The Yamper line: a disappointment?
Yamper and Boltund are maybe not as great as they could have been. We take a look at how we could ‘improve’ the line!
Ah, Yamper and Boltund. I think it’s fair to put forward that the Yamper line is somewhat of a disappointment, as harsh as it may sound. And it is a bit surprising when you consider its basis and early history. Yamper is based upon the corgi, one of the more loved breeds of dogs out there – and dogs are quite popular to begin with! Add in the fact that Yamper was one of the pre-release Pokémon used in advertising Pokémon Sword and Shield, including dedicated tweets to it and a clear link between it and the other runaway success in pre-release marketing, Wooloo. It was also available early in the game (as soon as Route 2!)
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) July 9, 2019
But some things did not quite align. Let’s look at three areas that let down Yamper and Boltund, and how they could have been improved.
An underwhelming evolution
Boltund was not shown off before the game’s release, instead being revealed to players after they purchased the game, or beforehand for those watching leaks. Not everyone was a fan, such as Cherrim:
Boltund… I try to forget that it exists. I don’t know how they can go from perfection to a super generic looking hound. I’m not a fan at all and when my Yamper evolved, I reset my game in a panic to the last autosave because I just refused to have that on my team.
PokéCommunity member Fafrir also thought it had an overly plain design:
When I saw Boltund, I wished it was fake. While it’s nice it’s based off a foxhound, the design is just so boring and takes away everything that made Yamper unique.
They are valid complaints. Certainly, Boltund’s design isn’t off-putting to everyone, and perhaps Yamper’s overly chubby physique, ill-fitting lifevest, and somewhat forced heart-shaped pattern on its behind feels too artificial. Nonetheless, one thing that is obvious is that these attributes are removed from Boltund’s design. There is nothing special about its neck. There is no hint of a love-heart design anywhere. It is a skinny foxhound, and while those are cute, there’s not that much to link it to Yamper.
Its Abilities also do not suggest at a theme. Yamper had Ball Fetch, which was a neat reference to the game of fetch dogs play. Boltund has Strong Jaw, which, sure, is relevant to dogs, but it doesn’t have much more going for it there. Competitive maybe could be an allusion to dog racing, but they’re not an animal strongly known to be competitive.
How could it have been improved? Cherrim suggested on basing the line more on the lore of corgis. No, really – corgis have links to fairies, being their noble steeds in mythology.
Legend has it that the Welsh Corgi is the “enchanted” dog of the Fay. They were used by fairies and elves to pull their coaches or to serve as the steeds for their warriors. At night, the Welsh Corgi would slip away to the hills of Wales to play with the magical little people.
It is said that those who have an understanding heart, and a sharp eye, can see the faint fairy saddle on the back of a Welsh Corgi and the harness marks on their shoulders.
Therein lies a way to have tied Boltund closer to Yamper, as well as have a clearer basis on real-life mythology. Cherrim even created a mock evolution for Yamper, granting it heart-shaped wings and doing more with its upper neck to resemble a saddle for faries. Meanwhile, granting Boltund the Electric/Fairy typing would have helped differentiate it from the numerous pure Electric types that exist – after all, the only current Electric/Fairy typed Pokémon is Tapu Koko, a Legendary.
Poor Shiny colours
Admittedly, Yamper’s is alright as far as Shiny colours go, but Boltund has a disappointing shade of yellow-green for its Shiny form. It even was declared one of the worst of the generation by popular YouTuber TheJwittz. The colour just isn’t that flattering. A bolder colour that would go better with the darker black fur choice would help immensely, or alternatively a completely different colour, such as dark blue.
Boltund is a moderately fast, middle-strength mixed attacker. There’s not a lot going for it there as a pure Electric type! Boltund has been overshadowed by other Electric types even within its own generation (such as Toxtricity). When regular Manectric (remember it was stripped of its Mega Evolution) does that niche better, it’s a sign of a problem. Compare the stats of the two, with the bolded stat the higher between the two Pokémon:
Really, we see that while Boltund has a better BST than Manectric, it suffers in being too rounded and not breaking a base stat of 90 in either attack stat. Manectric is not as fast, but it will hit harder at least, and take advantage of Lightning Rod or Static Abilities to boot over the likes of Strong Jaw (paired with the underwhelming Thunder Fang or Fire Fang, and the decent Crunch) or… Competitive. Pincurchin meanwhile, is much slower, but its weaker Special Attack stat of 91 is still higher than either of Boltund’s!
While most Pokémon will serve you well enough in the regular adventure, in competitive play Boltund has been left behind, with (as of May 2020) usage below 0.1% – lower than Pikachu.
Yamper meanwhile is nothing remarkable in itself. In fact, in Little Cup, it’s a poor choice, as pointed out in our other article.
Where do you stand on the Yamper line? Do you feel there is room for improvement, or is the pupper perfect the way it is?
Edited by ddrox13 and Sheep.