The Humble Pokémon 'Slowbro' Trends This Morning After Inexplicably Finding Itself In The Middle Of Controversy

January 27th, 2023 - 3:04 PM EST by Adam Downer

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Many Twitter users were greeted with a bizarre Trending Topics tab this morning, as next to the usual politically charged topics and social justice hashtags, there was one curious outlier: "Slowbro."

Pokémon fans know Slowbro is a lovable, albeit dimwitted Psychic/Water-type that's been a mainstay of the franchise since Gen 1. While solid, the Pokémon is largely unremarkable in the games outside of some niche uses in competitive play. This morning, however, Slowbro found itself in the midst of some controversy.

Since the release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, in November, the game has periodically offered extremely strong, fully evolved starter Pokémon from previous generations in special "Tera Raid" events.

This means you enter a special battle, either alone or with a friend, against a level 100 Pokémon with a curious Tera type in an attempt to catch it. The previous Raids for Charizard and Cinderace proved difficult for many players, and this week, Pokémon started a raid for Greninja with a Poison-Tera type.

Students of Pokémon were able to approach the previous raids by using a specific method of more or less "cheesing" the terrifying opponent, and in the Cinderace raid, that meant using a Slowbro with a specific moveset: Iron Defense, Nasty Plot, Slack Off and Stored Power.

Just in case, here's a brief and dorky explainer of why Slowbro worked for the Cinderace raid: Slowbro is resistant to Cinderace's fire and fighting moves. "Stored Power" is a move that is initially weak but gets exponentially stronger the more a Pokémon boosts its stats. By raising Slowbro's Defense with three Iron Defenses and raising its Special Attack with three Nasty Plots, Slowbro could take out the terrifying and aggravating Cinderace in one to two hits.

Since Greninja's Tera type is Poison (weak to Psychic-type moves), many were ready to employ the same Slowbro strategy heading into this weekend's Raid. However, one influencer in the Pokémon scene set off a small firestorm when he suggested that this is Bad, Actually.

Joe Merrick is the owner of the Pokémon guide site Serebii. In a series of tweets, Merrick professed that Slowbro was not a viable option in group raids, particularly because Greninja's Night Slash attack would be super effective against Slowbro.

As Merrick has been known to attract controversy from salty Pokémon fans in the past, this set off a wave of discourse among the fandom passionately defending Slowbro.

While players seem to be handling the Raid just fine, Slowbro or not, the Slowbro discourse caps off a bizarre week in the Pokémon fandom, which found some players chiding others for catching Shiny Pokémon with Quick Balls, for some reason.

As for the Raid itself, we can't speak to whether Slowbro is the best choice for the encounter, but yours truly was able to catch Greninja using a Clodsire in support of a Vaporeon who carried the Raid.

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