Don’t let the cute and colorful characters fool you – Pokémon battling is one of the most complex, nuanced eSports in existence. It’s like an enormous game of chess, where players have over seven hundred pieces to choose from, each of which have their own customizable rules, moves, and abilities.
In the decades that competitive Pokémon battling has existed as a pastime, players have sought endlessly to find perfect, unbeatable strategies that will allow a single Pocket Monster to sweep through a full team of six opponents, coming out unscathed.
No Pokémon is truly unbeatable in one hundred percent of scenarios, as if ever such a creature was discovered, Game Freak would be quick to patch the game. There are, however, plenty of strategies that are so devious and infuriatingly smart as to render an opponent’s entire team useless in the majority of situations. Certainly, the Pokémon on this list will have no problem taking out the majority of unskilled opponents, and can only be defeated in very specific scenarios.
As a result of many of these strategies, the meta game surrounding Pokémon has changed dramatically, as players are forced to take into account these otherwise unbeatable Pokémon in order to actually stand a chance against their unique gimmicks. If a player hasn’t prepared for these potential scenarios, though, many of the Pokémon on this list simply cannot be countered. Some of these strategies are now obsolete, but their effects are still felt within the Pokémon community.
Here are 15 Pokémon That Are Actually Unbeatable.
Believe it or not, there is almost no Pokémon that’s quite as universally hated in the competitive battling scene as Rattata. The small rodent Pokémon doesn’t even need to be within the top percentage of Rattatas in order to be a problem for other players.
If ever a player sends out a level one Rattata during a competitive match, it’s a trap. One of the most popular (and widely hated) strategies in Pokémon is known as F.E.A.R., which is short for Focus Sash, Endeavor, (Quick) Attack, Rattata.
The strategy works by getting Rattata to hold a Focus Sash, which allows it to survive a powerful KO hit with a single HP point left – as the Rattata is level one, any move the opponent uses will reduce Rattata to a single HP. Rattata then uses Endeavor, a move which cuts the opponent’s health down to the same HP, leaving the opponent with a single HP point left as well. Then, the Rattata uses Quick Attack to beat its opponent before it can respond.
It’s hard to believe that Bidoof, at one point the biggest joke in the Pokémon franchise, ultimately ended up being banned from many competitive circles.
While this tiny beaver Pokémon might look harmless, it has a special ability which essentially broke the Pokémon meta game. Moody is a tricky to use ability which dramatically raises one of a Pokémon’s stats at random each turn, while slightly lowering another stat. In essence, this means that Bidoof gets more and more powerful the longer it’s kept in play.
Particularly problematic is the Evasion stat, which, if raised more than once, essentially makes Bidoof untouchable. Almost all attacks will miss, and Bidoof is free to slowly hack its way through an opponent’s entire team. Thus, players realized that they could use delaying moves like Protect to keep Bidoof alive long enough to get a random boost to Evasion, at which point, the creature becomes unbeatable.
Shedinja is a curious Pokémon for a number of reasons, not least the bizarre steps that are needed to capture one.
Shedinja has only a single HP point, which will never rise, but its ability, Wonder Guard, protects it against all moves except those that would be super effective, such as fire, flying, or ghost moves.
Naturally, this means that, when going up against many opponents, Shedinja is automatically unbeatable. If an attacking Pokémon doesn’t have one of the very few moves that will damage Shedinja, this creature can’t be knocked out. The flipside of this is that if the opponent does have a move that will be super effective, Shedinja will faint instantly.
There are several tricks that can be used to keep Shedinja in play, many of which involve the tricky business of switching abilities that can be achieved through some means, such as moves like Entrainment or Trace. If Shedinja can gain the Sturdy ability (which is hard to achieve), it will always be left with one HP after any hit, meaning that in most situations, it’s unkillable, as it only has 1HP anyway.
There are plenty of ways to take down a Breloom in battle if you get the chance. The challenge is actually having an opportunity to land a hit.
Breloom’s signature move is Spore, which works similar to Sleep Powder, but is far more effective. Where Sleep Powder only puts the opponent to sleep 80% of the time, Spore is 100% accurate, meaning that Breloom can easily take an opponent out of the game for several rounds at a time. What’s more, Breloom has a lot of significant fighting-type moves that can do a lot of damage to opponents while they’re asleep, meaning that it can easily knock out most foes while the opposing player looks on in dismay.
While it’s useful in most circumstances, Breloom unfortunately has a lot of weaknesses if anything goes wrong. It’s significantly weak to flying type attacks, so if the player isn’t careful and the opposing Pokémon wakes up from its sleep early, Breloom can get in trouble, but under most circumstances, it’s a solid battler that won’t go down without causing a lot of grief.
While not one of the strongest Pokémon in existence, Togekiss has a neat trick that makes it an utter pain for many players, and which can turn it into an unbeatable opponent in the right circumstances.
Togekiss’ ability, Serene Grace, gives it a higher chance of causing its opponent to flinch and miss a turn of attacking. Some enterprising players have realized that it’s possible to chain these effects, using the move Air Slash, which also boosts the chance of flinching, in order to deal out hits that the opponent literally cannot respond to.
Thus, in the right circumstances, Togekiss can hit an opponent multiple times without being hit in return, as the opposing Pokémon is stuck constantly flinching.
This isn’t a surefire strategy, though, not least because Togekiss’ stats aren’t fantastic. Togekiss won’t be winning any major competitions any time soon, but when it comes to beating casual players in the most frustrating way possible, there are certainly worse choices than the final evolution of Togepi.
Once upon a time, Blissey, the evolved form of Chansey, was considered one of the biggest pains in the competitive battling scene. A Pokémon with a phenomenally high natural HP, Blissey can take hits like a champ, and its healing moves mean that it’s hard to take down.
Then, with the introduction of the Eviolite item, Blisseys all disappeared from competitive play, as Chansey took the foreground instead. The Eviolite boosts a Pokémon’s defense when they’re holding it, so long as the Pokémon has not evolved into its final form. Chansey, then, has an enormous HP, as well as a large defensive boost, making it incredibly hard to take down.
Add to this the fact that Chansey can learn Minimize to raise evasion, and players will only very rarely manage to hit the Pokémon in the first place. On the very rare occasion that a move will successfully hit Chansey, the Pokémon can quickly heal using the move Softboiled, meaning that the opposing player has to start all over again.
Obviously under normal circumstances, Pikachu isn’t going to be an unbeatable Pokémon (unless the Pikachu in question is Dwayne Johnson). If, though, a trainer uses a very, very complicated and convoluted strategy to swap Shedinja’s Wonder Guard ability onto Pikachu (or any electric type Pokémon, for that matter), things get more interesting.
As we covered above, Wonder Guard blocks all moves that aren’t going to be super effective. Electric type Pokémon only have a single weakness: ground types. A hold item called the Air Balloon temporarily gives an Electric type Pokémon immunity to ground type attacks, at least until it is hit by another move, and the balloon bursts.
So, if a player manages, through a convoluted process of switching around Wonder Guard, to get it onto a Pikachu that has an Air Balloon, then the Pikachu can’t be hit by any moves of any time.
It’s probably for the best, then, that Wonder Guard can’t be switched around easily in a normal game – the move Trace will allow a Pokémon to gain Wonder Guard, but it’s hard to get this into play in a normal battle. This difficulty is the only thing that stops Pikachu from becoming an unbeatable battling machine in most scenarios.
While Shuckle might look like a bit of a joke, this tiny turtle Pokémon actually has an impressively strong defense. This comes with the tradeoff that its attack is incredibly weak, but players have found that there are plenty of ways to make use of a Pokémon that can’t be easily cracked that don’t resort to attacking with brute strength.
Shuckle can learn both Toxic and Infestation, both of which damage an opponent every round until they are switched out. Once an opponent has been poisoned with these moves, Shuckle can use Protect to keep itself safe from retaliation, at which point the match becomes a waiting game as the opponent’s health is slowly drained away while they’re powerless to stop it. If Shuckle is able to use a defensive attack, it will be able to survive even more pressure, meaning that the majority of opponents will have an exceptionally hard time in taking it out.
With the introduction of the Fairy type in Pokémon X and Y, Clefable went from being almost completely useless, to becoming one of the most dangerous Pokémon in the game. Its pure Fairy typing makes it a worthy opponent against dragons, but its real benefit comes in the form of the one-two punch that is Cosmic Power and Stored Power.
Cosmic Power boosts the user’s defense and special defense, meaning that it’s exceptionally hard to do significant damage to Clefable – especially when used alongside Minimize, which raises Clefable’s evasion stat. Then, Stored Power is an attack move that increases in strength for every stat boost that the user has in play, meaning that as Clefable’s defense rises with Cosmic Power, its attacking ability also rises.
Another Pokémon to make use of the F.E.A.R. strategy that has made Rattata so formidable in the competitive battling scene, Aron (the unevolved form of Aggron) takes the formula a step further thanks to its Sturdy ability. As noted with Shedinja, Sturdy means that if a Pokémon is hit by a move that should wipe it out in a single turn, it instead will be knocked back to a mere 1HP. This is the same effect as the Focus Sash that Rattata holds in order to gain this power, meaning that Aron is free to hold an item as part of the strategy.
A held berry that restores health works perfectly for bringing Aron immediately back to full health, meaning that, yet again, it can’t be knocked out. From there, all the player needs to do is make sure that Aron uses Endeavor before it heals, and a Quick Attack will instantly knock out an opponent, no matter how low Aron’s stats are.
Anyone who’s ever played Pokémon will probably already be well aware of just how much of a pain Snorlax can be. The Pokémon has a high defense and hit points, and its signature move is Rest, which allows it to instantly heal up to full health no matter how damaged it might have been, with the downside that Snorlax then goes to sleep for several rounds.
Eventually, players realized that Snorlax could be boosted to be even more difficult to beat. The move Stockpile allows Snorlax to boost its defense and special defense, meaning that its already impressive natural stats become even more potent. If Snorlax is given a Sitrus berry to hold, it can also instantly wake up from its sleep after using Rest, although most players prefer to use Leftovers as a hold item instead, as it allows Snorlax to regenerate health each round without needing to pause for a nap in the first place.
Magnemite uses a very sneaky variation of the F.E.A.R. technique to punch high above its weight in competitive battles. The Pokémon naturally has the Sturdy ability, which prevents it from being knocked out from a single attack, leaving it with 1HP. A held berry will allow Magnemite to instantly reheal, and Magnemite is also able to use the move Recycle, which will instantly restore a berry after it has been consumed for health.
This means that, by constantly using Recycle, Magnemite can’t be beaten by straight attack moves, as it will always be left with 1HP, before healing.
But what good is this strategy if Magnemite has to keep using the same move? Luckily, the Pokémon can also learn Toxic and Swagger, both moves which can do damage to the opponent periodically, as they’re poisoned or confused. Magnemite can therefore set up one of these moves when it first comes into play, and can constantly heal itself as its opponent beats itself up or succumbs to poison.
Another Pokémon that makes use of sneaky poison strategies, Gliscor has a great moveset for setting up Toxic and then waiting for its effects to take place. Gliscor’s defense it pretty solid to begin with, and it can hold the Poison Orb item to slowly regain health every round. It also has Protect, which will shield it from attacks for a turn, and Roost, which allows it to heal a large chunk of health when it’s seriously injured.
Gliscor, then, is great for any player who wants to annoy their opponents to death. Using Toxic, Gliscor can then wait until the opposing Pokémon faints, all the while healing every turn. For an added boost of nastiness, Gliscor is also able to learn Toxic Spikes, which will poison any Pokémon that enters the battle, so the opponent can’t even switch out without getting in trouble.
Much like Rattata, Magnemite, and Aron, Nosepass is capable of using a variation on the F.E.A.R. strategy that so many Pokémon players have come to hate. This Pokémon, though, has an interesting twist on the formula, thanks to a move called Pain Split.
Nosepass has Sturdy, so it can’t be taken out in a single hit, and Pain Split adds both Pokémon’s remaining HP together and dividing by two, averaging out each Pokémon so that the pair are on an equal amount of health. If Nosepass is at a low level, this is a cheeky way to instantly drop the opponents health, while healing from every attack the opponent makes. Even if the opponent doesn’t attack Nosepass, it will still be able to steal away half of the opposing Pokémon’s health.
Some moves, such as Sandstorm, will inflict a small amount of damage onto all Pokémon on the field every round. As a rock type, though, Nosepass is immune to the effects of Sandstorm, making it a useful Pokémon in a variety of situations, and truly impossible for many foes to take down.
While Smeargle’s stats are nothing to write home about, the Pokémon does get used in a variety of unique and interesting ways thanks to its special move, Sketch, which allows it to learn any move in the entire game by observing another Pokémon using it.
This means that a lot of the strategies on this list can be used by Smeargle. With Endeavor, it can be used in a similar way to Rattata as a F.E.A.R Pokémon. It can also learn Breloom’s Spore ability to put opponents to sleep effortlessly. It can learn Toxic, Infestation, Pain Split, and Trace. Any strategy that a player can think of, Smeargle can be used to put it into place.
Primarily, Smeargle is used in competitive battlers not as an attacker – its stats aren’t great enough to make that happen – but instead as a tool to set up a more powerful Pokémon with a series of stat boosts. If Smeargle boosts its attack stat and then uses Baton Pass to switch to another Pokémon, that Pokémon will keep all attack stat boosts that Smeargle gained.
In essence, this means that in the right set of circumstances, Smeargle is not only formidable in its own right, but, crucially, it can be used to make any other Pokémon near unbeatable, with a series of otherwise impossible stat boosts.
It’s worth repeating yet again that none of these strategies are foolproof. Pokémon is an incredibly complicated game with so many different variables that it’s impossible to predict all of the different scenarios that could come up during a competitive match.
Under the right conditions, though, any of the Pokémon on this list can become an unstoppable force that will shrug off all opponents. All it takes is the right preparation, a lot of practice, and a little luck, and these Pokémon will wipe the floor with anything that comes their way.
The only problem comes when the opponent has done their research as well. If you’re playing against someone who’s familiar with these technique, they’ll be more likely to exploit the very rare situations that render these strategies useless. In Pokémon, a trainer’s most prized asset is not the Pokémon they battle with, but their understanding of what strategies and techniques their opponent is going to try and get away with.