The Pokémon franchise has come a long way in the last 20 years. From the original 151 Pokémon, the franchise now has over 800 different Pokémon to catch and train. In the old days, following the success of the first generation, fans of the franchise were excited to see what new Pokémon the creators of the series would come up with next.
Our prayers were answered in 1999 with the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver, and later in 2001 with Pokémon Crystal. In Gen II, Pokémon introduced 100 new species, including the pre-evolved forms of several Gen I favorites such as Pichu and Magby.
However, while Gen II features some of the most powerful Pokémon in the franchise, it also includes some that are practically useless and not at all worth catching. These Pokémon are not only horrible in terms of design, but they perform poorly in battle, possess below average stats, and have poor movesets.
However, despite the many worthless Pokémon introduced in Gen II, there are those who possess untapped potential. However, due to certain factors, most players have forgotten just how useful and powerful they can be. As a result, several Gen II Pokémon are overlooked, and deemed underrated.
Thankfully, there are some players that recognize the power behind these unassuming Pokémon, which helps to make up for some of the weaker ones from the second generation.
In this list we will take a look at 10 Gen II Pokémon No One Should Catch, As Well As 10 That Are Underrated.
20 Don’t Catch: Qwilfish
While it certainly stands out in terms of design, that’s one of the few things really going for a Pokémon like Qwilfish.
As far as typing goes, Qwilfish suffers from a weakness that most Water types don’t have. Due to also being a Poison type, Qwilfish possesses a weakness to Ground types, leaving it vulnerable to attacks that would normally be harmless.
When compared to the other Gen II Water types, Qwilfish falls short in terms of stats.
Despite having decent speed, Qwilfish is weak in terms of its special attack and defense, leaving it vulnerable to attacks of the special category, such as Thunderbolt and Psychic.
Even with its speed, most of Qwilfish’s attacks either do not inflict much damage or require multiple turns to generate enough power to cause significant damage.
19 Underrated: Mareep
In its initial form, Mareep’s stats do not look like much, especially its speed stat. Despite this, Mareep makes up for it with its latent potential. As it evolves, its stats increase, and its move set becomes more diverse. It even gains the ability to Mega Evolve after evolving into Ampharos.
Despite the negative criticism surrounding Mega Ampahros, it is still considered a powerful Mega Evolution. Not only does it have the highest base special defense stat of any electric-type, it can also learn the move Cotton Guard. Not only does this move drastically increase its defense, but it will also considerably lessen the damage from ground-type attacks like Earthquake.
Its potential to become a heavy hitting tank, makes catching Mareep worth the time and effort.
18 Don’t Catch: Delibird
Even though this Pokémon may look like Santa Clause, it is not all that special.
In addition to its very low stats, Delibird also suffers from a poor move set.
Prior to Gen VII, the only move Delibird could learn by leveling up was Present. Present is somewhat of a gamble as it has a 20% chance of healing opponents. It does have an 80% chance of dealing damage, but half the time the damage inflicted has a base power of 40. Furthermore, the odds of the move’s base power being 120 is only 10%.
As of Gen VII, the only other move it can learn by leveling up is Drill Peck. Outside of this, Delibird requires a TM to learn new moves. Due to its poor stats, most of the moves it can learn would not inflict much damage.
17 Underrated: Lanturn
With so many new and powerful Water types appearing after Gen II, it is easy to forget about Pokémon like Lanturn. It is even more of a shame as Lanturn is one of the more unique Water types in the game.
Including its pre-evolved state, Chinchou, Lanturn is one of only three Pokémon to have both the Water and Electric types. Additionally, depending on its ability, Lanturn can be immune to either Water or Electric type attacks thanks to either Volt Absorb or Water Absorb.
If that was not enough, Lanturn also happens to be a Pokémon with lots of HP to spare. In fact, out of all the Electric types in the game, Lanturn possesses the most HP. This includes the likes of legendary Pokémon such as Zapdos and Zekrom.
16 Don’t Catch: Corsola
At first glance, Corsola’s adorable appearance makes it seem like a worthwhile Pokémon to catch. Furthermore, like most rock types, Corsola also has the benefit of high defense stats. As of generation VII, these same stats have also received a significant boost, increasing Corsola’s original base state from 380 to 410.
While its defensive stats are high, the same cannot be said for Corsola’s attack.
Corsola is nothing more than a defensive wall that lacks proper fighting strength.
When Corsola first came out in Pokémon Gold and Silver, the few offensive moves it knew were not all that strong. Although its move pool may have increased, it is still not enough to make Corsola a proper fighter.
15 Underrated: Quagsire
At first glance, a Pokémon like Quagsire does not look like it would be much of a threat. However, underneath its goofy exterior is a hidden secret that can turn the tide of a battle.
Along with its immunity to Electric types, Quagsire also boasts incredible HP, attack, and defense stats. However, its true potential lies with one of its abilities.
