PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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In game, Garchomp is an amazing Pokemon and such, but I don’t get why it’s species is the Mach Pokemon, yet they are constantly outspeeded by Greninjas and other Pokemon with a speed stat of over 102. The Pokédex even says that they can (supposedly) fly at sonic speeds, so why does this happen? Garchomp should easily outspend anything that comes it’s way. Can someone explain why this is? (Side question: Pokédex states that Garchomp can FLY, so why can he only learn aerial ace?)

how is anyone supposed to know this
102 is VERY fast. It can fly since it is a dragon I guess? Idk
Mach and "sonic speeds" are both references to the real life concept of speed, which is distance per second. But if you were only able to have a high speed and go fast, you would just move in a line forever and not be able to turn or stop or anything. Because of this, you also wouldn't be able to respond to anything, such as a trainer's commands. Garchomp has a stat called "speed", which really only measuring how quickly it can respond to a trainer's commands and has nothing to do with its distance per second. So I guess it's because the "speed" stat has a bad name.
Oh I thought that the speed stat was how fast it moves
It usually is, but I guess the translators thought their target audience didn't care about the difference.

1 Answer

9 votes

The honest answer to this is that the Pokedex entries are unreliable. Take Magcargo for example, whose Dex states that it can create tremendous amounts of heat, so it should be able to evaporate water, and hence actually have an immunity to the same. However, the mechanics of battle clearly show that not only is it weak to water,but actually takes 4x damage. If Gamefreak's description is to be considered, that shouldn't happen. Which only goes to show, the Dex is more of a guide, to be taken with a pinch of salt than to use as absolute truth.

The reason for this is simple: The Pokemon are hyped up, and their abilities (probably) exaggerated, to make the game more dramatic/intense, to give the trainers a greater sense of power. This is a common tactic, and such hype generation is seen in many different instances inside and outside of the video game industry.

With that out of the play, there is one theory that I'd like to point out, something to cut Gamefreak some flak.

Battle Stats are different compared to regular Pokemon behaviour.

For example, let us assume that Garchomp is indeed as powerful and cool and fast as the Dex declares. That's in 'real' life. On the other hand, capturing the same in a Pokeball and forcing it to face another Pokemon in specific combat with its own rules (one move per turn, fainted Pokemon can't battle, accuracy and type effectiveness of moves is taken in consideration, and so on), puts some sort of a limitation on Garchomp.

That is to say, maybe Garchomp can move at Mach 2 speeds, when flying over fields or plains or whatnot, but when you put it in battle against a Greninja, it'll end up being slower. This can also be backed up this counter question; What is the speed stat indicating, really?

If we stop thinking of it as how fast a Pokemon can move, and instead think if it in terms of how quickly can a Pokemon convert its innate energy into that move, then suddenly it makes a huge amount of sense. Therefore, Garchomp moves faster than Greninja, but Greninja can use a move faster because of whatever reasons that are out of the scope of this answer.

Then comes the act of flying. The act of flying is different compared to the act of transporting a trainer while flying, which is what the HM is all about. Considering Garchomp is based off a shark, and has Rough Skin as an ability, that might explain why it's not safe to Fly on a Garchomp. Also maybe because it's too fast for a trainer to fly without proper equipment. That might also be why it can't use a bunch of flying moves. It lacks the ability or knowledge to convert the act of travelling through air into a move that can successfully damage the opponent. Like, if you're flying at Mach 2, can you really locate a Pokemon that's on the ground with so much accuracy that you can swoop down at those speeds and attack that Pokemon alone and no other? In a stupid way, Aerial Ace with its infinite accuracy coincidentally adds a small push to my previous statement/question. Of course, that was a straw man example, so it doesn't have a concept that is magically answered by Aerial Ace.

Anyway, that's what I think. This is pure speculation, but if it makes sense by changing the way we think of Speed as a stat and satisfies your curiosity, I'll consider my time to have been productive. Cheers!

I'm actually proud of this answer :')
It is a great answer!
Yeah! Because else Pokémon couldn't eat with only 4 moves, and some Pokémon don't even have some moves they actually use while doing something outside of battle (Bite/Crunch)! Because it is a rule for competetive battling!
Smartie! :)
Thank you for your time (10 minutes from the looks of it) to answer my question, I never really thought it would be noticed, but thank you for helping me understand :)
Another thing: the Pokédex states that the can go at up to Mach speeds (not directly, but kinda implied) but couldn’t they also tone down that speed to just be a little faster than Greninjas? (I’m sorry if it seems that I’m criticizing you, but I just really want to fully understand this issue an I appreciate the answers you give; besides, Garchomp is my second fav Pokemon, behind Meloetta) This is also assuming that the Pokédex is correct for once.

By the way, this is my first time asking a question and I want to know how to select best answer/vote
No problem, glad I could help you!

As for the Greninja issue, there's not much I can say. The thing is that Greninja was introduced way after Garchomp was, and I don't think the developers were thinking about Garchomp in particular while spreading the stats. It does seem like they really like Greninja and Blaziken, because they have cool stats and great abilities that make them much better than other starters and other Pokemon in general, even some of the (psuedo-) legendary Pokemon.

And like I said, don't worry too much about the Pokedex. Personally I feel like the stat distribution and dex information is done by different people who don't communicate very well :p

There's just some things we have to accept as being imperfect with this game we love ):
Take a look at this to understand how/when you can vote:
For a new user it seems a bit excessive, but there have been issues in the past that need some stringency as to who get the privilege to up/down vote.

That said, choosing a best answer is simpler. There's a green check mark that you can click to select an answer as the one you find best/most helpful. That gives you a bonus of 2 points iirc, and by asking more questions and selecting more answers (basically, being more active in the community), you can rack up the points to be able to vote, create tags, answer without moderation, and so on. This link below might help you understand better:
Thank You, Empty Boxes