Mason here; and if you don’t know who I am and why you should listen to what I say, go check out our podcast.
In anticipation of the release of our much-anticipated podcast episode for Pokémon: the First Movie, I’ve decided to list my top 10 Pokémon from Generation 1 of the Pokémon phenomenon. This is mostly because I’m freakin’ excited for the episode to be released and I need to express myself in a healthy manner. Like using the Internets!
A couple of disclaimers: I’ve only played Pokémon Blue and Pokémon Crystal, and just in case our writers who have more experience with the later games want to write their own top 10 Pokémon lists, I’m just going to include Pokémon from Generation 1. Please also note that I am primarily a fan of the games, so how I judge a Pokémon is more based on numbers and moves than anything else.
# 10: MR. MIME
There are Pokémon whose designs are just incredible, ranging from fearsome and majestic to unbearable cute. And then there are Pokémon like Mr. Mime that just look like an awkward little French dude. Five fingers and all.
Still! Mr. Mime remains one of my favorites because, once you get past the Double-slap nonsense the Gen. 1 Pokedex blabbers on about, it is actually quite useful. Because of Mr. Mime’s wall-miming-but-they’re-literally-walls powers, you could teach it moves like Reflect, Light Screen, and Barrier to protect it (and it Generation 1, that meant cutting damage from physical and special attacks in half). One could also take advantage of Psychic and the ever-annoying Substitute move. Add the fact that Mr. Mime (known in Gen. 1 as Marcel) could be obtained fairly early in the game for a Psychic-type and you’ve got a pretty smart, solid Pokémon.
# 9: SCYTHER
Faster than Pinsir and more powerful than Beedrill, this rare Pokémon restored humanity’s hope in the Bug type. It’s literally a ninja bug. Didn’t learn a ton of moves, but honestly, did you really need anything more than Slash, Double Team, and Swords Dance?
I loved the nasty-looking scythes on its limbs. I always imagined it battling against Kabutops.
# 8: PARASECT
I fell in love with Parasect around my fourth or fifth play-through of Pokémon Blue. I was getting bored with the same teams I had always used and decided to pick up a Paras on Mr. Moon and see what would happen. Once it evolved, it turned out to be a delightful addition to my lineup.
While some trainers in the show and comics wanted to use Parasect’s mushroom powers for medicine, I simply used them to terrify people. Parasect’s signature move is Spore, an attack that induces Sleep on its opponents with 100% accuracy. The trick is to make sure Parasect survives long enough to use Spore; it isn’t exactly a fast Pokémon and, as a dual Bug/Plant type, it has a lot of elemental weaknesses. But, nevertheless, Spore is a wickedly fun move to use.
# 7: ZAPDOS
This legendary bird means trouble. Very fast, very powerful electric attacks, and by gosh it just looks mean. Zapdos had very few elemental weaknesses and paid no heed to trainers hoping electric attacks would be “super effective” against it. Because it’s made of lightning bolts. Ice attacks could bring it down, but you ran into the problem of most Ice-type Pokémon also being Water-type. Your only hope was to hurl rocks at it.
Zapdos was always part of my best friend Blake’s lineup during school, and I always dreaded facing it during our game link battles.
# 6: VICTREEBEL
Said to live in huge colonies deep in jungles, although no one has ever returned from there. – Pokedex entry
That’s almost a ’nuff said right there. I love Victreebel; I always invested in catching a Bellsprout in the early game. Victreebel came with the factory-standard spore/powder attacks and plant attacks. However, I respected Victreebel more than other plant-types because it sacrificed defense and speed for physical and special attack power. It was also possible to teach it Toxic and Wrap, a particularly fatal combination in Generation 1. In other words, the thing Victreebel did best was kill. Like some kind of plant assassin.
# 5: GENGAR
All the terror and malice of a Japanese ghost, only it’s a Pokémon.
Gengar and his prior evolutionary forms are nothing to laugh at. Here are some excerpts from its regional Pokedex entries:
A Gengar is close by if you feel a sudden chill. It may be trying to lay a curse on you.
Its thin body is made of gas. It can envelop an opponent of any size and cause suffocation.
By licking, it saps the victim’s life. It causes shaking that won’t stop until the victim’s demise.
Lurking in the shadowy corners of rooms, it awaits chances to steal its prey’s life force.
