The 10 Best Pokemon In Red, Green & Blue: Hands Down

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The 10 Best Pokemon In Red, Green & Blue: Hands Down

Despite being almost 30 years old, Pokemon Red, Green, & Blue still attract players thanks to their simplicity and status as the games that started it all. Gamers still enjoy playing the game as intended and many have even developed challenge runs such as Nuzlockes, single-type, single-Pokemon, or even single-move runs.

But not all Pokemon are created equal, especially in games as top-heavy as the Gen 1 games Pokemon Red, Green, and Blue. We have assembled the 10 best Pokemon in the games and offer you a little insight as to what makes them so powerful.

Honorable Mention #2: Dragonite

You would think Dragonite would be in a higher spot on a list of powerful Pokemon as the first “pseudo-legendary,” one of the few Dragon-type Pokemon in Generation 1, and one of the “final bosses” of the game. Dragonite also has the second-highest base stat total in the game and has the highest Atack stat in the game at 134. It has a diverse movepool, led by what might be the most iconic Hyper Beam in Pokemon history. Unfortunately for Dragonite, it has a few things going against it.

The first is its typing. While Dragon is a rare type, it is weak to Ice, one of the most abundant attack types found in competitive and casual Pokemon. Dragonite’s secondary type, Flying, is also weak to Ice, meaning this powerful Pokemon is four times weak to one of the most common attacking types in the game. Second, there is only one Dragon-type move in the game and it does a fixed amount of damage, meaning it cannot get the Same-Type Attack Bonus (STAB) on its Dragon-typing. Lastly, its main competitive moveset utilizes the broken move Wrap, which locks the opponent out of acting for between two and five turns while slowly whittling away the opponent’s health.

Casually, it’s a difficult Pokemon to find. You have to find a Dratini or Dragonair (depending on which version you’re playing) in the Safari Zone, then slowly level it up to level 55 to get your Dragonite. Once you get it, it’s a powerful ally in battle, but getting there is a serious grind.

Honorable Mention #1: Gengar

Gengar has become a fan favorite and for many Trainers, their love for the Shadow Pokemon started right here in Generation 1. Gengar is a powerful Ghost/Poison-type Pokemon that can afflict the sleep status using Hypnosis. Sleep is a powerful status move in Generation 1 because a Pokemon cannot act the turn they wake up, allowing their opponent one more turn to act. Gengar also packs Thunderbolt, Explosion, and either Night Shade or Explosion to handle threats.

Many Trainers, especially early on, were duped into thinking Gengar would be strong against Psychic types. The Pokemon anime convinced players that Ghost-types were strong against Psychics, so many Trainers brought their Ghastlys, Haunters, and Gengars to face Sabrina and other Psychic-type Pokemon. Unfortunately, the anime neglected to mention that the Ghost family’s secondary typing, Poison, makes it weak to Psychic-type attacks. In a game where Psychic Pokemon are far and away the most powerful in the game, being weak to them is a death sentence.

Fortunately, Gengar’s strong base 110 Speed and base 130 Special make it usable but unreliable. If you’re playing casually, you won’t really need to worry about this, but if you want to join the Generation 1 competitive scene, it’s something to keep in mind.

10. Rhydon

Our main list begins with the first Pokemon programmed into the game, Rhydon. Rhydon is a fearsome attacker with one of the highest Attack stats in the game at 130. It can utilize this high Attack stat to annihilate foes with Earthquakes and Rock Slides that get STAB for tremendous damage. It can also use Body Slam to paralyze opponents. Rhydon also appreciates Substitute to protect itself from powerful super-effective attacks from Tauros or Exeggutor and striking back with its powerful attacks.

Like many of the Pokemon on this list, Rhydon evolves from a Pokemon found in the Safari Zone, making it a Pokemon that can help you progress through the mid-game and beyond. Rhyhorns are found all over the Safari Zone and can help you defeat Koga in Fuschia City and Blaine on Cinnabar Island.

9. Zapdos

Zapdos is the only legendary in the early spots on the list but it’s here for a good reason. It is one of the only powerful Pokemon with a strong Flying-type attack (Drill Peck) and possesses Thunderbolt or Thunder that can strike fear into even the bulkiest of foes. It also has access to Agility, which can boost its base 100 Speed to astronomical heights and allow it to sweep with its base 125 Special. Zapdos can also use Thunder Wave to remove bulky problem Pokemon like Tauros or Chansey.

