The best Water-type Pokémon of all time, ranked

Blue, fire-resistant, and found in the sea—what's not to love?

Image via The Pokémon Company

Water-type Pokémon are a staple in the series and one of the first types to exist in the main-series games.

Every player has been faced with the dilemma of whether to choose a Grass, Fire, or Water-type companion for the beginning of their journey in a new region, and we’re in the camp that picks a Water-type starter nearly every single time.

Water types often share characteristics—they are usually blue, have design elements that incorporate real-life sea creatures, and provide resistance to Fire. But not all Water Pokémon are created equal.

From those that annoy players from their abundance in the sea to unique and hard-to-catch legendaries, here are the best Water-type Pokémon of all time.

List of the best Water-type Pokémon of all time, ranked

10) Magikarp

Image via Serebii

Magikarp is probably the most underwhelming well-known Pokémon in the series. It can really only Splash, Tackle, and Flail. The Pokémon is even referred to as “a pathetic excuse for a Pokémon” in the Pokédex of Pokémon Omega Ruby. So why is Magikarp even on this list? 

Magikarp shows us that even a useless Pokémon can be beloved. Not to mention how with love and care, the floppy fish can evolve into Gyarados, a powerful addition to any team. Magikarp also serves a role as a common species in the overworld in the anime and is an important part of the ecosystem, although it unfortunately also serves as a food source.

9) Ludicolo

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Unless you have played Pokémon Colosseum or Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, you might be wondering why Ludicolo even made this list. Ludicolo is a dual-typed Water-Grass Pokémon that resembles a pineapple, known for its endless bobbing-back-and-forth dance.

Ludicolo has a rich history in some of the side games in the Pokémon franchise, and loyal fans won’t forget Miror B. from Colosseum and Gale of Darkness, a character who battles the player multiple times with four Ludicolo on his team. Mirror B’s entire vibe is pretty hypnotic, but add in the dancing Ludicolos over and over and it becomes quite a spectacle. If you’re a fan of the main series games and haven’t seen Miror B. and his Ludicolo, it’s definitely worth checking out.

8) Gastrodon

Screengrab via Nintendo

Gastrodon has been a criminally underrated Water-type until recently when Rinya Kobayashi used a Gastrodon on their team in the 2021 Pokémon Japan Championships to get second place. Since then, players all over the world have been copying the strategy and putting Gastrodon’s defensive stats to use. If you hop on the VCG competitive ladder now, you’ll undoubtedly see lots of Gastrodon.

Uniquely, this Pokémon has two different color schemes in addition to their respective Shinies. The pink version of Gastrodon canonically comes from the West Sea of the Sinnoh region, and the blue version comes from the East Sea. They also have slightly different-shaped fins on top of their heads. While Gastrodon does appear in games other than Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the Sinnoh region is the origin of the Pokémon and also its two variants. In more recent games, only one type of Gastrodon is usually available for players to catch in the wild.

7) Wooper

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Wooper has become a popular Pokémon in recent years. The popular beta Wooper design leak also turned many fans’ eyes toward this cute Water-Ground dual-typed Pokémon. Wooper riding a roller skate like a skateboard in the anime episode Trouble in Big Town has also become an iconic fan favorite.

Wooper’s design is based on the axolotl, an underwater lizard with ornate gills extending off the side of its head. Wooper’s gills are a bit less fancy, and the species is known to have a personality that is a bit oblivious, with its hidden ability being Unaware.

Wooper’s evolution, Quagsire, can make a fantastic defensive asset to your team in the main series game as well. Quagsire has a lot of HP and makes good use of the “Unaware” hidden ability in battle. Evolving your cute Wooper is worth it, trust us.

6) Suicune

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Suicune is the first legendary Pokémon on this list and is the cover Pokémon on the box art for Pokémon Crystal. Suicune is definitely a favorite among Pokémon players that grew up with the Generation Two games and their remakes. Standing over six feet tall, Suicine is a powerful beast that was resurrected along with Entei and Raikou and holds incredible power over water.

In the anime, Suicine is always portrayed as a sleek, fleeting Pokémon that is incredibly powerful and seemingly out-of-reach for any trainer. But in competitive play, trainers definitely can and should add a Suicune to their team if they are a fan of the Pokémon (and if they can catch it). Suicune offers a sophisticated offensive strategy that can help sweep opposing teams off their feet.

5) Milotic

Screengrab via The Pokémon Company

Milotic is one of the most beautiful and elegant Pokémon in any of the games. Similar to Gyarados, Milotic is a large floating beast with a snake-like long body. Also like Gyarados, Milotic evolves from an extremely useless and underwhelming fish.

Feebas is one of the dullest and most boring Pokémon designs in the game—it’s a brown fish with unsuspecting hidden abilities and a population that extends over nearly every body of water in the game. But the opportunity to level into Milotic gives Feebas a world of potential.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, however, the Pokémon Company gave trainers more incentive to hunt Feebas, by drastically decreasing their spawn location and catch rate. Shiny Feebas is considered one of the hardest Shinies to find in the Generation Eight games.

4) Greninja

Image by Taiga Kasai via The Pokémon Company

Greninja is an example of a final evolution of a starter Pokémon that has grown to become more popular than its original form. Greninja is the final evolution of Froakie, the Water-type starter from Pokémon X and Y. Upon evolving, Greninja becomes a dual-typed Water and Dark Pokémon that uses ninja-like swiftness to overwhelm its enemies, while still carrying the trademark designs of a Water type. It’s pretty clear that at some point, Greninja was a small frog or tadpole, due to its toes and long pink tongue.

Greninja also appears in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, along with fellow final-evolution starter Incineroar. In the game, Greninja has some of the fastest speeds in the roster and is a character that is used in a playstyle that maximizes these abilities. Overall, Greninja is a great Water-type design because of the perfect combination of clear Water-species characteristics with the unique component of being a stealthy ninja.

3) Squirtle

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Squirtle is a classic, so there was no way the classic turtle Pokémon wouldn’t be on this list. Squirtle is a true OG, a Pokémon that started it all for so many players. As Generation One’s Water-type starter, Squirtle has stood the test of time.

One of Squirtle’s most memorable appearances in the anime is certainly the appearance of the Squirtle Squad, a rogue group of trainerless Squirtle who all sport cool sunglasses. Protagonist Ash would go on to catch the leader of the squad and turn him into a companion. Squirtle has also made many appearances in games outside of the main series, including the most recent installment of the Super Smash Bros series, where Squirtle is the first playable Pokémon that Pokémon Trainer brings out to fight.

Squirtle’s final evolution, Blastoise, is very powerful and useful in battle in the main-series games and has been used recently in the professional competitive circuit as well. What we also appreciate about the Squirtle line is that each evolution maintains the innate characteristics that make Squirtle so lovable in the first place. It’s easy to tell that every Blastoise was once a cute Squirtle using “tackle” for the first time.

2) Mudkip

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Though there might be quite a controversy in ranking this Generation Three water starter over the classic Squirtle, Mudkip is certainly one of the best water Pokémon of all time. Mudkip’s design is based on the mudskipper fish, though some fans also think Mudkip’s head fins could also take inspiration from the axolotl. Mudkip is a cute little blue fish, and according to the Pokémon game’s lore, the species can be found in wetlands and swamps.

While playing through the Generation Three games and their remakes, you can’t go wrong in choosing Mudkip as your first companion. While the line’s middle evolution is often forgotten in favor of Swampert and Mega Swampert, Marshtomp is truly emblematic of an “awkward teenage phase” for Mudkip as it evolves, and we find that incredibly charming.

Mudkip also has several appearances in the Pokémon anime, most notably as a companion of Brock and later May. Mudkip is also available as a partner Pokémon in nearly every Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game and has a distinct personality that definitely adds to the gameplay of this non-main series game.

1) Kyogre

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Kyogre is one of the most powerful water Pokémon of all time. The whale is one of the cover legendary Pokémon from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire and has the unique ability to go into its primal form and double its size. The three super-ancient Pokémon are Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquayza, who all have the ability to revert to their primal forms. Originating in Hoenn, known as the region in the main games with endless routes that traverse through water, it is no surprise that Kyogre has the power to control oceans and the rain.

Kyogre is not only powerful lore-wise but is also currently a popular addition to competitive teams. Building your team around a Kyogre is a smart idea if you’re looking to get into competitive Pokémon or are shaking up your team lineup.

Kyogre has an excellent design, and amazing abilities, and utilizes the primal form gimmick in an effective way that actually makes sense in Ruby and Sapphire’s story.