The Best Flying-Type Pokémon in Emerald (+ ORAS)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
I confess that I started my Pokémon journey with Gen III.
I feel like that’s something that a lot of you can relate to. It cemented Pokémon as a franchise to me that was here to stay.
GameFreak took advantage of that new and exciting technology by giving us a Pokédex full of new and interesting-looking monsters to collect.
And if you’re re-playing Emerald (or booting up the remakes of Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire) then this might give you some ideas for flyers on your team.
Pitty points for Beautifly. Seriously.
Don’t get me wrong, Beautifly is a decently designed OG ‘mon.
That’s about where my praise for it ends, though.
It’s incredibly weak, and totally overshadowed by Butterfree thanks to the latter’s heartbreaking appearance in the anime.
You could maybe argue for Beautifly as a Special Attacker. But with a base Speed of 65, you’re not going to be hitting much.
Crobat should be higher on this list. I’ll admit that.
However, I really, really dislike it.
Aside from being an evolution of Zubat (yes, I still hold that old-school grudge), it’s just a strange design.
It triggers my fight or flight response, and I don’t know why.
It’s just a purple ball with wings. I don’t even know how it’s meant to fight in the first place. I mean, I’m not in the best of shape but I reckon even I could take one.
It’s got some decent stats though, including T1 Speed.
But even that isn’t enough to get me to use a Crobat. Competitive strategy be damned.
If Crobat has T1 Speed, then Ninjask is breaking the sound barrier.
It has a base of 160 with an Attack of 90, the same as Crobat’s.
It’s a fair bit squishier, sure. But it looks way better – so I’m ranking it higher.
Ninjask’s design requires a little bit of digestion though.
As a kid, it always confused me. It still does.
I get that it’s meant to be a ninja, but it looks too non-cohesive to convince me. It’s interesting to look at, though.
Tropius is my boy.
If only it was a Dragon-type with better stats. Alas, there are only so many Hydreigons and Haxorus’ to go around.
Tropius is a banana tree Pokémon. How do you even come up with something like that? It has a banana beard!
It’s ingenious in all the ridiculously right ways.
Unfortunately, its stats suck. Like big-time suck. That shouldn’t stop you from running Tropius in your story-six for the coolness factor, though.
Generation III was the first Pokémon game I ever properly played.
That’s going to make me a bit biased.
I say that because Swellow was, up until Braviary in Gen V, my favorite bird-type Pokémon of all time.
I can confidently say that was all nostalgia – because there isn’t anything truly special about it.
It’s got mediocre stats with great Speed, and it looks like a bird. Just a bird.
Despite that, its design speaks to my younger self. I wanted to be as cool-looking as Swellow.
Have I managed to achieve that dream? No, of course not. But that never stopped me from trying.
The rest of these flyers are justifiable in a variety of ways. But if you disagree with any of my justifications, be sure to write me a strongly worded tweet.
So here we have Pelipper. A weak Pokémon with some potential and a decent design.
That’s not what cements it a spot on this list, though.
Pelipper is here because it was the first Pokémon to ever be capable of learning both the Fly HM and the Surf HM.
That was a big deal back in the day before the Hidden Machine system was overhauled.
Having one Pokémon that could take both transportations HMs was a godsend, hence why I’m honoring Pelipper here.
Altaria is the first Pokémon on this list to have some real competitive potential.
It’s a bulky bird, sporting a base Defense of 90 and a Special Defense of 105. So you tend to see Altaria pop up in some of the lower competitive brackets.
It’s not going to be able to stand with your Ubers and OUs, but it is a niche pick that can hold its own when needed.
Plus, it’s a peacock/turkey cloud. What’s not to love about that?
I shouldn’t have to explain Gyarados being on this list.
If you’ve played Pokémon, regardless of the generation, you know how strong it is already.
For those of you who haven’t ever had the joy of battling with or against a Gyarados, let me explain.
It has a base Attack of 125, and a total stat base of 540.
It also has access to some of the best moves in the meta.
If you get hit by a Gyarados, you’re going to suffer.
Salamence is the forgotten cousin of the uber dragons.
You have your Garchomps, Haxorus’, Hydreigons, and even your Dragonites and Dragapults.
Nobody seems to remember Salamence, though.
Despite that, it has that base 600 stat total that allows it to be mentioned in the same sentence as the strongest hitting Pokémon in the Dex.
It also happens to have a base Attack of 135 and a Speed of 100 – a terrifying combination.
Not to mention, Salamence looks baller. Unlike almost every other dragon type in existence, this one actually looks like a real dragon; wings and all.
I mean, it’s the Pokémon on the Emerald box art.
It’s a bit of a no-brainer that Rayquaza tops this list as number one. It’s legendary, meaning it’s better than all the other Pokémon by default (right?)
If you need any more justification than that, look at its stats:
A total base of 680 with 150 Attack and Special Attack, and a Speed of 95.
I’ve got no witty commentary to add here, sorry. It’s just the strongest flying type in Gen III and the remakes, and it’s not even close.