With a roster that has now spilled over the one-thousand mark, Pokémon is teeming with variety across 18 types with even more type combinations, and each species takes inspiration from unique creatures, concepts, or folklore. Every type naturally has its standout Pokémon and plenty that fade into obscurity, but many Pocket Monsters look much tougher or more imposing than they actually are.
This level of grandeur or physical intimidation comes from towering size and stature, ominous designs, or just an overwhelming presence — but this doesn’t always guarantee strength in the world of Pokémon. Every Pokémon has six stats and a base stat total that players naturally compare to others, and as a result, plenty of these imposing Pokémon turn out to be surprisingly weaker than other, more unassuming species.
It isn’t always straightforward to determine a mid-evolution form’s place in the overall roster, especially regarding how their base stat total compares to other species. However, Kadabra’s only has a 400 base stat total, making it weaker and less versatile than similar Pokémon like Ponyta, Kecleon, and Eiscue.
Kadabra showed how menacing it could be in the Pokémon anime when it had Ash’s Pikachu’s number not once, but twice. Kadabra’s final form Alakazam is a feared Psychic-type Pokémon, and while it does inherit Kadabra’s formidable image and design, it is still surprisingly weak.
An imposing figure doesn’t always have to be grand in size and stature. It can apply to their general presence, even if they usually seem graceful. The Deceiver Pokémon Mawile literally has two sides to match its two types — its Fairy-type aesthetic shows up in its facial features and standing, but the intimidating metallic jaws residing on the back of its head represent its secondary Steel typing.
Mega Mawile makes the design look even more imposing, but both forms have disappointingly low base stat totals. The original Mawile’s base stats are only 380 and Mega Mawile only has a 480 stat total. Mawile should be much stronger than it is, especially with a solid type combination that gives it only two type weaknesses, with nine resistances and two immunities, but this doesn’t carry it through most battles.
Players know Onix as one of the biggest disappointments in Pokémon, despite so many formidable Trainers across the games and anime using this intimidating Pokémon. While Onix has had its strong showings in the anime, and two different Onix defeated Pikachu on separate occasions. However, Brock’s Onix also showed off the Rock-type’s weaker side.
Onix is a huge Rock-type Rock Snake Pokémon with an impressive base Defense stat of 160, but this is ultimately all for show. Onix’s dismal 45 Attack and 35 HP will always hurt its reputation, especially when its Attack is lower than Sentret’s, and even Caterpie has more HP than it does.
Wailmer is physically imposing but its base stat total is a shockingly low 400. The large Ball Whale Pokémon’s design suggests some bulk and battling capabilities, but these ultimately don’t surface until its colossal evolved form, Wailord.
Wailmer’s simple design can toe the line between formidable and gentle giant, but none of this matters when it can’t stay up in a battle for long with poor Defense and Special Defense stats. Wailmer is ultimately a big ball of wasted energy that deserves some more offensive bite to justify its evolution into the mighty (and surprisingly light) Wailord.
Sadly, Diggersby is one of the most underwhelming Pokémon evolutions. The Normal/Ground Digging Pokémon has a formidable design with huge arms and fists as its ears, but it’s never been an effective warrior.
Diggersby even clocks in at a lowly 423 base stat total and only 56 in physical Attack. Pokémon fans came to love Clemont’s Bunnelby in the XY anime series, and fans are always disappointed that Diggersby can’t quite live up to the same reputation, despite its potential and imposing design.
Shedinja is easily the most bizarre, unique, and intriguing Pokémon of the entire roster. The Bug/Ghost type is an alternative evolution for Nincada if its trainer meets the right conditions, but while Ninjask has a base stat total of 456, Shedinja only has 236. Shedinja’s gimmick centers around the Wonder Guard ability which only lets super-effective moves hit, but since Shedinja only has 1 HP, this means that they are a one-hit knockout unless Focus Sash shenanigans are afoot.
Shedinja has such a powerful and intimidating presence, but despite its record-breaking 13-type immunities, it is rarely usable in a competitive capacity. Its other stats are unable to make up for its single HP, and its offense is lacking, making it a profound disappointment.
Graveler has always been one of the most feared wild encounters in Pokémon, from its tough design and aggressive mannerisms to its volatile and dangerous attacks like Self-Destruct and Earthquake. The evolved form of Geodude is even a persistent nuisance in the anime, and fans often view it as a wild bully that intimidates other Pokémon.
Graveler has an impressive base Defense of 115 but, despite this, its base stat total is a shockingly low 390. Even Pokémon like Roselia and Charjabug are more impressive than this living boulder. Graveler ends up being more bark than bite, despite looking like a capable battler.
Dragonair is one of those Pokémon species that could easily be the final form of its evolution line, Dratini and Dragonair would in theory be enough given their likeness to one another, while Dragonite looks completely different. Dragonair has the grace and presence of a pseudo-legendary, from the stylized wings on its head to the crystal orbs dotted about its body.
Yet Dragonair has a disappointing base stat total of 420 with no specific stats standing out or making it viable competitively beyond having an even spread across the board. Dragonair has a commanding presence, and while Clair’s Dragonair looked good in the anime, this Pokémon is generally weaker than it should be.
There is a lot to be said about how menacing and intimidating a giant metallic bird can be, but despite its imposing design, Skarmory has never quite made its mark on competitive Pokémon. Corviknight’s arrival in the Gen VIII games has pushed Skarmory even further into obscurity, despite having the same Flying/Steel type combination.
Skarmory’s base stat total is 465, which doesn’t seem too bad at first glance, but it’s underwhelming for a solo species with no further evolution. Corviknight itself has a stat total of 495, while other unassuming Flying-type Pokémon like Xatu and Unfezant also register higher totals than Skarmory. This ferocious Armor Bird Pokémon has all the ingredients to be great, fronted by its cool and battle-ready design, as well as only having two type weaknesses, eight resistances, and two immunities. However, it’s never fulfilled its promise in any Pokémon games.
Any Pokémon with an active volcano in its design should be built to impress players. Camerupt is an imposing Fire/Ground type, and the Eruption Pokémon gets even more intimidating and dangerous in its Mega form.
However, Camerupt’s original form somehow manages to miss the mark and is often seen as one of the most underwhelming Pokémon final evolutions, especially within the Fire typing. Its base stat total of 460 makes it stronger than some other Fire types like Magcargo, but it’s well below Ninetales, Arcanine, Magmar, Charizard, and even Flareon. Camerupt’s woeful Speed and disappointing base stats weigh down its impressive Attack and Special Attack making it a poor example of a Fire Pokémon.