Pokemon Legends Arceus introduced 17 regional variants, including regional evolutions, in its pseudo open world adventure within the Hisui region. I’ve already covered all the Hisuian forms in depth with my Pokemon Analysis articles. While there’s a great disparity in fan opinion about these designs, I’ve found positives for many of them when it comes to actual gameplay and competitive pedigree. In fact, my Legends Arceus Hisuian Form Pokemon articles have been among the most successful I’ve ever written since I began blogging in 2005. So, it seems quite a good idea to revisit them now that Scarlet and Violet are about to be released, and many of them are going to enjoy their first taste of official Pokemon competition.
(Note: These rankings will change significantly thanks to many of these Pokemon gaining abilities we didn’t previously know that they would. Many of these Pokemon won’t enter the game proper until Spring 2023, so there’s plenty of time to update the following articles and rankings based on how Generation 9 competition shakes out.)
Recently, I thought about ranking the Hisuian forms from Legends Arceus in terms of design, main adventure usefulness, and future competitive play potential. So, here are all 17 of these Hisuian forms and how I rank them personally keeping these three criteria in mind. CBR has previously ranked its top 5 new Hisui regional evolutions, but it doesn’t seem anyone has ranked them all together. My rankings are based completely by personal opinion. I’d love to hear how you would rank them yourself in the comments.
It’s even possible that after these Pokemon debut in both official and unofficial Generation 9 competition that these rankings may be adjusted slightly. As always, all of these articles will be updated over time to reflect how they perform competitively in both Pokemon Showdown (Smogon) and official VGC tournament play.
#17 – Hisuian Avalugg
I may not have anything against Avalugg as a Pokemon, but for all the Ice Pokemon they could’ve given a regional Hisui form, this wouldn’t have been my choice. Making it Ice/Rock type makes it even worse defensively, although some base stat changes were welcome. The design is fine, if relatively uninspired. It’s easily my least favorite of the bunch.
#16 – Hisuian Growlithe / Arcanine
Unlike many Pokemon fans, I actually like the design of the Hisuian forms of Growlithe and Arcanine. However, like many Pokemon fans, I agree that Game Freak did the legendary dog Pokemon a major disservice by adding the Rock type. Now, if Hisuian Arcanine had been a Fire/Steel type upon evolving, this would’ve been a completely different story. Alas, likely for balancing reasons going into Generation 9, this didn’t happen. I like the designs, but I’ll take Generation 1 Arcanine any day over this Fire/Rock alternative.
#15 – Hisuian Voltorb / Electrode
While there are many Pokemon fans who hate this Hisui form, I’m actually a fan of the design for Hisuian Voltorb and Electrode, and I like the idea of a Grass/Electric type. Unfortunately, in Legends Arceus itself, I never found myself using them much.
#14 – Hisuian Braviary
While Braviary is one of your key methods to traveling around the various maps of the Hisui region, it’s easily one of my least favorite designs, although it’s far from bad. The issues I have with it are mostly related to the typing and base stat changes. Gameplay wise, I never found myself using Hisuian Braviary as anything but a hang glider; the fact they completely revamped Hisuian Braviary into a much slower special attacker just feels dirty to me.
#13 – Hisuian Decidueye
I’m a bit mixed on Decidueye’s Hisui form, as its design was well-thought out for the time period, but it’s just inferior to the original bad-ass Grass/Ghost form of the Alolan original. As a Pokemon, it’s perfectly fine as a Grass/Fighting type and its signature move Triple Arrows is a good one. Unfortunately, like Samurott, Hisuian Decidueye loses more defensively than it gains offensively. I’m really on the fence with this Hisuian form.
#12 – Kleavor
While Scizor is still easily the superior competitive Pokemon, Kleavor has a chance to be pretty good in Generation 9 play. I enjoyed using Kleavor in my playthrough, in order to fill out its Pokedex entry. While Rock is a greatly disadvantaged defensive typing, Kleavor is a good Pokemon that could find its spots on competitive teams, albeit lower tier ones. I’m still a fan.
#11 – Hisuian Samurott
As a huge fan of the Dark-type Samurott design, this ranks much more highly than it likely should. Its new signature move is good, but unfortunately, it loses more than it gains from a competitive standpoint. In competitive play, you’re likely better off with regular Samurott, although I can see Hisuian Samurott being able to pick its spots.
#10 – Ursaluna
While far from my favorite design from Legends Arceus, Ursaluna is a welcome addition to the Teddiursa/Ursaring evolution chain. The Normal/Ground type should enjoy some fans in the Scarlet and Violet competitive scene, even if in low to mid tier play.
#9 – Basculegion
The lore and design of Basculegion are exactly what poor little Basculin needed. I’m a big fan of this Pokemon, and while I don’t know that it’s going to do much competitively, it’s a clear mid-tier pick thanks to its Water/Ghost typing and the chance for it to have the powerful ability of Adaptability. Game Freak did well with this Hisuian form.
#8 – Overqwil
Qwilfish deserved an evolution for many years, and finally it received one, for its Hisuian form at least, in Overqwil. The design is a bit uninspired, but as a competitive hopeful, Overqwil has a chance to be pretty good in Generation 9. Considering that it’s one of the few Hisuian forms to gain quite a bit defensively, it’s hard not to like this new Dark/Poison fish.
#7 – Sneasler
While it has a particularly stupid name, I actually like the alternative evolution for Sneasel introduced in Hisui. I like its design and I’ve become rather fond of it while climbing cliffs in Legends Arceus. It also has some potential for competitive play, although I’m still convinced that Weavile is the better Pokemon in high-level play. Still, it ranks highly on a lot of Hisuian Form lists, as it does here, too.
#6 – Hisuian Lilligant
I’m sure that I rank Hisuian Lilligant much more highly than most, but this is a Grass/Fighting type regional form that greatly improved on the original mono-Grass type. Turning this Lilligant into a strong physical attacker was a bold move for Game Freak, and its Victory Dance move makes it even more potent. I also like its design, and it’s one of my favorite additions from Hisui.
#5 – Wyrdeer
One of my absolute favorite designs from Legends Arceus, Wyrdeer was the long-needed evolution for a decent Pokemon in Stantler. I fully expect Wyrdeer to be a good competitive Pokemon in Generation 9. His sheer versatility will make him a member of a lot of competitive teams in Scarlet and Violet.
#4 – Enamorus
Truth be told, as an Elemental Genie, Enamorus simply doesn’t seem to fit. Its design is creative, but rather hideous. However, it ranks this highly because, again, its one of the Elemental Genies, supposedly. I did mention myself that having a female Genie was neat, and it does fit in the Four Seasons trope that Legends Arceus was going for… Sure, we can call Love a Force of Nature, I guess. Anyway, having two forms also means that Enamorus has some versatility. It’s going to be a good Legendary Pokemon for Generation 9 competitive play, but its design honestly holds it back for me in terms of personal ranking. The concept, however, I greatly appreciate.
#3 – Hisuian Goodra
Goodra has been a good Pokemon for a number of years, and adding the Steel type to it makes it quite a bit better defensively. This is easily one of the best new Pokemon forms in Legends Arceus, and easily one of my favorites. It may prove to be the best competitive Pokemon of any of the ones on this list, but there are two more that I actually prefer. The design is fine, too, but not as great as my #2 and #1 picks.
#2 – Hisuian Typhlosion
Sure, I’ll always Stan for Typhlosion, but in my further research and analysis, the Fire/Ghost Typhlosion is by far the best of the three starters in Legends Arceus. He was a major force in my playthrough and I expect that he will be a competitive Pokemon in Generation 9 for sure. Hisuian Goodra is probably the better Pokemon overall, but I love my Typhlosion.
There’s a lot to love about Hisuian Zorua and Zoroark, from their design, to their new typing, to the additions to their move pool. Since it will once again enjoy the powerful Illusion ability of its Black & White counterpart upon moving to Scarlet and Violet, this is going to be a scary Pokemon to deal with in mid-tier competition.
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