Normal type Pokémon are to Pokémon what pieces of Honeydew are to a fruit salad – they don’t add much variety and they serve primarily to fix up space. In a world where trainers could train a flying, fire-breathing dragon or a giant turtle with massive cannons sticking out of its back, it’s difficult to get anyone enthused about training a small purple rat to the point where it becomes a slightly stronger and slightly larger brown rat.
While Normal type Pokémon are often the butt of the joke, with good reason, that doesn’t mean all Normal types are worth disregarding. The best Normal Pokémon are actually incredibly powerful when utilized properly and can make a nice addition to any Pokémon teams. Maybe it’s time to give Normal type Pokémon a second chance, and these 15 Pokémon are the best starting points for your new team.
Ursaring is one of the stand-out Normal type Pokémon from the second generation of games, mostly because of its powerful scratching attacks. Fluent in moves like Scratch, Fury Swipes, Slash, and Thrash, Ursaring’s long claws are as essential to its character as the ring on its stomach. Ursaring’s are useful primarily for their strong Attack stat, making them an efficient starting Pokémon in longer battles for damaging opponents.
Ursaring’s evolutionary chain also carries one of the definitive characteristics of Normal type Pokémon, in that it’s fairly easy to obtain them early on. In Pokémon Crystal, Ursaring’s initial form Teddiursa is available in Dark Cave, one of the very first locations that trainers encounter in Johto. While players focused on countering types tend to ignore Normal-type Pokémon later in the game, Players that are just starting out need Normal types to pad out their team. Ursaring may not have been in many player’s final lineups, but it serves a very important purpose.
Picking Ditto is almost cheating, seeing as this strange glob of pink glue is technically every type and no type all at once. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the odd, unique Pokémon that is Ditto leaves an awfully big impression on any budding Pokémon Trainers, standing out amongst the already iconic original 151. Ditto is a Normal Pokémon in type, but its abilities make this small pile of putty anything but normal.
Ditto only knows one move, the Normal type Transform. Using this move in battle move allows Ditto to stretch and shift its amorphous pink self into any Pokémon in the world. That means any Pokémon from the laughably weak Magikarp to the terrifyingly powerful Mewtwo. While in its transformed state it adapts the type of the Pokémon that it has transformed into, Ditto is still a normal type at heart – assuming it has a heart or other organs or follows the rules of traditional biology in the first place.
There are some constants in the beginning of every Pokémon game. The player will always get a choice between three starter Pokémon, those starter Pokémon will always be a collection of fire, water, and grass, and immediately after getting those starters the trainer will be sent into the larger world where he or she inevitably encounters a multitude of a low-level Normal/Flying-type Pokémon. In Generation I it was Pidgey and Spearow, in Generation II it was Hoothoot, Generation III had Tailow, and Generation IV had Starly. Anyone who skipped over a Starly, however, missed the chance to have the powerful Staraptor on their team.
Staraptor’s strengths lie in its high attack and speed stats, and powerful moves like Brave Bird and Final Gambit. Staraptor’s immense power and easy accesibility for trainers even earned it a featured spot on the anime as a part of Ash’s team. Staraptor may not be flashy, but it’s certainly reliable – which is exactly what a Normal type Pokémon should be.
Drink up! Miltank may not be the most spectacular-looking Pokémon introduced in Generation II, but this is not a book to be judged by its cover. Miltank are easily found in Johto’s MooMoo Farm and the routes nearby. While Miltank may not be striking fear into the heart of its opponents, this Pokémon boasts the highest defense of any non-legendary Normal Pokémon. Trainers shouldn’t underestimate Miltank’s resilience – this cow can’t be tipped so easily.
Not only can Miltank’s defense help it retain its health, but Miltank’s signature move allows it to regenerate its own health. Whenever Miltank uses the move Milk Drink, this Pokémon gains back up to 50% of its total health, and is able to use the move outside of battle to heal others as well. Miltank may not be the most powerful Pokémon one can get, but it’s easily a welcome addition to any team.
Snorlax is a big deal. The very embodiment of gluttony itself, Snorlax has a penchant for getting the munchies and falling asleep at the most inconvenient places. Its presence is iconic to any players familiar with Generation I, where an entire plot point revolved around getting Snorlax to wake up so that the player could progress through the game.
