With Pokémon Sword and Shield: The Isle of Armor out now plus the exciting New Pokémon Snap announcement, there’s no better time to rake over the Pokédex and post our picks for the best Pokémon of each type. This time, we’re combing through the Normal types to find our ten best Normal type Pokémon in no particular order. They might not excel in any one specific area compared to others. But these Normal Pokémon are excellent picks for any team thanks to how versatile — and sometimes surprising — they are. Legendaries and Mega Evolutions are excluded, so no Arceus or Mega Snorlaxes here.
Exploud with the Scrappy ability is one of the most versatile and best Normal type Pokémon around. It has good Attack and Special Attack, especially if you get one with a nature beneficial to those stats. These stats are roughly even too. That means you’ve got plenty of options to toy with for whatever your team needs — special attacks like Hyper Voice or even Fire Blast or physical attacks. The best part about Scrappy is it lets Exploud hit Ghost Pokémon with Normal and Fighting type attacks. Not many Normal ‘mon have this.
Snorlax is your classic tank Pokémon. Massively high HP, strong Attack, and high Special Defense mean its only real weakness is a hard-hitting Fighting type. But Pokémon fans have had that issue covered for years with the classic Rest + Sleep Talk or Snore combo. Snorlax recovers health and deals damage at the same time. Or you can be even more creative with your move pool if you don’t want to use Rest. Snorlax can learn an impressive array of moves spanning nearly all the types, making it an invaluable Pokémon for any team.
Zangoose has all the benefits of a Fighting-type Pokémon bundled into a Normal-type package: high Speed and even higher Attack. Zangoose’s move pool is built to deal as much damage as possible too. Hone Claws and Crush Claw make a debilitating combo, while Slash (coupled with something like the Scope Lens) has a high chance of landing a critical hit without setting up a combo move. If you’ve got a Hidden Ability Zangoose, you don’t even need those. Teach it Facade, give it a Toxic Orb, and see how fast the battle ends.
Bouffalant looks a bit silly, we get that. But its one of the strongest and therefore best Normal type Pokémon around, definitely better than Tauros. Bouffalant comes with a super-high base Attack stat, plus good Defense and Special Defense. The only downside is Speed, but with moves like Revenge and Swords Dance at its disposal, that’s not really going to be a problem. If Bouffalant does get into a pinch, you’ve got Reversal to turn the tables. Bouffalant’s great for leading the charge for any team, making it a must-have.
If you need Speed, though, then Miltank’s the cow for you. There’s a good reason everyone has nightmare stories of dealing with Whitney’s Miltank in the Gen II games. It might have lower Attack, but Miltank moves fast, has obnoxiously high defense, and comes with its own health recovery move: Milk Drink. You don’t need to hit hard when you know you can outlast your opponent almost indefinitely. That includes Ghost Pokémon as well, should your Miltank end up with Scrappy as its ability.
Yes, Game Freak created a slightly voluptuous rabbit with Lopunny. No, that’s not why it’s included in the list. Lopunny’s biggest strengths are high Speed, followed by decent Defense and Special Defense. It probably won’t last long against a heavy hitter, but Lopunny is sturdy enough to quickly dish out some damage and either end the battle or swap out for a stronger Pokémon. The move set helps too. Lopunny naturally learns a nice mix of offensive moves and moves that affect stats, but it can also learn a wide variety of moves tailored to its strengths, like U-Turn and the Punch moves.
It’s tempting to list Stoutland as one of the best Normal type Pokémon just because you really want to woodgie-woodgie their cheeks all day. But adorableness aside, Stoutland packs quite a punch in battle. Its Attack is right up there with Bouffalant, with equally solid Defense and Special Defense. Speed is iffy, true. But if your Stoutland has Intimidate, you’ve got a huge advantage by cutting the opponent’s Attack in half. All of Stoutland’s moves are geared towards the Pokémon being a heavy-hitter too, moves like Giga Impact, Crunch, Work Up, and Last Resort.
Kangaskhan might not be as astounding as, say, Snorlax, but it’s got something other Normal ‘mon on this list don’t: stability. Kangaskhan has high Attack, Speed, Defense, and Special Defense, plus high HP. So there’s no real glaring weakness here unless you’re dealing with a Fighting Pokémon (and you shouldn’t do that with any Normal Pokémon anyway). On top of that, Kangaskhan can learn a surprising array of useful moves, from Earthquake to Aerial Ace (don’t ask how), making it a uniquely versatile team member and certainly among the best Normal type Pokémon.
Since we’re not talking competitive here, Porygon-Z wins out over Porygon2 for the simple facts that its Special Attack and Speed are higher, plus its Adaptability ability is way better. Adaptability doubles Porygon-Z’s attack power if it uses moves of the same type, i.e., any Normal type move. Hyper Beam and Tri Attack are both Normal type moves, so you probably wouldn’t need anything else in a battle. You definitely wouldn’t need to worry over lower Defense stats. But if you want to shake things up, Porygon-Z can learn almost all the super-strong TM and TR moves too.
Greedent looks like a squirrel clown, we admit. But its a solid little squirrel clown with tons of HP and some not insignificant Attack and Defense stats. High Defense is good, because Greedent’s biggest strength is its slow Speed. Greedent will almost always move second, which makes it one of the best Pokémon to stick Payback on — and you find Payback very early in Sword and Shield. Its primary ability Cheek Pouch + Sitrus Berry means Greedent automatically recovers a good deal of health should it be in danger too; Cheek Pouch restores HP any time the Pokémon uses a Berry.
That’s it for our top 10 Normal type Pokémon. Some are sturdy. Some surprising. And some are all these things, plus absolutely adorable to boot. Whatever they are, Normal Pokémon are versatile above all else, easy to slot into any team to shake things up or hold the fort. We’ll be working our way through the different type listings in the coming days, so stick with Nintendo Enthusiast for more Pokémon rankings.