From Pokémon Ash Ketchum has come a long way since his journey began, and that’s thanks in part to the many Pokémon he has caught and trained. There is no doubt that Ash has caught some tough Pokémon that have led him to victory even when the odds were against him. Although there are quite a few of them that would not work as well if they followed the logic of the game.
To be fair, Pokémon battles in the anime work very differently than they do in games, and things like “levels” and “stats” don’t apply in the same way as there. That being said, Ash has a lot of strong Pokémon that would be considered quite weak in games.
10 Taurus were helpful, but they felt nervous in every generation
While Ash didn’t mean to, he actually caught an entire pack of Tauros once. While rarely called upon, they proved to be reliable in battle, such as the way he managed to take on several of Drake’s Pokémon in the Orange Isles Winner’s Cup. However, in games, it is a different story for Tauros.
Tauros current base stats are HP: 75, Attack: 100, Defense: 95, Sp. Atk: 40, Sp. Def: 70, and Speed: 100, which is decent, but not too impressive. In truth, Tauros used to be awesome thanks to how critical hits worked in Gen 1, but as the games progressed and got better, Tauros became less and less useful. These days, Tauros is outmatched by many other Pokémon that boast better stats.
9 Lycanroc is unable to walk outside of hits
Lycanroc was among Ash’s Alola Region team that would win him the Pokémon League. It also held up during the final battle, dealing a major blow to Kukui’s Incineroar. While the Dusk form (which is Ash’s Lycanroc) is the rarest of the three Lycanroc forms, it is not that difficult stat-wise in games.
The base stats of a Twilight Form Lycanroc are HP: 75, Attack: 117, Defense: 65 Sp. Atk: 55, Sp. Def: 65 and Speed: 110, which is pretty good for attack and speed stats, but not so much in the other areas. You could say that Lycanroc is a kind of glass cannon, capable of dealing blows, but not capable of receiving them.
8 Swellow is fast but just not fast enough
Ash has a tendency to catch the common regional bird on his travels most of the time, this includes Hoenn’s swallow Pokémon, Swellow. Among the many flying-type Pokémon that Ash has caught, Swellow proved to be one of the most reliable, has a pretty good win-loss record, and has been able to excel in double-battle scenarios (like against Tate and Liza’s Gym or Tucker. during the Battle Frontier).
Sadly, Swellow isn’t that great at gaming, despite having great stats in terms of speed. His current base stats are HP: 60, Attack: 85, Defense: 60, Sp. Atk: 75, Sp. Def: 50 and Speed: 125. Between the sixth and seventh generation he received a little boost in the special attack, but that it didn’t change much. If applied to the logic of the game, that combo “Thunder Armor” move that Ash made would KO Swellow instantly instead of giving him a boost.
7 Gible is very weak compared to his evolutions
Gible wasn’t on Ash’s team in Sinnoh for long, but he still managed to pull his weight off and pull off some impressive wins. This is fortunate as Ash never evolved Gible into any of his more powerful forms, but in games, that would not have done so well for him.
Compared to Gabite and Garchomp, Gible’s stats are completely dwarfed by the strengths of his evolutions (with base stats of HP: 58, Attack: 70, Defense: 45, Sp. Atk: 40, Sp. Def: 45, and Speed : 42). This is to be expected, considering that Garchomp is considered a “pseudo-legendary”. If Ash used Gible in the games like he did in the anime, like he used him against Conway’s Dusknoir, the little land shark would probably have been trampled on.
6 Scraggy’s stats are incredibly low
Ash’s Scraggy didn’t always have time to shine in battle, but when it did, it managed to score more victories than most would expect. While Scraggy may appear overly confident and stubborn at times, his attitude is often backed by his own exploits. In the game, however, Scraggy is not that difficult without evolving.
Scraggy’s base stats are HP: 50, Attack: 75, Defense: 70, Sp. Atk: 35, Sp. Def: 70, and Speed: 48. Which is incredibly low, especially on Special Attack. This is in stark contrast to how well he hit his “Focus Blast” later in the game. In black and white seasons (when he was actually able to get a hit). To overcome those flaws, Scraggy would need stat-boosting moves, but Ash’s Scraggy has never been shown to have those. Trust can only go so far.
5 Totodile is a standard starter, but not designed for a long-term battle
Totodile, one of the many headlines Ash has caught, is both jovial and energetic, often dancing when he frees himself from his Pokéball. However, like most headlines in games, Totodile wouldn’t be as strong against tougher opponents if it was prevented from evolving.
It may have been successful in the anime (like against Harrison’s Sneasel in the Silver Conference), but in games Totodile’s base stats are at HP: 50, Attack: 65, Defense: 64, Sp. Atk: 44 Sp Def: 48 and Speed: 43, standard for a normal low-level beginner, but not for long-term use in battle. Also, considering Ash’s Totodile has a slightly limited moveset, it gives him even less of a chance to win against higher-level Pokémon.
4 Leavanny’s weaknesses outweigh her strengths
Ash’s Leavanny was one of the few Pokémon on his Unova team that was able to evolve to the end. This amiable Bug Pokémon was able to get Ash some victories in various gym battles and even lasted quite a while against Stephan’s Sawk in the Unova Pokémon League. There is power underneath that nurturing spirit, although the games tell a different story.
There, Leavanny’s stats may not be the most impressive, but they’re not really to blame this time. His typing makes him especially weak to flying-types and fire-types, making Leavanny’s weaknesses far outweigh her strengths.
3 Squirtle needs to evolve to win like his anime counterpart
Ash is often known for not evolving his Pokémon and his first Pokémon teams are full of examples, one of which is Ash’s Squirtle. The leader of the Squirtle Squad, and a longtime player in Ash’s group, Squirtle proved difficult, such as the way he took down Electabuzz during the Silver Conference.
In the anime, Ash’s Squirtle was able to overcome some tough challenges with strong moves like “Skull Bash” and “Hydro Pump”, but in the game Squirtle wouldn’t be as effective even with those moves, with his base stats at HP: 44, Attack: 48, Defense: 65, Sp. Atk: 50 Sp. Def: 64 and Speed: 43. His defense, while not overly impressive, is at least better than his offense. Without evolving, Squirtle’s stats don’t improve enough to win a victory like Ash did.
two Bulbasaur is the weakest of the Kanto Starter Trio
The first of the Kanto headlines that Ash caught, Bulbasaur was another member of Ash’s team for a long time, and one of his main targets for many of the problems that he and his friends found themselves in. A stubborn but kind problem solver personality, it’s no wonder Bulbasaur has been with Ash for so long.
Unfortunately Bulbasaur in games doesn’t have the same luck as his fellow Kanto starters, being the weakest overall of the trio, with base stats of HP: 450, Attack: 49, Defense: 49, Sp. Atk: 65 Sp. Def : 65 and Speed: 45. While Ash’s Bulbasaur simply does not want to evolve and proves that it is not necessary, since it defeated Pokémon with an advantage (such as Beedrill in the Kanto Pokémon League and Exeggutor in the Orange Islands), the Bulbasaur in the game you would be completely outmatched against most opponents if you hold back like that.
1 The video game version of Pikachu could never have achieved those victories
Pikachu is Ash’s iconic partner and his first Pokémon. While its power and strength are wildly inconsistent, Pikachu has shown time and again that it packs a punch.
In the anime, Pikachu can sometimes be strong enough to defeat legendaries like Regice, but that’s harder to achieve in games given his measly base stats of HP: 35, Attack: 55, Defense: 30, Sp. Atk: 50 Sp. Def: 40 and Speed: 90. Even if Pikachu allowed himself to become Raichu, this wouldn’t change much. The anime version of Pikachu has already exceeded the limits of ordinary Pikachu, but in games it is not so lucky.
NEXT: Ash’s 10 Weakest Pokemon (That Keep Winning Battles)
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