The first Bug-type Pokémon to be encountered in the games were Caterpie, Weedle, Metapod, and Kakuna, way back in Gen I. Since then, the Bug-typing has emerged as a more capable type, known for more than just their association with irritating creepy crawlies wandering around in forests.
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In the original generation, the Bug-type was the only counter for Psychic-types, as Ghost-type moves were not yet super-effective against Psychic Pokémon. This was an immediate highlight of how useful and important Bug-types could be, and it made a great case for Bug Pokémon to earn more respect and ultimately acquire better stats in the future. Despite this, only a handful would go on to be portrayed well in the anime.
10 Brock’s Forretress Was A Loyal Companion
Brock’s Pineco was a valued member of his team during their Johto adventures, with it evolving into a Forretress later on. Brock kept it with him all the way through Hoenn and the Battle Frontier arc.
Spikes, Rapid Spin, Explosion, and Tackle were all used by Forretress in the anime. While Forretress can learn more damaging and exciting moves, these attacks all did their job in making it a valued team member, capable of repelling Team Rocket’s attacks at the very least.
9 Venomoth Is Vastly Underrated
Even though it belongs to the original batch of released Pokémon from Gen I, Venomoth still seems rather underappreciated and overlooked. Over the years it has had some decent showings in the anime, alongside Gym Leader Koga’s powerful Poison team and Ever Grande Conference participant Katie.
Koga’s Venomoth went head-to-head with Ash’s Pidgeotto in an intriguing match-up before Team Rocket interrupted. Katie’s Venomoth was used as part of a wider scale strategy, using Disable on Ash’s Pokémon and leaving them more vulnerable. This strategy worked with Torkoal, but Swellow was still able to overcome and defeat the Venomoth.
8 Vivillon Is Tougher Than It Looks
Ash’s first Gym challenge in the Kalos Region takes place at the Santalune City Gym against Viola. Viola’s Vivillon defeats Ash’s Fletchling twice, using an impressive moveset including Psychic, Gust, Solar Beam, and Sleep Powder, before eventually falling to his Pikachu.
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Later in the X & Y series, Clemont’s Clembot battles Alvin, who happens to have a Vivillon. Alvin has his Vivillon demonstrate the Bug/Flying Pokémon’s fancy moveset with Flash, Quiver Dance, Sleep Powder, and Energy Ball to defeat Magnemite.
7 Ash’s Leavanny Was Capable Of Defying The Odds In Battle
As a Bug/Grass-type, Leavanny has a lot of weaknesses, but it still gives a great account of itself in the anime. Burgh’s Leavanny defeats Ash’s Swadloon, which goes on to evolve into a Leavanny itself.
Ash continues to throw Leavanny into situations where it should be at a disadvantage, but it comes up with some great victories such as defeating Roxie’s Koffing during a Gym battle and defeating a Karrablast at the Pokémon World Tournament Junior Cup. It even gives Stephan’s Sawk a good run for its money before it is eventually beaten at the Vertress Conference.
6 Sophocles’s Vikavolt Took Kiawe’s Charizard To The Limit
Vikavolt has become closely tied to Sophocles from the Sun & Moon anime, being his second Pokémon next to Togedemaru. While Togedemaru was more of a best friend and companion figure to him, Sophocles opted to use Vikavolt in battle when it counted, especially at the Manalo Conference.
Vikavolt was able to beat Mina’s Ribombee in exciting fashion, setting up a quarter-final match-up against his friend, Kiawe. Vikavolt managed to push Kiawe’s Charizard to its limit, which is seriously impressive considering the difference in size and general attacking prowess, even if it did eventually come up short.
5 Butterfree Is Somewhat Unassuming But Not To Be Underestimated
Ash went through a lot with his Butterfree in a short space of time, from using it to battle Misty and a giant Tentacruel, to trading it briefly for a Raticate, before finally releasing it into the wild. Ash’s Butterfree mostly showed off its Whirlwind and status moves, Sleep Powder and Stun Spore.
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At the Indigo Plateau Conference, Ash’s friend Ritchie uses a Butterfree against him and manages to knock out Ash’s Squirtle by putting it to sleep. It does, however, lose to Ash’s Pikachu due to the obvious type disadvantage.
4 Nando’s Armaldo Knocked Out Two Of Ash’s Pokémon
When Ash faces Nando in the Lily of the Valley Conference, the latter’s Armaldo changes the direction of the battle. It uses Protect to avoid Ash’s Staraptor’s overly aggressive Close Combat and follows up by knocking it out.
It then battles Ash’s Quilava, with the eventual end result being a double knockout. Neither Roserade or Kricketune were able to get any eliminations with Ash’s Heracross emerging victorious, making Armaldo Nando’s best performing Pokémon in this bout.
3 Guzma’s Golisopod Was Vicious, But Its Ability Was A Problem
In Pokémon Sun & Moon, Golisopod is shown to be a unique and ruthless Bug/Water-type, belonging to the menacing leader of Team Skull, Guzma. Golisopod’s vicious offense is too much for Lana’s Primarina, as it goes after the throat of the singing Pokémon.
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However, for all of its pros and attacking prowess, its main flaw is a big one that can cause problems for its trainer in battle — its ability, Emergency Exit. Emergency Exit has the user automatically switch out when it takes a certain amount of damage, and this was Guzma’s undoing in the Manalo Conference.
2 Scizor Is A Bug/Steel Powerhouse
A Steel/Bug Pokémon from Gen II, Scizor has been used a number of times in the anime. Ash has faced several and had issues, losing Snorlax and Muk to Gary’s Scizor, and Gliscor to McCann’s.
Guzma utilized his Scizor in a clever and strategic way when he faced Ash at the Manalo Conference in Alola. He had it use U-Turn when facing a Fire-type move from Ash’s Torracat, switching it out so the Water-type Golisopod could take the damage in its place. The Scizor would go on to lose by default when Golisopod’s Emergency Exit returned the favor and called Scizor out to take a super-effective Fire-type hit.
1 Heracross Was A Warrior For Ash Across Multiple Regions
Ash’s Heracross is an often overlooked Pokémon, considering how well it actually performed for Ash in the anime. There is a reason why he brought it with him when battling through the Battle Frontier and again for the Lily of the Valley Conference in Sinnoh.
Heracross recorded a number of victories for Ash, but its best ones were defeating Gary Oak’s Magmar at the Silver Conference in Johto despite a serious type disadvantage, and defeating Nando’s Kricketune at the Lily of the Valley Conference even though it was asleep.
NEXT: 5 Deadliest Poison-Type Pokémon To Be Around (& 5 Safest)
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About The Author
(65 Articles Published)
Tom Steel is a writer and list contributor for CBR on all things anime. He is passionate about Pokemon most of all but also all things TV, film, gaming and sports. A University graduate with a degree in German Studies, Tom almost took the path of journalism instead, and is now excited to pursue it in a different capacity. Keep an eye out for his lists and deep-dives into the Pokemon anime and games, along with so much more. Follow him on Twitter at @Steelio307
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