There are typically two ways of playing Pokémon Stadium; using a team build in Pokémon Red and Blue or Yellow, or using six of the rental Pokémon that the game provides. Looking at some of these movesets for the rental Pokémon are pretty wild; Rookie Pokémon have great movesets, while final stage evolutions get the weaker moves (Rock Smash, Cut, etc.). This makes for a wild tier list full of Pokémon the average fan might not expect.
Which Rental Pokémon should trainers use in the Poke Cup?
While its evolution Starmie is usually hailed as a quick Water-type offensive threat, Staryu actually has a better performance within Pokémon Stadium. Staryu gets access to Thunderbolt, Hydro Pump and Psychic, three of the hardest hitting moves in the game.
In Pokémon Stadium, Dugtrio gets the high speed and decent attack that fans are accustomed to seeing on it. What makes Dugtrio strong in Poke Cup is that it gets Toxic and Dig. Dugtrio can also fire off a strong Hyper Beam to close out any tough matches.
This is yet another case of a Pokémon's lower evolutionary stage being better than its final evolution. Golem got stuck with Seismic Toss and Fire Blast while Graveler instead got Earthquake and Explosion in a game where there are only three Ghost-types who could possibly switch in.
In Generation I, there was no Special Attack or Special Defense; the two stats are actually combined into one just called Special. This means that Clefable can actually fire off strong Ice Beams with its 108 Special, and on top of that it can put opponents to sleep with Sing.
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While it's two generations before Gyarados would get Dragon Dance, the Pokémon still does well in Poke Cup with its remarkable bulk and both strong Attack and Special stats. Trainers will be relying on Surf for damage most of the time with Gyarados, but it also has Fire Blast for Grass-types.
There are two really basic reason why Hitmonlee is good in Pokémon Stadium: It has an Attack stat of 145, and it gets access to High Jump Kick. While it can be tough playing around the 5% miss chance, Hitmonlee will annihilate most enemies with its powerful STAB (same type attack bonus) attack.
This is one of the lucky few Rental Pokémon in Poke Cup to get Toxic. It can be difficult to really Toxic stall in this game, since there aren't any Leftovers or Recovery moves on Nidoqueen. Players can still get by with smart defensive switching, though. Nidoqueen also gets Earthquake, so it isn't like she is just meant to click Toxic.
Jynx actually has a great offensive stat line for Pokémon Stadium, with 120 Speed and 121 Special. It's unfortunate that Jynx gets Ice Punch instead of Ice Beam, but Ice Punch is still enough to OHKO Pokémon like Dragonite and Golem.
Statistaclly, Golduck isn't near the top of Water-type Pokémon, but again, Pokémon Stadium gave it a great moveset. Ice Beam and Surf are great special moves to spam. Golduck also gets Toxic as well as Disable, which can shut down some Pokémon all together if it disables a Pokémon's primary damage source.
It's really easy to overlook Weezing's defensive stats, but 141 HP and Defense respectively is nothing to sneeze at. Weezing also gets Fire Blast for Vileplumes and Venusaurs who can't get poisoned with Sludge. On top of that, Weezing gets a couple nukes in Hyper Beam and Self-destruct.
Everything said about Weezing applies to Muk and then some. Muk gets Thunderbolt as a nice coverage move that will be much more accurate than Fire Blast. The HP stat on Muk is a colossal 183, and it gets access to Hyper Beam as well as Self-destruct.
Despite all of the Poison-types in the game, Tangela is actually the best Toxic-staller present. Tangela can stay at least reasonably healthy with Mega Drain while the opponent takes poison damage. Tangela also can use Growth to power up Double Edge.
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It's common knowledge at this point that Chansey is a defensive tank, and the same goes for Pokémon Stadium with its 383 HP. Thanks to its 126 Special stat, though, it gets damage output as well. Chansey gets Thunder as well as Fire Blast, along with Rest for the occasion where it takes too much damage.
Slowbro gets as much defensive utility as Chansey and Clefable with only a bit more reliable damage to separate them. Both Surf and Psychic have high power and accuracy, making them great for certain matchups. Slowbro can also tank big hits and Disable them to cripple opponents.
Know what Pokémon Stadium doesn't have? Steel-types and Dark-types. This means that Psychic damage is basically unresisted, and Psychic-types can spam all they'd like. Unfortunately, Alakazam only has Psybeam (otherwise it would be broken), but Kadabra gets Psychic as well as decent Special Attack and Speed. On top of that, Kadabra can use Recover to keep it healthy.
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Top 15 Rental Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium