For 20 years, Pokémon has been enticing fans both young and old with its mix of RPG action, puzzles, and collecting. What started as a video game now spans multiple platforms, TV series and films, untold amounts of merchandise, and a hugely popular trading card game. Last year not only brought us the latest iteration of the handheld franchise, Pokémon Sun & Moon, but also introduced mobile gamers to the world of pocket monsters with the massively successful Pokémon GO.
While the first version of the augmented reality game stuck to the original 151 Pokémon from Generation I of the game, a recent update has followed Generation II’s example by introducing a fan-favorite concept: baby Pokémon. Beginning with Gold & Silver, Pokémon became gendered and were able to breed in order to produce eggs that could hatch into new Pokémon. In some cases, this meant entirely new Basic forms of many popular Generation I characters. Not only did it offer a new component for play, but it cranked up the already high cute factor of the games. But they’re more than just adorable: they’re powerful fighters in their own right.
Here are 15 Baby Pokémon That Are Actually Worth Your Time.
Our first entry is actually the first baby Pokémon we were ever introduced to in any media. Initiating an enduring precedent of the TV show and movies by introducing new Pokémon before the next generation of the game, Tokebi first appeared in 1998’s “Attack of the Prehistoric Pokémon” as an egg found by Ash. Togepi hatched a few episodes later and immediately bonded with Misty. Though this new Pokémon proved to be an exciting development for fans, it didn’t turn out to be super useful as a battler in the show. That all changed, however, when Togepi unleashed its signature power.
Like in the game, the Togepi of the show can use the powerful Metronome attack, which randomly selects any move in the game’s catalogue and unleashes it. While this can prove to be nothing more than a Tail Whip, it also means the little critter can unleash Fire Blasts or Hyperbeams. This was used to hilarious effect in the show, but can do the same for a player. While your opponent may not think much of your tiny egg Pokémon, a fully levelled-up Togepi can execute insanely powerful moves like Double-Edge (120) and Last Resort (140). If you mix in all of Togepi’s status changers and defense moves, it’s a shockingly strong fighter.
Though Togepi was a brand-new Pokémon, Elekid is part of the batch of Generation II (and new Pokémon GO) characters that provided new Basic forms for Pokémon that previously had no evolutions. Possibly the cutest and coolest of all the new baby Pokémon, Elekid looks neat even before hatching, thanks to its yellow egg slashed with black stripes. Once it hatches, there’s no question that it’s an Electric-type Pokémon, thanks to the two prongs protruding from its head. As such, a fully-powered Elekid reaps all the benefits of this fan-favorite type.
Not only can Elekid use powerful Electric moves like Thunderbolt (90) and Thunder (110) by level 40 and 43 respectively, but at level 33 it can learn Discharge (80), a wide-ranging attack that targets multiple opponents in group battles and has the chance to paralyze as well. Elekid can also learn strong moves like Swift, Electroball, and, most notably, Low Kick.
Though Low Kick began as a Fighting move with medium strength and a chance to Flinch, Generation III tweaked it to cause damage based on the opponent’s weight. That means the seemingly puny Elekid can actually cause massive damage to a behemoth like Snorlax (especially when you factor in the Normal-type Pokémon’s weakness to Fighting moves).
Equal parts cute and fierce, Elekid is a major asset to any team.
Giving Elekid a run for its money in the "cutest Generation II baby Pokémon" department is the fire duckling Magby. Rocking curly locks and its signature choker, Magby gave Magmar fans a new way to enjoy this volcano-dweller. And as the only Fire-type baby Pokémon, it sits with Elekid as a must-have.
Noticeable thanks to its flame-covered egg, Magby offers both video and mobile game players a chance to nab one of these rare Pokémon. Like Elekid, Magby boasts a number of its key type moves, plus a few extra surprises.
In fact, Magby is essentially a Fire-type duplicate of Elekid. It learns Flamethrower (90) and Fire Blast (110) at level 40 and 43, respectively. It gets Fire Punch even earlier, and replaces Discharge with Lava Plume, a multi-opponent Fire-type attack with 80 Power. Instead of Low Kick, Magby gets the Dark move Feint Attack and can also learn the Poison move Clear Smog (upgrading the slightly weaker Smog, which it’s born with).
For every reason that Elekid is a boon to any player, Magby offers the same-- but with that much extra flare.
Gold & Silver introduced the Water/Flying type Mantine, which allowed players a Water-type Pokémon that could actually stand up to a Grass opponent (just keep it away from any Electric Pokémon). It’d be two more Generations, however, until the adorable manta ray Pokémon got an even cuter baby form. Like Mantine, Mantyke has all the benefits of both Water and Flying. This includes a few powerful attacks that Mantyke can learn early on, like Bubblebeam (65) at only level 7 and Wing Attack (60) by level 14. In fact, this little critter gets Confuse Ray, Headbutt (70), and Water Pulse (60) all before level 20.
From there, Mantyke continues to excel with Take Down (90), the Flying moves Air Slash (75) and Bounce (85), and finally Hydro Pump (110) at level 49. If you want to add a Remoraid into your party, you can evolve Mantyke, but nothing will beat the look on your rival’s face when you wipe their team out using a cutesy little manta ray wielding some of the most powerful Flying and Water moves.
Sudowoodo and Bonsly are a couple of interesting Pokémon. When Sudowoodo was first introduced in Generation II, it was a single form Pokémon like Mantine. Rather than matching its appearance and being a Grass-type, however, this deceptive looking Pokémon is actually a Rock-type who’s adept at disguise. In fact, you first encounter Sudowoodo posing as a tree that looks in need of being Cut. When you try, though, you’re met with a formidable Rock Pokémon who possesses Fighting moves and the powerful Mimic.
Mimic is key, in fact, to evolving the baby Bonsly into Sudowoodo, as the young Pokémon requires the move in order to advance. Even if you don’t want to evolve the cute little stone shrub, the move is useful, as it copies your opponent’s last attack.
Aside from Mimic and strong Rock moves like Rock Tomb (60) and Rock Slide (75), Bonsly gets the chance to level up with Fighting and Dark attacks. It can learn the Dark moves Feint Attack (60) and Sucker Punch (70), and the Fighting moves Low Kick and Counter. Like Low Kick, Counter is dependent on your opponent, this time doubling the damage they’ve dealt you.
Bonsly certainly looks innocuous, but has the ability to fight using multiple styles that many challengers won’t see coming.
The surprisingly powerful Wind Chime Pokémon known as Chimecho was first introduced in Generation III for Ruby & Sapphire. Chimecho’s baby form, Chingling, arrived in the follow-up iteration of the franchise, somehow out-cuteing its final form. Taking the form of a small bell, Chingling is more than adorable, as it packs some serious Psychic and sound-based powers.
Using its mouth and body, Chingling is capable of vibrating at a variety of frequencies, which it uses to cause damage and status changes. With Yawn and Entrainment, it can put the opponent to sleep on the next turn and change its Ability to match Chingling’s own, respectively. Uproar, meanwhile, hits a whopping 90 on the power scale. Mix in the Ghost move Astonish (30), the Psychic move Confusion (50), and top it off with the insanely powerful Last Resort, and your rivals will be shocked to see how powerful your dainty little bell is in a fight.
You may have noticed a pattern where a single form Pokémon is introduced only to have it be given a baby pre-evolution one or two games later. True to form, Roselia, the Grass/Poison Pokémon introduced in Ruby & Sapphire and rocking a pair of blue and red roses like pom-poms, followed this same path. On top of gaining the baby form Budew, Roselia also got a final evolution in the form of Roserade in Generation IV. Budew might not pack much of a punch, but it’s got some great status changers and evolves into a strong set of fighters. Plus, it’s the only Grass and Poison baby Pokémon, making it an essential addition to a team of babies.
