The Pokémon video game franchise has become one of the most popular and most iconic franchises in the world. Originally, the first-generation games of Pokémon Red and Blue (Green in Japan) introduced over 151 different Pokémon. Today, that list has increased to well over 800 Pokémon, many of which can only be obtained during special events.
As the games evolved, the first generation of Pokémon evolved along with them. With new game mechanics, such as Mega Evolution and the expansion of battle and support items, the first generation of Pokémon have proven themselves to be more than a match for the latest generations of Pokémon.
Among the first generation, there are certain Pokémon that everyone goes out of their way to catch. Surprisingly, these Pokémon have some pretty weak stats. Fortunately, their weak stats are only a temporary problem. The motivations for catching these Pokémon vary. Some catch them because they have a powerful evolution they desperately want. other times people catch them out of a sense of appreciation, nostalgia or simply because they are too cute to resist.
For those trainers who are willing to devote their time and energy to raising these weak Pokémon, they may reap some beneficial rewards in the long run.
Here is a list of 15 Gen I Pokémon That Everyone Catches, Despite Their Weak Stats.
Known for its signature (and only) move Transfrom, Ditto is one of the franchises most iconic Pokémon. However, its base stats are not exactly the best. Thanks to its move Transform, it can adopt the move set, stats and stat changes of the Pokémon it fights. However, using this technique does take a turn which is more than enough time for a quick knock out. Furthermore, if Ditto takes damage from a critical hit, then its’ original stats will be used instead of its transformed stats.
Fortunately, what it lacks in battle ability, it makes up for in breeding.
Ditto comes in quite handy when breeding Pokémon such as starters, which normally cannot be found in the wild.
Another advantage to Ditto is that when it’s bred with a Manaphy, the egg produced will hatch into a Phione. Certainly, a gem worth acquiring.
In practically every game, you can always expect Zubat to swarm you at the start of your quest. As far as stats go, Zubat's are weak and attempts to compensate with moves like Supersonic and Confuse Ray to mess with opponents. Originally, many trainers did not find Zubat worth the effort to train. This changed when Gen II came out, and brought along its new evolution, Crobat.
In terms of stats, Crobat far surpasses its previous forms. Its speed is one of the highest in the game and can dish out some intense damage with the right combination of moves.
Furthermore, obtaining Crobat requires a bit of effort on the part of the player. A key factor in getting Crobat is by leveling up a Golbat with a high friendship level. From a common nuisance, Zubat’s final form has given new reason for players to catch it.
Excluding its speed, Poliwag’s stats are not much to look at. However, it compensates for them thanks to its abilities and evolutionary potential.
Being able to acquire a versatile fighter like Poliwrath, is a must have for any team.
Poliwag’s potential further increased with the introduction of Politoed, in Pokémon Gold and Silver. Due to their well-balanced stats, both of Poliwag’s final evolutions are worth the effort to find just the right one. Poliwrath is pretty powerful thanks to its secondary Fighting-type, as well as a selection of powerful moves like Submission and Dynamic Punch. On the other hand, Politoed has higher special attack and special defense stats, along with moves Poliwrath can’t learn, such as Hyper Voice, Perish Song, and Bounce.
Plus, with hidden abilities such as Swift Swim and Drizzle, either one of Poliwag’s evolved forms can prove useful in double battles.
With the way Eevee looks, it is no surprise that people consider it to be the cutest Pokémon of all time. However, while Eevee’s cuteness may be unrivaled, it unfortunately suffers from both a terrible move list, and poor stats. Despite these poor stats, fans still appreciate it for several reasons besides its cuteness. While it may not look the part, Eevee is one of the most versatile Pokémon in the franchise.
Eevee possesses more evolutions than any other Pokémon. Originally starting with the evolutions of Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon, Eevee’s potential has only continued to grow. Today, there are eight different evolutions to choose from, the most recent one being the Fairy-type, Sylveon.
In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Eevee has found a way to compensate for its weak stats thanks to its own unique Z-Move, Extreme Evoboost, which boosts all of Eevee's stats by two stages.
One of the original Psychic-types, Exeggcute is often overlooked, due to its weak stats, as well as its unusual appearance.
These factors, among other things, have led many to underestimate Exeggcute’s potential.
As one of the original Psychic-types, Exeggcute was a vital ally to have on your team during the Gen I days. Its evolution into Exeggutor eliminates its weak stats and replaces them with noticeably more powerful ones. While it still retains a low speed stat, Exeggutor makes up for it with the ability Chlorophyll, which doubles its speed in sunny weather.
Following the release of Sun and Moon, Exeggcute’s evolution has received an Alolan form, where its Psychic-type is substituted for the Dragon-type. In addition to benefiting from its new Dragon-type, Alolan Exeggutor can still learn psychic moves as well.
Though it does not have very high stats, Gastly can compensate with moves like Lick, Confuse Ray, and Curse to disorient opponents.
However, Gastly possesses untapped potential thanks to its evolutions of Haunter and Gengar. Even without achieving its final stage, Haunter, is still recognized as one of the most popular Pokémon in the franchise. For those who do succeed in acquiring a Gengar, they have the privilege of benefiting from its high speed and special attack stats. Following the release of Gen VI, Gengar has acquired a Mega Evolution.
This new form grants Gengar a slight boost to its defensive stats, as well as a major increase to its already high special attack, and speed. Plus, its Shadow Tag ability, and Destiny Bond move combo are so dangerous that some tournaments have even banned its use.
As the signature Pokémon of Ash Ketchum, Pikachu is the franchise’s official mascot. With such a large fan base, it is only natural that trainers would want to add Pikachu to their teams.
Although in terms of stats, Pikachu does not seem to excel at much, especially when it comes to defense.
Even its evolved form Raichu, barely picks up the slack. However, there are plenty of factors that make up for Pikachu’s weak stats. One reason being that Pikachu is the only Pokémon capable of learning the powerful move, Volt Tackle. Breeding a female Pikachu holding the light ball item, with a Pokémon from its own egg group, or a Ditto, will result in a Pichu with Volt Tackle.
Since Sun and Moon, Pikachu that know Volt Tackle can use a powerful Z-Move known as Catastropika.
Yet another reason to go out and catch yourself a Pikachu.
Since its debut in Pokémon Red and Blue, Abra has proven to be both frustrating and highly elusive. Aside from its special attack and speed, Abra’s remaining stats, are low, with its HP, defense, and attack stats being below 30. Furthermore, except for TMs and egg moves, Abra’s only move is Teleport. This, coupled with its high speed, makes it extremely difficult to catch.
Fortunately, most of these problems end once Abra evolves into Kadabra, and eventually into Alakazam. Because Ghost-type attacks had no effect against them in Gen I, Psychic-types were considered the most powerful types as they possessed virtually no weaknesses. As a result, Alakazam was viewed as one of the strongest Pokémon in the game at the time, surpassed only by Mewtwo.
Since the introduction of Mega Alakazam, the craze for Abra has only gotten more intense.
Despite their small and rodent like appearance, both the male and female versions of Nidoran have proven to be far more of a threat than they appear at first glance.
In their base form, they do not possess much value due to their weak stats.
This changes once they reach their respective final evolutionary stages, Nidoking and Nidoqueen. In the past, players were determined to get one or both Pokémon into their teams. Nidoking excels with its higher attack stat, and one-hit KO moves like Fissure and Horn Drill. Nidoqueen, on the other hand, takes the lead with its superior defensive stats and for its ability to learn powerful moves like Superpower.
Both Pokémon can also learn a variety moves outside of their own types, including one’s that they normally have a weakness to.
As far as backstories go, none are more traumatic, or more tragic, than Cubone’s. After the death of its mother, it wears her skull and then spends its life immersed in loneliness and misery. It is only natural that trainers would want to recruit such a lonely Pokémon into their teams. In terms of stats, with the exception of its defense, the rest vary from average to below average.
However, this changed with the release of Sun and Moon. Though the stats remain the same between Marowak and its Alolan form, its type change offers significant advantages. This includes no longer being vulnerable to grass and ice types, as well as a more diverse move pool.
It even has the ability Cursed Body, which can potentially disable moves used to attack it. Furthermore, it can also retain its immunity to electric attacks thanks to its other ability, Lightning Rod.
Excluding its defense and special attack, Horsea’s stats are terrible. Even after it evolves into its stronger form of Seadra, it still suffers from poor HP and special defense stats.
This problem was rectified following the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver.
Since then, Horsea has become a must have addition thanks to its final form Kingdra.
Horsea’s final form receives a significant boost to its stats and successfully balancing them out. As a bonus, Kingdra gains the dragon-types resistance against its prior weaknesses of Grass, and Electric-types. Thanks to Kingdra’s Water-type, it also has some resistance against ice, leaving only Dragon and Fairy-types the remaining threats.
Though it requires a trade while holding a dragon scale to evolve, it is worth catching Horsea to obtain such a powerful Pokémon.
Growlithe cuts it close due to having the highest base stats among the other entries. However, its poor health and defense stats do justify the reasons why Growlithe makes it on this list. Although, Growlithe makes up for this thanks to the diversity of moves it can learn by leveling up.
Unlike its evolved form Arcanine, Growlithe can learn more moves while leveling up. This is a big reason why most trainers hold off on evolving Growlithe until it reaches a certain level or learns a strong move.
As of Gen V (starting from Black and White 2), the Dragon-type move Outrage has been added to Growlithe’s list of moves learned by leveling up. So when the time finally comes to evolve it into Arcanine, not even Dragon-types will stand a chance.
Like Growlithe, Vulpix learns most of its moves by leveling up in its base form. However, unlike Growlithe, Vulpix’s base stats are much weaker. Although, this is not much of a concern since Pokémon Black and White. Thanks to the introduction of hidden abilities in Gen. V, it is possible to acquire a Vulpix with the hidden ability, Draught.
So far, Vulpix is one of five Pokémon that can use this ability, among which includes the Legendary Pokémon Groudon.
When combined with the move Solarbeam, this combo allows Ninetales to dominate Water-types. Furthermore, since the release of Pokémon Sun and Moon, Vulpix also appears as an Ice-type in its Alolan form, and later an Ice/Fairy-type as Ninetales. In this form, Vulpix loses its weakness to Water and Ground-types, and as Ninetails gains an advantage over Dragon, Flying, Ground, Grass and Dark-types.
Since first appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue, Dratini and its evolutionary line have built quite the legacy over the years as the original Dragon-types. Despite its low stats, Dratini is quite valuable, with its catch rate varying between games. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the chance of encountering a Dratini is between 1 and 10%. In Black and White, it is much easier to catch at Dragonspiral Tower, where the chance of encountering one while fishing varies between 60 and 70%.
Once acquired, it takes quite a bit of time to train until it finally evolves into Dragonite at level 55. With a balanced mix of offense and defense, Dragonite’s stats make it one of the most powerful dragon-types in the franchise.
With Dratini, the term 'no pain, no gain' appropriately describes the time and effort it takes to train one.
Even after seven generations, Magikarp is still recognized as one of the weakest Pokémon in the game. Thanks to its signature move Splash, which does absolutely nothing, Magikarp is also the most useless Pokémon.
However, this has not stopped people from going out of their way to catch them, thanks to the next stage of Magikarps evolution.
Upon reaching level 20, Magikarp will evolve into the all-powerful Gyarados. With a massive stat increase of 340, Magikarp is one of the most sought-after Pokémon for those willing to take the time and energy to train it.
There is a lesson to be learned from catching and training it. Magikarp symbolize that by working hard, your time and efforts will be acknowledged. It is for this reason why having the patience and perseverance to train Magikarp is the sign of a good trainer.
Do you always catch these Pokémon? Let us know in the comments!