There are some new features and Pokémon forms, but this piece will focus on only Paldean Pokémon. Read below for more.
The best Paldean Pokémon in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet
Remember that there are 18 types in the games. However, there are a few Pokémon that are the strongest of multiple types in Scarlet & Violet, so there won’t be 18 listed. Some types had more Pokémon introduced than others, but there are a few new evolutionary lines and non-evolving Pokémon for each type. The list will be in order of highest Base Stats Total (BST).
The list will not include legendary, mythical, or Paradox Pokémon. This includes the four new hyphenated legendary Pokemon, all with a base Dark-type a Dark-type base with 570 BST: Chien-Pao (Dark and Ice), Chi-You (Dark and Fire), Ting-Lu (Dark and Ground), and Wo-Chien (Dark and Grass). They are not listed below.
While Miraidon (Violet) and Koraidon (Scarlet) are legendary, the fact that you’ll receive them so early in the game and use them as your main mode of transportation means they’ll most likely be a permanent member of your party. Miraidon (Electric/Dragon) and Koraidon (Fighting/Dragon) both have 670 BST.
The list begins with a reminder not to “judge a book by its cover.”
1. Palafin (Water) – 457 or 650 BST
Palafin is an interesting Pokémon both in terms of obtaining the evolved form of Finizen and for its unique ability. First, to evolve Finizen into Palafin, you have to make use of the “Lets’ Go!” feature, which allows your Pokémon to travel outside of its Pokéball and engage in automatic battles. From there, at level 38, you have to then use the multiplayer function to have someone watch your Palafin battle to trigger the evolution. This is the first friend-based evolution in the series.
The pure Water-type’s ability is Zero to Hero. This ability uses the move Flip Turn to send Palafin back to your party (all 457 BST). However, when you send out Palafin again during the same battle, Palafin takes on its Hero form, resembling a superhero, with the nearly 200-point increase in BST. To put that in perspective, pseudo-legendary Pokémon have a 600 BST and legendary ones have a BST of 670 or 680 in their base forms.
Basically, Palafin goes from skinny Yagi Toshinori to All Might powered by One for All after activating Zero to Hero. It’s that much of a difference.
This makes Palafin the strongest non-legendary Pokémon in the game – when Zero to Hero is activated. It’s really worth it as all you’ll have to do is suffer one attack from the opponent before you send out Palafin again or just wait until your other Pokémon has fainted. Further, as a pure Water-type, Palafin is only weak to Grass- and Electric-type Pokémon. The former is generally not as strong offensively while the latter is one of the rare types.
If you want another Water-type, then the starter’s final evolution, Quaquaval (530 BST), or Dondozo (530 BST) are the next best choices.
2. Baxcalibur (Dragon and Ice) – 600 BST
Baxcalibur is the pseudo-legendary introduced in Scarlet & Violet and like most pseudo-legendary Pokémon, it has a partial Dragon typing. Baxcalibur is an offensive fiend with 145 Attack and 115 HP. Defense isn’t bad at 92, but Speed (87), Special Defense (86), and Special Attack (75) are where it lacks to make up for its two stats above the century mark. It evolves at level 54 from Arctibax, which evolves at level 35 from Frigibax.
Baxcalibur’s typing negates the Ice weakness to normal damage. However, along with the other Dragon-type weaknesses in Dragon and Fairy attacks, it also adds weaknesses to Fighting, Rock, and Steel attacks. Luckily, Baxcalibur doesn’t hold any double weaknesses to any types.
3. Kingambit (Steel and Dark) & Gholdengo (Steel and Ghost) – 550 BST
Kimgambit, the new evolution of Bisharp. It’s also another interesting evolution method. You have to equip your Bisharp with a Leader’s Crest. Then, you must defeat three Bisharp also holding the item. This means the earliest you could have this happen is level 52, when Pawniard evolves into Bisharp. Kingambit is not only the strongest Steel-type (tied with Gholdengo), but is also the strongest Dark-type outside of the four listed earlier.
Kingambit holds the standard BST distribution you’d expect from a Steel-type: high on HP, Attack, and Defense, but the opposite with Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. To that end, Kingambit has 100 HP, 135 Attack, and 120 Defense compared to 60 Special Attack, 85 Special Defense, and 50 Speed. As a Steel- and Dark-type, Kingambit is weak to Ground and Fire attacks while holding a double weakness to Fighting. It does hold immunities to Poison and Psychic.
