There are now 1008 Pokémon across several regions, which means people always ask: what are the best regional Pokémon forms? With so many weird little guys to stuff into tiny spheres, it’s a contentious debate.
Some of these pocket monsters are, however, cheating; select Pokémon are simply regional forms of existing living collectibles. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, in some cases, the regional versions are vast improvements on the originals, whether in design, type, or power.
Let’s look at our list of the ten best regional Pokémon forms, presented in no particular order.
Everyone knows that the original Rattata is the worst.
Like real rats, Rattata are everywhere, popping out of tall grass as you attempt to run at a more interesting creature like Pidgey. That changed when Pokémon Sun and Moon were released, and Pokémon masters across the globe were introduced to a Rattata that finally doesn’t suck. Now a Dark/Normal type, this regional variant is superior in every way to its predecessor. Alolan Rattata is far more helpful to a team and is filled with new dark energy and, I assume, plague. Plus, he now comes complete with a silly little mustache.
Marowak is already pretty awesome. It wanders around wearing the skull of its dead mum while bludgeoning its enemies with a bone.
This is a Pokémon that could not get more metal. BUT WAIT! Along comes Alolan Marowak, a Fire/Ghost type with a new darker color scheme and a FLAMING BONE CLUB. The power of the Alolan form of the morose bone basher twirls a blazing bone baton menacingly like a possessed cheerleader. It results in one of the best regional Pokémon forms available in the series.
Its Pokedex entry is no joke either “The bones it possesses were once its mother’s. Its mother’s regrets have become like a vengeful spirit protecting this Pokémon.” Alolan Marowak is also blessed with the Cursed Body ability, which we can all relate to.
Original Meowth comes across as quite stuck up. Am I projecting something that isn’t there onto a cartoon cat creature? Maybe.
If regular old Meowth is a pampered housecat called Princess Kitty Meow, then Galarian Meowth is a feral alley cat that tears into your house when you open the door and scales your curtains, hissing the entire time.
Now a Steel type, the regional Meowth is a ball of fur and teeth that I can only imagine is mostly a matted mess hellbent on violence. The Sword Pokedex entry for this potentially rabid beast says that it lived amongst seafaring people making parts of its body turn to iron. I love you, little feral Viking kitty.
Corsola is a happy little pink coral Water/Rock-type Pokémon.
However, Galarian Corsola has come to be because the regions’ Corsola were wiped out by climate change, leaving only their pale, bereft ghosts behind. That’s right; Galarian Corsola are the ghosts of creatures affected by an environmental disaster.
Corsola also has the Cursed Body ability, and its coral branches are said to absorb the life force of those around it. Galarian Corsola evolves into a new creature called Cursola. Cursola is a nightmarish, ectoplasmic creature that appears to be constantly screaming while the true face of the beast forlornly peers out of the screeching maw.
Cursola is the only Pokémon with the ability Perish Body, which causes any opponent that hits it with a contact move to faint in three turns, along with the cursed coral ghost. Horrific.
Already a regal beast, Galarian Slowking one-ups its traditional form by simply being a much, much creepier version of it.
For those not in the know, Slowking is a parasitic horror show. The crown atop his goofy head is a Shellder that has chomped down onto its head and releases venom into it, making it more intelligent and more powerful. The Galarian variant evolves similarly but becomes an evil wizard from an 80s film. For some reason, Galarian Shellder bites cause you to sprout a spooky cloak and purple patches. The Shellder can also fully control the Slowking in Galar and has bestowed great psychic powers upon it.
According to the Sword and Shield website, Galarian Slowking can be seen mumbling spells and creating weird potions on the beach. This regional Pokémon form is a creepy weirdo of the highest degree.
Wooper has always been a silly little guy, and that didn’t change with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
What did change is that it’s now a Poison/Ground type, and it looks like the Easter chocolate version of its original form. The happy little chocolate friend evolves into the true hero of Paldea, Clodsire. A chunky, kindly smiling fellow, Clodsire sits in marshy areas surrounded by its tiny Kinder chocolate children waiting to annihilate trainers with poison.
There is no more to say about Clodsire; they are merely a delightful round and unlikely internet sensation.
Hisuian Growlithe differs from its counterpart in several ways, many of which are because it lives adjacent to volcanoes.
Its fur is made of igneous rock and is thicker and darker orange than the previously known form. It makes sense then that instead of being a straight Fire type, Hisuian Growlithe is Fire/Rock type. The lighter fur accents around its head and legs and its tail are an ash grey and emulate both smoke, and the way clouds are portrayed in traditional Japanese art. Hisuian Growlithe also has a tiny horn, meaning he is a fiery unicorn puppy and, therefore, one of the goodest boys ever to live.
Already the best Legendary Bird, in my opinion, the Galarian variant of the mighty Ice/Flying type surpasses the original for one reason.
It is now purple. It also may be a fancy 1960s cat burglar from the original Batman series based on the mask-like markings around its eyes. Now a Psychic/Flying type, Galarian Articuno barely uses its bladed wings to fly, instead staying airborne through MIND POWERS. The blades on its wing can apparently also cut through steel.
The new and improved Articuno is the only Pokémon capable of learning Freezing Glare. It causes a beam of psychic energy to fire from its eyes, freezing its opponent in place. This move must be of great use when it goes against Adam West’s Batman.
Zigzagoon has always been dangerously close to falling into Rattata territory.
Luckily, the Galarian forms of it made it both rad and hilarious. Instead of a Normal type, Galarian Linoone is a Dark/Normal type meaning it now has a better range of more effective moves. It also means that it gained a new evolutionary form in Obstagoon. So not only does Obstagoon have goon in its name but it also looks like a furry KISS tribute band member.
That aside, Obstagoon is actually an excellent partner to have in battle. It is more aggressive and has a move called Obstruct, where it petulantly crosses its arms and screams at its opponent, causing it to flinch. Bonus points are awarded for the shiny version looking like Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
We finish our list of the best regional Pokémon forms with the Goomy line of Pokémon are already S tier.
Goomy is a weird little slug globule, Sliggoo is an adorable snaily beast, and Goodra is a massive drippy Dragon-type who, for reasons best known to the designers, has chunky watermelon-smashing thighs. Whatever floats your boat, my guys.
Hisuian Sliggoo differs from its counterpart in that after evolving from its slug lump form, it becomes similar to its Kalosian form but has the added attribute of a metallic shell that it drags around, hides in, and can float on water in. Hisuian Goodra retains this shell and is a Steel/Dragon type with attachment issues.
As per its Pokedex entry, “Able to freely control the hardness of its metallic shell. It loathes solitude and is extremely clingy—it will fume and run riot if those dearest to it ever leave its side.” Hisuian Goodra is essentially the Pokémon equivalent of the crazy girlfriend meme.
BONUS ENTRY: Galarian Darmanitan: Zen Mode
Darmanitans’ Zen Mode allows it to change type if its HP drops to a certain point. Galarian Zen Mode becomes a dual Ice/Fire type when it transforms. It looks like this:
Let us know your favorite regional Pokémon forms in the comments below!