For people born in or after 1989, the original Pokémon series was a gateway RPG. Simple to their core, the games revolved around two major elements: collecting and battling digital monsters. And, because catching them all was one of the most hallowed achievements in gaming, it was expected that trainers’ PCs would be brimming with as many little sprites as possible. Just because you caught them didn’t mean you had to actively use them, though; out of the 151* originals, only a fraction were worthy of a spot in your six-man rotation. This list is dedicated to the bottom of the barrel, the useless ones a serious trainer would never be caught doing battle with.
Also, please note that we’re trying to consider the species with absolutely no benefits, present or down the road. While a Magicarp or Abra won’t win you any battles, training them up to Gyarados or Kadabra is a smart investment.
And, if you’d be so kind, please leave your opinion in the comments.
*- My knowledge of anything past Red and Blue is lacking. This list will only cover the originals.
The only purpose Rattata serves is talent dilution. Everybody wants a Pikachu from the get-go; it’d be way too easy for Nintendo to program legions of this favorite roaming around the earlier routs. You want the good stuff, it’s a prerequisite that you fight a couple hundred shit-eating purple rats.
First Encountered: Route 1
Worst Move: Tail Whip. We still don’t know how wagging one’s tail at another was supposed to decrease its defense.
The only thing that a Spearow can hold over a Rattata is it’s flying-type label. Other than that, you really don’t want to bother. On aesthetics alone, the Spearow family loses. You’d do better to catch and train a Pidgey, waiting until it evolves into a Pidgeot.
First Encountered: Route 3
Worst Move: Leer. If someone like Spearow angrily stared at you, your defense wouldn’t go broke.
Nintendo programed Clefairy (and, to the same effect, Jigglypuff) into the game for the sole purpose of attracting female gamers. There’s absolutely nothing beneficial about riding around Kanto with a Clefairy in tow. “Aww, bro, you got a Charizard? Lemme counter with my… Clefairy.”
First Encountered: Mount Moon
Worst Move: Growl. Like any other stat-sapping move that comes pre-packaged, Growl was the first to get the boot when push came to shove.
In their defense, Oddishes can learn a bevy of status-altering attacks. That’s really it, though; their defense is terrible, and they don’t acquire any useful offensive moves until much later levels.
First Encountered: Route 5 (Red only...sorry, Blue owners.)
Worst Move: Absorb. Stealing HP sounds good on paper, but the transfer was so low it never made sense to use a turn on it.
So, Farfetch’d is a bird who never left home without his trusty… spring onion. Let’s just move on. His lack of solid attacks doesn’t aid his case.
First Encountered: Trade Only
Worst Move: Fury Attack. One of the few actual damaging moves Farfetch’d can learn, the attack does next to nothing damage-wise.
Patient trainers can fuck up your day with a poison-type Pokémon. But, when compared to the likes of Grimer, Koffing just won’t cut it. They don’t play enough D to effectively whittle down an opponent.
First Encountered: Pokémon Mansion
Worst Move: Self-Destruct. But we’ll get into that in a minute.
The kamikaze Pokémon, Voltorb’s calling card is an incredibly stupid one: self-destruction. If you think knocking out one of your six party members to deal some damage is a good strategy, it’s probably time to put the Game Boy down.
First Encountered: Route 10
Worst Move: Self-Destruct. DON’T DO IT, MAN. THERE ARE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF OTHER STRATEGIES THAT WILL PROVE JUST AS EFFECTIVE WITHOUT DESTROYING ONE OF YOUR OWN.
The only Pokémon that required a fat bank account to obtain, Gamefreak held Porygon over everybody’s head in a ridiculous way. And when you finally do stack enough paper, you realize that the best attack the hexagonal duck can learn is Tri-Attack – a gimmicky move for one of the most gimmicky creatures available.
First Encountered: Rocket Game Corner
Worst Move: To be fair, Porygon doesn’t have any moves one can completely chalk up as “worst” or “useless.” Tri-Attack probably gets the nod here, but Porygon’s spot on the list is secured more by the obnoxious method to obtain it.
9. Mr. Mime
Deserves a spot on the list simply because he gave me nightmares as a kid. His defense-oriented skill set wasn’t much fun to play with, either.
First Encountered: Trade on Route 2.
Worst Move: Confusion. Not so much because it’s a bad move, but because Mr. Mime learns it twice – it comes pre-loaded with the move, and learns it again at level 15.
Pokémon is a game won and lost on type advantages, a factor that Ditto nullifies. Transforming yourself into a replica of your opponent isn’t a good look, no matter how badly you want to use a faux-Charizard.
First Encountered: Route 13
Worst Move: Transform, the only move it ever learns. Incredibly gimmicky.