The 30 Best Water-type Pokémon Ever (Gens 1-8)

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Ah, water types. Often the cutest of the bunch and they’re definitely the ones you want around if you need to surf you way across an ocean.

And I think the designers have done an amazing job at creating these little critters with hundreds in the roster(with some of my favorites from the gen 8 newcomers).

Plus think about it: water is one type you can choose as a starter Pokémon at the beginning of each game. Not to mention it’s the one with the most Pokémon overall.

Now for those of you who feel a connection to water bodies and want a heavy hitter on your water team, or if you want a totally water-based team like Cerulean City’s Misty, I’ve picked out 30 of the best aquatic Pokémon from every region… and ranked them!

Show those Charizard-worshippers who’s boss with these favorites from the watery genre.

30. Cramorant

Cramorant Pokemon

My first pick for the ranking is Cramorant, a blue bird inspired by the real-life cormorant.

It’s known as the gulp Pokémon and with good reason. This newer Galarian creature will always return with fish in its mouth after a move like Surf or Dive. And if attacked in this form it’ll fire it back at any opponent as a Gulp Missile.

As a Flying/Water Pokémon, Cramorant is also immune to Ground-based attacks. But it’ll have to be wary of Electric-type opponents due to its double weakness to the element.

29. Psyduck

Psyduck in the anime

Next up is also a Water-type bird, although this one has no actual way of flying.

Despite being one of the most annoying Pokémon in the anime series, where Misty used to have one around to serve as a walking comedic relief, this strange duck has garnered a sizable following of fans who find its constant migraines endearing.

28. Drednaw

Drednaw gen8 Pokemon

Inspired by snapping turtles, this Pokémon from the Galar region is so fierce that some trainers will release it back into the wilds after finding themselves unable to earn its trust and respect.

Tame it, however, and you’ll find yourself with a brutal Water/Rock type with the power to bite through whole buildings in his Gigantamax form.

And if you haven’t picked up Sword & Shield yet then totally consider adding this guy onto your team.

27. Ludicolo

Ludicolo anime pokemon

This Carefree Pokémon, as it’s described by its Pokédex entry, loves dancing and will get energetic anytime it hears a tasty rhythm.

But don’t let the sombrero and the generous eyes fool you. This Water/Grass creature can turn the tides of battle when used correctly, and it’s far more powerful than its strange appearance lets on.

Its Sp. Attack and Defense stats are among its best, which makes it a tanky sweeper that’ll benefit from moves such as Giga Drain to wear down opponents as they try fruitlessly to make a dent in its ever-recovering HP.

26. Sobble

Sobble water gen 8 starter

One of the most unique Water-type starters across the board is this watery chameleon from the Galar region.

Rather than changing colors to camouflage, this adorable Pokémon will dissolve into a body of water if it feels threatened. Which happens quite often due to its timid nature.

If dissolving is impossible, it’ll start crying special tears that make everyone around it start bawling their eyes out as well.

During the confusion it’ll slip away unnoticed. Crisis averted!

25. Crawdaunt

Crawdaunt in Pokemon anime

So, what do you do when crying just doesn’t cut it?

You fight, and you win.

At least that’s what Crawdaunt seems to believe.

Despite evolving from a super-cute Corpish, this ultra-violent Pokémon from the Hoenn region is anything but cute.

It’s known for aggressively taking over whatever body of water it chooses as its living space.

And fleeing might just be the correct choice for weaker Pokémon because Crawdaunt has an incredible Attack stat that can’t be lowered thanks to its Hyper Cutter ability.

This, coupled with a very nice variety of moves to learn, ultimately makes this Water/Dark crawfish monster a force to be reckoned with.

24. Cloyster

Cloyster in the anime

Going back to gen 1 we have this questionably-shaped Pokémon that has become infamous ever since it was introduced alongside the original 151 Pokémon.

But it’s weird shell shape and color is not the only thing remarkable about this bivalve.

As you may have expected from its appearance, this Water/Ice creature’s defense stat is through the roof. It is a talking shell, after all.

It can also have the Skill Link ability which makes multi-strike moves such as Icicle hit as many times as possible, making Cloyster into a heavily-armored chip damage machine-gun.

23. Sharpedo

Sharpedo Pokemon in the anime

First introduced in Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, this bully of the sea terrorizes both wildlife and seafaring vessels all over the Hoenn region thanks to its devastating jaw and ability to tackle at… well, torpedo-like speeds.

This shark styled Pokémon is the embodiment of the idea that the best defense is a good offense.

Its Rough Skin ability will damage whoever lands an attack on it, and with its stellar Attack, Sp. Attack and Speed it’s sure to make quick work of anything stupid enough to have tried.

