Steel-type Pokémon, a Gift or a Curse?
The Dominance and Rise of Steel
Throughout the years, GameFreak and the Pokémon Company have incorporated new features, mechanics, stories and the like in all their main series Pokémon games. It's no surprise that whenever they release a new, main series game that there'll be something to spice things up. While growing up and playing these said games, you start to notice that there are certain aspects of these changes that cause imbalance to the games themselves.
One of the biggest imbalances with the Pokémon franchise is the incorporation of "Steel-type" Pokémon. This Pokémon type was introduced in the 2nd Generation of the Pokémon franchise, with Pokémon Silver and Gold (1999), and later on in Pokémon Crystal (2000). During this time, the Steel-type was already noticeable even though there were only 3 Pokémon of this type: mainly Skarmory, Scizor, and Steelix. Pokémon fans also loved the cool designs of these Pokémon, and how good they were in game.
In its introduction to the series, it wasn't able to leave an impact when it came to offense as it was only good against Rock and Ice-type Pokémon. There were only a handful of these Pokémon types at the time. It was also weak to Fire, Fighting, and Ground-type Pokémon, but was able to resist most of the other types. Even resisting one of the strongest Pokémon type in the whole franchise, the Dragon-type. When it came to the stats of these particular Pokémon type, it had really great coverage in defense and above average ratings in attack. Still making the type a cut above most of the already existing types at the time.
As the Pokémon games progressed, so did its dominance grow. In the following Pokémon generation (or as it's called, the 3rd Generation), with the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (2002), and later Pokémon Emerald (2004), the games' producers added new Pokémon and the mechanic of "Pokémon Abilities" which didn't really fix the imbalance that the Steel-type brought to the series. Pokémon abilities usually complimented a Pokémon's strengths and even covered some of its weaknesses. Meaning Steel-type Pokémon were made even more powerful, and less vulnerable thanks to this mechanic. In this generation, they also added more Pokémon: Aron, Lairon, Aggron, Mawile, Beldum, Metang, Metagross, and the Legendaries; Registeel and Jirachi. These Pokémon alone were not only a testament to how powerful the type was in its introduction during the 2nd Generation, but also how well loved the type is.
Fast Forward to future generations of the Pokémon franchise, and it can be noted that this type has asserted its dominance over all the other types. GameFreak introduced new Pokémon of this type with each new release of the franchise. Whether these newly added Steel-type Pokémon could evolve or were already fully evolved, they where always a force to be reckoned with. Especially since most of these Pokémon were, what players referred to as, "Dual-types". Which only meant that these Steel-type Pokémon were more reactive to both it's weaknesses and its strengths.Take for example, Metagross. As mentioned earlier, Steel-types are vulnerable against Fighting-type Pokémon. But with this Pokémon's Steel and Psychic dual-typing, Fighting-type Pokémon are neutralized and this particular Pokémon can even be used effectively against its supposed type weakness.
In the latter Pokémon generations (Generation 6-onward), the introduction of the "Fairy-type" granted balance in Pokémon team-building against the almighty Dragon-type. Although the naming of this type suggested soft or mascot like Pokémon, it made the Dragon-type what Fighting-types were against Ghost-type match-ups. Rendering the powerful Dragon-type ineffective. Fairy-type Pokémon were very strong since it was very effective against Dragon, Dark, Fighting-type Pokémon. Making it an obvious addition to any Pokémon team in Generation 6 and onward. But even with this powerful new type, it still cannot compare to the almighty Steel-type. In fact, one of the many few weaknesses of this new type IS the Steel-type. Rendering Fairy-type Pokémon weak and defenseless against Steel.
All in all, the Steel-type is a perfect imbalance brought to the whole Pokémon franchise. Whether you're doing a regular play-through of the games or playing competitively, Steel-type Pokémon are stong addition to any Pokémon team. In fact there are a number of notably used Pokémon in competitive play that has this type. Whether they are used to set up a certain play, stall against a powerful opponent, or just sweep through an opponent's team, this type is without a doubt the strongest or at least of the strongest Pokémon types in all of the game's series. Only time will tell whether or not the Pokemon series' producers will nerf this type or bring a brand new type, mechanic, or function to make this type weaker in the future series.
What do you guys think about this type? Is it one of your favorites? Which Steel-type Pokémon is you favorite? Feel free to leave a comment on this article, so we can discuss this.
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