Posted by: metinahurricane | October 31, 2011

Rool Review — Shelmet

When gathering blueberries, keep an eye out for staring Shelmets

What a pathetic Pokemon. And here I thought 4th gen was the absolute nadir. And while we’re at it, Nadir would be a much better name for a Pokemon than half of what’s being churned out by people who evidently have only a very vague idea of how the English language – let alone the delicate art of punning – works. And how did I end up with another Pokemon to review anyway?

well, it’s not like anybody specifically requests my reviews or anything… I’m no Junahu, that’s for sure ~_~

But there’s always a bright side~ a morning after~ it’s a Clownbot set!~~~~~

I never would have guessed. The most I’ve seen from you before this contest, CB, was that experimental half-moveset for Cloud N. Candy – and here we are now. I always thought you would be a natural if you actually got around to joining in. You’ve got a head on your shoulders, and you know what they say – where there’s a head, there’s hope! Or maybe it was: where there’s life, there’s hope.

So, onto the first leg of the review, in which I try to criticize wee little tiny things that don’t matter at all on their own but that nevertheless you can avoid in the future and bit by bit, step by step, build yourself a levee of movesetting talent.


  • Say, does Shelmet evolve? I think I should know that… but, y’know, I skipped the game, because I’m an old codger and have had more than enough of these newfangled insults to my hazy nostalgic past. A quick google reveals that he does. I approach the set a bit differently when I know whether this is a sort of baby Pokemon or whether it’s fully grown and the pinnacle of its bodytype. That’s something useful to put in the introduction, no doubt…
  • You’re averse to detail, I take it. How big the spray on the NSpec is, how much Shelmet can do while in a Protect, stuff like that – I mean, I don’t need you to specify how to go in and out of Protect, since that’s just common sense (and can he stay in it indefinitely? man, that sounds overpowered), but the specials tend to demand a few more specifics than the rest of the attacks and this is no exception.
  • Hey, no stats?? For a Pokemon with such an unusual body shape, I reckon that’s pretty important stuff. If writing out number stats makes you sick, like it does for me, just give a sentence or two describing how he runs, jumps, slides, how much he weighs, how big he is, how floaty.
  • If I understood correctly, touching Shelmet when he has Acid Armor will poison you… so the Neutral Attack poisons you… again?… if he uses it while you’re holding onto them? Cool attack, though.
  • The forward smash specifies “rather nice backwards knockback”. What a quaint way of describing the direction of a knockback. It really is a challenge to do it in few words, isn’t it? I swear, in my movesets I use the phrase “low knockback” to mean three different things in different contexts.
  •  I’m sure I can’t imagine how Shelmet’s visor would “pinch” an opponent. What is it, like a grab hitbox? Or just a sort of dragging, multiple-hits kind of thing?
  • The acid armor seems to behave kind of inconsistently. It slides off or is shaken off by a few of his aerials, but his smashes, which are “bigger” animation-wise, can’t dispell it?
  • Facade works as a playstyle-relevant attack, yes… and it works as a translation of a Pokemon move, yes… but it doesn’t really work as a move in Brawl, I feel. There’s no logic, no in-game justification, for Shelmet’s sudden upwelling of strength when he’s poisoned, and the player won’t be able to get the reference (to a move in Pokemon that I always thought was stupid anyway; I hate attacks that everyone can learn.
One thing I really dig here is how very interactive Shelmet is with his acid puddles, even if not every attack has just what you’d call the most obvious effect when used in conjunction with a puddle, with an armor, with Shelmet poisoned, with the foe poisoned – the four states you’re concerned with throughout the moveset. This is like a crash course in making every move relevant in some way, although whether every single option he has is useful is pretty debatable.

Shelmet is an unevolved Pokemon, and such cases call for small movesets, small playstyles. An unevolved Pokemon does little things and plays with a sort of humility and restraint that you don’t see in evolved ones. Look at the difference between my Ekans – which is passive, based around sneakily forcing lose-lose approaches – and HR’s Arbok – which is incredibly active, pursuing ceaselessly, impossible to throw off. Or look at FA’s Hoppip and my Jumpluff – one of which gets up high so it can use big, flashy effects like healing and divebombing, while the other seems to be just drifting and fighting incidentally. Or, hell, look at the Gastly line, in which I completely bled this idea into each of them, building from Gastly’s small pokes and prods to Gengar’s downright chaotic domination of the stagespace. And on the very end of the scale are legendary Pokemon, which call for truly cataclysmic playstyles – like Landlos’s complete reconstruction of the stage and huge effects that are utterly impossible to ignore.

Well, Shelmet has a very small playstyle, humbly hinged around getting the foe to be doused in a wee bit of acid – and this is good, because what I’m saying about unevolved Pokemon goes double for bug-types, which are all about being small and pathetically unassuming. The very lynchpin of their gameplay should be something that seems trifling. Hence caterpie’s wee webbing shots, which are so much less versatile and less potent than, say, Spider-Man’s, just as they should be.

And how clever is it that Shelmet himself can be poisoned, when he’s in fact a pure Bug-type who just happens to know Acid and Acid Armor as his signature moves? Of course he can be poisoned!

I don’t know whether this set is too underpowered – I mean, so much trouble to coat the foe with poison when it only racks up 10% and can just be wiped off again with a simple roll. His DSmash could have done with being a bit more punishing to rolls, that’s a good niche for DSmashes. And I also feel that Shelmet could have done well as a gimper, rather than killing with a set of surprisingly effective smashes – to reinforce that smallness and that reliance on multiple weak attacks to get anywhere. But these are details and personal preferences we’re talking.

[One more reason I’d like a stats section – I suppose Shelmet is really light, to keep him from being fairly broken while he’s encased in his armor. The poor little guy can get tossed about like a football! Even without taking damage, it’s not too hard to KO him! Or something like that.]


I hear people saying “goop”, which is one small step from going back to MYM 9 and saying “liquid stage control”, but that’s not really what Shelmet is, and that’s a very good thing. No stage control here – he’s just concerned with a puddle or two, that’s all! And come to think of it, can we stack Acids? If we can’t, he seems pretty dang weak, and if we can, maybe more thought is needed about what I just said about him not simply covering the stage in puddles.

HR said that Shelmet doesn’t seem underpowered, which I generally disagree with, as I’ve said. He likes the set for the same reason I do, I imagine – the attacks are very simple, quite natural, but also do fit together in some sort of way. And I most certainly do agree with him when he said it’s a nice little moveset. This is like Hoppip – it’s a crash course in move interactions, but it’s not heavy like a Warlord or Daddy set – it’s dietary, very good for you! It feels like you stretching your claws (er, what do you call that thing cats do? I don’t think it’s stretching your claws, is it?) and showing that you do get what the scene is. It doesn’t innovate, but neither is it easy to deny. It’s effective for what it wants to be.

And unlike Zook, I don’t want Shelmet to do more things with poisoned foes – that threatens to become a flowchart of do-A-then-do-B – but I would like to see some greater incentive for splashing around in the stuff. Although if we bear with you through the balance bits, Shelmet emerges as a character who is constantly dousing the foe, so that even though it’s easy to brush off the acid by rolling, he’s always there in your face, needling you and bumping into you and covering you in it all over again. He’s a bad day at a picnic. I think this is how he’d ideally play, although, again, not knowing how quick or large or heavy he is makes it difficult to picture him in action.


I really wish I could remember how I named these headers last time but oh well who cares about consistency

I’ll make it quick, see? Already your greatest strengths lie in readability and how easy your movesets are to access. They’re very up-front with what they’re about and give the reader instant access to their juicy innards – that is, how simple attacks would work together in a practical setting. They don’t even have to be simple attacks, but as a general rule of thumb, if your readers can’t picture not only how attacks look in a vacuum but how they could potentially be combined in creative ways, they’re not getting the full benefit of the moveset.

And you have no problems with that. Nor do you seem to struggle at all with playstyle. You may not have done much reading, but you’ve been around for long enough to make your characters simple archetypes that nevertheless play distinctly and interestingly enough. I think I said it last time, but the movesetter you most remind me of is Khold. Maybe not his most recent and very distinctive movesets, but generally you have a similar approach to implementing the character and to conveying the playstyle.

I still really dig Party Pete, a rollicking good time of a set. Damn, the guys just KILLED him. How could they do that??? The moral of the story: when someone’s at your party drinking all your booze, just keep giving it to him until he ends up in the hospital. Problem solved. Party goes on.

But there’s no question that Shelmet is a more sophisticated set. You’ve stretched your claws now. Next you need to sink your teeth into a really cool idea, something even neater than Shelmet’s proactive poisoning or Party Pete’s offensive on a timer. I have full confidence, man.



  1. “Shelmet is a tiny guy who, as evidenced by his species name, can’t really move that quickly. He’s also not the best at jumping, attacking, or taking hits.”
    ^ This was intended as a rundown on Shelmet’s stats, but I may not have been explicit enough or perhaps I missed a few stats that are generally included.
    Shelmet can stay in Protect for however long he wants, but obviously many of his moves include him opening his shell (often with some form of lag), which makes him vulnerable.
    Struggle Bug poisoning the opponent with Acid Armor after they’ve already touched you was admittedly faulty design, hehe. :$ I can’t say I understand how it’s difficult to see him pinching them, though. Does his shape make it seem impossible to you or is it the application of the move?
    When I made the Smashes unable to poison the foe, it was admittedly from a playstyle standpoint more than a consistency one. Shelmet’s KOing options are fairly limited, so why would you want to poison the foe when you’re dealing an attack to finish them off? It was also more a playstyle decision than anything to make him know Facade.
    And I already cleared this up in the chat, but just to reiterate Shelmet cannot stack Acids.

  2. “^ This was intended as a rundown on Shelmet’s stats, but I may not have been explicit enough or perhaps I missed a few stats that are generally included.”

    Ah, y’know, I overlooked it. It’s about as vague as it gets but it gets the idea across, so mea culpa.

    “Shelmet can stay in Protect for however long he wants, but obviously many of his moves include him opening his shell (often with some form of lag), which makes him vulnerable.”

    I think I missed that dimension, and I like it. It adds some really interesting risk to Shelmet’s offensive and patience to the foe’s counterattacks.

    “Struggle Bug poisoning the opponent with Acid Armor after they’ve already touched you was admittedly faulty design, hehe. :$ I can’t say I understand how it’s difficult to see him pinching them, though. Does his shape make it seem impossible to you or is it the application of the move?”

    This word “pinch”, man! Like I said, is it a brief grab hitbox or just a downward-pulling knockback move?

  3. Oh! Derp. It’s a grab hitbox, sorry

  4. Well, I don’t really dig midair grab hitboxes. (CRS)

  5. You promised me a review for my next set, Rool. Just thought I’d remind you here.

  6. I forget nothing! You’ll have your review indeed – just request it formally on the queue, if you don’t mind, man.

  7. I like your reviews Rool ~~

  8. Why, thank you. I do think I’ve come a long way since my Dimentio review.

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