After awakening Snorlax with the Pokéflute, any trainers who managed to catch it were surely pleased to discover that this behemoth of a Pokémon was as powerful as it was lazy. With strong attack and special defense stats along with a shockingly high amount of HP, Snorlax was the closest thing most trainers could get to having a literal tank on their team, especially when it learned the devastating Hyper Beam. While is strength alone is reason enough to for caution, its ability to use the move Rest to gain back its HP and its penchant for holding the healing item Leftovers means that even if you manage to do some damage to this beast, it could all be for naught. For a Pokémon without any sleeves, Snorlax has a whole lot of tricks.
There’s no way that the Safari Zone should be legal. Letting unsupervised children wander around aimlessly in an area that could be described as “safari-like” is already a huge risk, but having them also be surrounded by some of the most dangerous Pokémon in the world? That’s just bad planning. The Safari Zone would never even be an option in a post-Harambe world, but venturing through the Safari Zone is the only way to get one’s hands on Kangaskhan in Generation I, so it’s a worthy risk indeed.
Kangaskhan is already one of the most powerful Pokémon in Generation I, but in Generation IV players are able to utilize Mega Kangaskhan whose base stats total an impressive 590, and even its baby gets in on the action. Mega Kangaskhan’s power has led to it being banned from some Pokémon tournaments, which is usually a sign that a Pokémon is worth being on your team.
So much more than just “Kind of like Taurus, but with an afro”, Bouffalant is a direct Pokénization of the American Bison. This beast comes fairly well-rounded, with sufficient HP, attack, defense, and special defense stats. What Bouffalant does lack in speed, it more than makes up for its relative slowness with one of the most devastating normal-type attacks in the series, Head Charge.
Bouffalant is currently the only Pokémon who can learn Head Chare, making it a devastating opponent at high levels. Head Charge’s power is registered at 120, placing it among the most powerful moves in the game. The only drawback with this powerful move is that Bouffalant recieves 25% of any damage dealt to the opponent. However, so much power has to come at a cost somehow, especially when Bouffalant can learn this move at the relatively low level of 31.
All hail the one true bird of Pokémon. Sure, it may not be able to hold a candle to the legendary trio of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, but there is no bird more embedded in the collective mind of the Pokémon fanbase than that of the Pidgeot evolutionary chain. One of the very first Pokémon that most trainers encounter, Pidgey, eventually evolves into perhaps the most recognizable bird in the world of Pokémon. Luckily for trainers, Pidgeot is as powerful as it is recognizable.
In its Mega form, Pidgeot is tied with Porygon-Z for having the highest special attack of all normal-type Pokémon, meaning that a move like Gust or Hurricane becomes suddenly lethal. That’s not bad at all for a lowly pigeon – even one that travels at supersonic speeds. Pidgeot’s power has made it a staple in the Pokémon series, being featured prominently on your rival’s team in Generation I of the games and on Ash’s team in the anime. Pidgeot’s got a substantial reputation in the Pokémon world, and it’s absolutely earned.
Swellow may just seem like a Pidgeot clone suited to Hoenn, and that’s because it is. However, there’s still a lot that this Normal type bird has to offer. While the majestic Swallow isn’t known for its attacking power in nature (unless you’re a bug, in which case your fate is already sealed), the Pokémon that borrows most of its name is one of the most devastating attackers you’ll find in Hoenn.
Swellow has the highest speed of any non-legendary Normal-type Pokémon, with stats comparable to fellow speedsters like Weavile and Darkrai. Its moveset also includes strong match-ending moves like Brave Bird and Aerial Ace. Swellow’s few weaknesses fail to take away from its massive strengths, making it a smart contribution to any team, unless you’re caught in a thunderstorm – in that case, you might want to keep moving.
Lopunny, on its own, is a fairly standard Pokémon. Lopunny is similar to many Normal-type Pokémon in that ways in that it is, on paper, incredibly average. Normal types exist primarily so that when trainers get an especially cool Pokémon they have something drab and dull to compare it next to. While Lopunny seems to only exist as Pokégarnish, its Mega form is the last thing you want to be on the wrong side of.
Mega Lopunny’s high base stats put it in the same company as three Pokémon you may have heard of, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, all of which share Mega Lopunny’s base stat value of 580. That’s right, adding a spark of Lopunnite to Lopunny turns it from your everyday bunny rabbit Pokémon into a powerful fighting machine equivalent to the original legendary birds. It’s the element of surprise that makes this Pokémon such a tricky opponent.
Pokémon mythology is weird. In Generation I most of the mythology of the world was based around science, Generation II borrowed from Japanese mythology, and Generation III had its roots in biblical creatures. Generation IV doubles down on the mythology that Pokémon always played with and introduced the Pokémon that created all of existence. That Pokémon is Arceus, and when your trainer catches it, it’s revealed to be a Normal-type Pokémon.
Sure, Arceus can be outfitted with a variety of plates to change its type, but regular ol’ Arceus is a Normal-type by nature. As if the sheer fact that it is a PokéGod isn’t enough, Arceus also has incredibly high stats and and incredibly varied and powerful moveset, including the flexible Judgement that adapts its type to whatever type Arceus is at any given time.
Since Arceus has a tendency to go and switch type every now and then, the only true Normal-type legendary Pokémon is Regigigas, who is still nothing to sneeze at. The master of Hoenn’s three Regis (Rock, Ice, and Steel), Regigigas’s description in some editions of the Pokédex state “There is an enduring legend that states this Pokémon towed continents with ropes.” Any Pokémon that can be attributed with the formation of the world is a Pokémon worth having on your side.
Regigigas is an incredibly powerful Pokémon, so much so that its own ability hinders it. The ability “Slow Start” halves its attack and speed for the first five turns, but once those turns are over expect Regigias to come out a-swingin’ in a major way with its powerful signature move, Crush Grip.
The Porygon evolutionary chain may be Normal-type, but frankly they’re the least “normal” Pokémon you’re going to run into in the entire game. Not only are they some of the few man-made Pokémon that exist, but the Porygon chain are actually digital Pokémon. Porygon, Digital (Pocket) Monsters, Porygon are the champions!
Porygon is one of the few Pokemon that’s actually caused damage in the real world, being indirectly responsible for seizures in children. The ultimate version of Porygon is also the least stable, Porygon-Z. Porygon-Z seems to have glitched out, but the power released from Porygon in this state makes it a powerful weapon. Porygon-Z has the highest Special Attack of any normal-type Pokémon, and with a moveset that includes Tri Attack and Hyper Beam, Porygon-Z won’t be showing any mercy in battle.
Blissey doesn’t seem dangerous, and in truth this Pokémon isn’t much to be afraid of – at first. Blissey has a friendly exterior and its whole narrative in the world of Pokémon is that its evolution line, which includes Happiny and Chansey, is that this Pokémon is adept at healing Pokémon, not hurting them. In fact, it’s so averse to combat that its attack and defense base stats are both a lowly 10. But what Blissey lacks in attack power, it makes up for in durability.
Blissey has the highest special defense base stats of any Normal-type Pokémon, and has the highest Base HP stats of all Pokémon. Blissey not only has a lot of HP, but is able to heal itself with its signature move, Soft-Boiled. Blissey won’t be dealing a lot of finishing blows, but it can exhaust and frustrate opponents easily which is often just as important in battle.
No non-legendary Pokémon should have the kind of power that Slaking has. Slaking has the highest base stats of any non-legendary and non-Mega Pokémon, making it more powerful than famously powerful choices for a team like Garchomp, Dragonite, and Arcanine. Slaking also has the highest Attack base stat of any Normal type Pokemon. As if that wasn’t enough, Slaking’s signature move, Slack Off, heals half of its HP. Slaking is the perfect Pokémon.
Well, it’s the perfect Pokemon with one hindrance. It’s ability, Truant, forces Slaking to skip every other turn in battle. While this is a massive hindrance to most Pokémon, Slaking’s sheer power needs this handicap to ensure that it’s a fair fight between it and any other Pokémon. Meanwhile, other Pokémon just need to hope that Slaking needs more than one hit to take them out.
With these 15 Normal Pokémon to choose from, there are plenty of options to vary your team and revisit some old favorite on your next play-through. Are these the Pokémon you would’ve picked? Did we miss any Pokémon? Sound off in the comments!
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