Quotes Of Happiness

February 16, 2022

Pokemon Who Evolve At The Highest Level

Some Pokemon evolve when traded. Others only do so when exposed to a certain stone or similarly shiny object. There are Pokemon who evolve via a high friendship with their trainer, Pokemon who evolve at certain times of day, and with the arrival of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, there are even Pokemon who evolve after using a certain move a set number of times. It's wild.

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But, the most common way that many Pokemon evolve involves reaching a certain level. For some early evolutions, the level they have to reach is actually pretty low. In some cases, almost frighteningly so — farewell, Caterpie, we barely knew ye. But for every Bug-type "early bird," there's a Pokemon with glacial evolutionary pacing.

Here's our collection of the 15 Pokemon whose final evolutions occur at the highest level. Shockingly, there are a few instances of Pokemon evolving from their base form to their middle form even later than a few of our listings, but to keep things spicy, let's focus on top-tier climbs to the physiological summit.

Updated February 16th, 2022 by Quinton O'Connor: We've revamped our list somewhat by adding a few more final evolutions and subtracting the handful of previously-included earlier-stage entries. Returning readers, expect to find a few fresh surprises!

Noivern (From Noibat At Level 48)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
85 70 80 97 80 123

Noivern is a dual-type Flying/Dragon Pokemon that was introduced in Generation 6. This Pokemon evolves at level 48 from Noibat, another Flying/Dragon. In Pokemon X & Y, where Noibat made its grand debut, it wasn't catchable until nearly level 48. A bit frustrating, but at least you don't have to wait long to get this majestic Noivern in your party once you've finally acquired its pre-evolution.

Dragalge (From Skrept At Level 48)

Dragalge from the Pokemon Anime underwater
HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
65 75 90 97 123 44

Another Kalos native, Dragalge is somewhat unique in that it replaces its pre-evolution's typing. The fun-loving Skrelp, who sticks around all the way until level 48, is a Poison/Water sea-dweller. Dragalge ditches the Water bit in favor of Dragon, though yes, you'll still find it splashing about near Cyllage City.

In Sword & Shield, the Isle of Armor expansion brings back Dragalge in a big way. You can encounter this toxin-spewing chap in no fewer than five locations, including Honeycalm Island.

Klinklang (From Klang At Level 49)

pokemon anime klinklang inside of building
HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
60 100 115 70 85 90

Generation 5 is known for having what many fans consider to be the lion's share of strange Pokemon designs. That's not to say there aren't some really weird ones out there in every regional Pokedex, but Black & White really went deep with it, with Pokemon like the Klink line being prime examples. What begins as a small pair of happy little gears eventually becomes one happy little gear attached to a bigger one, culminating in Klinklang. That lone happy little gear, friends, is now strapped to a bigger one with some sort of orbiting circle around it.

Darwin wouldn't know what to say, but at least we do. Klang, the middle form, spends its sweet time ruminating on whether to transform into this rotating monstrosity, only evolving into Klinklang at level 49.

Goodra (From Sliggoo At Level 50)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
90 100 70 110 150 80

Pokemon anime fans will likely associate Goodra first and foremost with its evolutionary line's rather depressing storyline. When perennial hero Ash Ketchum first catches Goomy, it appears to suffer horrible flashbacks to events we don't learn about in full for quite some time. It's all a bit dark, but then, the X & Y seasons don't shy away from that stuff quite so much as most other sagas.

Through trial after trial, Goomy becomes Sliggoo, and ultimately, his arc is complete with the power gained by evolving to Goodra. "Goo" and "dra." "Goo" and "dragon." "Goo dragon." It's not exactly the most threatening-sounding Pokemon name around, but hey, the thing's a beast. Though we have to wonder how it is that Ash manages to get his Goomy all the way to level 50 for this final evolution when he can't so much as evolve his Bulbasaur in the original series.

