Am I a Pokemon Master? The answer is an emphatic “Yes.” I have done my fair share of battling, training, and evolving over the years, all working toward a greater understanding of the fine art that is Pokemon. If you allow yourself, you can easily get swallowed up in the incredible depth the series has to offer. So while I’m now embarking on an entirely new adventure in Pokemon White (I wanted a Dragon/Electric-Type for a Legendary over a Dragon/Fire-Type), I wanted to look back and remind myself of a few things I found to be immensely useful in my own experiences. Picking the right move for the right situation is key, and while some moves are cooler than others (that’s a list for another day), there are some moves that I tend to favor on a regular basis. That’s why I’m sharing my knowledge with you today in a list that is comprised of my experience, meaning that it isn’t the exact list everyone else will choose. This is meant more as a suggestion list than a perfect list. With that in mind, here is my list of the 10 Best Pokemon Moves Ever.
Also, a special thanks to both Serebii.net and Bulbapedia, both incredibly awesome Pokemon resources. I check in at both all-too-frequently, and I’d highly recommend you do the same for all your Pokemon needs.
10. Shadow Ball:
I always liked Gengar in my early Pokemon parties, placing a pretty beastly Gengar in my Blue Version team, but it wasn’t until the 4th Generation that I found a Ghost-Type move that proved useful for my needs: Shadow Ball. It isn’t overly powerful, but considering its intended use, destroying Psychic-Types, I’ve learned to respect it. What’s even better is that a handful of Psychic-Types can also learn Shadow Ball, meaning that they’re capable of inflicting major pain to their own kind. Handing Gengar Shadow Ball has served me quite well indeed.
9. Aerial Ace:
I like Flying-Type moves, particularly when given to some of my favorite Flying-Types like Pidgeot or Staraptor, and while Fly is usually my move of choice, I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of Aerial Ace. It may only have a power rating of 60, but its accuracy is better than perfect. It will always hit, no matter how decreased your accuracy is or how high your opponent’s evasion has risen. This makes it incredibly critical when you absolutely have to end the battle with one last hit. The only times it won’t work is if your opponent is Flying, Digging, or Diving, but otherwise there’s no escaping. Plus, if you’ve got Staraptor, a Flying-Type, you get that STAB effect (that means Same-Type Attack Bonus and multiplies the attack by 1.5), and if you’re fighting a Fighting, Bug, or Grass-Type, it’s Super Effective and worth even more, making that 60 turn into 180. Not bad if you ask me.
8. Giga Drain:
Seeing as how 17% of Pokemon have a Water-Type to them, it only makes sense to be prepared for them to show up in battle. And what better way to do that than with a move that also replenishes the health you may have lost? Let me then introduce Giga Drain for your ultimate use. A Grass-Type move, making it strong against Water, Rock, and Ground-Type Pokemon, it’s also pretty useful against any Pokemon you encounter, especially considering that STAB effect I mentioned earlier. So how strong is Giga Drain? Well, it was 60. Note that “was” there, as the 5th Generation just cranked it up to 75. Yup, a good move got even better. So let’s do the maths here: Snivy uses Giga Drain, adding the STAB to the 75, making it 122.5, then multiplied by 2 in the case of a Super effective, pushing it to 225, and if it happens to be a combination of Water/Ground (like Quagsire) or Rock/Ground (like Golem), that attack’s power hits 450. Considering you gain back half of what you dealt, knocking out a full-strength Pokemon is going to yield some series return. That’s strategy!
In the same token as Giga Drain up there, wouldn’t it behoove you to fight Water-Types on a consistent basis? And why not toss in Flying-Types, too, since they’re so plentiful as well. When considering a good Electric-Type move, it all comes down to power and reliability, and although I like the flashiness of Thunder, its accuracy is only 70%. That’s pitiful compared to Thunderbolt’s 100% accuracy rating. I’ve already shown the effect of STAB and Super Effective attacks working in tandem, so I’ll save you the number crunching, but suffice it to say, Thunderbolt’s power of 95 can get pretty high pretty quick. The only downside is that you can’t hit Ground-Type Pokemon, but hey, that’s why you’re supposed to balance your team and your moves for each situation. Plus, “aim for the horn!” You know what makes Thunderbolt, like most other Electric-Type moves even better? There’s a 10% chance that the attack will paralyze the enemy Pokemon. Hooray for status-inflicting moves!
You want something with power, you go with Earthquake. A Ground-Type move, it deals double damage to Electric, Fire, Rock, Steel, and Poison-Type Pokemon. And it does so with a power of 100 and an accuracy of 100% (it even deals double damage to Pokemon using Dig, too). So where’s the downside? First off, it can’t hit Flying-Type Pokemon, or Pokemon with the Levitate ability. Sad but true. Or at least it would be sad if you couldn’t just try using Gravity as a combo with, oh, let’s say some hulking beast like Metagross. Suddenly Earthquake works on all types, including Flying-Types and all those pesky Levitating Pokemon. I’ve been able to clear entire teams with just Earthquake and my Nidoking or Rhydon. I only regret that I’ve downed my fellow teammates more times than I can count due to Earthquake hitting everyone on the battlefield during a 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 battle. But then again, sometimes there have to be casualties in the war of Pokemon, right?
