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25 Most Powerful Pokémon That Ash Has Ever Owned

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Ash Ketchum has caught many different Pokémon on his journeys in the anime. All these Pokémon have aided him on his journey to becoming a true Pokémon Master. Ash has caught various Pokémon to build standout teams in each region and generation, and he’s acquired many more since his signature starter Pikachu.

RELATED: 10 Ash Ketchum Pokémon That Got Stronger Off-Screen

Ash’s most impressive and elite-level Pokémon have made numerous appearances throughout the anime. While some get much more exposure and time to show off their skills than others, the worth of Ash’s most powerful Pokémon still manages to shine through. Said power is often shown through sheer force and offense, but on numerous occasions, Ash’s smaller Pokémon have stepped up in a big way.

Updated on January 5th, 2023 by Tom Steel: As Ash has traveled to new regions, there has always been an air of inevitability that he will encounter and acquire new, powerful Pokémon to join his ranks. In recent years, many of these new acquisitions have helped Ash achieve his dreams in becoming the Pokémon Champion of the Alola region and more recently the winner of the Masters Eight Tournament. As Ash’s journey in the anime draws to a close, this list has been updated to include and reflect on even more of Ash’s strongest Pokémon.

25/25 Goodra Underperformed At The Lumiose Conference After Building Up A Formidable Reputation

Evolved From Sliggoo: Episode 864

Ash releases his Goodra during his Kalos Journey in Pokemon

Goodra was a part of a solid team that Ash amassed during his Kalos campaign, that arguably should have won him his first Pokémon League title. Goodra put on a few impressive showings before it was released to defend its homeland, but came back to aid Ash in the Lumiose Conference.

Goodra disappointed in its Pokémon League showing, but the pure Dragon type still showed plenty of promise. Goodra is a pseudo-legendary with an incredibly diverse movepool that would be a valuable addition to any team.

24/25 Torracat Evolved Into Incineroar After Being A Vital Part Of Ash’s Winning Team In Alola

Evolved From Torracat: Episode 1,082

Ash's Torracat vs Kukui's Incineroar, in the Pokemon anime

Ash never got the best out of his Incineroar during Sun & Moon in Alola. Ash’s Torracat was driven forward by its rivalry with the Masked Royal’s Incineroar, which resulted in two fiercely competitive battles between the two.

Torracat eventually triumphed against Incineroar during Ash and Kukui’s exhibition match at the Manalo Conference, with it then evolving into Incineroar, before fainting from exhaustion. Torracat was a crucial part of Ash’s first championship-winning team and deserves future appearances to show off its newfound power as an Incineroar.

23/25 Lycanroc Won The Alolan League For Ash

Evolved From Rockruff: Episode 976

Ash's Lycanroc using Counter against Gladion's Lycanroc in the Pokemon anime

Lycanroc was another hero in Ash’s Alolan campaign. Ash’s Rockruff evolved into the rare Dusk Form and engaged in quite the rivalry with Gladion’s Midnight Form. Lycanroc was the embodiment of tenacity and perseverance during the Alola adventures, making up for one entertaining underdog story.

Ash raised an impressive team in Sun & Moon, but Lycanroc was the one to deal the final blow, securing Ash his first ever Pokémon League victory at the Manalo Conference. Lycanroc is often unfairly overlooked for being one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon.

22/25 Sirfetch’d Brought A Formidable Fighting Spirit To Ash’s Journeys Team

Evolved From Galarian Farfetch’d: Episode 1,145

Ash's Sirfetch'd defeats Rinto's Gallade in Pokémon Master Journeys

Despite being introduced in Pokémon‘s Gen I, Farfetch’d has never garnered too much attention in the Pokémon anime, until Pokémon Journeys. Ash caught a Galarian Farfetch’d and through serious hard work and tenacity, it eventually evolved into the intriguing and formidable Sirfetch’d.

Sirfetch’d’s efforts were often eclipsed by Ash’s other Pokémon throughout Journeys, but it still put on stellar showings, especially during the Masters Eight Tournament. Not only did Sirfetch’d defeat Cynthia’s Milotic, it put up a brave fight against the formidable Garchomp, as well as chipping away at Leon’s Mr. Rime and Rillaboom.

