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Disc One Nuke / Pokémon

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Disc One Nukes in the Pokémon series.

Note: Due to the nature of the series, many examples straddle the line between "nukes" and Crutch Characters. Please make sure examples are sufficiently "nuke"-like based on the trope page's description ("exploitative", "challenge-trivializing") before putting them here. Otherwise, they should likely go on the series' Crutch Character page.

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  • Magikarp is typically available early in the game, usually as soon as you obtain the Old Rod. Although being the Trope Namer for Magikarp Power would suggest that it would take a long time to make Magikarp good, it actually evolves into the powerful Gyarados at an early level 20, allowing you to slaughter your way through the competition starting from the early-mid game, and it still remains an exceptionally strong Pokémon even in the late game. While in earlier generations getting Magikarp to level 20 actually took a lot of effort, successive generations made it increasingly easier to level up Pokémon you don't actively use in battle, making Gyarados a nuke you can easily access without much effort.
    • In Generation I, Magikarp is first made accessible through the Magikarp Salesman in the Pokémon Center outside of Mt. Moon as soon as you beat the first gym. While 500 Pokédollars for a Magikarp might seem like a waste at first, and Generation I is easily the hardest generation to raise a Magikarp due to the lack of Exp. Share, some babying will evolve it into Gyarados, which can be taught BubbleBeam (obtainable as a TM from Misty) to give it a powerful STAB attack that abuses its (then) high Special attack. This will allow Gyarados to plow through opponents even deep into the game. In fact, a freshly-evolved Gyarados is actually the best weapon against Misty's Starmie, being able to tank its Bubblebeams due to also having 100 Special and resisting its own type, and already being slower means it's not hampered by the Speed reductionnote . It arguably acts as a much better Infinity -1 Sword than Dragonite, due to having far more options and accessibility; Dragonite's only real viability for all that insane effort to obtain one is its high Attack stat allowing it to spam Wrap and fuel Hyper Beam, which, while not insignificant, is something Gyarados would probably have been able to already do much sooner.
    • As the generations continued, the Exp. Share was made available increasingly earlier in the game, allowing players to evolve Magikarp more and more easily. It started off as the late-game and difficult-to-obtain Exp. All in Generation I, became an item you had to put in some effort to obtain in Generations III to V, to being an early-game, easily-obtainable item that now applies to the whole party in Generation VI. Especially from Generation VI onward, the increasing ease of obtaining a Magikarp early and evolving it without having to use it in battle makes Gyarados much more of a Disc-One Nuke than it used to be.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, Magikarp is first available around Brooklet Hill, the first trial of the second island, where you can either catch one and evolve it into Gyarados as normal or catch a Gyarados directly by having a Magikarp summon one via SOS. Gyarados comes with the reasonably powerful Bite and Thrash moves and the very useful Intimidate or Moxie abilities, and if you evolved it from a Magikarp, you can give it a Normalium-Z to boost its already high attack to insane levels with Z-Splash.
    • In Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, the Magikarp Salesman is still around selling Magikarp for 500 Pokédollars, and unlike Generation I, the advances in quality-of-life mechanics will allow you to easily raise Magikarp with the automatic experience share.
    • From Pokémon Sword and Shield onwards, Gyarados now learns Waterfall at level 21, a massive improvement from the previous generation where it would learn its first good physical move, Ice Fang, at level 27, and its first good physical STAB move, Aqua Tail, at level 30. In these particular games it's entirely possible to catch a Magikarp either at Professor Magnolia's house or in the Wild Area before you cross the latter to get to Motostoke. With the Exp. Share giving it easy access to free experience points, you can get a Gyarados before even encountering the first gym. Even though Gyarados's STAB has a type disadvantage against the first Gym, you'll be able to wreck every random encounter and trainer battle with ease.
    • In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Gyarados now learns Waterfall at a very early level at 21. Sure, this means using the old rod and catching a Magikarp early on. However, Gyarados will start sweeping away the game with ease. If Gyarados is on the front lines or be a secondary Pokemon, none of the Pokemon having Electric-type moves will be fast enough to defeat Gyarados in 1 shot while the latter will 1 shot every Pokemon outside of the Sturdy ability.
    • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, due to the ability to learn and re-learn any move a Pokemon has learned on command being brought over from Legends: Arceus, Gyarados gains access to Ice Fang the moment it evolves. One level later, it learns Waterfall. So at Level 21, Gyarados has a solid physical Water-type move and physical Ice-Type coverage to hit Grasses right off the bat. And you probably haven't even fought the first Team Star boss yet.
  • Abra is found early in several of the games. It only naturally learns Teleport, but can be beefed up with TMs to give it some other moves and take advantage of its decent Special Attack for a first stage Pokémon. It evolves at the relatively low level of 16 into the even more powerful Kadabra, at which point it can be traded to gain its extremely powerful final form in Alakazam without negatively impacting its level-up movepool. All at only level 16.
    • In Pokémon Red and Blue and Yellow, Abra can be caught (with some difficulty) in Routes 24 and 25 north of Cerulean, and if you can get it to level 16 despite its inability to fight, it'll evolve into Kadabra. Then if you have another game or friend to trade to and back from, you'll evolve it to Alakazam, a candidate for best Pokémon in the game outside of Mewtwo and Mew, possibly before fighting Misty (and there's no drawback, as Alakazam learns the same moves as Kadabra at the same rate). Even if you don't evolve it, Kadabra is a pure Psychic type with very fast Speed and one of the highest Special stats in the game, making it better than most fully-evolved Pokémon and it'll crush the predominant Poison type users, such as Team Rocket.
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver and Crystal, you can buy a Level 10 Abra at the Goldenrod City Game Corner for a modest price of 200 coins (or a manageable 4000 yen if you don't want to play the slots), where, like in Gen I, you can then evolve it into Kadabra at level 16, and then trade evolve it to Alakazam immediately after, giving you a very powerful fully-evolved Pokémon before the third gym. Unlike Red and Blue Abra won't need much babying, since you can buy the TMs for the Elemental Punches (see below) in the Dept. Store to teach Abra and have it fighting on its own with its amazingly high Special Attack (for that point) immediately.
    • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, Abra can be caught in the Granite Cave just outside Dewford Town. If you're dedicated enough, you can fully evolve before the 2nd gym, which its high Speed, Special Attack and type advantage can make it a Curb-Stomp Battle. You can teach it the Thief TM at Slateport City and TM Shock Wave after beating the third gym for coverage. In Pokemon Emerald, you can catch it even earlier just East of Rustboro City.
    • In Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed, You can find Abra in Routes 24 and 25 north of Cerulean, like in Gen 1. This time you can teach it Thief from the TM 46 you can find in Mt. Moon, beforehand, not only giving it an attacking move before it evolves but also allowing it to hit other Psychic types super effectively, which would otherwise resist it's psychic attacks. You can also teach it Shock Wave after beating the third gym for extra coverage.
    • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, you can once again buy Abra from the Game Corner. While it doesn't have access to any inexpensive TMs like in the originals, it now comes one level away from evolving. You can teach Alakazam Focus Blast for Whitney and can teach it Shadow Ball after beating Morty.
    • It reprises its role again in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl where the Abra line especially benefits from the Veilstone City Department Store, getting not only Psychic, but also Dazzling Gleam to cover their weakness to Dark-types. If you get the traded one, you have any obeying issues after beating the first gym.

    Generation I 

Pokémon Red and Blue and Yellow

  • Both Nidoran genders can be caught west of Viridian City very early on, and evolve into Nidorina/Nidorino at level 16. With a Moon Stone found in Mt. Moon, one can get a Nidoqueen or Nidoking before the second Gym, and as a fully-evolved Pokémon with solidly above-average stats it will breeze through the early game, and pull its weight even in the later stages. The downside is both have almost non-existent level-up movepools, but they can learn a wide variety of TMs like Rock Slide, Thunderbolt, Surf, and the STAB-receiving Earthquake to get around this, and they have the stats to use them effectively. They get even more of a boost in Yellow, where their moveset is shuffled to assist with taking on Brock, since his Pokémon are immune to/resist the Electric/Normal moves of your starter Pikachu. As a result, they can learn Double Kick, a decently powerful Fighting type attack that hits two times, at level 12, as opposed to their originally learning it at level 43.
  • Clefairy is similarly powerful. It can be caught as early as the end of Mt. Moon (though finding and catching one may take some luck), and evolved into Clefable immediately using the Moon Stone conveniently found in the same dungeon. Clefable has decently high stats all around, especially for how early you can get it, but it also picks up powerful STAB moves immediately — it can learn Mega Punch from a TM outside Cerulean City, and upgrade to Body Slam on the S.S. Anne. Clefable’s movepool is vast: it can learn Thunderbolt, Ice Beam/Blizzard, Psychic, and more, letting it fill in weaknesses for the rest of your team, and it also gets useful support options like Thunder Wave and Sing. As if all this wasn’t enough, Clefairy’s line is also in the Fast EXP group, so Clefable levels up quickly, making up for its somewhat average stats. Clefable has good matchups across the game and only falls off a bit against the Elite Four, making it a prime choice for completing the game easily.
  • After helping Bill, you can get the Dig TM from the Rocket Grunt behind the burgled house in Cerulean City. Dig in this Gen is a 100 base power move with 100% accuracy, making it on par with endgame moves and very powerful for this early in the game. Being a Ground-type move, it is additionally one of the best offensive types in the game, with it hitting many Pokémon super-effectively and only a handful resist or are immune to it. Plus it can be learned by a wide range of Pokémon, so you can either teach it to one of your Pokémon for powerful coverage or to a Ground-type (other than the aforementioned Nidos unfortunately who strangely can't learn Dig in this gen) for a very powerful STAB move that will one or two shot most things you'll fight.
  • Speaking of Dig, Diglett's Cave can be entered after fighting Misty, and it's pretty much impossible to poke around there without encountering at least one of the namesake Pokémon. There's even a small chance to encounter fully-evolved Dugtrio, but even if you don't, Diglett evolves at a pretty low level. It also learns Dig at level 19, meaning you can catch one with a STAB move so powerful that it can one-shot many things weak to it...including basically everything in the Vermillion City gym and the myriad of Poison-types throughout the game. Dugtrio is something of a Fragile Speedster and Glass Cannon, but it's still more than powerful enough to hold its own even in the endgame, given that it learns moves like Slash and Earthquake naturally and has an absurd crit rate, and can learn Fissure through Giovanni's TM, allowing for the infamous X Accuracy strategy.
  • You can exploit the Color Case in Pokémon Stadium 2 to get one of the drinks on your file at any point before reaching Celadon naturally. If you do this, after you complete Bill's event you'll be able to get past the Saffron guard, where you can then go to Celadon, get the free Eevee there, and buy a stone from the Celadon mall to immediately evolve it to one of its evolutions, which will give you one of the strongest Pokémon in the game before you even take on the second gym. The one downside is that initially they'll just have weak normal moves, but for Vaporeon and Jolteon this can be quickly fixed by beating Misty to get the Bubblebeam TM for Vaporeon or beating Lt. Surge to get the Thunderbolt TM for Jolteon. Also with Vaporeon you can save the early Water Gun TM for it to have some sort of STAB immediately, and you can get the Ice Beam TM from the thirsty girl in the Celadon Mall to immediately teach it a very powerful special move for great coverage. Additionally unlike other stone-evolutions the Eeveelutions are exempt from the "learn little-to-no moves naturally" rule that other stone-evolutions are subjected to and have their own tailored learnsets suited for their type, so it's only beneficial to evolve your Eevee immediately. Unfortunately if Flareon is your preferred Eeveelution there is nothing to help with its early moveset issues, as there are no Fire type TMs other than Fire Blast, which you won't get until you beat Blaine, so it can't be a Disc-One Nuke like the other two Eeveelutions can be.
  • If Abra is too tough to catch or if you lack the ability to trade/evolve it, you can catch Drowzee before the third gym leader, instead. Drowzee evolves into Hypno at the low level of 26. Hypno with Confusion and Headbutt will utterly dominate the rest of the first half of the game. Even your rival won't know what hit him, and unlike Alakazam you don't need to trade with a friend to get one. It's particularly good against other psychics since it resists psychic and can wreak havoc with Headbutt due to other Psychic-types' low Defense.
  • Right before the second gym, you can get a freaking Mew via abusing a certain glitch. It has very high stats, with 100 points in every stat. Sure, when you first get it, it only knows the weak Pound, but it can learn any TM to make up for this, and it learns the fairly powerful Mega Punch at level 20. Further, should you happen to do this in a particular way (use Growl six times on the last Pokemon you fight before Mew), you can get a level 1 Mew. Make this Mew gain less than 52 experience points in one battle, and it will immediately grow to level 100 due to a second glitch. You now have a level 100 Mythical Pokemon which can learn any TM or HM before the second gym. You will feel like a god.
  • You can find the TM for Body Slam on S.S. Anne, before the third gym. It has a very respectable base power of 85 (boosted to 128 if used by a Normal type), 100% accuracy, a 30% chance of paralyzing the target, and it can be taught to almost anything, including all of the starters. Even in the late game, the decent paralysis chance makes it a Boring, but Practical coverage move, even if it no longer has the sheer firepower to one- or two-shot enemies.
  • In Yellow, a trainer at the entrance to the Underground is willing to trade you a Machoke for a Cubone, which on trade will evolve to a full Machamp as a nice bonus. Notably, a Cubone can be captured at a level as low as 20 and, as in-game traded Pokémon come equal to the level of the one you traded away, this means you can nab a level 20 Machamp—and a level 20 Machamp is a prize competitor at the Pika Cup of Pokémon Stadium. It can also be quite powerful in-game too.

