Water type Pokémon are everywhere. They’re the most common Pokémon type, and we admit a lot of them are more than a bit bland. (We’re looking at you, Lumineon.) But there’s more lurking beneath the waves than your average goldfish. Grab your life jackets, folks. We’re going through the Pokédex to pick out the top 10 best Water type Pokémon. And as usual, no Legendaries or Mega Evolved Pokémon are included.
Starmie is one of the classics and for good reason. Water and Psychic dual typing means Starmie can handle a wide variety of opponents with ease, while the Psychic add-on only introduces two extra weaknesses. And unlike many Psychic types, Starmie’s pretty sturdy in the Defense department. Not that any battle with Starmie is likely to put that to the test though, as its Speed is incredibly high for a Water type, for one thing. Add Starmie’s access to a tremendously wide move pool, ranging from Thunderbolt and Ice Beam to Shadow Ball, and you’ve got an essential Pokemon here, not just one of the best Water type Pokémon.
The Pokémon anime tried selling a story to us about Gyarados. It was the most terrifying Pokémon around, bringer of carnage and chaos. And unlike a lot of Pokémon stories, this one actually fits with in-game Gyarados too. Gyarados’ attack is on the really high side, with a base of 125. Everything else is kinda low except Special Defense, however. You’ll want to move in and hit hard before something else takes Gyarados out, but with moves like Hurricane and Waterfall, that shouldn’t be too hard. If your Gyarados is too slow, Thunder Wave would be a good supplementary move too. It’s not going to last as long as something like Slowbro, but it’ll probably end fights a lot sooner than most Water types too.
Gastrodon’s a favorite amongst competitive types thanks to its Water-absorbing Storm Drain ability. For everyday purposes, though, Seismitoad offers just a bit more to put it over the edge as one of the best Water type Pokémon. It’s got better abilities with Swift Swim and Poison Touch; the one increases Speed during rain, while the other might poison a foe on contact. And it’s got much higher Attack. That might seem at odds with Seismitoad’s special-focused natural move pool. Slap some moves like Earthquake and Waterfall on it, though, and you’re good to go — a strong and sturdy Water type that’s really only weak to Grass.
Milotic is one of just a handful of pure Water type Pokemon, and it’s a fantastically versatile one as well. Milotic’s stats gear it towards being a special-focused Pokémon — Special attack of 100, Special Defense of 125. Speed and HP are decent, while Defense and Attack are… not. But that’s okay. Apart from getting full use out of Water’s most powerful moves, Milotic has Recover and Attract to keep itself going and take foes out of commission too. If you’re lucky enough to get Milotic with the Marvel Scale ability, its Defense goes up by 50% when inflicted with a status ailment. Give it a Toxic Orb, keep using Recover, and you’ll be just fine.
Get your pitchforks ready because we’re saying Empoleon ranks as the best Water Pokémon starter. That’s entirely down to versatility and stats, though, since we aren’t including Mega Evolutions. Empoleon has very few weaknesses, good Defense, and excellent Special Defense. Special Attack is high too, so it can make waves (ha…?) with the likes of Surf and Flash Cannon if you’re going for same-type attack bonuses. If not, you’ve still got a healthy variety of moves to choose from, including Grass Knot and Drill Peck.
Dracovish is a monster, and not just because of the unholy rituals you did to grant the beast with life. The Fishious Rend strategy got a lot of attention thanks to competitive player Wolfey, and we don’t have to wonder why. Dracovish already has high attack power. Add Strong Jaw (increases power of bite moves) and the Choice Band, and Fishious Rend becomes deadly strong. If Dracovish moves first, it’s even stronger, making Dracovish potentially one of the strongest one-hit wonders in Pokémon. Granted, it takes some setting up to pull off. But even without that, you’ve still got one of the best Water Pokémon with high Defense, only two weaknesses thanks to the Dragon dual-typing, and plenty of strong moves like Crunch and Waterfall.
Arctovish is actually the stronger of the two new fossil Water types. It’s packing higher Special Attack and Special Defense, meaning it can last just a bit longer. Arctovish also learns Fishious Rend, though lower Speed means you’d need something like Quick Claw to bring out its real power. In exchange for that, though, you get Freeze Dry, an Ice move super effective against Water types. And of course, there’s all the usual moves available to a Water/Ice dual type, which Arctovish can pull off better than, say, Dewgong thanks to its higher Special Attack.
“Why Slowbro when Starmie is on the list for best Water type Pokémon?” you might ask. And the answer is because it’s a freaking tank. Slowbro has stupendously high Defense for a Water type and can use Amnesia to bolster its Special Defense or Calm Mind. Then you can teach it an even wider range of attacks than Starmie has access to. Focus Blast makes dealing with Dark and Steel types a breeze, for example. Then Flamethrower deals with Grass and Bug types. All you need to do is keep Slowbro’s health up, and you’ll be in your opponent’s hair for a long time.
Wishiwashi is easily one of the best Water type Pokémon because it’s just so darn powerful — with a catch. Wishiwashi’s Schooling ability activates naturally when battle begins and boosts its otherwise meager stats to impressive levels. Only HP and Speed are under 130 when Wishiwashi forms a school. So it’s basically the Pokémon epitome of a tank, a hard-hitting, damage-absorbing critter that moves very, very slowly. The only trouble is when Wishiwashi’s HP drops below 25%. At that point, you’re back to just one tiny Water Pokemon. But the payoff makes planning around that more than worth it.
Surprise! Pokémon X actually has a good Pokémon, and it’s Clawitzer. You’ll need to baby it just a bit thanks to low Speed, but decent Defense and Special Defense mean it can stand a few hits. And it dishes out plenty more damage than it’ll likely receive. Clawitzer’s got a super-high Special Attack stat, with a base value of 124. Plus, it can also learn a surprising number of special-based moves, from Dark Pulse and Shadow Ball to Venoshock and Sludge Bomb. If you need a heavy hitter with a special bent, Clawitzer is one of the best Water type Pokémon to pick from.
These are all subjective rankings of course. Let us know your picks for the best Water type Pokémon in the comments! Stick around for more Pokémon rankings in the coming days, and check out our other rankings so far: