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Pokémon Legends: Arceus is finally here, alongside a handful of new pocket monsters. They range from a happiness-infused Growlithe to a fish that steals souls to evolve (talk about hardcore). Is there a better way to welcome these new additions to Game Freak’s universe than to rank them?

We at Upcomer take Pokémon seriously, so we gathered eight staffers to narrow down the difference between top-tier Pokémon designs and designs like Voltorb and Electrode (they’re literally just balls with eyes). Take a look and we’ll surely convince you that this is the definitive ranking of every new monster in Arceus.

S-Tier Arceus Pokémon Rankings

These are the cream of the crop, the best Pokémon and Pokémon forms that Game Freak has introduced to the series within Arceus.

Hisuian Zoroark

  • Type: Normal/Ghost
Hisui Zoroark
Hisui Zoroark took the top spot in our rankings. | Provided by Game Freak

This is, by far, the best looking Pokémon that has been released over the last few years. It’s been a long time since Pokémon has released such a dark design, with a brand new typing combination! Apparently, its hair can produce illusions that “have expressions of such utter malice toward every last thing upon this world that those who see them are said to be driven mad by the terror,” according to its Official Pokedex entry.

And the hair is FABULOUS. Easy S tier

— Kenneth Utama

Hisuian Growlithe

  • Type: Fire/Rock
Growlithe
We just love them so much. | Provided by Game Freak

Growlithe has always been proud. Previous renditions of the majestic beast and its evolved forms have shown the canine holding its head high with a confident smirk. The Hisuian version shows something different: happiness. It looks like a dog whose owner just got home from a long vacation and that, for me, is S-Tier level design.

— Aron Garst

Samurott

  • Type: Water/Dark
Samurott
Samurott has looked badass in other Pokémon media appearances. | Provided by The Pokémon Company

When Samurott came out in Generation 5, many people (read: me) were unhappy with its lonely water-type. However, Legends: Arceus rectified this egregious mistake by giving this dangerous samurai a much-needed edge.

Now that it has a new Dark typing and a matching color-scheme, it’s easily the best of the Hisuian starter Pokémon. Ignore it at your own peril, if you wish to taste its blade.

— Jason Krell

A-Tier Arceus Pokémon Rankings

These Pokémon are great, but they’re not the best.

Hisuian Typhlosion

  • Type: Fire/Ghost

There’s something charming about looking at the new Typhlosion’s doofy little face. Sure, he may look more Grass-type than Ghost-type at first glance, but I think the slimmer physique and slight purple hue really suit Typhlosion well. Just like its counterpart from Johto, the 3D graphics don’t treat this guy well in general. But, once the spooky flames spawn around his neck, he really does turn out to be a pretty cool-looking Pokémon.

— Dylan Tate

Hisuian Arcanine

  • Type: Fire/Rock
Hisuian Arcanine
Hisuian Arcanine’s new dual rock type gives it a deeper color tone. | Provided by Game Freak

You can’t go wrong with Arcanine, no matter how hard you try. While this design is a departure from the fur-focused nobility of previous designs, it’s still fresh as heck. I’ll be riding this good boy around Arceus for days and days.

— Garst

Hisuian Zorua

  • Type: Normal/Ghost
Hisuian Zorua
One of the few downsides of Hisuian Zorua is its half normal type. | Provided by Game Freak

With all the Hisuian variations in Arceus, Hisuian Zorua stands out as simple yet still significant. The colors are a big change from the original Zorua. The type change stands out too, as one that goes from a Dark-type to a dual Normal/Ghost type. Plus, adding the wisps to the design adds to the Ghost-type inclusion, while keeping the cute troublemaker aesthetic of Zorua. So, this belongs in the A-tier.

— Mike Czar

Basculegion

  • Type: Water/Ghost
Basculegion
Basculegion’s soul-stealing backstory elevates it in our rankings. | Provided by Game Freak

Basculegion is badass. Basculin evolves into Basculegion when the souls of its fallen brothers and sisters possess it. Those souls don’t vanish but fight alongside this giant ghost fish whenever the need arises. Plus, it’s got a sweet mustache-like thing on the sides of its face.

— Garst

Ursaluna

  • Type: Normal/Ground

Ursaluna is an instant icon and there’s just no way around it. He’s simply a big, lovable oaf and a goofy pog-esque face. He’ll even give you a ride around Hisui. What a nice guy. Ursaluna isn’t as menacing as some would expect an Ursaring evolution to be, but I still love his design and think he was an excellent addition to the series.

