With 802 Pokemon, there’s bound to be a few stinkers. But I’m not here to talk about the Luvdisc and Unknown of the world. Don’t get me wrong. There’s lots of crappy Pokemon out there with low stats and shallow move pools. No, we’re focusing on the terrible ‘mons who occupy some of the most generic OU and Uber teams out there.
They’re the Pokemon your uncreative cousin drops onto their team after skimming Smogon. The Pokemon with no pizzazz to their power. Between ugly designs and being grossly overpowered, the beasts who occupy this list are among the most overrated out there. In some cases, some of these Pokemon may not be completely overpowered, but they do pack enough of a bunch and they’re, like every other ‘mon in this list, just terrible Pokemon. The idea behind their concept isn’t particularly clever, they’re boring, and they’re just not fun to fight.
Will they prove themselves to be utterly deadly foes on the battlefield? Sure. But you won’t have fun battling with or using them.
Granted, Amoonguss isn’t the deadliest Pokemon but it packs a surprising punch for being what’s basically the mutant offspring of a Paras and a Voltorb. That being said, this is a dumb looking Pokemon. Like some of the least inspired Pokemon, Amoonguss follows a simple formula- relatively normal plant/fungus/animal with a goofy graphic or face slapped on it.
Its typing is fantastic and it has a fairly generous move pool, but it’s certainly not fun to come across Amoonguss in the overworld, thanks to his tendency to spam status inflictions, nor is it particularly fun to look at. You end up just wanting to put the poor guy out of his misery every time you gaze upon him. His sprite even comes with world-weary eyes. Even he can’t stand his Pokeball-splattered self.
Rhydon’s one of my personal favorites. And so when I heard that he would be receiving a new evolution in Gen IV, you can bet my then-barely-out-of-middle school self was beyond gleeful.
What we ended up getting? A bloated stone jerk straight out of Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs. Now, these first two entries in this list aren’t what you’d call overpowered in the conventional sense. But they’re terrible, both in design and idea, yet pack something of a punch.
I don’t hate Gen IV but, if anything, Gen IV was something of an overeager generation. Everyone practically got an evolution and there were dozens of non-event and event-only legendaries/mystics to go around. Rhydon just happened to be one of the many Pokemon saddled with a new evolution that not only looks absolutely ridiculous, but does little to improve upon the line.
And it’s yet another evolution that only happens with trading. And if you know me, trading evolutions are among my biggest pet peeves. What do you do when you have no one to trade with or you’re not willing to put out for a second system? Heck, if you’re an emulator guy, you’re short changed from the start. And if that isn’t enough, you have to make sure you keep that random Protector you picked up. Sold it? Too bad. No Rhyperior for you. But then, it’s not a bad trade-off, considering you get to keep your far more bad-ass Rhydon.
Hello Gen IV, we meet again.
I get the idea behind Gallade. Really, I do. Male Gardevoirs everywhere felt resigned to a life of psychic drag-dom. A male-only evolution for the Raltz line is an idea with merit.
What we ended up with? Medicham in a green helmet. Psychic/Fighting isn’t a terrible type combo, per se, but Gallade’s design and typing simply felt uninspired (he’s a Gardevoir with pants, big deal). Karate Gardevoir. Who would’ve thought? Pass.
And thanks to Gardevoir’s secondary Fairy type, added in Gen VI, why pass her up? Offensively and defensively, Gardevoir simply makes more sense. Get your male Gardevoirs used to the drag routine and throw them in the ring. If you’re really dead set on a Psychic/Fighting type, learn to love Medicham. At least he’s a lot easier to evolve. No more hunting around for a damn Dawn Stone.
Boy, do I hate this anthropomorphic dog prick. On a side note, I promise that this whole list won’t just be Gen IV Pokemon, so bear with me here. But here’s Lucario’s problem. He’s Deviant Art personified.
Some of the more inspired Pokemon designs take either animals or things and personify them in creative ways. Magnemite might have literally been a bundle of floating metal and magnets, but even without eyes he’s still expressive and full of life. One of my favorite Sun and Moon Pokemon, Toucannon, takes a toucan, gives her a cannon beak and world-weary eyes, and unleashes her on the world. Lucario, on the other hand, is a Sonic character with pants. Throw a dog on his hind legs, give him billowy pants and dreadlocks, and all of sudden you have Lucario.
He was on every twelve-year-old’s Pokemon team for years. He got his own movie. This is one of those cases where overexposure proved to be a Pokemon’s downfall. Before the Shinnoh games had even hit shelves, he was being shoved down our throat. A Pokemon that very well may have stood out from the other new Shinnoh ‘mons was simple everywhere. He feels like a desperate Pokemon. He’s even shoved onto the main character’s team in X/Y, complete with an absolutely ridiculous Mega evolution (and trust me, we’ll be talking a lot about Mega evolutions in this article) that simply added a couple stripes on his pants and longer dreads. If we’d been allowed to simply embrace Lucario without corporate pressure, perhaps the reception to Lucario would be a lot warmer on my end. For now, I’ll happily smash him down with a well-deserved Talonflame.
