As we continue on through the Pokédex to rank our top 10 of each type, we’re stopping off at Ice types this time. Ice types are a bit of a thorny issue in Pokémon. They’re great for in-game use, especially against the almighty Dragon type. But weakness to Rock means they’re just a liability for competitive play. So here, more than ever, we’re focusing mostly on in-game use for our list of the 10 best Ice type Pokémon. As always, no Mega Evolutions or Legendaries make the cut.
Alolan Sandslash is a gem of an Ice type and absolutely deserves to be considered one of the best Ice type Pokémon. Its Ice/Steel dual typing does away with the ever-present threats of Steel and Rock. True, it makes Sandslash weak to Fire and Fighting. Yet you shouldn’t really be using any Ice type against those anyway. Alolan Sandslash is like its regular counterpart, with high Attack and Speed. But adding Steel bumps both Defense stats up by 10 as well. Since it evolves with a stone, you’ll need to use move remembering to get the likes of Icicle Crash and Ice Ball. Or you can stick a number of other moves on it, like Iron Head (Ultra Sun and Moon only), Night Slash, or Body Slam. Regardless, it’s a sturdy ‘mon that’ll do you well in battle.
Galarian Darmanitan makes it on the list of best Ice type Pokémon for the opposite reason regular Darmanitan was one of our Fire picks. Where regular Darmanitan’s Defense goes up in Zen Mode, Galarian Darmanitan just gets even stronger and faster. Its base Attack is high enough to begin with at 140. But it shoots up to an incredible 160 in Zen Mode, with Speed of 135. You’ll need to be careful with it, since Defense is low. Still, access to moves like Icicle Crash, Belly Drum for the adventurous, and Flare Blitz mean you’ll be dishing out huge amounts of damage. There are some interesting surprise moves you can use too, including U-Turn if things start to get ugly and Iron Head for Rock types.
Alolan Nintetales with its hidden ability Snow Warning (or at least one that knows Hail) is a super useful Pokémon to have around in a pinch. The move Aurora Veil only works in Hail, and if you pull it off, it reduces damage from both physical and special moves for five turns. Outside that, Alolan Ninetails is still a flexible critter. Its Special Attack isn’t tremendous. But it plus a same-type attack bonus move like Ice Beam, Blizzard (another Hail bonus!), or Moonblast is still going to do some decent damage. Plus, Fairy typing gives Ninetales an edge over Dark, Dragon, and, if you’re fast enough, Fighting types.
A Pokémon like Vanilluxe has to be good. Otherwise, it’s just a freaking ice cream cone.
With that out of the way, Vanilluxe really does deserve some attention beyond just being made fun of. Its common Snow Warning ability automatically kicks up a Hail storm. Hail increases accuracy and power of Ice type moves and damages non-Ice foes. Special Attack is a hefty 110. And its Defense stats are decent enough where Vanilluxe won’t melt right away, though you can modify those with Acid Armor if need be. Vanilluxe’s move set is pretty heavily centered around Ice moves. However, there are a few additional moves like Flash Cannon and Hyper Voice you can shake things up with. So yes, the chilled snack Pokémon is actually one of the best Ice type Pokémon.
Frosmoth is probably a terrible idea for competitive play (all those Rock weaknesses…) but a really unique and interesting choice otherwise. Being part Ice and part Bug gives Frosmoth moves like Tailwind and Quiver Dance to bolster its stats. Stun Spore is good for slowing opponents down to Frosmoth’s speed, while Attract could potentially negate damage anyway. If not, Frosmoth can use Aurora Veil as well, so that’s always a choice. Its Hidden Ability Ice Scales halves damage from special moves as well. Any of these setups would help let Frosmoth’s 125 Special Attack stat shine through with strong special moves including Dazzling Gleam, Blizzard, and Air Slash.
Glaceon might not have access to Hail-starting abilities, but it’s still one of the best Ice type Pokémon. Not only does Glaceon have incredibly high Special Attack (130), but it also has excellent Defense for an Ice type. Glaceon’s regular Defense is 110, and Special Defense is 95. That helps make up for unremarkable Speed. Even if Glaceon takes a hit or two — which it will — it’ll still hang on long enough to fire off an Ice Beam or Shadow Ball. You’ve got some support moves too if it’ll be a long fight. Baby-Doll Eyes lowers attack, Curse (Egg move) raises Defense, and Fake Tears lowers Special Attack.
Mr. Rime is either great or terrifying depending on your clown tolerance level. Evolving from the now-part-Fairy Mr. Mime lets Rime re-learn Dazzling Gleam. That’s in addition to the usual range of Ice and Psychic moves like Ice Beam, Freeze-Dry, and Psychic that get a same-type attack boost. Plus Mr. Rime can learn the likes of Thunderbolt, Grass Knot, and even Sucker Punch. The latter is surprisingly useful thanks to its base Attack stat of 85. Of course, it’s the Special Attack of 110 that makes Mr. Rime really capable of knocking foes out, with the family’s signature Screen moves there if you need a Defense boost.
What makes Eiscue worthwhile as one of the best Ice type Pokémon is its signature ability, Ice Face. Ice Face gives Eiscue two forms. The initial one with the iced-over face has high Defense (110) and Special Defense (90). Once Eiscue gets hit with a physical move or Confusion, the ice shatters and its stats reverse. Now, Defense is low, but Speed gets a big boost up to 130. Most players recommend breeding Eiscue to get Belly Drum, so you can use that during the Ice Face stage to raise Attack. Then after the ice breaks, you’ll be positioned to hit your foe hard with moves like Icicle Crash, Head Smash, and Dive. If you’re dealing with an opponent using special moves, you have options. You can keep the high Defense and then use Agility to still boost Eiscue’s speed.
Froslass is the only one of its kind, an Ice/Ghost Pokémon. As of gen 4, it’s what you get with a female Snorunt on your team, and the benefits definitely outweigh going for Glalie. Froslass’ Speed goes up quite a bit, to 110, which helps offset the slightly less impressive Attack and Special Attack. Access to moves like Will-O-Wisp and Hex (extra damage to foes with status conditions) helps with that as well. And even if Froslass seems frail, you can turn it into an evasion tank. Hail activates its Snow Cloak ability, which raises evasion, and you can teach Froslass Double Team. With naturally high Speed, you’ll get a chance to set at least one of these in motion before your opponent even takes their turn.
Aurorus deals with the Ice type weakness to Rock by being part Rock, which is pretty handy as long as you stay away from Fighting and Steel types. It has decent Attack. But Special Attack and Special Defense are Aurorus’ strong points, which helps give an extra boost to Ancient Power and Frost Breath. Better yet is Aurorus’ Refrigerate ability. Refrigerate boosts Normal moves by 30% and turns them into Ice moves. So moves like Hyper Voice and Snore get an extra bonus as if Aurorus were Normal type and still do Ice damage. On top of all that, you also get surprise moves like Thunderbolt and Flash Cannon. Rock Polish tops it all off, helping boost that slow Speed stat.
That’s it for our best Ice type Pokémon list. Let us know your ideal Ice type in the comments, and be sure to check out our other best type roundups: