20 Best Held Items in Pokémon History (From All Games)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).

Held items are an integral part of competitive Pokémon play. Not to mention a fun addition for more casual play.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of random knick-knacks that seemingly have godlike powers when held by weird little monsters. But some of them are better than the rest.

We’re only talking about the best of the best here. So leave your Incense and Oran Berries at the door while we look at the absolute best-held items in Pokémon history.


20. Quick Claw

Get Quick Claw in Pokemon USUM

There’s this weird niche of Pokémon that have phenomenal attacking power, but lack just the tiniest bit of speed needed to turn them into a complete powerhouse.

The Quick Claw is a solution to that problem, although only slightly.

The item gives your Pokémon a 20% percent chance to automatically go first in a turn.

This RNG-based mechanic means that Quick Claw doesn’t get much competitive use. But it can come in handy in a casual playthrough.


19. Power Items

Inside Pokecenter PC Pokemon SwSh

I’m sort of cheating with this entry, but if you have a problem with that – you know where I live.

While not used in battle, competitive Pokémon wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is today without this series of items.

It accelerates the EV training process dramatically, making it much more accessible than it otherwise would be. If combined with Pokérus, it can turn EV training into a minutes-long process instead of an hours long process.


18. Weakness Policy

Eletronic Bird Thing in Pokemon SwSh

Weakness Policy is a particularly niche item that you can make a team built around.

For those unaware, when the item holder gets hit by a move it’s weak to, it gets a two-stage increase to attack and SP. Attack.

The trouble with using this item is actually surviving a super-effective hit.

If you can, though, it’s often enough of an attack bump to sweep the rest of your opponent’s team.

It’s not an item you’re going to use too much in either casual play or at the top of the competitive metagame. But it can be fun to use in the brackets in between.


17. Light Clay

Light Clay Location in Pokemon SwSh

Light Clay is another niche item, but it is significantly more powerful than Weakness Policy.

Screen teams aren’t too uncommon to see in the competitive world. While not my style of play, I get the appeal of halving the damage that your opponent’s entire team does.

Light Clay reinforces screen teams by increasing the duration of the moves from five turns to eight.

One move and your team take 50% percent less damage for eight entire turns; it’s horrible to play against, but oh so fun to be the one doing the screening.


16. Assault Vest

Assault Vest Location in Pokemon SwSh

Ever wanted to turn your adorable little Pokémon into a hardened military SWAT unit?

Me too.

This strange-looking held item increases your Pokémon’s Sp. Defense by 50% percent. I would argue it should be physical defense on account of it being a bulletproof vest, but what do I know?

The trade-off for this defense boost is the inability to use status effect moves.

This is actually more impactful than it may seem, given that you’re going to want to use this item on your stalls and tanks. But it is certainly worth the benefits.


15. Lucky Egg

Lucky Egg Location in Pokemon Shield

Like the Power Items, the Lucky Egg hasn’t got an actual battle application.

But it’s the battle preparation that makes it so powerful.

The reason why Chansey’s egg lets other Pokémon earn experience faster is anyone’s guess, cause I definitely don’t know.

The fact of the matter is that it does, though. So you should be stuffing you lower-level Pokémon with these eggs once you’re down your EV training. It’s going to make leveling them up significantly faster.


14. Damage Reduction Berries

Big Berry Tree in Pokemon SwSh

This isn’t one particular item, but rather a class of items that do the same thing for different types.

Overly complicated explanation for a simple concept aside, these berries are self-explanatory.

When the Pokémon holding one gets hit by a super-effective move that matches the berry, the damage from it is reduced by half.

It’s like the opposite of Weakness Policy and is particularly useful when you need to throw your glass cannon into a scary situation.


13. Mega Stones

Pokemon Alakazam Mega Stone Location - X & Y

Time for Captain Obvious to make his mark on this list.

I feel like Mega Stones being some of the best-held items should go without saying. But it can’t hurt to bring them up.

