Water-type Pokemon are just an absolute joy. With their usual blue color schemes or aquatic tendencies, the Water-types tip the scales and stand apart as more than "just some fish." Since there are so many out there, a full ocean of options, boiling it down to just a few is a hard feat. However, certain Pokemon naturally float to the top, raising so far above the competition that they make their rivals almost obsolete in the process.

Related: Best Mythical Pokemon, Ranked

Today, let's take a look at the very best Water Pokemon across all the franchise's generations.

Updated December 3, 2022, by Kirkland Fortner:Pokemon has long been the #1 media franchise in the world. Literally a titan of the gaming industry. The franchise has been a smashing success across the majority of the platforms it has dabbled in, including video games, playing cards, and anime. Numerous Pokemon have attained icon status over the long history of the franchise, with Water-types ranking among the most well-liked.

Despite the fact that some Pokemon are inherently superior to others, they are also quite reliable in battle. We are adding 3 more of the greatest Water-type Pokemon to this list in honor of Generation 9 having just been released with Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet.

25 Starmie

  • Debut: Generation 1

A classic, Starmie has been around since the very start, although the starfish Pokemon has been always in the shadow of its contemporaries. Outside of Speed, Starmie doesn't have any stats that are out of this world impressive, but the Pokemon's only weak spot is its low HP.

Starmie offers reliable Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense. More importantly, Starmie's Water/Psychic dual-type provides it with access to a solid arsenal of attacks.

Starmie's Best Learned Moves

Once Starmie was added to Pokemon Sword & Shield through its Isle of Armorexpansion, the starfish quickly become one of the game's best Water Pokemon. This is predominantly due to its moveset, which includes Psychic, Hydro Pump, and Cosmic Power.

Starmie can also pick up Electric and Ice moves through TMs, greatly enhancing the Pokemon's flexibility.

24 Tapu Fini

  • Debut: Generation 7

A brick house, Tapu Fini will not go down easily. The Legendary Pokemon excels in both Defense and Special Defense, having base states of 115 and 130 respectively. Outside of HP, Tapu Fini is not a slouch in any of the other areas either, offering a respectable 95 Special Attack and a decent 85 Speed.

Although not the most beloved Legendary to ever grace the franchise, Tapu Fini should be a solid addition to most teams. The Pokemon's Water/Fairy typing also helps separate it from the crowd, as that combination is in short supply.

Tapu Fini's Best Learned Moves

Along with the extremely useful Misty Surge ability, Tapu Fini learns all the heavy hitters expected from its dual typing. Hydro Pump and Moonblast make great use of the Pokemon's Special Attack, while Soak and Misty Terrain can change the course of a battle if used correctly.

23 Carracosta

  • Debut: Generation 5

A friend of Ferris in the Pokemon anime, Carracosta has never been quite as popular as a particular first-generation turtle. In 2019 however, a deck featuring Carracosta began to take top placements at tournaments for the Pokemon TCG.

A Carracosta-GX deck also held some prominence in 2020 with several Poketubers making videos about it. This Water/Rock fossil may not get all the love it deserves but there is proof out there that Carracosta is sturdy enough to take hits and bring in wins for Pokemon fans.

Carracosta's Best Learned Moves

As a Water/Rock dual-type Pokemon, Carracosta picks up a wide range of offensive maneuvers that can be devastating when used correctly. Hydro Pump is Carracosta's strongest Water-type move, but Aqua Tail and Brine are also solid options. Shell Smash and Rain Dance should also be utilized by Trainers.

22 Horsea Line

  • Debut: Generation 1 (Horsea and Seadra), Generation 2 (Kingdra)

When looking at underrated Water-type Pokemon, few are as underappreciated as the wonderful sea horse, Horsea. Horsea typically is harder to find than the traditional Water-type and requires a trade to fully evolve into its final form, Kingdra. However, it's absolutely worth it to train one up.

The adorable little sea horse grows into a majestic Dragon-type, gaining powerful attacks and incredible speed. Kingdra is a fast swimmer, making use of the rain in any of its forms. Its balanced statline always makes it unpredictable as a fighter, making use of both physical and special attacks. If there was ever an aquatic friend to bet on, this horse has unbeatable odds.

