Generation 7 is officially upon us. With the announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon, series fans worldwide have another brand new adventure waiting for them at year’s end. As expected, speculation about the new games has already kicked into high gear as gamers, Youtubers, news groups, and the like use the limited information we’ve been given so far to figure out what we can expect from these newest installments. Discussion abounds over what new Pokémon we might see, what the new region will be like (Poké-Hawaii, anyone?), what new game mechanics we might see, and everything that’s come to be expected for such a major event.
One topic, though, always stands out above the others. Generation 6 signaled the creation of the Fairy type, the first new Pokémon type in almost 15 years. Brand new ‘mons–and a handful of old ones–brought fae magic and all of its trickery to the Pokémon world, adding a new dimension to the series and shaking up the elemental balance that many fans thought was in need of a shake up.
The Fairy type showed that new types can still happen despite how far the series has grown…so is there a chance that Sun and Moon will bring more?
We may have 18 types already, but adding new ones could actually be a good thing for the series. Despite the wide range of elements and themes currently covered by existing types, there are still several that remain unexplored…and some of them are related to the very names of Pokémon Sun and Moon! While balance has improved overall with the Fairy type around, implementing more types could refine the series’ complex system of rock-paper-scissors even further. There may even be evidence that the developers have considered adding more than just Fairy for a long time!
Here we’ll discuss three of the most requested and discussed ideas for new Pokémon types, as well as what themes they’d encompass and how they’d interact with the ones that currently exist.
What better place to start first, then, than the most commonly seen one of them all? After all, where there is darkness, there must also be…
Light is ever present, sometimes gentle and inviting, other times harsh and blinding. The Light type would draw from elemental light as well as starlight and the sun (unless heat is involved; that’s the Fire type’s domain) and abilities considered holy, righteous, or highly altruistic. Light attacks would take many forms, equally likely to be physical, special, or support-based. Moves that use the element in its purest form would have effects that lower opponents’ accuracy or cause them to flinch and miss their chance to retaliate. Moves that focus on stellar or holy light would put a greater emphasis on endurance and solidarity, with secondary effects that buff the user or their allies.
There’s a lot of confusion and controversy surrounding Light, but there are legitimate reasons to believe the type on the developers’ minds. One notable example is the Helioptile line: heavily associated with light and the sun, and one of a very few cases of a line to have both the Normal type and a second one that is not Flying. This is notable because the Normal type is more than just non-elemental attacks, it’s also a catch-all for moves that don’t fit well enough into any other type to currently exist…and the only moves to use unambiguous elemental light are Normal! They specifically designated a Pokémon with a strong light motif as part of the catch-all type that currently includes light…so could they be setting things up to make it easier to transition the Helioptile line to their own type? It’s happened before–several previously Normal lines became Fairy types in Gen 6, Bite was a Normal move until Dark was created, and Charm, Sweet Kiss, and Moonlight all changed from Normal to Fairy!
That is especially important because there may have been a point where the Light type was seriously considered in the past! Have you ever noticed how often light motifs appear in Sinnoh? From the names of a few Generation 4 Pokémon lines (notably Shinx-Luxio-Luxray and Finneon-Lumineon), to Sunyshore City and its solar panel walkways and strong association with sunlight (even carrying over to its Beacon Badge, which relates closer to light than electricity), to even the default names of the protagonists, Lucas and Dawn! Could they have seriously considered implementing the Light type in Gen 4, only to change their minds? Could the Helioptile line be a sign that they’re considering it again? And could the fact that the sun is the focus of one version of the upcoming games mean anything?
A lot of criticism surrounds the Light type–a part of the fanbase thinks it would be unnecessary or even redundant with the types we already have–but a closer look shows the criticism is misguided. The fact that the Dark type focuses more on dirty fighting than darkness is brought up a lot–its Japanese name translates closer to “Evil”–and it leads some to claim a Light type would do nothing new since the honorable Fighting types already oppose Dark types’ heel tactics. However, Pokémon types have multiple themes within them, and while the Dark type does have several moves based around fighting dirty, it also includes elemental darkness (and Zoroark’s signature move Night Daze is specifically described as “shockwaves of darkness”), meaning a Light type would still have a place as their counterpart.
