Pokémon Sun and Moon are launching this Friday, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that's why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games' launch, we've been revealing our team's Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! As we enter the final few days before the seventh generation, we're setting our sights on the frigid, cold-loving Ice-Types. We've gone through the list and had Delibird check it twice, and now we're ready to present our ten favorites from this group.
So grab yourself a cup of hot chocolate or a warm bowl of soup, then let's get started on our Top Ten Ice-Type Pokémon!
"Its ice-covered body is as hard as steel. Its cumbersome frame crushes anything that stands in its way." — Pokémon X
A new, pure Ice-Type introduced in Generation VI, Avalugg is the Iceberg Pokémon and the evolved form of Bergmite. Its form looks like a gigantic sheet of ice with a head and four legs, and the perfectly smooth top of its icy back often serves as a resting place for Bergmite; when several of them gather, it supposedly makes Avalugg resemble an aircraft carrier. It's a pretty interesting design and a welcome new addition to the Ice-Types, who otherwise didn't see much love in Kalos (save for Amaura and Auroras, who we've already discussed).
"It rubs its snout on the ground to find and dig up food. It sometimes discovers hot springs." — Pokémon Gold Version
Swinub, the tiny Pig Pokémon first seen in the Johto games, is the pre-evolution of Piloswine and Mamoswine, a evolutionary line which comprises the only Ice/Ground-Type Pokémon in the games. While its evolutions are far stronger and better in battle, Swinub is a simply adorable little guy that we can't help but love. Its snout is sensitive to delicious aromas, and when it finds one it darts off in pursuit of the source of the smell; sometimes, as it rubs its nose on the ground, it even discovers hot springs instead. That sort of heat probably isn't good for an Ice-Type, but it's still a cute little piece of lore for little Swinub.
"Legends in snowy regions say that a woman who was lost on an icy mountain was reborn as Froslass." — Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Version
When a female Snorunt is exposed to a Dawn Stone, it can forego its usually evolutionary lineup to instead transform into the mysterious Froslass, an Ice- and Ghost-Type Pokémon likely inspired by the Yuki-onna of Japanese folklore. It can blow out icy winds that reach nearly 60 degrees F below zero, and rumor has it that any prey frozen solid by Froslass is then added to a secret display of its victims. The design behind Froslass is a fascinating one, with its hands extending from its head covering and the kimono-like outfit it wears actually being hollow on the inside, and the lore and inspiration is just as good.
"Glalie has a body made of rock, which it hardens with an armor of ice. This Pokémon has the ability to freeze moisture in the atmosphere into any shape it desires." — Pokémon Ruby Version
Froslass may be a beautiful spirit born from a woman lost in the mountains, but Snorunt's primary evolution of Glalie is a devilish beast that has taken on a shape reminiscent of hailstones. It's known as the Face Pokémon, as there really isn't much to it beyond its face, and the icy coverings seem to resemble a hockey mask. Those horns don't help that image, though, and they give Glalie a far more menacing appearance—especially when it Mega Evolves and transforms into more of a big mouth ready to take a big bite out of its prey. The design is frightening, but Glalie's power is real, as it can freeze both atmospheric moisture and its enemies solid in an instant.
"It is completely covered with plushy fur. As a result, it never feels the cold even when it is rolling about on ice floes or diving in the sea." — Pokémon Emerald Version
A brand new seal-inspired Pokémon introduced in the Hoenn region, Spheal is the adorable first stage in the evolutionary line that includes Sealeo and Walrein, a trio of Ice/Water-Type creatures. Spheal in particular is known as the Clap Pokémon, as they are often seen clapping their fins when happy. It can't swim too well yet, as its spherical shape doesn't promote easy underwater movements, but it can roll around on the ground to quickly build up speed. Spheal may not have the power or speed of its evolutions, but we still love this cutie all the same.
"It speaks a language similar to that of humans. However, it seems to use dancing to communicate." — Pokémon Silver Version
There were only a handful of Ice-Type Pokémon in the original Red and Blue games, but Jynx quickly stole our hearts, not only for having access to those powerful Ice moves we needed to take down Dragon-Types, but also for being part of the powerful Psychic-Type. Categorized as the "Human Shape Pokémon" (Game Freak apparently wasn't feeling their most creative that day), Jynx does indeed resemble a small woman in a crimson dress, and it loves to dance, which seems to be its main method of communicating despite having a vocal language of their own as well. Interestingly, its dancing seems to entice humans into joining in, often without them realizing that they're doing so. That may sound great for dancing-enthusiasts, but we're not sure we would enjoy such a fate.
