Linoone, the Rushing Pokémon. Linoone is the evolved form of Zigzagoon. It can run at speeds over 60 miles per hour but does not handle curves well.
– Ash’s Pokedex
Linoone is the early Normal rodent Pokemon in Gen III, much like Raticate and Furret before it, and Bibarel and Watchog after it. For some reason I keep on mixing up Furret and Linoone, similar colouring and body shape I guess. I had a Linoone in Emerald, it was my HM slave (for Strength, Cut, and Rock Smash, it can learn Surf, but my Swampert had it already). It had the ability Pickup, which was useful for getting free items.
In the sprites, I always see Linoone with its ears flat against its back, and body outstretched. So it was weird for me to see it standing sort of upright in the anime art (and Dreamworld art).
Stat-wise, its highest stat is Speed, not surprising since it’s the Rushing Pokemon. But its Pokedex entry exaggerates how fast it is, and Linoone’s base Speed isn’t the fastest compared to some other Pokemon. Being the early Normal rodent, its base stat total is rather low.
However, Linoone stands out from the others because it’s blessed with a couple of tools that work well together: Being able to learn Belly Drum, ExtremeSpeed*, and having the ability Gluttony. With good prediction, Belly Drum maximizes Linoone’s Attack, and ExtremeSpeed is a base 80 STAB priority +2 move, making Linoone hit quite hard despite its base 70 Attack. Gluttony enables early use of held berry, so the berry is used when Linoone has half HP instead of 1/4 HP, which means after a Belly Drum, Linoone can eat the berry. One strategy is to use the Salac Berry, which doubles Speed, making Linoone quite fast (despite ExtremeSpeed being +2, sometimes Speed is useful when it needs to use a different attack, for example, when it’s facing Ghost types). Another strategy is to use the Sitrus Berry, allowing it to maybe survive a hit. Belly Drum is pretty risky, and you need to predict well to use it, but it has high rewards.
*Linoone can only learn ExtremeSpeed in Gen III, from a Zigzagoon from Pokémon Box