In the Pokémon series, one of the most satisfying parts is seeing a small, unassuming critter evolve into an unstoppable giant. Some Pokémon may just become their current form, but bigger. Others go through a complete metamorphosis, whether it be cocoon to butterfly or anchovy to octopus. In all cases, that serotonin hit of seeing a Pokémon evolve is incredibly potent.

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But what about those who aren't concerned about the evolutions? There exists a whole competitive league for the base forms of Pokémon, called the "Little Cup." In this, pre-evolved forms have a whole different set of rules to contend with to become the best. But in this league also exists the Baby Pokémon, a line of pre-evolutions that cannot breed and are typically weak. Still, some of these tiny Pokémon can be titans in battle, and this list will rank the best of the babies.

10 Chingling

First up is Chingling, the pre-evolution of Hoenn's Chimecho. Neither Chingling nor Chimecho are very noteworthy as Pokémon. In all competitive tiers, both are outclassed by the competition as a supportive psychic-type. In casual play, however, there is a lot more offered for Chingling than the rest of the baby roster not included on this list. It has a solid special attack and a pretty large movepool, making it fit into any tiny team. It may be outclassed, but for those looking to have fun ringing that bell, Chingling is a fine Pokémon.


9 Smoochum

Smoochum, the pre-evolution of Jynx, is in the same boat as Chingling in most cases. While Chingling is outclassed by better supportive Pokémon, Smoochum is outclassed by better offensive Pokémon. However, that doesn't make it that bad. It has paper-thin defense, but its Special Attack is incredibly solid and its ice-typing is a great pickup for a lot of teams. If a trainer can find it early, like in Ultra Sun and Moon, it's definitely a solid option for a special attacking Pokémon. It may be outclassed, but at least it's not Igglybuff

8 Bonsly

Bonsly, the pre-evolution of Sudowoodo, is almost solid enough to find usage in the Little Cup. It's stats aren't anything to sneeze at, with a strong attack stat and an even better defense stat. Its weaknesses mainly are in its terrible speed and low special defense. However, it's far from the worst baby Pokémon. A rock-solid defensive Pokémon is hard to find in these baby Pokémon, and Bonsly is the best of the bunch. Plus, it's goofy tree design makes it fun to use until it grows up into a bigger fake tree. In terms of fun designs and decent strength, Bonsly is hard to beat.

7 Budew

Budew, the pre-evolution of Roselia, doesn't have its strengths loaded into lopsided stats. It isn't amped up offensively or defensively, with a fairly average statline for baby Pokémon. However, its movepool is incredible offensively and defensively. It has access to multiple entry hazards, status ailments, healing, and a small number of offensive techniques.

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In fact, it having so many good moves is one of its weaknesses. In casual play, it's lack of offense may leave a little to be desired, but it usually be obtained early on and evolve into the much more capable Roselia and Roserade. It's a powerful little flower bud, that much is certain.

6 Riolu

Riolu, the pre-evolution of the ever-popular Lucario, has a large variety of moves it can learn. Its stats aren't bad either, with serviceable attack and speed that fits both competitive and casual play. With the Eviolite, an item that adds bulk to pre-evolved Pokémon, it also is solid defensively. If it has the Prankster ability, it also gets priority on moves like Swords Dance or Bulk Up, which is useful all-around. Its evolution may be a popular Pokémon, but this fighting-type cutie shouldn't be ignored either.

5 Mantyke

Mantyke, the pre-evolution of Mantine, is one of those shockingly good baby Pokémon most people probably never used. Its first appearance landed it at the very end of the game in Diamond and Pearl, and it only broke that curse in Ultra Sun and Moon. Its special defense is astronomical for a pre-evolved Pokémon, giving it good bulk even without the Eviolite. It has a collection of good abilities too, giving some options for how to use it. It has weaknesses, of course, but it stands out even among the water-type competition it has. For baby Pokémon enthusiasts, Mantyke is one that deserves more love.

4 Munchlax

Munchlax, the pre-evolution of Snorlax, is absolutely a threat even before it evolves. It has a low defense and terrible speed, but neither of those matter when its HP, attack, and special defense are so good. It has better stats that some evolved Pokémon.

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In casual play, it absolutely finds use as a big, bulky friend that squashes its foes with powerful normal-type attacks. In the Little Cup, it has its uses even though it isn't super reliable. Although this hungry friend is often rare, it's a worthwhile pickup for any trainer in need of a normal-type.

3 Elekid

Elekid, the pre-evolution of (allegedly ugly) Electabuzz, is a speed-check of a Pokémon. In terms of the Little Cup, it is one of the fastest Pokémon in the entire league. It has good physical and special attack, allowing variety in build options. Many trainers may remember its love of punching moves and the type coverage that provides, but it also has a couple strong specially attacking moves it picks up through TM's. It doesn't even get faster as it evolves, and in competitive play Elekid is the most viable of its whole line. Elekid is absolutely a lovely little spark that shocks the rest of the baby roster.

2 Magby

Magby, the pre-evolution of Magmar, is like a brother to Elekid. It trades off some speed for better offensive stats, but it still outspeeds a number of pre-evolved Pokémon and some fully evolved Pokémon. Its solid offense just makes it a more enticing option in both competitive and casual play. Its movepool from leveling up may be a bit underwhelming, but it still has a lot of great moves it has the potential to learn. It may be a frail fire-type, but it packs a punch. Magby, compared to the rest of the baby roster, stands tall as the best all-around baby Pokémon package.

1 Wynaut

Wynaut, the pre-evolution of Wobbuffet, is a big gimmick. In most situations, Wynaut is just kind of annoying at worst. However, any person who has done Nuzlockes will absolutely have fear of Wobbuffet and, of course, Wynaut. Shadow Tag prevents escape, and its high HP means that one-shotting it isn't a guarantee in the early game. If a Wynaut has Counter and Mirror Coat, it's a roll of the dice which move the AI used. In all practical purposes, Wynaut isn't very strong. However, its ability to turn the opponents strength against them makes it truly terrifying, and the strongest of the baby Pokémon.

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