PokeMonth: The 15 Most Underrated Pokemon

Charizard. Pikachu. Mewtwo. Rayquaza.

What do these Pokemon have in common?

Simple: everyone knows them.

Most Pokemon fans can at the very least name the aforementioned four on site, as well as give a quick blurb about their types and whatnot.

Popular Pokemon become so through movie appearances, prominence in the Anime, or through being commonly featured on merchandise.

However, with over 700 Pokemon available today, some are bound to fall through the cracks, and become obscure to the general public despite having many desirable qualities.

And that’s where I come in today.

I took some time (about 3 days) and thought about which Pokemon I’ve encountered that are genuinely unique, powerful, or fun to own, but have simply been overlooked.

Without drawing out the suspense too long, I’ll go ahead and get started with the 15 Most Underrated Pokemon.

Let’s do it:



15. Gligar

You’ve probably forgotten that Gligar exists by now, haven’t you?

I haven’t, and I honestly prefer the flying purple people-eating scorpion to its cracked-out looking older brother.

Its look is simplistic, its access to Eviolite turns it into a tank, and it was considered a pretty cool Pokemon to have back in Gen II.

Yes, Gliscor is definitely the superior Pokemon in terms of battle, but I see it so often these days that owning one isn’t anything special. Sticking to the pre-evolved, underappreciated form and pulling it off?

That’s what this list is all about.



14. Dodrio

A Pokemon with multiple heads—before it was cool. Sorry, Hydreigon.

Dodrio gets major points for being downright hilarious to use.

For one, it can learn Tri Attack, which has a 20% chance of either freezing, burning, or paralyzing an opposing Pokemon.

The best part though, is that Dodrio can learn both Fly and Steel Wing.

Dodrio doesn’t have wings.

Scyther has wings.

Scyther cannot learn fly.

Dodrio can.


13. Electrode

Electrode usually gets a bad rap because of its unimaginative design.

Voltorb is just a Pokeball with eyes, but it gets a pass because of the rumor that it’s actually a Pokeball that’s been possessed by a Haunter—which is pretty cool.

But Electrode? It appears to be an upside down Voltorb, and its smile is supposed to be a direct opposite of Voltorb’s angry appearance.

For some reason, nobody really buys that explanation. But I do.

Not only is Electrode really freaking fast, and can learn the hilarious move Explosion. And let’s face it: you’re always a little less annoyed when the Pokeball you thought was an item turns out to be an Electrode instead of another Voltorb.

Electrode is also the subject of my absolute favorite Pokemon card in existence:



12. Smeargle

Here’s an example of Modus Ponens, a form of Propositional Logic:

  1. The move Sketch allows a Pokemon to virtually learn any move.
  2. Smeargle can learn Sketch.
  3. Therefore, Smeargle can learn any move.

See? I learned something in College.

Anyway, Smeargle can learn absolutely any Pokemon because Sketch allows it to permanently copy whatever move the opponent used last (under the assumption that it isn’t knocked out).

So, technically, you can have a Smeargle with Fly, Drago Meteor, Psycho Boost, and Dragon Ascent.

What a time to be alive.



11. Octillery

I placed Octillery on this list because it genuinely catches you off -guard nearly every time you battle one.

It doesn’t matter who you come at it with—Octillery has a counter.

Fighting type? Octillery can learn Psybeam.

Dragon? Ice Beam.

Fairy? Gunk Shot.

Flying? Rock Blast.


And here’s the cherry on top: If you think you’ve got it figured out, and try a Grass type: Octillery can learn Flamethrower.

Anyone who just likes to have a good time and doesn’t take battling too seriously should consider looking into this jack-of-all-trades Octopus.



10. Heliolisk

Heliolisk is deceptive mainly because of its similar appearance to other early-game Pokemon, such as Mightyena, Raticate, and Furret.

The only difference with Heliolisk, is that it’s actually useful. Very useful.

Well—they all can find value as the proverbial “HM Whore”, but I’m trying to make a point here.


It’s fast as hell, has a wicked Special Attack, and has a great movepool that includes Surf, Grass Knot, Focus Blast, Thunderbolt, Hyper Voice, Volt Switch, and Dark Pulse.

But still, I’m sure most people will give it a bad rap for basically being a yellow iguana wearing a ski mask.

Don’t worry, Heliolisk—I still love you.



9. Porygon/Porygon2/ Porygon-Z

There are two main reasons why Porygon might be the most often overlooked and forgotten Gen 1 Pokemon:

  1. It’s very rare to find one in the wild. Your best bet is to develop an unhealthy gambling addiction at one of the in-game Game Corners and make enough coins to buy one—at a low price of 9,999. The good news is that you can’t destroy your entire financial life and tear apart your family by gambling in the game.
  2. Electric. Soldier. Porygon. The 38th episode of the Pokemon anime was supposed to star Porygon and help audiences learn more about the virtual Pokemon. Unfortunately, the only thing Japanese audiences learned was never to stand close to a TV again, as over 700 viewers reported headaches, dizziness, and seizures. Porygon hasn’t been featured on any Pokemon episode or movie since.

If you can look past ALL THAT NONSENSE, though (kind of like what I tried to do with my ex girlfriend—and failed), you’ll realize that Porygon and its evolutions are some pretty cool Pokemon.

The story of their evolution is good enough: Porygon2 is simply a software update to Porygon, while Porygon-Z was another upgrade attempt to Porygon2 that got corrupted—which explains Porygon-Z’s erratic appearance.




8. Togekiss

I actually wrote a little too much about Togekiss in my favorite Pokemon from each type list, so I’ll keep it short today:

  • Serene Grace = higher secondary effect chance.
  • Air Slash = 60% chance of flinch because of Serene Grace
  • Bulky Pokemon
  • Self-healing moves
  • Fairy
  • Togekiss = Strong

Not bad for a Pokemon whose baby evolution can’t even get out of its own egg.



7. Amoonguss

Yeah, a mushroom disguised as a Pokeball with Pokeball hands—great idea, Nintendo.

Most (like me) would disregard Amoonguss immediately, for the simple fact that it looks silly.

But any Pokemon with the 100% accuracy sleep attack, Spore, and a Regenerator ability that lets it heal upon switching out deserves some respect.

In fact, the winner of the 2013 Pokemon World Championships, Arash Ommati, used an Amoonguss with Trick Room and Spore to repeatedly put all of his opponents’s Pokemon to sleep.

It was such a cheap and dirty way to win, but the Sleep Clause doesn’t exist in the Nintendo Video Game Championships, so the Amoonguss obliteration was legal.

Which is why nobody cares about VGC.



6. Slurpuff

Perhaps the biggest “troll move” that the Pokemon creators ever made was introducing the Fairy type—Pokemon that looked cute and cuddly, but could demolish your beloved Garchomp in one turn.

Nearly every Fairy type Pokemon exemplifies this (here’s looking at you, Diancie), but the Cuteness/Power ratio is the highest with Slurpuff.

Why, you ask?

Easy: Belly Drum and Unburden.

Belly Drum halves a Pokemon’s health in half and maximizes its Attack stat.

If your Slurpuff is holding a Sitrus Berry, then it’ll be triggered by Belly Drum.

Slurpuff’s ability Unburden increases its speed whenever an item is lost—like that Sitrus Berry I just mentioned.

So, in one turn, your Fairy type Slurpuff now has maximized Attack and increased Speed.

Arceus be with you when trying to take down this living cupcake after that.



5. Klefki

You could tell there was a large amount of sarcasm and slight cynicism with creating Fairy type Pokemon.

“Oh, you like Dragons, huh? You love how you can run a Dragon-only team and destroy anyone? Spend lots of time raising that Hydreigon? OH YEAH??? Well…how about a set of boo-boo keys that can wreck your whole team?? Who’s laughing now, Smogon!”

I think it went something like that.

Anyway, Klefki is a set of living keys.

If you’re like me, then you don’t care how strong a Pokemon is—a concept as stupid as living keys is very hard to ever love.

That being said, I doubt there are any displeased Klefki owners, because this Pokemon has as many immunities as a Spiritomb with Wonder Guard.

….Okay, not that many, but it’s only weak to Ground and Fire.

It can also learn Magnet Rise, which removes the Ground weakness.

Its access to the move Foul Play, which literally turns an opponent’s Attack stat against them, will have most physical attackers on their knees if they don’t use Ground or Fire attacks.

If that isn’t enough, it can paralyze your Pokemon using Thunder Wave, or poison them with Toxic.

It’s a true testament to how snarky the Fairy type’s conception was when one of the most idiotic looking Pokemon is also one of the most dangerous.



4. Starmie

Most casual fans only know Starmie from the Pokemon Anime, where its call is inexplicably just a slight variation of “Hiyah!”

Anyone who’s ever used one, though, will be quick to learn just how versatile Starmie really is.

It can use Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Psychic, and Surf—all of which are boosted by its stupidly high Special Attack and Speed stats.

And let’s say you’re able to dent the bedazzled starfish? Think again: it knows recover.

From StarMIE to StarYOU (terribly awesome joke), this Pokemon is wicked.



3. Azumarill

Until Gen VI: Arguably useless.

After Gen VI, and the introduction of the Fairy type: My worst nightmare.

When I used to look back on Azumarill, I’d just see a decent-looking evolution to the Pikachu ripoff, Marill.

Now, everyone is using Azumarill’s immunity to Dragon and its resistance to a bunch of other types in conjunction with moves like Play Rough and Waterfall to create the most deceptively diabolical Pokemon since Chancey.

I hate you, Azumarrill.



2. Rattata

Before battling became as much of an obsessively analyzed science as it is today, it was all about who could make the most of what they had in-game.

Enter Rattata, and the F.E.A.R. strategy:

  • Focus Sash
  • Endeavor
  • (Quick) Attack
  • Rattata

It goes like this: you send out a Rattata (typically low level) with a  Focus Sash, allow your opponent to knock you within 1 HP of fainting, use Endeavor to make your opponents HP equal yours (1 HP), and then use quick attack to take the opponent out before they even know what hit ‘em.

The F.E.A.R. strategy is considered a throwback today, since it’s more or less a cheap last resort, but have you ever seen a common Pokemon like Rattata enstill this much fear (or frustration) in players?

I think not.



1. Wobbuffet

Expect anything different?

Those of you who read my favorite Pokemon from each type can recall how nightmarishly devastating facing a Wobuffett is.

Its ability to trap you into an attack using Encore and then follow up with either Mirror Coat or Counter to OHKO is what originally led to Wobbuffett’s ban from competitive play (until just recently).

Its silly face and apparent uselessness is what makes Wobuffett the most deceptively deadly Pokemon around, and I absolutely love it.

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