Pokemon Sun and Moon has been out for quite some time now, and because of that, we have plenty of competitive battles to look forward to. The games have been ironed out, and all of the new Pokemon are ready for the most epic fights of all time. Because of all the newcomers showing their faces throughout the Alola Region, there's more reason than ever to catch 'em all.
In each new generation of Pokemon, all of the individual critters are individually constructed with their own set of stats, moves, and abilities. With all of these things (and more) working together, you acquire a full scope of how effective a Pokemon can be in battle. Like any other generation, the Alola Region has its fair share of really poor Pokemon and some mighty powerhouses.
Those of you that play the games might be looking to create the most optimal team for your playing style. Because of this, we're putting together a list of the 15 most powerful Pokemon in Sun and Moon. Keep in mind that this list is not based on how strong they are in universe. We'll mostly be focusing on their stats and battle potential (because that information is a bit more useful).
Without further ado, dust off those Pokedexes and get ready to hunt through the Alola Region once more for these top of the line Pokemon.
Coming in first is the popular Grass starter, Decidueye. What makes this sharpshooter so unique is that he is based on an archer and uses the feathers on his wings as the arrows. His design is excellent, and he can pack a powerful punch due to his Grass/Ghost dual typing. Because of these factors, Decidueye has rocketed itself to the top spot in the minds of most fans, making Team Rowlet one of the biggest teams right now.
But at the end of the day, it's all about combat potential. How does Decidueye stack up? Fairly well. Decidueye has a lot of powerful attacks with its Z Move and unique move, Spirit Shackle. It can shoot right through some tough enemies. Where it falls a bit short is in the defensive department. Decidueye isn't very fast, and without a good defensive stat, can get targeted and taken out within the first few turns of a battle. The Pokemon also has a weakness when it comes to some widely used attacks like Sucker Punch, which make it an even less optimal choice. However, if you can get the opportunity to deal any damage with it, then you're in good shape.
The water starter of this game fares a little bit better than its Grass counterpart. The unique Popplio was, at first, one of the most strange-looking Pokemon starters to date. As we got closer to the game's release, we slowly but surely grew attached to this adorable little sea lion. As Popplio evolves, it gains some interesting and useful attacks, as well as the always-powerful Fairy typing when it evolves into its final form, Primarina. Based on of a mermaid and a dancer, Primarina is sure to be as beautiful to look at as she is useful in combat.
In battle, Primarina hits almost all of the high notes that you would expect from a starter Pokemon. First of all, its Water/Fairy typing makes it extremely useful when you're going on the offensive. Having access to those move types can put many commonly used Pokemon at a disadvantage. Primarina also doesn't have to worry much about getting targeted because the typing allows it to resist many powerful moves. While it might not have the defensive stats that it needs to survive really strong hits, Primarina is still a viable choice in the metagame and can serve as a tankier damage dealer.
The final starter on this list is Incineroar. Starting out as the adorable Litten, it was theorized that it would merely evolve into a classic fire cat. However, we were easily proven wrong when it was revealed that we would be getting Incineroar: a Fire/Dark cat Pokemon based on a wrestler. This immediately made the design unique and desirable to many upcoming trainers. Incineroar is one of the best choices for people who love Fire types, and one can imagine the damage it could inflict during a battle.
Much like Primarina, the biggest advantage that Incineroar has is its typing. The combination of Fire and Dark gives it access to powerful moves that are made even stronger through the Same Type Attack Boost (STAB). Incineroar also has a decent amount of speed, but its attack stats are where you want to invest. Incineroar hits like a truck -- no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If you give him his unique Z Crystal, his Z Move can plow through just about any Pokemon that isn't resistant to it. Incineroar can also be utilized defensively, making him a versatile option for trainers to use on their teams.
During your journey through the Alola Region, you may encounter piles of Berries. Sometimes, if you search through them, you'll be met by the Pokemon Crabrawler. Unlike other crustacean-based Pokemon, Crabrawler is not a Water type but a Fighting type. Luckily, this means that it will have a high physical attack stat, making it able to punch a hole in just about anything that it can get its little fists on. If you put the time and effort to invest in a Crabrawler, you will eventually get its powerful evolution, Crabominable.
Understand that it will take some skill and knowledge of how the metagame works in order to properly use a Crabominable. Off the bat, it doesn't have great defenses or speed, making it an easy target for Fire types. However, its attack stat is through the roof and grants it a sizable advantage when loading it up with Fighting type moves. Crabominable is a glass cannon of sorts: he doesn't take a hit very well, but he will deal serious amounts of damage if he gets his crab fist anywhere near his opponent. If you use Trick Room with Crabominable, then you'll be in much better shape when you throw into the battle.
Every Pokemon generation has at least one pseudo-legendary that has impressive stats and is generally hard to capture. For the seventh generation, that Pokemon is Kommo-o. This Dragon/Fighting type not only provides a unique type combination not seen on any Pokemon that came before it, but it also makes use of the ability Bulletproof. This ability protects Kommo-o from various bomb and bullet-based attacks, such as Sludge Bomb and Bullet Seed.
