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Pokémon Sun and Moon are less than two weeks away, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games’ launch, we’ll be revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! While there aren’t many primarily Flying-Type Pokémon in the series (only three creatures have that distinction, if you can believe it), there are plenty of Normal/Flying-Types that we passed by during our Normal-Type rankings. That means there’s plenty of aerial creatures ready to populate our list, and we thought long and hard to select our favorite ten of them.
And here they are: our Top Ten Flying-Type Pokémon!
“Tornadus expels massive energy from its tail, causing severe storms. Its power is great enough to blow houses away.”
— Pokémon White Version
One of the Legendary “Force of Nature” Pokémon of the Unova region, Tornadus holds dominion over the winds and is capable of traveling at speeds of 200 MPH, though doing so creates highly destructive winds that “blow everything away.” Its Formes are interesting, with its standard Incarnate Forme taking after a genie while Therian Forme turns it into…a mustachioed bird. It’s designed after Japanese mythological deity, and that definitely entitles it to the power needed to back up its legendary status. Also, fun fact: it is the only pure Flying-Type Pokémon in the entire series.
“If its two tail feathers are standing at attention, it is proof of good health. It soars elegantly in the sky.”
— Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen Versions
Swellow is the evolved form of Taillow, the Hoenn region’s token Normal/Flying-Type bird found in the early routes of the game. While its pre-evolution is a cute one, we love how the Swallow Pokémon’s appearance instead takes on an air of confidence and power, as one would expect from such a strong airborne hunter. It is said to never miss its prey when diving at them from above, using its clawed talons to crush any hope of escape.
“They fly around on moonless nights and attack careless prey. Nothing can beat them in a battle in the dark.”
— Pokémon X
Noivern is a new bat Pokémon introduced in
X and Y, but it also has the awesome distinction of being part-Dragon (though Flying is its primary Type, so don’t be surprised if this guy’s missing from our Dragon-Type list). Known as the Sound Wave Pokémon, Noivern can release ultrasonic waves from its ears which are capable of shattering boulders, and it can of course use echolocation to fly through and battle in the dark of night. Even though you need Noibat to reach level 48 to evolve, getting Noivern made all that effort well worth it.
“They fight for their friends without any thought about danger to themselves. One can carry a car while flying.”
— Pokémon Black Version
Referred to as the Valiant Pokémon, Braviary is an eagle that will always charge straight into battle—not because of a sense of bloodlust but rather due to their sense of duty; it wants to protect its comrades and will go to any lengths to do so. The more scars they obtain, the more respect they have among their families and friends, and its efforts have earned it the nickname “soldier of the sky.” We can’t help but respect its attitude, and we also love how Braviary’s design incorporates elements reminiscent of Native Americans, especially the way its head feathers resemble a Native American war bonnet.
“Watch out if Dodrio’s three heads are looking in three separate directions. It’s a sure sign that it is on its guard. Don’t go near this Pokémon if it’s being wary – it may decide to peck you.”
— Pokémon Sapphire Version
Doduo and Dodrio form that one family of Pokémon that never really made sense to have as part of the “Flying”-Type, but it’s in there, and my gosh do we love them for it. Dodrio may not be much of a flier, but it can dash at speeds of 40 MPH and has three sets of hearts and lungs to go along with its three heads, granting it an impressive degree of stamina for such runs. And while there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of this happening in the games’ lore, it’s always fun to think that the three heads are constantly bickering with one another and getting in each other’s way.
“It has a savage nature. It will courageously challenge foes that are much larger.”
— Pokémon Diamond Version
Staraptor is the final evolution of Starly, the token early bird of Gen IV’s Sinnoh region. While Starly and Staravia tend to live in flocks of their kind, Staraptor are the loners of the group, heading out to live on their own after they evolve to this third form. They certainly have the strength and willpower needed to survive on their own at this stage, though, and will aggressively attack their foes even if they have sustained injuries of their own. Such traits are pretty appealing, but we also get a good chuckle at how sensitive it is about maintaining its haird…er, featherdo? Whatever that silly thing on its head is.
“It has an internal organ that senses the earth’s rotation. Using this special organ, a Hoothoot begins hooting at precisely the same time every day.”
