We’re going through the Pokédex and picking out the best of every type, and this time we’re looking at Flying type Pokémon. The Pokémon world is full of Pidgeys and Spearows all jostling for your attention when you first start out. But there’s a lot more to Flying types than these little critters and their ilk. We’ve rounded up the 10 best Flying-type Pokémon below, and as always, there are no Mega Evolutions or Legendaries included.
The Gen IV Normal/Flying representative is Staraptor, a bird that beats out Pidgeot for one of the best Flying type Pokémon ever. Its sleek design and enviable coif belie this Pokémon’s strengths. With an Attack stat of 120 and Speed of 100, this is basically the non-Rock version of Aerodactyl in terms of sheer power. It makes the most of the usual bird moves like Steel Wing and Brave Bird. And it also dishes out extra damage with Giga Impact thanks to the same-type attack bonus. With status moves like Roost and Toxic as well, you’ll almost always be in control of the battle with Staraptor on your side.
Chatot is probably one of the least subtle designs in the series, but it’s on our best Flying type Pokémon list primarily because of its signature move: Chatter. It was a really cool gimmick back in the DS days. But even without recording words for Chatot to scream at opponents, Chatter’s still a useful attack. It takes advantage of Chatot’s unusually high Special Attack (95) and can potentially confuse foes as well.
While Chatot’s other stats might not be that impressive, it can still shine with the right move set. That Special Attack stat means Air Cutter is a must-have move. And you can add to that with Egg moves like Boomburst or stop enemies in their tracks with Sing. It may look goofy, but Chatot’s a pretty handy bird to have around.
Unlike Chatot, Mandibuzz’s design just works — and that extends beyond the cool skull motif. Mandibuzz is one of the only Flying/Dark dual types, which means you’ve got instant immunity to Psychic Pokémon. Being part Flying negates Fighting damage, so the only thing you need to worry about aside from the usual Flying weaknesses is the Fairy type.
Mandibuzz moves fairly fast too, and while it might not hit hard, it can take a beating in return. Apparently that skull ain’t just for show, because Mandibuzz’s base Defense stat is 105, incredibly high for a Flying type. And you get a wide range of offensive and defensive moves to confound and destroy your opponents while you outlast their own attacks too.
Hawlucha is pretty incredible and definitely one of the best Flying type Pokémon. It gets bonus points for being a rare type combination in Fighting/Flying, true. Because of that, Hawlucha can learn moves like High Jump Kick and its signature Flying Press move, one of the only dual type moves in Pokémon. But Hawlucha’s abilities are what really make it an excellent choice for your team. Hawlucha already has a high base speed stat of 118. The Unburden ability doubles its speed once Hawlucha consumes a held item. Give Hawlucha a basic Berry, gobble it down, and bam. You’ll mop up your opponents with almost literal lightning speed.
If Mandibuzz wasn’t enough of a bird-tank for you, then Corviknight should ruffle your feathers just right. This new addition to the Pokédex has just two real weaknesses, Fire and Electric. Woohoo, you say. So does Skarmory. But Corviknight has higher Attack, HP, and Special Defense. While Skarmory might move just a bit faster, it’s Corviknight that can handle offense and defense in battle. Even though Corviknight’s move pool probably looks familiar — all the usual Flying and Steel moves — its solid stats and position as an all ’rounder mean it can fit in nicely with any team.
Togekiss got an extra boost in Gen 6 when Fairy type debuted. Rather than being yet another Normal/Flying combo, it’s now one of the only Fairy/Flying Pokémon. And if you ever went up against Cynthia in Gen 4, you’ll know Togekiss is a force to be reckoned with. Like most Fairy types, Togekiss’ specialties are in Special Attack and Special Defense. But its regular Defense isn’t shabby at all, and Speed is passable.
The real attraction is the range of moves though. Air Slash works just as well as Flamethrower. Or you could try Shadow Ball and Grass Knot if you need the element of surprise. That’s not even considering the stat and status moves Togekiss has at its disposal either. There’s a lot to this Pokémon, and it definitely earns its place as one of the best Flying type Pokémon.
Noivern is one of those super-focused Pokémon good for mostly one or two things. Noivern excels in Speed and has good enough Special Attack to make strong use of special-focused moves like Hurricane, Dragon Pulse, and especially Draco Meteor. While its other stats are rather lacking compared to those of some Dragons, Noivern is fast and sturdy enough where you can expect to land at least a few hits before running into trouble. Plus you can put some surprise moves on it, like Flamethrower and Shadow Ball, making it a flexible choice capable of fitting into multiple slots on your team.
Dodrio is the pinnacle of the gen 1 bird Pokémon, even while it’s also a glass cannon. Dodrio is faster and stronger than Fearow and Pidgeot, so you get an extra boost with same-type attack bonuses for moves like Drill Peck and Giga Impact. That boost doubles if you teach it Swords Dance too. Dodrio isn’t built for Defense, but with high Speed and Attack, you can still deal some serious damage before your opponent sends this bird packing.
Crobat isn’t the strongest or even fastest Flying type Pokémon. But it does have the potential to be one of the most useful. Mostly even Attack and Special Attack stats mean Crobat can use a wide variety of moves and actually make use of them. Poison moves like Venoshock and the usual Air Slash are must-haves. Then there’s Crobat’s Egg moves, like Venom Drench to lower key opponent stats and Nasty Plot to raise its own Special Attack. And all this goes along with making foes flinch, putting them to sleep, or confusing them. Crobat has a ton of tricks in its pocket just waiting to be unleashed.
Sigilyph is one of those Pokémon that’s just weird-looking. But we’re inclined to be okay with that. Sigilyph’s Flying/Psychic typing might not be too uncommon thanks to Noctowl, but Sigilyph definitely pulls it off the best. It has higher Special Attack to really drive those Psychic and special moves home. And it gets moves like Tailwind and Cosmic Power to bolster its defenses and get the drop on opponents. There’s a healthy dose of support attacks you can stick on Sigilyph as well, like Hypnosis and Thunder Wave.
Those are our picks for the best Flying type Pokémon. Did your fav flyers get their wings clipped in our list? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out our other best Pokémon of each type lists: