Welcome to Pokemon of the Week, the third installment in a recurring series that looks at the impact of some of our favorite Pokemon. Up next: Mimikyu.
Mimikyu is the newest Pokemon we have profiled so far, debuting in the Sun and Moon era. Even still it has had a dramatic impact that has helped it skyrocket in popularity. Known as the Disguise Pokemon, Mimikyu is the only Pokemon with the unique Ghost/Fairy type combo to date.
Another unique feature of this Pokemon is its place in the long line of “Pikachu clones” that seem to come out in each generation. While the other example in this generation (Togedemaru) shares the original’s Electric typing, Mimikyu solely shares the appearance.
More specifically, Mimikyu is wearing a Pikachu pokedoll to hide its actual appearance. Some ghosts wear sheets, this one wears a Pikachu doll. It is said that anyone who sees Mimikyu’s actual form will die. This makes its signature Z-Move all the more frightening. When using a Mimikium-Z to power up the move Play Rough into Let’s Snuggle Forever. Mimikyu expands and covers the defending Pokemon under the disguise.
This special typing and cuteness have seen Mimikyu a viable option to follow other Pokemon into the Smash universe. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mimikyu is able to be summoned from the Pokeball and uses it’s Z-Move on your opposition.
Mimikyu in the Pokemon anime series
There are only two Mimikyu to make an appearance in the Pokemon anime, but they are partnered with two very relevant trainers. First, a wild Mimikyu appears early in Ash’s Alolan journey. When he attempts to catch it the wild Pokemon becomes enraged at the sight of Pikachu and goes on the attack. Ultimately Mimikyu decides it prefers a different partner and joins Jesse and Team Rocket.
Throughout the rest of their time in Alola, Mimikyu continues to get stronger and becomes one of Team Rocket’s most powerful Pokemon to ever appear in the anime. Often using Shadow Ball, it is always ready to attack Pikachu. There are many instances where it will go off on its own to try to attack Pikachu without Jesse’s aide. It would showcase powerful moves like Shadow Claw, Wood Hammer, and Play Rough, aiding Team Rocket in obtaining the Darkium-Z.
Only Meowth dared to try to peek under the disguise and he admits that he finds Mimikyu to be quite intimidating. Later Mimikyu appears in his nightmares, leading to him leaving Mimikyu alone to do its own thing.
The other Mimikyu to appear in the series belongs to Acerola. Acerola is a trial captain on Ula’ula Island and specializes in Ghost Pokemon. Her Mimikyu is very different from Team Rockets. Nicknamed Mimikins, her partner is actually already deceased and is also a shiny variant. Mimikins is able to float and pass through solid surfaces. It does not really battle much, though it does know how to use Shadow Claw.
Mimikyu in the Pokemon TCG
Over a short period of time there have been many Mimikyu cards used in variety of strategies. It started in Sun Moon Base set. This Mimikyu boasted the powerful Copycat attack, allowing it to use the same attack your opponent used the previous turn as long as it was not a GX attack. This Mimikyu was printed again as a promo card (extending its legality) and in the Team Up expansion (with alternate typing).
The initial version saw success as far back as part of a Regional winning Garbodor Necromza strategy in October 2017, piloted by Ryan Sabelhaus. It would go on to be a part of a winning deck lists at South Africa Nationals (May 2018), Subang Jaya Regionals (June 2018), Memphis Regionals (October 2018), and Lille SPE (November 2018). The Fairy counterpart topped out at second place at the Daytona Beach Regional Championships in 2019 but both cards have plenty of other successful finishes in a variety of strategies.
There is a Mimikyu GX that has seen marginal success in control strategies, finishing second and third at the Portland Regional Championships in 2019 piloted by the popular and dominant Team DDG. The other GX it appears on (Gengar & Mimikyu GX) has been a common choice in Malamar, Omastar Locks, Mewtwo & Mew Box decks, Trevenant & Dusknoir Hand Locks and even the new Dragapult VMAX strategy. Most notably it was an essential part of the winning Malamar Mewtwo & Mew strategy played at the Costa Rica SPE in February 2020 and the winning Trevenant & Dusknoir Lock at the Collinsville Regionals weeks later.
Two new Mimikyus were added to the pool in the final Sun and Moon expansion and both have seen uses. The first has the ability Shadow Box, turning off the abilities of Pokemon with any damage counters. This allowed decks to have an answer to the dominant aforementioned Mewtwo & Mew GX. The other one features Acerola in its art and uses its Impersonation attack to discard a supporter from your hand to copy the effect. This allows control strategies to use additional supporters to disrupt their opponent further.
Mimikyu has had a strong competitive presence in VGC since its debut. A variety of factors contribute to its continued success. First, Fairy and Ghost type are both very strong types for any Pokemon to boast, so access to both immediately vaults Mimikyu’s usage. Its ability Disguise was so good in Generation VII that they had to alter it for a return in Generation VIII. That being said it is still a top tier ability.
Mimikyu also has impressive stats, including speed. This allows Mimikyu to be a fast Pokemon that also takes advantage of the ever-popular Trick Room. As it has access to priority moves it can function in Trick Room but is also faster than plenty of other Pokemon meaning it can function outside of it as well. It is also a good counter to opposing teams that rely on this strategy. Common sets for Mimikyu include Trick Room, Shadow Sneak, Play Rough, and a fourth move of your choice from Mimikyu’s wide move pool.
The World Championships are the ultimate stage and Mimikyu was an essential part of a team that finished in the semi-finals of the 2019 stage. This Mimikyu used Taunt as its fourth move, allowing it to prevent opposing Pokemon from torturing their team with status moves. It partnered with other format staples including Primal Groudon, Tapu Koko, and Incineroar as well as niche picks like Yveltal and Mega Metagross.
The success does not start or end there. Wolfe Glicke took Mimikyu to a second-place finish at the Collinsville Regional Championships this season. Finally, in the popular Victory Road May Challenge two of the top three finishers in the event used Mimikyu. The Disguise Pokemon is popular and here to stay.