11 Zygarde Complete
Zygarde got the short-end of the stick. We were all sure he’d get his own chance to shine in an eventual Pokemon Z. But then when it became obvious Z would never happen, the poor guy had nothing but his design.
Sun and Moon, at least, helped to breathe new life in the otherwise forgettable legendary, adding in a scavenger hunt that asks players to collect Zygarde cells and cores in order to build their own Zygarde. As it turns out, the serpentine legendary introduced in X and Y had other forms, including the dog-like 10% form. But too bad Zygarde Complete, which players can summon once they’ve collected all of Zygarde’s cells and cores from around the Alola region, looks so dumb.
He may have the highest base stats in the game but why, oh why, did Zygarde’s Complete form have to be a green Voltron? The serpentine form was neat. I didn’t even mind the dog-like 10% form. But his final form is not only difficult to unlock, with needing to drop your HP down to 50%, but it’s so uninspired as well. Staying a snake wasn’t good enough for Z?
The first gen isn’t off the hook. Let me be perfectly honest here. Gen 1 had some awful, awful designs. Electrode, a color-swapped Voltorb, was among one of the most pointless evolutions in all of Pokemon canon. But it’s Dragonite that I’m crowning the king of terrible, nonsense evolutions.
First off, by himself, Dragonite wouldn’t be so bad. He’s a chubby dragon who’s known for hitting hard. It’s just when compared to the rest of his evolutionary line, he makes absolutely no sense. Dragonair and Dratini were blue, serpentine, and graceful. If there’s any evolutionary line that needs a second final form to save it, it’s this one. There is no common design element that carries between Dragonair’s evolution to Dragonite. And though Dragonite is handy in battle, at least in the first few gens, he’s near impossible to take seriously thanks to his goofy grin and bugged-out eyes.
9 Mega Mewtwo X and Y
I hold a special place in my heart for Mega evolutions. Which is to say not at all. While I wasn’t opposed to the idea behind Mega evolutions, I always felt the concept was served best when underutilized Pokemon like Ampharos and Kangaskhan were given a new lease on life through new, inventive forms. When a Pokemon who’s already relatively popular and powerful receives one, it seems like a waste. And this is where both of Mega Mewtwo’s forms stand for me.
Mewtwo is one of the most iconic Pokemon in the franchise, next to Charizard (don’t worry, we’ll get into more detail about him soon) and Pikachu. Every ten-year-old fan can name him, as every Gen 1 trainer coveted this guy. He’s a powerful guy by himself. Really, one of the absolute last Pokemon who needed a Mega evolution. So guess what happened? He gets two.
Compared to Dragonite above, Mewtwo’s Megas sort of make sense. X sticks with Mewtwo’s base design but adds on one of those airplane shoulder pillows. Y cribs the best parts of Mew and adds a purple and white color scheme. Still, even though there’s justification behind why they look the way they do, it’s still overkill. We didn’t need two of these forms. Heck, we didn’t even need one. Mewtwo didn’t need a Mega.
Think of how Mewtwo’s introduced in Pokemon X/Y. For those of you who haven’t played them, watch out. Spoilers, of course. Well, not really. Once you finish the new story, you simply travel through a meadow and capture Mewtwo in a cave. A homage to the first games where you just caught Mewtwo post-Elite 4? Sure. But come on, we’re better than that. There couldn’t have been a way to weave Mewtwo into the story? He’s like Lucario, really. He’s thrown at the player just for the sake of giving them a Pokemon. And by the time Mewtwo’s introduced in X/Y, the player’s already familiar with how mega evolution works so he’s not there as a tutorial ‘mon. They’ve probably got a couple ‘mons on their team who can. Mewtwo’s two form gimmick, which Charizard shares, really only does one thing- give you yet another Mega-stone to trade for.
He might not be completely overpowered, but he fits the criteria of this list - he’s terrible and he can pack a bit of a punch. But hear me out on this.
Emboar was the third in a line of Fire/Fighting starters. The third. Yeah, no. No other line of starter has ever had the same problem with dull, uninspired typing. The water starters have seen Steel, Ground, and Fairy dual-typed entries. And when Grass isn’t sure what secondary type to go with, we’ll stick with a pure starter, which is somehow less infuriating than Fire’s trio of Fire/Fighting starters in a row. We started with Blaziken. Then Infernape. And, finally, Mr. Pre-Cooked Bacon himself. The sad thing about Emboar is if he had literally any other dual-type combo, he could’ve actually stood out. Dark, Ghost, Normal, all of those would have worked with his design scheme.
Instead, he fails to stand out and he remains one of the least memorable starters in recent gens. Even Typlosion at least had gumption.
I guess the problem with the Regi-line is that no one in the line is fun to use. Regice, Regirock, and Registeel are boring to look at, underpowered compared to similar legendaries, and unnecessarily difficult to hunt after, at least in the original Gen 3 games (you had to read Braille! Which, while not a big deal now that almost everyone has Internet, was a recipe for strategy guide sales back in 2002). But it’s Regigigas who deserves special attention on this list and for one reason only; his absolutely abominable ability.
