Sunday August 14, 2022

Fossil Pokémon have been a staple of the Pokémon franchise since the very first Gameboy games, with ones appearing in every mainline game, even if they aren’t catchable. With inspiration ranging from horseshoe crabs to sauropods, the Pokémon you can revive from fossils are unique and varied.

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While some games haven’t introduced new fossil Pokémon, like Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver whose remakes are fan favorites, most installments of the mainline game series have two or more Pokémon of this category. Currently, there are 15 Pokémon, 11 of which have evolutions, across all the generations, so let’s see how they stack up against each other.



Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced four new fossil Pokémon, including the dual water and dragon type Dracovish. Its goofy appearance is due to it being a combination of two of the four fossil types available in the generation VIII mainline games, and while looks aren’t everything it doesn’t have too much going for it.

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Dracovish is part of the Slow leveling group, has no evolution, and its shiny form leaves a lot to be desired. This isn’t to say it’s a bad Pokémon, it’s the best fossil Pokémon competitively, but it does lack a charm that the others on this list do.


Two Kabutops face each other in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu/EeveeTwo Kabutops face each other in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee

One of the original fossil Pokémon, Kabuto, and its evolution Kabutops have been in every mainline Pokémon game to some degree. With solid attack and defense stats, and high accuracy moves, this line is a solid choice. It also gets some bonus points for being inspired by the horseshoe crab.

However, its design isn’t as striking as the others on this list, and its lacking pizazz. Perhaps if it had kept its red eyes from when it was a Kabuto it would rank a bit higher.


Tirtouga in the Pokémon AnimeTirtouga in the Pokémon Anime

A good Pokémon if you’re looking for a solid defense. Tirtouga is one of those “what it says on the tin” lines of the Pokémon franchise. It’ll do solid damage while taking heavy hits, and Tirtouga has such a sweet face.

It’s a shame that Carracosta looks so grumpy, otherwise it would rank higher. If you’re a fan of turtles, this is the Pokémon for you without a doubt!


Arctovish in Battle in Pokémon Sword/ShieldArctovish in Battle in Pokémon Sword/Shield

With a kind face and a simple color scheme, this Gen VIII is obviously a gentle soul. Arctovish is a dual water/ice type, and like the rest of the fossil Pokémon from Galar, it has no evolution. It works best when you play to its defensive strengths, and is a good choice for facing off against water types – especially if it has the Water Absorb ability.

Arctovish also has a surprisingly versatile set of moves it can learn, with rock, steel, and dark types all making an appearance on the list. It also has one of the best-named moves in the game: Fishious Rend.


Tyrunt in Pokémon Sword/ShieldTyrunt in Pokémon Sword/Shield

This is a Pokémon that will bite you. Tyrunt and its evolution Tyrantrum have the classic T-Rex design and rock/dragon typing, which is a combination unique to this line.

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There’s not much to say on these guys, they’ve got all the bite folks moved you could want with a lot of rocky flavor. They can learn the move Charm by leveling, which is surprising and also a fun surprise to throw out if you have the chance to use it in battle.


Dracozolt's Pokédex entry in Pokémon ShieldDracozolt's Pokédex entry in Pokémon Shield

This Pokémon is nothing if not fun. Dracozolt looks like it is having a wonderful time now that it’s been brought to life, and electric/dragon is just a fun combo to play with in battle.

However, its stats aren’t the best, even though it has a good variety of moves to choose from. It learns quite a few flying-type moves by leveling, so you’re sure to surprise your opponent when you whip those out in battle.


Aerodactyl in the Pokémon AnimeAerodactyl in the Pokémon Anime

The only first-generation fossil Pokémon without an evolution, and the only fossil Pokémon currently with a mega evolution. Aerodactyl is available in every mainline Pokémon game, though in some you can only obtain it through trade or by moving it over from a previous game.

It’s a rock/flying type with amazing speed, defense, and a solid design. Its mega evolution is quite ugly, and it could use a cute pre-evolved form.


