Top Ten Pokemon Types
With the release of Pokemon X and Y, fans of the series have been giving nothing but praise to the latest generation of Pocket Monsters. Given the improved look, character customization, new evolutions, and new ways of raising your all star team, this praise is not unwarranted. Game Freak deserves all the praise it gets with what they were able to add to make one of the best Pokemon games to date. Though out of all the things to like in the new games, I do have a bone to pick with this game. Not because of the Mega Evolution mechanic (when I first heard about it, I got a bit peeved since it sounded like they were ripping off Digimon) but the introduction of the latest Pokemon type, the Fairy type.
Granted, given the design of some of this generation's Pokemon and even some from all the way back to generation one's Clefairy, I guess its not completely ridiculous. But still, from where I'm standing, it seems like this type was put in the game if only to counterbalance the overpowered Dragon type (when it really didn't need to when it already had a weakness to two other types). The long time fan in me is also a little mad that this new typing with some of the older generations feels like a complete retcon. Sure the big point about Pokemon is about discovering new kinds of Pokemon with each new installment, but up until this point, those discoveries made sense for that particular region. And how are fairies supposed to be more powerful than dragons anyway? Despite my griping, this type is official and I'm just going to have to live with it. But I did walk away with more of an appreciation for the types that I do enjoy. The kinds of Pokemon I always look for in any game in the series, old or new gen. Everyone who plays Pokemon usually has a typing preference in their team even if they try to balance it out to make battles easier.
But which ones are the best? What is it about these types that draws players back to that particular brand of Pokemon no matter which game they play? To give you an answer, here is my list of the top ten Pokemon types. Keep in mind, there are obviously more than ten types in the Pokemon franchise including the latest one (which will obviously not be making an appearance here). As a personal list, I'm only including the types that I have used the most, have had the easiest time raising, or even just found more interesting than the others. If one of your favorite types didn't make the list, let me know in the comments what it is and why you like it (even include what you think is the best Pokemon of said type). In order to make the best team possible its best to know the pros and cons of each type to better use them in battle (This knowledge can make or break a difficult match).
Might as well start things off with my least favorite starter type. Though don't get me wrong, grass is a fantastic Pokemon type to use if you use it in the right way. Their basic states are pretty much even across the board and have a good amount of physical and special attacks that can cause status effects to your enemies. Making them one of the best types to weaken your opponent’s team before calling in the heavy hitters. The downside it that while they can dominate certain types such as ground, rock and water, they have quite a few weaknesses (there are five types which can do super effective damage). My favorite Pokemon from this type normally have at least one other type in the mix in order to balance them out, Poison being the most ideal type cross you can have. Certain Pokemon, for example Bulbasaur and its evolutions, benefit from the balanced states from both types with the poison attacks giving the grass an extra edge in attack and inflicting a status ailment to boot. Again while it may not be my favorite of the starter types, the grass type has a lot to offer to the trainer willing to dedicate the time to figuring out how to use it.
One of the best sweeper types that you can find. With high states in speed and special attack, Electric types can hit fast and hard if trained the right way. Not to mention that some of their moves such as Thuderwave can inflict paralysis. The only thing that can cripple an electric type Pokemon is the ground type which is pretty impressive given the fact that out of all the other types for every generation, this has not been changed. Though while I understand why this type is so popular (I'm sure Ash's Pikachu had a lot to do with that) there is a reason why Electric isn't high up on the list. As much as I love Pikachu and the fact that it is one of the standout electric type Pokemon, this type doesn't do to much for me since I've had such a hard time with them in my party. Mainly due to their low health and defense stats. Out of all the Pokemon I've raised, they are the weakest physically and it doesn't take much to knock out an electric type if the opposing team manages to get in a strong physical hit. That and besides a few standouts (Pikachu, Jolteon, and Magneton) I've never found the overall electric designs that interesting, kinda bland to be honest. Still, if your looking for a Pokemon speed demon, the electric type has exactly what your looking for.