22. Starmie

Starmie Pokemon anime

While not every Pokémon is viable in competitive play, most of them are useful one way or another while playing through each game’s story mode.

However, few of them are massive assets like our beloved Starmie.

This OG Water/Physic creature from generation 1 has amazing Speed and Sp. Attack. Taking that and coupling it with moves like Physic, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, and Surf is a surefire way to make quick work of essentially the whole elite 4.

21. Wishiwashi

Wishiwashi from the anime

Among the most interesting additions to the seas of the Pokémon world in generation 7 is this deceptively small fish.

Wishiwashi is called the small fry Pokémon in the Pokédex for good reason.

Not only is it remarkably weak, but it’s also delicious. An unfortunate fact known by both humans and aquatic predators.

That said, this Poison/Water Pokémon has at least one card to play before letting itself be devoured.

When threatened, it can call a mass of other Wishiwashi to form a school around it which can act as a single entity in battle and greatly boost the creature’s combat capabilities.

In its School Form, Wishiwashi has incredible stats in both offensive and defensive areas. There is strength in numbers!

Still, this form will only last a bit since once it takes too much damage the school will dissolve and abandon the delicious treat.

20. Wailord

Wailord from the anime

One of Wishiwashi’s main predators is Wailord, described by the Pokédex as being able to “swallow entire schools of Wishiwashi”.

No amount of teamwork will save the small fries from this titan of the seas.

Other than being incredibly cute, this cross between a whale and a Zeppelin boasts the title of “biggest Pokémon ever”. I believe it.

Accordingly, it has the highest base HP stat among non-legendary Pokémon. And thanks to its nice Attack and Sp. Attack values it can also pack a mean punch with water-specific moves like Hydro Pump.

19. Manaphy

Manaphy rare Pokemon

This Seafaring Pokémon was first introduced in generation IV as one of the many mythical creatures of the Sinnoh region.

This Prince of the Ocean is capable of bonding with any Pokémon it comes across, which makes him a natural leader in his environment.

Other than that, this Water-type is remarkable for being a well-rounded Pokémon, with perfectly balanced, very high stats.

Plus he has an adorable design so… need I say more? He deserves a spot on this list.

18. Omastar

Omastar Pokemon anime screenshot

In February of 2014, the audience of Twitch Plays Pokémon Red, saw the birth of something special.

From a fossil was born a powerful being, deity of the stream that all came to worship as Lord Helix.

This ancient extinct(apparently) Pokémon went on to become one of the main creatures in the crowd-controlled Red’s team, eventually leading them to victory against the elite 4.

Your Omastar may not be the same divine being, but this Rock/Water type has some good points going for it nonetheless. Especially regarding its stellar defense. Praise Helix!

17. Tentacruel

Tentacruel anime

Among the most memorable members of the original 151 Pokémon is Tentacruel, the Jellyfish Pokémon that looks more like an alien squid than it does a jellyfish.

This Water/Poison mix is known for catching prey with its 80 tentacles, a sight that would surely traumatize any onlookers.

Luckily the in-game sprites aren’t quite as graphic when employing this colossal beast in battle.

Its main features are its high Sp. Defense and Speed, which let it take some damage while making sure to poison its enemy with moves like Acid or Poison Jab. Or wear it down opponents with its powerful Hydro Pump.

Trouble is you may have to wait a while to catch one since you can usually find them through surfing which comes later in most games.

16. Kingdra

Kingdra in the anime

One of the strongest types of Pokémon in the game is Dragon-type.

So much so that they had to create Fairy-types to counter their onslaught!

It’s no surprise, then, that a Water/Dragon creature like Kingdra would be a powerful asset in most teams.

It was added in generation 2 as an evolution of Seadra that’s only achievable by trading it while holding Dragon Scale. So certainly not the easiest creature to get, but well worth the effort I think.

Its stats are extremely well-rounded and while its speed is somewhat lackluster, the situation can be improved by a rainy weather thanks to its Swift Swim ability.

15. Primarina

Primarina Pokemon anime

Not all Pokémon in the Water are known for their fierce nature or how formidable a fighter they are.

Some, like the Water/Fairy Primarina, are known for their beauty and grace.

Primarina is the final evolution of Popplio, the Water-type starter from Alolan’s generation VII.

Popplio may not be the fan favorite right away. But if you stick with the playful critter long enough, well I think you’ll be glad you did.

Known as the Soloist Pokémon, Primarina passes down an ancient melody through generations. Which they sing beautifully, by the way, dancing the night away and mesmerizing anyone lucky enough to see them in action.

