Water. We can’t live without it. And we can’t live without Water type Pokemon. These essential Pokemon have the power of the wet stuff to put out Fire types, wreck Ground types, and wash away Rock types, and there are over 150~ Water type Pokemon currently from all regions of the Pokedex, and we’re going to rank 25 of the best. These aren’t necessarily the best in terms of power or tournament readiness. Like water, we’re going with the flow and selecting the best based on our own watery intuition.
Let’s kick this list off with the starter that melted all our hearts. Mudkips is a perfectly adorable little Water Starter from Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire, and this little guy became famous even outside the world of Pokemon. That “I Herd U Liek Mudkips” meme turned Mudkips into a online symbol, so we can’t ignore this extremely cute little dork. Who doesn’t like Mudkips?
It’s almost unfair to put Generation 1 Pokemon on this list. The first 151 Pokemon from Pokemon Red & Blue are astoundingly iconic. Even people that know nothing about Pokemon can probably identify some of the Gen 1 guys — and Psyduck is one of my favorites. A duck with a perpetually overwhelmed glare that uses his psychic powers to defeat foes? Now that’s one Duck we can get behind.
One of the coolest Pokemon in the entire Pokedex, Golisopod has humble roots. This giant Bug / Water type starts life as the worthless Wimpod. As the name suggests, the little guy is barely mobile and definitely not an intimidating bug monster. When it evolves, it becomes a hulking warrior that all us kids wanted to catch as soon as possible. Seriously, sometimes just looking like a big scary fighter is enough.
Starmie is the fancy, crystal-faced evolution of Staryu — another favorite, but we’ve gotta go with Starmie. This isn’t just one starfish Pokemon, this is a starfish with a second bigger starfish growing out of its back. Like real starfish, Starmie can regenerate naturally — and it just looks so weird and alien! The Pokedex for Pokemon Moon even references that this Pokemon looks “alien”, even if it’s really more like abstract art. The core of the Pokemon is a crystal that glows seven colors when it uses a psychic attack — and that’s the kind of psychedelic stuff we want from psychic Pokemon.
The Relicanth is a Water / Rock type Pokemon — and the first fish-shaped Pokemon on our list of Water types. Fish-shaped Pokemon need some love too, and Relicanth is interesting for man than just its fins. Relicanth is based on the coelacanth, an endangered fish that scientists describe as a “living fossil” because its appearance wasn’t believe to have changed in tens of millions of years. Same goes for Relicanth, a bottom-feeding deep sea Pokemon that’s literally a fossil thanks to its stone body. There’s something about this ancient weird fish we just love.
#20: Urshifu Rapid Strike Style
Here’s an interesting example of a Water type Pokemon that really has nothing to do with water. Really, Urshifu only represents the concept of water — smooth flowing and rapid. Urshifu is a unique legendary only found in the Isle of Armor DLC for Pokemon Sword & Shield. The Isle of Armor gives you a Kubfu, the first form of Urshifu, and sends you on a quest to train the little guy up. Depending on how you train him, he can become a powerful Single Strike Style (Fighting / Dark) or Rapid Strike Style (Fighting / Water) — and we picked the flowing, ephemeral style of water as our favorite.
Empoleon is a fancy (and spiky) Emperor Penguin that radiate with majestic energy. We had to give some Penguin love to the Pokemon World, and this has to be my favorite of the bunch. Prinlup and Prinplup are cute Pokemon, but we’re sticking with Empoleon’s regal aura. Empoleon is a Water / Steel type, so it’s both vulnerable and strong against Fire — making it not exactly ideal, but we love this guy anyway. He has a clear, sharp design — and I like my Pokemon to be a fun twist on real living animals.
And now we’ve landed on the second fish-shaped Water type of the list. Bruxish is a fish-lipped little weirdo. This is yet another Water / Psychic type, and one of the newer ones on our list, hailing from Pokemon Sun & Moon. For whatever reason (maybe its the toothy, fishy grin) this freak fish has a pretty big fanbase online. Maybe it’s the alluring protuberance on its colorful head. Bruxish uses its psychic power to stun prey, then gnaws on them with its super-sharp teeth. Its teeth don’t just snap — they grind like a chainsaw! Now that’s a scary image.
#17: Wash Rotom
It’s a washing machine Pokemon — that has to go on the list! Rotom is an electrified bundle of Poke-energy, and Rotom can take multiple forms with different secondary types. Its Water type form is one of the cutest and most creative. Wash Rotom becomes an unplugged washing machine with a powerful spin cycle, able to clean up at any Pokemon tournament. Look, we just love the design — even if Electricity and Water really don’t mix.
Greninja is just cool. When you’re slick enough to get a playable appearance in Super Smash Bros. you know you’ve made it to the big time. Greninja is the final form of Froakie, a start Pokemon from Pokemon X & Y. Fully evolved, Greninja gains Water / Dark powers, which is a powerful combo that lends to his stealth style. This slender, sneaky frog’s ninja mask is actually his long tongue wrapped around his face — yes, that scarf is actually a stretchy gross tongue.
One of the weirdest Pokemon in existence, and it just so happens to be (partially) Water type. Dracovish isn’t actually a Pokemon — its a Frankenstein’s monster! To create this resurrected dinosaur Pokemon, you must obtain two separate fossils and combine them with a mad scientist’s blender in Route 6 of Pokemon Sword & Shield. The fossils belong to two entirely unrelated dinosaur Pokemon, and when blended together… they make this thing. It’s head and body don’t match at all! That makes Dracovish one of the most unique Pokemon. It isn’t something you have to find, it’s a creature you literally have to make yourself from old parts.
A hulking Water / Ground type Pokemon, Seismitoad can generate powerful tremors with his oversized body. The big guy debuted in Pokemon Black & White as the final form of Tympole, the tadpole Pokemon. Seismitoad generates vibrations from the weird lumps all over its body, and it’s general size is pretty intimidating. I just love the gorilla-like look of this heavy-set Pokemon, and we need more frogs on this list. He’s going in the high tiers.
Inteleon starts out as Sobble, the saddest of the starter Pokemon in Pokemon Sword & Shield. Look, Sobble is a weird little amphibian baby, and I don’t think anyone is going to like that little thing. The other starts (Scorbunny and Grookey) are way more appealing. Who would pick Sobble? It’s Water type because of tears! But, Sobble evolves into one of the coolest final forms, and his Gigantamax Form is even better — generating a massive tower of water for Inteleon to safely snipe enemy Pokemon from.
Nobody likes Magikarp. Magikarp is the joke of the Pokemon world. When out of the water, Magikarp flops around on its side. It looks ridiculous. Seriously, does anybody like Magikarp? But we all caught our own Magikarps, and for one very good reason. Magikarp might suck, but its evolution is one of the best in the entire series.
Gyarados! Look at this sea monster! The massive Gyarados evolves from the simple Magikarp, and it’s an underwater leviathan. Gyarados is just awesome — way back in Generation 1, we all wanted to catch the most impressive Pokemon, and Gyarados was one we could all get. You just had to level up Magikarp… which was pretty annoying, but the effort was worth it. Gyarados is a mythological sea dragon that’s “capable of destroying entire cities in a rage” according to the Pokemon Red & Blue pokedex. Now that’s hardcode.
Eevee’s Water type form had to go somewhere on this list. Eevee has become one of the most popular Pokemon in the entire franchise. Kids love Eevee, and Eevee has the miraculous power to transform into multiple different types. They’re all adorable, and Pokemon just kept adding more — Leafeon, Espeon, Glaceon, Sylveon, etc. But Vaporeon is one of the first. Using a Water Stone evolves Eevee into this aquatic variant with fins and a fishy tail. It isn’t exactly my favorite Eevee, but Eevee will always take a high spot on any Pokemon list.
One of my favorite frogs of Pokemon, Poliwhirl is a weird little abstract design with a swirling pattern on its stomach. The Poliwhirl is a slimy little trickster with the power to cause drowsiness on its enemies. Its known for its Sleep abilities, and its slimy skin makes it perfect for quick escapes. Poliwhirl is a staple of Pokemon teams — especially once you get its final form, Poliwrath. But, Poliwhirl is my favorite. He’s just one of those weird, oddball Pokemon that feels right, y’know? Maybe I’m just hypnotized by those swirls.
One of the most killer Pokemon of Pokemon Sun & Moon, this little guy is a potent Poison / Water dual-type. Its a powerful poison-spreader that crawls along the sea bed on twelve legs, stinging anything unlucky enough to touch its spines. It’s also a huge pain to battle in-game, and lots of players cherish its annoying venom-based attacks. The Pokedex even says that this guy is strong enough to sting a Wailord! So, let’s talk about him next.
