The second generation of Pokémon games added in 100 new Pokémon to bulk up the initial roster of 152. A bunch of those Pokémon have remained popular over the years, while others have kind of been forgotten by the waves of new additions made in the years following. Still, plenty of these Gen II Pokémon are still relevant, either in the form of Mega Evolutions or just good base stat distribution. It goes without saying that some of these Gen II Pokémon have been overshadowed while others are still living it in relevancy. But you may be surprised to find that there are some pretty strong Gen II Pokémon you probably just haven’t thought of in a while. On the same note, some of them just aren’t really worth the time you put into training them now, given how many alternatives you now have.
When we say strong we aren’t exactly saying that these Pokémon are top tier. Rather that they’ve got some value to you as party members and can be useful to you depending on what kind of situations you choose to use them in. Similarly, by saying a Pokémon isn’t worth training, we’re acknowledging that there are probably better alternatives out there instead.
Here are 15 surprisingly strong Gen II Pokémon and 10 that just aren’t worth it.
25 Strong: Sneasel
Sneasel is useful to trainers who plan on spending decent portions of their adventure catching as many wild Pokémon as possible. Its ability to learn Furry Swipes really helps in those clutch situations when you’re trying to lower a wild Pokémon’s health just enough to make it a smooth catch.
Though not the toughest out there, Sneasel has some fairly decent stats. Its HP is lacking, as is its Special Attack. But it has great Speed and solid Special Defense to go along with fairly high Attack. It’s an ideal glass cannon type Pokémon.
24 Strong: Noctowl
Considering how easy it is to find a Hoothoot around, Noctowl should be seen as a viable option by a lot of trainers early on in their adventures. It has pretty well rounded stats that compliment its learnset, and evolves at a fairly low level (20).
Its Attack and Defense are terrible. But it makes up for that with solid Special Attack and Defense. While its Speed is average its HP is high, allowing for it to take a decent amount of damage while dishing it out as well.
23 Weak: Gligar
There’s not all that much that draws you to Gligar as a viable long term party member. As a rotational or temporary piece, it might be useful depending on the situation you’re going into. Just don’t expect to make it a permanent member of your main six.
Gligar has some unnaturally high Defense with 105 as well as great Speed. But it has pretty low HP and mediocre Attack. With a Special Attack around half of that. It’s an alright Pokémon, just not all that consistent.
22 Strong: Lanturn
When you look at Lanturn, most of its stats don’t jump out and impress you. But this Water/Electric-type benefits pretty well from its type pairing and could be a good option as your party’s Water-type member if you were looking for something a little different.
Lanturn’s truly outstanding stat is its HP. Everything else is either mediocre or bad. Its Special stats are just good enough to be considered middling, but that’s not what’s alluring about it. Unlike most Water-types, Lanturn isn’t weak to Electric-type moves, making it a decent counter.
21 Strong: Skarmory
Ok, maybe given its appearance, it isn’t exactly surprising for us to call Skarmory a tough Pokémon. But it isn’t exactly the first thing you imagine when you picture strength in the Pokémon universe. That shouldn’t be the case though as Skarmory is actually pretty decent.
It has incredibly high Defense that’s evened out somewhat by its mediocre HP. Still, its Attack and Speed are just good enough for it to be viable in battle. With two type immunities and o ton of different type resistances, Skarmory is a fairly good looking party option.
20 Weak: Forretress
What’s most notable about Forretress is that it’s a Bug/Steel-type and that its Defense is a whopping 140. But it isn’t even the best Bug/Steel-type of its generation, and high Defense doesn’t make it unbeatable.
Forretress’ type pairing makes it extra susceptible to Fire-types moves, which hit it four times as hard. Factor in its average HP stat along with terrible Speed and you’ve got yourself an only somewhat durable immobile target. With Forretress you’re best strategy is to mindlessly attack and hope something goes right along the way.
19 Strong: Xatu
When it comes to Xatu’s stats, nothing really jumps out at you. But they’re solid, with a couple of them being well above average. One huge knock against it is its five type weaknesses. That’s a lot to have to worry about. But its well balanced stats make it something you can navigate around.
Xatu hits quick and depending on whether you’re using a Physical or Special move, hits hard enough to make it effective in battle. Its HP isn’t all that high, but it’s fast and strong enough to make quick work of opponents depending on the match-up.
18 Strong: Mantine
Mantine’s high Special Defense stat along with its solid 85 HP makes it a Pokémon you can trust to tough out battle after battle, so long as there no Electric-types involved. Despite disadvantageous Electric-type match-up it’s five resistances kind of even things out.
Mantine has good Special Attack and a ton of great Special type moves it can learn. Its Speed it average, so it might not always go first, which makes its Special Defense really convenient for how high it is.
17 Weak: Wobbuffet
If the Pokémon anime has taught us anything it’s that Wobbuffet is completely and utterly useless. Aside from an insane 190 base HP, there’s nothing all that notable about Wobbuffet’s stats, other than how bad they are.
Speed, Attack, Defense; they’re all terrible. Its HP is the only thing it has going for it, but with subpar Defense, that doesn’t matter all that much. Legitimately trying to win a battle with a Wobbuffet just isn’t worth it. It’s long, tedious and a complete waste of effort that could be put into training a half-decent Pokémon.
16 Strong: Blissey
In some ways, Blissey is a lot like Wobbuffet in that its HP dwarfs the rest of its stats. But unlike Wobbuffet, some of Blisey’s other stats are actually decent.
It has abnormally high Special Defense, along with solid Special Attack. Though its Attack and Defense are basically nothing and its Speed is fairly low, Blissey can outlast a lot of enemies. It isn’t the most offensive oriented in terms of learnset. But with the right four moves this Pokémon can get you through a lot of fights.
15 Strong: Girafarig
Despite its odd appearance, Girafarig can actually be of decent use in a battle. While none of its stats blow you out of the water, they’re just good enough to give you something to work with.
It has good Attack and Special attack, along with a decent learnset of both Physical and Special type moves. Its Defenses and Hp do leave something to be desired, but it’s decently quick – so you’re alright so long as you go first every so often.
14 Weak: Unown
They’re pretty iconic, but are the Unown really worth the effort of catching aside from being a completionist? Take a look at what these strange Pokémon have to offer – or rather how little.
The Unknown aren’t the most common Pokémon out there right now. As a result, getting your hands on one may be a bit o a hassle – a hassle that just isn’t worth your time. These things are a novelty. They only know Hidden Power and don’t cut it stat-wise.
13 Strong: Sudowoodo
Sudowoodo is a pretty lopsided Pokémon in regards to its statistical distribution. It’s certainly a unique looking Pokémon, and while people know it for its rarity most don’t acknowledge it as being very useful in battle. However it can be.
Sudowoodo has excellent Attack and Defense stats. The latter is especially handy given its low Speed stat which assures it’ll be attacking last more often than not. It knows a bunch of great Physical type attacks and packs a pretty decent punch if given a favorable match-up.
12 Weak: Togetic
Togetic can be a pretty difficult Pokémon to get your hands on, especially for trainers who aren’t all that fond of alternative methods of evolution. Togetic will only evolve from Togepi once its friendship is high enough. Considering how mediocre the Pokémon is, that seems like way too much work.
Togetic is slow and won’t really have that much max HP. Its Special stats along with its Defense are great, but that doesn’t make-up for the poorly rounded base stats.
11 Strong: Politoed
Maybe an overlooked final evolution, Politoed isn’t always the first to come to mind when talking about its evolution line – let alone strong Pokémon. But this little guy will surprise you with just how good it can be to have in battle.
Ever single stat is either average or above average. It doesn’t have any glaring faults and can take damage and do damage decently depending on the moves used. It’s nothing flashy, but a solid and reliable Pokémon for your party.
10 Weak: Hitmontop
Tyrogue has a pretty interesting evolutionary line, which made it one of the more desirable baby Pokémon when it was first introduced in Gen II. Depending on which stat was higher, either attack, defense, or a balance between the two; Tyrogue would evolve into either Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan or HItmontop. Speaking in terms of Gen II Pokémon, we focus on Hitmontop.
Considering all the preparation and effort put into acquiring this evolution, you’d think that Hitmontop would be worth the effort. But it’s a fairly average Pokémon that’s pretty slow and without all that much HP.
9 Strong: Crobat
Crobat is probably one of the best overall Pokémon in Gen II. It can be a useful member of your party throughout your adventure – though it does have an alarming four different type weaknesses.
Crobat is quick. Its abnormally high Speed stat means that it’s going to be the first to attack more often than not. It has high enough Attack to do some real damage and Defensive stats good enough that it should make it through most battles.
8 Strong: Ampharos
Ampharos is probably one of the more forgotten Gen II Pokémon. But despite that it’s an outstanding Electric-type that would make a great addition to your party. It even got its own Mega Evolution, making it even stronger.
Ampharos’ base stats are pretty decent all around, with the exception of a pretty low Speed stat. Its Special Attack is well above average and it knows some pretty strong Status type Electrical attacks. Given the right match-up and some EV training you’ve got a one shot machine.
7 Weak: Steelix
If this was Mega Steelix it would be a completely different story. But it’s not. While Steelix on its own might look like a fearsome Pokémon, it really all depends on how you use it. It isn’t as strong as you might expect it to be.
It’s HP, Attack and Defense stats are all phenomenally high. It’s these qualities that first draw you to Steelix, but it does have its faults as well. Low Speed along with highly subpar Special Defence makes it susceptible to Special type moves – making its high Defense a moot feature.
6 Strong: Miltank
While you might not expect it with its lax and cheerful appearance, Miltank is actually a pretty strong Pokémon given it knows the right moves. It can tank during a battle but also move around quickly and deal some decent damage.
Miltank has some pretty well-rounded stats. Its only real weak point is its Special Attack. Other than that it has high Defense, HP, and Speed. Put that together with some pretty solid Attack and you’ve got the makings of an ideal party member.
5 Weak: Jumpluff
Jumpluff is a quick hitter with some pretty strong Grass-type moves in its learnset that are sadly made irrelevant by awful Attack and Special Attack stats. Though it does possess high Speed, Jumpluff shouldn’t be used as a glass cannon.
Both its Defense and Special Defense are high enough that it shouldn’t get one-shotted out of battle in most situations. But with its lackluster Attack stats, it won’t be winning many fights with brute force either. All in all it just isn’t worth the headache.
4 Weak: Espeon
One of the more well known and popular Eeveelutions out there, Espeon is a Pokémon that many are familiar with. But considering its evolution method, and the extra effort that goes into getting your Eevee to evolve as a result, you’d expect to get something better than a glorified glass cannon.
That’s just what Espeon is though. With incredible Speed and Special Attack, it’s a glass cannon through and through. It does posses some really solid Special Defense, but its low HP and Defense stats give you a way around that.
3 Strong: Slowking
Maybe it’s because it comes from a Slowpoke that some people just overlook Slowking completely. After all, it does have the same dull-looking face as the former. But don’t be fooled; Slowking is a solid Pokémon to have in your party.
Slowking’s only glaring weakness is its Speed stat. At 30 it’s about as bad as it gets. Luckily it has solid Defense and fantastic Special Defense which means it can take a decent amount of damage in battle. Its Special Attack is also fairly high, and can be taken advantage of with some of the Special type moves in its learnset.
2 Weak: Meganium
You might be surprised with seeing a starter evolution so high on this list. Meganium isn’t necessarily a bad Pokémon to have; it’s just a challenge to train and use effectively in battle.
Meganium actually has some pretty good and well-rounded stats. It’s built as a tank though, with fairly high defensive stats. Everything else is pretty solid as well. The biggest flaw with Meganium is that you can get Pokémon with similar stats that’ll do more for you instead.
1 Strong: Porygon2
Probably one of the simplest looking yet memorable Pokémon designs in the franchise, Porygon2 doesn’t really strike you as a good fighting partner. That’s exactly what makes it such an easy choice for this list.
Porygon2 isn’t going to be the fastest Pokémon in your party (hopefully not), but it certainly may be one of your favorites. Its versatile learnset, along with well-rounded stats – with an exceptionally high Special Attack – makes this Pokémon an ideal choice for trainers who aren’t afraid of tracking down those harder to obtain Pokémon.