Casually, it may be a bit difficult to get to Zapdos in the Power Plant but it immediately replaces other Electric types on your team like Raichu, Electabuzz, and even Jolteon. If you’re a stickler for not using legendaries, then all the power to you, but for those of us who like to blast unsuspecting Machops and Magikarp with high-powered Thunders, Zapdos is a shockingly good time.

8. Starmie

The first of many Psychic types that populate this list, Starmie should be familiar to fans of the series as one of Misty’s ace Pokemon. In your hands, Starmie can be even more formidable thanks to a wide variety of coverage moves that make it a bear to switch into.

Starmie has access to the “BoltBeam” combination of Ice Beam and Thunderbolt, STAB Psychic, Hydro Pump, and Surf, and Blizzard for attacking moves. For Status moves, Starmie can Thunder Wave opposing Pokemon and even use Recover to heal itself of damage. Starmie will always present a threat in Generation 1 and is a great addition to any team.

7. Exeggutor

Exeggutor is the next Psychic type to cement itself as a top threat in Pokemon’s Generation 1. It is a beefy Grass/Psychic type and weighs in with 95 base HP, 85 base Defense, and 125 base Special. Its unique typing makes it a challenging out, even in a metagame that has Ice Beam on basically every Pokemon.

Where Exeggutor earns its keep is by afflicting opponents with status moves like sleep and paralysis. As one of the only powerful Pokemon with access to Sleep Powder and Stun Spore, Exeggutor can threaten opponents with multiple status moves as well as STAB Psychic and even Explosion. This makes battling Exeggutor a difficult proposition that can have catastrophic results if you guess incorrectly.

For casual players, Exeggutor evolves from Exeggcute with a Leaf Stone. Exeggcutes are found all over the Safari Zone, making it another easy addition to your team in the mid-game which can stick around through the Elite Four.

6. Alakazam

The Psychic-type Alakazam is among one of the many constant threats in Generation 1 due to its typing and stats. Psychic is the best type in Gen 1 thanks to its few weaknesses and Alakazam has two strong stats that make it a force to be reckoned with — its 135 base Special and base 120 Speed. This makes Alakazam a powerful lead Pokemon to set the tone for the battle but he can also bat cleanup and clear out slower threats.

A moveset of Psychic, Reflect, Thunder Wave, and Recover is the standard, but you can replace Reflect with Seismic Toss if you already have a Reflect user on your team. Note that this game takes place before Alakazam receives Fire Punch, Ice Punch, and Thunder Punch. So while your coverage may not be ideal, you can always just Psychic most of your foes to smithereens without much care.

Abras are found very early in the game outside of Cerulean City but can’t contribute much until they evolve into Kadabra at level 16. Once you have a Kadabra, you will then need to trade the Kadabra to and from another game to get an Alakazam. That being said, Alakazam is worth the effort needed to get it.

5. Chansey

For many of you, seeing Chansey of all Pokemon on this list may be shocking. However, gamers who play Gen 1 games competitively know how frustrating and bothersome Chansey can be. It all starts with Chansey’s 250 base HP, giving it astounding HP totals when it hits level 100, along with a 105 Special, letting it hit moderately hard while surviving many Special attacks. Chansey thrives in Gen 1 so well due to the lack of Fighting types, its natural weakness, and a prevalence of Special attackers, attacks from which it can shrug off and hit back with a status move.

Chansey is known as a support Pokemon in the game world and its role is no different here. It utilizes its signature move, Soft-Boiled, to heal itself while zapping foes with Thunder Wave, limiting their mobility and potentially causing full paralysis. It can also set up Reflect to boost its team’s Defense stats. Lastly, Chansey can use Sing to put opponents to sleep. Although Taunt isn’t a factor in Gen 1, you will still want to give Chansey something to hit with. We recommend Seismic Toss or Ice Beam.

Chansey might not be the best Pokemon for a casual run but it is one of the most iconic competitive Pokemon in Generation 1 formats. If you enjoy Chansey, you can find it as a rare encounter in the Safari Zone or in the postgame Cerulean Cave.