The second starter type and easily the most versatile. As the second most common type (next to Normal) Water Pokemon are a force to be reckoned with due to the fact that they have been crossed with every other type in the series, save fire. Three of their stats (HP, Attack and Defense) are completely even making them extremely resistant to all other types save electric and grass. But what I enjoy most about this type is the wide arrange of moves they can learn. Not even just from their own type. For example, while grass is super effective against water, a water type Pokemon can have the ability to learn an ice type move in order to counteract its opponent despite the fact that is the superior element. Even water types crossed with the ground type such as Quagsire and Seismitoad neutralizes the Water type's main weakness. The designs of this type are also all over the place, they can be cute, ugly, beautiful or just downright cool (Gyarados anyone?). Much like the wide variety of creatures living in the ocean. Able to adapt to any situation, the water type is the most useful of the 17 types.
Although speed is more of the electric type's speciality, the flying types comes as a close second as being the fastest Pokemon type on the list. If that is the case, why did it get higher on the list? For a number of reasons. One, the HM fly which not only can be very effective in battle at evading moves and dealing a good bit of damage, but also giving the player the ability to travel from town to town without walking (as long as its a town you've visited). Two, if you look at most of the legendarys from the early generations (Legendary birds, Lugia, Ho-oh and Rayquaza), you'll see they all have flying as a secondary type. And third their immunity to ground type moves such as the always irritating Earthquake. The type still has plenty of weaknesses such as the aforementioned electric type and is only super effective against bug, grass and fighting type Pokemon. Much like grass, flying type works best as a Pokemon’s secondary type. Giving the primary type a boost in speed and extra defensive measures against ground type Pokemon. Even if its just from getting you place to place, there should always be a spot on your team for the flying type.
Interestingly enough, Rock is the wild card out of all the Pokemon types. You would think that with that name that it would be one of the strongest defensively (That honor actually goes to the Steel type). While its defensive states are high, its special defense is extremely low by comparison and it is weak to most types that specialize in special attack (since it is those types that Rock is weakest to). But what the Rock type lacks in defense it more than makes up for in offense. Just as there are plenty of mixed types that have double strength against Rock, there are just as many with double weaknesses to it as well. This makes matches with Rock type Pokemon always a tricky job, part of why I find them so interesting. When one is on the field, battle can either be very easy or some of the hardest battles your ever going to have. The key is to understanding the type's strengths and weaknesses in and out and when to bring the hurt or withdraw when the odds are not in your favor. Its not an easy type to understand but once you do, you can look forward to steamrolling over your competition.
Out of all the types on this list, I've had the easiest time raising Pokemon of the fighting type. And why not? Out of all the other types they are the easiest to figure out. All they do is hit things...hard. One of the reasons that makes the fighting type so much fun to use is that surprisingly, they are type that has the advantage over types with high physical defenses such as Rock and Steel. While back in the earlier generations there were little to no powerful fighting moves to speak of, that has all changed over the course of the franchise, making them even more enjoyable to use in the most recent Pokemon installments. Though their resilience against even strong physical moves is impressive, the game changes when the enemy is a Psychic type or has the ability to use Psychic moves (Flying types are also a major Achilles heel for Fighting). Despite this enormous weakness, the fighting type is one of the best types to use offensively and can take plenty of abuse if trained properly.
As I said earlier in the article, the Dragon type is probably the most powerful to the point of being broken, despite its few weakness. All of its stats are considerably higher compared to the others and is resistant to attacks from all but three types, Ice, Dragon, and now Fairy (still don't quite understand this). Even so, the move pool that is available to the Dragon type is enormous, some which can even counteract their weakness other than their own type (Reshiram is a perfect example being a fire/dragon combo). Next to flying, they are the second type to have the most legendarys in their roster (the Unova dragons, Dialga, Palkia, Giratina, and once again Rayquaza). I adore the designs we see from this type in each generation. You can always count at least one dragon type design that you that is a standout from the rest, legendary or not. Yet, as much as I love this type and how strong it is I can't help but feel it is a little overrated. Sure they have great stats, some of the best designs in the series and even a great mythos in regards to the legendarys but with all the hype they get I feel they take the spotlight away from a lot of other extremely dependable Pokemon from other types. Plus I never really understood the whole 'weakness to its own type' idea. It always struck me as kinda strange (if anyone else understands it better, feel free to explain it to me). But I do understand why this type is loved so much and I'm no different. That is why it made the list. Its just that despite the awesome qualities of the dragon, there are three other types I enjoy even more.
Its time to show off my favorite starter type. Ever since the first generation, I loved fire type Pokemon. Maybe its the inner pyromaniac in me but the idea of Pokemon team that can set all your most hated enemies on fire is oh so satisfying. It also helps that a majority of my favorite Pokemon are in this type (Charizard, Rapidash, Arcanine, Ninetales, Cyndaquil, Darmanitan, Houndoom, Chandelure, Volcarona, and of course Reshiram). Another thing that makes Fire types so freaking cool is their high attack strength in both physical and special. One of the reasons they do so well is due to the fact that most other types have low special defense stats. So even if their type is resistant to Fire as a type there is still a good chance for them to get KO'd if only due to the opposition's ferocity. Though with all the damage they can do, fire types have very weak defense even if the opposing Pokemon doesn't have an effective type. That means that whatever fire Pokemon you use, it has to hit hard and fast before the enemy can retaliate. Even with such a low defense, fire types are hands down my favorite to use and I always make sure to have at least one fire type in my team when starting my journey.
Out of the second generation types, this was hands down my favorite if only for the designs alone. But they have plenty to offer in terms of both combat and defense to the point that they can be almost invincible (with the right type match up). While their stats are not all that impressive when compared to some of the others, what makes them useful is their ability to counteract both Psychic and Ghost types while the attacks from their move pool even come with secondary effects, such as lowering defense with Crunch or Pursuit's ability to hit a retreating Pokemon, and Night Slash's consistent criticals. Though their basic stats show that most dark type Pokemon have relatively weak defense, there have been a few Pokemon that I have worked with that counteract this and have demonstrated they can take a lot of punishment (save from their primary weaknesses). My two favorites of the type, Umbreon and Absol are always my go to Pokemon when it comes to fighting a heavy hitter to the point that they are little furry tanks. This could have just been due to the way I raised them but to this day the cause has been a mystery. And it is that mystery that makes Dark Pokemon so fascinating.
I doubt you had to look into the future to see this was coming. The dragon may have the largest reputation for being a powerhouse type due to its lack of weaknesses. But even since generation one, you don't get very many Pokemon types more powerful than the psychic type. This is mainly due to the fact that this particular type has extremely high stats in both special attack and special defense making them the perfect special sweepers. Their move pool is one of the largest in the series next to the dragon type and to top it all off most legendary Pokemon from the entire series has been at least part psychic. Of course, like all types they have their drawbacks. Their physical defense is paper thin and all it takes is a well placed physical attack to knock a psychic Pokemon’s lights out. Which is ironic given the psychic type's strength over fighting despite the fact that stat wise it feels like it should be the other way around.
Admittedly as much as I love psychic Pokemon for their abilities in game and adore their quirky (sometimes even creepy designs) my real fascination with this type came from the anime (particularly the episodes dealing with the psychic gym). Showing that training with psychic Pokemon, the trainer themselves have to have a level of skill with the same kind of abilities to the point they could create a psychic link. And that was even before the first movie introduced that certain Psychic Pokemon (Mewtwo and Lugia) could use their telepathy to communicate with humans, tearing down the language barrier between Pokemon and humans. What irritates me was that after introducing so many interesting aspects of this type outside of battle, is that nothing further has been done to explore it. Do all humans in the Pokemon universe have the ability to have psychic abilities? How does this effect working with their Pokemon? Why are only certain psychic Pokemon seen using telepathy to communicate? Sadly, I don't think these questions are ever going to be answered in the games or in the anime but it would be nice to see at some point.