— Dylan Tate

B-Tier Pokémon

These are the hearty, salt-of-the-earth Pokémon that make the Hisui region a wonderful place to visit.

Hisuian Braviary

  • Type: Psychic/Flying
Braviary
Hisuian Braviary is one of the best mounts in Arceus. | Provided by Game Freak

A lot of the Hisuian forms seem to revolve around grey and purple. Braviary benefits from this color change the most out of any Hisuian Pokémon. He looks like an anime bird straight out of Jujutsu Kaisen (watch some anime ya nerd). Braviary also allows the player to attach a hang glider and fly through the Hisuian region. No other Pokémon does that in this game. I would argue that Braviary belongs in A, but the scores averaged out to a B. Disappointing.

— Utama

Wyrdeer

  • Type: Normal/Psychic
Wyrdeer
Wyrdeer has the ability to destroy space with its antlers | Provided by Game Freak

Wyrdeer is really everything you want to see in a new evolution; it’s a clear improvement on Stantler. The Pokémon’s new Santa Claus beard adds an aura of wisdom that somehow makes me think I can trust this thing with my life. Normal/Psychic is also an interesting type pairing, since it neutralizes what was previously Stantler’s only weakness: Fighting.

— Tate

Kleavor

  • Type: Bug/Rock
Kleavor
Kleavor may not be as cool as its predecessor, but it’s still dope. | Provided by Game Freak

Now, I have a lot of bias for Scyther ever since Pokémon Silver and the bug-catching contests. This new variation of Scyther has a Rock exterior instead of the Steel of their original evolution, Scizor. The blades are now swapped with axes and the metallic armor now swapped for a rocky shell. For how it fits thematically in the region, and how it is one of the more visually interesting Rock-types, I think it fits perfectly fine in the B-tier.

— Czar

Decidueye

  • Type: Grass/Fighting

Decidueye has gotten a big makeover for the Hisui region and it’s definitely jarring to see how it’s changed. It’s gone from green to red, for one thing, perhaps reflecting how its typing has changed from Grass/Ghost to Grass/Fighting. It looks even more pensive and brooding now. And, to be fair, it always was but its Hisuian form evokes “battle-scarred warrior” more than “mysterious traveler.” I’m not too jazzed about its wings being shortened and turned into a cape instead of a cloak. Overall, it’s one of the more befuddling transformations.

— Bonnie Qu

Overqwil

  • Type: Dark/Poison

Overqwil and its nasty, spiky eyebrows is the definition of its namesake, overkill. It is, of course, an incredibly angry Pokémon that slurps up poison off the ocean floor to “nourish” itself according to its Pokédex entry. Why? Because it’s Overqwil.

— Garst

Sneasler

  • Type: Poison/Fighting/A good boy

We had a three-way bidding war over Sneasler’s placement and though I personally would have placed him in S-Tier, I am satisfied with him landing in the middle of the table. I don’t know anything about him other than the fact that he is LITERALLY just standing there. What a silly-looking guy. 10 points out of 10 from me.

— Qu

Hisuian Voltorb

  • Type: Electric/Grass
Voltorb
Anime eyes do not make Voltorb’s design better. | Provided by Game Freak

Hisuian Voltorb is a prime example of human capitalism gone terribly wrong. This living thing came from a factory that produced inanimate objects that look just like it. How? Why? It’s a ball that explodes when it gets angry or aroused. It’s an abomination that didn’t need another version to add to it’s terrifying lore.

-Garst

C-Tier Arceus Pokemon Rankings

Now we’re getting into disappointment territory.

Hisuian Goodra

  • Type: Dragon/Steel

Unlike its pre-evolution, Hisuian Goodra has a bit more going for it, but all of those things come together and result in a super clunky design. Obviously, Goodra is cute, and it’s unlikely that a new form or variation could change that. And yes, Hisuian Goodra’s shell looks like adorable armor for their curly little tail. But also, why? Overall, Hisuian Goodra’s look feels really out of place for this ancient era. It feels like an odd pick for this game to give special attention to.

— Nick Ray

Enamorus and its Therian Forme in Pokemon Legends Arceus
All Therian formes look kind of silly and that must be taken into account above all else. | Provided by Serebii

Enamorus-Therian

  • Type: Fairy/Flying

People hate formes, though that’s mostly because of the absurd spelling. However, Enamorus gets one just like all the others genies. This one looks like a turtle, or something, which is new. Normally those stay on the ground. That’ll be funny to have flying behind your trainer when running around the Hisui region.