Others bring up the Fairy type and its bright, shiny, flashy attacks, which in their minds cover the niche of elemental light. However, this isn’t actually the case–Fairy attacks are closer to a combination of magic and the trickery classically associated with fairies in Western myths and legends. Even the Fairy moves that most closely resemble light have more going on: Dazzling Gleam is magically altered light (it’s called “Magical Shine” in the original Japanese), and Moonlight’s Fairy classification comes from how the moon is often associated with magic in folklore (which is also how Moonblast works, by drawing that magic power from the moon).
Despite the opposition, a closer look shows that Light would have a niche after all. But if it was implemented, how would it interact with the other types?
x2: Ghost, Dark, Fairy, ?
x0.5: Grass, Psychic, Ice, Steel, Light
x2: Grass, Poison, Psychic
x0.5: Ghost, Dragon, Fairy, Light
The mere presence of light drives off darkness, and so Light types would be strong against their counterparts while being completely immune to the Dark attacks that have become so widespread. Their power would also give them strength over ghosts and their curses and let them easily dispel fairies’ crafty sorcery. Their heroic natures would let them stand strong against the most fearsome beasts of legend, as well as being resistant to light themselves.
But no element is without its weak points. Grass types would have the upper hand against Light, resisting their attacks while siphoning their power away just as plants draw nourishment from sunlight. Ice and Steel types would also resist Light attacks, reflecting the light away and reducing its effect. Poison and Psychic types would have the upper hand as well, as the self-righteous can be easy to corrupt or manipulate.
There is one more type that Light has the advantage against…but we’ll get to that one later.
But which currently existing Pokémon and attacks would gain the Light type?
Potential Light Types
Absol, Mega Absol (Dark/Light)
*Mega Ampharos would remain Electric/Dragon.
Some Pokémon, like the Chinchou line, would become “tertiary” Light types, learning several Light moves without being part Light themselves.
Potential Light Moves
Our next type is another common suggestion, as well as another notably popular one. If you listen closely…you might actually hear it coming.
Music soothes the savage beast, or so the saying goes, but give it enough volume and it can bring even the most fearsome monsters to their knees. The Sound type would cover any Pokémon who are masters of manipulating sound waves, whether through virtuosic melody, screeching noise, or devastating blasts of sonic force. Geared toward offense and with more Special attacks than Physical, Sound moves would focus on crippling foes or invigorating allies while leaving opponents clutching their ears in pain.
Much like the Light type, there’s reason to believe Sound has been on the Pokémon developers’ minds. Sound-based moves already have unique interactions in the games–such as piercing through Substitutes and being nullified by the Soundproof ability–to where gathering many sound-based moves into their own type would be a natural extension of what is already in place. Furthermore, just like the Helioptile line’s light motif, the Jigglypuff and Litleo lines are specifically part Normal and have an emphasis on sound-based attacks. This is especially notable since the Jigglypuff line became Normal/Fairy while the less musically savvy Clefairy and Snubbull lines became pure Fairy!
x2: Water, Rock, Fighting, Psychic
x0.5: Grass, Flying, Ghost, Sound
x2: Grass, Flying, Steel, ?
x0.5: Electric, Fighting, Psychic, Sound
Sound waves travel faster through liquids and solids than through gas, and as such, Sound attacks would deal super-effective damage to Water and Rock types, giving the former a third weakness that makes it just a little easier to keep in check. Fighting and Psychic types would also be weak to Sound attacks, while Sound types would resist said attacks, disrupting their concentration with the intense noise. As with Water, this is a big deal for the currently very powerful Fighting type. In addition, Sound types would also be one of the rare few to resist Electric attacks!
With strengths come weaknesses, though, and there are other types that could stand up to Sound. Flying types would use their power over wind to distort and disperse sound waves and cause great harm to their sources. Some plants actually grow taller when exposed to loud noise, giving Grass types the advantage as well. Steel would also have the upper hand against Sound, distorting the sound waves and reflecting them in all directions! Sound attacks would also be ineffective against other Sound types, since anyone that accustomed to the noise would be less affected by it!
