There's only one way to be the very best like no one ever was—and that starts with picking a dynamite squad of Pokémon. The Pokémon you choose are everything because let's face it, you're probably not taking down the Elite Four with your level 100 Magikarp. I wanna say something like that is impossible but I'm sure there's some YouTuber out there who's somehow beat the game on the back of his legendary Magikarp (And I'm not surprised).
But for everyone else out there it's critical which Pokémon you add to your team. Your Pokémon are a lot like your car—they're almost like an extension of your identity so it's important to drive with some style. And just like cars, you want to make your Pokémon team unique and personable to you.
So many often have at least one Pokémon that differentiates themselves from the masses; for me it was always Jigglypuff. Jiggly might be a television-fan favorite but definitely not for those who played the games, besides me of course. I just loved those bulging blue eyes that perfectly complimented Jiggly's round physique.
But I find that most fans have at least one personal favorite that they throw on their team out of affection for that Pokémon. And I'm glad fans do this because a more-mainstream team full of Pikachu's and Charizards is waaay to boring and "basic".
That's right, some toes are going to be stepped on today because there's just far too many classic Pokémon that just get way too much love while far better Pokémon get kicked to the curb. Not today, today those underrated Pokémon are being brought to the light. And while we're at it, let's bash some classic ones.
20 Don't Pick: Charizard
That’s right we’re starting this list off fiery hot—all puns intended. Charizard’s cool, or hot, or whatever; but c’mon, you just gotta admit that this fire-breathing dragon is seriously overrated. While his aesthetic and design are pretty good, he’s been substantially blown out of proportion by most of the fan-base.
Charizard isn’t even the best starter you can pick in Gen I!
Squirtle and Bulbasaur and their respective evolutions have played second fiddle to Charizard for far too long. I mean, Squirtle later goes on to evolve into a tortoise that has a tank in his shell, a tank! You really just can’t beat that. I wonder where are all the “Are you not entertained memes” for our man Squirtle. And we gotta give Bulbasaur some love too, as he’s just one of the best starters in terms of raw-power and design; especially with his considerably-destructive power, Solarbeam.
Listen, Charizard is pretty cool, but he’s the easiest pick in any Pokémon game, ever. Does that just make me a hipster of a fan for liking the less mainstream Pokémon? Basically, yes, but I do believe that there are far more Pokémon who deserve the same amount of attention that our buddy Charizard gets.
19 Needs More Love: Bulbasaur
Granted, Bulbasaur also isn’t my favorite starter from Gen I, but I think this reptilian dinosaur grass thing could definitely use some more love. Based on our research, Bulbasaur is the most neglected starter. Alright, I might’ve checked several message board polls, you got me.
Bulbasaur is seemingly always left on the back-burner when it comes to the original starters. People go nuts for Charizard, though you shouldn’t because obviously, Blastoise is the best with his water gun tanks! But the point I’m terribly trying to make here is that Bulbasaur and his respective evolutions are always left out of the conversation.
I really don’t know why this is, especially when Bulbasaur sports a look so menacing, with a dash of cuteness in there to make him all the more enticing. And he’s without a doubt one of the best grass-starters in Gen I, and really is just one of the best grass Pokémon in any game.
Bulbasaur’s final evolution, Venusaur, is especially epic as he comes with an enormous wildflower on his back that can even shoot out a beam of solar energy. It may be a two-step move, but once it hits it’s curtains for any Pokémon it’s targeting. Bulbasaur is really just an all-around great Pokémon that people really should give more attention to.
18 Don't Pick: Lucario
“Hey look, it’s Mewtwo! Oh, wait never mind it’s just Lucario... Darn.” Man, did the series really try to push this guy into the Pokémon mainstream. He got his own movie, was featured in Super Smash Bros., and he’s pretty much a fan-favorite at this point. But he really shouldn’t be, at least in my opinion, why? Well, we’re going to call a spade a spade; Lucario is just another Mewtwo, a discount one at that.