If you somehow don’t know what mega evolving is, well just check this out. A bit of Googling will get you up to speed.

What I can tell you, though, is that it’s a once per battle effect that you can use on certain Pokémon to massively increase their stats and give them access to powerful moves.

The difference in strength between mega evolved and non-mega evolved Pokémon is night and day. Which is why Mega Stones have to be mentioned here.


12. Z-Crystals

Get Z-Crystal Screenshot in USUM

Sike, I did it again! Z-Crystals operate in a very similar way to mega stones, albeit not being nearly as powerful.

All the same, it earns its spot on this list.

Introduced in Gen VII, Z-Crystals let you upgrade certain moves to newer, more powerful variants. It’s typically based on type. But there are special crystals that are exclusive to certain Pokémon.

These unique moves tend to be particularly powerful.

Enough so to make non-competitive Pokémon viable in certain environments.


11. Sitrus Berry

Berry Tree in Pokemon SwSh

The Sitrus Berry is a simple little snack that can actually have massive consequences on the flow of a battle.

The berry can be chomped down by the holder to heal 25% percent of their total HP.

25% percent might not sound like a lot, especially to a casual player. But that can be a massive difference in a competitive gauntlet.

It’s essentially the good old-fashioned Oran Berry on steroids. Which is all you need to hear to recognize the potential of this one.


10. Lum Berry

Berry Bush in Pokemon X

People tend to have different tastes when it comes to picking out the best berry. Get it? Taste? Because it’s a berry?

Lum berries are my favorite for one simple reason, versatility.

Damage Reducing Berries are situational and require distinct events to happen in order for one to be used. Sitrus Berries aren’t as specific but only do one thing.

Lum Berries, on the other hand, can work in a million different situations. What it does is heal your Pokémon’s status condition. That’s it.

Paralysis, burn, sleep, poison, it doesn’t matter.

You can put Lum Berries onto any Pokémon on your team, and chances are you’re going to get some decent value out of it.


9. Expert Belt

Get Expert Belt - Pokemon SwSh Screenshot

Now we’re getting into the meaty competitive items.

At the start of that list, in my opinion, it the expert belt.

That’s not to say it’s bad; it wouldn’t be on this list if it was useless. All I’m suggesting is that it isn’t as good as the items you’ll find if you keep on reading the list.

So the Expert Belt slightly strengthens the damage of your Pokémon’s super effective attacks. It doesn’t sound like it would be all that good, but you need to remember the difference between casual and competitive play.

In a regular PvE battle, your super-effective moves are probably going to OHKO your opponent.

In competitive, it isn’t as clear cut. That slight extra damage boost is often enough to push your attacks over the edge.

IV and EV distribution are very precise, sometimes done deliberately so that a Pokémon can survive an attack from a meta-built counter to it. An Expert Belt serves as a counter to that.


8. Safety Goggles

Safety Goggles in Pokemon SwSh

Safety Goggles made a splash in the competitive scene when it was introduced in Gen VI.

It prevents the holder from being affected by spore and powder moves, so it’s effectively a slightly worse Lum Berry.

Where it really shines, though, is its other effect.

The Safety Goggles prevent the holder from being affected by damage from the weather. While not all that good in casual play, this is invaluable in competitive.

Sandstorm teams are super popular and will be for a very long time. Equipping the right Pokémon with Safety Goggles can completely break teams that rely on strategies like this.


7. Choice Specs

Pokemon Choice Specs in UsUm

These next three entries are all similar to one another, with only one major difference between them. Despite that, though, this set is perhaps the most commonly used in all of the competitive Pokémon battling scene.

All of the “Choice” items boost a particular stat but lock your Pokémon into one move. At first glance, you might dismiss this entirely. But it is a central part of any competent sweeping team.

