Top 10 Most Underrated Pokémon From Generation 2

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The Johto Region -- or Generation 2 as some like to call it -- had quite a bit to live up to after the first Pokémon games. Following the popularity of Gen 1, Game Freak tried to make lightning strike with this second group of Pokémon, and in many ways they did. The games became more balanced and there were 100 new Pokémon added to the roster, most of which are still fan favorites to this day.

However, with that many Pokémon being added, quite a few fell by the wayside, not even receiving a Mega Evolution or an Alolan Form. This doesn’t mean they’re bad Pokémon, but like the Kanto and Hoenn lists, this is just to give some appreciation to Pokémon who are just less loved.

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10. Meganium

If you ask someone who their least favorite starter is, there’s a strong chance that it’ll be Chikorita. Unlike other third-stage evolutions for the starter Pokémon, Meganium looks the most… friendly. It doesn’t look like a fighter, it looks like a friend. While Pokémon are meant to be friends, most people want their starter to be a powerhouse to take them through til the end, and to them, Meganium doesn’t fit that bill.

If only they knew the power that resided within this pure Grass starter. With full access to both Light Screen and Reflect -- as well as Synthesis -- Meganium becomes a tanky monster. Having trouble with the Whitney fight? Send out your Bayleef and tank through those Rollouts like they’re nothing. While its typing doesn’t help it in the case of weaknesses, if you can work around it, you have a solid Pokémon on your team that can take you to the end of your journey. 

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9. Quagsire

Quagsire has the exact same problems that Meganium has, except instead of being a starter and barely used anymore, it’s an early route Pokémon and is actually used a fair amount. It just doesn’t have the same loving fan base the Meganium line has because it’s less of a fondly remembered Pokémon and more of a dopey looking goober.

That said, unlike the rest of the Pokémon on this list, Quagsire is in OU tier. Why? Because of the hidden ability Unaware, which means that no matter how much an opponent uses Swords Dance or other moves of its kind that buff stats, Quagsire won’t be affected by it. Couple this with Rest, Scald and Toxic and you have an effective staller on your hands.

While it’s still fairly underappreciated, it’s nice to see it gaining some attention in recent years for the durable fighter that it is.

 

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8. Miltank

Miltank is a bulky, self-healing form of Tauros that demolished inexperienced trainers back when Gold and Silver first came out. The amount of HP and defense it had made it a dangerous threat for first time trainers, which has made it become one of the most hated Pokémon in the series.

That said, when on your team, Miltank is a monster and is an excellent ally to have. Just let her have her signature move Milk Drink, with a Body Slam and Toxic, that’ll stall out almost any trainer for quite a while. 

Sure she doesn’t have much in the way of Special Defense, but if you build a team around that or prepare for that beforehand with status ailments from Toxic, Body Slam or even Thunder Wave, Miltank is a welcome addition to any team.

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7. Noctowl

Noctowl, poor Noctowl. Out of all of the first route bird Pokémon, Noctowl is the most disappointing. It’s a bulky Flying-type with more special defense and special attack stats than one might expect from a Pokémon of its type. It's got a moveset to match. It learns moves like Hypnosis and Psychic that fill up spots normally reserved for Wing Attack or similar in Flying types. Sadly, it doesn’t have the typing to back it up.

Sure, there’s Xatu later on, which fills the role of a Flying/Psychic, but what about poor Noctowl? It just gets left behind in the dust. That’s not to say Noctowl can’t be useful in battle despite all of this, though. It has access to moves like Night Shade and Psychic, which most flying types don’t have. Having Noctowl on your team is all about adjusting what role you’d normally think a Pokémon like that may play and playing to its strengths.

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6. Granbull

A purple Bulldog isn’t the strangest design that Game Freak has ever created, but their decision to call it the “The Fairy” Pokémon was. This isn’t what you’d think of when you think of a Fairy, yet Granbull has become one of the physical powerhouses of the Fairy type that can use “Play Rough” to its fullest potential. Despite this, not too many people will give it a chance.

It can go with a defensive or an offensive move set and it has access to great moves like Fire Punch and Close Combat for type coverage. Not only that but it’s a bulky attacker, meaning that even if it gets hit with a potentially devastating move, Granbull may not go down in one hit; especially if you fill its strong jaws with Leftovers or a Choice Band. Granbull is a great out of the box choice for a Fairy type and it's worth giving it a chance.

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5. Bellossom

Another day, another Oddish evolution that’s sadly forgotten by Pokémon fans everywhere. It’s a creative design at least, putting some pep in the step of the Pokémon Gloom by giving it a Sun Stone; plus its stats are decent, so you could use it on a single player run.

