When building their lineup to run through the game, there are consensus-best Pokemon that a lot of people plug in to cover certain types. I’m here to discuss the value of Pokemon that rarely come to mind when assembling an elite lineup.
Nidoking is attainable very early in Generation I & III. His base stats are very balanced and he can learn a lot of moves in a variety of types. The Ground type is also the most underrated type in Generation I.
Poison types still weren’t all that important in Generation III, but Seviper was a steady attacker that learned some pretty good poison and dark attacks.
There was such a plethora of Water types in Generation I that many got overlooked. Tentacruel was one of those. It had a great speed stat and a steady special attack stat that made it a very viable Water type to go deep into the game with. Its 2nd Poison type mitigated its Grass weakness but also brought a Psychic and Ground weakness (though Ground types were easily handled).
4 Poison types in a row? You read that correctly. While not very useful in earlier generations, there are still a lot of good Pokemon that got overlooked because the type wasn’t very useful. Generation IV marked the turning point when the focus went from Fire/Water/Grass/Electric/Ice to Dark/Psychic/Ghost/Fighting/Bug. More Bug types meant more usefulness for Poison types. Drapion is like Seviper in that it learns some good Dark and Poison type moves, but Drapion actually carries the Dark type which means it gets STAB from those moves. It also benefits from mitigated Psychic, Fighting, and Bug weaknesses thanks to its dual type.
Porygon was a very unique Generation I Pokemon in the sense that it specialized in Psychic type attacks while being a Normal type. It had a very high Special Attack stat that partially made up for lack of STAB. Its only weakness was Fighting, and there weren’t very many moves of that type in Generation I. Those who did have those moves would be destroyed by the Psychic moves. It was also very effective against Agatha/the Gastly evolution chain because of its Ghost immunity.
Camerupt gets knocked for its lack of speed, but as long as you’re not using it against Water types that really doesn’t matter. Camerupt learns some good Fire and Ground moves which exploits weaknesses of 8 different types (Grass, Ice, Bug, Steel, Fire, Electric, Rock, & Poison). Its dual type also mitigates its weaknesses to Rock, Ice, and Grass.
Poison & Ground are definitely the theme in this article. Dugtrio was great in Speed and Attack which meant it could swiftly do a lot of damage to Pokemon who were weak against the Ground type, which was a lot in Generation I. You could get it early in the game and it maintained its usefulness throughout the game as long as you used it correctly.
Snorlax invented the tank game, then Aggron redefined it. Aggron’s base Defense stat was almost triple Snorlax’s, although Aggron had less than half the HP stat. What made Aggron a valuable tank, however, was that it was resistant to 8(!) different types (Bug, Dragon, Flying, Ice, Normal, Psychic, Rock, and complete immunity to Poison) while only weak to 3 (Water, Fighting, and Ground). This meant it could take a beating while you could tend to your other fighters.
Another Water type lost in the surplus of Generation I. People tend to overrate the Psychic type (It was better more-so because of its lack of weaknesses in Generation I than its strength in attacking), but the Water and Psychic combination combined with Starmie’s great Special Attack and Speed stats make it an elite attacker of many types.
I’ve gone over how Psychic was overrated and Poison and Ground were underrated, but I feel Ice was correctly valued as very important. It could take out Grass, Ground, and Flying types, but its most important attribute was its power against Dragon types. It was the only type of move that was effective against Lance because the Dragon type hadn’t really been developed yet in terms of attacks. With its Ice and Psychic type combination, Jynx could decimate 18 of the 26 Pokemon in the Elite Four. Combine this with the fact that you could trade for a Jynx in game that got boosted experience meant she got powerful quickly. Many opted for the more glorified options of Articuno or Lapras for Ice types and Mewtwo for Psychic, but nobody provided more value in Generation I than “Lola”.