Native to the Hisui region of Pokemon Legends Arceus, Wyrdeer is a special evolution of Stantler unique to the region. Stantler is one of the oldest Pokemon in the game series, first appearing in Generation 2’s Gold and Silver. Originally a Normal-type, when it evolves, Wyrdeer is a Psychic/Normal type, which is the same type as another Gold and Silver Pokemon in Girafarig, which has been a useful Pokemon over time. Stantler always had decent base stats and a fairly good move-pool. Is Wyrdeer a good evolution to the already fairly solid Stantler?
As a Normal-type, Stantler was only 2 times weak to Fighting-type moves and immune to Ghost-type attacks. Interestingly, despite not being Psychic-type, Stantler has gained access to many Psychic-type moves over the years, including Hypnosis, Psybeam, Calm Mind, Zen Headbutt, and Psychic by level up. It had decent enough Special Attack with an 85 base stat, but its physical Attack stat was significantly higher at 95. An 85 speed stat made it not too slow, but out-sped by many competitive Pokemon.
When Stantler now evolves into Wyrdeer, it does gain a same type attack bonus for moves like Zen Headbutt. Defensively, it loses its weakness to Fighting-type moves, while also retaining a Ghost-type immunity. However, it also gains a 2 times weakness to Bug and Dark type moves, which while not crippling weaknesses, they are relevant attacks in competitive Pokemon. U-Turn, in particular, is a Bug-type move, and Dark-type moves such as Knock Off and Foul Play are quite common, as well. Still, these are weaknesses easily covered with good team-building and understanding what opposing Pokemon move sets may contain.
As of this writing, we do not have Wyrdeer’s base stats. However, it is fair to assume that it may gain more Special Attack than physical Attack, as well as a significant Speed buff being the leader of a Stantler herd. Stantler’s base 65 Physical and Special Defense stats, as well as a mediocre 73 base HP, are likely to be improved upon. Wyrdeer may also gain access to additional moves by level up, although Stantler already had a decent move pool. It could gain good type coverage with Electric and Grass-type special moves by TM, as well as Dazzling Gleam, Iron Tail, Earthquake, and Shadow Ball to provide its team with lots of different offensive options. Stantler could also learn Nasty Plot to greatly boost its Special Attack, Trick Room to help out slower teammates, Rain Dance to aid Rain teams, among other useful utility moves.
In these ways, Wyrdeer evolving only boosts Stantler’s strengths, hitting hard with either Zen Headbutt as a physical move or Psychic as a special type move. Simply boosting Stantler’s somewhat below average defenses while padding its already useful attacking prowess and type coverage will automatically make Wyrdeer a potential competitive Pokemon. It covers one of its main weaknesses, Dark-type Pokemon, by potentially packing the strong Fairy-type move Dazzling Gleam, although it doesn’t have super-effective moves against strong Bug-types. Still, that’s an easily covered weakness, especially considering there are plenty of Fire-type Pokemon available in the Hisui region to tag in to cover that particular drawback. It’s also not impossible that Wyrdeer will gain access to Ice-type moves, thanks to being from a relatively cold region, which would immediately cover the Bug-type weakness.
Of all of the early reveals for Hisuian Pokemon, Wyrdeer appears to be among the best, taking what was already a good Pokemon in Stantler and giving it a chance to evolve and succeed on a higher level. Heck, when it gained the Intimidate ability in Ruby and Sapphire, Stantler saw a fair amount of play as a special sweeper, thanks to having Hypnosis, Calm Mind, Thunderbolt, and Psychic, a move set that may still make sense even on a Wyrdeer that can easily tank more hits. Intimidate is a strong enough ability, cutting opponents’ Physical attack, and with better defenses than Stantler, Wyrdeer could stick around and can hit harder even without a Calm Mind with Psychic or Zen Headbutt.
Stantler’s other ability, Frisk, could be useful on a Wyrdeer, as it scouts out the opposing Pokemon’s held item, especially considering Wyrdeer could be significantly faster. Still, Intimidate is probably better on a Pokemon that wants to hit back hard. Some teams may consider the hidden ability Sap Sipper, which negates Grass-moves and powers up its own attack, if they need the defensive type coverage that can also hit back with a strong physical Psychic-type move. Wyrdeer is essentially just a beefed-up, powered-up Stantler, and that’s nothing to scoff at, for sure.
In the Pokemon Legends Arceus story, Wyrdeer is going to be one of the ways you get around the Hisui region. You summon it with the Celestic Flute, so you can jump on its back and cover great distances across the landscape. But, it’s quite likely you will be able to get one for your own in-game team. This is a Pokemon that will likely prove as invaluable to your as one of your Pokemon team as it is for the natives of the Hisui region. Whether you believe it to look more like a regional variant than an actual evolution, Wyrdeer is a welcome upgrade to a good Pokemon that simply has been forgotten over time and given new life as a potential strong team-member.
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