However, all Therian formes look kind of silly and that must be taken into account above all else. Anything to keep Game Freak from making more.

— Krell

Enamorus

  • Type: Fairy/Flying

While many competitive players have been nothing but haunted by the Unova region genies, this is a kinder, softer Pokémon. It has a vibrant pink color scheme and a literal heart-thing on its head. Fairy and Flying are solid types as well.

Still, the last things Pokémon games need are more legendaries. For that, its maximum potential is capped.

— Krell

Qwilfish

  • Type: Dark/Poison

Hisui Qwilfish is also just a little guy. I’m a fan of its little frosted tips (neon pink, very classy.) It’s like if regular Qwilfish was in its goth punk era and also had cut off its tail to make a statement. Not much more to say about this little guy except that I like its typing as a Dark/Poison Pokémon and I think it looks very angry.

— Qu

Hisuian Electrode

  • Type: Electric/Grass
Electrode
It’s still just a ball. | Provided by Game Freak

It’s just another ball. A ball with eyes that explode when it gets angry. I don’t get it. I wasn’t a fan of the original Electrode and Voltorb designs, but here we are with another ranking that’s too high. My colleagues let me down by not placing Hisuian Electrode in D-Tier (or lower) and I won’t forget that anytime soon.

— Garst

Hisuian Sneasel

  • Type: Poison/Fighting

I described the purple and grey color scheme of most of the Hisuian Pokémon as a positive. Except for Sneasel. I disliked it so much that I moved it down a tier to C. This is a case of “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” The original Sneasel and Weavile evolution line was always one of my favorites, and I don’t think it needed to be changed at all.

— Utama

Hisuian Avalugg

  • Type: Ice/Rock

I don’t know how many Avalugg-related hot takes are out there these days, but I’ll be the first to say that I’ve actually always thought this guy had a clever design. Something about the flatness. But anyway, that was when they was just an iceberg. Hisuian Avalugg looks like a lonely pile of ice and sludge that accumulated in a Wal-Mart parking lot a few weeks after a mild snowstorm; big Washington D.C. area vibes. It’s not their fault, but Hisuian Avalugg is about as mid as they come.

— Ray

Hisuian Lilligant

  • Type: Grass/Fighting

Hisuian Lilligant isn’t nearly as cute as its typical iteration, but I actually think it kind of lives up more to its name, which is clearly a play on the word “elegant.” Switching out the puffy leaf skirt for a grassy leotard creates a sleeker silhouette and has turned Lilligant from a cute lass to a classy lady. Plus, she’s a Fighting-type now, which means she gets to throw hands. Good for her.

— Qu

Palkia-Origin

  • Type: Water/Dragon
Hisuian Dialga and Palkia in Legends Arceus
Palkia’s original form already had a suspect silhouette.  Provided by Serebii

Look, I know there will be many haters of this new form. However, everyone who does (including my co-workers) is just a hater. Palkia’s original form already had a suspect silhouette, and transforming that into that of a proud centaur is definitely an upgrade. It’s like no one has ever watched Hunter X Hunter and seen the beauty of Menthuthuyoupi.

Anyway, I sort of see where people are coming from, though. He doesn’t have any arms, which is a weird flex (literally?). But, at least he doesn’t look as completely goofy as Dialga, which is why he gets to be one tier higher.

— Krell

D-Tier Arceus Pokémon Rankings

Why?

Hisuian Sliggoo

  • Type: Dragon/Steel

Of all the Pokémon that would benefit from new forms, variants or evolutions, Sliggoo probably wasn’t making too many lists. Sliggoo’s original design was simple, cute and sleek; it worked really well. Now, its – wait, I’m sorry. Are they good? Like, can they physically move with that huge shell? They’re sitting on it like they made a choice to use it as a seat, but there’s no way they aren’t actually just stuck like that. Do you see their legs? Poor guy can’t even stand up straight.

— Ray

Dialga-Origin

  • Type: Steel/Dragon

They are really playing into this “Arceus is god” concept harder than ever before. I’m absolutely speechless about this design. In its standard form, Dialga had a mountainous, towering design. Dialga-Origin is seemingly supposed to share some sort of resemblance to its creator, Arceus (image, likeness and all that) but, instead, we’re left with this awkward and alien-like design. It’s definitely a bold take on what Dialga used to look like. But hopefully the game provides more insight into what’s going on with this guy. Also, and this needs to be said, I can’t be the only one thinking it looks like something out of Spore, right?

— Ray