21/25 Lucario’s Surprise Evolution Helped Defeat Chairman Rose’s Pokémon

Evolved From Riolu: Episode 1,130

Pokemon Journeys Ash Fist Bumps New Lucario With Pikachu

Lucario hatched as a Riolu from an egg Ash acquired. At first, the Pokémon distrusted Ash since it didn’t recognize his aura, but it warmed up to him and the rest of the team. Riolu helped Ash and Pikachu defeat Chairman Rose’s Pokémon, evolving into Lucario to protect the worn-out Pikachu from harm. With its newfound strength, Lucario learned Aura Sphere and knocked out the opposing Pokémon.

Lucario later fought Mewtwo with help from Goh’s Cinderace, but it didn’t stop there. Armed with the art of Mega Evolution, Lucario excelled on numerous occasions but mainly at the Masters Eight Tournament. Lucario proved itself as one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon as it defeated Cynthia’s mighty Garchomp and Togekiss, as well as Leon’s Mr. Rime.

20/25 Torterra First Joined Ash’s Team As A Speedy Turtwig

Evolved From Grotle: Episode 632

Ash's Torterra during a tournament in Pokémon.

Torterra first joined Ash’s team as a Turtwig and used its speed to its advantage to win battles. When it evolved for the first time into Grotle, the Pokémon had some trouble adjusting to the new limits on its overall speed. Ash and Grotle learned how to use its new size and extra strength to their advantage, inventing creative new moves.

Grotle later evolved into Torterra and fought against Paul’s Drapion. Although Buizel had weakened Paul’s Drapion earlier, Torterra was defeated in battle. Despite the loss, Torterra’s newfound strength, impressive power, and moves like Leaf Storm impressed many viewers.

19/25 Donphan Appeared In The Lily Of The Valley Conference

Evolved From Phanpy: Episode 428

Ash's Donphan ready for battle in Pokemon

Donphan first hatched from an egg Ash acquired during his Johto adventures. It started as a young and energetic Phanpy before later evolving into Donphan. When it came to dishing physical damage to many opponents at once, Donphan was one of Ash’s best and most powerful Pokémon.

Donphan was so skilled at Pokémon battles that Ash used it in the Silver Conference and the Lily of the Valley Conference. During the episode “Queen Of The Serpentine!” the talented Pokémon helped Ash defeat Lucy’s Seviper.

18/25 Dragonite Soared As A Part Of Ash’s Team

Caught: Episode 1,095

dragonite hugging ash in the pokemon anime

Dragonite first met Ash as a Dragonair. Unlike the rest of the Dragonair at the time, this one had trouble flying. After Ash and Pikachu helped out Dragonair, he later helped them defeat Team Rocket. During that same episode, Dragonair evolved into Dragonite and saved Ash from falling.

Once Ash was safe and they had sent Team Rocket blasting off, Dragonite joined Ash’s team. Dragonite helped Ash win against Korrina and her Lucario in the World Coronation Series, among many other impressive feats and performances. The best of these showings came in the ultimate showdown with Leon at the Masters Eight, as Dragonite defeated Leon’s tricky Dragapult.

17/25 Buizel Fought Maylene’s Lucario To A Draw

Traded From Dawn: Episode 521

Ash and Buizel talking in the Pokemon anime

Buizel first started its journey with Dawn in Sinnoh. Dawn later traded Buizel with Ash in exchange for Ash’s Aipom. Since Buizel had more interest in battling than in contests, this exchange worked well in Ash’s favor.

RELATED: 10 Things Pokémon Red And Blue Still Do Better Than The Rest Of The Series

Buizel’s incredible Water-type moves helped when fighting Veilstone Gym Leader Maylene’s Lucario. Both Pokémon had a rough battle, but it ended in a draw, with Maylene still deeming Ash worthy of the Gym Badge. Buizel also defeated Paul’s Gastrodon at the Lily of the Valley Conference and weakened Paul’s Drapion before it got knocked out.