Worth noting: after some deliberation, Ice and Sound were made completely neutral both ways. While sound waves do travel faster through ice than water or air, sound waves also travel slower in colder air. For the sake of not making the single worst defensive type even worse, you could say it evens out.
But there’s that mystery type again. Hitting super-effectively on Sound types while being immune to their attacks? Just what power does it have?
Potential Sound Types
Whismur-Loudred-Exploud (Pure Sound)
Meloetta (Sound/Psychic, Sound/Fighting)
*Would depend on how willing they were to replace types other than Normal.
Some Pokémon, like the Tympole line, would become “tertiary” Sound types, learning several Sound moves without being part Sound themselves.
Potential Sound Moves
*Would need to be changed in some way to prevent its newly gained ability to hit super-effectively with 140 Base Power and no drawbacks from overcentralizing the metagame.
We have one more potential new type to cover, the final in the trifecta that makes the rounds the most often. What element could it represent? What powers could it possess?
For your answers, you need only look up.
I mean way up.
Outer space is a vast, strange, and fascinating place. There are things out there that defy rational reason and push our knowledge of science to its limits. The Cosmic type would draw from powers associated with space, celestial bodies, and otherworldly forces. Cosmic moves would do just about anything: physical, special, status-inducing, with unconventional secondary effects, and they could take the form of anything from gravitational forces to astral energy to powers beyond human comprehension!
Unlike with Light and Sound, we have no direct reason to think the Cosmic type is being considered or has been before…but there are still a few things to make one wonder. We’ve seen a theme of a Pokémon line believed to come from another planet, and it’s happened several times, enough to where it seems important to the games’ developers. Combine that with the fact that Pokémon Sun and Moon are named after some very important celestial bodies…and perhaps the possibility is there.
x2: Normal, Fire, Sound, Cosmic
x0.5: Dark, Bug, Rock, Ice, Electric
x2: Electric, Bug, Poison, Light, Cosmic
x0.5: Flying, Ground, Dark
x0: Fire, Sound
Cosmic would be a wild, unpredictable type, interacting with many others in ways no other element could quite match. The cold vacuum of space disperses winds, snuffs out flame, and silences any sound, as it offers no oxygen to keep a fire burning, no means for sound waves to travel, and no air to bend (forcing Flying types to rely on what they bring with them). Its otherworldly powers can drive the simple-minded mad by their mere presence, with powers strong enough to cause devastating harm even to other Cosmic types! The sheer darkness of space and its distance from the Earth would also give Cosmic Pokémon a resistance to Dark and Ground attacks.
But these strange creatures still have their weak points! Light and electromagnetic waves travel undeterred in a vacuum, and as such, Cosmic types are defenseless against them. Bugs and insects would also have the advantage simply from proving too resilient for outside forces to easily wipe out. Cosmic types would prove less effective offensively against ice and rock, two substances that can survive the vast reaches of space with little problem, as well as being just as ineffective against Dark types as Dark attacks are to them. And in a nod to War of the Worlds, Cosmic types would also be weak to Poison–scientists aren’t sure how how accurate the book was in that regard, but it still works as a literary reference and gives the Poison type more of a boost!
Potential Cosmic Types
*Would depend on how willing they were to replace types other than Normal.
Some Pokémon, like the Baltoy line, would become “tertiary” Cosmic types, learning several Cosmic moves without being part Cosmic themselves.
Potential Cosmic Moves
And there you have it: the three most commonly discussed, commonly requested, and seemingly most likely Pokémon types to become official! There are many others out there, though, and while Light, Sound, and Cosmic are the three that show up the most, who’s to say none of the others could happen? After all, who expected the Fairy type three years ago?
There’s still so little we know about Sun and Moon, but we’re getting new information very soon and anything more we learn about the games will change our outlook of them drastically. As well thought out as all of this is, it’s still mere speculation–there’s a legitimate chance we won’t see any new types! But despite that, it’s still fun to shine a light on what we know, speak and discuss it with each other, and try to see what future is written in the stars.