Pokemon Wonder Trade: Zigzagoon Not Wanted

Gaming Geek Culture Tabletop Games
Image: Rory Bristol

Since October of 2013, players around the world have been participating in what may the most accessible and fun feature ever introduced to the Pokemon franchise: Wonder Trade. This beautiful feature lets you send you pokemon out into the world in exchange for an unknown Pokemon. But after two-and-a-half years, there’s still a lot of poor form going on. Pokemon with inappropriate names (most of which are blocked, thankfully) still make it through, hacked Pokemon, and lvl 100 baby Pokemon are all problematic. The worst offense, though? Sending thousands of universally unwanted Pokemon into the world. After completing a case study of over 1,000, I’ve got some tips for being a better Wonder Trade partner.

First let’s break down the actual problem. Each time a Wonder Trade is conducted, there is a significant chance that one or both participants will receive a Pokemon they dislike. There’s also a staggering chance they’ll receive a Pokemon they already have. This isn’t because there are “only” 721 Pokemon. Rather, it’s because a measly 22 of those Pokemon make up the majority of Wonder Trades. Let’s look at the Pokemon that made up that half of my study:

  • Bunnelby 20
  • Charmander 25
  • Eevee 48
  • Elektrike 15
  • Flabebe 14
  • Fletchling 32
  • Gloom 13
  • Luvdisc 14
  • Magikarp 36
  • Makuhita 11
  • Minun 16
  • Pancham 14
  • Ralts 43
  • Roselia 26
  • Shroomish 15
  • Skiddo 14
  • Slowpoke 19
  • Trapinch 16
  • Weedle 14
  • Wurmple 37
  • Zigzagoon 53
  • Zorua 15

In the span of ten days, I released 510 of the 1,000 Pokemon traded to me. Why? Simple: I only received them because it was clear nobody wanted them. They were glue in the engine, nothing but dust to be removed in the process. By removing them, I’ve saved hundreds of future trades involving those Pokemon. Honestly, most of them would likely be traded many more times, meaning that thousands of trades could include those poor, unwanted Pokemon.

Why do so many trades involve these Pokemon? That’s an easier question than I thought it would be when I started. Most of them are ridiculously easy to catch. Bunnelby, Fletchling, Weedle, and Zigzagoon, for example, can all be caught automatically on Route 2 in the Kalos Region. This makes them prime targets for Wonder Trades by trainers looking to develop their Pokedex without spending a lot of money. Other Pokemon, such as Charmander and Eevee, are regularly bred for ideal stats, egg moves, and abilities, meaning that a single breeder may produce hundreds of these in their search for their ideal Pokemon. Finally, some are just collateral damage. Magikarp is often caught during searches for more difficult to find Pokemon, as to many of the others on the list.

So what can be done? Trainers can take advantage of an often-ignored feature of the PC. The “Release” option. In the Core games before Generation VI, trainers would release Pokemon that were filling up their boxes. In Generation VI, however, this has changed because of the Wonder Trade system. Too many trainers see the PSS as the best way to offload unwanted Pokemon, but if every trainer released the most common Pokemon, the chance of receiving desired Pokemon increases dramatically.

Silph Co. Sprites wrote an interesting post featuring this image, featuring their advice for Wonder Trade Etiquette:

Image: http://silphcosprites.tumblr.com/post/71926895995/hello-trainers-after-sending-180-pokemon-through

I’d like to encourage you to go through your unused boxes of Pokemon and release unwanted Pokemon, and Wonder Trade interesting Pokemon you don’t want. To make someone’s day, trade Pokemon with hidden abilities, perfect IVs, or even shinies!

For larger studies of the Wonder Trade feature, check out Wonder Trade Analytics to see the current statistics regarding Liked/Disliked Pokemon,  Recent Trades, Hidden Abilities, even the types of Pokeballs Pokemon are likely to be traded in.

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