Cute! Not. The ghosts of Generation 1 are bad news, considering you can only find them in Lavender Town’s Pokémon Tower, a seemingly endless fountain of material for Creepypasta. I remember them being portrayed as more light-hearted in the Pokémon episode “The Tower of Terror” (you know, the episode where Ash and Pikachu are killed by a falling chandelier?). But the way they’re described in the Pokedex, it seems they’re just as apt to attack humans as they are Pokémon.
But I’d gladly train one and use it in battles. Gengar was too good for the physical realm; it had no use for its pathetically low Attack and Defense stats. It had an obscenely high special attack, and the classic Hypnosis – Dream Eater combo was frightfully fun. Definitely worth hunting down a buddy/obtaining another Game Boy to do the trade-evolution.
# 4: GYARADOS
Ah, Gyarados. The “atrocious” Pokémon. Once you get past its awkward Magikarp phase, this thing is a straight-up kaiju. It weighs over 500 pounds and reaches 21 feet in length (approximately the length of a fully-grown great white shark). And dem fangs. Apparently Gyarados can demolish an entire city on its own. Pokedex entries also allude to Gyarados being the physical embodiment of conflict, violence and war.
Makes sense, because it’s a beast in battle.
Gyarados’ Attack stat stands out the most, but don’t forget about its elemental attacks. Gyarados is a dual Water/Flying Pokémon, but it’s so awesome that it can learn moves like Fire Blast, Thunderbolt, and Hyper Beam. It can also learn Reflect, which literally doubles its Defense stat. So good luck trying to bludgeon it into fainting.
My buddy Blake rolled with a Gyarados named Medallion when we were kids. I learned to stay away.
# 3: BLASTOISE
Blastoise is, in my opinion, the most underappreciated of the three starter Pokémon for Generation 1. Not as flashy as Charizard nor as Solarbeamy as Venusaur, but it’s still my favorite of the three. Its combination of high defense and the devastating Hydro Pump attack made it a tank in battle. And it is apparently cool enough to use its cannons to spray foes with water and also use them as jet propulsion for high-speed tackles. Genius.
Gary Oak did have a Blastoise on his team. Not that it makes him cool or anything.
# 2: DRAGONITE
Called the first “pseudo-legendary” Pokémon (meaning it was powerful enough to be a legendary but you weren’t limited to catching only one) of Generation 1, Dragonite is an amazing creature. According to the Pokedex they nearly match humans in intelligence, and can fly at incredible speeds.
If you had a Dragonite on your team in Pokémon Blue/Red/Yellow, it meant you were a serious trainer. It seemed like it took forever to train and evolve past the Dragonair stage (unless you were one to make frequent trips back and forth from Veridian City to Cinnabar Island).
Despite being a gentle and kind-hearted Pokémon, it has almost unmatched power in Generation 1. Dragonite had the highest total base stats of all the non-legendary Generation 1 Pokémon. It could shock, freeze, bash, and incinerate its opponents and still have room for dessert. Lance’s Dragonite was always a force to be reckoned with, and unless you knew how to exploit its Flying secondary type, you were likely going to have a tough time against it.
In Generation 2 Dragonite could learn Fly and Outrage, making it even cooler.
# 1: MEWTWO
Was there ever any doubt? Y’all can quote me on this one: Mewtwo is THE most powerful Generation 1 Pokémon, and it remains one of the most powerful ever. As if it weren’t enough that psychics were already the dominant elemental type of Gen 1, Mewtwo is almost unfairly powerful. It still maintains the highest Special Attack stat of all Pokémon (not counting Deoxys and Kyurem’s enhanced forms). It can also learn moves of any elemental type except dragon-type.
How did such a monster come to be? Basically Mewtwo is an evil clone of the legendary Mew, bred and raised solely for battling. Its powers have been genetically pushed to the very limit. And it’s extremely cranky.
Mewtwo is one of my all-time favorites, but I hardly ever use him in the games because he’s just so freakin’ powerful, it almost takes the fun out of the game. I mean, outside of Generation 1 (and arguably Gen 2), nobody else has a chance against Mewtwo. Except maybe Mew.
So there you are, folks! A real-life Super Nerd’s analysis of his top 10 Pokémon. Hope y’all enjoyed this trip down Generation 1 Memory Lane.
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