Psychic-Types must be stopped. They must. The 1st Generation suffered greatly from the overly powerful Psychic-Types going unchecked from a lack of a decent offense as Bug-Type moves were the only thing that could achieve a Super Effective attack on Psychic-Types. Problem was, the only Bug-Type move that inflicted damage was Pin Missile, and it was pitifully weak. Consequent generations introduced stronger Bug-Type moves, made Psychic-Types weak to Ghost-Type moves, and introduced the Psychic-killer: Dark-Type Pokemon. Suddenly Psychic-Types cowered in fear, especially when it came to moves like Crunch, a move my Tyranitar used on more than enough Psychic-Types over the years to warrant a medal for heroism. Toss in a 20% chance of lowering an opponent’s defense and I’m a happy camper.
4. Double Team:
I’ll admit, I’ve never been big on strategies in the Pokemon series that consist of more than a single move knocking out my opponent with smart typing. I’m just not much for prolonging a fight when I can end it faster. Keep that in mind when I mention how devastating Double Team can be to most players’ sanity. This is due to Double Team cranking your Pokemon’s evasion stat way up with each use until after three or four uses, your opponent can hardly attack at all. It doesn’t matter if your opponent switches a Pokemon out to try and counter your Double Teaming as the stat remains on your active Pokemon. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve faced a computer character elongating my battles with a weaker Pokemon using Double Team over and over and over again until I’ve wasted all my PP from my standard moves, reducing my Pokemon to pitiful flails to inflict any damage. This move is the whole reason I became such a fan of Aerial Ace to begin with. It always feels good to be on the delivering end, but never on the receiving end of Double Team, which happens all too frequently. Thus is life.
Remember how I said Psychic-Types must be stopped? The move Psychic is the main reason for that as it clears a room faster than most other attacks ever do. Psychic has a base power of 90, though since you’ll probably be using a Psychic-Type when firing Psychic, that STAB raises it to 135. Super Effective? That’d make it 270. And since Psychic-Types generally have incredibly high Special Attack stats, that one simple Psychic move is going to hurt bad. Oh, and to make matters worse, it has a 10% chance of lowering an opponent’s Special Defense, making it even stronger the next round, assuming it didn’t instantly faint the Pokemon on the first try. I placed this attack in the hands of Mewtwo, the Doombringer himself, and watched as not a single Pokemon could stand up to the insane thrashing that ensued. It was brutal to watch, and I was the one instructing it to happen. Psychic is a move I can’t stress enough. If you have a Psychic-Type Pokemon who doesn’t know Psychic after spending some quality time in your party, seriously, how did you get this far through the game?
2. Ice Beam:
So then, if we’re looking for a type that pops up now and again to really mess up everything you’ve been working towards, then we’re looking for the Dragon-Type Pokemon. Dragon-Types are only weak to two types: Dragon-Types and Ice-Types. Finding a Dragon-Type of your very own isn’t the easiest thing, and beyond that there are few Dragon-Type moves that can be taught through TM to everyone around. However, Ice-Type moves are an entirely different story, with Ice Beam breaking out of the crowd to stay near the top. It may not be as powerful as Blizzard with a power of 95 compared to Blizzard’s 120, but it has 100% accuracy, whereas Blizzard only has a 70% hit rate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed Blizzard to work in a desperate moment and had it fail on me. Unacceptable. Ice Beam, however, has managed to perform admirably, especially against the final Dragon-Type Masters in the Elite Four. Seeing as how the majority of super-powered Legendary Pokemon tend to have Dragon as a primary type, it only makes sense to defend against that with a move that’s sure to dominate. What makes things even better is that so many Pokemon can learn Ice Beam, and via a purchasable TM in the 4th Generation no less. Do yourself a favor and add this to a Water-Type Pokemon today.
And speaking of Water-Type Pokemon, why not include the one move that I teach every Water-Type Pokemon that comes through my team? Surf is an HM in every single generation and acts as arguably the most valuable HM next to Fly since it allows you to traverse expanses of water like there’s no problem at all. In battle, however, it still acts as an extremely formidable move with a 100% hit percentage and a power rating of 95. Hyrdo Pump may be stronger with a power of 120, but its accuracy is, once again, only 70%. That just won’t cut it for me. Also, do you have any idea how many Pokemon can learn Surf? Beyond even the obvious Water-Type Pokemon, strange ones like Rhydon, a Rock/Ground-Type, or Pikachu, an Electric-Type (under the right circumstances of course), can learn Surf. Being able to counter your weaknesses by using a completely unexpected move is absolutely a wonderful feeling. When in doubt I use Surf. It has not disappointed me yet.
So there you go, my list of the 10 Best Pokemon Moves Ever. Did I leave out your favorites? I’m sure I did. I know I still left out some other great moves, like Close Combat (place that in the 11th slot), but which ones do you use consistently to get the job done? Leave a comment and let me know. In the meantime, I’ve got places to be and Pokemon to Surf.
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