Bellosom is another Grass-type with the capabilities of being a sufficient wall breaker, but unfortunately gets outclassed in every way by nearly every other Grass type. It’s best to play with Bellosom on a Sunny Day team in order to blast through those walls with its powerful Solar Beam. Balancing this out with a Fire Hidden Power, as well as a move like Toxic can give this tiny flora dancer just what she needs to succeed.

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4. Ursaring

This bear doesn’t play with fire, but it does play with devastating attacks. Ursaring is one of those Pokémon that’s harder to find, but once you find one, it'll be a strong asset to your team. Its boasts the same type coverage as many Normal types but this one has the stats to back it up, being a high physical attacker and having decently high HP.

With its ability Quick Feet, Ursaring can make up for its lackluster speed and utterly destroy walls with its sizable attack power and Façade. In addition, it can learn Crunch to deal with those pesky Ghost-types that are immune to it. Then there are moves like Close Combat, Yawn, Earthquake and countless others that make it arguably one of the most diverse wall breakers in moveset alone. You’ll find no better bear for your buck than Ursaring.

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3. Lanturn

Of all the Pokémon introduced in the Johto region, Lanturn was always one of the more interesting ones. It looked as though it was one part beluga whale and one part angler fish, which was a cool design by itself. The fact that it was Water/Electric -- a typing we hadn’t seen up until this point -- made it even better. Unfortunately, it still fell to the wayside because despite these innovations, in later generations it became outclassed by other Pokémon despite having a strong start.

That’s not to say Lanturn is useless in battle -- far from it. Thanks to its unique type combination, Volt Absorb ability, and its diverse move pool, Lanturn is quite an asset indeed. It can be played as an attacker or in a support role, and can learn Scald, which provides a nasty burn to its foes.

With its type coverage you could put an Electric move like Volt Switch (or even Thunderbolt if you want to be risky) to decimate its foes. In more supportive roles it can also provide paralysis in the form of Thunder Wave which unless healed, can cripple an opponent. Lanturn is a Pokémon that just hasn’t seen the love it deserves despite its versatility.

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2. Stantler

Stantler appears to be another example of a Johto Pokémon that should have been part Psychic, but was once again relegated to being a Normal type. It’s a frail Pokémon and is a pain to level, but it has an insane amount of move coverage thanks to its passable special attack and attack stats, which gives it a certain amount of versatility.

Stantler is used as a wall breaker more often than not, and moves like Double Edge and Sucker Punch fall right in its area of expertise. This can also be replaced with moves like Signal Beam or Energy Ball, which provides some unique type coverage. While not a Pokémon that can devastate another team by any means, Stantler can be an unexpected wild card if put in the hands of a competent trainer.

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1. Mantine

Prior to Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Mantine had one of the highest special defense stats of any water type Pokémon in the game, only equal to that of Kyogre (a legendary Pokémon). Yet alas, times change and with the addition of new Pokémon, Mantine gets thrown by the wayside. 

Not all is lost for the majestic mantaray though; in Generation 7, it saw a boost to its already plentiful stats, giving it more HP and more speed, which means we may see a resurgence of Mantines in the future.

That said, Mantine boasts a diabolically high special defense of 140. With its excellent typing, the only thing that can really stop it is electric types, which can be taken care of as long as Mantine has a Substitute out. Mantine does what it does best when it has the moveset to back it up, which means having Toxic, Substitute or even Protect can help this special defense wall protect itself from other threats. It also has access to not only Scald but Air Slash thanks to its Water/Flying typing, which gives it a chance to slowly whittle down its competition while hiding behind its walls.

Mantine is a majestic creature which hasn’t been used to its utmost potential, and one can only hope it’s soon seen for the star that it is, especially with the boosts in stats.

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Gold and Silver gave us a lot of interesting Pokémon from a design perspective, taking Gen 1's ordinary Pokémon and making them in many ways extraordinary.

It’s hard to imagine the Pokémon world without these additions, but it’s always important that while admiring greats like Umbreon, Skarmory or Typhlosion, that you take a second to remember the slightly odder additions to the Pokémon roster -- especially as their numbers grow beyond anything any of us could have ever anticipated.

What was your favorite Generation 2 Pokemon? Who did you think was underrated? Tell us in the comments below!

Published Feb. 5th 2017

Featured Correspondent

Angelina Bonilla, also known as Red Angel, is a writer with a Bachelor's degree in Humanities, as well as a passion for various other topics such as life sciences and psychology. Video games have been a big part of her life since childhood and she writes about them with the same passion that she writes about books.


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