    Generation II 

Pokémon Gold and Silver and Crystal

  • The Game Corner, located early in the game at Goldenrod, offers opportunities to acquire several "nuke" level options:
    • If you have the patience and skill then you could earn the coins to buy incredibly powerful TMs and Pokémon, which in Gold/Silver include a Dratini. They start out at Lv. 10, but the Daycare (which will raise your Pokémon for you) is just a short walk away and by doing plenty of walking, you can have a pseudo-legendary Dragonite in no time.
    • Elemental Punch TMs can be purchased repeatedly at the Goldenrod Department Store. Practically anything with fists and good Special Attack can learn and make good use of them to give them great type coverage. It is telling that subsequent generations has made them more difficult to access (usually from a post-game Move Tutor).
    • If you're incredibly lucky and/or very persistent with the slots to rack up 5500 coins, you can get the TMs for Fire Blast, Blizzard, and Thunder before even fighting Whitney. Sure, they're Awesome, but Impractical moves in the grand scheme of things with low PP and reduced accuracy, but since there aren't many better options in the early game, they pack a huge punch.
  • The HM for Surf is acquired just after the third gym. It is the highest-powered Water-type attack without a drawback (lowered accuracy, recoil damage, etc.), giving you enough power to breeze through nearly anything that doesn't specifically resist it until about 3/4 of the way through the game, where it balances out but remains effective.
  • Totodile, the Water-type Starter Mon. Totodile can steamroll the first three gyms with the retooled Rage (which increases in power upon taking damage and consecutive use) it learns very early on (yes, including Whitney's Miltank. What makes this particularly easy is Double-Slap from Whitney's starting Clefairy because every multi-hit buffs up Rage.). Early access to the STAB move Surf (mentioned above) and excellent coverage options (Hello, Ice Punch) only multiply the awesomeness. It also reaches its final form at level 30, the earliest among the starters in the entire series.
  • In Crystal, you can pick up Growlithe on Route 36 before the first gym, and they are quite strong against Sprout Tower and Bugsy owing to their stats. The real kicker is when you get to Goldenrod, where you can obtain a Fire Stone from a Schoolboy near the Sudowoodo if you get his number and immediately evolve Growlithe into the fearsome Arcanine even before you fight Whitney, giving you a Pokemon with excellent offenses and Speed, decent versatility, and reasonable bulk. It can steamroll the dreaded Gym Leader with Headbutt alone at comparable levels and perform to great effect against the remaining gyms, utterly decimating most trainers along the way. Once other Pokémon catch up later in the game, it is no longer a "nuke", but continues to perform well enough to earn a spot in late-game teams.
  • If you talk to the guard between Goldenrod City and Route 35, you can pick up a Spearow nicknamed Kenya. Kenya evolves at the very early level of 20 (like all other Spearow) into Fearow, possessing above-average Attack and Speed by endgame standards. What makes this one special is its status as an outsider Pokémon, enabling it to grow much faster than a regular one caught in the wild. Put together with early access to Swift (found in Union Cave) and 24% badge boosts to both Normal and Flying-type attacks, and you have a very powerful Pokémon in the early to mid-game.
  • Headbutt gets given to you shortly after the second badge, allowing you access to the powerful Heracross and the tough Forretress via its pre-evolution Pineco. Heracross is noteworthy for its excellent stats even by endgame standards and, while lacking versatility, can annihilate mooks in the early to midgame using Horn Attack alone and (especially if female) can pulverize Whitney with Fury Cutter.
  • In Crystal, a quick detour to Olivine City dock at the night can yield a Staryu (comes at level 20 and can be obtained with a Good Rod, also available in Olivine). This can be done before the 4th gym. You can also obtain a Water Stone and Surf around that time, both before the 4th gym (the former requires you to defeat a trainer and obtain his number - said trainer is near Mahogany Town). If all goes well, you can obtain a Starmie - an incredibly fast and powerful attacker with great versatility - that can train and perform to great effect not only in the current gym but beyond too.
  • Want a powerful special attacker early-game? Sprout Tower in Violet City is overrun with Gastly at night. Catch a nice, strong one, and it evolves to Haunter by Level 25, upon which you can immediately trade-evolve it into a powerful Gengar that can learn all the Elemental Punches for coverage.
  • You can find a Female Nidoran and evolve it into Nidoqueen before you challenge the third gym if you're lucky enough to get a Moon Stone from your Mom, the third Gym Leader will be at a major disadvantage (she resist Miltank's Rollout and isn't affected by Miltank's Attract). It will continue to pull its weight, but later on, its stats and noteworthy weaknesses to Water and Psychic will really start to hurt. That said, while she isn't as overpowered later on as it was early in the game, Nidoqueen is still perfectly capable of hanging in your party until the end of the game.
  • Raikou, Entei, and Suicune begin roaming Johto as soon as you reach the Burnt Tower and set off an Event Flag, which is just before the 4th Gym. At a time when most of your Pokémon will be in the 25-30 range and not even at their final forms, you can feasibly catch them at level 40 if you're extremely lucky with the Random Number God. They will also obey you 100% (since it's not traded). Raikou and Entei also prove very useful against the next 4 gyms (even though they can overpower any of the 4 anyway), with Raikou taking down Chuck's Poliwrath with ease and Entei frying Jasmine and Pryce's teams. The only issue is catching them, and you might need to soft-reset and spend a lot of time to get them this early on due to their propensity to break out of even higher-grade Poke Balls. Suicune can't be caught like this in Crystal because of story reasons, but due to the ability to get Surf onto a handful of Pokémon (Water type or not) that can use it, Suicune can be replaced.

    Generation III 

Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire

  • The Pickup ability in Ruby and Sapphire gives a 10% chance of acquiring an item after each battle. This item can include a Nugget (which can be sold for 5,000 Poké Dollars), a Rare Candy (a free level-up), or one of several stat-boosting items (which can be sold for nearly as much as a Nugget if you prefer). Also useful is its ability to acquire healing items much more powerful than available in shops until around the halfway point of the game and the best Poké Ball carried in stores (with a much higher catch rate for Pokémon). It's available on Zigzagoon, one of the game's Com Mons found in almost every grass patch and probably one of the first three Pokémon you'll see. Catch a couple to fill out the slots of your party while you simply Level Grind, and a player can have an entire medicine cabinet at their disposal and dozens of high-quality Poké Balls before running into the first Gym Leader. (Later games would heavily Nerf the ability, tying the quality of items it can generate to the Pokémon's level, meaning no more Nuggets at level five.)
  • Mudkip and its evolution, Marshtomp, have an advantage over 3 of the 4 first Gyms due to their typing (Water for Mudkip, Water/Ground for Marshtomp). Marshtomp also only has one weakness (Grass) that isn't too common and has decent bulk, meaning you don't have to worry about it taking a lot of damage. It's final evolution, Swampert, is still a great Pokémon and valid member of an end-game team, but is no longer the "nuke" it was early on.
  • Before even beating the first Gym in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald you can get your hands on a Nincada, who evolves into the decent Ninjask at level 20. If you have less than 6 Pokémon on you when it evolves you also get your hands on the Lethal Joke Character Shedinja, whose Wonder Guard ability makes it immune to any attacks that aren't super effective against it. Several of the Gym Leaders and a large number of trainers cannot deal damage to Shedinja at all because they lack the proper moves, allowing it to wear them down.
  • As early as the third route in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, you can nab yourself a Ralts. Its final evolved form, Gardevoir, is reached early for non-Bug mons at level 30, it hits like a runaway bullet train with the speed to match, has good move coverage (including Thunderbolt) and learns Psychic naturally. It just takes some patience to train up the little guy.
  • Anyone with the North American Colosseum bonus disc and either Ruby or Sapphire can get themselves a Jirachi as soon as they have the Pokedex. A Master of All statwise, only two weaknesses, a great movepool, and with an ability that increases the chances of side effects from attacks, it proves an invaluable addition to any party. Even better, if you have multiple game packs, you can get one Jirachi a pack and trade them all to one game. Hello, full team of legendaries before the first gym!
    • Inverted with Pokémon Channel; in Europe it was possible to get Jirachi in one day (by changing the Gamecube's internal clock to bypass the need to play the game a full week as intended), but to get it on to your GBA games you needed to have beaten the Elite Four.
  • Taillow, available starting on Route 104. A perfect example of an effective Glass Cannon that, while frail, is blindingly fast, evolves at Level 22, learns great spam moves, and has the ability Guts, which boosts its Attack by 1.5× when statused. However, it is the only Pokémon in the Hoenn Dex to also get same-type attack bonus on Facade, giving it a ridiculous 346 power after modifiers if Swellow is statused and holding a Silk Scarf. This is all coming off a decent 85 Attack stat. Give it a burn via a wild Slugma's Flame Body, stock up on Potions, and tear things to shreds. You don't even have to worry about PP, as a standard moveset of Facade, Wing Attack, Steel Wing and Fly has a total of 95 PP. By the late game, it's fragility becomes a crippling burden as high level opposing Pokémon are able to tank at least one of even its boosted attacks and then likely KO it on a counterattack.

Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen

  • Just like in Gen I, Clefairy can be caught as early as Mt. Moon, and evolved into Clefable with a Moon Stone found in the same dungeon, giving you a fully-evolved Pokémon with well-rounded stats and the ability to learn nearly every TM before the second gym.
  • The Nidoran line returns in this role, with a few tweaks from the originals. You have to wait a bit longer before you can catch one (Route 3 outside of Mt. Moon rather than Route 22 west of Viridian City), but it still early enough to qualify. In addition, they come with the ability "Poison Point", which gives a chance to poison physical attackers who strike them. Finally, they can learn the TM Dig in this generation, giving them a powerful STAB attack to carry you through the first 2/3 of the game before other Mons start to catch up.

    Generation IV 

Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Platinum

  • Turtwig, the Sinnoh Grass starter, reaches its final form the earliest of the three starters, with Grotle becoming Torterra at Level 32 (Monferno and Prinplup don't evolve until level 36), which is easily achieved fairly early in the game. Solidifying this nuke status is that Torterra learns Earthquake upon evolving, a 100 base power Ground-Type STAB move that wrecks everything at that stage in the game that isn't outright immune to it, and remains useful all the way to the Elite Four. This is basically handed to you for free without having to use the Earthquake TM.
  • Starly, the standard early game bird Com Mon, learns Wing Attack at a mere level 9. Wing Attack is a 60 base power move and Starly gets additional STAB damage from it, giving it considerable power at a low level. There is a good chance that an appropriately leveled Starly will be able to one-hit KO anything that doesn't resist it for a good ways into the game. From that point on, it is almost unstoppable, especially once it reaches its final form and learns Close Combat, a Fighting-type move (on a Flying type, and Fighting/Flying has excellent coverage) with 120 Base Power. Staraptor also has a very high Attack stat, and outspeeds most of the Pokémon in the game as well. Throw in Intimidate after it gets to its second stage, and it keeps nuking even in the Endgame. It's even better in Platinum, where you can teach it TM Return, a powerful normal STAB, before the first gym.
  • In Platinum, after getting the first badge and doing a little backtracking, it is possible to find a level 10 Golbat in Oreburgh Gate once you get Rock Smash. (Zubat does not normally evolve into Golbat until level 22.) Golbat evolves to the insanely fast and strong Crobat at max happiness, meaning that the player could have the final form of a three-stage family by the time they reach the second Gym. Oh, and both of Crobat's types are super effective against said Gym. And if you're really crazy and want to do everything to raise its happiness to the max, you can actually get a Crobat as low as level 11.
  • In Platinum, you can get the TM for Earthquake (a Ground-type move with 100 base power and 100% accuracy; its only real drawback is that it will also strike your ally in a Double Battle) after obtaining the second badge. All you have to do is find the hidden entrance to Wayward Cave underneath the Cycling Road and explore the cave. The hidden part of Wayward Cave is also the only place in the game where you can capture a Gible, a Ground/Dragon-type that will evolve into one of the best non-legendary Pokémon in the game. Gible is also quite strong for an unevolved Pokémon, makes great use of the Earthquake TM you'll find in the same cave you catch Gible in, and knows Dragon Rage upon capture, a move which will always deal 40 HP worth of damage, which will easily defeat most opponents in two hits for quite a while. And the moment Dragon Rage starts to become less effective, it will learn the powerful Dragon Claw move by itself.
  • A Heracross can be captured after the first gym, which by then you'll also have the Rock Smash HM, though using honey to try to catch one requires a lot of patience. It has great gym match ups and coverage moves.
  • In Platinum, Professor Rowan gives you a TM for Return before you even leave Sandgem Town. Return's power goes up the more the user likes their trainer (the hidden "friendship"/"happiness" stat). So long as you avoid your Pokémon fainting, give it medicine when it needs it, and walk around with it a lot (read: play the game normally), you can increase Return's power very quickly. It tops out at 102 power with no drawbacks. Give the TM to a Normal-type Pokémon (like Cleffa, which evolves through the same hidden stat), and that goes up to 153 base power. The midgame usually sees moves of 60-80 power in use. 100 power usually has some kind of drawback.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver

  • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, by using the Pokéwalker, it's possible to catch Pokémon more powerful than what you would normally have access to.
    • A Pokéwalker can also give you access both to a Pikachu and a Light Ball as early as the beginning of the game. Considering Light Ball doubles Pikachu's Attack and Special Attack, you might be able to train an absolutely unstoppable beast before you win your first Badge. Additionally, you know what's an easy way to max out Happiness in no time at all? That's right, the Pokéwalker! And of course, being a Pokémon game, Zubats (whose final evolution, Crobat, evolve via happiness) are about as hard to find as dirt.
    • If you can get your hands on a Jirachi (a Disc One Nuke in and of itself) - which many players did before they even started the game, considering they were handed out for two weeks leading up to HeartGold and SoulSilver's launch - you can unlock a Pokéwalker course called Night Sky's Edge as early as the second town. With a lot of walking and a little luck you can get your hands on a TM for Psychic, one of the strongest Psychic-type moves and the strongest one with no real drawbacks to using it.
    • Its also possible to get Kangaskhan a common Pokémon in early Pokéwalker routes, before the first gym. Not only is it immune to Miltant's Attract, if it has Scrappy it can hit Morty's Ghost-type Pokemon with Headbutt. The monster has stats high enough to last you throughout the game.
  • By exploiting the Mythical Pokémon Arceus in HeartGold/SoulSilver, you can get one of the Sinnoh cover art legendaries at level 1. While Arceus won't likely obey you, the legendary you get will. Needless to say, this requires likely two games, one of Diamond, Pearl, or Platinum, the event Arceus (or the Arceus at Spear Pillar only accessible through hacking), and the ability to trade in Heart Gold/Soul Silver.
  • The Game Corner returns from the Gen II originals and brings with it some "nuke" possibilities:
    • The impossibility to lose coins in the international versions of the Game Corner means it's easy to just grind them until you can buy Flamethrower, Ice Beam, or Thunderbolt. Ice Beam isn't immediately useful due to the lack of good users available when you first enter Goldenrod, but the Cyndaquil and Mareep lines become a lot more powerful since they'll have their second strongest STAB move that normally is reserved for much later in the game.
    • If the above doesn't sound too appealing, you can buy the TMs for Fire Blast, Thunder, Blizzard, and Focus Blast (very useful against Whitney's Normal-types) in the Goldenrod Department Store. Granted, you probably won't be able to afford every single one yet, but if you can accept their low accuracy, you'll have some of the strongest moves before the third Gym.
    • Likewise, Dratini can be purchased from the Game Corner again as well. It comes with Dragon Rage, a Fixed Damage Attack that does 40 hp of damage no matter what, which can knock out both of Whitney's Pokémon in just two moves. It will eventually become dead weight due to opponents' HP getting too high to two-shot them and Dratini being very weak by itself until fully evolving.
  • It's possible to catch a Heracross in Azalea Town after beating Bugsy without much trouble. Coming off with a huge Attack stat, even by endgame standards, as well as decent bulk and speed, it can be taught Rock Smash through an HM to get decent STAB right off the bat. By the time it learns Brick Break, it'll be able to annihilate Whitney, especially if it has Guts. It also can learn a pretty good variety of moves by early-game standards, such as Aerial Ace and Shadow Claw, letting it take on Morty as well.
  • Just like in Gen II, you talk to the guard between Goldenrod City and Route 35, you can pick up a Spearow nicknamed Kenya. Unlike Gen II, Kenya comes at Level 20 evolves after one level to turn into Fearow and comes with Aerial Ace, possessing above-average Attack and Speed by endgame standards making it a decent choice against the 3rd to 5th gym. Its status as an outsider Pokémon, enables it to grow much faster than a regular one caught in the wild. Put together with access to Return (found in Goldenrod Dept. Store) and you have a very powerful Pokémon in the early to mid-game.
  • Just like in the originals, you can catch a Female Nidoran and evolve it into Nidoqueen before you challenge the third gym if you're lucky enough to get a Moon Stone from the Pokelethon, Whitney will be at a disadvantage (she resist Miltank's Rollout and isn't affected by Miltank's Attract). Not to mention in this Gen it can learn Dig which is in the National Park for good STAB and naturally learn Double Kick before evolving into Nidorina. It can pull its weight, but later on, its stats and noteworthy weaknesses to Water and Psychic will really start to hurt. That said, while she isn't as overpowered later on as it was early in the game, Nidoqueen is still perfectly capable of hanging in your party until after post-game.
  • Before the fourth Gym, a Scyther can be caught in the National Park's Bug Catching Contest each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Get one with the Technician ability (boosts the power of weaker moves) and it will power up Wing Attack on top of the STAB boost. This alone will allow Scyther to slice through most opponents without breaking a sweat. Further, you can acquire a Metal Coat from the wild Magnemite on Routes 38 and 39, trade Scyther holding it back and forth with a friend, and evolve it into Scizor. With its Steel-type, only one weakness, and no notable Trainers that make primary use of the type, Scizor can clear house like nobody's business.
  • Unlike Gen II, The HM for Surf can only be acquired just after beating the fourth gym. It is still the highest-powered Water-type special attack without a drawback, giving you enough power to breeze through nearly anything that doesn't specifically resist it until about 3/4 of the way through the game, where it balances out but remains effective.
  • The Safari Zone can get you evolved Pokémon at otherwise impossibly low levels (like a Magneton at Level 17 when it evolves from Magnemite at Level 30), assuming you know what you're doing.
  • Among the various things the player's mom can randomly buy is a Choice Scarf; something that is often unobtainable without slogging through the Battle Frontier or local variant (itself locked off until the Elite Four's defeat). Although you have to hope you get lucky in getting it, Pokémon holding it may be locked into using one move, but almost nothing will outspeed them, even a Gym Leader or Elite Four's Lightning Bruiser.
  • The Choice Specs can be found almost as soon as one arrives at the Lake of Rage. Though they can't be accessed on Wednesday (when the lake isn't flooded), getting them significantly boosts a Pokémon's Special Attack at the cost of locking them into one move. But if you can get away with spamming a certain move on an enemy (such as Ice Beam or Blizzard on Lance's three Dragonite), it's well worth it.