Kingdra's Best Learned Moves

Like all of the best Water-type Pokemon, Kingdra eventually picks up Hydro Pump, gaining the attack at Level 51 in Pokemon Sword & Shield. As a Dragon-type, Kingdra also gets access to a rare move pool, including the powerful Dragon Pulse attack and the status move Dragon Dance that increases the Pokemon's Speed and Attack.

21 Veluza

  • Debut: Generation 9

Generation 9 has already added a few Water-Type Pokemon and Water Pokemon Type Combinations. Introduced in Scarlet and Violet, Veluza is a Water/Psychic-type Pokemon with overall middling stats, minus its good HP and Attack. This type combination does come with 5 weaknesses to Bug, Dark, Ghost, Grass and Electric, but in exchange, it also has 6 resistances to Fighting, Steel, Fire, Ice, Water and Psychic. Offensively, it hits 5 unique types, and no singular type can resist both STABs at once, which is a big plus.

Related: Pokemon: The Best Water Moves, Ranked

Veluza's Abilities are Mold Breaker and Sharpness, but Sharpness is definitely the more noteworthy of the 2. It increases the power of Slicing Moves by 50%, making some of Veluza's attacks pack quite a punch.

Veluza's Best Learned Moves

Veluza's movepool is simple, but effective. Aqua Cutter, Psycho Cut, and Night Slash are all useful thanks to the power boost from Sharpness and the first 2 getting STAB. Drill Run is a fantastic coverage move that lets Veluza deal with any Electric-types with ease. Finally, there's its signature move, Fillet Away. This is a high risk, high reward move, cutting the user's current HP in half, but doubling their Attack, Special Attack and Speed all at the same time. If used at an opportune moment, the opponent will certainly be stuck fighting an uphill battle after using this.

20 Binacle Line

  • Debut: Generation 6

In Pokemon X&Y, there are some odd designs, which is expected. Every title has its fair share of oddities, after all. However, it's hard to really beat Binacle and Barbaracle in the "weird" category. Binacle is a strange, two-headed barnacle Pokemon where each head is an independent soul, like with Doduo. Its evolution, Barbaracle, looks like a hand boss that Nintendo rejected from a Legend of Zelda title.

Binacle is a grumpy-looking Pokemon with a weird color pallet, and the fact it can surprise unsuspecting trainers just makes it all the more wonderful.

Barbaracle's Best Learned Moves

In a change of pace, Barbaracle's best attacks are not Water-based; Cross Chop and Stone Edge are powerful Fighting and Rock-type moves, respectively. In the right hands, Shell Smash can also be devastating as it boosts Barbaracle's Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. However, this comes at the cost of the Pokemon's Defense and Special Defense. Luckily, Barbaracle has respectable stats in both of those areas, so this move will not transform it into a glass cannon.

19 Wishiwashi

  • Debut: Generation 7

Wishiwashi made its way from the islands of the Alolan Region to Galar and it still makes an impact! When Wishiwashi was originally revealed for Pokemon Sun & Moon, fans speculated on if its School Form was an entirely separate evolution or not. It turned out to all come from its unique ability Schooling – this ability not only took the tiny fish and made it look like an underwater terror but also gave many boons to the Pokemon in battle.

Wishiwashi has to be trained to level 20 to use this ability, but it's entirely worth it to bring this massive swarm of fish along as a Water-type threat on the team.

Wishiwashi's Best Learned Moves

Hydro Pump is Wishiwashi's strongest Water-type attack.The Pokemon also learns Double-Edge, a Normal-type move that hits big but also hurts its user in the process. This risk/reward system limits this attack's usage.

18 Milotic

  • Debut: Generation 3

In Ruby and Sapphire, GameFreak introduced a new Magikarp-esque Water-type in the form of Feebas. Unlike Magikarp, Feebas was absurdly rare and evolved using cryptic methods. Without a guide, it's hard to imagine any kid had the patience to figure out how to evolve a Feebas. However, as it turns out, the effort was entirely worth it.

Milotic is one of the most elegantly designed Pokemon, and it is considered among the most beautiful in canon. It's an incredible defensive Pokemon as well. This sea serpent is more than just looks though, it's also one of the bulkiest Water-types in the game. It has an incredible movepool and is just lovely in design. Feebas might be trash in a way that Magikarp isn't, but Milotic is absolutely worth the effort.

