Pokémon with Wasted Potential of Gens I-V

By starwarsfan. Art by andrew3391.
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There are certain Pokémon that seem like they will be great. There is a huge build-up of excitement, from when Game Freak announces them, to the speculation and release. And, most of them honestly would've been great. However, many of them have just one problem: a bad ability, typing, or movepool that kills their hopes.

There are also those with an opposite yet similar case of being horrible Pokémon, but have a concept with plenty of potential. Sadly, in the case of these ones, Game Freak made them horrible, for whatever reason.


Topping off the list is Electivire. With excellent super effective coverage, a large Attack stat, and an ability that boosts its mediocre Speed, it seems like a top-tier threat. When used in conjunction with Gyarados, which has a 4x weakness to Electric attacks, it appears to be very possible to sweep with Electivire. All is not well for Electivire, though, as it suffers from a few notable problems.

One problem is none other than predictability. The GyaraVire core was one of the most common cores in early DPP OU, and it was incredibly obvious. Electivire managed to stay OU, but just barely. Additionally, its best physical STAB move was ThunderPunch, which has a low Base Power, effectively forcing Electivire to go mixed. Lastly, when BW came, Electivire got a better STAB move in the form of Wild Charge, but Team Preview made it even more predictable. Additionally, the huge power creep of BW and BW2 made Electivire's formerly mediocre Speed just plain bad, and its Attack was not as impressive with the introduction of Landorus-T, Kyurem-B, and more. After all was said and done, Electivire fell to RU.


Articuno is the only Pokémon in the game with access to a 100% accurate OHKO move thanks to having both Mind Reader and Sheer Cold. It's a shame OHKO moves are banned though. Articuno is blessed with 90 / 100 / 125 defenses, seemingly allowing it to be an excellent wall. Until... you look at its typing, which gives it a 4x weakness to Rock as well as three other weaknesses, making it much less impressive. Articuno has a decent Special Attack stat to make use of its STAB Ice Beam and Hurricane. It's just the fact that there are better special attacking Ice-types in NU to use, such as Jynx and Glaceon. Articuno has a considerable support movepool, including all four weather moves, Reflect, Roar, and Tailwind. Its typing doesn't allow it to take advantage of all those goodies, however. All in all, Articuno has many things going for it. It's just always outclassed, even in NU, or its benefits are offset by some negative factors.


Boasting incredible 140 / 112 / 110 offenses, combined with powerful dual STABs in Head Smash and Acrobatics, Archeops appears to be a monster. This is further supported by the fact that it has utility moves such as Roost and U-turn, as well as coverage in Heat Wave, Earthquake, Earth Power, and more. However, Archeops is one of three potential Ubers on this list held back by a bad ability. Defeatist halves Archeops's damage-dealing capacity whenever it is at 50% health or below. This is twice as bad when you realize that Archeops's best STAB move, Head Smash, has the most recoil of any move in the game. Take this in conjunction with its poor 75 / 65 / 65 defenses and Rock / Flying typing, and it's obvious why Archeops fails to impact the standard competitive environment, even with Roost.


Ah, yes. Regigigas, the Colossal Pokémon. The legendary Pokémon that towed continents with a rope. With a stat spread greater than some Ubers, featuring 110 / 110 / 110 defenses and a base 160 Attack stat, this monster looks like it should be Uber. And yet, it sits at the bottom of NU, used on less than 1.5% of all teams even there. How is this? What could have killed this behemoth?

The answer lies in its ability. It is one of the worst in the game, with the one possible exception being Truant. Slow Start halves Regigigas's Attack and Speed for five whole turns. This forces Regigigas to stall out for those five turns, often ending with low health. Additionally, Regigigas is weak to Fighting, allowing it to be easily picked off by Mach Punch. After stalling, Regigigas only has room for one move... And it's Normal-type, as Regigigas needs a STAB. So even after doing all that, Regigigas will have low health, will be weak to priority, and will be forced to rely on a move with horrible coverage. All the opponent has to do is switch in a Ghost-type in Regigigas's five turns of stall, and they will be set. Even if they don't have a Ghost, most physical walls that do not take super effective damage from Return (read: all of them) can easily tank it.


