The Elements of Pokemon


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The Elements of Pokemon

Humans have long held theories about the basic elemental forces that make up our world.  Various forms of alchemy, astronomy, and chemistry have had their various theories regarding the building blocks of reality, ranging from the simple to complex.  Now we have a modern periodic table that excludes some of the original elemental concepts(fire, spirit, etc.), but breaks down and refines others(earth, metal, water, air).

Still we find ourselves as a modern culture fascinated with the more fanciful version of the elements.  Why is this?  Well, for one, it provides a simple way of classifying ourselves.  In most forms of astronomy, each person is born under, and/or aligned with, certain elements.  Do I believe astronomy?  No.  But we are, in essence, constructing and building a new image for ourselves here in this blog.  Having a common archetype to apply to our “image” of ourselves sometimes helps.  So let’s look at personalities according to the pokemon elemental types!


Fire is an  element that conveys activity, excitement, and energy.  Fire pokemon are typically power fantasy type creatures, featuring dragons, flaming horses, dogs, wolves, giant volcano monsters, etc.  Identifying with the fire element may mean you’re a little more of a go-getter, a little more pro-active and, yes, perhaps a little more combative.  I identify strongly with this elemental archetype(charmander start ftw!).


Water is an element of adaptation and flexibility.  Water pokemon typically come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with lots of cool elemental attacks, and the ability to Surf on water.  The water element archetype usually follows the idea of bending instead of breaking, and adapting rather than meeting with force.  People who identify with this archetype are typically slow to anger, very flexible in their needs, and handle change relatively well.


Grass is an element of growth, perseverance, and progress.  Grass pokemon usually gain strength by sapping other pokemon, growing stronger as the battle goes on.  People that identify with this elemental archetype are usually very forward-facing, not letting the world slow them down.  They take strength from hardship, and use it to propel themselves forward.


Rock is a stubborn, resistant, and rooted element.  Rock pokemon usually have high defense, hit hard, and refuse to go down easy, even using self destruct and explode at the last moment.  People who identify with rock are typically a little hardheaded, but they are resilient and stalwart in the face of hardship.  They may not adapt or grow as easily as water or grass, but nothing will drag them down.


The “normal” element is usually helpful, neutral, and/or well rounded.  Normal pokemon have moves that focus on healing, supporting, or just being jack-of-all-trades, capable of learning many moves.  The idea of a “normal” element archetype is someone who is relatively neutral and level-headed, without leaning too far to any extremes, while still supporting others.  I think we could all stand to emulate this archetype a bit more!


The electric element is energetic and spontaneous!  Electric pokemon are usually fast, rushing their opponents down with STAB special attacks.  A person who identifies with this archetype is usually the kind of person who’s always ready to try something new, and have fun.  They are active, outgoing, and spontaneous, although sometimes they push too hard too fast, and burn themselves out.


Combative, aggressive, and commanding are all characteristics of the fighting element.  Fighting pokemon are strong physical attackers, usually pretty resilient, and straight-forward in their battle style.  Fighting-type people are frequently the same.  Scrappy, fearless, and outspoken, they sometimes bite off a bit more than they can chew, but they will never back down from a challenge.


The psychic element is the element of wisdom, knowledge, and reasoning.  Psychic pokemon are usually strong special attackers, utilizing the fact that their element is rarely resisted.  Psychic-element people typically value knowledge over brute force.  They are strong, mentally, but typically prefer to take the surgical, calculated approach to things.


The poison element is the element of cunning, deception, and strategy.  While the psychic pokemon may overwhelm with ridiculous force once they’ve out-thought their opponent, the poison pokemon inflicts damage over time, whittling away at their opponent until they finish them off.  The poison-minded person is typically shrewd and observant, noting other people’s weak points and exploiting them, biding their time while they wind their way through life.


Free-thinking, open-minded, and usually with a wandering mind, flight is a very self-explanatory element.  Flying pokemon evade, outspeed, and outmaneuver their opponents in combat.  Flying element people are typically not tied down, or rooted, preferring the freedom of open thought and movement.  They can be very creative, but also possess a wanderlust, both mental and physical, that makes them a bit less reliable than the other elements.


The opposite of flying, ground is very rooted and stable.  Ground type pokemon are usually defensive-oriented, using strong attacks to hit the root of their opponents.  Ground type people are usually very level-headed, stalwart, and secure.  They are not easily shaken up, not too spontaneous, and are usually very dependable.


Bug types are usually a bit eccentric, unique, and weird.  Bug-type pokemon use lots of status attacks and combat multipliers to accomplish their goals in battle.  Bug-type people may be a bit “off” in the eyes of their peers, but are typically very creative and resourceful.  They may also be very technologically oriented, using modern machines and methods to improve their lives in creative ways.


Ghost is often an element of both humor and melancholy, sometimes disconnected from the present day and time.  Ghost type pokemon can’t be hit my normal attacks, and use special attacks to take other pokemon down.  Ghost-type people may occasionally find themselves as though they’re looking at reality from the outside.  At the same time, though, they may find amusement in this, and have a playful joviality about things that you wouldn’t expect of someone with that kind of worldview.  Regardless, ghost-type people should be careful about becoming too disconnected from their peers, and the world around them.


Like rock and ground, steel is very resilient and stubborn.  Steel type pokemon boast some of the highest physical defense in the game, but can be hit hard by elemental special attacks of the right type.  Steel people are typically dauntless and untouchable, not allowing anything in the world to slow or stop them.  They have very sensitive sides, however, if you manage to find them, and should be careful who they allow past their defenses.


Cold, calculating, and un-excitable are typical qualities of the ice element.  Ice pokemon can have a modicum of resilience, but rely on their rarely resisted special attacks to win the day.  Ice type people can be standoffish at times, but are also very cool and level-headed under pressure.  They should be careful not to keep people at a distance too much.


The element of darkness is ruthless, relentless, and resourceful.  Dark pokemon use attacks like pursuit, crunch, and beat up to thrash opposing pokemon, and harass them relentlessly.  Dark-type people typically have no qualms about normal social protocols, and are very much in the mindset of “the ends justify the means.”  They will get the job done, even if it must be done through a bit of subterfuge and/or trickery.


The dragon element is rare, powerful, and reserved.  Dragon pokemon are less common than others, and use special signature attacks and high-powered stats to overcome their opponents.  Dragon type people are typically very unique, charismatic, and powerful, themselves.  They usually lead well, and command the respect of others.  They can become too haughty, though, if left unchallenged or un-humbled.

So how do we use this?

It’s all well and good to muse about what elements we like best, and what pokemon types we favor, but we need to make it useful, too.  Luckily, we can use pokemon as an example here, too!  When you build a pokemon team, you want six pokemon that work together to form a well-rounded team.  As such, you need to borrow from elemental types to make yourself a well-rounded person!

A pokemon team plays to each pokemon’s respective type strength.  They stack on the benefits(same type attack bonuses, varied movepools), while minimizing the detriments of the type(countering elements on the team, baton pass and wish type moves).  So when you identify the dominant element(s) of your own psyche, look at the strengths and weaknesses it offers.  Then try to play to your own strengths, and consider adopting the concepts of another element to help accommodate your inherent weaknesses.  Identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and learning to balance them out, is key to becoming a well rounded person.

Whew, that was definitely one of the longer posts I’ve written recently.  Hope that makes up for it being a day late!  That’s the end of our time with pokemon!  I’ll be making the update post for Jackie and myself in a bit, and then tomorrow we launch the new Be a Game Character youtube channel!  Until then, make sure to like the Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, go follow the Tumblr as well,  and continue to be awesome.

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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