Our next stop on our journey through the Pokédex is with Bug types. Bug type Pokémon are a bit divisive. On the one hand, many of them aren’t exactly powerhouses and have plenty of weaknesses. On the other, you’ve got a few powerful Bug types that can dish out damage to other types that don’t have many weaknesses. We’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best Bug type Pokémon, and as always with these, no Legendaries or Mega Evolutions are included.
Like some other gen 7 Pokémon, Golisopod can be tricky to use thanks to its signature Wimp Out ability. But like with Wishiwashi, that ability is what makes Golisopod so useful as well. This is a slow Pokémon whose main strengths are high Attack and Defense. You can take advantage of moves like Assurance and Payback thanks to the slow Speed. Or you can get a same-type attack bonus with Razor Shell and lower the foe’s Defense in the process.
But the real star here is First Impression. It’s a super powerful Bug type move (another same-type attack bonus), but it only works the first time the Pokémon enters the fight — which is fine, because when Golisopod’s HP drops to 50%, it automatically retreats. Between that ability and U-Turn, you’ve got a chance to continue doing lots of damage to your foes without Golisopod ever wearing out.
Vikavolt is something of a joke with its gen 7 Pokédex description referring to how it “zips” around looking for openings in its opponents’ strategies. How can a Pokémon with a base Speed stat of 43 zip anywhere? … is what you say before Vikavolt fries you. This bug Pokémon is good for mainly one thing: hard-hitting special attacks.
Vikavolt’s Special Attack stat is 145, and combined with same-type attack bonuses for moves like Thunder and Bug Buzz — you get the idea. Its only ability is Levitate, which is mainly a competitive thing for avoiding Spikes since Ground isn’t a big concern with Vikavolt’s Bug typing. But you don’t really need any bells and whistles with this one.
We don’t get many Bug/Steel type Pokémon outside Escavalier and Scizor. After all that fuss about Scyther being so scary in the Pokémon anime, you might think its evolved form Scizor is one of the best Bug type Pokémon. Technically you’re right, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Escavalier is actually the stronger of the two. It’s got a base Attack of 135, while Defense and Special Defense are 105. Fire is its only real weakness too. That and Escavalier is agonizingly slow, with Speed of just 20, meaning you’ll probably need to weather a fair few attacks when it does take the field. When it’s finally your turn, though, you’ll still be standing strong, with a bevy of powerful moves like X-Scissor and Iron Head to win the day. Slow and steady and all that.
Leavanny is a rare Pokémon — not because you can’t find them. No, Levanny is rare because it’s part of an evolution chain you can access early in the game (depending on which game you’re playing) and it’s actually worth keeping later. Being Bug/Grass gives it plenty of weaknesses, of course, especially with only moderate Defense stats. But Leavanny is fast enough to let you make use of its high Attack, especially if your Leavanny has Chlorophyll as its ability. Moves like Swords Dance, Leaf Blade, and X-Scissor are a no-brainer. But you can also put some surprise clean-up moves on Leavanny, like Poison Jab and Shadow Claw, equipping it to take on a wide range of foes.
Many of the Pokémon introduced in Diamond and Pearl weren’t great, but Vespiquen is something of an exception. In the competitive world, Vespiquen doesn’t fare too well thanks to the ubiquity of Stealth Rock and overall need for higher Speed. But outside that, Vespiquen is a unique and versatile Bug Pokémon with high Defense and Special Defense to help it last through most fights. You can augment Vespiquen’s stats further than usual with Defense Order as well, and the excellent Heal Order acts like Recover, but with a swarm of bees. Just don’t think about it too much. While Vespiquen’s Attack isn’t that special on its own, Attack Order is a highly useful move. Not only do you get a same-type attack bonus, but you’re more likely to score critical hits too.
Venomoth is a classic support Pokémon. It doesn’t excel in any one area, but like Crobat, it can sure make life difficult for your opponents. It is fast enough to avoid being left in the dust and has an impressive range of status-afflicting moves. All the Powder moves are at Venomoth’s disposal, plus the ever-annoying Supersonic. You can prioritize poison to pile on the damage or build a Psychic-based set around Quiver Dance’s increase to Venomoth’s own stats. There’s a lot you can do with this one, so it’s no wonder Venomoth earned a place on our best Bug type Pokémon list.
Shedinja is an interesting Pokémon that only a few types can damage, but Ninjask is the superior Bug here. True, Ninjask’s Defense is still painfully low. But it can survive attacks and is unbelievably fast, plus Double Team is always an option for evading attacks. The longer your battles last, the higher Ninjask’s Speed goes too. A common tactic with Ninjask is using moves like Swords Dance to raise attack then pass it on to another, stronger Pokémon with Baton Pass. But with raised Attack, high Speed, and moves like X-Scissor at your disposal, Ninjask is capable of handling foes all on its own too.
It was tough to choose between Scyther and its gen 2 evolution Scizor. But what Scizor loses out with lower Speed because of its Steel dual typing, it gains in versatility. Scizor is stronger than Scyther and, like Escavalier, only has one weakness: Fire. While Escavalier is technically the stronger Pokémon, Scizor’s extra speed and Technician ability (strengthening weaker moves) mean it can make faster work of each battle than its snail counterpart. Plus, let’s face it — Scizor just looks cooler.
Orbeetle is like what Butterfree could have been if Butterfree wasn’t busy being disappointing (but cute). And by that we mean Orbeetle is an excellent Bug/Psychic Pokémon. It’s definitely built around defense, with a Defense of 110 and Special Defense of 120 plus both Screen moves showing up early in its life cycle. Those are handy for covering Orbeetle’s myriad weaknesses stemming from its dual typing. While Orbeetle’s Special Attack won’t win any awards at just 80, combining it with its fortress-like defenses and decent Speed means you’ve got a Bug type that could feasibly hold its own through an entire set of battles.
Heracross got a boost from being one of Ash’s most iconic roster Pokémon in the anime, but it’s also definitely one of the best Bug type Pokémon. Heracross’s Fighting dual typing means it’s extra weak to Flying and now has a Fairy weakness too. But Heracross also has an Attack stat to rival Scizor’s and enough Speed, Defense, and Special Defense to withstand a fair few attacks. Adding Fighting to its type means you get that sweet same-type attack bonus with moves like Close Combat and Focus Punch, making Heracross a Pokémon who can take on foes of multiple types and come out on top.
That’s it for our 10 best Bug type Pokémon roundup. Let us know if you’ve had success using other Bugs, and make sure to check out our other Pokémon lists so far: