Why is Galarian Ponyta Psychic and Not Fairy Type?
By Andrew Lin
Galarian Ponyta was recently revealed during a livestream event, showcasing a new form for the classic Fire Horse Pokemon. The Galarian Ponyta is a unicorn straight out of My Little Pony, complete with pastel rainbow mane. One would think it would be a Fairy type for this reason, but why is it Psychic instead?
The Galarian Ponyta is based on the unicorn of literature and legend, not only in appearance but also in lore. The classic unicorn is an incredibly rare horse or goat with a single horn. They have long been believed to have healing abilities, able to detect and purify poisons.
In the lore of Pokemon, this variety of Ponyta lives deep in the forest where it absorbed the life energy around it. Its reveal in the forest where it appeared only briefly during the 24-hour-long broadcast, is in reference to the classic unicorn's rarity and elusiveness. Its abilities, Run Away and Pastel Veil, are also references to qualities of the legendary unicorn: Run Away for its elusiveness and Pastel Veil for its healing properties.
Unicorns in literature and legend have been considered to be healers, with the horn of the creature able to purify water and cure disease. In Pokemon, it is the mane of Ponyta that takes the healing properties. This is reflected by its Pastel Veil ability, which negates the effects of Poison.
It seems then that GAMEFREAK is taking a gameplay and mechanical approach to the unicorn mythos. While the unicorn certainly invokes imagery of high fantasy and fairy tales, Galarian Ponyta is designed to be functionally representative of the unicorn legend. Foremost, Psychic Pokemon are strong against Poison types. Fairy types are actually weak to Poison.
Galarian Ponyta will be exclusive to Pokemon Shield. Both versions release Nov. 15.