It's clear that Kommo-o was meant for some great things. What makes it interesting is that it wasn't designed to be a heavy attacker. Instead, more focus was placed into buffing its defenses and special attack. Make no mistake, though; Kommo-o can still deal some serious amounts of damage. By absorbing many attacks that usually take priority, Kommo-o is an excellent early game monster, being able to take a hit before dishing one out that's at least twice as strong. The only downside to Kommo-o is that its typing makes it four times weaker when it comes to dealing with Fairy attacks. Fairy types are frustrating enough as they are; I couldn't imagine sending a Kommo-o out to face them.
One of the most adorable little Pokemon is Mimikyu. This little guy is lonely and just wants a bunch of friends. In order to do that, it put a cloth over its head to make it look like Pikachu. Nonetheless, Mimikyu still tend to hide by themselves and don't really come out to play. And considering the fact that you'll be struck with a horrible illness if you look under its cloth, it seems like Mimikyu will be alone forever.
That being said, there are few Pokemon that I would recommend in battle over Mimikyu. His battle potential surpasses all of my expectations, and then some. With its Disguise ability, Mimikyu can completely absorb a single attack, making sure that it can get a hit out before it gets taken down. Furthermore, its Fairy/Ghost typing makes Mimikyu one of the most difficult Pokemon to hit, being immune to all Normal, Fighting, and Dragon attacks. Mimikyu is also extremely difficult to counter thanks to its ability and typing, but once the Disguise is taken out, it becomes an easy target for those that can hit it.
Deep in the waters of the Alola Region, an adorable little fish swims around. This little guy is named Wishiwashi, and it's about as cute as they come. However, if you decide to battle one, you better be prepared for a fight. It won't be long before Wishiwashi calls a bunch of other fish to change into a School Form: a monstrous fish composed of multiple little Wishiwashi. Because of this, a lot of fishermen tend to stay away from these fish, and any battle involving one will take up a considerable amount of time.
How does it perform in battle? Well, it's interesting. First of all, the single Wishiwashi has such poor stats that it's practically unusable. However, once it changes into its School Form, the tables turn immediately. Wishiwashi has both high attack and defense stats, making it an all-around powerhouse. Anybody that fights one is going to have a hard time taking down its HP. When Wishiwashi makes use of STAB attacks like Hydro Pump, the results will be disastrous for anybody that takes the hit. If it gets down any lower than 25% health, though, then it will go back into its Solo Form. But it's tough to get a Wishiwashi that low.
On the seafloors of the Alola Region sit the peaceful Mareanie. Right away, you'll notice that it is covered in all kinds of spikes. Thus, logically, it's probably best if you keep your distance from it. Mareanie is a predator in every sense of the word and makes use of the poison in its spikes to take down its prey. That said, Mareanie don't do much, but if you manage to get one all the way to level 38, you'll be rewarded with the famous Toxapex.
Toxapex is not a hard hitter, but it's about as good as it gets when it comes to defense. Toxapex focuses mostly on inflicting status effects on its opponents with moves like Scald and Toxic Spikes. Toxapex has incredibly high defensive stats, making it a powerful tank that can take a lot of hits. Making this fact worse for its opponents is the fact that Toxapex can learn the move Recover. If a Pokemon is slowly dwindling its HP away, all you have to do is fire up that move, and you're good to go. This alone makes Toxapex one of the top choices for any Sun and Moon team.
The mysterious Pokemon Type: Null raised a lot of questions for those anxiously awaiting the release of Pokemon Sun and Moon. According to the website, Type: Null was a powerful Pokemon designed to take on legendary monsters and had a combination of many different Pokemon parts in order to do so. Because it's so powerful, it requires a mask over its head that suppresses its strength. Many were unsure we would ever be able to take that mask off, but luckily, it was revealed that we could. And the results are truly astounding.
Once Type: Null removes that mask over its head, it immediately evolves into the Pokemon Silvally. Because of its excellent stats, Silvally is one of the most versatile Pokemon in the current metagame. What makes it even more impressive is that it can change its type based on an item that it holds, similar to how Arceus functions. Silvally also has one of the best speed stats of any Pokemon that isn't a legendary. Coupled with some powerful and stat reducing attacks, Silvally is a true monster. Think twice before you decide to engage one of these.
6 Ash Greninja
Greninja is technically a Pokemon from X and Y and dominated the metagame at the time. However, it wasn't until Sun and Moon came out that the Ash Greninja variant was introduced and made a powerful splash into the game. Because of this, I felt that it was permissible to give it its own spot on this list.
As I said earlier, Greninja took over the metagame by storm. By having the Protean ability, Greninja was able to change its type on the fly and get STAB on every single move as a result. Now it is possible to have a Greninja with the Battle Bond ability, which turns it into Ash Greninja after it KO's a Pokemon. Granted, it's not as excellent as a Protean Greninja before it transforms, but once you get there, you'll be pleased from start to finish. On top of a speed and special attack increase, Greninja's Water Shuriken also gets a much-needed buff. With his new form, Ash Greninja can now deal more damage in a much quicker amount of time. It will outspeed many other fast Pokemon and has the potential to eliminate anything weak to Water or Dark type moves.
