These Pokemon received a bunch of support, but it still wasn’t enough. Our 10-person panel had a lot of synergy, and the Pokes that ended up in the 26-50 range certainly tried their hardest, but their efforts came up just short. In fact, one Pokemon in this section had five of the 10 people vote for it! That’s how tough the going is from now on. Because the competition was more fierce, the number of votes that Pokemon received is in parentheses after its name.
Tomorrow, the list begins for real. No more playing around. We will reveal the 25th best Pokemon of all-time, and our day-by-day breakdown will continue from there.
26) Hydreigon (3 votes)
Chris: Hydreigon is a three-headed dragon with cool typing. His three evolutions borrow from German numbers. He gets to levitate for no particular reason. What’s not to like? I didn’t use one while playing through Black because Dragons are tough to level, but I definitely picked one up in the postgame.
Shaun: This guy was a champ. I finally got one of my own in Black and White 2, named him Hiram McDaniels, and we had some dragon adventures together. Hiram planted fear in the hearts of men, but my fondest memories of him actually come from before that, when Chris and I wrecked the Battle Subway thing in Black and White with my Metagross and his Hydreigon. Fools didn’t know what to do. Some jumped out of the moving train. Good times.
Chris: I’m ashamed to admit I don’t think I remember that. I’m so sorry.
Shaun: Wow. Why don’t you just forget my birthday while you’re at it.
27) Dragonite (3)
Shaun: The powerhouse of Gen 1. Women Pokemon wanted to be with him. Men Pokemon wanted to be him. There was a whole lot of weird interbreeding happening, and it was all Dragonite’s fault because he was too damn good. He looked cool, evolved from one of the most interesting second evolution forms in the series, and was a complete fusion reactor of power in every form of Pokemon media.
Chris: One of my favorite moments in the show is when Professor Oak shows up in one of the movies and he’s prepared to help battle to protect Ash and company. You think to yourself, “What in the world is this old guy going to bust out?” and then two seconds later you have a Dragonite wrecking things. It makes sense, though — why wouldn’t someone as well versed as Oak have the best his generation could offer? Oh yeah, and Drake’s Dragonite makes for a great two-part episode as well.
28) Blaziken (3)
Shaun: My adoration for Blaziken’s design was hindered slightly by the fact that, for whatever reason, mine could never STAY ALIVE. I’d summon him out of the pokeball and he’d pop out dead already. Probably didn’t help that EVERY GOD DAMN POKEMON HAD EARTHQUAKE in the Elite 4.
Chris: I love how our bitterness shines through on some of these. Blaziken isn’t even my favorite in this evolutionary tree, but damn if his new Mega form (and Speed Boost ability) doesn’t make him legit. CRANE STANCE. I actually liked Blaziken enough that I put both him and his younger cousin on my list, so that should say something.
29) Gyarados (2)
Chris: Come with me on a journey back to a time when the internet was still in its infancy. What in the world did people playing Pokemon for the first time think about Magikarp? Did they give up on it because it didn’t do anything at all? And how shocked were they when they limped their way to level 20 and THIS guy came out? I have to think the payoff was pretty cool.
Shaun: I never really understood the love affair for Gyarados. He’s interesting looking, but he always seemed to be trying too hard to be cool, and I hate that. In fact, the most (only) fascinating thing I find about him is the fact that he evolves from the worst Pokemon in history.
30) Vaporeon (2)
Chris: I just couldn’t bring myself to like Vaporeon all that much. He was never bad or anything, and his HP is through da roof, but I liked Jolteon better with his massive SPD. Still, for those heretics who liked to shun Lapras, Vaporeon was one of the best surfing options you could find. Also, his face is amusing to me.
Shaun: Easily my least favorite Eevee form, Vaporeon is what happens when you mix an ugly mermaid with an ugly animal. Still useful for fighting, but you may need to put a bag over its head. And its tail. You know what, you’re probably better off just putting the whole thing in a bag.
31) Charmander (2)
Shaun: Man, where does the nostalgia end for me and Charmander? It all started in Red/Blue, in the culmination of what seemed like years of waiting to finally dive into the hype that was Pokemon. I deliberated for months prior as to which starter to choose to begin my journey, but in the end, it was really no contest – Charmander was the perfect combo of cute and powerful, and the fact that I knew what he would eventually evolve into made this an easy choice, even though part of me was honestly disappointed when he evolved so soon. Charmander would come to define one of my greatest gaming experiences ever, and I’ll always love the little guy for that.
