With 18 Pokemon types to choose from, people are always fighting over which is the best. We’re up to the task.
In Pokemon, the simple Fire-Water-Grass grid led to an elemental system that was much harder to understand. As of 2013, when the Fairy type was added to Pokemon X and Y, there are 18 different types, and many, many Pokemon have two kinds. Out there, it’s a jungle.
Is there really one type that stands out from the rest? No, not at all. But can fans talk about how all 18 types work, based on their own experiences and what other people say? Absolutely. So, that’s what we’ll do, trying to be as fair as possible and using the most up-to-date information we can find.
Rock Slide is a must-have for a lot of competitive teams and a fan favorite in single-player games. And that’s pretty much it for Rock-types. Rock Slide and a few other moves are great. We can see right away that even the type we put last has some real use.
Here’s where it gets harder to tell. Rock is built around the idea of a physical defense that is off the charts. But it is weak to many of the most common types of elemental flaws in the series. Does this kill them when they are online? It’s not a big deal at all, but it can be a pain quite often.
Diancie, Glimmora, and Kleevor are all great choices for the Rock type.
We liked how Rock liked to attack, but Bug doesn’t do anything to make us happy. Move into the world of Paldea’s Iron Moth and Iron Treads, and you’ll have some of the best Pokemon in the series, but there aren’t many Bug-types that come close to them.
Any Bug-type Pokemon with moves like X-Scissor that do a lot of damage can still be competitive, since no type is truly useless. Kleavor works great for this.
Bug’s resistance to Fighting, Grass, and Ground can sometimes make it a good choice when it wasn’t supposed to be. For example, Earthquake is easier to get through if you have the strong Forretress.
Now, this really upsets a lot of people. Even though Ice Beam is so good, Ice-type Pokemon are almost like living targets. They’d be better off with a few small changes, but alas.
The same thing is going on here as with Rock. Ice types are very weak because their flaws are meant to balance out their strengths. However, ice types are so common and useful that your icy friends will be dead in seconds.
In many situations, you might be better off teaching Ice Beam to something that isn’t a natural Ice-type. You’ll lose STAB, but you’ll stay alive. Glastrier and Baxcalibur are currently ranked quite high if you think there aren’t too many risks in an upcoming match.
The history of Psychic has been like a wild ride on a roller coaster. During the Red and Blue era, it was only beaten by Bug, which had all the attacking power of a real bug. At that point, Ghost moves had no effect on Psychic-type Pokémon, which was messed up and made sure that Psychic-type was in charge.
The Psychic type was so strong that its enemy, Dark-type, was made just to stop it. Since this change was made in Gen 2, Pokemon with the Psychic type have fallen a long way. As an offensive move, it’s not very good. It’s very good against two types, but two types can fight it.
Despite what we’ve just said, there are still plenty of good Psychic-types to use when you think it’s safe to do so. Some thought should be given to Hisuian Braviary, Galarian Articuno, Espeon, and Gallade.
In another case involving Rock/Ice, good Poison-type team members are often picked despite their type. Poison doesn’t have much to offer on its own. On the attack, it’s only really good against Grass and Fairy, and four types can block it.
Poison is used for defense because it has two weaknesses (Psychic and Ground) in exchange for five resistances. Poison-types haven’t been very good at competing in the past. You’d see the odd physical tank Weezing or something similar, but there haven’t been many.
Poison-type Pokemon that have a good secondary type, like Amoonguss, Glimmora, and Toxapex, tend to shine the most.
Grass is weird. The best way to sum it up is to say that grass-type moves are often better at giving status effects than doing straight damage. If your team will do well with a sneaky little devil like this, you might want to save a spot for it.
It also does twice as much damage to Water, Ground, and Rock. While Rock-type Pokemon aren’t very popular online, the other two are.
Just remember that seven types can hurt Grass. That is up pretty high. In this case, it may be best to look for powerful Pokemon with secondary types that work well together. However, Hisuian Decidueye, Amoonguss, and Meowscarada can turn the tables if they are set up to do so.
Ghost is a very strange word. It’s one that teams often forget about, either as a possible member or as a possible danger. A lot of this has to do with the fact that it is a neutral type that is neither strong nor weak against much.
Ghost-type Pokemon, like Aegislash and the always-present Gengar, are usually just really good Pokemon that happen to be Ghost. Due to the lack of resistance to its STAB, it can be hard to stop a strong Ghost.
There are some great Ghost types that are often used, and their strikes can be powerful in some situations, but the type itself won’t help you much.
Normal can’t be put anywhere else but in the middle. By definition, these Pokemon are the “jacks of all trades.” Since Red and Blue, they’ve been known for having a wide range of moves and stats that let them do a little bit of everything.
Normal has great special attackers like Porygon-Z, the best Special Wall in the whole series in Blissey, physical powerhouses, and everything else you could want. Normal’s problem is that it doesn’t do much damage on its own. Instead, it often needs powerful neutral hits to do the job.
Also, Steel and Rock are resistant to Normal, and Ghost is immune to it. This means that these friends will often be unable to do anything.
Again, we have a lot of different things to deal with. Flying is a cool type, no doubt about it. Remember the class on how to train birds? The spirit of the little guy with the bird cage and the wild hair?
This type is one of the most even. The ability to fly has three flaws and three strengths. It is very powerful against three types, but three kinds can resist it. Flying is a strong offensive type that can cover well against types that don’t like it, but Ice, Rock, and Electric are some of the most popular types in Skibidi Toilet and are weak to it.
On the other hand, Flying is kind of like Ghost in that few Pokemon are really marked by it because STAB on Bug, Fighting, and Grass isn’t something to brag about.
Here’s another type of element that has grown, dropped, and grown again over time. Dark was added to Pokemon Gold and Silver after Game Freak realized they’d made a mistake and made a monster that used Psychic all the time.
As Psychic became less of a threat, Dark did too, and the fact that most Dark moves had low base power didn’t help them much. Then Fairy-types came along, and Dark-types got the kind of counter they were meant to have from the start.
Meowscarada, Kingambit, and Zarude still fly this flag with pride, and they are all good at competing.
If you’ve ever seen an Excadrill tear your team apart in a windstorm, you’ll know how scary this type can be. On the other hand, that is the only time that isn’t true.
In general, Ground-type creatures are big, slow, and protective, like Hippowdon. They have a lot of health and can use Earthquake, which is one of the strongest and most famous STAB moves in the series.
This is a great offensive move. It is very effective against five different types, but only two of them can fight it.
The trade-off is that Water, Ice, and Grass attacks, which are normally Special, do a lot of damage to Ground-types. Their usually high Defense won’t help them when the water… hits the fan.
Fighting is Normal’s one and only weakness. Most of the time, people who fight are physically strong, like Heracrosses, Terrakions, and Machamps. Some of them are tanky, but they tend to be faster than they are strong.
Fighting has had some real highs and lows, but with new Pokemon like Sneasler, Hisuian Decidueye, and the well-known Urshifu, it’s having a bright and shiny time again.
For our fierce friends, things are a little more even. They are both weak to moves that deal with the ground and rocks. Water is the most popular type in Pokemon, so there will almost always be something on a team that can end your reign.
But fire has some important benefits. It can scare away Steel-types, which are always around, and it also has a very important (but rare) protection to Fairy. There is always a risk for a Fire-type Pokemon on a team, but there is also almost always a place for it.
Both the Hisuian Arcanine and the new Skeledirge from Scarlet & Violet are good choices for the online scene. Cinderace is still a big deal, and even though we don’t talk about them much, there are also a lot of Ubers here.
Water-type Pokemon are very common, as we’ll see in a moment. Since Grass-types aren’t as common and aren’t as strong as other types, Electric-types are often used to take out those popular choices.
Electric Pokemon like to hit hard and fast, just like Fighting-type Pokemon, so they can have trouble with anything that fights their STAB. If not, Zapdos, Thundurus, or even Rotom-Wash are all good choices.
There are more Water-type Pokemon than any other type, which is a nice way to describe their role in battle. From Barraskewda to Volcanion and so many species in between, Water can often make a huge difference in competitive matches.
Water only has two weaknesses: Electric and Grass. Grass is rarely a problem, though. In exchange, it has four resistances that are all pretty common. So, Water is one of the best (if not the best) defense types. It works best as a wall or tank, but it can be just as scary on the attack.
On this list, we’ve looked at a lot of types that have come and gone out of style. That’s how a metagame works: the top threats come up, their counters come up, and then both the top threats and their counters fall out of use.
Dragon, on the other hand, doesn’t care much about any of this. Since it was first made, this type has been very strong. Only itself and ice can hurt it, and it has some important resistances.
Look for Dragon-type cards like Baxcalibur, Roaring Moon, and Hydreigon to add to your deck in the current meta.
As was already said, the Fairy-type was made for the sixth generation of Pokemon, in part because players didn’t like those pesky Dragons.
Fairy gave those scaly Dragon-types another weakness to think about, and they can’t be hurt by Dragon-type attacks at all. Even though Garchomp and their top-tier friends are still around, they are not as safe as they used to be.
Only Poison and Steel can hurt them, and they have great neutral coverage. This makes them one of the top risks to deal with. Right now, Carbink and Hatterene are great buys.
So, we’ve made it to Steel. Since they were first introduced, Steel-types have been known as a defense that can’t be broken. Steel was another type that was weakened when Gen 6 came out. It was known for being resistant to almost everything, sometimes for no reason at all.
Before, Steel could resist a ridiculous 11 different types. Dark and Ghost were taken off that list, and Fairy was added, giving them a total of ten resistances. But, if you’ll excuse the simple math, 11 minus 1 is not really a much smaller amount.
Until the next generation of Pokemon games changes the rules, Steel will still be the best type to use against people whose weaknesses to certain types of attacks are easy to guess. It’s important to think about Kingambit, Iron Treads, and the funny Gholdengo.