4. Snorlax

The big, beefy roadblock of Gen 1, Snorlax, stumbles into the fourth slot on our list thanks to its impressive bulk and robust movepool. Snorlax has a humongous 160 base HP to go with a base 110 Attack and has moves like Reflect and Rest to help it stay alive. It also usually packs a STAB Body Slam to threaten paralysis on foes, and its fourth move slot is often a mystery until its too late. Is it Ice Beam? Is it Hyper Beam? What about Earthquake? No, it was Self-Destruct, and now your Pokemon has fainted.

Snorlax also gets bonus points for being easily accessible in a normal playthrough. You can get two Snorlaxes in the game — one on Route 12 south of Lavender Town, and another on Route 16 west of Celadon City. You need to use the Poke Flute to wake it up but since it’s a static encounter, you can easily save before battling it and keep trying until it’s yours.

3. Tauros

Tauros is a fearsome physical attacker and an iconic and powerful Pokemon in the Gen 1 games. He combines a staggering 100 Attack base stat with a blazing base 110 Speed to create a terrifying offensive threat that’s a challenge for any opposing team to handle. Simply put — you want a Tauros on your team, even if you’re playing casually.

STAB Hyper Beam and Body Slam are the tenants of Tauros’ moveset and are fearsome even to bulky Pokemon or those with resistances. The same Pokemon like Rhydon and Gengar who can survive Tauros’ Normal-type attacks won’t survive its high-powered Earthquake. Lastly, Tauros often keeps Blizzard or Thunderbolt as a coverage option or a way to deal with Rhydons with full HP.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — Tauros is found in the Safari Zone as yet another rare encounter. Much like the other names on this list, Tauros is worth the grind to bring home, maybe more so than all the other Pokemon found here. If you leave the Safari Zone with just one Pokemon on this list, make it Tauros.

2. Mew

The subject of everyone’s favorite Pokemon urban legend slots in at number two on our list for its unique ability. Mew can learn every TM in the game, allowing it to run any sort of moves you want. This keeps things unpredictable for your foes while allowing you to tailor your Mew to your team. Mew’s stats also allow it to flourish in this role — all of its base stats are 100, meaning it can do everything you want it to do.

Many players have their Mews function as a physical attacker and run Swords Dance along with either Hyper Beam or Body Slam to take advantage of the boost. Earthquake is a catch-all moe that hits hard, and Mew can even learn Explosion to take out serious threats (like the number one Pokemon on this list.)

Your Mew can even function as a support Pokemon with moves like Soft-Boiled, Reflect, and Thunder Wave, which can help soften up your opponent’s Pokemon for your more powerful Pokemon like Tauros and Alakazam.

Casually, it may be difficult to get Mew without cheating or glitching the game. Originally, Mew was given away as a promotional Pokemon through certain events. You can’t catch it in the wild and you certainly can’t find it under any trucks. You’ll have to get creative.

1. Mewtwo

Tremble in fear of the most powerful Pokemon ever. Gen 1 Mewtwo has no equals and earns its status as an unrequited fainting machine. Defeating Mewtwo is often a team effort requiring multiple Pokemon thanks to its unbelievable stats, diverse movepool, and stellar typing. Your only hope to survive its sheer might is to freeze, sleep, or paralyze it, then crush it with Hyper Beam or Earthquake to prey on its “weakest” stat — a 90 base Defense.

Metwo’s Gen 1 moveset starts with Amnesia, which will supercharge its sky-high Special stat and give it obscene levels of power and bulk. Next, you’ll run Recover, which restores HP and lets it stay in the fight. From there, you’ll use Psychic to take advantage of STAB and threaten to lower your opponent’s Pokemon’s Special stat. Lastly, Thunderbolt or Ice Beam serve as coverage options with a chance to afflict a status condition on the opponent.

Mewtwo serves as the reward for completing the Generation 1 games and is found in the Cerulean Cave. It is only accessible after clearing the Elite Four for the first time. Once you navigate through the perilous cave, filled with powerful Pokemon and difficult puzzles, your unbridled machine of war awaits you — a fitting award for you, the most powerful Trainer in the world.

Simply put, Mewtwo is in a class of its own and tests the limits of Pokemon, trainers, and even the games themselves thanks to its stats reaching heights that can break the game’s code. If the format you’re playing allows you to use Mewtwo, you absolutely must — because your opponent will definitely use their own.

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