Among the three possible abilities Quagsire can know is Unaware. This ability allows Quagsire to ignore stat changes during damage and accuracy calculation when either attacking or being attacked.
Thus, the opponent’s strategy to increase their attack and defense or to lower Quagsire's would be rendered useless. With such an advantageous ability, it is worth taking the time to catch a Quagsire that knows it.
14 Don’t Catch: Sunkern
Sunkern is without a doubt one of the cutest Pokémon ever created. Sadly, it is not one of the strongest. In fact, prior to Gen VII, it was recognized as the weakest.
In terms of base stats, its total comes out to 180.
Not only does it have the lowest base stat total out of any grass type Pokémon, it also has the second lowest base stat total of any other Pokémon in the franchise (surpassed only by Wishiwashi).
Using a sun stone, it is possible to evolve it into the much stronger Sunflora. However, Sunflora’s stats are average compared to some of the other Grass types of the second generation.
Thus, evolving Sunkern only serves to waste a good sun stone that can be used to evolve another Pokémon.
13 Underrated: Noctowl
At first glance, it is easy to dismiss Noctowl as a weak Pokémon. Fortunately, Noctowl manages to set itself apart from weaker flying types like Pidgeot. Despite being a Normal and Flying type, the majority of Noctowl’s moveset consists of mostly Psychic type moves.
Even though, it may not benefit from the STAB bonus, Noctowl does have the power to inflict some major damage. Stat wise, Noctowl excels with its high HP and special defense. As of Gen VII, Noctowl’s special attack stat has also increased, making attacks like Extrasensory and Air Slash even more dangerous.
With the right combination of moves and the correct item, Noctowl can make up for the lack of a STAB bonus and inflict massive damage.
12 Don’t Catch: Dunsparce
For years, Dunsparce’s unusual appearance has been the source of major criticism by fans.
In addition to its appearance, Dunsparce was criticized in the early days for its poor stats and weak moveset.
Following its initial release in Gen II, many hoped that overtime, Dunsparce would undergo its own set of improvements. As of Gen VII, Dunsparce has learned a few new and more powerful moves like Air Slash and Dragon Rush. Unfortunately, moves aside, Dunsparce has not really undergone any noteworthy changes.
Perhaps if it had received a new evolution like so many other Pokémon, fans would appreciate it more. Especially if it finally got a Dragon type to complement its serpent-like appearance.
Until that day comes, it will just have to endure the criticism.
11 Underrated: Smeargle
As far as most Pokémon go, Smeargle knows how to make itself stand out. This is especially true when it comes to it learning new moves.
Due to certain restrictions, most Pokémon are limited when it comes to the moves they can learn. However, Smeargle is not bound by such restrictions. While it cannot learn moves by TM or by tutoring, Smeargle can learn thanks to its only known move, Sketch.
After an opponent attacks and Smeargle uses Sketch, the move will be replaced with the targeted move. Of course, after it's used, Sketch will disappear, but this gives Smeargle the advantage of learning any move in the game.
This advantage allows Smeargle to surpass even Mew, who can learn all known TM moves.
10 Don’t Catch: Tyrogue
When Gen I first came out, Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee were some of the first fighting types to be introduced. When Gen II came around, it introduced several new baby Pokémon. This includes the infant form of Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee, Tyrogue.
Depending on its stats, Tyrogue can evolve into either Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee. As a bonus, if both of Tyrogue’s attack and defense stats are equal, then it will evolve into Hitmonlee. Sadly, Tyrogue and its new form Hitmonlee only managed to disappoint fans.
In addition to its design, Hitmonlee fails to make up for the shortcomings of its other forms.
In terms of strength, it falls short compared to some of the more powerful and sturdier Fighting types, like Machamp and Primeape.
9 Underrated: Ursaring
Upon reaching level 30, Teddiursa evolves from a cute little cub into the hulking grizzly known as Ursaring. With one of the highest attack stats among Normal types, Ursaring is a force to be reckoned with.
While it has often been overlooked by more effective Fighting types, Ursaring has managed to quickly close the gap in recent years. Ursaring is also capable of learning powerful Fighting type moves like Hammer Arm, as well as Close Combat and Superpower under certain conditions.
Furthermore, Ursaring’s true potential is brought out when it suffers from a status condition. If its ability is Guts, Ursaring’s attack power will increase by 50%. If it’s Quick Feet, Ursaring’s speed will increase by 50% and negate the drop-in speed caused by paralysis.
When combined with the move Facade, Ursaring’s attack power becomes even more lethal.
8 Don’t Catch: Sentret
Despite being the Gen II equivalent of Rattata, Sentret is weaker by a fair margin. Apart from its special defense and HP, Sentret’s stats are much weaker than Rattata’s. Upon evolving into Furret, its base stat total exceeds Raticate’s, but only by two points. Even then, most of Raticate’s stats (in its base form) exceed that of Furret’s.