Milotic's Best Learned Moves

Milotic learns Hydro Pump and Surf, so it is well-covered when it comes to offensive moves. This Water-type Pokemon is also a valuable support option, with Recover and especially Life Dew having their uses. The latter heals Milotic and the rest of the team.

17 Tatsugiri

  • Debut: Generation 9

It is extremely hard not to love a Water Pokemon which comes in the form of a small pink fish and constantly says "Sushi". Making its first appearance in Scarlet and Violet, Tatsugiri is a Water/Dragon-type Pokemon with high Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed. Water/Dragon is an incredible typing. Only 2 weaknesses to Dragon and Fairy, 3 resistances to Steel, Water and Fire, no pure type can resist both STABs, and it hits 4 different types in Fire, Ground, Dragon and Rock.

It has access to a duo of very strong Abilities in Commander and Storm Drain. Commander makes Tatsugiri go inside a Dondozo if it's present in a Double Battle. This makes it unable to switch, but it has all of its stats doubled as a tradeoff. Storm Drain not only makes the user immune to Water-type moves, but it also will boost their Special Attack if hit by one.

Tatsugiri's Best Learned Moves

The movepool is probably Tatsugiri's biggest flaw, as the coverage is painfully lacking. Surf/Hydro Pump and Dragon Pulse are must haves for STABs, Draco Meteor is a good power move that pairs well with Eject Pack or White Herb, Nasty Plot lets its Special Attack become even better, Taunt is a useful support move and Rapid Spin can get rid of Entry Hazard while also making it faster. That's really all it has.

16 Jellicent

  • Debut: Generation 5

Pokemon Black & White introduced a whole new region of Pokemon, separate from any other region. While this was certainly a surprise, its designs are also some of the most memorable. This may be memorable for the wrong reasons, like Trubbish, a Pokemon that is literally garbage. Or, it may be memorable for being cool, like Haxorus or Zebstrika.

Related: Best Types Of Pokéballs In The Pokemon Games

Sitting more in the "weird" memorable category is Jellicent, the Water/Ghost-type jellyfish that's certainly regal. It has two separate designs based on its gender, and each of them has quirks that make them special. The male version has a large, goofy mustache, while the female version has red lipstick for reasons unknown. They're certainly a unique Water-type to use in terms of design and typing, making them an excellent selection.

Jellicent's Best Learned Moves

When at full health, Jellicent's Water Sprout is deadly, as it has 150 base power and never misses. However, this move's effectiveness is inversely proportionate to Jellicent's HP; therefore, the attack will get worse as a battle progresses. When that happens, Jellicent can always use Destiny Bond to ensure that defeat also spells doom for his opponent.

15 Toxapex

  • Debut: Generation 7

There are a lot of Pokemon to look at and say "That's a mood right there." Mareanie is absolutely a mood. This depressed-looking sea urchin enjoys munching on delicious Corsola and being an absolute pain to find in the original Sun & Moon. Its evolution, Toxapex, is hated by competitive battlers for being a disgustingly effective wall, rivaling the likes of the Grass-type Ferrothorn.

As a Pokemon, Toxapex isn't one to attack directly, instead letting unsuspecting prey run right into its poisonous embrace. It would absolutely be a terrifying Pokemon to find in the wild, considering the potency of its poisons.

Toxapex's Best Learned Moves

Although it is half Water-type, Toxapex excels in its Poison-typing. All of the Pokemon's best attacks fall within that category, including Poison Jab and Toxic. The latter eliminates a portion of the opponent's health per turn, so it should be the first move unleashed by Toxapex.

14 Kingler

  • Debut: Generation 1

It has been a long time since Kingler got a bit of love. With Pokemon Sword & Shield, Kingler was finally given new life as it received a fantastic Gigantamax form inspired by Japanese spider crabs.

That bubble beard almost makes Kingler look like a mix of a crab and Santa Clause, but every Delibird had better be afraid as those giant pincers can put any Pokemon in quite the pinch! Plus any Pokemon on the receiving end of G-Max Foam Burst had better be ready to have their speed cranked down a few notches.