It’s all there, and it’s just too easy to see; he uses aura. A lot like the psychic powers that Mewtwo uses. He also has a very slender-like body type, once again like our best bud Mewtwo. And we can’t help but see Mewtwo’s permanent scowl when you look at the face of Lucario. Not to mention that the two are very mythical and live this untamed, independent lifestyle.
Lucario’s stardom piggybacked off of the nostalgia people had for Mewtwo. As Mewtwo was starting to fizzle out of the limelight, being replaced in Smash Bros. and just really losing some relevancy; fans had to desperately cling on to Lucario to have another Mewtwo-esque styled Pokémon.
But Lucario isn’t even close to the level of awesomeness that Mewtwo and just won’t ever reach that level. Don’t get me wrong though, he’s not terrible, but terribly overrated.
17 Needs More Love: Tyranitar
Tyranitar is basically the offspring of Charizard, Onix and let's just say... Sandslash. Now, I’m not going to go into all the fine details of how that worked, as I’m sure it’s the quickest way to get me fired. But mix all three of those Pokémon up and you get one wickedly cool Pokémon. And its name is Tyranitar.
You couldn’t pay me enough to get into the ring with Tyranitar.
Now, Tyranitar has definitely gotten some more exposure over the years, especially in the competitive scene, because his raw power is just unmatched by most Pokémon. But I feel like he could use some more attention because this guy is just a beast. He’s one of the best, if not the best Rock Pokémon, and has a mega evolution that’s sure to wreak havoc on any Pokémon that stands before him.
Oh, and did I mention that Tyranitar just brews up sandstorms just by standing there? Seriously, this guy is completely insane, and honestly, a bit overpowered. When you capture yourself a Tyranitar, you just rip through other Pokémon like paper. And the best part is that he doesn’t have too many real weaknesses. Just throw him in there, and watch Tyranitar work its magic.
16 Don't Pick: Voltorb Or Electrode
Oh my, lazy! Many fans like to express their distaste for the lazy designs we see in contemporary Pokémon—as we’ve ice-cream cones and even key rings reimagined into Pokémon—but I think Voltorb and Electrode take the lazy cake. Granted, their design does serve a purpose, being to trick you into thinking they’re items, but that only elevates their annoyance.
Nothing’s worse than finding that an item lying around is in actuality a Voltorb or Electrode in disguise. Well, actually, it probably isn’t worse than a Tentacool poisoning your Pokémon out in the middle of the sea, but I digress. Meeting up with a Voltorb/Electrode sucks, and what makes matters worse is they have one of the most devious move sets in the game.
Because at any point this Pokémon can blow itself up, inducing massive amounts of damage and possibly fainting your beloved Pokémon. I just can’t stand these guys, especially the smug grin on Electrode’s face, like he has some addiction to bombing himself along with your Pokémon. It’s pretty funny to watch them blow up Team Rocket in the anime, but I swear I want these guys to stay far, far away from me and my Pokémon.
15 Needs More Love: Kabutops
Now, if you’re looking for a Pokémon that packs a punch, then look elsewhere. Kabutops most likely isn’t your guy, and that’s because of its very limited move set. But we really wish Game Freak gave Kabutops a buff because he has one of the best and most creative designs out of any Pokémon. Just look at 'em; I’m not sure if I’d train my Kabutops to chop lettuce or chop my opponents with those threatening claws.
Kabutops looks so menacing, yet its actual power doesn’t really show for it. I also hate that Kabutops gets overshadowed by other fossil Pokémon, but its real rival is Scyther. Scyther is just a sleeker yet less imaginative Kabutops—and it almost seems like Game Freak could predict Kabutops’ failure to the bug Pokémon, because they made Kabutops have a green shiny version. The shiny version of Kabutops next to Scyther is uncanny and just declares Scyther the more popular Pokémon.
Still, we say give Kabutops a try if you’re choosing a fossil Pokémon. There are other things Pokémon can do in the games, and Kabutops is sure to fit the bill somewhere. Whether it’s showing off at a contest or just using those claws as a back scratcher. Either way, we say bring Kabutops for the ride. He’s neglected far too often and can definitely use some love, though you might want to avoid hugs or high fives with each other.