14. Milotic

Milotic anime

I’d say the title of the most beautiful water critter has to go to gen 3’s Milotic.

This unique creature evolves from the super-ugly Feebas, either by maximizing their beauty with Poffins or making it hold a Prism Scale while leveling up, depending on which game you’re playing.

Other than being quite graceful, Milotic boasts an insanely high Sp. Defense and excellent HP.

This is all very well complemented by a solid Sp. Attack that is better used by teaching the majestic creature Hydro Pump through a TM.

Seeing how something as unremarkable as Feebas can turn into a sublime Milotic is enough to motivate anyone to strive to become the best version of themselves.

13. Golisopod

Golisopod in the anime

Isopods are much more than a funny meme.

They’re creepy yet strangely cute creatures that can survive in a variety of harsh environments.

In the Pokémon world they’re represented by the formidable Golisopod from the Kalos region, known as “the hard scale Pokémon” for obvious reasons.

It may not be as cute as its real-world counterpart, but this Bug/Water fighter sure knows how to put its claws to good use in battle.

It has both great Defense and Attack values, and if the going gets too rough for it to handle its Emergency Exit ability lets it escape unscathed to fight another day.

12. Empoleon

Empoleon in the anime

The Water-type starter for generation 4 is named after Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and its look was heavily influenced by the French leader as well. And I think it’s an emperor penguin too?

One hell of a pun… if that’s not enough to warrant a place in this ranking, I don’t know what is.

But there’s much more than a clever design to this Water/Steel creature.

Its Sp. Attack and Sp. Defense are excellent, which helps it take a beating and give one in return with ease.

Granted its speed is less than ideal but its typing gives it several resistances, including complete immunity to Poison.

Standing firm and taking whatever the world has to throw is what an emperor would do. And Empoleon does it like a champ.

11. Samurott

Samurott in the anime

You thought an emperor was cool?

Wait until you see the Water-type starter for generation 5!

Oshawott’s final evolution is essentially a samurai otter, complete with layered armor and a sharp horn it employs like a katana.

Thanks to the Torrent ability, Samurott’s Water-type moves become stronger whenever it’s in danger of fainting. A nice added touch that hopefully won’t come into play too often.

Coupled with remarkable values on both physical and special Attack, it’s the perfect Pokémon to turn around a difficult battle with moves like Hydro Pump or Aqua Tail, both of which it learns through leveling up.

10. Palkia

Palkia from the anime

Few things are as awe-inspiring in the Pokémon world as the creatures representing the ruling forces of the universe.

Palkia is known as the Spatial Pokémon who assisted Arceus in creating the world and now rules over space and the matter in it.

This Water/Dragon Pokémon has incredibly high stats befitting such a grandiose creature.

Not only are both its Attack values through the roof, but its Defense is enough to it to withstand whatever you throw at it.

Other than the usual Hydro Pump, Palkia has a signature Dragon-type move called Spatial Rend which is said to tear space apart for a moment. Just imagine what it does to its enemies.

9. Lapras

Lapras Pokemon anime

Few Pokémon have had as much screen-time as Lapras.

In the first few games it was Lapras’ sprite that appeared when you used Surf, regardless of which Pokémon had the move.

Even after that changed, this classic Water/Ice creature remains one of the most cherished monsters in the hearts of fans, especially those who played the original games.

According to the Pokédex, Lapras was once over-hunted by humans to the point of almost becoming extinct.

Now it is seen as a cherished and protected Pokémon and its population has exploded, creating an overabundance worldwide. Better get your hands on one if you can!

How humans ever managed to drive this powerful creature to the verge of extinction remains a mystery to me. Because with moves like Dragon Pulse, Blizzard, and Hydro Pump, I wouldn’t approach an angry Lapras for any reason.

It also has incredible HP and Sp. Defense which give it amazing durability in combat. Overall a true asset to have as your main water type.

8. Feraligatr

Feraligatr in anime

Now I think my personal favorite Water-type starter in the list is Feraligatr, first introduced in generation 2.

This savage creature evolves from Totodile(the main starter you get) which is officially the cutest Water-type according to science(or my opinion or whatever).

And what it loses in cuteness while evolving, it gains back in raw power.

Both of Feraligatr’s Attack and Defense values are stellar. And with moves like Crunch and Ice Fang to complement the usual big hitter like Hydro Pump, this guy will never be caught off-guard.

7. Kyogre

Kyogre from the anime

Known as the Sea Basin Pokémon and worshiped as the God of the Sea by the aboriginal people of the Hoenn region, Kyogre is one of the most formidable legendary Pokémon both lore-wise and in real combat.

Not only are all of its stats through the roof, but its same-element moves such as Hydro Pump and Water Spout will obliterate anything unlucky enough to anger the beast.

It even learns moves from other types such as Ice Beam which let it make quick work of almost any type of Pokémon on the field.

In his Primal form, Kyogre is said to be able to cause a flood of biblical proportions.

To represent such power, all of his stats get a sharp enhancement and it becomes immune to fire. I think it stands to reason that such a Pokémon is generally not allowed in competitive tournaments.

6. Suicune

Suicune in Pokemon anime

Of the three legendary dogs, Suicune is arguably the most powerful and also the only one with an entire game dedicated to it!

Not only that, but its design is living proof of just how creative yet polished a legendary can be.

For a mystical dog creature I’d say it looks graceful, mysterious, and the look in its eyes is one of determination. This determination is backed by great stats, especially on the defensive front.

And what does it do with all this power?

It goes around the world purifying bodies of water. Truly an inspiring water-type for your team.

5. Greninja

Greninja anime screenshot

Of the most recent addition to the series, Greninja is an easy-to-love Water-type starter and one of the most well-known Pokémon overall.

Not only has it made an appearance in the anime as one of Ash’s Pokémon, but also as a character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with Pikachu.

Although you’ll have to deal with leveling up Froakie, who is possibly one of the ugliest starters in recent memory… your reward will be sweet once you add this water ninja Pokémon as part of your team.

Not only are its Attack and Sp. Attack very high, but its speed is insane. This makes sure you’ll get a chance to land at least one devastating move before your foes.

And what really makes Greninja interesting in the competitive scene is its hidden ability, Protean, which lets it become the type of the last move it used. Talk about versatility!

4. Vaporeon

Vaporeon in the anime

If I had to pick the cutest Eeveelution, I wouldn’t think twice before choosing Vaporeon.

A feline with fins?

It’s like a cat with no weaknesses whatsoever! Although, quite honestly, that’s a bit of a scary thought.

Other than that, Vaporeon shines bright thanks to its stellar HP and overall high stats.

And even in Pokémon GO I think Vaporeon is one of the best creatures to have in a Gym battle. And back when the game only included the first generation of pocket monsters, that’s essentially the only thing you’d see guarding them.

3. Swampert

Swampert in Pokemon anime

Of all the starters, both Water-types and otherwise, Swampert has the highest overall stats.

However that isn’t the only thing that makes this Water/Ground beast so popular in competitive play.

Its typing makes it immune to Electric moves, and while it has a potent weakness against Grass-types, it can also learn several Ice-type moves to counter them. So it’s got that all wrapped up in a nice little bow.

Also Swampert’s HP, Attack, and Defense stats are just massive for a starter. And having access to Earthquake and Hammer Arm as a Water-type feels somewhat overpowered at times.

If that wasn’t enough, it can also turn into Mega Swampert which boosts all of his stats and makes him a very bulky fighter. Look into this guy, you won’t regret it.

2. Blastoise

Blastoise from the anime

Now fair is fair here: by far the most cherished and powerful water starter of them all has to be Blastoise, the first generation final evolution of Squirtle.

Sometimes, you have to get back to the basics.

This giant turtle that somehow evolved pressurized water cannons doesn’t only look like a tank, it’s also incredibly tanky in battle.

Its Defense and Sp. Defense are remarkable, and it comes with the Rain Dish hidden ability which lets it heal under rainy weather. This makes Blastoise a very durable fighter in almost every generation of the series.

However, it’s not just that Blastoise can take a lot of damage well.

It also pays back opponents with some of the most devastating moves like Skull Bash, Hydro Pump, and even Earthquake if you’re willing to spend a TM.

Did I mention it can turn into Mega Blastoise too? This thing is an absolute beast.

1. Gyarados

Gyarados in the anime

If there’s any inspiring Pokémon we should all learn from, it’s Gyarados.

This fierce creature starts as little more than a fish out of water, ridiculed by many for its lack of skills or any sort of strength… but it keeps going.

It struggles, it perseveres, and nurtures an ideal. Until one day it evolves into an insanely powerful beast with the power to level cities in a rage.

Gyarados has amazing offensive capabilities as well as some nice resistances thanks to its Water/Flying typing.

Its intimidate ability further increases its harshness in battle by decreasing any opponent’s Attack stat right away.

As if that isn’t enough, it can also become the Water/Dark Mega Gyarados and wreak havoc with increased stats. Plus its design is ferocious and it just looks so badass.

There’s no denying it in my book.

The best Water-type Pokémon has been there ever since the franchise’s inception and he’s one creature that you at least have to give brownie points for his evolutionary progress.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.