Kingler's Best Learned Moves

When not in its Gigantamax form, Kingler can utilize Crabhammer to get the job done. Kingler also has access to Guillotine, a move that will always defeat an opponent if it hits. Its low accuracy makes it a significant gamble, particularly against stronger opponents.

13 Vaporeon

  • Debut: Generation 1

One of the best Eeveelutions is the fish-like Vaporeon. Eevee grows fins and scales when it evolves into the Water-type Vaporeon, and it is one of the more graceful of the evolution options. While it isn't necessarily the most powerful of Eevee's options, Vaporeon can hold its own in battle and learns some pretty devastating moves.

According to the Pokédex in multiple games, Vaporeon's molecules are very similar to actual water, which allows it to melt into water and become invisible. This works for its predatory behavior to find prey. It's almost like it evolved to be that way.

Vaporeon's Best Learned Moves

Hydro Pump and Muddy Water will be Vaporeon's main attacks once it is above level 50. Once Vaporeon uses those two attacks and its third move, presumably Aqua Ring, the Pokemon can then use Last Resort. This strong Normal-type attack will only hit when every other move has been used at least once.

12 Totodile Line

  • Debut: Generation 2

During the second generation games, Totodile was one of the starter Pokemon that were available at the beginning of the game. Known for becoming the much more powerful Feraligatr as its final evolution, Totodile is just a cute little crocodile of a Pokemon. In the games, he's without a doubt one of the more powerful of the three starters.

At level 18, Totodile turns into the middle evolution, Croconaw, which only a mere 12 levels later will transform into the fierce Feraligatr. It's one of the quickest starters to evolve and comes packing.

Feraligatr's Best Learned Moves

Due to being a pure Water-type Pokemon who also happens to be a starter, Feraligatr's move pool doesn't hold too many surprises; however, that is not a bad thing. In Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, the last main games featuring Feraligatr, Hydro Pump and the Fighting-type move Superpower are a destructive combo. However, Feraligatr needs to be above level 70 to learn either of these moves, so the Pokemon takes a while to reach its potential.

11 Lapras

  • Debut: Generation 1

Fans who have been playing since Pokemon Red & Blue will remember getting a Lapras for the first time from a random employee at Silph Co. Fans of the Pokemon anime have fond memories of seeing Ash ride around on Lapras on his adventures through the Orange Archipelago. Plus the excitement when Lapras Day was announced for Pokemon Go the excitement was palpable — no one would turn down a pink Lock Ness Monster friend!

Related: Best Pokemon Games That Aren't Mainline Titles But Any Fan Should Play

These days, Lapras is more impressive than ever before with a Gigantamax form. Players wanted Gigantamax Lapras so badly that a code was given out at the Winter 2020 World Hobby Fair as a perk for attending the event. This tanky water-dino has been a staple in competitive Pokemon for years and that will stay the case in the future with this new form.

Lapras's Best Learned Moves

Lapras' Water/Ice dual-type gives its access to both Hydro Pump and Ice Beam, a combination that will prove too much for most opponents. SheerCold, which guarantees a faint on the rare occasions it hits,and PerishSong, which puts down the target in three turns,are also excellent options in the late game.

Rain Dance hasn't received much attention so far, but it can be one of the best Water-type Status moves in Pokemon. It improves Water-type attacks by 50% and cuts Fire-type attacks by half, along with doing the same to Solar Beam and Solar Blade. Just don't use it against an opponent who has Weather Ball or Thunder as it improves the power and accuracy of those moves, respectively. Luckily, Lapras can also learn those attacks in Sword & Shield; Weather Ball through a TM and Thunder through a TR.

10 Suicune

  • Debut: Generation 2

Suicune has had a rough life, but it is just the best. According to legend, this pupper and the other two Legendary Beasts (Entei and Raikou) perished in a devastating fire. They were allegedly revived with the magic of the legendary bird Ho-Oh. Since then, they roam the lands.

Anyone that's gone hunting for any of the Legendary Beasts in the games knows they constantly move and trying to catch them is a real hassle.