Chris: Charmander was great on the anime. Charmeleon was a douche, and Charizard was also a douche until he became a powerhouse later on that actually listened. As a kid, I found it a little weird that Charmanders could die if their tail flame ever went out. What if you accidentally forgot that Charmander was in your pocket and you put him in the washing machine? That seems like something Shaun would do.
32) Emolga (3)
Shaun: Cute as all hell, Emolga is living proof that sometimes looks can be deceiving, especially when trainers want to “Sky Battle” with you in X/Y. It was scam straight out of White Men Can’t Jump–make me agree to a sky battle, then pull out your Emolga trump card and watch my pokemon fry to death. Three votes is too high, unless you’re voting to give Emolga the electric chair. Have a taste of your own medicine, you flying cheating death machine!
Chris: Yeah, someone was having a really bad day at the office when they decided to put Emolga into random Sky Battles. You can be minding your own business, strolling along on a lovely route, and then suddenly you’ve blacked out because your own eligible Pokemon is weak to this guy. THANKS GAME FREAK. That said, he’s adorable and I want one. He’s like that flying squirrel power-up in Mario.
33) Feraligatr (1)
Chris: Ah, the 10-character limit. Look what disasters you brought upon us. I’m sure there was an executive who was really excited about his “feral alligator” naming convention, and then he realized that he was screwed. It was either Feralgator or Feraligatr, and that’s a mess either way. Taking the vowels out of words doesn’t always make them cool.
Shaun: Probably one of my votes for “worst starter final evolution.” This generation, in general, had pretty uninspired designs, and I started getting to the point where I very much was getting tired of “Water, Fire, Grass,” starters. Good thing they would change that soon….
34) Drifloon (1)
Shaun: Cute and fairly effective in battle at the stage you can get him in the game, I didn’t hate Drifloon…but I’m also wondering why an enemy from Yoshi’s Island found his way into Pokemon. Look at him! Clearly Yoshi’s Island–he even has the yellow “x marks the yellow target on his face” thing going on! I WANT TO HIT HIM WITH AN EGG.
Chris: I’ll grant you that at bare minimum, Drifloon is better than Drifblim. However, we need to have a conversation about this idea in the Pokedex that Drifloon likes to steal children. That’s right: if your child gets his hands on one of these suckers, you might as well say goodbye to him before he floats into the sun and the skin melts off his face. So much for this being a game for kids.
35) Lilligant (1)
Chris: Lilligant is my favorite Grass type in the game. Petilil just sits there minding its own business, daring you to hit it with its beady little eyes. But Lilligant fights back. Sure, it suffers the same problems as damn near every other Grass type (thanks for the limited move pools, Game Freak!), but it’s still nifty.
Shaun: I think I’m finding I don’t really like Grass types very much. Lilligant, unfortunately, isn’t changing my mind. She reminds me of a plant Princess Peach, so when I expect her to get abducted every time I summon her, it makes it hard to forge a connection.
36) Ho-oh (2)
Shaun: When I was young, my friend and I used to go into the vacant lot across the street and play Pokemon. And during these sessions, we were constantly–and futilely–pursuing the glorious, unattainable legend that was Ho-oh, who at that point was basically a god to us since his appearance in episode one of the anime. Then we witnessed what looked like a drug deal and that was the end of Pokemon Make-Believe. Still, Ho-Oh was one of the best legendaries ever, in my opinion, and helped hype the Gold/Silver sequels to absurd levels for me.
Chris: I played Gold, not Silver, so obviously I’m on Ho-oh’s side in his battle with Lugia. Sacred Fire was the coolest thing to me — although it’s a little less cool now that ENTEI has access to it for whatever stupid reason. I also enjoyed the idea of finding a specific item and then battling Ho-oh to the death on top of the Tin Tower. Such epic.
37) Shaymin (2)
Chris: Shaymin is super cute and its alternate form is great for battle. Look at that picture and tell me that’s not the cutest. Plus, Grass/Flying is a unique typing! (What’s that? There’s four other ones? Yeah, but they’re awful. I mean, Tropius? Really?)
