The 2000 Nintendo 64 classic Pokémon Stadium is finally available on Nintendo Switch for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers. Pokémon Stadium’s original intent was to bring Pokémon “to life” via the Transfer Pak, which allowed trainers to use the Pokémon they caught in Red, Blue, or Yellow on the big screen — or a chunky CRT tube television, at least.
No need to dust off your cartridges, however, as players can instead rent Pokémon from a preset list to use in battle. This guide covers the best Pokémon to rent in Pokémon Stadium to defeat your friends in Event Battle, conquer Gym Leader Castle, and be crowned champion in Stadium mode.
Best Rental Pokemon to Use in Pokemon Stadium — PokéCup, Prime Cup, and Gym Leader Castle
When choosing your Rental Team in Pokémon Stadium, it’s important to remember that Generation 1 mechanics are very different from today. While some of these will prove frustrating, much of it can be used to your advantage. Knowledge is half the battle!
Here are the key details you need to know before jumping into a Pokémon Stadium battle:
- Steel, Dark, and Fairy type don’t exist.
- Special Defense and Special Attack are combined into the Special stat.
- Psychic-type Pokémon are only weak to Bug. Yes, seriously.
- Pokémon do not have Abilities.
- Bind, Wrap, and Fire Spin won’t allow the affected Pokémon to move until it wears off.
- Faster Speed means Pokémon are more likely to land critical hits.
- As Dragon Rage is the only offensive Dragon-type move — and it always deals 40 HP worth of damage — you can’t hit Dragon-type STAB or super effective moves.
- Hyper Beam doesn’t need to be recharged if it KOs a Pokémon.
- Rental Pokémon have different movesets and stats depending on the chosen ruleset or if they’re being used in Gym Leader Castle.
When it comes to broken Gen 1 mechanics, Alakazam takes the cake and devours it with both of its spoons. Its sole weakness to Bug might as well not exist, as Bug-type in Gen 1 is, frankly, pathetic.
Alakazam has exceptionally high Special and Speed stats and can compensate for its average Defense with Reflect in Gym Leader Castle and Prime Cup. Its kit varies depending on the chosen mode, but it always has a strong Psychic-type move and various other valuable moves, such as Disable and even Hyper Beam in Prime Cup.
Its pre-evolution, Kadabra, can also be used in Gym Leader Castle as it can use Seismic Toss, Thunder Wave, and Recover, giving it fantastic utility and coverage at the cost of lower stats.
Zapdos has a fantastic Special Stat, meaning it can both dish out and take Special damage like a champ. Regardless of which mode Zapdos is used in, it can deal incredible Electric and Flying STAB (same type attack bonus) damage. This means it can easily wipe out most Water, Flying, Fighting, Bug, Fighting, and Grass Pokémon.
Gengar has the highest Special stat of any regular Rental Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium. It can put opponents to sleep, confuse them, and its evolutionary line is the only Ghost-type Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium, which are immune to both Normal and Fighting moves. Do we need to say more?
No, but we will. Dream Eater in Gym Leader Castle and Prime Cup can be used to restore Gengar’s HP and allow it to continue its barrage of ridiculously high-powered Special moves. Even using Thunderbolt alone is enough to sweep Pokémon easily. Plus, its model is downright awesome. Looking cool helps you win, after all.
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Jolteon is ridiculously fast in Pokémon Stadium. Its impressive stat not only means you’ll move first most of the time, but you’re also much more likely to land critical hits. Paired with its high Special stat means Thunder/Thunderbolt can deal some severe damage. Pin Missle and Double Kick also provide extra coverage, while Sand Attack in Prime Cup and Pokécup can cause opponents to tear their hair out as you lower their evasion.
Jolteon is also only weak to Ground, making it a solid choice regardless of your opponent’s team. Unless they somehow pick three Ground-type Pokémon with STAB moves.
Nidoking and Nidoqueen
Nidoking has an outrageous Attack stat and access to Earthquake as a STAB move in every ruleset it’s available to rent in. This alone makes Nidoking one of the most popular choices among speedrunners challenging Gym Leader Castle.
While having lower Attack and Speed stats than Nidoking, Nidoqueen also has access to Toxic and can have better overall move coverage depending on the mode she’s rented in. She also has higher Defense, which is useful when Toxic stalling.
Articuno has access to Sky Attack and Ice Beam in every ruleset, meaning it has super effective STAB damage against Flying, Ground, Grass, Dragon, Fighting, and Bug. Even when you aren’t fighting those specific types, its Attack and Special stats ensure they still hit incredibly hard.
Articuno and Zapdos are already on this list; how could we leave Moltres out? While less valuable than its associates in overall coverage, Moltres still has some of the highest stats of every rental Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium and can deal significant damage with its Fire Blast. It also comes equipped with Agility and Reflect in Prime Cup.
The pink and powerful Slowbro is an excellent choice in Prime Cup and Pokécup, having both Psychic and Surf as STAB moves and respectable stats for taking a hit. It also has Disable at its disposal, allowing it to defend itself against Electric-types.
It doesn’t have access to Psychic when rented for Gym Leader Castle, but Dig and Headbutt can come in handy when used primarily as a Water-type attacker.
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Jynx always has access to Psychic and Ice Punch, making it a solid choice against other powerful Pokémon, which are often weak to either Psychic or Ice. It also has access to Lovely Kiss, which puts tricky opponents to sleep with an amusing animation. Since Steel and Dark type aren’t present in Pokémon Stadium, and Psychic is only weak to Bug, Jynx has far fewer weaknesses than its modern iteration.
If (quite literally) annoying the life out of your opponent is your goal, Exeggutor is a superb choice. It can put your foe to sleep with Hypnosis or Sleep Power and slowly drain its health with Leech Seed and Mega Drain. It can also use Stun Spore when rented using Pokécup rules to be extra annoying.
Exeggutor doesn’t have Leech Seed and Mega Drain in its moveset, though it does have access to Solar Beam, Psychic, Sleep Powder, and Stomp.
Being a Normal-type Pokémon with slightly above average stats may deter players from choosing Snorlax, but its incredibly high HP and access to the move Rest make it a complete brick wall. While you won’t be dealing any super effective hits in most rulesets, Snorlax’s high attack stat will still make its offensive moves pack a punch.
The Pokémon you choose will depend on the selected ruleset, but all that matters is the Pokémon has Wrap. By spamming Wrap, you can completely immobilize your opponent and slowly drain their HP as they sit there helplessly. It’s cheap and sluggish, but it works if you want to end a friendship.
Pokémon that know Wrap include:
- Ekans (Pika Cup)
- Tentacruel (Pika Cup, Prime Cup)
- Bellsprout (Petit Cup, Prime Cup)
- Dratini (Petit Cup)
- Arbok (Pokécup)
- Weeipinbell (Pokécup)
- Victreebel (Prime Cup, Gym Leader Castle)
- Dragonite (Prime Cup)
For more Pokémon content, don’t forget to check out our Pokémon tag page for news and guides on all of the latest releases.
- This article was updated on April 12th, 2023