Movie Reviews

Pokémon: Claydol's Pokédex Entries Hint At Its True Origins

Claydol is an ancient Pokémon with a history that goes back 20,000 years. Despite being fairly unassuming, its mystical and ambiguous origins call into question its larger importance in the franchise’s universe. There are several theories about how Claydol became a Pokémon, and its Pokédex entries suggest that it may be one of the oldest species.

Claydol is a dual Ground and Psychic-type Pokémon introduced in Gen 3’s Hoenn region. It evolves from Baltoy (also of Hoenn) at level 36. Claydol’s design is often compared to dogū figurines, which came from the prehistoric peoples of Japan during the Jōmon period. Its spherical body has stumpy legs and untethered arms from which it can shoot beams of light. Claydol also has multiple pink eyes around its head with beak-like bumps in between.

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Claydol has garnered attention for having one of the best Pokémon TCG Celebrations: Classic Collection cards. It can be used as a defensive weapon in competitive Pokémon battles due to its healthy defensive stats. However, closer examination of Claydol’s lore reveals that there is more than meets the many eyes, as Claydol is one of the oldest Pokémon in the current series canon.

Almost every Pokédex entry for Claydol references its antiquity. It was created out of clay by a primitive civilization 20,000 years ago. According to Pokémon: Ultra Moon, the ancient people “modeled it after something that descended from the sky”. Many descriptions say Claydol started life as a Pokémon when it was “exposed to a mysterious ray of light”. The Pokémon Fossils’ ages are hundreds of millions of years and Pokémon like Arceus – the creator of all Pokémon – even came before that. Still, no specific date is recorded for these Pokémon. Claydol’s origin date is one of the oldest confirmed in Pokémon history.

It is unknown which Pokémon Claydol was modeled after and when it was awakened by the ray of light. There is speculation Claydol’s origins are connected to Pokémon such as Necrozma or Volcarona. One of the more interesting theories is that Claydol became a Pokémon because of Eternatus. Pokémon Shield’s Pokédex says Eternatus “was inside a meteorite that fell 20,000 years ago”. Though the details are unconfirmed, Claydol’s abilities could be linked to very powerful, prehistoric Pokémon.

There were Pokémon before Claydol but their origins are vague as far as confirming any timeline. Many man-made Pokémon origins’ are intriguing. That said, Claydol’s repeatedly mentioned age is older than most other species. The cryptic story about how it became a Pokémon could mean that its power is even older than 20,000 years. Perhaps Claydol’s full story will always just remain a Pokémon mystery from the distant past.

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