There are over 649 Pokémon. 649. When I step back and look at it, that’s an incredible number. Back when I was eight, I thought the Pokémon world was vast with just 151. Now, there are over four times as many of the critters wandering around. Although Pokémon share traits with one another (for instance, expect to see a weak bird in the game’s first route), every Pokémon is special to at least some extent. With different moves, abilities, stats, appearances, forms, and other special features, there are many ways a Pokémon can differentiate itself from the crowd.

In this list, I will be looking at what I consider to be the ten most unique Pokémon. Not the strongest Pokémon. Not the cutest Pokémon. Not the coolest Pokémon. The most unique Pokémon. And by unique, I mean that it has special traits that differentiate it from nearly all the other Pokémon out there.

Before we begin, let me set a few ground rules. First, I do not consider glitches such as Missingno. to be legit Pokémon, so do not expect them to appear on the list. Second, since this is a video game website, I will only be looking at the video games, not the trading cards or anime. For the sake of simplifying this list, I will look at only the mainline Pokémon games, basically any game that is called Pokémon (blank) Version. Finally, keep in mind that I wrote this list in June 2013. So, if you’re reading this in the future, consider that I had only a little bit of Pokémon X and Y information to work with.

Also, with 649 Pokémon out there, you will disagree with some of my choices. Try not to let that irritate you. Please read my perspective, and then use the message board linked to at the bottom of the page to express your own opinion.

Finally, if you’re too busy to read the whole list, keep in mind that the last lines of every entry sum up that Pokémon’s uniqueness. That should help out speed readers.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the list.

This form-changing cutie is a legendary Pokémon introduced in the fifth generation of games. Although Meloetta is genderless (rendering it unable to breed), it is commonly referred to as a female due to its feminine appearance. She was available in the US through a promotional event at GameStop.

There are a fair number of Pokémon with different forms, such as Rotom and Castform. However, Meloetta stands out in that her two forms both feature unique type combinations. In her Pirouette Forme, she is the one and only Normal/Fighting Pokémon. Her Aria Forme with its Normal/Psychic combination is incredibly rare as well: only Girafarig has it too. Being a Psychic type who is immune to Ghost attacks can really come in handy. Meloetta can switch between its forms at will by using the move Relic Song, which only it can learn. This is the only move that can deal damage and put the foe to sleep in any location.

She doesn’t just switch types when she changes form, though. Her stats change. While her Aria Forme is mostly geared towards Special stats, as is the case for most Psychic Pokémon, her Pirouette Forme gives her more physical strength and defense. She is one of the few Pokémon that can change forms mid-battle.

Meloetta’s ability to change forms and types at will make her unique, and her unusual type combinations further differentiate her from other Pokémon.

Ah, Rattata. At first, you might find it odd that I put this puny little rodent on the list. However, I do think it’s a unique little critter. To begin with, if you played the original Pokémon games, then there’s a good chance that this was the very first Pokémon you ever caught on your own. I know it was my first step on the journey to be the very best, like no one ever was. And many other trainers can say the same.

Although basically every Pokémon game has a weak rodent for you to capture early on, Rattata has a few more unique qualities going for it. For one thing, a number of Pokémon fans enjoy doing Rattata-only runs through the games, as you can find on various websites that host videos. This is referred to as the “Joey Challenge.”

Why? Because in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, there is a trainer named Youngster Joey who only has a Rattata (though it evolves later). He is famous for claiming that his Rattata is in the “top percentage of Rattata.” Having the strongest Rattata in the world is kind of like being the tallest of the seven dwarves, but that doesn’t hold Joey back. The quote has become one of the most well-known in Pokémon games.

I should also point out that, in the first generation of games, your rival has a Raticate, the evolved form of Rattata. When you encounter him in the Lavender Town cemetery, he asks you if you know what it’s like to have one of your Pokémon die. Since he no longer has his Raticate, some speculate that it kicked the bucket. This makes that snot rag rival a bit more sympathetic.

In a sense, Rattata is unique thanks to fandom. Many of us remember it as one of our first captures, we love the Joey joke, and we find speculating about the first rival to be interesting.

When Pokémon evolve, their stats increase, as you well know. But usually, if an unevolved Pokémon is weaker than its unevolved peers, its evolved version won’t be much better than its evolved peers. For instance, Bulbasaur can usually kick the poo out of Rattata. And Venasaur can usually kick the poo out of Raticate. In short, a weak Pokémon usually stays weak.

At first, that sounds like bad news for Magikarp, a Water-type Pokémon introduced at the beginning of the series. It is notorious for possibly being the weakest Pokémon in existence. The Pokédex in Ruby gets right to the point in saying that “Magikarp is a pathetic excuse for a Pokémon that is only capable of flopping and splashing.” Gee, wouldn’t you love it if your entire species were summed up like that?

But its move pool really is pathetic. First comes Splash, a move that does no damage. Next comes Tackle, a move that exists only for the sake of deleting it once your Pokémon grow stronger. Finally, Flail can do a fair amount of damage if Magikarp’s badly injured, but I don’t see why you would be using a level 30 Magikarp in the first place. And that’s all the moves it has since it cannot learn anything through a Technical Machine, Hidden Machine, or Move Tutor. It can’t even learn Surf, which is basically the ability to swim! Not good for a fish. It can only learn a few Water-type moves through special events.

But luckily, among all the Pokémon out there, Magikarp has the largest base stat increase from a single evolution. It goes from a total of 200 to 540 when it evolves into Gyrados. Tying this figure is Feebas from Generation IV evolving into Milotic. Although they’re not exactly the same, Feebas is mostly a carbon copy of Magikarp. I put Magikarp on this unique list anyway because I consider Feebas nothing more than a poseur.

Anyway, little Magikarp is special because it goes from a weakling with a limited move pool to a great, big serpent-like Gyrados whose power and wide move pool make it an effective sweeper. Fans have even posted inspirational messages online about how every Magikarp can become a Gyrados.

Speaking of fandom, Magikarp is a popular source of humor due to its weakness. Although some people like to joke about how weak it is, others like to defend it as the most incredible Pokémon in existence. For example, Magikarp’s shiny form is gold, and so is Arceus’s shiny form. Perhaps it’s deeply related to the creator of the Pokémon cosmos.

Here are a few more interesting pieces of trivia. Thanks to the Resort Area and Nature Preserve in Platinum and BW2, respectively, you can find it at a level anywhere from one to one hundred. Gee, wouldn’t you love to get a Magikarp that couldn’t evolve? So, Magikarp has the lowest and highest possible levels for wild capture.

In other news, its eggs hatch more quickly than any other Pokémon’s, which must be why that guy in the Pokémon anime was able to trick James into buying a Magikarp. Also, it’s available for purchase in the Generation I games and their remakes as well as all the Generation V games. Most Pokémon aren’t on sale often.

Magikarp’s amazing transformation from a weakling into a beast make it a special Pokémon. Fandom also enjoys putting Magikarp on a humorous pedestal.

Usually, if you want to win a battle, you want to beat the doo-doo out of your foe. But with Wobbuffet, you want the foe to beat the doo-doo out of you first. This Psychic Pokémon introduced in Generation II is special due to the moves it has in its teeny-tiny move pool.

You see, Wobbuffet has no moves that deal damage directly. Its two main moves are Counter and Mirror Coat. When damaged by a physical attack, which is usually a move that involves the foe making direct contact with Wobbuffet, it can use Counter. This will hurt the opposing Pokémon twice as much as it hurt Wobbuffet. Mirror Coat allows it to hurt the opposing Pokémon with double strength whenever it’s hit by a special move, one that usually doesn’t involve direct contact. With these moves combined, it can send almost any damaging attack right back at ya.

The other moves Wobbuffet can learn aren’t ones that directly deal damage either. Encore, for example, forces the opponent to reuse the move they just attacked with, so Wobbuffet will know whether the next attack is physical or special. It can only learn seven moves in total, mostly by leveling up as its pre-evolved form, Wynaut. Technical Machines and Hidden Machines cannot teach it anything.

All of its base stats are incredibly low except for HP, which is unusually high. In fact, it has the highest HP out of all the Psychic Pokémon. This allows the punching bag to take a good amount of damage before it’s knocked out.

Wobbuffet’s also interesting because, for a long time, many competitions banned it because it was too dang hard to defeat. Its ability Shadow Tag, rendering the opponent unable to switch Pokémon, only made it stronger. It’s rare for a non-legendary Pokémon to be banned like that. That’s rather impressive coming from a punching bag that can’t attack on its own.

The fact that Wobbuffet requires a battle strategy almost entirely different from any other Pokémon makes it a unique entry in the series.

#6: Eevee

Eevee is a Normal-type Pokémon that was introduced in the first Pokémon games. Back then, it was the only Pokémon with a branching evolution path. By that, I mean it was the only Pokémon with different options for what it evolves into. Pikachu, for instance, can only evolve into Raichu. There are no other options. However, Eevee could evolve into three different Pokémon based on which elemental stone the trainer used to make it evolve.

Later games introduced other Pokémon with branching evolution paths. For example, Poliwhirl can either become a Poliwrath or a Politoed, and Slowpoke can become either a Slowbro or a Slowking. But Eevee’s special in that is has far more possible evolutions than any other Pokémon. Its name is even derived from the word evolution.

In the first set of games, it could evolve into a Flareon, Jolteon, or Vaporeon based on what stone you gave it. In the next batch of games, it could evolve into an Espeon or Umbreon based on what time of day you struck a beautiful friendship with it. In the fourth generation, it could turn into a Glaceon or a Leafeon based on whether you were near an Ice Rock or a Moss Rock when your buddy leveled up. Finally, in the sixth generation of Pokémon games, Eevee will somehow be able to evolve into a Sylveon, which is a Fairy type whether you like it or not.

Needless to say, Eevee and its evolutions cover a wide number of the eighteen Pokémon types. Normal, Fire, Electric, Water, Psychic, Dark, Ice, Grass, and Fairy are all accounted for. That’s nine—half of all the types out there!

Eevee and its grownup forms have a special place in Pokémon fandom. They’re even nicknamed the “Eeveelutions.” Fan art consisting of all the evolutions are wildly popular. Plus, some people enjoy speculating over what Eevee would look like if it were to evolve into another type, say, Steel or Poison.

And on a final note, Eevee is the starter Pokémon your rival gets in Yellow Version, perhaps to echo how Gary Oak has an Eevee in the anime. This is the only time in the mainstream Pokémon games where your rival begins with a Pokémon you cannot start out with. It’s also the only Normal-type starter.

Simply put, Eevee’s ability to evolve into a huge variety of Pokémon makes it one interesting specimen.

#5: Unown

Pokémon with different forms aren’t too rare, but how often do you find a species with 28 different forms? That’s where Unown comes in. This Psychic Pokémon introduced in the second generation of games can be found as an alphabet letter, a question mark, or an exclamation point.

It’s also unique in that it’s arguably more useless than Magikarp. While you might use Magikarp so that it will evolve into a Gyrados, there is simply no reason why a person would seriously put an Unown on their team. It would have to be for a laugh or to make a statement. First off, it has low base stats, totaling around those of Koffing and Tentacool. But unlike those two Pokémon, Unown doesn’t evolve, so it never grows any stronger.

Plus, it’s the only Pokémon that’s capable of using only one move, and that is Hidden Power. To begin with, that’s not saying much for its strength since the vast, vast majority of Pokémon can learn that somewhat weak move. It is a unique move, though, in that its power and type vary based on the specific Pokémon using it.

And here’s a fun fact for you. In the original Gold, Silver, and Crystal games, Unown’s letter was determined by its individual values. IVs refer to the Pokémon’s potential in each stat category. Well, since a Pokémon was either shiny or not shiny based on its IVs back then, the only Unown letters that could be found shiny were I and V. I and V... Coincidence? I think not! The way a Pokémon becomes shiny changed in subsequent games, so this is the case only in those Generation II games.

Even though it’s useless for battle, Unown’s 28 forms and use of only one move make it a novel Pokémon.

It’s easy to forget about Smeargle because, unlike many of the other unique Pokémon on this list, it isn’t particularly famous amongst fans. However, this Normal-type Pokémon introduced in Gold and Silver is a unique little thing, so I’m going to give it some loving here. Depending on how it’s used, it can be a beast to deal with.

