Ampharos (デンリュウ, Denryū, Denryu in original Japanese language versions) is one of the 493 fictional species of Pokémon creatures from the multi-billion-dollar Pokémon media franchise – a collection of video games, anime, manga, books, trading cards and other media created by Satoshi Tajiri. Ampharos is the Stage 2 evolution of Mareep, a small, yellow sheep, and debuted in the Nintendo Game Boy Color bestsellers, Pokémon Gold and Silver.
The name Ampharos is a portmanteau of the words ampere, a unit used to measure electric current, and Pharos, the name of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the island near Egypt where it can be found. Pharos is also the Latin accusative plural form of the noun for 'lighthouse'. Ampharos' Japanese name may be a reference to denryu (電流, denryu current of electricity), or could literally mean "electric dragon". The latter explanation seems to hold true for Ampharos' Chinese name, 电龙, which means the same thing, although Ampharos only somewhat resembles a dragon and does not have any relation to Dragon-type or dragonshape Pokémon.
The drawing and sprite design of Ampharos was created by Ken Sugimori for its 2001 release.
Ampharos, as a species, are powerful, bipedal creatures, after gaining the ability to stand upright full-time upon evolution from Flaaffy. Although evolving from Mareep and Flaaffy, Pokémon based on common farmyard animals sheep, Ampharos is more slender and has no fur known as wool on its body and looking more like a dinosaur though some fans believe that Ampharos resembles a heavily-sheared sheep, which sheds because of the static coming from Ampharos. Its sleek yellow body is marked with black rings around is neck, and tail. It has black markings along its horns as well as the orbs on its body.
Ampharos has powerful light abilities, its main light sources being the large orbs on its tail and head, and because of this is often used as a beacon in lighthouses, and mythical legend says that these lights can even be seen from outer space. Before the introduction of modern technology, Ampharos' light was used to communicate between long distances, in much a similar way to smoke signals.
Ampharos was first introduced in Gold and Silver. It is generally not considered a bad Pokémon, but is still not regarded as strong enough for high level competition. Ampharos represents an interesting mix of advantages and disadvantages. It has one of the highest Special Attack stats in the game and has fairly good Attack, Defense, and Hit points. Arguably, Ampharos' two major weaknesses in battle are the relative lack of variety in its movepool (which makes it very predictable) and its Speed (though Electric type Pokémon tend to be fast and have high Speed stats).
Ampharos appears in Pokémon Gold and Silver, and Pokémon Crystal as an injured pokémon. A male Ampharos nicknamed "Amphy" is in control of the lighthouse in Olivine City and falls ill. Trainers must help out the Ampharos by obtaining some medicine named Secret Potion from Cianwood City to be able to challenge Jasmine - the sixth gym leader of Johto, skilled in Steel type Pokémon, though the few she has are two Magnemite and a Steelix. Ampharos can also be obtainable in Pokémon Colosseum, where as it evolves from the shadow Pokémon Flaaffy found in Pyrite Town. In XD, Ampharos can be caught by snagging shadow Mareep and evolving it into a Flaaffy and then an Ampharos.
Six Ampharos have been seen in the anime. The first was in Olivine City. It was used as the light in The Shining Lighthouse, but it fell ill, and Jasmine could not battle until she received some medicine from Cianwood City. (The same thing happens in Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal.)
The second was in the area of the electric crystal and helped to heal Zapdos. The third was owned by Wattson's son Watt, and used in a battle against May's Skitty. The fourth was a doctor in-training that had an Ampharos. The fifth was owned by the father of Casey's hero, Corey DeMaggio, a pitcher for her baseball team the Electabuzz, in the Pokémon Chronicles episode "Those Darned Electabuzz". The name "Corey DiMaggio is a spoof of Joe DiMaggio, another baseball player.
The last Ampharos appeared in the Sinnoh episode, "Fuwante and the North Wind Messenger" where Team Rocket tried to steal it and give it to Giovanni to act as a night light.
In Pokémon Special Jasmine has an Ampharos that was rescued with her from the Tin Tower by Gold and Silver.
Ampharos appears in chapters 109, 110, 152, and 155 of Pokémon Adventures. In all cases, it is owned by Jasmine of Olivine City.
Trading Card Game
Ampharos is the first and only inductee to the collection of Stage-2 Lightning types, making it the backbone to most electric-themed decks. That is why it has eight different versions.
Ampharos has appeared on nine trading cards, almost all as stage 2 Lightning-types. The following nine sets have one Ampharos each: Neo Genesis, Neo Revelations, Neo Destiny (as Dark Ampharos), Expedition, Aquapolis, EX Dragon (as Ampharos EX), EX Team Rocket Returns (as Dark Ampharos as a dual-type Dark/Lightning Pokémon), EX Unseen Forces, EX Dragon Frontiers (as a Colorless δ type).
- The following games and their instruction manuals: Pokémon Red and Blue; Pokémon Yellow; Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2; Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal; Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald; Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen; Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
- Barbo, Maria. The Official Pokémon Handbook. Scholastic Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-439-15404-9.
- Loe, Casey, ed. Pokémon Special Pikachu Edition Official Perfect Guide. Sunnydale, CA: Empire 21 Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-930206-15-1.
- Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon FireRed Version & Pokémon LeafGreen Version Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., August 2004. ISBN 1-930206-50-X
- Mylonas, Eric. Pokémon Pokédex Collector’s Edition: Prima’s Official Pokémon Guide. Prima Games, September 21, 2004. ISBN 0-7615-4761-4
- Nintendo Power. Official Nintendo Pokémon Emerald Version Player’s Guide. Nintendo of America Inc., April 2005. ISBN 1-930206-58-5