat Total is only 290 (for comparison, the highest unbanned BST in Little Cup is 410, belonging to Ponyta), it’s weak to omnipresent types in Fighting and Rock, and it doesn’t have much of a niche other than Thick Fat (and maybe Icy Wind). Sure, it could be the most defensive Ice-type in Little Cup (don’t quote me on this), but the term “defensive Ice-type” is pretty much an oxymoron, for reasons I mentioned before. It’s still cool, though, no pun intended.
When you think of Christmas in Pokémon terms, Delibird immediately comes to mind. There is literally no Pokémon more appropriate for the holidays than Delibird. Even though it has an interesting movepool, with its Egg moves (namely Freeze-Dry, Spikes, Rapid Spin, and Destiny Bond) being the most notable, it is utter trash competitively, even among NU…heck, even PU Pokémon! Putting aside the fact that its Hidden Ability is redundant, being the same as one of its existing abilities with a different name, its stats (45/55/45/65/45/75, 330 BST) are below average and its typing renders it 4x weak to Stealth Rock (which makes Rapid Spin more usable as a lead move than anything). Hustle Aerial Ace does seem intriguing, though, especially considering it is the most powerful STAB user of the combination (excluding Rufflet, which is NFE). If you ask me, this is one of the handful of Pokémon with a cool design and a set of base stats that makes it wish it had an evolution.
I mentioned this Pokémon as my third-favorite Ghost-type, so I deem it necessary to repeat what I said back on 10/30:
“What is it that I like about Froslass? Its high Speed? Its unique typing? Its interesting movepool? Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Fast Pokémon are pretty cool, even if they are weak (I mean, base 80 attacking stats, that’s subpar), as long as they can run a set that takes advantage of their Speed. Spikes+Taunt+Ice Beam+Destiny Bond seems to be the ideal set, but Choice Specs with Ice Beam+Shadow Ball+Thunderbolt+Trick/Destiny Bond is a cool set as well. I mean, base 110 is not actually that fast, but at least it’s above average. Still, it does have an interesting movepool, for sure.”
Looking back, though, I’ve come to realize that Icy Wind might be a better choice over Ice Beam in the first moveset I mentioned before, just because Froslass’s base 80 Special Attack, even with the respectable base power of Ice Beam, will barely put a dent in anything, while Icy Wind has the utility of slowing down its target, a helpful measure against faster Pokémon like Azelf and Aerodactyl.