You see, this Pokémon’s signature move is Sketch. It’s unique in that it has a PP of only one, meaning you only get one shot at using it. Plus, Smeargle learns it multiple times while leveling up. This is the only move that a Pokémon can naturally learn more than twice.

With every Sketch attack it knows, it can copy just about any move in the entire Pokémon universe. Yep, when you use Sketch, Smeragle permanently learns the last move used by the opposing foe.

This makes it one of the most versatile Pokémon out there. Although your options for Smeargle’s move set are limited if you want it to stand up to the best of the best, you’re free to think up whatever crazy combinations you want.

Unfortunately, little Smeargle has pathetic stats. Its total base stats are equal to those of everyone’s favorite Pokémon, Bidoof. However, its unique Sketch ability earns it a spot on this list.

#3: Mew

Mew is a legendary Psychic-type Pokémon that was introduced in the first set of Pokémon games back in 1998. Like the typical legendary Pokémon, it’s genderless, so it cannot breed.

Let’s flash back to 1998 for a minute. Most of us weren’t online back then; in fact, Google wasn’t even a verb yet! Hard to imagine, I know. So this is before you could look up everything about every Pokémon game online. See, nowadays, if there’s a Pokémon “hidden” in one of the games, everyone will know about it a few hours after the game is released thanks to hackers spreading the word online.

But that wasn’t the case back then. In fact, most people were so unaware of Mew’s existence that they didn’t question the idea that there were only 150 Pokémon. However, once it was made public through the anime, speculation was all over the place for it.

Although getting it through an event was the only way Nintendo intended for you to get it, people had all sorts of rumors concerning how to find it. In particular, I can’t tell you how many of my fellow fourth graders were convinced that you had to do something special to the truck near the S.S. Anne in order to find Mew underneath it. (Well, I told them that I managed to move the truck, which probably helped the rumor along at my school, but that’s a whole other story.) It turned out that the only way to encounter Mew without using a cheating device or an official event was to exploit bizarre glitches in the game, but nobody was tech-savvy enough to figure that out back then.

Mew is unique in that it was truly mysterious. We didn’t know everything about it on the Internet the very moment it came into existence. That makes it special to me. And its eerie connections to Ditto, the only other Pokémon who can learn Transform, still give it some air of mystery today.

But Mew’s unique in other ways, too. It can learn moves from any Technical Machine or Hidden Machine, and the Move Tutor can teach it just about anything. Because of this, the website Smogon University refers to Mew as “easily the most versatile Pokémon in the entire metagame.”

Mew is also interesting in that it’s the only Pokémon with a human-made clone. That, of course, is the great and powerful Mewtwo. It’s not like there’s an Emolgatwo or a Bidooftwo (unfortunately), so that’s special.

Finally, it’s interesting that the name Mew was trademarked over three years before the name “Pocket Monsters” was. It was the first trademarked Pokémon—eat your heart out, Pikachu.

Mew’s mysterious nature, amazing move pool, and awesome clone make it one of the most distinguished Pokémon available.

#2: Arceus

In Black and White, N claims that some people worship legendary Pokémon as if they were gods, but they are still Pokémon nonetheless. Well, the dragons in those games might not be gods, but you could make the case that Arceus is. It is a legendary Pokémon introduced in the fourth round of games.

Arceus is sometimes called “The Original One” since it created the Sinnoh region of the Generation IV games—and perhaps the entire universe. In Pokémon Diamond, the Pokédex claims that “it is described in mythology as the Pokémon that shaped the universe with its 1,000 arms.” This godlike power has sometimes made fans associate it with prominent figures in various world religions.

It’s also a beast in battle: with a base stat total of 720, it has the highest stats of all Pokémon. (In second place is Kyurem with 700.) It is also one of the few Pokémon to have the same base stat for every category, be it HP, Attack, Defense, and so on.

I should also point out that it can be any type of Pokémon. By giving it a plate to hold, Arceus becomes a type relating to that plate. For example, giving it an Insect Plate makes it a Bug type, and giving it a Toxic Plate makes it a Poison type. Leaving it without a plate makes it a Normal type. The plate held also affects what type of attack its move Judgment is. Only Arceus can learn Judgment. With a base power of 100 and perfect accuracy, it’s definitely a powerful move—to be expected of a god. And the plate held changes what color your Arceus is, so it can be one stylin’ god if you so desire.