14 Don't Pick: Zubat
Let me introduce you to my friend Zubat. Oh, but I’m sure you’ve met. Take two steps inside any cave in Pokémon, go on, pick up your DS/Game Boy, pop in a Pokémon game, and I’m sure plenty of you can say hello to our bat-like friend here. Zubats might not be extremely popular like some of the entries here, but what I am sure of is that these pests are single-handedly responsible for why my repel bill is so high.
I swear you should just avoid picking these guys out of spite for how many times they annoy you.
Their design is kind of cool and they evolve into Golbat, who is infinite times better, but none of these things act as any sort of redemption for Zubat. Zubat is the type of Pokémon who we wouldn’t feel sorry for even if it was grounded for an entire summer by its parents. Zubat deserves any and all hate that comes its way.
The perfect cherry on this terribly-tasting sundae is that Zubat is equipped with confusion. So if you’re trying to take one down for exp or just because you have the gall to catch one, then be prepared to be filled with the desire to fling your device across the room as your Pokémon attacks itself for the 100th time.
13 Needs More Love: Quagsire
This guy? Seriously, this, guy? Yup, he might look like your average dope, but Quagsire was a force to be reckoned with back in the day. And you know why, because he doesn’t care about your thunderbolt! Quagsire was Swampert before he was even a thing. Quagsire is a water and a ground-type, meaning he can still deliver that sweet, sweet water damage while neutralizing water-types' electricity weakness.
Here’s the icing on the cake: the guy learns Earthquake by level 36 and can even learn Muddy Water later on. Let that sink in: your water-type can be punishing Pokémon with a top-move like Earthquake by level 36. Level 36! Quagsire doesn’t play any games and can easily fill the role of your water type as you progress through any game.
Quagsire continues to add more icing to this cake because you just have to agree that this guy has one hilarious design. He’s packed with tons of quirkiness and has a face of a guy who is always on the brink of trying to hold back a smile. I mean, just look at him; it’s like he’s a walking, talking meme that can also destroy any Pokémon in his path. Pray you encounter a Quagsire next time you’re in Johto so you can add this legend to your team.
12 Don't Pick: Pichu
You know, I bet Pichu was created like this: “Man, do you see all the popularity we’re gaining over Pikachu? It’s like a money printer! You know what, we gotta take this a step further. How can we milk Pikachu’s success harder? Wait, I think I’ve got it, Pichu!” I might not be spot on, but I feel as though I’m along the right lines. Pichu is just a Pokémon chasing after the monumental success that Pikachu has obtained.
Pikachu’s pretty cool, to be honest; it might be overrated to a lot of fans of Pokémon since it's plastered everywhere, despite being terrible in battle. But it was still cool to see the anime transform this once-generic character into something special. But I swear it was so infuriating to see Pikachu’s success milked.
Pikachu’s popularity has resulted in the spawning of several clones, but none as bad as Pichu. Pichu was laughably weak, and it was one of the first times I remember the series giving a de-evolution to a Pokémon. And it only got worse when Nintendo tried to shove it down our throats by shoving Pichu into Smash Bros. Melee. If you catch yourself a Pichu, do yourself a favor and evolve that thing as quick as possible and don’t ever look back.
11 Needs More Love: Raichu
Now, on the other hand, Pikachu’s evolved form, Raichu, definitely needs more attention. People worship the throne that Pikachu built, ignoring anything Raichu had to offer, and honestly, I don’t get it, because Raichu is awesome. This Pokémon is one of the strongest electric types and could easily kick Pikachu to the curb despite what we’re shown in the anime.
I mean, I know Pikachu became the Pokémon brand pretty early into the show but I just never got why Ash never evolved his Pikachu into the much stronger Raichu. It’s not like he’s getting an entirely different Pokémon, he’s just getting an upgraded version. It’s like choosing dial-up internet today, you know, that one is far inferior but you don’t care because you’re some kind of slow-internet praising sadist, apparently.
Pikachu has stolen enough stardom from Raichu, because we’re pretty sure that if Raichu existed on his own evolution then he’d be more popular among mainstream fans. But unfortunately, it seems like fans want to emulate their favorite trainer and keep their Pikachus in the same state. I just can’t stop shaking my head when I see level 100 Pikachus; don’t assimilate, break the chain, and just evolve your Pikachu when you get that Thunder Stone.
10 Don't Pick: Salamence
Dragon types are more often than not responsible for making Pokémon fans salivate at the mouth with their intimidating power. Everybody has a favorite dragon type, and everyone usually has to keep one stored on their team as their ace in the hole. I usually chose Dragonite, mostly because he looked straight out of my favorite kids' cartoon, Dragon Tales. But in Gen III, everyone was now drooling over Salamence, and I’m here to tell you he’s not worth the saliva.
Before I continue, for those of you screaming at your screens because Gen III is not classic enough, know that Gen III was Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire and made its debut in 2002. Feel old yet? But for those of you screaming at your screen because Salamence ended up on this list, well, let’s talk about this overrated trash bag of a Dragon.
Salamence has his moments for me. I like his evolutionary cycle, as he starts off as a walking boulder only to become this lunatic looking dragon. Now I would definitely choose Dragonite on personal taste, but we’re here to eliminate that so what it really boils down to is move sets and stats in the game the first met up in.
Now, while both Dragonite and Salamence have very similar stats, Salamence’s defense (or lack of) is what declared a winner. Salamence can hit strong, but can’t last too long after being attacked, and since defense wins championships I’m giving this one to Dragonite.
9 Needs More Love: Wigglytuff
Yet another Pokémon whose final evolution is substantially less popular than the pre-evolutionary form. Now, the thing with Wigglytuff is that most of his/her strength isn’t found in the main games, but is actually found in Pokémon Go, surprisingly. Wigglytuff is a tank in that game and can take down Alakazams, Charizards, and even Dragonites if trained properly.
But Wigglytuff is still a great Pokémon to use in the main games too, especially for contests. Granted, Wiggly looks like a Jigglypuff that just couldn’t put down the Twinkies, but we think that just adds to the overall cuteness. It also helps that in the newer games, Wigglytuff is a fairy type Pokémon and can deal some heavy damage to dragon type Pokémon with moves like Dazzling Gleam. And if you’re looking for a good tank Pokémon in the older games, then Wigglytuff can do that too.
Really though, I’m pulling for Wiggly to be in the new Smash game to boost her popularity. Just imagine floating around as an Augustus Gloop-sized Jigglypuff and then annihilating your opponents with a rest. I’m really crossing my fingers for it... But I feel like I’m getting a bit too off track on this one. Either way, don’t “sleep” on Wigglytuff next time you turn on Pokémon.
8 Don't Pick: Onix
I feel bad for Onix, I truly do. He doesn’t deserve to be here. He’s a lovable, two-ton snake-like rock monster who’s really just misunderstood by the world. Brock from the anime saw it, and we see it too. But Onix is all kinds of weak compared to almost any other Pokémon in the game.
I remember the first time I encountered an Onix; my jaw was dropped that I had the opportunity to capture a seemingly-legendary Pokémon to add to my team. A Pokémon that was that massive had to be insanely powerful. Welp, I was painfully wrong.
All it takes is a splash of water, or a sprinkler in the show, and Onix is crippled for the battle. Onix was so weak to water that I thought actual rocks in the Pokémon world must disintegrate every time it rains there. But seriously, someone must really hate rocks over at Nintendo because they created this epic snake-like rock monster only to nerf it into oblivion.
I don’t know if Nintendo or Game Freak are trying to teach us to never judge a book by its cover or that rocks are terrible, for some reason, I just don’t know. But just don’t choose Onix for your team, or if you do just don’t bring him to Cerulean City.