Native moves like Mega Drain (40), which replenishes energy, and Stun Spore, which paralyzes foes, are both boons. When you mix in the TMs Budew can learn, you’ve got a powerful asset. Budew can learn the strongest Grass moves via TM, like Energy Ball (90) and Solar Beam (120), as well as Poison's best weapons, like Venoshock (65) and Sludge Bomb (90), both of which can Poison the opponent.
If you’re a fan of the particular way Grass and Poison Pokémon can upset a battle by altering statuses and gaining back HP, you’re going to love sweet, little Budew.
Tyrogue is the most interesting of the Generation II baby Pokémon, as it’s the pre-evolution for not one, but three different Pokémon. The first two are the Fighting duo from Generation I, Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. The third is Hitmontop, also introduced in Generation II alongside Tyrogue. Together, they form the all-Fighting equivalent of Eevee, letting you decide which of your favorite warriors Tyrogue will evolve into when it’s time. Of course, there’s always the option to just keep him as is.
Tyrogue learns few moves alone, but they’re good ones. The best is Fake Out (40), a weak Fighting move but one that makes the opponent Flinch every time it’s used. If you add in the variety of TMs, Tyrogue can learn, he becomes a powerful ally. Aside from Fighting moves like Brick Break (75) and Low Sweep (65), Tyrogue can learn Earthquake, the Rock attack Rock Slide (75), and the Special move Hidden Power (60), a move that comes with a bonus power based on the user’s IVs.
All in all, Tyrogue is a nice addition to any team.
Despite evolving into the Water-type Marill and Azumarill, Azurill is actually part Normal and Fairy. The Fairy type stays throughout, a change that took place when the new type was introduced in Generation VI with Black & White, but the Normal type gets replaced by Water. Still, Azurill can learn plenty of Water moves before it evolves, along with a Normal, Fairy, and even Flying attack.
Marill was actually the second Generation II Pokémon we met, following Togepi. Introduced in “The Lost Lapras” as the companion of artist Tracey Sketchit, Marill was basically a Water clone of Pikachu (fitting as Tracey seemed design to star in his own spinoff mirroring Ash’s journey). From there, the Pokémon joined Gold & Silver along with its evolution, but the baby Azurill didn't arrive until two Generations later.
The wait was worth it, however, as Azuril can learn the Fairy move Charm, Normal moves like Helping Hand and Slam (80), and the strong Water attack, Bubblebeam. It can also learn the move Bounce, naturally, but as it’s technically a Flying move, it offers a real upset in battle.
Though Mantyke may be the only Water-type baby, Marill has many of the same advantages, plus a little extra.
It’s hardly a surprise that Nintendo decided to capitalize on the success of Pikachu by giving it an even cuter baby form. Almost every game has introduced some variation on Pikachu or a near-clone of the Pokémon, making the Poké-world game as infested with Electric mice as New York is with rats, and Gold & Silver was no exception. As the pre-evolution of Pikachu and Raichu, Pichu can learn the long-list of Electric TMs that you can gain in any given game, from Wild Charge (90) to Volt Switch (70).
On its own, Pichu will learn the paralyzing move Thunder Wave, the Special Attack double-boost that is Nasty Plot, as well as the Fairy moves Charm and Sweet Kiss. With its adorable facade, dearth of status-changing moves, and the variety of powerful TMs it can learn, Pichu will certainly surprise any foe you face when you choose it for battle.
As soon as you see the pink, star-covered egg, it’s easy to guess that Clefairy’s baby form will emerge. Like many of the entries on this list, Cleffa was introduced in Generation II of Pokémon as a pre-evolution. Rather than being a standalone, Cleffa joined the lineage of Clefairy and Clefable to create the trilogy of Star Shaped Pokémon. Befitting its name and rumored origin on the Moon, Cleffa and its subsequent evolutions were turned from Normal to Fairy in Generation VI, seriously upping their game.
