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VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
They're the original Pokemon Master's dream team! Join Ashley as we look over our picks for the best Pokemon to ever come Ash's command, including the likes of "Pikachu", "Charizard", "Snorlax", and more!
Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 20 Pokemon of Ash Ketchum

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the best of the best when it comes to Ash’s partners, ranking them based on their battle history, personality, and overall impact on the franchise.

#20: Kingler

Ash may have caught Krabby when he was the runt of the cast, but by the time he appeared in battle, this water-type was something to behold. Let’s put it this way; in Krabby’s first official fight in the series, he beat three pokemon, evolved into Kingler, and single handedly won an Indigo League match. Given that’s where he started, it’s no surprise that Kingler went on to become one of Ash’s most reliable partners. But, while his track record is certainly impressive, the best part about Kingler is knowing that, if it weren’t for Ash, he’d still be an underestimated Krabby to this day.

#19: Bayleef

Every trainer needs to have a good relationship with their partners. But, Bayleef takes that to a whole new level. Always wearing her heart on her sleeve - or, rather, her leaves - Bayleef cries, cheers, and fights for Ash with so much sincerity, it’s impossible to resist. That’s not to say she’s a pushover, though. Whether you have a type-advantage or not, you really don’t want to be on the wrong end of Bayleef’s body slam. Especially if Ash is the one asking her to do it. After seeing their adorable relationship blossom across Johto, it’s hard not to love Bayleef as much as she loves Ash.

#18: Hawlucha

Ash has a lot of iconic flying types in reserve. But, for Hawlucha, we’ll happily make room for one more. Part bird, part wrestler, and part prideful scene-stealer, Hawlucha easily flew its way to becoming one of the coolest parts of the Kalos saga. Despite some steep competition in the partner department, Hawlucha’s Flying Press’ cemented it as a total force to be reckoned with. Just look at what happened in the Lumiose Conference. What’s more, it sometimes gets to wear a sick costume when it comes out to battle! Like any good wrestler, Hawlucha knows how to put on a show, that’s all we’re saying.

#17: Gengar

Believe it or not, this is the first ghost type Ash has ever officially added to his lineup. But, boy was it worth the wait. Having been abandoned by his past trainer, Gengar had some justified reservations about trusting a new partner. Lucky for him, befriending lost Pokemon is kind of Ash Ketchum’s thing. Then, following a long and satisfying journey together, Gengar finally unleashed his maximum potential - also known as Gigantamax. The Ghost type was such a beast on the battlefield, he even earned a pivotal spot in Ash’s coronation-winning team. That victory is as much for their relationship as it is for Ash’s dream.

#16: Krookodile

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a Pokemon that wears sunglasses. Krookodile is the only evidence you need. The ground-type started its journey as a shy Sandile following Ash throughout Unova. Eventually, it warmed up enough to join his team. Later, it evolved into a Krokorok, and then a Krookodile. But, no matter what, it never lost its shades, or its personality. While the fully-formed Pokemon won plenty of iconic fights in its day, it’s Krookodile’s effortless individuality that makes it stand out as a character in its own right. Ash really lucked out with this one; he got a Krookodile with style and substance.

#15: Lapras

Not only is this sea-fairing Pokemon one of the most adorable creatures you’ll ever lay your eyes on, but it served as the main source of transportation for Ash and company during his time on the Orange Islands. Initially afraid of humans after being separated from its herd, it ended up forming a strong bond with Ash. Cute as it may be, it certainly knows how to leave its enemies on ice.

#14: Rowlet

Much like Pikachu, this charming owl prefers to stay outside of its Pokeball. You won’t hear any complaints from us, though. After all, any time Rowlet’s onscreen, we know we’re in for a good time. That is, assuming it’s not already asleep. Despite its frequent drowsiness, Rowlet pecked its way through some of Ash’s most important battles in Alola - including a victory over its own evolution, Decidueye! And, since it never evolved itself, Rowlet won them all without losing its lovable demeanor. As it turns out, Ash’s first capture in Alola also ended up becoming one of his very best, ever, and it’s not even close.

#13: Torterra

Another day, another grass starter added to the hall of fame. This time, it’s from Sinnoh. The edgy Torterra may look menacing, but that’s not actually where its story with Ash begins. No, the Pallet Town Prodigy caught it all the way back as a dopey Turtwig. Through lots of positive reinforcement, the headstrong rookie grew into a Grotle, and finally a Torterra. Raising this Pokemon to its final stage fostered a truly one-of-a-kind relationship, particularly in comparison to Paul’s dynamic with his own Torterra. Whether it was on the battlefield or not, Ash’s trusty grass-type showed everyone that planting down roots is never a bad idea.

#12: Goodra

When Ash stumbled upon a frightened Goomy unable to stand up for itself, he took it as a challenge. A few episodes, some incredible fights, and a lot of hard work later, he had a fully-evolved Goodra to show for it. Goomy’s empowering journey from a scared bystander into a proud Dragon is worth the price of admission alone. But, to sweeten the deal, Goodra repaid Ash by delivering some of the coolest fights the “Pokemon” anime has ever seen. Even though the pseudo-legendary parted ways with its trainer at the end of the Kalos arc, its jaw-dropping feats ensured that Goodra will never be forgotten. By Ash, or the audience.

#11: Heracross

Sure, it would much rather spend it’s days sucking sap out of trees than lock horns in a Pokemon battle, but this sturdy insect is always willing to fight for Ash and proved itself to be a valued addition to the team throughout his time in the Johto. Comedic and loving in nature, Heracross was actually thrown into some pretty tough battles and managed to claim victory. Not many bug types would be able to stand up to a Magmar and Blastoise, but then again they weren’t armed with a Megahorn.

#10: Squirtle

Originally the leader of a gang of vandals, the group eventually abandoned their mischievous ways and offered their services as fire-fighters, with Squirtle deciding to join Ash on his journey to become a Pokemon Master. Reliable in the face of danger and whose master of water techniques even put Misty’s bunch to shame, you could always count on Squirtle to Hydro Pump its way out of a jam.

#9: Lycanroc

Ash’s Rockruff practically grew up before our eyes. Moody teenage years and all. Although it had some prideful growing pains, Ash worked with his newly-evolved Lycanroc until the two were practically inseparable. Then, they put that bond to the test in the finals of the Manalo Conference. Talk about putting pressure on a new relationship. Still, when push came to shove, it wasn’t Pikachu or anyone else that won Ash his first champion title. It was Lycanroc. There’s no way to oversell just how iconic that final fight is. But, it’s all the more satisfying knowing how hard Ash and Lycanroc worked to get there.

#8: Bulbasaur

Despite its small stature, Bulbasaur more than proved just how much of a powerhouse it was with its fierce determination, endurance as well as Solar-beam that turned photosynthesis into a weapon of mass destruction. It may have taken a backseat in recent years, but its impact as one of Ash’s strongest Pokemon still remains true. In fact it’s such a beast that it refused its own evolutionary process and still came out on top.

#7: Infernape

The Sinnnoh Region is rife with danger. You have deadly new Pokemon, Team Galactic, and that douche, Paul. As such, you need a Pokemon that knows how to bring the heat. Originally a Chimchar owned by Paul, it was tossed aside after he viewed it to be too weak for his team. However, it was not long before it found itself with a new compassionate owner in the form of Ash. Over time, Chimchar evolved into an Infernape and eventually got the chance to get even when it ended up battling Paul’s Electivire during the Sinnoh League, where it displayed just how strong it had become.

#6: Snorlax

It’s big, loves to spend its days eating and sleeping, and has actually proven itself to be quite the handy ally in a Pokemon battle. With its immense weight and strength, Snorlax has managed to flatten and send opponents flying. Aside from having difficulty trying to get it to overcome its laziness, Ash has called in this particular big gun throughout his many journeys, and as long as it gets a little rest at the end of the ordeal, Snorlax does not disappoint.

#5: Sceptile

Even when it was just a Treeko, this grass type was one cool customer. After reaching its pinnacle form, Sceptile quickly rose to become one of the party’s strongest members. Kind of a shame it took him so long to evolve, could have really used those Leaf Blades and Solarbeam during the Hoenn League Finals. It more-than made up for it, however, when it took down Tobias’ legendary pokemon – Darkrai.

#4: Lucario

There’s not many trainers out there who could nurture an unhatchable egg into a Mega-evolved ace. But, that’s just the Ketchum way. Since Riolu only evolves through aura and friendship, its debut as Lucario is a visual reminder of how much Ash has put into their bond. Once you add Mega Evolution to the list, it’s obvious why Lucario earned a spot on Ash’s team for the World Coronation Series. It’s not just an uber-powerful fighting machine, though. Lucario’s a true partner; one who learned to respect Ash as much as he respects his Pokemon back. Against that kind of teamwork, Leon never stood a chance.

#3: Greninja

Ash has had many water-type starter Pokemon over the years, and Froakie seemed like it would be another run of the mill addition. Then it evolved into its final form, and we got one of Ash’s most badass Pokemon of all time. Due to the X/Y/Z series receiving a much needed boost in animation quality, Greninja’s speed and fighting abilities are shown to be off the charts, especially when he and Ash mentally sync up and let loose that Water Shuriken. Is this a Pokemon or a shonen action hero?!

#2: Charizard

Never has there been a Pokemon with a more conflicting relationship with Ash. As a Charmander, it was as friendly and as loyal as could be, but then it evolved into Charmeleon and went through what can only be called Poke-adolescence, complete with a constant rebellious attitude. Then things really got kicked up a gear when it evolved into a Charizard and wanted nothing to do with Ash, even costing him his chance at the Indigo League. However, over time Charizard began to mellow and enjoy fighting by Ash’s side, and has since become one of his strongest and most reliable allies. Ash must have the patience of a saint, we’d give up after the first flamethrower to the face.

#1: Pikachu

You never forget your first Pokemon, and this little electric mouse has stuck by Ash’s side through thick and thin across every single region, gym battle and encounter with Team Rocket. A constant companion who simply refuses to settle for a Pokeball, if there’s any Pokemon that can help Ash achieve that decades long dream of becoming the very best, it’s Pikachu. After all, its thunderbolts seem to disregard the laws of nature and shock any type of adversary in submission!

Which Pokemon would you want to have as a partner in real life? Let us know in the comments below!