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The Most Powerful Pokemon Ranked

There are, quite simply put, a lot of Pokemon — 898 in total. Part of the fun of the Pokemon franchise, however, is that not all Pokemon are on a level playing field with one another. In the Pokemon video game series, for example, intricate leveling and stats systems, on top of the natural strengths of different species, ultimately determine a given Pokemon's strength. By comparison, in the Pokemon anime series, a strong partnership with a trainer can make all the difference.

Not only does each Pokemon have its own unique strengths and abilities, but these powers are the basis for the Pokemon battles that make up the fabric of the very Poke-world in which the franchise takes place. Thus, it's only natural to want to rank Pokemon by their power, relative to one another.

Given the various media in which they star, Pokemon can manifest their power in many different ways, from dominance in a particular video game meta to an in-fiction ability to manipulate the laws of nature. All of that being said, using all of the best available Poke-research out there, here is the definitive ranking of the strongest Pokemon.

Gengar

Kicking off the list is, in the 14th strongest spot, is one of the original 151.

Gengar's strength comes from two key abilities: the power to cloak itself within shadows, and more impactfully, the power to drain the life force of humans. This means that all Gengar requires to overpower virtually any human being is darkness in which to hide. Its Pokedex entry in Pokemon Sun sums up its deadliness best: "Should you feel yourself attacked by a sudden chill, it is evidence of an approaching Gengar. There is no escaping it. Give up."

In addition to the already-lethal abilities of its base form, Gengar is capable of formidable Mega and Gigantamax evolutions. Its Pokedex entry in Pokemon Sword describes the giant mouth of Gigantamax Gengar as a portal directly to the afterlife.

Few (if any) other Pokemon are as directly linked to human death as Gengar. This unparalleled capacity for straight up assassination could attain it virtually any position within human society it so desires. The reason Gengar doesn't place higher on this ranking is due to its utility being limited to the human world, finding less impact once the strongest of the strong Pokemon enter the picture.

Tyranitaur

Nearly every generation of Pokemon video games contains at least one new Pokemon, usually a dragon, considered to be a "pseudo-legendary" monster. This moniker means that its powers rival those of the Legendary and Mythical Pokemon generally thought to have a monopoly over the upper echelons of Poke-power.

Of these, Tyranitaur is the strongest because of both its temperament and variety of usable in-game abilities.

Pokedex entries from throughout its video game appearances, starting in Generation 2, describe Tyranitaur as extremely powerful, to the point of being able to reshape real-world topography, and motivated purely by combat against worthy adversaries. This latter descriptor means that Tyranitaur is not just strong, but is also constantly on the lookout for opportunities to unleash its immense strength.

In-game, Tyranitaur's utility is bolstered by the ability to learn a wide variety of elemental attacks, ranging from water abilities like Surf, to fire attacks like Flamethrower. These and other abilities allow it to adapt to a wide range of combat scenarios.

Tyranitaur doesn't rank higher, despite an ideal propensity for combat, simply because its strength is tied to the earthly realm, failing to reach the metaphysical heights of some of its legendary rivals.

Slowbro

Slowbro earns its spot as the 12th strongest Pokemon of all, in spite of what conventional wisdom may suggest, due to a specific strategy in the sixth generation of Pokemon games that could render Slowbro not only unkillable, but capable of stretching any battle out for a theoretically indefinite length of time.

Like any suitably wacky gimmick, turning Slowbro into an interminable frustration machine requires a unique setup. Equipping Slowbro with a Leppa Berry and the abilities Slack Off, Heal Pulse, Recycle and Block would allow it to heal HP with its abilities, as well as regenerate PP with its Leppa Berry in tandem with the Recycle ability. Thus, with this particular strategy, it could outlast any opponent, and even heal them as they defaulted to the Struggle ability with Heal Pulse.

Extrapolating the ability into the Poke-world at large, Slowbro becomes as strong of an adversary as any. Brute force is merely one type of strength. The power to bore enemies into submission is unquantifiable other than by infinity, representing the amount of time for which the trick can last.

The possibility that a Slowbro or its trainer may lose patience in the midst of the trick's execution, however, prevents it from placing higher.

Mew

Before it was even a separate category from Legendary (in the U.S., at least – Japan always maintained the distinction) Mew was the first and foremost Mythical Pokemon, once only rumored to be obtainable in-game. "Mythical" refers to a level of rarity transcending that of Legendaries. Whereas virtually all Legendary Pokemon can be obtained within the base Pokemon games, Mythical Pokemon like Mew are only available under special circumstances.

This is reflected in Pokemon's lore, in which Mythical Pokemon are particularly magical in one manner or another. According to Pokedex entries from the games, Mew is the ancestor of all Pokemon. Functionally, that translates into the capability to learn any move in the Poke-verse.

This means that Mew is the ultimate Swiss Army knife. In the video games, Pokemon are limited to only knowing four skills at a time. The anime includes no such limit, however, so the most powerful version of Mew would know literally every move ever known by any Pokemon.

Though no combination of skills can rival Mew's, it doesn't rank higher on the list because of its temperament. Mew isn't particularly bloodthirsty, so its full strength only applies in extenuating circumstances.

Jirachi

Jirachi is another Mythical Pokemon that first appeared in the third generation of video games. Its signature magical attribute is the ability to grant any wish written on a note attached to its forehead.

The catch is that Jirachi is only capable of granting wishes when it's awake. Its sleep is not tied to a human-like REM cycle, but rather lasts continuously for 1,000 years. After awakening, Jirachi will remain conscious for only a week. Despite the prerequisite, this remains a formidable power, particularly if a ranking of powerful Pokemon includes no time constraints whatsoever.

Granting wishes is a power unlike any other, superceding virtually all other Poke-abilities. One Jirachi wish could theoretically counter, for example, Slowbro's infinite battle-extending trick, as it could virtually all other otherwise-boundless powers.

The sole reason Jirachi doesn't place higher, despite its limitless strength, is that it can't wish on its own. Thus, realizing its full potential requires a third party to make a suitably powerful wish.

Ash's Greninja

As his name suggests, Ash's Greninja is the specific Greninja trained by protagonist Ash in the Pokemon anime. Ash's Greninja is unique because, unlike most Greninja, he's capable of evolving into a more powerful form inaccessible to the majority of its kind, often suitably referred to as Ash-Greninja. Unlike other advanced evolutions like Mega Evolution or Gigantamax, the Ash-Greninja transformation began in the anime, with a facsimile of it later adapted into the video game series.

In order to shift into its Ash-Greninja form, Ash's Greninja must enter into a trance-like connection with Ash. Though the resultant power boost is significant, all damage taken by Ash's Greninja is shared with Ash for its duration. This was replicated in game with an ability called Battle Bond.

While the damage to his trainer entails significant risk, the boost to Greninja's strength is considerable. In the anime series, Ash's Greninja is capable of defeating Mega Evolved Pokemon without attaining that level himself.

Ash's Greninja fully earns his spot on the list due to his bond with one of the more well-known shonen protagonists in anime history. Simply put, anime protagonists tend to come out on top in the end.

Rayquaza

Of the regular old Legendary Pokemon from throughout the franchise's history, Rayquaza is among the strongest. In its base form, Rayquaza is enormous. Measuring 23 feet long in total, it ranks as the 11th largest Pokemon among all 898.

However, Rayquaza is also capable of a Mega Evolution, which is a key factor in cementing its position as one of the most powerful Pokemon in series history. The Mega Rayquaza transformation extends its length to 35 feet, which pushes it into the fourth largest Pokemon spot. Only one Legendary, Eternatus, is bigger than Rayquaza. However, Eternatus's Legendary power is based simply on whether or not other Pokemon can Dynamax, while Rayquaza's is of a much greater magnitude.