    Generation V 

Pokémon Black and White

  • If you got Black and White early, you had the chance to get the Liberty Ticket, which could net you a Victini before the third gym. Like Mew, it has 100 points in every stat, but it also comes with a decent moveset when you catch it. Even better, the after-mentioned third gym is Bug, which Victini has a type advantage against.
  • Dream World added a whole new arsenal of nukes to Gen V. Right after defeating the first gym and retrieving a Plot Coupon (all of which can be done in less than two hours from the beginning of a new game) you had access to the DW. Through the website you're allowed to catch Pokémon not ordinarily available in the games themselves and who also carry very good abilities. This way you could obtain such things as Bidoof with the incredible ability Moody - making it a Lethal Joke Character, Nidoran male or female with Hustle - which, upon evolving into Nidoking/Nidoqueen, acquire the brutally abusable ability Sheer Force, especially now that TMs can be used multiple times -, Tangela with Regenerator, Taillow with Scrappy, among many others. All this after, again, a mere 1-2 hours or normal gameplay.
  • Sawk and Throh in Black and White, respectively, are catchable as soon as you get to the 2nd gym and have stats that are far beyond anything at that point. Sawk is faster than pretty much everything and demolishes anyone who doesn't resist fighting while Throh, with his massive health, will be next to unkillable, and being Fighting-types, they make Lenora a complete and utter joke and easily crush most of your rival's Pokémon with their sheer power. Their lack of evolution and mono-typing reduce their effectiveness not long after.
  • Roggenrola can be found at level 10-13 in Wellspring Cave. Level it up to level 25 defeating wild Audino (the outer part of Pinwheel Forest is a good spot for this) for it to evolve into Boldore then trade it. You now have a Gigalith, with 135 base Attack and 130 base Defense, that will be able to tank attacks from Lenora's Pokemon without problem and dish-out massive damage in return.
  • The Desert Resort (and, by extension the previous route) might as well be called "Disc-One Nuke Resort". It's a home to some of the most devastating Pokémon the game can offer, such as Darumaka, Sandile, Scraggy, and Sigilyph. A special note can be placed on the evolved forms of Darumaka, Scraggy, and Sandile: Darmanitan is Kyogre's Physical and Fire-type equivalent in terms of immediate power, Krookodile is brutally strong and has amazing abilities/typing to work from, while Scrafty has great defenses on both sides, also has good abilities, and has such a good type match up throughout the whole game that until the Elite Four there are only one or two Trainers in the entire game who have an advantage or resistance against it. Even better, the Fossil Pokémon, including the elusive Archen, are acquired in the desert. Its almost as if the place is purposefully designed to house as many nukes as possible.
  • Drilbur. It can be acquired as early Wellspring Cave (right before the second Gym Leader). At level 31, it evolves from a mediocre Pokemon into Excadrill, a Lightning Bruiser that can be twice as fast when a sandstorm is in effect (or have powered-up Ground/Rock/Steel-type moves) and if you delay its evolution, learns Earthquake at level 33, roughly 20 levels before anything else naturally learns it.
  • Black players can trade a Cottonee for a Petilil early on in Nacrene City. She comes with a Modest nature (boosting Special Attack) and will grow fast thanks to being traded. A Sun Stone can be obtained in Nimbasa City to evolve her. If done before level 28, Lilligant will learn Quiver Dance which boosts her Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. Combined with Sleep Powder and Giga Drain, this makes it easy to set her up and sweep most opponents. Being a mono-Grass type does very little to stop her from wrecking nearly everything that doesn't resist Grass.
  • Axew (to Fraxure and to Haxorus) that can be caught in Mistralton Cave. Haxorus' base stats (147 ATK and 97 Speed) are no joke. Throughout power-leveling journey as the main Pokemon, learning Dragon Claw (80 Power) off the bat, Dragon Dance (ATK + Speed up) 1-2 levels later, Swords Dance (ATK up x2) at Lvl 50, and Outrage at Lvl 66 means this Pokemon almost always goes first while being able to kill in one hit. If Steel types are present, Haxorus can use T Ms to learn Brick Break and Dig/Earthquake to continue the rampage.

Black 2 and White 2

  • In Black 2 and White 2, there are several Gen V mons you can't obtain until late in the game, but could obtain in the Dream World without any worries. This means you could obtain very strong mons like Sawk, Throh, and Druddigon right off the bat, when you normally wouldn't encounter them in-game until Victory Road and Route 23. Plus, they all had Mold Breaker as their abilities, and some very awesome moves (Throh had a chance of knowing Superpower, a Fighting-type move twice as strong as most moves at that point). (With the Dream World offline, this is no more.)
  • In what is perhaps the most immediate (obtainable before the first gym) AND most devastating (besides trading for Legendaries) example for Pokémon yet, there are the Riolu in Black 2 and White 2's Floccesy Ranch. Though Riolu itself is weak, its evolution Lucario has endgame stats and happens to be a fan favorite. So one would expect Riolu to be a Pokémon that requires a very late level to accommodate its evolution's stats or require a hard to find stone to evolve, right? Actually, it's a happiness evolution, which means if you're (very) patient, you can get Lucario immediately. "Suffering with bad moves" is not a problem here as it is with a lot of early evolutions, because one of the first TMs you get is Return, which has base power determined by how high the Pokémon's happiness is, maxing out at 102 with no drawbacks...and just look at what "stat" we had to grind to evolve Riolu in the first place! Lucario's unique typing also means it's resistant to the first three gyms' specialty types, the second of which is literally a No-Sell to it.
  • At Flocessy Ranch, just minutes into the game, one can acquire Azurill, a new addition to the expanded Gen V Dex. It can potentially have Huge Power as an ability, which doubles its Attack from mediocre to actually pretty good. It evolves pretty quickly, requiring high Friendship to evolve into Marill, which then evolves into Azumarill not too long after. What makes it better is that Azumarill learns very strong moves like Aqua Tail and Double-Edge by level 25.
  • With the Pokémon Dream Radar app, you can get an incredible assortment of rare Pokémon with their Hidden Abilities before you leave the first town, all registered with your Trainer ID so they won't disobey you. One of them is the aforementioned Riolu...but why stop there? The Dream Radar's selling point was the Kami Trio after all, and after catching Landorus in the Dream Radar, you can pair the Dream Radar with other Gen IV games to catch their mascot Legendaries. A full team of various (obedient!) Olympus Mons before even taking on the first Gym? It can be done.
    • Another opportunity from the Dream Radar side game and a copy of the Johto Gen IV games in the cartridge slot (HeartGold for Ho-Oh, SoulSilver for Lugia), you could battle the corresponding box Legendary in Dream Radar and send it to B2/W2. This could be done as soon as you acquired the Pokédex, both Legendaries would have your Trainer ID so they would always obey you, and they come with their otherwise-inaccessible hidden abilities — Regenerator for Ho-Oh and Multiscale for Lugia.
  • You can also use that Return TM to turn Lillipup, a Com Mon available in literally the same place as the Riolu, into a powerful sweeper. Return is a Normal-type move, so the Normal-type Lillipup (and it's more powerful evolutions) will get STAB damage using it. Also available early in the game is the Silk Scarf item, which powers up Normal type moves when held. This combination can continue to be useful throughout much of the game, KO-ing nearly any Pokemon that doesn't resist Normal type attacks in one or two hits.
  • Another one is Magnemite in Black 2 and White 2, who can be captured right before the second gym, and at worst, one level away from Sonicboom, which at that point in the game is a 2-Hit-KO move to essentially anything while also having a nice Electric/Steel typing granting it 13 resistances, including a lot of Normal-type moves that you will face early in the game. Unlike Riolu, not only does it start strong (having an acceptable 95 base Special Attack), but it also comes with an acceptable STAB move in Thundershock, and has a well rounded movepool thanks to the Move Tutors and the infinitely-usable TMs. And to take it further, the second gym is completely ineffective against Magnemite. In addition, the line is brutally effective against the sixth gym, and it has overall good gym match ups for the rest of the game. It evolves into Magneton at level 30, which is pretty early, and again into Magnezone at the Chargestone Cave, which is not long after it evolves into Magneton. Forget Riolu; this thing, thanks to its insane availability and utility is widely considered to be the single best Pokémon for an efficient in-game run, up there with the likes of Gen I Alakazam.
  • Black 2 and White 2 have another in the form of not Pokémon, but cash. In Castelia City, you have access to Castelia Cones, which heal any status ailment and you can buy 12 at a time for just 100 Pokédollars. While this item is pretty fantastic in itself (Full Heals, which do the same thing and are found in Pokémarts, cost six times as much and aren't available until after you win 5 gym badges), there's an NPC another town over who will buy a single Castelia Cone for 2000 Pokédollars, which gives you a 1900 profit per cone. And, since you can buy twelve each day, that nets you a profit of 22,800 per day. This becomes especially useful with the introduction of Join Avenue, which can have a shop (or multiple shops) for training Pokémon. The cost to train your Pokémon up a level is high, but it's still less than the profit you get from the Castelia Cones, and you'd still have enough left over to train a Pokémon's individual stats. And again, this is all before the fourth gym.
    • Join Avenue itself can also aid in acquiring high sums of money. One of the first Shops you can manage is the Market, which is like a Pokemart but generally sells bundle packs of items for less than its counterpart. If you have access to the GTS, you can join the "Magnemite Stock Market", and trade Magnemites simply for bringing visitors to your Avenue. When the Market levels up enough, it will sell packs of either Lava Cookies or Rage Candy Bars (for about 400-600). The same NPC who will buy Casteliacones from you will also buy these items from you, for 4000-6000 apiece.
  • Yet another example from Black 2 and White 2 is Pokéstar Studios. It's available after the second gym and is basically this game's version of contests, but it doesn't take a whole lot of skill to get good items. The items include gems such as Moomoo Milk (not purchasable outside of Driftveil), Full Restores (not purchasable until after earning all the gym badges), and Max Revives (not purchasable at all). There's no limit to how many movies you can make, either, so you can rack up a pretty good amount of healing items before you even get to the third town.
    • After getting a Good Ending movie (successfully complete a movie with a Rental), you can make the movie again with your personal 'mons, and depending on the requirements, get a Strange/Odd Ending. If the requirements are met the film will become a cult classic of sorts, and your fans will give you even BETTER items, such as Nuggets, Big Pearls, Old Gateaux and Star Pieces. Star Pieces can be traded to a guy in Anville Town on weekends, for PP Ups. Anville can be accessed as soon as you reach Nimbasa City, possibly before challenging Elesa's gym.
  • And ANOTHER area from Black 2 and White 2 full of solid Pokémon for you to use is the Lostlorn Forest, which you can access not long after getting the third badge. Every single Pokémon findable there except male Combee makes a great addition to your team: Heracross in Black 2 is just as powerful as in HGSS, though White 2 instead gets the less powerful but still good Pinsir, with equal Attack and Swords Dance to utilize. A female Combee will evolve into Vespiquen at the low level of 21, with defenses strong enough to survive many things it's weak to and decent attacks, including Heal Order just four levels after evolution. Roselia has very high Special Attack, can utilize many ways to get the foe poisoned and slam them with Venoshock, and use strong Grass-type attacks like Giga Drain and Petal Dance, then it can evolve into a Pokémon with monstrous Special stats. Didn't get a Sewaddle early in the game? Here you can catch an evolved Swadloon instead. Same with Venipede, who evolves into a devastating Scolipede. Lastly, Petilil and Cottonee evolve into monstrous Pokémon (though Cottonee needs the Prankster ability to really be effective). So if you're short on team members, the Lostlorn Forest will be sure to offer.
    • What's more is that the forest also has a Breeder who carries both Herdier and Liepard, both of which have fairly high EXP yields. Here's the thing: Breeders can be rematched whenever you leave the area, so you can continually enter and exit the forest and have your Pokemon all levelled up in no time, making it a great training area before the fourth gym.
  • At one point during Black 2 and White 2 you're shown a hidden cave with a male Minccino with his hidden Skill Link ability inside. Catch him, train him, and evolve him into a Cinccino, and he's surprisingly powerful- Tail Slap, Bullet Seed, and Rock Blast all hit exactly 5 times for lots of damage. STAB Tail Slap alone does 188 base damage note , and the latter two deal 250 if they're super-effective. Pokemon weak to Rock or Grass? Taken down very fast. Substitute or Focus Sash users? They don't stand a chance. Steel-types? Just slap them silly with Wake-Up Slap, which he also learns. And he's damn fast and packs a punch, too. The kicker? He can be encountered before the 4th gym and is a forced battle, and though he needs the Move Relearner to access his coverage options, said NPC resides in the very next town.
  • If you use the Memory Link, you can encounter a level 35 Darmanitan that used to belong to N in the Desert Resort. Even in challenge mode, your enemies don't reach that level for another two gyms. The only thing stopping it from being a Game-Breaker is it has the rather lousy ability Zen Mode instead of the amazing Sheer Force. Not only that, but this Darmanitan, along with all of N's other Pokemon all have IVs of 30 across the board. Making them exceptionally strong compared to other wild Pokemon.
    • On Route 4, there is a Lv 25 Braviary or Mandibuzz depending on the version you're playing and the day, namely Monday in White 2 for Braviary and Thursday in Black 2 for Mandibuzz. They normally level up from their pre-evolved forms at Lv 54, but not only have these ones evolved early, they come with their Hidden Abilities. Mandibuzz gets Weak Armour which drops its Defense upon being hit by boosts its Special Defense, which it can actually put to good use with supportive moves like Tailwind or a boosting move like Nasty Plot, while Braviary gets Defiant, which will boost its already pretty high Attack by two stages if it's afflicted by a stat drop. With abilities like Intimidate or moves like Metal Sound flying around, Braviary can take the stat drops and take advantage of them.
    • For those that got the game early enough, Genesect is one. Its Steel/Bug typing make a lot of early stuff absolute cakewalks, but it loses a bit of its steam later on due to its extreme vulnerability to fire. It's difficult in the battle with Cheren, however, as you need one badge to get it to obey you. Otherwise, the fight will probably go on much longer than anticipated.

