Featured in several early trailers for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, Cetitan appears to be a prominent Ice-Type pocket monster for Generation 9. The Terra Whale Pokemon is among the heaviest Pokemon in the world – 1543.2 lbs on average – and has a length averaging fourteen feet and nine inches. It evolves from a first form called Cetoddle. The fan reaction to Cetitan being revealed seemed very mixed, and due to being apparently not well-received by the community, receives very little interest from anyone.
It seems that Cetitan is being treated rather unfairly by the Pokemon fandom, as there seem to be many positive attributes to it being not only a decent design, but also a potential very useful monster. Now, Ice-types typically have not fared well in competitive play without the benefit of a second typing. That being said, let’s take a look at the lore for Cetitan, something that the Pokemon Company has certainly succeeded so far in creating for its Generation 9 additions.
First off, it seems that Cetitan is used for both the singular and plural of this Pokemon species, as the lore suggests; already, that’s kind of interesting. Anywho, Cetitan have strong muscles and thick blubber. The Pokemon Company lore explains that the Terra Whales need these tough muscles in order to support their massive bodies. Naturally, their physical attacks are going to be incredibly powerful, thus likely an extremely high base Attack stat. As they also migrate around the snowy regions of Paldea, they are protected by “a thick layer of subcutaneous fat.” This bit informs one of Cetitan’s two possible abilities as we’ll discover soon.
Also, Cetitan enjoy five hard horns, with the horn on the upper jaw able to gather “ice energy.” In gathering this “ice energy,” a Cetitan makes the surrounding temperature extremely low and freezing the area around it. This is where the lore for this particular Ice Pokemon gets a bit sketchy; after all, what in the freezing hells of Arctic Paldea is “ice energy?” What would make more sense is this horn somehow draws in all surrounding warmth in order to heat the enormous warm-blooded body of Cetitan – after all, if it’s a Terra Whale, then it’s naturally a mammal, right?
OK, so the lore is a bit shaky on this Pokemon, which can be said for a wide variety of pocket monsters in the National Pokedex of nearly one thousand entries. However, poorly thought out lore aside, Cetitan is a beast of a monster with obvious physical strength and bulk. Those attributes alone should at least interest trainers in its potential.
Once we got base stats for this Generation 9 Ice titan, we saw that the silence surrounding this behemoth was not at all warranted. My gut feeling that we have a major arctic sleeper right here were justified. My hopes for this pearly mammal to succeed where many of its Ice-type brethren have failed to live up to expectations were rewarded.
Cetitan has a massive 170 HP stat, which despite meager 65 physical Defense and 55 Special Defense, still makes this a hefty Pokemon to deal with. This ice titan also has a perfectly strong 113 Attack. Its 73 Speed isn’t great, but that outspeeds more than you’d think. Also, with Hail turned into Snow in Generation 9, that 65 defense is buffed significantly by Snow boosting Ice-type Defense by 50 percent. So, at level 100, if you’re fully invested in Defense, its max Defense stat of 251 is boosted to 376. This is about the same Defense stat as Legendary Pokemon such as Dialga, Giratina, and Cresselia. With that much HP, Cetitan actually comes out ahead.
Of course, Ice isn’t the greatest defensive type in the world, being weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel type moves and resisting only other Ice-type attacks. Then again, it takes neutral damage from all other types. Plus, Cetitan has Thick Fat as one of its abilities, giving it a resistance to Fire type moves, which evens out to make Fire type attacks do neutral damage. This makes Cetitan a solid switch in on defense, for sure. The other ability on Cetitan is Slush Rush, which increases its Speed in snow. This is good, certainly, but it’s only worth the trade-off of being hit hard by Fire-type moves if you’re building your team around snow.
Cetitan also has the Hidden Ability Sheer Force, which adds damage to moves with secondary effects at the cost of negating said effects. This works in Cetitan’s favor, as it has some solid moves that are worth getting boosted by 30 percent; these include Ice Punch, Icicle Spear, Liquidation, and Play Rough. Ice Spinner doesn’t gain power under Sheer Force, unfortunately. However, Sheer Force Cetitan boosted a further 30 percent by Life Orb as a held item is a legitimate build for this hard-hitting Ice-type Pokemon.
Another great move Cetitan learns is the Fighting-type Body Press, which takes advantage of your Defense stat in calculating damage rather than your Attack stat. If you invest in a Defense boosting nature and max out your Effort Values in that stat, this is a good option. While Cetitan doesn’t learn a Defense boosting move, the Snow boost for Defense does count towards this move. Also, Cetitan can set Snow itself with the move Snowscape, and besides Abomasnow that has Snow Warning, this may be one of the best Snowscape setter available simply because it can tank so many hits.
Any of its three abilities are worth using, honestly. A defensive set would use Thick Fat, running Snowscape, Body Press, Ice Shard, and Substitute. In particular, Substitute is amazing on this Pokemon, thanks to having such a crazy high HP stat. It can wall a lot of things, too. If you want to run Slush Rush, you’ll need to run, Snowscape, Ice Spinner, and two type coverage moves from a selection of Earthquake, Play Rough, and the aforementioned Body Press.
My favorite Cetitan move set is the one taking advantage of the Sheer Force ability, which unfortunately has to drop Snowscape as a set-up move to take full advantage of the ability. Ice Punch, Play Rough, Heavy Slam, and Liquidation are probably your best set.
While Heavy Slam doesn’t have a secondary effect, thanks to Cetitan being so absurdly heavy at 700 kg, it’s going to hit very hard, thanks to the move’s power being calculated by how much heavier the user is against the target. While there are heavier Pokemon in Generation 9, specifically Mudsdale and other Pokemon that will be available through Pokemon Home in Spring 2023, most of the time Heavy Slam is going to hit like a truck.
I actually caught a Shiny Cetoddle on my second day of playing Pokemon Violet, right before I took on the Ice gym. It has the Thick Fat ability, although I could change it; I may just run this as a Defensive set, although having the Jolly nature already, it seems that I should go the Slush Rush route. The beauty of Scarlet and Violet is that stats are easy to max out with Hyper Training, natures can be changed with Mints being purchasable in stores, and TM’s are easier to get than ever. So, I could change my mind and switch into any one of these three sets.
Overall, Cetitan is a darn good Pokemon with three entirely different roles it can play: defensive, Slush Rush sweeper, and Sheer Force masher. Which do you think is the best job for Cetitan in Scarlet and Violet?
Photo Credit: The Pokemon Company
Pokémon and All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2022