Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: All New Ground-Types, Ranked
The Paldea region features an incredible variety of biomes for players to explore, filled with new Pokemon just waiting to be found. As with any new generation of Pokemon, Generation Nine has brought in a plethora of unique Pokemon, bringing the total count to just over 1000.
The introduction of Paradox Pokemon has also allowed us to revisit familiar faces and reinvent them in both ancient and futuristic styling. This is especially true for Ground-type Pokemon, as they have received some creative new forms and abilities that are sure to shake things up in the competitive meta. If you’re looking for some earth-shattering, truly powerful Pokemon in the Paldea Region – there are plenty of options.
This Pokemon is Nintendo‘s answer to the question, “What if jellyfish could walk on land?” – even though no one seems to be asking that question. Though it looks similar to Tentacool, the two are actually entirely unrelated, and the former's Water and Poison typing has been replaced with Ground and Grass, a type combo that was previously exclusive to Torterra.
Outside its four times weakness to Ice-type moves, this combination offers Toedscool a strong defensive option by neutralizing significant weaknesses in each of the contributing types. It doesn't hurt that this Pokemon's walking animation is hilarious to watch and will entertain any trainer willing to humor it.
7/8 Paldean Wooper
Before the release of Scarlet and Violet, The Pokemon Company gave us an exclusive look at Paldean Wooper. This Poison and Ground type axolotl has already shown much promise as a competitive contender.
Its unique typing and accessibility in the early game make it a great option for an early Ground type pick. It also has access to mud shot and tail whip, so it can lower an enemy's defense and speed, creating opportunities for its faster allies on the team. Plus, how could you not love a face like that?
If Toedscool wasn't ridiculous enough for you, wait til you meet its new evolution. This walking fungus could be described as a Poppy's Playtime variant of a Mario enemy. Regardless, Toedscruel stands (awkwardly) to be one of the unique Convergent Pokemon designs we’ve seen this generation.
While it doesn’t provide the best strength as an Attacker, its new ability, Mycelium Might, ensures that all of its status moves are completely unimpeded by opponents' ability, presenting itself as an excellent Support option. Beyond its competitive viability, it’s also just a fun Pokemon to have on your team, even if it offers nothing more than to enjoy its walking animations and awkward gestures.
One of the most pleasant surprises for players beginning their journey in Paldea is Woopers brand new evolution Clodsire. This friend-shaped muddy salamander is adorable and shows promise in the competitive arena. With a base HP of 130, this giant muddy salamander is incredibly bulky. It has access to multiple recover moves and popular status moves such as Yawn and Poison Spikes.
Its hidden ability, Unaware, is bound to be ideal for competitive players but also provides other ability options, such as Water Absorb, that can neutralize some of its weaknesses. It shows a lot of potential competitive viability and is easily accessible before either map option for the first gyms, which makes it an excellent pick for any trainer traveling through Paldea.
4/8 Sandy Shocks
By far one of the strangest Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has to be the ancient version of Magneton, Sandy Shocks. The reinvention of this Kanto classic is truly one of the most bizarre Pokemon designs we’ve ever seen. It swaps its traditional Steel-typing for Ground and has a design that essentially creates a tribal caveman-like creature made out of magnetic dust, bolts, and magnets.
The Protosynthesis ability given to all the Primal forms allows for this Ground type to thrive in the sun, boosting its already impressively high Special Attack stat. With access to Mud Shot and Earth Power, Sandy Shocks stands to be a truly unique Ground-type Special Attack Sweeper that can maximize the efficiency of any sun team while providing critical type advantages that may not have existed otherwise.
3/8 Iron Treads
The time-traveling element of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet can most evidently be seen in Donphan as it’s one of the few Pokemon to have both Past and Future relatives. Additionally, it’s one of the few Titan Pokemon seen in the game, and one of the few Titans with variants exclusive to each version. In Pokemon Violet, players will encounter the futuristic robot Donphan descendant named Iron Treads.
This mechanized behemoth is a powerful Ground- and Steel- type, which can be a great typing, but is often found on exclusively defensive Pokemon. While it boasts a base 120 Defense stat, it is its Attack and Speed stats that give it the potential to be a strong competitive sweeper that rolls with the punches. We don’t know how high on the usage chart it will end up, but it will certainly be entertaining to see how a Pokemon like this could potentially shake things up.
2/8 The Great Tusk
While Donphan's descendant is impressive, Pokemon Scarlet players will face a much more intimidating challenge when they face their version of the Titan Pokemon. The Great Tusk is Donphan's Primordial ancestor, and squaring off against it can feel very much like a deleted scene from Jurassic Park.
As a Ground- and Fighting- type, Great Tusk is just as hard as the name would imply. With his 131 base Attack and a base HP of 115, this mini mammoth hits like a truck, and it’s just as durable. It also has access to Body Press, and with Defense stats that are just as high as its Attack, this Pokemon could easily become a nightmare for anyone against it in ranked battles.
While plenty of great ground-type options are introduced in Paldea, the one that stands above all is the new legendary Pokemon Ting Lu. This ominous deer-like cryptid is one of the more elusive Pokemon in the region, but its viability makes it worth the effort to seek it out.
Its ability, Vessel of Ruin, reduces the special attack of all Pokemon on the field except for itself. With special attacks like Energy Ball and Solar Beam being prominent threats to Ground-types, this Pokemon's competitive viability truly is legendary.
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