Dugtrio, one of the best Ground-type Pokémon

Ground-type Pokémon are some of the toughest species in the Pokémon world. They may not be as sturdy as most Rock- or Steel-types, but they’re often strong enough to stand their own ground (pun intended).

When it comes to Pokémon battles, Ground-type is one of the best in terms of offense. It’s super effective against five types, and it’s the only type that’s super effective against Electric-types. It also pairs well offensively with other types for better coverage, such as Rock- and Ice-type.

Wanna try them on your team? Here are the 8 best Ground-type Pokémon (non-Legendary).

Dugtrio

 

Kantonian Dugtrio HOME sprite

You can’t have a list of the best Ground-type Pokémon without including one of the first Ground-types in the game. 

Dugtrio is an insanely fast Pokémon that can travel up to 100 km/h and as deep as 100 km. It has a base speed stat of 120, which allows it to outspeed even Legendary Pokémon, such as Rayquaza and Entei.

It may not look scary on the outside, but Dugtrio can be terrifying in battles. Its devastating moves like Earthquake and Fissure can destroy its surroundings and injure any nearby opponents.

What makes this Pokémon even more terrifying is its ability, Arena Trap. Arena Trap prevents any grounded Pokémon from fleeing or switching it. So, unfortunately for your opponent, they have no other choice but to face Dugtrio as they tremble in fear.

Although Dugtrio has a high Speed and decent Attack, it has subpar defenses that make it susceptible to counterattacks.

Dugtrio is a good example of a glass cannon, and inexperienced trainers may find it hard to maximize its strengths in battle.

Alolan Dugtrio HOME sprite
Alolan Dugtrio

Dugtrio has an Alolan variant that adds Steel to its type. The Steel/Ground-type combination of Alolan Dugtrio makes it resistant to a total of eight types and immune to two, which slightly helps offset its weak defenses.

The best part? It has soft, gorgeous hair!

Hippowdon

Hippowdon in the anime

Hippowdon is based on the semiaquatic mammal Hippopotamus, and they’re pretty much alike in most aspects.

Hippowdon is a sturdy, large Pokémon with an enormous jaw and tough body surrounded by sand. Its jaw is capable of tremendous power, and it’s often flexed wide open as a display of power and for intimidation.

Although it’s a relatively slow Pokémon, Hippowdown can learn several destructive moves like Earthquake, Double-Edge, and Stone Edge that allow it to KO opponents with ease. It also has very high defenses, making it a reliable wall.

But Hippowdon’s main strength lies in its capability to whip up a sandstorm in battle thanks to its ability Sand Stream.

This harsh weather condition deals damage to Pokémon in battle that aren’t Steel-, Ground-, or Rock-type. It’s also useful as a support if you have Pokémon on your team that can take advantage of the sandstorm, such as Landorus with Sand Force or Dracovish with Sand Rush.

Another interesting feature about Hippowdon is that the male and female species look differently. They both have the same body structure, but a male Hippowdon has light brown skin as opposed to a female’s blue-gray.

Although Hippowdon’s appearance is far from desirable (to put it mildly), its strength and toughness are more than enough to make it one of the best Ground-type Pokémon.

Donphan

Ash's Donphan in the anime

Who here liked elephants as a child? I bet most of us do!

Heck, most people probably like elephants even as adults.

They’re some of the smartest and friendliest species in the animal kingdom. This is why it’s no surprise that a Pokémon based on this animal turned out to be just as likable.

Donphan is known as the Armor Pokémon, a category that it shares with the pseudo-legendary Tyranitar. It’s a very fitting category as it has a strong, durable body that’s covered with tough, resilient skin. It also has sturdy tusks that grow on the sides of its mouth.

Donphan prides itself on its stellar Attack and Defense base stats and high HP. It’s a great physical attacker that can also act as a reliable physical tank.

Although it’s not a fast Pokémon by any means, its immense durability and threatening power more than make up for it.

Donphan has a wide range of powerful moves in its arsenal, such as Stone Edge, Earthquake, and Giga Impact. It can also use Rollout, which starts weak but deals increasingly high damage for each successive use. It can also learn some valuable utility moves, such as Rapid Spin and Knock Off.

The best part about Donphan is despite its tough and intimidating look, it can be an adorable and lovable companion.

Excadrill

Iris' Excadrill in the anime

Excadrill is not only one of the best Ground-type Pokémon, but it’s also one of the coolest Pokémon in the franchise.

Who would’ve thought that Game Freak could reimagine a mole and transform it into something awesome?

Excadrill has a sharp steel spike that protrudes from its head. Its arms end with razor-sharp steel blades, and it can straighten its body and spin like a drill.

Excadrill drilling out from the ground
They see me drillin’…

If that’s not cool, then I don’t know what is.

Aside from having a great design, Excadrill also does well in the battle department. It boasts an extremely high base Attack stat at 135 and huge HP at 110, making it a reliable and strong offensive Pokémon.

Even though it only has an average speed, its solid bulk lets it survive most attacks before it dishes out its own moves.

Additionally, if sandstorm is the active weather, Excadrill can double its speed with its ability Sand Rush, allowing it to wreak havoc even before your opponent can react.

It also has exceptional defensive typing with Steel/Ground. This type combination makes Excadrill resistant to eight types and immune to both Fairy-type and Electric-type attacks.

Flygon

Flygon in the anime

What’s more awesome than a Dragon-type Pokémon?

A Dragon-type that can use a STAB-boosted Earthquake!

Flygon is not your usual Dragon-type. Its design is primarily based on the concept of an antlion or dragonfly rather than a giant fire-breathing reptile or beast.

Its unique design and concept make it a favorite among Pokémon fans, being voted as the 2nd best Hoenn Pokémon of the Year in 2021 and ranking 10th overall.

Known as the Mystic Pokémon (similar to Xatu), Flygon is a Dragon/Ground-type Pokémon that also resembles Flying- and Bug-type features. It hovers above the ground with its rhombus-shaped wings, and its eyes are covered with red protective films that allow it to traverse sandstorms with ease.

Flygon overwhelms its opponents with its strong STAB-boosted moves like Dragon Claw, Outrage, and Earthquake. It can also whip up a sandstorm, which it can use to its advantage or help support its team.

Its ability, Levitate, prevents it from getting hit by Ground-type moves like Earthquake while it uses its own Earthquake to defeat its opponent.

Aside from powerful Dragon- and Ground-type moves, Flygon can also learn potent Flying- and Bug-type moves, such as U-Turn and Aerial Ace. 

While Flygon only has average to above-average stats, its flexible movepool and decent offensive typing allow it to hold its own against other stronger Pokémon.

Too bad Game Freak didn’t push through with its Mega Evolution.

Gliscor

Bertha's Gliscor in the anime

Next on this list is Gliscor, the Fang Scorpion Pokémon. It resembles a vampire bat that has sharp pincers as arms and a sharp-edged scorpion tail.

The look on its menacing face already tells you that it’s up to no good, and being careless against it will most likely mean trouble for you.

Gliscor has been one of the best Pokémon in competitive battling since its debut in Gen IV—and for good reasons.

Gliscor is a very flexible Pokémon due to its versatile movepool and well-balanced stats. It has a sky-high Defense and above-average Attack and Speed.

Although its offensive stats aren’t that high compared to others, it has just that right balance of bulk, power, and versatility to put it on top of competitive battling. Some of its moves include Swords Dance, Earthquake, U-Turn, and Stealth Rock.

The ability Poison Heal grants Gliscor immunity to poison, which it can also utilize by holding a Toxic Orb. This essentially makes it immune to any status condition while also providing consistent HP regeneration.

Moreover, Gliscor’s Flying/Ground-type combination gives it useful resistances and immunities. Given its Ground typing, it fits in nicely with sandstorm teams as well.

Garchomp

Cynthia's Garchomp using Dragon Claw

Garchomp, aka the better Flygon.

Many would probably disagree with that statement, and I don’t blame them. Flygon is a really cool Pokémon in its own right.

But when it comes to raw power, Garchomp wins this debate hands down. I think it’s actually unfair to even compare the two, given that Garchomp is literally a pseudo-legendary.

See how scary that face and body are? Those aren’t just for show.

When we talk about Garchomp, what you see is what you get. Garchomp’s whole appearance is an accurate representation of its exceptional power and speed.

This shark-looking, dinosaur-like Pokémon boasts enormous offensive stats and great defenses. It has 108 base HP, 95 base Defense, and 85 base Special Defense, allowing it to soak up most neutral attacks without any problem.

Garchomp has an insane base Attack stat of 130. Coupled with its 102 base Speed, only very few Pokémon can survive its onslaught.

Mega Evolved Cynthia's Garchomp
Cynthia’s Mega Garchomp

Garchomp can also Mega Evolve when holding a Garchomptite, changing its already threatening look into something even scarier.

Not to mention, its stats gets a huge boost as well, further increasing its Attack to a whopping 170!

Aside from the infamous Earthquake, Garchomp can also use other powerful physical moves like Outrage, Stone Edge, and Crunch.

No wonder Cynthia chose Garchomp as one of the core members of its team!

Swampert

One of the best Ground-type Pokémon, Wallace's Swampert in the anime

Last on this list, we have Hoenn Water starter’s final stage evolution, Swampert.

In terms of raw base stats alone, Swampert may not seem as impressive as the likes of Garchomp, but its fantastic defensive typing and bulk make it an effective and reliable wall.

Swampert has a good overall bulk due to its high HP, Defense, and Special Defense base stats. It also has a total of four resistances and one immunity.

Although it has a 4x weakness against Grass, offensive Grass-type moves are not that common due to their limited coverage. Besides, you can always rely on the help of your team in the rare case that your Swampert faces a Grass-type that it can’t beat.

This is a rare case by the way, especially due to Swampert’s wide movepool. Any Grass-type that goes against Swampert can easily be met with an Ice Punch or Blizzard.

Swampert can also learn other devastating moves like Earthquake (again), Superpower, and Waterfall.

If these aren’t enough to convince you, then wait until you hear about its Mega Evolution!

May's Mega Swampert in the anime
May’s Mega Swampert

Look at that absolute unit!

Mega Swampert gets a huge upgrade to its base stats, boosting its Attack from 110 to 150. Both its defensive stats also get 20-point boosts, adding even more bulk to its already high base HP.

Being a starter Pokémon’s final stage evolution probably gives a decent boost to Swampert’s popularity. But that doesn’t take away from its superior power and toughness in Pokémon battles, making it deserving to be on this list.

Images in this article are sourced from Bulbpaedia and Pokémon Wiki, licensed under Fair Use.

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