The 9 Worst Pokémon In Gold & Silver: Hands Down

The 9 Worst Pokémon In Gold & Silver: Hands Down

Pokémon Gold and Silver leap into the second generation of Pokémon games after the immense success of Red and Green/Blue/Yellow. Released in the early 2000s, Gold and Silver came out when Pokémon was still finding its feet and deciding on important mechanics. People were only beginning to understand how big the franchise was growing. These games, while the top bestsellers on the Game Boy Color at the time, now feel a little rough around the edges. While things improved for the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS, some issues still remain.

Don’t get us wrong — Gold and Silver are still incredibly fun to revisit if you’re in the mood to enjoy earlier Pokémon on an emulator. But for the best experience, we suggest avoiding some of the pitfalls…like Pokémon that just don’t perform well. On your way to beat the gyms and complete your Pokedex, you should avoid trying to battle with (and often against) these weak picks.


Ugghhh…Unown. This is a no-brainer, right? No one actually likes Unown. This collection of different shapes isn’t meant to be fun. It’s meant to pad out how many Pokémon you can collect. Generation 2 had 26 of them floating around, all useless and annoying. Sure, you can capture a few to help improve your Pokedex, but that’s about the only use they have.

Sure, they do have an attack — kind of. They switch moves every time they use it, which is unpredictable and definitely not a power than you want your team to have. So what’s left? They don’t evolve. You can’t use them in battle. They’re an annoying sidequest in the Ruins of Alph, a bit of random lore, and not much more. Maybe they should count as Pokémon at all.


Sentret encounter in Pokemon Silver.
Don’t let Sentret bug you.

Okay, if Unown doesn’t really count as a Pokémon, then Sentret should barely count. This sentry Pokémon is designed to pair up with other Pokémon and give them a headstart to escape or battle more effectively. When you’re facing a Sentret, they’re annoying and sap the fun out of battles. Trying to use one is even worse. Their limited move set doesn’t do much of anything. There are a couple of light attacks and some defense power-ups…and that’s it.

Sure, you can level a Sentret up to a Furret if you really want to, but who would? Your handful of weak abilities remains the same. You could teach it via Technical Machines, but why bother? There’s nothing that Sentret does that other Pokémon can’t do much better, except for slow the game down a bit in the beginning.


Animated Delibird flies through the air.
Somehow, Delibird exists.

Delibird is technically a full-fledged and usable Pokémon, but we sure wish it wasn’t. An array of confusing decisions make this Pokémon worse than nothing if you’re trying to put together a powerful collection. First, it’s a flying type but doesn’t appear to get any flying type advantages that you’d expect. It doesn’t even have a flying-type attack until its very last learned skill (and no one has the patience to level Delibird that far).

But it gets worse. The attacks Delibird does start with are horrible. IItsstarter has a high chance of restoring HP instead of taking it away, so you never want to use it. Later-learned attacks aren’t much better, including a buff that actually slows you down, the randomized Hidden Power, and ice attacks with an incredibly low chance of freezing. Oh, and there’s no evolution to make this Pokémon better or look cooler, so you’re stuck with this form. Delibird is an excellent example of how some Pokémon in Gen-2 just weren’t meant to be used by the player.


Image of Dunsparce.
We don’t know what Dunsparce is, only that it sucks.

Dunsparce is so incredibly useless in Gen-2 that it received an overhaul in later games that made it a special-case Pokémon players still didn’t want to use. But in its Gold and Silver form, it’s even worse, lacking any evolutionary form.

At least its slug-fish-wing body is accurate, because this Pokémon can’t do much of anything. It’s another pick with very unimpressive moves, many of which don’t do any direct damage. Players are left with a handful of lame options that take a long time to learn. Even its ultimate move hurts the Dunsparce to use.

There’s absolutely no reason to pick this Pokémon for anything. Later games may have given it a rare evolutionary path to get somewhat stronger as Dudunsparce (it gets another segment and sometimes two), but these games don’t even have that option.


Look, there may be a player or two out there who enjoyed playing with Smeargle, but they’re the type of gamers who are gluttons for punishment. This little guy doesn’t have an evolutionary path, likes to hang around Unowns, and doesn’t have the most impressive stat ranges, either.

What Smeargle does have is a trick. It’s a very annoying trick that tests the patience of a saint, but it can technically work. Instead of learning moves as it levels up, Smeargle gains a certain number of Sketch abilities. Each Sketch ability allows the Pokémon to copy and learn the last move that was used by an opponent. Since it learns the move, it can assemble a collection of copycat abilities gathered from all kinds of Pokémon. Or, since you don’t have any other options in the beginning, it could learn the most useless moves in the game.

In theory, that means a player could drag their Smeargle around to a bunch of different encounters to assemble a move set of almost any attack in the game. That sounds exhausting just to think about. We’re tired, Smeargle. Don’t make things worse.


Animated Wobbuffet smiles.
Begone, blob.

Wobble away, Wobbuffet. This Pokémon is so bad it’s barely worth talking about. Adding a pre-evolution form with Wynaut many generations later didn’t do much to help, either. In Silver and Gold, there’s no evolution to speak of for this psychic Pokémon and really not much to talk about at all. With no gimmicks like Smeargle, players are left with only four different moves. That’s it: Wobbuffet doesn’t learn any others, so options are extremely limited and leveling up is a snoozefest.

Those four moves aren’t great, either. Wobbuffet can counter physical attacks and special attacks very easily, but otherwise it doesn’t serve a purpose. Well, it gets a cameo in the first Pokémon show, we guess that’s something — and it’s sure annoying to fight against, which is more than some Pokémon can say.


Pineco image from Pokemon.
At least Pineco can explode himself out of your tea,

A living pinecone isn’t exactly the most exciting concept, so we’re a little surprised this one made it all the way off the drawing board and into the game. If you don’t remember it, there’s a good reason for that. No one ever found much use out of Pineco, especially when so many other powerful Pokémon exist as alternatives. Its most notable move was to explode itself and immediate faint after, so even the developers seemed to understand how useless the little guy could be.

Sure, over time it had the option to evolve in Forretress, but it wasn’t a great choice, either. Self-inflicted damage remained an issue, and its other moves lacked general utility. As result, we — like so many players — were left asking why this Pokémon exists at all.


Shuckle in the animated Pokemon show.
You can use Shuckle, but you’ll regret it.

Shuckle is a strange bug-turtle Pokémon, and the first time players find one, many hope that it will evolve into something strange and wonderful. No such luck: This Pokémon has no evolutionary path, no great stats, and no reason to use it at all. This is yet another Pokémon with a disappointing move set that you have to augment with precious Technical Machines to even make remotely usable in most situations.

Fighting a Shuckle is even more annoying than realizing how bad it is on your team. Shuckle is best described as a waste of time. Its attacks focus on reducing speed and blocking target moves for multiple turns or restricting attacks for multiple turns. It does nothing but draw out fights to ridiculous levels, and just when you think you’ve beaten it, it could use a Rest and fully restore itself.


Qwilfish image from Pokemon.
Don’t be tempted by Qwilfish.

At a glance, Qwilfish looks like it could be a good pick. It has both water and poison attacks, and a rare move that can make it harder to hit over time, which sounds like a fun combo. Unfortunately, in practice, this Pokémon is just disappointing. Many of its moves waste time and depend primarily on poison to do any damage. You need to level it up a lot to learn more powerful moves, and they come with downsides that other Pokémon don’t have. Take Down damages the attacker, so that’s a bust. And Hydro Pump has a high chance to miss completely, so why bother?

Add in the lack of an evolutionary path to help Qwilfish get cooler, and there’s just nothing here. They even altered Qwilfish for Crystal to try and make it better, and it remained at the bottom of the list.

FAQs on the Worst Pokémon in Gold and Silver

Now let’s cover a few important questions gamers have raised about dealing with bad Pokémon in Gold and Silver.

Does This List Work for Pokémon Crystal, Too?

Yes. In almost every case, our poor Pokémon choices also apply to HeartGold, SoulSilver, and Crystal. Pokémon Crystal was a third version of Generation 2 released with some new content but generally the same gameplay. That includes Pokémon that really aren’t worth the effort. However, note that some Pokémon were actually removed from Crystal, so you don’t have to worry about them even if they were bad picks. That includes Vulpix, Mankey, Ampharos, Mareep, Ninetales, Remoraid, and a few others.

Were New Pokémon Added in Gold and Silver?

Yes, Pokémon were greatly expanded in these games, with some mixed results. Two entirely new types were added, Steel and Dark, with their own immunities and weaknesses. There are also new legendary Pokémon in the game, like Raukou, Entei, and Suicune (which can also differ based on which version of the game you are playing). These legendaries also introduced the concept of rare Pokémon that wandered around the map and could only be found at random or in certain situations.

How Do I Easily Catch Pokémon in Gold and Silver?

As with other games, work to lower Pokémon HP without making them faint and then use a Pokeball to try and capture one. However, this generation also introduced new specialized Pokeballs, like the Great Ball, which make capturing higher-level Pokémon easier. Master the use of Pokeballs and the right attacks, and you’ll be capturing in no time.

Can I Breed a Better Pokémon in Gold and Silver?

You can try. Gold and Silver, as well as their remakes, introduced the possibility of breeding Pokémon if you find a male and female version. If you breed a Pokémon this way, it will combine a different type (mother’s side) and move set (father’s side). Theoretically, breeding allows you to fix problems with a type of Pokémon you really like but which doesn’t play very well in practice. Think of it as an alternative if you don’t mind putting in extra work. However, not all Pokémon can breed.

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