Rayquaza is the strongest member of the Weather Trio, which also includes Kyogre and Groudon. The latter two Pokemon control the hydrosphere and the lithosphere, while Rayquaza is in charge of the atmosphere. Since the atmosphere is far larger than anything on earth or anything of which Eternatus is in charge, Rayquaza's dominion is considerably more formidable than those of its direct competitors.

A gigantic, angry, meteorite-eating dragon is easily among the Pokemon series' strongest – specifically, eighth in position.

Genetically Altered Torterra

Regular Torterra are powerful in their own right. They're the fully-evolved form of Turtwig, one of the options for a player's starting Pokemon in the video game series' fourth generation. Evolving from a starter, however, is not quite enough to land a Pokemon a spot on among the seven most powerful of all time.

In Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, protagonists Tim, Lucy and Detective Pikachu encounter a pack of giant Torterra that have been genetically modified by the villainous Howard Clifford. These Torterra are massive.

Eternatus tops the list of the largest Pokemon at about 65 feet. In its Eternamax form, Eternatus grows to 328 feet. For a real-world point of comparison, an American football field is 360 feet long.

No sort of official measurement exists of the genetically altered Torterra in Detective Pikachu, but based solely on the ever-reliable eye test, they're undoubtedly far larger than a single football field. They're most likely larger than multiple football fields, given that they hold entire mountains on their backs. While their precise attack power is indeterminable, their sheer brute strength would be nearly impossible to contend with for all but the six stronger Pokemon on this list.

Calyrex

Calyrex is the latest to join the ever-growing roster of Legendary Pokemon, introduced as a focal point of the Crown Tundra DLC added to Pokemon Sword and Shield in Oct. 2020. Its strength is not primarily in its raw combat ability, but its intelligence.

In the lore accompanying the Crown Tundra expansion, Calyrex is revealed to have once been the king of the Galar region in which Sword and Shield take place. Such honors would have been made possible by its ability to understand and communicate in human language, which is shared by few other Pokemon.

Furthermore, Calyrex is capable of looking into the past and the future. Such a skill is useful in combat, granting a preview of a foe's attacks. In theory, this power could be utilized to secure power in the human world, given that Calyrex can plan for and take advantage of societal changes well before they occur.

That said, Calyrex is no slouch in the raw power department. It's capable of evolving into two upgraded forms, Ice Rider Calyrex and Shadow Rider Calyrex, both of which are comparable in power to some of the statistically-strongest Legendary Pokemon.

Mewtwo

The fifth strongest Pokemon in Poke-history is Mewtwo. Simply put, Mewtwo is extremely powerful. Pokedex entries from throughout the franchise's history describe it as possessing "battle abilities [that] were raised to the ultimate level" and having been "created solely for battling."

Many Legendary Pokemon are formidable due to a skill or set of innate abilities that can prove uniquely useful in a variety of situations. In Mewtwo's case, it's strong simply because strength is its defining characteristic. According to Pokemon lore, Mewtwo was genetically engineered in a lab, so its prowess for battle was not the result of whatever sort of natural selection defines most Pokemon abilities, but mathematically calculated.

Plus, Mewtwo is temperamentally similar to Tyranitaur, focused on little more than battle. Pokedex entries describe it as having "the most savage heart among Pokemon," thinking "only of defeating its foes."

The importance of such a mindset cannot be understated in an assessment of its power, given that a singular focus on winning could be the difference-maker in a combat scenario versus an otherwise similarly-powerful opponent.

Palkia

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl went above in beyond when doling out power to its Legendary Pokemon. The Legendaries featured on the box art of each game in the series' fourth generation (including third entry Pokemon Platinum Version) control time, space and antimatter respectively.

Diamond's Dialga is the Pokemon that controls time and Platinum's Giratina holds dominion over antimatter. While these abilities are metaphysical in scale and formidable in their own right, they pale in comparison to Palkia's command of the very space inhabited by all things.