— Pokémon Emerald Version
Pokémon fans everywhere have been getting excited for Rowlet and its evolutions for months, but let’s not forget the original owl Pokémon in the midst of Sun and Moon‘s impending launch. Hoothoot is the token Flying-Type of early Johto routes, usually only appearing after night has fallen, and while it does have two feet, it only uses one to stand on, switching between them faster than the naked eye can notice. For those of us who were eager to explore Gen II’s new addition of a day-night cycle, Hoothoot was one of the first nocturnal creatures we encountered and became our main Flying-Type for the region—especially once it evolved into the impressive Noctowl.
“It shoots itself suddenly high into the sky, then plummets down in one fell swoop to strike its prey.”
— Pokémon Gold Version
Sporting a massive wingspan, spear-like beak, and talons that look positively eager to swoop in and catch you and your Pokémon off-guard, the design of Fearow has always been the epitome of how how scary Flying-Type Pokémon can be. With so many birds treading down the cute and cuddly path early on, then following it up by evolving into majestic forms as they grow, Spearow and Fearow have always grabbed our attention for instead starting off fierce and then shifting into look just plain dangerous. Fearow’s design just screams that it is a predator, built for battle and ready to rip its opponents apart, and that alone makes it stand out from almost every other bird Pokémon there is.
Of course, Fearow has the strength and the moves needed to back up that fierce appearance. It may not be the only Pokémon that can learn Drill Peck, even back in Gen I, but that move has always felt to us like it was specifically designed with Fearow in mind. It also gets the powerful Mirror Move early on in its levels, and we’ve often enjoyed turning our opponents’ attacks back on them with this technique.
“The plant stalk it holds is its weapon. The stalk is used like a sword to cut all sorts of things.”
— Pokémon LeafGreen Version
Fearow may be fearsome, but Farfetch’d sure isn’t—at least, not as far as appearance goes, anyway. The Wild Duck Pokémon, if anything, comes off as a tad silly, and not only because its name implies that it is exactly that. Its signature feature is a random leek stick it carries around wherever it goes, using it for a variety of tasks: a weapon, a tool for building its nest, or even as a last ditch meal if no other food sources are available. And yet…it just looks so silly carrying that thing with it all over the place; as one of our staff members described this Pokémon, “It’s a duck carrying the leek you need to cook it with.”
The interpretations that one can draw out from this simple devotion to this random stick, though, are vast, with some seeing Farfetch’d and its stick as having a relationship akin to a samurai and his blade. Later Pokédex entries take that one further and state that this bird actually cannot survive without its leek, leading it to defend the stick with its life at all times. Whatever the case, something about this strange Pokémon with a humorous name struck a major chord with a large number of our staff members, leading the duck to wind up this far up our list.
And what bird could possibly top this one? Oh, come now, surely you’ve heard of him—he’s a divine savior and everything…
“It spreads its gorgeous wings widely to intimidate enemies. It races through the skies at Mach-2 speed.”
— Pokémon FireRed Version
While a number of Flying-Type Pokémon were introduced in the first generation, none have had quite the impact or lasting appeal as the Pidgey line. Alongside Rattata, it was among the first wild Pokémon most of us ever encountered and caught for ourselves, and training it up to reach that final evolution was quite the task—but one that completely paid off in the end, as Pidgeot is a excellent companion to have at your side. According to various Pokédex entries, it can quickly reach speeds of Mach-2 and has strong enough vision to spot a Magikarp from a thousand kilometers away. It even obtained a Mega Evolution in the most recent games, adding even further to its beauty and power with this new form.
Of course, other aspects beyond the game have constantly brought Pidgeot and its pre-evolutions back to the spotlight. Ash caught a Pidgeotto early on himself in his first journey through Kanto, ensuring that countless kids came to love this line. More recently, the Pidgey line became a major focus of Twitch Plays Pokémon, with the social experiment generating the beloved lore of Pidgeot being “Bird Jesus” and savior of all who follow the great Helix. But no matter how far we go, there biggest factor is probably simple nostalgia, tugging us back to the original, majestic bird that we partnered up with so often during our very first journeys through the Pokémon world.
Pidgeot is just a classic creature, with a simple yet beautiful design, and we still love it to this day. As a result, we are proud to name it our number one favorite of all Flying-Type Pokémon.
So there you have it: our picks for the best Flying-Types in the series! Do you agree with our selections, or are we sorely missing some of your favorites? How would you have ranked all these creatures? Let us know in the comments, and come back tomorrow to see another Top Ten list for a different Pokémon Type!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Top Ten Type Pokémon lists: