Pokémon: 10 Best Ground-Types In The Anime, Ranked

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In the Pokémon games, Ground-type Pokémon have often been overlooked despite being the ultimate Electric-counter and the typing of the powerful move Earthquake. However, in the anime, there have been plenty of strong showings from Ground-type Pokémon over the years.

RELATED: Pokémon: 10 Best Bug-Types In The Anime, Ranked

While this representation is often in the form of dual-type Pokémon rather than pure Ground-types, their ferocity and manipulation of the earth have been showcased in some epic and unforgettable battles. In fact, Ash and his traveling companions have acquired several Ground-types of their own at some point during their adventures, and those Ground-type Pokémon have been great additions to the team in terms of both strength and personality.

10 Mudsdale’s Hooves Are Its Most Destructive Weapons

Pokemon Mudsdale and Ash

In the Sun & Moon series, Poni Island Kahuna Hapu used just her Mudsdale against Ash in his Grand Trial, with it eventually losing to his Pikachu. Despite this loss, Mudsdale’s immense power and strength were almost too much for Ash’s Pikachu, and it arguably should have defeated Ash’s ace with its type disadvantage if nothing else.

Hapu’s Mudsdale also helped out in “Z-Move Showdown,” teaming up with the other Kahunas to send a Guzzlord back into an Ultra Wormhole.

9 Iris Eventually Managed To Get The Most Out Of Excadrill

Excadrill Pokemon Ready for Battle

Excadrill is a powerful Steel/Ground mole-like Pokémon that had a strong showing in two separate instances in the Black & White series with both Iris and Clay. While Clay’s Excadrill knocked out Ash’s Snivy before eventually losing to his newly evolved Boldore, Iris’s Excadrill was a more interesting story.

Iris struggled to control its erratic and unpredictable nature, with it often choosing to remain inactive rather than help. Thankfully, Iris did eventually manage to get the best out of Excadrill, even earning a win over Ash’s Pikachu in the process.

8 Hippowdon Is One Of The Most Powerful Pure Ground-Types

Pokemon Hippowdon walking

Ash and friends saw the friendly and adorable side of the hippo Pokémon’s evolution line when they rescued a Hippopotas and safely returned it to its family. It wasn’t until Ash faced off against Elite Four member Bertha that the fully evolved Hippowdon’s might was truly showcased.

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Bertha’s Hippowdon was too strong and destructive even for Ash’s bulky Torterra, with it utilizing its considerable digging capabilities to land unpredictable attacks on the Tortoise Pokémon. Hippowdon eventually picked up a relatively comfortable victory for Bertha.

7 A Dual Ground/Flying Typing Gives Gliscor Only Two Weaknesses

A valued member of Ash’s team in Sinnoh, Ash caught the dual Flying/Ground-type as a Gligar and had it face his rival Paul’s Gliscor, its evolved form. Paul’s Gliscor was intimidating and ultimately victorious, but it was a glimpse of what was to come for Ash’s Gligar.

As a Gliscor, it saw more battle-action, playing important roles in defeating Gym Leader Byron’s Bastiodon and Paul’s Drapion in the Lily of the Valley Conference. Despite not utilizing any Ground-type moves in the anime, the Ground-typing served as immunity against Electric-type moves, meaning it would only be weak to Water or Ice moves.

6 Donphan Turned Into One Of Ash’s Most Reliable Pokémon

Anime Pokemon Ash's Donphan Tournament

Ash’s Phanpy was a pleasant addition to his Johto team but it never truly lived up to its potential, despite knocking out Macy’s Slugma at the Silver Conference. It was only after Ash faced the respected Tyson and his Donphan at the Ever Grande Conference in Hoenn that its potential was shown.

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Following his defeat to Tyson, Ash proceeded to take on the Battle Frontier challenge, with Phanpy quickly evolving into a Donphan. Not only did Donphan help out at the Battle Frontier, but Ash called on it once again in the Sinnoh Pokémon League. Its destructive power with Earthquake and its ability to gain immense speed by rolling made it an invaluable member of Ash’s teams whenever he used it.

5 Krookodile Was Arguably Ash’s Best Unova Addition

Nanu's Krookodile

During Ash’s Unova adventures, there was a recurring Sandile that seemed to gain a degree of confidence from wearing sunglasses and constantly challenged Ash’s Pikachu to battles. It even evolved into a Krokorok during one of the bouts and eventually joined Ash’s team. In its final evolved form, Krookodile was arguably Ash’s strongest Pokémon, aside from perhaps Pikachu, securing a win over Stephan before being left out in the 6-on-6 defeat to Cameron.

Ash faced off against a Krookodile again later, in the Sun & Moon series, with Ula’ula Island Kahuna Nanu initially using one to take down Ash’s Lycanroc in a pre-trial match before losing to it in the Grand Trial itself.

4 Torterra Is A Dual Grass/Ground Powerhouse

Anime Pokemon Ash's Torterra Tournament

In Diamond & Pearl, rivals Ash and Paul both owned the Grass-Ground starter Pokémon, with Ash getting his to Torterra much later than Paul. Ash’s Torterra recorded some big wins for him, especially as a Turtwig, but it was ultimately unable to make much of an impact in the Pokémon League match against Paul, where it was defeated by the Poison-type Drapion.

As a Grotle, it took some time to get used to the new strength and loss of speed compared to how it was before as a Turtwig. Luckily, it eventually overcame its issues and became a useful player on Ash’s team. Meanwhile, Paul’s Torterra was able to take on Cynthia’s Garchomp, which is an impressive feat in itself and a testament to Torterra’s offensive potential.

3 Groudon Revealed Its Destructive Capabilities With Every Anime Appearance

This Gen III Ground-type Legendary Pokémon seemed to be fighting its Water-type counterpart Kyogre whenever it appeared in the anime. Groudon was a key reason for Teams Aqua and Magma getting involved in the Ruby & Sapphire series, and it would show up again in X & Y to face Kyogre in their primal forms.

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That being said, Groudon could have benefited from more individual screen-time, as opposed to being shown as part of a package deal. It showcased powerful moves such as Fissure and Solar Beam in Hoenn, with Hyper Beam and Eruption being used in Kalos.

2 Garchomp Is More Than Just An Excellent Dragon-Type

Anime Pokemon Garchomp Tournament Fight

Often seen as a pure Dragon, the formidable Garchomp is also part Ground-type. Despite the fact that this makes it even more susceptible to Ice-type moves, Garchomp is still a nightmare to face in the games and an unstoppable force in the anime alongside Cynthia.

The best example of this is when Cynthia’s Garchomp simply brushes the arrogant Paul aside in a 6-on-6 match, causing him to retire after losing 4 Pokémon to Garchomp alone. The fact that her Garchomp also beat Flint’s Infernape, when he had previously decimated Ash’s own Infernape, shows how considerable the gaps are, between the Champion, the Elite Four, and everyone else.

1 Steelix Had Multiple Strong Showings In The Anime

Steelix From Pokemon

Steelix is undoubtedly the most frequently encountered Ground-type Pokémon in the series, with it being a literal and metaphorical massive obstacle to overcome. Over the years, Ash has had difficulties when encountering the Iron Snake Ground/Steel-type, losing Noctowl to Harrison’s in Johto, Buizel to Byron’s in Sinnoh, and two Pokémon including Pikachu to Morrison’s in Hoenn.

Brock also had a Steelix that could Mega Evolve in the Sun & Moon series, facing off and ultimately defeating Kiawe and his Turtonator in spectacular fashion.

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