Getting a new Pokémon type in Gen 8 is just enough to make or break the Pokémon series for good, especially if the game’s balance is upset.
Introducing a new Pokémon type in Gen 8 is a risky move, seeing as the rock-paper-scissors of the Pokémon games has always toed a fine line. For instance, Gen I presented 15 types ranging from Grass, Water, and Fire to more complicated ones such as Poison, Ghost, and Bug.
Type matchups in Gen I were so-so, but two stood out as clear imbalances: Psychic and Dragon. Psychic was only weak to Bug-type moves, and Dragon was weak to the uncommon Ice-type moves and its own even more uncommon Dragon-type moves.
Gen II introduced Dark to combat Psychic, and brought with it the new Steel typing, which resisted Psychic-type moves. With Psychic-types now weak to Ghost, and Dark-types serving as Alakazam slayers, the last OP Pokémon type remained to be rectified.
Dragon-types were not properly combated by a common typing up until the introduction of a new Pokémon type in Fairy. With Sylveon leading the charge, the Dragonslayers made mainstays like Dragonite and Garchomp that much more susceptible to super-effective hits.
Gen I cleanup
As Gen I introduced the most new ‘mon types, it made sense that some trial and error was required to fine-tune the elemental Type matchups that the Pokémon series has always been known for.
While Dark and Steel-types had specific elemental feels, Fairy felt, for the first time, very, very obscure. Maybe it’s because it’s still the latest new Pokémon type, but I personally have a lot of trouble distinguishing its weaknesses, resistances, and super-effectiveness.
Was it worth introducing Fairy-types this late in the game? Did this delayed Gen I cleanup only set the Pokémon series up for more type matchup turmoil?
It’s a very slippery slope from here, but there are still some holes that could be filled within the mostly balanced Pokémon type matchup chart. Take a look at Bulbapedia’s type matchup table for yourself and see if you can find some room for improvement.
The glaring issue on the chart remains the one that was meant to balance things out: the Fairy-type. It is weak to Poison and Steel-type moves, but it goes without saying that those are some of the least common move types out there. Also, it resists the common types Fighting, Bug, and Dark. Honestly, its immunity to Dragon-types seems like the only sound logic here.
Fairy-type Pokémon are some of the most uncommon in the series, but that didn’t stop Fairy-type trainers from abusing the powers of those stacked ‘mons. Perhaps a brand new super-effective type is the answer to the Fairy-type plague that is the Pokémon meta scene?
New Pokémon type Gen 8: Sound or Light sound all right
But is it time to introduce a new Pokémon type in Gen 8? Some are clamoring for more types, as they have already studied and memorized the current and slightly intimidating type matchup chart. Others claim that adding in the fan-theorized Sound or Light types would break the delicate balance of the Pokémon games.
Whether we want it or not, it very well could be that Game Freak is devising a new type for Sword and Shield. If I had to have my pick, I’d be happy to see a Sound-type, as Fairy already covers a lot what I imagine Light would do.
Sound-type could be the only answer left in the Pokémon type matchup schema. There are plenty of Pokémon and moves that are primed for a Sound-typing, such as Exploud, Krikitune, and Meloetta, along with moves Hyper Voice, Round, Echoed Voice, Roar, Perish Song, Uproar, and Snore.
Just as the Fairy-types did in Gen VI, there’s nothing stopping Game Freak from adding a Sound-typing to any number of their existing Pocket Monsters. Besides the aforementioned obvious three, the Pokémon Komoo-o (ditching its Fighting-type association), Electrode, Elektrive, and Chatot could be altered to have the new Sound-typing.
Half of the fun of getting a new type in Gen 8 would be the new Pokémon introduced with the typing. I can imagine there being a new Eeveelution with a Sound-typing, along with a Sound-type Legendary Pokémon. After all, those Legendaries do tend to have very, very loud cries. Why not play off of that attribute and give them a type to match their cry?
At the end of the day, the fine-tuned tweaking of changing type resistances, weaknesses, immunities, and super-effectiveness is a much better solution. It may be exciting to think about a new Pokémon type in Gen 8, but we can’t just eat our cake and have it too.
Careful consideration must be made if the Sound-type is introduced in the coming Pokémon Sword and Shield Nintendo Switch games. Whether or not Game Freak takes the leap and adds in their fourth mid-series Pokémon type, the Sword and Shield games have already proved that they will be changing up the way Trainers battle with Gigantamax and Dynamax battling.