The Best Normal-Type Pokémon in Emerald & ORAS

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Hoenn is full of some of the most unique Normal-types to ever be released.

And with some truly outlandish designs, Generation 3’s Normal-types are a sight to behold.

But how do they stack up in battle?

Well here are my choices for the best Normal-type Pokémon you can add into your Gen 3(or Gen 6) team.


5. Linoone

Linoone Pokedex in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire screenshot

Linoone is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a Normal-type that you can pick up early.

It’s pre-evolution, Zigzagoon, can be found on the very first Route. And it can learn Headbutt at level 9.

Headbutt is by far the strongest move that any of your Pokémon could have at this point in the game, so Zigzagoon will see a ton of use for the first few Gym battles.

Once you reach Slateport City, pick up Thunder Wave from the traveling TM Salesman (TM73) to paralyze foes and keep Linoone alive.

With that said, I don’t recommend keeping Linoone for your whole playthrough.

While it can get you through the first few Gyms pretty well, it’ll fall off majorly in the second half.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t catch one though – Linoone is one of the strongest Pokémon in the early hours of the game.

How to catch: You can catch a Zigzagoon as early as Route 101. Evolve it into Linoone by raising it to level 20.


4. Slaking

Slaking Pokedex in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire screenshot

Slaking is a unique Pokémon with a very, very strange ability.

Truant forces Slaking to rest every other turn, effectively halving its damage output.

Slaking’s Legendary-tier stats make up for it a bit… but they’re not quite enough to offset the drop in damage that taking a full turn off brings with it.

If you want to use Slaking, you’ll have to focus on doing as much damage as possible in the turns when it’s active. Luckily, Slaking’s monstrous physical attack stat makes that pretty easy to do.

Giga Impact is Slaking’s best STAB move by far. And since it requires the user to take the next turn off anyway, we’re not really losing anything by having Slaking use it.

You can buy this move (TM68) at the Lilycove Department Store.

Next, consider teaching Slaking Shadow Claw with TM65 found in Granite Cave. This can one-shot any Fighting-types that could take out Slaking while it’s lazing around.

And finally, pick up Earthquake from the Seafloor Cavern (TM26) to deal some massive damage to anything that resists Normal or Ghost-type moves.

How to catch: Catch a Slakoth in Petalburg Woods, then raise it to level 18 to evolve it into Vigoroth. Vigoroth will evolve into Slaking starting at level 36.


3. Zangoose

Zangoose Pokedex in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire screenshot

First things first:

Zangoose is not available in Alpha Sapphire or Emerald. So unless you’re playing Omega Ruby, you’ll unfortunately be missing out on Zangoose (unless you can get it via trade).

That said, Zangoose is a very typical Normal-type on the surface.

Its typing is okay, and other than its physical attack, its stats need some work.

But Zangoose has a secret weapon: its absolutely enormous move pool.

So let’s get right into a good moveset build for this thing:

We’ll take advantage of Zangoose’s move pool to give it as much ammunition to use its high physical attack stat.

At level 22, Zangoose will learn Revenge, a Fighting-type move that deals double damage if Zigzagoon moves second.

Then teach Zigzagoon Crush Claw at level 26 for some STAB damage, as well as X-scissor at level 40 for the highest Bug-type damage in the game.

Finally, teach Zigzagoon Swords Dance at level 47 to boost its already high attack stat.

How to catch: Zigzagoon can be caught on Route 114 in Ruby and Omega Ruby only.


2. Exploud

Exploud Pokedex in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire screenshot

Exploud is a hyper-offensive pure Normal-type, based around sound-based moves.

Its Soundproof ability makes it immune to sound-based moves like Metal Sound and Disarming Voice, and it even has a signature sound-based attack, Boomburst.

Boomburst will be Exploud’s main STAB move, so take it to the Fallarbor Town Move Reminder as soon as Loudred evolves. That way it can learn Boomburst ASAP.

Once you hit Mt. Pyre, pick up the TM for Shadow Ball (TM30).

This provides coverage for Exploud’s only weakness, Fighting-type moves.

Towards the end of the game we can round out Exploud’s moveset with two more TMs:

Brick Break (TM31) and Earthquake (TM26).

Brick Break can be found in Sootopolis City, while Earthquake is found in the Seafloor Cavern.

How to catch: Catch a Whismur in Rusturf Tunnel, then raise it to level 20 to evolve it into Loudred. Loudred will evolve again into Exploud, starting at level 40.


1. Swellow

Swellow Pokedex in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire screenshot

Swellow is one of the best “Route 1 birds” in the Pokémon series.

And it’s an excellent Normal/Flying-type to have on your team, whether you’re playing ORAS or RSE.

It might not seem that special at first…

But its added Flying-type and strong move pool more than make up for its lackluster stats.

Taillow, Swellow’s pre-evolution, will easily one-shot the Dewford City Gym. And from that point it’ll remain a strong party member right until the end credits.

The best way to use Swellow is with evasion tactics.

Double Team is the key move here, and will make Swellow more evasive to enemy attacks each time you use it.

As anyone who’s played Gen 4 will know, six Double Teams can make a fight all but unwinnable for an opponent.

So once Swellow is evasive enough, you can use Aerial Ace to take out foes with some high power STAB damage. Taillow learns Aerial Ace at level 21.

You can also teach Swellow the Fly HM for some added STAB, and for the benefit of overworld fast-traveling.

Although this is less important if you’re playing the ORAS remakes thanks to the new soaring mechanic.

Then to round out your moveset, you can grab Steel Wing (TM51) from Steven in Granite Cave. It offers great coverage for Swellow’s weakness to Ice-type moves.

How to catch: Catch a Taillow on Route 104, then raise it to level 22 to evolve it into Swellow.

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Jack Salter

Jack is a writer from the UK that spends too much time Nuzlocking the Pokémon series. After a crushing defeat, he relaxes by rewatching Attack On Titan in the hope that it'll make the final season come out sooner - It never does.