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Summary: Your handy trainer's guide on how to look after your Pokémon. This guide contains knowledge on the care, temperament and needs of the Pokémon you're looking after, and what to expect when keeping them.

A/N: Sorry it's been a while, been horribly stressed lately and unable to focus on much. I'll try and get updating again soon.

Poison-type Pokémon can be difficult to look after, as they can be dangerous due to their potent toxins. Fighting-type Pokémon can be equally dangerous, being potentially lethal in the hands of unskilled trainers. Generally, it is not advised that beginning trainers attempt to capture or train Poison or Fighting-type Pokémon until they have at least earned a few badges and are certain that they can handle a potentially dangerous creature. This goes double for Pokémon possessing Dual-type traits.

Name: Croagunk
Toxic Mouth Pokémon
#453 (Sinnoh only)
Croagunk – Toxicroak (Level 37)
2′04″ (0.7m)
50.7 lbs. (23.0kg)
Marshes, swamps, mangroves, mires, quarries and bogs.

Description: Reaching roughly two feet tall, Croagunk resembles a dark blue bipedal frog, with two white bands and one black band circling around its chest and arms. Unlike with other amphibious/reptilian, trainers can easily tell their Pokémon's gender simply by looking at these bands, for they are placed up higher on the chests of females than they are on males. There is a subtle difference between the two, and most people native to Sinnoh can easily tell the two apart. Similar bands in black and red mark their hands and feet, and the vivid colouration suggests to other wild Pokémon that Croagunk is highly toxic and best left alone. On either side of their cheeks are small reddish pouches, in which expand and deflate with every breath they take. They mainly use these pouches to amplify sound and make noises (such as communicating with others of their kind), for their vocal chords are not as well developed as they are in their evolved form, Toxicroak. These pouches serve as an offense as well, for they regularly secrete poison from within and the toxins channel down to their fingers which allow them to use moves such as Poison Jab.

Upon evolution, Toxicroak grows much larger and stronger than its pre-evolution. Its appearance becomes more humanoid than Croagunk, and can walk on two legs as easily as humans, although still maintains a slouching posture and bears the appearance of an oversized, bipedal frog. Its main body color is a dark blue or teal, and upon its head it bears a gently-upward curling spike. It is thought that the spike plays some part in aiding balance, although many simply believe that it enhances attacks such as Headbutt and provides the Pokémon with greater offensive power.

Underneath its chin is a bulbous red vocal sack, which is larger on males than they are on females. Females are on average slightly larger than male Toxicroak, although their vocal sacs are smaller and less developed. Upon each hand is a large spur, with is Toxicroak's best known weapon. Both males and females possess these 'spurs', in which they use to stab into the opponent. As before with Croagunk, Toxicroak's poisons are secreted from the vocal sac, and although they can spit this venom, much of it channels down the lateral lines of their black bands and into this knuckle claws. The large scale-like pad between Toxicroak's shoulders has been an object of curiosity for some time amongst scientists, but so far, my research indicates that the pad upon Toxicroak's back serves as both protection for itself and serves as an aid of sorts for its young to hang onto. The pad, consisting of rough, thick skin, is directly located above the most vulnerable area (the heart) and discourages predatory Pokémon such as Fearow from attempting to stab at its heart through the back, as well as provides young Croagunk with a 'seat' to perch on while they can observe their parents fighting. The young Croagunk are out of harm's way while seated upon Toxicroak's back, and does not impede its parent's ability to fight.

Behaviour: In the wild, both Croagunk and Toxicroak are seemingly simple creatures, but can be quite complex as with most other kinds of Pokémon. Being Fighting-types, both Croagunk and Toxicroak are typically unafraid of battle and frequently even seek strong opponents out (the former being a tad more cautious than their evolved forms). They are also fiercely territorial, and in the Great Marsh (the only place in the world where wild Croagunk and Toxicroak roam), they establish small territories where they keep others of their own kind out. Both the males and females fight, aiming to both protect their own territory and grow stronger for evolution. It may take as long as seven years for a Croagunk to evolve into Toxicroak, although with trainers, they can evolve in as little as two years.

Croagunk is the pre-evolved form of Toxicroak, and most trainers prefer to keep their Pokémon in this form. They are smaller and typically more docile than their evolved brethren and many trainers often like the more affectionate nature they possess and charms their evolutions tend to lack. Upon evolution into Toxicroak, they can become either less or even more territorial than Croagunk. As most trainers prefer to catch younger Croagunk (or breed them), the evolved forms of these tamed Pokémon are far easier to handle than their wild counterparts. Tame Toxicroak that have been raised by a caring, warm-hearted trainer are often mild-mannered and reserved, while their wild counterparts will never usually become as trusting or affectionate.

There are two slightly different breeds of Croagunk and Toxicroak, which differ in subtle ways both physically and in the way they act in the wild. One kind of Croagunk/Toxicroak (The 'Dry Skin' breed) is larger and more aggressive than the other kind (the 'Anticipation' breed), with rougher skin that renders all but the strongest water attacks ineffective, but makes the Pokémon more prone to skin irritations, burns and blisters from heat. Their skin, being rough and dry means that water is readily absorbed through and heals the Pokémon's wounds, but strong sunshine will cause their skin to burn and blister instead. Trainers must ensure to take care around Fire-type Pokémon or when the sun is shining strongly (such as when a Pokémon makes use of 'Sunny Day') These Pokémon are more terrestrial than the other kind of Croagunk or Toxicroak, although seek out rain more readily to hydrate their skin.

The other breed of Croagunk and Toxicroak are those with the 'Anticipation' ability, and are slightly smaller than their 'Dry Skin' cousins. Their skin is slicker and smoother however, retaining moisture much more easily than their larger kin and their lateral lines are considerably more developed. The lateral lines along their sides are so well developed, they can use them to sense their opponents and calculate their abilities. They will 'shudder' if they sense that the foe possesses a 'Super Effective' or an 'instant hit' type move such as Fissure or Sheer Cold. Due to their higher moisture ability, the 'Anticipation' breed of Croagunk and Toxicroak do not absorb Water-type attacks and can be more easily harmed by water, although they are not hurt as much by Fire-type attacks and are not affected by strong sunshine at all. The two breeds of Croagunk and Toxicroak frequently breed with each other in the wild, and most Pokémon possess genes in which offspring will bear either one of the two traits.

Dry Skin: Larger, more aggressive and terrestrial. Dry, rough skin.
Smaller, warier and prefers more aquatic areas. Slick, supple skin.

Diet: Croagunk and Toxicroak can be voracious eaters, accustomed to either feast or famine in the wild. In captivity, they can tend to overeat, as there is a difference between how much they need to eat and how much they like to eat. Typically they can enjoy a wide variety of food, although they should not be offered dairy products, as they lack the ability to digest lactose-based products. Similar cooked products should not be offered also, as raw foods suit their lower metabolism far better. They frequently seem to enjoy eating fruit and berries, although will often spurn most vegetables. In the wild, Croagunk and Toxicroak mainly spend their time hunting their favoured prey, Bug-types, thus explaining their high resistance to Bug-type moves and attacks (being Poison/Fighting types).

Burmy, Mothim, Combee, Skorupi and Nincada can be in danger of being consumed by all but the most well trained of Croagunk or Toxicroak, although any Bug-type that is smaller than the Pokémon in question may be seen as a tasty snack rather than a friend or opponent. Keep your Croagunk and Toxicroak well away from other Bug-types unless you are sure you can curb their predatory natures, especially if those Bug-types belong to other trainers.

With Children: Not recommended around children. Although not typically aggressive, both Croagunk and Toxicroak are highly poisonous Pokémon, and poor handling may result in one accidentally being poisoned, either by scratching themselves and allowing the Pokémon's toxins to seep into the wound, or simply ingesting the toxins through their skin. Children are not particularly well noted for hygiene, and after playing with their Pokémon, may stick their fingers into their eyes, ears or mouth. Croagunk's toxins are fairly potent, although will not usually kill. They can cripple adults momentarily, especially when 'Poison Jabbed', and may cause unconsciousness in young children. Toxicroak's toxins are so potent however, even a scratch can prove fatal. In captivity, the potency of Toxicroak's toxins can be controlled and regulated by a supervised diet (frequent feeding of Pecha berries can greatly reduce the strength of their poison), although care must always be taken, especially when children or young Pokémon are nearby.