Rampardos wields one of the most powerful attacks in the game in its STAB Head Smash. A one-turn 150 Base Power move off a base 165 Attack stat will do massive damage to everyone, even some that resist it. Additionally, Rampardos has two of the best offensive abilities in the game, Mold Breaker and Sheer Force. When, however, you realize that its best move has the worst recoil of any move in the game, at 50%, and that Rampardos is very frail in the first place, it can only make at most two kills before dying. Additionally, Rampardos has one of the worst defensive typings in the game, giving it weaknesses to Water-, Ground-, Steel-, Fighting-, and Grass-type attacks. This usually means that Rampardos is a suicide Pokémon, attempting one kill before dying and allowing a revenge killer to come in. Its weaknesses to many priority moves such as Aqua Jet, Mach Punch, and Bullet Punch does it no favors either, making it way too easy to revenge kill.


While you might be wondering, "why is Bibarel on this list?", I can assure you that it has some of the highest potential of any Pokémon on this list. This is because it has three of the best abilities in the game—Moody being banned from all tiers, even Ubers—in addition to having a decent support movepool. However, its stats are just horrible, too horrible even for a place in the NU metagame. I cannot stress how much Bibarel wishes it had better stats. With Simple and Amnesia, Bibarel could become an incredible special wall, if not for its base 60 Special Defense stat. With Unaware, Bibarel could spell doom to all setup sweepers, if it wasn't for the fact that all sweepers can kill it anyway. Bibarel just never has the stats for the job.


Shuckle is theoretically the bulkiest Pokémon in the series bar none. With incredible 230 / 230 mixed defenses, it can wall almost anything that can't hit it super effectively. However, its awful HP and lack of reliable recovery ruin any attempts it may have at consistent walling. In addition, Game Freak gave it no damaging options outside of Toxic, making it one of the biggest setup fodders in the game. Lastly, a weakness to Stealth Rock seals the fate of Shuckle, dooming its dreams of being a top-tier wall.


Slaking has one of the best stat distributions of any Pokémon in the game, with a massive base 160 Attack stat, which is higher than Groudon, Rayquaza, and Zekrom, and a beefy 150 HP stat, allowing it to survive many hits and hit back—not that it will need it, as it also has a good 100 Speed. When this is combined with coverage moves in Earthquake, Night Slash, and Hammer Arm, as well as a powerful STAB move in Return, Slaking looks like an Ubers threat. Until, that is, you see its ability, Truant. Truant makes Slaking the biggest setup fodder in existence, and I'm saying this with a section on Shuckle right above it. This is because it makes Slaking unable to move every other turn, essentially making every move a two-turn move, but with the ability to switch out. This is horrible, especially when you consider that even if Slaking does get a kill, all the opponent has to do is send in a setup sweeper and, well... set up.


Mantine has the same stat spread as Skarmory, with only its special and physical stats flipped, suggesting that it should be a monster special wall. In addition, it has a similar typing, the combination of Flying and an excellent defensive type, Water. However, while Steel and Flying complement each other well, removing most of the other's weaknesses, Water and Flying is not the same, as that typing leave a crippling 4x weakness to the common Electric-type attacks. The Rock weakness also hurts, as it gives Mantine a weakness to Stealth Rock. Additionally, Mantine suffers from competition as a standard special wall from Blissey, Vaporeon, Jirachi, Chansey... the list goes on and on, and most of them have a better typing, movepool, or both. It also has competition as a bulky Water-type, with Vaporeon, Slowking, Milotic, Slowbro, and more. Lastly, while Mantine has access to helpful support moves such as Rain Dance and Toxic, it really suffers from its lack of recovery outside of Rest. It's a pity that its design is of a manta ray, leading to its inability to learn Roost.


While some Pokémon look good—and are good—from the start, others, which look just as appealing, end up as total failures. Similarly, some Pokémon have incredible features, but don't have any other qualities needed to succeed. Hopefully, most of the new sixth generation Pokémon don't end up like these losers!

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