The Best Pokémon Ash Never Caught

With Ash Ketchum officially stepping away from the Pokémon anime, it's time to honor the best he never caught.

The Best Pokemon Ash Never Caught
Photo: Art by Chloe Lewis

Ever since he caught Caterpie, his first non-Pikachu Pokémon ever (which would evolve into Butterfree), Ash Ketchum has been on a mission to catch ‘em all. 

Ash has since lived his dream and proven himself to be a Pokémon Master. But wait. Reaching Master level doesn’t mean you’ve caught every single Pokémon out there. There are many Ash never got into his Poké Ball, whether it was because he chose not to for some reason or they just got away. Then there is one extreme species nobody has ever caught—and no one is likely to.

From Legendaries to mythicals and even aliens, these are some of the most awesome creatures which Ash doesn’t have in his Pokémon arsenal.


It looks vaguely like an orchid mantis and gives off a heady floral perfume, but don’t let the couture outfit of this flashy pink grass type (disguised as a bug type) fool you. It uses its intoxicating scent to lure unsuspecting victims into a fight. When it sees a potential opponent approaching, this creature lifts its fancy pincers up to raise a hurricane of pink flower petals before it starts using them to shoot laser beams. Lurantis can also absorb solar energy that it turns into a huge explosive ball of radiation that it flings right at the enemy. 

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While it could pass for a mutant chicken that has evolved to stand on two legs, this feathered fire type really ignites in battle. Its hands are built-in flamethrowers that can burn an opponent’s face using Fire Punch. Flames can also burst from its wrists, generating enough power to keep an opponent that is already down from coming at it again. It might not fly, but it has so much strength in its thunder thighs, it can dodge attacks by leaping to tremendous heights. Blaziken can also breathe fire, but all that heat still won’t turn it into fried chicken.


Ash has never caught an Eevee. It can evade enemies by teleporting, charge itself with electricity, heal wounds with Heal Pulse. Eevee is also an incredibly adaptable Pokemon which can evolve into many forms. If Ash was to catch some form of this species, Umbreon has to be one of the most badass an Eevee-lutions. Powered by the moon, it has long-distance night vision and markings that eerily glow with lunar light when it attacks. It is quick to dodge by leaping high over an opponent’s attack, and despite its deceptively svelte appearance, it can really tackle. Don’t aggravate this one unless you want its poisonous sweat in your eyes. 


Beware what lurks in the forest. Trevenant already has that gnarly haunted tree look going, and this ghost and grass type can use mind control on trees through their labyrinth of roots and vines, telling them to wage an attack against anyone who thinks they can just saunter into the woods with a chainsaw. Its Wood Hammer attack uses a glowing green log to smash whatever is in front of it. It can also extend vines like tentacles and wrap them around potential enemies. There have been whispers that Trevenant has captured and eaten humans, but they might just be ghost stories.


The much more threatening version of a pangolin, Sandslash lives up to its name with claws that are capable of slicing trees in half and shoveling huge amounts of sand in the face of an opponent. Its Swift attack involves balling itself up and rolling extremely fast while shooting out stars. Its Slash attack speaks for itself. While Sandslash and the Sandshrew it evolves from are usually found in deserts, Alolan Sandslash are an icy blue form found in the depths of frozen caves. They carve out elaborate dens with their claws and use Slash to keep predators out.


Grimmsnarl is totally metal. This dark fairy type—Ash has never caught a fairy or psychic type weirdly—is covered in purple headbanger hair that is its secret weapon. Opponents which get too close can find themselves tangled. Its Spirit Break attack releases an explosive cloud of rainbow plasma. When this creature Gigantamaxes, it not only gets hairier, but its bellowing voice alone is destructive enough to cause an earthquake where it stands. It can also hurl blobs of purple plasma at the enemy. Just in case that isn’t enough, it shoots electric stars, and can use its Darkest Lariat attack to turn itself into a furious purple tornado.


