Croagunk and Toxicroak

Very easily one of the best things and top saving graces of the fourth gen, CROAGUNK is a lovable, perfect, precious little poison arrow frog with the most shit-eating look on its face in the entire pokedex and the loveliest creepy, yellow eyes. It's also the game's first (and still only) poison/fighting pokemon, a cool as heck combination even if it crumbles under any given psychic attack.

Even the anime knew Croagunk's skeeviness was something special, offering a whole running gag in which the little toad uses its "poison jab" attack to stab Brock in the ass every time he creeps on women. Imagine what a better place this world would be if every desperate pickup artist was followed around by a Croagunk.

Graciously, this is also one pokemon that doesn't lose its unique personality when it evolves, as Toxicroak still looks like some clammy sleaze you might find behind an abandoned motel at two in the morning. You will also notice that Toxicroak has freaking knife blades on its wrists, spurs on its feet and a horn on its head, and if you know anything about its animal basis, you know that's all pretty bad news. Some arrow frogs are poisonous enough that merely touching one can leave you bedridden, and touching one with the tiniest cut or scratch in your skin - allowing the poison entry to your bloodstream - can be inescapably lethal. A poisonous frog evolving its own means of stabbing is downright terrifying, and we now know it's actually happened at least once.

I really love that they got "croak" in the names of these two, describing both the sound a frog makes and what will happen to you when you piss these things off. They're basically "ninja assassin" frogs, and one of the few times I've seen a frog monster going for "sleek and lethal" rather than "slimy and gluttonous." I also really enjoy the pokedex's description of Toxicroak "churning its poison" in its throat sack. That's such a cool, nasty concept.

Toxicroak is a frog of pure murder, and it even looks like somebody with bodies to hide. Though more recent generations have long pushed it down off my personal top ten or even twenty, it was one of my "must-have" pokemon during Diamond and Pearl's reign, its concept, personality and style perfectly suiting my preference for slimy, noxious spooks and weirdos. I think I even gave myself a whole new admiration for it in this very review.