The Top 10 Worst Pokemon Moves

Gyarados uses Tackle!

Electrode uses Thunderbolt!

It’s super effective!

Gyarados has fainted!

A good moveset can really turn the tide in battle. But attacks that do physical damage aren’t the only concern when battling with pokemon. There are also status inducing moves, stat reducers, and area effecting moves, among others. With all of the moves that the creators of Pokemon have come up with over the years (609, according to Bulbapedia), there’s bound to be some moves that are less than appealing to the player, right? Absolutely, which is what this list is all about. Now, something I’d like to make clear before I start this list; this is a list of moves that I think are bad in terms of overall creativity, effectiveness in battle (least important), and my own experiences with them. My own personal style of play should become more apparent as the list goes on, along with my disdain for a certain trilogy of pokemon. Hint, hint.

10. Hidden Power

The move that single handedly made Unown a gigantic pain to train. For those who don’t know, Hidden Power is a move that varies in type depending on the pokemon. Now, according to, its power is listed at 60, but I remember playing Silver for the first time and its power being listed as –. What does that mean? That means it’s useless. You can only find out what type your Hidden Power is by testing it out on various pokemon or talking to some random person in a pokemon center somewhere. Regardless, it’s a waste of time and causes Unown to be un-main-able, if that even makes sense.

9. Explosion/Self-Destruct

Listed two moves here, but they’re essentially the same, so I don’t care too much about it. These two moves are essentially two things: a last resort in a tough battle, or a trainer’s worst nightmare when facing wild Gravelers with weaker pokemon. I have never used either of these moves in battle, ever, and I’ve been playing Pokemon since I was five. There’s just something that bothers me about sacrificing yourself in battle to defeat your opponent. It almost seems dirty to me. I’m also one who enjoys gaining experience points, so when I’m faced with either letting my pokemon die and switching to another pokemon, in order for them to receive the experience points, or sacrificing my pokemon to defeat the opponent and not get any experience points, I’ll always choose the former. It’s certainly a nice move to troll around with, though.

8. Helping Hand

Uh oh. I’m facing a Plusle and Minun in a double battle and Plusle just used Helping Hand! What will Minun do? Use Helping Hand! Well, that was a waste of a turn for them. I’ll gladly take them down in one shot, granted I haven’t already done so with my advantage in speed. Helping Hand supposedly boosts your partner’s attack, but from my own experience, it doesn’t help much. In my eyes, Helping Hand is a move you want to use when one of your pokemon in a double battle is useless. At least they’re trying.

7. Round

This spot on the list is one (of many) example of my own personal plea to the creators of Pokemon to stop making moves. This is the description of Round as a move: “The user attacks the target with a song.” Congratulations. If I wanted to die by death of Justin Bieber, this move would only make it worse. Imagine, an Exploud singing Justin Bieber as an attack? One-hit KO.

6. Belch

Belch. What do you think this attack consists of? Is it a code word? Is it a metaphor? No. “The user lets out a damaging belch on the target. The user must eat a Berry to use this move.” You’re attacking by burping. Now, I wasn’t even aware this move existed until I looked it up, as I’ve never once seen any pokemon use it before. But based on the description alone, it deserves a spot on this list. Want to know what’s more ridiculous about this move? It has a power of 120. That’s stronger than Earthquake. That’s stronger than Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, Mega Punch, Body Slam, Iron Headbutt, and Surf. Lesson learned: if you want to defeat a pokemon in battle, don’t resort to flamethrowers, beams of ice, or feats of unattainable physical strength. You simply have to burp in their general direction.

5. Any move exclusive to Klink, Klang, or Klinklang

Nope. No bias here. It’s not because I find these three pokemon utterly pointless at all. Aha! Gear Throw? Gear Shift? Okay, yeah, cool. Next.

4. Play Nice

I was very tempted to put Play Rough here, too, but overall, this move is even more full of mush. “The user and the target become friends, and the target loses its will to fight. This lowers the target’s Attack stat.” Well, let me tell you why that’s stupid. Okay, the user and the target become “friends” after three seconds, whilst still in a battle with each other, and then the target still feels the need to attack afterwards (assuming the user went first). Also, putting this realistically (I really shouldn’t, but I am), after using Play Nice, the user then attacks the pokemon they just became “friends” with. Wouldn’t that make the target, I don’t know, upset? Angry? More bloodthirsty after being betrayed like that? I just don’t think the move works. It’s just… dumb. Speaking of dumb;

3. Trick-or-Treat

“The user takes the target trick-or-treating. This adds Ghost type to the target’s type.” There are a lot of things I could say about this move. Where do I begin? I’ll begin by stating that the only pokemon who can learn this move are Pumpkaboo and Gourgeist (my personal favorite pokemon from the sixth generation), which makes me want to cry. Secondly, why ghost type? Is it because Halloween is commonly associated with the dead and spirits and what-not? How does that even work? How does the target become ghost type? Do they get molested by a Gengar or something? Finally, WHY ARE YOU TAKING YOUR TARGET OUT TRICK-OR-TREATING?! I’m pretty sure that’s fun. I’m pretty sure when battling someone, you don’t suggest “Oh, let’s go trick-or-treating, in the daytime, in January, in a dimension where trick-or-treating doesn’t exist.” I could say this is the worst move I’ve ever seen from a creative standpoint, but that title goes to #1 move on this list. Oops, spoiler.

2. Splash

Ah, Splash. The epitome of uselessness. It’s description truly does it justice, “The user just flops and splashes around to no effect at all…” Beautiful. This was a true contender for worst move ever, but there’s just one move that arose from the sixth generation that I can’t help but laugh at every time I see it. Honestly, I think Splash just holds too much of a place in my heart for me to truly hate the move, but seeing as it was originally just a move to showcase how pitifully weak Magikarp was, it’s easy to put it up this high on the list. It makes a pretty fun mini-game, too.

1. Confide

“The user tells the target a secret, and the target loses its ability to concentrate. This lowers the target’s Sp. Atk stat.” PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT- AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!!111!!111!!!111111!1111ONE111!11111!!!!111!11!ONEONEONE. “Hey, man, I wanted to tell you a secret, Electabuzz to Koffing; I actually really like Jynx. I think she’s really cute. But don’t tell anyone!” “MY SPECIAL ATTACK!” I can’t- I can’t. It’s just too terrible. It’s too uncreative. It’s too unreal. It’s too ridiculous. This is what the creators of Pokemon are willing to put up with: telling secrets as a form of attack. I pray for the future of Pokemon moves, I truly do. This is just… this is just awful.

Honorable mentions: Psywave, Worry Seed, Facade, Mat Block, Supersonic, Memento.

5 thoughts on “The Top 10 Worst Pokemon Moves

  1. For the record Explosion was mightily popular (and useful, particularly with Focus Sash) on entry hazard leads in 4g competitive battling offensive teams. Of course, competitive battling and cartridge gameplay are two different worlds. Hidden Power is the token of that (I remember a cartridge tournament in which a player lost after being reported for hack-checking simply because he had the right type on his Hidden Power).

  2. Didn’t realise you were also a pokemon guy! As a mystery dungeon fan I must add that Guillotine was the most frustrating move, the amount of times I was one hitted by those damn Gligar! Also any weather changing ones are pretty useless.

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