"Its entire body is made of Antarctic ice. After extensive studies, researchers believe the ice was formed during an ice age." — Pokémon Emerald Version
One of the three Legendary Titans of Hoenn, Regice is the original Iceberg Pokémon and takes the form of numerous icy crystals all joined together in a humanoid form. It goes far beyond your normal Ice-Types, able to make temperatures plummet to a devastating -328 degrees F and freezing anything that comes near it—and absolutely nothing can melt it, not even molten lava. Sure, Fire-Type attacks will still be super-effective against it, but the games still reflect this lore by giving Regice the highest Special Defense stat of any creature in the game, its fellow Legendary and Mythical Pokémon included. It may not be the greatest attacker out there, but this creature can still become an insurmountable ice wall that its foes and would-be capturers must struggle fiercely to overcome.
"It carries food rolled up in its tail. It has the habit of sharing food with people lost in mountains." — Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Versions
If any Pokémon was designed with a holiday in mind, it's Delibird, and Game Freak did a fantastic job with this little guy. Dressed up like Santa, down to the red suit and the bag of goodies, and designed after penguins, Delibird is known as the Delivery Pokémon, and it plays out its role as the creature of Christmas through its signature move Present, an attack that can either deal damage or heal the target. This Present comes out of the bag on its back, which is actually no bag at all—it's Delibird's tail, which is designed in such a way that it can be used to carry food or other knickknacks. Delibird wanders icy mountains and brings this food to those lost in the frigid wastes, often saving their lives in the process.
We may not be too fond of Delibird's Present ability in battle, as the randomness of it all doesn't seem that appealing, but it definitely has a place in the game, being able to reach up to a mighty 120 attack power if you get lucky. If you're willing to take the risk, it could very well pay off, and even if you aren't, Delibird still has plenty of Ice- and Flying-Type attacks that it can fall back on. That design, though, is why we really adore this Pokémon as much as we do.
"By controlling its body heat, it can freeze the atmosphere around it to make a diamond-dust flurry." — Pokémon Platinum Version
The beautiful Eeveelution of Ice-Types, Glaceon is obtained when Eevee levels up in the vicinity of an Ice Rock in the overworld. First seen in Generation IV, this new, chilling form has the ability to regulate its body temperature and lower it substantially beyond what most creatures can bear, in the process turning the air around it into the ice that facilitates its attacks. Glaceon can also use this method to freeze its own fur, making its hairs into tiny, pointed needles that give its physical attacks an extra bit of pain and its physical defenses a little extra toughness.
Referred to as the Fresh Snow Pokémon, Glaceon's design takes on the standard fox/dog/cat inspirations of all its relatives, mostly likely taking most of its own basis from the arctic fox. It also adds in a few geometric shapes throughout the design that could be referencing the geometry of snowflakes, as well as tassels dangling from its head much like one would see on a pair of earmuffs. We adore each and every member of the Eevee evolutionary family, as we've said several times before, and Glaceon is no exception to that.
But there is still one more Ice-Type that we believe rises above Glaceon, not to mention the other frigid Pokémon as well. One more snow-loving creature soars above them all:
"One of the legendary bird Pokémon, it chills moisture in the atmosphere to create snow while flying." — Pokémon Silver Version
There are plenty of beautiful, elegant, and breathtaking creatures in the Pokémon world, but even twenty years after its original debut, the Legendary Bird Articuno remains one of our favorites. Dubbed the Freeze Pokémon, this legendary Ice-Type soars the skies above the frosty peaks of the world, reveling in the cold and creating ice and snow wherever it travels. Its wings are translucent, causing some to speculate that they are made of ice themselves, and its tail flows beautifully in the wind as it flies. It is said that Articuno appears before "doomed people who are lost in icy mountains," which also gives it something of an ominous vibe, as the Pokédex never says that it helps such people. Even so, we like to hope that it does indeed guide those travelers safely out of the snowy wilderness.
As a Legendary Pokémon, Articuno has some impressive stats, particularly in the Defensive categories, and it can also form icy winds and even entire blizzards to launch at opponents at will. With powerful attacks like Blizzard and Hurricane at its disposal, it's definitely not an easy Pokémon to beat and capture, and even finding it tends to be a challenge—we all remember that lengthy trek through the caves of the Seafoam Islands back in Kanto, a long and arduous journey that was capped off by a thrilling battle to try and catch the ice bird of legend. It took us many tries to finally add Articuno to our team, but I don't think a single one of us would say that it wasn't worth the effort.
This member of the Legendary Birds is a gorgeous creature that we've loved since the very start of the franchise. As such, we are thrilled to see Articuno take the top spot as number one favorite Ice-Type Pokémon.
That's it for our Ice-Type choices (at least until Sun and Moon launch and bring in some awesome new Ice-Type Pokémon and Alolan forms)! Is this a solid list in your opinion, or did we only see the tip of the iceberg? What Pokémon would you have rather seen take a spot or move even higher up on the list? Let us know down in the comments, and drop by again tomorrow for another Top Ten list of a different Pokémon type!
Banner Image found via: Know Your Meme
And be sure to check out the rest of our Top Ten Type Pokémon lists: