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Disc One Nuke / Pokémon

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Disc One Nukes in the Pokémon series.

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    First Generation 
  • Bulbasaur is widely considered to be the easiest of the three starters to use for a reason. It's a Poison type, which gives it resistances to many common early-game Pokemon (and immunity to the status effect of the same name), and can carve through the first two gyms' Pokemon like a hot knife through butter. It starts to have more trouble once Psychic, Ice and Flying types become more common, but for much of the early game it's a steamroller and remains strong through the endgame.
  • Caterpie can be caught in Viridian Forest, which will ultimately evolve into Butterfree at level 10. In Red and Blue, Butterfree learns the move Confusion at level 12, and in Yellow, Butterfree learns Confusion as soon as it evolves at level 10.note  As a Psychic attack, Confusion is inherently strong and can exploit many opponents' weaknesses. It also has a 10% chance of confusing the opponent. Later on, Confusion gets replaced with the more powerful Psybeam, which can also confuse the opponent.
  • Rattata, one of the game's resident Com Mons, learns Hyper Fang, an 80 base power move (equal to several endgame moves) that gets a STAB boost to boot... at level 14note . A Rattata with this move becomes an absolute beast in the early stages of the game. This is likely one of the reasons Team Rocket constantly uses them.
  • You can also can catch either gender of Nidoran in Route 22, west of Viridian City, which is before you enter Viridian Forest, and when it evolves into Nidorino or Nidorina at level 16, you can use the Moonstone you can find in Mt. Moon after beating the first Gym and immediate evolve it into the powerful Nidoking or Nidoqueen respectively. While the two monsters didn't learn many moves through level ups besides Thrash in the 1st generation, they make up for it in stats and the powerful TM/HM moves both of them can learn such as Dig, Hyper Beam, Double Team, Surf, and several others.
    • They get even more of a boost in Yellow Version, where their moveset is shuffled — like with Butterfree and Confusion, this may have to do with the fact you're expected to take on Brock with a 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.
    • As an indication of how strong they are, most Speedruns of Generation I games tend to ditch their starter for a Nidoran as early as possible.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • In Yellow Version Route 22 is home not only to the Nidoran duo but also to Mankey, a quick and powerful Fighting type that originally could not be caught until much later in the game in Red version. It learns powerful attacks such as Low Kick and Karate Chop at very low levels, making it an excellent choice for fighting Brock and travelling through Mt. Moon.
  • By training the useless Magikarp, which can be acquired the moment you get an Old Rod (or even earlier in the first games, if you're willing to buy the Pokémon from a shady merchant), it will evolve into the incredibly powerful Gyarados at level 20. Even if you don't go out of your way to power-level your Magikarp, it's not hard to make this happen before you or most opponents have anything else that compares.
  • A similar example from Generation I (when Psychics were still the rocket launcher of Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors) would be to catch an Abra as soon as you reached Cerulean, level it up until it evolved into the very-respectable Kadabra at level 16, then trade it to a friend and back to make it further evolve into Alakazam. Carnage ensues. Sending it to the Generation II games also allows it to learn the various elemental punches, making it even more powerful.
  • Back in Generation I, you could get Dig before the second Gym, even though it had the stats of an endgame attack. Better yet, it was super effective against several Gyms and most Mons could learn it, including two of the starters.
  • Speaking of Dig, Diglett itself. Diglett's Cave can be entered after fighting Misty, and it's pretty much impossible to poke around there without encountering at least one. 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 the move. Diglett may be a Fragile Speedster and Glass Cannon, but STAB Dig is 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 in the rest of the game. Diglett is also incredibly fast, with Dugtrio being one of the fastest Pokémon in the game (with a correspondingly high crit rate).
  • Early on in the game the player can find a(n) Ekans/Sandshrew on Route 4 (depending on which version of the game they have). While they aren't very helpful for the fight against Misty (unless the player has the patience for Ekans' Poison Sting to whittle her Pokemons' HP down) they become highly useful for Lt. Surge (an Electric-type gym leader) and Erika (a Grass-type gym leader), especially Sandshrew since the player can teach it Dig early on and it has an immunity to the Electric types. It helps that they also evolve around Level 22, and those gyms have Pokemon around Levels 20-25. Also a bonus in Sandshrew's case, it can also learn Poison Sting to also deal with the Grass gym as well.
  • You can catch Drowzee before the third gym leader. 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.
  • In the first two Generations Meowth could be caught rather quickly (depending on the version) and learns Pay Day pretty early on, allowing you to pile up on currency rather early. This is even more apparent in Generation II due to the introduction of prize doubling items such as the Amulet Coin, allowing you to earn hundreds to thousands in cash just from wild battles. Generation I also has Pay Day as a TM that's not too hard to obtain. Add to the fact that rematching wasn't made available outside of the Elite Four, the presence of Pay Day seemed to be a necessity for those who ran out of money too soon.
  • In Pokemon Yellow only, it's possible to find a level 9 Pidgeotto in Viridian Forest. While its moveset was unimpressive, its stats were enough to crush most enemies until at least Misty, if not Surge.
  • 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.

    Second Generation 
  • The Game Corner is located early in the game at Goldenrod. If you had 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.
  • 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).
  • The second generation (and remakes) also gave out Surf after just the third Gym - with the highest possible power without some sort of drawback (lowered accuracy, recoil damage, or the like). Gold/Silver/Crystal gives it to you about a quarter through the game - giving you enough power to breeze through nearly anything that doesn't specifically resist it. Moves of that power become more standard about 75% of the way through the game, which keeps it from being a true Game-Breaker.
  • Totodile, perhaps to an even greater degree than Bulbasaur in RBY, fits this trope. 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) to the point it is considered an effective speedrun strategy. Early access to Surf and excellent coverage options only compound the awesomeness.
  • There's also "Muscle", the Machop you can get in exchange of a Drowzee in Gold/Silver and HG/SS at Goldenrod City. As early as the third gym, you can get a Fighting-type Pokémon that will grow faster than other Pokés you can catch normally and whose typing and moves will help you against at least three of the remaining gyms in the region. Not only that, you can train Muscle up to level 28 - by which point it'll have evolved into the stronger Machoke - then trade it to another game and back for Machamp and it'll still obey you; and, once you get the Fog Badge from the Ecruteak gym, Muscle can reach level 50 before it starts rebelling. Not even the Elite 4 have level 50 Pokémon during your first playthrough. Oh, and for the sweet, sweet icing on the cake? "Muscle" has a set gender, meaning that it will always be female — which means she can not only dish out high damage to Whitney's Miltank, but she also ignores Miltank's Attract in the bargain.
  • In Pokemon Crystal, you can pick up Growlithe 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 likely 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.
  • 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 Pokemon, 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 Pokemon 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.
  • Also 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.
  • You can also go the route of heading to Route 34 and grabbing a level 10 Abra, and train it up merely 6 levels to get it to Kadabra who, while good on his own, can be traded instantly for Alakazam, one of the best special attackers in the history of the game! Pair that with the Goldenrod Department Store, located immediately north of the route, having the Elemental Punches, which were all 75 power and treated as special, due to how the game manages attack damage in Generation 2, and you have yourself one of the easiest and painless ways to get one of the strongest Pokemon in the game.
  • Raikou, Entei, and Suicune can be caught before the 4th gym. At a time when most wild and trainer Mons are barely cracking the mid-20s, you can nab a level 40 legendary Pokemon that will 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 thie 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.

    Third Generation 

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 and turned around into 50 Poké Balls or a bunch of healing items), a Rare Candy (a free level-up), or either a PP Up or a Protein (both stat-boosting items which can be sold for almost as much as a Nugget if you don't want the stat boost). Only slightly less useful is its ability to acquire healing items much more powerful than available until around the halfway point of the game or 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. With a little luck or patience, a player can have an entire medicine cabinet at their disposal to go with a never-ending supply of Poké Balls before running into the first Gym Leader.
  • 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.
  • 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 because they lack the proper moves, making it pretty powerful.
  • 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 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.

FireRed and LeafGreen

  • Two "Nukes" from Gen. 1 return with added bonuses:
    • The addition of Abilities gives the early-game Caterpie family a massive buff via the Compoundeyes ability, which makes Butterfree's status powders more than 90% accurate, the most accurate status attacks apart from Thunder Wave and Spore.
    • 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.

    Fourth Generation 

Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

  • In Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, there is Starly, a Com Mon at the start of the game, on the very first route. While it does struggle a little at the first Gym, it learns Wing Attack, a 60 base power move, at level 9, a point where the standard for moves is 40 power. 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 you have a Disc 1 Nuke which keeps nuking even in the Endgame.
  • In Platinum, as soon as the player has their first Badge, they can do a little backtracking with Rock Smash and, if they're lucky, find a Golbat. At level 10, when under normal circumstances Zubat evolves at level 22. And it 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.
  • In Platinum, you can get the TM for Earthquake (a Ground-type move with 100 base power, 100% accuracy and no drawbacks whatsoever) 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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.
  • In HeartGold/SoulSilver, the Game Corner returns, with some of the strongest Technical Machines, though they're more expensive, and a Dratini happens to be available for a pretty cheap amount. The Dratini has Dragon Rage, too, an attack that does 40 hp of damage no matter what, which can knock out both of Whitney's Pokémon in just two moves. In the international versions, the slot machines are replaced with Voltorb Flip, and if you're good at it you can rack up a decent amount fairly quickly (though you unfortunately can't buy coins).
  • In HeartGold/SoulSilver, 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.
  • HeartGold/SoulSilver allows the player to purchase TMs for Fire Blast, Thunder, Blizzard, and Focus Blast as early as Goldenrod City, and a player should be able to afford at least one of them once they arrive. Granted, they have low PP and their accuracy leaves a lot to be desired, but it's worth it to have Last Disc Magic early on (particularly with Focus Blast against Whitney). They can even serve as an alternate option for those not willing to grind coins for the TMs at the Game Corner.
  • Before the fourth Gym, a Scyther can be caught on the National Park's Bug Catching Contest each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Routes 38 and 39, wild Magnemite that have a chance to hold a Metal Coat can be found. If you're able to get both, by trading with a friend, you can obtain a 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. While his example exists ever since the original games, it is more notable in the remakes due to the moveset upgrade Scizor receives in the fourth generation.

    Fifth Generation 

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.
  • You can pull the same Pick-up trick with Lillipup in Black and White. The swag is not as high-end, but you'll still be set for the rest of the game if you grind early on. Even better, Pickup can now steal away a one time use item the opponent uses up or thrown at them with Fling, meaning you can snag several good berries in a short amount of time.
  • Dream World added a whole new arsenal of nukes to the fifth generation. 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.
  • The Desert Resort (and, by extension the previous route) in Generation V might as well be called Disc One Nuke Resort. It is 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. To make matters worse, even the Fossil Pokémon, such as the elusive Archen is 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 in the first games (right before the second Gym Leader) or part of Relic Passage in the sequels (right before the third 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! That's roughly 20 levels before most Ground-types naturally learn it! With a bit of patience, it can also be taught Iron Head in Driftveil City in the sequels, giving it two powerful STAB moves that can tear through foes.

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.
  • With the Pokémon Dream Radar app, you can get Riolu before you leave the first town (along with the new forms of the Kami Trio).
  • 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, killing 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 you'll have to run into him eventually.
  • 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 I Vs of 30 across the board. Making them exceptionally strong compared to other wild Pokemon.

    Sixth Generation 

X and Y

  • Scatterbug, Spewpa, and Vivillon carry on the tradition of being a fairly powerful early-game Bug-type in Generation VI, even potentially getting Compound Eyes, eventually learns the Fairy-type Draining Kiss which is also a lifesteal attack, and finally gets the very powerful Hurricane which normally has lackluster accuracy but the Compound Eyes ability greatly increases it.
  • 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.
  • You can catch a Pikachu early on. Not only are both of the first Gym Leader's Pokémon weak to Electric-type attacks, but at Level 18, Pikachu learns Electro Ball, a move that does more damage the higher the user's Speed is than the target's. Pikachu also naturally learns Thunder Wave (a 100%-accurate Paralysis-inducing move) beforehand. Pikachu's naturally high Speed and Special Attack allow it to fully take advantage of this particularly devastating combo - Paralyze the target, which drastically cuts their Speed, and then fire an Electro Ball. Congratulations, you now have a highly-accurate 'Zap Cannon Lite' potentially before the second Gym. Anything weak to Electric-type attacks will keel over, and even neutral-damage targets will get a huge chunk taken out of them, if not a direct KO. And if you're lucky enough to score one holding a Light Ball...
    • Not only that, you can find a Thunderstone very early on in the game (on Route 10) and Pikachu learns Thunderbolt at level 29. If you train up Pikachu to the point where it has a good moveset (because, after evolving, Raichu will not be able to learn any new moves naturally), you can have a powerful Raichu before the third gym!
  • 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.
  • Also like Black 2 and White 2, in Gen VI 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.
  • 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.
  • Route 4 gives you access to Budew, yet another baby Pokémon with the chance to have perfect IVs. Grass/Poison is a great type combo in the game, giving you an advantage against every gym type until the seventh. 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 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. And if you get the TM for Sunny Day at Lumiose...
    • The same area that holds wild Oddish also holds the Venoshock TM, 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. Alternatively, if the Oddish line isn't your thing, you can put that same TM on the Bulbasaur you just picked up from Professor Sycamore, or a Roselia from the very next route; both with similar results.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

  • For a limited time, ORAS players could get a free Pokemon as soon as they hit the first Pokemon Centre via the Mystery Gift and Internet. The Pokemon in question: a shiny Beldum. I repeat. A Beldum, that can evolve into one of the strongest pseudo-legendaries out there with one of the better Megas to boot and has insane type coverage and resistances. Normally, Beldum can only have Take Down...but this one knows the powerful Zen Headbutt and Iron Head, and if that's not enough, it also has Hold Back, a move that will leave the opponent at one HP instead of KOing them, making catching of non-Ghosts an easy task. Yeah.
  • Omega and Alpha introduces the DexNav system, which allows you to track individual pokemon 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? Wurmples with Brightpowder? There are some particularly absurd starter combinations:
    • Taillow, knowing Boomburst or Brave Bird, 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.
  • 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 Pokemon, Mega Mawile is very powerful due to its sky high attack, ensuring that you'll be steamrolling nearly everything the game throws at you.

    Seventh Generation 

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.
  • Z-Splash. As soon as you can get a Magikarp and Normalium-Z (which you get as a reward for the first trial), you can grind (made easier by Exp. Share being available before the first trial) and evolve it into Gyarados at level 20. Access to such a powerful mon this early, even if it's random through Wonder Trade, could, as stated above, be this by itself. But adding Z-Splash to the mix, which boosts Gyarados's already high attack to truly insane levels allows it to one-shot pretty much anything you come across.
  • 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 Pokemon, 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 (unless you're playing Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, where you can evolve it on the third island), you can put Eviolite found halfway through the game on it until then to have very versatile Pokemon.
  • 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. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you can even give your 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.
  • It's possible to get a Salamence before leaving the first island when you're no higher than Lv 13. The catch? It has a 1% spawn rate from a wild Bagon calling for help... and Bagon itself is a 1% encounter. But if you're dedicated enough, say goodbye to all early-game difficulty.
  • 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.
  • In the same area as Wishiwashi is Magikarp. Much like Bagon, it is possible to get Magikarp to call for help and bring in a Gyarados. While the Gyarados call rate is rare, Magikarp is everywhere you fish so you can easily take your time to get an early Gyarados. The kicker? It might actually be faster to get Magikarp to call forth Gyarados than to level grind one, as Magikarp is a Pokémon with a slow experience growth rate. To start you off big, Gyarados comes preloaded with Bite and Thrash, both running off Gyarados's impressive 125 attack, and will usually have Intimidate, a powerful ability that drops an opponent's attack stat when Gyarados switches in; you also have a chance that your Gyarados might have its Hidden Ability Moxie instead, which increases Gyarados's attack by one level for every KO it scores, allowing it to sweep enemy teams with even less trouble once the ball gets rolling.
  • From the items, Amulet Coin that doubles the money received if Pokemon 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.
  • If you don't mind leveling up a baby Pokemon, Pichu learns Nasty Plot at level 18, which boosts Special Attack by two stages. Pichu should evolve into Pikachu soon later, and if you manage to steal a Light Ball from a wild Pikachu then you'll have a borderline unstoppable setup sweeper by the end of the first island. Early access to Move Tutors in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon expand Pikachu's attack options to include Iron Tail and Signal Beam. Pikachu can last you for the rest of the game with smart play.

Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon

  • The updated rereleases Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon make Hawlucha 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), 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 Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you can use Buneary for the Z-Splash strategy. It can be found on the first route, knowing Splash, and learns Quick Attack fairly soon. It also learns Return and Jump Kick, two of the stronger Normal and Fighting-Type moves, respectively. Only Ghost-types can stop you now. Plus, the Rotom Dex now has a chance to grant you two Z-Moves per battle once you've bonded with it, letting you stack Z-Splash to hit maximum attack in two turns, or follow up one Z-Splash with a Breakneck Blitz with Return as its base.
  • Ultra Sun and Moon let you 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.
  • In Ultra, 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.

    Eighth Generation 
  • Thanks to a more open-world approach in this game, the Wild Area gives you a lot of high-leveled Pokemon to explore early in-game. If you like Save Scumming at the earliest to determine a Pokemon's level and know the areas where to capture those kinds, feel free to catch 1-6 Level 20 Pokemon in the wild and then EV Train them via jobs. If you manage to calculate the badge's statuses, you'll be many levels ahead of the game.
  • 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 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 Pokemon 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.
  • 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. The EXP share is always on, and applies to your whole party, so you can freely grind levels with the rest of your party, and train Magikarp along the way effortlessly. This will allow you to get a Gyarados before even encountering the first gym. Even better, it learns Waterfall, which is a powerful and reliable STAB move running off Gyarados’s monstrous Attack stat, very soon after evolving. 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.
  • 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 Vendor Trash 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 Pokemon 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. This is what the current Speed Run route for Shield does with a Growlithe: Arcanine with Flamethower, Burn Out and X Items utterly trivializes most of the game...aside from Nessa.
  • 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.

    Spin-Off Games 
  • Colosseum 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, 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.
    • XD: Gale of Darkness also 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).
  • Colosseum has 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 obtained in Pokémon Rumble 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.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team has a crutch move in the form of 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.


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