In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
What Are Baby Pokémon?
Some Pokémon evolution trees have a unique "baby" form as their initial stage. You can recognize these creatures by the following traits:
- Cannot breed until evolved, but must be attainable by breeding (no legendaries)
- Must be the lowest form in an evolution chart and must evolve at least once
- Must belong to the undiscovered egg group
Many baby Pokémon evolve through having a high enough friendship stat, and most are introduced in generations after their evolved form debuted. But with dozens of juvenile creatures available, which infants reign supreme? These are the ten best baby Pokémon!
BST (Base Stat Total): 245
Evolutions: Togetic, Togekiss
Previously a Normal-type, Togepi has since converted into Fairy, and since he was introduced in the same generation as his first evolution, he felt less gimmicky than many baby Pokémon.
Togepi's stats aren't the best, but his lasting appearance in the original anime and innate potential (ultimately evolving into the formidable Togekiss) make him a fierce warrior—eventually.
Bonsly's stats are quite an improvement on Togepi's, although he only offers one evolution, meaning he's ultimately outclasssed. Still, he's easily evolved, only needing to level up while knowing the Mimic attack.
Rock is a strong offensive element, but it's rather vulnerable on defense, suffering double damage from common Fighting, Ground, and Water attacks (plus Grass and Steel), meaning it's often best to utilize Rock moves from non-Rock monsters.
Evolutions: Roselia, Roserade
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Budew and his evolutions favor Special Attack and Special Defense, making great indirect sweepers, and Grass/Poison offers a solid typing. Budew also enjoys access to three status-oriented abilities, either healing debuffs with Natural Cure, preventing them with Leaf Guard, or causing them with Poison Point.
While slightly weaker than Bonsly stat-wise, Budew's stronger evolutions and superior typing grants him the edge over his Rock rival.
Smoochum offers a fair stat total that favors Special Attack. Factored with her strong offensive elements, she can type-trump almost anything, preferably before they hit back, as her Defense is rather low. Coupled with the Ice element (arguably the worst defensive type in the game), Smoochum and Jynx are something of glass cannons, though they work well against indirect attackers.
But unlike fellow Kanto Pokémon Electabuzz and Magmar (who also received baby forms in generation two), Jynx never got a third form; where's her next evolution? Perhaps she was ignored due to controversy regarding her appearance, but she could become a real competitive threat if upgraded.
6. Mime Jr.
Evolution: Mr. Mime
Like other Psychic types, Mr. Mime was a fierce contender in the original Red and Blue game (before Dark and Steel types helped balance them), and he's stayed relevant throughout the years thanks to an added Fairy element and baby form
This grants STAB (same-type attack bonus) to two useful elements, although Mime Jr.'s family specializes in defense, shielding your team with moves like Reflect, Light Screen, and Safeguard. Like Bonsly, he quickly evolves after leveling up with Mimic (learned at level 15).
Evolution: Lucario (and Mega Lucario)
Like Togepi, Riolu is one of few babies introduced in the same generation as his evolution, first appearing in Diamond and Pearl. Riolu favors Attack and Speed, making him a nimble physical sweeper, and upon evolving into his popular Lucario form, he gains the Steel element, offering several useful resistances.
I'm not especially fond of Riolu's abilities, which mostly focus on preventing the rare flinch debuff, but he compensates with a powerful evolution, mega evolution, and perfect-accuracy Aura Sphere technique.
Mantyke's quite a bit stronger than previous entries, making a solid early-game combatant. While he takes quadruple damage from Electric attacks, his typing is otherwise solid and his incredible Special Defense protects against generally-indirect Electric moves.
Mantine is a respectable choice for a special tank, though Mantyke has an odd evolution mechanic, requiring you to level him up with a Remoraid in your party.
Evolutions: Electabuzz, Electivire
Elekid enjoys a solid stat total and carries not one but two upgrades, eventually becoming the fierce Electivire. Plus, Electric is a great defensive type, only suffering one weakness (Ground) while resisting three elements (Flying, Electric, and Steel).
Elekid favors Speed, but as he grows, it's his Attack that skyrockets, so load up on contact moves.
Evolutions: Magmar, Magmortar
The Fire equivalent of Elekid, Magby initially favors both offensive stats and Speed, but develops Special Attack as he evolves. He also enjoys the Flame Body ability, which can punish anyone who exploits his lowest score (Defense) with the burn condition.
Fire is weak to three common attributes (Ground, Rock, and Water), but it compensates with twice as many resistances, meaning rivals can struggle to type-trump Magby's family in competitive play.
Not only does Munchlax wield the highest BST of any baby yet, he distributes them well, completely conceding Speed to offer incredible HP plus hearty Attack and Special Defense. Thus, he'll tank hits while counterattacking with gusto, and you can use his sluggishness to your advantage with moves like "Trick Room".
Throw in the helpful Thick Fat ability plus one of the strongest non-legendary evolutions (Snorlax), and you've got the best baby Pokémon ever made.
Baby Pokémon and Breeding
Baby Pokémon receive mixed reviews from players; some trainers enjoy the concept of cute pre-evolutions that give more time to bond with a unit, but others feel a "slot" was wasted on a creature that's strictly weaker than its already-present upgrade.
But while there's been controversy regarding baby Pokémon, the breeding mechanic introduced alongside them has proven a Pokémon mainstay, so hopefully, gamers can overlook any lingering bitterness. But as we await Nintendo's next batch of larva stage monsters, vote for your favorite companion and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill