There are 721 different kinds of Pokémon in the world of, well, Pokémon.
Every generation, more are added. Not every single critter is a winner, though. In fact, a bunch are pretty terrible. However, out of 721 of them, Vanilluxe is the absolute worst Pokémon.
It’s not like there was a dearth of options to pick from here. There are loads of pocket monsters, and the designs have only gotten more questionable as time has gone on. Trubbish, for example, is literal garbage. One Pokédex entry states that it was formed thanks to a “combination of garbage bags and industrial waste,” which triggered a chemical reaction. Klefki, another weird one, is a flippin’ living key ring.
So, please believe me when I say that I’ve thought about this for a perhaps unhealthy amount of time before coming to this conclusion. There are some out there that might argue in favor of others for the title instead of the critter that’s essentially two ice cream cones stuck together, but they are wrong. However, first, some basics.
Vanilluxe first appeared in Generation V of the video games with Pokémon Black and Pokémon White. It’s the final evolved form of Vanillite, which evolves into Vanillish at level 35 and then into the aforementioned Vanilluxe at 47. It’s not particularly hard to find, nor is it particularly good. It kind of just … exists. However, that alone isn’t what makes Vanilluxe the worst.
See, designing new Pokémon is a rather involved process. According to a 2013 Gamasutra article, there are at least 20 designers working at the same time to come up with ideas. For every accepted critter design, there are dozens of rejected ones. Yet, through all of this, somehow, three total entries worth of what is essentially a sentient ice cream cone made it to the final game.
Even then, it’s forgivable. A pure Ice-type Pokémon? Fine, not super useful at times, but fine. They have their place. It has multiple evolutions, which is always nice, and the base design of Vanillite is ridiculously adorable. I mean, just look at it.
Being cute goes a long way in the world of Pokémon.
All of that would just serve to be bland, and Vanilluxe would be just another boring critter in a vast library of monsters. Somebody’s got to be at the bottom of the barrel, right? Not everyone can be a winner, despite what some people might say.
The one truly unforgivable thing about Vanilluxe — which makes all the rest worse in retrospect — is that everything in the design is built around the monster being ice cream-related and it is not. Nothing about any of the evolutions is related to ice cream — everything’s snow! It’s all just water!
The white stuff on Vanilluxe (and Vanillite and Vanillish) is apparently just snow that’s accumulated there. Why has it swirled? How do its eyes and mouth manage to poke out perfectly? I have lots of questions and very few answers. What I do know is this: Vanilluxe is the worst Pokémon.