Each type may not be as balanced as one might think. With the many different types out there in Pokemon, they all have different powers with their top move. As new ones were introduced, many stemmed from the concern of bad balancing and pushed legendaries, and this list shows how absurdly powerful certain moves can be.
Your favorite type might be the most consistent, but the question is if it also was given one of the strongest moves of all the types? If you have ever been curious about which types have the strongest attacks, look no further because the information on the strongest move of each type is here.
Updated April 6, 2021 by Gene Cole: There have been tons of new moves added to the Pokemon series over each game, and the DLC for Pokemon Sword & Shield has even brought some of the strongest moves back to the series. The power rankings of moves have changed lots between each game, so we felt this list needed a quick refresh on the strongest moves in the series, excluding game-specific attack types like Z-Moves and Max Moves.
17 Dark: Wicked Blow (80)
Dark-type Pokemon lacked very strong moves for so many years, lacking many moves when the typing was first revealed in the Johto games. The ceiling of Dark-type moves has gotten much higher since then, with Urshifu from Pokemon Sword & Shield’s Isle of Armor having the most powerful yet in the form of Wicked Blow.
While it says there's only 80 damage in the move description, an important note is that it’s always a critical hit, meaning it’ll functionally deal over 100 each time and ignore various stat changes. While other moves will generally have as much power as their numbers, Wicked Blow is worth a special mention over its practical power.
16 Ghost: Astral Barrage & Shadow Force (120)
Another tie between powerful moves falls in the Ghost-type category, where two legendaries both hold the top move. Astral Barrage is the most recent of these, being a powerful move by Calyrex while riding in the Shadow Rider form on Spectrier and having zero drawbacks.
Giratina’s Shadow Force, meanwhile, is much stranger as it’s an upgraded version of a prior move from the series. Just like Phantom Force, this move will cause the user to disappear from existence before striking, and will ignore moves like Protect, but Shadow Force has a more impressive 20 points of power over the more commonly-learned Phantom Force to fit Giratina’s legendary status.
15 Ground: Precipice Blades (120)
While Groudon really didn't have a signature move when it debuted, the Ruby and Sapphire remakes made sure to give the title Pokemon its own attack, and it turned out to be the currently strongest ground type move out there. Enter Precipice Blades, a powerful Ground-type strike to all opponents that exceeds Earthquake massively.
It’s certainly not the strongest member of this list, but it’s still notable for its lack of risk. Previously, Groudon was mainly stuck to using Fire-type moves despite its Ground-type body, so it’s a well-needed move that does a better job showcasing Groudon’s might.
14 Poison: Gunk Shot & Belch (120)
With Poison-type moves we come to the first tie of the list, as both hold a powerful 120 base power and can annihilate nearly any Pokemon that can’t resist it. That said, each of these moves have serious downside, dampening them from being powerful enough to ruin most opponents.
Belch is held back by the user needing a Berry to be held, and while consuming the berry can often give this move an upside, it’s still a frustrating cost that prevents it from being used twice. Gunk Shot is much simpler, having a seriously low accuracy rating that causes it to miss a disappointing amount of the time.
13 Bug: Megahorn (120)
Megahorn has decent power when compared to most on the list, but it is the special move of certain Pokemon and not available to most, whether they’re Bug-type or not. Megahorn lacks ideal accuracy, but in return it has a massive amount of power compared to nearly any other Bug-type move.
That said, it isn’t generally reliable enough to be used on most of these Bug-type Pokemon that can learn it, so you’ll rarely see this move in action. As a result, it’s generally better for Pokemon that need some range against Dark and Psychic-type opponents like Terrakion and Galarian Rapidash.
12 Electric: Bolt Strike (130)
While you might expect this move to belong to the bolt-loving mascot Pikachu, this move actually belongs to the powerful Unova legendary Zekrom. Electric-type moves have always been quite reliable, so few reach power levels this high, but Zekrom’s massive stature deserved an equally powerful move.
Funnily enough, Pikachu actually comes quite close with Volt Tackle, a signature attack with 120 base power. That said, the series has managed to resist giving Pikachu too much strength by keeping it back in second place for much of the series.
11 Flying: Sky Attack (140)
Sky Attack has had an odd history in the Pokemon series. It originally was treated as a signature move for the Legendary Birds of Kanto, but in time nearly every Flying-type Pokemon could learn it. Even stranger was that this move was buffed in the Pokemon Let’s Go series, giving it an even greater lead with 200 points.
However, at 140 points in the other games it’s still an absolute menace, even with the turn it takes to charge up. Hitting a foe with this can even cause opponents to flinch, buying you back the turn you took off to prepare your wicked sky strike.
10 Fairy: Light of Ruin (140)
There are a number of powerful Fairy-type attacks thanks to how new they are as a type in the series, but Light of Ruin is a somewhat odd member of this list. It’s exclusive to Floette, but only one event version that was meant to resemble the oddly-colored partner of Az in Pokemon X & Y.
Rather than Steel Beam, however, this move will inflict half the damage dealt to the opponent after use. This means you can sometimes faint in the process of using this move, which can make it especially dangerous compared to the other attacks on this list.
