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Is Wiglett a Good Pokemon?

In one of the strangest reveals for a Pokemon ever, a Japanese only Pokemon World Ecological Society broadcast unveiled a new pocket monster called Umidigda, or Wiglett for the American audience. While it bears an obvious resemblance to Diglett, it isn’t a Paldean form, and is in fact an entirely different species. 

This design is supposed to be based on a garden eel, which would make sense in concept. After all, true garden eels do poke their heads above ground with the majority of their bodies remaining underground. While it may be a convergently related species to Diglett and Dugtrio, it fully could not be. But, despite this being a perfectly fine Pokemon in concept, this is an absolutely lazy design.

In all fairness, however, the official Pokemon website itself has this to say about Wiglett:

“It’s said that Wiglett’s resemblance to Diglett might be a mere coincidence—a result of its adaptation to its environment.”

Whatever the case, this ambiguity was done entirely intentionally. Some commentators have gone as far to say that many of the Generation 9 designs revealed so far seem to be “first drafts” or simply an afterthought in the designing of the open world. After all, what we learned about the story and Paldea region seems very well thought out; yet, by early October there were only about a dozen new Pokemon revealed, many of which didn’t inspire anyone to talk about them.

That being said, I think that Wiglett has potential to be a Water type with some good utility, especially if it has some sort of evolution. But, if this truly is a different species entirely with no connection at all to Diglett, how lazy could they have been? Yes, there is the argument that similar looking species exist in entirely different habitats, but this is a video game franchise in which being species being distinctly different is important for both game design and marketability. However, I won’t hate on the cute little garden eels because their creators went, oh crap, we need like one hundred new Pokemon, so what can we rip off?

Thanks to Serebii.net collecting all of the available information on Wiglett and other Scarlet and Violet new Pokemon, here’s what we’ve learned. We know for sure that it’s a Water-type and that it’s classified as the Garden Eel Pokemon. These obvious bits aside, we also know its size; its body is about 3 feet and 11 inches in length on average, but the whole monster weights roughly four pounds. We also know for certain the two abilities Wiglett can have, which are Gooey and Rattled.

The Gooey ability is actually a pretty good one, and it was originally unique to the Goodra line as its Hidden Ability. When a Pokemon attacks and makes contact with a Pokemon with Gooey, that attacker’s speed is lowered by one stage. Also, multi-hit moves that make contact proc the ability that many times. It’s a solid ability, for sure. 

But, Wiglett also could have the Rattled ability, which while more situational, is quite interesting. Pokemon with Rattled gain Speed whenever they are damaged by a Bug, Dark, or Ghost-type move. As of Sword and Shield, Rattled Pokemon also gain Speed when they are affected by the Intimidate ability, which lowers their attack. It would seem to me that Wiglett would be more of a special attacker, so Rattled is actually a strong ability for the Garden Eel. Both abilities are solid, but I feel Rattled could be more relevant in competitive play. 

Here are some bits of lore to chew on, translated from the Ecological Society broadcast, as well:

“It may look like Diglett, but it’s actually a completely different species of Pokémon. Wiglett pokes a part of its body out of the sand to feed in the ocean. It’s still unclear what the rest of its body hidden in the sand is like or how long it might be.

“Boasting an exceptional sense of smell, Wiglett is able to pick up scents from over 60 feet away. It has a skittish disposition and is constantly cautious of its surroundings. When it notices the scent of other Pokémon, Wiglett burrows into the sand to conceal itself.”

What do you think of this new Eel Pokemon? I think it has a chance to be useful, even if its design is very uninspired.

Updated September 30, 2022

Pokémon and All Respective Names are Trademark & © of Nintendo 1996-2023

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Amelia Desertsong is a former content marketing specialist turned essayist and creative nonfiction author. She writes articles on many niche hobbies and obscure curiosities, pretty much whatever tickles her fancy. Personal Website: https://www.thephoenixdesertsong.com

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