Last week, a new evolution of Eevee was revealed along with the Pokemon’s name, a few images, and the video above showing it doing a few attacks. However, precious little else has been shared regarding this pocket monster from Pokemon X and Y, particularly its typing. If it was Game Freak’s intent to incite huge discussions and speculation, then mission accomplished!
So I looked up all the information available and dug up every opinion I could find to weigh the arguments made for each possible type it could be.
What it’s Not
The one thing we are certain of is that Sylveon will not be any of the types that already exist as an Eevee evolution. So that eliminates Water, Electric, Fire, Psychic, Dark, Grass, and Ice. That leaves us with Normal, Fighting, Flying, Poison, Ground, Rock, Bug, Ghost, Steel, and Dragon.
Some people argue that this also eliminates Normal type, since Eevee is itself a Normal type and people could just leave Eevee unevolved. But that argument doesn’t fly with me. Nobody complains, “Why bother evolving your Squirtle? It’s still just a Water type.” The vast majority of Pokemon are the same type when they evolve, but they evolve anyway to have better stats, new abilities, and access new moves. Why should Eevee be different? Why can’t Eevee evolve into a Normal type with stats on par with its evolved brothers and sisters?
Whether you think Normal is a viable option or not, it hardly narrows down the options. Still, there is also the possibility that Sylveon is a new type altogether. Specifically, some speculate that Light and Sound will be added as new types to X and Y. While I am not ready to dismiss this as a possibility, we’re already speculating pretty blindly here, and I would rather focus on the options we actually know something about.
As I mentioned above, I am not eliminating Normal from the running. In fact, I think it’s a very viable possibility based mostly on Sylveon’s appearance. First off, Sylveon is definitely designed to look cute and effeminate. It’s pink and covered in ribbons and scarves. It almost looks like it was painted with the same color pallet as Blissey or Jigglypuff. I also think the scarves are highly reminiscent of last generation’s new Normal type, Cinccino which is covered in scarf-like fur.
Overall, Normal type has been associated with either cutesy creatures or purely animal-like ones. While the Eevee form is Normal and fits the pure animal look, I think it would be fitting for the evolution to shoot for the cutesy pink look, just to make it feel at least like its own standout evolution, instead of just a big version of Eevee.
Bug also strikes me as a potential type, but only barely. Bugs tend to come in two varieties: deadly (like Scyther) and pretty (like Beautifly). It makes sense that this generally cute evolution series would go for the pretty direction. As a Bug type, the bows would even become sort of a butterfly insignia. You can also see similarities in the eyes of Beautifly and Sylveon.
Then there is the name. In French it is called Nymphali and in Japanese it is Ninfia. A “nymph” is a young insect, and that seems like pretty strong nomenclature evidence. Of course, the English version of the name leads me to my final likely type.
Sylveon could be a play on the word “sylph” which is a spirit of wind. This seemed like a stretch to me at first, but just look at Sylveon in the video. The way its scarves float in the air almost cry out, “I’m a creature of the wind!”
On a visual level, Sylveon kind of reminds me of Skyla, the gym leader who focused on Flying types. It just looks like something that was made to be by her side.
Now, a lot of people don’t like this theory because they don’t see how it could actually fly because unlike even Shaymin, Sylveon doesn’t have any visible means to fly. However, the alternate Flying form of Rotom doesn’t have any means to fly (it’s just an electric fan), and there are plenty of Pokemon who actually do fly, like Volcarona, but aren’t technically Flying types. So I don’t think literal taking off from the ground is the stamp of a Flying type. Besides, this is Pokemon. If the makers want this thing to fly, they can make it fly.
So, those are my bets on Sylveon’s type (in no particular order). I am not ready to say which I think it will be, but I can’t wait to find out!