He’s a giant whale! Wailord might not be that cool in the old games, but when you see one of these guys swimming around in Pokemon Sword & Shield, it’s a shock to the system. They’re absolutely ginormous, really giving the impression that they’re the largest mammals in the (Pokemon) world. Wailord is just a big whale — maybe it isn’t too creative as far as designs go, but we all need more massive Pokemon. And Wailord has more HP potential than any other Water type… which makes sense. Look how big this guy is!
We’re jumping from big to very small. Popplio isn’t just a baby seal Pokemon, she’s a performing seal Pokemon! Please take note of the adorable clown nose — representing a ball that performing seals bounce around — on the end of Popplio’s snout. Popplio is my personal favorite of the Pokemon Sun & Moon starters, and she evolves into a total diva. The starting form of Popplio is still innocent, and packed with seal-like happy energy. It’s the closest thing we’ll get to a puppy starter in Pokemon.
#5: Wishiwashi (School Form)
Wishiwashi comes in two forms — a tiny insignificant little fish — and this giant monstrosity. In one of the most creative Pokemon designs, Wishiwashi isn’t just a single Pokemon. It’s an entire school of fish joined together to form a menacing monster, able to fight back even the more ferocious predators. That’s the kind of teamwork spirit I can get behind in Pokemon. To change forms, Wishiwashi needs to use its Schooling ability. Then all its Wishiwashi friends will join in the fight, turning a meek little guy into a powerful opponent.
Talk about powerful, here’s the fastest shark of the Pokemon seas. Sharpedo is a shark with a hydrofoil fin, cutting through the water to chase down prey and generally being a real scary critter. Sharpedo is like a shark mixed with a torpedo, and that’s the kind of style we can’t say no to. If you’re looking for a Speed-centric Water type Pokemon, Sharpedo is your pick. Sharpedo even gets a scary Mega Evolution, turning Sharpedo into a spike-covered flying battlefish.
Slowking is our lazy Emperor. In their final form, Slowking gains a shell-shaped crown to further enhance its Water / Psychic powers. Slowking is just the top of the Slowbro peak — all of them are absolutely amazing, but Slowking is something special. Slowbro is a cute little slovenly Pokemon, and in Slowking form, they’re a super-genius that can solve any problem thanks to a poisonous Shellder bite. The Ultra Sun Pokedex is the funniest, and saddest; “It’s constantly coming up with new ideas that would change the world, but as soon as it hits upon a new idea, it forgets it.”
Lapras is the original Pokemon we all wanted to ride on. Like Nessie the legendary lake monster, Lapras is just friendly to everyone. There’s only one Lapras — Lapras doesn’t evolve, but Lapras has a very special ability. Due to its in-universe power to comprehend human speech, Lapras can ferry trainers around over the water. Lapras is one of the first Pokemon we needed to ride on, making Lapras an important friend in the series.
The original. The OG. Squirtle is a squirrel / turtle mix, and one of the most popular starters since its debut way back in 1998. Pokemon Blue put Squirtle’s final form, Blastoise, right on the cover to encourage us kids to pick the game up. And we did in droves — and Squirtle isn’t just great for its future evolutions. Pokemon Blue gives trainers an early headstart with Squirtle, who’s strong against the first Earth type and Fire type gyms. For many players, Squirtle is the first Pokemon pal they ever trained with. Squirtle is still an iconic pocket monster in the long-running franchise, and one we’ve just got to put as #1 on this list.
#1: Kyogre [TIED BEST]
And finally we’re talking about the legit best Water type Pokemon. Squirtle (and Blastoise) are the most iconic Water types in existence, but sometimes we just have to stick with raw power. Kyogre is a whale-like Legendary Water type of Pokemon Sapphire, and it has some seriously high stats. Kyogre has the highest base stats in Special Attack, Special Defense, and general stats out of all Water types, making it the king of this particular wet castle. We couldn’t decide, so Kyogre and Squirtle can enjoy the #1 spot.
There are so many Water type Pokemon, we couldn’t list all our favorites in the top 25! Let us know which Pokemon we missed — as a Pokemon lover, I appreciate all those ‘mons, even when I don’t have a personal connection.