Bland Pokemon That Were Made Better With A Cross-Gen Evolution


  • Golbat, Farfetch’d, and Tangela were disappointing Pokemon from previous generations, but their evolutions in later generations redeemed them with improved designs and abilities.
  • Seadra and Yanma also received much-needed evolutions in later generations, transforming them from forgettable creatures into powerful and more aesthetically pleasing Pokemon.
  • Misdreavus, Stantler, Qwilfish, Linoone, and Basculin were all underwhelming Pokemon that were greatly improved with the introduction of new evolutions in later generations, enhancing their designs and making them more memorable and formidable.

Not all Pokemon are created equal, and the sad truth is that a lot of them fail in their execution. Whether it’s because of a boring design or a poorly thought concept, every single generation has its fair share of Pokemon that most people would rather forget ever existed.


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But that’s exactly where one of this franchise’s strengths comes into play. Every single generation is a new opportunity for the designers at Game Freak to fix or redeem a disappointing Pokemon from the past. And nowadays, there are a lot of amazing, fan-favorite creatures that wouldn’t have come to fruition if not for their bland pre-evolution from a previous generation.

1 Golbat (Generation 1)

Evolves Into Crobat In Generation 2

Golbat and Crobat, in the Pokemon anime.

Pokemon Red and Blue

September 28, 1998


Zubat & Golbat are infamous Pokemon from Generation 1 since they often plagued dark caves and annoyed the player in the process. Maybe most of them would’ve forgiven this if they were interesting creatures to catch and train, but the truth is that they have ugly designs and an uninteresting concept, especially Golbat.

This would thankfully be fixed in the very next generation when Crobat was introduced. With higher stats and a slick design (mostly thanks to its four wings), it manages to keep everything that made this line unique, while being a better bat Pokemon at the same time.

2 Farfetch’d (Generation 1)

Evolves Into Sirfetch’d In Generation 8

Farfetch'd and Sirfetch'd in the Pokemon anime.

Longtime fans had been asking for a Farfetch’d evolution for many years. This is a funny Pokemon based on a Japanese saying, but it was also forgettable and weak. It needed an improvement that could take such a unique idea and turn it into something special.

Come Sword & Shield and the introduction of regional evolutions, and now Farfetch’d had a Galarian form with an evolution of its own, known as Sirfetch’d. This is an imposing Fighting-type Pokemon with a giant sword and shield combo that is made out of the leek it was holding. The fans approved, as it finally felt like this little duck had reached its full potential.

3 Tangela (Generation 1)

Evolves Into Tangrowth In Generation 4

Tangela and Tangrowth in the Pokemon anime.

As beloved and nostalgic as Generation 1 is, most people would struggle to remember Tangela exists in the first place. It’s a weird and confusing Grass-type Pokemon, in a sea of better Grass-types, that never sticks out in any way.


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Generation 4 was well received because it introduced so many new evolutions for old Pokemon, giving them a chance to shine. And Tangela was one of the lucky ones, with the introduction of Tangrowth. While its design didn’t change much, this evolution has a lot more personality to it. Not to mention, it’s a bulky Pokemon that can do quite well in battle.

4 Seadra (Generation 1)

Evolves Into Kingdra In Generation 2

Seadra and Kingdra in the Pokemon anime

Seahorses are beautiful animals with a lot of potential for some unique Pokemon. Sadly, the first time Game Freak tried this, it led to the creation of Seadra’s evolutionary line. While Horsea is rather cute, its evolution left a lot to be desired, since it just looks like an angry and spiky seahorse.

One generation later, and Kingdra would be introduced, finally redeeming this entire family. Not only did it have an elegant and imposing design that captured the beauty of a seahorse, but it also had a secondary Dragon-type, meaning it was one of the most powerful Pokemon in the game.

5 Yanma (Generation 2)

Evolves Into Yanmega In Generation 4

Yanma and Yanmega in the Pokemon anime

Pokemon Gold and Silver

October 14, 2000


Generation 2 introduced a concerning number of small, weak Pokemon that seemed to be destined to receive a cross-gen evolution later down the line. Such was the case of Yanma, an adorable but dull Pokemon that just looked like a dragonfly. It wasn’t really worth catching or training.