What is so unreal about Zoroark (literally) is that its most formidable power is creating illusions. It can’t actually shapeshift, but appears to when it covers itself in a glamor that makes it look like anything (or anyone) it wants. It can also create illusory places such as a crystal garden or a Pokémon Center that was closed ten years before but mysteriously still exists. You do not want to anger this creature. Your first warning is when its eyes start glowing, and if it grows more agitated, its claws will flash red and its whole body will crackle with lightning.

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Inteleon is completely unbothered. The final form of Sobble thinks nothing of entering battle mode, effortlessly fending off a Gengar by firing a jet of water from the tip of its finger. It can blend into anything as if it’s invisible, and the membrane on its back easily allows it to glide through the air and dodge attacks. Its hidden powers are more dangerous. Inteleon’s third eyelids (known as nictitating membranes) give it the intel on opponents so it knows exactly how to attack, and its tail hides a knife. Also, the unbothered way it keeps repeating “Inteleon” is almost creepy.


Luxray is not exactly the easiest Pokemon to train. It gets easily frustrated, and when frustration tuns to anger, it can go off on a rampage. Impatient trainers need not apply. This creature has X-ray vision that can see through anything, even impenetrable walls, to make out something dangerous is on the other side. It crackles with lightning and hurls a high-voltage burst of radiation at the enemy with Charge Beam (Team Rocket finds that out the hard way). The only issue with these superpowers is that they drain Luxray of so much energy that it needs to recharge.


This creature is not nearly as threatening as Trevenant, but  far more powerful than its fairylike looks suggest. Celebi is the Voice of the Forest. It is a Mythical which can heal, make plant life flourish wherever it floats, and even revive other Celebi that have perished. When it flies through a forest fire, magical vines will choke the burning and dissolve to reveal living trees. What is even more amazing about it  is how it can travel to the past and future using wrinkles in spacetime. It can even exist during multiple eras at once. Who knew that astrophysics would make it onto Pokémon, but here we are.


Rumored to have landed from space, Lunatone is a psychic rock type (and the counterpart to the solar psychic rock type Solrock) that can put you to sleep if it stares at you with its mesmerizing red eyes. Those eyes can also induce enough fear to keep an opponent from so much as flinching. Its Luuuuuuuuuune call might sound drowsy, and it floats as if it’s going to doze off, but it powers up with moonlight. Lunatone can tackle and block with tremendous force. It can also blast an ice beam that freezes its opponent and use its psychic powers to break free if caught in something’s claws. Now that is lunacy.


Talk about My Little Pony on steroids. Keldeo is a unicorn that can gallop on top of water, spit orbs of blue plasma to slow down an attacker, and fire jets of water from its hooves. It communicates telepathically, but doesn’t need a human trainer because it trains itself. This Legendary’s horn turns into a fierce jagged blade when it morphs into its Resolute Form and unleashes the Secret Sword move. The sword on its head can easily slice through solid ice or block massive fire attacks. Of course it has magical powers in that horn, because what unicorn doesn’t?


As the genetically modified form of Mew, Mewtwo doesn’t consider itself a Pokémon, but then, what is it? It’s heartless. It’s vengeful. It is nearly impossible to catch. Because it came into being from a series of experiments trying to create the ultimate battle Pokémon, it is capable of everything from mind control to setting off violent storms that lash out in thunder, lightning and floods. It can levitate right above ground or rocket into the sky. It can single handedly stop a head-on attack. Mewtwo can also communicate telepathically, and it has some choice things to say, especially about humans.

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If Lunatone is thought to be from beyond Earth, Eternatus is an actual alien Pokemon. It is also at least the size of the airplane Ash and Goh take to the Coronation Tournament finals in Galar. As if the shocking pink radiation it emits isn’t enough, Eternatus can have an effect on entire cities. when it Gigantamaxes, it spirals into a monstrous vortex whose overpowering energy causes the Pokémon around it to Gigantamax suddenly and wreak havoc (just look at what a random beam of radiation from it did to an unsuspecting Centiscorch). No wonder even Leon couldn’t catch it.