Anime

Ash’s 15 Weakest Pokémon In The Anime, Ranked

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When it comes to Ash’s Pokémon, there are definitely a few that stand out among the rest, like Pikachu and Charizard, who frequently help Ash to win the day. For every successful Pokémon that’s been on Ash’s team, though, there’s another Pokémon that he caught which just couldn’t pull its weight. There are many reasons why this is the case–some Pokémon had personality conflicts, which kept them from performing well in battle, while others often saw disadvantageous match-ups, or simply couldn’t deliver when the pressure was on.

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Determining which of Ash’s Pokémon were his absolute weakest will depend on a few factors as well, with the most important being their win rates. After all, performance in battle doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t result in a win. That’s not to say that winning is the only thing that matters in general, however. Some Pokémon just weren’t meant for battle, and instead served other roles in the show’s storylines. They remained useful despite never really winning any battles, but that still leaves them looking rather weak all the same.

15 Tauros

Ash_Tauros_double_team_Pokemon

Ash’s Tauros are something of a mystery to many fans, as the episode in which Ash captured them was actually banned from airing in the US and elsewhere. Ash only used Tauros in battle on a handful of occasions, but those occasions didn’t turn out very well for the Tauros in question, leaving it with 1 win, 3 losses, and a draw. Tauros actually lost two different matches during the Orange League’s final battle, an almost impressively bad performance. Ash used Tauros in hopes of getting “beginner’s luck” on his side, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out this time.

14 Torterra

Torterra in Pokemon

Ash’s Torterra used to fair pretty well before it evolved, but over the course of its entire time in the series, Torterra performed rather poorly overall. With 4 wins, 7 losses, and 2 draws, Torterra’s record in battle isn’t quite what fans would hope for out of a starter Pokémon. One of the big factors in Torterra’s poor performance seems to have been the loss of speed as it evolved, as many of Turtwig’s battles involved using his maneuverability to gain an edge, which Torterra just couldn’t do anymore.

13 Unfezant

pokemon unfezant

Unfezant was Ash’s first catch in Unova, and it was a disappointing introduction to the region. Unfezant ended up with 2 wins and 3 losses over the course of Black and White, with one of those wins being when it freshly evolved from Tranquill. Unfezant is a good example of a Pokémon that didn’t really exist to battle, though, as its capacity for flight was often used to track down missing people or Pokémon, making it useful in a very different way. Ash also cycled through several Pokémon on his team in Unova, leaving Unfezant with fewer opportunities to battle than Pokémon from other regions.

12 Muk

Muk from Pokemon

Muk was only used in two battles, where it went 1-1 overall, before having to be shipped off due to its stench. In fact, the odor was so bad that it seeped through the Poké Ball it was kept in and served only to be a nuisance to the team. Muk won its first battle at the Indigo League, where it easily destroyed a Bellsprout, but its second bout against Gary in the Silver League saw it defeated with ease. From there, it was never used again, although Muk would of course continue to appear at Oak’s lab whenever Ash revisited. Even if one counts battles with Team Rocket, Muk fared poorly, as its only time going up against James saw it put to sleep and rendered unable to battle.

11 Gliscor

Ash's Gliscor sticking its tongue out in the Pokémon anime

Gliscor’s record was an abysmal 2 wins, 4 losses, and a draw, making it easily the weakest member of Ash’s Sinnoh team. As a Gligar, it was a particularly fragile Pokémon emotionally, often crying out of fear of failure–or even fear of heights, something surprising for a Pokémon that can fly. At least one of Gliscor’s wins helped Ash secure a badge, so it has that going for it, but overall it just wasn’t a very good choice in most battles. Once it evolved, it was able to help scout around and search for things by air, so at least Gliscor remained useful in this capacity.

10 Lapras

Pokemon: Ash riding Lapras

Lapras is generally considered to be a pretty good Pokémon in the games, but Ash’s Lapras definitely didn’t make a good case for it. Ash’s Lapras only battled twice, and lost both times, giving it the worst possible record. Lapras’s purpose in the anime wasn’t to fight, though; Lapras mostly existed as a way to ferry Ash, Misty, and Tracy from island to island in the Orange Islands, living up to its reputation as the Transport Pokémon. Still, it’s a bit disappointing that its performance in battle was so very bad, and that it had only a short time in which Ash owned it.

9 Totodile

Totodile smiles widely in Pokemon

Totodile is an interesting case. It has one official victory–against a Charizard, no less–and it singlehandedly took out Team Rocket in its initial appearance prior to being captured. Unfortunately, its victories end there, as it lost in its subsequent three attempts and didn’t finish a fourth. As a character, it was a very endearing Pokémon, but it performed so poorly that it was once knocked out by a single Tackle attack (by an Onix, but still). While Totodile may be remembered fondly by fans, the fact of the matter is that it just couldn’t win when it really counted.

