There are now, officially, 1,000 Pokémon making up the Pokédex. Here, we’ll run through our choices for the best gen 9 Pokemon that you can discover in the Paldea region, and why we’ve chosen them. There won’t be any Legendaries or Starters here, as that feels like cheating, but we include a good selection of friendly faces. Skeledirge did nearly make it onto the list, though!
Need a hand getting through Paldea’s challenges? We’ve got a page all about the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Elite Four, and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet gym leaders. Oh, and here are the working Pokemon Scarlet and Violet mystery gift codes, too.
The best generation 9 Pokémon
Cetoddle is adorable. It’s known as the Terra Whale Pokémon and is thought to be a bipedal, land-dwelling relative of Wailmer. This round friend is constantly happy, and can brighten any trainer’s mood with a flash of its smile. It also excels in battle, even before it evolves into Cetitan, with its array of Ice and Normal moves.
After seven generations, GameFreak revisited Girafarig and granted an evolution. Upon learning its brand-new signature move Twin Beam, Farigiraf takes the second head of Girafarig and turns it into a sort of helmet that protects the original head. What’s really cool about Farigiraf coming in gen nine is that Decennatherium fossils were only found in Spain, which Paldea is based on. The ancient animal resembled a giraffe and an Okapi, much like Farigiraf does, so we believe it’s a nice nod to the extinct beast!
Coming in at Pokedex number 1,000 is Gholdengo, the evolution of Gimmighoul for those lucky enough to earn enough coins. While the design of Gholdengo is divisive, it has one of the best abilities in the game: Good As Gold. This ability prevents Gholdengo from fainting, taking damage from Curse, and Strength Sap. Coupled with the Make It Rain move that not only damages opponents but leaves behind a hefty amount of coins to pick up!
This ancient elephant ‘mon lives up to its name. It’s a Paradox variant of Donphan, or some sort of ancient relative. Great Tusk, for a Titan, is an easy catch and appears to most Trainers after the battle is done. It has some hefty moves and can be used immediately to destroy the competition.
Food Pokémon are always welcome, and recently we’ve been getting some more intricate designs like Alcremie of Galar. This generation brings Tatsugiri, the Mimicry Pokémon, that comes in three forms: Curly, Droopy, or Stretchy. These forms resemble different kinds of sushi, and have different poses when the Tatsugiri is threatened. It works with Dondozo, another new generation nine ‘Mon, and has the Commander ability, which can seriously buff Dondozo’s stats. Don’t overlook this little fishy friend!
Have you noticed those tiny, bulb-like things on cave walls as you venture around Paldea? They’re likely Glimmets, which evolve into Glimmora. It’s a dual rock and poison-type, known as an ‘Ore Pokémon’. Plus, it resembles the Deadly Nightshade flower, which is cool. Glimmora’s ‘petals’ are formed of crystallised poison, so you don’t want to get close – but you definitely do want it on your team. Glimmora can learn the new move Mortal Spin, which can remove binding effects placed on the Pokémon while also doing some damage.
Paldea seemed to give us quite a few dog Pokémon to choose from, but while they’re all good boys, Greavard stands out above some others. The Ghost Dog Pokémon hides in the snow for passers-by to come close and then pops out to scare them. The spookiness doesn’t stop there, though – Greavard is allegedly the ghost of a dog that died alone in the wild, and as such, they are very friendly towards people… though it can drain one’s life force. Like a lot of other generation nine entries, Greavard is a nod to Spain’s culture, specifically the dog-shaped spirits in Spanish mythology that threaten human life.
The evolution to Fidough, the doughy dog of Paldea, is Dachsbun. A dog, and vaguely a bread product? Ideal. But that’s not all – despite having a fairy-type, Dachsbun can learn ghost and dark type moves, and is even immune to any fire-type attacks due to its ability, ‘Well-Baked Body’. What’s not to love about this pure bread Pokémon?
Another surprise evolution in the Paldea region is Annihilape, a gothic, third-stage evolution to Mankey. The story of its evolution is as follows: as a Primeape, it got so angry that it transcended its physical form and became a ghost. In this state, it continues to use Rage Fist and is a very strong Pokémon – anyone who’s battled the Fighting Crew’s leader Eri knows its true strength. Annihilape is a great addition, not only for its quirky lore and robust abilities but for the name itself.
This isn’t a ranked list, but this is number one. Meet Clodsire, the evolution of the Paldean Wooper variant. Interestingly, its design appears to be based on the Spanish ribbed newt, which explains its appearance in Paldea.
Look at it. Do we need to explain why this is the best Pokémon in generation nine? Well, we will anyway. Not only is Clodsire absolutely friend-shaped, but it comes with a good moveset that can wash away the competition, including the chance to poison foes that come into contact with Clodsire, thanks to the poisonous spikes that extend from its back.