Is Pidgeot a Good Pokemon?

One of the victims of Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Pokedex crunch, Pidgeot is one of the most familiar Pokemon from the game’s first generation. While it hasn’t held up well over the years, and was inferior in many respects to Fearow from the same generation, Pidgeot was your rival’s favorite flying type. But, Pidgeot gained a respectable Mega Evolution in the Pokemon X and Y era, giving it a bit of a competitive streak for a short time. Still, even considering its Mega Evolution, which we’ll examine in a bit, is Pidgeot actually a good Pokemon?

Pidgeot VS Fearow

A common question many players ask who are new to the Pokemon games wonder if Pidgey or Spearow is the better flying Pokemon to catch. Neither is particularly exciting, but Spearow has the advantage of fully evolving into Fearow at level 20. Pidgey evolves into Pidgeotto at level 18, then into Pidgeot at level 36. For many years, Fearow outclassed Pidgeotto in many respects, especially in Attack and Speed, although is comparable to Pidgeotto in terms of defense stats.

From a pure base stat standpoint, Fearow is strong in some areas, but Pidgeot actually has it beat in total base stat points. Also, in Pokemon X and Y, Pidgeot’s base speed was buffed from 91 Speed to 101 speed. For comparison, here are each fully evolved Pokemon’s base stats as of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl:

Pidgeot: 83 HP, 80 Attack, 75 Defense, 70 Special Attack, 70 Special Defense, 101 Speed

Fearow: 65 HP, 90 Attack, 65 Defense, 61 Special Attack, 61 Special Defense, 100 Speed

Before Pokemon X and Y, it seemed a no-brainer to choose Fearow as your key flying type over Pidgeot. Heck, Dodrio doesn’t even have wings and it would have been a better choice in the first few generations of Pokemon. But, that Speed buff meant Pidgeot finally could outspeed Fearow, and technically win a fight in terms of speed. However, Fearow learns Drill Peck, one of the most powerful Flying moves, whereas Pidgeot doesn’t. Where Pidgeot shines is learning Special moves like Hurricane and Air Slash, and still dishing out similar damage.

Before the Speed buff, Pidgeot was clearly the inferior Pokemon. But, thanks to Game Freak deciding Pidgeot deserved better, it’s now ever so slightly a superior Pokemon overall. Still, if you’re playing through Red, Blue, or Yellow, Spearow may be the better catch, as it hits harder and quicker with far less grinding investment.

Mega Pidgeot is a Potential Sweeper in Pokemon Let’s Go

When Pidgeot finally gained its Mega Evolution during Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, it not only gained a massive Special Attack buff to 135 and another speed buff to 121, it also gained the Fire-type move Heat Wave. Unfortunately, to gain access to this attack, you need to visit the Move Relearner with a Heart Scale. Heat Wave is a solid 95 Base Power move that has a 10 percent chance to burn.

But, that’s not all. Mega Pidgeot also gains the ability No Guard. While this means moves will never miss Mega Pidgeot, it also means that moves it uses never miss. That makes the 70 percent accurate Hurricane 100 percent accurate and even the 90 percent accurate Heat Wave never misses.

The trouble with Mega Pidgeot, despite being a potential sweeper, is that there were so many other Mega Evolutions for more popular Pokemon, such as Charizard and Mewtwo. So, while Mega Pidgeot is certainly very strong, and even got ended up on the Underused Tier Ban List on Smogon’s Pokemon Showdown, it never became a staple of top competitive Pokemon.

In Sun and Moon, Mega Pidgeot was still plenty good, but where it really shined was in the Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee games. Because you can only use one Mega Evolution per battle, it seemed strange to use Pidgeot as your Mega rather than one of your Kanto Starter Pokemon like Charizard, Blastoise or Venusaur. After you beat the Champion for the first time, you’d even have Mewtwo. But, if you are to beat the Champion, your rival in the game, you have to get past his Mega Pidgeot. It’s going to outspeed most of what you throw at it, unless you have dumped everything into your Speed stat thanks to the game using Candies instead of Effort Values.

While the Let’s Go games never became a true competitive platform, Mega Pidgeot is a heck of a lot of fun to use. It absolutely demolishes Erika’s Grass gym, as well as some of the Elite Four’s Pokemon. Of course, the defenses aren’t great, so make sure you have a Modest nature with all your candies dumped into its Special Attack and Speed stats. In X/Y/ORAS and Sun and Moon, make sure you fully EV train in those stats, too. If only they’d bring back Super Training in future games so we don’t have to fight weak pokemon just for their Effort Values anymore…

Is Pidgeot Good in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

So, is Pidgeot a good Pokemon in the Diamond and Pearl remakes? Well, the good news is the 101 Speed stat buff remains. The bad news is Pidgeot doesn’t any longer have its Mega evolution. This means you’ll want to shift your focus to boosting Speed and shunning the special attacks such as Hurricane and Air Slash. Aerial Ace is still a fine move that never misses, and you can learn TM moves like U-Turn, Facade, and Steel Wing. Pidgeot also has Roost to heal itself.

That being said, Pidgeot is a perfectly usable Pokemon, but there are much better flying types in the game. Starly is one of the first Pokemon in the game and it becomes a competitive Pokemon in Staraptor. Heck, Swellow is great if you manage to find it with the Poke Radar on Route 213, a comparatively frail, but extremely fast Flying-Type.

While Pidgeot is certainly not one of the best Flying-types, Game Freak did the old big pigeon a favor by boosting its Speed. Suddenly, Pidgeot went from being easily game-planned to being something you actually have to prepare for if you run a slower team. Many people remember Pidgeot as your rival’s mediocre bird Pokemon, but it’s gotten much better over the years. While I wouldn’t use it competitively, it’s perfectly fine to train up a Jolly Pidgeot for casual wi-fi battles. If you use it correctly, being sure to U-Turn out in bad matchups, Pidgeot is a perfectly good Pokemon, even if somewhat below average in 2021.

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