For Choice Specs, you get an Sp. Attack boost. If you can set your team up with some Sp. Attack boosting moves, Baton Pass into your sweeper, and get the boost from the specs, then you’re probably going to be able to wipe through the rest of your opponent’s team with OHKOs.

It feels unbelievably satisfying to watch your opponent’s eyes go wide in horror as their expertly crafted team gets completely obliterated, and that wouldn’t be possible without these items.


6. Choice Band

Choice Band Location in SwSh

The Choice Band does the exact same thing as the Specs, but instead of Sp. Attack it’s your Pokémon’s regular attack.

The same logic follows with this accessory.

You set your team up to Baton Pass into your sweeper and just go to town on any of your opponent’s Pokémon that are left.


5. Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf location in SwSh

Last but not least, we have the Choice Scarf.

The Scarf variant is actually a little different than the other two.

Instead of boosting damage output, it boosts your Pokémon’s speed. This makes it infinitely better than the other two, with some Choice Scarf users not even needing to play around a Baton Pass.

A lot of the hardest hitting sweepers out there have godly attack power but only decent speed. Think of the likes of Haxorus.

It’s not that their speed is bad. It’s just going to be outclassed by an opponent’s speed-based counter.

Choice Scarf does away with that notion, giving a lot of powerhouses the extra oomph that they need to absolutely wreck shop.

Next time you’re building a team, try it.

Make yourself a killer Haxorus or Garchomp and equip it with a Choice Scarf. You’re going to be shocked by how effective it is.


4. Life Orb

Sw/Sh Life Orb Location Screenshot

The Life Orb has a simple yet deadly effect.

Your Pokémon’s attacks do 1.3x damage, but every time it hits, you lose 1/10 of your max HP.

When you consider how precisely health and damage variables are calculated in competitive, this trade-off is more than worth it.

Hard hitters like Aegislash and Blaziken tend to run Life Orb even at the highest level of play. It’s not uncommon to see builds of this nature all the way up at the Pokémon Championships.

If the pros are using it, then you should be, too.


3. Focus Sash

Sword/Shield Focus Slash Location

Yet another item that benefits sweepers, the Focus Sash.

Much more technical than the choice items.

If your Pokémon is at full health and would be knocked out in one hit, this lets it hold on with 1HP. You’re running a high-risk strategy when you play around this item, but it effectively gives you a free turn to set up your sweeper.

You can swap into a sweeper, set up the likes of a Swords Dance while taking whatever hit your opponent throws at you, and proceed to mop the floor with the team they’ve spent hundreds of hours putting together.


2. Toxic Orb

Toxic Orb Mart Pokeball guy

The Toxic Orb is admittedly a bit niche to occupy a spot this high on the list, but it’s one of my favorites, so deal with it.

It’s actually nothing like the Life Orb.

All it does is inflict the holder with poison. “Why would you want to do that?” I hear you cry out, thinking me a fool!

Well, I have one word for you: Breloom.

Breloom is, by far, my favorite competitive Pokémon to run. It’s the ultimate wall.

To complement that, it has an ability called Poison Heal. That is exactly what it says on the tin.

In fact, that heal is actually 1/8 of its max health every turn. Combine that ability with a Pokémon that can learn leaching moves like Leech Seed, and you have an unkillable monster.

It’s not just Breloom that can use this item to effect, but it’s the most obvious.


1. Leftovers

Screenshot inside Celadon City Restaurant Diner

On the other hand, any staller can get max use of leftovers effectively.

Attack-based items may have dominated the majority of this list. But the final spots are reserved for tank-based items.

Every turn, leftovers restore 1/16 of your Pokémon’s max health.

Stallers like Blissey and Snorlax, in particular, love this item.

The constant healing on a health and defense juggernaut can completely ruin your opponent’s day, both figuratively and literally. And if NPCs in the game had feelings, I’m sure they’d hate this item too.

If an item can make your opponent frustrated to the point of forfeit, then you know it’s worth using.

Browse: Video Games