Mienshao (From Mienfoo At Level 50)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
65 125 60 95 60 105

According to its Pokedex entries, Mienshao is so fast that most Pokemon have a difficult time seeing it coming. We suppose a 105 Speed stat will do that to an extent, but really, it ought to be higher in order to really seal the deal. Then again, we're essentially saying that suspension of belief requires made-up statistical shenanigans surrounding a completely imaginary creature in a totally made-up setting. Perhaps we should re-evaluate our priorities in life.

Mienfoo has a good long time to do just that; the martial arts weasel sticks around all the way until level 50, when at long last it realizes its base stats are abysmal, and it wants wing-like protrusions on its arms and some kind of beard... thing.

Salamence (From Shelgon At Level 50)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
95 135 80 110 80 100

When Pokemon first skyrocketed onto the scene, there was only one Dragon family, and its name was Dratini. Dratini became Dragonair; Dragonair became Dragonite. It was sacred knowledge. Every kid knew it. And every kid wanted another Dragon family because Dragon-types are cool and kids want to be cool, too.

Johto came and went, and all it did was add Kingdra. Which was cool, but it wasn't what those kids were asking for. The arrival of Hoenn in 2002 finally granted their wishes, with the Bagon/Shelgon/Salamence line. But to be considered truly cool, you needed that Salamence. You needed to add this heavy-hitting buddy to your arsenal. You needed to get that Shelgon all the way to level 50. If you were to have any hope whatsoever of being the first (and thus, coolest) kid, this meant sacrificing sleep and hiding under the covers every night with your Game Boy Advance.

Not that we'd know what that was like.

Bisharp (From Pawniard At Level 52)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
65 125 100 60 70 70

Bisharp is a dual-type Dark/Steel Pokemon that was introduced from fifth-gen Unova. This Pokemon evolves up from Pawniard, another Dark/Steel Pokemon. In the wild, Bisharp live with and watch over large groups of Pawniards, ruling over them. It's all very chess, yes.

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If you've got a Pawniard in your party, and you're looking to evolve it up into Bisharp to take advantage of its high attack and useful moves, then you better get to training it. In order to evolve Pawniard up to Bisharp, Pawniard has to reach level 52.

Solgaleo & Lunala (From Cosmoem At Level 53)


HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
137 137 107 113 89 97


HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
137 113 89 137 107 97

Solgaleo and Lunala are two of the main three Legendary Pokemon introduced in Generation 7. They're the mascots of Pokemon Sun and Moon and evolve up from Cosmeom. Sunny trainers will get Solgaleo; lunar fans will find themselves beholden to Lunala, instead. In either case, it's a big story beat, and one of the Pokemon series' more impressive ones at that.

But you've got to work for it. Cosmoem, formerly Cosmog of "get in the bag" fame and infamy, won't transform into its magnificent final form until level 53.

Mandibuzz (From Vullaby At Level 54)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
110 65 105 55 95 80

What is it with Unova and high-level evolutions? First, they strap you with nothing but new Pokemon. And then they tell you to work hard to see their final evolutions! It's almost as if they wanted us to experience a whole new adventure for a change.

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In any case, Dark/Flying Vullaby is someone you'll see for a very long time throughout the campaign. The vulture, standing upright but still half-stuck inside its egg, fails to remove said egg until level 54. Doubtless, most first-time Black & White players will begin to suspect that egg ain't going anywhere before Mandibuzz appears at last. It looks rather angry, too.

Almost like it was stuck inside an eggshell for most of its existence.

Braviary (From Rufflet At Level 54)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
100 123 75 57 75 80

Ah, at last. An Unovan Pokemon who won't evolve until they're at a very high level. (Said no one ever.) Welcome to Rufflet, a cute, ruffle-feathered little pal who will stay that way all the way until level 54, at which point it turns into something of an American icon.

You'll probably want either Braviary or Mandibuzz on your team in Unova if you've got a thing for Flying-types because the Pidove line (basically, the inevitable generational Pidgeys) is unfortunately pretty weak. And if you're ever in Hisui courtesy of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, do be sure to fly around on Hisuian Braviary. Technically, you won't have a choice; but regardless, it's an incredible time.

Tyranitar (From Pupitar At Level 55)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
100 134 110 95 100 61

Back to that kid from the days of Red & Blue who wanted to be cool and catch another Dragon-type come Gold & Silver. It wasn't going to happen, Kingdra notwithstanding, because Game Freak was still keeping Dragon-types close to their chest. But then, hey, what was this? It was the second-ever "pseudo-Legendary" line after Dragonite's, the Tyranitar line. It was all about Rock meshed with the shiny new Dark, and it was a monster.

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Surely, this had to count for something. Tyranitar won't even appear until Pupitar hits level 55, making its debut an achievement, an experience, something to shake your Game Boy Color uncontrollably over in glee until it falls to the floor and the screen cracks.

Not that we'd know what that was like.

Dragonite (From Dragonair At Level 55)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
91 134 95 100 100 80

Here it is, the OG pseudo-legendary, the original Dragon, the goofy-looking bud. In the first-generation games, owning one was like a rite of passage rivaled only by catching the three Legendary Birds and the big guy Mewtwo himself. You could only obtain Dratini through the Game Corner for 2800 coins — super-pro Pokemon Masters knew you could do the same thing at the Safari Zone with the Super Rod, but shh, it's a secret — and even then, you had to endure cutie Dratini to level 30, then deal with Dragonair all the way to 55.

Okay, but in fairness? Dragonair is awesome. Lots of players at the time, and some even today, have held the opinion that elegant Dragonair looks cooler than the complete design 180 that is Dragonite. If only they could swap stats, right? No offense to diehard Dragonite fans, of course. Except Lance, because his Dragonites are at an impossibly low level in Gold & Silver, which means he's a cheating cheater.

Volcarona (From Larvesta At Level 59)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
85 60 65 135 105 100

Volcarona is a dual-type Bug/Fire Pokémon that was introduced in Generation 5. You know, the generation with all the high-leveled evolutions, as if the notion was going out of style or something. This moth-like Pokemon is unique because it is the only Pokemon that is able to learn the Fiery Dance move. Even without context, that's enough to make folks jealous.

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For Pokemon trainers that want this powerful and unique Pokémon in their party, you're going to have to work pretty hard. Larvesta won't make the important life change until level 59. Compound this with the fact that in the original Black & White, the only available Larvesta is handed off to you in the form of an egg on Route 18 — that's the very last numbered route in the game, by the way — and yeah, good luck with all that.

Dragapult (From Drakloak At Level 60)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
88 120 75 100 75 142

What's this? Suddenly, Sword & Shield bursts onto the scene, making a late play for latest-evolution gold medal. Dragapult, a Ghost/Dragon pseudo-legendary with a ton of competitive online staying power, has just about everything going for it. It starts off as a little jet plane thing, and then it's a little jet plane thing chilling atop a little dragon thing, and at long last, it becomes a gigantic undead dragon capable of launching two little jet plane things at its enemies at a time.

Level 60 is a steep climb, though Sword & Shield makes leveling easier than ever before. The mandatory EXP Share, a wealth of leveling candies, ability to challenge much higher-leveled Pokemon in the wild; it all adds up. But still. 60. That's almost the winner.

Hydreigon (From Zweilous At Level 64)

HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
92 105 90 125 90 98

Well, well, well. What do we have here? The reigning champion of highest-leveled evolution Pokemon, Hydreigon. And it just so happens to be Unovan. Who would have thought?

Hydreigon evolves from Zweilous at level 64, and yeah, many players will complete the main campaign quite a few levels beneath that mark. But look at it. It's a three-headed Dark/Dragon-type, and another pseudo-legendary at that. It wants you to work for it. It wants a trainer who is willing to put blood, sweat, and tears into its arrival. Well, maybe not blood. Don't physically harm yourself over it. But definitely those other two.

NEXT: The 10 Strongest Fairy Pokemon, Ranked

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