When it comes to ranked online battles in the Pokemon series, particularly in the last few generations, Pokemon that specialize in Special Attack are some of the best that players can choose for their team if they are looking for a strong team member. Aside from dealing a large amount of damage, Pokemon that focus on Special Attack are able to avoid falling victim to the ever-present Intimidate ability, which lowers the opposing Pokemon’s Attack by one stage.
While there are many common Special Attacked focused Pokemon, such as the many Psychic-type Pokemon and the Island Guardian legendaries, there are many more with a fantastic Special Attack stat that are left on the sidelines, either due to their shallow movepool or their overall niche usage in battle, but they should all be given a chance to prove themselves in battle.
Several Ultra Beasts don’t shine quite as bright as the others, with the likes of Guzzlord and Buzzwole not quite rising to the astronomical heights of Kartarna and Celesteela, but one that players seem to constantly forget exists is the Electric-type Xurkitree. Although its movepool is a little shallow, a common issue among the majority of Electric-types, it boasts the highest Special Attack stat of all Pokemon in the series and can deal some serious damage if given the right scenario. Xurkitree even learns both Solar Beam and Energy Ball to cover its Ground-type weakness, something that very few Electric-type Pokemon are able to say they can do.
Wishiwashi is a strange Alolan Pokemon that seems to be what Wailord could have been had it not had such terrible stats. After it reaches level 20, Wishiwashi will gain access to its School Form, which increases the majority of its stats, including its Special Attack, by quite a large amount. Unlike Xurkitree, Wishiwashi’s movepool is quite diverse with access to the typical Ice-type moves common on a Water-type as well as Ground, Dragon, and even Bug-type attacks. Wishiwashi also has just as good an Attack as Special Attack, meaning it can be used as a mixed attacker if players want to go that route.
Drampa is an unfortunate case of a decent Pokemon flying under the radar simply due to how good the rest of the pool of Pokemon are in its type. A unique combination of Normal and Dragon-type, Drampa has a lot going for it in terms of move diversity, though where it really shines is in its Special Attack and its main ability, Berserk, which boosts its Special Attack when its health hits 50%.
Drampa’s Speed stat is even low enough to make it good in a Trick Room team, allowing it to fire off powerful Hyper Voices and Draco Meteors before the opponent is able to act and is the best use of this aged Dragon-type.
Roserade has a lot going for it. For one, it has access to a wide pool of moves that it can best utilize thanks to its decent Speed and fantastic Special Attack, including Weather Ball for Fire-type coverage on Sunny Day teams, as well as Shadow Ball, Dazzling Gleam, and Extrasensory for decent neutral coverage across the board. While Roserade is a great Pokemon, it is heavily let down by having the same type combination and similar moves to Venusaur, the crowned champion of Grass/Poison-types in the series, meaning many players see little reason to choose it over the Kanto starter Pokemon.
It seems strange to label Hydreigon as underrated, especially considering how prevalent it was during its debut region as a powerful Choice Scarf sweeper, as well as its status as a pseudo legendary Pokemon. However, the introduction of the Fairy-type hurt Hydreigon considerably, as it was almost guaranteed that it would faint in one middling Fairy-type attack due to its Dragon/Dark-type combination. With its extensive movepool and great stats, however, Hydreigon should be considered on any team that can covers its massive weakness to one of the most commonly seen types in the series.
Zoroark is a fan favorite among Pokemon fans, largely due to its association with N from Pokemon Black & White and its very unique ability to troll the opposing player. With great Speed, Attack, and Special Attack, Zoroark is able to easily fool the opponent into thinking it is another Pokemon, though it is let down by its low defenses and the fact that its disguise is broken after being hit just once. However, if played for its strengths in battle, Zoroark can be a powerful Dark-type ally to cover common weaknesses for Fighting and Poison-type teammates.
Landorus, especially its Therian form that is one of the most common Pokemon seen in competitive battles, is mostly known for its Attack stat rather than its Special Attack. Its Incarnate form, however, is fairly balanced between both attacking stats, as well as it having access to a decent pool of special attacks that make it worth considering as a special attack focused Pokemon.
Aside from the powerful Earth Power move, it also has access to Weather Ball, which it can use very effectively in Sunny Day teams to cover its massive Ice-type weakness, as well as Sludge Bomb and Psychic for generally good coverage across the board.
Salazzle may be a Pokemon that many chose to ignore simply because of how difficult it used to be to find a good one. Not only do only the females of the Salandit species evolve, but Salandit only has a 12% chance of being female, both in the wild and when breeding. However, if players do manage to get their hands on a good female Salandit, they should hold on to it for dear life, as its powerful Fire/Poison-type combination, alongside its Corrosion ability that allows it to inflict the Poison status on Poison and Steel-type Pokemon, makes it a great addition if players are looking for a Fire or Poison-type addition to their team.
Vanilluxe gets a lot of hate from players for being “that icecream cone Pokemon”, but players should look past its bizarre exterior and see what it has to offer. Aside from decent Speed and defenses, Vanilluxe boasts a powerful Special Attack stat that pairs very well with its Snow Warning ability, which summons a Hail storm when it is brought into battle, and its access to powerful Ice-type moves like Blizzard and Freeze Dry. The Ice-type may not be the best in terms of defense, but if it is given the right partners, Vanilluxe is capable of tearing through teams with 100% accurate Blizzards.
Most players won’t consider Maractus as anything other than a joke Pokemon, and for good reason. Aside from its dopey design and completely forgettable nature, Maractus’ movepool is atrocious, even for a Grass-type and has little going for it. However, what it does have is the Chlorophyll ability and a great Special Attack stat, as well as some neat support moves like After You, which, when combined with the speed boost gained from Chlorophyll in the Sun, allows Maractus to help its slower teammates, such as Torkoal, act first in battle.