12 Pokémon That Deserve Regional Variants

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One of the best things to come out of Sun and Moon was the introduction of regional variant Pokémon.

This has served as a way to make some old popular Pokémon more competitive, while also giving unpopular Pokémon a new lease on life. Just look at Alolan Raichu for a pragmatic example, and Galarian Corsola for that “new look” design.

All that said, I think there are still plenty of Pokémon that should get this regional treatment.


12. Growlithe/Arcanine

Growlithe/Arcanine from Pokemon anime

Alola gave us Alolan Vulpix/Ninetales.

Galar gave us Galarian Ponyta/Rapidash.

It is now time to give Growlithe and Arcanine the same treatment.

Arcanine is one of the most iconic Pokémon in the entire series. Heck, it’s even called the legendary Pokémon! This is because it’s based off of various different kinds of legendary dogs.

One of them even went to battle against a sea dragon similar to Gyarados. So why not make something that can take it out?

In the legend, it says that the legendary dog won the battle by dropping a boulder on the serpent’s tail. So it only makes sense to make regional Growlithe/Arcanine a Rock/Fairy type. That way it can really go head to head against Gyarados, and they can be equally strong/weak against each other.

This could be awesome, especially if regional Arcanine looked more like the statues it was based on.


11. Girafarig

Girafarig Pokemon anime screenshot

Girfarig is a cool Pokémon with one of the cooler design gimmicks by having a second head on the back of its tail.

And I always wondered, how would Girafarig work if the roles were reversed?

For this, I would make reverse Girafarig a Normal/Dark type and completely switch around the stats. This would make it much more defensive with an immunity to psychic and ghost type attacks.

Give it some great status and reactionary moves like Counter and Mirror Coat and you have a unique defensive Pokémon.


10. Stantler

Stantler Pokemon in the anime

When I first read Stantler’s Pokedex entry, I thought it was a Psychic type. But it’s not!

It’s just a plain old Normal type. And I have never thought that made sense.

Its Pokedex entries state that staring at Stantler’s antlers causes people to lose control of their senses and be unable to stand, so let’s lean into that.

Why not give this thing a new ability that automatically confuses all Pokemon on the field when it’s sent out?

That may be broken, but it seems completely appropriate for all of Stantler’s ‘dex entries.

When it comes to appearance, I would make the antlers bigger and brighter while making the fur darker. That way you have a Pokémon you can’t help but notice.


9. Castform

Castform from Pokemon anime

Castform is a weak-ish Pokémon with an interesting gimmick.

Its Forecast ability makes it change its form and typing in rain, sun, and hail. And while I was lamenting that there wasn’t a sandstorm form, I thought about how the different terrains were essentially the same thing.

Then it hit me: a terrain-based Castform.

This could be awesome and create a ton of cool forms for regional Castform.

It would now have the opportunity to be Psychic, Fairy, Electric, and Grass type. Combine this with a move that switches based on the terrain and that could be a ton of fun.

While I don’t know how competitively viable a regional Castform would be, I do find the idea incredibly interesting.


8. Lanturn

Lanturn Pokemon anime screenshot

You know what’s scary? Angler fish.

Do you know what’s not scary at all? Lanturn, the Pokémon based on an angler fish. So let’s remedy that.

First off, I say you can only evolve Chinchou into this regional version by diving underwater.

I know that Dive isn’t really a thing anymore, but I felt like being creative and difficult. Also, the new typing would be Dark/Electric, representing how dark the waters are where angler fish live.

Finally, give it a giant mouth and the Strong Jaw ability.

This means you get the awesome attack STAB combination of Crunch and Thunder Fang. Add on Nuzzle and you have a Pokémon that’s all about trapping and eating its prey.


7. Swalot

Swalot from Pokemon anime

Do you remember Swalot? I didn’t.

But when I saw it, I liked it!

The roundness combined with that moustache gives off a gluttonous and pompous air that made me think of the character Falstaff from various Shakespearean plays. So why not lean into that?

Add a Fairy typing onto the already existent Poison typing and you can represent Falstaff’s relationship with alcohol.

And since he’s a knight, give regional Swalot a boost in attack and some defenses.

For the appearance, just close its eyes and put a big ruff around its neck.

I know this sounds ridiculous. But that’s why I like it. And sometimes regional variants just need to be a little silly.

Look at Alolan Dugtrio and Exeggutor.


6. Parasect

Parasect Pokemon in the anime

Parasect is not that great. The only thing it really has going for it is the move Spore.

I mean, Parasect is one of the creepiest non-ghost type Pokémon in the series. The mushrooms on Paras’ body fully take over, and now Parasect is essentially a zombie. You know what that means!

First of all, change the Bug/Grass typing to Bug/Ghost.

This already gives it neutral STAB attacks against every other Pokémon. Combine this with the previously mentioned Spore for a real threat.

But what really makes this stand out to me is how cool regional Parasect could look.

