Classic games? Modern games? Who needs them when you can find the best of both worlds with games that lie squarely in the middle.
Released in 2006, the 4th generation of Pokémon games and their now iconic Sinnoh region introduced 107 new pocket monsters for players to catch, trade, collect and fight. Let’s take a look at the 10 best Pokémon of the Sinnoh region.
Let’s start the list proper with the Pokémon that started this generation. That’s right, Munchlax was indeed the first 4th gen Pokémon the public ever saw all the way back in 2004.
If the recent fad of superhero movies has taught us anything, it’s that people love origin stories. And with Sinnoh creating a large quantity of pre-evolution Pokémon, it only makes sense they would take a crack at such a story and who better to do so with that one of the most famous Gen 1 Pokémon, Snorlax. What is this origin story you ask? Well, before Snorlax liked to eat and was really fat, he was Munchlax, who liked to eat and was less fat.
Okay, so it may not be an especially deep story, but it’s fun to see the humble beginnings of such a fondly remembered creature nonetheless. It makes sense too, nobody just comes out of the womb fat, so of course, Snorlax had to start somewhere. He’s important to the generation’s history, adds an interesting layer to the lore and just looks plain cute to boot!
From the first gen 4 Pokémon to the first gen 2 Pokémon. Well, the final evolution of the first gen 2 Pokémon anyway. Yes, it’s Togekiss, lovable little Togepi is all grown up and how can you not love this beautiful bird… egg… thing just as much? It cuts one of the most stand out silhouettes of any Pokémon, adds some colorful accents for extra appeal and has a smile that’s as infectious as a Toxic attack.
Togekiss is incredibly powerful as well, with good enough stats and moves to wreck any enemy team as a sweeper or paraflinch. Hell hath no fury like a really strong enemy Togekiss, but having one on your own team will always keep your day sunny-side up.
What good is a Pokémon list without a few legendaries? Giratina is the mascot of Pokémon Platinum Version, the 4th generation’s third and arguably best game.
Being one of the three members of the creation trio alongside fellow mascot legendaries Dialga and Palkia, it functions as a representation of anti-matter, parallel particles to matter particles, albeit with an opposite electrical charge. It’s appropriate then, that Giratina is given a wonderfully mysterious and otherworldly design, with its shadowy wings, alternate forms (back when that was a rarity in the franchise) and darkly colored eyes.
Of course, being a legendary Pokémon means Giratina can absolutely wreck an opponent’s entire team if they aren’t prepared. It’s signature move, Shadow Force, allows it to evade attacks for a turn and then hit the opponent on the next, even if they use Protect. It was also given lots of exposure in the anime, being a big player in all but the last of the 4th generation films. No matter how you enjoy Pokemon, you can’t ignore Giratina.
Why is Lucario so popular? Why does he look like the Egyptian God Anubis? Why does he have dreadlocks? Why do its Pokedex entries describe it as having psychic powers despite not being a psychic type?
The answer to all of these questions is because it’s cool, especially since Lucario is the embodiment of cool Pokémon in Gen 4. It’s a strong sweeper in almost every game it appears in, it had its own anime movie and it’s one of only 3 Pokémon playable in both Super Smash Bros. and Pokken Tournament. Sure, there are plenty of Pokémon that do one of these things better than Lucario, but few that do as many.
Lucario is a master of none, but a Jack of all trades.
Pokémon is all about friendship and friendship is about commitment. And Bastiodon stands out as one of the franchise’s most notable bastions (no pun intended) of commitment, for how devoted it is to be a wall.
As you can no doubt see from its design, Bastiodon is pretty much a wall with four little legs and one adorable face, but the wall concept goes even farther than that. A wall in competitive Pokémon refers to something that can tank a ton of hits and Bastiodon is debatably the most notable 4th generation Pokémon for this tactic, in a clever example of design complementing function.
Sure, Bastiodon’s effectiveness as a wall is somewhat undermined by a 4x weakness to both fighting and ground type attacks, but it more than makes up for that in other ways. It resists 8 types and is completely unaffected by poison, has an impressive movepool and is one of the best counters to notable offensive Pokemon in its tier, like Haunter, Kadabra, and Chatot. It sadly hasn’t moved much from the lower tiers it started in, but then again not moving technically just makes it even more of a wall.
You didn’t think we’d forgotten about this generation’s best Eeveelution, did you? Glaceon has arguably one of the best designs of the already well-designed Eevee family. Her enticing mix of blue tones is immediately easy on the eyes and her bangs are responsible for some excellent key poses in her official artwork. Plus, her adorable face and dark paw-fur that looks like little snow boots make her easily this generation's cutest Pokémon.
Glaceon is also no slouch in combat, having stats that are uncharacteristically good of an ice type with more advantages in the form of some good offensive and defensive options. It’s a great Pokémon in every capacity.
One of the best ways the 4th generation went about creating new Pokémon was by making meaningful iterations on earlier Pokémon. We saw this earlier with Munchlax and Snorlax and now we see it again with Gallade, who iterates on Gardevoir. The difference is that while Munchlax serves as a younger parallel to Snorlax, Gallade serves as an opposite to Gardevoir.
No, not just because of their opposite sexes and similar design elements, but from their very concepts. The pair is a riff on the classic RPG duality of the knight and the mage; with Gardevoir’s enrobed body and hood-like head mixing with her high special attack stat to make her an obvious candidate for the mage, alongside Gallade’s helmet-esque head and stance that’s clearly inspired from fencing matching his high physical attack stat to make him a clear analog for the knight. The two complement each other wonderfully.
That’s not to say that Gallade doesn’t stand out on his own though, as his great stats and movepool make him a fantastic choice for defeating the walls mentioned earlier. Plus, when he’s mega evolved he has dual disks on his arms. That’s just awesome.
Yeah, you knew a starter was going to end up here somewhere and what a starter this is. Infernape has the unfortunate status of belonging to the oversaturated group of dual fire/fighting starter evolutions and sometimes gets buried because of it, but those who dig deep enough to find it will discover a truly memorable Pokémon.
Something about that white fur contrasting with red and orange exudes an undeniable aura of coolness, but its well-balanced stats and slick fire or hair or whatever that is are undeniably hot. Infernape needs a somewhat high skill requirement to use effectively in competitive play since it can’t really take a hit worth a damn, but with some smart strategizing your opponent’s Pokémon will all be burned out before they can land anything on this marvelous monkey.
It may not be Chevy Chase, but we’ve got a landshark here. It’s Garchomp, the speedy, hard-hitting ground/dragon type. This Pokémon has one of the coolest concepts and strongest stats in the game, especially when it’s in its extremely intimidating mega evolution.
Its design is all based around looking dangerous, combining aspects of a hammerhead shark and a dragon with the addition of a body covered in spikes and black eyes with yellow sclera that exude animalistic ferocity.
Garchomp is so badass, it’s the main Pokémon of Sinnoh champion Cynthia and from its imposing presence to its beastly stats, it’s not hard to see why it would be at the forefront of such a winning team.
Here we have it. The final Pokémon on this countdown and one of the final Pokémon to be added to the fourth generation. Darkrai is exclusively an event Pokemon and it brings all the hype associated with that moniker. Its shadowy design offset only by its white hair and red facial growth give it an impactful look that’s only bolstered by its many memorable appearances in the anime. Not only did it get its own movie, but it was featured more in the show’s main story than almost any other legendary Pokémon.
But Darkrai doesn’t stop there, as since its inception its always had phenomenal stats and some of the most dangerous moves in the game, allowing it to completely steamroll its competition. With the recent introduction of Z-moves however, Darkrai can tear through its competition like paper, able to one hit kill just about any Pokémon.
In all aspects of its design, Darkrai is the sort of Pokemon that only comes around once a generation.
Come on, you know we’d have to mention Combee at some point. I mean the site is called Honey’s Anime. Besides, how can you not love this adorable honeycomb? Many Pokémon have cute, happy faces, but Combee gets an edge by having three of them and its simple, but unmistakable shape only compounds this.
Besides, wild Combee holds honey, an item debuting in the 4th generation that enables encounters with other Pokémon, even ones that can’t be found by any other means. It may not be worth much in battle, but Combee’s adorable design, useful held item and thematic match with this website make it absolutely worth mentioning.
That’s it for the Sinnoh region. Let us know what you think of this generation and its Pokémon down in the comments below. And if you liked this list, stay posted on Honey’s Anime as we run through the other Pokémon generations.