by Emily Reuben
Today marks the re-release of the second generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Silver and Pokémon Gold on the 3DS virtual console. Generation Two tops many Pokémon fan’s best generations list, and there is little wonder why: It’s a whole new place with a brand new attitude. The region is massive, the gameplay vastly improved from the first generation, and most importantly, new Pokémon!
To celebrate the rerelease of Gold and Silver, we will be counting down the top ten best Pokémon from the Johto region.
Starting at number 10 is Crobat. Now before Crobat came onto the scene, the zubat evolution line ended at Golbat. Golbat isn’t exactly the most useful Pokémon. While he has a fun design, that doesn’t exactly make up for his weak stats and move-pool. Well this is remedied with the addition of Crobat in generation 2! With as great speed stat and access to a unique combination of moves such as Brave Bird, Cross Poison, and U-Turn, Crobat is definitely a fun choice in battle.
Fans of Chikorita and Totodile may be upset with this statement, but Cyndaquil is the best starter in the second generation. You may have noticed a lack of fire Pokémon when exploring Johto. If you don’t pick Cyndaquil, your choices early in the game are basically Vulpix or Growlithe (unless you are playing Crystal version and have a chance at Magby hatching in an egg). On the flip side, grass and water type Pokémon are everywhere.
Typhlosion may not be the most competitively viable Pokémon due to its varied weaknesses and unimpressive stats, but it is definitely a visually appealing entry to the Pokedex. Basically, Cyndaquil goes from cute to cool really quickly after evolving into Typhlosion.
Most people have a love hate relationship with Blissy. Blissy is a powerhouse. When you’re using it against someone else, it’s great! However when you are unfortunately battling against one of these tanks, it can become incredibly irritating. Having an impressively high amount of HP and Special Defense, Blissy is a pro at stalling which can make battles last forever.
While annoying, Blissy has had a major impact in the competitive battling scene becoming the staple cleric on many trainer’s teams.
Look how cool Houndoom is. It is a literal Hell Hound. You really can’t get much cooler than that. Being introduced as one of the first dark type Pokémon, Houndoom definitely makes a great first impression. With access to the move Nasty Plot, this fiery hound is capable of sweeping entire teams.
Sadly Houndoom isn’t available until the post game when route 7 in the Kanto region becomes discoverable and wild Houndour appear. But let’s be honest, Houndoom is worth the wait.
The Mareep-evolution line is adorable. Starting out as the cute, fluffy sheep, Mareep-, it it gradually loses its wool and becomes Ampharos. Like fire type Pokémon, electric types can be difficult to come by early in the second generation games, which had made a staple party member for many trainers.
Luckily Ampharos was granted a mega-evolution giving it much appreciated Special Attack boost and dragon typing. While not exactly the most impressive mega-evolution, the stat boost has given this electric type some much needed attention among players. Not to mention ampharos has an important job keeping the lighthouse in Olivine City operating.
Similar to Golbat, Seadra always had an appealing design. The idea of a seahorse inspired Pokémon is so appealing, but seadra isn’t really capable of packing a punch. Enter Kingdra to remedy the problem. As the only new dragon type introduced in generation 2, the water/dragon type can be quite a fearsome foe for unprepared trainers. Gym leader Claire becomes quite challenging when she summons her high-leveled Kingdra into the fray.
A Kingdra with the the Swift Swim ability is a nightmare to face in the rain. Additionally, the rain allows Kingdra to become a fast sweeper and STAB moves to become further enhanced. If you come face to face with a Kingdra, you better hope you can knock it out fast.
What a cool Pokémondesign. Suicune has always been the most popular of the legendary dogs, and obviously Game Freak thought so too seeing as Crystal’s plot is based around capturing Suicune.
Suicune can make for a great defensive asset due to its Pressure ability and high Defensive stats. Having use of the Calm Mind move allows Suicune to bolster its Special stats and make it a viable offensive force if used correctly.
Seemingly based on Godzilla, Tyranitar is just awesome. To date, it is the only rock/dark type granting it unique playability. While Tyranitar has seven type weaknesses and is unbelievably slow, skilled players have been able to utilize him well in the competitive scene.
The Sand Stream ability has made this monster a staple of Sandstorm based teams. With access to the entry hazard and STAB moves like crunch, Tyranitar should not be taken lightly. This already powerful Pokémon was given another boost through mega evolution making the appearance of a rival Tyranitar a terrifying threat for even the most skilled players.
While Ho-oh has the cool Bell Tower storyline, Lugia is the Guardian of the Sea, and considering this is a series with a game entry that received 7.8 out of 10 for having “too much water”, that’s no small feat. Lugia is so popular that it was not only the star in the movie Pokémon 2000, it became the central Pokémon in the game Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
With the Multiscale ability, Lugia can reduce the damage taken by half when at full health. This paired with an incredibly high defense and strong move pool makes Lugia one of the most powerful Pokémon in generation 2.
1. Umbreon and Espeon
It might be cheating to pair these two together, but Umbreon and Espeon were released as a pair…so it counts. Both of these Pokémon have great stats and move-pools (though letting umbreon learn Crunch would be much appreciated) and great, sleek designs.
Espeon’s Magic Bounce ability makes it great in competitive play, allowing players to reflect the effect of stat-lowering moves, entry hazards like spikes, and condition-inducing moves. This alone makes Espeon a relatively dangerous opponent.
Umbreon gets access to Wish and Heal Bell making it a great cleric. Additionally, Umbreon also has access to Moonlight allowing it to restore health.
What else is there to say? Umbreon and Espeon are both incredibly cute and great for competitive play. That in conjunction with their massive popularity simply makes them the best that the Johto region has to offer.