Just imagine: a completely white Pokémon with dark purple eyes and a cracked mushroom dome. Regional Parasect would just be awesome!


5. Primeape

Primeape from Pokemon anime

Now Primeape has always been great, especially if you played Pokémon Yellow.

However, it has always been outclassed by other fighting-type Pokémon. In the first generation alone there was Machamp, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, and Machoke. Yes, a non-fully evolved Pokémon was more useful than Primeape.

So how do we fix this?

Well, one of the things I was drawn to was the bands around Primeape’s wrists. I always thought these were handcuffs. So thought about broken chains dragging on the ground, and then it hit me: make regional Primeape an Electric/Fighting type.

This is a unique typing that emphasizes the best parts of Primeape: its attack and speed.

Boost these up a bit and make regional Primeape a fearsome physical sweeper.

Not only that, but Primeape’s spiky fur already makes it look like a literal spark. Make it more yellow and you’ll basically turn Primeape into a saiyan.

And everything is made better with more Dragon Ball Z.


4. Gothita

Gothita Pokemon in the anime

In a recent poll on Reddit, Gothita was one of 4 Pokémon that didn’t receive a single vote for popularity.

And that’s honestly not fair.

It evolves into a great Pokémon, Gothitelle, and it’s super cute! That being said, I do think that there’s a way to make Gothita more memorable.

Gothita is based on the lolita style of dressing, giving it a Victorian era feel. Let’s lean into that by making Gothita a creepy doll like Annabelle.

Give Gothita a Psychic and Ghost typing. This makes regional Gothita a much better defensive typing, increasing the effectiveness of its Shadow Tag ability.

Then give it a porcelain face and you could make one of the creepiest Pokémon in the game!

While many people have completely forgotten about Gothita, this change would make it instantly memorable.


3. Vibrava/Flygon

Vibrava/Flygon from Pokemon anime

Flygon is easily my favorite dragon type.

Known as the desert spirit, Flygon looks like an awesome dragonfly. And is one of the few Pokemon that I actually want to ride.

That being said, it is easily outclassed by Garchomp.

Fans have been clamoring for something to happen to Flygon to make it more viable. And I think I have the answer.

I’d honestly like to dive deeper into the dragonfly look and make regional Flygon a Dragon/Bug type.

This gives it a completely unique typing, making it stand out amongst the other bugs and dragons. I’d keep the Levitate ability and keep the same learn sets, but maybe put more emphasis on speed and special attack.

This allows regional Flygon to take advantage of Draco Meteor and Bug Buzz, each some of the most powerful moves for their respective types. Combine this with Flamethrower and Earth Power and you have a fast special sweeper with no opponent resistances.

I love Flygon and I want it to come to prominence. And I think this is the best way to do it.


2. Sunflora

Sunflora from Pokemon anime

Sunkern is one of the weakest Pokémon in the entire series. And it doesn’t get the benefit of evolving into something powerful.

Sunflora is easily the worst fully evolved Pokémon, and it really needs something to make it stand out.

So let’s do something with the sun part of its name.

Make it a Grass and Fire type. This would actually give our hypothetical regional Sunflora fewer weaknesses than the original.

Plus it’s a completely new typing that hasn’t been seen in Pokémon! Why not lean into the sun theme more?

Give regional Sunflora the Drought ability, automatically summoning sunny weather.

Swap that special attack stat with its special defense, and regional Sunflora could become a premiere support Pokémon.


1. Jynx

Jynx from Pokemon anime

Jynx just may be the most controversial Pokémon of all time.

It’s because of this that the Pokémon Company has been avoiding Jynx in general.

But it’s for that reason I think Jynx is the Pokémon most deserving of a regional variant.

Jynx already resembles an opera singer, right? So give her a steel typing! Make her a big, burly opera singer with braids and a Viking helmet.

Give her a spear!

Instead of a fast special attacker, put the emphasis on physical attack.

So many other Pokémon from gen 1 that don’t evolve were saved from becoming obsolete, all through evolutions and regional forms. And I think Jynx deserves the same.

As the saying goes: it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.

And with this variant idea for Jynx, I’d say our list is over (and with a strong closer).

Well, except for a quick blast of honorable mentions:

  • Onix (rock/fairy, diamond form)
  • Lickitung (normal/poison)
  • Goldeen (water/steel, lean into gold)
  • Sentret/Furret (every first route rodent needs a regional variant)
  • Sudowoodo (rock/grass, pine tree?)
  • Dunsparce
  • Teddiursa/Ursaring (based on star design)
  • Slugma/Magcargo
  • Spoink/Grumpig
  • Luxray (electric/dark, electric/ground)
  • Swanna (dark, black swan)
  • Avalugg (ice/fire)
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Jeremy Hanna

Jeremy Hanna is what happens when you put all of your points into constitution and charisma. An improviser and writer for The Completionist, Jeremy loves Pokémon, LEGO's, Wrestling, and Golden Girls. Follow him on Twitter and say hi! @JeremyHanna753