    Generation VI 

Pokémon X and Y

  • Fletchling carries on like Starly, getting fairly powerful as you teach it new moves, and then it becomes Fletchinder and starts getting STAB coverage in the offensively-strong Fire type. Once you raise it to Level 35 and evolve it into Talonflame, it becomes a swift and hard-hitting fiery bird of prey with a great offensive typing, and it eventually gets access to endgame moves like Brave Bird and Flare Blitz (the latter via Heart Scale at the Move Reminder). If you happen to run across one with its hidden ability Gale Wings, you have hit a major metagame jackpot. Gale Wings Talonflame rules over the entire Gen VI metagame because its ability gave it +1 priority to all Flying-type moves. This includes Brave Bird, a 120 base power damaging move, and Roost, a HP-recovering move. Gale Wings Talonflame can hit the opponents or recover its hit points reliably before anyone else moves, even under the influence of Trick Room. Bring a Choice Band or Life Orb to boost its damage output further and you get a powerful sweeper. It is so much a Game-Breaker that it have to be nerfed to the ground in the next generation.
  • One of the Bunnelby line's two normal abilities is Pickup, which means an automatic 10% chance of them picking up something useful, like a Poké Ball, Potion, Full Heal, or Escape Rope after every battle ending with the player victorious.note  Higher-level Bunnelby or Diggersby with this ability can pick up things like Ultra Balls, Max Revives, Full Restores, Rare Candies, and Leftovers. This makes the entire Bunnelby line useful even as Utility Party Members, as they will spend their time in the player's party occasionally picking up items that the player will more than often find to be of great use.
  • Like Black 2 and White 2, you can score Riolu before the first gym. This time though, there is a mechanic that will assure anything in the undiscovered group (including Riolu) to have a minimum of 3 IVs at 31. If you're lucky with the right stats, Riolu starts proving its uses, especially since you get Return before entering Lumiose City. Then comes Shalour where you get another Lucario with Hasty nature/31 Speed IV, but by this point you may use the Mega Stone on your own Lucario.
  • Early adoptors of Gen VI got access to a downloadable Event Torchic via Mystery Gift, which comes with the Blazikenite Mega Stone and has the ability Speed Boost. As the badge/level loyalty limit for "outsider" Pokémon starts at Level 30 after you beat Viola and keeps incrementing by 10 with each Gym victory, you'll probably never have Torchic disobey you after Viola unless you Level Grind too intensely.
  • Azurill can be captured fairly early in Route 3. Thanks to the addition of the Fairy type, Azurill's family gains additional resistances including an outright immunity to Dragon-type moves, and Huge Power is a massive boon offensively when it evolves and finally matures into Marill and then Azumarill, giving you access to a strong and bulky Water-type physical attacker that can easily trounce Dragons with Play Rough and smack everything else around with STAB Aqua Tail or Waterfall. Also like Riolu, Azurill is caught as a baby in the No Eggs breeding group, which guarantees 3 perfect-strength IV stats.
  • Route 4 gives you access to Budew, a baby Pokémon with the chance to have perfect IVs. Grass/Poison is a great type combo in the early game, with advantages over several gyms. If you're lucky enough to snag one with the Natural Cure ability, then you'll never have to worry about sleep or paralysis slowing it down between battles. Budew and its evolutions are faster than Bulbasaur and have a higher special attack, and when it evolves it can learn useful coverage moves like Shadow Ball, sniping any psychic types. If you're feeling really audacious, Roserade can even learn Sunny Day and start throwing Weather Balls around - a fire-type move more powerful than Flamethrower in sunny weather.
  • Pokémon-Amie is available right from the start, and using it to max out a Pokémon's affection only takes about half an hour's worth of minigames, petting, and tasty treats. Doing so will reward you with a Pokémon that has a chance of shrugging off status ailments, surviving an attack with 1 HP that would've knocked it out, gets critical hits much more often, and gets the same experience boost that traded Pokémon do. With a little time and effort, you can effectively have an entire team of lesser nukes by the time you get to the second town. Isn't The Power of Friendship great? Even better, Pokemon used in the Pokémon-Amie will remember you and their friendship level even if transferred to another game through Pokemon Bank (since that information is tied to your Nintendo ID account). This means that your level 97 Charizard you raised in XY with maxed-out affection will be ready and raring to go in ORAS and will be overjoyed to see you again. Likewise with the new Super Training feature, which lets you EV train your Pokémon any way you like without having to search for specific wild Pokémon to fight. Want to have a fully EV trained starter Pokémon before you even have your first wild encounter? Now you can!
  • While travelling to your second gym battle through the Connecting Cave, a little patience will reward you with an Axew. Right off the bat, it will know Dragon Rage, a move that always removes 40 HP from the target, regardless of type resistances. At this stage in the game, where most of your enemies will only have 60-70 hitpoints, Axew will be able to mulch anything that isn't a Fairy type in two hits. Not only that, if you keep it in your party for long enough, you'll be rewarded with a Haxorus, boasting a sky-high attack stat, access to powerful moves like Outrage, and a decent turn of speed to boot. Furthermore, the chance to have the powerful Mold Breaker ability will give you the opportunity to negate a lot of defensive abilities, from Levitate to Sturdy, and even bypasses Wonder Guard!
  • In the same area, you can find Whismur. It learns Uproar at Level 5, as a Normal-type move it gets STAB, and as of Generation V Uproar has a power of 90. The result, your little Level 5 Whismur can throw around 135 base-power attacks with no drawback, for three turns in a row, with the added benefit of being immune to Sleep while Uproar is active. If you're lucky you can find one with a Hidden Ability that eventually becomes Scrappy, allowing it hit Ghost-types with Boomburst.
  • In the Route immediately after you can find a Bagon. Bagon doesn't learn Dragon Breath until 31, but is still a fairly strong pokemon, as Dragon types tend to be. Its final evolution is Salamence, who's faster than Haxorus with a MUCH higher special attack while being marginally weaker in Attack.
  • You can also catch Oddish on Route 6 near the Parfum Palace. While that may not be that strong on its own, you'll be able to get a Leaf Stone in either the Stone Emporium in Lumiose City, or find one for free not too long after. Once it reaches Level 21 and evolves into Gloom, you can evolve it into a Vileplume, which got a small boost to its Special Attack, before the second Gym. On its own, it's closer to a Crutch Character, but you can also get the TM for Sunny Day in Lumiose and the Venoshock TM in the same area wher it is caught, which combos with Poison Powder (Venoshock's power is doubled when used on a poisoned opponent) for what's basically a STAB move with 130 Base Power (and 65 BP without poisoning the opponent first is still gonna hurt at that point in the game). And since it's a TM, the fact that Vileplume doesn't learn many moves on its own stings a lot less; Oddish learns Poison Powder at level 13, and Mega Drain at 19 note , so you can shove a Leaf Stone down its throat as soon as it evolves into Gloom and be totally fine with decent Grass and Poison STAB.
  • The new Pokémon storage app for the 3DS, Pokémon Bank, possibly provides the best nuke in all of Gen VI - a free Celebi given to everyone who uses the app before September 30, 2014. Of course, the term "free" is variable here, as Bank costs $5 a year to use (unless you downloaded it before January 31, which got you a 30-day free trial), but for some that's a small price to pay for a legendary Pokémon early on in the game and with your own OT.
  • From Route 6, players can catch Honedge, a Pokemon that has nine resistances and three immunities. When combined with a Defense that's impressive by endgame standards, it'll walk right over anything that's not super-effective or a powerful special sweeper. Even better, it resists the second and fourth gyms while completely no selling the third. Its final evolution Aegislash retains the same resistances and immunities, but its Stance Change ability and the corresponding King's Shield move, while coupled with Leftovers, means your Aegislash will be nigh invulnerable. Shield Forme Aegislash have high high defenses but mediocre attacks, while Blade Forme Aegislash swap the attack and defense stats. Stance Change makes Aegislash enter Shield Forme if King's Shield is to be used, and switch to Blade Forme if an attacking move is to be used. King's Shield is almost equivalent to Protect albeit unable to defend from status moves. One strategy is to use King's Shield to switch to Shield Forme in the beginning, and start racking up attack buffs using Sword Dances, before start spamming attacks in Blade Forme. This strategy allows Aegislash to sweep Champion Diantha 6-0, and ended up booting Aegislash to the Uber tier along with the legendaries in competitive gaming scene.
  • An Old Amber can be obtained from smashable rocks in Glittering Cave where you get the Sail/Jaw Fossil, and can be immediately revived as an Aerodactyl in Ambrette Town's lab. While it doesn't have a good match-up against Grant, it does have a good match-up against Korrina and Ramos with Aerial Ace, can be taught Bulldoze (which you can buy in Lumiose City) for Clemont, and has stats on par with the fully evolved starters at a point in the game when you don't have anything nearly as powerful. Oh, and you get its Mega Stone for free if you talk to one of the scientists in the lab.
  • With a bit of luck, it's possible to obtain a Nidoran (of either sex) with its Hidden Ability shortly after the second gym and obtain a Moon Stone to evolve it in the cave immediately afterwards for a Sheerforce Nidoqueen/king.
  • While ultimately a crapshoot, Wonder Trade can become this as soon as you're able to catch more Pokemon. If you're lucky, you might get something that can very easily carry you to the endgame. If you didn't get something useful, you can always Wonder Trade until you do.
  • Route 7 has the Battle Chateau, where you can Level Grind all the Pokemon mentioned above. If you screw around long enough (about 150 battles) and reach the rank of Marquis / Marchioness you can battle Furisode Girls who have two Experience Point heavy level 35 Audino. Or go compeletly nuts and get the rank of Duke/Dutchess Furisode Girls have three level 45 Audino.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