7 Needs More Love: Mismagius
Ghost types are usually never overlooked, I mean, who overlooks a ghost? Is that even possible or impossible? Wait, not the point. The point is that some of the best Pokémon have been ghost-types—from OGs like Ghastly and Gengar to newer favorites like Dhelmise and Mimikyu. Ghost types are always a treat, but people seem to leave Misdreavus and Mismagius out of the conversation more often than not.
This Gen II Pokémon is a pure ghost type that could easily be on your team as your main ghost next time you fire up Gold and Silver. Misdreavus has a pretty unique look for a Pokémon and it gets even more stylish, yet creepy in its evolved form Mismagius, which looks like the Wicked Witch of the West Pokémonified.
And Mismagius packs a punch that definitely spooks the rest competition.
She even rivals ghost legends like Gengar with moves like Shadow Ball, Thunderbolt, and Nasty Plot which all make for a combination that will send opposing Pokémon packing. And unlike a lot of other ghost Pokémon, they’re pretty easy to find and evolve. Once you get your hands on one, make sure to pick up a Dusk Stone to evolve it and say hello to your new overpowered ghost Pokémon.
6 Don't Pick: Pidgey/Pidgeotto/Pidgeot
It’s a bird! No, a plane! Oh, wait, it is a bird, a boring one at that. Pidgey opened the doors for future flying types like Starly, Fletchinder, and Sun and Moon’s Toucannon. But compared to the rest, Pidgey is just kind of meh. Pidgeys are essentially those generic brown birds that like to use your car as their private toilet—nobody knows what kind of bird they are, just that they’re, well, brown, I guess, and apparently have nowhere else to go.
Just like those jerks, Pidgey just has no distinct features and its final evolution, Pidgeot, doesn’t do much to change that. Pidgeot is just a slight upgrade to the triteness we see in Pidgey but now with an 80s style-Twisted Sister haircut. When it boils down to it, Pidgeot is just okay when compared to most flying types in the series. And even in Gen I, you could find flying-Pokémon who beat out Pidgey in terms of power and character.
Personally, I was always a Spearow fan, and I’d even give Wingull a slight edge over Pidgey. Wingull has a ton more character and spots a certain wistful stare that I just can’t help but love. As for Spearow, I feel this guy gets no type of love as a flying-type in Gen I. He’s stronger than Pidgey, has a better design, and his final evolution is monstrous, in a good way. *Hint* *Hint* for a future entry on this list.
5 Needs More Love: Porygons
Man, you really can’t talk about good design among Pokémon without bringing up the Porygons. It’s like Porygon is out of some glitched out video-game character out of the 80s—the funny part is that there’s even a hint of truth to that outrageous statement. Now, Porygon Z has some relevance in the competitive scene, but it’s generally been left out of the mainstream and hasn’t been in the show since the 38th episode.
Weird, right? Well, don’t worry, I already did the hard work for you. When Porygon was broadcasted for Japanese viewers, over 700 people reported headaches, dizziness, and seizures apparently after watching the episode. Looks like even The Beatles would’ve considered that programming some psychedelic stuff.
Since then, Porygon hasn’t been featured in any Pokémon episode or movie, and it also doesn’t help that this Pokémon is almost impossible to catch in the wild. But trust us, this one is worth the searching for as Porygon is one crazy versatile Pokémon. As a normal type with crazy-good attack stats, it can pretty much annihilate your opponent's Pokémon with a myriad of moves.
And if you’re looking to get one and don’t mind a possibly unhealthy gambling addiction, then head over to one of the Game Corner Casinos to try and save up enough money to get one. The good thing is, losing here won’t cripple your financial life forever, so good luck.
4 Don't Pick: Eevee
That’s right, there’s nowhere this list won’t go, as even stupidly popular Pokémon like Eevee can end up on this list. Now, don’t get me wrong, Eevee's aesthetic was kind of cool at first, offering players a blank canvas of a Pokémon in which players could essentially personalize to their own liking.
It was like being able to re-choose your starter and hopefully add a great addition to your team.