Control over time is useless in battle, given that no amount of manipulation is going to prevent what's already going to happen from occurring at a given point in space-time. Only when teamed up with the psychic Calyrex would this skill become dangerous.

Furthermore, scientists are still actively studying antimatter, so no fair method exists to assess its impact on Poke-power.

Manipulating space, however, means controlling the conditions in which a battle, or virtually any other situation, takes place, since space could refer to ground, air, or the confines of any physical object. Ultimately, this boundless source of strength is capable of overpowering all but three Pokemon.

Wobbuffet

While Slowbro can extend any battle indefinitely with a setup intended specifically to enable its ability to do so, Wobbuffet is capable of doing the same, not by using trickery, but by merit of being functionally immortal.

In the Pokemon anime, Wobbuffet is a comic relief character, capable of winning fights in silly or otherwise unexpected ways. This is not insignificant in an assessment of power, since unlikely victories are victories nonetheless.

That said, it's in video games that Wobbuffet is revealed to be essentially immortal. Its unique strengths grant it a longevity in battle that is functionally the same as Slowbro's. This was ultimately determined to be a detriment to competitive Pokemon, and Wobbuffet was banned from tournaments because of it.

It was in Super Smash Bros., however, that Wobuffet's immortality was codified. The Smash version of Wobbuffet, mimicking its strength in the Pokemon games, will reflect any attack, no matter how strong, back at its attacker. Therefore, Wobbuffet cannot take damage, and will in turn deal a small amount of damage in return.

Wobbuffet earns its spot in the upper echelons of Poke-power thanks to its Slowbro-like abilities being not the result of patient gameplay but the essence of its being.

Hoopa Unbound

Hoopa Unbound is a powered-up version of the Mythical Pokemon Hoopa, an evil version of which served as the primary antagonist of an anime movie titled Hoopa and the Clash of Ages. This film ultimately revealed it to be the second most powerful Pokemon in series history.

In the film's lengthy, climactic battle, Hoopa Unbound faced off against a team-up of Legendary Pokemon comprised of Regigigas, Reshiram and Zekrom. The powers of these three Legendaries combined, however, were not enough to contend with Hoopa Unbound.

Furthermore, in that same battle, it summoned a murderer's row of Legendaries — Palkia, Dialga, Giratina, Kyurem, Primal Kyogre and Primal Groudon — to fight alongside it. While the ability to add other Pokemon to its team isn't a direct expression of its own power, it nevertheless takes formidable strength to influence Legendary Pokemon to join its side.

Hoopa Unbound's skill is the ability to manipulate parallel dimensions, which is somewhat reminiscent of Palkia's control over space. However, given that its raw power has been directly demonstrated to be significantly greater than Palkia's, Hoopa Unbound secures its spot as the second most powerful Pokemon of all Poke-time.

Arceus

While this list may include a few unlikely (but correct) choices for some of the strongest Pokemon in franchise history, Arceus taking the number one spot is anything but. No other Pokemon, Legendary or Mythical, is more deity-like, based simply on the fact that it created the entire Pokemon universe.

Arceus was first introduced in the game's fourth generation as its new Mythical. Its godlike abilities were designed to be greater in power than Dialga's, Palkia's and Giratina's, due to its elevated role in the generation that featured those three metaphysically-powerful Legendaries.

In Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, Arceus assists the film's protagonists in their efforts to defeat Hoopa Unbound. Beyond its powers providing aid in this single moment, Arceus isn't very present in the film, but this moment nevertheless points directly toward Arceus's strength exceeding Hoopa Unbound's considerable power.

Not only does Arceus boast the divine skill required to create an entire universe, it was shown empirically to have been sufficient to help overpower Hoopa Unbound. These feats easily and uncontroversially secure Arceus its deserved spot as the most powerful Pokemon of all of them.

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