Shaun: Had I found a Shaymin, I probably would have actually used him, despite him being a legendary. SO CUTE! And probably very wise and also fun to talk to as well. Way better than that OTHER time traveling Grass legendary…
38) Hitmonchan (2)
Chris: Hitmonchan comes out of the Pokewomb wearing boxing gloves. That makes it harder for him to type, but it means he’s ready to throw some blows from the word go. He gets all the hurtin’ bombs he could ever want — elemental punches, Mach Punch, Bullet Punch, Comet Punch, Focus Punch, even Mega Punch if you lose a bet!
Shaun: Humanoid Pokemon freak me out. Why do they look like people? They should go strap up and catch Pokemon of their own! And have voting rights! First the Hitmon bros., and now the abominations that are Throh and whatever the hell the other one is called. SO DUMB.
39) Greninja (3)
Shaun: I thought I was confident in my Fennekin choice at the start of X/Y, and then I saw Greninja’s final form and had regrets. So many regrets. In reality, this Pokemon is only okay at fighting, but his cool ninja design and Water/Dark typing at least make it one of the more unique starters in the franchise’s history.
Chris: I received a Froakie from my rival after I beat the game, almost as though Professor Sex-a-more was giving me another chance. He is still in my box and he is still level 5. Yes, I’m a little bitter that because the rest of our group seemed to love Fennekin so much, I didn’t get one — and by choosing Chespin, I also made sure I wouldn’t get one AFTER I beat the game either! So you can go to hell, Greninja. P.S.: This is the highest-ranked X/Y Pokemon. Sorry.
40) Scyther (1)
Chris: I thought Scyther was one of the coolest Pokemon around back in the original 151. Tracy was a tool, but his Scyther was a pimp. Unfortunately, it’s tough for me to love Scyther as much as I did back in the day because a certain evolution came around and changed my life forever.
Shaun: Eh…never was that infatuated with Scyther, but he was easily one of the best bug types back in the day. Still frustrated me that he clearly never uses his arms in fighting though, or he’d massacre everything. Can we just talk about that real quick? What the hell is a Chansey going to do in a fight against a guy with swords for arms? What?
41) Flygon (1)
Chris: Flygon used to be real. Above-average stats across the board and a pretty fun typing that gave it access to STAB Earthquake. Then along came a landshark called Garchomp and everything pretty much faded to black.
Shaun: I like to imagine Flygon drunk in a dark alley, sipping on cheap whiskey and ruing the day Garchomp ruined his life, and he sadly observes the pictures of himself in his former glory and tightens the noose around his neck. Yeah, he used to be okay. It happens to us all, buddy.
42) Murkrow (1)
Shaun: The crow is like my least favorite bird. Therefore, a Pokemon that is a crow is automatically off to a bad start. Some people think his hat it endearing. I don’t, but some people do. If you spell his name backwards, it spells Work Rum. Sounds gross….yeah, Chris, I don’t really have anything to say about this Pokemon. Save me.
Chris: Murkrow is a crow who is probably also a merc. He mercs people. I don’t hate crows as much as Shaun, but that’s only because I enjoy Dewey Crowe’s antics on Justified. Murkrow evolves into a cooler bird with a better hat who looks like he belongs in The Godfather, but also gets 10x fatter, which means he looks like he belongs in The Godfather.
43) Kyogre (1)
Chris: Kyogre is kinda like Wailord, only cooler and more useful. When Generation III was in full swing, having Pokemon who could control the weather of an entire region seemed a little silly. Now that we’ve gone through the fabric of space and time, though, it seems downright plain.
Shaun: The worse of the two Ruby/Sapphire legendaries, in my opinion, but still pretty respectable, all things considered. If I had this Pokemon, I’d send it over to people’s houses that were mean to me, and make it rain on them 24/7 for the rest of their lives, no matter where they go. Including inside their house. That thought made catching him in that gen almost worth it.
44) Suicune (2)
Shaun: The anime made me think this guy was awesome, and that won’t be the last time it has led me astray. This trio of dogs, other than being fairly dumb looking, were responsible for some drastic hikes in my young body’s blood pressure. “Okay, wow. Found it. Is this it? Shh….hey there, little guy. Gonna use Sleep PowdGOD DAMMIT TO HELL HE RAN AWAY ALREADY! I WILL KILL ALL OF YOU, AND THEN HAVE A BARBECUE, AND I WON’T TELL ANYONE WHAT IS COOKING AND I WON’T EVEN CARE! ”
Chris: Yeah, Suicune was unfortunately the start of a hideous trend that got a little out of control in Generation IV: running legendaries. Look, I don’t mind if one of these buggers is on the loose — if I get super frustrated (like Shaun) about it, I’ve always got that Master Ball collecting dust in my bag. But when you start to throw a bunch of them out there, I struggle to care.
