Pokémon entered a brand new era with Generation 9, introducing more than 100 new Pokémon for players to enjoy in Scarlet & Violet. As always, there are quite a few phenomenal new ones, plus a bunch of Pocket Monsters that are dead on arrival.
Here are the top 25 Generation 9 Pokémon you need to know about. This list includes nothing but brand new Pokémon from the latest generation. They excel in design, typing, and being the best in their categories, ranked from worst of the best to the best of the best. Only one Pokémon per evolutionary line was picked.
The Spanish Mastiff-based Mabosstiff is one of several new dog Pokémon in Generation 9. Similar to Morpeko in Gen 8, it has two distinct forms, one for its daytime and another for nighttime, showing the two sides of this mafia pup. The mix of the cute and cuddly and the dangerous and terrifying is unique and fun.
Grafaiai is the first of its typing, being a Poison and Normal-type Pokémon. Like Smeargle, it takes a tried-and-true idea (an Aye-Aye) and mixes it up with a graffiti aesthetic. This theme is entirely original, helping Grafaiai stand out in a fascinating way despite its not super attractive design.
23. Paldean Wooper
To be fair, Paldean Wooper is, by and large, the same as the original, but with a palette swap to a muddy brown color. There isn’t much new about Paldean Wooper besides its switch to Poison/Ground typing, but that isn’t horrible. After all, Paldean Wooper looks closer than ever to an actual Axolotl now.
22. Iron Bundle
One of the new features in the Gen 9 games was the introduction of the Paradox forms, featuring ancient and future versions, depending on which game you had. Violet fans received the future version of Delibird. Iron Bundle is just a metal Delibird with a few changes, but there’s no denying that this Santa Claus-themed Ice and Water type looks better than ever.
For those disappointed by Drampa in Gen 7, The Pokémon Company remedied that mistake with the simple but clean Dragon/Normal type Cyclizar. Feeling like a more straightforward, plain version of the box art legendaries, it’s admittedly nothing too special, but that’s a positive in this case.
It seems that every Pokémon generation has a goofy first route Normal type Pokémon these days, and the Paldea region has Lechonk. The dark muddy piggy with sad eyes is cute but also strange. This mix makes even more sense when it evolves into its gender-differing evolutions, but the first stage is still the best.
Flittle may be surprising in that it’s a Psychic bird Pokémon but that only adds to the mystique of this ballerina-style chick. There are few new Pokémon in Gen 9 that can compare to the adorableness of Flittle, especially when you consider its disturbing Sia-like evolution.
For a relatively early Grass Pokémon line, Smoliv is as good as it gets for the Gen 9 games. Based on an olive that is, well, small, it looks scared and in need of protection. It also happens to be much better than its evolutions that lose the charm that it has.
Girafarig is a Gen 2 Pokémon that was sorely in need of evolution, and it finally got one with Gen 9’s Farigiraf. In this new evolution, it doesn’t change much, getting larger and having its tail head turn into a strange onesie that the giraffe Pokémon wears on its head. While not too different, it improves just enough.
Fidough was already a cute enough Pokémon that nailed the strange mix of raw dough and a puppy, but Dachsbun edges out ever so slightly as the better of the two. The baked bread nature of Dachsbun gives it a slightly burnt crisp that makes the food Pokémon idea feel fully realized.
The three-stage pseudo-legendary Dragon line for the Gen 9 games is quite good, notable for its excellent Ice/Dragon typing. In a Dragonair and Dragonite situation, the middle stage, Arctibax, is vastly better than its noticeably different final evolution. The ice dinosaur Pokémon design is complex and welcome.
The box art legendary for Pokémon Scarlet continues the amazing trend of fantastic key legendaries that Game Freak has been on for several generations now. Koraidon is the predominantly reddish orange Fighting/Dragon legendary that acts as your companion, vehicle, and impressive fighter that is a must-have for each Scarlet player’s team.
The gimmick (get it?) of Gimmighoul is that it has two forms, the Treasure Chest and Roaming Gimmighoul forms. The Treasure Chest is fine on its own, being a mimic chest RPG Pokémon, but the real draw of this Ghost Pokémon is its Roaming version. The adorable little trickster just loves to collect coins and run around, being much better than its horrifyingly designed evolution.
12. Roaring Moon
The old version of Salamence, Roaring Moon, doesn’t look all that different from the already excellent Gen 3 pseudo-legendary. However, the few changes to Salamence elevated the Dragon to arguably the best it’s ever looked. Even though it is, technically, a different Pokémon.
One of the very first Pokémon introduced for the Gen 9 games also turned out to be among the best. The Pikachu clone for that generation has several secrets up its sleeve, not least of which is its charming chunky design. The Electric Pokémon is also the first clone to evolve, but the lack of changes in its evolutions still has Pawmi standing out as the best.
Gen 9 has not one, but basically, two pseudo-legendary three-stage lines, and Tinkaton shows the absolute ingenuity of Game Freak. Essentially a bizarre hot pink Trolls anime character wielding a massive hammer, there is nothing like this competitively fun and viable Steel/Fairy type.
Miraidon is the Violet box art legendary Pokémon and, by and large, quite similar to Koraidon. However, the futuristic motorcycle idea works just a little bit better, especially in its various ride forms. It helps, too, that the Electric and Dragon typing is much more interesting.
The first of the Paldean starters shows just how strong the base forms of the starters are. Spoilers: only the first stages of all three made this list, as all three lines let fans down in one way or another. Fuecoco, though, in its base form, is one of the finest fire starters in the series. The crocodile mixed with a fiery touch might be enough to topple Gen 2’s Totodile in its animal category.
Unfortunately, those who bought Scarlet missed out on the phenomenal Ceruledge. Sure, Armarouge is fine, but this Ghost/Fire knight is the stuff of legends. The brilliantly glistening purple armor is a surprising look for a Ghost Pokémon and one that appeals to trainers looking for powerful partners to battle with.
6. Paldean Tauros
The Spain-inspired region of Paldea had to give Gen 1’s Tauros some love, and it did in a way that fans couldn’t have ever expected. Sure, it doesn’t get an evolution, but it doesn’t need one when it has a whopping three regional forms in Paldea, a first for the series. All three are sharply designed and well worth adding to your team, but a special note to the Fighting/Water Paldean Tauros for its slightly better look.
The excitement of the first ever Grass/Fire Pokémon turned out to be a waste with the evolution of Capsakid. However, that disappointment at least paved the way for Capsakid to thrive as one of the better Grass Pokémon in the Gen 9 games. The smug, somewhat angry face and weird egg thing on its head give it some great personality.
When it comes to cuteness, personality, and star power, Quaxly is one starter that has it all. The Water starter is the second-best in the bunch, which is saying a lot since they’re all fantastic. Sure, it isn’t much more than a typical duck, but the little touches like its blue head and bright personality help it succeed even over its evolutions.
Finizen is yet another example of Gen 9 nailing the base form of Pokémon but not necessarily the evolutions. The first-ever dolphin Pokémon lives up to the hype that fans were hoping for, nailing the concept with one of the best-looking adorable new Pocket Monsters in the series. It is an instant fan favorite that every team should consider for a Water-type addition.
The very best of the three starters and the second-best overall Pokémon in the entire Paldea region has to be Sprigatito. Cat starter Pokémon is already a solid choice from what players saw in Gen 7, but Sprigatito even managed to outshine Litten. The Grass starter is the epitome of a cute Paldean Pokémon, somehow managing to triumph over the two excellent but somewhat controversial evolutions it has.
The quartet of legendaries in Gen 9 aren’t the best ones seen in the series, but they’re not too bad, either. That said, it’s honestly crazy how massively better Chien-Pao is than the other three. This sabertooth tiger-inspired Dark/Ice legendary Pokémon feels like the best form of the Gen 2 legendary beasts.
It is somehow this intriguing mix of beautiful and intimidating all at the same time. The brilliant color choice and pattern across its body hint at the fascinating type combination it has going on. It stands out as the best-looking legendary in the games and one of the strongest, too. Chien-Pao is one of those unforgettable Pokémon that keeps the series going well into 1000+ creatures and counting.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.