16/25 Bulbasaur Was One Of Ash’s First Pokémon

Caught: Episode 10

Bulbasaur growling angrily in Pokemon

Bulbasaur was one of the first Pokémon that Ash caught and the first starter Pokémon he had acquired at the time. Bulbasaur resisted evolving, desiring to prove it was strong enough to win battles without having to do so. Like Pikachu, Bulbasaur knew it wanted to stay the way it was.

Bulbasaur was plenty powerful for being an unevolved Pokémon and participated in notable competitions, including the Indigo Plateau and the Orange League. Bulbasaur is still one of Ash’s most-used battlers and deserves to be considered of his strongest Pokémon.

15/25 Bayleef Turned Into Affection For Ash Into Intense Ferocity In The Heat Of Battle

Grown From Chikorita: Episode 199

Ash's Bayleef ready for battle in the Pokemon anime

Bayleef will always be remembered as one of the Pokémon most attached to Ash, and it was this devotion that sometimes brought the bests out of it in battle. As a pure Grass type, Bayleef had useful Grass-type offense, but its physical bulk also saw it use powerful Normal-type moves with devastating effect.

Since Ash has owned a lot of starter Pokémon over the course of his entire journey, many people often forget Bayleef, due to it never fully evolving into Meganium. Despite this, Bayleef recorded some impressive victories over powerful Pokémon, from Harrison’s Houndoom to Chuck’s Poliwrath and Machoke.

14/25 Gigantamaxed Gengar Was A Force To Be Reckoned With

Caught: Episode 1,101

Gengar is really happy to be on the battlefield in Pokemon

Along with Lucario and Dragonite, Gengar was another popular Pokémon that Ash finally captured in Pokémon Journeys. The Ghost-type Pokémon certainly pulled its weight with some impressive battling performances.

RELATED: 10 Best Ash Ketchum Battles From Pokémon Journeys

Ash had his Gengar utilize the phenomenon of Gigantamaxing on multiple occasions, which helped Gengar become an actively vital part of the team. Gengar was used against Steven, Cynthia, and Leon at the Masters Eight Tournament, picking up impressive wins against Steven’s Aggron and Leon’s Inteleon.

13/25 Swellow Was A Gutsy Addition To Ash’s Team

Evolved From Taillow: Episode 354

Ash's Swellow flying into battle in the Pokemon anime

Ash first caught Swellow as a Taillow, back when it led a flock of other Taillow. The Pokémon challenged Pikachu to a battle and eventually lost after taking various Thunderbolt and Thunder attacks.

Taillow turned out to be just as gutsy when battling alongside Ash. With Swellow, Ash won the Crossgate PokéRinger and the Flying-type Pokémon didn’t stop there. Swellow also defeated tough opponents like Katie’s Scizor, as well as Tyson’s Donphan and Hariyama.

12/25 Krookodile Was Ash’s Most Impressive Pokémon In The Vertress Conference

Evolved From Krokorok: Episode 749

Ash and Krookodile during the Unova League in Pokémon

Krookodile doesn’t just look cool, it fights with style against other Pokémon. Krookodile used to be called the Sunglasses Sandile and Sunglasses Krokorok. Despite its reputation, Krookodile had a good relationship with Ash and fought in various battles for him.

Ash used the Dark type Krookodile against Stephan at the Vertress Conference, and it eliminated both Stephan’s Sawk and his Liepard. Viewers were baffled when Ash didn’t use Krookodile again at the tournament, leaving many hoping for more future appearances in a manner similar to how Ash brought back Donphan for the Lily of the Valley Conference.

11/25 Pignite Was A Rare Bright Spark In The Unova League Defeat To Cameron

Evolved From Tepig: Episode 734

Pignite on an ice battlefield in the Pokemon anime

Other than Krookodile, very few others from Ash’s Unova team stood out. However, Pignite served as the best of the rest, while the likes of Snivy and Oshawott never truly lived up to their potential.

