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Hello, fellow Vaporeon lovers! Polarissb
here. I wanted to write down all of the things I've learned about/come up with on Vaporeon over the course of writing Tyler's Search. This will be a mixture of canon and headcanon, but since I've written well over a hundred pages of a Vaporeon learning about himself and his abilities (and working out how they'd function realistically), I'm probably as much an authority as anyone on the subject.
We'll start with the basics: physiology.
Out of all of Eevee's forms, evolving into Vaporeon probably involves the biggest physical change. An Eevee loses its fur, grows fins, and the length of its tail more than doubles. Due in large part to the size of its muscular tail, Vaporeon is the largest of the Eons, outweighing its evolutionary siblings by 3-6 kg (about 5-10 pounds). They have smooth skin like dolphins, though it's tougher and less sensitive, helping them live on land as well.
The other physical adaptation unique to Vaporeon is its gills. These appear on the sides of a Vaporeon's neck, hidden under and protected by its ruff. When traveling underwater, Vaporeon stop using their lungs to breathe and switch to their gills. The air in their lungs still gives them buoyancy, so it's common to see them exhaling underwater in order to dive. They never exhale all their air while swimming, as they need it to clear their airways in a sort of cough so they don't accidentally inhale the water in their throat when they surface.
When swimming, Vaporeon tuck their legs into their body, using their tail alone for propulsion. They use their headfins and water abilities to maneuver, and flare their legs to brake.
Since they're adapted to live underwater, Vaporeon have less sensitive hearing and smell than Eevee or any of the other Eons. In the water, their other abilities make up for this. On land, they're fairly agile, though the weight of their tail slows them down in turns. Vaporeon also have great endurance and can run or swim for miles, though they aren't particularly fast runners. This serves them well in fights, as they can outlast many opponents while counterattacking with their powerful water attacks.
Like other water Pokemon, Vaporeon can store water in their energy, allowing them to carry and use far more than their body weight - the exact limit depends on how far developed their powers are. Most water Pokemon do this by drinking or sucking water in; Vaporeon are unique in that they primarily absorb it through the skin. They use the water for attacks in much the same way as other water types. Since they naturally absorb water, many people are surprised to find that a Vaporeon's skin is very rarely damp, even when they have been swimming.
Vaporeon also have the ability to sense and control water around them. This compensates for their other senses as they can detect the ripples of anything moving in the water from some distance. On land, they can also sense nearby bodies of water, especially if they are very large. Vaporeon can be trained to use a wide variety of attacks with this ability, from creating waves to accelerating themselves to high speeds; a strong Vaporeon can create fast currents that let them keep pace with speedboats. Again similarly to other water types, they can also be trained to change water temperature inside them, giving them access to several ice-type attacks and making them resistant to temperature extremes. This also lets them use moves like Scald, but very few can pull the move off without burning their own throats in the process.
Acid Armor is a move often taken as a footnote to Vaporeon abilities, but it turns out to be key to several of their powers. A Vaporeon can easily dissolve into water while swimming, and with training they can do so on land as well. The reason for this is that their bodies are almost entirely composed of water held together by their energy. Liquefying is done by consciously loosening those bonds and leaves a Vaporeon nearly immune to physical attacks, as their bodies can freely splash and reform. On the other hand, turning their form liquid severely limits their mobility and leaves their vision blurry until they reform. Energy-based attacks are also still a problem for them in this state.
The ability to turn liquid is also connected to their healing abilities. Vaporeon will regenerate in clean water. It isn't exactly healing; what actually happens is that their injuries dissolve into liquid. They absorb more water to reconstruct the damaged areas and then reform without the injuries. The process isn't instant, and can take anywhere from seconds (for scratches) to hours, depending on the severity of the injury. If a Vaporeon is kept from the water for too long after being injured, they will heal normally, leaving scars that their regeneration can't erase. Tainted water suppresses their healing; trained Vaporeon can use their own water for the process, but if they are poisoned it will taint any water they release. While liquid, a trained Vaporeon can also rearrange the water inside them to shift poison away from vital organs for a while, though it only serves to delay the effects.
Vaporeon are similar to Jolteon in that they can heal with their respective elements, but it works differently for each. A Jolteon absorbs electricity to replenish its strength, but it doesn't heal its injuries. Vaporeon, on the other hand, will heal physically, but their healing doesn't help with fatigue.
What do you think? Did I miss anything important? Anything you've always thought about Vaporeon? Let us know!