Suicune's Best Learned Moves

Despite being only a Water-type Pokemon, Suicune learns a wide range of powerful Ice-type moves. Blizzard is its final-learned move, but it also has access to Sheer Cold, Ice Fang, and Mist. Suicune can also use Hydro Pump, Rain Dance, and Mirror Coat, the latter of which is a Psychic-type Special move that repays an opponent using a Special Attack by dealing twice as much damage as payback.

9 Wailord

  • Debut: Generation 3

Looking for a big Pokemon? Well, it doesn't get much bigger than Wailord. This whale of a Pokemon is 47'07" and 877.4 pounds. That makes it among the largest out there and can fill up a stadium by itself.

Aside from the size, Wailord is a pretty powerful option to boot. According to the Pokédex, they travel in pods, meaning that several Wailords hunt prey together. That's a lot of space and a real sight to behold!

Wailord's Best Learned Moves

Wailord learns Hydro Pump and Water Sprout at levels 49 and 54, respectively. It also has some variety available to it through the Normal-type Body Slam, the Steel-type Heavy Slam, and the Flying-type Bounce. Heavy Slam should be a trainer's go-to move against much smaller opponents as its power increases depending on the weight difference between Wailord and its target. Wailord weighs 877.4 lbs, so it should do well against most Pokemon. Just don't use it against Snorlax.

8 Dondozo

  • Debut: Generation 9

As the final Scarlet and Violet newcomer on this list, Dondozo is a pure Water-type Pokemon with very high HP, Attack and Defense stats, but it has low everything else. Pure Water is a type worth praising. Only 2 weaknesses to Grass and Electric, 4 resistances to Steel, Ice, Water and Fire, it can hit Ground, Fire and Rock super effectively, and it's resisted by Dragon, Grass and other Water-types. which is its only real problem.

Dondozo has 3 Abilities, all of which have a use in common. Unaware lets it ignore enemy stat boosts, Oblivious prevents it from being hit with Intimidate, and Water Veil makes it immune to Burn. The common thread here is that all 3 Abilities block something that can make Dondozo's Physical Moves weaker.

Dondozo's Best Learned Moves

Dondozo has a decently vast movepool. Aqua Tail, Wave Crash, Waterfall, and Liquidation are solid STAB options, Earthquake, Outrage, Body Press, Zen Headbutt are all potent coverage moves, and Curse is excellent for increasing Dondozo's stats, and has very good synergy with Body Press. It also has a signature move called Order Up. This is a Physical Dragon-type Move with 80 base Power and 100% Accuracy.

If a Tatsugiri is currently in Dondozo's mouth when this moved is used, Dondozo will damage the opponent and give itself a stat boost depending on the Tatsugiri's form (identifiable by what color it is). Curly Form (orange) increases Attack, Droopy Form (pink) increases Defense and Strechy Form (yellow) increases Speed.

7 Omanyte

  • Debut: Generation 1

Praise Lord Helix! Okay, this one is a bit of a weird one. But, Omanyte as a whole isn't too interesting. It's a fossil Pokemon from Gen 1 and totally is good, but lacks anything really special about it. It's a fossil from Mt. Moon that players can revive later on in the game.

Enter "Twitch Plays Pokemon". During their community and chat-driven game of the original Pokemon games, they chose the Helix fossil. And thus, Lord Helix became a long-standing popular Pokemon meme that has continued to this day.

Omanyte's Best Learned Moves

Quite a straightforward arsenal of moves, including Hydro Pump, Shell Smash, and Protect.

6 Primarina

  • Debut: Generation 7

Many players weren't impressed with Popplio when it was revealed. Even Bojack Horseman designer Lisa Hanawalt called Popplio a "dopey seal pup" and many fans on Twitter agreed. However, tunes quickly changed when Primarina took the stage.

Related: Best Grass Pokemon, Ranked

This Fairy/Water mermaid princess is the ultimate glow-up from its original form, and it's not just a looker either — Primarina has the highest base Special Attack and Special Defense stat of any fully-evolved starter Pokemon! This siren of the sea will be captivating Water-type fans for years to come.

Primarina's Best Learned Moves

Through its two strongest offensive moves, the Fairy-type Moonblast and Hydro Pump, Primarina has Fighting, Dragon, Dark, Fire, Ground, and Rock Pokemon covered. For tag battles, the Normal-type Hyper Voice is a solid option.