Over the years, Pokemon games have introduced a large number of creatures that can reach the thousand mark with the upcoming Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Many of these Pokemon have gained further diversity in several forms, ranging from the all-too-familiar regional variants first introduced in Pokemon Sun and Moon, to much rarer visual differences, such as the fake and vintage forms of Sinistea and Polteageist from Pokemon Sword and Shield.
One of these Pokemon, which may have marked the beginning of the trend of diversity of creatures in future Pokemon games, was Castform, Weather Pokemon. Thanks to its unique “Forecast” ability, Castform transformed depending on the weather in battle and adopted a new type, receiving Sunny, Rainy and Snowy forms, respectively. But although the sandstorm effect existed at the time when Castform was introduced in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, Castform never got the Sandy shape, despite the perfect opportunity to round off all weather shapes. Since weather is still the main mechanic in Pokemon, Game Freak should revisit this unique Pokemon and complete the Castform set.
Weather Ball has changed, but not Castform
The most important proof that Game Freak recognized a sandstorm as an important weather effect, such as rain or hail, is the movement of the Weather Ball. When Castform was introduced, Weather Ball was his signature technique, and he not only changed the type along with Castform depending on the weather, but also doubled the power. This provided Castform with several weather-based shapes and a unique trick that made it a worthy addition to the team. For example, during hail, Castform and Weather Ball became icy, and if Castform knew other weather-changing movements, such as Rain Dance, it could manipulate its own types.
It’s clear that Game Freak deliberately tied them together under the ploy of changing the weather. However, during a sandstorm, while Weather Ball became a Rock type movement due to its trick, Castform did not transform along with it. Also, although Castform cannot learn movement naturally, Castform can be taught Sandstorm movement via TM, which once again indicates that it has always had the potential for Sandy form. He could even easily mirror the Weather Ball’s printing and make it Sandy a form of pure rock-type Pokemon or even a ground-type one if Game Freak wanted variety.
Possible reasons why there was no sand mold
There was no official reason why Castform never received Sandy’s form, but an assumption can be made based on the idea underlying Pokemon and subsequent games. For example, when Castform was introduced, it was supposedly an artificial Pokemon, which made it one of the few exceptional ones, such as the fan-favorite Porygon, and therefore was probably based on the general types of weather observed at the Weather Institute in Hoenn, from where Castform originates. Since sandstorms were localized in other areas, such as Route 111, the creators of Castform may not have taken this into account, potentially adding a curious piece of knowledge to Pokemon.
Another reason why Sandy Castform may not exist may be more of a technical issue than an in-game explanation. While Game Freak could easily add Sandy’s shape to complement the various weather effects, the following games, such as Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness or Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, have added additional weather, such as shadow aura and fog. If Game Freak created a precedent according to which Castform would receive a form for each weather effect, then any change in the weather system would create additional work for Pokemon designers.
However, Pokemon weather to this day remains roughly the same between the outside world and battles, where Sword and Shield weather, such as fog or thunderstorm, provides terrain effects. Therefore, it is unlikely that the introduction of the Sandy form will set a precedent that fans will expect from future forms, especially given how malleable the weather has become. In short, Sandy Castform can remove an unfinished issue that has remained hanging in the Pokemon canon since 2002, and at a time when regional variants always attract attention, a new form that is not exclusive to the region may be a good taste cleaner this time.