But Generation 4 delivered once again with the introduction of Yanmega. The idea was brilliant: take a generic dragonfly Pokemon into a faster and stronger creature that is based on a Meganeura, a prehistoric species of dragonfly. The only disappointment is that it’s not even a Dragon-type.

6 Misdreavus (Generation 2)

Evolves Into Mismagius In Generation 4

Misdreavus and Mismagius in the Pokemon anime.

In another odd design choice, Generation 2 introduced just one new Ghost-type Pokemon in the form of Misdreavus. While it certainly has a cute appearance, it was quickly forgotten by most fans, especially since it paled in comparison to the popular Gengar evolutionary family.

Years later, Generation 4 introduced Misdreavus’ cross-gen evolution: Mismagius. This fix was rather simple since giving this evolution solid stats and a creative new design based on witches was enough to make it one of the most memorable new Pokemon in the Sinnoh region.

7 Stantler (Generation 2)

Evolves Into Wyrdeer In Generation 8

Stantler in Scarlet & Violet, and Wyrdeer in Legends: Arceus.

There are few things in this franchise that are as disappointing as a Pokemon with wasted potential. Stantler was such a case. While the concept of a creature that can create illusions with fake eyes on its antlers was interesting, it ended up being a forgettable deer. And the worst part was that it wasn’t even a Psychic-type.


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To the surprise of most fans, Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduced Wyrdeer, a brand-new evolution of Stantler. While its appearance didn’t change all that much, it was enough to show off this amazing concept. On top of that, it had way better stats, and it finally gained the Psychic-type it always deserved.

8 Qwilfish (Generation 2)

Evolves Into Overqwil In Generation 8

Qwilfish in the anime and Overqwil in Legends: Arceus.

Similarly to Yanma, Qwilfish is another case of a small and weak Pokemon that was introduced in the Johto region. And, to make things even worse, it was quite difficult to find, meaning that maybe most players knew nothing about its existence. Qwilfish’s situation didn’t get any better in over twenty years.

That was until Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduced Hisuian Qwilfish, and with it, a brand-new evolution for this line named Overqwil. Brilliant name aside, this is an intimidating Pokemon that made use of how dangerous both puffer fish and naval mines truly are, with better typing and stats on top of that.

9 Linoone (Generation 3)

Evolves Into Obstagoon In Generation 8

Linoone in the Pokemon anime and Obstagoon in Sword & Shield.

Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire

The group of Pokemon known by fans as “Regional Rodents” is a mixed bag. While some of them, like Raticate or Furret, are extremely memorable, many others are just uninteresting. And, for many years, Linoone from the Hoenn Region was a perfect example of the latter. It didn’t have an awful design, but it looked like a mere weasel with nothing unique added to it.

Pokemon Sword & Shield fixed this, not only by adding a regional form of Linoone but also with a new regional evolution: Obstagoon. This giant badger with a creative design based on the band KISS is one of the most beloved Pokemon of the Galar region, and it finally brought its evolutionary family into the spotlight.

10 Basculin (Generation 5)

Evolves Into Basculegion In Generation 8

Basculin in the anime and Basculegion in Legends: Arceus.

Pokemon Black and White

March 6, 2011


Even though Pokemon Black & White are often praised as the best installments in the entire franchise, they were also guilty of introducing some truly mediocre Pokemon. Basculin is considered to be one of the most boring creatures in the Unova region, and Ken Sugimori even admitted that it was created just because they needed more fish Pokemon. Basculin is the definition of filler.

That’s why Basculegion from Pokemon Legends: Arceus was such a breath of fresh air and one of the most beloved cross-gen evolutions. This generic little fish was turned into a gigantic monster from the deeps, a creature that carries the souls of its brethren, is way more powerful, and gained the Ghost-type. Who would’ve thought that such a boring Pokemon would later evolve into one of the most impressive ones?

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