As we continue on our trip through the Pokédex, our next stop is Ground type Pokémon. These are foundational critters, but not just because it makes a good pun. They’re usually highly durable and combine powerful moves with equally powerful Attack stats to give your team a fighting edge. But that doesn’t mean each Ground type counts among the best. We’ve whittled the list down to the 10 best Ground type Pokémon, excluding Legendaries, Mega Evolutions, and any listed in our roundup of Rock type Pokémon as well.
Tyranitar might be the preferred Pokémon for getting the most out of Sandstorm, but Hippowdon gets the added bonus of actually being, y’know… a Ground type. The Sandstream ability is a huge boon for Hippowdon, automatically starting a sandstorm whenever it enters the field. That not only damages opponents, but also boosts Hippowdon’s Ground attacks even more. Ground type moves are Hippowdon’s main focal point, but that’s not really a problem thanks to a base Attack stat of 112. Defense is high as well, as is HP. Hippowdon might be slow, but it also learns Slack Off, a move that restores up to half its HP. So you’ve got all the ingredients for a perfect tank ‘mon and definitely one of the best Ground type Pokémon.
There’s a bit of competition going on between Sandslash and Excadrill. Sandslash can take more of a beating with its higher base Defense stat. But Excadrill is just better in every other way. It has much higher Attack, better Speed, and almost twice the HP stat as Sandslash. Plus, you’ve got access to same-type attack bonuses for Steel moves thanks to Excadrill’s dual typing. While that means Excadrill is ironically weak against its own primary type as well, it still expands Excadrill’s potential move pool with moves like Metal Claw and Smart Strike. Or you could just do the usual thing with Swords Dance and Earthquake and end fights in no time flat.
Garchomp is one of the more interesting dual typings in Pokémon, being one of the only Dragon and Ground Pokémon around. That plus high Attack in general also give Garchomp an incredible power boost for some of the strongest moves in the series. Attacks like Dragon Rush and Earthquake are staples for Garchomp.
But if you don’t care about same-type attack bonuses, you can pull from a wide move pool as well. Things like Poison Jab and Shadow Claw give Garchomp an edge over plenty of other Pokémon. If you kick up a sandstorm, you can even increase Garchomp’s evasion thanks to its Sand Veil ability. And while no Dragon Pokémon are safe anymore with Fairy types on the loose, your main worry with Garchomp is pretty much just Ice types.
Dugtrio is one of the best Ground type Pokémon if you need to move in fast and finish the job. That’s because Dugtrio’s specialties are, as you probably guessed, Attack and Speed. That means it’s really only suited for specific situations, since it doesn’t have the HP and Defense to take much of a beating. But with Ground moves being powerful anyway and Dugtrio nearly always going first, that’s really not a big issue. Alolan Dugtrio is basically the same Pokémon with same-type attack bonuses for Steel moves and minimal adjustments to Speed and Defense, so you’re good whichever variant you choose.
Runerigus might be a new-ish Pokémon, but it’s still one of the best Ground type Pokémon around. So far, the most popular way to use Runerigus is taking advantage of Body Press, a Fighting move where the power goes up if your ‘mon has higher Defense. With Runerigus’ base Defense of 145, it’s not hard to see why folks choose this strategy.
But even though Runerigus is a fantastic tank, it’s also a versatile attacker. Outside Body Press, you’ve got moves like Shadow Claw and Phantom Force, with the obligatory Earthquake. You can also stick Nasty Plot on Runerigus if you want to set up the foe for some special-oriented moves. And there’s always the tried-and-true strategy of Payback, since Runerigus has low Speed.
Krookodile is a double threat of looking cool and being generally great to use. And while it’s not quite the Ground equivalent of Tyranitar in terms of stats, it’s still a highly useful Pokémon. Part of that is thanks to the Dark dual typing. This gives Krookodile a bigger move pool and makes it viable against types Ground ‘mon usually have little to do with.
However, Krookodile’s move pool is pretty substantial even without Dark moves. It can learn the elemental Fang attacks if you need to surprise a foe. There’s also Shadow and Dragon Claw, plus Iron Tail and Stone Edge. With Krookodile’s base Attack of 117 and solid HP and Defense, you’ve got a powerful Pokémon for your team, and that’s not even considering the Intimidate ability lowering your foe’s Attack.
We’re bending the rules just a bit and letting Nidoqueen and Nidoking tie for best Ground type Pokémon. That’s because they’re sort of mirror images of each other. Nidoking has better Attack and Speed, while Nidoqueen is better with HP and Defense stats. Whichever you choose, being part Poison makes these two pretty unique. Either would be an excellent choice for dealing with pesky Fairy types, especially with moves like Poison Jab, while Venom Drench is effective for making any non-Steel Pokémon easier to deal with if it’s poisoned. And it makes both viable for handling Grass types as well.
If you look at Mamoswine, you shouldn’t be too surprised about its good points. Mamoswine, a unique Ground/Ice mix, is excellent at having tons of HP and hitting things very hard. Everything else is decent, but not extraordinary. That’s okay, though. With moves like Ice Shard, Avalanche to compensate for low Speed, Bulldoze, and Rock Slide (or Stone Edge if you feel lucky), Mamoswine is pretty well-equipped to deal with a lot of different foes. Add Endure and Amnesia to the mix, and Mamoswine’s more than capable of lasting several turns in battle while dishing out high damage as well.
If you can get past Sandaconda’s snakelike appearance, this new addition to the Pokédex can be a valuable addition to your team as well. Sandaconda is similar to Hippowdon in a couple of ways. It can start a sandstorm (though it has to be attacked first and have the Sandspot ability), and it has high Attack and Defense. What gives Sandaconda an extra edge are Shed Skin ability and access to the Coil move. Coil boosts Sandaconda’s Attack and Defense further and hones accuracy, while Shed Skin means you can use Rest without suffering a sleep penalty. Glare is always handy for stopping opponents in their tracks as well, and of course, Sandaconda can learn the usual suite of Ground moves too. It’s surprisingly versatile for a type group known mostly for its power, making Sandaconda easily one of the best Ground type Pokémon.
Speaking of versatile, Gliscor deserves a spot on the best Ground type Pokémon list as well. Its curious typing as Ground and Flying means Gliscor is really only weak to Water and Ice. More than that, Gliscor also has high enough Attack, Defense, and Speed to make it a well-rounded Pokémon, definitely not something you see with most Ground types. You can use it for offense with the typical Ground moves and surprise moves like Sky Uppercut, Night Slash, and Poison Jab. Or you could focus on lowering opponents’ stats and inflicting status conditions, then swapping out with U-Turn so another Pokémon can take the field. There’s basically a Gliscor build to suit any battling style.
And that’s it for our best Ground type Pokémon list. Most of them might be geared towards strong offense, but there’s enough variety on display to work with nearly any team. Let us know your top Ground type picks, and be sure to check out our other lists: