Is Pokemon Teasing a Regional Variant for Smeargle in Scarlet & Violet? [UPDATE]

The character is known for its paintbrush tail.

The Pokemon Company does this thing every now and then where it holds a lengthy, in-universe online marketing campaign that reveals something about its upcoming games, and it looks like Pokemon Scarlet & Violet won’t be any different. Hopefully it isn’t as drawn out as the 24-hour live stream Game Freak used to announce Galarian Ponyta, but fans are speculating the Pokemon Company might be pointing toward a Paldea regional variant for Smeargle, a Pokemon who debuted in Pokemon Gold & Silver way back on the Game Boy Color.

The Pokemon social channels have all posted images of what looks like paintings scattered through a forest. They’re inconsistent in color, but three of them are of a circular design, while one has multiple colors forming rings around a tree trunk. The reason some fans think this might be a Paldean Smeargle is because the Johto Pokemon is notable for its tail, which has a paintbrush at the end. It carved out a niche for itself in battle with its signature move Sketch, which copies the move last used by its opponent. As such, it can learn almost any move in all of the Pokemon games. If there is to be a regional variant in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, I’d be interested to see how Game Freak could change it up when that play style is so distinct to the character.

Fans have also pointed out the art looks similar to the Oma Forest, a work of art located in a forest near Kortezubi in northern Spain. This would be in line with Scarlet & Violet’s Paldea region being based on Spain, and a Paldean Smeargle could be responsible for recreating a real-world landmark in the Pokemon world.

More Pokemon:

All that being said, this may not be a Paldean Smeargle tease at all, and instead we might have a new paint-centric Pokemon waiting for us in Scarlet & Violet. But as these campaigns have been used to make regional variant reveals in the past, such as the Galarian Ponyta or Hisuian Zoroark, I will be surprised if it’s not tied to an old favorite in one way or another.

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet are coming to Nintendo Switch on November 18.

Update: The Pokemon Company hasn’t showed them entirely, but it has confirmed this tease isn’t for a Paldean Smeargle, but a new Pokemon entirely named Grafaiai. The name reveal included shadows and silhouettes of the Pokemon, but none of the images include a perfect look at it. Hopefully a proper reveal will come in the next day or so.