Solgaleo is the legendary Pokemon for Pokemon Sun. It is often spoken of as "the beast that devours the sun." Due to its design, attacks, and potential to absorb energy, Solgaleo is often associated with the sun. It has great power and can even create Ultra Wormholes to go to the dimension where the Ultra Beasts live. (This info plays a part in the game's story). Solgaleo is heavily revered by the people of Alola, and there is so much lore behind it that I need to stop or I'll give away spoilers.
In the battlefield, Solgaleo is equally impressive. Being a Psychic/Steel type, Solgaleo has a unique assortment of STAB moves that make it a threat against many commonly used Pokemon. Its Full Metal Body ability prevents it from getting bombarded with stat-dropping moves, and yet it can still dish out plenty of damage. Solgaleo's signature move, Sunsteel Strike, is also an amazing attack that devastates opponents and ignores their respective abilities. No doubt that Solgaleo would be useful late game as people are starting to become desperate at that point. Send this bad boy out and deal some immense damage, and you're good to go.
In many ways, Lunala serves as an equal counterpart to Solgaleo, so I felt that it had to be mentioned here as well. In contrast to Solgaleo, Lunala is instead touted as "the beast that calls the moon." Because of this, it is often associated with the moon and the night sky. Lunala also has the potential to create Ultra Wormholes and travel to that particular dimension. Lunala can take light and transform it into energy for itself. More information is involved here, but again, I want to avoid any story spoilers.
Like you'd expect from the equivalent of Solgaleo, Lunala is impressive. Lunala boasts a unique Ghost/Psychic type, which makes it stand out a bit more than its lion counterpart. Lunala's Shadow Shield provides excellent defensive capabilities by reducing the damage it takes by half, as long it has full HP. Like Solgaleo, Lunala also has access to its own signature move: Moongeist Beam. It functions exactly like Sunsteel Strike, except for the fact that it's a Ghost type move. That might be a way to deal with a Mega Gengar for sure. Overall, Lunala is another solid option from the legendaries that Alola has to offer.
The Ultra Beasts were Game Freak's way of introducing boss Pokemon into the games. However, they have earned their name for a reason -- they are powerful, and any one of them could have easily made this list for its own reasons. I chose to focus on Xurkitree out of all them (and I'll get to why in a minute). This electric type powerhouse is an immediate asset to any team that chooses to use it.
One of the most frustrating things you'll experience in the metagame is dealing with tanky Pokemon. That's where Xurkitree comes in. Its high attack and speeds stats make it one of the best tank killers in the current metagame. Sure, it won't be as effective against any Ground or Rock types, but that doesn't mean that Xurkitree is useless. Its Beast Boost ability raises its highest stat by one every time it KOs a Pokemon, placing it on the top of the list when it comes to getting a Pokemon that can knock out fast and hard. Other Ultra Beasts are equally viable, but if you need someone to break down your opponents' barriers, you'd want Xurkitree.
2 Zygarde Complete Form
Zygarde was one of the most underhanded Pokemon to come out of X and Y. Even after speculation and hints about Pokemon Z, Zygarde never really got its time in the spotlight and never received the boost it needed to become a powerhouse in the metagame. Thankfully, that all changed in Sun and Moon where it was given two new forms. The one we'll be focusing on is the Complete or 100% form.
Across the Alola Region are numerous Zygarde Cells. If you collect all of them, then you can create a Zygarde with the Power Construct ability. This ability makes Zygarde transform into its Complete Form after it reaches less than 50% of its health. Immediately, you'll notice that Zygarde Complete Form's HP stat doubles after the transformation. This makes for one of the bulkier Dragon types in the game and is useful when combined with moves like Dragon Dance. The only negative aspect of this is that it will be pretty low on health by the time it changes form, but if you're prepared for that, then you'll be in really good shape for the remainder of the battle. Zygarde is finally as good as it deserves to be.
In my opinion, there is one Ultra Beast that shines brighter than all of the others (yes, including Xurkitree). That is Guzzlord. This ravenous monstrosity looks like it could eat the entire Earth and is one of the scarier-looking Ultra Beasts in Sun and Moon. However, when a Pokemon looks threatening, that often hints at greatness, and as you'll discover, Guzzlord has that covered.
Guzzlord is painfully slow and doesn't have great defense stats. However, what it lacks in those areas, it more than makes up for with its HP alone. Its base HP is the third highest in the entire game, and that makes it a sizable tank right off the bat. Despite its low defense, it can still take a hit very well thanks to that stat. Thankfully, Guzzlord also has surprisingly decent attack and special attack stats. This means that while Guzzlord is taking and recovering damage, it can also bring the pain and punish those who decide to mess with it. Its Dragon/Dark typing also gives it quite a nice range of resistances to commonly-used types. I believe Guzzlord will be one of the more popular choices in the metagame as it evolves over time.
Sources: Smogon, Wikia