With over 800 Pokemon in the National Pokedex so far, the power of each Pokémon is uniquely distributed across several different aspects: stats, typing, abilities, and moves. While stats, typing, and abilities have little to no variation within a species, their move pool is usually large (with a few exceptions).
Deciding which combination of moves a Pokémon should learn is the most strategic part in preparing for a battle. Some trainers have a more passive approach with moves to boost their Pokémon's stats like Swords Dance, while others rely on pure power. Here are the ten most powerful moves in Pokémon.
As made famous in Ash's Alola League Finals match against Gladion, Counter is a move that can make or break a battle. When using Counter, a Pokémon will wait for their opponent to attack and literally counter that attack with something twice as powerful.
In Ash's case, his Lycanroc countered his opponent's Counter with another Counter. This is technically illegal and impossible in the video game series, but it wouldn't be the first time Ash cheated in the anime. Still, it's what ultimately won Ash the Champion title he'd always dreamt of.
9 Knock Off
Outside of the anime, it is a staple for every Pokémon to hold an item during competitive battling. Items like Berries can heal a Pokémon's HP, while a Life Orb will enhance the power of the Pokémon 's attacks. Either way, items come in clutch once they are activated.
Knock Off is a move that denies the targeted Pokémon of using their item. For example, if a Pokémon has their berry knocked off, they can no longer heal. If their Life Orb is knocked off, they become a lot weaker offensively. While Knock Off only has a mediocre base power of 65, it's 50% stronger when the targeted Pokémon is holding an item.
8 Foul Play
Most attacking moves rely on a Pokémon's own strength. Foul Play is a unique attack that actually takes the opponent's attack stat into consideration. A Pokémon using Foul Play essentially steals the opponent's strength and uses it against them. This means that the move ironically becomes stronger against stronger opponents.
Therefore, it is extremely useful for Pokémon who are not physically strong on their own like Inkay. In theory, Foul Play makes it possible for a weak Pokémon to take down huge offensive threats and possibly even Legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo.
7 Eruption & Water Spout
In order to maintain balance, many of the strongest moves with high base powers have limitations. Certain moves like Hyper Beam and Double-Edge are powerful, but they were not included in this list because their consequences leave the user too vulnerable.
Eruption and Water Spout are two powerful moves that have limitations, but the limitations do not hurt the user in the long run. The base power of both Eruption and Water Spout is dependent on the user's current HP percentage. As long as the Pokémon is at full health, both moves will hit at their max base power of 150. The moves only lose their strength and viability if the user loses HP.
6 Destiny Bond
Destiny Bond is perhaps one of the most ominous moves in the game. Rather than outright attacking and engaging in combat, a Pokémon using Destiny Bond will wait for their opponent to make the first move. If the opponent's attack is strong enough to knock out the Destiny Bond user, the opponent will also consequently faint.
Aside from sacrificing one Pokémon for another, Destiny Bond can also be strategically used as a fear tactic. If the opposing trainer thinks Destiny Bond might be used against them, they may have their Pokémon stop attacking as aggressively. This leaves them vulnerable for the Destiny Bond user to execute a sneak attack.
Boomburst is one of those hidden gems that often get overlooked. As it is only accessible to six different Pokémon, it is very specific to a certain niche. Each of the six Pokémon are either sound-based like Exploud, winged like Taillow, or a combination of both like Noivern.
What makes Boomburst so powerful is the fact that it has no drawbacks despite its 140 base power. It is nearly as strong as Hyper Beam, except Boomburst does not need to waste a turn on "recharging." It can also hit multiple Pokémon at the same time, so it is very convenient in double battles as long as allies are protected.
4 Dragon Ascent
The only Pokémon who can learn Dragon Ascent is Rayquaza, but it is thanks to the Legendary Pokémon's insane battle capabilities that make the move all worth it.
On its own, Dragon Ascent is one of the most powerful flying-type attacks, though it consequently lowers the user's defense after the damage is done. When a Rayquaza learns Dragon Ascent, however, it also unlocks the potential for Mega Evolution. As one of the rare Legendary Pokémon capable of Mega Evolution, Mega Rayquaza is one of the strongest Pokémon in the entire franchise with the help of Dragon Ascent.
Geomancy, like Dragon Ascent, is another move that is exclusive to one special Legendary Pokémon: Xerneas. While it is a non-attacking move, Geomancy is scary enough for opposing trainers to try and prevent it from being used at all costs.
When activated, Geomancy raises the Xerneas's special attack, special defense, and speed by two stages to make it a lethal threat on the battlefield. Because this is normally a two-turn move, most trainers will give their Xerneas a Power Herb, which makes it all happen in a single turn. This way, Xerneas can become powered up more efficiently and make short work of its opponent.
When taking only numbers into consideration, Explosion is the strongest move ever with an overwhelming base power of 250. That's more than double the power of Rayquaza's Dragon Ascent!
The only problem with Explosion is the fact that the user literally explodes itself in order to produce such a massive blow. The user sacrifices itself and faints, but it's sure to take multiple casualties down with it, or at least leave their opponents critically injured. Some trainers will boost the Explosion even further with a Normal Gem, which will put the move's power level above 300!
Introduced in the fifth generation of Pokémon, Scald forever changed competitive battling. It may not have the highest base power, but its secondary effect gives it an edge over any physical threat.
In addition to being one of the most reliable water-type moves, Scald also has a 30% chance of burning its target. This is huge because a burned Pokémon not only loses HP each turn but also has its Attack stat cut in half, basically rendering any physical attacker useless in battle. Even if the target doesn't get burned after several Scalds, it's still going to take plenty of damage from the attack itself.