At the end of the day, Sentret serves as a poor substitute for Rattata.
In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, as well as the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver, it is a useful Pokémon to have for the first two gyms. However, from the third gym onwards, Sentret and its evolution become nothing more than dead weight.
The only thing that makes Sentret unique is that it is the only Pokémon with a total base stat of 215.
7 Underrated: Chikorita
As far as the Gen II starters are concerned, Chikorita is often considered the most underrated of the trio. Unlike its fellow starters, Chikorita and its evolutions do not excel when it comes to offense.
While Chikorita may be a poor starter for the first two gym leaders, it is a different story once players reach the third gym. By that time, their Chikorita or Bayleef will have already learned the move Reflect, which is extremely useful against the offensive power of Whitney’s Miltank.
6 Don’t Catch: Wobbuffet
Despite being a Psychic type, Wobbuffet fails to provide any real advantage that most Pokémon of its typing provide. Its speed, attack, special attack, defense, and special defense stats are dangerously low, and its only redeeming quality is its absurdly high HP.
It has zero offensive capability and the only moves it can learn are Safeguard, Counter, Mirror Coat, and Destiny Bond.
When timed correctly, any of the latter three moves can turn the tide of a battle. However, unless the player is able to predict an opponent’s moves and their pattern of attack, using the right move often falls to chance.
Wobbuffet can’t even learn other TMs (with the exception of Safeguard) to compensate for its poor move set.
5 Underrated: Mantine
Back in the day, Mantine was a major powerhouse for players in Pokémon Gold and Silver. Overtime, its power has only continued to grow and has even acquired a pre-evolution, Mantyke.
As of Gen VII, it has received a 20-point boost to its base HP stat, making it even more of a threat. Like Gyarados, it is a Water and Flying type. Unlike Gyarados, Mantine can learn some decent Flying type attacks by leveling up, like Bounce and Air Slash.
One of the best things about Mantine that most players forget is its crazy high special defense stat. Fun fact about Mantine: its base special defense stat rivals that of Kyogre in its base form.
4 Don’t Catch: Hoppip
It looks cute, has a high speed stat and is part Flying type, which is unique for Grass type Pokémon. Unfortunately, what Hoppip and its evolution Jumpluff lack is both the power and defense to back up their speed.
Pokémon like Hoppip and Jumpluff are more suited to inflicting status conditions and chipping away at an opponent's health as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the opposing player’s attacks.
Sadly, even with a status condition, all it takes is a single, powerful attack to knock out Hoppip or Jumpluff. Under these conditions, there are far more ideal choices to choose from when it comes to Grass type Pokémon.
Even a Sunflora, which has similar defensive stats, possesses a higher special attack stat than Jumpluff does.
Honestly, it's better to just let Hoppip fly off into the sunset.
3 Underrated: Miltank
While it may look like your average dairy cow, Miltank is able to cause some serious damage to its opponents.
After the first two easy gym leaders in the Gen II games, Miltank is introduced as a major challenge to players. With its powerful physical attacks and ability to restore its health using Milk Drink, Miltank is the perfect blend of healer and fighter.
Over the years, Miltank’s threat level continued to grow thanks to its new abilities. Depending on the ability, Miltank can halve the damage from Ice and Fire types, damage Ghost types with Normal and Fighting type moves, or even increase its attack after being hit by Grass type moves.
With its capability to adapt to a variety of situations, having a Miltank on your team is a definite must.
2 Don’t Catch: Unown
When Pokémon Gold and Silver came out, the Unown proved to be one of the games greatest mysteries. With the most form variations of any Pokémon, players are able to catch over 26 different types of Unown.
While collecting them may have been fun for some, there is no real reward for doing so.
In addition, once all is said and done, regardless of the type of Unown caught, they are all practically useless in a fight.
Unown is only able to learn the move Hidden Power. Much like with Wobbuffet, Unown cannot learn any TMs, except for the one it already knows (i.e. Hidden Power), making it redundant and useless.
Unless you want to take the time to collect all the different variations, it is better to just catch one and move on.
1 Underrated: Shuckle
Unlike most Pokémon, Shuckle does not possess overwhelming attack stats. What makes it so dangerous is that it possesses the highest defense and special defense stats of any other Pokémon, including Legendary Pokémon and mega evolved Pokémon like Mega Aggron.
There are many effective strategies that players can use with Shuckle, especially during competitive battles. For example, by using the move Toxic, Shuckle can quickly take down opponents without having to lift a tentacle, while enduring damage with its high defense. Even if it does take damage, it can restore HP using Rest, while the opponent continues to struggle under the effects of toxic.
It can also avoid one Hit-KO moves thanks to its ability Sturdy.
With so many strategies to choose from, Shuckle can easily become one of the more dangerous Pokémon in the game.
What's your favorite Pokémon from Genn II? Let us know in the comments!