  • The first Mystery Gift promotion gave a free Shiny Beldum; not only does it come with Metagross' Megastone, it has moves that Beldum normally don't have, including Hold Back (which is pretty much the same as False Swipe) making it very useful for catching Pokémon, as well as Zen Headbutt and Iron Head. It evolves into one of the strongest pseudo-legendaries out there with one of the better Megas to boot and insane type coverage and resistances.
  • The DexNav allows you to track individual Pokémon with the potential for bonus Egg Moves, Hidden Abilities, the chance to having perfect IVs in up to a minimum of three stats, and the chance to have rare and powerful hold items. See those Seedots carrying Power Herbs note ? Pelippers with Lucky Eggs? Zigzagoons holding Revives? Lineoon holding Max Revives? Wurmples with Brightpowder? Absol with Life Orb?! There are some particularly absurd combinations:
    • Taillow, knowing Boomburst or Brave Bird (the latter makes the 2nd gym a cakewalk), with both moves having extremely high base power early on in the game.
    • Hidden Ability Shroomish with Bullet Seed, or Shroomish in general with moves like Focus Punch, Drain Punch, early Seed Bomb, and so on.
  • Like in the originals, Mudkip and its evolutions, have an advantage over 4 of the 8 Gyms due to their typing (Water for Mudkip, Water/Ground for Marshtomp). Marshtomp also only has one weakness (Grass) that isn't too common until later in the game and has good bulk, meaning you don't have to worry about it taking a lot of damage. It's final evolution, Swampert, is still a great Pokémon and valid member of an end-game team, with a Mega Evolution half way through the game.
  • Cosplay Pikachu in Contests. The thing comes with nearly maxed contest stats and you need only to pump a few Pokéblocks into it to max them fully, then get the scarves for each type of contest. Then change Pikachu's costume to the right contest type, and winning is extremely easy. At least until maybe Master Rank.
  • Once Omega Ruby players have the Mach Bike, they can backtrack to Granite Cave and explore the lower levels where wild Mawile lurk. While normally nothing too special, the Move Maniac in Fallarbor Town can teach it Iron Head and Play Rough, two very strong moves that are not normally learned until the late 40's. The catch is that he requires heart scales, and fortunately there happen to be two hidden on Slateport's beach. This gives you a Mon before the fourth gym that hits like a truck and shrugs off most damage thanks to its fantastic Steel/Fairy typing and high defense stats. To top it all off Mawile's Mega Stone is available early in Verdanturf Town. Even among the Mega Pokémon, Mega Mawile is very powerful due to its sky high attack, ensuring that you'll be steamrolling nearly everything the game throws at you.
  • The Ralts line returns in this role, and is a Psychic/Fairy type now, giving it a boost. The two types complement themselves greatly, with the Fairy typing patching up its weaknesses to Bug and Dark as well as Psychic being strong against the Fairy-type's weakness to Poison. The only issue is Steel-types, and Shadow Ball is now neutral to them as well. With the Exp. Share, Ralts can now be easily trained up in the background until it can take care of itself. Later in the game, the Gardevoirite can be obtained once you face the box art legendary, and Mega Gardevoir has a blistering 165 base Special Attack.

    Generation VII 

Pokémon Sun and Moon

  • Ash's Greninja is this for the entirety of the Sun & Moon special demo. Most Pokémon you encounter are either lower leveled or are unevolved (mid-stage top) and they don't resist his Night Slash, which is a powerful STAB attack. The only fairly strong Pokémon (that also happens to resist Dark-type attacks) is Hakamo-o, but it can be easily two-shotted by the super effective Aerial Ace. During the Totem Hakamo-o battle as well as against every new trainer that can be fought after the main event are two Pokémon in the opposing team, guaranteeing that Greninja will always transform into Ash-Greninja. The transformation gives him a base stat total increase of 110 points, an even 50 increase on Attack and Special Attack and an increase of 10 in Speed.
    • The Greninja can be transferred up to the main game, before the first trial. It will screw around a bit before your second island trial, but being way overleveled it can allow those mooks to scratch it for a while before waking up and throwing out a big attack.
  • During your first trial in Melemele Island's Verdant Cavern, you can find TM31 and use it to teach your Pokémon to use Brick Break. This is a fairly powerful Fighting-type attack that almost all Fighting-type Pokémon can learn, as well as a few non-Fighting-types — and you can catch several such Pokémon outside the cavern. This will allow you to pretty much one-shot the Pokémon you face during your trial, as they are either pure Normal or Dark/Normal.
  • You can get Magnemite as soon as you access Trainer's School, which is basically the beginning of the tutorial. In this game, this thing learns Thunder Wave, one of best status moves and incredibly helpful at catching Pokémon, at level 11, possibly long before you get to the first Kahuna. It then learns Sonic Boom at level 17, which basically 2HKOs everything at that part of the game, something very helpful against Totem Wishiwashi. While its final evolution, Magnezone, isn't available until the last island, you can put Eviolite found halfway through the game on it until then to have very versatile Pokémon.
  • In the same area, you can catch Alolan Grimer. This bucktoothed blob starts off with Bite as its main attack - a move that, with Grimer's Dark-type, reaches 90 base power - and with the Poison Touch ability, has the potential to poison everything it hits. Its Poison/Dark typing means that it has a single weakness (Ground) which you won't encounter in force until late in the game, and matches up well against most of the various Totem Pokémon. Grimer will start to flag as you hit the later islands...until it evolves into Muk, which naturally learns a plethora of hard-hitting moves like Crunch and Gunk Shot, and can use TMs to throw around moves like Fire Blast or Thunderbolt.
  • It's possible to get a Salamence before leaving the first island, 40 levels before before you'd evolve one naturally. The catch? It has a 1% spawn rate from a wild Bagon calling for help... and Bagon itself is a 1% encounter. If you have the dedication and/or luck though, Salamence practically erases all early-game difficulty, as there's nothing that threatens a 600 BST Dragon/Flying 'Mon until the second Grand Trial.
  • A special Munchlax could be obtainable via Mystery Gift before January 11th, 2017. Despite starting out at Level 5, it has solid stats. And as soon as obtaining that Munchlax, the player can receive Snorlium Z, though it can't use it unless it has Giga Impact. Its moves include Happy Hour (which can increase money gained from battles) and Hold Back (which always leaves a wild Pokémon with at least 1 HP remaining, making catching them easier.) What's more is that the Munchlax is marked as your own rather than as a traded Pokémon, so obedience will never be a problem.
  • You can also gain a Machop pretty early via in-game trade, right before the first Trial where the Boss is a Totem Gumshoos or Raticate depending on the game. However, you'll have to trade it and back to fully evolve Machoke into a Machamp in order to reach its full potential.
  • Just before the second trial, you can obtain the TM for Scald, a very powerful (80 base power) Water-type move that may also burn the target. Teach it to your Brionne if you chose it or one of the easily found local Water-types like Wishiwashi (whose Schooling forme has stats on par with legendaries), Wingull (that evolves into Pelipper that can gain Drizzle) or Dewpider (whose Water Bubble ability doubles the power of its Water-type attacks), and you can run right over anything that doesn't resist Water for a large portion of the game.
  • Eevee can be found in the wild not too long after you reach Akala Island, and you can get an Eevee egg from the Nursery by talking to one of the breeders there. Because the Soothe Bell is obtained on Melemele Island, and Pokémon Refresh is available since the game's first hour, it's highly possible to obtain an Espeon, Umbreon, or a Sylveon before even facing the first totem on Akala. Evolving them gives a pretty large boost to their stats - and Sylveon is trivially easy to obtain. Further, similar to Salamence above, the wild Eevee on Routes 4 and 6 may call for help and summon an Espeon (during the day) or Umbreon (at night). This allows you to catch one directly and skip over the friendship grinding (Espeon can possible have the Hidden Ability magic Bounce).
  • Wishiwashi can be caught immediately once you reach the first Trial site on the second island. While its normal form is among the weakest of all Pokémon, upon reaching level 20 it gains access to its School Form as long as its HP is above 25%. Despite its low HP and speed, the rest of School Form's base stats are 130-140. Furthermore, the TM for Scald, one of the best Water-type moves in the game, can be found in the same route as Wishiwashi, and a Z-Move with Scald as its power reaches 160, one-shot almost anything that doesn't resist Water-type. The developers decided this was a bit excessive and moved the Scald TM all the way to Poni Island in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, requiring Wishiwashi to use Brine for the Hydro Vortex base until it gets Dive at level 30 or is tutored Aqua Tail on Ula'Ula Island.
  • From the items, Amulet Coin that doubles the money received if Pokémon held with it participated in the battle. You can find one on Paniola Ranch, just before Lana's trial. You'll have enough money to warrant you easy cruise through the game.
  • Alolan Raichu, a Special Attack focused form of Raichu with Surge Surfer, an ability that doubles Alolan Raichu's Speed stat when it's under the effects of Electric Terrain. There's a catch though: Electric Terrain doesn't become part of the Pichu family's learnset until Generation 8. However, Pichu can inherit Electric Terrain as an Egg Move, and breeding is unlocked by the time you get to Paniola Ranch. With a bit of careful breeding, you can end up with a Lightning Bruiser with an effective Speed stat of 220, guaranteed to outrun basically anything and everything you'll run into.
  • Mankey learns Cross Chop, one of the strongest Fighting-type attacks without a major drawbacks, aside from shaky accuracy, at level 22. This can be further enhanced by the Fightium-Z, as well as bypass the bad accuracy, too.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

  • A Rockruff with Own Tempo for its Ability was released via Wi-Fi at launch until January 10th, 2018. It comes with Fire Fang or Thunder Fang, two reasonably powerful moves for that point in the game, Happy Hour to give the player more money at the end of Trainer battles, and it can evolve into Dusk Lycanroc—which hits very hard with Tough Claws and moves very fast at base 110 speed. Its usefulness is offset by the extremely specific conditions under which it evolves (only between 5:00 and 5:59note ) and the fact that its defenses are below average later in the game. Thankfully, it can breed to create more Own Tempo Rockruff, but those can never learn Happy Hour.
  • Hawlucha is available very early in the game as a trade for a Spearow in a Pokémon Center on Route 2. Spearow is catch-able just outside the Pokémon Center right in the grass. Hawlucha already comes with both STAB moves and a stat booster, and easily demolishes the first and fourth trials (Normal and Grass, respectively) all by itself. While frail, the game is full of Dark-types, which conveniently are weak to one of Hawlucha's types, and next to nothing outspeeds it, atop a respectable 92 attack stat. Hawlucha can steamroll the game almost entirely by itself. Additionally, the Ultra games allow you to obtain the Flyinium Z as soon as you can access Ten Carat Hill (Machamp Shove is no longer required to get it), and with Fightinium Z still collected during the storyline, Hawlucha can make Z-Moves of both its STAB types before leaving the first island.
  • In the originals, the Flyinium Z was available at Ten Carat Hill, but couldn't be accessed until late in the game because Machamp Shove was needed. Not so much here, as the Strength boulder is no longer in the path, allowing you to access the Flyinium Z as soon as you have Tauros and access to Ten Carat Hill. The Z-Crystal is a significant up for your Flying-types.
  • You can catch Inkay just outside Professor Kukui's lab, and it can make the early game a breeze. It comes with the Contrary ability, which turns the million-and-a-half stat-reducing moves you'll be dealing with into stat boosts, and Reflect, which halves the damage dealt by Physical moves at a point where almost all the attacks you'll be dealing with are Physical. And a couple levels after that, it learns Foul Play, which is miles stronger than just about anything you'll have access to at that point. Its signature move, Topsy-Turvy, is also obtained relatively early on and is useful against any buff-happy opponents you come across; considering the games' storyline, you'll have plenty of opportunities to use it.
  • Magnemite reprises its role like in the previous game, only this time its final evolution, Magnezone, can be achieved on the third island.
  • In this game', you can even give your Alola-Grimer Fire Punch right after arriving on Akala Island, to give it the edge against Steel-types. Not bad for a pile of melted plastic.
  • Once you reach the Battle Royal Dome, you have access to the BP vendors, where you can get items like the vitamins for only 2 BP, as with the beaches, but in addition, the Power items are available for 16 BP each, which can allow you to pump in EVs early with relative ease and the right patience. But the biggest eye-catcher of all the items you can get there is arguably the Ability Capsule, which comes at 100 BP. In most games, you wouldn't be able to get BP before the post-game. But with access to Mantine Surf, you can get BP in and get these items that are sure to be a help if you take them.
    • Uproar is a powerful move for when it's available, having a power on par with moves in the end-game.
    • Signal Beam, Giga Drain, and Fire Punch are available as soon as you get to Akala Island, all of which are strong moves and low BP costs that can be obtained easily with a few Mantine Surf runs.

Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!

  • Several return from the previous Kanto games, with some of them getting even more "Nuke"-like bonuses this time around in this gen:
    • The Nidoran line of each gender can still be caught west of Viridian City very early on, and evolve into Nidorina/Nidorino at level 16. With a Moon Stone found in Mt. Moon, one can get a Nidoqueen or Nidoking before the second Gym, and as a fully-evolved Pokémon with solidly above-average stats it will breeze through the early game, and pull its weight even in the later stages. In the past, their pitiful movesets were the only downside to this early evolution, though it could be made up with their ability to learn a wide variety of TMs. Here, in addition to great TM coverage, they learn additional moves by level up such as the powerful Megahorn and Superpower.
    • The TM for Dig can still be obtained right after the second gym, can be taught to a wide variety of Pokémon (including the aforementioned Nidoking/Nidoqueen who get a STAB bonus), and hits like an end-game level move. Since TMs are no longer single use unlike previous Kanto games, you can teach it to as many Pokémon as you wish.
  • For the starter Pikachu, Zippy Zap can be learned prior to the second gym. While it only has a base power of 50, it is a priority move and almost always critical hits, allowing it to punch above its weight. It will make short work of Misty's gym and will likely be in Pikachu's moveset for the rest of the game, though it balances out in the later stages.
  • The TM awarded for being Brock contains Headbutt, a 70 base power Normal-type move that can cause flinching with no drawbacks. The starter Eevee gets STAB damage using it and can steamroll anything that doesn't resist it through the next several areas, while it will be an upgrade to the early moveset of any decent physical attacker who can learn it since it can be used repeatedly.

    Generation VIII 

Pokémon Sword and Shield plus DLC

  • Thanks to a more open-world approach in this game, the Wild Area gives you a lot of high-leveled Pokémon to explore early in-game. If you like Save Scumming at the earliest to determine a Pokémon's level and know the areas where to capture those kinds, feel free to catch 1-6 Level 20 Pokémon in the wild and then EV Train them via doing jobs. If you manage to calculate the badge's statuses, you'll be many levels ahead of the game playthrough.
  • Rookidee is in a similar boat to the above Starly. It learns Power Trip at level 4, which means it'll likely already have it in its kit by the time you get one. While this seems fairly useless at the beginning, due to it not having any buffing moves, stay with it and it learns Hone Claws at level 8. After one usage, Power Trip jumps up to the same base power as the aforementioned Wing Attack, and after two, it hops up to 80. Despite Rookidee lacking STAB on the move, it's still rather broken for the very early game Com Mon.
  • Yamper, early in-game, to Boltund. Yamper can Nuzzle, which is 100% guaranteed to paralyze against enemies early in-game because there are very few electric nor ground types to worry about. Once it evolves to Boltund, the mass increase in speed means it can outpace most Pokémon throughout the game. Its Strong Jaw ability can make Bite and Crunch very powerful in the early run, while being able to learn Thunder Fang and Fire Fang later on to diversify effectiveness.
  • By spending a bit of time in the Wild Area, you can acquire quite a bit of Watts just by wandering and hitting all of the power spots. You can then exchange those Watts for various Technical Records, some of which are end-game moves. Additionally, by trading a very small amount of Watts with fisherwomen, you can also get some very valuable things from them. You can conceivably have a team of Pokémon with end-game move pools and more money than you will ever need in the game. This is all before the first gym.
    • You can also find stone evolution Pokémon in the Wild Area (primarily Vulpix, but Munna can also be found in Dynamax battles). If you stealth your way through the second Wild Area past the bridge - which you can, because wild Pokémon are no longer random encounters -, you can also find the evolution stones required. Stone-evolved Pokémon don't tend to learn more moves as they level up, but have several moves in their 'already-learned' backlog as if they had learned and forgotten them at an earlier date. Move Relearners in this generation are available everywhere and have no charge. Say hello to Lv. 15 Flamethrower on a Pokémon with evolved stats.
    • Because very few portions of the Wild Area are cut off, it is very possible to get one of the game's most powerful Pokémon the first time you enter in Shield. The very first area in a sunny temperature has a high chance of spawning a Growlithe. Capture two, a male and a female in the 8-10 range, then head up and dodge your way to the breeding center across the river to deposit your two Growlithe. Get yourself an egg, then head back to the river to find a Fire Stone nearby. Take the egg and the Fire Stone to Motostoke, use the Fire Stone as soon as the egg hatches... and within about two hours of starting the game you have yourself a level 1 Arcanine with full access to the move backlog; an Arcanine that early with Bite, Extremespeed, Flame Wheel/Flamethrower, and Play Rough is a force to be reckoned with and you'll basically only have to worry about Water and Ground types. Already with stats to match the level 3-5 Pokémon you were fighting on Route 1, Arcanine will get the most out of the massive stat pool, to the point where the only other one that can get those absurd gains anywhere near that quickly is Appletun, and even that's not until after you've completed the first set of gyms.
  • Sirfetch'd can be obtained very early in Sword, immediately after catching Farfetch'd if the Farfetch'd you catch is holding a Leek. All you have to do is score three critical hits in a single battle — easily done since the Leek boosts its critical hit chance.
  • Those with access to the Crown Tundra DLC may also get access to the most absurd nukes in the whole series: Just like the Isle of Armor DLC, the Crown Tundra is accessible as soon as you have access to the main wild area. Unlike Isle of Armor, all of the wild Pokémon are at or above level 60, but these aren't the Pokémon you're here for. While you get into a mandatory battle with Peony, you don't need to win to progress. Once that's done, you're given access to Dynamax Adventures, an underground cavern area where you can catch all the legendaries from the past games. You don't need to use your own Pokémon as you're given rentals, and if you manage to get through to the end, you'll face off against the legendary, and if you manage to defeat it, the Pokéball you'll throw is guaranteed to be successful. This ultimately means that with a bit of luck, you could own a legendary Pokémon like Suicune, Latios or other legendary before you even get your first badge, and they'll obey you since they have your Trainer ID.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

  • The Old Save Bonus gifting you a pair of Mythicals (Mew for the Let's Go! games and Jirachi for Pokémon Sword and Shield in Floaroma Town, which you go to right after the first Gym. Either one of them will be more than enough to carry you through the rest of the game once you train them up (and as you are the original trainer, there's no disobedience issues).
  • If Chimchar was picked, it becomes this very quickly due to learning Power-Up Punch very early. Fire weak to rock in the early run? That move gets them hard while increasing attack to sweep. Mix that up with its fast speed and your opponents will have less options to defeat you.
  • The Bidoof line, of all Pokémon. It evolves at an early level 15, after which it has a nearly-unresisted combo of Normal and Water for STAB. Sounds decent, if held back by low power moves and mediocre stats...but if your Bibarel has the Simple ability, teach it Work Up via TM and you suddenly have a way to double both its offensive stats in one turn and proceed to sweep teams just by clicking one of two moves each turn. This can be done before the second Gym.
  • You can get access to the Grand Underground as soon as you reach Eterna City. Unlike the Underground in the DS games, this area contains hideways which are home to numerous Pokémon. Since these games follow the original Sinnoh dex, the hideaways also include a handful of Pokémon that were added in the Platinum version. Some of the Pokémon that you can get before even taking on the second gym include Houndoom, Gastrodon, Rhyhorn and Magnemite (which you can evolve into Magnezone pretty quickly too due to Mt. Coronet being close and coming in high levels to begin with), and a lot of these Pokémon probably have higher level averages than your party at that point of the game. Unlike Sword and Shield, there's no level restriction on Poke Balls, and since you're capturing these yourself, they'll always obey you.
  • The Veilstone City Department Store sells TMs on its third floor, like before. However, while the TMs were limited to Awesome, but Impractical attacks like Fire Blast and Hyper Beam in the originals, in the remakes, they now stock more practical attacks like U-Turn, Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Dazzling Gleam and and Psychic, which used to be limited to the Game Corner as rewards. They're cheap to buy, so players can easily equip their entire team with much more powerful moves than they should have at this point. Doubly so in Dazzling Gleam and Psychic's case since the Fighting type Gym is in the lower right of town.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

  • Averted when it comes to Alpha Pokémon. Even if you somehow manage to catch one several levels above you, don't expect it to listen to you at all until you have the proper Star Rank.
  • The Obsidian Fieldlands, the game's first area, has multiple Pokémon that evolve without level requirements including Scyther and Stantler, which have new Hisuian evolutions in Kleavor (evolved with a piece of Black Augerite which can be dropped by the Graveler near Oreburrow Tunnel) and Wyrdeer (evolved by using Psyshield Bash enough times), respectively. Catching and evolving them early will give you a heavy hitter who should trivialize most battles through the next area or two. Even if you don't have the rank for full obedience of these Pokemon yet, catching higher level Pokemon in this area first thing like Beautifly and Starraptor (Who have levels in the 40s) can also help with gaining bursts of EXP of your team.
  • Space-Time Distortions can pop up anywhere, including very early on, and often have high-level, evolved Pokémon. While you'll need the appropriate star level for them to obey, it isn't difficult to reach a star level much higher than the levels of your team of Pokémon by focusing on completing Pokédex research tasks early on. If you can catch it, adding something like a Rhydon, Kadabra, or Magneton that is twenty levels higher than your main party will serve as a nuke at least the first half of the game.
    Generation IX 