When he is able to hit foes, he can often secure one hit KOs. But he’s hampered by an ability that leaves him unable to attack for five turns. Could you use Skill Swap? Sure. But by the time you get Skill Swap going and start exchanging abilities left and right, you could have saved significant amounts of time just using literally any other Pokemon.
Zoroark seems like one of those Pokemon who was designed by committee. “Well, Lucario’s doing well. We gotta follow him up with something. Make another furry.”
I guess Zoroark’s problem is that she seems like the kind of Pokemon a fourteen-year-old would design. Throw a fox on its hind legs and give it long, red hair. It’s the Lucario camp of Deviant Art Pokemon design.
Now, I’ll give her props for her ability. Illusion allows Zoroark to take on the form of the last Pokemon in your party’s slot. Crafty players can have a lot of fun with this. But when all is said and done, Zoroark is a bit of a glass cannon to boot. She can’t take much of a hit, though she’s offensively decent. It’s no wonder she’s underused these days on the competitive scene.
Okay, he’s got a useful type combo. Fire and steel ensures that he’ll be an offensive powerhouse. And he can hold his own in most Pokemon matches. But good lord. He is one ugly Pokemon.
Just look at him. He’s no Legendary, he’s a cry for help. Heck, he’s barely a Legendary as it is. He’s got a gender and sub-legendary stats. All he’s missing is an egg group and he’d fit right in as a regular ‘mon. Catching him is uneventful. Trudge up to Stark Mountain and have at it. Gen IV had a boatload of legendaries, but not all of them were necessary. Heatran certainly wasn’t. Use him in battle if you must, but provide him with a non-flammable paper bag for his mug.
4 Mega Charizard X
You’ll notice I didn’t tie Mega Charizard Y into this entry. And there’s a reason for that. Y makes sense as a Mega evolution. The design adds a few aesthetic upgrades to Charizard’s original design, converting the starter into a mean, lean fighting machine. Charizard’s you and Y’s the Charizard your girlfriend tells you not to worry about. But this leads us to talk about poor X.
Mega Charizard X is basically the equivalent of that one scene in 30 Rock where Steve Buscemi pretended to be a high school kid. He’s designed to look as exxxxtreme (the more ‘x’s, the better) and as radical as possible. Shiny coloring? Check. Random blue flames exploding out of his mouth? Double check. He even gets spiky wings. The only thing he needs now is guy-liner and his scene phase is complete. Can he KO a lot of ‘mons? Sure. But he looks absolutely stupid doing it.
3 Mega Garchomp
Garchomp was the bane of anyone’s existence back in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Cynthia’s Garchomp brought many a team to their knees. For this reason, it’s no wonder that so many fans have rallied around this Ground and Dragon monster, who’s actually one of my favorite Dragon types in the game. He’s absurdly, stupidly powerful. And this is before he was given a Mega evolution.
Yes, his Mega evo is powerful. It’s killer to fight against. But it’s complete overkill. And that’s the problem with him and the other Megas on this list. They’re just too powerful for their own good. The moment someone brings one of these out in a battle, you know they’re uncreative.
And, come on, man. Those chest and hip spikes are just ridiculous. His design makes Charizard X look subtle, which is really saying something.
2 Mega Salamence
Another overpowered Mega, another day. Salamence is a pseudo-Legendary. Mega Salamence is, like Mega Garchomp and our #1 entry, absolutely ridiculous. And the worst part is, this ‘mon is far from balanced. This guy, who looks like a UFO with a ridiculously stubby Salamence stuck on the bottom, is absolutely catastrophic in battle.
Using him just feels, well, cheap. He’s got an ability that will make you tear your hair out. His stats are beyond impressive. And while Fairy and Ice types can give him a run for his money, he’s a nuclear bomb in a knife fight. But he’s not even as bad as our #1, hard as that might be to swallow.
1 Mega Rayquaza
His placement here on the list won’t be a surprise to anyone. He’s stupidly powerful. Game-breakingly powerful. Like Salamence, like Garchomp, using him is cheap. And unlike the other Megas, he’s too good for a Megastone, which may have helped temper him by forcing players to reserve a slot for just one Mega-‘mon. All he has to do is use Dragon Ascent and he’s good to go. The player who has this monster on their team also has the ability to use another Mega-Pokemon.
Everyone who has Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire will have this guy practically thrown at them (again, spoilers. Be warned). His catch rate is low. He’s plot-required.
At least with Salamence and Garchomp, you still have to catch a Bagon or Gible, respectively, and raise it up. There’s a little effort involved. Rayquaza, admittedly one of my favorite legendaries before he got a Mega-form, is just handed to you. And, in that regard, he just feels like a letdown. All you had to do was get through the first part of the game and waltz through the Delta Episode. And that’s it. He felt too easy to obtain and in that regard, he’s a terrible Pokemon. When it’s harder to catch a Weedle than it is to capture the most powerful Legendary in the entire series, it almost defeats the entire purpose of Pokemon in the first place. Why bother training a team at all?