Gholdengo is the evolution of Gimmighoul, the crossover Pokémon that was first seen in its Chest Form on a teaser website, then in its Roaming Form in Pokémon GO with the ability to eventually catch Gimmighoul in GO for those who have Scarlet or Violet. You need to acquire 999 coins in Let’s Go mode to evolve Gimmighoul into Gholdengo.
Gholdengo, the strongest Ghost-type non-legendary Paldean Pokémon, is a decent tank with incredible Special Attack. Gholdengo has 133 Special Attack, 95 Defense, and 91 Special Defense. It adds 81 HP, 84 Speed, and a low 60 Attack. As a Steel- and Ghost-type, Gholdengo holds weaknesses to Ground, Ghost, Fire, and Dark. However, it holds immunities to Fighting, Ghost, and Poison.
4. Annihilape (Fighting and Ghost) – 535 BST
Annihilape, a new evolution for Primeape, is the strongest Fighting-type outside of Koraidon for Scarlet players and the strongest in Violet that isn’t a legendary, mythical, or Paradox. To evolve Primeape into Annihilape, you need to land Rage Fist 20 times and level up. You can’t just use the attack as missing or using the Ghost-type move on an immune type will not count toward your total.
Annihilape is like most Fighting-type Pokémon: good Attack and HP, lacking in other areas. It holds 115 Attack and 110 HP, with 90 Special Defense, 90 Speed, and 80 Defense, but 50 Special Attack. Most Fighting-type attacks are physical attacks anyway, so the lack of Special Attack isn’t too much of a loss. As a Fighting- and Ghost-type, Annihilape is weak to Flying, Ghost, Psychic, and Fairy. However, it holds immunities to Normal and Fighting.
5. Skeledirge (Fire and Ghost) – 530 BST
Skeledirge is the final evolution of starter Fuecoco, who evolves at level 16 to Crocalor and then at 36 into Skeledirge. The fire gator is a special attacking tank. It hold 110 Special Attack, 100 Defense, and 104 HP. However, the other stats are low with 75 Attack, 75 Special Defense, and 66 Speed, making it the slowest of the three starter final evolutions. Luckily, since many strong Fire-type attacks are special attacks, Skeledirge should be able to withstand a hit to lay on some ferocious firepower (literally).
As a Fire- and Ghost-type Pokémon, Skeledirge holds weaknesses to Ground, Rock, Water, Ghost, and Dark. Skeledirge holds immunities to Normal and Fighting.
6. Meowscarada (Grass and Dark) – 530 BST
The final evolution of the Grass starter, Meowscarada resembles a professional wrestler. Sprigatito evolves at level 16 to Floragato, then at 36 to Meowscarada. Whereas Skeledirge is a special attacking tank and Quaquaval an all-around Pokémon that skews toward Attack, Meowscarada is a speedy powerhouse. It has 123 Speed and 110 Attack. However, it’s other stats are lacking a bit with 81 Special Attack, 76 HP, and 70 Defense and Special Defense.
Meowscarada will represent the more “difficult” playthrough of Scarlet or Violet as it holds the most weaknesses of the starters. As a Grass- and Dark-type, it holds weakness to Fire, Ice, Fighting, Poison, Flying, and Fairy, with a double weakness to Bug.
7. Glimmora (Rock and Poison) – 525 BST
Glimmora is the strongest Rock- and Poison-type Paldean Pokémon. Glimmora isn’t as sturdy as most Rock-type Pokémon, but makes up for it in one key area. Glimmora has 130 Special Attack, putting the few Rock attacks and many Poison attacks that are special attacks to even better use. However, ever other stat is decent save one. Glimmora has 90 Defense, 86 Speed, 83 HP, and 81 Special Defense, but a low 55 Attack.
Glimmet evolves at level 35 into Glimmora. As a Rock- and Poison-type, Glimmora holds weaknesses to Steel, Water, and Psychic, with a double weakness to Ground. Further, Steel is completely immune to Poison attacks, so that effectively wipes out one type.
8. Armarogue (Fire and Psychic) – 525 BST
Armarouge is the strongest Psychic-type Pokémon in the game, by a hair. The Scarlet-exclusive is the opposite of Ceruledge (Fire and Ghost) in Violet. You can evolve your Charcadet into Armarouge by using the Auspicious Armor (Malicious Armor for Ceruledge). You’ll need to trade ten Bronzor Fragments (Scarlet) or 10 Sinistea Chips (Violet) with an unnamed man in Zapapico for the armor item.
Armarogue is the special attacker to Cereuldge’s physical attacker. Armargoue has 125 Special Attack, 100 Defense, 85 HP, 80 Special Defense, 75 Speed, and 60 Attack. Armarogue holds weaknesses to Ground, Rock, Water, Dark, and Ghost.
9. Dudunsparce (Normal) and Farigiraf (Normal and Psychic) – 520 BST
The uncreatively-named Dudunsparce ties with Girafarig’s new evolution Farigiraf as the strongest Normal-type Paldean Pokémon. First, Dudunsparce. You can evolve your Dunsparce once it levels up with the move Hyper Drill, level 32 when it learns the move. Dudunsparce is slow, of course, but carries a lot of HP and the ability to learn a lot of TMs. Dudunsparce has 125 HP, 100 Attack, 85 Special Attack, 80 Defense, 75 Special Defense, and 55 Speed. Dudnsparce is only weak to Fighting and immune to Ghost, though Normal moves cannot hit Ghost-type Pokémon without an identifying move first (such as Odor Sleuth).
Girafarig evolves into Farigiraf after leveling up knowing the move Twin Beam, level 32 when it learns the move. Farigriaf is more about offense or defense with 120 HP, 110 Special Attack, and 90 Attack compared to 70 Defense and Special Defense and 60 Speed. It’s typing makes it hold weaknesses to Bug and Dark and the shared immunity with Ghost.
10. Toedscruel (Ground and Grass) – 515 BST
The first and only convergent species on the list (though not in Paldea), Toesdcruel are the evolved form of Toedscool, the land-dwelling relatives of the sea-faring Tentacool and Tentacruel. Toedscruel is a quick special attack tank, essentially, with 120 Special Defense and 100 Speed. It also has 80 HP, 80 Special Attack, 70 Attack, and a low 65 Defense.
Toesdcool evolves at level 30 to Toedscruel, both being Ground and Grass. Toedscruel holds weaknesses to Fire, Bug, Flying, and a double weakness to Ice.
11. Tinkaton (Fairy and Steel) – 506 BST
Tinktaon is one of the few Fairy-type Paldean Pokémon in the games. Tinkaton is actually fairly quick for a Steel-type, and carries well-rounded attributes. Tinkaton has 105 Special Defense, 94 Speed, 85 HP, 77 Defense, 75 Attack, and 70 Special Attack. Tinkaton may not be as hefty a special defense tank as Toedscruel, but has other advantages.
Tinkaton evolves from Tinkatuff at level 38, which evolves at level 24 from Tinkatink. The Fairy- and Steel-type Pokémon holds weaknesses to Ground and Fire with immunities to Poison and Dragon.
12. Flamigo (Flying and Fighting) – 500 BST
Flamigo is as its name suggests: a flamingo. This standalone Pokémon takes the edge for the best Paldean flier. Flamigo is what you’d expect from a Fighting-type: a strong attacker. It has 115 Attack, 90 Speed, and 82 HP. However, it also has 75 Special Attack, 74 Defense, and a low 64 Special Defense. Flamigo is about hitting the opponent powerfully and quickly, and not about taking damage.
The flamingo Pokémon holds weaknesses to Flying, Electric, Psychic, Ice, and Fairy. It’s like Lucario in that it’s weak to its own type.
13. Belllibolt (Electric) – 495 BST
Bellibolt is a literal ball of electricity that bears a slight resemblance to Seismitoad. Unlike most Electric-type Pokémon, Bellibolt is slow, possible the slowest of the type. It has 109 HP, 103 Special Attack, 91 Defense, 83 Special Defense, and 64 Attack. If you thought 64 Attack was low, Bellibolt only has 45 Speed. For comparison, Snorlax has 30 Speed and Slowpoke 15 Speed.
You can evolve your Tadbulb into Bellibolt using a Thunder Stone. As an Electric-type Pokémon, Bellibolt only holds a weakness to Ground.
14. Rabsca (Bug and Psychic) – 470 BST
Finally, Rabsca is the strongest Paldean Bug-type. Rabsca is, like Bellibolt, slow. It has 115 Special Attack, 100 Special Defense, 85 Defense, and 75 HP, but also has 50 Attack and 45 Speed. Rabsca can hold its own defensively, but has to rely on special attacks to make a dent offensively.
To evolve your Rellor into Rabsca, you have to accumulate 1,000 steps with Rellor in Let’s Go mode. This is the mode where the Pokémon travels with you outside of its ball and engages in automatic battles. Rabsca holds weaknesses to Fire, Flying, Bug, Rock, Ghost, and Dark.
There you have it, the strongest Paldean Pokémon by type (non-legendary or Paradox). The four mentioned before the list are also very strong, so add them to your team as you desire. Now, which Pokémon will you choose for your grand adventures Scarlet & Violet?