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Take a closer look at Pokémon Sun and Moon's new monsters

We offer our thoughts on Gen 7's first additions

Five more Pokémon have joined the series' cast of 722, thanks to this morning's reveal of Pokémon Sun and Moon's starters and, more mysteriously, the legendaries on the boxes' covers. Stateside, we got a trailer that briefly showed off the fire, water and grass-types that trainers will have to choose from on Nov. 18, when the Nintendo 3DS games launch. (Japanese fans were treated to an even longer look at the Generation 7 Pokémon titles.)

Picking a starter Pokémon might be the most important decision a trainer makes in-game. But how does one choose? Helpfully, The Pokémon Company has since updated the games' website with deeper descriptions of the three newbies. With the increased information, we're here to help players start building their team of Pokémon so they can be ready when the games arrive, six months from now.

As for the legendaries, we still don't know too much — but that won't stop us from offering our take on the Pokémon pair.



This little guy is called the "Grass Quill Pokémon." Clearly inspired by an owl, this grass/flying-type has a clear fashion sense — check out that leafy bowtie.

Even classier is Rowlet's steely silence, despite the friendly demeanor. The official description mentions that the bird can "attack without making a sound," giving it the ability to fly past its blissfully ignorant foes to land some killer kicks or send some leaves in its direction with the move Leafage.

As any owl can, Rowlet can also spin its head almost 180 degrees. We have to appreciate the commitment to real biology here, even if that particular note freaks us out a little.



Litten might be our favorite of the new starters — not just because of its very much on-trend pun of a name. The "Fire Cat Pokémon" is, well, a fiery little kitten. It's described as "logical but also passionate," although we're not sure why those things are considered mutually exclusive. Still, Litten is very much a strong silent-type, just like your average cat.

But unlike your own kitten, when Litten unleashes hairballs, they come with a warning: These things are flammable. In fact, they're on fire. That's a pretty sweet way to shed its fur.

Litten comes with the ability Blaze and Ember as its opening move. In all, the cat looks to be in the strong tradition of fire Pokémon with an extra dose of cuteness.



The last of the trio is Popplio, a sea lion. The water-type is like a dopier version of the various other seal-based Pokémon already in the Pokédex, like Spheel and Seel. At least this one has a more creative name, although that doesn't much forgive the clown-like nose.

Popplio's best feature is its speed — it can swim at more than 25 miles-per-hour, its description says. That only helps out when you're in the water, though, although Sun and Moon's Hawaiian-esque region of Alola will surely bring plenty of that.

As its first move, Popplio can use Water Gun, an attack that snorts out of its snout. Yes, you'll be attacking enemy Pokémon with watery snot bubbles. That's a clear step back from leaf-throwing and hairball-spewing.

Who are these two?

pokemon sun and moon

Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon feature a proud lion and a strange-looking bat on their respective covers. We still don't know who or what these Pokémon are, but we have it on good authority that they are the legendaries trainers will hunt down in each game.

With little more to go off of than the games' box art and a few quick glimpses in the new trailers, it's hard to pass judgment yet. We'll tip our hat toward Pokémon Sun's very fierce lion for now, though; it's less confusing to look at.

Pokémon Sun and Moon are out this November for Nintendo 3DS. They're the biggest releases the series is celebrating in 2016, its 20th anniversary year. Plenty of other Pokémon happenings are going on in the meantime, including legendary Pokémon downloads.

Pokémon Sun and Moon gameplay trailer