9 Ice: Ice Burn & Freeze Shock (140)
Ice-type moves don’t often get more powerful than Blizzard, but Reshiram managed to add two moves with no downsides that unfortunately knocks normal Ice-type Pokemon far away. These would be Ice Burn & Freeze Shock, which Reshiram only learns when respectively combined with Reshiram or Zekrom.
These moves can even cause paralysis or burn depending on the Pokemon you have attached to Kyurem, making them unstoppably powerful regardless of your selection. So long as you can get your Kyruem to level 80 to learn these moves, they’re absolutely higher than anything else you can get among other Ice-types.
8 Steel: Steel Beam (140)
Extremely new to the series is the move Steel Beam, a powerful special attack that reduces the user’s health by half its original total. This is quite similar to the signature Fire-type move of Blacephalon, Mind Blown, but Steel Beam has an advantage by being teachable to any Steel-type Pokemon.
This makes it extremely risky to use, since losing half your health can be quite significant, but the power you get is certainly worth the cost. So long as you get at least two hits in, you can usually consider this move as having been worth your time.
7 Fighting: Meteor Assault & Focus Punch (150)
With Fighting-type moves we come to a third tie, as Sirfetch’d has a signature move that matches the infamous Focus Punch of the series past. Meteor Assault is generally considered the stronger move, hitting quickly before needing rest in a similar vein to Giga Impact.
Focus Punch is much less powerful, needing a lack of damage to charge up before hitting the foe with full force at the end of the turn. Both of these moves are astonishingly powerful, but this one is far less reliable or worth using compared to nearly any other Fighting-type move in general.
6 Water: Water Spout & Hydro Cannon (150)
While this award can be given to two moves, Water Spout is definitely the more interesting and often more powerful among Water-types of the series. Hydro Cannon acts as another elemental Hyper Beam for starters, making it fairly sluggish and awkward for most Pokemon to attack with.
Water Spout, meanwhile, will only have its base power of 150 when attacking at full health. This means it’s easy to shrink it, but attacking quickly means you’ll be able to hit opponents with the strongest move in the game with no consequences. Users like Kyogre can also easily use it in the rain, giving it fifty percent more strength to top it off.
5 Grass: Frenzy Plant (150)
The winner of the strongest Grass-type move in the series is somewhat complicated thanks to the Pokemon Let’s Go games. Much like Sky Attack, Solar Beam was given a huge buff in power to hit 200 points, but other games have kept Solar Beam below many other Grass-type moves including Solar Blade, and the proper winner of Frenzy Plant.
This is an elemental Hyper Beam move, which is to say it requires the user to rest after attacking. It’s a signature move tutor attack for any Grass-type starter, and while it’s not necessarily the ideal move for every situation, it’s still a massive powerhouse if you just need a quick blast of power.
4 Dragon: Eternabeam (160)
Dragons have often been seen as overpowered in many circles of Pokemon, but Pokemon Sword & Shield put that into overdrive with Eternatus' signature move. This move is a Dragon-type Hyper Beam, blasting a foe with energy before needing to rest on the next turn.
It’s incredibly simple, but many powerful moves don’t need anything complex to be strong. This move is a must-run on Eternatus for its sheer power, with the only move coming close being Regidrago’s new Dragon Energy at a base 150 power.
3 Psychic: Prismatic Laser (160)
Necrozma wins against all of the other Psychic-type legendaries in terms of moves, as Prismatic Laser ends up topping every Psychic-type move by a fairly sizable margin. This attack is identical to Hyper Beam by needing a brief turn to rest after use, but in return does even more damage than the move it’s based on.
That said, there’s technically one other move that beast Prismatic Laser, and that would be the signature move of this Pokemon's elusive Ultra Necrozma form from Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon. Its animation is flashy and it deals down heavy in Psychic damage, making Ultra Necrozma an especially strong fighter, but outside of this fight it has never been made usable.
2 Fire: V-Create (180)
Kicking off the final two strongest moves in the game is Victini, who has a signature move that kicks about thirty points past nearly every Fire-type move in the game. The only main cost is the user’s stats, as Victini loses a stack of Defense, Special Defense, and Speed after impact.
This legendary signature move might not be one you are familiar with because of the rarity of Victini, but it's another refreshing surprise move that’s neat to not have gone to a fan-favorite Pokemon like Charizard. Nonetheless, its power fits with this mythical Pokemon, especially with its strong offensive type combination of Fire and Psychic.
1 Normal: Explosion (250)
The last and strongest move in the game is, thankfully, not belonging to any legendary Pokemon. Instead, it’s the original Normal-type move for those learning how much of a cost power can be, as Explosion holds an absurd 250 points of base power that causes the user to faint immediately after.
That said, pro players can tell you that this move isn’t so much a downside as it seems. This cost is unfortunate at full health, but if you happen to be near fainting already, then going down with a huge blast of energy is worth the loss of your Pokemon, making it one of the most usable moves on this entire list.
NetEase called it a bug, but others called it a feature.