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

  • Unlike Sword and Shield, here there are no pesky restrictions holding you back from catching high-level 'mons right off the bat, though catch rates improve as you unlock more badges on the Victory Road storyline. HOWEVER, there are Terastalized Pokemon that have higher levels than normal even in the early game. If you can lower its HP enough against a Terastalized Pokemon, it is possible to catch them. And if you do, you'll be in for a power trip provided your Pokémon would listen to you should you get your Pokemon's level near the current obedience cap.
  • Flamigo can best be described as "Staraptor, but at the very beginning of the game," being a one-stage Pokémon with a BST of 500 - just outside the realm of the fully-evolved starters - wandering right out in the open along with all the other unevolved Com Mons, and you can catch it and add it to your team, no strings attached, before the game has even truly started. With a great Flying/Fighting type for type-coverage (bonus points if it has Scrappy to hit Ghost types) along with having an incredible 115 Attack and respectable 90 Speed, Flamigo can effectively outspeed and one-shot pretty much anything it comes across, especially in the early game. You'd think this would mean that it was designed to be a Glass Cannon, but for in-game use, it has manageable defensive stats at 82 HP, 74 Defense, and 64 Special Defense.
  • Cyclizar, like Flamigo, can be caught early in the game, being found on the early areas to the east and west of Mezagosa, and it has a BST of 501 that competes with many fully evolved Pokémon. Its Dragon typing gives it an array of useful resistances, and while it doesn't hit as hard as Flamigo due to its typing and lower attack stats, it is much faster, and Breaking Swipe's attack stat reduction works very well against boss Pokémon like the Titans and the Starmobiles. Should you Terastalize it, you can easily sweep through the early parts of the storylines.
  • Lucario returns with a vengeance, as similar to the examples in Black 2 and White 2 and X and Y above, Riolu can be acquired on the very first route and as a friendship evolution, you can get Lucario at about the same time you could Flamigo. Even better, Lucario still doesn't struggle with bad early moves, as it now learns the powerful Aura Sphere (A Base 80 Power Fighting-type move that cannot miss) immediately upon evolving, alongside being able to learn other moves such as Vacuum Wave, Metal Claw, Rock Smash and even Life Dew, through the now always-accessible move relearning function.
  • Another returning nuke from Black 2 and White 2 is Azumarill. Marill can be caught fairly early in the game at around level 20 and Azurill can be caught in the approach to Mesagoza before the game opens up, and evolves into Azumarill very soon after. In addition to having solid bulk and a massive functional Attack stat due to Huge Power, Azumarill learns strong moves very quickly — Aqua Tail at level 21, and Play Rough at level 25. So, before beating more than a few of the gym leaders or Team Star bosses, you have an endgame-level Pokémon with very powerful attacks, which also levels up faster than the rest of your team due to being in the Fast EXP group. Have fun.
  • Yet another nuke imported from Unova is Petilil. Though it's a rather rare spawn only found in a few fringe areas of the Western Province (and one hard-to-reach cove in the Southern Province's Area Four), it still has a strong starting kit with Magical Leaf and Sleep Powder. You can find a Sun Stone lying not too far from where it's most commonly found, and once it evolves? You'll have access to a litany of powerful Grass-type moves as well as Quiver Dance via move relearning. The best part is that Lilligant learns Petal Dance, a Special Grass version of Outrage, upon evolving, and it can even have the Own Tempo ability to offset its confusion recoil. All of this is available before Iono, which she has a great matchup against (aside from her lead Wattrel). The only letdown (aside from Petilil's rarity) is that it doesn't get much for coverage outside of Grass moves and Pollen Puff, though if you're lucky enough to find one with a good Tera Type then this isn't an issue thanks to Tera Blast. As a bonus, Lilligant looks great in just about any Tera Jewel thanks to it being placed on her flower.
  • The Gible/Gabite/Garchomp line becomes this if you know where to look. After beating the Cortondo gym, head up into the western hills and start searching in caves to find Gible at levels 14-17, notably making this one of the earliest appearances of any Psuedo-Legendary in the series. Unlike some of the other Pseudos' Magikarp Power, Gible is a decent fighter that can hold its own while you train it, and gets a power, defensive and massive speed boost upon evolving into Gabite at level 24, at least six levels faster than the others Pseudos. The first two Team Star bosses you're supposed to encounter - Dark and Fire - can't do a lot to it with the Ground/Dragon typing, and it only gets stronger from there.
  • Ralts is available in the very first area, and if you catch a male Ralts with Trace, it's worth keeping around - the Dawn Stone is available in the area after Levincia, which should be right after Ralts evolves into Kirlia, at which point you can then evolve it into Gallade. What makes Gallade particularly good is the new toys it got this generation: the ability Sharpness, which boosts slicing moves by 50%, and Sacred Sword ready to re-learn immediately, giving you an offensive juggernaut with a 135 base power STAB move by the third Gym. As the cherry on top, Gallade has a decent library of slicing moves in his backlog that can be swapped out on the fly thanks to the ability to re-learn moves at will, letting him mix and match moves as needed. Oh, and Gallade naturally learns False Swipe to help with catching wild Pokémon, along with a wide enough variety of slicing moves to hit most of the bosses in the game for super-effective damage.
  • You can catch a Mankey really early on, possibly even before your first major battle. While being a threat in an of it's own right one it gets Cross Chop at level 22, it becomes much more terrifying when it reaches it's final evolution of Annihilape. Having and amazing offensive type combo of Fighting/Ghost and the same base stat total as Swampert (535) already makes it really good, but the stats are distributed in a way that makes it a physical Lightning Bruiser the moment it evolves. It is possible to get this monster as early as level 36, meaning there will be a massacre as early as Larry's gym.
    Spin-Off Games 
  • Pokémon Colosseum
    • The game starts you off with two Pokémon: Espeon and Umbreon. While Umbreon is nothing special (it's more of a tank), Espeon is a monster if you stick with it. It starts off with Confusion (despite being a weak Psychic move, it can one-shot a lot of early Pokémon), Return (for plot reasons, Espeon starts at max happiness), and Reflect (amazing in a game where Double Battles are the norm). It only gets stronger as time goes on, learning Psybeam and Psychic, and it's formidable even late in the game. It helps that the only other Pokémon in the game with Psychic coverage are Remoraid (which gets Psybeam, but no STAB from it) and Meditite (which only learns Confusion), unless you get the Psychic TM.
      • Umbreon should not be underestimated. Since this game uses double battles, having a Stone Wall can be very useful. Umbreon is one of the best tanks at this point in the series, thanks to Bug and Fighting attacks not being very widespread yet. It can learn a number of support moves, like Confuse Ray. While normally these moves aren't a big deal, they can go a long way to helping out in double battles. Having a tank is also very useful when trying to catch Shadow Pokémon. The TM for Taunt can be found early, and this move is able to completely shut down Mirror B's strategy of setting up his Ludicolo. It can also shut down a number of other bosses who rely on non-attacking moves.
    • Shadow Entei and Suicune. Entei is held by Dakim, who is fought around halfway through the game, while Venus and her Suicune aren't much farther forward. They can be a hassle to catch (especially Entei, since it doesn't resist Dakim's Earthquake spam), but when you do snag them, you have two legendaries with decent movesets even before they're purified (which would take a while if it weren't for both of them being located near Time Flutes). Entei comes with a powerful Fire Blast (which can be replaced with Flamethrower at level 51 for more reliability) and a Sunny Day to boost it, while Suicune has Surf and learns Aurora Beam when it gets to level 41. Shadow Raikou doesn't get to join in on the early fun, though, as it's used by the boss of the penultimate dungeon (though it's still perfectly usable for the remainder of the game).
  • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
    • Like Colosseum, the game allows you to evolve your starter Eevee into an Espeon. However, it's not as broken, since the other Eeveelutions can be just as effective and this game has more Psychic-type options (such as Ralts, Baltoy, Lunatone, and Natu). But it does come with Bite as extra coverage.
    • Jolteon may count as a milder example, also being a fair notch above the early game foes statistically. It's incredibly fast, quite powerful, has Bite for coverage, not hard to get it decent STAB moves and can be taught Thunder Wave early to help snag Shadow Pokémon.
    • By returning the Shadow Togepi to Hordel as soon as it's purified will have him give you an Elekid with all three Elemental Punch attacks and Cross Chop. It's also not too far off from evolving into an Electabuzz at the level you get it, especially since it has boosted EXP, so it can easily be on your team for the rest of the game, if no longer the "nuke" it once was.
  • Pokémon Rumble
    • Pokémon obtained via passwords can be this, as they can one-shot anything that's not a boss.
    • Want to have some fun? Get the NFC figures that you can use in Pokémon Rumble U, use it before the area that has Keldeo as a boss, and it can kick some butt. But what really takes the cake is the Pre-Order Bonus Toy Pokémon figures Black Kyurem and White Kyurem. Now, it's just a bonus at first glance, but when you scan it, you will eventually realize that Black Kyurem and White Kyurem have strength power in the freaking 2,000s! And that's impossible to get this early in the game! Using Black Kyurem or White Kyurem, any of them can kick any boss square in the butt in one freaking hit! Those Toy Pokémon that don't reach beyond that level will NOT stand a chance against your amazing Black Kyurem or White Kyurem figure. To make things even more awesome, tune up your Pokémon figures using the coins that defeated Toy Pokémon drop, and they'll kick even more ass.
    • Tapping a figure to the GamePad mid-level will summon a giant Toy Pokémon to help you for a short time. You can do this with the official figures to have a giant Black Kyurem wreck your enemies, but what if you don’t use an official one. Tapping a non-Rumble NFC can summon any random Pokémon, including Olympus Mons. This can be done with the Skylanders toyline that was very popular at the time, the amiibo that would replace the Rumble U figures, or even just a hotel keycard.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team
    • Bullet Seed, possibly the most broken attack in the early stages of the game, which by default turns every Grass-type starter/partner option into this. It gives the user 2-5 hits in a row of a standard Grass-type attack while working at a distance in a straight line. This makes most boss fights an absolute joke, even though most of the game's bosses resist or double-resist Grass-type attacks, just due to the sheer damage output. It’s obtainable pretty much as soon as you start getting TM’s, roughly around the time of the fourth dungeon from shops and rescue rewards (it's available as of the sixth dungeon as a random drop, which is still before the mid-game Plot Tunnel). And that’s even if you don’t use Wonder Mail to just generate it as a custom rescue reward, which you can do right after the completion of the second dungeon. While there are better attacks available late-game or to certain evolution lines, Bullet Seed is prolific, easily obtainable, and exceptionally powerful while being available to many of the game's starter and partner Pokémon.
    • Bulbasaur stands out even among the Grass-type starters for a couple reasons. First, it learns Sleep Powder and Leech Seed early on, two moves that can be exceptionally helpful against both early-game enemies and bosses alike. Second, the large number of resistances that its secondary Poison typing give it are really helpful against early-game opponents, as well as the complete immunity to the Poison status. Thirdly, it learns the aformentioned Bullet Seed while also getting Razor Leaf, making Bulbasaur a tremendous threat at a distance. As a bonus, Grass/Poison Pokémon have above-average IQ gains from every type of gummi in the original Red and Blue Rescue Team, making it much easier to grind IQ for Bulbasaur than any other starter or partner Pokémon.
    • Speaking of starters, there's an even bigger Disc-One Nuke there than Bulbasaur, potentially turning into a full-on Game-Breaker: Skitty, of all things, as not only does it naturally learn Double Slap (and only at level 16, to boot) to take advantage of the extreme power of Multi-hit moves (A feature it retained in DX, unlike the Grass starters losing access to Bullet Seed) on top of excellent coverage through moves such as Thunderbolt and Blizzard, but it also gains access to arguably the single most broken ability in all of Rescue Team, Cute Charm. Since Gender does not exist in Rescue Team, Cute Charm affects everything, making even attacking Skitty potentially dangerous for its opponents. It is such that in both the originals and DX, Skitty is widely considered to be the strongest of the starters.
  • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon
    • One of the first Pokémon you can befriend is a Level 50 Salamence, when your own Pokémon are at Level 15 at best. Salamence's extreme power early on is compensated by itself being somewhat difficult to recruit (as it has to be defeated when it practically One Hit Kills everything) and the fact it's unavailable to call most of the time, as well as the forced story progression, ensures one cannot take advantage of it too often before the post-game.
  • Pokémon Conquest
    • Pokemon with Dragon Rage are this in Warlord storylines where they can be used from the beginning (Kotaro, for example, starts with Deino in his own storyline). The 40 HP in damage will easily one- or two-hit KO ennemy Pokemon encountered early in the storylines.
    • Mitsunari starts his storyline with the already fully-evolved Scizor that deals easily with enemy Pokémon encountered.