8 Snivy

Snivy walks on grass in the Pokemon anime

Snivy is another starter Pokémon, with a meager 2 wins and 5 losses to its name. Snivy also had some personality problems, being a snooty Pokémon which abandoned its first trainer for not living up to its expectations. That attitude ended up being very ironic, considering Snivy’s pathetic win rate. Worse still, one of Snivy’s wins was due to the use of the move Attract, rendering the opponent unwilling to attack, but attempts to repeat that gimmick were met with instant failure. Snivy just wasn’t cut out for battling, apparently.

7 Palpitoad

Palpitoad smiling and standing inside a Gym arena in the Pokémon anime series

A fan favorite, Palpitoad went 1-2-1 in official matches, but its losses were particularly embarrassing. Palpitoad was used against Elesa’s Zebstrika in a gym match, where it had a massive type advantage, and the loss of Palpitoad early on destroyed Ash’s strategy and ensured failure. Palpitoad later battled against Roxie’s Garbodor in what was a six-versus-three match, where it again had the type advantage and was rapidly defeated. As Ash’s fifth Pokémon in that battle, it should’ve also had the benefit of being fresh, where Roxie’s Garbodor had already been battling for a while, but even that couldn’t help Palpitoad out.

6 Heracross

Ash's Heracross, preparing to attack in Pokemon

Heracross finishes just barely under 50% with a 2-3 record. It suffered from a very short attention span, losing battles simply by being lured off with jars of sweet nectar, as shown when Team Rocket used some as bait in order to abscond with Pikachu. While one of its wins was quite impressive, coming out on top versus a Magmar, where it had a big type disadvantage, but even that couldn’t help to make up for its losses. Heracross also had the misfortune of being used against Tobias’s Darkrai, and it didn’t stand a chance against the Mythical Pokémon.

5 Boldore

Boldore in Pokémon

Boldore was only used in three official battles, but it lost two of them, including a loss to Roxie’s Koffing where it should’ve had an edge. Like Torterra, it was more useful in its previous form, Roggenrola, when it used its super hearing to locate an Audino. As Boldore, however, it was ineffectual and didn’t do much either in battle or in other situations, though it did have an epic finish against Team Rocket in Black and White, when it launched them away for a final time in the series. Its friendly demeanor and occasional good showings belie the fact that its usefulness was limited overall.

4 Oshawott

Every Pokemon Water Starter Ranked Worst To Best Oshawott

Oshawott’s record isn’t great, with 4 wins and losses and one draw to its name. Oshawott was prone to falling for Attract shenanigans, often ending up in love with opposing female Pokémon. Oshawott also had a hard time using some of its moves, such as Aqua Jet, which while powerful, rarely hit the mark. Oshawott definitely had some grit, though, as its wins were often hard-fought victories, even when it had a type advantage. Oshawott’s Scalchop (the shell on its tummy) proved to be almost as much of a problem as it was a tool, as Oshawott would frequently become distracted when he lost it in battle, and it was essential to performing some moves, such as Razor Shell.

3 Squirtle

Squirtle Looking Happy

Squirtle, shockingly, has the exact same win rate as Oshawott: 4 wins, 4 losses, and a draw. In major battles, it just often didn’t measure up, landing only one attack against Drake’s Dragonite, for example, and losing at the battle frontier by crashing into a wall. Squirtle had a bit more going for it, though, as it was used in other non-combat situations, such as the gym challenges in the Orange Islands, where it fared well. Squirtle eventually returned to the Squirtle Squad and putting out fires, which is probably a more suitable job for it than battling anyway.

2 Torkoal

Ash’s Torkoal has one of the worst records of all his Pokémon, with only 2 wins to 6 losses and a draw. Worse still, when Torkoal was defeated, it was often dealt with in a single blow, meaning it didn’t even get the chance to perform in battle at all. It almost became a running gag, with Torkoal often crying over its repeated failures. Of all Ash’s low win-rate Pokémon, Torkoal is the one that has perhaps seen more battles than it really deserved to. Ash used it in four matches across the Evergrande Conference, and it ultimately was knocked out in each one.

1 Pidgeotto

Pokemon - Pidgeotto

Pidgeotto is unfortunately up there as Ash’s worst Pokémon, having never won a real battle. Pidgeotto, like Unfezant, was often deployed in a scouting capacity, so it was able to pull its weight by providing an eye in the sky and popping Team Rocket balloons, but little else. Pidgeotto eventually evolved into Pidgeot, only to be released not long afterward, ensuring it didn’t get a chance to correct that win record when it never evolved. Pidgeot ended up reuniting with Ash in his final episode, over a thousand episodes later, but that still meant it never got a chance to fight again.

To be clear, these are simply Ash’s worst Pokémon statistically speaking; many of them were still good and beloved Pokémon on the show. If the Pokémon anime has taught fans anything, though, it’s not to judge a Pokémon strictly by its battle performance, but instead as a whole living being. After all, these Pokémon were full characters just as much as they were tools for battle, and these wins and losses would even factor into their growth. While they may be Ash’s worst Pokémon, they can still be interesting to watch as characters, at least.

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