Unlike Meloetta, Arceus cannot change its type in the middle of a battle. The move Trick will not work if you have it holding a plate, so it cannot swap the plate to become a different type. Arceus cannot learn Fling to get rid of its plate either.

This Pokémon was distributed at various events, always dealt out at level 100. By hacking the Azure Flute item into Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum, it can be encountered in the wild at level 80. That is, if you dare cheat in front of a god.

Overall, its god-like status, immense power, and ability to be any type of Pokémon make Arceus stand out from the crowd.

#1: Ditto

Ditto is a Normal-type Pokémon that was introduced in the first generation of Pokémon games. This blob is known for being one of the few Pokémon capable of using the move Transform, where the user copies the moves and non-HP stats of the foe.

Ditto is basically useless in battle since, unless you catch it from the Dream World, it requires a turn to Transform, leaving it vulnerable. Plus, its HP isn’t all that high. However, it’s still one of the most useful Pokémon around—outside of battle. It can breed with just about anything regardless of its gender. Many people, myself included, don’t even fiddle around with egg groups, but rather just rely on Ditto for breeding. The fact that many trainers have it breed numerous, numerous times have led fans to making edgy jokes about its promiscuity.

There are also a number of oddities surrounding Ditto. Take this for example. Many people consider Metapod versus Metapod to be the most boring battle possible if both only know Harden. But in the first generation of games, that wasn’t the case. If you unleash a Ditto when battling a Ditto, all the Pokémon can do is use Transform on one another. And every time they do so, the PP on the move Transform will be replenished. So, you have a battle that could last forever and ever and ever. They’ll never resort to using the move Struggle.

Ditto also lets you obtain a Mew or just about any Pokémon in the first generation of games. Although there’s much more to this glitch than I’ll tell you here, you basically need a Ditto to transform into a Pokémon with a Special stat of 21. This will allow you to battle a Mew afterwards. There are many other interesting glitches surrounding it too.

And speaking of Mew, some fans speculate that Ditto was a failed attempt at cloning Mew. They weigh the same, have the same base stats for each category, are normally pink but blue when shiny, and are genderless. And here’s the real kicker: they’re the only Pokémon that can learn Transform naturally. However, this story is not official by any means.

Ditto’s ability to transform, act as the ultimate egg maker, and activate multiple glitches make it a very intriguing Pokémon. The theories surrounding it only help to make it even more unique. Since it has an unusual spot in battles, outside of battle, and in the fandom, I named Ditto the most unique Pokémon known to humankind.

So there you have it. I consider those the ten most unique Pokémon.

There are all sorts of others I could have put on the list for different reasons. Castform changes its form and type based on the weather, something no other Pokémon does. Regigigas is arguably the least useful legendary Pokémon because its ability cuts its attack and speed stats in half for five turns. Slaking is similar in that it too has an ability designed to keep its power in check. Diglett is mysterious since we all want to know what its body looks like underground.

And I’m sure you have many more Pokémon in mind. If you would like to share them, then please visit the Top 10 Lists message board below and find the topic for this list. It will be quite interesting to hear from a variety of people.

Before I sign out, I want to take a quick inventory of the Pokémon I selected.

Generations by the Numbers:
I – 5
II – 3
III – 0
IV – 1
V – 1

Normal – 5
Psychic – 4
Fighting – 1
Water – 1
(Arceus was not included in this count. Meloetta was considered Normal/Psychic/Fighting.)

Legendary – 3
Starter – 1 (Eevee for your Yellow rival)
Single Type – 9
Dual Type – 1

On a different note, I would like to thank the GameFAQs user JordanAMeyer for posting screenshots of all the Generation I Pokédex entries. That helped me a lot when gathering pictures. I’d also like to give a nod to Bulbapedia, which I used for fact-checking. Most importantly, I want to thank you for reading my list rather than doing something productive.

I hope you enjoyed this list. We so often clump all the Pokémon together or focus only on the amazing fighters. But we cannot forget how every Pokémon has something special to contribute to the Pokémon universe.

List by Tails 64 (06/20/2013)

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