Cleffa gains the always useful Sing, along with other helpful moves like Sweet Kiss, Encore, and Copycat. Even better, the little Fairy-type learns the Grass attack Magical Leaf (60) which hits the opponent every single time. Add in all the powerful TMs Cleffa is capable of learning, like Solar Beam, Fire Blast, and the perfect partner to Sing: Dream Eater (100), and you’ve got one amazing little lunar spirit.
If you’re familiar with Lucario from Super Smash Bros., you’d be forgiven for thinking the Pokémon is a Psychic-type. Despite its tendency to hover around and power up energy blasts, it’s actually a Fighting/Steel Pokémon. While Riolu doesn’t share the Steel, it’s got plenty of powerful Fighting moves that harness the Pokémon’s zen energy into formidable attacks.
Riolu knows how to lie in wait, with useful moves like Endure, Copycat, Reversal, and Counter. When it’s time to attack, however, it can unleash Fighting moves like Force Palm (60). Even more powerful is its last move, Final Gambit, which it learns at level 50. This rare Special move causes the opponent to faint every time, but makes the user lose the amount of HP the foe forfeited. As the name implies, it’s a risk, but one with some amazing rewards depending on the Items you have.
Add in TMs like the Ghost move Shadow Claw (70), the Poison attack Poison Jab (80), and the brutal Fighting move Focus Blast (120), and Riolu is an essential Pokémon long before it evolves.
Though Jynx sits alongside Electabuzz and Magmar as another single form Generation I Pokémon who was given a baby form in Generation II (and can now be found in Pokémon GO), her pre-evolution differs a bit from Elekid and Magby. For one, Jynx is never given a third evolution, and two, she and Smoochum are only ever female. While that makes them tougher to breed, as they can’t be paired off with a male version, it makes them that much more rare. And that’s good, because this cute and kissy Pokémon packs a wallop if you’re willing to get one.
Like Jynx, Smoochum is an Ice- and Psychic-type, meaning she’s got a wide range of abilities. Early on, she gets basic moves like Confusion (50) and Powder Snow (40), which give way to Psychic (90) and Blizzard (110) at level 38 and 48, respectively. Add in strong moves like Copycat and Perish Song, and Smoochum is powerhouse under the right trainer.
2 Mime Jr.
It’s always worthwhile to have a Psychic Pokémon on your team, and Mime Jr. far outstrips Chingling in terms of available moves. Like Bonsly, Mime Jr. will only evolve if it knows the move Mimic, but that, along with its bevy of Psychic attacks, makes Mime Jr. one of the best baby Pokémon you can have on your team.
Right off the bat, Mime Jr. comes equipped with Confusion, and quickly learns Copycat at level 4 and Mimic at 15. From there, Mime Jr. gains Substitute, where it replaces itself with a dummy, and Trick, which lets it steal the opponent’s Item. It also gains powerful moves like Psybeam (65) and Psychic, plus useful defenses such as Safeguard, which protects it and the rest of your team from status changes.
Add in all the Dark and Electric moves it can learn via TM, and you’ve got one of the most versatile baby Pokémon in existence.
Don’t let the size of this Big Eater Pokémon fool you; Munchlax is every bit as powerful as its evolution. Despite Snorlax having existed since the first game, it wasn’t until Diamond & Pearl that its baby form debuted. Right from birth, Munchlax comes equipped with Last Resort, one of the game’s most powerful moves. It also hatches with Togepi’s signature attack, Metronome. From there, Munchlax just keeps getting stronger.
Munchlax learns Body Slam (85) by level 25, the Rock move Rollout, which starts at 30 and grows each turn, and Fling, which varies based on the held Item. It also learns Last Resort once again at level 57, in case your baby wasn’t born with it or you deleted the move.
On top of that, Munchlax can learn TMs from almost every type, including the Ghost attack Shadow Ball (80), the Water move Surf (90 and no longer an HM), and the Ground move Earthquake (100), naturally. Munchlax is like all the strength of Snorlax with ten times the cuteness and far less time spent napping, making it the best baby Pokémon in the history of the franchise.
Which baby Pokémon are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!