Pignite was a rare bright spark during Ash’s humiliating defeat to Cameron at the Vertress Conference, as it finally brought down the impressive Hydreigon, as well as Ferrothorn. Ash’s Pignite never fully evolved into Emboar, but still got to show off some of its burning spirit and powerful offense, proving itself one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon in the Unova campaign.

10/25 Rowlet Thrived On Being Underestimated

Caught: Episode 943

Rowlett is flying in a forest in the Pokemon anime

Rowlet is the perfect representation of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” While it was yet another example of Ash not evolving a starter Pokémon, Rowlet was given personality and an explanation for not evolving. It had swallowed an Everstone and used it for the move Seed Bomb.

Rowlet defied odds and expectations by picking up huge wins against larger opponents, from Hau’s Decidueye to Kukui’s Braviary. Rowlet’s sleepy and playful nature lulled opponents into a false sense of security, but Rowlet still possessed plenty of raw power and strength of its own to leave a lasting impression.

9/25 Glalie Became One Of Ash’s Best Pokémon After Evolving From Snorunt

Evolved From Snorunt: Episode 397

Ash Ketchum getting hit by Glalie's ice beam attack

Glalie was one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon that he caught in the Hoenn region. Even though it didn’t look as threatening as Snorunt when it first met Ash, it became one of Ash’s best Pokémon upon evolving. Ash even considered using it for the Lily of the Valley Conference in Sinnoh, as it had performed so admirably in Hoenn.

RELATED: 10 Pokémon Trainers Strong Enough For The Masters Eight

Glalie helped beat Morrison’s Metang among many other impressive victories in the Ever Grande Conference. During the battle against Katie, Glalie knocked out a Dugtrio and Misdreavus before a Destiny Bond took it down. Destiny Bond seemed like the only way that Glalie’s momentum could have been stopped in that battle, and it made for a close and intriguing rest of the contest.

Evolved From Meltan: Episode 1,077

The Mythical Pokémon Melmetal in battle.

Ash’s Alolan campaign is remembered for Ash’s historic Pokémon League victory over Gladion, and his exhibition match with Kukui, but some of his team get deprived of deserved attention and praise. The Mythical Pokémon Melmetal was an exciting addition to Ash’s team, and even looked impressive as the tiny Meltan before it evolved.

Melmetal brought a big physical presence to Ash’s team as he went up against Kukui in a 6-on-6 bout. It proved its metal by eliminating Kukui’s Empoleon, but ultimately couldn’t get past the formidable Incineroar. However, it still deserves recognition as one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon.

7/25 Snorlax’s Surprising Abilities & Bond With Ash Helped It Become Strong

Caught: Episode 94

Snorlax is waving happily at someone in Pokemon

Trainers usually skip using Snorlax since it has a limited move set in the Pokémon games. It also picked up a reputation as a nuisance for blocking paths in the older video games. Thanks to its amazing HP and move pool, however, it can become an amazing option for a Pokémon trainer.

Ash’s Snorlax could swim and push other Pokémon around with ease, including Raiden’s Feraligatr. Whenever Ash has called on its services in battle, Snorlax has never failed to be full of surprises, with its flying Hyper Beam-Body Slam combination against Greta’s Medicham being one such moment. To top it all off, Snorlax has a great relationship with Ash and is a generally lovable Pokémon.

6/25 Infernape Grew Under Ash’s Guidance

Evolved From Monferno: Episode 163

Infernape is fired up in the Pokemon Diamond & Pearl anime

Ash obtained Chimchar in the Sinnoh region after offering it a new home. It first belonged to Paul, one of Ash’s rivals, before being released. Paul wanted to get Chimchar to use its Blaze ability, but Chimchar couldn’t master it under Paul’s harsh training techniques.

During its time with Ash, Chimchar evolved into Infernape and achieved Blaze. Infernape defeated many enemies with its various moves, such as Mach Punch and Dig. Infernape is largely to thank for Ash’s breathtaking victory over Paul at the Sinnoh League, giving itself closure in the process. It remains one of Ash’s strongest Pokémon.

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