Cranidos is Pokémon Legends: ArceusCranidos is Pokémon Legends: Arceus

You might recognize these guys from Pokémon Legends: Arceus, especially if you’ve spent time in the space-time distortions. The Cranidos line strikes the balance between a cute first evolution and a cool second evolution, all with a cohesive color scheme and interesting design choices.

Cranidos and Rampardos are rock types and only rock types, but even so, they’ve got a healthy move set – the moves they can learn by TM are especially impressive. The line’s attack stat is high, so be prepared to do a lot of damage. Just make sure to have some good healing options…

Omanyte, Omastar

Omanyte in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu/EeveeOmanyte in Pokémon: Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee

Omanyte is the cutest of the fossil Pokémon, while Omastar is the most horrifying. The final first-generation fossil line on this list, Omanyte (and Omastar) have great defense and special attack stats and a great pool of moves to choose from.

Like Aerodactyl and Kabuto/Kabutops it is available in all of the mainline games through various means, so if it’s your favorite you won’t have to live without it. Just make sure you get an Everstone, and fast!


Lileep in the Pokémon Sword/Shield PokédexLileep in the Pokémon Sword/Shield Pokédex

The Lileep line is a member of the fossil Pokémon club based on a fossilized plant, which is a reason to put it into the top ten by itself. It’s a rock/grass dual type, but only has four weaknesses, and is the only Pokémon of that type in the franchise.

While its defense stats are by the highest, it has one of the most diverse move sets on this list. Definitely a Pokémon line worth checking out and playing around with. Who wouldn’t want a fossilized flower as a pet?


Arctozolt in the Pokémon AnimeArctozolt in the Pokémon Anime

Arctozolt is cute. Its stats are good, minus its low speed and electric/ice is a combination you don’t see too often. It looks like it’s all dressed up in a fish costume, plus the light blue and yellow color scheme really adds to its charm.

It doesn’t have the widest variety of typing in its move set, but it has quite a few uncommon moves it learns via leveling, so it’s worth it to try out battling with this one to try them out!


Arctozolt in the Pokémon AnimeArctozolt in the Pokémon Anime

Look at those feathers! Those colors! Archen and Archeops are another instance of good design, even if Archen is a little scruffy looking. This line has fantastic speed and attack stats so it is the ideal partner for those of you looking for a hit fast and strong strategy in battle.

Because they are flying types, they’re immune to ground-type moves, and their rock typing protects them against the heavy damage electric attacks. They are also the only Pokémon with eggs in both the flying and water groups, which is a fun bit of trivia for a rock/flying type to have.


Shieldon in Pokémon Legends: ArceusShieldon in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Shieldon is a precious baby, and Bastiodon is a rock-solid design, so it’s no surprise that they ranked this high. Rock/steel is always a good typing combo, and you can’t get much better than Bastiodon’s defensive stats.

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Combine that with its resistances and poison immunity, you’ve got a tough cookie who can last you a whole battle with the right moves. Good thing its got great accuracy on its high-powered moves!


Aurorus fighting Meowth in the Pokémon AnimeAurorus fighting Meowth in the Pokémon Anime

This line is just gorgeous and is one of the most elegant Pokémon designs across the board. A rock/ice type based on sauropods, Aurorus and its pre-evolution Amaura have high HP stat, with everything else being about average.

It’s got a lot of weaknesses, but with its incredible size (reflected by that high HP) it’ll take a lot to take these lovely Pokémon down. In many ways, it’s a perfect counter to Tyrunt and Tyrantrum who was introduced in the same game.


Armaldo in the Pokémon AnimeArmaldo in the Pokémon Anime

Armaldo is one of the strongest Pokémon in the franchise, with one of the best designs, so it’s hardly a surprise that it’s at the top of the list. Armaldo and its pre-evolution Anorith are rock/bug types from Gen III, and they have been fan favorites ever since.

It combines the strengths of its type well while balancing out the weaknesses, and it just looks so friendly on top of it. Really, you can’t find a better Pokémon, fossil or not, or a better friend.

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