The original slogan of the Pokémon franchise was “Gotta Catch ‘Em All”, which was a lot easier said than done. In Pokémon Red & Blue, it was difficult because you needed to know other people who owned a copy of the game (as well as a link cable) and were willing to help you finish the Pokédex. The latest games in the series can connect to the Internet, which makes it easier to collect some of the rarer Pokémon. It’s just a shame that there are over eight hundred Pokémon now, which means that it’s going to take you a long time to catch them all.
We are here today to find out which are the hardest to find Pokémon in each game. We won’t be including things like Mew and Celebi, as Game Freak has given them away on numerous occasions. It’s time to pull out the Pokédex and search for the most powerful Magikarp of all time, as well as the elusive royal Bug-type Pokémon that has driven many trainers mad in their attempt to search for her.
Here are the 15 Rarest Pokémon In The Games – And How To Catch Them!
15. The Level 99 Hydro Pump Magikarp
Magikarp is one of the most common Pokémon you will ever see in the wild. They can be found in almost every body of water in the Pokémon world. The one exception to this is in Pokémon Black & White, as Magikarp are not native to Unova. You can only purchase a Magikarp from a salesman on the Marvelous Bridge.
The rarest Magikarp in Pokémon history was given away at a local event in Japan, which means that it was not available for download. The only way to receive this Magikarp was to visit the Pokémon Center in Nagoya, as it was distributed there, from March 20th to May 6th, back in 2013. It was released to promote the fact that the Pokémon Center was moving to a new building.
So what makes this Magikarp so special? It was a Shiny Pokémon (which is rare enough on its own), that was level 99 and carried a Rare Candy. The reason this Magikarp is so rare is because it knows Hydro Pump, which is a powerful Water-type move that Magikarp cannot normally learn. You could really conquer the Pokémon League with this feisty fish.
Dunsparce is one of the most useless Pokémon in the series. It is weak, slow, and cannot take many hits before it is knocked out. Dunsparce does not evolve into a more powerful Pokémon and it has yet to receive a Mega Evolution form. It exists only to fill up space on the Pokédex.
The first time Dunsparce appeared was in Pokémon Gold & Silver, where it would only appear in the Dark Cave. Game Freak was particularly sadistic about Dunsparce, as you only had a 1% chance of encountering it in the wild. You also had to go through the annoying process of using Flash to lighten up the cave, during the era when Flash was still an HM move. This meant that you had to drop off a member of your team and bring a so-called “HM Slave” Pokémon with you. All of this was way too much work for a Pokémon that was totally useless in battle.
Chimecho is an unusual Pokémon, in that it specializes in healing moves. The best use of Chimecho in battle is as a staller, as it can inflict status elements and just heal for the rest of the battle. This isn’t the best tactic in the world and it would likely get killed in a competitive match, but it at least has a niche. Chimecho is way more effective in battle than Dunsparce, yet it is almost as difficult to catch.
In Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, you can only find Chimecho on the summit of Mt. Pyre. You have a 2% chance of encountering a Chimecho within the tall grass on top of the mountain. This was made slightly easier in Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, as this chance was raised to 5%. You shouldn’t worry too much about finding Chimecho in this generation of games, as you can just trade for one over Wi-Fi.
Pokémon Sun & Moon introduced a new concept into the game, known as the SOS Battle. This means that a wild Pokémon can call allies into battle, which means that you will be facing two Pokémon at once. SOS Battles seemed like an interesting idea at first, but in practice, it tended to just artificially increase the length of fights.
One of the new Pokémon introduced in Sun & Moon was Mareanie. It is a Poison/Water-type Pokémon that can possess the awesome Merciless ability, which ensures that all of your attacks against a poisoned opponent are critical hits. A Mareanie was recently caught by James of Team Rocket in the Pokémon anime.
Mareanie is a notoriously difficult Pokémon to catch. You first have to encounter a Corsola in the wild (which is hard enough to do already) and use an Adrenaline Orb on it. This will make it nervous, which might cause it to call for help. There is a chance that Corsola will call a Mareanie into battle, which is the only way to encounter it in the wild.
11. Flying Pikachu
Pikachu is the star of the Pokémon franchise and has appeared in the promotional material of almost everything Pokémon related (including Black & White, where you couldn’t even catch one in the wild). As such, Pikachu has received several unique variants across the series. These include the Cosplay Pikachu from Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire and the Surfing Pikachu that can be earned in Pokémon Battle Revolution, which can be traded into Diamond & Pearl.
Back in the days of Pokémon Red & Blue, there was an incredibly rare Pikachu that was given away as part of a promotion. CoroCoro Comics gave away a Pikachu that knows the move Fly, as part of a competition. Only twenty of these Flying Pikachu were ever given away, which makes it the hardest to find Pikachu of all. They also gave away twenty Pikachu that knew Surf, but these soon became common, as you can trade a Pikachu over to Pokémon Stadium and teach it Surf there.
Pokémon Sun & Moon finally did away with needing HM moves to proceed through the game. The fandom rejoiced at this, as they had long become weary of having to take up useful move slots with things like Cut and Strength. Game Freak replaced HMs with a new concept, called Poké Ride. This allows you to ride certain Pokémon on the field and to use their unique talents as a replacement for an HM. You can ride a Tauros, for example, and break through any boulders you find on the path. This acts as a replacement for the Rock Smash HM.
One of the Poke Rides you are given is Sharpedo, which allows you move quickly across the water and to break through any rocks you find. The problem is, you cannot actually call the Sharpedo into battle. If you want to catch one in the wild, then you have to travel to the Poni Breaker Coast. You have a 1% chance of catching a Sharpedo here. You can increase this to 10% by fishing at a bubbling spot of water. The problem is, the water returns to normal after you have fished there. You have to leave the area and return in order to make the bubbles come back, which is just as tedious as hoping to encounter one in the wild.
9. Munchlax & The Four Trees
Baby Pokémon are one of the worst additions to the series. They exist only to fill out the Pokédex, as they are totally useless in battle and are a notorious pain to evolve, as you need to raise the Friendship stat of the Pokémon, instead of its level.
Pokémon Diamond & Pearl introduced a Baby pre-evolution form for Snorlax, which was called Munchlax. It was the first new Pokémon introduced for the upcoming fourth generation of games, which caused many fans to believe that it would be easy to find…
In Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, there are twenty-one trees in the game which can be slathered in honey. This will attract wild Pokémon to the tree, which you can then battle. When you start a new save file, the game will randomly assign four of the twenty-one trees as the only ones that will spawn a Munchlax. If you manage to find one of these trees, then you have a 1% chance of encountering a Munchlax. Happy slathering!
No one cared about Kangaskhan until the introduction of Mega Evolutions. In Pokémon Red & Blue, it could only be found in the Safari Zone, which made it a pain to catch. When you finally found one, you discovered that it was useless in battle. Kangaskhan was just a boring Normal-type Pokémon, that had no worthwhile traits.
In Pokémon X & Y, Kangaskhan received a Mega Evolution. This made the baby Kangaskhan leap from its mother’s pouch and enter the battle. In game terms, this means that Mega Kangaskhan gains the Parental Bond ability, which allows it to attack twice per turn, with the second attack dealing half damage. Kangaskhan is now one of the best Pokémon in the game and is a regular sight in official tournaments.
Kangaskhan’s newly found popularity may be why it was made so difficult to find in Alola. The only place you can encounter a wild Kangaskhan in Pokémon Sun & Moon is at the Wela Volcano, where you only have a 1% chance of meeting it.
The Safari Zone is one of the most annoying parts of the Pokémon series. Every time you encounter a wild Pokémon, you are forced to play a stupid guessing game, regarding which one of the items you should use against it. In most battles, you can just put the Pokémon asleep, or waste a Master Ball on it. The Safari Zone does not allow any shortcuts, which means you will be stuck spending hours trying to find a Tauros who won’t run away from you in the first round.
In Pokémon Red & Blue, you can only encounter a Chansey in the Safari Zone. It has either a 1% or 4% chance of spawning, depending on your location, and you have to use the Safari Zone method of trying to catch it.
Of all of the Pokémon on this list, Chansey is the one that is worth the time it takes to catch. Don’t let its cute face and happy demeanor fool you – Chansey is an absolute monster on the battlefield. It has dominated the competitive scene since the days of Red & Blue, due to its incredibly high stats and an amazing selection of moves. This is one egg that you don’t want to mess with.
6. Spiky-Eared Pichu
It is possible to trade Pokémon between Red & Blue and Gold & Silver, with the aid of the Time Capsule. You cannot trade Pokémon from the first and second generations into the third and beyond, due to how the rules of the game were changed at a basic level. The exception to this is the 3DS versions of Red & Blue & Yellow, which can trade Pokémon into Sun & Moon. You can trade all Pokémon from Ruby & Sapphire onwards into the later games… with one exception.
There was a Pikachu colored variant of Pichu, that was released as a downloadable Pokémon in HeartGold & SoulSilver. If you take this to the shrine in Ilex Forest, then you will find a Spiky-eared Pichu, which has three points on one of its ears. This Spiky-eared Pichu cannot be traded into any other game, which means that it is stuck inside HeartGold & SoulSilver.
Pokémon Red & Blue introduced the concept of trade evolutions. These were elusive third evolutionary forms for Pokémon, which could only happen when the Pokémon was traded to another player. In Red & Blue, this was restricted to Kadabra (into Alakazam), Machoke (into Machamp), Haunter (into Gengar), and Graveler (into Golem). One of the new trade evolutions that were added into Pokémon Gold & Silver involved trading a Poliwhirl that was holding a King’s Rock, which will then evolve into Politoed.
In Pokémon Sun & Moon, it is possible to catch a Politoed in the wild. The method for doing this is very obscure, however, and you are not likely to discover it without a guide.
If you travel to the Malie Garden, then there is a 1% chance that a wild Pokémon will use its SOS command and call in a Politoed as an ally, which you can then catch. The only time a Pokémon will call a Politoed is at night… when it is raining. You might be waiting a while before you meet one in battle.
4. Pay Day Fearow & Rapidash
In Pokémon Red & Blue, you can visit a Pokémon Fan Club in Vermilion City. The Chairman of this Club will talk to you about how much he loves Rapidash. In fact, he goes into a creepy amount of detail concerning his affection for Rapidash. Once he finally stops talking, he will give you the ticket that you can trade for a Bicycle. The Chairman doesn’t require it, as he can use his Fearow to fly from place to place.
One of the earliest Pokémon distribution events involved a stamp collection contest, that was held across several different magazines. The winners would receive a Rapidash and a Fearow, both of which could use Pay Day. This is the signature move of Meowth, which cannot normally be learned by either Rapidash or Fearow. These Pokémon were inspired by the Chairman of the Pokémon Fan Club and his love for his two favorite monsters.
Feebas was a new Water-type Pokémon that was introduced in Ruby & Sapphire. It is supposed to mirror Magikarp in several different ways. Feebas has terrible stats and is totally useless in battle, much like Magikarp. When Feebas evolves, however, it turns into an elegant and beautiful serpent, whereas Magikarp transforms into a violent beast.
One way in which Feebas mirrors Magikarp is in where it is found. If you want to find a Magikarp in the Pokémon world, then you usually only need to look in the nearest puddle, as they are everywhere. In Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, Feebas can only be found in the river on Route 119. Only six random water tiles contain a Feebas, which means that you have to have multiple random battles on each individual square of water, in order to make sure that you haven’t missed one that will spawn a Feebas.
In Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, you can only find Feebas in four random spots, in the waters of Mt. Coronet. Luckily for the player, this was the generation when trading over the Internet was first possible, so it was easier to just find someone online who had bred a bunch of Feebas and wanted to trade.
2. Lance’s Dragonite
Lance is one of the most notorious cheaters of the Pokémon universe. His three Dragonites in Pokémon Gold & Silver are all under level 55, despite Dragonair not being able to evolve until it reaches that level. Lance’s Aerodactyl can also use Rock Slide, which it could not learn through legitimate means in Gold & Silver.
In Pokémon Red & Blue, Lance’s Dragonite knows Barrier, which it cannot normally learn. This can actually be used against him, as was discovered in Twitch Plays Pokémon Red. When Dragonite faced off against Venomoth, it kept using Barrier, because the A.I. is programmed to use a type-effective move at all times. This allowed the Venomoth to overcome the Dragonite in battle, as it was unable to use any move other than Barrier.
Lance was finally made somewhat legitimate in 2016, as players who took part in the Kanto Classic tournament would each receive a code for a special download. They would each receive a Dragonite that knew Barrier, which finally made Lance’s team in Pokémon Red & Blue legit.
1. Shiny Vespiquen
The craziest kind of Pokémon trainer is the Shiny Hunter. These are trainers who purposely seek out Shiny Pokémon, which are a different color from the regular kind that you will normally encounter. The chances of meeting a Shiny Pokémon are incredibly slim. As of Pokémon Sun & Moon, you have a 1/1024 chance of a Pokémon you meet being a Shiny. There are a few ways to increase your chances, such as finding the Shiny Charm (which is given to you when you complete the Pokédex), but it will still take you a long time to meet one.
There is one Pokémon that keeps Shiny Hunters awake at night. Its name is Vespiquen and it was first introduced in Diamond & Pearl. The only way to catch a Vespiquen is to evolve it from Combee at level 21. This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that only female Combee can evolve into Vespiquen, and you only have a 12% chance of any Combee being female. In order to find a Shiny Combee, you have to take the regular chance of finding a Shiny Pokémon and increase it by several magnitudes, as you are far more likely to find or breed a male Combee.
The existence of Shiny Vespiquen proves that only the most dedicated (or insane) trainers would ever try and catch them all.
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