45) Skarmory (2)
Chris: Back when Steel was first introduced in Generation II, there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from. Skarmory proved to be one of the most reliable options around; between Steel’s great defensive type coverage and Skarmory’s own respectable stats, he was quite the physical wall.
Shaun: My thinking back then was “why introduce a type if it’s gonna be slim pickins’ and they’re all gonna suck?” Now, I was being a little harsh, but Skarmory never really impressed me. It’s like a skinny duck bird. QUACK FOR ME, YOU STUPID METAL DUCK BIRD. And really, how does it get in the air with all that metal? Normal birds have to have hollow bones to do it. This guy filled with helium or some crap?
46) Chandelure (2)
Shaun: Yeah! Now we’re talking! Chandelure is LEGIIIIIT! Cool design, neat theme, interesting typing, and a damn JUGGERNAUT. Took this guy to like level 99, and he owned the Elite 4. Hands down my favorite Ghost type in the game, and definitely a Pokemon I’d love to have in real life. So romantic! Shame he didn’t make it higher on the list.
Chris: I’ve been thiiiiiiiiis close to breeding and raising a Chandelure for my team for a long time. I’m not sure what has stopped me from pulling the trigger, because his stats and typing are both solid, but it’s probably the same thing that kept me thiiiiiiis close to putting him on my list. It’s not you, Chandelure. It’s me.
47) Moltres (3)
Chris: I was more of a Zapdos guy, myself. Hell, even Articuno was cooler than Moltres. But that’s the whole point of a group vote — sometimes you have to see the big picture. Even if the big picture is just a bird on fire.
Shaun: Well, we agree on not preferring Moltres, but I have more affinity for Articuno. Regardless, the “Spanish number 3” in this trio was pretty meh, both because he’s basically copying a Phoenix myth bird and Ho-Oh at the same time, and is failing at both. Go home, Moltres, nobody likes you.
48) Gengar (5)
Shaun: Like many Pokemon, I wanted REALLY badly to like Gengar. He’s the third evo form, which I dig in and of itself, and is based on arguably the coolest Ghost Poke out there. But I only ever found him okay – the style never met the substance for me. Plus he seems like an ass. Gengar is like the Dane Cook of the Pokemon world, and that’s unforgivable. That’s right. I said it.
Chris: I can’t help but wonder how much I would have liked Gengar if Ghosts hadn’t been terrible in Generation I. Remember, back in those days we didn’t have a whole lot to fight back against Psychic types, and most of them were surprisingly tanky because SPECIAL was both attack and defense in one. I’ve used Gengar a lot more since then, however, because he’s fast and he hits hard. NOTE: Genger got five votes! Unfortunately, he was really low in three of them.
49) Kabutops (3)
Chris: Kabutops isn’t messing around with those scythes for hands. Unfortunately, I can never support a product of the Dome Fossil now that Twitch Plays Pokemon has happened. PRAISE HELIX.
Shaun: Kabutops exposes the real light on the world of illegal, underground Pokemon fighting. Because you don’t battle that thing and come out alive. Like all fossils though, I never really got into it, although Chris is right — I do have a strange affinity for Omanyte now…
50) Absol (2)
Shaun: Confession: Young people make mistakes, and when I was younger two years ago, I was obsessed with Absol. So cool. Had to have one. Wanted Absol. Needed Absol. Caught one!…and then the reality hit. You know when you really want chocolate, and you know you shouldn’t, but you decide to do it anyway, but then you put it in your mouth, and you’re like…”yeah…that wasn’t worth it.” Well, Absol literally fainted every battle I put him in, and I had a very similar sensation.
Chris: Back when I was still using Pokesav to hack the game (look, everything I made was legit), I decided that I wanted to play through Diamond with a team of some random stuff that I hadn’t used before. So I made some level 5 Pokemon and started with a random team. Absol always seemed pretty cool, but it wasn’t long before I found out that he was the glassiest glass cannon who ever glassed. (Except maybe Rampardos. My goodness.)