Croagunk's and Toxicroak's bodies can be surprisingly delicate, their skin (particularly those of the 'Dry Skin' breed) prone to sun damage, blistering and tearing. Most trainers can easily overcome this condition by applying a small handful of standard Pokémon moisturizer (or a PH neutral sunscreen) and rubbing it into the skin once a day. The most notable areas to watch out for are the joints, such as the elbows and shoulders, legs, the tubular 'lateral lines' and the area around the throat and vocal sacks where the skin is most liable to wear and tear.

NOTE: Both Croagunk and Toxicroak, although intelligent amphibians, are not usually as smart as other (mammalian) Pokémon and can be somewhat impulsive, much like many other kinds of amphibious/reptilian Pokémon. They adjust well to human captivity however, and can be quite affectionate towards their trainers. Many trainers often allow and enjoy having their Croagunk perch upon them (usually around the chest or back), where their Pokémon will clutch onto them firmly and allow themselves to be carried around. Many see this habit as quite endearing, and most Croagunk seem to enjoy it. However, upon evolving into Toxicroak, the Pokémon can forget about its increased size and still attempt to cling onto their trainers as they did when they used to be Croagunk. Most adults can easily allow a Pokémon as big and heavy as Toxicroak to climb onto their backs, chest or shoulders, but younger trainers may be alarmed or even injured if their now bigger, stronger pokémon suddenly decides it's time for a ride and latches onto them.

Breeding: Croagunk and Toxicroak can be somewhat difficult to breed, requiring compatible partners and favourable breeding conditions. Spring time is usually the best time for breeding these Pokémon, when Croagunk and Toxicroak are not affected by the harsher conditions of winter and the warming weather is still mild enough to encourage breeding. Both males and females require more food in their diet during this time to help put on extra weight they lose during winter for breeding, especially the males (for once they've bred, they will not eat again for several weeks. The female merely requires the extra weight to ensure healthy egg production and will resume feeding normally after laying her eggs). Ten to fifteen pounds is about the ideal weight gain for both genders before breeding. Gaining too little weight may result in infertile eggs or poor-quality offspring, and/or cause health-related problems for the parents, and gaining too much weight may cause the Pokémon to have difficulty mating.

Unlike Croagunk, Toxicroak are the more paternal of the two Pokémon and are more likely to resent having their eggs being taken. Male Toxicroak in particular will guard their eggs vigorously, while the female seemingly loses interest in both her mate and their offspring. The male will not eat throughout this time, and instead will guard the eggs until they hatch. Typically there are three eggs in every breeding clutch, although captive Croagunk/Toxicroak notably lay fewer eggs each time they breed. After hatching, the young Croagunk stay with their father for several weeks and spend most of their time clinging onto his back. They eat whatever food the father collects, and gain a measure of protection and knowledge with their father. In times of extreme danger, the father Toxicroak will 'swallow' his offspring into his capacious vocal sac and make his escape. Only when the danger has gone will he allow his offspring out again.

If captive-bred, the young Croagunk will see their trainer as their 'father' instead, and trainers are advised to keep their young Croagunk with them as often as possible. Croagunk that do not receive the care and attention they need at such a young age may grow up withdrawn and find it difficult to interact (especially with others of their kind) After several weeks, the young Croagunk become more confident and ready for battle. It is at this stage that the parental Toxicroak abandon their offspring and become typically unconcerned for them, and trainers can typically treat them as much the same as the rest of their Pokémon.

Difficulty Rating: 4/10 (Mildly difficult) Croagunk and Toxicroak are relatively mild-mannered Pokémon, and are not usually aggressive towards humans. They can be jealous or resentful of others however, particularly other Pokémon that their trainers possess or even other humans that they might deem a potential threat in gaining their trainer's attention and affection. Many people often dislike keeping Croagunk and Toxicroak, being seen as large and 'frightening' Pokémon unlike more popular choices such as Pikachu or Pachirisu. Both Croagunk and Toxicroak can be very capable battlers when handled correctly however, and are able to stand up to almost any attack save for the strongest of Psychic-type attacks.