When a new Pokémon game comes out, players usually rush to capture the biggest, best, rarest, or most powerful creatures in the game. But along the way, some lesser-known or long-forgotten Pokémon might get overlooked. It’s easy to do, but any trainer who really wants to be the very best should be aware that sometimes, the underrated monsters are a Pokémon Master’s favorites.
The new Pokémon Sun and Moon games are rife with critical updates for the series, not only in new features like the Festival Plaza or Island Scanner, but also in adjustments made for some classic Generation I Pokémon. A number of classic ‘mons now come in an Alola Form, some to an exceedingly bizarre extent, and a number have some great Z-Moves that can make even mediocre Pokémon worthwhile. There are several Pokémon you’ll want to catch early on, and some other solid lasting options, but here are a number of them that are viable for your team in the mid- and late-game.
Pikachu and/or Raichu
The Pokémon franchise’s mascot was mentioned in our article “The Best Pokémon to Catch Early on in ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’”, but it’s worth reiterating. Despite being, like, super cute, Pikachu has almost never before been really viable for any Pokémon trainer that wasn’t Ash from the animated series or your protagonist in Pokémon Yellow … where you didn’t even have a choice. Now, Pikachu has decent Special Attack and Speed, and comes with its own Z-Moves. Its easy-to-get evolution of Raichu also picks up a Psychic type and a sweet surfboard tail.
You can catch a Pichu as early as Route 1, but it’s quite rare. If you’re fortunate enough to have it Call for Help, a Pikachu will rarely answer that call. Pichu also pops up in Hau’oli City with equal rarity. Keep in mind that evolving Pichu into Pikachu, which happens via Happiness, can be something of a chore, so say a prayer that Pikachu shows up. You can find the Thunderstone in Route 8 on Akala Island to evolve Pikachu into Raichu.
If an unstoppable force were to breed with an immovable object instead of just meet it, you’d get a Snorlax. He’s been snoozin’ around since Generation I, but now his pre-evolution is free to grab via Mystery Gift until early next year. Evolving a Munchlax via happiness is also a chore — much like Pichu into Pikachu — but once you get yourself this super-fat and super-lazy cat-thing, you’ll never want to let it go. Snorlium Z comes as part of the package deal, so you get a great Z-Move with him. One might call Snorlax a sleeper hit, but you’re sleeping on a golden opportunity if you pass up the chance to grab this gem. He might be slow AF with somewhat lackluster Defense and Special Attack — and just Normal, which, hey, is only weak to Fighting — but Snorlax has really solid Attack and Special Defense with basically the highest HP of all Pokémon.
Score a Munchlax via Mystery Gift in the main menu of either Pokémon Sun or Moon as long as you purchase by January 11, 2017.
Despite looking like something that could be KO’d by a strong breeze, Ribombee is a solid contender. It evolves from Cutiefly (a dust ball with wings) at level 25 and comes to have some pretty insane Speed — we’re talking just shy of Jolteon — with enough Special Attack to make this lil critter worthwhile. With a typing of Bug/Fairy, it comes with some problematic weaknesses, but with Speed like this, this critter can shred any Fighting, Dragon, Dark, Grass, or Psychic Pokémon that comes its way.
Your earliest chance to find a Cutiefly is at the end of Route 2 or in Melemele Meadow.
There is nothing wishy-washy about this Pokémon. Sure, it’s a straight Water-type — which is uber common — and its base form is a tiny, sad-looking fish with abysmal stats, but Wishiwashi has the bizarre ability to transform into a Schooling form. As long as Wishiwashi is level 20 or above, it will transform into a giant freakshow of a fused whale at the start of every battle … unless its HP drops below 25 percent. Its Attack, Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense all skyrocket when in Schooling form whereas HP and Speed remain relatively low. This is a very weird, new kind of Pokémon that might be tricky to use, but in addition to Water moves, it can also pick up Bug, Ice, Dark, and even Ground (via TMs).
To catch a Wishiwashi, you have to be either Surfing or Fishing, so your earliest chance will be following the completion of the Brooklet Hill Trial, when you get access to Lapras. From there, Wishiwashi locations include Routes 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, Akala Outskirts, Brooklet Hill, Kala’e Bay, Melemele Sea, and Secluded Shore.
Even though it looks like it ought to be something like Dragon/Steel, this “Hard Scale Pokemon” is actually Bug/Water (huh?). Its pre-evolved form, Wimpod, is something of the Magikarp of Sun in Moon in that it’s pretty pathetic but evolves into an absolute beast. Wimpy Wimpod evolves at level 30 into Golisopod, which has insane Defense, decent Special Defense, and rather high Attack. It’s only weak to Flying, Rock, and Electric, which is really good as far as typing.
You’ll want to carefully catch the Wimpod on Route 8 when you encounter it as part of your water exploration.
Crazily enough, this Pikachu-looking haunted piece of trash boasts some pretty decent stats. People really love Mimikyu, mainly because this ‘mon is scary AF. Its Z-Move, featured above, is called Never-Ending Nightmare, so yeah, there’s that. It’s quite fast with high Special Defense, decent Defense, and solid Attack — but it suffers in its other areas. It’s Ghost/Fairy, making it weak to only Ghost and Steel.
You can find a Mimikyu on Ula’ula Island in the Thrifty Megamart in the southern section of Route 14 after completing the island challenge.