But Eevee’s gimmick continued to get milked and milked until finally, it became overused and boring. I soon predict that we’ll see the likes of “Eartheon,” “Drageon,” and maybe even “Eeveeeon,” which I hope is just two Eevees stacked in a trench coat trying to act older. It was exciting to see additions like Umbreon and Espeon, but I really just want to know when this Eevee evolution tree is going to stop.
I just feel like the whole Eevee thing is just been there done that but unfortunately, it seems like we’re still going to have 20 more Eevee additions by the end of the year. I don’t even waste my time trying to train an Eevee anymore, because the fun of it has been long-buried. In replacement of Eevee, just choose any Pokémon of that corresponding type as they’re sure to be 10 times more interesting.
3 Needs More Love: Spearow And Fearow
It’s almost as though my aforementioned *hints* actually foreshadowed something. Well, here we are with the king of ugly himself, Fearow. Sorry, Fearow, but I’m not betting on you to win some beauty contests, because you look like an oversized turkey that accidentally fell into some radioactive sewage. But we’re not picking Fearow for looks, but for power that it clearly has more of over its rival, Pidgeot.
Fearow gets a bad rep, we think it’s because of the name. They’d probably be more popular if they were called “Nicerows.”
Spearow, and especially Fearows, have almost been made out to be this villain-type of Pokémon that any goodie-two-shoed hero should avoid. Once again, I’m going to blame the anime for poisoning our minds and convincing us that Pidgeys are better than Spearows. I swear, that show has/had too much influence on the Pokémon community. If Ash had a Magikarp for a companion, I’m sure we’d see that fish face all over the world.
But Spearows deserve more attention, especially for how strong they become when they develop into full-fledged Fearows. I mean, just look at how intimidating they become. I’d send my Pokémon right back into its ball if I knew it was up against that aviary monstrosity. Spearows are a lot rarer in the first few games, but are definitely worth getting if you’re trying to get a good flying type.
2 Don't Pick: Alakazam
Okay, so the inner nostalgic Pokémon fan inside of me regretted throwing this one on the list, but here we are; the once (and is still too many) legendary-like Pokémon, Alakazam. If you had an Alakazam, you were no doubt the coolest kid in your school. It didn’t matter how many push-ups you could do, or how girls/guys you could win over because you had an Alakazam. But truth be told, and it does hurt a little to say, I just don’t know if he has the chops today.
Now from a choosing standpoint, he’s not worth the effort because you most likely won’t even be able to trade a Kadabra in older generations to get Alakazam. But I’m sure most of you are itching to hear me dig myself out of this on other aspects of Alakazam.
Well, the trading aspect is definitely a big factor but he just seemed to get nerfed compared to other Pokémon. So you become stuck between most likely not being able to play him in older versions due to trading, versus him not being good in later versions; pick your poison. To be honest, though, I’m probably going to wake up tomorrow and want to throw myself and my laptop into the trash because of this entry, but that’s the life I now live.
1 Needs More Love: Slaking
Slaking is iconic for sporting that “Paint me like one your French girls” look, but that’s about all he’s really iconic for. But I wish this guy would gain some more popularity because he really is a beast of Pokémon. Slaking’s only flaw, and when I say only, I mean it, is his signature ability, which is honestly still pretty hilarious to me at least. Slaking's ability only allows it to attack every other turn and on that missed turn, the game will let you know that Slaking is loafing around. Talk about lazy!
Slaking’s laziness somehow rivals my own. I’ll let it slide this time, but only because I don’t feel like getting up to do something about it.
Besides his infamous ability, though, Slaking slams the competition. Yeah, the ability really does suck at times, but Slaking has some frightening attack and defense stats that make up for his horrid ability. Also, this Pokémon really shines in doubles matches where you can work around his disadvantage by pairing him up with Pokémon who can counteract his ability. It’s really not that hard to do and because of this, you see Slaking all the time in competitive doubles for Pokémon. So you know if the pros are using him, then he’s definitely getting slept on by mainstream fans.