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The best gen 8 Pokémon

If you’re going on a Galarian adventure any time soon, we’ve got the gen 8 Pokémon guide you need to build a party full of our favourite regional minds

Gen 8 Pokemon: Grimmsnarl, Polteageist, Obstagoon, and Corviknight in front of a map of galar

We’ve decided to try and pin down the best gen 8 Pokémon for the next time you feel like heading out on a Galarian adventure. Of course, Pokémon don’t disappear with the end of each generational era, so you should get your head around these creatures even if you don’t plan to revisit the wild area any time soon.

For more best-of-the-generation picks, check out our lists of gen 1 Pokémon, gen 2 Pokémon, gen 3 Pokémon, gen 4 Pokémon, gen 5 Pokémon, gen 6 Pokémon, gen 7 Pokémon, gen 9 Pokémon. Or, if you’re looking for a new roster of monsters to introduce yourself to, check out our Temtem review and see if the Pokémon-influenced title lives up to its inspiration.

So this list doesn’t just end up as all the gen eight legendaries and starters, we’ve decided to exclude them from this list (not that Inteleon would have made it anyway). So, with that caveat out of the way, let’s get into the best gen eight Pokémon.

Appletun image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


Remember I mentioned that granny smith dragon? Well, it’s Appletun, the peculiar dragon and apple crossover with its customary helmet. Sure, it’s one of the few flightless dragon Pokémon in the franchise’s long history, but it makes up for that with species-unique typing of grass and dragon, as well as its generous all round stats (except for speed, but look at the thing, do you really expect it to run?).

In the Pokédex, Appletun comes in at number 842, requiring you to get Applin a sweet apple to get this dragon on your team. As its appearance may indicate, Appletun has quite a sweet aroma, luring in various creatures, which it soon turns into its prey. Mostly it feeds on sweet apples, but small bug Pokémon who get too close are also on the menu.

To mow down this grassy dragon, get some tips from our grass Pokémon weakness article. Maybe even look at our grass Pokémon to see how it fares against other members of that type.

Barraskewda image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


Barreskewda belongs to that classic category of Pokémon that don’t look nearly as threatening as they are. With incredible attack and speed stats, access to the swift swim ability that doubles speed in the rain, and a surprisingly diverse movepool, Barraskewda is a competitive beast who makes up in ability for what they lack in imaginative design.

Claiming the number 847 spot in the Pokédex, Barraskewda evolves from Arrokuda when it reaches level 26. The fierce-looking creature has a jaw as sharp as a spear, causing maximum damage when it charges into its prey and traveling at more than 100 knots.

If you want to reel in Barraskewda, you should see what the water Pokémon weakness is.

Obstagoon image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


If you’re anything like me, before journeying into Galar you could take one look at a Linoone and say “perfect, no notes”. Then Obstagoon arrived, the mafioso-looking badger-mon with a new dark Pokémon typing and some incredibly sharp claws to slash away with, and suddenly Linoone just seems a little boring. Better still, Obstagoon’s shiny alternative is a wash of white, blue, and pink, and is one of the most exciting palette swaps across the entire roster of 1,000+ Pokémon.

Obstagoon is a fearsome foe, and while we advocate making it a member of your team, we still need to point you in the direction of our dark Pokémon weakness guide should you be unfortunate enough to face one, and considering the fact that Piers, the seventh gym leader in Sword and Shield does use one, this is a guarantee. Actually, he only uses dark-type creatures (makes sense being the dark-type leader).

Corviknight image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


For the longest time, Skarmory was the only steel bird Pokémon in the skies of the Pokémon world. Then came Pokémon Sword and Shield, with its route one flying-type Rookidee. Rookidee itself isn’t much to write home about, but its fully evolved form Corviknight is something entirely different. With killer stats, access to some powerful moves, and a typing that means your opponent will spend endless rounds trying to shoot the bird out of the sky, there’s a reason Corviknight was a staple of the early eighth-gen competitive meta.

Dealing with flying-types can be a pain, but our flying Pokémon weakness article shows you how to ground them.

Grimmsnarl image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


A Pokémon that looks and sounds like it’s just escaped from collecting coins from children under a bridge? Sign me up. Seriously though, Grimmsnarl might look ferocious, but it’s actually one of the better support fairy Pokémon, and often sees play in competitive online battles. The last thing we have to mention is Grimmsnarl’s gorgeous shiny palette, swapping out the black and green for white and pink.

To defeat the light and fluffy side of Grimmsnarl (yes, we know you can’t visibly see it), consult our fairy Pokémon weakness guide.

Greedent image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


Say what you want about Greedent, but perhaps with the exception of Bibarel, I can’t think of a much cuter early-game normal Pokémon evolution. Admittedly, Greedent makes the list through design alone, and while it might not hold its own in battle, it can at least soak up a few hits by utilising a stockpile strategy. Just look at those chubby little cheeks and try and say that Greedent isn’t an improvement on the route one normal-type evolution line.

Look, even the cute ‘mon have to be taken down a peg or two, so check out our normal Pokémon weakness article and get it over with.

Sinistea image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


How do you like your ghost Pokémon, with one sugar or two? Either way, Polteageist’s arrival in Pokémon Sword and Shield served up a surprise with one of the most ingenious Pokémon designs we’ve seen in years. Better still, Polteageist and its base form Sinistea can come in what’s known as “phony form”, hinting that somewhere in Galar there is a fake Pokémon porcelain operation. Sounds like a job for Detective Pikachu if you ask me.

Mind you, Pikachu might not be the most effective ‘mon to use in a fight, so make sure you consult our ghost Pokémon weakness guide to see who the perfect Watson is.

Esicue image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


Honestly, I don’t care if you don’t like Eiscue, I spent 30 hours breeding a shiny one, so it’s on this list. It’s true that Eiscue is one of the more divisive Pokémon in the gen eight lineup, but with its Mimikyu-type ability to survive every first hit, a decent speed stat, and access to swords dance through breeding, you can turn this penguin into an unlikely competitive sweeper, and trust me, your opponents will hate it.

However, should you come across one in battle, consult our ice Pokémon weakness guide to see how you can deal with it and other ice Pokémon.

Toxtricity image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


You can’t make a Pokémon game with British influences without including a punk rock Pokémon. Adding Toxtricity to the team is the closest we’re ever going to get to having a party with Sid Vicious, so it has to be done. With access to a bunch of ability-boosted sound-based moves, a wicked design that embraces seventies punk aesthetics, and a tricky-to-deal-with poison/electric hybrid typing, Toxtriciy is an all-around threat to any Pokémon authority.

Combating Toxtricity can seem daunting thanks to its unique type combination, but our electric Pokémon weakness and poison Pokémon weakness guides are here to help.

Dragapult image on a Galar background for best gen 8 Pokémon guide


Ok, so no legendaries on this list, but a pseudo-legendary can’t hurt, right? Wrong. Dragapult can and does hurt basically anything in its way, with a frankly ridiculous move pool and dragon/ghost typing, this aircraft carrier-influenced monster might be something of a glass cannon, but when it fires it really fires. If all that isn’t enough, it’s clear Dragapult attracts only the best trainers, as Ash himself has one on his team in the anime.

If you come across a Dragapult in battle, don’t panic. Just check out our dragon Pokémon weakness guide to learn how to defeat it.

There you have it, our picks for the best gen 8 Pokémon. For more marvelous monsters, see our picks for the best games like Pokémon. We also have Ralts evolution, Bisharp evolution, Gloom evolution, Minccino evolution, Floette evolution, Misdreavus evolution, Rockruff evolution, and more if you need a hand filling out your Pokédex.